Monday, August 31, 2009

If you somehow had the chance, would you do your life over? Thirtysomething Mike O'Donnell would. Then one mysteriously magical moment, Mike gets his chance. He's suddenly back at Hayden High where he's the star of the basketball team, a total hottie and a classmate to his own teenage kids... which gives Mike a chance to go from not-so-good dad to a really cool friend.

Zac Efron ("Hairspray", the "High School Musical" movies) and Matthew Perry ("Friends") are "17 Again" and fabulously funny as the younger and older Mike in a good-time time-warp comedy that proves the best year of your life is the one you're living right now.

Being a huge fan of High School Musical, I spent a notable amount of time watching Zac Efron sing, dance, shoot a ball and bat his baby blue eyes to tweens of all ages. And when I heard that he did a movie with Matthew Perry (I'm also a fan of F.R.I.E.N.D.S.) I was interested but not so much that I raided the internet for updates and behind the scenes footages like I always do evertime a new Harry Potter movie is coming soon. Then I forgot about it then months months later, for some reason I decided to search for a streaming full video of it. Fortunately, I found a good link on that didn't look like it was secretly filmed right in the theater, with fast buffering and no time limit (ahem Megavideo).

Though the movie received mixed reviews from professional critics achieving only 56% of positive comments on Rotten Tomatoes, this movie critic thinks that the film is funny, witty and over all tremendously fun and light hearted and is perfect for people who don't want to sit for 2 hours deciphering complex plots and characters. It's also not the kind of slapstick "fun" movie made only for kids' enjoyment (e.g. Hannah Montana) where grown ups and even kids at heart groan everytime somebody gets whacked in the face with a birthday cake or thrown in a pool.

I've always been a fan of witty dialogues and intelligent banters and this movie did not disappoint. Plus Zac Efron's acting has never been better I think. He really channelled Matthew Perry's expressions and I could really imagine him as a thirtysomething year old guy transformed in his own 17 year old body and not "Troy", his HSM alter ego whose character background is not far from Mike's. Plus should I even mention that he's drop dead gorgeous? Those piercing eyes can make Robert Pattinson run for his money despite the rumors that he's the next big thing. (Oh please don't let me get started on Twilight).

So for those boredsters like me who have nothing to do and wants to have a great 90 minutes, this movie is for you. Just click on the momomesh link and search for 17 Again and select the first link. I think it's the only one there working.

Next stop: The Ugly Truth. I hope Katherine Heigl doesn't disappoint. :D

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm not saying that I'm an expert on the said scenario but since a) this is my blog and I can do whatever I want and b) I did pass the June 2009 Nursing Licensure Exam on the first take (and managed to get an 80++ board rating), I think there's nothing to lose with me sharing board exam techniques that worked and you reading (or even *gasp* following) it.

So without further ado, here are my...

(WARNING: Follow at your own risk.)

10. Pay attention to your AUDIT/REVIEW subject.

This is one of the mistakes that I did back in college. I didn't cut classes (Okay, maybe once, but only for the afternoon lecture), I listened, I took notes, I aced the tests but I feel as if I didn't get everything that I could with the review because half the time, I was thinking that I'll enroll in a review center this summer anyways so all of this will be repeated. I'll get this topic later on. But our summer was hectic with case completion duties, Graduation and Pinning Ceremonies and with the bunch load of information pushing each other out of the way into my brain, things were pretty much chaotic and I found myself thinking far too many times while studying that I should have studied listened more and texted on my phone less.

9. Pick a Review Center that suits you. (non-compulsory)

It's true that enrolling in a review center is not needed to pass the boards. However, doing so really gives you direction in what, when and how you should review a certain topic, where to focus on, test taking strategies and green hilarious sex jokes you can only get from their discussions. Ha!

8. Throw away those books.

90% of reviewing population: Are you serious??
Me: Very. Okay, you don't have to throw them, just keep them in a dark desolate place where they belong. During the rigorous review sessions of two months before the board exam, I never cracked a book open, because I find them complicated, long and utterly boring. Instead, I concentrated on bullet type reviewers, outlines and summaries of those Valium induced texts. On the day of the exam, I knew I did the right thing. It was a waste of time reading the longer version with too many words than reading the gist of the entire thing. Less time and effort.

7. Give up the internet or whatever addictions you may have for 2 months.

It's only for two months people. I figured I'd rather sacrifice for 2 months than to live in regret and depression for the rest of my life. I can surf the net and play all the FB games I could until I get so sick of it after the boards. For me failing is not an option and if my life becomes ruined because, of all things, Facebook, then I'll never be able to live with myself. So, even though I just signed up for the world's most addicting site, I promptly clicked on that logout link and didn't visit it again until after the exam. And I was right, I grew so sick of the games after playing them everyday for two months that I made this site just to escape the sickening farm and pet madness.

6. Learn how to guess correctly.

Even if you have a nursing encyclopedia for a brain, there will be items (lots of it) where you will have to scratch your head in exasperation and guess. It's either you guess basing on related existing knowledge or you guess with nothing. Both you will experience during the exam. Learn to feel the page, use your intuition, channel Madam Auring and see invisible glowing letters of faith in taking the exam. And don't forget the ini-mini-mini-moe rule.

5. Take notes. Forget that you and that big guy called Xerox/Photocopier ever met.

It's a fact. Your brain will retain more if you listen, read, write and speak while reviewing. Without the physical act of writing, you'll end up getting all hazy visioned and end up falling asleep. In high school it may be cool to sneak a nap while the teacher's droning away, but in reviews it falls into the "WTH are you thinking??" box.

4. Know how to shade.

At the day of the board exam when we were asked by the examiners to fill the personal information page, the examinee in front of me turned around and asked me how to shade the little rectangular boxes filling the sacred oslo papers that holds our future a.k.a the PRC scantron board paper things. I was shocked. I couldn't formulate a verbal answer so, with a dumbstruck face, I just did an up and down motion with my hand while holding my pencil. I mean what on earth was she thinking taking the Mother of All Tests without even practicing how to shade at least a single tricky box. She could have perfected the test but if shaded all wrong then those correct answers won't be translated to points and those points won't be translated to a name in the passer's list.

3. Look, write and listen everyday. Read every night.

Now, I've never been the kind of A Type Personality person who would study everyday, prepare for every quiz and recites until my arm go all cyanotic. But for the board exam, I turned my back on every studying principle I believed in. (Ex. Listen to class but studying at home is for nerds. Homework is best done the night before. Studying for an exam is best done...never. Etc. etc.) It's hard studying again after going home after you've been studying for a day already, but it did pay off in the end. All your sacrifices will pay off in the end... Hopefully.

2. Answer bunch loads of practice test questions.

Review center will attest to this one. Answering tons of practice questions not only makes you remember things better but improve your guessing skills, which is very very important as I've mentioned. It's like hitting all the birds with one stone. Ain't that grand?

1. Relax and believe in a Higher Being.

No matter how much you don't believe in God, Allah or the Virgin Mary manifesting in a taco, the sudden burst of spirituality and religious fervor among board exam takers are a common, if not inevitable, occurrence. You will visit the every church that you can as if they're the 7 wonders of the world, light numerous candles (1 candle for each test point) and will go and kneel with bowed heads in front of St. Jude Thaddeus's altar. You'll do everything that you can to bathe in holy water together with all your test paraphernalia especially the week/day before the exam because you feel unholy and idiotic without it and your pencil, eraser and sharpener is infested with Satan, Lucifer and various bad spirits and will eventually fail you. Don't worry, all of this is normal, and amusing to reminisce after passing the exam. :)

So that's my take on being an influential and helpful role model blogger for upcoming registered nurses out there. I wish you all the best and will be waiting for you with open arms, a big smile in my face and a banner saying in big bold letters:

Welcome to the Unemployment World. Hoooorah!

Monday, August 24, 2009


MERGE vs. CBRC (Carl Balita) vs. GAPUZ vs. SRG vs. PENTAGON

If you're a nursing student, nursing graduate, have a sibling/cousin/friend/neighbor who is one, have been to UBelt Morayta, Espana and the streets of Pureza or to just simplify things, a resident of the Philippines, I'm sure you've heard of them.

They are the top nursing review centers in the Philippines reviewing and producing thousands of registered nurses yearly. They may all look enticing and innocent enough, all having figures and pictures to boast to the world, but if you don't know what you're getting into, don't spend thousands of pesos on them yet. Do your research. More so, listen to reviewees who have actually experienced what it's like reviewing in the said centers. Look at the passing rate and the subscript commonly associated with them.

I don't know everything about these review centers. I've only attended one (Pentagon) and I will share my thoughts on them later. FEU-IN also has an In-House Review Program mostly made up of SRG reviewers so I can also share my experiences from that. Other comments are from my personal view of the center and what my friends have said about them.

MERGE REVIEW (Multi-Educational Review Group Experts Inc.)

I'll confess, I know little about this review center. Not a lot of people from my batch mates went here to review for the board exam. But I've scouted via the net almost all of the review centers available in Manila before and I've read pretty disappointing comments from their past reviewees. From what I've read, Trinity University of Asia is the only good thing with MERGE because non-Trinity reviewees achieve a much less passing rate. A batch mate also commented that the reviews are deathly boring and she happily transferred to Pentagon for the critical and final coaching phase.

CBRC (Carl Balita Review Center)

I cannot stress out how much I hate his face plastered all over the Ubelt. Come on, narcissistic much? And it's not like he's cover boy material, face brimming with charisma and bus loads of sex appeal. Argh. Okay, so enough about his looks. Is it worth reviewing there? Again, I don't know much about this review center besides the fact that they have tons of "freebies" (bags, lanyard etc.) which, I hate to burst your bubble, isn't free at all. You paid for it, believe me.

With regards to the actual review, I've heard testimonials which said that the discussions are okay and Carl Balita, himself, is actually pretty good. Oh, but since his center is obviously not a one man show, the other reviewers' sessions I've heard are not as good, a bit boring, which my batch mate sometimes walked out on without finishing the class.


I have no prejudices against Gapuz even though they were the main review center at the middle of the June 2006 Nursing Licensure Exam Leakage. I think he looks kind and quite fatherly to his students and he doesn't stick his face on his tarpaulins. One thing I can't understand though is what the heck does Boy Abunda have to do with nursing?

Even up to our review days, I've received tons of texts about the supposedly "5 points sure na" bullets which on the day of the board exam were nothing but useless saved messages occupying my cellphone memory. On a negative note, 2 of my 3 friends/acquaintances who reviewed there failed the board exam. I don't know what happened because those two were the kind of people who I thought would make it and at the day of the exam, they seem not at all frazzled , almost bordering on confident (based on their text messages since we all have different test taking centers). Don't ask me what happened, I have no idea.

Moral Lesson: Never rely on leakage promises. They always end bad and if you somehow managed to pass, I fear for the lives you are going to handle with your own incompetent hands.

SRG (Sultan Review Group)

I have a lot of experiences with SRG. Those reviewers they front line in their advertisements and websites were our reviewers for the In-House Review. They are fantastic, I must say. They will keep you engaged and active through out the 8-hour sessions. So why didn't I enroll here and instead went to Pentagon? Well, there are lots of reasons.

First, I hated the fact that they treat each lecture as Shameless Promotion Day. Especially at the last day of their assigned topics. One would wear a SRG shirt, one would say their catch phrase "Come and Follow Me..." over and over and over again and the other would bash, insult and blurt out unprofessional things defaming other review centers. I mean, if people really want to go and enroll at the center they will, if they don't they won't. These reviewers don't have to treat each person who doesn't enroll at SRG as an idiotic moron who will never pass the board exam because they've made the fatal mistake of not joining with them.

Second, as exemplary as the main reviewers may seem, its useless if they're not the ones who will be teaching your class. SRG has 25+ Reviewers in its system and there is no guarantee that those front liners you see in the ads are actually the ones reviewing you. Majority of my classmates confessed on going home and cutting classes because the lecturer that was assigned to their block was a comatose inducing machine.

There is the 2 week Final Coaching however, which I've heard is fun for everybody. Their statistics are also great which is a huge plus.


Now, I'm a proud Pentagonian so forgive me if this part becomes a bit biased but I'll try not to be. I just felt the need to alleviate everybody's fears and misconceptions about the Review Giant a.k.a. Pentagon.

Most review centers target Pentagon (obscurely of course) in their "Why-You-Should-Enroll-With-Us" Speech by stating highly misguided comments on how there are review centers with way to many students in one area, how it's hot and noisy, how you can't hear the reviewer because of all the chaos and pandemonium if you might.

Now, here's my rebuttal. In the social context, it's common knowledge that those who are at the bottom of the steps target the ones on top. The trick is, do not believe them because these are the insecure ones trying to benefit from associating their names with the most popular. With that out, let me tell you first hand, that Pentagon's style is an auditorium type review. It is expected that there are hundreds of reviewers in a single venue. But, the air conditioner works fine, the sound system's fantastic. You can hear everything even though people around you happens to talk (which rarely happens because reviewees become more serious as the countdown to the big day lessens in number).

Better yet, the 5 main brilliant reviewers that you enrolled for will definitely be the ones teaching you how to pass the board exam. Add 3 more guest reviewers for minor subjects like CD, Funda and Burns etc. and it's not a bad deal because you know you're going to get what you signed up for.

I really believe that Pentagon has the BEST reviewers in all the centers, hands down. They can keep hundreds and thousands (Final Coaching Week) of short attention spanned youngsters interested in even the most hated and boring topics of Nursing. Problem is, if you're easily distracted with crowds and is the kind of person who wants the reviewer right in his/her face, this review center is not for you.

In the end, it all boils down to WHAT YOU DO with the knowledge and strategies your chosen review center imparted on you. Notes and textbooks won't do you any good if they're not read and tucked in safely in that squishy stuff on your head.

Guess what that is and put it to work.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Welcome to the new ORCHESTROSCOPY.

It features a shiny new layout, minus the clutter, the unbelievably small font and the swirly green stuff. I think it looks cleaner, fresher and more eye friendly than my previous template.

But wait, there's more!

If you comment right now, I'll throw in a couple of new widgets and a money making bar that will probably generate $.0001 per month. Ah forget it, I already did that.

The point is (wait, there's a point?), I want this piece of the web to be more professional looking than my previous ones. Obama knows I've had kilos and tons of blogs before but never did I try to write sensible posts than scribble a rant of what happened that day or even worse, copy a bulletin quiz from Friendster and repost it in my blog.

I'll really try to keep this one alive because it's prettier and has more pictures in it. Ha.

Sorry for the Valium induced post, it's late in the evening and my neurons are tired. Hopefully tomorrow they'll be all happy and doing the cartwheels again. For now, they're off to dreamland.


From this moment on, all expressions using the word GOD, LORD or any other religious references, I will replace with the name OBAMA.

Ex. "Oh my Obama!" and "For the love of Obama".

Because it's funnier that way. At least to me.


10. Make sure you know to operate the ticketing machines before using it. When in doubt or when all goes wrong, blame the machine.

9. Know which way the ticket goes in the slot. Nothing says "This is my first time riding the LRT" more than committing the embarrassing mistake of getting stuck behind the revolving metal thing of doom. This time, you CANNOT blame the machine.

8. Wear earphones. It makes you look cooler.

7. Do NOT run like there's no tomorrow to save yourself a seat, especially when you're from Santolan or Recto station where there's no one on the train yet. Instead, learn how to walk fast, keep your eyes on the prize and sit like a princess.

6. Bring in food and beverages, then sneak a bite or two while looking out for the roaming security guard. Smile sheepishly when you get caught.

5. Sleep. Or feign sleeping. It makes you look like you're not constantly watching whether it's time to get off the train. Even if you are.

4. Do not hold on to the train's safety hand rails at all times. Regular commuters know how to balance.

3. Regular LRT commuters also know how to stagger and fall gracefully whenever the train does its trademark sudden stop between stations. Do NOT panic when this happens. There is no bomb threat. You are not going to die. Normally, a slow train in front of the one you're riding is just making everybody late.

2. Time will come you will have actually memorized the list of stations in proper order and the "Next station, Araneta-Center Cubao. Ang susunod na istasyon ay Araneta-Center Cubao..." monologue of that disembodied woman on the train. Do not recite them with a friend to show off this amazing talent you've acquired. It's tacky. It's annoying. And it only means that you're an excited college freshman commuting by yourself for probably the first time in your life.

and the No.1 Tip on how to ride LRT2 without looking like a transit virgin is...

1. For the love of Obama and all things sacred, NEVER ever, and I mean EVHUR block the escalators when you're riding on it, especially during morning rush hours and when you can clearly hear the presence of a train waiting on the above platform. Seasoned LRT commuters know by heart that people are almost always in a hurry to board the train and have experienced themselves how irritating those people who stand side by side and block the path completely making you miss the train altogether. Don't say I didn't warn you when all of a sudden somebody squeezes in between you and your friend banging you on the chest or something.

Hell hath no fury to commuters in a hurry. Remember that.

For those who didn't get it. This thing is actually a joke.

But an effective list jokes nonetheless. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

I first picked up a Harry Potter book 8 years ago, a borrowed copy from my classmate, at my first year in high school, and since then, I'm hooked. I've watched every Harry Potter film on it's opening day, read countless of HP fanfictions, shipped every Rowling based ship (short for "relationship", a term used in fanfictionworld) and still visits occasionally for updates.

But never, ever did I expect to watch such a genius of a musical, a show so enjoyable and funny it has attracted 350,000 plus viewers and counting on youtube barely 1 month after being uploaded.

A Very Potter Musical (formerly known as Harry Potter Musical but was later changed because of copyright issues) is a non-profit stage play made by Potter fans to Potter fans by university students. The info below is stated on their StarKidPotter's youtube channel:

This fan musical is produced and performed solely for the personal, non-commercial enjoyment of ourselves and other Harry Potter fans. It is in no way sponsored, approved, endorsed by or affiliated with J.K. Rowling or Warner Bros. or any of their affiliates.
The show was written and produced in early 2009 by a bunch of college kids/recent grads through a non-profit student-run theatre company. It was a free show that ran for three nights (five performances).

Now, I've read a lots and lots of Harry Potter fanfiction (and even written some of my own) and I thought I've seen the best and the worst the fandom has to offer, but I was wrong. Never have I encountered before a script so well and wittily written, songs so well composed and perfomed and characters and storyline so engaging I just have to watch it over and over again.

Who would've thought that Dumbledore shouting "What the HELL is a Hufflepuff?", Draco rolling on the floor every chance he (or she :) ) gets, a Zac "Boss" Efron poster being the final Horcruxe, Quirrel and Voldemort sharing a special relationship and the presence of another wizarding school, "Pigfarts"... on Mars, could be so addicting. Add to that the brilliant music and the clever lines they've come up with.

Since the release of book 7 and with the death of HP fanfiction two years ago (because there's almost nothing else to write about, no speculations to debate on and "The Great Battle" to imagine), with just the films to look forward to, it seems that the fandom is slowly dying down. Fortunately, with the global explosion AVPM to, at least, the faithful Harry Potter fans, things are definitely looking up.

With almost 17,000 fans, you also can join in in the magic and visit their official Facebook page HERE. There are updates and news from the creators themselves and tons of fanart to goggle at.

Also, fans are clamoring for a A Very Potter Musical Soundtrack since the very beginning. Now, I think the StarKidPotter's group are preparing an official website for the said musical play and once it's up, I'd bet we'll have a soundtrack in our midst real soon. For the meanwhile, I've found the soundtrack uploaded in available for listening (but not downloading).

HERE are the search results I've found for the said soundtrack.

From the above post, I'm sure you've already guessed that I'm quite addicted with this thing. I can't help it. Two of my most favorite things in pop culture HARRY POTTER + MUSIC have decided to fuse together to give me this rare treat. And yes, I'm expressing my gratitude by at least writing this squee-ish blog post about it.

And also because, it's simply TOTALLY AWESOME!

What is Jun Pyo?

a) A Chinese cuisine

b) A gay lingo

c) The korean prime minister

d) A phenomenon which renders its victims useless and incapable of speech nor any other bodily function. Usually occurs within the time period of 6:00 - 6:30 PM.

Correct Answer: D)

The Korean Smash hit Boys Over Flowers (which we call "Jun Pyo" because it's shorter and has less potential for double meanings *wink wink*), a version of the legendary Taiwan's Meteor Garden from the Japanese Manga Series Hana Yori Dango, has captured the hearts and imagination of thousands in Asia... including my mom. Everyday, the routine holds supreme in this household that within six to six thirty in the evening, time stops for 30 minutes, all activities halted and all eyes focused on one place, the TV.

The show centers around high school cliches, romantic cliches, cliches about rich people and all the stuff that makes TV interesting. The Flower Four (F4), a super rich gay, I'm sorry, GUY group of bullies with haircut phobias terrorize Shinwa High until the commoner Jan Di enters the scene and somehow managed to make F4 leader's Jun Pyo fall in love with her.

Cue in various love triangle, square, pentagon, octagon dramas, family problems of the rich and famous, a cat-eyed dictator mother, a tour scene in Macao (probably sponsored by the Macao Tourism Board), a forced marriage arc, a maid-master fetish episode and finally a partial amnesia finale bomb and you've got yourself a one entertaining series.

Since airing in May 2009 here in the Republic of Lapu-Lapu, (See, it will never work. Whoever thought of this name as a possible replacement for "Philippines"?) after it's 4 month run in the airwaves, the hit series is finally taking a bow tonight. And though I've already finished watching it in, with better english subtitles I must add than the forced tagalog dubbed version of ABS-CBN, I decided to write this post as a memorabilia of the insane fixation this household has been under for a while now. Ah, we will miss the incomprehensible starter theme of the show and the gay-ness of the lead character's haircuts. Farewell.

Click HERE to revisit the good old days 10 minutes at a time (maximum youtube upload video duration) or to watch the finale in all its 4 years later beach-y glory.

Oops, spoiler. Ha.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Yesterday could be considered as one of the most memorable days of a nurse's life. And it was indeed a very special occasion for all of us who have managed to battle the odds and survive the battlefield with our coat of armor still intact. Though the war still rages on, with the unemployment rate of registered nurses skyrocketing to record breaking figures, it's nice to leave all the drama and chaos even for just a while and marvel in the fact that, hey, we now have the right and the privilege to put those nice little letters R.N. after our names.

Bona fide Tamaraw Nurses unite once again for probably the last time *sniff* as these newly registered nurses take part in a once in a lifetime ceremony with various colleges and universities, their respective Deans and the Board of Nursing (BON) themselves in attendance.

Amidst the thousands of RNs clad in all white and the sea of green striped caps that depicts the pride of FEU-IN it's nice to attend an event which actually felt just like our Pinning Ceremony last April. Everywhere you look there's a schoolmate and fellow board passer in view.

I felt goosebumps every time realization strikes in that this could be the final time our batch will be all in one roof. Though massive our size, our memories will always have the same buildings, places, teachers and motivators which has helped us achieve what we are today. And even though it's impossible for anyone to know everyone personally, family is what we'll always be.

Now, enough about the drama and let's get on with the hilarity. Oath taking ceremonies are generally a serene and a spiritual event, but there are things that happened and / or overheard that just cracked me up and it would be a shame to not share it with the world. So, here are my Top 5 things heard before, during and after the said momentous event.

Top 5 Quotable Quotes Heard at the June 2009 Oath Taking Ceremony

#5 "I think that's enough.... to stuff all the hospitals in the Philippines." A BON member was tasked to introduce each school present in the convention center. When FEU was called, all 1,300+ board passers stood up, clapped and cheered (loudly) for our Alma Mater, way longer and noisier than any other schools called. When we heard the first part of the statement, we all thought that we were being reprimanded for being too unruly and disorderly for the supposed to be sanctimonious (a.k.a boring) ceremony. Every tamaraw in the hall exhaled a sigh of relief after realizing that the board member was just casually commenting on how many we were. Whew!

#4 "Sila ba yung honor guards na tumayo sa libing ni Cory?" said my friend looking at the Colour Cadets (or whatever they're called) standing at the back of the hall. We were in line to take pictures with them when she suddenly blurted out this amusing observation. Turns out, they were just officers from Adamson University.

#3 "Ui (enter friend's name here)! PICTURE!!"

#2 "Gutom nako..."

and the No.1 Quotable Quote heard at the June 2009 Oath Taking Ceremony is...

#1 "ASAN KAYO???"

How I wish we could all do this over again. Though the program only lasted for more or less 3 hours long, I know that the memories of it all will last forever. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


10. You're unemployed.

9. If you're not unemployed, then you work as a call center agent and/or have jobs completely unrelated to the course you struggled to survive in for four years.

8. You know the pathognomonic sign for Kawasaki's Disease.

7. You've written the letters/words VS:, RR, HR, BP, Temp, IVF at least hundreds of times in the past 2 years.

6. You have tons of illegal materials including but not limited to reviewers/questionnaires/pirated cd-roms stashed somewhere in the dark corners of your cabinet.

5. You've tried every game/quiz/poll/gift-giving app known to mankind on Facebook in the past 2 months.

4. Sometime this past year, you have had defended with your life a long brown envelope containing your (half/fully signed) OR/DR case forms and other requirements. You would have gladly surrendered your cellphone and wallet in exchange for the safe return of your beloved files.

3. Speaking of wallets, you now have in it that piece of laminated pink cut-out cartolina with your 1x1 picture and complete name which you ever so carefully wrote yourself. You boast to all humanity your PNA card.

2. You've experienced the sights, sounds and SMELLS the Land of the Lines, also known as PRC (Main/Ever Branch) at least twice in your life.

and the No.1 Sign you're a recent BSN graduate / NLE board passer...

1. You are reading this list because you've got nothing else better to do.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

After semesters of reviewing for the board exam and another couple of months being a Facebook addict, I finally got in the mood to plug in my Yamaha DGX305 Keyboard and put into rigorous exercise these 10 lazy fingers.

I'll admit, it felt so refreshing playing again after some time. Playing the piano (well, technically it's a keyboard but I almost never put the other sounds into use because I'm a classically trained pianist and mixing techno beats into my pieces were never my thing) almost always makes me feel sort of beautiful and talented even though I know there are tons of people better than I am in manipulating musical keys.

So, there I was, my hands feeling all foreign and out of place. I played Canon in C for warm up like I always do (I don't know why when I should always start with my scales). After a few bars I got lost so I switched to its (key of) D counterpart. Again after a few seconds I forgot what came next.

Frustration was what eventually came next. Pieces that I worked so hard on learning (by notes) and memorizing were now lost in my subconsciousness. I still have the music sheets, but still, playing from the sheets and from memory are two very different experiences. One's very tiring and complicated while the other's quite enjoyable. Guess which is which.

Anyways, long story short, I got out my copies and starting to re-remember (because I've forgotten and relearned them so many times) those pieces that I love and will always love. Some of them I'll list here, starting with the piano version of Numb by Linkin Park.

As crowded as the notes may seem on the page, in reality, it's not that complicated. My left hand only has 4 task. To repeat arpeggios of D, Bb, C and F, respectively. To those who don't know the original song, it actually can sound boring because it's so repetitive. But what I especially like about this piece is that it gives the listeners an impression that you're one heck of a piano player because you played a whole rock song with only your 10 fingers.

My warm up piece, Canon in C, from the Korean smash hit movie My Sassy Girl is one and will always be one of my favorites. My inspiration in learning it came from this scene (see video above) from the said movie where the lead guy discovers that his brutal and sadistang girl friend can actually play the piano. Again, piano, to me has always been the greatest, most romantic instrument ever invented. Cue in the Rose Ceremony and the wisely placed audience and you've got a kilig scene ready for the hopeless romantics.

Last but not the least is the heartbreaking and haunting theme of Buffy the Vampire Slayer entitled Close Your Eyes by Christophe Beck. It's the ultimate Buffy and Angel love theme first played in the background in Buffy's Season 2 Ender where she has to kill the love of her life to save the world. Well, it's a lot cheesier when I put it that way but believe me, the show's much much better and after years of being cancelled, fans are still rallying for a reunion show, spin-off, cartoon etc. Even I can't still get over it.

This piece, unlike the others, just gets better and better whenever I play or hear it. Sometimes, when I study a piece, no matter now much I liked it in the beginning, once I practice it over and over again, eventually, I grow sick of it and lose interest. Close Your Eyes is definitely not in that category.

With forgotten themes and songs now slowly inkling their way back into my consciousness, the search for the next piece is on. Hopefully I can study as much as possible while I'm on "useless mode" here at home with a college degree but a non-existent career. Ha.

1. A large group of musicians whose members play a variety of different instruments
2. Also called: (orchestra pit) the space, in front of or under the stage, reserved for musicians in a theatre [Greek: the space in the theatre for the chorus]

Viewing; seeing; observation
[Greek -skopiā, from skopein, to see.]

I was trying to think of a blog name that would cover the two opposite genres' of Music and Nursing that is my life. Frighteningly enough, the first name that I thought of was Vital Symphony, a twist on a nursing task that us students could well have a Master's Degree on, Vital Signs or most commonly known as VS.

But after a day, I can't think of the name without cringing so I decided to change it into something less corny and more incomprehensible. I didn't know where to start at first then my mind wandered in to medical terminologies, most specifically Operating Room procedures where terms just sounds cooler no matter what it means. Colostomy, Nephrectomy... Laparoscopy... Endoscopy...

Then the orchestra part came in by the presence of this quote:

“For better or worse, you must play your own little instrument in the orchestra of life
-Dale Carnegie

Hence, the birth of ORCHESTROSCOPY, a small dot in the gigantic universe of the world wide web that will chronicle this blogger's appetite for writing and posting highly unconnected things including nursing, music, job hunts, poetry, food, piano pieces, opinions, made-up recipes, reviews and random daily experiences.

“Every person is important. It doesn't matter whether you play the violin, the flute, the cello, or the drums, you're still part of the orchestra.” - source unknown

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