Friday, January 23, 2015

What adults can learn from kids - Adora Svitak

I remember the first book I was proud of reading front to back cover (I never really liked to read before and I skip pages).

It was "The Little Prince".

The message from that book stuck in my head for years and years.

"Grown-ups like figures"

Similar to the idea of kids and "grown-ups" a.k.a. adults is the TED Talk of Adora Svitak.

I watched this TEDTalk video during the TEDxDLSU event and I am adding it to my list of favorite Ted Talks.

This is one of the reasons why there is student-centered / learner-centered movement in education...

What adults can learn from kids - Adora Svitak

"In order to make anything a reality, you have to dream about it first."

"If you don't trust somebody, you place restrictions on them."

"But kids grow up and become adults, just like you..."

TEDxDLSU : Youth Kaleidoscope

Hi I'm Toni and this is my idea: Why fit in when you are born to Stand out? .... #changetheworldmovement #TEDxDLSU 

According to the data of TJ Palanca.. I am restless... 

I agree. I am restlessly searching for change and new knowledge. 
For me, settling down with the current system is the time you stop the opportunity to grow. 

I really love and enjoyed our first TEDxDLSU event.

Not only TED + DLSU are two of my favorite things, but because the theme of Filipino Youth Empowerment resonated with me in so so SOOOOOO many ways. 

I don't have a long post because the experience has led me to becoming speechless. 

I am overwhelmed. I love every bit of presentation and TEDtalk. 


We can change the world and make it a better place.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

TEDxDLSU in just TWO DAYS !! *psyched*

I can't believe that over a year ago I would just spend much of my time browsing and looking for inspiring TED Talks. Now, my own Alma Mater is producing their own TED event.


I am mostly looking forward for Dr. Espiritu's TED Talk the most!!!

Lloyd Espiritu
Technology Advocate. Educator. Author.
Doc Lloyd is also an active educational technology consultant working on around the country. He has lead large-scale projects projects in Instructional Design, e-Learning, mobile-Learning, e-Assessment with different organizations such as Vibal Publishing House, DTI, the Commission on ICT, the Bureau of Alternative Learning System (ALS), and TESDA. His most recent project with TESDA premiers the first MOOC (massive open online course) for TVET in the Philippines. This MOOC was launched in 2012 to increase access to TVET courses and continuous to help Filipinos get certified for employment.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Suicidal year...

I finally enrolled in Thesis Writing 1 (6 years in grad school and counting)...

Happiest day of my life. 

And at the same time, I had my second session in I/O psychology graduate class today and we discussed the contents/tables of specification for the Psychometrician Board Exam.

I'm overwhelmed by the things I'm planning to do this year.

Meanwhile in class...

Me: I'm dying.
I/O Psych Professor: What? Why?
Me: 'cause Sir, I just enrolled in thesis today
Professor (surprised): Why are you taking the board exam and thesis at the same time!?!?!!?

....hmm I dunno... Lol it's probably just typical me. I like doing a variety of things. 

"The things I put myself into", I always say. 

But I miss this.

I miss the "healthy" pressure I give myself that pushes me to the limits and pushes me to excel and do things I never thought I could ever accomplish. 

In the end, I know it'll be worth it.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

M.A. Degree, so near yet so far...

On my second Venti Frappe Already.

This is me.. this is totally me... 

I am somehow in between because to those who already have M.A. degrees and to those who are already pursuing PHD, I'm a tad slow... but hey!! To those who didn't even take M.A. or those who didn't finish theirs... I'm on a roll... We all write different stories in life... so no need to compare.

My Thesis, in it's Evolution

When I started this blog and my @moocresearch twitter account back in 2013, I was under the impression, assumption and anticipation that I will be focusing my masteral thesis by researching in the context of Massive Open Online Courses (i.e. MOOCs).

To date, it is already 2015, and my thesis topic has nothing to do with MOOCs.

Because you know... plans change and we just have to deal with those kind of changes.

As part of documenting my journey towards a masteral degree (actually, the original blog I created when I started my masteral program in 2009 has already been shut down, by me, due to inactivity of anything related to the academe at some point of my life in 2010 & 2011), I would like to lay down the evolution of my thesis as it was.

September 2013 - I decided to do a research on MOOCs and started reading more about it.

December 2013 - I started writing my MOOC thesis introduction on New Year's eve. I can still remember the adrenalin rush. It felt like all the ideas just started pouring out and transformed into writing. But since I have to conquer passing the comprehensive exams first, the following months was focused on reviewing for it.

January 2014 - Comprehensive Examination (But I so wanted to skip this and jump to Thesis Writing - because MOOCs is just so interesting)

February 2014 - Comprehensive Exam

March 2014 - Results of the Exam (3.91 out of 4.0)

April 2014 - Started to go back to my MOOC research and writing so I can submit a concept paper to my department.

May 2014 - Submitted my 1st Concept Paper (Study about how we can maximize the existence of MOOCs in our teaching practices).

June 2014 -1st Rejection. - At this point I realized I should have submitted my initial paper as soon as I passed the Comprehensive Exam in March. So that as early as March, I would have known that MOOCs would be completely out of the question when it comes to my thesis. And I could have prepared in advance an alternative topic, which was very hard to do considering that I have anticipated working on MOOC research since 2013.

I shouldn't have focused so much on reading up on related literature because the whole MOOC topic was completely just out of the question. So I stopped thinking about thesis for a while. I had to start from scratch. What topic? What theory? What concept?

July 2014 - I finally figured out that I had to work on my resources. My new job was being a scholarships coordinator and my resources was that I handled the scholars in our university. So I tried researching on Financial Aid. This time, I did not focus to much on related literature but I just simply wanted to submit something so that I could know the feedback or improvements immediately.

July 2014 - Submitted 2nd Concept Paper (Study about the academic motivation of students benefiting from financial aid)

I was also prepared for rejection. While my paper was under evaluation and review, I prepared another concept paper which I patterned from our comprehensive exams. The comment I had in my first concept paper was that I was moving away from my masteral program. My masteral program focused on student learning experiences and not on policy reformation.

July 2014 - Submitted 3rd Concept Paper (Study on Learning Strategies)

When I submitted the 3rd Concept Paper, even before I got the results of the 2nd, my department suggested that I get my 2nd paper. I was expecting another disapproved paper so I wasn't too eager to get the results. I told myself I will just get both of my paper at the same time so that if I got rejected for both then I would only have to feel it once at the same time.

But they told me to get the 2nd paper.

Results? DISAPPROVED of course! LOL But wait.. there was a note... "OR You may choose to work on the comments/suggestions of the reviewers".

Suddenly there is light at the end of the thesis.

I never got my 3rd Concept Paper back because they wanted me to focus on my 2nd Concept paper.

My 2nd Concept Paper, focused on the "Academic Motivation of Students Benefiting from Financial Aid" and since I had the option to stay in that topic, I grabbed that option instead of finding a new one. My 2nd Concept Paper involved comparing those who benefit from financial aid and those who do not. One of the suggestions said in my paper was to just focus on one cohort, those benefiting from financial aid.

August 2014 - Revisions made.

Technically, this was already my 4th Concept Paper (Study on academic motivation of students benefiting from financial aid - w/o comparing it with those who do not benefit from financial aid). Before submitting the revised paper, I went to one of my reviewers to ask for clarification with regards to his comments. He gave his immediate feedback which resulted for me to create a new paper, this is the 5th Paper.

August 2014 -  I submitted my 5th Concept Paper (Study on exploring the student experiences of those who are benefiting from financial aid and why they are succeeding academically despite being socioeconomically disadvantaged). *Fourth Submission*

September 2014 - My department chair told me that he wanted to talk to me personally and give some advice with regards to my concept paper. He advised me to narrow down my paper and identify what literature says on why socioeconomically disadvantaged students succeed academically. One example was family and I ended up writing my 6th Concept Paper (Study on perception on parents & basic needs satisfaction of students benefiting from financial aid)

October 2014 - I went to seek an appointment with my undergraduate thesis mentor, who was also one of my reviewers. She was actually the one who strongly advised me to NOT get my 3rd Concept Paper (on Learning Strategies) and to get the results of my 2nd Concept Paper (Academic Motivation). She gave me a high review on that paper. I went to seek her advice to know, why? What good did you find in my paper? Little did she know, she was the one who gave the light at the end of the thesis.

I showed her my 6th Concept Paper, and she reminded me that my paper was only a thesis and not a dissertation. She helped me simplify my thoughts and I ended up working on my 7th Concept paper.

November 2014 - I submitted my 7th Concept Paper (Effect of institutional integration on basic needs satisfaction of students benefiting from financial aid) *Fifth Submission*

December 2014 - Finally. Approved Thesis Topic.

7 completely different research proposals.
5 officially submitted concept papers.

January 2015 - Enroll in Thesis Writing 1.

And so it begins... OFFICIALLY

*To be fair to myself, I know I can accomplish so much in one month. When I got my feedback on my 2nd concept paper in August I was able to make 2 revisions. When I sought advice in September, I was able to revise it and show it to my other professor by October. By November I was able to give the revision. 

*Hi. This is just me. Trying to analyze what happened to my 2014 and why I am only enrolling in Thesis this year. 

P.S. Thank you PHD comics for finding humor amidst this agony. 

My New Year Resolution, last 2014?


During the beginning of 2014 (and even as 2013 was coming to an end), I told myself that 2014 will be fully dedicated to my thesis and to my new work. 

But what happened? 

After I passed my compre exams I concentrated only with work !!! 


But this time around, I'm finally and officially (for real) enrolling in Thesis Writing 1. 

It was a tough ride having a topic approved because it feels like starting from scratch every time you get a rejected concept paper. 

But this 2015, atleast I already have a topic (an approved topic, somehow)... And a mentor. 

Let's get going, Toni !! 

2015 !!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Related Literature for Student Persistence / Self-Determination Theory #THESISit

Learning's "Weak" Link to Persistence
Wolniak, Gregory C.; Mayhew, Matthew J.; Engberg, Mark E.
Journal of Higher Education, v83 n6 p795-823 Nov-Dec 2012
"As the nation becomes increasingly focused on improving college completion rates, policy makers, practitioners, and scholars are calling for renewed efforts to help students succeed (e.g., Lumina Foundation, 2009). Central to these plans is the promotion of postsecondary access and opportunity, as well as the improvement of persistence and completion rates. College student persistence, in particular, is a necessary condition for social mobility, bridging access and attainment. We are well aware of a renewed focus on persistence and completion at BRCC and we have implemented interventions intended to improve our rates in both categories. Drs. Gregory C. Wolniak, Matthew J. Mayhew, and Mark E. Engberg have written a paper based on their research in this area and published in the Journal of Higher Education. They note, "Several key areas inform our understanding of students’ likelihood of persisting after the first year of college. These areas consist of student demographics and socioeconomic status, precollege academics, college choice and financial aid, institutional characteristics, the role of academic and social integration, and college grades. Persisting students reported higher levels of academic and social integration during their first year of college in areas related to exposure to quality teaching, frequency of faculty contact, peer interactions, and cocurricular involvement, while also demonstrating greater average scores on three of the five measures of assessed student learning (leadership, need for cognition, and content mastery). Alternatively, compared to nonpersisting students, a smaller share of persisters obtained financial aid in the form of federal grants."

“How Much Economic Value Does My Credential Have?”
Reformulating Tinto’s Model to Study Students’ Persistence in Community Colleges
  1. G. Rob StuartCecilia Rios-AguilarRegina Deil-Amen
  2. Community College Reviewvol. 42 no. 4 327-341
  1. "Community colleges play a key role in educating the large number of non-traditional, low-income, and under-prepared students who have entered higher education in the past several decades. Despite increased access, community colleges are struggling to graduate students. Most, if not all, strategies provided by scholars to improve college completion rates assume increased student engagement will enhance persistence and success. Existing theories of persistence overlook the dynamic influence of job markets for the students community colleges serve. Using National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, this article draws on Tinto’s theory of persistence and proposes a new framework that acknowledges the role of job opportunities and of work–family–schooling quandaries in community college students’ choices about persistence. Our model builds on the following relevant notions: (a) human capital theory, (b) social integration, and (c) socio-academic integration. Our model has important implications for leaders who aim to better align students’ college experiences with their desired careers and available jobs."

Tinto's Model of Student Retention

Stephen W. Draper,   Department of Psychology,   University of Glasgow.

"These notes are a very personal view, not well researched, and possibly severely flawed. The first topic is what determines whether students stay on or drop out at universities. Various terms may reasonably be used for this area. The negative-looking ones are failure, dropout, attrition; the positive-looking ones are retention, persistence. Tinto offers a theory for understanding this. Elsewhere I also have some notes on basic comparative dropout rates."
This is a WWW document maintained by Steve Draper, installed at

An Examination of Criticisms made of Tinto’s 1975 Student Integration Model of Attrition 

Ian McCubbin February 2003

Self-Determination Theory and Employee Motivation: An Overview 

Jack McDaniel

"The key to SDT is recognizing that there
are two different types of motivation: 
Autonomous motivation – Doing a
job because it is either intrinsically
interesting or is consistent with the
employee’s deep and abiding personal
Controlled motivation – Doing a job
because the employee feels pressured by
external or internal forces to do it. "

Listen to the Founders of Self-Determination Theory, Edward Deci & Richard Ryan 

What is Self-Determination Theory? (+PDF)
"Basic psychological needs: The hypothesis is that people have three basic psychological needs: competence, relatedness, andautonomy.
  • First, the need for competence means the desire to control and master the environment and outcome. We want to know how things would turn out and the results/consequences of our actions.
  • Second, the need for relatedness deals with the desire to “interact with, be connected to, and experience caring for other people”. Our actions and daily activities involve other people and through this we seek the feeling of belongingness.
  • Thirdly, the need for automony concerns with the urge to be casual agents and to act in harmony with their integrated self. However, Deci and Ryan stated that to be autonomous does not mean to be independent. It means a sense of free will when doing something or acting out of our own interests and values."

Autonomous Motivation, Controlled Motivation, and Goal Progress

Richard Koestner;  Nancy Otis;Theodore A. Powers; Luc Pelletier, and Hugo Gagnon
Journal of Personality 76:5, October 2008

"Although the self-concordance of goals has been repeatedly shown to predict better goal progress, recent research suggests potential problems with aggregating autonomous and controlled motivations to form a summary index of self-concordance ( Judge, Bono, Erez, & Locke, 2005). The purpose of the present investigation was to further examine the relations among autonomous motivation, controlled motivation, and goal progress to determine the relative importance of autonomous motivation and controlled motivation in the pursuit of personal goals. The results of three studies and a meta-analysis indicated that autonomous motivation was substantially related to goal progress whereas controlled motivation was not. Additionally, the relation of autonomous motivation to goal progress was shown to involve implementation planning. Together, the three studies highlight the importance for goal setters of having autonomous motivation and developing implementation plans, especially ones formulated in terms of approach strategies rather than avoidance strategies. The present research suggests that individuals pursuing goals should focus relatively greater attention on enhancing their autonomous motivation rather than reducing their controlled motivation."

Effects of Externally Mediated Rewards on Intrinsic Motivation

Edward L. Deci
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1971 , Vol. 18, No. 1, 105-115

"Two laboratory experiments and one field experiment were conducted to investigate the effects of external rewards on intrinsic motivation to perform an activity. In each experiment, subjects were performing an activity during three different periods, and observations relevant to their motivation were made. External rewards were given to the experimental subjects during the second period only, while the control subjects received no rewards. Of interest was the difference in the experimental group's motivation between Period 1 and Period 3, relative to the difference in the control's. The results indicate that (a) when money was used as an external reward, intrinsic motivation tended to decrease, whereas (b) when verbal reinforcement and positive feedback were used, intrinsic motivation tended to increase. Discrepant findings in the literature were reconciled using a new theoretical framework which employs a cognitive approach and concentrates on the nature of the external reward."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

More on SDT: 5th Conference on Self-Determination Theory

Sometimes I understand it better in videos... I'm a multi-intelligence learner like that =D

Self-Determination Theory: An Approach to Human Motivation & Personality

On Self Determination Theory & Student Persistence / Student Retention

Understanding the Self-Determination Theory from Ed Deci himself
 (one of the founders of the theory)

Edward Deci: Promoting Motivation, Health, and Excellence

In my thesis, I am going to use the Self-Determination Theory (SDT).

What can affect the persistence of students benefiting from financial aid? 

Given that financial aid is already an "extrinsic/external" motivator, students benefiting from financial aid still have various levels of motivation.

What else can influence their motivation? What can influence them to persist with their enrollment and eventually to finish their college education?

Let's first learn more about Self-Determination Theory by taking points from Ed Deci's Ted Talk.

"If you are interested in some activity and you enjoy doing it, the motivation is right there inside you ready to come out and move you into action" 

"If you really have something that is important to you, something that you truly value, you're perfectly willing to engage in the behavior that are consistent with that" 

"So both of these things, these two types of autonomous motivation, are all about being fully willing to behave." 

"There are literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds now of scientific investigations that have shown that when you are autonomously motivated, your behavior will be more creative. You'll be a better problem solver. When you encounter obstacles you will be able to think outside the box and figure out what to do about them." 

"Your performance will be better." 

"Your emotions will be more positive." 

"Autonomous motivation is associated with both physical and psychological health."

"Autonomy support is a way of getting people more autonomously motivated."

"Don't ask how you can motivate other people. That's the wrong way to think about it. Instead, ask, 'How can you create the conditions within which other people will motivate themselves'. And the answer, quite simply, is autonomy support." - Edward Deci. 

Let's go back to my thesis on student's persistence. 

Given that students who are benefiting from student financial aid are already "externally" motivated by the financial aid (controlled motivation), what else contributes to their student persistence?

If the answer is autonomous motivation, then what are those conditions/situations that are autonomy supportive for students benefiting from student financial aid?

An advice I should have noted a long time ago

I met this person about a year ago who gave me a lot of great advice. He was quick to read who I was and he served as my inspiration. But being the usual me, I never really listened. Just like most of everything else, we only get to appreciate people once they are gone. 

I was grateful we crossed paths and I hoped we could still keep in touch. I would tell him that I am already enrolling with my thesis and that I am posting this message in my blog so that I will remember what he said. I am listening!! 

Okay... time to go back to reading articles now... too much reflection happening already. 

Admissions, Financial Aid & Student Experiences.

I'm an educator. 

Never in my life did I think I'd be working in admissions department but I surely am learning loads of new stuff...

I'm starting to feel that my career development is more than just studying learning experiences but also learning a lot about enrollment management.

Slowly, I am able to connect all my experiences. From being a former Director of Tutoring Club, being one of the tutors, understanding what happens inside the classroom and being exposed to student experiences that students need to accomplish outside the classroom, which is also relatively important in their student life... (such as enrollment for one!) I would always tell my students that things related to their financial aid status is also a priority. 

Of course, the demands of their teachers are important, but their enrollment status is equally important as well! (actually MORE important, should I say.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Role of Financial Aid in Enrollment Management #THESISit

I experienced a role dissonance situation at work yesterday, my colleague told me that I shouldn't be wasting my time analyzing student life because the nature of our work was policy implementation. On one part, she was right. I was somehow part of the school "administration" and it's my duty to implement the given guidelines. My job description did not require me to know what was happening behind students who fail to follow the guidelines.

However, it reminded me of my professor's evaluation on my previously submitted proposed thesis topic. My professor said, given my masteral degree program I should not focus with policies but my research paper should go around studying student experiences.

I am now in a great big dilemma of dual roles. My role at work (which was on policies) was in conflict with my role as a grad student (which was on student life).

I've been reading on student persistence, student enrollment, student retention and student attrition for the past few months. They are actually all just connected to each other. I think there is really a huge need to understand student experiences because guidelines can change. To be learner-centered, you adjust and improve your guidelines on how it can best cater to your learners. How would you, then, know what part of the guidelines need to change, if you are not going to explore on student experiences? 

I didn't expect at first that I would end up studying Student Persistence. But I think I was meant to land on this topic because it fits my role in being in my Univ's Admissions & Scholarships Department. 

Simply because, more than just finding ways to increase student enrollment, I also carry with me that certain responsibility to ensure that my scholars (i.e. students under financial aid) persist and stay to finish college. 

Below are excerpts that I want to take from: Hossler, D. (Spring 2000). The role of financial aid in enrollment management. New Directions For Student Services, 89. 

"Administrators and faculty often assume that the only goal of enrollment management is to increase the number of new students." (Hossler, 2000, p.78)

Enrollment management as defined by Hossler and Bean (1990, p.5):

"an organizational concept and a systematic set of activities designed to enable educational institutions to exert more influence over their student enrollments."

"organized by strategic planning and supported by institutional research, enrollment management activities concern student college choice, transition to college, student attrition and retention, and student outcomes."

"These processes are studied to guide institutional practices in the areas of new student recruitment and financial aid, student support services, curriculum development, and other academic areas that affect enrollments, student persistence, and student outcomes from college."

Key elements of Enrollment Management suggested by Hossler and Bean (1990, p5-6):

(1) "using institutional research to position the campus in the marketplace, examine the correlates to student persistence, and develop appropriate marketing and pricing strategies"

(2) "monitoring student interests and academic program demand"

(3) "matching student demand with curricular offerings that are consistent with institutional mission" 

(4) "paying attention to academic, social, and institutional factors that affect student retention."

Effects of financial aid on the college enrollment decisions (Hossler, 2000, p. 81):

One key finding is that receiving a financial aid award has a significant positive effect on the likelihood that a student will enter the institution that has made the financial aid offer. 

Effects of aid interact in complex ways:

 "Students may turn down a generous financial aid package from a small regional private college if they are admitted to a prestigious Ivy League college that offers no financial aid. Furthermore, research has consistently found that African American students and Latino students are more cost sensitive and more responsive to financial aid offers than majority students of similar socioeconomic background (Hossler, Braxton, and Coopersmith, 1989; Paulsen, 1990)."

"Similarly, it typically requires larger scholarships to influence the enrollment decisions of high-ability students. These students are heavily recruited by many colleges and universities and are often offered many large scholarships. These students are also more likely to be interested in institutions with higher levels of prestige and greater selectivity. For these reasons, many colleges and universities need to offer higher-ability students larger scholarship awards if they wish to influ- ence their enrollment decision on the basis of financial aid offers (Chapman and Jackson, 1987)."

Financial Aid and Student Retention (Hossler, 2000, p.84)

"Enrollment management practitioners, should keep in mind that how financial aid influences student retention is more complex than how it affects student enrollment decisions."

"Analyses of the effects of aid on student matriculation and persistence decisions have to be replicated annually in order for enrollment managers to be confident that campus policies are having the optimal desirable effect on student enrollments." 

"In addition, readers should keep in mind that variables drawn for sociological models of student departure such as the Tinto model (1987) or the Bean model (1980) find that effects of financial aid are smaller than factors such as academic and social integration or academic success. 

Therefore, these factors are likely to be more promising areas for intervention for most enrollment managers seeking to improve student persistence."

I have to end here and include in my paper why I am focusing on exploring academic and social integration of students benefiting from financial aid. As Hossler suggested that financial aid has little effect on student retention. Given that my participants of the study will already be students benefiting from financial aid, the financial aid as a variable is already a controlled variable since all of my participants are benefiting from financial aid (okay, I'm pretty much aware I just repeated what I said). Thus, financial aid is my controlled variable, the academic and social integration is the independent variable, and basic needs satisfaction is the dependent variable. 

In essence, I want to explore if academic and social integration has an effect on basic needs satisfaction of students benefiting from student financial aid. If my hypothesis is correct, therefore, it follows strengthening the importance of schools to attend to the institutional integration of students benefiting from student financial aid.

Back to school work...

I had my first meeting for my industrial psychology graduate class, yesterday.

I was so happy because the first few words that my professor said was that we were going to design the class like a preparatory class for the board examinations. Board exam review cool! Just what I need!! This is going to be awesome!! 

We were only two in the class. I asked my classmate what her purpose of enrolling in the class was and she said she needed it for the psychometric board exam, just like me! 

For a moment there I thought I was going to be in a regular MA class. I feel like I'll be ready to take the board exam soon. Uh.. Right? ... My professor said, we need to study a lot on assessment part. 


On another note, I finally got the approval and enrollment form for my Thesis Writing 1. 


2015 is a ... Scary yet exciting year for me. 

There is no turning back now. 

I have to work on my research paper. Like.... Quick!!!!! There I go again putting time pressure on myself, but atleast I work on it a few minutes a day and I'll be fine. 

I'm doing this alone now. Sad to say... The people who used to motivate me have gone on their separate lives. I have nobody to push me but myself. 

I can do this !!

Thesis - Board Exam ... Ahk!! -------- πŸ˜²πŸ˜ΆπŸ˜–

Monday, January 12, 2015

10th year High School Reunion.

In a few months, it's going to be our 10th year since we graduated from Highschool. 

I was looking at the google responses from the google form I created which would help in facilitating our High School Reunion.

Jeez... I still can't believe it. 10 years !!

I can still remember those last remaining days of Highschool ... The transition I had from Highschool to College... too old to be in Highschool and yet too young to be in college. It was like a limbo. 

I still can't believe it. 

On a side note, the school I took my Highschool Education in was not the school I grew up with. I had a different school during my elementary years. When I decided to transfer school, in the first few months I had culture shock from being in an exclusive school for girls to a co-ed school. But in the end, I would always tell myself that transferring to that new school was really the best decision I ever made in my life. 

I can't wait to go to my Highschool reunion, because I am excited to make friends with people whom I wasn't really friends with before. We were a batch almost 500 students, I think. And maybe, things are different now. Well it should, should it? After 10 years? Haha. 

Which reminds me... It's also going to be the 30th anniversary of my political organization in my univ. Oh this year is really going to be awesome!!! I'm also celebrating 10 years of friendship with my college friends and this year I'll be having my first anniversary in my office. 2015!!!!! You're so awesome. 

Ending this post with my favorite song that has been my theme song since HS.

I wanna run through the halls of my high school
I wanna scream at the top of my lungs
I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
Just a lie you've got to rise above 

So the good boys and girls take the so called right track
Faded white hats, Grabbing credits, Maybe transfers
They read all the books but they can't find the answers
And all of our parents
They're getting older
I wonder if they've wished for anything better
While in their memories
Tiny tragedies

They love to tell you
Stay inside the lines
But something's better
On the other side 

I wanna run through the halls of my high school
I wanna scream at the
Top of my lungs
I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
Just a lie you got to rise above...

~ No Such Thing by John Mayer

Friday, January 9, 2015

How To Deal With The Daily Deluge Of Emails (And Get The 'Real' WorkDone) - Forbes Article

1) no emails in the morning: DO NOT check email the first hour of the day. If you want to be really productive, do not check email for the first three hours of the day. As you practice this act of self-discipline, you will be astounded at how much more productive you are.

2) set boundaries and stick to them: Setting a schedule is important.  It’s also important to separate the urgent from the important. There is always stuff to get done.

3) prioritize ruthlessly: Each evening before you go to bed, ask yourself “What are the three most important things I need to do tomorrow to move my career and company forward?” Write these down. The next morning, instead of checking email, work on these three things first.

4) just say no: To reclaim your time and get the real work done, you need to be ruthless with your choices . If someone requests your presence at a meeting, ask yourself if it’s really necessary before committing. Don’t be afraid to say no. In the end, you will be more productive even if it feels uncomfortable at first

5) bulk task: Take certain mundane tasks such as paying bills, responding to email, and filling out forms, and bulk task them. Rather than constantly distracting yourself in small increments of time, set aside a chunk of time to complete all these small tasks at once.

Number 4 reminds me of the Mindless Accept Syndrome that David Grady mentioned in this TEDtalk 

David Grady: How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Grit is the key to success.

"Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals."

"Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in and day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years and working really hard to make that future a reality."

Helping to build grit in kids is the: Growth Mindset.

"This is the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed. That it can change with your effort."

Kids with a growth mindset do not believe that failure is a permanent condition.

Grit is the key to success.

This is a call for researching more ways how we can build GRIT.

Angela Lee Duckworth: The key to success? Grit

2015: In laying out academic goals and life priorities

I can't seem to focus right now and it's just the second day of the year.

So I am deciding to list down my goals and priorities for this year.

Top Priority:
Enroll in Thesis Writing 1 (submit application form on January 5, 2015 as soon as my Univ opens)
Deadline for enrolling in Thesis Writing 1 is on January 20, 2015. But I am depending on the people who will be signing my paper... honestly? I don't know why it takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

You know the difficulty in doing personal errands in my current status in life right now is that a lot of people seems to be looking for me and it's actually stressing me out. But I have to learn this year, that, dude... It's okay if I am not there when they need me... they will... come back... I have to tell myself (constantly) it is okay if somebody looks for me and I am not there. You've been too nice, Toni. They will find ways if it is really important.

This year, I have to learn and get used to it that I cannot be available for everybody unless I am already selling my soul and unless I do not want to give value to my personal life. I have to be a little bit selfish of my own goals. These people who are looking for me, they are only looking for me because they are being selfish of what they want. And I don't think its something to be taken against them but I have to learn from them that I, too, have to be selfish and focus on the things that will be better for myself.

In connection with the Priority to enroll in Thesis Writing 1, I am dedicating all of my Saturdays in 2015 to going to school and hanging out in our Learning Commons. I will go to school (which is also the location of my office), not to work but to study. To write. To do my thesis. To do anything that is related to accomplishing my graduate school. Because on top of my work, my first priority is really my academics. It has been there even before I was working in my univ. My graduate school is something more long term. I have to understand that. I cannot let, "life to get in the way" in my graduate school this year. The year 2014 was the time I tried to master my new job and I have already given myself the space for adjustments. Now is the time I go back to focusing on my graduate school.

Second Priority:
Industrial Psychology class. I enrolled in a special class that I need in order to complete the units required in taking Psychometrician Board Examinations. A lot already passed the first exam that happened last year (2014). People have more confidence in me than I do have with myself in feeling that I will pass the board, It's been ages since I had my psychology courses, so I think I need time to review. Thankfully this opportunity to take the lacking units, will help me refresh in the field of psychology. Now, as to when I will take the Board Exams... I am still contemplating if this year (2015) or the following year (2016) ... Considering the line-up of things I have this year... But as long as I have completed the number of units (ergo enrolling in Industrial Psych), the date of the board exams will just follow. Anyway, my class happens every Tuesday this Third Trimester. There are only two students in this class. So... :) I am looking forward nonetheless because I really miss attending classes!

Third Priority:
Yoga Class. Prior to the opening of the yoga studio in my univ I invested money in buying class cards. Now it was a decision between buying unlimited classes per month or buying class cards which can be used any time until August 2015. With my given busy schedule this year I wasn't sure if I will be able to maximize the unlimited classes (with at least 10 classes per month so that your money will be worth it). So I bought class cards instead, but I will try to make sure I will be able to attend as many yoga classes I can.

This is a priority because it will mandatory allow me to attend to my psychological well-being. All these work... these studying... even if I am passionate about it, I do not want to experience burn-out again. It's not a nice feeling of emptiness and exhaustion. Health should be part of our priority.

Fourth Priority:
Work requirements. My academic goals this year is practically just broken down to 4 priorities. There are requirements at work that I have to NOT forget... like the medical requirement, renewal requirement.. professional org requirements ... These are the things that is not happening on a daily basis which I should not forget. I have to include this in my priority because there are a lot of little things that occupy my time at work which is rather, meaningless in the long run. Those minor disturbances that when you multiply it to abundance have taken your whole day and worst, your whole week. Life should NOT get in the way this time. (or should it be, the life of others should not get in the way?)

Basically, I have to respect my time. There is a time for everything and I have to respect my own schedule. There are way too many other things that I have to do that is related to my career growth and it does not have anything to do with being able to successfully reply to every single e-mail or be able to answer every single phone call or be able to accommodate every single person waiting in line to see me. If I don't respect my own time, these routines will consume me, my youth and my life ambitions.

I have to constantly make these four priorities a habit. A Way of Life in the year 2015.

My schedule so far:

Saturdays - Learning Commons (thesis and academic related tasks); Yoga in the morning, so it forces me to go to school really early.

Tuesdays - Industrial Psychology class.

Mondays, Wednesday, Thursdays, Fridays - Yoga at 6:30 pm. I have to leave my desk by 5:00 pm - 5: 30 pm and just relax at the yoga plus studio. I can actually do my e-mails there anyway. Less distractions = more productivity. So basically 5:00-6:00 pm is my window time to checking my e-mails. It's still work, but more productivity because there will be fewer distractions.

If I am able to maintain my Saturday ritual I will be able to produce so much work that my Sundays can be free to other leisure things. I am sorry my friends. I know I told myself in 2013 that 2014 will be the year I will be missing in action (but didn't happen). But this 2015 will really be.. a year that you will have to go to the Library if you want to see me. I am seriously panicking already. I have to, at the least, be able to have my thesis proposal defense already before the academic year ends.

In other news, I will finally share the results of my comprehensive examinations that I took last February 2014. This was the exam that I have been preparing myself for early in 2014. I was also having the same mixed emotions but I was finally able to conquer that in flying colors. A rating of 3.91 with 4.0 as our highest.

This will always remind me and give me confidence in myself. I never expected a high score in my comprehensive exam. I just really wanted to pass. I always had fears because the feedback I always heard about compre exams in our department were negative feedbacks (students failing the assessment part, etc etc etc).

The results of my comprehensive exam will forever remind me that with determination, I will be able to achieve what I am aiming for.

My friends always had more belief in me... and I guess it is also good that I doubt their confidence about me because it avoids me to be to complacent. I know with the right amount of fear I really work hard for anything I want to achieve. Regardless if I had an advantage or if it was an entirely new thing.

This reminds me... I also have another priority in connection to my career goals this year... I have to learn a new language and I chose Spanish. I've always wanted to learn Spanish and how I wished that it was never removed in our Philippine curriculum to learn Spanish. A lot of people grew up learning it. It's my personal goal. Ugh I just don't know where I can squeeze it in my schedule.. Maybe I'll put in under Sundays :)

All the best in 2015, my dear self.

You were never able to complete the modules in Foundations in Teaching Coursera Moocs!! (Only accomplishing 3 certs out of 8) Ayayay... This time at least my goals are involved with more physical movement.

In summary, Thesis - Industrial Psychology - Yoga - Work - Spanish,

I guess that's easy to remember.

Oh and in March, is Rhizo 2015 !!

I should NEVER miss out on that.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


What an awesome way to end the first day of the year.

An invitation to attend a TED TALK!!

Ever since I discovered TED videos in 2013 during my hiatus (or what Stefan Sagmeister would call 'Power of Time Off'), I have always dreamt of someday being in the audience.  Of course it is international so I've actually always wondered how do you attend these events. As I checked the website I saw that you pay a large amount of money to attend an actual TED Conference (not to mention the plane tickets to go to the venue as well). 

Until one day a friend of mine said that DLSU is actually hosting a TEDxEvent!!! 

The slots were really limited with only 100 participants to be chosen. I really got scared of the chances especially it wasn't on a first come first serve basis but it was based on an application form you submit. 

I don't remember what I wrote there (I sure now wished I kept a screen shot of it) but what's important right now actually is that I can't believe I actually got chosen to watch this rare event!!!!!!!!!!!

I literally screamed when I saw this email and my mom scolded me because she thought something went wrong. I just joyfully told her that I got chosen to watch TED!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh the simple joys of those who are always in a pursuit of knowledge, meaningful information and #IdeasWorthSpreading