Tuesday, October 06, 2009

World Teachers' Day

Our STRAMA teacher reminded us that yesterday was World Teachers' Day and we should think about our professors in the past who made a difference in our lives. I then thought of four teachers, one person in every aspect of my institutional learning life from MBA down to my pre-school years.

In my MBA studies, one professor comes to mind, Prof. Willy Cuason. He teaches Operations and Production Management and I appreciate how he challenges us and forces us to think for ourselves. Even if it was a Saturday morning class, we all managed rise up to his challenges. One certain exercise (which I don't think we have an answer until now) is why there are teller booths. All our answers were shot down by his rebuttals and we've ran out of reasons. I liked his stories of how operations of some companies (which shall not be named) actually work and the secrets behind them. When I got my 4.0, I knew I really earned it as I worked hard and appreciated the subject. Prof. Cuason basically taught me to question things and to think logically.

As for my College years at La Salle, there's Prof. Tomakin (I can't remember his first name!). He was my Algebra teacher when I was still enrolled in the College of Computer Studies. I recall hating Algebra and Calculus with a passion when I was in high school. I never could understand it but he somehow managed to drill into my brain how the whole thing works and how excited I was doing derivatives. I remember passing his exams and I think if I studied hard enough, I would've passed the finals (which pulled my final grade down as I flunked the finals). He's no longer teaching in La Salle so wherever he is, I hope he's doing well and inspiring students like me to appreciate the wonderful worth of Mathematics.

Moving further, I had a lot of inspiring grade school and high school teachers at St. Scho. But I remember Mr. Pulmones--our Chemistry teacher. Again, if I studied hard enough, I would've passed his subject with flying colors but he made chem certainly interesting. I remember when he was teaching us about conversion, he substituted the weird chemical names to simple names just to teach us how the whole process works and for us to understand it better. After graduation, I only saw him when I watched Ms. Saigon at CCP (I can't recall when that was). He was with me in the line and I greeted him telling him I was one of his students. Of course, he doesn't remember me but I will not forget our classes. I don't know if he's still with St. Scho but he must have a lot of white hairs now. Mr. Pulmones basically taught me how to simplify complicated things by looking at them in another angle.

Moving further on, I will never forget my pre-school teacher, Mrs. Tugade.

Mrs. Tugade owns a small pre-school in the heart of San Antonio Village where my parents used to hold office. It helped that Mrs. Tugade's daughter and my aunt are bestfriends so it was only natural that we study there. I remember looking forward to school. It has a distinctive smell that I can still remember up to now--the smell of crayons and mimeo paper. When we would arrive in school, we have to look for our names on the activity sheets arranged around the tables in the room. Once we find our place, we sit down and painstakingly copy our names letter per letter, perfecting our penmanship. Afterwhich, we would start answering the exercises that Mrs. Tugade drew for us. We matched and colored fruits and letters and afterwards, played in the small playground. We sang songs and got a star on our paper if we did our exercises right.

Those were indeed happy days. I last saw her two years ago at the funeral of my grandmother (and I visited her a year before that) and she amazingly looked the same. The make-up is still the same (I later on realized that she makes her face up differently than other people do--we call it the kabuki make-up) as well as her speech (she enunciates words perfectly). Back then, I thought she was really tall but when I saw her again, I realized I was just really small as I was a few inches taller than her now.

The Think and Try preschool has also grown. Though it's still the little school along Sampaloc, they now have a school bus and they've expanded the space. I would want my son to study in this school but it's too far from our place of residence. I would've wanted him to experience how it is to be a Mrs. Tugade student.

So, to Prof. Cuason, Mr. Tomakin, Mr. Pulmones and Mrs. Tugade, thank you so much for making learning fun. I believe that being a learner is now my greatest strength because you incalcated in me the value of continued learning. May you inspire more students as much as you have inspired me.

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