Mathematical Literacy

Math has always been one of the least favorite subjects of students everywhere. Most say it’s difficult working with numbers, but it’s really not. Being good at logic and math just requires seeing the relationships between objects and understanding them.

Being literate in a logical mathematical aspect means that one can manipulate objects and numbers and understanding the logical reasoning and correlations between them. If one is mathematically literate, he/she can put numbers, quantities and shapes to good use in everyday life.

This literacy is important in our society because mathematics makes our lives so much easier. It provides us tools to measure, to value and to shape intangible and tangible quantities. It helps us see reason, think clearly and logically and therefore, make decisions better.

So how can we be more mathematically literate? Mathematics is all about applying the same set of processes over and over again, just to different quantities. Math teachers have always taught me that the key to mastering mathematics is to practice, practice, and practice.


Scientific Literacy

All mysteries and phenomenon around us can be explained by science. It is a body of knowledge that provides us a lot of useful information on how things work and why some things happen. Science is the road to development; product innovations and creative solutions all stem from scientific ventures. Without science, society has no way of improving our way of living. There would be no internet, electricity, medical advances, machines and other technology.

People who are scientifically literate has the ability to explain happenings around them. They have sufficient knowledge to understand why certain things happen, why certain things are what they are. Being scientifically literate is important because science is the key to a better life. The more scientifically literate people we have, the more problems we can solve.

There’s no better way to be more scientifically literate than to ask questions. Learning science is simply just satisfying our curiosity and learning new stuff.


Media Literacy

In today’s time, adolescents are more influenced by the media by anything else. It is more important now than ever to teach people how to interpret different kind of media. We should know how to filter the things that we hear and see, which things we should take seriously and which should we not.

Media literacy is extremely critical nowadays. Without it, the world will be full of chaos because there would certainly be a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions. Media literacy allows us to be sensitive to what others might interpret the things we post online. It allows us to know which media materials are appropriate for its specific audience.

All can be media literate if we become sensitive to other people’s perceptions. We must always be critical on what we see and learn how to identify between appropriate materials and insensitive ones.


Social Literacy

I consider this literacy to be the most important one because without this, all the others would be pointless.  Socially literate persons are very conscious on how each of their actions affect other people. The always see the bigger picture; they are sensitive and thoughtful.

Social literacy enables us to be aware of everything that is happening around us. It allows us to understand and be critical about the issues our country is facing today. With social literacy, we can always know how to act upon socially relevant problems.

To be more socially literate, one just have to be aware of what is happening around us. One can watch the news, read the newspapers, or listen to the radio. We can be better leaners of this literacy if we look out for opportunities to make society better.


3 Idiots Movie Review

The existing educational system poses a threat to the development of the students’ intelligence and moral. Students go to school so that they can earn their diplomas, get decent jobs and live comfortable lives. We always strive for excellence- for the top grades, for trophies and medals, for praise and for recognition.

Few students nowadays actually value learning. We don’t study because we want to enrich ourselves with useful information and fascinating facts. We study because we want to graduate and be successful. And while that’s not bad, it is not supposed to be the reason why we listen to our teachers and study our books.

Learning must be about wanting to understand more about the world we live in. It is about satisfying our curiosity, striving to find answers to our questions and devising new ways to solve our problems.

The Bollywood movie “3 Idiots” explores these concepts in a fun, exciting way. The movie is terribly true and real; it mirrors the current learning system and challenges society’s standards with regards to being properly educated.

Rancho is the ideal representation of a good student. He goes to school because it’s in for the learning it provides, not for the credentials and diplomas.  “Silencer”, on the other hand, represents another type of a good student. He still goes to school dutifully, accomplishes his schoolwork and strives to get good grades, but he does it for a whole different reason than Rancho. He’s only in for the easy, luxurious life a good college degree can get him.

We all want to be like Rancho. But sometimes, we just can’t avoid being like Silencer. Sadly, we don’t go to school because we don’t like to learn. It’s hard to admit, but we survive going to school because someday, we know all of our sacrifices will be worth it because a good education can get us jobs and money.

This just shows that there’s an evident mistake in the way education is being given. Students just don’t go to school anymore because they think learning is fun and valuable. Is there a problem with the way the teacher presents the lesson? Is the student experiencing any kind of outside pressure? From his peers, parents or his own culture, perhaps? Is there a problem with the way schools are operated?

This movie explores all these possibilities in a fun yet heartwarming way. Watching the movie had opened my eyes to the reality of why I am a student. I have never realized how pointless it is going to school for just the certificate. Unfortunately, I have also realized that it is quite hard to be like Rancho. I mean, there’s just a lot of pressure from my family and from society to get high grades that sometimes I just don’t mind it if I don’t understand the lessons at all, as long as I memorized all the knowledge I need to do well on an exam. The movie made me realize that I need to make a conscious effort to appreciate the lessons and try to soak up as much knowledge and wisdom as I can.

Ready. Steady.

Murphy’s Law is like the national anthem of pessimists everywhere. It states that anything that can go wrong will definitely go wrong. I try to live my life while keeping this law in my mind. I strive to be prepared for anything and have numerous back-up plans if something goes wrong. But let’s face it. It’s not always easy. In our personal lives, planning for worst-cases scenarios are relatively easy. But if it’s about factors that we can no longer control, well, that’s a different story.

Natural disasters cannot be avoided. It happens every day, every hour, and every minute. Thus it is important to be prepared at all times.

Be alert. Don’t fool yourself to thinking that you are one of the lucky ones who will miraculously escape disasters because more often than not, you are not. Always keep on the lookout for any news and signs of incoming natural disasters.

Plan. Disaster risk management plans are taught in school and can also be found on the net in a matter of seconds. Follow them. Heed whatever warnings they might give.

Listen and follow. If your local government advises you to evacuate, then for goodness’ sakes, evacuate! I’ve seen too many people suffer needlessly just because they stubborn. In the event of a disaster, please listen to whoever’s in charge. Obey their instructions as they may be crucial to your survival.

Finally, help others. When you’re lucky enough to survive, please devote time and effort to assist those who might not be as fortunate. Learn first aid procedures like CPR, and basic handling of injuries. Donate your excess resources so that others may benefit from them.

Back in high school, I was part of the medics for CAT. We were the ones who were prepared to administer first aid procedures or conduct CPR if necessary. This year, I get to experience it all over again.

It’s fulfilling to know that you have the capability to actually save someone else’s life. At the same time though, it’s a huge responsibility. You are the one everybody will rely on in case of emergencies. You’re the one responsible for anything that might go wrong.

Despite the pressure, it’s great to feel as if you can do something useful. Not anybody is given the opportunity to learn the things that I did. For now, I will cherish those lessons and hope that someday, they will be put to good use.

Our One and Only Home

The Earth is dying.

I believe that most of us are in a state of denial. On some level of our consciousness, we don’t quite believe that the only place we can possibly live in is slowly becoming a barren wasteland.

But we can see the evidence all around us. Climate change is getting worse- polar ice caps are melting, drastic changes in weather patterns are developing. Natural resources are gradually becoming scarce. Pollution can no longer be ignored. The air is getting harder to breathe, the trash getting harder to dispose of.

But still, we are in a state of denial. Why do I say so? Because the way I see it, most of us aren’t doing anything to save our planet. Worse, we do the very things that further harm the Earth.

It is important to be conscious of our environment’s present condition. If we are not, then who will initiate the restoration of our planet? Who else will protect and care for our one and only home? Nobody else but us humans are responsible for nature’s condition. And rightly so, as we are the cause of its problems in the first place, and we are also the ones who will suffer if we don’t take further action.

Individuals usually think that one person most probably can’t make a difference in the bigger picture. What can one person really do to help save the environment? Well, there’s a lot actually.

First off, we can start by practicing the 3rs- reduce, reuse, recycle- which I am sure was a concept drilled into us since grade school. Doing the 3rs is easy enough. Reduce the resources we consume, reuse instead of purchasing something new, and recycle trash into something creative or useful.

Second, we practice discipline in all things we do. That means we don’t get to throw trash anywhere we want. We don’t get to waste valuable resources.

Third, we must sacrifice. Little sacrifices on our part are nothing if It helps save Mother Earth. We can take public transportation to reduce air pollution, even though it is inconvenient for us. We can avoid using straws or plastic utensils, even if they make eating and drinking easier. We can save water, even though taking long baths are one of our relaxation techniques. We can save electricity, even though we love to watch the television or spend all night playing games on our computers. We can take the time and effort to segregate the garbage, even though it might take us a trip to the store to buy separate trash bins.

If we combine these efforts together, there’s no doubt that we can restore nature to its former glory.

A Letter to Caitlyn Jenner

Ms. Caitlyn Jenner,

Good day!

To be honest, I really didn’t know who you were until your big reveal. But still. I admire that you had the courage to go against the norm, to be different than most people in your industry. I just wanted to say thank you for being brave enough to show the world who you really are.

And by that, I don’t just mean your current sexual orientation- or your decision to pursue sex change. I was also talking about the whole you- your personality, your identity. Anybody, not just the members of the LGBT community, can take inspiration from you.

Many, including me, take freedom of expression for granted. Some don’t realize how necessary it is to be true to ourselves. Some hide their true personalities because it’s just… easier, convenient.  Some just endure not being themselves. They endure wearing a mask in public. They endure pretending, all for the sake of avoiding criticism and judgement from the public.

By doing what you did, you made us realize that it’s okay to be who we are, even at the price of public disapproval. You, despite the risk of media exposure and massive global criticism, were brave enough to be who you really are. Again, thank you for doing that.

I just hope that you won’t let any negative comments affect you. Be strong. The road you travelled was not easy, and it probably won’t become any easier. But remember why you did what you did in the first place. You’re beautiful, courageous and true. Anybody who says otherwise does not know what they are saying.

As a parting statement then, I would like to wish you luck on all your future endeavors. Continue dedicating your life to the empowerment of the LGBT community and being a tremendous inspiration to all.

Best wishes!

An Introduction

If you read the description of myself to the right, then thank you for doing so.

But actually, the whole paragraph is not entirely true.

You see, I do have plans. Too many of them, in fact. I just can’t decide on which plan to pursue. Do I continue with what engineering as my career path? Or do I want to do something else? Do I want to abandon the idea of a career altogether and just dedicate myself to helping others? What about starting a family? Do I sacrifice my career for that? What exactly is my goal in life?

So many questions, so many possible answers. Maybe I want to do this, but then again, I also want to do that. And that. And, ooh, that. So many things to do, but sadly, I just have one lifetime. This blog will help me decide on what to do with it. Hopefully.