Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Small and Quiet Things: What I love about growing old

Monday, March 20, 2023

Book Review: Duyan Pababa sa Bayan

Book Review: Duyan Pababa sa Bayan by Gigi Constantino and Enid Din, Anvil Publishing House 2020

From last week's lecture by Dr. Danilo Baylen at the 43rd GAB Lecture Series, I posted my takeaways and reflections in the blog

Here now is a book review of Duyan Pababa sa Bayan using elements of Visual Literature, namely color and texture. I will only focus on one spread from the book that I think encapsulates the theme and message of the story.

The story centers on the ingenuity of Filipinos living from too far a medical facility, like a hospital and an ambulance. What device the community put together is a hammock to carry the sick and/or the injured down from the mountains. The patient has to be carried in a hammock by two people along slopes and slippery roads till they reach the hospital. What seemed like a frightening experience for the child who needed medical care became a story of empathy and a community that values life and human rights.

The spread I chose presents these values from the use of colors in blue and green that suggest life and hope. Surrounded by foliage, the characters of the story are in one corner below the lower left side of the spread. A mother hugs and kisses her injured child as the strong hands of her husband is laid on her back in assurance of the safe though long travel that is ahead. The deep blue that is placed above the teeming plant life looks foreboding. Such use of colors provide tension. 

Add to this depiction of love and anxiety are the lines of the leaves that criss-cross each other. Will the forest conceal them or will the trees serve as barriers to their journey in seeking medical care for the injured child? Indeed, this spread is one that I enjoyed looking at for a few minutes savoring the comfort it brings at the same time, prompting me to predict possible scenarios - worse, I was worried.

But Gigi Constantino and Enid Din know their children's literature. Inserting humor that helps ease the tension, the story remains a hopeful read for the child and the child at heart.

One may argue that, in real life, going down from the mountain in such a fashion is never an exciting journey filled with laughs and empathy. Here is where picture books for children come into fullness. That even in moments of despair, the human spirit can persevere. In most cases, it prevails.

Rating: 5 Bookmarks

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Online Author Visit at Teacher Portia's Class


Saturday, March 18, 2023

At the 22nd Grand Assembly and Induction of Officers of PNULISAA

I am mighty proud of the officers of PNULISAA, past and present! Look at where the alumni association is now. Like all organizations, it is not free of flaws. It has its share of ups and downs, failures and triumphs but 22 years after, we are still here carrying the torch. Keeping it alight and ablaze well into the next generations of LIS graduates of PNU.

Who would have thought that the “kuwentuhan” we had all those years ago of building a community of LIS alumni would come to this - a vibrant and hopeful community of librarians, archivists, media specialists, teachers, professors and information professionals. I am humbled to be this year’s inducting officer and appreciative of the honor and respect received from my peers and colleagues today.

I raise my glass to Ate Nora Conti (+) whose leadership and mentorship steered us, the founding officers of PNULISAA, into the right direction during the alumni association’s early years. We will continue to make our Inang Guro proud!

Friday, March 17, 2023

We Never Walk Alone: Mentoring in Action


WeNeverWalkAlone_PNULISAA by zarah gagatiga

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The Lighthouse Diary: Teaching and Learning Academic Writing

Classes were delivered online last week due to the mass transport strike. We reverted to synchronous and asynchronous sessions almost as quickly and with better ease. The pandemic has taught us agility and flexibility too.

I had an engaging session with our grade 11s during our research skills session. Giving you a glimpse of how it looked like on Jamboard. Now that we are back on campus, I am meeting students individually and in small group sessions to continue the discussion on academic writing.

From their responses, topics and skills on source selection, evaluation and documentation will be taken up as well as the unpacking of an academic essay that makes use of varied sources. This is evidence of mutli-voiced writing. Also, prerequisite skills to writing academically would be source knowledge and the ways on using them. How strong are the foundation skills in referencing and research taught in the middle grades? This learning experience will reveal the extent and expanse of research skills instruction from grade 4 to grade 10.

As guide, I sent our grade 11s questions for them to think through as they prepare for the crafting of a research question and statement of inquiry.

Guide questions:
1. How would one know that sources are credible and that, the selection of sources meet the needed information or that, it answers an inquiry? It is therefore important to review the skills and knowledge on sources and how sources are used across different subjects.
2. Read the academic essay (courtesy of our English Teacher and Learning Support Teacher). Take note that context is first established, followed by a thesis statement and an identification of sources cited and attributed in-text. Also, pay attention to the tone of the writer. Notice the writer's voice.
- When is it merging with the source authors' voices?
- When does it rise above them that it asserts its own opinion as informed by a well done research?
- What words, sentences and paragraph signal that it is the writer's voice and it is the writer merging with the source authors' voices?

There will be a part 2, and 3 and onwards. This is fun, for me. The challenge is how to make it fun for a 16-17 year old high school student?

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The 43rd GAB Lecture: On Visual Literacy and Visual Literature


For the first time since the easing up of quarantine measures and the lifting of protocols on lockdown, I got to visit the UP Diliman campus. After three years and on the anniversary week of the 2020 Covid Lockdown at that.

I still remember how the news dropped on our laps last year. At school, we were quick to roundup a set of guidelines for transition to Blended Learning and Work From Home modality. What we thought was a three week or a month long suspension of on-campus activities dragged on. Our mental health and personal relationships were greatly affected. It was a traumatic experience. 

Surviving the three year lockdown is no mean feat. It has given me so many things to be grateful for despite the grief and loss I still carry every day.

And so, to find myself in UP Diliman at UP SOLAIR, attending the 43rd Gabriel Bernardo Lecture was an emotional moment. For the first time in a long while, I cried while singing UP Naming Mahal. I am proud of my UP ID number but I still yet to earn a Sablay. There you go. This is reason to move forward; to go on and to keep hope alive. There is also that trip to South Korea I promised myself and the ARMY daughter.

There were plenty of good stuff going around from Dr. Danilo M. Baylen's lecture on Visual Literacy yesterday.

1. Children's books published by our local publishing houses were used as the media of analysis. Thank you UP SLIS and PATLS for supporting the local Philippine Book Industry, especially the Children's Book Industry. Libraries of all kinds MUST HAVE CHILDREN'S BOOKS in their collection. Why? I will save that for another post.

2. The concepts presented by Dr. Baylen on Visual Literacy and Visual Literature are not entirely new to me. These are concepts we take on in Language and Literature, Visual Arts and Design in the IB Program. How to apply them in other important aspects of school library services and programming is the challenge.

Does the space and organization of the physical library follow the VL concepts so that the community find meaning and order when they partake and commune with others? 

How are we designing our signages in a way that messages are clear and aesthetically appealing?

What VL concepts am I applying in the selection and review of resources?

Congratulations, UP SLIS and PATLS!

VL is a way of knowing; of seeing; of perceiving and taking meaning of the world around us. How am I making use of this knowledge and skill to communicate, create and analyse critically the deluge of information I get everyday from all formats of media?

As a teacher librarian, I resolve to include VL principles in teaching comprehension and in the design of reading programs for children and young adults.

3. Since I am in between book projects this year, I put my full trust on my illustrators, layout artists and book designer who make writing and book creation more palatable to the naked eye. We keep forgetting that the book is a technology. It is media. It is an artifact.  And those who make this media, this technology, this artifact co-create and collaborate.

4. I really can use those VL principles and concepts in my art journaling!

5. Lastly, the book review activity is nakakakilig!

And that is part 2 of my post on Visual Literacy and Visual Literature! Come back again in the blog for my review of  Duyan Pababa sa Bayan (Anvil, 2020) by Gigi Constantino.

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