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On Becoming a Good Writer

Posted on March 8, 2018 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

A member of my writing class recently asked me a question I always hear from many students, "What do I do to become a good writer?" Apparently, he is struggling with a common dilemma beginning writers face with which, many times, have to do with diction.

As a composition teacher, I totally understand where students like him are coming from. With English being a second (or sometimes, a third language), many students often feel overwhelmed by the many word choices they have, among many other writing concerns they have to deal with. And when they are, at times, overcome with frustration, they ask you for a formula, a sort of a magic trick to address said difficulty.

In situations like that, my answer has always been pretty standard. I always emphasize that since writing is a skill that has to be learned and mastered over a certain period of time, there is no one quick fix to it, but there is a secret good writers know and do to get to where they are now: READ.

Specifically, here's what I told him: "Good writers become one because they're first good readers."

Travels + Education

Posted on January 2, 2018 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (1)

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” — Saint Augustine.

As an academic, I'm blessed to have the opportunity to go and see places whenever I present papers in conferences. Whenever I go abroad for such purpose, I always make sure that I check out the place, albeit the time is short, to ensure that I bring back something with me. No, I'm not talking about souvenir items. I'm talking about the memories I make which help me in my teaching. Sometimes it's a book I bring back home or photos and stories of places my students need to learn about in the courses I teach.

Plaza King Edward/ Edouard VII is located in a narrow cul-de-sac off the Boulevard des Capucines, not too far from the Paris Opera House. Named after the British monarch King Edward/ Edouard VII. Paris, France.

Enjoying the Thames River when I did a South Rambler walk in London. 

The Colosseo en Roma, Italia.

Behind me is Monet's "Water Lily," painted in 1900. 

Lunch at The Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium. 

Behind me is St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Italy.

At the Fontana de Trevi, Rome, Italy.

A Huffington Post writer once wrote about five reasons why people should be travelling. He cites the following as why travelling is the best education: learn new languages, explore cultural differences, discover cultural similarities, unearth history, and gain independence. My travels have indeed proved that the above-cited reasons are all worth the miles I've done. 

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson

Yuletide 2017

Posted on December 25, 2017 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (0)

As the world celebrates this Season, we are reminded once again about the importance of goodwill and kindness. Regardless of who are, where we come from, and what we have, how we relate to others is crucial. As an administrator and a teacher working in a highly multicultural setting, I've always believed that apart from possessing workplace skills, if only to fulfill specific tasks, having the ability to connect well with others is equally important. A person may be linguistically accurate, but being linguistically appropriate fits more the bill in more ways than one. Happy Holidays!