Thursday, February 26, 2009

Honoring Mrs. Honoredez

Our history teacher in first year high school was also our school librarian. She was hated by everyone because she always gave "coffee break", meaning a 10-item quiz every meeting, before classes began or right before classes ended. A quiz which had 30-second answer time per item.

But I loved her despite my inconsistent quiz results. It was not her fault after all. I loved her because she was very warm and welcoming every time I went to the library. I was borrowing Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys every other day and Mrs. Honoredez recommended to me the better stories in the series. She also advised me to prepare a notebook where I could list the words I've encountered but did not understand. It will help me build my vocabulary, she said and it did.

Subconsciously, she may have been one of the reasons I become a librarian. Our library have very good books most probably because our school was run by the Irish (James Joyce and all) Sisters, the St. Columban Sisters. (Some may wonder what has being an Irish to do with it, well plenty because I've been sent to another high school in another place, run by another order of nuns and we did not have that many books in the library. The library was bare) I do not know if she was a trained librarian but as much as I can remember she may have been because she always materialized at my side every time I was in front of those shelves of books, asking me what I was looking for. And if my memory is correct it was she who discouraged me from the books with pictures and drawings, it doesn't helped the imagination was what she said. The only pictures she encouraged me to look at are the portraits of the people she discussed in history class, and she gave me the encyclopedia for this which I was so afraid to handle because of the thin and fragile paper. I was so afraid that if I accidentally tear those pages I may not be able to come to the library again. The library was my sanctuary.

Most of all I loved her because when PTA came she told my parents that I was a good and diligent student (although after my parents told me this, I had to consult the dictionary first before the diligent part sank in, I was that ignorant). What Mrs. Honoredez said was really absolutely high praise from one of the teachers because I was following in the footsteps of a consistent first honor while I never even made it to top 10 of the class.

Beware the teacher

I mentioned somewhere in this blog that some teacher has fucked up with my education. Some people might say that bad education should not be entirely blamed on the teacher because some of the blame rest on the student itself. In my case, I blamed it all on my former elementary school teachers. This is evil of me but I always pray for their deaths so that their evilness will not spread further.

Grade 1. I had a good start. I was a good pupil, so good that I was competing with the grade 2 in spelling and arithmetic.

Grade 2. My teacher crumpled my set or miniature pop-up cartoon cars and buses because I was playing during classes. She could just have confiscated the things and returned them to me later or called for my parents but instead she crumpled them threw them away, including the cloth bag that contain them.

Grade 3. I did not like my math teacher for pairing me up with one boy today and with another one the next, he mixed the pairings up and then laughed his blasted head off. He also did not call me or us the parings by our names but by a kind of a noodle's name, as in pancit canton, pancit peking, etc.

Grade 4. I had this habit of blowing my face then releasing the air in a sound like a lizard's. I was also a very talkative pupil. Then in one of my math session, my teacher (the same teacher in grade 3) called me to answer a problem because I was not listening to him. Since it was a problem I had to take time to read and analyse the damned problem before giving him the answer, meanwhile I was blowing my face. My teacher got so angry with the "impertinent action" he called it that he squeezed my mouth so hard his fingers got imprinted on my face for a long while. He even challenge me to tell my parents. I did not of course but I just hated him. I hope he rot in hell.

Grade 5. I was doing quite good until I was sent to a "History Quiz Bee". One of the questions had the answer "Baguio". I spelled the answer incorrectly. But the quiz master, a teacher from Ilocos (he probably thought he has the authority over it since he came from thereabouts) laughed his silly head off and told the audience that my answer was wrong of course because it was not "Baguio" but "Bagui". He pronounced it as "baki".

Grade 6. I was failing in English so my parents went to the school to investigate. They found out that we were made to spell and memorize a vocabulary that even my
4th-year-1st-honor-student-sister have not encountered.

Moonlighting librarian

During the 81st Academy Awards, the winner for best foreign film was a Japanese movie called 'Departures'. It is about an out-of-work cellist who takes a job as a mortician. This made me remember a my own funny anecdote.

During my first job, there was this former librarian who still visits our library. He was then working in a hospital library. He immediately became a friend. Then in one of his visits he asked me if I wanted a sideline. My answer was yes of course, who doesn't want extra income. Then he asked me how I was with make-up and such beauty paraphernalia. I proudly told him that I can wield a paintbrush so I could be good with make-up brush. With straight face he then told me that there is a job available that will not become a conflict with my current job because I need only to report to it only in the evenings. The job was a hospital funeral make-up artist.

There was no job of course. He was just making fun of me, but had there been one, I would have taken it.

Correlation Between Age and IQ

Depends upon where one is looking, it seems one has something to do with the other. Some older people held the belief that the younger generation are more intelligent because their brains are still young and unmarred and still developing therefore very quick to absorb and process facts. On the other hand, there are people of the younger generation who tend to see older people as more intelligent because they've been around longer so therefore they know more.

I've been on both ends of the spectrum. I was in my mid-twenties when I attended library school. I had classmates who were in their teens as well as classmates who were in their forties who were MS degree students but had to take undergraduate subjects first. When I was with my teenager classmates, they conclude that my good grades were because of my advance age. The exact phrase was "siempre dagko na sya'g grado, tigulang na gud na sya!" When I was with the older set doing group work, they gave me most of the hard work because they said my brain processes are faster than theirs because I was still very young. And the exact phrase was "ikaw lang trabajo ana 'Day ha kay bata-bata pa ka, maau pa kaau na mo-gana imong utok!"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Anatomy of Bibliomania by Holbrook Jackson

This book is one of my favorite books of all time. I have read this while still in library school at USC. I hope every book lover could get to read this book. When I'm wealthy enough to own a credit card, I am going to buy this online.

One of the manias discussed was bibliokleptomania. I can't remember exactly if it was this book that says most of the notorious biblioklepts are librarians themselves or those working in a library. I can not also remember if borrowing and intentionally not returning a book or reporting it as lost is considered kleptomania. I don't blame anyone doing this because I resist the temptation to do so all the time. Execrable behavior of course but it is the truth. So when my brother was looking for his book which was not returned since 2006, all I could say to him was "I did not expect my friend to run off with your book, the person is not a reader after all". My brother just snorted in derision at this innocent comment and said "you of all people should know this kind of behavior".