The cyberspace, meanwhile, poses similar threats. Rosario-Braid, Tuazon & Gamolo (2007) argued that it is an alienating medium (p. 285). On a personal note, I do not think it is but it can. That is the realization I obtained from work. The company that I work for provides online tutoring service for a US-based client. Basically, my coworkers and I review the papers of our students and offer personalized feedback that will help them improve their drafts. In the process of reviewing an essay, we need to reread/understand the assignment given by the professor(because that would be the bases for the feedback), read the paper, think of ways on what can be done to improve it, and express these suggestions and feedback in their draft. This cycle goes over and over again for the entire shift. For this setting, I believe that the very nature of the job is what makes it alienating. Face-to-face interaction is out of the picture. We communicate with our students through writing, but that is limited to what is written there. The setting becomes too mental and less social at times. And while I get to write at work most of the time, my work in this setup is purely on reading and writing which are very solitary in nature. With this work experience, I become familiar with the issues brought about by the cyberspace.
–think paper 1 February 2014
The lesson on capitalism also hit me big time. That was what I felt when I finally became aware of how it is embedded in the society in general and in my work life. Korten (1999) used the Siren to introduce capitalism in the most and creative and daunting way: “the Siren who hides her true nature behind a false clock of democracy and market freedom has laid claim to our soul and is feeding on our flesh. Her name is capitalism” (p. 36). Capitalism has successfully prompted people to become mere machines working 9 to 5, leave their families in search for green pastures, and neglect living their lives. It first “fed on my flesh” upon knowing the news that Ma’am Hope was about to leave the country for a teaching post in Thailand way back 2008. She was one of the toughest professors I had in college, and I learned a lot from her through our lessons in English 22 (Introduction to Literary Theories and Criticism). This subject, by far, was the most difficult in among our English courses, and she was able to help me analyze stories better through writing notes on my paper, asking dialogic questions whenever I did not support my analyses, recognizing my strengths in my papers, etc. In fact, one of the most memorable experiences I had in the class was writing a psychoanalytic analyses of Exupery’s The Little Prince and Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper. These stories have a lot to share and I consider that as a memorable assignment. So this event, along with my other ideals, prompted me to have this mantra: I will work here in the Philippines and I will not add to that brain drain scenario. I felt bad for other countries enjoy the best of our human capital and imagined the loss of our department for not having Ma’am Hope.
Oddly enough, I find myself doing the opposite after our graduation last March 2008. For my first job, I worked for Koreans. This was where I proofread their journals, provided constructive feedback and suggestions for them to effectively express their ideas in English, wrote several scripts for an educational TV show in Korea, constructed test questions for evaluation, and parsed sentences for their lessons. And in my most recent job, I work for Americans; I review their submissions and provide feedback to guide them towards appropriate revisions of their papers. I never had the chance to at least work for our community, and that made me think that capitalism feeds on my flesh. I am technically working here yet I work for the ones in other countries. Indeed, capitalism has been embedded in my work life, and with this, I would like to work on a project that is in line with my mantra six years ago.
think paper 2 April 2014