History Made Interactive and Fun

We’ve all been there. For once in our lives we sat in a classroom checking our watches, looking out the window, doodling like each stroke matters, daydreaming in between, and wondering when our history teacher finally ends ‘his story.’ It’s the history subject as we know it.

History was inescapable and it’s a fact that those who don’t know history is condemned to repeat it or, at the very least, flunk it. So no matter how we dislike listening for hours about what happened in the distant past, we persevered to pass this subject among other demanding classes. I don’t exactly know but I suspect that it’s either the claustrophobic classrooms or our monotonous history teachers–or a combination of both–who’s to be blamed for our utter lack of interest in this subject matter. Whatever or whoever it was, we survived this class anyhow and highly likely promised ourselves to never attend anything that has got to do with it ever again if possible.

Then came the History Channel. This cable TV channel presents engaging documentaries and shows for all audiences, not to mention no boring teachers. But some say there are flaws to the facts presented on TV, some say it’s commercialized history—not only on History Channel but those on TV in general. Fine, argument acknowledged. Not one learning setting may be perfect but no thanks, count me out of future history classes unless it is interactive and fun.

This is how History Channel changed the game. It puts a brand to the once bland subject, history. Because of this channel there is now better recall and mere mention of  the H word attracts more attention than it used to. 

Our bands.

So last weekend we became part of history. Thanks to a Facebook friend who is affiliated with our cable TV provider, we got two passes for the event for free and only paid for Marcus’ entrance. That Sunday we found ourselves inside a packed History Con 2017 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. It was the second year History Channel sponsored the event and this time they say was bigger, better, bolder.

The red wheelchair joins History.

***

More than its interesting exhibits, H Con 2017 made the experience a whole lot better with the warm treatment Marcus got from different people: ticket agents, bouncers, exhibitors, shuttle driver and even the janitor (the restroom was clean!!!) all did a superb job making Marcus enjoy the day.

These guys dismounted their bikes and willingly posed with Marcus.
Elmer Reyes (in red shirt) welcomed us inside their bike displays and I learned that his group, Laguna Choppers. supports effort to educate PWDs.
History Con showcases local talents. With wifey in front of local illustrators booth.
Marcus tries foosball.

***

Mood: 1/10 Honks! (Holiday but woke up early. Running is addicting, isn’t it?)

Advertisements

We Will Rock London

We are not done talking about dreams yet. There is probably no other place where Marcus would like to be and it’s not where most would go to. At the same age, kids in general would say Disneyland, some Universal Studio, some Legoland. But none of these are Marcus’ choice. Where then? London. Yes, London. If he had a bucket list this would be among his things to do, we bet it could be his topmost even. His obsession with this place amuses us.

Firstly, he wants to meet one of his YouTube idols, DanTDM. Given his own free will, he plans to see him and his pugs. Just like that. For Marcus, things were as simple as just dropping by to say hello, like how he now does with this cousins wherein he visits them almost every day since we transferred. He spends so much time on YouTube channel of DanTDM that he feels his favorite YouTuber is no celebrity but rather someone ordinary who he has access to in short notice. Oh by the way, our son’s such a big fan that he wants to color his hair blue just like Dan did. I told him he can when he turns ten. (Two years to go and I hope he forgets.)

Then what’s a visit to London if you haven’t seen the Queen? So this one too is part of Marcus’ agenda. He once asked  if he would be allowed to enter the palace to see the Queen. We told him it isn’t easy to get past the guards but he was insistent and it seems like he already has a plan. “I will sing We Will Rock You, that’s by the Queen,” he stressed. Well, he’s got a different Queen in mind, Freddy Mercury would be proud.

Besides singing his way in to the palace, he has other tests for the famous Buckingham Palace guards. Having seen it once on Mr. Bean’s cartoon show, he would like to prove if they do stay still while on duty despite being surrounded by annoying tourists. This reminds me of one of his classmates who once said she remembers Marcus whenever she watches Mr. Bean. Yup, he could be as animated and funny at times. When not being stubborn, he’s a natural comedian.

There was also a day when while undergoing his session with a local reflexology therapist or manghihilot, he saw on Pinoy Abroad, a local TV network afternoon series, the familiar London underground sign that he sees a lot in Modern Warfare 3. He said he wants to see the actual place to check if it does look like the one in his Call of Duty game. Yup, I know, the game’s rated M so sue me.

So how do we get him to London? We can’t for now but Marcus is keeping his fingers crossed that I win the lotto. Far-fetched but sounds like the only plan.

For now we are close to visiting that flag in the background. (Taken in MOA by the Bay on the day wifey and I renewed our passports.)

***

Our son seems to be bent on getting his travel funds. Last night he asked his mommy if he can help finish her freelance job. Hmm.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Today we are committed to fight the summer heat. Home-made halu-halo coming.)

Oggy is Now at Home

Not ordinary, the stars have aligned, we finally got Marcus his cat. Yes, what appears to be SSDD–Same Saturday Different Date–ended with us taking home a stray kitten from an unlikely source.

Stopping at a gas station to fill up, I gave in to wifey’s long standing request to avail of the NBA car sun shield promo. She wants one to show support to her favorite team. So I requested to look at the samples and while waiting for the gas attendant to get the items, a kitten under a Rubbermaid mop bucket appeared from my side mirror. It was the size I’ve been looking for Marcus for more than a month already. Eure-Cat!

“Is it okay to take the cat?” Hiding my excitement I asked the gas attendant as he returns with the promo item samples.”Ano ‘yun sir (What do you mean)?” he asked back, confused. “There’s one that just went under our car, we want to take it home,” I replied. Bending over to look under the car the man confirmed, “Ah, opo sir, para maalagaan nang maayos (yes you can, so that it can be taken care of properly).”

And so after paying for the gas and a Miami Heat sun shield, we drove away from the Phoenix gas station with a black-and-orange patched kitten stowed right under the dashboard. Gas filled, wifey happy, Marcus ecstatic. By the way, he named the cat Oggy from his ever favorite cartoon show Oggy and the Cockcroaches.

Oggy. (Cockroaches not in picture.)

***

Before it happened we came from the church and dropped by SM Dasmarinas. Everything was almost routine but what happened in each place seem to add up.

At the church, being seated right in the front row, I was approached by the ushers and asked if I can bring the wine to the priest to be used during the offertory portion of the mass. I didn’t decline. Of course, as I expected, Marcus tagged along and was also given the ceremonial blessing by the priest.

Then at SM, he led us to the Pet Express store to tour me around at the recently opened shop. He was there once with wifey and it appears that he already memorized the items on the racks. On our way out was a PAWS ‘Catvocacy’ poster. It promotes saving cats.

And these probably were signs that somewhere on our way home could be an answer to Marcus’ prayers that sooner or later he would own a pet cat.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (So far the cat hasn’t pooped inside the house.)

What is Intel Culture?

My tweet got favorited and it deserves a spot on this blog:

Jobs at Intel favorited your Tweet
23 Nov:

[CrisIs73] Where only the paranoid survive? “@JobsatIntel: “What do you think Intel’s organizational culture is like? #intelculture
***
Not an ordinary Sunday: Someone dropping by later to buy my 3-year old treadmill, Pacman vs. Rios fight, and wifey’s about to be discharged from the hospital. Something in me wishes that she gets out after the boxing match–the room’s got cable TV.

Back to Basics

Let me sum up this week: back to basics. I had my old Facebook account deactivated and, after three weeks without cable TV, installed a UHF TV antenna at home. Baron, you should be a saint.

Will write more about it next time. Now off to a badminton tournament. It’s been years since I last joined one.

School Year is Around the Corner for Our Ben 10

Summer is coming to a close for Marcus. Spending almost two months of vacation wherein he has continuously shown proficiency in his computer skills—kudos to the iPad from the Lawsons—and improving in terms of physical activities—courtesy of the time he spent with his cousins, we will be enrolling him today for Kindergarten level education.

Although he answered half-heartedly to our question if he is ready to go to school again, I feel that this year he will be more eager to discover new things. Last school year, the lessons from school along with what he learns at home have helped him to start (and shutdown) the PC; type the boot up password; log in on his own account; search key words (using cheat sheets just so he can spell the words); and recognize the common computer terms such as: download, loading, next, back, close window and maximize window. Remarkably, my credit card remains safe from Apple store charges as he can distinguish free and paid apps.

Not to be forgotten as well is his interest in new cartoon shows on cable TV. From last summer’s Phineas and Ferb, he has moved on to programs such as Ninjago, and the Ben 10 series. He is so into these cartoons that he can memorize a majority of the characters which is something that never fails to surprise me and my wife and it make us wish that the school has enumeration quizzes for the names of the heroes and villains of these TV shows.  We know he’ll ace it even if he pronounces both Lord and Lloyd Garmadon just the same.

This school year, however, he will be into a different time slot. Waking up early is therefore the first challenge I anticipate and I now also wonder if there is an iPad app that can help us with this.

***

Yesterday, my favorite healing priest Fr. Fernando Suarez mentioned during his TV mass about pre-school education in Japan. According to him, the Japanese curriculum does not include regular exams for the pupils during first three years of their schooling with the rationale that it promotes unhealthy competition if imbibed at an early age.  But whether this information (about Japanese education) is factual or not, I think that every parent should take note of it.  I agree with Fr. Suarez when he said that more and more parents nowadays have been coaxing their children to win in contests that at some point it sends a wrong signal and value to the young minds—one that divides rather than unites especially without the appropriate guidance. So this school, I told my wife that we give Marcus some slack and besides it is what we did during the later part of his nursery education and guess what, he ended up the as the most improved pupil of his class.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Stuffed toy and green ball just came out of the bedroom. He’s awake.)