Author Archives: nikkiperalta

The Forgotten Heroes -A Look Back on Society

The play that I have watched from the Harlequin Theater Guild of La Salle encompassed the workers to whom everyone usually treats as “invincible” or “nothing” when in fact they are those we should thank for and recognize as “heroes”. The play focused on 4 particular workers namely the janitors, the technicians, the photocopiers and the security guards.

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First, the play focused on the security guard—a forgotten hero. The play showed how people treat him as the “ordinary” when in fact he should be treated as a “savior of the day” if we take into account deeply his contributions to the society.

In this, it showed that the society is stuck in the paradigm that low paid workers should be treated as the ordinary or as no one despite their hardships and great contributions in protecting people. We conform to that reality without even knowing the reason why. That’s the problem. We often limit ourselves with things that the society accepts just because.  We should be rather step out there to discover rather than just consent.

 For the janitress, the play showed that during the time of need (money), her boss would not want to give him. Fortunately, her transgender friends were able to lend her money so that she could go home for the graduation of her youngest sister. Despite being poor and given the chance to have money, when someone needed the money more than her, she selflessly gave the money to the one who needed it more.

I can connect this part of the play to existentialism (when human beings turn to themselves as the sole authority of their standards and valuations). Despite knowing that she belongs to status of being poor, she decided not to follow the common standard that poor people can’t help because they are the ones who need it. She conformed to herself that being poor won’t limit her from helping. She decided and most especially chose to help others despite having nothing.

The next was the photocopy girl who has a child that has leukemia. She tries to save money in order to save the life of her child and decided to make 1000 paper cranes in the belief that once someone has finished making 1000 paper cranes, one’s wish would come true. The photocopy girl’s only wish was to save her child. Although, unknowingly, her son decided to do the 1000 cranes belief as well as he wants her mother not to suffer anymore. Her son was able to finish first and unfortunately died. Sooner, her mom was able to find a guy that was able to make her happy.

Last was the technician who has PTSD. He was fixing the air conditioner when he heard three students talking about their thesis decision. They decided to steal one motor inside the laboratory for their thesis. In the end, the technician was the one blamed fo1r stealing a motor.

I enjoyed watching the play since it was able to reflect how crucial society treats our heroes—the forgotten ones. It gave me a bigger room to appreciate them more especially the fact that they put others first more than themselves. I hope that a lot of people had the chance to watch the play since it’s something that the society needs to realize now.

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Perceive to Find Meaning

Normally, to see is to be able to use the sense of sight. To see is to be able to have a visual representation—something that is visible to the naked eye. However, there is more to seeing than just the mere “seeing”. Beyond that, to see is to be able to understand the underlying story behind something. To see is to know the purpose. To see is to be able to find meaning.

As I entered the museum, I saw a room that is not pretty much filled with numerous bizarre artworks I expected it to look like. The whole place embodied a minimalist kind of setting. It was very spacious. I honestly got disappointed for a while knowing how usual museums look like. Despite not meeting my expectations, I still pushed through and started looking around.

I was wrong.

The museum offered a different take on “museums”. It focused more on giving a special meaning or realization more than the sake of just displaying something nice. It was composed not only of artworks but also video documentaries, interactive videos and as well as computer activities. Everything was interesting in their own way. The whole experience was worth the appreciation, realization and learning.

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All the artworks, I tell you, looked very nice and were crafted very well. Luckily, I was not only limited to the visual representation of the artworks themselves. The “mentor” in the museum told my friend and I the meanings per artwork, the symbols shown and why are they crafted that way. After knowing the stories behind those artworks, I was able to see. Seeing in a way beyond expected—that I was able to perceive not only the artworks themselves but also the meaning and stories behind it.

Few from the displays in the museum are photos of survivors from the nuclear bomb in Japan, an interactive program about fear, a layout and a 3-D format of how someone interpreted his fear, videos about survivors of Undoy and Sendong, how people’s lives are still the same through the decades, hypnotism and a whole lot more. Every artwork is unique but has somehow fallen into a certain category – dystopia now, that in the current things happening, I have come to realize that we are really, really, really far from achieving Utopia.

The three artworks that look like a Xerox copy of a building are made out of newspapers—newspapers that contain news about Thailand. Thanks to the “mentor”, I was able to perceive that the three are not really different from one another, it’s just a picture of a building viewed as a whole or viewed zoomed in or viewed from a single part only. I honestly did not notice that at first. The artwork showed the life of Thailand and how they depend too much on Europe, that if Europe falls down, they will too. This kind of setting is very much evident in the Philippines too and how we are to the United States.

It’s amazing how these artworks were able to give meaning aside from just the building itself. Through the simple building, it was able to explain the current situation of countries.

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      Above all the things I have seen in the museum, “Dialogues on Discrepancy” was the artwork that struck me the most. As I stumbled upon the artwork, I felt a heavy feeling within me. I heard loud sounds that I don’t want to hear ever again. I heard buildings falling and people crying out for help. I heard laughter from the big and rich people not caring about the others.  I felt sad knowing that this is reality, the current state that we are now living— living in a world of chaos and division, living in a world where no one cares about the others.

I was able to notice in the artwork not only the building disaster but the people. Some have color while some are left in black and white. This just shows that some people, particularly the poor are left unnoticed when in fact they are those people that we should take into account. These are the people that we should care about too. These are the people that should be heard but sadly, are not given the chance.

We live in a world where everything is falling down. We are in a world far from Utopia, far from the perfect world that we are all aiming for, far from a world of equality, unity and love. We live in a world where some thinks they are above others. We live in a disaster.

The artwork made me go back to the current situation that is happening, as if it was my first time to be aware of it. Recently, I have been focusing too much with my studies, focusing too much to myself. The artwork brought me back to what I should be concerned about as well. That I should also take be aware of the current situation of chaos and division in the world and that I too, should do something about it.

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            Here is a picture I drew of how I now see “seeing”. Yes, to see maybe in the form of using the sense of sight but there are other sides of seeing too. Notice that the eye is in a heart shaped form because to see deeper is to use one’s heart. With heart, seeing can go deeper, deeper in a way that it could find meanings, like what is seen inside the pupil in the drawing. The eye is not directly looking at the viewer because in seeing is not only directed to seeing the object itself. Seeing can be viewed and can mean in different ways.

After the whole MCAD experience, to see, for me is far from just being able to use the sense of sight. To see is to feel. To see is it to experience. To see is to find meaning beyond just the mere visual representation.

MEMENTO: If we were movie critics, I’d give it 5 stars

If your school tells you they use transformative learning, they really do.

For the last few meetings, we watched a very very very mind boggling movie. Memento, a very very very mind boggling movie (yes, it needs to be emphasized hence the repetition), was directed by one of the most famous producers and directors in America, Christoper Nolan. Guy Pearce and  Carrie-Anne Moss starred in the movie.

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For the first timers out there who has not seen the movie yet, check out this trailer. BEWARE: Prepare your brain!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vS0E9bBSL0

The trailer is just a part of it. We recommend you watch it — If you’re prepared for something .

After watching the movie for the first time, we were all baffled. We kept on spitting out ideas and assumptions we think are right. The movie was that intense. Everyone in our group, while discussing the truth behind the movie, kept on pulling hair out of their heads. It was crazy. In the end, we were able to  establish the facts based on our own understandings. But we still had questions.

Before my groupmates and I turn this into a long movie review taken from http://www.rottentomatoes.com, we actually want to clear the air by posting it to this vast void in the world of the internet and answer a few things we used as guide questions through out the movie. We used Plato and the 4 noble truths in order to form the questions; Plato’s allegory of the cave, false and true reality, our own mirrors, the truth and the representation of the 4 noble truths.

Let’s get the ball rolling!

The central theme of Plato’s allegory of the cave revolves around people’s perception of reality. In Plato’s allegory of the cave, there are only 2 kinds of people, those that remained in the cave and the one who was able to see life beyond the cave. Those who remained in the cave didn’t question and firmly believed in what they think was real. They believed that the shadows were real and that’s all there is. While on the other hand, the one who was able see life beyond the cave developed a different perspective about reality. He found out that what other’s was seeing is not true but just a shadow. Unlike the others, he based his reality with his 5 senses.

In comparison with this, there are also 2 realities; the objectivist and the subjectivist.

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Those who remained in the cave can be considered as a subjectivist. They based their reality with experience. For them, reality depends on the person. While for the objectivist, he based his reality with empirical evidences and can be tested.

How does the mind separate false reality from true reality? The mind separates false reality from true reality through first knowing whether an individual perceives something in an objective way or in a subjective way. True reality for an objectivist’s perspective is something that is scientifically proven. They believe that there is standard Truth for everything and that this “Truth” should be believed and followed by everyone. In a subjectivist’s perspective, what they consider as true reality are the different perceptions of people. What one considers true may count as false for others. For them, different perceptions do not matter as long as what every different individual holds as true remains true for every different individual. The different perceptions however for an objectivist’s perspective is considered as the false reality while the standard “Truth” for a subjectivist’s perspective is what they consider as false reality. So, in order to separate both kinds of realities, one has to know first his/her kind perspective.

In line with the movie (following the objectivist’s perspective), Lenny was able to create false reality through creating scenarios and his own version of the story about how his wife died.

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He only created stories that are in his accordance. He did not really consider asking himself whether he is also involved in the killing. He only based his assumptions about what is true through the written things on his body and on his Polaroid photos. However, the mind was able to separate false reality from the true reality in the movie through the help of other people who made him realize and told him what the Truth is; the real story about how his wife died — and in this case, it was he (Lenny) who killed his own wife.

The movie closes with Lenny saying, “We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I’m no different.” Lenny’s “mirrors” were his memory devices. Image

We realized there are so many things we can use to define who we are. Everyone is different from one another and have their own ways of approaching things. I may see a glass as half-empty while another may see it as half full. Someone may see the sky as the color “blue” but someone may see it as “green.” They are all different perspectives and they are all true. Our mirrors to remind us is no different. People do a lot of different things to remind themselves of the little things. Some may jot it down on small sticky notes, keep a planner, write a to-do list, take a photo and pin it on their wall, or maybe even paint it on a canvas, or frame it and hang it on a wall to forever have that memory. Some may even draw conclusions of who they are by seeing the kinds of belongings they have. If you have bookshelves filled with books, it may mean that you are a bookworm. If you have a collection of makeup, pretty and frilly clothes as well a hundred pairs of shoes, you must be a girl. Bottom line is, people do different things to remember. And it doesn’t entirely matter how they do it, as long as it works. I may use sticky notes, she may use a to-do list and they may use photos. The method may vary but it all does the same thing—remind us of what we need to do and who we are.

There is a truth out there. There is a truth in the movie and there is a truth for Lenny.

There is no single truth. For Leonard, he makes up his truths as he goes along. Stating a small t for truth, it means that our knowledge is contextual. It is socially constructed. For instance, in the movie, when Leonard said he will lie for the sake of his happiness, he does not have a concrete basis of what is right or wrong. He relies what he knows based on what he wants to believe in. If we really analyze the movie, it is objective. There is something real out there. There are two facts in the movie no one can alter. First, Leonard’s wife died. Second, Leonard has short term memory loss. This facts are widely accepted by anyone.

Leonard accepts them but still proves that most of the time the truth is subjective.

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Truth is subjective because for Leonard, since he has short term memory loss, he forgets easily. His interpretation of truth differs from Teddy’s. There are scenes where he only believe what his minds tell him. The last scene, I believe, really depicts such a subjective point of view. “Do I lie to myself to be happy? In your case Teddy, yes I will.” That line shows how he makes up truth just because Leonard felt stupid after Teddy told him that they found the killer. He burned the photo after then burying the truth. He covered the points in his life because he thinks those memories are meant to be buried and forgotten. To be more specific, Leonard do not remember the part that her wife survived the rape. What he forgot,what he supressed in his memory is that after the r (what he remembered is that her wife died. He delved into the alleged death and rape he forgot her wife died. He created a truth based on what he only remembers and because of the incident. A question might still be pondering in your mind. What has natalie got to do with everything? She has nothing to do with Lenny’s past. She’s part of something out there. She’s part of the continuum. But how is she subjective? because she is one of the truth manipulators. She is part of In the movie, Natalie provoked Lenny by telling him he will never remember anything and still be best friends with him. She told things like his wife was a whore. Lenny, being as helpless as his memory, erupted and punched Natalie. To cut the story short, natalie was able to make Lenny beleieve that Dodd hit him when in fact. It was he. Lenny’s short tterm meory was triggered again in terms of pressure and tense to remember this but failed after hearing the car door slam. Lenny believed in something someone told him based on what he thinks are injuries made by Dodd. For him, this injuries are made Another example would be, the corrupt officer, Teddy a.k.a John G. Assuming Teddy told the truth about the fact that they already killed John G, Lenny still believed what he wants to believe. The real truth was affected when Teddy made Lenny look like an idiot after killing the drug dealer. Therefore, Teddy is also a truth manipulator. Thus, saying “do i lie to myself to be happy? In your case teddy, yes i will” The truth in this movie is what Leonard believes in .

In relation to the four noble truths, the suffering that Lenny experienced was his sickness called “short-term memory loss.” This sickness was caused by his attachment to his wife. However, Lenny’s wife died because of over dosage from a medicine done by himself. But his last memory only reminded him that John G. was the one who killed his wife so he was just creating his own reality. Therefore, he was also creating his own cause of suffering because he kept on searching John G; a John G who might not exist.

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After analyzing the events, we believe Leonard was not able to overcome the third and fourth truth which are elimination of cause and pathway leading to the end of suffering. He will only be able to reach the cessation of his suffering when he accepts the fact that he killed his wife and move on.

Memento was really mind boggling. Even after answering the questions, we have to admit, there MIGHT be other possible answers but ours, we think we nailed it.

As for Leonard, lose the tattoos man!

As for Guy Pearce and Christopher Nolan, 5 stars for the both of you!

SOURCES

•http://teacherdavid.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/a-new-way-to-think-about-learning-subjectivity/

Fairytales to Reality

When I was a child, I have always believed in fairy tales—that unicorns exist, that everyone would soon live in a castle with her prince charming, live their happily ever after and the like. However, as a part of growing up, I know that I should not be bound with that kind of belief because if I did, I would not have grown. As years pass by, it is fairly important that everyone has to deal with this thing called maturity.  I believe that part of growing up means being open-minded with knowing; realizing and most importantly accepting that there is a big difference between fantasy and reality, between what is real and what is not.

Basing it from my example or better yet experience, I believe that maturity was applied when I have most likely accepted that some things are just left as a part of everyone’s imagination –that unicorns apparently don’t exist and that one’s happily ever after would not come that easy.  Although I have accepted reality, I think that my belief on unicorns, fairy tales and the like when I was a child have an  importance as well because they served as my roots to my development of how (mature) I think now.

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Source: http://weknowmemes.com/2013/03/taylor-swift-vs-adele-same-age-but/

Same goes for my understanding with Leni Garcia’s article about philosophy. I like how the article started its roots from how the society believed that they are ruled by the gods and goddesses to the rise of the early thinkers who “risked” questioning the existence and origins of things to the creation of stories like The Allegory of the Cave (in which I would like to focus on because story basically sums up the whole point of the reading. This shows that the history of philosophy did not come easy—that it also has gone numerous processes that resulted to what we are studying now.

The Allegory of the cave basically sums up the main point of the article because as to my understanding of it, I believe that it is about going beyond the usual kind thinking of the majority in search of what is real. The majority I was referring to are those people who are bounded by what others say is true so they in return just go with the flow and think of it as true as well. That’s not the point why we are here. We shouldn’t be limited with what was said to us by others. The challenge for us is to stand out, search and discover things ourselves so that our way of thinking is not limited.

Speaking of being limitless, imagine how hard and wild it was before for the early thinkers to risk and go beyond the usual thinking of the majority. Maybe I should give it a shot as well.  I would like to give myself the chance to create my very own version of a mythical story. Hopefully, you readers would not think of me as crazy! Here it goes..

A little kid went inside his room and stumbled upon a set of puzzle. Its pieces however were not put in the right place. Out of curiosity of what the picture of the puzzle will show, he started fixing it. Alas! After quite some time, he finished fixing the puzzle and it resulted to a picture of multiple colors that seemed to have no meaning at all. Disappointed on how the picture resulted to that, the kid decided to leave. Strange to the eyes, just when he was about to leave, the puzzle suddenly beamed light. The kid suddenly noticed this mysterious change and out of curiosity once more, went near the puzzle. The puzzle suddenly swallowed the little kid and took him to a different world.

As he entered this world, he saw lots of things. He saw people, he saw nature, he saw animals– He saw everything that never existed in his world before.

As he stepped into this world, everything and everyone started to bow down to him. Confused on the things going on, a voice suddenly whispered to him and explained that he was the very first one to solve the puzzle and therefore he is granted the reward to rule their world as long as the next kind of puzzle would not be solve by anyone. The kid rightfully agreed and started ruling this world.

The kid, being new to this decided to have an agreement that he should be treated the same way as how everyone treats one another. He made it clear that he makes mistakes too just like any other person. With that being stated, he also said that everyone is there to help one another.

 The system worked very well and lasted for 17 years. The kid had to go back to the world where he originally lived because apparently, another person from another world solved the new puzzle.

The cycle will go on as long as there is a puzzle to be solved by a certain someone.

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Source: http://www.singingthroughtherain.net/2012/04/the-reintegration-puzzle-putting-the-pieces-back-together.html