Old Pictures; Beyond Forgetting

               By Vic Odarve

Seemingly unimportant and usually taken for granted or forgotten, old photographs capture precious moments, recalls the details, and remembers the traces of footprints of our yesteryears. Old photos are the living witness of the happiest or saddest moments; allows to recall all the details down the road and rewinding how life was spent in the times of our life.

Boy Scouts of the Philippines

          Boy Scouts of the Philippines

Yes, in my ancestral home, old framed pictures hanging on the wall remind me where I spent my childhood days, my great grandparents’ heydeys, and some of the most memorable parts of my life. In one of the photos, I was once a platoon leader of a boys’ scout group ready for jamboree competition to a nearby village. We were in complete uniform with a cap on the heads in a scout drill formation. Even in black-and-white, it was easy to tell that we were then kids schooling at Mayana Primary Schools. Scouting has been a part of my life for longer than I can remember. My parents told me that I have always loved scouting life during my primary education. And this old picture confirms!

Upon scanning more of the pictures, old memories gradually flash back and forth in my minds from the events of the distant past. The traces of memories that appear to disintegrate over time seem real and fresh. Looking back to my childhood days, with the days spent together with our great grandparents and country people, these memories are beyond forgetting!

           Mayana basketball team 1977

It is indeed enjoyable to see these old pictures. It stirs our memories and recalls the days of our youth. I would like to rewind the good old days when we played basketball games during fiesta celebration. Now, the village of Mayana is one of my favourite getaway destinations. Going back to the old trail of the San Miguel Academy, I can feel like walking through mist and clouds along the mountain ranges, meet all the fairies and magical creatures, and watch the birds doing orchestra along with the canopies. Remembering my good old childhood days, it is sort of feeling that cannot be captured on camera and more than the old pictures hanging on the wall.

  There really is no place like home. Old pictures remind me the places and events where I come from; the land of my birth, and with all its diversity, the good and the bad, I would like to go there first over anywhere else in the world. It is just proper to share our good old days and momentous moments to our sons and grandsons how we spent our lives before.

         Great grandmas

The Bible puts it;

“Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons”. Deuteronomy 4:9

For us the living, the old pictures keep us remember and stir our memories. It is beyond forgetting!

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Competent Math Lecturer, Please!

                 By Vic Odarve

“I hate math. It gives a headache every time I enter the class. The lecturer just copies a problem and its answer in a textbook and do little discussion, then complete the lecture period”, muttered one student after two- hour talk. A common complaint among students!

Math students doing seatwork

Math students doing seatwork

Unlike other courses where memory counts with a little class discussion, math lecturers must solve problems using mathematical calculations, discuss in a readable and compact manner, and persuade students to contemplate and enjoy math. Computation is a lifeblood in problem solving; hence math calculation skill of a teacher is needed. Further a teacher must have a deep understanding to enable a detailed step by step discussions as to whys the actions are done. Communication prowess allows the lecturers to organize the teaching methods in an efficient manner without much complication to students’ understanding. An amazing picture inside the schoolroom! That’s how a competent math lecturer teaches.

Math students

Math students

As solving math problems and exercises form part most of the activities in the classroom, lecturers must possess an outstanding skill in math computation techniques.  Math calculations are the primary elements in problems solving and most students struggle in pain over this country; hence math lecturers must have an extended knowledge in math.  Without this skill, course content roadmap may suffer; often part of the topics may not be discussed on what is supposed to be completed in a semester.

Math qualifications play an important role as lecturer

Math qualifications play an important role as lecturer

Ability to discuss well every step of the math calculation facilitates attentiveness of the students. Sensing that students fail to grasp the manner how the steps are done, the lecturer will slowly expound the subject matter and occasionally review the ways in every solution step. Lecturers must explain the principles and theorems succinctly and clearly; draw some parallel application to our everyday lives. A little review in a discussion that initially baffled them will all of a sudden make sense. Failure to understand the steps as to whys they are done results to poor math foundation. Then impending disaster awaits on the next level math course, as poor preparation takes its toll.

Lecturer at work

Lecturer at work

With competent lecturer, students experience a quite different teaching approach and style. The picture inside the classroom is clear: smooth sailing discussion, where all eyes will be on the board and ears to the lecturers and topics appear easy and simple. Relax and confident, lecturers can explain the course topics in a detailed manner; repeat the discussion as if they know what students are asking for.

Math courses are indeed difficult, but with competent lecturers, students who traditionally struggle math begin to build confidence. Math becomes a relevant and never a boring course. So, with a vibrant, expert, and competent math lecturer mathematics is simple and interesting. Good lecturers have the power to change the students’ negative attitude towards math.!

Students must enjoy and love math. Mathematics does have a purpose and a meaning. Being the language of nature, math unfolds the secrets of our universe… from dark matter to the gravitational waves – what are sometimes referred to as ripples in the curvature of space-time. In math competent lecturers really matter!

Birthday; A Reminder That you are Going Older

          By Vic Odarve

Unlike many celebrations in our modern world, the birthday party is personal and unique; that it commemorates someone’s day of birth, one chapter of life closes, and other pages will be opened. It is the day you have seen the first light and cried in your mother’s arms, announcing your arrival to the world. It also reminds that you have survived another year and one chapter of your life closes. Then another horizon will be opened and face what the future lies ahead; it’s another day. Simply, it reminds that you are getting older!

Birthday is like a fiesta celebration

It is being held in commemoration of someone’s day of birth; comes once a year. Often a gift of assorted designs decorated with celebrant’s age highlighted the occasion. The cake is studded with lit candles where the celebrant usually makes a silent wish and attempts to blow out the candles in one breath. In addition to family members, celebrant invites friends and relatives, to grace the occasion. Sumptuous food preparation at these celebrations includes noodles, which represent long life.

The life of an individual is likened to a book. The birthday, which comes once a year is compared to a life chapter. The celebration closes a chapter of celebrant’s life. All what one has done, an accomplishment for that year, is written and recorded. It is your book of life; God will open it in the judgment day. Birthday reminds you to look back your footprints of your journey in life; no matter how difficult or comfortable they were, they are part of your life. Glimpse your performance as they mirror your journey as another chapter in life closes.

                 Getting Older

As one chapter of your life closes, another one opens; full of hope and promises. It is seen as the start of a new part of your life; brings new optimism and insights on your future. This is another milestone; the fact that you have survived another year. Maybe it is the time to reflect your life and see what is needed to change; attitude or lifestyle or focusing on the good things you have not fulfilled in the previous years. Life is too short; it is the time to think again.

Birthday celebration differs from one culture to another; it depends on the religion and race. Simply this is a reminder that people are born in this world to fulfill something; why we are here and where we are going. Everyone loves birthdays, especially his or her own. Whether we like it or not, birthday reminds us that we are getting older.