Timely thoughts this Christmas | Manila weather


AROUND the tempered chord of the joyous bustle of this pandemic-stricken Christmas season, there remains the Christmas mark: it is a special time of year when peace reigns over the world, the soldiers and the people. terrorists keep the truce, the rich care and share their bounties with the poor, people feel the joy and the spirit of giving especially the flourishes, colors and symbols of the Nativity of the Child Jesus.

What hangs in my mind is how a timely time like Yuletide lives up to its good news and brings people together, mostly young people, caring enough and not doing good just for themselves.

Sometimes before Christmas I made room for my students at Liceo de San Pablo High School to look outside of school, see what works and what doesn’t by working alone and working more by working. in a group, which nourishes more energy and spirit. I helped them navigate some vacation plans, no matter how simple, which they initially thought unable to do in terms of youthfulness and carefree attitude, not to mention – bad memory – of an example among the students of all are getting older today.

In almost all cases, what the students had not seen or done even before was to build wise opinions beneath the surface of any emerging issue in question or begging the question. To explore this point further, I used word of mouth leptospirosis as a simple example – a common health problem identified with flooding.

Before setting out on the road, I assured them of having a fresh mind and active memory, reinforced by an intermediate method of easy recall, such as an ironic memory technique called mnemonic.

By relating any hard-to-memorize term like leptospirosis to something familiar, say – lip for “lep”, toes for “tos”, pie for “pi” and roses for “rosis”, the mnemonics made wonders on the memory of the pupils.

To cover more ground, they put more weight on the example at hand, adding a dose of leptospirosis side issues and thinking. The likes of – why do they have to think twice and watch before they jump through the floods because of the more severe typhoons that attack us more than a dozen times a year? Why they are experiencing days of torrential rains inundating capital cities, which didn’t happen even before American astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon for the first time as Gloria Diaz walked as the first Filipina to wear the Miss Universe crown in 1969 – were two main open questions they delved into.

As they discussed the reasons why this kind of disaster was happening in a middle-income country like the Philippines, but which could not even feed or provide shelter and medicine to the victims, they offered personal solutions. It is proven that something personal always rings a bell in the ears of the public, they repeated.

They meant that the consumer-oriented audience typically bet their last dollar on producers to meet their personal business needs throughout. For example, they cited that growers may have to wage a war against flood-induced leptospirosis. Remarkably, the students came up with their own personal patent which they proudly considered a possible bestseller: tight pairs of socks made of lightweight rubber as a tip-toe-to-knee protector against leptospirosis impurities. , for consumers who must or cannot help themselves through knee-deep flooding.

Further down the road, they were given more responsibility for understanding and seeing the essentials of quickly dressing and cleaning up the toxic legacy held by humans, in order to further survive another major global problem – climate change.

They see the need to raise houses in flooded areas and let the grasses grow so that the Earth can breathe; plant fruit trees near homes which prove to be robust during typhoons; build large or small concrete houses with slab roofs as protection against rains and stronger winds; keep an eye on our mountains, rivers, seas and forest reserves; and train students, the unemployed and inmates to plant more, too, as support groups for our big farmers.

But the only baffling task for them is to bear the government’s blow for the pandemic way of educating and learning. Everyone believed that online education made learning more burdensome rather than facilitating. That while the error-laden online and modular alternative courses lay bare the incompetence of ill-equipped principals and the records of teachers themselves, they keep an eye on the most elected officials who show themselves more, do more politics than civic support.

Then again, their enthusiasm caught up when they suggested a powerful tool in times of hardship, when things go wrong to get the right education. To maintain a good order for better education, they believed that only intellectuals should teach because intelligent, passionate and sensitive teachers educate, inspire more and share great lessons.

How to attract the brightest to start teaching? The government must raise teachers’ salaries to the level of doctors, engineers or lawyers, the students said. To save this kind of task for later, the government is losing the opportunity to cure the sick education that plagues today’s classrooms, they concluded.

Young people can seem idealistic and optimistic at times, but with simplistic ideas coming from well-put together, purified minds much more timely things can happen, carrying a few messages worth listening to this Christmas and in the New Years beyond. .

Pit M. Maliksi studied library science at the University of Santo Tomas and taught at Central Texas College; was PUP’s most outstanding teacher for 12 years, Sto. Tomas, Batangas (STB), the educational program manager of Kiwanis International STB-Chapter, and the founder of STB Mga Apo ‘Ni Tomas, a civic society of a thousand young professionals. He has been an English teacher-consultant at Liceo de San Pablo since 2019.


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