Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Therapeutic Effect of Violin-and-Nature composition

Dr Abe V Rotor
Violin and Nature is an experimental approach to music for therapy  

Communication Arts UST Faculty of Arts and Letters:  This is a simple research, analyze the parts of research in this article. Is the method used adequate? Are the parameters to test the hypothesis adequate?  Is the result conclusive? How about the interpretation of the results? Support your answer on a regular bond, handwritten.  
Music must be elevated from the level of entertainment and expression of skills to one that brings the listener to a state of catharsis, relieving him of the stresses and tensions of daily living. Music therapy is now recognized as part of alternative medicine. There are musical compositions that bring about the so-called Mozart Effect, named after Amadeus Mozart whose compositions are acclaimed by scientists to be the most therapeutic of all musical compositions, even among his contemporaries in the classical and romantic schools.

This article is the result of a research conducted by the author with his class at the UST Graduate School as respondents to the hypothesis that the combination of Violin and Naturesounds has therapeutic effects to the listener. And if so, how? What aspects of our body physiology, mind, psyche, and spirit are affected? In what ways, and how do we measure such effects?
Cover of tape, later copied into CD. Shorter versions are available: Violin and Birds, Violin and Waves
Can auditory art be developed by converting word to music, and re-create the sound of nature to accompany it? The idea is to find a compatible blend of science - the prosaic and formal, with humanities - the entertaining, cultural, and the sounds of nature, definitely a rare experience that takes place in the inner vision of the mind. Violin and Nature is a CD recording or 32 extemporaneous popular and semi-classical compositions played on the violin by the author with accompaniment of birds, insects, wind, waterfall and running stream.

People say, “ Relaks lang” or “just do it” as part of daily conversation. Either it is taken as advice or compliment, the message is clear: life today is growing tenser. “ Take it easy” has a reassuring note that everybody must learn to live in a stressful world.

Both the poor and rich are subject to different forms of stress, so with the city and village dweller. Ironically, stress does not spare growing affluence. In fact, it persists invariably throughout life, virtually from womb to tomb.

The idea of dealing with tension or stress is how one is able to reduce it effectively so as to enjoy life and get rid of its complications from headaches to various psychosomatic symptoms- and eventual health problems, if it is not checked on time.

One proposal is the use of therapeutic effects of music and nature, thus the rationale of this experiment that employs the combined soothing sound of the violin, and the harmony of nature.

Music is well known to reduce tension. Pipe-in music increases work efficiency in corporate offices, takes out boredom in otherwise monotonous assignments, and fosters proper attitude and disposition, when correctly applied. In fact, scientists have established the biological basis of music by being able to increase the production efficiency in poultry and livestock with the use of background music. The key is the reduction of stress in the animal. The same result has yet to be established in plants.

A stressful life builds tension in the body. Headache, wakefulness, palpitation, indigestion, trembling and many other symptoms, which wear away the life force, accompany tension. Tired nerves need rest and quiet, as nature needs time to recuperate her exhausted energies.

What is tension? It is the effort that is manifested in the shortening of muscle fibers. Physiologists compare muscle tension with “neuromuscular relaxation” to differentiate popular interpretation of relaxation as amusement, recreation, or hobbies. To be relaxed is the direct physiology opposite of being excited or disturbed.

Neurosis and psychoneurosis are at the same time physiological disturbance, for they are forms of tension disorders. Therefore, the key to treatment lies in relaxation.

Who are victims of tension? Everybody is a candidate. These are models of tensed individuals: the “burnt out” housewife, the tagasalo in the family, the gifted child, the dominant lola, the authoritative patriarch. These persons themselves are not only victims of tension; they spread tension among people around them.

Multitudes long for a better life, but they lack courage and resolution to break away from the power of habit. On the other hand, many escape from the harsh realities of life by taking alcohol and drugs.

Hypothesis
The whole idea of relaxation is in disciplining the body to budget life’s energies, and to immerse oneself to relaxing moods. Music and nature are a great inexhaustible source. Plato and Confucius looked at music as a department of ethics. They saw the correspondence between character of man and music. Great music, they believed, is in harmony with the universe, restoring order to the physical world. Aristotle on the other hand, the greatest naturalist of the ancient world supported the platonic view, which through the Renaissance to the present dominate the concept of great composition. Great music has always been associated with God’s creation.

Nature on the other hand, produces calming effects to the nerve. Sightseeing, picnic and camping are a good break to prosaic city life. Different from ordinary amusements in the park or theater, the countryside is one arena of peace and quiet. Features on TV and print media provide but an alternative scenario. Today “canned” Nature is being introduced in many forms such as traveling planetarium, CD-ROM Nature Series, Ecology Village, and the like, to illustrate the growing concern of people to experience the positive effects of Nature in an urban setting characterized by a stressful modern life.

This experiment is based on the premise that the combined effects of music and Nature help reduce tension in daily living, particularly among working students in the city.

Conceptual Framework
A- Tension tends to dominate the body to relax, resulting in tension build-up in the muscles;
B- Music (violin solos) and Nature’s sounds( birds, running stream etc.) make a composition which provides a rare listening experience in varying intensity; and
C- The experience enhances relaxation, reduces tension and its physiologic effects in the individual.
Methodology
The Violin and Nature recorded in compact disc (CD) was then presented for evaluation to students in Research Methodology at the UST Graduate School on two aspects, namely, the content of the tape and the perception of the respondents. Physiologic response was determined by measuring the pulse rate before and after listening to eight sample compositions from the tape for thirty minutes.
These are as follows:

1. Serenade by Toselli (semi- classical)
2. Meditation, from the Thais by Massenet (classical)
3. Lara’s Theme (sound track of the movie, Dr. Zhivago)
4. Beyond the Sunset (ballad)
5. Paper Roses (popular)
6. A Certain Smile (popular)
7. Fascination (popular dance music)
8. Home on the Range (country song)

Respondents Profile

This is the profile of the 42 respondents, which made up one class in research methodology. They are predominantly female students (81%), employed (86%), with ages from 21 to 29 years old (76%).

Content Analysis
The respondents counted eight tunes or pieces, of which 5 are familiar to them. They identified three non-living sounds (running stream, wind, and waterfall, aside from the violin), and two living sounds (mainly birds).

Physiologic Response
The average pulse rates before and after listening to the tape are 79.47 and 73.29 per minute, respectively, or a difference of 6.18. Statistically, the difference is significant, thus confirming the relaxing effects to the respondents after listening to the CD.

Perception
The ten criteria used in rating the perception of the respondents are ranked as follows, adopting the Likert Scale. Note: A scale of 1 to 5 was used, where 1 is very poor, 2 poor, 3 fair, 4 good, and 5 very good.

Criteria Rating Rank
1. One has the feeling of being
transported to a Nature/Wildlife scene. 4.48 1

2. Listening to the tape creates an aura
of peace and serenity. 4.39 2

3. The composition is soothing to hear,
Has calming effect on the nerves. 4.24 3

4. The composition creates a meditative
mood. 3.95 4

5. It brings reminiscence to the
listener of a past experience. 3.64 5

6. It helps one in trying to
forget his problems. 3.59 6

7. One has the felling of being
transported heavenward, to Cloud 9. 3.55 7

8. There is tendency to sleep while
listening to the composition. 3.52 8

9. It brings about a nostalgic feeling. 3.19 9

10. The composition makes one
sad and melancholic. 2.55 10


Analysis and Interpretation
The means the first three criteria fall between good and very good, while the others, except the 10th, are between fair and good. This finding supports the positive relaxing effects of Violin and Nature.

Conclusion and Recommendation
Listening to Violin and Nature slows down pulse rate significantly, thus reducing tension, and brings the listener closer to a state of relaxation. The effects are measured as based on ten criteria. Topping the scores which are classified Very Good are:

1. One has the feeling of being transported to a Nature /Wildlife Scene;
2. Listening to the tape creates an aura of peace and serenity; and
3. The composition is soothing to hear, and has calming effect on the nerves.

There are six other parameters that support the hypothesis that the CD is relaxing. This is different from its effect of bringing nostalgia, sadness and melancholy that received the lowest scores and rankings.

However, there is need to improve the quality of the compositions, and their recording. It is also recommended that similar evaluation be conducted on other age groups and people of different walks of life who are similarly subject to stressful life and environment. ~

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cassava grown from an inverted stem cutting is poisonous.

Dr Abe V Rotor

This is not true.  But let us take it this way.  Cassava cuttings if planted reverse will take a much longer time to grow, if at all. Those that survive become stunted (bansot), thus at harvest time they are left behind in the field. Come next planting season, and they are roughed, their tubers are now a year old or so. Tubers accumulate poisonous cyanic substances as they mature, so that the longer they stay in the field the higher the poison level is in their tubers.

A one-year old cassava tuber has twice the amount of cyanide than regularly harvested ones do (4 to 5 months in the field). Thus cassava poisoning is not uncommon. Beware of cassava tubers harvested from borders or along fences. By the way, when preparing cassava, choose the freshly harvested tubers. Completely peel off the bark where the poison is concentrated.  While boiling, take off the pot cover in order to allow the poison to escape as gas.  Cyanogas is similar to the gas used in the gas chambers in executing convicts in the US.  

NOTE: Cassava, also known as yuca, mogo, or manioc - is a staple food for many African families. It is their equivalent of rice in Asia or bread in Europe. Cassava produces the largest amount of food calories per hectare among all food crops, other than sugarcane.This is terrific crop for the region because it requires very little water, can grown in poor soil, and can be harvested year round. Though maize has often overshadowed cassava, the latter is increasingly making its way into the African diet, and that of other regions.

I love the rainbow

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio 
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Rainbow across the Bamban River, Tarlac

I love the rainbow
because it holds a pot of gold
that glitters in kaleidoscope,
and prism on i
ts huge crown,
where lovely deities play I'm told;


it's reborn when worn and old
into a cathedral in the sky
cherubim sweetly sing in praise, 
humbling the proud and bold;

it guides the lost from the fold
and those searching for heaven -
a rainbow suddenly appears
whenever faith grows cold. ~

Monday, February 23, 2015

List of Lessons, February 2015 (to date)

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid

Here is a list of lessons taken up simultaneously on this blog and on 738 DZRB AM, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday, covering February 1 to this date.
We are posting this list to enable our radio listeners and Blog visitors to have access to past and present lessons. To open a selected lesson, highlight title and Search Goggle for the title. There may be other related articles that will enrich your research. 


Ka Abe and Ka Melly as instructor and host, respectively, Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid team: Engr Susan Ayson, Melly C Tenoriuo, Engr Rolly Bumatayo, and Dr Abe V Rotor. Not in the photo are DZRB Manager Allan Allanigue, and Engr Orly Lopez.

▼ February (46 Lessons/Articles)

Twin Forests: Models in Studying Forest Evolution
Transient Landscape
A Wall of Flowers
Thirteen Trees - Gateway to a Home in the Forest
Rainbow's Reflection on a Pond
Bleeding Heart of the Forest
Recent Paintings (Article in progress)
Rainbow on Wings - a Passing Sight
Sweet Music of Time
An exercise on Folk Wisdom and Beliefs (50 items, ...
The Mystery of the Glowing Fish
When was the last time you built sandcastle?
Time and Music Stood Still
Panacea from Doctrine of Signatures
Poetry: Ripples
Goats in the Late Afternoon
Hibernation and Aestivation
Do Humans Aestivate?
Premium Basi Wine - Signature of San Vicente, Iloc...
Reliving Old West
Take the plunge
Ephemerida
15 Ilocano Verses: Paslep (Tempered Steel) - San V...
Ullaw (Kite) - Haiku in Ilocano
Ten verses to live by - to Prima Causa we are all ...
Beware of the Superbugs.
Family Photos with Baby Mackie 2013, Tagaytay (Art...
Less Popular Fruits in the Philippines
Ways to Live Naturally
Calcium Supplement from Chicken Eggshell
Rice-based delicacies top those of other Cereals
Dr Romualdo M Del Rosario: builder of beautiful ga...
Fr Jose Burgos Achievement Award 2015
Some Practical Health Tips
Wonderful Pineapple - the only edible Bromeliad
Brown is beautiful - brown egg, brown sugar, brown...
Pet Therapy - Natural Healing
Time Out with Your Pet
Our Pets Influence Our Character
The Fire Trees’ Finest Hour
Stone Eagle
A Valentine's Story
Let’s Draw a House
Idyllic life in Old Manila through a looking glass...
Art Exercises: Painting a Landscape and Sunflower...
Take time and live well

Posted by Abe V. Rotor at 12:42 AM No comments:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fusion - A Path of Evolution

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, 8-9 evening class Monday to Friday

Sargassum fish cleverly intertwined and camouflaged, exhibiting combined  characteristics of plant, animal, and protist, the natural landscape under the sea, notwithstanding.   Paintings in acrylic on glass by the author (c. 2003)

Evolution is when the simple becomes complex,
     and the complex into intricate;
yet the intricate to complex, reverting into simple,
     when fail the process to replicate.

Evolution is forward and backward through time,
     simultaneous, spontaneous;
a explosion of diversity of all kinds imagined,
     in chains, webs and continuous. 

Evolution is untrodden, unguided, by chance
     in a million possibilities beyond
the eye or lens, and probing mind and will,
     in the depth of sea, or just around. 

Evolution is de-volution, shrinking, thinning -
     extinction by nature and by man - 
plant-animal fusing, moneran-protist pooling;
     prelude to a living world gone. ~

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Harmony of Nature and Human Music

Dr Abe V Rotor

Singing cicadas.  How many are they in this photo? Only the male sings and attracts the female. A beautiful song brings in two or more potential mates such as the case in this photo. 



Katydid, (left) a long horned grasshopper (Phaneroptera furcifera), and the field cricket (Acheta bimaculata) are the world's most popular fiddlers in the insect world.


Identify the sounds of nature in this painting, translate them into notes. Arrange the notes into melody, and expand it into a composition.Try with an instrument - guitar, piano, violin, flute. This is your composition.

Ethnic music makes a wholesome life; it is therapy.

Have you ever noticed village folks singing or humming as they attend to their chores? They have songs when rowing the boat, songs when planting or harvesting, songs of praise at sunrise, songs while walking up and down the trail, etc. Seldom is there an activity without music. To them the sounds of nature make a wholesome music.

According to researcher Leonora Nacorda Collantes, of the UST graduate school, music influences the limbic system, called the “seat of emotions” and causes emotional response and mood change. Musical rhythms synchronize body rhythms, mediate within the sphere of the autonomous nervous and endocrine systems, and change the heart and respiratory rate. Music reduces anxiety and pain, induces relaxation, thus promoting the overall sense of well being of the individual.

Music is closely associated with everyday life among village folks more than it is to us living in the city. The natives find content and relaxation beside a waterfall, on the riverbank, under the trees, in fact there is to them music in silence under the stars, on the meadow, at sunset, at dawn. Breeze, crickets, running water, make a repetitious melody that induces sleep. Humming indicates that one likes his or her work, and can go on for hours without getting tired at it. Boat songs make rowing synchronized. Planting songs make the deities of the field happy, so they believe; and songs at harvest are thanksgiving. Indeed the natives are a happy lot.

Farm animals respond favorably to music, so with plants.

In a holding pen in Lipa, Batangas, where newly arrived heifers from Australia were kept, the head rancher related to his guests the role of music in calming the animals. “We have to acclimatize them first before dispersing them to the pasture and feedlot.” He pointed at the sound system playing melodious music. In the duration of touring the place I was able to pick up the music of Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven and Bach. It is like being in a high rise office in Makati where pipe in music is played to add to pleasant ambiance of working. Scientists believe that the effect of music on humans has some similarity with that of animals, and most probably to plants.

Which brings us to the observation of a winemaker in Vienna. A certain Carlo Cagnozzi has been piping Mozart music to his grapevines for the last five years. He claims that playing round the clock to his grapes has a dramatic effect. “The grapes ripen faster,” he said, adding that it also keeps away parasites, fruit bats and birds. Scientists are now studying this claim to enlarge the limited knowledge on the physiological and psychological effects of music on plants and animals.

Once I asked a poultry raiser in Teresa, Rizal, who also believes in music therapy. “The birds grow faster and produce more eggs,” he said. “In fact music has stopped cannibalism.” I got the same positive response from cattle raisers where the animals are tied to their quarters until they are ready for market. “They just doze off, even when they are munching,” he said, adding that tension and unnecessary movement drain the animals wasting feeds that would increase the rate of daily weight gain. In a report from one of the educational TV programs, loud metallic noise stimulates termites to eat faster, and therefore create more havoc.

There is one warning posed by the proponents of music therapy. Rough and blaring music agitates the adrenalin in the same way rock music could bring down the house.

The enchantment of ethnic music is different from that of contemporary music.

Each kind of music has its own quality, but music being a universal language, definitely has commonalities. For example, the indigenous lullaby, quite often an impromptu, has a basic pattern with that of Brahms’s Lullaby and Lucio San Pedro’s Ugoy ng Duyan (Sweet Sound of the Cradle). The range of notes, beat, tone, expression - the naturalness of a mother half-singing, half-talking to her baby, all these create a wholesome effect that binds maternal relationship, brings peace and comfort, care and love.

Serenades from different parts the world have a common touch. Compare Tosselli’s Serenade with that of our Antonio Molina’s Hating Gabi (Midnight) and you will find similarities in pattern and structure, exuding the effect that enhances the mood of lovers. This quality is more appreciated in listening to the Kundiman (Kung Hindi Man, which means, If It Can’t Be). Kundiman is a trademark of classical Filipino composers, the greatest of them, Nicanor Abelardo. His famous compositions are

· Bituin Marikit (Beautiful Star)
· Nasaan Ka Irog (Where are You My Love)
· Mutya ng Pasig (Muse of the River Pasig)
· Pakiusap (I beg to Say)

War drums on the other hand, build passion, heighten courage, and prepare the mind and body to face the challenge. It is said that Napoleon Bonaparte taught only the drumbeat of forward, and never that of retreat, to the legendary Drummer Boy. As a consequence, we know what happened to the drummer boy. Pathetic though it may be, it's one of the favorite songs of Christmas.

Classical music is patterned after natural music.

The greatest composers are nature lovers – Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and our own Abelardo, Molina, Santiago, and San Pedro. Beethoven, the greatest naturalist among the world’s composers was always passionately fond of nature, spending many long holidays in the country. Always with a notebook in his pocket, he scribbled down ideas, melodies or anything he observed. It was this love of the countryside that inspired him to write his famous Pastoral Symphony. If you listen to it carefully, you can hear the singing of birds, a tumbling waterfall and gamboling lambs. Even if you are casually listening you cannot miss the magnificent thunderstorm when it comes in the fourth movement.

Lately the medical world took notice of Mozart music and found out that the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart music can enhance brain power. In a test conducted, a student who listened to the Sonata in D major for Two Pianos performed better in spatial reason. Mozart music was also found to reduce the frequency of seizure among coma patients, improved the interaction of autistic children, and is a great help to people who are suffering of Alzheimer’s disease. The proponents of Mozart’s music call this therapeutic power Mozart Effect.

What really is this special effect? A closer look at it shows similar therapeutic effect with many sounds like the noise of the surf breaking on the shore, rustling of leaves in the breeze, syncopated movement of a pendulum, cantabile of hammock, and even in the silence of a cumulus cloud building in the sky. It is the same way Mozart repeated his melodies, turning upside down and inside out which the brain loves such a pattern, often repeated regularly. about the same length of time as brain-wave patterns and those that govern regular bodily functions such as breathing and walking. It is this frequency of patterns in Mozart music that moderates irregular patterns of epilepsy patients, tension-building hormones, and unpleasant thoughts.

No one tires with the rhythm of nature – the tides, waves, flowing rivulets, gusts of wind, bird songs, the fiddling of crickets, and the shrill of cicada. In the recesses of a happy mind, one could hear the earth waking up in spring, laughing in summer, yawning in autumn and snoring in winter – and waking up again the next year, and so on, ad infinitum. ~

And, of course the Caruso in the animal kingdom - the frog. Here a pair of green pond frogs, attracted by their songs which are actually mating calls, will soon settle down in silent mating that last for hours.~

Through the Mist of Time

Dr Abe V Rotor 








Through the mist we see children
Years back with many years lost;
Yet much is gained in memory
That holds stories untold.
Who is fishing there? Ahoy!
Only the tingling chime answers;
The childhood in us throbs, throbs
With the sweet music of time. ~

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Feign dead, feign dead


Dr Abe V Rotor
Famy on stage, SPC-QC 1995 (Megabooks) 

Feign dead, feign dead,
with the backdrop of red,
in the shadow pf death;
let your audience
gasp its last breath,
feel the engulfing numbness,
the creeping chill, 
and utter loneliness
in deafening silence; 
for you are an artist 
reliving life at it portals,
to make us realize, 
we are only mortals. ~

Reliving the Old West and Buffalo Bill


Dr Abe V Rotor



Roll back the years to the era of the cowboys
when the old west was prairies and roaming buffaloes,
the skyscapes of white clouds, birds and stars,
the land etched with rivulets and meandering streams,
in the days of Buffalo Bill and Mark Twain,
when creases on the forehead build childhood memories
that momentarily seize the passing of years.
of cowboys and their legend that never dies.
Save the truth unveiled of the butchery of the buffaloes,
a fine civilization perished to the greed of another,
genocide in classic and adventure. ~
-------
William Frederick Cody ("Buffalo Bill") got his nickname after the American Civil War when he had a contract to supply Kansas Pacific Railroad workers with buffalo meat. Cody is purported to have killed 4,282 American bison (commonly known as buffalo) in eighteen months, (1867–1868). Cody became world famous for his Wild West Shows, which toured in Great Britain and Europe. Audiences were enthusiastic about seeing a piece of the American West. Emilio Salgari, a noted Italian writer of adventure stories, met Buffalo Bill when he came to Italy and saw his show; Salgari later featured Cody as a hero in some of his novels. (Wikipedia)

Father and Son and a Carabao

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM  8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday

Note: We are re-posting this article in response to requests of our audience.  It is a simple story of simple people; it gives a scenario depicting grassroots's values and idiosyncrasies, vivid to one who may be familiar with a similar setting and plot of the story, and characters.   
Philippine water buffalo or carabao is a docile creature, a principal beast of burden in Asia.  
A father and son had a carabao. One day they decided to sell the carabao, so they set off to the town market. As they were passing by a group of men idly conversing, someone said “Ay, ang tanga naman yon mag-ama. Naghihirap pa sila, pwede maman silang sumakay sa kalabaw.” (How stupid these two – they would rather walk than ride on the water buffalo.) On hearing this, both father and son jumped onto the back of the carabao and continued their journey.

No sooner did they pass another group of people walking down the road. On seeing both father and son atop the carabao, one commented, “Kawawa naman ang kalabaw.” (Take pity on the poor beast.) On hearing this, the son alighted leaving his father riding while he walked along. They continued on.

Not far away they passed by a shop where a group of young men were playing wooden pool, a local version of billiards. “Ay, hindi lang maawa sa bata yong matanda, pinaglalakad pa.” (Referring to the father riding, while the son was walking.) On hearing this, the two exchanged places, this time the son rode while the father walked along.

As they got nearer to their destination, they passed another group idly drinking tuba, young coconut wine. One had taken one sip too many, and with a characteristic slur commented, “Kawawa naman yon matanda, walang hiyang anak.” (Take pity on the old man walking, shame to his son.”

On hearing this, father and son scratched their heads, bewildered. “Ano kaya ang gagawin natin?

What option is left for them to do? If you were in their shoes, what would you do? Carry the carabao?

Note: Father and son took the carabao back home.

x x x

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Duhat and the Watermelon

Dr Abe V Rotor

                          Acknowledgment: Photos from the Internet
Wearily I walked one summer day,
     The sky was as the sea is blue.
And thought, “Water must be nearby.”
     And so I walked on to where it lay –

A hill rose, a tree stood untold,
      Old were its branches but full;
By measure of my thirst and hunger,
      Its fruits were the sweetest of all.

With bare hands I cupped the manna,
     And feasted on it with no choice,
Then laid down under the tree’s shade
     Yearning still for a greater fill.

Thus I searched beyond for more gifts;
     And on a crawling vine did appear
Big, big fruits, but bigger was my lust,
      And I had my fill at last.

“A full stomach makes the head light,”
      My father used to tell me then,
“From thoughts to dreams they go wild,
      Seeking for other dreams.”

I dreamt I asked God something trivial -
     Why small are the duhat fruits;
And the watermelon, frail and crawling,
     Bears the biggest fruit on earth.

“There could have been some mistake,” I said
     And waited for any response.
“There must be reason in faith,” I implored.
    But only silence that I heard.

All of a sudden I woke up in a jolt,
     A berry had fallen on my head,
Whether by Sir Newton’s law that it fell,
    Or a Darwin’s finch that came.

I raised my hands to the sky and cried
     In atonement and in praise,
“Oh God, Oh God, there’s no mistake,
     There’s no mistake.” ~




Friday, February 13, 2015

UST Creative Writing Assignment: The Butterfly and House Lizard

 Dr Abe V Rotor 
UST Creative Writing Assignment: Write a story of the Butterfly and the House Lizard.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

False Eyes for Defence in the Wild

Dr Abe V Rotor


Multiple false eyes of Nymphalid skipper for defence and offence.
Old folks tell children this creature is an emissary of night spirits
since it is most active at dusk (crepuscular).
 A pair of false eyes on the dorsal face of the wings of Papilio 
butterfly, with red coloration to make it authentic to would-be
 predators. Multiple dots form a imagery of a giant in the wild -
 a defence mechanism for survival,   

                           Owl-like eyes must be scary to predators, specially at night.
 And it is not just one, but a parliament of eyes in the dark. 
Imagine the eyes moving with the slightest movement of this
 skipper, or the things on which it is perched.
(Acknowledgement: Internet)

A Basket of Joy

Dr Abe V Rotor


La Trinidad Valley (Benguet) - home of strawberry


Love the valley, rain and chilly air,
the spirit they buoy;
Time, be patient to the young and fair
in a basket of joy. ~

Lesson from THE LAMP

Dr. Abe V. Rotor

Florence Nightingale, founder of the nursing profession hold the proverbial Lamp. Photo Credit: Internet, Wikipdia

Teaching is an art. It is an art of the masters - Aristotle, Plato, Christ, and many great teachers of the Renaissance that brought the world out of the Dark Ages. While we have developed modern techniques in teaching, it is important to look back into the past.

It is looking back at the lamp that enabled our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, to write his last masterpiece, the lamp Florence Nightingale held over her patients at the warfront, the lamp that made Scheherazade’s “one thousand and one nights” stories, the lamp a Greek philosopher held high at daylight “searching for an honest man.” Or the lamp fireflies make and glow with the spirit of joy and adventure to a child.

But why do we look back and ponder on a tiny light when the world basks in the sunshine of progress and development, of huge networks of learning, of high technologies in practically all fields of endeavor? I’ll tell you why – and why we teachers must.

But first let me tell a story of a computer enthusiast, who like the modern student today relies greatly on this electronic gadget, doing his school work so conveniently like downloading data for his assignment. So one day he worked on his assigned topic – love.

He printed the word and set the computer to define for him L-O-V-E. Pronto the computer came up with a hundred definitions and in different languages. Remembering his teacher’s instruction to ask, “How does it feel to be in love?” again he set the computer to respond. And you know what?

After several attempts, the computer printed on its screen in big letters, “I can not feel.”

Where is that main ingredient of human relations – feeling – today?

• Where is the true feeling between teacher and student?
• Where is the feeling of joy at the end of a teaching day, in spite of how hard the day had been?
• Where is that tingling feeling of the student for having recited well in class?
• Where is that feeling in singing the National Anthem, the school hymn?
• Where is that feeling Rizal felt when a moth circled the lamp in his prison cell while he wrote, Mi Ultimo Adios?
• Where is that burning desire that drove Michaelangelo to finish single-handedly the huge murals of the Sistine Chapel?
• That drove Vincent Van Gogh to madness – madness the world learned a new movement in the art – expressionism - years after?
• That kept Florence Nightingale, the founder of the nursing profession, make her rounds in the hospital in the wee hours of the morning?
• The lamp that strengthened Plato’s resolve to change the way people should think in the light of truth and justice.

Feeling. There is a song Feelin, and the lyrics ask a lot of questions about human nature changing with the times. I do not think human nature has changed. It is as stable as Nature herself and the natural laws that govern the universe.

What we are saying is that our ways are changing. The conformity of our actions is more with the rules we set rather than the philosophies on which they are founded. It is our quest for want above our needs that has blinded us and benumbed our feelings, that has taken us to the so-called fast lane so that we no longer see objects as they are, but abstracts, that has made us half-humans in the sense that we spend half of our lives dealing with machines – who have no feelings.

What then is modern man? I am afraid we have to review some of our references on the Janus-like character of man, like -

• Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
• The Prince and the Pauper
• The Princess and the Frog
• The movies - Mask, Superman, Batman, Spiderman
• Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter
• Cartoons and animated movies

The doubling of characters in man has led him away from permanence. Today, the biggest crisis in man is his impermanence. Impermanence in his domicile, nay, his nationality, political party. Affiliation in business and social organizations, and most disturbingly, with his marriage and family.

When was the last time we said to ourselves – or experienced - the following.

• It’s a weekday for my family and nothing else.
• How I wish I can help my child of his math assignment.
• I’ll teach only this year and will find a more rewarding job after.
• I think it’s time to settle down.
• I want to go to a concert and enjoy the fine art of music.
• Can’t I put all my ideas in a book?
• It’s always meeting – can’t we just talk?
• This dizziness, it must be the pressure of my work.
• Maybe I can concentrate on my thesis this time.
• I have not finished reading “Da Vinci Code”.
• This summer I’ll be with my parents.

Here are ways by which we can brighten up our lamp amidst the factors that test our dedication of our profession as teachers.

1. Be yourself. Be natural.
2. Keep on learning
3. Be a model of your family and community
4. Relax
5. Use you faculties fully and wisely

Be Natural

Naturalness is a key to teaching. I saw a film, Natural with then young award-winning Robert Redford as the principal actor. It is a story of a baseball player who became famous. The central theme of his success is his naturalness. Naturalness in pitching, batting - in the sport itself, above all, in his relationship with his team and fans.

Our students can easily sense our sincerity. They shun from us if we are not. They cannot fully express themselves, unless we show our genuine love and care for them. Develop that aura that attracts them, that keeps relationship easy to adapt or adjust.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.”
- John Cotton Dana
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Be a Model

A teacher must have more time for himself and for his family. Teaching is an extension of family life. And this is the primordial stimulus that makes your family a model family and you as a model teacher – because you cause the light of the lamp to radiate to others. And it is not only the school that you bring in the light. It is the community because you are also lighting the lamp of others, including the tiny glow in your young students. When they get home, when they interact with their community in whatever capacity they can, even only among their playmates, relatives and neighbors, they are in effect sharing that light which is also the light of understanding and unity.

Relax

Great achievements are usually products of relaxed minds. Relaxation allows the incubation of thoughts and ideas. Churchill found time to paint during the Second World War. In his relaxed mind he made great decisions that saved Great Britain and countless lives. Or take Einstein for instance. His formula which explains the relationship of energy and matter in E=mc2 was drawn out from casually observing moving objects - train, heavenly bodies, marbles. Galileo watched a huge chandelier in a church sway with the breeze and later came up with the principles of pendulum movement.

Darwin studied biology around the world as if he were on a leisure cruise, and summed up his findings that founded the most controversial Theory of Evolution by means of natural selection. An apple fell on Newton’s head when everything was still. Examine closely the parables of Christ. How relaxed the Great Teacher was in telling these stories to the faithful. The lamp shines the brightest when there is no wind. When held high with steady hands and given time to examine things around, views become clearer, and the more certain we are along our way.

Use Your Faculties Fully and Wisely

Our brain is made up of the left hemisphere, the thinking and reasoning part, and the right hemisphere, the seat of creativity and imagination. Together they reveal an enormous capacity of intelligence, which are pictured in eight realms. These are

1. Logic
2. Languages
3. Music
4. Spatial
5. Interpersonal
6. Intrapersonal
7. Kinesthetics
8. Naturalism

From these realms the teacher draws out his best qualities. He explores, decides, adapts, entertains, leads, and stands courageously to lead the young.

Here he sows the seed of knowledge. And in the young the seed grows, and grows, which the educator Henry Adams expresses in this line.

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
x x x

Self-Administered Test on Reviving the “Handyman” or “Do-it-Yourself” Culture

Living with Nature - School on Air
738 KHz AM DZRB, Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (School-on-Air)
Dr. Abe Rotor and Ms Melly Tenorio


Buy at source fruits in season for processing such as jelly, jam, pickles, and the like.

True or False

1. First, plan your work, then work your plan - not vice versa.

2. Standard voltage in the Philippines is 110V; in the USA, it is double – 220V. That is why US appliances need step down transformer when using it here.

3. Here is a simple declogging solvent for the drain which you can prepare: dissolve in a liter of water 2 tbsp water kerosene (gaas) + and 2 tbsp powdered soap.

4. The practical way to determine exact levels in construction is to use plumb bob for vertical level (patindig) and transparent hose filled with water for horizontal level (pahanay).                           

5. Riveted GI roofing is more reliable – stronger and last longer – than when nail is used.

6. Garden hose last longer if it is allowed to remain attached to the faucet, than to drain and coil it after use.

7. A crocodile jack is easier and safer to use than ordinary hydraulic jack. And be sure to have a supplemental jack as precaution to accident.

8. There are fixtures and assembly parts of appliances that can be replaced with new ones rather than to have them repaired - such as LPG regulator, Automatic Voltage Regulator, fire extinguisher, water filters, electric fans after guarantee period.

9. Buy only reliable brands of tools, and if your budget allows, invest in lifetime tools such as Rigid, Stanley, Makita, Black and Decker, Bosch, Coleman, Crossman, Dremel, Sandvik, El Toro, to name a few of the internationally known brands. Be sure these are not imitations.

10. Home for the Golden Years must be kept as simple as possible, orderly, clean and healthy, Remove things that may cause accidents.

11. It is easier to maintain a home with children than a typical home, especially if the children all go to school and you have all the time to fix everything from bedroom to sala to garden.

12. Inhaling fresh paint could be as harmful to health as inhaling exfoliating old paint.

13. Refurnish your kitchen with new utensils? Dispose old China with fading gold rims, don’t use plastic containers for vinegar and carbonated drinks, aluminum and Cadmium coated pots and pans for acidic food, and if possible avoid if you can using microwave oven. Ordinary oven is healthier, and food is tastier, too.

14. Coconut oil + kerosene (gaas) in equal proportion makes a good substitute for sewing oil, and lubricating oil for hinges, locks, screws and bolts.

15. Hammer is to the worker as scythe is to the farmer – two symbols representing the grassroots, which the old communist regime used as logo.

16. When installing an air-conditioning unit, be sure it is one or two feet from the floor for efficiency and power economy.

17. Experts select crosscut saw (ordinary saw) by making it sing, so to speak – it produces a clear echoing sound like a tuning fork. Hammer struck on stone likewise sends a brilliant tuning fork sound.

18. It is all right to dispose off catalogues and instructions of tools and machine after you have mastered in using them.

19. It is always good to work alone especially if you are handling dangerous machines and tools so as not to harm others – or you might get distracted in your work.



20. Use loose clothing, such as long sleeves, when operating machine to ward off dirt and as added protected – not to mention as part of good grooming.

21. Accurate measurements in construction are actually in the details of the work. The framework like posts and beams are usually set within certain approximation or range.

22 - 25. Name four safety and emergency equipment, tools and provisions in the work shop.

Organic fertilizer through composting of kitchen and garden waste

ANSWERS: 1t, 2f, 3f, 4t, 5,t, 6f, 7t, 8t, 9t, 10t 11f, 12t, 13t, 14t, 15t, 16f, 17t, 18f, 19f, 20f, 21f, 22-25 (In any order, choose 4 only; you can add to the list): first aid kit, fire extinguisher, insulated gloves and shoes, ear muff, face mask, proper working clothes, welding safety gear, exhaust fan, fume hood,and dust collector, tool box, etc.

RATING:
24 – 25 outstanding
20 – 23 very good
16 – 19 good
12 – 15 pass
Below 11 listen more to the radio program and do your homework.