Monday, November 30, 2009

In the classroom again

I don't know if you know but I'm a teacher. I started by teaching Sunday School. I was also a preschool teacher ten years ago. Today, I may be a magazine editor but I still teach my staff (and other magazine staff!) about making a magazine. It comes very naturally to me, teaching. I like getting knowledge and I like sharing it as well. And I've been blessed that some people have actually called me their mentor. That's such a big role and to be called one is amazing!

So when Theodore P, a DLSU student, requested that I visit their college class and give a talk about the celebrity magazine industry, I was excited. And nervous. Well, part of the jitters came from looking blotchy because of an allergic reaction to an acne treatment facial I had a few days before the talk, but I was nervous because I haven't been in a classroom as a teacher for so many years. Thankfully, the allergy subsided the day before my talk.

When I entered the classroom and everyone started taking their seats, I felt a tad more comfortable. But it was when there were a few latecomers that burst in—this is a pet peeve!—the old Teacher Frances snapped back and I was in business.

I had a lot of fun at my talk. Theodore warned me that their professor can be intimidating and will grill me about magazines. I assured him I'd be fine; she may be teaching it but I'm living it. And at the talk, their professor was such a sweetheart! She and her class asked a lot of very good questions. They were difficult questions, too (I love difficult questions!), which says a lot about their level of interest and intelligence. I could've gone on and on and on but, alas, we only had an hour and a half.

Well, I found the experience so invigorating that I really don't mind doing it again! It's so lovely to be surrounded by young people. They're so beautiful and they don't even know it. Remember when I said that my hubby says I can still be mistaken for a college student? I used to believe him until I actually saw hundreds of college students at the DLSU campus. They're so young and perfect—the bright eyes, the taut skin, the shiny hair, the swift grace of limbs, the refreshing unsophistication and (I envy most of all), the flat tummies!

If you're a student (or a teacher) and would like to have me over and talk to your class, drop me an email! If I have time, I'd be glad to go.

To Theodore, Bianca and Pau, thank you for inviting me to your class. I really enjoyed myself and I'm glad your class had fun, too. I wish we had more time, though! I'll keep an eye on you three—I have a feeling you'll be big names in the media one day!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mourning in November

My favorite month in all the year is November. It's my birthday month and I love getting older. I usually spend the entire month celebrating.

But this year is different. First, Galady was fading away. Then she died.

Then I was also sick for a good two weeks, on my birthday in fact, which meant I had to hide away from the world. Being sick that long made me think that growing older isn't so nice after all. Then various aches and pains manifested themselves--a chronic pain in my right forefinger's joints, feeling gassy and tummy achy, the usual headaches, a strange feeling of emptiness in my sinuses. I wonder why this is happening all of a sudden. I do have a hormonal imbalance (I've been looking up bioidentical hormone replacement. Austin, Texas has a facility that offers it) and I haven't been back to my doctors for my usual check-ups. That's because I've been feeling invincible these past two years. Now, at just 33 years old and 19 days, I feel old and tired.  

Then some intrigues happened. I won't explain further but I'm hoping that that's finally done.

Then a truly horrible event in my country occurred just this Monday. In Maguindanao, a province way down south, at least 54 people were massacred for election-related reasons. The killing of one person in cold blood is horrific; imagine seeing bodies upon bodies piled on top of each other. The women were mutilated and sexually abused before they were riddled with bullets. The men were shot multiple times, too. Then there were people who just happened to be driving by--they were gunned down, too. This was no simple execution.

Seeing the earth by that sad roadside reddened by so much blood, I can actually feel my own blood responding, curdling in my veins, pounding in my head. The horror, the shock and the outrage I feel, that my countrymen feel and the world feels... This is just beyond comprehension.

After such knowledge, what forgiveness?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Excited to give a talk!

My dearest Topaz Horizon readers, I know I haven't been updating as often as I usually do. Been melancholy since Galady died and also been busy entertaining Matilda who is now a lonely wabbit. Then there's stuff happening at work (sorry, can't disclose) but suffice it to say that these have been interesting times. And if you're Chinese, you know that that's actually not a good thing!

Hello, my name is Mozzarella. I'm Frances' teddy bear.

I'm also going on a hypoallergenic diet. Had a bad allergic reaction to a facial this weekend (the seaweed mask did it). So I should avoid everything that I'm allergic to so that my skin won't get worse. So good-bye chicken, eggs, seafood, milk, chocolates, citrus fruits and everything else that makes life worth living!!! Man, I really hate hypoallergenic diets! Some people recommend a complete colon cleanse to flush away all the allergens in my system but I'll stick to drinking water. I just had my last two squares of brownies actually and, at dinner, a few sips of spicy chicken soup. Yum! So now I'm itchy again but... only for tonight. Tomorrow and for the next week, I'll be good.

This is what Frances looks like when she's blogging.

No pictures obviously. So my darling Mozzarella will pretend to be moi. Indeed I look ghastly. Splotchy and red. So upsetting since I'm giving my first ever classroom talk on Wednesday. I'm sooooo excited! Except that I look like a cooked lobster so now I'm not so excited to face a roomful of students as the representative of the glamorous world of magazines. No way can anyone look glamorous with a swollen, red, bumpy face. But they invited me because of my credentials not because of my skin or the clothes I wear. Still, please pray my skin will calm down by tomorrow.

I'm really excited about my talk. It will be in De La Salle University and I'll be telling some college kids all about the celebrity magazine industry. And, honey, y'all know I love my job! Goodness, it's like being paid to eat candy really. Ya, some days it's cloying, some days it's sickening but most days, life is oh so sweet. And to tell kids about it is really something I'm looking forward to.

Now the question is what shall I wear? I wanted to wear my usual skinny jeans-comfy tee-and-sexy heels combo but my hubby says I should look professional. But that's what I wear when I go to work! Vince says I should put on the arsenal of dress, heels and makeup so I won't look like a student. Aww, ain't he sweet? He thinks I can still pass as a student! I love you, Vince!