The Busy Bee Takes a Break

tabi card

Birthday Card for Tabi. Watercolor. 2010.

Student 1: Ms. VJ, why you not in Art class? Why you in library?

Me: Well, not only am I the Art teacher, I’m the Librarian too! So for now, I stay here in the library.

Student 2: WOW!

Student 1: Why, Ms. VJ, why?

Me: Because I’m Superwoman!! (sabay pose!)

Student 1  & 2: YYAAAAAYYY!!!

The new school year is very challenging for me, but at the same time very enjoyable. I’ve been learning plenty of new things and sharpening plenty of new skills too. I feel like I can do anything now!

I feel changed.

Of course, it’s just a feeling. But still, I don’t remember being this confident in my answers now although at the back of my head there may linger some doubts. I don’t remember being so sure of myself  but at the same time avoiding being too overbearing. I don’t remember being this hardworking in my life, when by nature I’m quite lazy (haha!). I don’t  remember being this social and cheerful, although there still remains a degree of reserve on my part.  I don’t remember being this courageous to take on many challenges in various parts of my life. I don’t remember being this brave to take on these many risks.

I’ve grown, haven’t I?


So I think I have cataloged over a thousand books in a month! Cataloging involves recording the book title, author, subject of the book, ISBN, and then sorting the book by Reader Level, category, fiction or non-fiction, and the barcode (which is the ID of the book as a property of the school) into the Library computer system — by the way, did I ever mention that I fixed the library computer problem by myself? HAHA! Accomplishment of the year! I’m really proud about that!

My assistant tells me that I’m a really fast worker, and she’s really happy about it — about me being the new Librarian — because we accomplish a lot in a day, and now the teacher’s can check out many books that we can monitor (the computer system helps us keep track of the books), and the students can soon begin borrowing books from the library too.


  • Beginning October, I shall be helping a Korean businessman practice his English thrice a week. 😉 So I will be very, very busy (and very very worn out at the end of the day!)
  • I have also begun my lessons in Khmer. My assistant is teaching me the language every after work. And I’m quite happy that my brain’s not at all lame… I can remember some words well, especially when they’re really useful! Lemme see…

…a watermelon sounds like Aw-lot!

…a bitter gourd sounds like Me-reah!

…a corn sounds like Pout!

…a guava sounds like Pro-bite!

…a tomato sounds like Pain-poh!

…a broccoli sounds like Pika-katna-pooh-baitong!

…a cauliflower sounds like Pika-katna-poohwasoh!

…a green bell pepper sounds like Me-tay-plop!

…chili is Me-tay!

…mango si Svay!

…cabbage is Spy-Kidap-or something!… haha.. that one I really couldn’t remember

…an eggplant sounds like Prop!

…a Pineapple sounds like Mi-noa!

There. Those are all the names of food that I was taught today… and I remembered. I also got a few tips on how to say “How much for two of these?” and “I just want one of these please”… because I now shop at the wet-market and I can’t forever hold my peace there! HAHA!  The last time I shopped there, I just wanted a handful of Okra, but the vendor just piled my plastic bag with half-a-kilo of Okra I can’t consume in a week. They all got spoiled in my fridge.

Well now I can break my silence and just insist on a handful of okra!

  • Two of my co-teachers have also expressed interest to learn drawing from me at least once a week… that is, I finally gave in to their desire for me to teach them. 🙂
  • I shall resume teaching one of my students painting beginning next month too, I think. Just once a week, but still… that makes my week very full already.


I haven’t gotten around to painting Lola my birthday present. I’m just so worn out everyday that I haven’t the energy to do anything else besides watch a movie and sleep. But tonight I’ll have to pull an all-nighter for it. My Uncle’s arriving (tonight?) and I intend to send the painting with him when he gets back to Oregon.


I think I’ve made a friend today. At least I hope so. This person and I have plenty of things in common — we just found out about it today. I am surprised at how much we like the same things. We’re also of the same age; also of the same brain-wavelength. How cool is that? I miss having friends like that. I really do. I wish we are friends… I wish my friends were here right now.

Gawsh, am I lonely or what?

And this is why I keep busy as much as I can. This is why I didn’t hesitate to take on all those jobs I’ve mentioned earlier. This is why I need to keep distracted… the loneliness becomes too real when I’m all alone, doing nothing.

I think I might go overboard and take Capoeira classes twice a week in the evenings. Hope it doesn’t kill me. I’m kinda nervous about the idea too though. Whatcha think?

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