- While checking the examination papers, I am surprised with the profoundness of one student. It seems that she is not fourteen years old; she is way ahead of her peers in terms of maturity.
- Last Tuesday, accompanied by her sister, she was the only student who gave me a gift as her appreciation. I learned later that she also gave gifts to her other teachers as her Christmas presents. I got a tumbler from her.
- This gesture, though it’s simple, warms the hearts of teachers. Truly, it is better to give than to receive. As a teacher, I realize that I am giving more than what I am supposed to offer to my students. It is more than the lessons and grades I give. What is it then? It is my presence.
- I hope that more than anything else, my students will treasure my presence the most. I am priviledged to be able to share my life with them inside and outside the classroom. I am blessed to be able to witness their blossoming to adulthood.
- Now, I am thinking of writing a draft of a goodbye letter to the NDC community: all personnel, parents, GIA scholars, and specially the students. Before the school year ends, I usually write a letter to the people who have touched me and made a difference my life.
- I’m teary eyed right now. Yes, I am a such a sensitive man. Because the school year is almost finished, I have to leave people behind here in the school. Good byes are real and I am leaving next April.
- I know I have my failings throughout this year. I admit that. Mea maxima culpa. And if ever I have offended people even if I did not mean it, I am sorry for that.
- Today is my brother’s birthday today, it’s almost Christmas and 2017 is about to end. It’s a year of hellos and goodbyes.
- I will attend a recollection on December 31 to thank God for all the blessings and ask pardon for my shortcomings.
- Thanks for reading my streams of thought. Goodbye.
I’m late with this writing challenge. Today is the start of famous Filipino Catholic devotion, the Christmas novena known as the Misa de Gallo. It literally means the Mass of the crow because it’s a tradition of the Filipino farmers to go to Mass early in the dawn before going to till their lands in the morning. To be honest, I skipped it today. My last year’s experience in the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral was horrible. I ended up standing for more than an hour. In my experience, the first day has the most attendance in church. If I was in GenSan or in Marikina, I would dare to wake up before 4 AM. But yeah, I’d skipped the first day and attend the remaining days.
Some believe that if they complete this nine-day devotion of going to church, their wishes would be fulfilled. I don’t have any wish and I don’t wish anyway since attending the Mass is not about that. Besides, my devotion is a whole-year round. I attend daily Mass at 5:30 AM (mostly if I’m not oversleeping). Enough of the rationalization. I’ll just wake up early this morning and I expect to get a seat in the pew.
So today I woke up around 6:15 AM, and got ready in joining the Grant-In-Aid scholars for the general cleaning of the school around 7 AM to 11 AM. I asked some to buy some merienda for us to eat since some of them haven’t had their breakfast yet. If you were following this blog, I mentioned that I was assigned as the coordinator of these scholars this school year. I usually join these scholars during Saturdays in cleaning the school if there are no classes or if it’s Intrams. In total, there are presently 27 GIA scholars. Actually, there are 10 of them out of the program for some reasons so that makes 37 scholars I handled during this school year alone.
We had our merienda in the convent dining room around 9:30 AM eating some cheese breads and drank some juice flavored by orange powders. While eating, we circled around asking about our wishlists for our Christmas exchange gifts. And since almost all of us are present, we decided to have our meeting there in the dining room. After that, we resumed in cleaning the school grounds.
Around 11:15 AM, we occupied the library to practice our Christmas presentation during the Christmas party. I played the guitar and asked some suggestions which songs to play. So we ended up choosing the Pasko na Naman caroling medley and Star Ng Pasko. I hurt my fingers a bit due to my rusting guitar-playing skills. While waiting for the chosen songs to be printed out, we sang some Ed Sheeran’s songs. So we sang and most of the singers were females. I told them we’ll meet again for practice on Tuesday before the Christmas Party.
After the practice, I took a siesta. I was tired from the whole morning cleaning and the guitar playing plus singing. I slept around 1:15 PM and I woke up around 3:45 PM. Then I decided to go out, go to the mall, and buy all the gifts for the upcoming Christmas parties I’m going to attend. That drained my pocket. Then I arrived in the convent around 6:15 PM with a Hello Kitty stuffed toy, a polo shirt, and a perfume.
As I hear a band playing Prinsesa by Teeth and Sunday Morning by Maroon 5, that signals that the school’s Alumni Homecoming Party has almost started. It’s a joint alumni homecoming of the Notre Dame of Cotabato (Marist Brothers) and Notre Dame of RVM with Batch 1992 hosting the event. Just like how I skipped the first day of the Misa de Gallo, I opted not to attend the event as well.
So I just spent my night alone in the library, browsed the internet, listened to some Spotify-streamed music, played NBA 2K13, and wrote this blog post.
So this is my Saturday.
Bye for now.
Hello WordPress readers,
I am writing a test draft now but I am not in the mood to write a test draft so it will just be a story time.
So I am here in the convent library, just typing on this cheap laptop I acquired for my teaching ministry. As I look at my laptop, I can see the reflection of the cable wires outside since the glass panels are transparent. This past three days, I heard some birds banging the glass as they thought they can pass through them. Two months ago, I was wondering why I was hearing a bird crying at night. I thought it was nesting somewhere in the roof but my hunch was that it was somewhere hiding here in the library. I found it resting at the top of the book shelf and I shooed it so it can set itself free.
I’m thinking of what to purchase as Christmas gifts but I think I’ll just go outside during the weekends or during the examination time. Honestly, I don’t know what gifts should I give to them. I even forgot the name I picked on the one of the exchange gifts I joined.
I can believe it’s already December. It’s like I was just starting the school year last June and now we’re just four months away from March. I was so caught up with the school system I barely have time for social media. Well, I am online almost every day but I don’t have the energy to create contents like I did in the previous years.
I’m still teaching eight (8) sections and I am teaching a new subject this second semester. It’s about Trends, Networks and Critical Thinking in the 21st Century. I told them about my SNS (social networking sites), the term used before it was called social media. I realized almost all my online accounts were made during the year 2009: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Sadly, I was not able to back up my photos in my Friendster and Multiply account last 2011. I had no idea they were already going down at that year.
I think in blogging here in WordPress, I have found my “voice” in writing. I admit I am so shy in front of the crowd that I struggled two years ago when I started teaching in Marikina. Luckily, it was only one class and all of them very nice, charming, and bright. I hope no student from that class will read this . But if they found this, then that’s fine. Besides, I already told them I love them before we part ways and I miss them so much. They are now in their Grade 11. Half of them transferred schools already. The first year of teaching for me is indeed memorable.
For two year, I am now here in Cotabato and this is my final year of teaching. I will be spending my time outside the Philippines next year. That’s my only hint. Some of my fellow teachers knows already where I am heading.
Speaking of my last year, it helped me to make the most out of my remaining time here in Cotabato. I think this is the busiest year in my entire life. I took lots of responsibilities. Using the cliche term, I think I bit more than I can chew (is that the correct usage?).
When the time comes for me to say goodbye, I just hope and pray that I am able to touch the lives of the students and fellow school personnel in a good way.
I seem to attract the attention of the naughty students. It’s like they are not intimidated by me. When I scold them inside the class they straighten up. But when they talk about it outside, it’s like they are talking about someone else and talk about themselves as a matter-of-fact. I would be angry with them in the class but outside the classroom I would be waving my hands at them. In a good way, they are detached and don’t take my scolding personally. Maybe it’s the generation they are in now. They want to be friends with anyone even their teachers. Though I appear to be strict and tough at times, deep inside I know that what I do is for the good of my students. I love all of them not just the naughty ones. Loving can be tough at times. I really do will what’s good for them even those students who I seem to neglect at times. There are really students who tend to flourish even if you don’t focus on them that much. I am talking about the shy, quiet, and average students. When I was in high school, I was one of them. I feel guilty for not paying attention to each one of my students.
This afternoon, we will be honoring the achievers who got an average of 90 plus in their report cards. I will be meeting the parents of my advisory class in Grade 12. I have some 52 students in my homeroom and I will update them how their sons and daughters are doing in their academics. I have yet to prepare what to say to them.
But before that, I need to finish my test drafts. I have three test drafts to prepare. So this is all I can say for now.
It’s good to be back here in WordPress.
The last post I had was an emotional one. I was feeling that way for a long time that I just want to let it out. I haven’t told anyone yet about my struggles this year. Knowing me well, I start to be in touch with those kinds of emotions when I am alone. At least I have the time to feel sorrow when I could have just feel numb by binge-watching on a television series.
As I have written before, this semester is a busy one. I’m just lucky that this Thursday morning, I have no classes to teach I might as well spend it in writing this post. Once I’m done with this, I’ll be back checking papers to clear out pending tasks. At least I have the time to even focus on checking them though I rush a bit at times.
I read somewhere that we experience certain kinds of “deaths” in life. There’s something in me that’s needs dying so probably that’s what I am experiencing right now. I am blessed to even take a pause in between the busyness. At least I have the time to experience different “deaths”.
I wanted to finish reading a book. I started reading The Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkien and Sacred Fire by Ronald Rolheiser but I can’t get past Chapter 2. But at least I have time to write about wanting to finish reading them.
I bought those books when I travelled to Marikina twice last June and July. I have a home visit last June 20 to 25 and co-facilitated in the Coaching Module of MAPAC last July 8 to 15. It is good to just spend a while with your family; and, it is good to meet new people who shows passion for sports and education. I am blessed to have the time for family visit and co-facilitate in developing coaching skills every year.
Maybe, when I look back, I will just laugh at myself for acting the way I am reacting now. Like the song of Urbandub’s Soul Searching says, choose life. As for me, I choose to spend time thanking God for all the blessings I received despite the hardships.
I forego my plan to run 5 kilometers this night just to prepare for a week-long lesson plan. But here I am writing this post. So there.
This semester, I’m a busy person. These are my responsibilities:
- Teacher to eight classes (six sections of Christian Values Education 8, one Christian Religious Education 11, and one World Religions and Beliefs 12)
- Homeroom adviser to a Grade 12 section
- Campus Ministry staff
- Table Tennis coach
- Grant-In-Aid coordinator
I miss my free time since I was just teaching part-time to five sections last school year. I got all of these because I agreed to take these responsibilities. So just bring it on! Also, I realize that this might be my last year of teaching to high school students. I will be sent out of the country next year for my next assignment. Getting my teaching license renewed would be harder whenever I get out of the country because of the recent law which says that I should get professional development modules/seminars/workshops sanctioned by Professional Regulatory Commission. I really hate that law because I actually get a lot of modules and workshops on administration here in Marist and teaching though they are uncredited because PRC is not involved there. Our Brother Provincial’s future plans for me would be working in foreign mission and/or teaching in college. I’ll save my worries later once the school year is almost finished.
Yesterday was a funny day because I did a lot and most of them are unplanned. I started the day by attending the daily Mass for spiritual strength. Next, I encountered a GIA who doesn’t have a Daily Time Record though it’s already mid-June so I gave away twelve copies to be used for the whole year because I am such a passive-aggressive type of coordinator and I never scold. Then the same person asked me the key to our office because they left the key inside. It’s just six o’clock so I just take my time before eating breakfast. I prepared for my almost two-hour class after the brekkie and got some Fudgie Bars to give away because I promised my Grade 8 students to give them some price. Until now, it still surprises me how I can sustain teaching for that long.
At 9:50 AM, I had to rush to the library because I got to meet all the working students since it’s our monthly meeting. After the meeting, I read the book Jesus of Nazareth by Gerhard Lohfink. I once bragged to my Grade 11 students that it is the best book I read on Christology. Possibly because of running 7 kilometers the previous night, waking up at 5 AM, percolating at a good book, proper ventilation of the aircon in my room, or because I just worked straight for three hours, I slept. I woke up around 12 PM and opened this laptop because I haven’t prepared for my next lesson with the Grade 11 students. I spent some good one hour on it and I went down to the dining hall to eat my lunch.
When the bell rings at 1:20 PM, that’s the time I will teach for another one hour and forty minutes. Again, I still wonder how I get to talk and tell stories I never told before in front of a crowd. If it is experience or reading books or both, I cannot tell. It also helps that there is a talkative student sitting in front that I get to engage with him and make my teaching dialectical or in a dialogue form. Then I had to go back to our homeroom afterwards to check the cleaning. The class president and the vice president collected the relief goods for the victims of war in Marawi City so they endorsed it to me and we delivered it to the Community Extension Services office but it was closed so I suggested we leave it in the convent.
Since I forgot to get the attendance sheet in the classroom, I had to go back and get it. On my way, I noticed the smoke from a fire somewhere near the Rio Grande. I heard firetrucks had a hard time entering there. Then I saw a student using a cellphone in the hallway so I had to approach him and confiscate it since they’re not allowed to bring it in school. While I was talking to him, there is someone calling my phone so we were talking while my phone is ringing. That was a bit awkward. He doesn’t want to hand it over to me and I do not want to argue so I got his I.D. and brought him to the Senior High School Coordinator. I slipped away afterwards to finally get the attendance sheet. I was actually in a hurry because it was almost 4 PM and I have to pack up my things for a trip later. Then I checked my phone only to find out it was Ms. Wilma, the aunt of a working student who got hospitalized due to acute ulcer. They needed the money I collected yesterday because I told her I “begged” some money from school personnel when I went around the school in between classes. I realized I had a talent in begging money. No, that was only a joke. Sorry if it was not funny. The amount? Sorry, it is confidential.
After packing my clothes and necessities, I went with our teachers/coaches to Belle’s Farm, Pigcawayan for planning and an overnight recreation. So there’s the usual drinking and singing either with the rented karaoke or with coaches playing the musical instruments brought by Mr. Dequiña in the venue. I skip singing ballads because I suck when I sing them and enthusiastic whenever we sing alternative rock songs especially if they are local songs. Filipino karaoke culture, represent! I only drank a bottle of San Miguel so I wonder why I got a recurring hiccup. Around past 1 AM, I sneaked to our booked resting house and was able to secure a resting place in a hard sofa-like furniture made of bamboo in the sala. I don’t know what it is called in English but I just know it gave me a hard time getting a good sleeping position because I don’t have a pillow and the sofa doesn’t have a cushion. Probably, it was already 2 AM when my body just got tired of searching for a good sleeping position. I then woke up at the usual 5 AM thinking of helping in cooking breakfast particularly the rice because that’s the only skill I know in cooking and I know how to cook rice for a lot of people because that’s what I learned from a fast food chain.
And I slept again around 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM today. Because of sleeping and waking up late, I feel a little bit of restless so here I am writing.
Today is Father’s Day. What’s my gift to my father? I’ll just present him with my own presence. Besides, I’ll be visiting home in Marikina this Tuesday to attend my youngest sister’s college graduation. I’ll be seeing my mother too whom I haven’t seen in almost two years because she went to Japan to work.
Thanks for reading and have a blessed weekend everyone.
My school ministry is like a basketball game.
I’m still in the same school but now I was told it’s my final year here.
Last year was the first half. Maybe I went down hard, got turnovers, missed some shots, and even had some highlight plays to be proud of. And this year, it’s my second half where I need to do a lot of catching up in terms of scoring points for my team. But I know I am not a star player nor a starter. I am a rookie; a role player to be quite honest.
I know what I can do and what I cannot do. I am happy to be benched if I know I did what I can do in the court. But now I am a sophomore, I have to step up my game when my time comes for me to enter the court.
Though I had my lapses in judgements, some hesitations in doing actions and making decisions, I think I had also done some daring and circus stunts which only a rookie like me can do.
But yeah, I think I know I could have done better last year and I know what it takes so I can contribute more.
Though being young have its disadvantages, I will count more its advantages.
Inexperience can be an opportunity for me to learn more; youthfulness means more energy.
But do I have what it takes to perform better? I believe I do. And if not? Then I guess I just have to admit my inexperience and ask for help from those whom I know can mentor me.
Knowing myself, I know it takes a lot for me to admit my own ignorance. But if it’s the way for me to learn, then I will shallow my pride and be humble to learn and be ignorant.