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My Life One Monday Morning

posted Mar 29, 2017, 7:30 PM by Jose Dasig   [ updated Mar 29, 2017, 7:30 PM ]
by  Ferdinand D. Rodriguez

City of Balanga National High School

 

It was Sunday afternoon. I had just finished my plan for the coming week’s lesson, when I realized we were unprepared at least for tomorrow’s pack of lunch that my son would be needing for school, not to mention the breakfast I had to make ready for early Monday morning. It is all because our fridge was empty. Pay day was still a long wait. I talked to my wife. I had to crash visit Robinson’s for some supplies.

Rousing the supermarket was very easy, but that moment was very difficult for me. Heading straight to the meat section, picked a pack of hot dogs and a few numbers of chicken fillets making sure I was getting only enough for tomorrows need. But I was not able hold myself as I picked one loaf of bread knowing that it is my son’s breakfast favorite with or without the spread.

I left the store with lots of regrets, wanting to buy some other stuff, but I knew I would find time for credit shopping during weekdays, after school.  As I was about to walk down the escalator, an almost forgotten face smiled at me.  Looking blankly I intended to get down only to be stopped by an irresistible introduction from a young man.

“Sir, di nyo na po ba ako kilala?...Ako  po un estudyante nyo  II- Kamagong? “

Right there and then memories started to flush backwards. Yes I do remember this boy… Jayson (not his real name) gave me the worst of times when I was teaching at Arellano. How many times did we summon his guardian to the guidance office because of problems like stealing a box of chocolate ( with his friends ) at the canteen? Yes, this boy, (who looked definitely older) was not really a poor student in my class as I remembered telling him as an encouragement. It was his lack of interest and motivation to study. I learned about his family problems, how he grew up in the care of his grandparents. How his father would beat him at time when he learned about the things he did at school.

“Sir, may asawa na po ako. May tatlo  na  po akong anak. “

That surprised me a bit. That was only five years ago.

“Saan ka nakatira?”

“Sa Dinalupihan po. Uuwi nga po ako. Ang tagal ko na pong naghintay ng kakilala . Buti nakita ko kayo. Wala po kasi akong pamasahe. Kahit magkano lang po.”

I was desperate, as he was desperate. No matter how much I wanted to help, I only have few pesos left from my change. I have to hire a tricycle going back to Capitangan. My wife and my kid would be waiting and I hate going by jeep.

 

“Ay anak, barya na lang ng natira , magta tricycle pa ako.”

“Okey na po  yan sir… pasensya na po. Salamat po.”

My heart was heavy as I narrated the incident to my wife.

 

 

It was Friday afternoon; I was about to time out for my lunch break. Suddenly a hand reached out to mine .

 

“Mano po, sir. “

“Ay sino ba to, kala ko sino. Mukhang ang yaman mo na ahh!”

“Sir ano po may business po ako ngayon. Pumapasyal lang po…”

I can’t help but remember this boy.  Si Robert (not his real name) ay quiet, shy and not doing very well in my class. He tried so hard, but till not enough. He was a kind student though. Look at him now; he looks fresh, smells fresh and rich. It made me feel a little better.

I pondered about the incidents. I made comparison and saw the contrast too. More than five years ago…two similarly not doing well students, in my class. The other one could have made it so much better should he had tried to prioritize. The latter who tried so hard but, that was all he could get.

After  several  years, the final results were manifested before my very eyes. The one who tried very hard, he got more than I thought he could achieve. The other will have to try so much harder to make both ends meet.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

It was Monday morning. It was quite strange. I was ready for the week’s lesson plan. I made arrangement for my son’s pack of lunch for the whole week. But, I could still remember my encounter with my former students.

I was in front of my class. I did not follow my plan. I had to tell the stories of two underachievers. One,  who had the chance to make his life better, another, who used every opportunity to make it so much different.   This is my life as a teacher.

 

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