Tuesday, March 27, 2007

all's well

all's well that ends well.

that mini-crisis with my colleagues (see post below, "roller coaster") has been settled happily; the persons concerned clarified to everyone concerned via email (too), and i responded promptly, thanking them for the clarification and making my own clarifications.

it's always terrifyingly scary, yes, to put one's neck out in a crisis situation, and break out of the usual comfort zones, but it's always worth it.

and this experience proves to me once again what i have learned, and learned well, before, that when it comes to seemingly malicious gossip/lies being told about you-- go directly to the source, seek clarification, and put everything on the table, for everyone concerned as well.

truth is really best assisted with more light and openness, not more hiding and darkness.

***

i've been busy since saturday sitting in as research adviser or panelist in my graduate students' project paper defense. but i enjoy it. i get to be updated in state of the art developments in different fields, and the extra fee per defense is very welcome too!

tomorrow, im commissioned to be part of a three-person documenting team for a public consultation on the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Biofuels Act. i get paid extra for it, too, aside from the added experience and learning!

ohhh what a good job i have!!! : )

***

4 days more and my free paid summer leave starts. but it's not going to be so "free", as already my summer schedule is being slowly "booked".

there's the group of students who requested me to continue teaching them for their thesis, so i get extra summer pay for that.

there's also the creative writing workshop i've been asked to document for a whole week; not only do i love the content of the work itself, i also get paid extra for it too.

there's the retirees' stories i've been asked to write for the Tribute ceremony offered for them come May; i've been doing this for 3 straight summers now. it's not paid extra, but researching on and interviewing the retirees have been very insightful learning experiences for me, especially in terms of guiding me in my own career planning and choosing. for the first two summers, they averaged only around 5 to 6 retirees per summer.

this summer, though, i'm supposed to interview and write for 18 retirees! when they asked me if it's okay with me to do it alone, of course i said yes, mainly because it's the kind of work that cannot be parceled off, as different writers would have different ways of presenting the different retirees' stories, and it wouldn't look good to have different stories written with different touches...

but frankly, im feeling quite daunted by the task. not only would it likely eat up all my summer "free", it's very emotionally taxing, too.

still, i console my self with the fact that i can consider this as practice in intensive character sketching, for my international, best-selling novel(s) someday. heehee... : )

and i remind my self to always bloom where i am planted. a task will not be placed in one's path if one is not up to the challenge.

there's my long overdue M.A. Conflict and Reconciliation Studies project paper, too, which i have to start and finish in a week's time by the end of Holy Week next week, as my defense has been set for April 13, and so i can finally be conferred my second M.A. degree in the graduation ceremony on May 26.

and my "free" summer is only about to begin, huh!!!

***

i got an email from Cathay Pacific yesterday, about a Buy-3-Free-1 Hong Kong Disneyland package tour (airfare, Disneyland hotel accommodations and 2-day passes to all Disneyland attractions).

sigh. im dreaming these days too of how it would be like to take the kids there this summer...!!!

i don't know why and the how of funding it, but it just feels so right right now.

this summer. not later this year, or next summer. but this particular summer.

maybe the how will be shown to me as i follow the dream, as it usually does... : )

i will at least give the dream a chance to blossom, by calling up Cathay Pacific tomorrow to send me a quote. : )

who knows, huh?

(wink, wink! ;>)

***

this early, too, though, im also already making my plans and reservations for when the kids and i go to Manila in July, for me to receive my PBBY Salanga Prize 2007 for "Tight Times", so i can make the necessary financial and other logistical preparations early on.

i plan for us to take the plane to Manila on July 15, then spend that day and the next just visiting the zoo, the planetarium, the Museu Pambata, and that Star City (?) carnival, all just near my chosen hotel, Orchid Garden Suites, a nice, boutique hotel that has a cozy, homey Spanish-style ambiance, a few hundred meters away from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

on the 17th, we go to the CCP for the awarding ceremony and the special luncheon, and we can spend the rest of the day with more touring.

on the 18th, i'll probably go to the U.S. Embassy for another visa interview (i still have to make the appointment) to visit mama soon, as she's been reporting how her heart has a leaking valve now and saying she might not last very long... : (

then we go back home by Aboitiz Super Ferry on the 19th. im booking a State Room for us, so the kids can travel in style. : )

***

i hope and pray i do get the tourist visa this time.

i've had two distasteful experiences with the Embassy before; i don't want them to be repeated again. i'd still be honest and transparent, as i always have been, but this time, i'd come prepared with just enough documentation. (the first time i had too much, with the ex-hubby and little Thea then, for the Atlanta Olympics; the consul must've gotten suspicious why we were "too prepared", and all of us going at once, too; the second time i had too little, as it was an emergency interview when mama was about to undergo her triple heart bypass, so my lack of documents was not very helpful.)

people have been telling me to lie and forge my way through, as a lot have done and have gotten their tourist visas so.

i find the very idea distasteful; sell my soul for a damned U.S. visa??? excuse me.

for mama's sake, i hope and pray i, and/or my other two siblings, make it successfully this time though!

she can't come home to us now, with her thrice-weekly dialysis sessions. it's time we have to go to her now.

God help and bless us all!
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