Sunday, March 11, 2007


Life. What is yours like? Are you blessed? Even a better question may be are you a blessing?

Not trying to be cute. Just a thought provoking question.
This is the time of the year that a lot people are thinking about how they can serve others. Some are thinking about how they can be served. Those people are mostly children.

But that's okay. Children are such a blessing in our lives, we tend to shower them with an abundance of unnecessary stuff.
But the look on their faces is priceless when they open that widget. We would not trade that moment for all the money in the world. (figuratively speaking of course)

More blessings in our lives are our elderly. They have blessed us with wisdom far beyond our years. A lot of times we don't take advantage of the time we have with them.
If you think about it, we could learn a lot and be a blessing to them at the same time.
I think of the elderly in my world and I know that they would love to spend time with me. A lot of times I dismiss and have to turn down the invitations due to my incredibly hectic schedule.

What a price. While writing this I realize that I have so much to learn from my elderly friends and relatives. What a shame for me to give a pass on the wisdom.

Who in your life can you be a blessing to? Who in your life can be a blessing to you? Perhaps this is the best time to pick up the phone and make a call to an elderly friend.

Maybe you should stop what you are doing now and go pick up a book and read a story with your child.

Take advantage of this moment right now and share, talk, listen, and yes, bless someone in your life.

Talk to you later. I am going to go find my children.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Time Management Tip: How to Write a Paper in Two Days

So it has happened. You had put your homework off for two weeks now and you find that you have only two days to turn it in. The thought of calling in sick at the day of the deadline crossed your mind but you knew your professor will not buy it. You have also considered saying your computer crashed, but, hey, it's probably the oldest late excuse in the book. You're actually left with no choice but to write that blasted paper in so short a time.

Let's leave the lecture about time management for later and focus on the issue at hand. You have an 8-page reaction paper about a novel that you need to submit in two days and you have not read the book. You have three choices. You can either speed read the book (lucky you, if it's short and interesting), scour the Internet for reviews and papers written about it in the past, or consult a Barron's or Cliff's Notes summary. For the purpose of this article, let's talk about the Internet option.

There is a wealth of information available about anything and everything on the Internet, so you will not have a hard time looking for resources. It is advisable to read reviews and summaries from three or more Web sites for you to get a thorough understanding of the novel, and to make sure you have the right information. Remember that not all Internet sources are reliable, so this multiple-source strategy will set things straight.

You can do that in the first half of day one. Of course, since these already are summaries, it won't take you long to read them and list down the pertinent data. And since you are required to write a reaction about the novel, it really won't take genius to form an opinion.

Talk about the characters' attitudes toward the challenges they faced and how they were able rise above them. Talk about the nature of the time the novel is set and relate it with the protagonists' responses to the conflicts. List down what lessons might be inferred from their experiences. Finally, talk about the human condition or the human-ness of the characters and say something about the author's effectiveness in bringout out the fallibility of man. This you can do in the morning of day two.

By the afternoon, you'll be sitting in front of the computer terminal and writing your paper. You might even be able to submit it hours before the deadline, leaving you enough time for a short coffee shop celebration with a friend or by yourself for this major feat. Why, if you're really bent on making it happen, you can even complete the entire thing in a day.

This all sounds so easy. It really is. The most difficult part in writing a paper is having the courage to actually start. Conquer your demons and accept the fact that you have made a mistake of procrastinating, stop dwelling on the tight schedule and start working, all these while vowing never to make the same error ever again. Of course, common sense will tell you that during these two days of cramming you have to focus only on activities related to your paper. Lay off the party mode first and celebrate later.