Sunday, September 21, 2008

i still remember it as CDG2M4NPSRV!

I was born and raised in the Philippines. For those of you who are not familiar, the Philippines is composed of 7,100 islands (in high tide, +1 in low tide) southeast of Hong Kong, China. As a nation, the Philippines is considered very "young" as having been independent for only over 100 years plus some. However, historically, the Philippines have as rich of a culture as the United States.

Last year, I became a naturalized citizen of the USA. Proudly, I am now a part of this country's interwoven tapestry of cultures, but my roots as a Filipino will never go away. I took the citizenship test, which makes me proud that I probably know most about our Consitution than the majority of the public.

This past Wednesday, we celebrated Consitution Day, the anniversary date of the day our forefathers signed the Constitution. Years ago, when I was an instructor for a small school outside of Chicago, I was assigned the task of commemorating Constitution Day through a series of presentations to our students. So here, thanks to http://www.constitutionfacts.com/, I share with you, some notable facts about our Constitution:

  • A General Assembly clerk named, Jacob Shallus "penned" the Constitution and was paid $30 ($661 today)

  • "Pensylvania" was misspelled

  • Four of the signers were born in Ireland

  • The oldest person to sign the Constitution is Benjamin Franklin, who was 81 at the time

  • The word democracry does not appear in the Constitution

  • Thomas Jefferson did not sign the Constitution, he was in France as the US Minister

There are many fascinating facts about our Constitution and I remember trying to memorize all these facts as I prepared myself for the test. Gladly, I passed with flying colors!

What was important for me, is that I still remember what I have learned about the Constitution even though the test has come and gone. Learning involves a great deal of understanding and the many Why's? it portray.

In all of the facts and figures I had to memorize, I remember that the first 13 states were Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachussetts, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Carolian, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Rhode Island and Virginia.

I am very blessed for being a part of these two countries and having the ability to share my thoughts to the rest of the world.

Monday, September 1, 2008

but it's a gift!

Someone close to my heart recently celebrated a birthday.
Months before the "big day" I embarked on a quest to find the perfect gift. You see, years past, I have always given the "best gift ever" and I championed myself year after year.

Year 1: a homemade DVD of family and friends greeting the celebrant happy birthday
(took me hours upon hours of editing)
Year 2: a silver engraved ring from famous jewelry store (rhymes with "iffany")
Year 3: a scrapbook (took MONTHS to complete 35 years of memories!)

So this year, I decided to "outdo" myself and ordered a personalized jersey from the Chicago Cubs. And you think the "iffany" ring was expensive. I even made sure that the "e" in the last name was the same "e" from Mark DeRosa's jersey.

Needless to say, I was ecstatic. Days before, my heart would flutter just thinking of how awesome my gift was and how everyone would say, that's such a great idea Lyn, what a gift Lyn, and so on and so forth.

The day came. As my gift was being opened, blood rushed to my cheeks and my heart was pounding. Did I win my coveted "Best Gift Ever" Award?
Unfortunately, No.
A confused set of eyes met mine when the jersey was raised up.
What's with the small e? Is that correct?
Yes! Have you not seen DeRosa's jersey?
No, but I think he spells it with a big E.
Ummm, I don't think so, I checked.
Are you sure? Let's turn the game on.

And so my moment of glory was deduced to a petty argument on how Mark DeRosa's jersey was embroidered. The game was on, and for some odd reason (I think it was Fate feeling sorry for me) DeRosa was next on the plate and ran to second base on a base hit. And sure enough, the e was smaller than the rest of his jersey, and I was right.

But did it make me feel any better about my gift? No. I should know better and remember my days of Sesame Street and fables where the lesson is: Gifts are made for giving. I was too caught up in the gift giving game that I forgot the real reason why I am giving a gift in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still quite upset. My gift was supposed to bring pride and joy to the giftee. Instead it's in the shirt closet hanging out (get it, hanging?) with Urlacher's number 54.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

a positive attitude...

There are some people who are not a big fan of learning new things. Most are afraid of change or are too set on their ways where flexibility is not a word in their dictionary. Recently at work, I have been given the project of training "seasoned" employees to a new program initiative. As I receive my last minute instructions, I was given a caveat: the employees refused to learn and were determined to give me a hard time in training.

Great. Thanks.

So I had to strategize and create a preemptive strike. What is the best way to shield myself against weapons of mass negativity?

My plan was simple. I will kill their will to destroy with enthusiasm.

And I am not talking about textbook enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm to the "nth" degree. Superlative enthusiasm. A hyperbole version of enthusiasm.

So I walked in with a big smile plastered in the middle of my face (with the help of caffeine of course) and blasted the employees with overwhelming positive attitude. I answered all questions with a pleasant tone and shot down snide remarks with the phrase "What does the group think about that?"

At the end of the training, I have managed to sell my new training initiative to more than half of the employees. And all walked out with a better understanding of why it is a good thing.

It takes a lot more than aptitude to learn new things. Learning involves preparing the whole body to accept new ideologies with the help of a positive attitude and energy. A positive attitude is like a virus that unconsciously adapts to a person's mentality and allows it to open up.

I learned that people who do not like to learn new things or refuse to learn new programs are not out to make things hard for anyone but themselves.

My face still hurts from smiling....but it was worth the effort.

Monday, August 11, 2008

why hearts and thoughts?

let me tell u what i know so far....
your parents are not always right...but your parents will never do you wrong...your siblings belong in your future, without them your future is weak...being smart is the best feeling in the world...if you do not have siblings, be strong because there will be no one to throw you a 30th birthday party, a baby shower, or celebrate any major milestone in your life, no one to love you unconditionally when you are old and gray...your friends will not be there forever...your heart will be broken more than once, but you will bounce back and love even deeper more than once too...you can be wrong....dating is for pretty boys and girls...loving is for everyone...you will be wrong...you cannot expect someone to love you the way you expect them to do so...your pets are YOUR BEST FRIENDS...your dreams will remain dreams until you do something about it...movies will affect you if you let it...music is your soul...last minute decisions prove to be the best...to cry is to be HUMAN...get over your fears...get over yourself...karaoke RULES...singing in the car and the shower RULE...secrets SUCK...YOU are worth it...your job is NOT your life...hate is a strong word...you can forgive, but you cannot forget...living alone is great, until you realize you are alone...reading a good book is the best way to travel in time...don't wait...open your eyes and your mind...don't be stupid...money is only paper with dead people's faces on it...if you want it done right, do it YOURSELF...cursing is okay...praying WORKS...laughing cures headaches...promises are the WORST things to make...sleeping is awesome but waking up is even better...saying sorry is NOT a sign of weakness but a sign of pure strength...life is not over until you say it's over...so enjoy...