Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Kuwentong Musmos Illustrator Interview: Lui Buan

Lui Buan, the illustrator of Ang Alaga Kong Lolo (Gojo Cruz, Lampara Books 2019) shares with us his creative process and recommends books for aspiring artists. 

1. What is your creative process for Ang Alaga Kong Lolo?
The pre-production happened during the Room to Read workshop held in Baguio City last October. While reading the manuscript, I also had to get the “feel” of the story. Simultaneously, I was imagining how the characters would look like and their milieu.

For Ang Alaga Kong Lolo, I imagined the two main characters as subtly mirroring each other, not just with their “movements”, but also how they looked. 

For example, if Lolo wears a striped blue top - the child also wears a blue top. In the last pages, however, I did the reverse. That somehow adds an element of juxtaposition. For the location, I opted for a setting that is laid back yet is in proximity to the metropolis (because the child’s mother works in an office). So what came to my mind was Antipolo. It has the perfect setting for its greens and its uneven terrains are visually interesting. It also has a view of city skylines.

Once the characters were approved by the workshop mentors, I proceeded with sketching the storyboard - integrating both the characters and the story. The rendering and coloring for the illustrations happened after the workshop. Time is one of the challenges as we only had a month or so to illustrate the entire book (and the schedule overlapped with my graduate school finals, which made it even more challenging).

The pages were sent to the mentors for approval, and then forwarded to the book designer, Alen Mangabat for the book layout and the text. The challenge was all worth it, especially when I saw the printed colored sample.

 2. What is the picture book/children’s book you wish you had created or illustrated?
I like Pergy Acuña’s “Sampung Eroplano” because the concept is cute,  and I want to try illustrating counting books. I also like Ivan Reverente’s “Ang Kuya Kong Zombie” because I am fond of playing computer games (during my freetime). :)

3.  What are your 5 tips for aspiring illustrators?
First, hone your craft by drawing a lot. Second, get to know yourself well enough to know what your weaknesses and strengths are, and work on them. Then, believe in yourself more than anyone else; do not compare yourself to others. Lastly, keep on drawing!

4. What are your 5 recommended books for young artists or anyone who wishes to break out into picture book illustration.
-Children’s Picture Book by Martin Salisbury has chapters on western children’s book history, character development and even storyboarding techniques! I think this book is a must-read.

-Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair - This is not about picture books, but if you have a cartoony style, it has chapters about character constructions and even character acting that you may want to apply to your illustrations!

-The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams - Another book that’s not about children’s books specifically, but, you might want to look at some chapters on character acting, body language, and other animation principles that can be useful, especially if you have a more cartoony style. :)

-Show Your Work by Austin Kleon - I think it is a good book for artists of all ages, in the age of social media. The book is really about how to show your work.

-Ang Alaga Kong Lolo by Genaro Gojo Cruz and Lui Buan -  It will be available soon, so get a copy! :)

 5. What part in Ang Alaga Kong Lolo did you enjoy drawing the most or proved challenging to draw?

I really enjoyed drawing the characters so much, as well as the backgrounds. What I think was the most challenging part was showing the connection between the two main characters.


Monday, March 30, 2020

Kuwentong Musmos Illustrator Interview: Pepot Zamora Atienza

Here is Pepot Zamora Atienza's interview on his adventures and experience in Baguio during the Illustrator's Workshop for Room to Read's Kuwentong Musmos book project. Pepot's colorful renditions of Reina Peralta's Ang Nanay Kong Drayber  (Lampara Books, 2019) makes the book a visual feast for the eyes. Read on!

What is your creative process for 'Ang Nanay kong Driver'?

I originally thought of creating dioramas for this book project pero eventually mas sinemplehan ko nalang since kalaban po ay oras. So what I did is flat-lay clay illustration with a bit of help of computer graphics. I created the characters and all the other elements using modelling clay. I photographed them one by one and lay it out in photoshop. I really liked the spectrum of colors and the soft texture of modelling clays. It has this appeal that kids would enjoy to look at.

 2.    What is the picture book/children’s book you wish you had created or illustrated?

Well to be honest, sobrang natuwa na ako sa 'Ang Nanay kong Driver' hindi ko na naimagine na ibang story ang gagawin ko. Magaganda ang lahat ng story. I just believe na sakto sa art style ko yung ginawa ko for the story ng 'Ang Nanay kong Driver'.

3.  What are your 5 tips for aspiring illustrators?

1) Trust the creative process. I learned a lot from the workshops of RtR (Room to Read) and it was an eye-opener for me as an illustrator na may tamang proseso pala sa pagawa ng libro. The proccess may be tedious, from doing thumbnails to the final art. Follow these kasi it'll make sure na you are on track to creating a great children's book.

2) Always inspire yourself by looking at critically-acclaimed children's books and observe carefully what makes the book really good.

3) Read the story you are going to illustrate at least 50 times. Dapat sobrang familliar ka dun sa gustong iparating ng writer, reading it for only a few times baka mamisinterpret mo yung story. Then from there pag nakuha mo na yung message ng author, add your own take to the story using your illustrations. Basta important na nandun pa rin essence at intention sa story ng writer.

4) Ask other people's opinions. Let them constructively criticize your work. Masaya rin na may makita kang perspective ng iba kasi mas magkakaron ng dimension ang isang idea.
5) Enjoy the process. Be creative, imaginative and always do your best. Pag hindi ka nag-enjoy, it can reflect sa work mo or worse you'll end up with "what ifs" pag hindi mo ginawa yung best mo. 

4. What are your 5 recommended books for young artists or anyone who wishes to break out into picture book illustration.

Siguro childrens illustrators nalang ang irerecommend ko. Advice ko na obserbahan ang books and other works nila kasi sobrang consistent sa art style and super galing. Robert Alejandro, Beth Parocha, Sergio Bumatay, Liza Flores, Aldy Aguirre, pero actually halos lahat sa Ang InK magagaling. I love them all!

 5. What part in 'Ang Nanay kong Driver' did you enjoy drawing the most or proved challenging to draw?

I really loved the palengke scene. Sobrang challenging kasi i have to illustrate a lot of people plus kung ano binebenta nila or ginagagwa nila. Ang mga prutas, gulay, isda, karne, ang mga basket, bilao ay tinyaga kong gawin isa-isa Ang saya-saya nung matapos ko kasi sobrang makulay, ramdam ko yung pagiging busy ng palengke. Tsaka kuha na rin yung essense nung story sa spread na ito, about gender roles.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Lighthouse Diary #21: Two Weeks of BA Library Online

I think I have become an online school librarian. Since the Enhanced Community Quarantine, and now our province is in Total Lockdown, compiling, curating and constructing directories, lists and sharing resources online has been my job. Apart from this, I provide readings for reflections on teaching and learning online for faculty. 

Here is what I whipped up for our teaching force for the second week of the online classes. 

Hi all!

We are done with another week of online classes. Progress reports were sent out last week. We are all exploring teaching and learning online, an environment that is both exciting and scary. We are never short of compassion in this trying time and the concern is genuine when reaching out, lending a hand and learning together. We are Griffins! To end the week in reflection, here are selected readings to accompany us all in the journey.

One of the many challenges that came about the transition to online learning was the management of the virtual or digital space for learning. Nothing will ever replace the physical space of the classroom but a relationship with our students can continue, even flourish online. In this article, teachers from all over share these strategies they have actually done to maintain the relationship with their student. The article includes a Google Form for student check-ins. This can prove helpful for Guidance, Advisory or in-between units of online classes.

I had a chat with my advisees over at Hangouts last Wednesday. Except for one, they were all prompt in signing in and were chattier than usual. I thought, either they miss seeing and being with each other or have been really anxious with the stay at home protocol this pandemic has subjected the entire world into. It is a tall order to keep relationships tethered to our students. It is even a taller order for the teenager to discipline himself or herself studying at home. Consider the socio-emotional aspect of learning when crafting lessons for online classes. This article has advice, ideas and practical tips.

The news that DepEd is looking at the conduct of online classes for school year 2020-2021 had everyone shuddering. Not from excitement, I think. Futurists, educators and school leaders weigh in on that possibility and how the COVID-19 pandemic can change taeching and learning.

That's it for this week, Griffins. Be well. Stay safe. See you online!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Kuwentong Musmos Author Interview: Genaro Gojo Cruz

Maraming beses ko ng na-interview si Genaro Gojo Cruz sa blog. At hindi ko na kailangan pang magpalabok sa pagpapakilala sa kanya. Pero ito ang gusto kong sabihin. Noong makasama ko siya sa Kuwentong Musmos workshop sa Bohol, nanginig ang lahat sa kanyang presensya. Subalit, tahasan din niyang sinabi sa Team Lampara, "narito ako upang makinig at mag-mentor."

Si Genaro ang nagsulat ng kuwentong Ang Alaga Kong Lolo (Lampara Books, 2019) na ginuhit naman ni Lui Buan.

1. Bakit ka nagsusulat para sa mga bata/kabtaan? 

Nagsusulat ako ng mga kuwentong-pambata dahil ito na ang pinakakomportableng genre para sa akin. Isa pa, nakikita ko ang halaga mga aklat-pambata para sa isang bansang maraming sakit. Maraming puwedeng gamutin ang mga aklat-pambata sa ating lipunan.

2. Paano ka nagsimula sa pagsusulat ng mga kuwentong pambata? Ano ang iyong origin story?

Nagsimula akong magsulat ng mga akdang-pambata noong 2000 sa Junior Inquirer. Ang JI ang maituturing kong naging training ground ko sa pagsusulat para sa mga bata.

3. Magbigay ng tatlong salita upang mailarawan ang karanasan mo bilang isang fellow ng Kuwentong Musmos Workshop?

Naging isang malaking hamon sa akin. Kailangan ang tiyaga. Mahalaga ang makinig sa iba.

4. Anong aklat ang sana ay ikaw ang nagsulat?

Sandosenang Kuya; Just Add Dirt; Papa's House; Mama's House; Yaya Niya, Nanay Ko; at Mabait na Kalabaw

5. Magbigay ng 5 tips o payo para sa mga gustong magsulat ng kuwentong pambat

Magbasa ng maraming aklat-pambata, lokal at banyaga. Makisalamuha sa mga bata. Magsulat. Magrebisa. Magpabasa ng naisulat na kuwento sa iba at humingi ng mga puna.

Friday, March 27, 2020

BA Library Online: Where to Find Ebooks (and more) for Free

This week, I compiled and curated links, websites and sources of free ebooks, ejournals and audio books for BA Library Online. Now that we are in full swing of online classes, there is a need for teachers and community members to access selected and well chosen materials both for instructional or personal purposes. So, I am sharing the list I made. This is developing news, as they say in social media so there will be updates
Here is an initial list of free ebooks, ejournals and audiobooks selected and trawled from the web and in social media. We will develop this as we go. We encourage that you share what you find online. Together, we can build an online library of resources that specifically address our needs. Thank you!
Audible - Stories can be streamed via laptop, phone, tablet or desktop computer at stories.audible.com. The audiobooks are divided into categories: littlest listeners, elementary, tween, teen, literary classics and folk & fairy tales.
This is a personal favorite because of the anthologies of essays and short stories in the collection.
This is another good source for ebooks, especially if you are looking for more contemporary titles. Sign up in BookBub and it will send you recommendations of current books available in Amazon. When you sign up, you will be asked to check different book genres. Make sure your device has the Kindle reader app. BookBub is pretty loyal to Amazon.
DailyLit sends ebooks to your inbox on an installment basis. The subscription is free for now and ebooks are streamed online.
Follet-LightBox – 1,000 ebooks streaming for free upon registration
JSTOR Open Access Books - click this link to view the list of publishers who opened access to their ebook collection through JSTOR
[Project Muse](https://muse.jhu.edu/ https://about.muse.jhu.edu/resources/freeresourcescovid19/) –See the list of publishers who opened access to their ebook collection through Muse
Participating Publishers
  • Johns Hopkins University Press (all books and journals, through 31 May 2020)
  • Ohio State University Press (all books and journals, through 30 June 2020)
  • University of Georgia Press (all books, through 30 June 2020)
  • University of Nebraska Press (all books and journals, through 31 May 2020)
  • University of North Carolina Press (all books, through 30 June 2020)
  • University Press of Colorado (all books, through 30 June 2020)
  • Temple University Press (all books, through 30 June 2020)
  • Utah State University Press (all books, through 30 June 2020)
  • Vanderbilt University Press (selected books, through 31 May 2020)

The list has selected titles of Newberry, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winners. Don’t expect your favorite titles to turn up. It has links to videos of authors reading aloud a chapter of their books which you can use as a priming activity.
Scholastic - you may need to sign up for an account before you can stream the ebooks/emagazines.
And, last but not the least, for those who have young kids at home check Buri Books for digital versions of Adarna House's selected children's books.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Collage: Liwanag

This is my collage. The title is liwanag.

The first photo in the left is the bamboo in school near the swimming pool. I took this photo during my morning walk on campus in the morning.The second photo was taken in Capul, Samar at sunrise (2010). I was there for a week-long teacher training. In the morning, before the bell rings for breakfast, I would sit by the beach and watch the sun rise. Teacher training can be exhausting so the quiet moment spent by the sea was my "me" time. Apart from sunrises, I also like flowers and looking at clouds when the weather is good. In 2010, I joined friends for a trip to Sagada. We went caving in Sumag-uing. It was an adventure! Thanks to our guide who brought lamps. The cave, though dark and cold was a beautiful sight to behold. 

Liwanag is my first collage using Photo Collage . It is a web app with a mobile app that you can download in your smart phones or tablets. A collage can made using these digital tools and by hand too. Whichever medium you choose to make one, a collage is a form of meditation and an avenue for self expression.

Try making one. You will need the following materials and tools.

For a digital collage
1. Photos in the album of your smart phone
2. An app to make your collage in like PicCollage, Canva, Photo Collage, Typorama, etc.
3. Choose photos randomly. Pick what you like. Just go with the flow of looking, choosing and pasting on the canvas or board. Feel free to use any background, design or template. 
4. When you are finished making your collage, save it in your phone or tablet.
5. Describe your collage by writing down memories that come to mind of the photos you have taken. You may want to use a title like the one I have above.
6.  Share your collage either in social media or show it to friends.

For a handmade collage
1. You will need paper, (oslo paper preferably) magazines ( a lot!), glue and a pair of scissors.
2. Look for pictures, words and short phrases in the magazines.
3. Cut the ones which you find interesting or striking.
4. Paste the cut pieces on the oslo paper.
5. Describe your collage by writing down memories that come to mind of the photos you have taken. You may want to use a title like the one I have above.
6.  Take a photo of your collage and share it with friends or in social media.

Today, make a collage using either an app or the handmade method. To help you focus, the following themes/topics are recommended: family, friendship, Griffin. Be ready to share your collage. Have fun!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Online Bibliotherapy: Mapping Your Heart

Maps help us locate places we have never been to before and aid us in finding directions to places we wish to go to. There are geographical maps, political maps, economic maps and maps in mobile apps programmed with GPRS like Google Map and Waze. In school, teachers often ask you to create mind maps. 

A mind map, like the maps mentioned above, functions as a tool and a strategy to keep your thinking focused on a specific concept or topic of study. It also helps you monitor your understanding of the concept or topic. Using a mind map allows you to see connections of sub-topics and factors that are related to a concept or may have effects on it. It shows you the bigger picture and the details affecting it.  
Click the link for examples of mind maps made by kids and teens.  After viewing the samples, move on to the next part of the activity.
Today, we will learn another kind of map, the Heart Map.

Writer and poet Georgia Heard collaborated with LitWorld.org to introduce Heart Mapping to as many kids, teens and young people all over the world. Because LitWorld.org is a global non-government organization that promotes literacy through storytelling and language arts activities, Heart Mapping is a core activity for its members and patrons who use it as a way to understand one's self. Furthermore, heart maps have become spring boards for storytelling, story and poetry writing.

According to Heard, mapping your heart is one way of figuring yourself out against the physical world you journey and traverse in every day. Through mapping the heart, you come to an understanding of who you are. When you are aware of your feelings, you can make decisions. When you have knowledge of your emotions, you can take an action that is proactive when faced with challenges, conflicts and crises. Heard believes that when we map our hearts, we find a pathway into what we know is true and what we believe in.

Many teenagers like you, even adults like me benefit from heart maps. Watch this short video of those who have made heart maps and listen to their story.

Before I give you the specific instructions for creating or mapping your heart today, what questions do you have so far? If you have some, write them down and we will discuss over Hangouts on Wednesday, 3-4pm. 

How to Make a Heart Map

1.Draw a large heart shape on a piece of paper or drawing app.
2. Inside the heart, draw or write about the ideas, the feelings, and the things that are most important to you at this time. 
3. Take a photo of your heart map and send it to my email address: teacherlibrarian@beaconacademy.ph on or before Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

Be ready to present your heart maps and tell us something about it during our chat this coming Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

To end this session, read this comic by Grant Snider I hope you are all doing well and reach out when you need help on school related matters.  

See you online! ~ Ms. Zarah J

March 22, 2020

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Kuwentong Musmos Author Interview: Reina Peralta

The blog is featuring Ms. Reina Peralta, author of Ang Nanay Kong Driver which is about gender roles and gender equality. (Lampara Books, 2019). Pepot Zamora Atienza illustrated the book.

1. Bakit ka nagsusulat para sa mga bata/kabtaan? 

Ito ang unang pagkakataon na nakapagsulat at nakapaglathala ako ng kuwentong pambata. Hindi naman talaga ako nagsusulat para sa kanila [mga bata] noon, bago ako naging empleyado ng Lampara Books. Mahihirap, indigenous people at mga kasapi ng LGBT community, silang mga hindi gaanong pinapakinggan ng lipunan ang pinag-aalayan ko ng mga akda (nobela na aking una talagang genre). Naniniwala kasi ako na responsibilidad ng mga manunulat na maging boses ng mga hindi naririnig/pinakikinggan. At nang makapagtrabaho ako sa Lampara, naisip kong may isa pang hindi gaanong napakikinggan ng lipunan--ang mga bata. Kaya naman hinangad ko na rin na sa pamamagitan ng aking panulat ay maipahayag ko ang kanilang tinig, at kasabay nito ay maimulat ko rin ang mga batang mambabasa sa kung ano ang kasalukuyang sitwasyon ng kanilang lipunang ginagalawan. 2. Paano ka nagsimula sa pagsusulat ng mga kuwentong pambata? Ano ang iyong origin story?

Ang Lampara Books ang nagbukas sa akin ng pinto para makapagsulat para sa mga bata. Labis akong nagpapasalamat para sa pagkakataong ibinigay nila sa akin. 3. Magbigay ng tatlong salita upang mailarawan ang karanasan mo bilang isang fellow ng Kuwentong Musmos Workshop?

Nakakakaba, nakakakilig, nakadaragdag ng kaalaman.
Nakakakaba dahil mga magagaling na manunulat ng kuwentong pambata ang mga nakasama ko sa workshop. Nakakatakot magkamali. Nakakatakot magsalita sa harap nila. Nakaka-pressure.
Nakakakilig dahil tinuruan at tinulungan ako ng magagaling na manunulat na ito na kinisin ang aking mga kuwento. Iyong ma-mentor ng mahuhusay na manunulat ay higit pa sa nakakatuwa. Ito ay nakakakilig.
Nakadaragdag ng kaalaman dahil hindi naging maramot ang mga nakasamang manunulat sa pagbabahagi ng kanilang kaalaman. Maging ang facilitator at mga editor ay napakalaki ng naiambag sa kabuuan. 4. Anong aklat ang sana ay ikaw ang nagsulat?

Gusto ko sanang isulat ay iyong tungkol sa danas ng isang batang naninirahan sa lansangan. Iyong mga natutulog/naninirahan sa ilalim ng monumento ng bayani na pinalayas ng mga opisyal ng gobyerno. Ito sana ang gusto kong isulat dahil gaya ng nabanggit kanina, gusto kong maging boses ng mahihirap. Pero inisang-tabi ko muna ang kuwentong ito dahil hindi pa ito gaanong buo at medyo may pagkakahawig ito sa kuwentong pini-pitch ni Mr. Norman noong workshop.
 Magbigay ng 5 tips o payo para sa mga gustong magsulat ng kuwentong pambat

Hindi po ito writing tips dahil parang wala pa akong napatutunayan pagdating sa pagsusulat ng akdang pambata. Pero ibabahagi ko na lang po ang mga natutunan ko na maaaring magamit ng aspiring childen's book writer.
a. Laging isipin ang target reader. Magugustuhan ba ito ng bata? Mauunawaan ba ito ng bata? Ano ang mabuting maidudulot nito sa bata?
b. Ang akdang pambata ay hindi palaging tungkol sa pagtuturo ng mabuting asal.
c. Hindi por que bata ang bida sa kuwento ay maituturing na itong kuwentong pambata. Magkaiba ang kuwentong pambata at kuwento tungkol sa bata.
d. Huwag maliitin ang kaalaman at malay ng mga bata.
e. Tayo ay mga gabay ngunit huwag nating idikta sa mga bata ang personal nating tindig tungkol sa isyung panlipunan.

Friday, March 20, 2020

BA Library Online: Points for Reflection

And we survived a week of online learning. Yay!

Because we were able to pull through, below are the articles I shared to our faculty and support staff in school.

Teaching Through A Pandemic: A Mindset for This Moment by Stephen Merrill - I like this article because it keeps things real. Educators from countries that have closed their schools share their stories of coping, survival and keeping faith and hope alive in a time of uncertainty.

True Pedagogy  by Steve Wheeler  - a good read for when you need to reflect, review and re-examine teaching practices. Most of the time, we get  side tracked by the administrative work that goes along with teaching, the prescribed standards of the program as well as the required assessments. Revisiting the purpose for teaching helps in identifying effective processes old and new.

Tips in Instructional Design for Online Classes - the article begins with an emphasis on the alignment of content with learning objectives and assessment. Number 4 tip 
 is a discussion on Cognitive Loading reminding teachers of the importance of pacing, chunking and taking short pauses in between for rest and reflection.

From Nick Peachy, who offers more practical advice to teachers when teaching online.

Hardware and Software - this is all tech stuff and the gadgets you will need for online classes
6 Tips for Moving Your Class Online - the article has practical tips for setting up a work space at home to ensuring tech support

Thursday, March 19, 2020

BA Library Online: The Flow and Structure of MOOCS and Online Classes

Here is another throwback post. The 23 Mobile Things is a MOOC created and delivered by librarians from the Philippines and Singapore back in 2014.The MOOC is designed to assist librarians in learning, using and implementing twenty three mobile apps into the services and programs of their libraries. Nanyang Technological University Library and the Rizal Library of ADMU hosted the MOOC.
Five years is a long time ago but there is learning and insight to be had because the contents and the design of the MOOC are still applicable in our current experience of online learning. Do take note that the MOOC is designed for adult learners. But the creators set a structure and a method for communicating content, the learning activities that go with it and an online chat or conversation. There is entrance, engagement and an exit in each "thing".

For example, a Getting Started Page is set-up for participants of the MOOC. A point of entry is then established. In Thing 14, which is about mobile apps for curation like Pinterest Tumblr Storify and Scoopit, curation is briefly introduced and defined. This is followed by thinking and exploratory activities on the four curation apps.Engagement with the content in the form of a text, media and/or technology happens. Facilitators then schedule and lead a group chat or conversation among participants online. A wrap-up of the online chat is the exit or the end of the cycle until the next "thing".

Entrance. Engagement. Exit. That's the structure. The sequence. The flow.
In our last faculty meeting before campus closure, the Head of School (HOS) presented three parts to structure an online class -- Consume, Communicate. Create. It would be interesting to see how this structure or flow translate into practice.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

BA Library Online: Google Classroom and Eric Curts

How is everyone holding up amidst the enhanced community quarantine?
In the Academy, we are on the second day of our online classes. I have sent announcements regarding library services that are available online. Due dates of borrowed books are put on hold. This will be settled when we all go back to campus in April. The feeling of uncertainty is palpable. Flip the coin and there is hope. I put my bets on hope. So, we go on!
Apart from Managebac, we are using Workplace to communicate internally and among ourselves. The library has a group over at Workplace and this has become a platform for micro-blogging. Contents I put together in Workplace are then organized in the library's Google Site. And, some of them, I share in my blog such as this one. A review of a YouTube Channel by tech integration specialist Eric Curts.
For those who favor Google Classroom as a learning management system (LMS) and Google extension apps, I am recommending Eric Curts' YouTube Channel CtrlAltAchieve. He presents simple and easy to do teaching activities. He has a video tutorial on using GoogleForms for Math quizzes and surveys and a video guide for creating Blackout Poetry in Google Docs. The podcasts and screencasts of his talks on teaching with technology and integrating it across subject areas are well curated.   
Eric Curts used to teach Math but issues on educational administration became a challenge. So, he turned to technology to manage the paper work, to design learning environments and embrace change. In this IDEA TALKS, Eric Curts tells his journey of towards technology.  In this video he asks, what is your big blank wall? He tells his story. How teachers, like himself, have difficulty letting go of old processes in light of new and better ones to achieve a purpose. He lends advice on mindful and well thought out approach to integrating technology and presents the value of feedback (yes, it is mentioned once more) as a way of informing the teacher and the learner of adjustments and changes that need to be done when learning online.
Do visit the blog for more sharing of good practice in teaching and learning! 

Monday, March 16, 2020

Kuwentong Musmos Author Interview: Mark Norman Boquiren

Norman and Angela at the book and press launch 

This week, the blog's featured Kuwentong Musmos Author from Team Lampara is Mark Norman Boquiren. Norman wrote Ang Batang Papet, a story of control and juvenile justice. Angela Taguiang.illustrated the book.

1. Bakit ka nagsusulat para sa mga bata/kabtaan?  

Una sa lahat, nagsusulat ako para sa kabataang Pilipino. Para saan pa’t binigyan ako ng kakayahang makapagsulat kung hindi ko ito iaalay sa aking kababayan? Nais kong itampok ang mga karanasan ng mga batang Pilipino na maaari ring maisalin at danasin ng mga bata sa ibang bayan/bansa. May natatanging lasa ang mga kuwentong Pinoy na nararapat na maitampok sa mga mambabasa. Nariyan siyempre ang mga kuwento tungkol sa kasaysayan, paniniwala, kultura, politika, at maging ang mga bagong kaalaman sa nagbabagong panahon na kailangan din nating makiakma. Magandang kasabay ng pagmumulat sa mga bata ay ang makabasa ng mga kuwentong malapit sa kanilang karanasan. Ganoon din, maging malay sila na may mga ganitong uri ng babasahin na isinulat para sa kanila.

Higit pa sa mailathala, nais ko kasing makapag-ambag sa Panitikan ng Pilipinas (wow), partikular sa koleksyon ng mga akdang pambata. Bagaman may mga nauna na sa ating mahuhusay na manunulat, itinuturing na ‘bata’ pa ang pagsusulat ng mga kuwentong pambata sa ating bansa, ayon na rin sa ibang pag-aaral. Nakita ko ang pagkakataong ito upang makiisa sa pagpapayaman at pagpapayabong nito.

Nais ko ring sabihing nagsusulat ako para sa mga guro, magulang, at tagapangalaga ng mga bata . Nais ko silang bigyan ng mga alternatibong materyal sa pagtuturo at sa mga kuwentong binabasa at ibinabahagi nila sa mga bata.

Noong bata pa ako’y babad ako sa pagbabasa ng mga kuwentong pambata sa teksbuk, sa mga librong banyaga, at pati na rin sa mga komiks. Siguro’y naimbak ang karanasang ito sa aking pagkatao kaya’t isang araw sa aking buhay ay bigla ko na lamang naramdaman na gusto ko ring magsulat ng mga kuwentong kagaya nito. Naisip kong kung ang pagkatao ko nga ay nahubog ng mga akdang nabasa ko noo’y paano pa kaya kung may mga batang makababasa ng mga naisulat at maisusulat ko pa – na maaaring makadagdag din sa kanilang pag-unlad bilang isang tao.

2. Paano ka nagsimula sa pagsusulat ng mga kuwentong pambata? Ano ang iyong origin story?

Hindi ko naman talaga inasam na maging isang manunulat ng mga kuwentong pambata. Nagsimula siguro ang lahat sa karanasan ko bilang isang artista-mag-aaral mula noong hayskul hanggang noong kolehiyo nang maging miyembro ako ng University of the East Drama Company, ang opisyal na grupong pantanghalan ng aming pamantasan. Naging babad ako sa pag-aaral ng paraan ng pagkukuwento at pagbabahagi ng karanasan sa kapuwa.

Hindi nagtagal, naging aktibo akong volunteer storyteller para sa Alitaptap Storytellers at sa Museo Pambata. Dito, kinailangan kong isa-isahin ang mga librong pambatang nababagay na ikuwento nang patanghal. Aabot sa higit sa isandaang librong pambata ang nabasa ko para lamang kilalanin ang mga ito.  Na-absorb ko ang mga paraan ng pagkakasulat sa mga kuwentong nabasa ko. Hindi rin ako tumigil sa pagiging storyteller, kabilang ako ngayon sa Ang Pinoy Storytellers.

Hindi nagtagal, nagkaroon ng mga panawagan para sa patimpalak sa pagsulat ng mga kuwentong pambata. Sumubok ako. At natalo. Heartbreaking para sa akin ang bawat pagkatalo pero naisip kong dapat ay ituloy lamang ang pagsusulat, may patimpalak man o wala, dahil ang layunin dapat ng pagsusulat ay mabasa ng mga batang Pilipino.

Dumaan ang mga panahon, inimbitahan akong magsulat at magpasa ng manuskrito para sa Lampara Books. Sinubukan kong i-polish ang mga naisulat ko na hanggang sa matanggap ito para sa publikasyon. Sunod nama’y hinikayat na magsulat para sa Chikiting Books ng Vibal. Ganoon din, natanggap para sa publikasyon. Pero gusto ko lamang i-highlight, bago ang magagandang balita ng pagkatanggap para sa publikasyon, nariyan ang kabi-kabilang rejection, revision, isa pang revision, at isa pa, at pati na rin ang paghihintay.

At the Lampara Workshop Hall last December 16, 2019, Team Lampara was happy to see sample copies of the books.

3. Magbigay ng tatlong salita upang mailarawan ang karanasan mo bilang isang fellow ng Kuwentong Musmos Workshop?

Nakakatawa ang unang bahagi ng karanasan ko sa Kuwentong Musmos Workshop. Nasarhan kasi ako ng gate ng airport dahil naging kampante akong maaga akong nakapag-check-in at may oras pa para magkape. Sa madaling salita, hindi ako nakasakay ng eroplano, pero masuwerte pa ring nakakuha ng slot sa susunod na flight schedule. Hindi ko alam kung nakadagdag ng nerbyos ang pagkakape pero hindi naman ‘yon ang punto ko rito.

Nakakanerbyos ang karanasan bilang isa akong baguhang manunulat na makakasama ang mga premyado at hinahangaang manunulat. Ano na lamang ba ang panama ko sa kanila, ang sabi ko sa sarili. Inisip kong baka malait-lait lang ang kuwentong maisusulat ko. Baka mapag-iwanan ako? Isa ba itong pagpapatiwakal? Ganoon pa man, kahit nininerbyos ako sa mga susunod na magaganap, na wala akong ideya, nagpatuloy lang ako sa pagsulat at pag-inom ng kape.

Sa Kuwentong Musmos Workshop nabura ang lahat ng nalalaman ko. Joke. Pero parang ganoon na rin. Una kasi rito’y nasanay kasi akong magsulat ng mahahabang akda kaya naging isang malaking pagsubok ang pagbuo ng kuwento na may 80-120 words lamang. Ibang disiplina at pamamaraan ang kinailangan para makabuo ng dalawang kuwentong pambata para sa palihang ito. Isa nga rito ang kuwentong “Ang Batang Papet”.

Ang Batang Papet (Lampara Books, 2019)
Isa nga itong hindi malilimutang karanasan. Maipagmamalaki at nagpapasalamat akong naging bahagi ako ng proyektong ito kung saan nagsama-sama at nagsanib-puwersa ang mga manunulat, ilustrador, at ang apat na malalaking local publisher ng mga librong pambata sa pagsasakatuparan nito sa pangunguna siyempre ng Room-To-Read. Thankful din sa nakatrabaho kong ilustrador na si ANGELA TAGUIANG, na nagbigay ng istilo at interpretasyong bumagay sa isinulat kong kuwento. Masaya akong ang mga kopya ng “Ang Batang Papet” ay mailalathala at  maipamimigay sa mga batang walang gaanong access sa mga librong pambata. Shoutout siyempre sa LAMPARA BOOKS! J #BatangMatalino #BatangMasigla #BatangLampara

4. Anong aklat ang sana ay ikaw ang nagsulat?

Mahirap itong sagutin dahil maraming libro ang naisip kong sana’y naisulat ko. Pero magbibigay ako ng dalawa; isang lokal at isang banyaga. Sana’y ako ang nakapagsulat ng “Bugtong ng Buwan at Iba pang Kuwento” ni Will Ortiz na inilathala ng UP Press. Nabighani ako sa mga kuwentong narito, naghahalo ang totoong karanasan at kuwento at misteryo. Mahilig din kasi ako sa mga supernatural stories. Maganda rin ang pagkakagamit ditto ng wika. Sa librong banyaga, sana’y ako ang nakapagsulat ng “Bridge to Terabithia” ni Katherine Paterson. Gusto ko ang katahimikan at sakit na nakapaloob sa kuwento. Nawa’y makasulat din ako ng mga librong kagaya nito sa takdang panahon.

5.  Magbigay ng 5 tips o payo para sa mga gustong magsulat ng kuwentong pambata.

1.  1. Kagaya ng nasabi ko sa simula pa lamang, MAGSULAT PARA SA KABATAANG PILIPINO. Ilapit natin sa karanasan nila ang ating mga isusulat na kuwento.

2.    2. MAGSULAT TAYO NG MGA KUWENTO GAMIT ANG ATING MGA WIKANG KATUTUBO. Mahalaga ito para sa mga manunulat sa iba’t ibang rehiyon. Walang ibang makapagkukuwento ng inyong karanasan sa rehiyon kundi kayo.

Angela and Norman look like they are proud parents of their baby - a book!

3.    3. MATUTO MUNANG MAGBASA NG MARAMING AKDANG PAMBATA. Magbasa ng lokal at banyagang mga aklat. Magbasa ng mga kuwento, tula, dula, at iba pang isinulat para sa mga bata. Siyasatin kung paano ito isinulat. Alamin kung ano pa ang dapat na isulat.

4.   4. MAGSULAT AT IPABASA SA IBA ang inyong mga naisulat na akda. Nakakakaba at nakasasama sa loob ang mga maaaring matanggap na komento sa inyong naisulat pero magagamit ang mga ito upang mapabuti pa ang inyong naisulat na kuwento. Huwag din tayong maging mayabang at ma-pride, bilang manunulat at bilang tao.

5.   5. TUMINGIN SA PALIGID, BUKSAN ANG KAISIPAN. Nasaan ang mga bata? Ano ang dinaranas nila sa ngayon? Paano sila naaapektuhan ng kabi-kabilang nangyayari sa ating lipunan? Paano ang mga bata sa panahon ng war on drugs, ng EJK, ng militarisasyon, ng pagpapababa ng edad ng criminal liability, ng pagbabakwit, ng pagpapalaganap ng kamangmangan, ng rebisyon sa ating kasaysayan, at iba pa? Ihanda at gabayan natin sila sa mundong kakaharapin nila gamit ang mga isusulat nating mga kuwento. Huwag nating maliitin ang mga bata, makakaya rin nila itong maunawaan at pahalagahan.

Kung nais n’yong makakuwentuhan pa si Norman ay maaari ninyo siyang padalhan ng mensahe sa kaniyang Facebook page - @iamnormanboquiren.  

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