May 16, 2006

I feel like a rock star...

I feel like a rock star or some sort of celebrity. Today my last day in Philadelphia before the trip, my schedule was booked. I had places to go and people to meet.

I had my retainers check at my orthodontis (making sure the 'smile' is gleaming). I had brunch in Starbucks, got this chicken salad sandwich (tres good) and blueberry Green Tea Frapcucino. My friend gave me tons of great literature to read. Her mom gave an extra $100 spending cash. After this, I met up with my grade school friend, talked about MP3 players and a quick review of summer movies and show. My bro got home from work and he took me to best buy, originally I was going to buy an "ipod shuffle", but I got the "iriver" (for only $100 including 2 year warranty). Then I met up with my Fil-friends, they gave me a list of things to get (they gave me money to pay for it of course).

I'm just receiving gifts left and right (I'm not complaining either- way too giddyingly happy). I got $300 spending cash from friends and family. I've got gadgets "donated" to me compliments of my bro and Canon Digital Camera and Camcorder and Optimus Digital voice recorder.

Relatives from California are calling. People are excited (which makes me excited). They wish me a happy trip and I'm grateful! :)

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:30 AM | Comments (1)

May 15, 2006

it's finally here: pre thoughts about the Phil. Trip

I've been planning this Phil. trip at least two years but I haven't been thinking about it because

a). I would be very very very very very very verrrrrrrry distracted
b). I wouldn't be able to concentrate because I'm distracted
c). I wouldn't function because I couldn't concentrate due to the distraction
d). All of the above

This morning I was in Greensburg and all throughout this week, I've been packing. I got home I helped my parents unload the car. I brought all my stuff in my room and organized so when I get back I would know where to find things. And just as I'm unpacking some of my school clothes, I'm packing things to bring to the Phil. islands.

I have lots of technology to bring. Last week I talked to SHU professors and staff about digital cameras and camcorders. I sought their advice. My bro got all these last week (this was his Christmas, and birthday gift for five years, and also my early graduation gift). The digital camera is strictly mine but the camcorder is for the whole family. I also took the advice of Prof. Jerz and got a digital voice recorder. With all these techs, I'm tempted to buy some type of MP3 player for music (my money- the one I've been saving up).

I'm a bit intimidated by these high tech gadgets. They feel so James Bondish/Alias. I feel like I'm going to break them. The camcorder is the size of my palm and the digital cam. is just a tad bit smaller than the camcorder. The digital voice recorder has 33 hours, it's smaller than the digital camera, and it has a clip-- like a pen-- so I can put it in my shirt pocket. All of them (excluding the battery and tape accesories for the camcorder) can fit in this little hand bag that is smaller than my old and heavy camcorder.

I'm happy with all of them. The digital camera has so much option, I hope I don't miss kodak moments because I couldn't decide the mode.

Because I've numbed myself for years (not to feel excited about this trip), I'm experiencing the backlash. I'm realizing that things are happening really quickly. Today, Monday- I'm shopping for some essentials and then I'm taking out some cash from my savings account. I have to finish packing, make sure I don't forget anything. I have an orthodontis appointment to adjust my retainers (will only last for 15 minutes). I'm meeting my HS friend in ardmore, then after this I'm going to try to meet my gradeschool friend, and then go to Best Buy with my bro and buy a cheap version of ipod. Get home, download the music and finalize packing.

tentative Schedule
May 16- Leave Phila.
May 17- Arrive in the Phil. Manila Shopping
May 20- Lola During's b-day, Taal Lake excursion
May 22- Manila: Intramuros Mindanoa Arts Festival, National Library, Manila Bay Sunset, Phil Cultural Center, 'Nayong Pilipino'
May 28- Blessing of school, A Hundred Island excursion (Tito Ray's family)
June 6- one week stay at cousin's university in Los Banos
June 14ish- 'Banauie' Rice Terrece excursion and Baguio City (buy hat)
Junish- Boracay Island
July 9- Cousin's Debut
July 14ish- Stay at kindergarden try to do mural
July-ish- Hiking at Mt. Pico de Loro
Rest of July until departure in mid-August- organize, get head straight, assimilate, document, spend hard earn money, spend more time with family, go food shopping, buy 'americana and barong'

But for now, I have to sleep, long day today!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:04 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2006

observations

last week I've noticed a phenomenon worst than senioritis, it's called senior avoidance.

This new thing called senior avoidance is very unique. I noticed especially in graduating seniors. My theory is that since all of them are graduating , they share this commonality of leaving SHU behind and anybody in SHU is a branch and reminder of their SHU past. They have a tendency to look ahead (not that there's anything wrong with this)

They get all soft and fuzzy because all of them are going to face the great unknown world. Some will go to grad school, others who knows what (most likely the workforce).

It is amazing how quickly they form this senior bond, and in the process, they neglect and avoid those they know in their past. It's a possiblity that people outgrow each other. It would be nice if they just remember in spite of all the hectiness and excitement happening in their lives.

When it's time for me to graduate, I'm not going to do this 'senior avoidance' thing, I'll make sure that I get a healthy dose of vaccine to fight this off...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 4:27 PM | Comments (1)

Don't cha!

Don't cha just hate when you show passion, share your opinions, you get all fired up (showing your conviction) and the person right across from you who you're being open with has this glaze look- no sense of recognition of your voice or what you're saying whatsoever (mind you that whatever you're saying is not a rant). Don't cha just hate that!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 3:15 PM | Comments (0)

Catcalls at Commencement

Today at Commencement, mention the current taboo "war," and you get people on all side hollering their protest or support for the war. U.S. Rep John P. Murtha brought up the current issue during his commencement speech.

One angry parent called out saying that this was graduation. He felt that Murtha was bringing up his "agenda." Supporter of the war and the soldiers fighting for freedom, responded that what Murtha was saying was the "truth."

The rest of the audience, family and friends of the graduates understood that Murtha was biased, but they focused instead on honoring the graduating seniors. They applauded to quiet the warmongers.

Murtha redeemed himself by generalizing that patriotism didn't necessarily mean supporting the war. It could be sublte acts and sharing reverence for freedom and democracy.

The banners of the past hanged around the parameters of the Sylvatti gym. Doctoral Honoree Mary Lou McLaughlin advised the graduates and the crowd. She said, "Passion compensates for lack of expertise."

Sure a fiery few showed their political views, however the passion of the graduates who strived to follow their dreams and vocation were not overlooked. 2006 Class President Justin Norris challenged his class to be examples, to experiment and to cherish life.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:45 PM | Comments (6)

If I were to get an internship at Scholastic (Publishes Children's books)

I hope to accomplish many things- the main thing is to experience the publishing process first hand at Scholastic, I've read about it in my Publication Workshop, I would like to experience the "theories" applied to current projects- for example, going through the submissions- rejecting, accepting, copy-editing, how contracts are handled, interaction with author and editor, market team- packaging a book, publist's role, seeing a completion of a book all the way to its publication date-- organizing, how to promote and spread the word...-- Application versus theories, relationship between author and the Publishing company (all involved)

I have office skills- answer phone, file and organize data, take notes
Copy editing skills from the Setonian (interview skills)
Business and Layout input from Eye Contact
Public Speaking from all my classes (also from being Library aides and Gallery aides)
Critiquing skills from Poetry, Publication
Leadership skills from student government and activities mentioned above
Honors Program- independent project- "interdisciplinary"
Revisions, editing, structuring, persuasive/argument paper, research, talking, peacemaker, Starbucks taster

Hopefully pick up tutoring skills from Writing Center and other writing aspect or computer skills from the Communicator internship

I'm an English Major with Four minors (Art History, Literature, Fine Arts, and Journalism), very motivated, good attitude, works well with others, believes in the mantra that "will and determination" override "talent'--99% perspiration, 1% inspiration

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:54 AM | Comments (0)

I survived

this semester was the hardest, and I really liked it because it focused a lot in my field of study creative writing and English...

I accomplished several things....

I learned more about the publication world in my Publication Workshop-- for example- the likelihood of rejection (at least 20,000 times before you get accepted IF you're lucky), the importance of professionalism in formating, query letters, book and article proposals, personal value, critiquing (being constructive and how to take criticism), the writing life- the markets (lots of freelance possibilities, also lots of writing-related jobs such as being an editor, a book agent, publicist, art director)-- I have the sources and tools to look it up now...

In Twentieth Century Art II, I feel like I have a better understanding of "current" art movements beginning from Post world war II, art reflection of culture, also I learned (from mistake) how to be a better presenter-- talking to people and trusting my brain (because I've done the research)

In Musical Dance- similar to ART history, theater trends mirror society- also being comfortable with 'moving' and being in front of people-- this adds to a study in presenting one's self- not being so self-conscious

In History of Jazz-- the same as Musical dance about U.S. culture and geographic studies (more presenting and public speaking experience-- being creative in presentation- different sources such as video clips, and dance demonstration- my professor shared a lot of stories- this was inspiring and subconsciously I noted his effective storytelling skills (how he got story ideas from words or phrase or incident, how he build up to the climax and punchline, and of course denoument).

In the Writing of Fiction-- more on the writing aspect rather than the publication part-- so we focused on revision, story ideas, critiquing, tons of malt balls and chocolate incentives, fun exercises, several free/forced writing, reflecting in journals, reading short stories and leanring from it- in a nutshell learning to fight off the fear of writing by just start writing-- just write, if it's crap, just write, eventually something good will come out

In American Lit. II-- more revisions, more exposure to contemporary works (pluralization/democracy of literature), presentation skills (teaching the class- public speaking)-- lots of modern experimental plays and poems, short stories from different voices-- women, gays, immigrants-- approaching literature from a literal, inferential, and evaluative perspective- different literary criticism

to sum up-- lots of public speaking, and tons of writing (drafts and revisions) and more integration of past studies with contemporary culture (it's not so distant, easier to apply and relate), very related to my field of study filling the gap, answering the question of why I'm studying Englsih, in general it feels like everything is coming together....

I'm beat and exhausted, and I'm glad...I'm off to the Philippines for a well-deserved reward for the hardwork and also to do a fun project. Adios!

Happy Summer!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:45 AM | Comments (2)

some ponderings about Grad School

So this semester is over, today at 11 a.m. I'm going to see some of my senior friends graduate and move on with their lives. Some are going to Grad school, others straight to the work force (or don't know)- either way they have some sort of plan...

I'll be a fourth year student, the thought of Grad school is around the corner, right now, it's not early at all for me to think about Grad school ( along time ago [two years ago]), I didn't want to think about the possibility of going back to school for another two years, but I'm reading about the subjects and classes offered in Graduate programs, and I find them exciting-- more in tune with my interest

ideally I would like to get some experience in the working field but if nobody would hire because of lack of "specification" I'm hoping that a MA in folklore would provide me with some experience and specialization...

I've been reading on some of bios of students in the folklore field,--they're very interesting and they matched my general interest in art, literature and culture-- most of them even incorporate gender, identity studies, news media. I really like the individual aspect (almost like a self-design MA program)-- I've said it a thousand times that I wanted to do something in art and children's literature and storytelling incorporate identity, perception, understanding, interpretation of the world around them grasping role (transition)---focusing on island life/culture relationship with land and nature (its effects on superstition) this is a vague thing I want to explore (I think I like the identity formation and imitation stage of life, metamorphosis, change).

my vague idea in some sense differs from most of the bios I read (this can be a good thing or a bad thing-- good because it's unique, bad because the higher ups might not think it's strong or relevant)

As of right now, --my number 1 choice --UPenn's Folklore and Folklife program is currently suspended indefinitely. I emailed the guy in the website and surprisingly he emailed me back. He was sorry that he didn't know much about the current status, he gave me some names who most definitely would know about the status of the program.

My second choice looks promising (it's in University of Oregon). I looked at the faculty and some of them attended UPenn, so if I couldn't go to UPenn, in some way I would still get some influence because of the faculty's background.

My third choice UC Berkeley is more competitive (they focus on Oral literature)-- they only accept four students in the program every year. My fourth choice is Ohio State (I din't get a chance to read their info as much)...

Finding information on these universtiies and the program and learning about the application process (GRE's and all that jazz) prove the mantra true-- applying to a grad school is the hardest part-- the application process tends to be longer and complicated...

for example for the University of Oregon

I have to
-complete a Graduate Admission Application ( I have to request this from the folklore department - each department is different)
-mail my SHU transcript to the right department
-get three letters of recommendation
-write a statement of academic objectives not to exceed five double-spaced printed pages
-fill application checklist form indicating three areas of study and names and departments of chair and committee members
-write a tentative program of study (52 credits in all)
-write a current resume

this will all help me focus and really reflect on what I hope to accomplish. I'm not as worried I just have to begin, schedule my GRE test, study for it, find professors for the recommendation, think about the objectives,design what i'm going to study (my favorite part), find the right department and mentors. This is sort of like writing an essay or research paper, just start writing and brainstorming and doing the necessary research...

If all else fails there's a possibility of trying to get a summer internship at Scholastic Inc.!

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:05 AM | Comments (0)