Mikee likes to refer to herself in the third person sometimes.

This online journal is a collection of stories from the classroom, the corporate office and everywhere in between.

Even if it’s a dumb story, telling it changes other people just the slightest little bit, just as living the story changes me. An infinitesimal change. And that infinitesimal change ripples outward –ever forgotten, but the stories will last. And so we all matter –maybe less than a lot, but always more than none.

–An Abundance of Katherines, John Green

It is crucial for her to find Anne through her stories, for Anne is the adult who knows the difference between right and wrong and acts after deciding carefully without letting her soft side take over. Mikee is controlled by her child self who is deeply fascinated with all things bright and beautiful. Her parent self, contemplates her actions and guides her with virtues close to home. And if you don’t know what the metaphor means, think id, ego, superego –concepts from Psychology, a science she seeks to spend her lifetime studying.

She leaves it to your better judgment to decide if her thoughts are worth sharing and if Anne is worth finding.

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I’m not coming back to graduate school this semester and I’m (trying to be) okay with it.

Most people I know purse post-graduate studies because they have an end in mind: PhD, promotion and what have you. I on the other hand am in school (again) simply because I love it. I’m in the Developmental Psychology track and though I am still trying to figure out how this fits into my current role in the training unit in the corporate world, I enjoy studying developmental needs and interventions. And I don’t mean this in an I’m-such-an-academic sort of way. I just really love that I get to read, learn, and find out how everything comes together through application.

This school year, since I am no longer qualified for the 50% discount for teachers, I have decided to take a leave of absence for a semester. I convinced myself that I need the short break to fully adjust to my new job and work towards financial independence/stability. For a while I was at peace with this thought but I felt the weight of my decision today when I went to Ateneo and saw all my classmates from last year. They all seemed so eager to be back in school. A couple of them excitedly asked me about my classes –what I am planning to take, and how my 3rd graders are doing — and it broke my heart to admit that I was neither studying nor teaching.

Carol, my best friend brought up a very good point when I asked if she thought it would be a good idea to ask my parents to help fund my education: “It depends on two things. 1) Sa drive kong mag-aral, and 2) sa current financial situation ng household. Kailangan balanced eh. Di pwedeng kung ano lang gusto ko yung masusunod.”  And she’s right. Knowing my Dad, he would probably help me even if it means he’d have to bend over backwards to do it. I will never know the extent of Mom and his’ sacrifices but I do know that they wouldn’t even think twice if I asked. Their love for their children is great like that; it knows no bounds. The least I can do is be sensitive to them and understand that they’re not getting any younger. For now, I can help them by helping myself become independent.

Naks. Kunwari responsible adult. ;)

I can’t think of anything else I love more than teaching.

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Sometimes when I find myself with nothing to do in the office, I can’t help but feel a sense of betrayal. I gave up on the system I swore I would devote my life to serving. I turned my back on the children whom I gave my heart and my soul to because I had bills to pay and a future beyond my selfless? selfish? desires to build. And more importantly, I walked away from the profession I’ve always known I was called to do. My heart breaks every time my students tell me how much they miss me or talk about how sharing the classroom with me made a difference in their lives. This has been written to many times on the cyber pages of this blog but I just need to say it again: I miss how everything comes to life when I’m with my children.

In spite of the gaping hole in my heart (forgive me but that’s actually what it feels like), I feel nothing but gratitude towards my current job. At 23, I have been given the huge responsibility of imparting my knowledge to future store managers who are older and more experienced than I am. I feel a little giddy whenever I am asked to create/re-design training modules that are learner-centered. And I feel incredibly #blessed (by the way, I hate that this is a thing now)  that I get to run these modules while working with people I respect and get along with.

Last Thursday, when I facilitated the training for customer service and interpersonal skills, I remembered how much I loved listening to stories as much as telling them. I have to give credit to my Group Therapy professor for teaching me how to link conversations together for processing sessions because our discussion was rich with the sharing of insights and experiences of my “students.” There’s something about guided conversations that make learning sessions more meaningful and I found a renewed spark in me to make it my mission to ensure that each training module I make/run is worth the managers’ while.

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This isn’t where I imagined I’d be but it feels right.

I hope I do good.

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