Thursday, April 30, 2009

thoughts of a student mama

it has been raining here in manila for several days and what's weird is- it's supposed to be summer time in the philippines, sun should be shining brightly and everyone should be wearing summer light summer, everyone looks gloomy, covered, irritated and confused. ahay! climate change...climate change indeed!

when it is this cold, i either need a hot choco or a very warm hug...i could not just hug anybody. i am a student in a catholic university and it happens that this university is quite far from home (1 hour and 50 minute-plane ride). i am a mother too, and i'm missing my son wowa a lot (and the husband jovit too of course). we used to snuggle and just play lazy on days like this...amp!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Substance Over Form?

Summer classes have started and what choice do I have but to go on and try as much as I can to finish what I already started - you see, there's no use in giving up when you can go on eh...My first nightmare is an essay on how to critique a paper. I thought at first that it was an easy task but later I learned otherwise.

In trying to learn about critiquing a research article in a scholarly journal, it is important that I should understand that the task in writing a critique is to convert the critical examination of a research article into a systematic evaluation. Among other things, I must be interested in determining what the author says or what he wants to achieve, how well the points are made- from the statement of the problem to the recommendations or policy implications, what assumptions underlie the argument, what issues are overlooked, and what implications can be drawn from such an analysis. Sort of like going to Conspiracy Cafe and digesting every word the artists say (sometimes they do have better sense than what I read sssshhh) hahaha.

Since next week we will be asked to critique at least 5 reasearch articles, it is good that the essay was given as a starter (talk about irony). Now I have a guide- yipi! Critiques, positive or negative, should include a fair and accurate summary of the text and a statement of the critic’s own assumptions. Stated or not, these assumptions underlie every evaluative comment made. Therefore, I have an obligation, both to the reader and to myself, to clarify my opinions. I know that in the process of writing a critical assessment, I will be somewhat forced to examine my own knowledge, beliefs and assumptions. Ultimately, the critique is my way of learning about the author and myself. What a way to read a material! What a way to live a life! Oh well...

Monday, April 20, 2009

there's always hope for the philippines

Here is a good article sent by Dr. Arsenio Martin of Fort Arthur , Texas ...Enjoy reading.

THE DIFFERENCE The difference between the poor countries and the rich ones is not the age of the country:This can be shown by countries like India & Egypt , that are more than 2000 years old, but are poor. On the other hand, Canada , Australia & New Zealand , that 150 years ago were inexpressive, today are developed countries, and are rich. The difference between poor & rich countries does not reside in the available natural resources.Japan has a limited territory, 80% mountainous, inadequate for agriculture & cattle raising, but it is the second world economy. The country is like an immense floating factory, importing raw materials from the whole world and exporting manufactured products.

Another example is Switzerland , which does not plant cocoa but has the best chocolate in the world. In its little territory they raise animals and plant the soil during 4 months per year. Not enough, they produce dairy products of the best quality! It is a small country that transmits an image of security, order & labor, which made it the world's strongest, safest place.Executives from rich countries who communicate with their counterparts in poor countries show that there is no significant intellectual difference.

Race or skin color are also not important: immigrants labeled lazy in their countries of origin are the productive power in rich European countries.What is the difference then? The difference is the attitude of the people, framed along the years by the education & the culture & flawed tradition.

On analyzing the behavior of the people in rich & developed countries, we find that the great majority follow the following principles in their lives:1. Ethics, as a basic principle.2. Integrity.3. Responsibility.4. Respect to the laws & rules.5. Respect to the rights of other citizens.6. Work loving.7. Strive for savings & investment.8. Will of super action.9. Punctuality.10. and of course...Discipline.

In poor countries, only a minority follow these basic principles in their daily life..The Philippines is not poor because we lack natural resources or because nature was cruel to us. In fact, we are supposedly rich in natural resources.We are poor because we lack the correct attitude. We lack the will to comply with and teach these functional principles of rich & developed societies.