Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Student Vega




I don't call out my students on their first names. It's hard for me to distinguish the John Paul's from the Mark Joseph's and the Joshua's. Even harder to differentiate the Michelle's from the Maria's and the Jolina's. I am so used to calling them by their surnames. But then it would also be hard to classify the Reyes' from the Dela Cruz's and the Santos' (those students can form a new section with all of them bearing the same last names). With that, it will be easier to have a very unique name if you have a common surname or a generic name with that "unfamiliar" surname. 

The facial features of a typical teener can be tricky. Approximately, I get to teach and interact with 500 students per year. I'm sorry but I really don't remember each one of them through face or name. It's either you are the bully or the geeky one who answers every question even before I ask them to qualify in my memory bank. Forgive me but it's that difficult. Mediocrity has no face.  

Last school year I handled 4th year students and I never get to see them after they graduated. I don't usually add my students on my personal FB account so I don't get updates on their whereabouts. Two weekends ago while inside a drugstore (I was there to buy some lozenges for my itchy throat) I was struck when I saw a familiar mascot character. The famous chocolate covered pretzel was introducing its chocolate drink version. My eyes were stuck on the mascot until someone shouted my name, "Ma'am Carla!". 

I immediately searched for the person behind the voice and immediately saw a familiar face, It was Vega (her surname), my student last school year. I knew her very well because she was not hesitant to come to me for advice on heart matters during her senior year. She also has this very unique voice that when I asked someone to sing for the whole class she would willingly volunteer herself. 

She's 19 and apparently the "promotions lady" for the choco drink with the guy on the mascot costume. I looked at her (almost hugged her) and messed her hair up a bit. We both got excited that our shrieks and giggles were heard around the drugstore. She went on with her stories about her ex-boyfriend/classmate and how she didn't get to pursue her college education. At that point I dunno what to feel.

Looking at Vega, I can't help but think if I would be happy or sad for her. Happy because she has her own way of supporting herself. I am actually proud of her for being so independent. I asked about the nature of her job and the pay she receives. She also told me that she is happy where she is right now and that she have plans of pursuing her college degree. The sad part is uncontrollable I guess. I wish further education for all of my students who graduated. I want them to experience how it is to be a college student. The knowledge and wisdom you get inside and outside the classroom are priceless. It is where they get the life skills they needed to "survive" the real world. 

I wanted Vega to  be in school which is difficult in her present situation. I urged her to look for a sponsor or apply for a scholarship to sustain her college education. I told her to not stop pursuing her dreams and to be a good girl (whatever that means). She asked if we could have a souvenir photo with the mascot - I told the guy inside the mascot to not involve themselves in a romantic relationship (very intrusive). I bought some of her items and went on to go with my regular day. But with too much going on in my mind. 

I maybe am over analyzing things or maybe that is the essence of my "job" or my "life" in general. I want all of my students to be well with their chosen paths. More than the lectures and activities, it is the hidden curriculum that is more vital. It's not finding the variable x in an Algebra exam, not the velocity of a falling ball and not the rules in playing Volleyball. It's how they value life in general - how they answer the question "What is life for?". Period.

Whether or not I imparted the right knowledge, values or skills that are needed in my course, I would be more happy to see my students doing what they love and unleash their potentials as a human being. 

Dramatic I know but that is how I view my "job" or my "life" or both. I can't distinguish one from the other anymore. 

14 comments:

  1. I really like this entry, because I also value education so much.

    There are two sorts of students. Some students who have the opportunity to study, but don´t use that opportunity and there are also students who want to go school, but missing that opportunity. It´s sad.

    You are a good teacher, Ma´am. You remind me of my sister, she wishes the same to her students.







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    1. thanks kulengkleng, nothing but the best for them - kahit yung pinaka sutil na bagets :)

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  2. This is so touching. It's sad that not everyone can finish their education. I hope your student goes back to school though.

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    1. hi michy! yes, i hope she will kasi pangarap niya talaga yun...

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  3. This post touched me in more ways than one. I'm sad for people, especially my classmates and even cousins who were not able to pursue their college education due to financial problems but at the same time, I'm happy for them because they're doing well despite not being able to go to college.

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    1. hi ryan! it's but a normal scene in my "world" pero kumukurot pa rin sa puso ko pag nakikita ko na nangyayari...

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  4. hello! im new to ur blog although classmates tau nung college i just forgot wat subject. very nicely written carla very insightful. kng lahat ng teachers katylad m ay mas maggng masaya ang mga students;-)

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    1. salamat eloisa! :) and yes, naalala ko kayo, mga bibo batch...

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  5. same feeling here girl, that's the sad part being a Government Teacher. We don't expect that all of them will pursue their college degree. But we can encourage them, that's the least thing that we can do for them! I salute you Ma'am Carla :)

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    1. salamat ice! pero kahit anong pilit minsan hindi talaga uubra sa katayuan ng buhay nila... :(

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  6. ako yung Reyes at Dela Cruz. now i know bakit full name tawag mo sakin. hahah chos!

    namiss ko yung ganitong entries mo. i hope she'll strive harder para makapagcollege. i understand.. yung iba kasi kumita lang ng pera, ayaw na mag-aral. di nila alam, yung 4 na taon na yun na hirap at gastos, katumbas ng 4 na dekada ng mas maginhawang buhay.

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    1. hi chyngreyes.com! haha. at namiss ko din magsulat ng ganito. ang hirap kasi ipilit kung wala naman talaga. sumasakto minsan :)

      iba rin kasi talaga ang training sa college eh. mas malapit sa "totoong buhay" kesa sa elem at hs :)

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  7. This is such heartwarming entry and praying that she goes back to school! Kaya mataas respeto ko sa mga teachers coz the concern and encouragement does end sa room…kahit saan pagmakita ka..they will always have this unsolicited advise that would really hit you!

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    1. korek! ganyan din mga teachers ko sakin dati. pero nung naging teacher na ko eh mas naramdaman ko yung concern nila na totoo pala talaga yun. mahirap pero masarap sa pakiramdam ng trabaho namin :)

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