"These experiences were so meaningful to me that I don’t want you to soundbite them."
so i literally just got back from a trip to and from bicol. this road trip to our province is one i’ve taken twice a year with my family since the day i was born - but something was very different this year. this might sound silly, but as we passed threw various towns in rizal, quezon and bicol - i noticed (in a way i had never noticed before) each and every public school we drove by. i even asked to stop at some of the ones by the mountain cliffs, just wanting to see a little bit closer what it was like inside. of course, it being Holy Week, no one was ever inside any of those schools. but i could just imagine them filled with kids and teachers and i wondered what their lives were like. i passed vast farmlands and thought about what school meant for the kids playing in the fields. i wondered where the teachers of those rural schools lived, do they go home on weekends? i thought about whether or not they cared about their NAT scores, if they used the same books we were using.
i felt such a close affinity to those schools, even if i’d never set foot in any of them. and i realized: each time i passed a school and i peered inside - saw the DepEd vision-mission painted on the walls, saw the wooden chairs through the uncurtained windows, saw the imagined students and teachers who would fill the rooms in about a month’s time - each and every time cemented the fact that this was the heart of everything i’ve always wanted to be doing. of exactly where i want to be.
i am so excited to start teaching again. :)
Loneliness is a kind of winter. And you drag me, kicking and screaming, into some kind of bright summer. -iwtfy
tell the world we finally got it all right/ i choose you
it’s been a year since i started my journey as a fellow. and with all my forms officially done and turned in, my first school year as a public school teacher is also officially over.
and i’ve been trying for hours (no, days) now to write about it - to make sense of a year’s worth of bullshit and more bullshit (and some good sprinkled in between!), but it’s been difficult. i guess that’s because the whole point of an end-of-the-year entry is to celebrate everything you’ve done and learned - and i have, previously. i’ve written a bunch before about my little victories in the classroom, all my realizations and reflections - but right now i am in no mood to celebrate.
the year is over and all there is, is discontent. fuck the data, fuck the test scores, fuck the cute little happy classroom stories. because despite all the traditional indicators - percentage masteries and passing rates, or encouraging facebook comments (lol), all the private messages about how inspiring i am or how noble my choices have been (those might just be the worst, tbh), and even the really thoughtful “thank you teacher” letters from my students and parents, the year is over and all there really is, is the cold hard realization that this was not enough.
that i am not enough.
i can spend all night painting pretty pictures of all my victories, punctuate them with anecdotes from the sweetest of students, even add in a tear-jerker quote or two, and it still wouldn’t be able to cover up everything i was unable to do. everything we were unable to do. everything i am and we are still completely clueless and powerless about. the cheating, the lying, the ridiculousness of a completely rotten system; and the reality of our own neglect, our slew of inadequacies, the recklessness of our illusions of heroism and revolution. our imagined self-importance and brilliance.
i won’t bother lying about the year that was: for all its intents and purposes, it was a failure.
and i hope i remember this feeling. i kind of want to bottle it up so that i can go back to it every single lazy day of the next year or two or fifty of my life. girl, you spent an entire year pouring your heart and soul and sweat and tears and everything into a cause inside classroom and it was not enough. remember that. remember this: you are not enough.
not yet, anyway.
handa na akong sumabog at lumaban pero kailan? kailan na “pwede”? o buong buhay ba ako maghihintay?
how to love
As chancellor, I intend to show how indispensable “imagineers” are—social scientists and people in the arts and humanities, the creative professions, architecture being paramount—for improving the quality of people’s lives and creating spaces where people can thrive, and grow.
We’ve been doing that for years in UP with the most limited of resources, which we are able to stretch because we have so many bright faculty and students. Yet there are many times, too, seeing how our students live day to day, when I want to go up to them and say, “You deserve more, so much more.”
- Why We Stay, Chancellor Tan
how i feel seeing my kids everyday, at work.