My cousin was telling another cousin of mine how she used to be class secretary all her elementary and high school days... with her classmates still sending with her their notebooks for her to copy notes for them. But she loved it! One, it's mostly the guys she has some minor crush on that would ask her for this favor, another is that she gets free meryenda as bribe, and the real reason: she just loves to write.

As in really love to write, even if she's writing down the same notes (or 'lectures') notebook after notebook, even trying to experiment on her handwriting in an attempt to fool teachers when they check the students' notebooks.

Which made me remember how I used to have classmates who can fill blackboard upon blackboard with notes, and we'd still have to beg her not to erase a board yet because we seldom caught up with her! Imagine writing on a board for entire periods! Heck, just the idea of chalk flying makes me want to gag (and it usually did during my short teaching stint).

Wherever you guys are, Kathryn and Roma, I salute you!


My sister was at the computer till past 3 am, doing her part in their group project. She used to suffer so from one classmate who made it her life's purpose not to contribute. Well, my sister is kind.

During my day, my classmates always knew that in group projects, even if I seldom accepted the leader role, I still expected everyone to contribute. Or else, their name/s won't appear on that cover page. My sense of justice has always been strong, even in childhood... that I even remove a classmate's seat if she didn't help out when it's our row's turn to clean classrooms. Teachers are usually left without a choice but to punish a classmate because i've made it sure the irresponsibility is made known to everyone. Yes, I was that confrontational sometimes.

And no, I wasn't a bully. I didn't make classmates clean for me, or do things for me (except draw probably, and I didn't have to bully people to do that!). I just absolutely abhorred free riders (?).

Di ba nga, I even convinced 4 other girls back in Grade 1 to join me and gang up on Joseph, this particularly naughty, bad kid... and the teacher then was stupefied with my defiance when asked why beat up a kid. And yes, we were all in Grade 1 then, and that boy never gave us girls trouble again (I actually cannot remember anymore what he used to do, but am sure it was nasty to elicit such violence from me, bwahaha).

And yes, am one of those who'd really rather work alone because I just hate having to ask people to give equally, if not in brains, at least in effort. And when college came, the 2 slackers in my barkada knew well enough not to ask me to pick up their slack... so we essentially got good grades together because the 3 of us kept them on their toes. And my wonderful professor, Dr. Mancao, was wise enough to know that in group projects, not everyone really give equally, so after the group oral defense, she'd also ask us questions individually so she could grade us separately. (ohhh.. i love that prof, she gave the most wonderful exam I ever took in my life... gave us ten scenarios a week in advance, asked us to think of at least 2 personality theories at play for each scenario... then she talked to us one-on-one to ask us to defend her 2 chosen scenarios... nobody knew which one she'd pick to have explained and it was a challenge convincing her, i loved it!!!)

So, anyway, I never really had a problem with group projects.


But I had this enabling thing that was bad.

I loved writing book reports.

I used to write book reports and novels for neighbors, my cousins, their friends and their girlfriends. It was such a thrill for it was like meeting a new friend! That was how I met Sidney Sheldon, Stephen King, Judth Viorst and other inspirational writers. And my friends would even ask me to write the report as simply as possible and not include high-falutin' words so that their teachers won't suspect anything amiss.


let me end this post with this really nice inspirational thing I got from an e-mail:


A group of working adults got together to visit their former university professor. The professor was pleased to see them, and after the students' chats about the old days and reminiscing were over, their conversation turned into complaints about their stresses in work and life.

The professor said nothing, he just smiled and went in his kitchen and brought back an assortment of cups on a tray - some were fine porcelain, some plastic, some glass, some plain-looking and some rather expensive and exquisite. He then asked if his former students were thirsty, and offered them the cups to get iced water for themselves.

When each student had a cup in hand, filled with iced water, the professor spoke: "If you noticed, all the nice-looking, expensive cups have been taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ordinary ones on the tray. While it is usual that you will only want the best for yourselves, that is the main source of your problems and stress... What all you really wanted was water, not the cup - but you unconsciously went for the better looking cups."

A silence followed, as the students digested this. The professor continued, "This is just like in life....If Life is water, then your jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are merely tools to hold and maintain life, but they will hardly change the intrinsic quality of Life. If we focus only on the cup, then we won't have time to taste and enjoy the water in it!"

"And also remember this: A RICH person is one who has a lot, while a HAPPY person is one who does not want a lot....The choice of which type of person you want to be is your own."

And the students thus got their most important lesson in life from their wise old teacher.


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