Sunday, December 04, 2011

Pagdadala: Isang Metapora sa Pagkukwento ng mga Pinoy

Kuba daw ako sabi nila. Hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit hirap ako na palaging iangat ang aking mga balikat para magmukhang “poised” tulad ng nanay ko. Maliban sa aking mild scoliosis at osteopenia, madalas rin kasi na mabigat ang mga dala ko pagpasok sa opisina – laptop, mga eksamen, payong, charger ng cellphone, at iba pa. Ambigat nga nila minsan bitbitin, lalo na kung maulan at jeep o tricycle ang sinasakyan mo. Kung isabay pa natin ang mga dinadala ng isip ko, di hamak mas marami kesa sa laman ng bag ko. Kaya nga siguro kuba ako - dahil mabigat ang dinadala ko. Hindi dahil sa anong nasa loob ng pusod ko, o sa anong kinain ko kanina, at hindi rin dahil sa malaking hinaharap ko. Mabigat lang talaga ang pakiramdam pag may dinadala, lalo na kung kinakailangan mo siyang bitbitin sa lahat ng mga lakad mo.

Ganun din ang nararamdaman at sinasabi ng libong mga Pinoy na may iba’t ibang dinadala sa kani-kanilang mga buhay. Ayon sa aking dating propesor na si Dr. Edwin Decenteceo ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, kung ang loob ay may maraming mga makahulugang bagay na ikinakabit ng Pinoy sa kanyang katawan, isip at puso – laman loob, sama ng loob, utang na loob – ang pagdadala naman ay madalas na ginagamit sa paghahalintulad sa nararamdaman niya kapag nahihirapan na sa kanyang mga problema. Ang pagdadala ay madalas na metapora na ginagamit ng Pinoy tuwing naglalarawan sila sa kanilang ng mga sitwasyon – “nagdadalang-tao,” “nagdadala sa relasyon”, “dala ng hirap ng buhay”.

Kung nahihirapan na ang tao, mabigat ang dinadala. Kung hindi halata ang dinadala, magaling magdala. Kadalasan ay bitbit ang mga dala, hanggang sa bahay, sa opisina, at hanggang sa pagtanda. Minsan naman, may mga oras na gusto na bitiwan ang dinadala. Kaya ayon sa iba, napakasama na ng isang ina na nagpalaglag sa kanyang anak – isang mamamatay tao na ang turing sa kanya. Hindi biro ang magdala. Mabigat ito, nakakapagod, at nakapanghihina rin ng loob. Kaya nga mahirap mag-move on pagkatapos ng break-up – naglalakad ka na nga papalayo sa nakaraan mo, pero mabigat pa rin ang dinadala mo. Mahirap rin ang magdala, lalo na hindi mo alam kung kelan mo ito maisantabi para sa kaunting minuto na gumaan man lang ang pakiramdam mo.

Ang paglalakbay habang may dinadala ay palaging sabay na ginagawa ng mga Pinoy. Nagbibigay-siya ito sa kapwa Pinoy na pinagdalhan niya. Mababaw naman talaga kasi ang kaligayahan nating mga Pinoy kapag tayo’y pinagdalhan o dinalhan ng pagkain, regalo o pasalubong. Tuwing Pasko, nagaabang na ang mga may kamag-anak na OFW, pagkat lagi silang pinagdadalhan ng balikbayan boxes o pasalubong ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay. Mga OFW na kumakayod sa ibang bansa at masipag magdala sa kanilang mga naiwang pamilya sa Pilipinas, upang makaraos sa kahirapan at gumaan ang buhay nila.

Ang tao na mga pinagdaraanan ay may bitbit na dala-dalahin sa kanyang mga balikat, na minsan ay mabigat na rin sa loob niya. Nais na niyang gumaan ang kanilang dinadala at guminhawa na ang loob niya. Upang maibsan at upang maigpaw, ang kanilang nararamdaman.

Kaya sa susunod, kung maaari – tulungan mo naman ako magdala.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Plastik

Sino o ano ba ang plastik?


A plastic is a nonbiodegradable polymer, an ubiquitous consumer item in SM department stores, and when littered, scattered, and sometimes, wet and smelly, is one of the main causes of pollution. It is both a boon to our lifestyle, but a bane to dispose off. So how did the English word “plastic” evolve into the Filipino lingo of plastik? A plastik refers to a person who is a hypocrite or a person who does not show his true feelings to others, but reacts and behaves in the opposite way. A plastik can be your sycophant politician, sucking up to the Senator, and kissing ass to the Congressman or the President to obtain funds for the town’s “basketball court.” A plastik can be a co-worker or a friend, who would tell you that the striped, red blouse you just bought suits your figure, but laughs about it with someone behind your back. Often, a plastik is openly disliked by many people because it contradicts the concept of being “honest and true.” It can be as subtle as a person who cordially greets someone whom he openly dislikes, or it can be as destructive, as when a person a keeps promise, and then intentionally betrays that person’s trust later on.


It can be said that a plastik is one example of the metaphor about people wearing masks. Everyone has his hidden self. A private self—that aspect of the self in which everybody does not know about. No matter how long we have known a person, we can never really discern his true needs, motives, desires, and intentions. Perhaps this is why Psychoanalysis was founded - to lift up the veil of the Unconscious mind and to realize and acknowledge one’s sad, aggressive and brutish nature. In fact, reaction formation is an often defense mechanism in which a person behaves in one way but unconsciously feels the other way in an attempt to deny his true and ugly self.


At the workplace, colleagues who are dubbed plastik are the type who are kind, friendly and congenial to us in person, but spreads negative comments about us behind our backs. A plastik may be our bestfriend or boyfriend, who do not dare tell us to our faces that we are getting too fat, too cocky, too stingy or too ugly. Call center agents, Jollibee cashiers, and SM salesladies are forced to smile and maintain their temper, and endure the customers’ rude behaviors. I remember a high school friend who confessed that she can’t stand talking to her clients on the phone, and when they hung up, she would say nasty things about them (she resigned from her job now since she did not like what she was becoming). I once remember a girl named Wendy in Pinoy Big Brother Season two. People viewed her emotionality as a ploy to catch media attention. She was dubbed maarte, OA and plastik because of that. Perhaps the ultimate example of kaplastikan was when a formerly unpopular and controversial President said in an interview, “God put me in here,” despite the allegations that she cheated in the 2004 elections.


Are plastiks hypocrites or are they just being polite to the people they dislike? It is sometimes hard to know the delineation between the two. In a world where people expect the ideal and moral behavior upfront, it is hard to show one’s true feelings and act on impulses, which oftentimes can be negative. Society expects us to act like decent, honest, respectful and civil individuals in public. Thus, to give in to one’s intense emotions such as screaming in euphoric deliriums, throwing out tantrums, or punching somebody in the face out of rage (no matter how we feel like doing it) is often met with disapproval, verbal reprimands, or worst, being arrested(!). In my Personality Development classes, I have observed that most of my students would write “plastik” as a personality attribute which they dislike the most. Being young and ego-centric teenagers, they still feel that the world is their oyster. On the contrary, in order to survive this materialistic, competitive, and fast-paced jungle, the world does not adjust to our own liking—rather we have to adjust to the world. And this is exactly what some plastiks are very good it.


Plastiks are as malleable, flexible and adaptable in social interaction, like the polymer which makes up the plastic coumpound, and can be melted and molded easily into a variety of tools and instruments. A plastik has to keep his true feelings and opinions hidden from someone whom he dislikes, for many reasons. One, we want to maintain respect and civility, especially when we are forced to work or deal with somebody whom we have no inclination of socializing with or whom we have a great deal of difference or conflict with, personal or otherwise. Think P-Noy and GMA inside that the car together as they drive towards the Quirino Grandstand during the Inauguration last June. I would definitely want to be a fly on the wall just to witness that “forced” encounter.


Second, a plastik behaves in response to social pressure and approval. To be disapproved and ostracized by others, and to be a minority can be a lonesome, albeit courageous, endeavor. Rather than be the dissident, we tend to keep our feelings and opinions to ourselves, lest we be judged negatively by other people and suffer the consequences. Think has-been matinee idol Gaby Concepcion and an oversized, motherly Sharon Cuneta, now approaching middle age, making a comeback movie just for their fans (who might also be in their middle ages). Or a plastik can be the regular person who have too much pride, straining to keep up with the appearance of being strong and unfazed, putting on a stiff upper lip and desperately trying to hold things together for fear of negative social evaluation.


Lastly, a plastik may be often perceived as a hypocrite and an untrustworthy person, but who are we to assume moral ascendancy compared to those who are unapologetically mean and are simply letting their true colors show? Social psychologists know that attitudes and behavior are not always consistent. Sometimes—because of circumstances, peer pressure, lack of common sense or just plain stupidity—we behave and act in ways that are not congruent to who we think we are. We may actively engage in community service for the economically-challenged living in the squatters, but we do not give a penny nor as much as a glance to a peddler on the streets. A plastik knows this only too well.


Perhaps, the only time when we are not plastik was when we were children—we cry openly when we are hurt, we candidly say the nastiest things when we don’t like something or someone, and we even (albeit scandalously) hit, punch, and kick the person outright when we are angry. A child can be easily forgiven for being openly bad or wrong, because we often rationalize that the reprimands or punishments brought upon them are training instruments which will mold them into morally upright individuals—particularly individuals who are “good and true to themselves.” But as adults, we learn the difference between black and white and that justice sometimes falls between the grey areas. As Filipinos, we learn the value of pakikiramdam. Because we are a highly emotional and personalistic lot, we do not respond well to brutal honesty. That is why plastiks intentionally—or unintentionally—hurt us by not criticizing or not pointing out what’s wrong with our work, family or personality to our faces. Rather, plastiks rely on the gossip grapevine or pakisabi, parinig, paramdam and other subtle bodily or verbal nuances, in the hopes that the other person will be highly perceptive in deciphering these nonverbal permutations.


Plastics pervade our way of living, but plastiks also pervade our social circles. Our environment will not be as comfortable and convenient as it is now without plastics, despite the harm it constantly does to our environment. In the same sense, plastiks will remain, simply because they are our alter-egos. They are the people we see everyday, making our social interactions convenient, civil, interesting and richer. We love to lambast on them, especially when they are caught with their pants down, and hence, making us feel good or relieved about our own social mores. Plastiks make us feel that we are better off than they are.


There is always a little Tupperware in all of us.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Teacher's Pet and Pet Peeves



Inaamin ko, may mga paborito akong estudyante.

Sila yung mga matatalino, brilliant at diligent. Ang sarap magturo sa mga estudyanteng katulad nila. Mabilis ang takbo ng leksyon, at intellectually stimulating pa ang diskusyon sa klase. At dahil sa kanila, nagiging madali ang aking trabaho.

Sila yung maingay sa klase, pero in a participative way. Sila yung nagbibigay ng comic relief--laging nagpapatawa. Sila rin minsan yung madalas mag-recite, at hindi takot na sabihin ang nilalaman ng kanilang isipan.

Sila yung tahimik and unassuming, pero for some reason, I seem to have a soft spot sa kanila. Ito yung mga tipong magaan ang loob ko sa kanila, at pagnagkakataon, masaya kausap. At nakikita ko minsan ang sarili ko sa mga estudyanteng katulad nila.

Pag mayron kasi akong paboritong estudyante, sila ang nagsisilbing inspirasyon ko sa pagtuturo. Sila ang nagbibigay ng motivation sa akin na pabutihin ang aking trabaho. At higit sa lahat, sila rin ang nagbibigay ng kahulugan sa lahat ng ginagawa ko, lalo na ngayon. Pag na andiyan sila, nae-excite ako na magturo dahil buhay na buhay sila, mababait, motivated at madali makakuha ng leksyon.

Sa kabilang dako naman, mayron din ako mga estudyanteng kinaiinisan, at gustong iwasan.

Sila yung mga maiingay palagi sa klase, at ang ingay nila ay walang kinalaman sa leksyon.

Sila yung mga walang pakialam sa class standing nila, papasok lang, mawawala bigla, palaging late, at no reaction lang pag nakikita na bagsak yung grade nila.

Sila rin yung mga walang respeto, at sinasagot ka pa sa harapan ng klase mo.

At sila rin yung nahihirapan kang isuway sa loob ng klase dahil malilikot, immature at walang pakundangan sa titser o sa mga kaklase nila.

Sila ang nagbibigay ng problema at sakit ng ulo sa trabaho, at sila rin nirarason ko upang umalis na sa pagtuturo. Minsan, pag sila ang ituturo ko sa araw na iyon, tinatamad ako mag-prepare para sa mga lessons ko. Nakakawalang-gana talaga kasi eh.

Kada semestre, kada taon, maaring nagbabago ang mga pangalan nila, mga mukha, mga edad. Ngunit ang mga pag-uugali, pare-pareho lamang. Maaaring isang estudyante siya, isang barkada, o isang buong klase--pero ang mga galaw, asal, at pagkatao ay makakasingtulad.

Isang buwan na lang bago matapos ang semestre na ito--at alam ko na mami-miss ko yung aking mga paborito, at matutuwa ako dahil hindi ko na makikta ang aking mga kinamumuhian.

Third Chances in the Classroom?

When do you give second chances? Despite all the pain in the ass which some of my students would bring upon me inside and outside the classroom, and despite the mistakes they have made (absences, tardiness, noncompliance of requirements, talking back, etc.) I always seem to have a soft spot for them to have second chances.

One student wrote a joke in his exam paper (the joke was a BONUS question), "Sinong titser ang mahaba ang pasensya sa kaniyang mga students?", "Eh di si Ms. Maja-ba Francisco."

When students see that they have fucked up real bad, they quickly turn into whimpering and sniveling puppies. One student went on and on about his problems as to why he was unable to comply with my requirements. Imagine a litany of excuses--my mom is paying for my tuition and this is the last school year in which she will be paying for them she will get mad at me if i dont graduate on time i am already a returnee so this is my second chance to fix it this time and i have a daugher i am taking care of her i am separated from my wife so my daughter is with me do you think you can give me a second chance???

Another student was given a second chance, and his last reflection paper for my subject (and the subject was Personality Development!) was ridden with numerous Thank Yous and words of profound appreciation, I could almost gag.

Some students just don't deserve to have second chances, especially when they have not change an iota from the time they entered my class during the first day of classes. I would grit my teeth and groan in frustration when some of them still manage to pass, and I cannot do anything about it, simply because I wanted to be fair to all. Heroic, indeed.

I don't know if this is even suppose to be a dilemma. Personally, I don't think they deserve those chances. And technically, they were Third and Fourth Chances, and I feel totally guilty for those who only had their Second Chances. The first guy had a "fairygodmother" from the our office, while the second guy simply got lucky because of his passing marks during the midterm period. *sigh*

The real world is not always sunny and bright. And the classroom also has its share of grey and cloudy areas.

Stereotypes in the workplace



I guess wherever we go, there is bound to be an in-group/out-group sortie in any organization.

I was actually surprise to discover that my former professor--and now my colleague--is a Queen Bee herself. She is often jested as the pretty dalaga in our office, and is sometimes paired with some of our male colleagues. She is not a bully, but everybody seems to gravitate towards her. When she relays about her day or rants about her work, people listen, and laugh and empathize with her. When she criticizes something or points out an anomaly in the system, people agree with her. When she eats lunch early, goes to the office after a late meeting or check her papers until late in the afternoon, people go with her or accompany her or are patiently waiting for her. I seldom hear negative things about her (or maybe I just don't get to). I sometimes find myself secretly smiling whenever I witness these events in the office. I don't know if anybody other than me has bothered to notice.

There is Ms. Loudmouth Gossiper. She knows the latest gossip around. She always seems to be the first to know almost everything around campus--colleagues' personal lives, work issues, student issues, conflicts, and other juicy stuff. It helps that she is also an officer in one of the organizations within the campus, so we always get the latest updates from her. her being a gossip actually makes her quite popular among her colleagues. And it also helps that she is vivacious, funny and quirky, although a bit brash and opinionated at times. She is the life of every meeting, and the one who livens up any conversation or group soiree in the office.

There is Mr. Nice Guy. He is the typical congenial, laid back, kidder and ka-tropa. Like Ms. Loudmouth Gossiper, he gets tickled about juicy stuff regarding co-workers' love lives. He always wears a smile in his face, and seldom will you see him frown or get mad at a student or co-worker. He loves to engage in casual conversations, especially with the women. He is also the typical nice, single guy, who is also a charmer with the ladies and female students. He takes everything in stride, and does not get easily stressed out. He strives to maintain good relations with almost everybody.

There is Ms. Follower. Ms. Follower is the Queen Bee's posse. I always see her hanging around with Ms. Queen Bee most of the time, and agreeing with her ALL the time. One time, there was a survey about the standards of our workplace in which we were asked to state our opinions by a YES or NO. Whatever answer the Queen Bee has, Ms. Follower always mimics her. But then again, I see that Ms. Follower respects and looks up to Ms. Queen Bee a lot, and this explains why she monkeys and dogs around Ms. Queen Bee. I find it funny that, whenever Ms. Queen Bee is in her usual critical tirade, Ms. Follower seconds and parallels her words and actions as well.

There is Mr. Hot Potato. Actually, there are two of them. Both of them are the types who joke around, laughs out loud and "feels at home" in the office. Both pride themselves in his ability to persuade people with his opinions on certain issues. Being the aggressive type, it's easy for them to order people around and to break some of the rules in the office. Most often, it seems easy for them to take advantage of people with passive personalities. They don't like it when others put them down or criticize them. Although they like joking around with people, both have a bad temper, a quick mouth and are sensitive to other people taunting them.

There is Ms. WallFlower. Even her physique says so much about her personality and place in the workplace. She is frail and thin, but with a nice smile. Her mild and silent nature is a reason why some people ignore her or do not notice her at all. She doesn't say a peep in large groups. She is most comfortable with her mentor and closest colleagues. Perhaps that is the only time I see her talking. She is easy to get to know only when you are alone with her. She seldom initiates something at the office--rather, I see her as the passive, sanguine type. She is too good for her own sake, and I sometimes worry that people take advantage of that. But she has a good heart, and she is dedicated to her work.

And I thought it only happens during high school. :-))

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Bakit ako mamomroblema kung kayo ay bumagsak?

Bakit ako mamomroblema kung kayo ay bumagsak? Di ko problema yun problema ninyo yan!


I got pissed off at my ComSci class students.

They have been asking for it for weeks now. They are noisy, they don't care about the subject, they are stupid and they don't know the definition of responsibility.

I know I should care whether they pass my subject or not. But sometimes, it gets to a point when I ask myself, "Why should I give a damn? It's their life, not mine. They are not my kids."

I have had this type of class before, but I maybe I always make the mistake of not making it known to them that I should be the boss.

They chatter, make unnecessary noises, don't pass the requirements, basically making the class a living hell for me to teach.

After checking their midterm exam paper, many of them obtained a grade lower than the passing mark. I do not know whether I should be glad for getting back at them, whether I should re-consider the way I teach my subject in the first place.

Choosing the latter part kinda sucks since it means I must stoop to their level of understanding --scratch that. It means I must try to be patient and adjust my teaching strategies to their own cognitive levels. But it irritates me because 1) patience is never my virtue, 2) I have to accommodate for their "stupid ways" and give them another chance, and 3) it's always the teacher who holds responsibility to how her class has progressed or not.

Why don't they realize that they too have only themselves to blame? Why don't they realize that they are as stupid as stupid goes? Why don't they realize the consequences of their actions?

Teaching is NOT parenting -- but I am forced to engage in it and it sucks big time.




Friday, July 03, 2009

Spotting the Cheaters and Cheatmates




How do you spot a cheater? Let me count the ways.



Being a teacher for six years now (pucha!@#$), plus a psych major, has its advantages when spotting cheaters during exams. In fact, it's probably one of the least things I like about my job - being literally on my toes, keeping a face of utter seriousness, darting glances here and there, and being extra vigilant and keen on guarding students during exam period. It can be physically and mentally exhausting, especially when you have to do it for the whole hour, and especially when you have to watch out for every bodily nuances of forty or fifty individuals. It is thus of paramount importance that a teacher has to develop her radar skills for easy detection of cheaters and their cheatmates.
1. Sideways Routine

Either this student is looking sideways, or his body is always inclined to left or the right of his cheatmate. He does this for most of the exam period, snatching moments when the teacher is not looking, or when when her back is turned. But once they open their lips to mumble something, and when their eyes are looking at the side, you definitely have a cheater ~ or if cheating is not consensual, more like an answer-stealer.

2. The Hair-Let down Routine

Girls often do this, since they usually have longer hair in order to pull it off. They would let a curtain of their hair fall down, so it covers the side of their face. But when they tilt their head to the right or left, and you see them shifting slightly in their seats, then she is cheating.

3. The Distractor

Distractors can be cunning and quick. They use the powers of dividing the teacher's attention so she wouldn't notice his dirty deed. He might just be tying his shoelaces, while stealing glances at another seatmate's paper. When a teacher suspects something about him, he asks a seemingly innocent question to hide the fact that he was indeed asking for the answer in Number 12. Sometimes he aids fellow cheatmates by being the distractor, making unnecessary grunts and noises, and as the teacher glares at his direction, fellow cheatmates would surreptitiously turn their heads to ask questions.

4. The Myopic Reader

The Myopic Reader is easy to tell. He raises his paper to eye level, or even a bit too high, while seemingly reading the test questions. The idea is to cover the face, so the teacher wouldn't see him whispering towards his cheatmate. But only an imbecile wouldn't recognize that it's cheating time when he and his cheatmate does it simultaneously at the same time.

5. The Stupid Look Of course, the giveaway for when one is cheating is when he has the Stupid Look ~ the look of complete cluelessness and incomprehension to the questions he's been reading. He is fidgety, restless and desperate to his cheatmate for answers. He is squirms and perspires and lot, and even makes funny, almost writhing, painful noises every now and then. The moment he turns his eyes or head sideways, then you'll know he's cheating.

This are just a few of what I have observed from my classes. What I have enumerated thus far refer to simple body language, but detecting if they indicate cheating or not takes practice. Of course, it cannot be discounted that students also use various "tools" to assist them in their cheating ways such as the cellphones, hankerchiefs, IDs, intimate body parts, etc. I find that students seldom use these tools because they are risky pieces of evidence in the event that a teacher would catch them cheating. I think the most pervasive form of cheating is simply relying on their cheatmates ~ classmates and friends who are willing to cooperate in the same manner. Neverthess, I guess the most significant thing about this whole exercise of spotting cheaters is maintaining the integrity and honesty of students. In a country that is often fraught with graft and corruption, a simple act of dishonesty goes a long way.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Accommodating a handicapped student


I have a handicapped student this semester, and this is my first time to have one.

He is paraplegic, and goes around in a wheelchair. During my first day with the class, I did not notice anything out of the ordinary about him. He was seated in front, at the far side to my left ~ but because I was so engrossed while teaching, I did not realize he was handicapped until I dismissed the class, and he "drove" by my table, so I hadto push my chair aside to let him through. I hid my surprise behind a smile, and he smiled back at me. While I was in the process of arranging my things, I looked back and noticed that all his other classmates were walking out, and he had to wait by the door to let them through. I wanted to tell the others to let him out first, but they were too quick, and I fear that I might embarrassed him further.

Today, I announced to the class that we will have a seating arrangement. Every one of my classes have a seating arrangement, and generally, I would let my students choose their own seats. Most of the boys, plus Mr. Handicapped, were seated to my right, while most of the girls were seated to my left. This time, however, I specifically asked Mr. Handicapped-Student to park his wheelchair by the door. I explained gently that I don't want him to have any difficulty going out of the classroom. At first, he was hesitant about it. I asked him if he had any friends, and he pointed to his seatmate. But I have an inkling that the other boys seated alongside him, were with him as well. So I asked all of the girls at my left, to switch places with all of the boys at my right. And they willingly obliged, with nobody complaining about this particular seatplan. So everything is settled, and I hoped Mr. Handicapped was comfortable with what I did for him.

I guess you can always count on people to cooperate when 1) they are dealing with a higher authority and 2) they want to give way to the helpless and the weak. But I still have doubts about dealing with Mr. Handicapped. Do I treat him as a "special kid"? Or do I treat him like any normal student? I am worried that by giving him special treatment, it will emphasize his being handicapped. He is a freshman, so he might surely also be apprehensive both in adjusting in college life, and being treated as different from the rest. However, I am also worried that by treating him like an ordinary kid, I might be overlooking his limitations and would come off as inconsiderate and insensitive. For example, I announced to my students that will be having our classes at the Media Center Hall, which located at the second floor, for my powerpoint presentations. We will be staying there for four consecutive class meetings, and I have completely forgotten that I have Mr. Handicapped. Our buildings and parking lots do not have any accessibility options for the physically challenged. Now, I am starting to feel guilty.

I expect that he will do good in my class. I am guessing that he might even be a diligent and intelligent student (even when I have only met him twice). Most people compensate for their limitations by excelling in other ways. It is about showing that they can cope and adapt to their environment, despite their physical and mental challenges. It is also about surviving ~ surviving their personal and social battles in a competitive and oftentimes, ignorant society. I could actually make him an excellent role model and a posterboy for bravery and perseverance to his classmates.

Still, I do not want to make him feel different just because...I want to make him feel that he belongs. He may be unique, but he is still just like us in every way.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ang nakakainis lang...

Ang nakakainis lang pag sinusubukan ka ng mga estudyante mo. Katulad kanina. Napilitan ako na kunin yung eksamen na sinasagutan niya. At ZERO siya sa eksamen ko.

Biruin mo naman. Nasa harap na niya ako, harap-harapan na talagang pangongopya ginagawa niya. Tumitingin sa katabi niya, pilit inilalapit pa ang ulo upang masilipan ang papel ng kaklase niyang babae. Titingin sa likod, at maghahanap na kaklaseng mapagkokopyahan niya ng sagot. Kaya ko nga siya inilipat ng upuan doon sa harapan, dahil kanina ko pa napapansin--siya at ang kanyang mga barkada. Para bang wala siyang pakialam na nakikita ko na siya. Parang walang takot. Sabi ko sa sarili, "Isa pa, at kukunin ko na talaga ang papel." At di niya ako binigo doon--with satisfaction na kinuha ko papel niya, at di ko pinakikinggan ang mga daing niya, habang nageeksamen ang iba niyang mga kaklase.

Yan ang mahirap kapag masyado ka mabait na guro. Nasanay siguro siya na sinasakyan ko lang ang mga biro niya. Siya at ang mga barkada niya. Ito ang isang tropa na tipong mga mahilig mambiro at magpatawa sa klase, pero hindi nakikinig madalas sa leksyon. Sila yung madalas na makikita mo palaging nakatawa lamang, hindi nakakapag-sumite ng asingatura, at minsan nanggugulo pa sa kapwa-kaklase nila na nakikinig sa leksyon. Kaya nga naman sila ay nagkamit ng marka na siyete paitaas sa aking asignatura.

Hay naku. Iniisip ko ngayon kung anong balak gawin sa kanya sa Lunes. Balak ko kausapin sila, at balak ko rin paghiwalayin sila sa kanilang seating arrangement. Dapat panindigan ko pa rin ang aking awtoridad bilang isang guro.
Ang kailangan ko lang ay respeto lamang sa mga estudyanteng katulad niya.