The essence oif youth.
On Saturday, the school will graduate its Grade 7 and Senior students. Once again, familiar faces I have seen practically everyday will no longer be there. Well, at least for the Senior high school students. We have had some good and rough times, these seniors. I just returned to teaching after a two year stint as a Level Coordinator (a prefect of discipline if you will) and they were freshmen. You know, the awkward stage where they had just jumped out of being a child. They were very young they merely knocking on the doors of their teen years.
I remember the day when I was a high school student. I loved it too much that I took it for five years! Let's not get into the details, though. I think I have said enough. Suffice it to say that the 70's was such an interesting time to be a teen-ager that it was a bit too hard to get out of it. We have just seen the openness and the carefree ways of the hippies, their slogan of "make love, not war", their logo and sign of peace, their music, Woodstock, long hair, jeans, etc. Somehow, their rebellious nature robbed on us Filipinos bringing us into another phase of our history, the much talked about First quarter storm.
But it was not all patriotism. While it is true that there might have been hundreds of students that paid with their lives in the streets of Mendiola fighting against the tyrant, there were those who were just simply joining the bandwagon thinking it was hip (Well, they wouldn't be called hippies for nothing, haha). As a matter of fact, it was just all fad in some sort of way. The original hippies did not take a bath, were true to their motto. We were not like that at all. I shared with my sister's shampoo for one thing. And our Catholic upbringing still prevailed when it came to sex although there were a few who were liberated already at that time.
Nevertheless, I believe that era started the gap between the generations to escalate to high proportions. Children could no longer understand their parents and parents had lost their patience over their children. The men had stopped wearing pomade (you know, that sticky, thick goo you rub on your hair to make it stiff and stay in place the way you want it to) and had their hair longer and longer much to the dismay of their fathers. Fashion began to deteriorate as the "burgis", the elitists, were frowned upon. Of course, the thing that gave our parents nightmares is the fact that it was in this era when the young was introduced to the use of drugs. I remember the time when parents vehemently prohibited accepting anything from strangers, especially candies, for they might be laced with drugs (oftentimes opium) to make an addict out of you and make you their slave. I begin to wonder if these stories were true or they were just rumors spread to stop drug abuse. Anyway, when Martial Law was declared, we all rushed to the barbershop and mended our ways. Well, sort of.
Anyway, enough of my ramblings. The one thing I like about teaching is that it is not your everyday routine job. You deal with different personalities and each one brings something new to you. You get excited every opening of classes as you do not know what is in store for you and you give off a sigh of relief every summer as you put to a close another chapter of the book of life, only to open another one the next schoolyear. You teach but at the same time, learn from your students as well. You make several mistakes along the way but you learn from them. Your students' youth brings you more vitality than you will ever know. I cannot imagine myself being tied to a desk pushing papers or doing accounting work. I have to meet people, talk to them, argue, comment and ask questions. I have to play with them, jam and sing along with them. I know it is my time to pack my things when I can no longer keep up. But right now, I am still at the top of my game.