Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tsuru in Bisaya

No, I have not suddenly become a fan of KC Concepcion (who looks too much like her dad to be attractive to me); I'm posting this because this is the issue of Bisaya which features Dr. Mac Tiu's prize-winning short story Tsuru. It's out in the newsstands now; very cheap, only P25, so get your copy quickly.

Tsuru is a tale of an unlikely friendship between a young Filipino mother and a Japanese soldier during the occupation. There's funny moments, mixed with heartrending drama and stunning imagery. A must-read.

Mac has given me permission to publish it in full in Dagmay (it was printed in excerpt a while back) but I think I'll wait a while longer so you'll all be encouraged to buy the magazine.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Feature Stories

Today brought a bit of a surprise: on my lap landed a new subject to teach, Engl107, Feature Stories.

The first inkling of that, not quite overt, was when I bumped into Maricar Panda, my Literary Theory teacher from last year. Would I be willing to teach in the Humanities, she asked. Of course, I said, and the implication was that I would start next semester.

Then I got the text message from Dr. Mac Tiu around half past noon. Was my 1:30MWF free, he asked, and could I take over a class from Don Pagusara? Uhhh...okay....

Truth be told, I'm a little flattered. As I've mentioned here before, I sent in two resum├ęs, one to the Computer Studies Department and one to the English Department. It just so happened that the Computer Studies Department called first. One subject became two, but you know that part of the story.

The laboratory component of the CSD classes continue to take a lot of my preparation time but things have gotten slightly easier in the past couple of weeks. Perhaps they just feel that way. I could take on one more subject, thankfully one without a computer laboratory attached to it.

Besides, how could I say no? It seems that the doctor has advised my old mentor to rest up this semester. I owe Don quite a bit because it was under his tutelage that I started writing again, after my long post-workshop slump; and it was also in his class that I wrote my first published short story. Quite an honor to be taking over a class for him.

I had to beg off, though, when they were about to foist another class on me. Mustn't bite off more than I can chew, not with young minds on the line.

Since we're already four weeks into the semester, I have to hit the ground running with this one. I met the class with Mac earlier this afternoon. They look to be a bright, perky bunch, (a welcome respite from the blank looks I get on the left half of my Open Source Technologies class.) It helps greatly that it's a small class, too, only five students, consisting of third years and fourth years. It helps, too, that it's a workshop format, something I'm annoyingly good at.

Again for this class, I introduced a Google groups mailing list, a mechanism that seems to be working well with my Information Security class. Spent the rest of the afternoon and the evening looking up additional resources to use for the class, and my first major find, Pearls Before Breakfast, the reading assignment for tomorrow.

And finally, the overarching objective for this class: get published!

What else can I say? Banzai!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Big Bang Theory" postscript

Haven't been posting as often here lately because I'm occupied with my open source technologies class blog (yes, there is one; that's where I put up notes, presentations, and assignments.)

Anyway, took some time off to watch season2, episode 8 of "The Big Bang Theory" and saw this postscript after the end-credits. (The episode had a couple of not-so-subtle digs at George Lucas -- and William Shatner.)

I have to say I must agree.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The hidden meaning behind Harry Potter...

...told in two paragraphs, five sentences, roughly 140 words:

The story is about a boy who lives in a cupboard ("in the closet"). His Aunt and Uncle are ashamed of him because his parents were quite eccentric ("flaming") and they are deeply concerned and afraid that he will turn out just like them. On his 11th birthday (i.e. roughly at the onset of puberty), the boy discovers that he is actually a "wizard", different in both style and substance from straight people, or "muggles" (breeders).

The boy is groomed into his new existence by a large, hairy bear of a man who shows Harry a hidden underground community of "wizards"(the gay subculture) living right under the noses of the general population . Harry's first visit to this subculture involves traveling through "Diagon Alley", a play on the word diagonally (not straight).

Found on from Slashdot.

And if you're looking for more, there's more.