Sunday, March 03, 2013

One Perfect Day

I said I'd be posting only once a week on this blog, but some days are just so extraordinary I just have to write it down and share it. That way, at some point in the future when I'm feeling a little down, I can look back to this One Perfect Day.

This Saturday looked to be an extraordinarily busy day. The appointments just crept in slowly and almost unnoticed, a process over a month in the making. Normally I'd beg off from one event or other, but with the lineup, there just was no backing out.

A month before, SALEM, the Ateneo literary club, informed me that they had been working with other school literary orgs to put together a Digital Poetry seminar on March 2. Prof. Nino de Veyra would be main speaker but could I be guest-speaker, too? I can't say no to SALEM.

Two weeks ago, the IT213 Open Source classes handled by my former students and now co-teachers Aljohn and Yancy also decided to hold the ATMOSphere mini-conference also on March 2. ATMOSphere is a showcase for the projects the seniors have been doing throughout the semester, but I coaxed and cajoled my sophomore Python programming students to take two speaking slots.

Last week, my co-teacher Tet informed me that March 2 would be the day when my thesis advisees would undergo their defense.

And, finally, monthly meeting of the Davao Writers Guild.

So what actually happened?

* Arrived at school at 8:30AM to sit in the thesis defense panel of my advisees Joshua and Jako. These guys had missed their chance the previous sem, and now it felt like this would be their one last chance else they miss graduation. Outcome: passed.

* My cousin Eric from Canada, whom I'd invited for the day's events, arrived at 10:00. Placed him in the ATMOsphere sessions, which had already started.

* Thesis defense of my next set of advisees Athena, Jes, and Rhea started late at 11:00, though through no fault of theirs. I wasn't originally their adviser, but their project the previous sem hadn't gone so well. Now they found a project they were really into, and were rightly proud of. Outcome: passed.

* Very proud of the girls' work, a storybook for Android, that I invited them to present it at the Digital Poetry seminar. And they'd also be presenting at ATMOSphere.

* Found just enough time to sit in on an ATMOSphere presentation on Web2py by my former student Sean. Very good output, and I'm inspired to study the framework this summer.

* Lunch with Eric, and our usual conversations on culture and world politics.

* Another thesis defense at 1:30, this time as panelist for Heherson, John, and Keith. I was also their panelist last sem, and regrettably had to give them the thumbs-down. A few minor nits on their project, but ultimate outcome: passed.

* Left the panel early after giving my comments because it was already 2:30 and my talk at the Digital Poetry seminar would start soon. Fetched Eric, and the room somewhere in the middle of Nino's presentation. More ideas.

* Darned if J-301 isn't full! There are almost 200 students from Ateneo, UP-Min, USEP, UIC, HCDC, and other schools. Many of these faces are familiar already, from writers workshops and poetry readings. Ric de U and Jhoanna also present.

* I give my talk about Dagmay. Afterwards, I ask Athena, Jes, and Rhea to present their work. They do, and to much applause. A teacher from USEP (?) asks if they could teach them how to make it in their school.

* I sense an impending boom in digital storytelling, but we'll see.

* Q&A with the students. Plenty of questions split between Nino and myself.

* Photos with the students. Deym! I feel like a rock star.

* Monthly meeting with the Davao Writers Guild. While waiting, I joke with Aida Rivera Ford. Recap of Taboan activities last month (Dumaguete, Digos, and MTS), today's digital poetry event, and the book launch of a poet this coming May. Bagobo House bihon all around.

* Cake cleanup with Emily at Jaime's. Midnight snack at Jollibee, burger steak for both of us.

Can't get any more perfect than that.