Monday, January 8, 2007

a promise is a promise

Economics as a subject was just a minor class during my college year and yet I met a very good teacher who handled it quite well. The class appreciated his efforts to make the class understand concepts in the subject. I greatly esteemed how he based his lectures on the grassroots level. With him, you could touch and feel assumptions such as value, supply and demand, price and scarcity.

Economics = farmers + mercado + soil + gantang + dirt roads + sipi

He was good at what he was teaching… but there was one thing wrong about him.

We heard he was ill.

We knew he wasn’t feeling well. But he never told us about it. Even if he did his lectures, we could all sense that he felt tired after every class. Our room was located at the fifth floor and it seemed like every day, our teacher would come a minute late than yesterday. When he arrives, he pauses to take a deep breath, like gathering his strength to get going in life… to survive.

One time in the middle of that semester, some classmates and I met him on our way to the classroom. I remember we were somewhere in the third floor of that building. I was a part of a cultural presentation during that time and so and my classmates and I gave him two tickets for him to see the show.

“Sir, complementary tickets for you and your wife.”


“Tan-aw biya sa among show, Sir ha?” (“Please watch our show, will you?”)

“Tan-awon lang nako, salamat daan.” (“We’ll see. Thanks.”)

We gave the tickets and after that, we were just overwhelmed by the late night practices and the show preparations… not to mention the show itself.

But he never watched the show. Days after, we heard the sad news. He died of cancer in the liver.

I can’t help but think about it even until now. Then, we were all surprised of what happened. It was still the middle of the semester. He wasn’t able to finish teaching us the course. Was he that weak? Was he trying his best to make the most out of his life? Did he know he would die then? So many questions left hanging… not knowing if they are going to be answered. I still can’t help think about the coincidences – half of the semester, halfway to the classroom. He never finished the semester, just halfway. Well, maybe I just think of ways to justify the lost.

He was replaced by a teacher entirely from the other side of the pole. She was the exact opposite. We never really liked her though. One student complained that he got better grades in the subject during midterms than in the semi-finals. She berated that we should go the grave of our previous teacher, kneel and ask for our grades. I pity her.

Economics = Dinar + dos andanas + luxury cars + Jollibee China + BS Economics

I am writing this because I made a promise to myself that if I had the medium to write about this, I would. And I just did. This is my constant reminder to myself as a teacher.

Requiescat en Pace.

1 comment:

meily said...

wow... how inspiring. ^^

miss na hinuon nako akong LC days. waaaaaahuhuhu! sir, i miss teaching. :|