I see that there are still many who believe in a report that was published and circulated in social media about the alleged links between vaccination and autism. This claim has been debunked many times and yet it persists. Here is one of the articles that clearly explain the circumstances behind the falsehood that was spread and has had a big impact on health particularly for children who have not had their vaccines and who now place other children at risk of disease and are at risk themselves.
Relatives and friends always ask me what I'm doing during my sabbatical and I reply that I'm involved in some projects here and there. Of course, it's not really so much as a here and there as I spent a lot of time at our center instead of away from it. I was very much accessible for relatives, friends and colleagues during the last year. I didn't go out of the country or out of town for long periods of time as I had planned the year before when the Clairvoyant was still working in Singapore and we had our nice little home somewhere in Chuan Park.
She came back to Manila months before I started my sabbatical and we indulged in other, more important projects. Unfortunately, the most important project of all didn't bear fruit but that is a continuing endeavor and despite all odds, I still believe we'll succeed somehow. The next big project is one that's been delayed but for our limited resources. Despite being professionals we weren't as well compensated as others nor do we come from wealthy families who can help us out with things like putting up a new home. This we resolved to do as we experienced another deluge right after the wife returned home. The importance of this second project was reinforced by another flood a few months ago. Then, of course, there is the prospect of an earthquake sometime in the future...and we wanted to have a safe, secure home where we could also live happily ever after.
I am thankful for the year off teaching and the schedules that go with it as well as admin work at the college, the institute and our center. The flexibility in my schedule, however, allowed me to take on bigger and more relevant projects. These included two local projects with an international agency, one international research with well known institutes, and a few smaller ones with my colleagues at the center. These were all very interesting projects that I chose to take on because they were not just important for me but also were important from a larger perspective, that of the country. At this point in my life and career and during this sabbatical, I felt I had to choose my projects carefully and not just take on anything that comes my way. Of course it helped that I was able to travel abroad and in the Philippines in connection with these projects. The travels afforded me the chance to make some sentimental trips to old haunts and I got to meet new people and strengthen old friendships.
I now look forward to teaching again at the university and perhaps at a more relaxed pace. There will be research, extension and admin work just like before but I will be looking at these challenges and applying my own style of time management so I can enjoy life. It's perhaps my way of getting out of the proverbial rat race.
And definitely, I'm already looking to the next sabbatical...
I've been raring to write about parties, particularly the kind we celebrate during this season of joy. December being the month when we remember the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is a month filled with activities. It does not help that amidst the Christmas and New Year preparations, we tend to mix it up with year-end reports, cramming for deadlines and other activities that contribute to each day becoming toxic.
The Clairvoyant has been nursing a cold the past 2 weeks and my immune system seems to have been able to resist the virus only until yesterday when the tell-tale symptoms of a cold started to manifest. Even as I write, I am actually clearing my throat and feeling the soreness despite drinking hot beverage to remedy the problem. It is actually a delaying tactic for I feel it is inevitable that I will be going down with a serious case of the colds. Vitamins can only help when it is not yet there but when it is, nutrients will help lessen the impacts of sickness.
Yet, we still go on like the Energizer bunny - participating in parties and other activities that we juggle with our workload. Christmas, after all, is a time to celebrate no matter if there are deadlines to beat or reports to be written and submitted. It is an excuse to give oneself a break and even lower one's guard in as far as schedules are concerned. For aren't we afraid of being called scrooges? Killjoys? I certainly am not one and I am very happy to see friends and colleagues with their families coming together to celebrate as one big happy family.