Thank you, first sem.

The past semester was one roller-coaster ride for me. Full of twists and turns. Full of excitement and thrill. It has been a semester already since everything started. since everything began to fall in its designated places. Months ago, I began to somehow see my life-driven purpose. If you know me, might as well you know how lost I was in this world–nowhere to go–having the aftermath of a chapter that has just ended. You’ll see the chaos in my eyes. Hence, a vestige of all that had happened to me became a subtle realizations of the things I am having today. Inch by inch, my life is having a purposeful meaning.

I taught Personal Development and Understanding Culture, Society and Politics. Both are near to my heart. UCSP reminds me of all the remnants of my college life. Everyday I was bombarded with too many concepts, theories, fallacies and social phenomena. And all meant something to me now. Now I clearly understand why I needed to deal with all those before– that something is meant to happen in the years to come. That I, too, was meant to accept the “Invitation to Sociology” of Peter Berger discussed on the very first meeting of the bloody socio days.

I mustered a lot of courage teaching PerDev. I know in the deepest corner of myself that I am not a well-developed person. It is quite ironic that I handled such course where in fact I do not see myself as someone anyone can look up to, someone who can share good thoughts, someone anyone can get a motivation from, someone who can set a good sample to the humanity. I AM NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL. As I teach, it is not only becoming a one-sided process. I learn from teaching, too. I am not only developing my students like a seed that needs to be poured with love, compassion and courage. I am also unleashing the unknown part of me from which I myself did not know.

Grade 11 STEM 2 Slate is one of my best classes. They gave me outputs more than what I expected. In every performance task (and even exams), they always give their best shot. I see that each of them is intelligent in their own little ways. Some are really good in writing. I encourage them to continue writing because that will lead them to places. Some are good a public speaking– a manifestation of how good a person can be when it comes to organizing thoughts and ideas. Some are good at visual arts. They can turn a simple stuff to a beautiful creation. Some are musically-gifted. Aside from playing different instruments, they can sway with their music and temporarily escape the world. I can say that this class is undeniably a mixture of intelligent and talented creatures.

Grade 11 ABM 2 Obsidian is the home of my best debaters. There was never a dull moment in every single debate we’ve had. I am glad that they are not afraid to say what’s in their mind and the standpoints from which they trully believe in. I wish I could be like them. Someone brave enough to show people how they think and will not only sulk themselves in a corner and get drowned by their own beliefs without sharing it with the rest of the world. The best thing I learned from them is to never be terrified of voicing out your opinions even if the world will counterargue on you. Because being brave in this world full of cowardice is the best thing we can always do.

Grade 11 HUMSS/GAS Rhyolite made me feel a sort of feelings. For so many times I was annoyed, pissed and bothered, they still impressed me in one way or another. Truth be told, I can see that they are getting near to the dreams they have shared with me. I am certain that in the years to come, they’ll someday be my colleague who have the heart for the society, who believe in the beauty of social science and will pursue a career in the discipline. A heart of a social scientist lies in them and that will eventually flourish. A heart that is brave enough to scrutinize things and people in a deeper sense, in different perspectives. For this, I commend them.

I was challenged by the advisory class assigned to me– Grade 11 STEM 4 Quartzite. It was my first time to teach and if you keep on following this blog, you’ll perhaps know that I am not really into teaching. Nonetheless, I did. You see now how chaotic my life is? Surely. Anyhoo, my STEM 4 is one of the most significant people who challenged my whole being. Here’s the thing: Some label them one of the worst, they know that. Some belittle their capabilities. Some see them unworthy of anybody’s trust. There was never a week a teacher would complain about them– their behavior, performances, exams and all. And I was one of them. They cut classes, came to classes late, behave in ill-manner, frequently absent in class.. name it. I was their teacher for two consecutive courses with only a twenty-minute break in between. In fact, that two-hour period sucks all the stamina I have reserved for the whole monotonous day.

This was the section I where I felt I wasn’t loved. Hurtful, it was. If they are reading this right now, I am certain they would say contradictory words over this. There were moments I humbly questioned myself what have I done wrong for them to treat me that way. I didn’t feel respected. I didn’t feel I exist. I felt cheated. I didn’t feel being valued like no any other. I ain’t being loved by my advisory class. Maybe it was me who became too kind to them so some took advantage of me. Or maybe they didn’t like the way I treat them. Or maybe they simply didn’t like me as a teacher.. and as a person. I dunno. My mind is baffled with so many thoughts that could never escape. But whatever their reason/s was/were, I’d highly pay respect on that. And that won’t matter anymore. It is just quite ironic that I was feeling this way in my very first advising class than my any other classes. Not to compare, but I never felt that way with others. I felt respected. I felt loved. They gave much effort on my subject and they never took me for granted.  Nevertheless, these was all in the past. This thing was resolved already. I just want to express how much I felt during that time. It cut deep wounds and scars will forever be left.

But in all honesty, I can sense that they are reflections of what and who I and my classmates were before. It feels kinda weird but I can see myself in them. How hard-headed and how stubborn I was before. I had a thug highschool life. Maybe I was meant to be their adviser– we have the same personalities. What I learned the most from this class is that, you have to show your real self no matter how diverse the surrounding is. That, there is never a place for someone who conceals who he really is just to fit in the eyes of others. One should never listen to the dictates of his fears and face everything with closed fists even if it takes you to nowhere. Because in this world full of intelligent, know-it-all people, one has to believe in his own principles and that would be the best asset one could ever possess. In all sense, I learned to love STEM 4 as time went by.

To teach is a way of saying you’re rendering all that you have in the call of obligation. There will be things (and people) you’ll sacrifice in fulfilling the roles attached to this profession. There will be moments you’ll say “next time” to people you are fond of being with. You’ll sacrifice the all-night parties, the beat of non-stop loud music, the chill drinks and best moments with your best people. There will be times that you’ll be preoccupied by some works you need to accomplish on or before the set deadline. You’ll feel alienated from the work you intend to do. You’ll feel exploited for some certain moments. And you’ll just whisper at the top of your head that it is part of growing up. But to contemplate it, over espresso or a glass of wine and a serenity is a truthful grace that has come my way.

I want to say, detours, departures, and destinations. I begin and begin again another semester in gratitude and joy, even if years of studying and working has left me with more uncertain answers. But I know succinctly two or three things now: that the drive to know thyself is essential and the kind of work I have now will further define me as a person; that to teach is to learn so as not to cage oneself in a box, learn to seek the boundless horizon; that everyone is entitled to learn, not solely from the books, but what matters most is to learn from the book of life. And engrave the lessons in the heart.

Thank you to everyone who has made this semester a wonderful one, specially to the very first set of students I handled. You are all special to me this way, we grew up together. I said before that students always thank their teachers, but for always, thank you, from me, because you taught me, too. Ad astra per aspera! 


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