First Step to the Real World

I was a star lost in the dark. A star that gradually eradicating its brightness as time passes away. A star so distant from the light of the moon. Unsparkling. Losing. Vanishing

I am uncertain if this is worth posting. I just want to share an experience of mine how I was hired for the first time after (finally) leaving the university life and making my initial steps to the “real world”.

The Human Resource Department of Laguna College sent me an e-mail two months after my application. (By the way, Laguna College is my family’s Alma Matter.) I have known that they prefer UP, Ateneo, La Salle graduates and their alumni in the workforce. That was a relief. They were inviting me for a job interview (1st week of April). I immediately responded to their e-mail and showed up on the day they have set. It wasn’t really an interview. It was more of “little talks” about my life. Simple questions were asked and I did not encounter the typical interview questions we normally see and observe. I was just asked light questions like my family background and the school/university I graduated from. I was really chilled and there were no butterflies in my stomach that time unlike my experiences in the previous companies I had interview at.

They called me after a day or two and invited me to conduct a teaching demo. I confirmed and did the actual thing. The thing is, it was the same presentation I demonstrated at Mariwasa where I got my very first rejection. (If you keep on following my blog, might as well, you know the reason why.) However, I somehow modified the slides and made it even better since I will be discussing the topic for more than one hour. The topic was about conspicuous consumption and I focused in the Philippine setting for it to be more interesting. I felt confident presenting the topic to the SocSci (Social Science) class under Professor Calix (unsure of the spelling). The students came from Accountancy and Education division/department. There were five professionals in the panel including Miss Baldrias, the dean of the Education department and Miss Lazado, the Vice President of the university.

Since the topic was about conspicuous consumption and I merely had to magnify it in the local setting, I gave examples near to their hearts– consuming products that are not really necessary but were rather consumed because of the status they bring. It was a fun discussion though, as I saw it, since they were all attentive and enthusiastic as we went along. I gave first an ice breaker, a Logo Quiz, to set up the mood on a hot yet placid afternoon. The consequence was, the losing group should throw a joke or a knock-knock joke at the end of the session. It was followed by an interactive discussion and an evaluation/assessment. I found it hard to think of a way on evaluating or assessing them what they have learned within that particular hour. I hate quizzes– that was really old school and I felt that there was a need for certain kind of innovation. So I ended up conducting a mini pageant since many of us still can’t get over the recent Binibining Pilipinas. I found it quite relevant so I adopted the Q and A portion. I grouped the class into pairs. Each should pick a question from a box and answer it within 30 seconds only. They, I guess, were excited of it. The questions I prepared were light and the answers should come from their hearts. I mean, opinions and reflections. I assessed my students subjectively rather than pressuring them objectively.

And it was all a success! Yay! I did my ALL– more than my very best. I was praised for my job well-done and the panel congratulated me. That moment, I was inch by inch adjusting to the class as I was presenting and it was kinda weird that I didn’t felt any nervousness at all. (Nux! Haha) unlike the feelings I had when I was standing in front of people whenever I report/recite in class. Nahh, it’s just I learned to trust myself more than I trust anybody else. And there can be nothing greater than doing my best in all the things that I do.

Teaching is really a great profession. It makes all other professions possible. I have lots of family members who are in the same profession. And another, it is my passion to engrave knowledge to others whilst continuously learning every day. This is something I look forward to when it comes to finding my job. My first job is really a big deal to me and I want this to be something I know I would love and something I am passionate of. Yes, I never excelled during college. I didn’t even aced an exam. I never belonged to the dean’s list and honor roll. I was just passing my courses. I was just a commoner barbarian kid in UP.

When I applied as a Training Officer in a company, I was really eager to get the job. Because, being a trainer means getting involved with the students- or in that case, workers- and bringing impact to their professional lives. That is something I would like to do, to teach, to train and to lead. The proximity of the work will only fall as a secondary consideration. Thinking of it, this is ideal. It would also be great if I will have teaching in the academe as a good platform for me to venture the real world in a clean slate.

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It just came all of a sudden personal realization that I am not weak and my presentation was not that bad. I mean, it only should take the most suitable people to appreciate and see the best in my work. It’s not that the panel I used to present before wasn’t that great, they are, actually. But I suit better to the people I stood up with for the second time around. I mean, it is not me who was lost and unable to see the right track. It’s just, I have to find the best kind of people whom I can grow and nourish more professionally.

Here’s the thing. I kept on being rejected from different companies I applied for. I applied to so many companies and it’ll take forever if I’m gonna mention ’em all. However, after being interviewed and evaluated, they will end up sending me regret messages and even, not sending follow up messages and results of the interviews and screenings. There were also calls inviting me for an interview yet I didn’t respond. It’s just I felt damn tired waiting and giving myself false hopes over and over again. I felt broken and I bled on the inside. I was too exhausted seeking the best path for me.

For some, they might think that I was thwarting opportunities. Yet for me, it is the other way around. Those “opportunities” kept on putting me on the shredder. For so many times I did try, I wasn’t accepted. I thought it was me who doesn’t fit to the standards they have set. But I now know it was not that. I am not weak. I am not incompetent. I am not unskilled. It’s just I fit to better roles where I know I can further improve. I don’t hold grudges to companies who rejected me. Aside from being so used to such feeling, I still thank them for letting me tackle a better path; for letting me know that I can be stronger than I am today and the day they said “no” to me.

With these, I have nothing and nobody to hold on to except the mighty and benevolent  powers of God Almighty. I lifted everything to God. I cried and prayed earnestly that I may find the light in paving the path I should take. I asked Him to drive the car of my life and I will be passenger sitting on the front seat trusting Him without any doubt, without any words.

Despite the optimism I see from myself, there are still people negating my decision. They keep on asking me why I “fall down” to teaching. That– I should’ve pursued Education as my degree; Teaching must be the ONLY thing I can do. I kept on hearing (and reading) “Sa pagtuturo ka din pala babagsak.”;  “Bakit ka magtuturo, di ka naman teacher?”; “Akala ko ba ayaw mo magturo?”;  “Sadyang wala na ba ga talagang mapuntahan?” and the likes. Thank you for the derogatory words! But hey, I am not belittling them but why can’t they think that teaching is far too better than what they do with their jobs– stapling papers, picking up calls, photocopying and scanning? But geez! I always choose not to ruin my each and every day so I better get rid of all those kinds of persons in my life. Instead of questioning my decisions, why can’t they just get a life instead? And (again), it is myself who would do the job, at the end of the day.

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For quite some time, I felt like giving up and thought of sulking myself in a corner and just quietly bleed. There was a pivotal point between me being a happy person and me having a divided spirit. I temporarily wallowed in pain and shut myself from the world. But still, there were no harvest of barren regret during the moments I’ve tried. Because God wants me to realize deeper things in life and I am sure that He will never left me hanging and let me live my life out of nowhere. I kept on being rejected because God is directing me to a better and clearer path. Cliche as it may sound, there is always something greater waiting as we lose another.

I thank those who see the best in me despite all my weaknesses and downfalls. Those who–in one way or another– believed (and still believe) in me despite the failures I get in life. Thank you for waiting for my right time. I mean, you all never changed. You are still the same friends I have in the whatever hype of my life’s roller coaster ride. You da real MVPs!

And to everyone who I failed, I am not sorry. It is you who put all your expectations high on me and I was this kid who still strove for the best of who I can become. I see that you are only with me during the “up” times. Whenever I achieve something, I pass licensure examinations, pass hard core subjects and get awards. You were there for me during my successes. You were the ones who stood along the peripheral road cheering me on. And I thank you for that. But it was quite disappointing that you were not there with me during the dark times. And you were the ones who slap me with my weaknesses instead of making me feel good, better and more inspired. Your words cut down as hell and it felt like it stabbed me in the back. But yeah, thank you! I know now who I should keep and those I should get off of my life. I am now drawing the lines between us.

I decided to drive my own life and conquer the path I would love to tackle. I will not be this pawn of the system people have designed. I am now brave not to heed the dictates of my fears and listen to my heart this time. I know I should’ve done this long time ago but everything still turned good and it seemed to be my sweetest downfall. Everything still happens for a reason.

It was a smooth week for me. But since I am a newbie in the department and is one of the newest faculty member, I am still adjusting myself– from my daily routine, the culture they practice, my fellows, the students and the kind of work I must perform. Several of the faculty members came from UPLB, some from Ateneo, PNU and Laguna College. It was nice to see fellow alumni from UP.

First week

Monday. Orientation and there was nothing that we did except that we (newly-hired faculty members) were introduced to Grade 11 students in the gymnasium.

Tuesday. I was designated to be the adviser of HUMSS/GAS along with Mr. Flores. Meeting students from both Senior and Junior High was somehow exciting. New faces, new experiences.

Wednesday. I am now the adviser of STEM 4. I alone. And it was a challenge for me. I am inch by inch adapting to everything and I need time to fully understand how it is to be an adviser. I let my students write a letter to their 25-year old self and hoping to give it back to them after n years. I do not know how but let’s see what I can do.

Thursday. The struggle is real. It is. Having fully loaded with seven classes a day is a pain in the arse. Discussing concepts would be good yet the stamina I have preserved for the whole day is gradually losing. Junior high is quite challenging than the seniors.

Friday. Last day. Yayyy! I only have two classes during Fridays. And a three-hour vacant in between. Classes are both in the Junior high. And the only thing I am challenged of is the way I should handle them. They differ (a lot) from Seniors in many aspects. Well, I am still adjusting and I let myself take the adequate time I need.

I do not even know why I am writing this and how should I syntax every fragment. I do not have to let other people know who am I and there is nothing I must prove. It is just, I am tired of explaining myself to people who won’t bother understand. I am just being myself and this is my humble beginning.

These are just few initial steps of the long journey I will going to explore. And along the road, I will keep only the positive people and might as well leave others behind who will hinder me as I move along. This is the real fight and I am now ready to conquer you, real life!

I was a star lost in the dark. Not knowing that a star shines more brightly during the darkest hour.

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