BUGS & BYTES,
In Bigger Prints

Table of Contents

 

Section I
PROLOGUE, EPILOGUE, IKLOG (O MANOK?)

1 The Egg

2 Hatsing! (Bless Me)

3 Arthropodic Wisdom

4 Dear Decision Maker

5 Letters To The World

6   A Pain In My Head

7 Something Happened On My Way To School
8   A Discourse on The Grand Laws of the Universe

9 Black or White

10 Bayanihan in Jeddah

11 Chair of The Interim Board

12 Breakaway Telephonic Existence

13 The 'R' in Mrs. Regis

14 One City, One School

15 Eggs Breaking

16 PESJ History

17 The Chicken Fence

18 Believing The Man

19   My Own Version of The Jolo-Caust

20 My Sister's Version

21 The Rifle Guitar

22   Cat Stevens Unplugged

23  Landing on D-Day

24 The Great O-O-Os of the Late 20th Century

25 He Kept On Stumbling Over Chickens And Eggs

26   The Renaissance of Tilapia Farming And The Likes

27   The Saga Continues

28   The Pigeons In Our Lives

29 The Essence of Education

30   A School Is A Home

31  Gentle Fire From The Qur'an

32  At The Threshold

33  A Brief Discourse On Dancing

34  Being First

35   At The Edge of Light-Blue Metallic

36   Grappling With The Colossus

 

Section II
BUGS & BYTES
In Bigger Prints

The Power To Be
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 1 # 1

Of Crabs & Men
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 2 # 2

PathWalks
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 2 # 2

An Inability To Understand
Excerpts from A Speech by Prince Charles,
B & B Vol. Vol. 3 # 1

'Educating Miriam'
Excerpts from A Case Study of A Philippine School,
B & B Vol 3 # 2

 

Section III
BABEL RISING

A millennial short story

 

A Glossary of Pilipino
(& Near-Pilipino) Terms
Wondering what iklog is?

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Prologue, Epilogue, Iklog (O Manok?)
Copyright 1999 by Said Sadain, Jr.

14   One City, One School

In December 1995, the Saudi Ministry of Education revived a one-city/one-school policy for expatriate community schools.

One city, one school: to some ears, it was like an inspirational jingle from Sesame Street; to other ears, it was a draconian theme rivaling Jurassic Park.

In early 1996, the Philippine embassy told both the PESJ and PSJ to resolve their differences and to re-unite. Otherwise, the Saudi MOE accordingly threatened to close down the two schools.

The PSJ had a little less than a thousand students, a combination of Filipino and non-Filipino children. The PESJ, barely four months old, was pushing to a hundred students, all Filipinos. By the end of school year 1995-1996, the PESJ had 120 students.

At the start of the school year 1996-1997, the PESJ enrolled 370 students and had to keep others on a waiting list.

The pressure to re-unite mounted even more.

The PESJ interim school board was still holding out, and it was probably a time when I grew more white hair than ever in my entire life.

We had to do a lot of marathon school meetings after regular office hours, sometimes stretching into the early dawn hours. We faced general assemblies of angry parents who could not understand why the embassy cannot petition the host government to keep two schools in one city. We discussed around oval tables the committee reports on transportation logistics, employee non-performance, a sportsfest on Family Day, tuition collections to meet the next payday, additional classrooms. We strategized on how to go around the one-city/one-school edict.

I am quite sure my colleagues in the board were also growing white hair although I did not have the luxury of time to verify that.

We added several portacabins in the school ground, hired more teachers, brought in computers for school training and administration, gave out token allowances to cover food and transportation expenses for our parent-volunteers. We arranged for more school transport services in addition to the previous year’s support network of family cars. We shipped in more books from Manila, sometimes grappling with customs problems at the Saudia cargo terminal. We even put up a nutrition program and a coupon system at the school canteen.

A student glee club of some twenty 4th - 6th graders under the melodious conductorship of Sylvia de los Santos was organized. It was a glee club that sang its way into the hearts of many parents, a glee club that was largely instrumental, more than anything else, in rallying a good segment of the Filipino community to our side.

To the Riyadh mission officials, we proffered all kinds of excuses why the PESJ should be a separate entity from the PSJ.


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