Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Beginning Is The End | Evening Graces

6:00 PM, June 4, 2012

"What subject do you intend to teach?" The dean asked, while accepting my photocopied transcript of records. 

"Journalism po..."

She then went on to inquire about the major I took up in college. Said I was a Journalism graduate from the Pontifical University. My mother, who was beside me added that I'm taking up my Master's Degree in Diliman.

"Matatapos na ang thesis niya," she said proudly. I could almost hear her speak, "mas okay pa nga yan sa ibang instructors dito eh." But maybe, it was my head making such claims. All I'm saying is that it was one of those rare moments I've seen my mom turn into a true-blue stage mother.

"So you're a Creative Writer as well?" She clarified. Again, I overheard my mom saying "Non-Fiction" to buttress my answer.

"We'll here is the situation." I listened to the dean intently as I felt that my deliberation is about to end.

"I spoke to some of the full-time instructors this afternoon, and I'm sorry to say this" She paused.

"We're still having difficulties finding classes for them."

We arrived at the main campus an hour before the supposed interview with the University president. With the matriarch was a small bilao of Pansit Bihon for the secretaries. Another one will serve as tribute to the president. The newly-elected head of the state college is a family friend, and with such strong backer, getting a class would be a breeze. But because he was swamped with meetings - with deans and regents - we had to wait until each one of them had an audience.

When it was our turn to go inside, the President appeared with several department heads in tow. They'll be heading to a meeting, he said while apologizing to my mom. He then turned to me and asked about my intention to teach. After the short talk, he told my mom that my application has already been sent to the dean - the same department head who brushed aside my documents three months before our follow-up.

"I hope you understand that I cannot accommodate your papers at this time." I nodded at her without saying a word.

"But if you want, I can help you get in the publishing house. We need writers there." It turns out, the dean is also the head of that department.

"I'm sorry, but I have a full-time job po."

"Perhaps, I could try applying again next semester."

The idea was to teach one class - around forty students in hopes that my new calling would force me to return to graduate school. The money I'd get from teaching would also fund my return to the university.

And between the suppressed daydreams and self-interpreted omens, all I was asking was an opportunity; a chance to restore my faith, an excuse to retire from the outsourcing industry, a real professional designation I can put under my name. The last time I checked my payslip, it said I'm a "rank-and-file" employee. The ID I've been using says I'm a call center agent.

How can I then tell, what my official job position is?

But I understand, too, that I'm just an outsider trying to get in with the help of a strong backer. Had I been in the dean's shoes, I would do the same. Instead of letting the outsiders get, what is supposedly a privilege for the homegrown talents, I would pay attention to the latter since they are, the heart and soul of my organization.

I left the office of the dean, resigned to the idea of never getting any call. No matter what assurances I get.

But in refusing total defeat, I read one of the messages in my phone's inbox folder. To remind myself of the other things I could at least, brag should I start counting my accomplishments.

"Sir, we're done with all the items... what's my next task?"

In just under four weeks, with no experience of handling a project. After days of sleepless nights, of pressing the imaginary panic button every time there's a feeling of slowdown,

the project was delivered to the client.


Eternal Wanderer... said...

it's not what you do, it's how you do it.

it's summed up with two words: "dignity" and "integrity."

Désolé Boy said...

Nakow! Pero si Kuya ***** na taga-siyete ni-push nila na makuhang prof. Tapos that incarnation of stupidity responding by the name of Prof. Cherry Pebre continue to teach with her twisted grammar and incomplete masteral (after so many years, mind you) Malaking insulto sa mga Iskolar ng Bayan!
The President anyway is easy to manipulate. Years ago, one threat that we will divulge everything to media about a certain professor's perversion lest he throw away his head and he gave in. Pathetic crony of Gloria Arroyo.
You'll get it kuya! Don't worry much. You're being admired, you know that, right?

the green breaker said...

Maybe, not today. You're right kuya, you got other chances pa naman.

Nga pala, gusto ko rin magturo.. Kaya lang, natatakot ako. :/

MEcoy said...

i guess god has better plans for you

Nate said...

i really really really hope you get in, kuya joms!! :)

Luis Batchoy said...

always will be a bump in there somewhere!

ZaiZai said...

I'm sure there are loads more chances for someone as driven as you! :)

wandering emo said...

Hi Sir! Ika nga nila, "Kung hindi ukol, hindi bubukol"... I'm sure mas marami pang magbubukas na opportunities para sa'yo so just be persistent :)

Saka bali-balita na may white lady daw sa COC eh, if ever eh may third eye ka pa naman... Hehe wala lang, just trying to make you laugh ;)

itsMePeriod said...

marami pang paaralan ang lubos na magnanais na kunin ang iyong serbisyo at kilalanin ang iyong kakayanan...

mabait si dr arriola ng languages/creative writing dept ng unibersidad natin. im sure may makikita siyang klase for you :)