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Monday, June 28, 2004
3:12 PM
Back to school ... and a long book list!

After two months of the summer break, I'm back in the classroom, and I feel like I'm in my element. Honestly, I do think that I'm a happier, saner, and more centered person when I'm teaching. No kidding.



(stolen from angie)

The rules are...steal it, post it on your site, bold the books you've read and add three of your own!

so let's go.....

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. 1984, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame (ooh, love this one!)
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corellis Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Sorcerers philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The DUrbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alices Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett (I loved the premise of this book when I was a child)
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Susskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones' Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnights Children, Salman Rushdie
101. Three Men In A Boat, Jerome K. Jerome
102. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett
103. The Beach, Alex Garland
104. Dracula, Bram Stoker
105. Point Blanc, Anthony Horowitz
106. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
107. Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz
108. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
109. The Day Of The Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
110. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
111. Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy
112. The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 1/2, Sue Townsend
113. The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat
114. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
115. The Mayor Of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy
116. The Dare Game, Jacqueline Wilson
117. Bad Girls, Jacqueline Wilson
118. The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
119. Shogun, James Clavell
120. The Day Of The Triffids, John Wyndham
121. Lola Rose, Jacqueline Wilson
122. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
123. The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy
124. House Of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
125. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
126. Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett
127. Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
128. The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle (I've read the Ladybird kiddie version-hahah! But I guess that doesn't count.)
129. Possession, A. S. Byatt
130. The Master And Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
131. The Handmaids Tale, Margaret Atwood
132. Danny The Champion Of The World, Roald Dahl
133. East Of Eden, John Steinbeck
134. Georges Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl
135. Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett
136. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
137. Hogfather, Terry Pratchett
138. The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
139. Girls In Tears, Jacqueline Wilson
140. Sleepovers, Jacqueline Wilson
141. All Quiet On The Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
142. Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Kate Atkinson
143. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (halfway-through, with intention to finish)
144. It, Stephen King
145. James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
146. The Green Mile, Stephen King
147. Papillon, Henri Charriere
148. Men At Arms, Terry Pratchett
149. Master And Commander, Patrick OBrian
150. Skeleton Key, Anthony Horowitz
151. Soul Music, Terry Pratchett
152. Thief Of Time, Terry Pratchett
153. The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett
154. Atonement, Ian McEwan
155. Secrets, Jacqueline Wilson
156. The Silver Sword, Ian Serraillier
157. One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest, Ken Kesey
158. Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
159. Kim, Rudyard Kipling
160. Cross Stitch, Diana Gabaldon
161. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
162. River God, Wilbur Smith
163. Sunset Song, Lewis Grassic Gibbon
164. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
165. The World According To Garp, John Irving
166. Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore (again, the kiddie version)
167. Girls Out Late, Jacqueline Wilson
168. The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye
169. The Witches, Roald Dahl
170. Charlottes Web, E. B. White
171. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
172. They Used To Play On Grass, Terry Venables and Gordon Williams
173. The Old Man And The Sea, Ernest Hemingway
174. The Name Of The Rose, Umberto Eco
175. Sophies World, Jostein Gaarder (didn't finish it though, but I think I read enough of it to put this in bold)
176. Dustbin Baby, Jacqueline Wilson
177. Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl
178. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
179. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Richard Bach
180. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
181. The Suitcase Kid, Jacqueline Wilson
182. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
183. The Power Of One, Bryce Courtenay
184. Silas Marner, George Eliot
185. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
186. The Diary Of A Nobody, George and Weedon Gross-mith
187. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
188. Goosebumps, R. L. Stine
189. Heidi, Johanna Spyri
190. Sons And Lovers, D. H. Lawrence
191. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
192. Man And Boy, Tony Parsons
193. The Truth, Terry Pratchett
194. The War Of The Worlds, H. G. Wells
195. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans
196. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
197. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
198. The Once And Future King, T. H. White
199. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
200. Flowers In The Attic, Virginia Andrews
201. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
202. The Eye of the World, Robert Jordan
203. The Great Hunt, Robert Jordan
204. The Dragon Reborn, Robert Jordan
205. Fires of Heaven, Robert Jordan
206. Lord of Chaos, Robert Jordan
207. Winters Heart, Robert Jordan
208. A Crown of Swords, Robert Jordan
209. Crossroads of Twilight, Robert Jordan
210. A Path of Daggers, Robert Jordan
211. As Nature Made Him, John Colapinto
212. Microserfs, Douglas Coupland
213. The Married Man, Edmund White
214. Winters Tale, Mark Helprin
215. The History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault (Some parts: Hmm, actually, I don't know if I've read enough to earn the right to put this in bold.)
216. Cry to Heaven, Anne Rice
217. Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe, John Boswell
218. Equus, Peter Shaffer
219. The Man Who Ate Everything, Jeffrey Steingarten
220. Letters To A Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke
221. Ella Minnow Pea, Mark Dunn
222. The Vampire Lestat, Anne Rice
223. Anthem, Ayn Rand
224. The Bridge To Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
225. Tartuffe, Moliere
226. The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
227. The Crucible, Arthur Miller
228. The Trial, Franz Kafka
229. Oedipus Rex, Sophocles
230. Oedipus at Colonus, Sophocles
231. Death Be Not Proud, John Gunther
232. A Dolls House, Henrik Ibsen
233. Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen
234. Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
235. A Raisin In The Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
236. ALIVE!, Piers Paul Read
237. Grapefruit, Yoko Ono
238. Trickster Makes This World, Lewis Hyde
240. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
241. Chronicles of Thomas Convenant, Unbeliever, Stephen Donaldson
242. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
242. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
243. Summerland, Michael Chabon
244. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
245. Candide, Voltaire
246. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, Roald Dahl
247. Ringworld, Larry Niven
248. The King Must Die, Mary Renault
249. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein
250. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline LEngle (unfinished, but only a few chapters short)
251. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
252. The House Of The Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne
253. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
254. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
255. The Great Gilly Hopkins, Katherine Paterson
256. Chocolate Fever, Robert Kimmel Smith
257. Xanth: The Quest for Magic, Piers Anthony
258. The Lost Princess of Oz, L. Frank Baum
259. Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon
260. Lost In A Good Book, Jasper Fforde
261. Well Of Lost Plots, Jasper Fforde
261. Life Of Pi, Yann Martel
263. The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
264. A Yellow Rraft In Blue Water, Michael Dorris
265. Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
267. Where The Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
268. Griffin & Sabine, Nick Bantock
269. Witch of Blackbird Pond, Joyce Friedland
270. Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH, Robert C. OBrien
271. Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt
272. The Cay, Theodore Taylor
273. From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg
274. The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
275. The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
276. The Kitchen Gods Wife, Amy Tan
277. The Bone Setters Daughter, Amy Tan
278. Relic, Duglas Preston & Lincolon Child
279. Wicked, Gregory Maguire
280. American Gods, Neil Gaiman
281. Misty of Chincoteague, Marguerite Henry
282. The Girl Next Door, Jack Ketchum
283. Haunted, Judith St. George
284. Singularity, William Sleator
285. A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
286. Different Seasons, Stephen King
287. Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk
288. About a Boy, Nick Hornby
289. The Bookmans Wake, John Dunning
290. The Church of Dead Girls, Stephen Dobyns
291. Illusions, Richard Bach (hey, I was a kid!)
292. Magics Pawn, Mercedes Lackey
293. Magics Promise, Mercedes Lackey
294. Magics Price, Mercedes Lackey
295. The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Gary Zukav
296. Spirits of Flux and Anchor, Jack L. Chalker
297. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
298. The Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices, Brenda Love
299. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
300. The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison (ooh, that reminds me, someone lent me this book, but I've only read a chapter)
301. The Cider House Rules, John Irving
302. Enders Game, Orson Scott Card
303. Girlfriend in a Coma, Douglas Coupland
304. The Lions Game, Nelson Demille
305. The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars, Stephen Brust
306. Cyteen, C. J. Cherryh
307. Foucaults Pendulum, Umberto Eco
308. Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson
309. Invisible Monsters, Chuck Palahniuk
310. Camber of Culdi, Kathryn Kurtz
311. The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
312. War and Rememberance, Herman Wouk
313. The Art of War, Sun Tzu
314. The Giver, Lois Lowry
315. The Telling, Ursula Le Guin
316. Xenogenesis (or Liliths Brood), Octavia Butler
317. A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold
318. The Curse of Chalion, Lois McMaster Bujold
319. The Aeneid, Publius Vergilius Maro (Vergil)
320. Hanta Yo, Ruth Beebe Hill
321. The Princess Bride, S. Morganstern (or William Goldman)
322. Beowulf, Anonymous (parts of it for school--I don't recall if we read the whole thing)
323. The Sparrow, Maria Doria Russell
324. Deerskin, Robin McKinley
325. Dragonsong, Anne McCaffrey
326. Passage, Connie Willis
327. Otherland, Tad Williams
328. Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay
329. Number the Stars, Lois Lowry
330. Beloved, Toni Morrison
331. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christs Childhood Pal, Christopher Moore
332. The mysterious disappearance of Leon, I mean Noel, Ellen Raskin
333. Summer Sisters, Judy Blume
334. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo
335. The Island on Bird Street, Uri Orlev
336. Midnight in the Dollhouse, Marjorie Filley Stover
337. The Miracle Worker, William Gibson
338. The Genesis Code, John Case
339. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevensen
340. Paradise Lost, John Milton
341. Phantom, Susan Kay
342. The Mummy or Ramses the Damned, Anne Rice
343. Anno Dracula, Kim Newman
344: The Dresden Files: Grave Peril, Jim Butcher
345: Tokyo Suckerpunch, Issac Adamson
346: The Winter of Magics Return, Pamela Service
347: The Oddkins, Dean R. Koontz
348. My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
349. The Last Goodbye, Raymond Chandler
350. At Swim, Two Boys, Jaime ONeill
351. Othello, by William Shakespeare
352. The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas
353. The Collected Poems of William Butler Yeats (Uhh, I've read a lot of his poetry; I don't know if I've read everything in this particular collection.)
354. Sati, Christopher Pike
355. The Inferno, Dante
356. The Apology, Plato
357. The Small Rain, Madeline LEngle
358. The Man Who Tasted Shapes, Richard E Cytowick
359. 5 Novels, Daniel Pinkwater
360. The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Juliet Marillier
361. Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
362. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
363. Our Town, Thorton Wilder
364. Green Grass Running Water, Thomas King
335. The Interpreter, Suzanne Glass
336. The Moors Last Sigh, Salman Rushdie
337. The Mother Tongue, Bill Bryson
338. A Passage to India, E.M. Forster loved
339. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
340. The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux
341. Pages for You, Sylvia Brownrigg
342. The Changeover, Margaret Mahy
343. Howls Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones
344. Angels and Demons, Dan Brown
345. Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo
346. Shosha, Isaac Bashevis Singer
347. Travels With Charley, John Steinbeck
348. The Diving-bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
349. The Lunatic at Large by J. Storer Clouston
350. Time for Bed by David Baddiel
351. Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
352. Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre
353. The Bloody Sun by Marion Zimmer Bradley
354. Sewer, Gas, and Eletric by Matt Ruff
355. Jhereg by Steven Brust
356. So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane
357. Perdido Street Station, China Mieville
358. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte
359. Road-side Dog, Czeslaw Milosz
360. The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje
361. Neuromancer, William Gibson
362. The Epistemology of the Closet, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
363. A Canticle for Liebowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr
364. The Mask of Apollo, Mary Renault
365. The Gunslinger, Stephen King
366. Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
367. Childhoods End, Arthur C. Clarke
368. A Season of Mists, Neil Gaiman
369. Ivanhoe, Walter Scott
370. The God Boy, Ian Cross
371. The Beekeepers Apprentice, Laurie R. King
372. Finn Family Moomintroll, Tove Jansson
373. Misery, Stephen King
374. Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters
375. Hood, Emma Donoghue
376. The Land of Spices, Kate OBrien
377. The Diary of Anne Frank
378. Regeneration, Pat Barker
379. Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald
380. Dreaming in Cuban, Cristina Garcia
381. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
382. The View from Saturday, E.L. Konigsburg
383. Dealing with Dragons, Patricia Wrede
384. Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss
385. A Severed Wasp - Madeleine LEngle
386. Here Be Dragons - Sharon Kay Penman
387. The Mabinogion (Ancient Welsh Tales) - translated by Lady Charlotte E. Guest
388. The DaVinci Code - Dan Brown
389. Desire of the Everlasting Hills - Thomas Cahill
390. The Cloister Walk - Kathleen Norris
391. The Things We Carried, Tim OBrien
392. I Know This Much Is True, Wally Lamb
393. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
394. Enders Shadow, Orson Scott Card
395. The Memory of Earth, Orson Scott Card
396. The Iron Tower, Dennis L. McKiernen
397. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
398. A Ring of Endless Light, Madeline L'Engle
399. Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy
400. Hyperion, Dan Simmons
401. If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, Jon McGregor
402. The Bridge, Iain Banks
403. Practical Demonkeeping, Christopher Moore
404. Promethea, Alan Moore
405. the curious incident of the dog in the night-time, Mark Haddon
406. archangel - robert harris
407. vernon god little - dbc pierre
408. ultimate spiderman - brian michael bendis
409. The Glamour, Christopher Priest
410. The Portrait of Mrs Charbuque, Jeffrey Ford
411. The Third Person, Steve Mosby
412. Psychoville, Christopher Fowler
413. The Street of Crocodiles, Bruno Schulz
414. The Constant Gardener,John Le Carre
415. The Priestess of Avalon,Marion Bradley
416. The Mists of Avalon,Marion Bradley
417: Einstein’s Dreams – Alan Lightman
418. The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread – Pat Robertson
419. Abarat – Clive Barker
420. The City of Beasts – Isabel Allende
421. The House of Spirits – Isabel Allende
422. Ameican Gods – Neil Gaiman
423. Coraline – Neil Gaiman
424. Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel
425. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – JK Rowling
426. Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code – Eoin Colfer
427. Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident – Eoin Colfer
428. The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
429. The Invisible Man – Ralph Waldo Ellison
420. Ogre, Ogre – Piers Anthony
421. Franny and Zooey - J.D. Salinger
422. King Rat - James Clavell
423. Fools Die - Mario Puzo

There should be a separate set of markers for "books of which I've seen the movie version." Hahaha!
[ link | ]

Saturday, June 19, 2004
11:57 AM
Fr. Roque.

One of the greatest, holiest men I have ever had the honor of meeting is Fr. Roque Ferriols.

To the Ateneans of the 60s to the early 90s, Fr. Roque was the fiery legend of Ateneo's Philosophy program. He had founded the philosophy department in the 60s, and had transformed philosophy in the Philippines by urging Filipinos to philosophize in their native tongues. His superior had once called him the only true genius at the Ateneo. And his brilliance and originality as a thinker were as legendary as his temper and strong will.

By the time I came under Fr. Roque's tutelage eight years ago, Fr. Roque was in his early 70s. He had mellowed a little by then, laughing and cracking jokes much more often than allowing his temper to erupt (although those few times it did left us shuddering in fear for days) . In his early 70s, Fr. Roque was our sagely guru, and we were his humble disciples, listening patiently at his feet. What struck me most then was his wisdom, the strength of his philosophy, the brilliance of his mind.

I came back to the Ateneo for graduate studies a little more than a year after graduation, and by the time I did, our beloved Fr. Roque had slowed a little in his gait, though his mind was as active and his tongue as witty as ever. Since then, I've sat in a few of his classes, listened to some of his talks, still blown away each time by his brilliance. But in these past few years, a new aspect of Fr. Roque's personality has left me in dumbfounded admiration: his holiness.

To illustrate. Last Friday, a Mass was held in honor of the Jesuit priests who were celebrating their fiftieth anniversary in the priesthood, and Fr. Roque was one of them. Towards the end of the Mass, he was one of two of the guests of honor who were asked to speak. The other priest--Bishop Escaler--spoke first. Perhaps to humor the congregation comprised mostly of Ateneo alumni, Bishop Escaler began his talk with a nostalgic recollection of the old Ateneo in Padre Faura. He continued on about how he had been inspired to join the Society by the priests and scholastics who were his teachers in Ateneo High School, and about how being a Jesuit has always been at the core of his priestly vocation.

Fr. Roque's speech came next. His slow hobble to the lectern reminded us that Fr. Roque was only two months away from 80. But when he spoke, he spoke with the elegance and clarity for which we had always known him. Still, it was the message, and the man that we saw through his message, that left many of the congregation teary-eyed. I can't quote it in full, but Fr Roque's speech began something like this:

"Fifty years ago, the five of us here became priests, and we did not understand what was happening.

"We did not understand why we, who were such sinners, were being given the power to forgive sins.

"We did not understand why we, who were such sinners, were being called to perform the sacrifice of the Most Holy Lamb at the altar.

"We did not understand, but we trusted."

Goosebumps went up my spine, and I had to wipe away a tear. He continued to speak, and I'm sure that everyone was struck, as I was, by his profound love and adoration of God, and by his profound humility and holiness.

Halfway through his talk, Fr. Roque switched to the language that he had taught many of us to think in, Tagalog. He ended his talk with this line, from Dag Hammarskjold:

"Sa lahat ng nakaraan, salamat. Sa lahat ng hinaharap, oo."

Other teachers have inspired me to learn philosophy, or have made me want to become a philosophy teacher. But Fr. Roque makes me to want to become a better person.
[ link | ]

Friday, June 11, 2004
10:53 PM
Happy 10th Anniversary!

I was cleaning my cubicle yesterday, when I found something I had taped to my cubicle wall when I first started teaching, but which had since gotten stuffed into a drawer: my ticket for our batch's Orsem night from freshman year! Amused, I let my eyes wander down to the date of the event, and I got the surprise of the week when I saw it: June 10, 1994! Yes, it was exactly ten years to the day! (Serendipity!) Immediately, I texted my college barkada and I received a variety of reactions, from "Oh my gosh, has it been ten years?" to funny recollections of that night. But everyone had a sense of, "Wow, as friends we've been through so much together!"

Happy tenth anniversary to my college bunch--my home throughout college. I love you guys so much! I've survived so many things because of you guys, and I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for you.
[ link | ]

Thursday, June 10, 2004
10:11 AM
Cellphone etiquette.

When I first started working, the division between professional and personal correspondence was clear. Professional correspondence was a matter of scheduling an appointment, calling someone at their office during office hours, or mailing a business letter, whether to their office or via business e-mail. When office hours were over, one no longer had to be "on call," and would not need to respond to any professional correspondence, except during emergencies.

The cellphone has changed that, however. For most people in my generation, the cellphone began as a personal communication device, an extension of the home phone, and it was treated as such--one's cellphone number was not indiscriminately revealed to people. Now, however, the distinction between professional and personal lines of communication have blurred. Clients think nothing of calling associates' personal cellphones after hours--even in the middle of the night. In my profession, I don't mind receiving text messages to my personal cellphone from my colleagues; they are, after all, my friends as much as they are my professional associates. I do, however, mind receiving SMS school-related questions from students, especially because, in general, I don't reveal my cellphone number to my students in the first place. Yet my students manage to get my number anyway. Sometimes they text me questions which demand discussions so long that I begin to think of the number of pesos I'll have to spend to reply to them. Other times, they text me concerning matters that were already announced several times in class ("mam, ano po ulit yung assignmnt pra bukas? nklimutan ko kasi").

(Business cellphones are another thing entirely, of course, but I'm speaking here of personal cellphones.)

Let me admit, this is something I am occasionally guilty of myself. When a work-related question occurs to me after hours, I sometimes think nothing of texting an officemate immediately about it, rather than waiting until the resumption of office hours to confront that concern.

However, I've had more than one conversation with friends concerning the discomfort with such a set-up. So this is the topic of this post. What strategies do you, my friendly readers, adopt to avoid the dreaded after-hours work-related text/call to your personal cellphone? I'll start the ball rolling by sharing some of the strategies I'm already aware of:

(1) One of my friends has a cellphone-off policy: she switches off her phone at night, as well as on weekends. The trade-off there, however, is that she also misses calls and messages from friends during the weekends and at night.

(2) As for me, for a few years, I simply wouldn't reply to students' work-related questions texted to me via cellphone (again, the number of which I never released to them anyway). I would wait until we saw each other in class, and then I would reply to the student in person. Last year, however, I think a student got slighted when I didn't respond to his text. So this year, I'm planning to spell it out more clearly by telling my students that my personal cellphone is exactly that--a personal cellphone--and that professional correspondence ought to be coursed through my professional channels: my business e-mail address, or via our department.

(3) A strategy I've thought of but which I haven't implemented yet is this: Next time an unwelcome professional text message appears on my personal cellphone, I might simply text back, "Please call me at the office tomorrow, so we can discuss it."

Meanwhile, I'm also going to try to be more cautious about this myself. The next time I feel tempted to make a business call to an associate's personal cellphone, I'll try to stop myself, pick up the landline, and dial the office number instead. Here's hoping I remember that.


Update: Of course, not all texts from students are unwelcome. I certainly don't mind and am actually pleased to receive friendly texts from students with whom I've become friends. :) Of course. But it's business-related texts that are the issue here.
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Monday, June 07, 2004
11:39 PM
Age. And hope.

When I was a child, there were a few realities that had been there since I was born, and seemed as if they would be there for the rest of my life: President Ferdinand Marcos, the Cold War (which, if it escalated to Nuclear War, I was certain would kill us all), and Ronald Reagan.

Marcos and the Cold War are history to my current students. And Ronald Reagan has died too.

I suddenly feel quite old.


But ah, Randy David said that my generation (nakisali siyempre, hehe!) is a source of hope.... I reproduce here his column from yesterday's Inquirer, because it is about three things which are close to my heart: my age group, the Philippines, and the Jesuit Volunteers program:

Sources of Hope
by Randy David

ONE evening almost a year ago, I found my youngest daughter in a solemn huddle with her mother. I immediately sensed I was about to hear a disclosure for which I wasn't prepared. "Jika has something to tell us," my wife said, confirming my intuition. "Are you going to have a baby," I jokingly blurted. "Are you getting married?"

She frowned in mock anger, and countered, "Of course not! But if you give me permission and I'm accepted, I will be going away for a while." Intrigued, I groped for a seat. "I have applied to be a Jesuit volunteer," she said calmly. For a while I thought I heard her say she was going to be a nun. I didn't know how to respond. But slowly, a warm glow spread through my chest and I was moved.

Among our four children, Jika has always been the methodical and deliberate one. I often wondered whether this was due to her training as an accountant or whether she had elected accounting because it resonated her innate rationality. In any case, it was convenient to have an organized mind in a family of solitary liberals.

It's been almost five years since she began working for Unilever, a global firm with a huge presence in the Philippines. Recruited as a management trainee before her graduation from the University of the Philippines, she joined the company right after passing the accountancy board. She worked 10 to 12 hours a day, regularly coming home not earlier than 10 p.m. Worried about her driving home alone at night, I remember talking to her about these long working hours and asking if she was happy at work. My inquiry surprised her; I realized I was talking to a member of a new generation of highly disciplined and driven young people who worked hard and partied hard.

Frugal to a fault, she saved a big part of her earnings for graduate studies abroad as well as for a yearly vacation to some faraway place. She liked going out with friends on Friday and Saturday evenings. She was bourgeois in every way. Watching her steady transformation into a corporate yuppie, I once ironically remarked to my wife that perhaps we were going to have, at last, a real capitalist in the family. Now I know I was way off the mark.

When it looked certain she would pass the tough screening of the Jesuit Volunteers Philippines (JVP), she wrote her superiors a letter of resignation. They asked if she was moving to another firm. No, she said, she was quitting to do volunteer work for a year. Touched by this odd act of selflessness, the company asked her not to resign and offered her instead a leave that would keep the door open to her return.

Having heard so many good things about the Jesuit volunteer program, my wife and I had no trouble giving our consent to Jika's unusual detour from the single-minded pursuit of career to a life of simplicity, solidarity, and service. The JVP program has been for the past 25 years Ateneo's best alternative to a finishing school. Combining faith-driven solidarity with the poor with the challenge of independent and simple living, the program has attracted and shaped some of the finest young people this nation has had the fortune to produce. It attracts fresh college graduates who, instead of immediately plunging into a career, dedicate a year of their lives in earnest service to others, while pondering over the rest of the years that lie before them. Most of the volunteers are in their early 20s.

I remember asking Jika, who is turning 27, only one question, and I was careful not to sound discouraging: "Isn't this coming a bit late for you? I mean, why now, when you are already on a secure track in your career." I kidded her that maybe she was just passing through a quarter-century crisis and needed time to rethink. She protested she was not that old, unaware that at 24 her mother and I already had our first child, and that both of us were by then already fully embarked on an academic career.

Jika left last Tuesday on a slow boat to Palawan where she is assigned as a non-formal educator in Mathematics at the St. Ezekiel Moreno Parish in Macarascas, Puerto Princesa. She will be tutoring and living with about 40 grade school and high school girls from the surrounding communities who are enrolled in a distance education program. She has always dreamed of becoming a teacher. If she succeeds in giving even only half of these girls enough motivation to skip early marriage for a chance at personal growth, I know she will have accomplished her purpose.

I think my wife and I are lucky to have children who deeply love their country and are not deterred by its problems. But I would not say they are in that sense extraordinary. There are many like them from this generation-young, highly motivated Filipinos who without fanfare do what they can to create a better nation.

I've often wondered what it is that keeps many young Filipinos from packing their bags and leaving this country that their elders have messed up so badly. Trite as it may sound, I think it is the capacity to live John F. Kennedy's memorable line: Ask not what the country can do for you but what you can do for the country. Some see it in secular terms, as the active pursuit of citizenship. Others, like this year's 32 JVP volunteers who will be working in the country's most underserved communities, think of it spiritually as establishing a personal relationship with God by being a person for others. I think of it as the culmination of the search for the right balance between the twin demands of self-creation and of social solidarity.

For all the dark thoughts we often harbor about our country, I truly think we are far from doomed as a nation. Our children give us hope.

©2004 www.inq7.net all rights reserved
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Thursday, June 03, 2004
9:33 PM
Today's links.

- Bush's probably-futile attempt to get Catholic votes by visiting Rome, and a well-written warning that the American President ought to listen to the Pope. (From Salon.com.)

- And for graduate students like me: an article about U.S. grad students' woes. (From The Village Voice.)

Update: George Tenet has resigned, according to CNN. Hmmm.
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Wednesday, June 02, 2004
2:31 PM
Closet clean-up.

I fell ill mid-last week, with the flu (I think it's been going around), and a bum stomach. I only had two days to rest, though, then, not quite recovered, I spent three exhausting days helping out with the office planning and orientation sessions.

Now, health is of primary importance when you're in education (the school year cannot stop for a sick teacher), and I'm determined to recover fully before I face registration duty at the end of this week, so I'm spending most of this week cooped up at home, trying to resist the very strong temptation to go out and enjoy the last few days of the summer. The thing about me, however, is that when I'm at home--even when I'm supposed to be resting--I always find things that need fixing or organizing. Yesterday, it was my closet. Inspired by an episode of "Queer Eye" (another, um, "chick show"--apart from Oprah--that will get Mike's eyes rolling whenever we watch TV together, heheh!), I did a spring- (or should I say, summer-) cleaning of my aparador. Hallmarks of yesterday's closet clean-up:

(1) I finally decided to confront the physical realities of my age (cf. "Late 20s" post below), bade goodybe to my once-24 waistline, and tossed aside most of the outfits I'd categorized under "Clothes I Hope to Fit Into Again Someday." (I say, "most," because there are still a few favorites that I'm stubbornly hanging onto.)

(2) A page I took out of my mom's book on housekeeping: I brought out my sewing kit and managed to breathe new life into a few old items. I mended a few clothes that needed mending. I also took two old cardigans from the 80s (one was my mom's, another was mine), and took off the awful shoulder pads--ta-dah! New clothes for me!

(3) A few favorite clothes of mine that I no longer fit into, I slipped into a paper bag to give as a gift to my best friend Gen, who's a few sizes smaller than me. Some of these items are more than ten years old, but are still in very good shape, and with the current 80s/90s revival, they're back in style!

(4) FInally, after re-organizing my closet, and coming up with a small pile of old clothes, I pulled out two older boxes of clothes and shoes from previous years' spring-cleanings. I priced each item, then, with the help of our housekeepers, hauled the boxes out into our garage for a mini-garage sale. I hope to some extra pocket money before the weekend is over.

Not bad for a day's work, don't you think? :)
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Tuesday, June 01, 2004
11:37 PM
Singaporeans can chew gum again ...

More news from my old homeland. (I've been watching a lot of Channel News Asia lately, hence this renewed interest in Singapore.) Singaporeans can chew gum again ... if they have a prescription.

A slightly more, well, cynical view of this news is here.
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