Monday, December 26, 2011

On the Last Day of 41

Today is my last day of being 41 years old. Just when I was getting comfortable with this age, it's coming to a close! But time trickles on, regardless of what our wishes may be.

For all its ups and downs, the past year has, on the balance, been a most memorable one. On top of my list, of course, was the wedding last May 7. Seven months in, and married life has been most agreeable. I'm beginning to wonder why I didn't do this sooner (but if I did, it might not have been with Emily, and that would be another story.) I'm glad I found the partner who was right for me, and whom I was right for.

Work has also been quite engaging. I'm really enjoying teaching. There's the occasional annoyance, but on the whole, it's enjoyable, challenging, and largely stress-free, at least compared to my past jobs. Three years seems to have gone by, just like that. I'm still on probationary status -- academia has its own strange rules -- but I don't really care. However, I'm in a strange position where I'm sitting on a university council despite my status. Go figure.

On top of that, I've just started doing consulting work again last November. Nothing too involved, mostly teaching and training. I've never really confronted it, but I think my last two years at IBM traumatized me to the point where I didn't want to work in IT anymore. But along came this small startup company called Ingenuity, and it seems that more than half the employees have been my students at some point or other. The CEO is a very nice fellow, too, so when they came calling, how could I say no?

This was also the year when I almost died. I got hit by a bad case of dengue in September. The doctors said the fever had reached my brain -- encephalitic dengue, they called it. The chills were unbearable when they came. I lost consciousness for a few hours. Strangely, I have no recollection of the event. No light calling out to me, so I am mildly disappointed. But then, maybe it just wasn't my time yet. Thank God! After all, I'm a newly married man.

Sadly, I spent less time writing this year than I did in years past. Looking over my blog, I have a sparser record of 2011 than for previous years. It's partly because of heavier workload, but also partly because, now that I'm a teacher, I'm more circumspect with what I let drop. Instead, I've picked up photography as a hobby -- thanks to my Dad who passed on to me his Nikon D-60 -- and I've let my pictures speak more for me than my words.

That said, I've still managed to collect a few highlights for the year:

  • Preparing for Taboan 2011
  • A visit to the Mayor's office

  • Taboan 2011 International Literary Festival, for which I was conference coordinator

  • Commission from Ateneo de Davao to set up Moodle and run training for the entire faculty
  • Some schoolroom drama

  • Davao gets flooded; this has started to occur more frequently
  • An Ateneo student is murdered in her dormitory
  • Short story published in PGS Crime Special

  • Emily and I get married
  • Emily and I travel to Cebu and Dumaguete
  • 50th Anniversary of Silliman National Writers Workshop; and my last meeting with Mom Edith Tiempo
  • Ateneo Writers Workshop
  • Book launch of Best of Dagmay and Fractional Lives, the fourth and fifth books that I put together

  • Angry Birds

  • The Facebook Rally
  • My brief brush with notoriety...again
  • A new University president
  • I get named to the University Research Council (something which I don't write about much, unfortunately, because of the nature of the work)

  • Mom Edith passes away

  • I come down with dengue
  • Software Freedom Day

  • Davao Writers Workshop 2011, for which I am again Deputy Director

  • I buy a prime lens

  • Preparing my book for publication