Friday, August 31, 2007

Responsible Conduct in Research

This entire week, I participated as a Facilitator for UNC's Responsible Conduct in Research course, intended for incoming Biomedical graduate students, first year Post-docs, and incoming Junior Faculty. It's been interesting, but I'm sure very overwhelming for the students. I presented one of the topics - Ethics in Animal Research. It was so outside of my comfort zone, mainly because I never did research with animals. At least, not vertebrate animals. (No, sea urchins don't count in this situation.) So I gave my entire presentation on information gleaned from outside sources (Thanks, APS!!!), and luckily for me, I had some help from Tracy Heenan, the Director of UNC's Office and Animal Care and Use, and from Lesley Marson, the Chair of UNC's IACUC. They were absolutely wonderful to work with, and they made the presentation so much better. The breakaway discussions also got the students engaged, which made me feel good. I'm just sad the Turning Point clicker system flaked out on me ... which, believe it or not, got alleviated when I exited the program and re-entered it again, and the fact that my group didn't get their case studies because their sheets just walked away ... ??? ... but all was well in the end, and I'm glad it went well.

So now I can focus on the next things ... like trying to get a job so I can pay my bills ... preparing a lab practicum for my students at Campbell (they're going to be analyzing a note by examining the ink on the paper) ... relearning Boëlmann's Toccata from his Suite Gothique in time for PipeScreams! in October, and I have just under 2 months to get that firmly secure ...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

More Gawad Kalinga

I just did the coolest thing - thanks to my friend Jorge Zaballero (maraming maraming salamat, po!), I went bowling for the first time since high school. It was fun! And, it was all for a good cause, to support Gawad Kalinga. They called it "Bowling for a Cause." The proceeds from that, as well as the associated raffles and silent auctions, were to benefit GK. We've already had a Carolinas village built in the Phils., and with more fundraising and support, we're going to be able to have more built. It is, indeed, a great cause, and an excellent way to ensure our Spirit of Bayanihan lives on.

I will still approach the local Gawad Kalinga organisers about my idea of giving an organ recital, with all the proceeds from either a Free-Will or Suggested Donation to go toward Gawad Kalinga.

More later ...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Gawad Kalinga

Gawad Kalinga (GK) ( translated in English means to "to give care", and it is an alternative solution to the blatant problem of poverty not just in the Philippines but in the world. GK's vision for the Philippines is a slum-free, squatter-free nation through a simple strategy of providing land for the landless, homes for the homeless, food for the hungry and as a result providing dignity and peace for every Filipino.

There are people in the Triangle area who are active in GK, and for the past few years, the offering plate during Simbang Gabi Masses in December have been designated to building a GK Carolinas village in the Philippines.

So a thought had come to my mind yesterday after Mass. I chatted with Jorge Zaballero, who himself is active in GK. I offered to give an organ recital as a fundraiser for GK. Jorge seemed to think that was a good idea. We'll see where this goes. It would certainly be for an excellent cause. And, it would be a great way for Local Borns like me to contribute to the spirit of Bayanihan in helping out in whatever way I can.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Music for 19 August - 12th Sunday After Pentecost

August 19: Pentecost 12

Prelude: Prelude in g minor (attr. Bach; probably by J. T. Krebs)
Pro: God the Omnipotent King (RUSSIA)
Seq: Lo! what a cloud of witnesses encompass us around (ST. FULBERT)
Off: They cast their nets in Galilee (GEORGETOWN)
Sanctus: Community Mass (Proulx)
Comm: Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele (Brahms)
Re: Judge eternal, throned in splendor (KOMM, O KOMM, DU GEIST DES LEBENS)
Postlude: Fugue in g minor (attr. Bach; probably by J. T. Krebs)

(Service music for Chapel of the Cross (Episcopal) in Chapel Hill, NC)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

101 Ways To Tell If You’re Filipino

I've always been sure about who and what I am. I am a Filipino. It's often said that our culture defines what we are. How we see ourselves is more likely how other people will see us. We're a sunny kind of people. We laugh at hard times and we smile in spite of everything. The typical Filipino is more likely to take an optimistic view of things, even if things are really bad. One of our better traits is our ability to laugh at ourselves. We'd laugh even if it were ourselves we're laughing at.

Though we're a very mixed race, everything we do is distinctly Filipino. Our identity almost always shows wherever we are. Confused about your identity? Don't know how Filipino you really are? Well, here's a not-so-scientific way to find out. See if you'll find yourself nodding your head more than you're shaking it. You might find that these 101 things are a lot truer than if you took out your birth certificate.

  1. You point with your lips.
  2. You eat using hands and you have it down to a technique.
  3. Your other piece of luggage is a balikbayan box.
  4. You nod upwards to greet someone.
  5. You put your foot up on your chair and rest your elbow on your knee while eating.
  6. You think that half-hatched duck eggs are a delicacy.
  7. You have to kiss your relative on the cheek as soon as you enter the room.
  8. You're standing next to eight big boxes at the airport.
  9. You collect items from hotels or restaurants "for souvenir."
  10. You smile for no reason.
  11. You flirt by having a foolish grin in your face while raising your eyebrows repeatedly.
  12. You go to a department store and try to bargain the prices.
  13. You use an umbrella for shade on hot summer days.
  14. You scratch your head when you don't know the answer.
  15. You never eat the last morsel of food on the table.
  16. You like bowling.
  17. You know how to play pusoy and mahjong.
  18. You find dried up morsels of rice stuck on your shirt.
  19. You prefer to sit in the shade instead of basking in the sun.
  20. You add an unwarranted "H" to your name, i.e. "Jhun," Bhoy," "Rhon."
  21. You put hands together in front of you as if to make a path and say "excuse, excuse" when you pass in between people or in front of the TV.
  22. Your middle name is your mother's maiden name.
  23. You like everything imported or "state-side. "
  24. You check the labels on clothes to see where it was made before buying.
  25. You hang your clothes out to dry.
  26. You are perfectly comfortable in a squatting position with your elbows resting on your knees.
  27. You consistently arrive 30 minutes late for all events.
  28. You always offer food to all your visitors.
  29. You say "comfort room" instead of "bathroom."
  30. You say "for take out" instead of "to go"
  31. You say "open" or "close" the light.
  32. You ask for a "pentel-pen" or a "ball-pen" instead of just "pen."
  33. You asked for "Colgate" instead of "toothpaste."
  34. You refer to the refrigerator as the "ref" or "pridyider."
  35. You say "kodakan" instead of take a picture.
  36. You order a McDonald's instead of "hamburger"(pronounced ham-boor-jer)
  37. You say "Ha" instead of "What."
  38. You say "Hoy" get someone attention.
  39. You answer when someone yells "Hoy."
  40. You turn around when someone says "Psst"
  41. You say "Cutex" instead of "nail polish."
  42. You say "he" when you mean "she" and vice versa.
  43. You say "array" instead of "ouch."
  44. Your sneeze sounds like "ahh-ching" instead of "ahh-choo."
  45. You prefer to make acronyms for phrases such as "OA: for over acting or "TNT" for, well, you know.
  46. You say "air con" instead of "a/c" or air conditioner.
  47. You say "brown-out" instead of "black-out."
  48. You use a "walis ting-ting" or "walis tambo" as opposed to a conventional broom.
  49. You have a "Weapons of Moroland" shield hanging in the living room wall.
  50. You have a portrait of "The Last Supper" hanging in your dining room.
  51. You own a karaoke system.
  52. You own a piano that no one ever plays.
  53. You have a tabo in the bathroom.
  54. Your house has too many burloloys.
  55. You have two to three pairs of tsinelas at your doorstep.
  56. Your house has an ornate wrought iron gate in front of it.
  57. You have a rose garden.
  58. You have a shrine of the "Santo Niño" in your living room.
  59. You have a "barrel man" (you pull up the barrel and you see something that looks familiar. Schwing...)
  60. You cover the living room furniture with bedsheets.
  61. Your lampshades still have the plastic cover on them.
  62. You have plastic runners to cover the carpets in your house.
  63. You refer to your VCR as a "beytamax."
  64. You have a rice dispenser.
  65. You own a turbo boiler.
  66. You own one of those fiber optic flower lamps.
  67. You own a lamp with oil that drips down the strings.
  68. You have a giant wooden fork and spoon hanging somewhere in the dining room.
  69. You have a giant wooden tinikling dancer on the wall.
  70. You have capiz shells chandeliers, lamps, or placemats.
  71. You have a Mercedes Benz and you call it "chedeng."
  72. You own a huge van conversion.
  73. Your car chirps like a bird or plays a tune when it is in reverse.
  74. Your car horn can make 2 or 3 different sounds.
  75. Your car has curb feelers or curb detectors.
  76. Your car has too many "burloloys" like a Jeepneys back in P.I.
  77. You hang a rosary on your car's rear view mirror.
  78. You have an air freshener in your car.
  79. You have aunts and uncles named "Baby," "Girlie," or "Boy."
  80. You were raised to believe that every Filipino is a aunt, uncle or cousin.
  81. Your Dad was in the Navy.
  82. Your mom or sister or wife is a nurse.
  83. You have a family member or relative that works in the Post Office.
  84. Your parents call each other "Mommy" and "Daddy" or "ma" and "pa."
  85. You have family member that has a nickname that repeats itself, i.e."Deng-Deng, " Ling-Ling" or "Bing-Bing"
  86. You put hot dogs in your spaghetti.
  87. You consider dilis the Filipino equivalent to French fries.
  88. You think that eating chocolate rice pudding and dried fish is a great morning meal.
  89. You order things like tapsilog, tocsilog, or longsilog at restaurants.
  90. You instinctively grab a toothpick after each meal.
  91. You order a "soft drink" instead of a "soda."
  92. You dip bread in your morning coffee.
  93. You refer to seasonings and all other forms of monosodium glutamate as "Ajinomoto."
  94. Your cupboards are full of Spam, Vienna Sausage, Ligo, and Corned Beef, which you refer to as Karne Norte.
  95. Goldilocks means more to you than just a character in a fairy tale.
  96. You appreciate a fresh pot of rice.
  97. You bring your "baon" most of the time to work.
  98. Your "baon" is usually something over rice.
  99. Your neighbors complain about the smell of tuyo on Sunday mornings.
  100. You eat rice for breakfast.
  101. You use your fingers to measure the water when cooking rice.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Here we go, again

So why is it that, whenever people hear me speak, they always ask where am I from, and when I respond, "San Diego," that doesn't seem to satisfy them?

While I was "directing traffic" at last night's Forensic Science class (students were being taken, one by one, to examine the "crime scene" in a separate room), one of the students asked me where I was from. I told her, "San Diego." Her response: "Where are you really from?"

Okay, just because I don't speak with the "proper" accent for this area (my friend Chris L., who is a Fayetteville, NC native, can turn his Southern accent on and off at will; I don't have such an accent, despite the fact I was born in Charleston, SC), does this mean that I automatically have to be branded as different? What so unusual about hearing a kind of hybrid accent coming out of someone who looks like me (check out my picture to the left - I certainly don't look like any Southern Belle now, do I?) ...

This brings me back to a very interesting exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum. This was in their Truth exhibit. You come to a panel of a wide variety of different people, male and female, white and black and brown and every other colour imaginable, and your task is to match the face with the voice. Who would have thought that an apparently Chinese looking woman would be speaking with a strong Jamaican accent, a Black man speaking with the stuffiest British accent you can imagine, a Japanese looking woman speaking with a strong Spanish (specific to Peru) accent, etc.? My former roommate, Anita C., spoke with a British accent that my British friends had pin-pointed where her accent would have originated (don't recall the area now), but guess what - she's from Hong-Kong and went to English Medium Schools. Another friend, Iman Kh., was born in Egypt, and raised in Luxembourg and Switzerland. If you hear her speak, you would have guessed that her first language was French and that she spent her life in a French-speaking country.

Looks aren't everything. It used to annoy me immensely when I get judged as "foreigner" solely on the basis of my accent and my looks. It still annoys me today, but not as much as before. I just marvel at how ignorant some people can apparently be, even in this supposedly more enlightened day and age.

Improv, lots of Improv


So I didn't make the wisest choice this week. Went off to Costco with a friend on Tuesday, and while there, I got the latest Harry Potter. I told myself I wouldn't do it until I finished up my service this coming Sunday at Holy Family, especially with some of the odd settings of the Ordinary I'm asked to learn. But no, it was calling my name, so I picked it up. I've been spending the last two days in Potterland and admittedly, enjoying it heaps. Of course, I really should have been: 1) Preparing for the Forensics Course that I'm team-teaching with 5 others; and 2) Chain myself to an organ near me to learn all this music I have to play on Sunday. I've done neither.

So I turn up to class this afternoon, and the Cary Lieutenant who is heading the class shows me and the other professors the "crime scene" that will form the basis of the students' practicum this semester. Very simple thing, really. I won't go into much detail here (maybe later). I had to give a ca. 15-20 minute talk about the Chemists' Perspective as far as Crime Scene Investigations are concerned. So I'm "flying by the seat of my pants," so to speak (I guess you can call it Improv) as I have done absolutely no preparation, outside of the reading I did on the day of Lee T's father's funeral. Thanks to the American Chemical Society, there was an article in one of their publications about chemists and forensics, and so I based my introductory talk heavily on that. It also helped when I had a look at the crime scene that was laid out in another room.

So I did my thing ... and amazingly enough, some of the students came up to me during one of the breaks and told me they appreciated professors coming in prepared for their classes, and it was obvious that I prepared for it!!!!!

Boy, am I a good faker or what??? I know I can't get away with that for long, so I'm really going to have to get my butt into gear and read. So I'm going to consider the reading and answering of questions as a kind of "study break" from the learning of music I have to do over the next couple of days ...

But ... I think I will partake in a Choral Celebration tomorrow (Friday) evening at Duke Chapel. It's a Hinshaw thing:

... and the only thing I'll be attending will be the concert. Should be a good one.