On Collaboration

What Steve Jobs said about only being able to connect the dots looking back is definitely true. There were times since 2011 when I felt that I wasn’t going anywhere with my advocacy, or that I was going too slow. But things seem to be coming together now. I know that it’s not permanent and there will be time again for doubt and reflection (which is not altogether bad, I realized there is a need for that). For now, we should make the most out of the opportunities coming up. Opportunities to connect with other departments, institutes, colleges, and universities. May we be able to play our cards wisely to maximize everything for everyone, i.e. faculty, students, and institutions alike. As always, I don’t know where all this is going. Nevertheless, times have taught us to just dive into the uncertainty with a spirit of excitement and joy and curiosity and gratefulness (and lots of hard work!). Let’s go DMMME! :)

#engineeringeducation #engineering+art #design #materials

On Ultimatums

So I received an ultimatum for the first time in my life. Finish the revision. I’m so near. But at the same time, my body is feeling the consequences. Just a little more. I’ll have a little breather this weekend. Just survive today and Friday first. One day at a time. You’re building a career. You’re building on your dreams. Sacrifice first.

Midterm exam. Paper revision. 3D printing forum. CHED zonal hearing (among others)… almost happening all at the same time. (Aba, eh ginusto mo lahat ‘yan! #selfinflicted LOL. Ano bang ginawa mo, Jill? Na-excite ng husto bumalik sa trabaho??? XD)

Let only encouraging words echo in your mind. Forget the other noises that distract you. Be single minded on this one. Focus.

“You will be rewarded by another paper that will impact your career and you can get financially rewarded as a first author. It will be a highly cited review.”
God be with me. All for You!!! Waaaahh, hold on sanity!!! BAWAL SUMUKO. MAY PAGASA PA ANG PAPEL NA ‘TO!!!

On Essentialism


Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, was such a great read! It’s written in a very simple and structured way that it becomes easy to follow and understand. The book also inspires action so much that I finally gathered the courage to turn down a very good opportunity in order to focus on what is really essential to me. It felt liberating and empowering to take control of the choices I make. If it doesn’t contribute to what matters, don’t waste time and energy in it. The next challenge is to sustain this practice!

This book is worth your hard-earned money. I strongly recommend it! :)

On Difficult People

The article below is very applicable to my experience last year. It’s a good reminder for me, especially now that I’m having unavoidable contact through email with some of the difficult people from last year. Their mere online presence still has a tendency to suck out energy, but the distance makes it easier to keep negative effects at bay.

I recalled what my PI taught me as I sat in his office last year and cried in front of him: “You have to be stronger than this. Be single-minded, there is work to do.” I guess single-mindedness has its merits for certain circumstances. It keeps you focused on what’s important. (My PI panicked a bit when he saw tears fall from my eyes to the point that he offered me Kimwipes to wipe my tears. Kimwipes! Talk about panicking! XD His gesture made it a totally unforgettable moment :P)

Okay, Jill. Your PI opened a door for you. Let’s make the most out of this. Navigate carefully.

“They don’t die in the fight. Smart people know how important it is to live to fight another day, especially when your foe is a toxic individual.”

Article: Here’s How to Effectively Deal with Difficult People

On Wellness

I posted last week about how I wanted to incorporate exercise into my daily routine. Guess what? So far so good with eight straight days of tai chi! It’s the first thing I do every morning: alarm at 5 am, rise up at around 5:20, then do around 20 minutes of tai chi 18 (shibashi). What I like about it is that it hits two birds with one stone because aside from movement you also get to meditate. Mind and body wellness in 20 minutes!

I first learned tai chi when I lived in a Buddhist temple back in 2011. We learned tai chi 18 & 24, as well as tai chi fan and sword. Tai chi 18 is the simplest of the four and, luckily, there are tons of good YouTube videos to follow. I encourage you to try it. It will feel weird at first, but it is really relaxing and energizing. And I don’t think anyone can deny the proven benefits of this excellent Chinese exercise. :)

On Tinkering

I think this is the first time in my 3 years of teaching that I taught a class that does not involve any (problem-solving) calculations, i.e. it’s very theoretical, probably because it’s an elective course. And it being theoretical has its own challenges. For one, I find it quite difficult to stretch the lecture to 180 minutes. I will never intend to speak for the entire 180 minutes. That would be dreadful both for my students and me. So I’ve been trying different activities for the past weeks that would make the lecture more engaging. Group discussions are good from time to time, but not always. Videos are almost always good, just don’t make it too long. Design activities are the best, but I have yet to master preparing one (I only did it once; there’s still a lot of room for improvement on my part). Games are also fine, but I’m trying to move away from it to introduce more “engineering-like” activities that are equally engaging. Tomorrow I’ll try this one:


Tinker Thursdays! It’s not an original name. Turns out that the Cornell University library maker space has Tinker Thursdays. I tried Googling “Tinker Tuesdays” (because my class is every TTh) and that name is also already taken by another group. So I settled with Tinker Thursdays (and, yes, there’s a pubmat! Just because I love making pubmats :P). Yay!

I scavenged our house this evening for stuff that we can take apart tomorrow. VHS, floppy disks, Discman, computer mice, etc. Let’s see how this activity turns out. I’ll post an update soon! Wish us luck!

#makermovement #TinkerThursdays