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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Williamsburg Revisited

Happy Thursday, everyone!

At first, I thought of writing my blog post in Ilokano this time. But then, I abandoned that idea. 

At the outset, I'd like to let you know that I am writing this blog post while sitting comfortably in one of the chairs in the lobby at Williamsburg Hotel where the VAST(Virginia Association of Science Teachers) 2012 Professional Development Institute is now under way or ongoing. BTW, Freny is now attending in one of the sessions, after lunch break at the hotel. 

My wife Freny, who has been teaching Chemistry in one of the high schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia for more than a decade now, is a registered participant in this annual conference. I'm just her guest, so to speak. (Yes, we've Williamsburg a visited a couple of times years back, watched a reenactment, dined at one of the fine restaurants there.) She and I have attended this event years ago. But in a different venue. In fact, when I was still active duty in the US Navy, I used to go with her to any professional development workshop or conference she's registered. But at my own expense. As long as I know the conference date in advance, I put my chit for, say, two-three days off, from work. And most of the time, my leave request is always approved or granted. Aware of the importance of attending/participating in professional development programs and further in-service training, and continuing education, we've been to other cities, and states like Atlanta, Tennessee, etc.  Believe me, it's always a learning experience, for me personally, to be out there somewhere in other places. There's always something new to learn from these educational conferences, institutes, workshops. 

Now, you might ask me or may have this in mind: Why do you always go with her each time she attends a conference or workshop, especially if the venue is out of town or state? At first, my plan was to finish 20 years in the Service and I was looking forward to working in the public schools after retiriment from the military. In 1999, I already obtained my 5-year teaching licensed, with endorsement in English, from the state's Department of Education. Though I was still in the military that time, I was already trying to accumulate my CEUs (continuing education units) for my recertification. In the course of time, I was able to renew my teaching license, after having accumulated more than the 150 points needed for recertification, even if I weren't teaching or using it yet because I was still in the military. (Just to remind you that I used to be a classroom teacher and English college instructor way back in my native country, the Philippines, in the late '70s. That's prior to emigrating to the United States in early '80s and subsequently joining the US Navy in 1985.) But, things changed. Life has changed, for me, especially my health conditions. Along the way, while fulfilling my obligations in the Service, delivering quality patient care to all military healthcare beneficiaries from one duty station to another, naval medical hospitals to clinics to hospitals, there were events that happened unexpectedly. And, I've come to realize that there are plans we make that don't materialize for reasons that are beyond our control. But, in the end, I finished 20 years of honorable military service that entitled me to a lifetime of retirement pay and other benefits. Thank you, good and gracious God. Whatever happened to me, I can now accept my fate for it's your will, I believe. Hence, no more productive employment for me, though I didn't abandon my passion to educate or to teach or share my knowledge, ideas and skills. I'm just trying to enjoy life, each day. But I can still make a difference in others' lives, I tend to believe. After all, I haven't completely abandoned my desire to help or to be of assistance when needed, despite my physical disablity (chronic lower back and fibromyalgia, etc.). 

Anyway, I'm with Freny at Williamsburg. Just to be out and about. We may stay here up to Saturday. Or not. The fact is, she didn't make our hotel reservation ahead of time. We inquired at the hotel's information/front desk personnel if they still have available room. Nope. It's fully booked, they said. We might go to nearest or neighboring hotel/inn. We'll see what happens. We can always commute, though.

Well, Freny's done with her registration and her first session. Tomorrow, Friday, is a busy day for the science educator participants. This is all for now and until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful day, everyone! As always, may God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 08Nov2012 

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