It is almost the 6th month of the year, and nothing had taken place here since my holiday haiku. I’ve said this several times, but BUSY does not even begin to capture what these 5 months were. (Although, I have already updated my banner two weeks ago).
Before June starts tomorrow, I’d like to write a quick update.
It has been 6 months since I started working with this team. They are undoubtedly the most intelligent and most down to earth people I have ever met. To think my two bosses have always been stellar scientists in the world, they still are as accessible, approachable, and not amiss with their funny bones.
We have titles (I’m finally a manager from being an assistant), but, at least among us, we have a flat organization. All of us have no qualms with what needs to be done and I really enjoy our synergy. However, sometimes I feel bad that I had to draw my ‘manager card’ when dealing with people outside our group because only then they will move. It just feels wrong, in my opinion. *shrugs*
It was a very tough first quarter for all of us. We were to launch the first ever program of its kind in the Philippines and we were all running around with the marketing and recruitment of the students.
I am not really too scared to stand in front of people, given that I did this several times when I used to dance in the hardcourt. However, it is another matter to speak in front of strangers and push myself to ‘work the room’, which I completely had a problem with with my NGO stint back in 2013.
Nevertheless, I was eventually able to overcome it.
March arrived and it was a day of reckoning for all of us. With my new role, I had to speak quite a lot in front of a group of people. It is always a scary endeavor, but I hope that with practice, I’d be okay.
I will be forever grateful of my boss. She is only a year older than me, and my high school friend/classmate was a close friend/classmate of hers (and a student of our Head) during their Physics days. It was a small world, indeed.
We were making history with this course and batch, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.
On a different note, I sadly was unable to write extensively about the passing of our last dog, Sophie, last January 2018. Her daughter Miriam had passed on last April 2017. I recall being severely devastated with this loss, to the point that I did not even know how to even start writing about it here when it happened.
It was really heart-wrenching that I still find it difficult to listen to Sophie Ellis-Bextor until now, as I got our dog’s name from her. Whenever the vehicle I was riding would pass by Katipunan where she was buried next to her daughter, I would mentally say ‘Hi’ to the both of them.
So, I turned 33 last April, my first (of hopefully many) birthdays at the Institute. I have 42 babies to look after, although I am admittedly quite strict with them. #MissMinchin
But still, I really want to ensure that everyone finishes this very rigorous course even if it means bending over backwards for them. LOL
I also had the chance to meet with Karen, one of our friends from Thomson Reuters back when she was the Spanish specialist, while I was for French. Faye, our German specialist, had to cancel another appointment to be with us. I never thought paella negra will be this good, but it was beyond words. Spending the whole afternoon chitchatting, actually, was a lot better with them! Sana mapadalas ito!
Another important update: I finally finished ASEAN Studies. Yes, I already have an existing graduate degree, but I think compared to the traditional classroom setting, a virtual classroom was challenging in its own right. I had mentally prepared myself for this when I first started last January 2017. But, alas, I still struggled especially I had transferred to a more challenging job mid-way, as compared to the perpetual boredom I had when I was finishing International Studies.
The sweetest 15 units, as I almost lost steam. Granted I am still waiting for one last grade, I am extremely relieved to be done. Let’s just wait in two years if I would continue the ladderized program or take up PhD. I currently have my eyes on Sociology.
The busy schedule with work and last stretch of school left me little time to go regularly go home to Marikina every Saturday. Sometimes, I would just meet my family halfway in Cubao to catch up and have lunch, or I would not even leave the apartment at all to finish working on school requirements.
But, yey, finally more time with my family and Mon. By the way, Mon and I will be celebrating our 10th in Taiwan this September. Thanks to Google AdSense (which frankly does not pay much here in my blog, but a separate bag-related website was making a decent monthly income), I was able to book and pay for our accommodation in Taipei via Agoda.
But I initially made a stupid mistake and sleepily proceeded with our booking, not realizing that I had booked a hotel in Kaohsiung instead of Taipei! That left me awake until 3:00 AM, on the phone with the representative of Agoda, given that the booking I did had a ‘no refund, no cancellation’ policy. The representative was able to help me out, by issuing a voucher that I used for the correct hotel in Taipei.
So, a big shoutout to Agoda for this wonderful service to a first-timer!
To finish this long update, I’d like to leave a cute photo of my cat, Miso, who just had a bath. I eventually found a clever trick to contain her, literally, as I bathe her.