Posts Tagged With: education

How the Music of Genuine Education Sounds Like

February 16, 2015

 

I can hear the revolution happening.

Five steps away from the gate of a school located in Camp 8 Baguio City- today I realized one thing: Education is, indeed, more than just a system for learning. There came a myriad thought with every stride I had taken. I had just been brought in a moment when simple actions were put into significance, where a clearer view of the education’s meaning was developed. Literacy Training Service as part of the National Training Service Program in UP Baguio is a course which I shall pass but it’s leading me further. I observed.

School is a cradle for diversity. It is a place wherein people of different appearances, ages, races, attitudes, interests, beliefs, and customs are merged for a purpose. Think of the students who are raised from different places, through different traditions, of different families- while they are called as “classmates” inside the four corners of a room. Think of the teachers who are extending their horizons in spite of their personal contexts. Think of the institution itself as a foundation of the conventional knowledge gained in a variety of ways.

It was a bright Monday morning. The vehicles were roaming around the city. The vendors surrounding the school began to arrange their goods. The younger ones were accompanied by their guardians while the older ones were guarded by the man whose long-sleeves shirt had been printed with the capital letters of “security”. The bell rang before the utterly confused crowd had fallen in line. The volume of the noise softened as the teachers stared. Everyone got ready for the flag ceremony. Whenever there would be loudening of unnecessary sounds such as chattering of voices, the Principal had to interrupt the ongoing ceremony, as the noise was restrained, to keep its decency.

The day had just started yet it seemed that things must be in control. Discipline, obedience, responsibility, patience, and industry might be the proper terms to describe what it takes to go to school and push through studying. Sports, academics, and practical applications to real life situations are being taught here. Is this education? Considering the techniques used by the teachers to implement their lessons and assessments of what was learned; would these things matter as a complete representation of education’s definition? I wondered.

“The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.” (Hutchins, 1899-1977) According to this educational philosopher, education’s main goal is to let the youth learn the things that could guide them within a lifetime. Thus, education includes not just the subjects namely English, Math, Science, Civics, Music, and more; but it also consists of the knowledge which can be directly used in dealing with the conditions of life in reality. For those elementary students I had encountered around the campus, I knew that their class schedule had been composed of rigorous discourses. For them, those were the longest hours of their day occurring at least five times a week. As time would pass by, I do believe, these young people could carry on heavier tasks as part of the learning process.

As a theologian would say, “the great end of education is to discipline rather than to furnish the mind; to train it to the use of its own powers rather than to fill it with the accumulation of others.” (Edwards, 1809-1894) This is another quote suggesting that education is not a process wherein a person can be supplied with wisdom which is merely coming from one or two mentor(s)/instructor(s). It is a way of living as it is part of a person’s life. It is not only through school that a person learns. It is not only through the formal standards of “knowing” that a person gets educated. Therefore, education is never a confinement.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, as one of a myriad point of reference to consider, is a ground-breaking form of discussion about how the mainstream definition of education can create dogmatism in the social order. For this, social awareness is a must. “Education as the practice of freedom – as opposed to education as the practice of domination – denies that man is abstract, isolated, independent, and unattached to the world; it also denies that the world exists as a reality apart from men.” (Freire, 1968) The relevance of this quote to my recent experiences of teaching and being taught is the fact that education must focus on providing the people the opportunities to cultivate their own capabilities. In order for them to survive in this society, students who are willing to learn shall be free from the eyes of prejudice and injustice.

I am quite impressed with the dimension that I am able to see this time. It is noticeably wider and deeper in perspective. Having experienced both worlds of being a teacher of graduating students in elementary and being a student of a premiere university have granted me the eyes of integrity: Education is worth struggling for. As long as there are teachers who are virtuous to their jobs and as long as there are students who are enthusiastic to their studies, education cannot easily falter. While there is a generation who yearns for the sweetness of defeat and the spice of fulfillment (how it tastes like to aim for knowledge and beat one’s old unproductive self), education will remain accessible- be it inside or outside a formal institution.

Meanwhile, I still couldn’t forget the smiles of those children. They stayed as the human that they were yet I could feel that a part of them had been changing. A piece of their character stepped up to the next level. They might not perceive the whole transformation but it just wouldn’t keep them hanging forever.

Education can never be concealed. Numerical values may indicate how much progress the students have made. Perhaps the true measurement of improvement is not identified merely through quizzes, chapter tests, and periodical exams. Being educated is more than being able to submit the requirements on time, perform the assigned activities, and have a perfect attendance. It is not just the school that an educated human being shall go to because education imposes no boundaries. Real education does not limit a person’s capacity. It is always self-transcending.

Revolution, in its basic sense, is: a fundamental change, a movement, an extreme start– as phrases cited from Merriam-Webster Dictionary. How does this term relate to education?

Simple.

Education changes the lives of the people. It serves as a catalyst to innovate our society. It can be regarded as form of revolution because just like the heroes of our country who started a revolution to protect our nation, education saves our people. It saves us from ignorance and irrationality. Similar to those warriors who are not daunted to take risks in the battleground, education continues to struggle not just for the survival of the human intellect but for the rest of the aspects possibly existing in the universe as well.

I can hear the revolution happening. Can you hear it, too?

Categories: Part of Me, Reflection, Societal Issue | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

V. Moreno’s Order for Masks

Hi everyone, I would just like to share to you what I’ve written for this day. It was about a poetry interpretation and a bit of reflecting on how I can apply the lessons in my life. I hope that you can relate with  what I’ve done perhaps I’m not sure if you find my writing style relish-able. However, I believe that the poem I’m going to discuss is universal; and as time passes by, I am also looking forward into becoming a better writer who knows how to express herself clearly and not just to impress anybody. Have a great day!

ORDER FOR MASKS

Virginia Moreno

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Photo © Copyright 2010 Boo La La Costumes

            Philippine poetry’s high priestess, Virginia Moreno, is a versatile personality in the industry of arts. She is a well-known poet who has published books locally and internationally, containing her literary works. She deserves a great recognition for her noble masterpieces. She has this style in writing that absolutely accentuates her advocacies as a feminist. Also, her active involvement in resolving social, political and cultural issues give rise to more passionate and ingenious attacks. Her readers would be kept stunned by her creations at first glance yet they would have found a way to relate contextual imageries in order to understand the messages behind each line that is presented to strike or even influence them.

Order for Masks is a sophisticated poem indulged with a variety of peculiarities and symbolisms. It is written in free verse which has made it a bit laid-back physically, but is supplemented with overflowing ideas once it is understood fully.

To this harlequinade, I wear black tight and fool’s cap. Harlequinade is a part of a theatrical show wherein there is a portion when the comical harlequin and the clown perform pantomime or buffoonery to entertain the viewers. A harlequin’s character wears mask and is always mute. In the poem, the speaker associates herself being in this type of disposition. Instead of wearing a tight that is colorful or designed with diamonds, she described her suit as black in color. She wears a cap that is for the fool. It seems like she does not feel very happy to be this kind of character because she puts up indicators that are cheerless. She only lives to bring solace to other people but can’t do it for her own good. Billiken*, make me three bright masks, For the three tasks in my life. A billiken is a doll or a mascot that looks like an elephant. To some countries, it is believed that this ‘billiken’ brings luck to people by putting one’s worries away. It is being looked at as a charming mystique and it might be the reason why the speaker asks three bright masks from Billiken. Three faces to wear, One after the other, For the three men in my life. The speaker points out her need for masks. She has to wear each mask whenever she reaches out each of the three different persons in her life. So, the first stanza of the poem is intended to disclose the purpose of why the speaker has to ask for masks. It is not totally detailed perhaps it gives a hint of the situations that may follow.

When my Brother comes, make me one opposite, If he is a devil, a saint, With a staff to his fork, And for his horns, a crown. In the second stanza, it is being construed that the speaker has a brother and she is a sister. There is a growing comparison between these two people. It is the intention of the speaker to actually be the contrary of what her brother used to be. She has to be diverged from his personality. I hope for my contrast, To make nil, Our old resemblance to each other, and my twin will walk me out. Here goes the ratification of gender roles in the society. Being a sister means that she has to be different from him in order for her brother to feel masculine. By doing so, she makes nil. It means zero or does not exist. Just like the usual times of playing this kind of character, she will be left by her brother as she fulfilled her role. Without a frown, Pretending I am another. Still, the speaker stays to be as approving as she can be. Her identity is concealed but she doesn’t allow herself to be sad about it. She wears mask to hide what’s inside anyway.

When my Father comes, Make me one so like, His child once eating his white bread in trance, Philomela* before she was raped. I hope by likeness, To make him believe this is the same kind. By the third stanza the speaker portrays another persona. This time, there is a presence of a father and she is the daughter. There is an illustration of a young innocent girl who is sweet and obedient. Trance has something to do within controlling one’s consciousness that a person won’t be completely sensible. It is a state of mind wherein a technique is used to get enthralled by illusions. She relates herself with Philomela the Princess of Athens, who according to Greek mythology is a character who has been raped by the husband of her sister. After the incident, the oppression hasn’t stopped yet. The speaker then is trying to describe that kind of person she wants to show to her father- Philomela before the abuse which portrays a character that is pure, upright, graceful, and well-mannered. She is trying to be impressive by being the daughter she thinks her father would like to have. The chaste face he made, And my blind Lear* will walk me out, Without a word, Fearing to peer behind. Chaste means virginity. She needs to confirm that things stay the same back when she is still young and her father will adore her. The speaker denotes the blindness of her father because it seems to her that he does not appreciate anything that she does for him. Lear is the name of a king from William Shakespeare’s tragedy where the tone of its play is miserable and dark. King Lear as a father is a descendant of foolishness whose actions have brought consequences to his subordinate just by granting things that is in favor of his daughters- she’s trying to convince herself that she has this kind of father whose bias is her. Next is when it’s time that such scene with her father is done. Although the situation isn’t easy for her, she does not complain. She doesn’t want to lose his father. She does not want to let things happen when her father just treats him equally like any other person who does not exert as much effort to get noticed by him.

If my lover comes, Yes, when Seducer comes, Make for me the face, That will in color race, The carnival stars, And change in shape, Under his grasping hands. Make it bloody, When he needs it white, Make it wicked in the dark, Let him find no old mark, Make it stone to his suave touch. On the last stanza, the speaker is a woman who is in a relationship. Once she got into this type of situation, she gets herself committed in it. She asks for a mask that will satisfy his partner so they will have a warm relationship and truly love one another. She has to fill the gaps of his needs and wants to maintain harmony. She has to prove that she is the woman that her lover will surely love her to be. She has to prove that nobody else can make him happy as much as she can to his partner. This magician will walk me out, Newly loved. Not knowing why my tantalizing face, Is strangely like the mangled parts of a face, He once wiped out. Then the scenario of the speaker and her lover ends. She calls her a magician because she sees amusement with the kind of love that she has for her partner. This type of relationship comes as magic which makes her allured and fascinated. For her, it feels like a renewal of the love they had. She is willing to forgive her partner even if he had sinned. Most of the time, he can always find his way back to her due to an unconditional love that this woman can offer. She can endure whatever pain it is that caused her, for the sake of commitment with her family.

Make me three masks. In this poem, the speaker has performed three roles being a sister, a daughter, and a wife. It is evidently written by a feminist whose purpose is to rouse the cognizance about women. It raises both the negative and positive contextualization that is being implied to the female population of our society.

Looking at the negative connotation that is demonstrated about the woman speaking in the poem, humiliation among women is probably one of the messages that the poem aims to send to its readers. The woman always has to adapt to what each condition requires. She has to extensively fulfill the different roles that are expected from her, by the male population. She serves as an object to please the men and grant them their necessities and desires. She is sometimes an epitome of sacrifice so that sustainability between both genders is acquired. On a different perspective, there is a light that gives positivity to what the poem entails. Women have boundless skills to make themselves in service not just of men but by the entire population. They are able to gain the admiration, especially of the men in their lives, because of their flexibility and ambidexterity. They are absolutely intense when it comes to caring, supporting, and loving.

Moreno’s poetry applies to real life situations of not just the female or the male, but the lives of all people. It offers a wide array of exploration through different points of view and opens new doors for equality and unity.

The message of the poem approaches me in a realistic manner. It is true that women might be regarded as instruments back from the ancient times until this day; but it can never remain as it is. Modernism mixes through the air that the present generation inhales and it is no doubt that as our way of living accelerates, our way of thinking progresses. Nowadays, it is not just the male groups who can lead political institutions. It’s not just the male groups who can drive buses, work in construction sites, share ideas about religious views, prepare strategically on operations, and a lot more jobs and treatments that women can also do. The power lies equally in our hands. We just have to discover the fields we belong to.

As for a student like me, I truly value education relative to this issue. I believe that education is a stepping stone to advance the level of understanding among people that can lead to the attainment of global peace. Every day, students are not just taught with academics but are trained with moral ground. We meet different faces that we have to deal with, in different places and different times. We have to adapt to the environment in order to survive. We have to be open-minded in case of unfamiliarity. We have to be tough and maintain what they call ‘grace under pressure’ perhaps hypocrisy is not an option. Through these, we are honed to be better versions of ourselves starting today. Embrace sudden changes in a good way.

We live in a world where flexibility is inevitable that it’s soon enough to consider that ordering for masks has been developed as a natural process for us.

Categories: Societal Issue | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Honor and Excellence, respectively

Honor and Excellence, respectively

(This photo is not mine. Credits to whoever owns this.)

Iskolar para sa Bayan. Patuloy na lumalaban. U-Na-I-Ba-E-Ra-Sa-I-Da-A-Da! Na-Ga! Pa-I-La-I-Pa-I-Na-A-Sa-! Sa tuwing maririnig ko ang tinig na tila humahamon sa mga puso ng bawat kabataang uhaw sa pagbabago at sabik sa kaunlaran, ay nabubuhay rin ang aking pag-asang isang kontribusyon ako sa lakas ng pagsigaw, sa tatag ng paninindigan.

Patunay ang pangarap na ito sa layunin ng bawat estudyanteng katulad ko: ang makapagtapos nang may karangalan. Iangat ang pwersang Pilipino, tayo ay maging edukado.

Categories: Wikang Filipino | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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