08 September 2010


Tutor Tales, Volume 21

Move over, Doctor Nemesis! Someone else has managed to live up to her 80s cartoon alias better than you have! I mean, of course, little Angel Delight.

I hadn't realised that I had forgotten my favourite part of teaching--the complex give and take between teacher and student when they like learning things together. I remembered it only this week, when I found myself drawing a map for Angel Delight's mock exam for Hekasi(ku!) and enjoying every minute of it.

Yes, drawing. As in making do without a printer. As in staring at the PC screen, then sketching a few centimetres of coast; staring again and sketching again; staring . . . sketching . . .

Tomorrow I may find out that there are blank maps
for sale in every school supply store in the city.
I don't think I'll really care. =P

My first model was really bad. I ended up pressing it against the screen of my monitor and trying to trace the coast as best as I could--which wasn't that easy because the paper was thick and the drawing I was trying to copy was light grey against white.

Yeah, I just needed the north of Luzon:
Region I, Region II, and the Cordillera Autonomous Region.

Then I flubbed the province borders of the second model because those were impossible to trace the same way I traced the coast. I kept the second paper, anyway, so that I could trace it instead.

Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino were the most challenging.

That is, I worked to get the borders right, then darkened the lines as soon as they were a decent enough approximation of those on the online map, and finally pressed a third sheet of paper over that and tried to make a neat copy at last.

Okay, so Abra is wider than it's supposed to be.
And so?

Yes, the above is the final product. No, it's not perfect--but that's not the point.

This little project left me amazed at myself. Any other tutee I've had since I started this gig, I might have just made to fill up a table (Column A, Provinces; Column B, Capitals; Column C, Region Number/Acronym) or fill in some blanks ("The primary industry in the Ilocos Region is __________."). I'd keep it to a bare minimum because they don't really seem to care. My approach to Doctor Decimator and Scrap Metal is necessarily task oriented: my motto being, "As long as the homework for the day gets done and all the answers are correct, I've done my job!" When the student holds back, the tutor holds back, too.

(Yes, it can be argued that the cause-and-effect actually runs the other way: when the tutor holds back, the student holds back, too. It can also be suggested that I don't have the magic touch with boys that I seem to have with girls. But do you really want this post to be longer than it has to be?)

Obviously, tutoring is an incredibly different experience with Angel Delight. Last week, when I told her to have her coloured pencils ready for our mock exam, she clapped her hands and cheered. And my teacher's heart felt the joy. So it was no trouble at all--in fact, it was the beginning of the fun--to make that blank map for her. My two boys might never believe it, but I do like seeing my tutees happy.

And now, as an added benefit, I have something for my "files" again, don't I? The last time I had any files worth talking about, I was a full-time high school teacher required to keep records of abso-bloody-lutely every last thing in the universe. And when I resigned, I couldn't take any of them with me--not even the lesson plans, which were the fruit of my own creativity. So I went in with nothing and came out with nothing. It's really nice to have this blank map to start a new collection with--and even nicer to have a lovely tutee who made it all possible.

Image Source: Philippines blank map


Belfry Bat said...

I was looking for an on-line copy of something I saw last time I visted home. This is the closest I can find; the one I remembered was on a napkin, but this is pretty cool, too!

Enbrethiliel said...


You know, if you asked me to draw an outline of my region and to find three important places on it, I would not be able to do that! I don't know if it's just my ignorance again or if I really didn't get a proper foundation in Geography.

What about you, Bat? Could you do that for your home?

Belfry Bat said...

The thing is, nobody's ever been so careful as to draw up where The Shire *ends*, except on the Eastern edge at the High Hay. I suppose south-aways the Brandywine is as good a marker as any, as is the Withy from Haysend, but still... so, for outlines...


Enbrethiliel said...


You're having too much fun now. I don't think I can allow that. =P