Thursday, June 08, 2017

My Favorite Teachers

Certainly I could not recall all the names of my teachers. Do you?  But once in a while in our short life, we ponder and think about the people who molded us into what become today.  This is especially when a Facebook message just pop out of your screen announcing the demise of one of your favorite teachers.

Math Teachers

I recalled I wasn't fond of mathematics when I was at the early days of grade 1.  I remembered staring blankly at chalkboard.  At 5 years old, I was ahead of the rest when it comes to reading and comprehension.  But Math, my jaw dropped.  A classmate who was probably 9 or 10 (I don't remember the reason why she was still grade 1 at that age), tutored me the basic addition and subtraction.  So, the quick learner that I was, I was able to grasp it immediately.  I was away from my parents at that time, living with my grandparents, who, while encouraging me to study hard, couldn't do much help in the tutorial. 

In Grade 5, I had what I first called my favorite Teacher.  And guess what!  He was my Math teacher.

When you are at the public school and only a few students are serious in their studies, and some are even sycophants, you tend to go with the flow.  But this Math Teacher (Mr. G.) was of rare kind.  He created a spark, that made me even research about square roots and ratio and proportion, when it wasn't even in our curriculum at that time.  He inspired everyone with his stories and life lessons.

At Grade 6, I thought I'd part ways with Mr. G.  He was the class adviser of the other section.  Most of his students there are repeaters and the chances of a valedictorian coming out from that section is slim.  But fate had it's way.  I was switched with another student, who was also vying to become the class valedictorian. The girl was also the favorite of some of our teachers, so her request was granted. I too, easily acceded because Mr G was the adviser of the other section.  And Mr G didn't disappoint. I knew I made him proud as well.   

Then came high school. 

Though I was the top student of my elementary class, high school was different. I had the shock of my life when I failed at one of the first year subjects.  No, it wasn't Math. Good thing I was able to recover because the replacement teacher, made everything easy for me. 

There were rumors that the math teachers at our third year broke the hearts of many students. I was mentally prepared for her - Madame M.  My first impression was that, she was not scary as they first described her.  Her instructions were clear and I can easily follow.  My only disappointment was that, I didn't study hard enough to get higher grades. Mediocrity got me.

College came and my course involves lots of Math. There were times when I couldn't help but smile and thank my favorite teachers - Mr. G and Madame, in silence.

Fast forward to present

Mr G died many years ago.  I wished I knew about it, or even visited him while he was still alive.  But I was too distant from my elementary school. My fault.

Madame M died a few days ago and RIP messages flowed at the group pages and chatrooms. But I can still remember that petite woman, heads up, showing motherly love at the classroom, giving clear and simple instructions, and inspiring everyone to be better not just at Math but also in life as well.

Rest in peace Mr. G and Madame M, my favorite teachers.   

Monday, October 17, 2016

Blogging 101: 2016 Version

How would you advice a millennial friend who has just started blogging middle of this year?  Should I just tell him to forget about blogging and focus his energy on something else?

What is blogging 101 in 2016 when your contemporaries have either quit blogging or are now blogging gurus?  The internet world must be filled with all the recycled tips by now. And I... am back to being a blogging noob.

So here's my blogging tip to a friend who just started to feel like a blogger. 

1.  Plan your blog well
2.  Start by choosing a well-thought of domain name that will become your brand for a long time
3.  Choose your blogging platform and hosting.  One that fits the budget and that is easy to maintain and upgrade. The $4-$5 monthly fee suits well for his budget.  Majority of the bloggers uses Wordpress, so I suggest he follow suit.
4.  Develop a regular schedule for posting.  One or twice a week will do, or say, every Monday or Friday.
5.  Work on developing great content. If you hate work, what can I do? 
6.  Use pictures that are easy to load in the internet.  If it loads more than 10 seconds, visitors would likely go away and never return.
7.  Have a plan to promote your site.  There is Facebook and Twitter.  I am sure that with his almost 1k friends in Facebook, he can catch the attention of half of them.
8.  Join a community of bloggers.
9.  Monetize your site.  Apply for an adsense account. Explore other options too.
10. Love blogging.  It will keep you going, at least for the next 5 years.

There you go.  I guess these are also the advice for myself if I have to redo my blogs.