It's been difficult getting on track. Not that I've been awfully swamped with work lately, or at least not as much as I usually am. Perhaps it's more about other things happening with and around me. I had wanted to do more work on the content of MMS 172 and 173. It's not like there's not enough. Many students already have trouble keeping up as they are. But these courses require constant updating in order to keep up with all the advances related to the subjects. It's a good thing they're still serviceable as is. Still, I wanted to cut back on the procrastination, keep students engaged without necessarily adding to what I'd required of them. And it occurred to me: what if I were one of them? What would I do for a final project in MMS 172? And how well would I do if I were to cram, just like half the class?
To tell you the truth, MMS 173 has not been as lively as the previous classes. For the first time in mms 173, I did away with scheduled face to face sessions. Not enough people in the class seemed interested enough to attend. I don't blame them, though. Attendance is not required and in the first place, many students enroll in UPOU because they can't attend classroom sessions. However, the reality remains that, at that level, a poorly attended session just isn't worth the time, effort and money on my end (yes, I do spend my own money to hold F2F sessions). It is a bit of a shame.
Is this going to be the shape of things to come? Well, I hope not.
Thankfully, it's not without its moments. There is a little core group which has made the most of its time with the course. While I do find it a little ironic that the group's prime mover isn't even officially enrolled, in the end it doesn't matter. I fully supported their efforts to go out on their own or better yet, in groups. After all, if you want to work on your photography, nothing beats actually going out to shoot. And it also pays to go with a group and learn from each other.
The funny thing about the Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Studies program in UPOU is that it's loaded with colorful personalities. In every offering of MMS 173, it's damn near impossible to predict what sort of class your gonna get. Only one thing has proven certain so far: each class has been a unique experience for me.
I remember the time my parents took me to the mall to buy my first electric guitar. It was at the old Park Square 1 in Makati back in the early 90's. There were four music stores there at the time. Perfect Pitch was already the authorized distributor at the time, but JB Sports and Music was the first one I entered and right behind the counter was the very first genuine Fender Stratocaster I ever saw in person. It was an Olympic White American Standard sitting pretty on a top shelf while all the other guitars. And even though I knew next to nothing about electric guitars at the time, I could appreciate how that thing was miles apart from those Philippine-made rip-offs that we often see in Sta. Mesa and Raon.
These days, I can't help but roll my eyes whenever I see some inspirational or motivational meme or any other one-liner about traveling. They say things like money is easy to get, but memories aren't. Or how we should stop making excuses like there's no time or money to do such things. Or maybe we're being told to overcome our fear and just go for it. It's not that I disagree with all of these things. But like any other typical Internet meme, the reality of the matter is a bit more complicated than your random one-liner lets on.
I probably should have written this much earlier, while memories were still fresh. Unfortunately, Typhoon Haiyan soured the mood, both mine and just about everyone else who might read my blog about how much fun I had during my last travel while social networks are being flooded with news and pictures of the aftermath of the calamity in Leyte, Philippines. That wouldn't have been appropriate, to say the least.
Anyway, I did spend five nights in San Francisco back in late October. Spending the entirety of closest thing I had to a vacation in one city wasn't my first choice. But it was the best one I had. What I really wanted to do is take a road trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco. Unfortunately, 1) five nights might not be enough, 2) I wasn't sure if I could afford it, and 3) the place I really wanted to stay, Yosemite National Park, was burning at the time. So, I committed to it and promptly booked myself at Pacific Tradewinds (more about the hostel here).