Monthly Archives: May 2009

KG and Me: Down But Not Out

What do KG and me have in common right now?

Both of us have bum right knees. He has bone spurs while I have a “knee sprain” (I want to call it an ACL tear but I still need an MRI to confirm it).

What are we doing about our respective knees?

KG already had arthroscopic surgery to remove his bone spurs. For me, I’m currently resting my knee and preparing to have an MRI in two weeks time (the slight swelling should subside by then). Hopefully after the MRI, my doctor would have accurate information about the knee and would either operate on it or rehab it.

What are our expectations about this whole thing?

KG will be able to return to full health and participate next season and eventually make a run at another championship. I’d probably cough out enough money for the MRI fall short for an all out knee operation. Either I’d find myself a wealthy sponsor or sell my soul to the devil. I’m hoping it would be the former.

Philippine Orthopedic Hospital

philippine_ortho

Yesterday, I waited for three (3) hours (in the Emergency Room no less!) for a doctor to look at my bothersome knee which I aggravated last Saturday. I originally went to the OPD but I was referred to the ER because the injury I sustained is just recent (less than a week). In the ER, I waited three hours for a 10-minute consultation with a doctor who does not really inspire confidence and talks as if you cannot comprehend what he’s talking about.

The former I can understand – probably because of low pay and inexperience – I’m not really a paying customer so I can’t complain. His advice of rest and immobilization are sound though and I appreciate that.

The latter though, is the one I took offense for. I believe that everybody should be afforded dignified medical care irregardless of their economic status.

During my three hours of stay at the ER, people came in droves – some of them with open wounds, some of them with hands or feet in unusual positions – and they have to wait before a nurse/doctor attend to them. They have to wait with whatever condition they are in on the hard monobloc benches and they have to take self-prescription drugs for the pain and they still have to wait. Oh yes, they have to wait!

It’s really sad, these guys have nowhere else to go and it’s either they wait or go home and silently endure the pain.

Showcasing Civil Engineering Works

The company I’m currently with handles highly specialized works in the field of Civil Engineering. Most of the time when potential clients ask our Project Managers if we can do a job other firms turned down and/or are incapable of doing, their answer (usually) is a straight yes!

Amidst all the hoopla of creating deliverables, of sticking to schedules, and of balancing workloads are our technical staff – our most important resource. These guys do most of the heavy lifting, the leg works, the dirty things.  These men and women care much and bring tremendous energy and enthusiasm to their work. They hone their skills day in and day out and absorbs as much as they can from their experienced senior engineers. Second to the lead professionals, they know what goes on a project and the strategies that are involved involved. These guys know their stuff and are not push-overs. You would want to take them too lightly.

Just recently, three of us – that’s Dona, Ralph and me, began bouncing ideas about work and our discussion segued to creating materials showcasing our engineering capabilities for both academic and industry use. Such materials are rare and far between and creating such a pool of knowledge will not only benefit our firm but the community we are part of. Our firm is strongly connected to the College of Engineering at the University of the Philippines-Diliman and doing scholarly works are part of our DNA.

The initial ideas we came up with are (1) to come up with materials about real-life projects and the methodologies our teams used to come up with engineering solutions for real-life problems. (2) These materials will then be Creative Commons licensed for academic use. Much like a peer-reviewed journal, (3) the methodologies/solutions will be open for everyone to peruse and to review. Methodologies will be presented in such a way that (4)  no personally identifiable information about the projects will be revealed – much focus will be given on the methods used and little else for the project details.

The objectives of the whole exercise are three-fold:

  1. to harness the knowledge about how a certain problem is approached
  2. to harness the enthusiasm of the staff and encourage scholarship
  3. and lastly, to create a repository of civil engineering knowledge that other people can learn from

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can get this project off the ground…

I Want to Write

If you have been following this blog, you would have noticed the drop in postings in recent months. That’s not by design, it just so happened that my writing became casualty of work and real life.

Why do I want to write? Because by writing about something, I’m putting my seal of approval on the things I wrote about. That’s the time where my thoughts hit paper and everything becomes formal and official. It’s the time where talk stops and action becomes inevitable. It’s while writing that my thoughts narrow down and my focus intensifies; my mind comes alive and everything ceases to be just lip-service. Writing is a signal of commitment and by writing about something, I’m pushing myself off the fence and finally take sides.

It is because of all that – that I want to write.