Nothing of Consequence

courtesy of freeimages.com

So… it’s vacation time and I’m currently resting. Who would believe that I could take time off these days and actually blog my lonesomeness away with words that can sometimes make my brain bleed? (okay I don’t know if that should be an oxymoron).

Anyway, I am not yet done with my teaching duties inasmuch as there still are lots of things that I need to pay attention to. For one, teaching requires a big chunk of one’s time to make sure that students are well informed into future activities and that you would not go wrong with anything, especially in keeping records and stuff. Being new into the public school–and literally shocked with all the goings-on that I literally felt out of place with all my efforts into comprehending the ins and outs–I had my own versions of baptisms of fire. I never envisioned that teaching in the public school requires your entire presence, and not merely academic designations. Be it with record keeping or sometimes assuming administrative preoccupations with all the paperwork here, there, and everywhere, that certain presence always comes with a dose of perseverance. Who says that being a public high school teacher is someone who merely lugs around his or her handouts and tonnes of books everyday: above all else the profession requires a heart full of mettle and a mind quick and witty. After all, students come from a diversity of backgrounds so adjusting with them is definitely an imperative.

To prove such a point, earlier before posting this haphazardly-written piece of mine, I began posting on Facebook certain clarifications on enrollment come May 23rd. Students have been asking, some even banking on hearsay and rumour-mongering. Of course it is my mandated duty to cater to all these and prevent miscommunication amongst my students so my ultimate recourse was to step in and dispel all vestiges of confusion. Eventually there came the Facebook note (updated a myriad times) and two or three additional reminders in the form of status messages. Of course some students took notice; on the other hand, colleagues also began sharing the same info. So yes. Then again, my duty extends beyond the classroom… even during times wherein I should be enjoying articles to write.

To some it might be a matter of no consequence, i.e., teachers taking their time off because they are entitled to such (vacations sometimes are pretty non-existent in other agencies, institutions, or departments whether public or private). But in truth, teaching even extends beyond the confines of the classroom—we still cater to students who need special attention, forms that would either mean academic life or death to a learner, and even periodic classes just so to ensure that they would pass a subject. Whether such follow-ups are done at home using a wifi connection or laptop (or even a mobile phone), hours spent by a teacher can also necessitate selflessness. On this note, there could be nothing else said about this state of life other than that of dignity and magnanimity personified.

Indeed, it might seem taxing though at the same time, of no consequence (sometimes unfortunate). Nonetheless, on my part, I still find a certain degree of rejuvenation—mostly with the idea that I am trudging in the footsteps of Caritas oh so sublime.

It’s 2017, A Super Late Post, and Some Unraveling To Claim

courtesy of freeimages.com

Times flies so fast and the last thing I knew it was 2017. Sure enough, I didn’t have much of the temerity to blog during the latter part of last year (due in part to work, the other about having this eensy-weensy self confidence as a leftover from my attempts to REALLY write) hence a solitary post dated August 26, 2016–long overdue, as I should say. Add to that would be a lack of interesting occurrences somehow blog-worthy so I decided to keep myself to the sidelines, dabbling with my new job instead and breaking both my neck and back over it (working is fun, I tell you). So apart from meaningless ruminations that abounded all throughout 2016 notwithstanding a sort of dry spell regarding anything correlated to writing as a hobby and predilection, I never boasted about anything that I could share to the rest of the world. Everything was a desert-like conundrum.

But ever since my friend Lily was benevolent enough to renew my domain for me, I was eventually knocked into a eureka moment of sorts that, indeed, I have neglected my blog. Thoughts like “Isn’t it you’ve been dying to be a writer ever since you first laid eyes on and reveled at Virginia Woolf’s feminist dialectics in ‘To The Lighthouse’ that now you are laying your hopes and dreams to waste?” flooded my conscious waking hours, perturbing me and thus igniting a pressured state within me to actually come up with something nay falling into status-like messages on Facebook. Having been wrapped up in that virtual hodge-podge of personal sentiments and two to three liner ecosystems of thought on that ever-uncanny world of Mark Zuckerberg’s genius, I have become used to writing–yes–one liners along with the rest of humankind glued to either desktop or smartphone for each and every waking hour. With thus, I’ve become accused of being a smartphone addict when in fact I’d merely check my Facebook messages when nudged by intuition concerning important messages from colleagues channeled through Messenger. Other than that and viewing updates and comments from the Gilmore Girls fan community I belong to, I don’t do anything except scroll downwards unto an infinite number of other updates that leave my eyes strained and my head brewing with a migraine. So I am not a smartphone (nor Facebook) addict but your usual casual user who intermittently shuts of data/wifi connection when I’d feel tired. I don’t do games either. Yet, all these have left my desire to write buried under heaps of trivialities and a loss of self-assurance about my craft. Time and time again would I feel nonchalantly agitated when the idea of producing something that would solicit nods if not acceptance from eminent people in the field of working entirely with words and expressions would either take hold of me or drive me unto a soulful refilling of that ever-elusive desire to scribble once more. Why can’t I seem to enter into that world again—the literary, the august, the bold universe of setting hearts and minds aflame with sentences, phrases, punctuation marks, as such serving as testaments of knowledge and self-consciousness of worldview? Why have I unilaterally escaped the dimensions of crafting something out of a “The” or an “A”, continuing with verses that drive men and women to pursue a transcendent existence? Why have I resolved to strip myself of the glorious means for which I have lived and breathed words so as I may exalt Genius and Wisdom with all my might? So much so have I never imagined the gravity of my mishaps. For quite some time, I entered into a dissolution of my coming to terms with my capability to breathe life into words and make them perform what imagination dictates them to become.

Of course, it is an understatement to say that I have been struck with my own betrayal of literature as I have unwittingly set it aside as merely that which forms part of a gnawing ache that stemmed forth from a waning self-esteem. I have always thought that my ability to construct, deconstruct, conjure ideas, and spawn magical morphemes can never be regained as my thinking processes have slowed considerably due to many factors related to my own health matters. So now here I am (I thought), bereft of anything reminiscent of Midas’ touch on paper. I have always declared that I am now heretofore doomed to die a death of remorse over my desolation; however, it is still within my means to stave off any vestige of decrepitude. AND I MUST HOLD ON TO THE FACT THAT I CAN STILL BE PRODUCTIVE.

Recognising what I can still do proved an epiphany in some way and it sparked in me that long-forgone mettle that I can be and do anything my soul desires, as long as it can be within reach or is feasible. It was upon that cognisance that I began considering tinkering with the idea of writing down my thoughts, scribbling those various imageries that dawn on me, setting fire to dormant zealousness. With such, I have prepared notebooks I will be using for that long-forestalled short story I have always had in mind, and I have a feeling I could accomplish what I envision.

There is no turning back, in the same way that 2017 has come marching in with its host of opportunities. I cannot be moved: a writer in her own free-spirited way needs to raise her voice and charge with all her might, notwithstanding hail, fire, or brimstone. It is only through her craft that she can enter into battle against diffidence, and her prayer is that of winning through a Providential Muse.

Let the story commence.

And Soon.

Blogging has taken a form of hiatus since April because 1) lots of new things have happened in my life; and 2) I’ve become too busy to blog, sometimes even to check Facebook. Nonetheless I would like to return to the routine not for anything else but for its power to keep me entirely immersed in pursuing the craft of the written word.

So, stay tuned for a newer blog post soon! I can’t wait.

And Test.

jetpack-error

I published this test page earlier because I was trying out a plugin I substituted for WordPress’ “Publicize”; but since I found its features a bit more complicated and out of touch for me (I still needed to look for ways on how to utilise its functions), I opted to uninstall. And to think all all these brouhaha of alternative plugins got overboard just because Jetpack was having a xml-rpc 32700-type error, thus preventing a possibility that I connect to WordPress.com’s servers to access WP.com functionalities.

It’s actually a long story: Jetpack suddenly not working ever since I accessed my self-hosted WordPress site on WordPress for Desktop and disconnected it through the interface, installing and reinstalling the said plugin for countless times, then eventually emailing Jetpack support and bugging my site administrator. All of these urgent measures did I execute in three or so hours and yes, I was tired of awaiting any sorts of replies. Good thing my site admin was helping out too and yes, an unbridled effort on my part to remedy the situation through searching every nook and cranny of the Web for answers.

Upon my astonishment, a lot more articles surfaced about plugins that actually prevent Jetpack’s cURL from running thereby aborting Jetpack itself as well. Most of these, saith some sites I perused, are anti-spam and security plugins since they compromise the working stability of Jetpack (since it uses XML-RPC which even WP Tavern, in a featured article, expressed discontent over glitches in which it has secured itself a role). Now the culprit has been unraveled: WP-Spam Shield and Wordfence, two very good plugins if I should say. So with a heavy heart, I prompted myself to deactivate those; and with such a move, Jetpack began running smoothly as it has always been even while those two plugins coexisted in the “activated” list once upon a time.

Oh well, one thing I have learned so far is to be more patient though. Who knows that a controversy, plugin wise, may mean more than just losing one’s sanity. Therefore all these are lessons on level-headedness, a disposition in which I am utterly wanting.

I Want to Join. Yes, No, Maybe.

A once in a lifetime chance (perhaps) to meet Palanca Award-winning novelist Miguel Syjuco is now at hand as the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies will be hosting a meet-and-greet of sorts—in a literary way, of course—entitled Writing in Exile: A Conversation with Miguel Syjuco” come May 4th. A regular event at the Center, it will highlight conversations and formal lectures, thus providing a chance for the audience to ask pertinent questions or clarify anything regarding a writer’s piece. This indeed would be yet another opportunity for me to revel in genius, not to mention being in the presence of highly-revered personages in the field of literature.

I hope I could come… if only I have enough cash and if there would not be an exorbitant entrance fee.

Here’s the screenshot from the sponsoring center’s Facebook page:

screenshot-www.facebook.com 2016-04-27 13-57-20

Anyway, everyone’s encouraged to join as it is open to the general public.

At Long Last

This, one of my most coveted sweets:

image
KitKat with Matcha.

A cousin and her husband recently came back from a trip to The Land of the Rising Sun and they brought home some omiyage composed mostly of sweets and rice crackers. The dearth of “pasalubong” was actually due to pricier items in Tokyo, which as we all know, is a city that personifies high cost of living at its finest. But at least they brought home something; and what we got were a bunch of Matcha KitKat mini bars, mochi cakes, and rice crispies (the latter two were not caught on camera).

So okay. Yum. 🙂

Working through Child Themes

child-themes

This is actually in conjunction with my previous post on http errors, which, thankfully has not repeated itself except that moment when I had to update my theme so much so that functions.php was changed (of course it was overwritten by newer theme files). Since I was complaining in myself about inputting the image upload php script all over again whenever themes get updated, I mentioned such to my site administrator who then recommended that I use child themes. Well, I could say I am fairly familiar with the procedure since I did it before (when WordPress was still in its 3.++ builds) with much success. So it was without trepidation and mettle that I replied with a gutsy “yes, I’ll do a child theme”.

Or so I thought.

Little did I know that the @import specification of CSS seems to be deprecated in newer versions of WordPress in terms of establishing child themes. Indeed, this became more complicated than I imagined them to be since it has become apparent that it isn’t enough just to import a stylesheet but to call both style and function for a theme to work. In this case, I have to create the child theme’s style.css and functions.php and with thus, appear to reconstitute the original theme though providing more flexibility in terms of customisations. Sounds simple yes? It is, but one has to be careful.

Following tutorials from WPMUDev, I first edited my style.css but without entire swathes of css code except the style header. Usually I thought that headers didn’t mean so much, but this project made me think twice over condemning headers as “trivial.” Then I proceeded to do a new functions.php where I placed a script that should connect the parent theme to the child theme (also, I resolved to add the php code that prevents http errors upon media library upload). Soon as I was through, I connected to my server via FTP to test.

Of course, I did fail many times.

After so many tries, finally I was able to implement a child theme for my current theme, and no more hassles of awaiting for yet another update and ruining my momentum over http errors. Anyway, I just hope that all the ruckus is temporary since WordPress 4.5.1 is going live anytime soon—with more anticipation towards fixing what needs to fixed.

HTTP Return Error Solved

httperror
Courtesy of webgranth.com

Yesterday and the day before, I’ve been having trouble uploading files onto the newly-designed WordPress 4.5 Media Library for some unbeknownst reasons for which. Time and time again, whenever I’d choose my photos then click on “Upload”, the progress bar would proceed smoothly up to about 80%, then lag, then return an error with a bottom red border. Not a good sign.

According to the WordPress Support Page tackling this dilemma, many users who have likewise moved up to WP 4.5 reported similar incidents which, according to them, have been experienced mainly after the upgrade. Oh of course, I have heard of stories about plugins and themes not working; but in this case, it is a different story altogether ever since WP developed 4.5. This means the version is causing more chaos than expected and for my part, I was surprised to my core as well. This ruckus would be equivalent to countless WordPress self-hosted bloggers and content managers expressing utter dismay as to what WordPress did as far as framework is concerned. On my part I even thought that PHP released a Php 6, thereby releasing into the wild more compatibility issues in terms of CMS and server alike. Wow, pandemonium at its finest.

Regardless of my unsolicited assumptions, though, I reckoned that Php initialising a newer version would be illogical as of this point since there aren’t any rumours so far, whether on wikileaks-like tech blogs or news from Php.com. So I was left with the inkling that maybe—only maybe—this latest version of WordPress has a bug of some sort, preventing media uploads. Thus I searched far and wide, thankfully landing on the aforementioned WordPress Support page. While some suggested that one’s server administrator be contacted immediately related to the concern at hand, a member of the forum recommended that a php code be entered in a theme’s function.php file. Another mentioned that it’s best to tweak .htaccess with an entry for library upload permissions. Of course, as having developed a personal acumen for these sorts of things, I had to do both.

First I did .htaccess but to no avail and to think I applied the procedure twice through FTP. Next move was to insert the php code into function.php. Miracle of miracles, it worked! Relieved I was indeed. However, jubilation turned into pensiveness entirely due to the idea of having to edit function.php for every theme in case there’s a need to change such. I thought it would’ve been best that the .htaccess procedure was more potent enough to propagate permissions of this nature.

Nonetheless, I am just glad that image uploads are now fine as of this writing. Thanks to those guys at WordPress Support Forums.