Monday, February 26, 2007

Am I an Insightful Linguist?

It's a Monday so don't blame me. I ended up answering's IQ test and here's what I found out:

You scored 127 on Tickle's IQ test. This means that based on your answers, your IQ score is between
117 and 127. Most people's IQs are between 70 and 130

Because of the way you process information, these are just some of the many careers in which you could excel:
Graphic designer
Public speaker

You've got tons of strengths. It wouldn't surprise us if you:
Can clarify complex issues
Can bring new insight to ideas through their fresh perspective
Are good at leading teams

Now let's look at the factors that contribute to you being an Insightful Linguist with a 127 IQ score. Based on the results of your test, Tickle divided your scores into four distinguishable dimensions — mathematical intelligence, visual-spatial intelligence, linguistic intelligence and logic intelligence.

You scored in the 80th percentile on the mathematical intelligence scale.This means that you scored higher than 70% - 80% of people who took the test and that 20% - 30% scored higher than you did. Your mathematical intelligence score represents your combined ability to reason and calculate. You scored relatively high, which means you're probably the one your friends look to when splitting the lunch bill or calculating your waitresses' tip. You may or may not be known as a math whiz, but number crunching might come a little easier to you than it does others. (I welcome this information about me as I always thought that I wasn't good in math, however, this could've been a direct result of my constant practice as a Mom --- you know, balancing the checkbook and paying bills monthly!)

You scored in the 100th percentile on the visual-spatial intelligence scale.This means that you scored higher than 90% - 100% of people who took the test and that 0% - 10% scored higher than you did. The visual-spatial component of intelligence measures your ability to extract a visual pattern and from that envision what should come next in a sequence. Your score was relatively high, which could mean that you're the one navigating the map when you're on an outing with friends. You have, in some capacity, an ability to think in pictures. Maybe this strength comes out in subtle ways, like how you play chess or form metaphors. (now, this explains why I am always the navigator on family trips)

You scored in the 90th percentile on the linguistic intelligence scale.This means that you scored higher than 80% - 90% of people who took the test and that 10% - 20% scored higher than you did. Linguistic abilities include reading, writing and communicating with words. Tickle's test measures knowledge of vocabulary, ease in completing word analogies and the ability to think critically about a statement based on its semantic structure. Your score was relatively high, which could mean you know your way around a bookstore and maybe like to bandy about the occasional 25-cent word to impress friends. (I'm sure my work attests to this, I wouldn't be in Contracts if I was poor in this area)

You scored in the 40th percentile on the logical intelligence scale.This means that you scored higher than 30% - 40% of people who took the test and that 60% - 70% scored higher than you did. Tickle's logical intelligence questions assess your ability to think things through. The questions determine the extent to which you use reasoning and logic to determine the best solution to a problem. Your logic score was relatively low, which could mean that when the IKEA furniture arrives sans instructions, you're more likely than others throw in the towel and have a friend to do it for you. (this doesn't come as a surprise, I would rather just experiment than follow manual instructions!)

You have an uncanny ability to work your way out of sticky situations using your talent with words. Crossword puzzles, debates — you're particularly well equipped to come out on top since you can read people well. Like Charles Dickens, your verbal skills go far beyond having a good vocabulary. Dickens' genius was in the artful and descriptive way he crafted sentences. Also Dickensian, is your keen eye for detail and your adeptness for identifying the best way to express an idea based on your given surroundings and circumstances. Your ability to communicate your vision clearly will take you far. So enjoy being perceptive, and make the most of your abilities as an insightful linguist.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What Really Happened

A glimpse of Mommy’s last days with her family in the US ---

It was early 2005, at the tail end of our 2 month vacation in the Philippines, when my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. A few days after returning to the US, I found myself on a plane heading back to Manila for my Mom’s surgery. The successful operation was followed with alternative and homeopathic therapies instead of chemotherapy or radiation. Her decision against chemo & radiation was brought about by her heart condition, as she was recovering from a stroke in 2001, and a history of hypertension.

My parents finally migrated to the US on December 1, 2006. My Mom had lost a considerable amount of weight from the last time I saw her. She would occasionally complain of difficulty breathing and of getting tired easily. There were days when she'll get over it and other days, we'd provide her with respiratory treatments. My dad said that in the past 3-4 mos, she’s been on pain medication for soreness or pain in her back.

In spite of her condition, I witnessed how my Mom managed to ignore any pain and put on her best smile and laughter as she spent those December days with my 2 daughters. She enjoyed her days just being around them, playing “teacher” to them, reading to them, singing with them and watching them perform songs, pretend plays and ballet dances for her. This was all she ever wished for- to enjoy the company of her “apos” (grandchildren).

On New Year's Eve, we brought Mommy to the UC Davis emergency room due to difficulty breathing where she was immediately put into a ventilator. Several chest x-rays and a cat-scan revealed fluid and suspicious and abnormal cells on her chest and lungs. She was kept in the ICU as doctors drained the fluid and treated her for possible infection and pneumonia. On January 2, they tested if they could extubate her but her lungs failed the test so they waited another day. On that same day, we were apprised of her condition while we initiated an emergency visa request for my brother in the Philippines. My Mom’s doctors said that she neither had infection nor pneumonia but that the cancer has metastasized from her breast to her lungs and even to her bones. She had Stage 4 cancer that was very aggressive. Despite this, she passed the second breathing test and the doctor was to extubate her. Before doing so, the doctors explained to her that her lungs may not function satisfactorily and that there is a possibility of putting her in the ventilator again. She said that she did not want the tube back.

A few minutes after the tube was removed, it was apparent that my Mom could not breathe on her own and was gasping for breath. It was so painful for me to see her that way and so I asked her again if she wanted the tube back but she said no, mumbling “walang silbi” (there's no use). I begged to her telling her that without the tube, she would not be able to breathe, and she answered, “mamatay nalang” (I'll just go/die). Mommy’s decision was very difficult for me to hear and accept. Yet, I had to respect it.

Through faith and love for Mommy, we submitted her to God's care --- she was given comfort care (oxygen, morphine, and sedatives) from around 1230 pm. She stayed a little longer to listen to our messages, to which she shed tears especially when she heard Bea's "mahal na mahal kita Lola Mommy” (I love you very very very much) and my brother's voice (saying I love you) on the phone. She passed on peacefully at 9 am in the morning of January 4th (California time).

We are accepting God's will now and my Mom's requests throughout her fight against the disease. We know that the 30 days she spent with her granddaughters certainly meant a thousand days to her. Together with my dad and my brother who was able to come to the US to be with us, we will lay Mommy’s body to rest knowing that her spirit is now in God's bosom and that all her wishes have been granted.


A Message for Mommy

January 19, 2007

As we lay Mommy’s body to its final rest, I would like to go back and remember exactly what I have learned from Mommy’s life here on earth. Her legacy, I should say. Her life, has been pictured by all the stories we’ve heard today, of how she’s affected the lives of the people around her, and through how each one of us who had the chance to know her have seen her live her life.

Words would not be enough to describe Mommy, all her dreams and aspirations, not just for herself, but for us, her children. Having come from humble roots, she dreamt of living a good and comfortable life. I believe this has been her driving force to improve on whatever she already had. She valued her education because she knew that this will allow her to achieve her dreams. And in working towards her dreams, she showed her determination to only be the best in whatever she was doing.

Mommy had a very strong character and that’s why she has always been my pillar and strength. She is my inspiration for achieving what I have and will still achieve in my life. She has instilled in her children, both my brother and I, the value of education. I remember her saying that there is nothing that she could leave us with in this world, but EDUCATION. She always said, “walang katumbas na kayamanan ang EDUKASYON”. Indeed, she and Daddy strived their very best to send us only to the best private schools and then to the premiere university in the Philippines. They supported us all throughout school, knowing that if we went to the best schools and got our degrees, they can let go of us into the world knowing that we would be in good places, wherever we are. Now that I have my own family, this legacy from my Mom would be my inspiration to work hard so that I can also provide my children with the best education.

While growing up, Mommy had always told me that we should CHOOSE our FRIENDS. Knowing my very friendly and trusting character, she always reminded me that not everyone I meet is my friend. For only true friends shine in the darkest of times. I did not understand this when I was younger, but now that I am older; I realize how true her statement was. Indeed, my Mom and my Dad have been surrounded by true friends, who have survived the test of time. These are friends whose lives they have touched by always being there for them, both in good and bad times --- by being there when no one else could be, and by being available to them during the most trying of times. I can attest to her statement now, for indeed, her true friends have surfaced to provide myself, Daddy, and my brother the comfort we need, now that Mommy has passed on.

Mommy will always be my moral conscience. She has always taught me about the love of God and that moral integrity is the utmost building block of one’s character. She never supported any blurry tactics or “panloloko”. She would always tell me that what I do NOW would reflect on me as I live life towards the future. Thus, when faced with doubt in decisions I need to make, I only ask one question, “Will Mommy approve of this?” Only if I can say YES will I know that I have made the right decision.

After Mommy’s passing, a friend of mine said, “Your Mom left a beautiful legacy, and that is YOU.” I can only smile and agree to this statement because I know, that I will continue living my life, based on these 3 things that Mommy has instilled in me --- the value of education, the value of having true friends and of helping others, and the love of God. These, my Mom’s beautiful legacy, I intend to pass on to her granddaughters.