So, it’s been quite awhile since my last post and I am sorry about that. I have been quite busy trying to acclimatize and adjust to the new normal, which includes going out of the house wearing mask and using bags that are easily disinfected without therm damaging easily and working differently. I now work online every day and report to work twice a week (Wednesdays and Thursdays). On top of that, I have discovered at least two more things online that I find myself gravitating towards — so much that I have added them to my routine. Let me discuss them separately this week.
For now, please, please stay home if you can and only leave whenever necessary. Also, wear a mask! Wear a mask because this pandemic looks like it won’t go away so soon and this pandemic really brought out the worst in us, humans. Sigh.
My ongoing goal is to learn something new every day.
I hope I do not sound pretentious when I say that. But, really, ever since I have turned my back on a career in the family business (everyone in my family is a health care member), I promised myself that apart from pursuing my passion for reading, writing and constantly trying arts, I will learn something new every day. Something new. No matter how small, how tiny, any skill, any piece of wisdom. I will learn it. Thus, when I entered the world of academia and decided to pursue my love for kids, I made it my business to be like a sponge.
And by “like a sponge” I meant ABSORB every single piece of information that could help me become a better version of myself. I have been blessed to have co-workers who taught me the ropes of doing my job. I like to think I am pretty much decent when it comes to it. So far, I have what I called the “Mika Babies” a group of children who were my students and who have made progress. Some, I taught how to hold a pencil correctly, some I tutored until 7th grade, some, were able to read, spell, and express themselves better verbally.
So this quarantine period, I decided to have this blog, so I could have an outlet for my book reviews with side pieces of my rants, raves and other stuff. i also decided to go back to writing and began writing stuff with my friends and for my friends. And not contented with that, I decided to sign up for online courses.
I went ahead and signed up for courses at Coursera and attend lectures, copy notes and take tests. Currently I have two courses: Greek and Roman Mythology (this, because I love mythology) and the other is called Supporting Children with Difficulties in Reading and Writing (I want to learn more and become a better teacher to my students). Aside from doing online courses, I also went back to my Duolingo to brush up on my Spanish. I have been forever studying Spanish but life always interrupts me. So I guess this is my chance to further learn more, hopefully become fluent in Spanish.
I do not like to study, but I find that I missed doing so. I can still remember juggling work with review last year. It had become part of my routine to go to a coffee shop and revise notes as a form of studying. But I do love to learn. So here it goes:
I hate to study, but I love to learn. I want to learn more things. I want to learn more knowledge and acquire more skills.
“You’re not a leader if nobody wants to follow you. You’re just a control freak, power tripping jerk, who wants to be in charge.”
I don’t think I have to discuss this further. But, just to add: this person is passive aggressive and lacks empathy. He/she is the kind of person who makes things even more difficult at the moment. I have no more words except, when this pandemic is over, I really hope I could move away from this person.
I couldn’t help it, I just had to say something about the documentary, okay? More on that next post though.
We all know Michelle Obama as THE First Lady. But aside from that, she was, first and foremost, a daughter, a sister, a wife and a woman. For someone who came from a group who was used to being looked down on, she did well. Really well. She is someone who studied hard and worked hard. Someone who overcame struggles and yes, someone who woke up, got up, dressed up and told everyone “this is me, I’m going out there, ready to take the highs and the lows.”
The book was raw, real and interesting. It gave us a firsthand view of who Michelle was and is as a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife and a woman. It reminded me to go through life no matter how hard it is, work hard and reap what all the rewards with a good head on my shoulders and both feet on the ground.
I also happened to see the documentary that Netflix offered to its users. The documentary followed Michelle during the 34-city tour and showed her interactions with her mom, her brother, daughters, husband and her staff. I found her genuine and the kind of woman worth emulating. She is sassy, fierce intelligent, strong and hands down to Barack Obama for marrying an independent and intelligent woman. Aside from the interactions and anecdotes, the documentary also touched bits and pieces of two young people who are trying to forge their paths in this world. (I watched the entire documentary around 5 in the morning and I never got bored or sleepy. Go see it.)
If you haven’t yet, please go pick up and read BECOMING by Michelle Obama and watch BECOMING on Netflix. Whichever you do first. It’s uplifting and gives you hope, especially at times at like this.
I have been an avid reader and fan of Sweet Valley High, and even read about them in middle school. I can basically remember eyeing the book collection about Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield in the library of my school and of course, as a bookworm, I couldn’t wait to borrow and go through them. This series, along with a couple of others such as Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, is a huge part of my childhood.
But despite it belonging in my childhood, I couldn’t help but pick the book up and buy it. Yes, there are little parts of me that are both nostalgic and sentimental. Besides, one of the local bookstores in the mall my friends and I are were at had the book on sale. I picked it up, paid for it and took it home. And as per routine: I covered the book and began reading it. So, here goes my review.
The story begins in New York, where Elizabeth Wakefield is currently living in and working as a magazine writer. As I pressed on to read, I found out what events led to Elizabeth living her life in New York and away from her twin sister, the rest of the family and her friends.
In true Sweet Valley fashion, I read about a drama between Elizabeth and Jessica, their friends and family. I met new characters and reacquainted myself with familiar ones such as Bruce Patman, Steven Wakefield (I found out something about him in this book which may or may not shock you, but oh well, I stan, anyway).
There were a couple of negative reviews about this book, but because I never judge a book until I read it, I went ahead and read it anyway. Overall, I find the book nostalgic and a huge follow up to my running question: What happens to the twins when they grow older?
SPOILER ALERT: One of the twins really grew up and change. But I guess, that’s just one of the most realistic parts of this book.
I started reading the first book of the series back in December 2019. It took me awhile to finish it, not because it is dragging but because of my work. I actually fell in love with the character the moment I got into the first few chapters. I love that Audrey Rose Wadsworth was written the way she was —- willing to go to school, to learn and to work. Three things that were, back then, frowned upon especially if you are a woman back then.
I thought the book to be unique and interesting. It introduced me to characters like Audrey Rose, James Cresswell, Dr. Jonathan Wadsworth and then to the characters that are known in history — Jack the Ripper, Dracula, Houdini and the Devil. Although we don’t really “meet” some of them, we get to know them how Audrey and the author depict them to be.
I fell in love with Thomas James Cel Ru Cresswell. Okay a little spoiler: he wasn’t intimidated by Audrey Rose’s genius. While reading him or about him, I see Sebastian Stan portraying him best. I like that Thomas looks at Audrey and sees him as his equal and not as his obedient wife who will stay at home to manage the household. (Not spoiling you guys, just saying and remember, this series’ setting is at a time where ladies wear corsets and petticoats).
Overall the characters were colorful and amazing. The story was great. And I love, love, love the change of settings and views. There are four books in the series (five, if you count Becoming The Dark Prince, though it is only a couple of pages). My most favorite from this series is a tie between Hunting Prince Dracula (book 2) and Capturing the Devil (book 4). I liked Escaping from Houdini the LEAST from this book and only finished reading it because of Thomas Cresswell (I hope I do not sound biased, but I think I am).
You can call me Mika, because everybody does. This isn’t my first attempt to blog, but I am definitely picking up blogging with the hopes, that this time I will really be updating it 2-3 times a week or maybe just weekly. I was born, raised and grew up in the Philippines, a teacher and a human with many different interests such as writing stuff, reading books, watching movies and TV shows, watching football (maybe this is soccer for you) and trying to stay creative because my brain craves for it. Maybe I will add a list of everything I love and hate soon, so you’ll get to know me more.
I intend to post anything under the sun from book reviews (some I have already read but wrote a review in the notes section of my phone or iPad) to football matches, random trips, a day in the life of my profession, and anything I could think of, really.