Mrs. Semper Lumine E. Gaturian
“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence” is the opening stanza of this conservative, compassionate and quiet person’s favorite poem, “Desiderata”, by American writer Max Ehrman. That stanza alone is enough to grab one’s attention and indulge in reading through the entire poem — the same characteristic of this person who exudes positive vibes and inspires friends to share her beautiful views on life.
“I live in every present moment, living the Golden Rule by heart and breathing every word of ‘Desiderata’ with love”, she said. Adding that, despite all the “ups” and “downs”, that she has endured, she continues to find the world beautiful. She keeps herself busy on weekends with Parish activities of the Mother Butler Guild, a religious organization in Siaton, of which she is an active member. Socio-civic involvements of the Rural Improvement Club and NORECO 2, where she sits as District 7 Election Committee Chair, also add color to her Saturdays and Sundays.
Mrs. Semper Lumine E. Gaturian is one of two secretaries at the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA). A licensed teacher, she used to handle courses in Political Science and Tax and Land Reform at Silliman from 1980 to 1982. In 1995, she served the Silliman University Extension Program as secretary-documentor for a Reforestation Project in the hinterlands of Manjuyod, which was funded by the Belgian government. Semper, as she is more popularly known among colleagues, later joined the VPAA office in 1998, handling the appointments and communications of the VPAA and performing documentation for the Academic Council, Deans Conference and Faculty Development Committee. This 2017 marks her 21st year with the University.
Let’s get to know Semper more beyond the four corners of her table.
Describe yourself in three words.
Conservative. Compassionate. Quiet
What is your mantra in life?
I live in every present moment, living the Golden Rule (Do unto others what you want others to do unto you) by heart and breathing every word of her favorite poem “Desiderata” with love. (Desiderata, which in Latin means “desired things”, is a 1972 poem by American writer Max Ehrman. Below is the poem.)
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
What makes you laugh/cry?
Anything that breaks my heart makes me cry. I laugh at children’s antics.
What’s your favorite time/day of the week and why?
I love Fridays at 5PM and Sunday evenings — my respite from the daunting tasks of the week. That’s my time with family and time to serve God through Parish activities.
What do you love doing when not working?
Nothing much. I just want to relax and listen to my favorite tunes.
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
VPAA office and Rosal Cottage, where I stay.
What makes you blush?
I blush when I’m embarrassed or when I get very angry — which fortunately happens seldom.
If you were an actor/actress, who would you be?
Angelina Jolie. I like her appeal, glamour and mystery. Even in her action movies, all those three qualities are very much projected.
Tell us a fact about yourself?
How about facts? Hehe! I am a licensed teacher by profession. I am married and I have a daughter named Blissy, who is now a nurse at the Silliman University Medical Center. I keep myself busy with Parish activities in Siaton as well as other community service endeavors. I believe that God would like me to be helpful to my fellowmen.
I am the second child among my siblings of five girls and one boy. We all graduated from Silliman — Thanks to the influence of my late father, Perpetuo Macahig Ege, a BBA graduate in 1952!
What’s your favorite game growing up?
Three games: Guera-guera, giya-giya and kayokok.
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
No phones ringing. No “heavy” thinking. A sunny day with cool breeze fanning my tired body, while I laze at the beach or under a tree with relaxing background music.
What one thing people would be interested to know about you?
I deeply contemplate on the mystery of life and what’s beyond it. And the ancient times, too!
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
I have friends from all walks of life, so describing me would be the song “You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor. For the life I have now, Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” fits well for despite the up and downs I’ve gone through, life in this world is still wonderful.
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
Thank God for giving me a chance to live for yet another day.
What’s your idea of a family?
It is the basic social unit where love abounds and members are accepted. It is in a family that the basics of Good Morals and Right Conduct are taught and practiced…characters are shaped, faith in God is strengthened, joys and sorrows shared, moments are unguarded. It is one’s refuge, never tired of looking forward to seeing its members and coming back for more comfort, consolation and love.