Outside in and inside out! A place to store ideas about education.

Friday, July 08, 2005


What's in a word?

Discipline. If a disciple is a follower, then "discipline" means "to follow something". Self-discipline means to cause yourself to follow something, usually a rule or command or a self-imposed schedule. Disciplinarian (as in parents, adminstrators) are those who are finicky about people following rules. And a Disciplinary Tribunal is one who tries to enforce rules by giving sanctions to those who didn't. An unenviable place. Especially for one so idiosyncratic as myself.

I remember having a tickler in which I placed my plans, the schedule of my daily life. Eventually, I kept putting the same thing over and over again, a victim of procastination. It is hard to keep to a schedule, especially one done without much thought and without much consideration of self and others. It's hard to schedule a life predominantly left to chance. It's hard to let go of really deeply ingrained habits. Easier to float around without want and without direction, than to stake a claim into the future and work hard for it, and fight tooth and limb if need be, conquer lack of self-worth to be able to assert one's rights and needs.

So as I sit in a Student's Disciplinary Tribunal, I am actually subjecting myself to judgement. One so insignificant as myself, a liar and a cheat. I don't believe I will come out of this adventure unscathed, for with every sentence I pronounce, with every "guilty" or "not guilty", with every warning or suspension or dismissal, I face my own demons. By the One who created all, everything has its own place, even the so-called judgement of one who will in turn be judged. So interfere I would in the lives of people I have no knowledge of, other than their perceived mistakes, or lack of judgement, or disregard for written rules in the conduct of a UP student... Ah, but I would see myself in all of them, see myself and rue!

No, I will not run from the trial of my life. Because, in the end, everyone will be called to account.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A simple experiment

This was emailed to me by ""

Dear shamsia,

Thank you for taking the Poetry IQ Test. Your general poetic knowledge is determined by your answers to the objective multiple-choice questions and is presented below. This test of general poetic knowledge does not measure your creativity or have anything to do with your present ability or future potential to write good poetry. It assesses your technical knowledge of poetic structure, form, and technique. To demonstrate your unique poetic creativity, submit your own original work to a free Poetry Contest. You could be eligible to win one of 1175 prizes totalling $58,000 that will be awarded to amateur poets in the coming months.

Your General Poetic Knowledge Score is 11 out of a possible 11.

0-3 You do not yet possess enough knowledge of general poetic terms, structure, forms, and techniques to be considered knowledgeable in this form of literature. An Educational course on general poetic techniques would benefit you greatly.

4-7 You have a good knowledge of general poetic terms, structure, forms, and techniques. People at this level have generally taken basic or advanced level poetry courses, or have spent considerable time in studying this form of literary endeavor. Improvement from this level can be achieved relatively easy as you already have a good basic foundation of knowledge.

8-11 You have an excellent grasp of poetic form, structure, and technique. People at this level have generally taken advanced-level study in literature or have completed advanced poetry courses. They have often spent considerable time writing, developing their own poetic "voice," and their own techniques. People at this level, particularly if they can apply their knowledge of poetic form and structure to their own work, are considered among the most talented of poetic artists.

(end of email)

In order to prove a point, I devised a simple experiment. The result of which is as follows:

Poem perfect

Took a Poetry IQ test today and scored a perfect score
Eleven out of eleven, twas a pity there were no more
Questions to answer about iambic pentameters and poetic
Form, structure and technique!

But why,
With each word I weave in this Godforsaken verse,
Do I show with unerring clarity,
That my score in writing poetry
Is the reverse.

Sol Hidalgo 1973-