Saturday, May 5, 2012


I have never been a fan of Mathematics. Not with numbers. When I was still in school, my intellect was measured by the number of times a line-of-seven grade blotted my report card. The glaring dip, a few notches away from a flunking grade was because of that wretched subject. I was seen less, not only by my teachers but my family as well. And instead of being praised, or at least commended for my high grades - in Reading and Sibika at Kultura, these accomplishments were often ignored. When I get a scolding, the elders tend to zero in on that one subject, which I dreaded more and more the closer I get to college.

The animosity was mutual. Instead of putting some effort to understand the harmony among numbers, there I was, creating a name and a fine impression - in subjects that don't require formulas. There was even a time in high school when my name was called during the flag ceremony. I was recognized by the principal for receiving the highest grade in World History. I even upstaged the geniuses of our batch - to everyone's surprise. Unfortunately, I was late that morning and the parchment was given to me by my adviser, who happened to be my Algebra teacher as well. 

"Congratulations..." He said, almost indifferently before handing me the paper. The nonchalant reception was understandable. After all, my grade in his subject was 72. The lowest, perhaps in the entire batch.

Being a graduating student, I was aware of the consequence should my grades remain in dismal state. My parents didn't know I flunked Algebra and not even my 90s in History, Entrepreneurship and Literature could provide a counterbalance and hide the stain. Improvement was seen during the next two quarters. And I owe the turnaround to the student teachers. They were less scary in front of the class, and more generous in grading a student's performance. 

I was able to graduate. But my relationship with my adviser has remained frozen ever since.

I was thinking of ways to tell that I failed my work out goal last month when I was reminded of how my academic standing was summed up by Mathematics. 

Because of this perception - or preference to see the weak side rather than someone's potential, nobody really thought I could become the 8th placer in the NEAT exams in class when the result was tallied by our Homeroom teacher.

Same perception also barred me from writing in the school paper in high school. There was a grade requirement and since I performed poorly in Math, my name didn't appear in the shortlist. The real result was, nobody knew I could write entire paragraphs with ease. Except one, and the irony was, she's not even my English teacher. 

She was my mentor in World History.

And after all the less-than-lofty judgement, I guess, I have grown accustomed to being seen more of a potential, than an actual achiever; that I tend to shine, either by giving off a steady pillar of faint light or remaining a late bloomer in every chapter of my life; that I thrive in subterfuge; by revealing my best while remaining incognito.

Sometimes it pains me, but this is how I grow.

Failing the work-out goal aside, the contemplation takes place at a time when my calling at work is needed more - than before. With a pet project already assigned for me to lead, and another big one at works - on top of my other duties such as ensuring the smooth operation of the workplace, I would have to understand, and sometimes even accept my place.

Even when my moment to shine happens at the twilight of this career chapter.

For when I fail to see that I perform best when seen underrated - when I get chosen after everyone else saw me as merely average, the bitterness of the wasted years would haunt me for the rest of my life. 


Brian said...

it's rather funny when things are easier during college than in high school and grade school and all three are somewhat disconnected with one's occupation ☺

Lady Datu said...

I only have one mortal enemy back in my elementary/high school years: PE. :-w

Eternal Wanderer... said...

ang dali lang kaya ng math!!!


cHard said...

I can relate..

Math hates me.. heheehh! ayaw nya sa kin! Ayaw nya na matutunan ko sya..

baste said...

math was also a challenge for me. specially algebra during 2nd year in high school...

it was the only reason why I can't enter the top 10 in my class.

Pepe said...

i find this piece sincere and beautiful. it makes us realize where we do best and where we need to improve on. that is good enough as a starting point of reference if we aim for something better. life has been measured by plenty of parameters and we keep on making new ones, but what matters most is one's private victory overruling others' perception.

Anonymous said...

I loathed Sibika (HEKASI) when I was in Elementary. Back then, I thought it was a waste of time. Couldn't believe how interested I am now in history and current events.

Sad as it sounds, our education puts too much emphasis on Science and Mathematics. Individuals whose strong points are in the arts are usually under appreciated. They're seldom given the 'spotlight' inside the classroom.

As for the work bit -- I prefer being the silent worker. I like the idea of surprising superiors.

ZaiZai said...

math is the only thing in this world that makes me feel dumb!

Lone wolf Milch said...

apir! i hate also hated math..