Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mentor | First Part

after Corazon C. Tahil

It was never easy to walk among the gifted, when these talents are the valedictorians and salutatorians of their batch.  But in high school, I was able to come out of mediocrity and landed myself in a laboratory academy. This institution, known for its five-hundred peso tuition a year was our golden ticket to the state university. It was said that those who straddled along its corridors were guaranteed a sure shot to a good life after college.

Therefore, it was natural for teachers to set expectations, and theirs were beyond average.  With a 90% GWA in the National Elementary Achievement Test as my sole claim to fame - a lucky strike perhaps - it was not enough to match what my peers have been doing throughout their formative years.  I am not a Promil kid to begin with.  It just so happened that in Grade Six, when it dawned to me that an epoch was about to end, my primordial soup was stirred and caught up with the geniuses.

The first grading period in my Freshman year came to pass and the truth was finally revealed.  The above-average pupil from the Franciscan school had suddenly become the weakest link in class.  One may reason that it was a failure in adjustment on his part, but nobody would buy such excuse. My adviser, Mr. Pechardo was unimpressed.  I dragged the class average below his capacity for tolerance. The four-eyed,  foul mouthed, SOB was our teacher in Drafting.  His favorite number was 65 and his candor for telling a student all sort of words that would skin that person alive was known even in the faculty.

If  Mr. Pechardo was the devil incarnate, there too, was a teacher I saw as God-sent to the oppressed. She seldom spoke a word, except during lectures and despite teaching an English subject, the soft spoken guru often dwells in the realm of History.  Recalling what took place in her class was as difficult as remembering the things that happened during that year.  She taught. Yes.  She read news articles from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, that too I remember.  But beyond the four corners of the classroom, our interaction was limited to "Good Morning Maam," and then she would nod in recognition.  

Second grading period ended and my grades got even lower. For Mr. Pechardo and the rest, I was, but a student bound for exit.  Kick out. Dismissed.  Regrettable as it may seem, but I don't simply make the cut. He even told me in front of the class (after getting a grade of 73% in Isometric Drawing) that I am the "kalawang" corroding the "bakal."  He could not understand why I was so happy with my grade when I could have done better. To humiliate me further, he said that I should be excised or I will put the brightest at risk.  The class, composed of boys was silent. I was stunned at the very core. Teary eyed, I searched for Miss Co for comfort. We were not close but I needed someone to talk to. Someone I felt could listen. Alas, it was already past 4 in the afternoon and she had already left.

It took days before I could recover from the skinning.  That night, I wrote all the putanginas and tarantados I could hurl at my adviser in an old notebook just to get back.



PILYO said...

nice blog papa joms...

i wonder how that old notebook looks like after writing down all your bursts and furies.

mel beckham said...

Did you kill Mr. Pechardo? Char lang. Bitin baby, kainis. LOL

Désolé Boy said...

quite the opposite, i think am loving Mr. Pechardo...
next part please...hehe

maginoongbulakenyo said...

kung nakakamatay lang ang mga salitang putangina at tarantado, siguro chop-chop lady na siya..hehehe

Mac Callister said...

ako nga nun kinder inuutog pa dw ng teacher ko sa board e!kidding!

i used to do that too,sulat ng sulat ng hate notes hahaha

Ms. Chuniverse said...

may dati rin akong prof.... na minumura ko mula ulo hanggang paa dahil sa pagkamuhi. pero syempre sa akin lang yon. hahaha.

orally said...

the good, the bad and the ugly hahaha

lahat yata tayo napagdaanan ang ipahiya sa klase. sakin matindi, college na nung mangyari. putangina nun, di naman kagandahan.

cheers to the teachers nevertheless