Saturday, February 02, 2008

A Day as a Teacher

By next week, I’ll be making a big decision that’ll affect greatly my future. So, allow me to make musings before my fingers hit the keyboard putting into words that pronouncement. After that, no more turning back…whatever that means…

The ringing sound from the clock awakened me from a deep slumber. It was 4:00 A.M. I called all the saints I could remember and implored their mercy to stop the time. Not yet, please…my eyes felt like it was filled with sand being in front of the computer the whole night. I slept with the usual time at past 1:00 A.M. beating all the deadlines and preparing Powerpoint presentation for the next day’s lessons.

Immediately, I went back to sleep with all the aching cells of my body. It seemed like seconds only when the alarm shrilled again. It’s 5:00 A.M. No more turning back! I threw the comforter and scrambled on my feet. The dogs having been awake the whole night waiting for me to finish in front of the computer couldn’t even open their eyes. 

Exactly 6:15 A.M., I left the house to go to school. On my way, I was welcomed with familiar scenarios every morning. There was the garbage truck that always blocked my way, Manoy Boy in his bicycle roaming around the village with his usual tease “Mayo pa din boyfriend?”, Tyong Abe preparing his car, neighborhood kids waiting candies from me, and early morning joggers who greeted me with warm smiles.

The travel until the church where I dropped by every morning took 20 minutes. There in the church I uttered my morning prayer of guidance and strength to meet all my responsibilities.

By 6:40, I was in school ready for another day. My pupils would greet me with beaming smiles and in chorus they would utter, “Good Morning, Teacher Buena”. While they were cleaning, I would stay in the office and worked with the school paper and other documents in my computer. Most of the times, I needed to use the two computers to make the work faster. By 7:15 A.M., my pupils were ready in the covered court for the flag ceremony.

I would wait for my first class while working again in front of the computer. My first subject was at 8:15 and ends at 10:15. Then I would try to nibble snacks while working again. If I needed some approval from school officials that means I have to forget snacks because my break time was not enough. Lunch would be at 12:00 in the canteen with my friends or most of the times in front of the computer in the office.

In class no matter how tired a teacher is, she needs to pretend everything’s right. She should act as a clown to those who are bored, a genius to those who are gifted with wit, a mother to those who have problems, a nurse to those who are sick, a friend to those who need inspiration, and a savior to those who feel weak…all these while thinking of the discipline, lessons and deadlines to meet. 

Classes continued in the afternoon and ends at 4:30 P.M. Break times were spent in printing press for editing of the school’s publication. At 5:00 P.M. my pupils were done cleaning the room. Every part of my body was already aching that time. But it wasn’t yet the end of the day…training for contests, preparing for programs, writing articles, and other deadlines would usually occupy my time until around 6:00 P.M. or beyond. More often than not, the guard would remind us that it’s past curfew time already. 

All these while wearing high-heeled shoes the whole day. By the time I reached home, I could hardly move my muscles. Dead tired won’t even suffice to describe my feeling. No, it isn’t yet the end of the day. After I have my shower, dinner and stress work out (target wheel or dumbbell), I would sit again in front of the computer to continue working with the aid of my ever reliant USB. 

When the clock hit 1:00 A.M. that would be the signal to end my torment. I would then allow myself to loaf around in the comfort of my bed…until the next day where I got to face again another day full of challenge, laughter and frustrations…

It’s almost a year now since I’ve decided to take a rest from that kind of life. I miss a lot of things specially the idiosyncratic situations where I’ve found myself laughing hilariously with my pupils’ frolics.

Everyday was a meaningful discovery…every chuckle was a massage to my aching body…a placate to frustrations that accompanied my position…an assurance that I was doing something right…

But, there is also a part of our life that we must learn to let go. That is the time you come to realize that you need to move on in another facet of your existence. With this, I remember what Og Mandino says, “If I walk away from any challenge today my self-esteem will be scared, and if I cease to grow even a little I will become smaller.”

I take my choice as a challenge- a challenge to prove that wherever my decision would bring me I will not shrink into the ground but I will continue to nurture my chosen profession.

Now, I feel better for I know that anywhere fate takes me the stars would be there to guide me…I just need to look up and utter, “I can do this…” the number is endless so no matter how many times I fall, I can stand and gaze up again and again until I find my place in the vast sky.

The world is a looking glass and gives me back the reflection of my own soul. I want to look intently someday in the mirror and see not a lost soul but a fulfilled face of a woman who embrace with open arms the dare for change…

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