Monday, October 16, 2006

Emptying the Cup

The most difficult thing about learning is unlearning. Some of you may be familiar with an old story about a professor who wanted to learn about Zen. The scholarly man approached a Zen master who, as part of his introduction to Zen, welcomed the former with some tea. The Zen master poured the man tea, but kept on pouring until the teacup overflowed. As the cup overflowed and the tea kept spilling, the professor, unable to contain his discomfort with the situation, told the Zen master to stop. To this, the Zen master explained, "you are like the tea cup. No matter how much tea is poured, no more can enter."

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. It gives us a false sense of security or an unhealthy level of confidence. It can prevent us from taking on more knowledge. In order to truly learn something, we need to empty our cups. Unlike teacups, however, knowledge isn't as easy to dispose of.

This week, Discovery flew us in to Singapore for Boot Camp. It's where they are supposed to teach us all the important things we need to know for the trip. Among these things was how to edit on iMovie, Apple's built-in film editing suite. It's a fairly simple program, and I've used it before for some personal projects. I could only stay in Singapore for three days (actually, just one full day and two hectic half-days) because I need to go back to the Philippines for my visa interview tomorrow. Despite all that's happened, there needs to be one last hurdle for me to jump. If all goes well, you'll be reading this blog and I'll be on my merry way to meet the rest of the team in Vegas.

Anyway, back to that teacup. I would've loved to learn what the other TJs are learning. Right now, they're off to Little India to get some beautiful footage for their VLOGS (pronounced as its spelled, apparently... more of that learning thing. I called it VEE-log in my VLOG). On the other hand, I had a few hours to rush mine in the Changi Village Hotel because my flight to Manila is in about four hours. It's what little of Singapore I can share with you. My meager knowledge of iMovie came in handy, although I would've loved to learn from the production and Discovery guys Francisco and Robert, who flew in from the US to give us a crash course on filmmaking. Something like that.

This whole trip, this wonderful 8-week adventure (technically 9, since we've started this week) requires an emptying of the cup. Not just with what little I know about video editing, but with my experience of America. All I know about Las Vegas, for example, comes from watching CSI: Nevada and listening to INXS' Pretty Vegas. I'm exaggerating, but you get the point. I need to empty my cup and unlearn everything I think I know about America and Americans. This is a journey for me to learn, and I'm excited as hell.

So. If you're reading this, it means God said "ok kid, show 'em what you've got," and I'm on my way to the United States. Tell me what you want me to do! Our little Power Ranger assortment (I get to be the Black one, please) is going to crash into Sin City and we're going to be running around like headless chickens for a while. If you've got ideas, throw it our way. Even better, if you're in the area, let's hook up. You're buying coffee. Throw in a bagel while you're at it, or whatever it is that's good chow in the Neon. Let's get this party started. My cup's empty.

PS - I'm going to Anchorage, Alaska the week after that. I come from a tropical country and I don't want to die of frostbite on national television. If you can point my way to where I can get a good, cheap (hell, even free!) jacket that will prevent me from popsicle-izing, you become my best friend in Las Vegas. I even promise to cut the Zen mumbo-jumbo.


Blogger xtine said...

Hey, Kensai...Pauline lives in Vegas. She's local and knows all the cool places so you can contact her if you like. Let me know.

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