Memories of things past – the teaching days

Once in my life, I was a teacher. It was not an easy job. Sure, it had its highs and lows, but it could be boring at certain points. Teaching’s a serious business, I tell you.

How so? For several hours, you stand in front, yakking and yakking till your throat hurts. It could be frustrating, especially when you kept on yakking and yakking only to see your students either sleeping or not listening. The first class in the morning was the worst time. Everyone was sleepy – including the teacher. So I always tried to crack jokes to somehow lighten up the mood. But my sense of humor was next to zero; I collected jokes and read them at class. I still have a folder at my file server containing the jokes collected through my teaching years. My joking was a hit-or-miss affair, most of the time misses, since for most of the students the jokes I shared were rather stale.

Then there were gaps in the schedule wherein I had no classes. There were times where the gap stretched into hours. So I did what a decent teacher would do: read books.

Ok, but at least I was reading. Right? Right.

Still, it was boring. What was that cliche about boredom leading a man to do stupid things? Well, I was not exempt.

Back then, when you have a Nokia 7650, you were ahead of the technological curve (actually it meant you had money). It was the first phone to have a camera. A VGA camera was high-tech. It also made people camwhores. Like me.

There are more pictures, but that image is enough torture, no?

But the novelty of camwhoring faded in, what, months. Boredom can lead to delusion.

Yes, even students got bored. And delusional.

Anyway, it could only get worse.

Long-haired, barong-clad, what could be worse than that image?


Lest anyone gets the idea that teaching is boring, it is not entirely boring. It can only get boring when you have so many free time in between classes. And first subjects. Most of time it can be fun. And interesting. Interesting for you get to meet all types of people.

And depending on what kind of teacher are you, you can have an adoring set of fans, este, students pala. I’ve had my share.

Those number of fans could only mean I was a good teacher, no? No? K.

Anyway, I remain friends with some of my students after they graduated and/or after I left teaching. I saw some of them fall in love; I saw some of them fall out of love; saw some of them got married, have kids, and separate later on. I saw some of them succeed and revel in their victories; I saw some of them fail and commiserate in their sorrows. I remember basketball games after school; of hotdogs-and-ice cream get-togethers; of trips to beach resorts and far-off places.

Yes, it’s a mixed bag. But I miss all of it still.

Will I go back to teaching? I don’t know. I had written about it before; back then, I said that in the end it could be a lonely job. You see new students come in, and you see them leave. Repeat every year. That’s my reason why I remain out of the academe.


At iBlog5

Last year, I said I was lost at iBlog 4. For this year, I was not lost – I was just a bit preoccupied.

You see, I’ve found a rather-perfect companion. So perfect, in fact, that I live an autistic life when I am with my companion. We shared good times, bad times, sunny days, rainy nights, bright halls and dark auditorium. We enjoyed daylight, but struggled in dark places.

OK, here’s me with my companion.

Anyway, after a year, nothing much has changed. While there were new faces at iBlog 5 (and many familiar faces*), I did not get to know new bloggers. Again. I know I am a bit anti-social, but this is too much for my own good. Though this year, I found myself having two unofficial duties.

Not a few bloggers called me the “official” photographer, due to the number of pictures that I had uploaded (you can see the iBlog5 photoset on Ovi), and the fact that I was nonchalantly taking photos in front. Well, there was no official photographer. As I had said to a few, makapal lang mukha ko. (evil grin) Also, I was lazy to select photos upload, that is why I uploaded almost all of them. :-p

I was also made the pendot guy (Fritz’s term) by accident when the remote control thingie failed; this happened during the photoblogging session. So I was in front, taking pictures; then a vacant chair in front of a laptop invited me to sit down, not knowing that this laptop contained the presentation being used by the resource persons. So I made pendot-pendot the entire morning session.

After lunch, some friends invited me to Chocolate Kiss. Since some people swear on a stack of laptops that the said place is good, I took the opportunity to check it out. It was a good way off from Malcolm Hall, so we took the Ikot jeep, and got off at Ang Bahay ng Alumni. ChocKiss (as locals call it) is a small restaurant, and we had to wait for a table.

Freak weather – the rains decided to be partypoopers, forcing us to skip the “boring” part of iBlog5. Well, it meant extended laugh-a-minute time, with many jokes-at-the-expense-of-x-and-y thrown left and right. I was afraid for the Cebuano blogger who was with us. I hope he got home with his innocence untouched.

We walked back to Malcolm. I had decided to just take more pictures, observe the people, and went at the back. It was a different world out there, a perspective diverging from what’s happening in front. And on some points of someone’s presentation, I could not help but giggle a bit.

I was glad to have another iBlog shirt. I was actually I’d go empty-handed; I was never lucky at raffles and contests, and I still am. The shirt was black, this time.

The problem with having a camera is that most of the time, you are not in the picture. It happens most of the time. It happened this time around. This is the first time I was not in the group picture.

Speaking of pictures, take a look at Nina’s Flickr photoset. She takes better photos than I do. Sana sya na lang official photographer he he.

Skipped this year’s afterparty. I know my being anti-social will do me no good.

Congratulations to the organizers of iBlog – UP ISP (led by JJ Disini) and Janette Toral.

* Familiar faces include:
Dhon Jason
– Marc


Ang matabang mama at si lolo Hulk

Kanina sa MRT, habang nag-aantay sa paparating na tren, nasa harapan ko ang isang may katabaang lalaki. No, hindi kasing laki ni Arpee at ni Juned. Definitely mas malaki sa akin. Anyway, so yun, nagulat lang ako kasi kahit napakalaki nya, ang galing nyang sumingit ha. Pero I realized na hindi dahil sa bilis yun. Alam nya kung paano gamitin ang laki ng kanyang katawan.

Natatandaan nyo pa ba yung mga players ng Ginebra nung kapanahunan ni Jaworksi? Di ba di ganun katangkaran pero parang mga tangke ang katawan? Sina Locsin yun, saka Loyzaga. Subukan mong banggain yung mga yun. Goodluck.

So ganun siguro yung mama kanina. Magaling syang sumingit kasi peanuts sa kanya ang manbalya.

Nakaupo naman ako kanina, salamat sa kung sino. Katabi ko sa kanan ko ay isang mamang matanda na di ko alam kung maarte lang o may sakit. Naka gas mask kasi sya. Sa kaliwa yung mamang mataba (MM). Tapos may babae na nakatayo sa harap ni MM, kaya UMUSOG si MM pakaliwa. Sa kakarampot na piraso ng upuan naupo yung babae. Ayun, pilit na nagsumiksik yung babae. Kung tumayo si MM, isang tao pa ang pwedeng makaupo nang komportable, katabi yung babae na hindi na sana nagsumiksik.

So umandar na yung tren, at ako’y nagulat. Parang lumalaki yung balikat nung matandang nasa kanan ko. Naiipit ang kanang braso ko, muntik na ngang matigil ang daloy ng dugo eh. Pinakiramdaman ko nga baka kako si Incredible Hulk yung katabi ko. Lumalaki yung balikat nya pag bumibilis ang tren, bumabalik naman sa dati pag pabagal o huminto yung tren.

Sa pagitan ng babaeng nagsumiksik at nakasandal kay MM, at ng matandang Incredible Hulk, para akong de-latang napisa ng pison.

Nakarating naman ako sa Ayala Station na buo pa rin. Akala ko kasi madudurog ako sa tigas ni lolo. Buti naman hindi.

Pagdating sa Buendia Station, tumayo na ako at lumapit sa pinto, para agad akong makalabas. Siksikan kasi sa escalator, kasi makitid lang sya. Naiwang nakaupo sina lolo Hulk, babaeng nagsumiksik, at si MM. So pagdating sa istasyon, nagkumahog ang mga tao sa paglabas, at nagka bottleneck (naks) sa escalator. Pumila naman ako, at ako ay nabigla sapagkat nasa unahan ko si MM. Grabe ang galing talaga nung matabang yun.

Pagdating sa ikalawang escalator, umakyat na ako, kasi ayaw kong makasingit sya ulit sa pila ng turnstile. Ay grabe ang haba ng pila sa palabas na turnstile, kasi yung iba naka red X na naman (ibig sabihin out of order). At nakita ko na naman si MM, handang sumingit. Buti na lang dun sya sa mahabang pila napunta. Kung hindi, baka nilabas ko na ballpen ko at tinusok ko na sya.

Pero sa totoo lang, walang tatalo sa mga babae pagdating sa singitan. Pagdating sa MRT, ang mga babae nagiging Amasona. Pramis.

Tulad nung nangyari kahapon. Madalas akong naka iPod pag nasa MRT kasi naiirita ako sa nakakairitang paalala na palagi mo na lang maririnig sa mga istasyon ng MRT. Wala namang sumusunod. Tulad ng “huwag umapak sa dilaw na lines.” Goodluck. Ako lang yata ang di umaapak sa dilaw na lines eh.

Anyway, so kahapon maswerte ako at nakapwesto agad ako sa platform, pero syempre di ako nakatapak sa dilaw na lines. Makakapasok agad ako ng tren, sabi ko sa sarili. Pero ilang segundo lang, may nakatayo nang babae sa harap ko. (doh)

Isang example pa lang yan. Dapat yata magsuot ako ng sumbrero na may video camera, para marecord ko lahat ng mga pagsingit na ginagawa ng mga babae sa MRT. Hay naku, dapat wala nang segregation scheme kung ganyan din lang naman mangyayari.