“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass,” this quote from Anton Chekhov stated perfectly the lessons I learned from Ma’am Roldan. She was a proponent of choosing words wisely, keeping in mind the value of nouns and verbs over adverbs and adjectives, and of defamiliarization, which is seeing things anew, like a child, like it is the first time the sunlight has ever kissed your skin! (As many have expressed it before and after me, including Arthur Rimbaud who said, “Genius is the recovery of childhood at will.” Picasso also said something along those lines.)
My professor redefined the way I saw art and writing, transformed my standards of aesthetics and hard work, and above all, inspired and believed in me and my abilities.
Sandra Nicole Roldan was my creative writing teacher and I hope that many more will find Great Souls like her in their journeys. She is a professor in UP Diliman and also a talented writer and teacher.
She also introduced me to Brain Pickings, which houses Maria Popova’s genius and labor of love.