Friday, October 10, 2014

Letter from my Special Student

This is how I want to be remembered as a teacher when I die obviating the word 'beautiful' and other physical descriptions. This is why I teach...the words may not be written there but I know that teaching is a gift and it is a privilege to be part of the life of every student. Thank you, Justin. 

(Unedited feature article from one of my Journalism students.) 

Her name is Ms. Nina. She is a teacher in my school. She teaches English and Creative Writing. She comes to my class every day. Every student always follow her lessons enthusiastically.

Ms. Nina is at her early thirties. I think she is about 35 years old. She is very slim, and has average height. I think she is about 155 c.m. Her hair is long, black and straight. But, what people like from her is her white complexion.

She is very nice, attentive, and dedicated. I have liked her since the first day she came to my class. She has been teaching us for two months, and helping us to learn new materials. We don't have difficulties in learning the subjects because she teaches us well.

She knows her students well. She always gives us school assignments, and checks our works carefully. When a student makes many mistakes, she understands that she needs to help him. She will come to his table and explain the material one by one.

The material in the new semester is more difficult than before. Every students must understand the materials before taking a test. Some chapters are completely new for us. She always helps us when we have problems. Now, we don't think they are hard anymore.

I am happy that Ms. Nina is a teacher. I hope she can be a teacher for a long time. Some teachers do not know how to deal with their students, but Ms. Nina knows how to handle them.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Emergence (Editorial, ESIS Newsletter, Term 4, 2014)

As the old pages of the school are about to be closed to give way to new chapters, the ESIS family looks back to an unforgettable year of carving memories. Probably, the year could only be described in its entireties with service, love and innovation.

There is this emergence of service as the school affirms its commitment for selfless offering to the community. The Pesta Rakyat with the ‘sembako’ giving to the less fortunate people was the attestation of this.

There is this emergence of love and service when the students poured forth their love in prayers and simple gifts as they visited and blessed SD- SMP Harapan Bagi Bangsa- YRPI.

There is this emergence of innovation as the school continuously seeks ways to progress in different aspects of the academe. Various projects are being undertaken and the TV program of Dr. Chitra is seen as a breakthrough giving way to the students to showcase their talents and bless others with service. It is indeed an unforgettable year to the ESIS family.

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.” -Psalm 107:1-

Seasons of Life (Editorial, ESIS Newsletter, Term 3, 2014)

As Ecclesiastes 3 beautifully elucidates the time for everything, El Shaddai International School continuously embraces the different seasons of life with God’s graces.

Term 3 was enveloped with significant events which could only be an explication of God’s love and favors. First, this is the time for reaping seed of rectitude planted in the school’s alumni. Grace Sameve’s notable accomplishments being a recent graduate of Columbia University is an upholding of everything that ESlS stands for- molding an upright citizen worthy of emulation in a society.

This term is also a season of welcoming new students and teachers to the family. God continuously uses the school as instrument in honing not just the talents and abilities of the students but helping the society as well by ensuring that every graduate would live in accordance with God’s words and teachings.

It is also the season to share inspiration to the community by using the enthusing articles of the students. The stories of Tiara and Pruch hope to bridge the message of love, dreams and aspirations to the society.

Somehow, this term also stirs the season of feat when the futsal team was hailed victors. God’s avalanche of blessings is indeed amazing.

As Ecclesiastes 3 speaks of seasons of life, not every time is for exultation. This term is also the time to weep when one of the ever dedicated and committed teachers of ESIS bid her farewell. She served for seven years before finally deciding to settle with her family in the Philippines. But, Ms. Mary’s legacy of loyalty and obedience will live on.

Life’s intricacies would sometimes slow us, or exalt us, but so long as everything is consecrated unto His name, there is nothing that would be impossible to accomplish. Time has been the silent witness of this institution’s unfailing commitment to be the pillar of uprightness. Thus, God’s love whatever is the season of life will see us through.

Traverse in Gratefulness (Editorial, ESIS Newsletter, Term 2, 2013)

The song 10, 000 Reasons by Matt Redman may aptly portray what’s in the heart of a very blessed ESIS family this term. First and foremost of course is the gift of the new students who just joined the school. The continuous coming of new members of the family affirmed the undeterred commitment of the school to be the pillar of quality education according to Christian principles.

Then, there’s this visit of course of the students from King’s College Australia together with Pastor James. The seminar they facilitated, the outbound memories, and the Blue Fire concert left an indelible mark to the hearts of the ESIS family especially that of the students. The flock of people who blessed the Blue Fire concert with their presence and other forms of support also embraced the ESIS family.

But, God’s blessings did not end with the visit of the Australians from King’s College Australia nor of other successful events. The triumphs of the two students in the Pre- IBO competition were nothing but God’s incessant cascade of miracles.

We therefore revel with all these feats knowing they are God’s avalanche of blessings. Yes, there are more than 10, 000 reasons to be thankful and the ESIS family traverse in gratefulness.

A Year of Innovation (Editorial, ESIS Newsletter, Term 1 2013)

Battling the tremendous challenge of facing the changes happening around the world is surely a tough job. But, ESIS is one hard pillar to shake. With the shift in the paradigm of education, the school continues to make innovation with the curriculum and content education.

To remain leader in the industry, one must take the challenge and that is what currently the school is doing. The students are being involved with the challenge of creating changes in the city by giving them awareness of what is truly going on. Thus, the empowerment of their sense of responsibilities and strong character which may help the country in the future.

Coincidently, the school does not rest on its laurel as the pioneer of SOT by continuously seeking ways on how to address the growing demand of society. Thus, as the school year rolls on, ESIS welcomes not only the new students and staff but new challenges as well. The school looks forward to what the rest of this academic year will bring filled with hope and aspirations. Together with the involvement of the parents and God’s loving guidance, there is this great hope of bringing out the students’ best.

God’s promise is infinite. As elucidated in Romans 12:2: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- His good, pleasing and perfect will.

ESIS declares this year as the year of innovation steered by God’s infinite wisdom, unfathomable love, and inexplicable greatness.

Monday, August 18, 2014

When love wounds…and love heals

There is a parody in the way love ignites different emotions. When it strikes the heart of anybody, there is no power to resist it and nothing but to accede to it. There is this beauty of the way it robs one’s will to see flaws and differences but just positive physiognomies of a person. There is this splendor of just simply yielding to what it offers irrespective of the surrounding circumstances or the bleakness of the future. There is this sweet taste of abandoning any rationality just humbly acquiescing to that incomprehensible feeling of LOVE. Falling in love after all, is like being mystified in dreams of something not within the grasp of what real life could offer.

Love is a beautiful feeling for a reason. It is beautiful because it is something deeply and inexplicably shared by two people. But, its beauty has no ability to fight off weariness when finally ugly reality is slowly unfolded unto thy eyes. What you thought of something so seamlessly tied in perfection is not what it seems to be. You wake up from a dream realizing that you were in trance of something that only you believed and was never reciprocated by the one you trusted. That is the time, love wounds.

The pain inflicted may be blinding at its intensity. Then, you realize that it becomes more excruciating knowing that the love wore off but not the pain of the wounds inflicted. There is this sense of betrayal upon knowing that you have been led into something that would never be. There is this taste of bitterness discovering that the kind of love given was never the one you have given. There is this anger knowing that time has been stolen from you and never in your entire life could it be taken back again. The wounds are aggravated knowing that you have no other way out but to wake up from what you thought was such a beautiful dream but all along, it was a nightmare. The scenes are in wide array but the good ones were nothing but facades.

Conversely, just as love wounds, love also heals. When you think that there is no hope anymore, that there is no more future to look forward to, that there is no way to live life with positivity, you are given the seed of hope. Just as how every seed starts infinitesimal then grows into something big, the hope glimmers at first then radiates at its magnitude. Just as love wounds, love heals. 

Then, realization dawns on you that there is really that BEAUTY in love. The parody is driven away with its purity since you know it is finally given to the right person. Slowly, there is this important lesson being imparted that the pain, the bitterness, and the sense of betrayal perpetrated in you could be healed by love alone also.

As light is shed upon you of the real meaning of love, you realize that it is very important with whom you entrust that fragile heart upon falling in love. You realize that when love is true, it vanishes the cobwebs of pains and other negativities brought by the deceit of the past. You are propelled into emergence of understanding that love is more beautiful when it withers away the wounds of the past. Most importantly, you realize that love is more beautiful when there are no fears and only hopes.

Then you start hoping again. You know that everything is in good hands. When the seed of love is from the right person, there is not just love but it is wrap as well with hope, with fidelity, with trust, with unspoken feeling of conviction and commitment deeply implanted with honesty and rectitude.

Then you understand, yes, just as love wounds, love also heals. Just as love ruins every dream and hope, love builds again. There is no consternation but only faith. Just as the love of the past destroyed you, love of the present and the future will create a new you. After all, there are no wounds that can’t be healed by the right person giving you another chance of LOVE. The first doesn’t mean always the last. Sometimes, the first serves as the lesson so the next could give you a brighter future. And yes, the dream continues…

(To my husband, thank you for the healing. I owe you my life. Just as I trust you with my future, I trust you also my life. )

Friday, August 08, 2014

The Prayer and the Rope

Just as happiness is part of life so is suffering- that blinding feeling, which seems to purge your heart and poured it with bitter taste of pain. As one goes through the ordeal of anger, hatred, grief and lamentation of if’s and but’s, slowly, the spirit gets tired of fighting and it just simply goes through the flow of living.

The gut- wrenching pain hurls you into one thing that could only comfort you- prayer. You know that even if your insides are being twisted and pounded into the abyss of helplessness something is at work. It propels you into realization that in your brokenness, only the prayer could help you, the flicker of hope lingers to dwell in your heart. You know that your heart and spirit are tired but there is somebody out there bigger than the malady that you’re going through and that He’ll take care of everything. You know that even if you don’t voice everything that’s in your heart, somebody out there understands.

Prayer then becomes the rope of your brokenness. As you drown yourself into the tears of travail of uncertainties, pity, regret, anger, doubts, fears and dreads, prayer is the rope that would tie you to hope, faith and optimism that tomorrow might bring. As the body and spirit is barren of any strength to fight, prayer binds you with faith that things will get better soon. You will be battered along the passage but just as prayer tied you to hang on, prayer will also help you to hope that in the future, scars will utterly fade away.

"The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

Monday, August 04, 2014

Somebody Stole My Pants!

(Written by M.A., my niece, when she was 7 years old.) 

“Somebody stole my pants! Who was it?” Mad Martin asked. “Sneaky Susan, did you steal my pants?”

“No, I did not.” Sneaky Sour Susan answered.

“Then, who?”

“Maybe Bad Ben took it.” Sneaky Sour Susan replied.

“Bye.” Said Mad Martin.

“Bad Ben, did you steal my pants?”

“No. Maybe Grumpy George took it.” Said Bad Ben.

So, Mad Martin went to Grumpy George.

“Did you steal my pants, Grumpy George?” He asked.

“No, I did not steal your pants.” He also answered.

Everyone decided to look for Mad Martin’s pants. Sneaky Sour Susan told Mad Martin to check the washing machine. Everyone ran to the washing machine and they all exclaimed, “Mad Martin, it’s there!” They all looked at him. “MAD MARTIN!”

Lesson: Never blame anyone for something. Always check your washing machine. Maybe what you’re looking for is just right there.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

When God Made Teachers (The Awakening)

As to the exact date when the idea was born, I can’t really recall. I only knew that it was one fine morning and I had this very rare luxury of lingering longer on bed that I felt that gnawing restlessness of something that I needed to express.

I thought it was just another blog thingy that after writing an article then I would feel fulfilled. But, the thought of more than a decade in teaching, thousands of students, countless memories, remarkable experiences, and unique undertakings which catapulted me to who am I now, haunted me for hours and days, and nights, until finally, I succumbed into the calling.

Thus, the 101 stories of selfless sacrifices, discoveries, struggles, feats, failures, and inexplicable journey of a teacher were slowly put into words. I set the deadline. I marked the calendar. Complete layout of the book including revisions will be done. So, help me, God.

The Art of Letting Go

It happens that there is a point in our lives that we are lost in the realm of our reveries. We weave dreams, plan for the future, and allow ourselves in trance of the beauty of what tomorrow would bring.

The dream is sometimes so beautiful that for a long time, we live in stupor believing that the intricately and exquisitely woven reverie would someday be a reality.

But, dreams are nothing but dreams. Reality is another thing.

Time comes that we are forced to wake up and face the reality. The course of waking up might be too painful to bear but when dreaming takes so long, there is no other way but to wake up. We need to face that what was once beautiful is something that we’ll never be able to grasp. They are after all, nothing but figments of our idealism and naivety.

Coming to terms that we allowed ourselves to live for such a long time in dreams is something to be done though. Just like waking up from a deep slumber, we rob our eyes and try to clear it so we can see without hindrance. At first, we hesitate to face the bright reality since living with that dream is something so good just to let go. The same thing is true when we allowed ourselves to live for so long in dreams, we need to clear our eyes so the waking up/ healing process would not be encumbered.

Those dreams are silhouette of the past. The memories have no faces, beyond grip but they hurt nonetheless. But eventually waking up would teach us that it is definitely better to endure the pain at first then face the future brightly than to be lost in trance not living a real life forever.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Surviving the Waves of Difficulty

The moment I jumped out of the boat, I knew I was in trouble. The waves were so high and so ferocious that I immediately found myself kicking my legs and flailing my arms helplessly. I tried to cling on to the boat knowing it’s my comfort zone and so long I didn’t let go of it, I’ll be fine.

Until with bruises on my arms and legs bumping on the boat, I decided to let the waves carry me so I could at least enjoy the beauty that the sea could offer. With the safety of the life jacket, I allowed the waves to lug me amidst the beauty that surround me.

Life is like that.

As we traverse life, we would encounter waves of tribulations that would toss and turn us around mercilessly until such time that we would find ourselves bereft of the will to fight. The boat represents the people whom we would try to cling on to in order to survive the ordeal. But, at the end, we really have nothing but the prayer, which is the life jacket that would help us.

As we allow the life jacket just to carry us through, then we would see the beauty hidden by the waves- the purpose and the lessons of the problems. We know that whatever happens, the life jacket would not allow us to succumb and get drowned with our sorrows.

Along the afflictions, the meaning is not lost. There would be bruises and scars, wounds that may never find mending, and pains beyond healing. However, the lessons will be carved forever in the heart.

The Promise

The sunset promises a rest for the day
To heal the wounds wrought by yesterday
An assurance to take the worries away
To ease the pain and hope again.

The sunrise promises a new beginning
Each ray a light to find the way
The gift of zeal to face the day
The faith and strength to trust again.

Monday, July 28, 2014

In Hiatus

So, I thought that the greatest tragedy of life is receiving the result of your cancer test on the day of your birthday and it says positive. I went through the roller coaster ride of being told repeatedly I might not go out of the operating room alive. Until finally, waking up suffused in the dawn of understanding that everything happens for a reason and it was not after all, a cancer. However, having gone through so much physical and emotional pain, I never imagined that there is a greater malady that awaits me. Perhaps, more painful and definitely no medicine available.

Now, as I go through another crossroad of my life, I learned that it is never too late to correct the mistakes of the past or learned from the tears and laughter of yesteryears. Letting go is knowing that it is allowing something to come also.

My heart is in hiatus. God is trying His best to give me complete healing but until then, I go through the motion of living devoid of loving.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Happy Heart

I took this photo when we had an outreach program in Jakarta, Indonesia.

A happy heart is a grateful heart... 
It appreciates trivial and vast things 
It is beholden to every minuscule blessing 
It is pleased to every person given along the way 
It is satisfied to the very life bestowed each day. 

A happy heart is a forgiving heart… 
It does not keep ill feelings 
It does not harbor negativities toward others 
It vindicates the most painful wound inflicted. 

A happy heart is a humble heart… 
It does not boast of victories 
It yields to the power of change 
It admits vulnerabilities to human frailties. 

A happy heart is a contented heart… 
It is not jealous of others feats 
It is not envious of what others have 
It is not resentful when others are praised. 

A happy heart is an open heart… 
It accepts life as it is 
It creates room for improvement 
It acquiesces to life’s everyday surprises. 

A happy heart is a prayerful heart… 
It puts God as the center of everything 
It trusts God that there are reasons for every situation 
It has a strong conviction that God’s words are the ultimate truth. 

A happy heart is a pure heart… 
It wakes up with a purpose 
It sleeps with faith 
It lives in bliss contented with the knowledge that God knows best.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Immersed in Love

Our regular outreach program helps me to appreciate the simple happiness in life. To live with more than what you need is enough reason to live each day with a grateful heart.

I gazed in reticence at the group of students aged 12- 16 praying for little kids. The scene was almost surreal but then it was really happening. Most of them were either kneeling to level with little kids or hugging them with closed eyes praying sincerely. I was so moved that I found myself in tears while continuously clicking the camera.

To spend the Saturday with less fortunate people instead of going to the movies or playing their favorite video games may not be so appealing to most kids. But then, our students subserviently left the comfort of their homes for ministry.

It would have been just another day of going to a place where less fortunate people reside, but apparently, God has better plans when the students gave more than cookie goodies but wholeheartedly offered themselves for service.

I witnessed the ultimate act of kindness when our students started hugging the kids that they just met. They showered the children with joy by playing with them though they did not even know each other. I saw how they prayed sincerely for them oblivious of what they were wearing or how they looked. I saw how their simple gifts made their faces shine with happiness. Most importantly, I witnessed how each one was engaged in poignant moment of love.

What seemed to be more surreal probably was hearing the students say that we should do it more often and that they had too much fun.

Being immersed in this kind of situation always reminds me how most people could have so little but seem to be happier. The exultant faces of the kids there was a great reminder that contentment would always be found in the heart. Yes, we were so exhausted but we were blessed beyond words. As what the other kid said, ‘One day, I will be back and play with them again. Maybe once I have work I can help them also’. That statement of a fourth grader probably summed up our purpose of going there.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Greatly Favored and Deeply Loved (A Birthday Post)

Dear Lord,

I know that the word ‘thank you’ is so futile with what my heart really wants to convey. The immensity of the blessings you have cascaded on the day of my birthday is truly inconceivable. I could utter a prayer of thanks but I know it wouldn’t suffice.

Thank you for bathing me in the dawn of a new day suffused with hundreds of love messages sent thru Facebook, SMS, blackberry and email. Some of them were even sent at the middle of the night which really touched me beyond what words could express.

Thank you for the second surprise of the day, the birthday banner made by my roomie, Ms. Kate. Despite of our busy schedule, she found time to make that marvelous poster for me.

Kate's masterpiece. 

Thank you for the hugs and prayers upon arriving in school. One greeting is more than enough but most kids just couldn’t get enough saying one happy birthday. They were truly endearing repeatedly greeting me whenever they see me walking along the hall or in the learning center. I am truly touched with the kids’ prayers and cards and I know that your words are at work in that place.

Thank you, Lord for the chance to celebrate this day thru a simple lunch with my co- workers whose kindness embraced me since the first day that I set foot in ESIS.

Thank you, Ms. Celine for helping me with the orders. 

Thank you for the biggest surprise of the day when my ESIS family showed more their love for me in a very special way. The moment that I felt something was brewing when a co-worker delayed my going to the teachers’ office to get some stuff, then covering my eyes when finally I was allowed to go out of the English room, then the sweet singing of the birthday song and the splendid cake, the feeling that enveloped me was indescribable, I knew it was your grace at work. 

Thank you for a very special prayer of our school director and for immersing me with that warmth of sincerity and powerful words of positivity. I knew that I’ve made the perfect decision joining the ESIS family.

Thank you for the kindness and generosity of Ms. Debbie for having us in her home and concluding my special day with Mexican food for dinner.

Lastly, Lord, I thank you for another chapter of my life. I know that the road would continue to be long and arduous, but your light will be my guide. I know that there will be more failures than feats, but thank you for the courage to take a chance. I know that there will be heartaches, but thank you for the shower of love from people you send along the way. The words are ineffectual to elucidate what my heart feels, but it is your grace which sustains all my hopes, all my dreams, all my aspirations. I leave the next chapter of my life in your loving hands…

Saturday, May 17, 2014

My Book, My Life: When God Made Teachers

We were all called to do different things here on earth. Our mission varies and probably, at this time of your journey, the destination is not yet fully elucidated.

However, the light of God would always sprinkle hope and faith. Thus, this book was born. The wind of faith steered me to this path and I know that the future is at hand.

My book, When God Made Teachers, elucidates my purpose of life. It gives inspiration through my various experiences as an educator. It showers love using personal convictions. It enlightens troubled souls. It pacifies fears and doubts of a learner and an educator. It seeks to give comfort when uncertainties darken hearts. It gives solace through Bible verses. It is power of words beyond explication.

Join me in my journey. Celebrate with my feats. Cry with my tribulations. Cheer for my victories. My book, my life. Soon... 

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Beholden Wanderer

Not all wanderers are lost. As such, joy is explicit in a nomad who finds meaning in a drifting passage. A realization, which hit me as I turned my gaze back to the time when I first set foot here in Jakarta.

A year ago, I would have thought it improbable to dream that such a journey is possible. I only knew that for the first time in years, I wanted to throw caution to the air and simply follow what my heart was telling me. I was a traveler with no certain plans. I just wanted to try and of course, fly. I was a wanderer who was lost with the realm of my dreams. No blueprint. Nothing. Just FAITH.

Now, as time proves its fleetingness again, I was brought back to the instance when uncertainties were all that I had. One year passed by so swiftly and 23rd of April marks my first year here in Indonesia. I have nothing in my heart but gratitude.

This country has been so generous to me in so many aspects. I’ve been showered lavish opportunities that I lost count of them. I’ve been given with so many friends that it feels like I am just home in the Philippines. I’ve been blessed specifically, spiritually.

Though there are personal sacrifices, they are nothing compared with the self- fulfillment that I have found in this foreign country. Indeed, God has been so generous with me.

One year in this land made me experience to travel for two times in Singapore and of course visit home in the Philippines twice also. I’ve been to different areas of Jakarta and nearby places as well. Yes, each travel is different. Each travel is meaningful. I’ve found them all when I bravely took that journey on the night of April 22.

What struck me the most since coming here was how people can be so generous with their words of appreciation. There is no inhibition of how they say their praises or appreciation. I am humbled beyond utterance of the people who love me here in spite of the short time that I have known them. Again, undoubtedly God has been so generous to me.

Conceivably, this journey has also catapulted me into the quest for meaning of life. Something has changed inside me. That change pierced the core of my life beyond elucidation by words alone. Again, I’ve found them here.

As future is ambiguous at this phase of my life, I don’t really know where this journey will bring me or how long will I stay here. But, as time marks my first year in this foreign land, allow me to say this to the country which has been so generous to me with blessings, to the people who have embraced me as one of them, to the school (and the school owner) which helped me with my spiritual journey, above all, to our generous Creator, who patiently led me in this path, Terima kasih banyak. I am nothing, yet, I was given everything. Yes, I am a beholden wanderer. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Home Away from Home

One of my greatest happiness as a teacher is whenever my student excels into something. Meet Tiara Kristene, my Indian student in Creative Writing who just recently published her article in a magazine with my guidance. Congrats, Tiara!

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Unity in Perspective

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Travesty of Consternation

There's this feeling 
Inside my heart is gnawing 
The rage is boiling 
The pain is burning. 

Disclaimer: Image used is not of the blogger.
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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Two Pockets

The setting was the classroom and I was still the teacher. Well, I thought so. Until a strange feeling enveloped me as I looked at the beaming faces in front of me. I watched in awe at the last paper I dropped in the transparent ‘pocket’ as it fell on the floor. One of my students clapped and others followed suit. I was momentarily perplexed of what was happening- I WAS A STUDENT of grade one kids.

It was one of those 'teacher moments’ that I realized while reading a story entitled, ‘Two Pockets’, to my grade one students that they simply couldn’t understand. Despite of explaining some difficult words and showing visual aids, there’s this language barrier which somehow hinders them from being fully condensed by the message of the story. I felt a bit frustrated but I tried even harder by explaining difficult words and asking somebody to translate in Bahasa.

Thereafter, I saw the transparent ‘pockets’ sticking out of the clear folder. I grabbed two and turned my back then cut the bottom part of the other one. What happened next was way too fast. Students wrote bad things about their classmates; bully, noisy, mean, naughty and so on. Then another paper was passed this time for good things; kind, nice, honest, quiet, respectful and so on. I separated the two into two piles.

I dropped the first pile of the positive notes to Pocket A with no hole. They stayed right there. But, students still couldn’t get it. Then, I started dropping the second pile of negative notes to Pocket B with hole. One by one, the papers fell. The student with the most difficulty in English language started clapping his hands while others followed suit. He exclaimed with utmost innocence. “Oh, that. You keep the good things ya, Ms. Then, you throw the bad things?” I smiled and started picking the papers from the floor. I tore them into tiny pieces and said, “Yes, they belong to the trash bin.” Then, I threw them in.

So, tonight I utter a prayer of thanks for being a ‘student’ even just for a day. By keeping two pockets with a hole and one with none, I learned to let go of the bad things that came my way today. I've placed all the pains and disappointments in the pocket with a hole. That way, I only have the good things which are enough to keep me in deep slumber.

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