Sr. Vimonrat Sretaraksa is one of my most avid students in English writing. Her main problem in the beginning was to express herself more spontaneously and in a more vivid way. After some lessons and exercises on free-writing, and “show, not tell” — she feels that it is now much easier to describe her thoughts and feelings. This is the final draft of one of her descriptive paragraphs. She mostly revised and edited her previous drafts with the help of some guide questions.



The picture of my perpetual vow ceremony is still colorful in my memory. This is the most important event in my life, the day that I have become a bride of Christ forever. I am led to the Eucharistic celebration accompanied by the beautiful song of the Sacred Heart Choir. In my hand, I hold a lighted candle that is decorated with little white and green flowers; I remember the wise bride who waits until the bridegroom comes. When a grand door opens, I walk on the red carpet that directs me to the sacred altar. On the way, I hear many people sing a lively song as in a big party in heaven. I am like a princess in a long white dress who promenades to the wonderful party. As I bow down at the altar, a spray of sweet floral fragrance greeted me. White lilies, pink roses and purple orchids are bunched together like a lovely garden. I cannot imagine, if I were a tiny butterfly. I would sniff all of the flowers. The significant part of the ceremony is coming, when mother superior calls my name. When I hear her call, I do not hesitate to answer, “I am here.” I have to step out in front of the altar. My left hand holds the lighted candle, while my right hand clutches my statement of vows. My hands are shaking, my tummy grumbles with so many butterflies, but I try to remain calm. I talk to God with my whole heart, yet I cannot do anything even to say “I will love and be honest to you forever; Please help me.” Now, I walk up I walk up the beautiful steps leading to the altar, gaily adorned with white flowers and green leaves. The grand hall is overwhelmed with silence. All eyes are staring at me, as I kneel down in front of the altar. Then, in my hushed voice which echoes around the silenced hall, I profess to obey, and to live a chaste and poor life for Christ my beloved Spouse. “May Lord help me to be honest for the profession forever.” Soon after, I stand up, and bring that piece of paper containing my profession of vows to the bishop for me to sign in front of him. But I cannot even write my name because my hand is shaking. I have to take a long breath to get rid of my agitation. Next, my mother superior and the bishop sign their names signifying their approval of my professed vows. Moments later, I step back to the altar, kneel and let the bishop sprinkle Holy Water onto my golden ring. My ordinary golden ring changes into an eternal bond between my God and me. My name is then called out by the bishop, so I approach him to receive the blessed ring. As my blessed ring is gently laid on my palm, a golden light glows from my ring and I see “Sponsa Christi” etched on its surface. I am now indeed a Bride of Christ, forever!


Journeying with My Students Through the Travails of Writing


Free Writing Exercise: Free write as if you are leaving your home and taking a journey you’ve never dared to take before.  Source

I came across this site once while looking for fresh materials for my writing class. Although I had my own teacher-crafted lessons and exercises to give my students, I found the activities that Ms. Davis shared were very interesting. Thus, I decided to join one of my classes in doing some of her suggested exercises, so here goes:

August 2, 2013

Start: 11:07 AM

Here I am, one small overnight bag in my right hand and a backpack slung on my shoulders, standing at the threshold of my home. I can step forward onto the main gate, and out onto the street, or I can go back to the house while there is still time. I wonder what has led me into taking this journey into the unknown. I didn’t even bother telling anyone in my family, but I feel this is right for me at this point. I feel that at this moment in my life, I must go deeper into who I am and what I want from life. Unless I go away, and far from anyone close to me, I shall never be able to seek what I am seeking.

So with another small step, then another, I now find my way through the streets in my village. Time is running out as I feel my heart already aching to rush back to my family, so I must be brave and continue walking onto the terminal.

Finished: 11:14 AM; 176 words


My reflection on my freewriting exercise

In my experience, when I first started at 11:07, I was a little critical of my ideas, but I continued and after two minutes, I felt I was another person, no longer Marichu, so it was easier for me to go deep into my very short story. But after 7 minutes, I felt, I had to grope for ideas and words, so I stopped. Now, I will have to go back to it later in the next few days.

At the same time, while doing the exercise with my students, I could just imagine how it must be real challenging for them who came from non-English environments, and who were only beginning to appreciate writing in English.  Also, at the time,  perhaps because the topic was something I had not touched on previously, I realized my own difficulty — hence, I came to understand my students’ own struggles as well, more clearly.

The most important lesson for me here as a teacher is to be able to empathize more with students’ situation, their learning contexts and capabilities. This is indeed essential to avoid exerting undue pressure on them.

I have always found it to be truly effective when students observe me drafting examples on the board, and revising/editing along with them, yet I would just take this for granted. My own experience that morning, however, has given me a fresher perspective, and newer impetus.

The good news is my love for writing often spills over in the way I teach them to write. Hence, in no time at all, most of my students in writing come to enjoy crafting interesting, vivid compositions. Not only that, they declare that they have come to love the language itself. More so now, when they see me eager to learn more along with them!







Here I am, stumbling down
The rain’s pouring down
I’m staring at my feet

But splashing on my feet
it is my tears and not the rain
They’re are salty and bloodstained
From my agonizing pain

Nobody could be more
mad at me than me!
No one would abhor me this way,
No other than me!!

Why was I so stupid?
What kind of fool I am?
Never again will trust you!
Never!!NEVER!! NEVER!!

You peppered me with too many questions
Thus, no way for me to responds.
Ones I want so much to ignore…

But deep within me I have brought these
What else could I have been asking for?

When I think about the way things are..
Tears rolling down my face..
If  I could turn back time
I would  never ended up in this way….