I can still remember that scene.
Way back in my junior year in high school, I slipped at the center stairs of our school while I was going down stairs for the flag raising ceremony. It was a hard one. When I tried to get up, I was limping. Even if it was quite painful, I tried to walk as normal as I could. Luckily, I was able to reach our line.
Then, something that I didn't expect happened. My adviser who happened to be my Advanced Biology teacher told our class that I slipped while I was going down stairs. She did not see me. Her best friend, our chemistry teacher, told her about the incident. She asked me if I wanted to go to the clinic. I said that I’m okay and thanked her. She asked me to stand up and walk towards her. Because I can still feel the pain, I had a hard time in standing and was still limping when I walked. She laughed at me. She asked me again if I’m really okay. The class was already giggling. I nod and told her again that I’m okay. She asked me to take a sit. While I was walking towards my sit, she made a remark about my weight. “Ang laki mo kasi.”(it was like an implicature that I slipped because I am fat.) I felt ashamed about myself. I was longing to build a relationship with my teachers but sadly, that incident made me feel that I had to shield myself from the people around me. Although, there was an initiative in my part to be friendly to my classmates and schoolmates and I slowly began to build relationships with some of my teachers, a part of me remained guarded. I was a wallflower until I finished my high school. Introversion was my escape. I was afraid to be made fun again because of my figure.
Before I entered college, there were nights that I was crying while I was embracing my pillow tightly. I was really praying. “Lord, please bring me to a course where I shall bloom. I want to grow as a person. Bring me to a course where I could hone my skills and pursue excellence. Please give me kind professors and classmates whom I could treat as brothers and sisters. I don’t want to be alone anymore. I don’t want to be lonely and desolate again.”
I knew God heard my prayers and remembered my tears.
ABE came as a blessing to me. I was blessed to have my Mama Ces and my ABE IV-1 siblings. We have been together for almost three years. We have shared a lot of things together. My siblings taught me how to slowly guard down my shield. They made me feel that I can be a human. I don’t need to create those walls anymore. They loved me and accepted me for who I am. Because of their treatment and attitude, I learned how to open up and express myself. From being an introvert, I am now an ambivert. We saw one another in our strong points and weak points. We shared a lot of tears, laughter, pressured moments, “petiks modes”, trials (loss of family members for some of our blockmates), the execution of our hidden talents, and some “kulitan” moments to name a few.
Our Mama Ces is an amazing woman. She is an epitome of beauty, grace, and passion. She always guides us and never fails to let us feel how much she loves us. She is always there to give a hug and a pat on our shoulder whenever we are sad. She is our stern critic but our great ally. She would point out our mistakes and help us to correct it. Because she does not want us to be brats, she would reprimand us in a spank-like manner to remind us that she will not tolerate our wronging. We sometimes hurt one another but she does not keep records of wrongs. She always reminds us to choose to give an act of kindness to those who are mean and unfair. She really become our second mother. She is a dedicated teacher who does not care if she looks like a stand-up comedienne inside her classroom. She passionately discusses each lesson so that we shall not forget it. She talks like her lessons were carved in her heart. You will be amazed when you see her facial expressions and reactions as she retell her mythology stories. You would adore her how she speaks in her Hermione-like accent in front of the class while she discusses the different kinds of paragraphs, the grammar rules, the theories behind tree diagramming, and the different kinds of public communication. Your brain will be wrecked if you’ll see how she parses different kinds of sentences in tree diagrams. You would be curious why she is crying while listening to your classmates during their speeches. You would laugh out loud when you heard her recount her clumsy stories like how the tricycle drivers reacted when she slipped at the stairs of her condo. You would be inspired if you would listen at her experiences and stories as a teacher.
I want to thank this lady. She has a big heart that radiates an immense amount of love. I never thought that I could meet someone like her – a mentor and a professor who would help you to bring out the best in you. Once upon a time, a teacher made me feel inferior and ugly; today, a teacher made me realized my worth and value as a young woman in training. Thank you Ma’am Ces for making me feel that I should not be afraid to pursue my dreams, for making me realized that I should not be too hard at myself, for assuring me that it’s okay to make mistakes because what matters the most is how you bounce back from those mistakes, for showing me that real love is not a keeper of wrong, and lastly, for being an example that it takes perseverance, passion, dedication, humility, acceptance, and patience to become a real mentor and teacher.
Because today is the last day of the National Teachers’ Month, I just want to tell the world how blessed we are to have you dearest Ma’am Ces. J
Happy Teachers’ Day! This one is for you.
I love you.
Ma'am Ces and I while we were checking the papers. :-) Courtesy of Ma'am Joy Anne (Oneechan)
I, Ma'am Ces, and Gaths at the Community and Extension Services office. :-) ( Ma'am Ces took this groupie.)