In all my years of formal schooling, I have never known hell week. It seemed that I was always on top of the water, perfectly able to juggle everything and even finding time to squeeze a lot of sundaes on the side.
Well it was like that until this last week when work from the finals week at the university just washed me out, work practically coming one after the other like heavy water rushing from a broken dam, a pressing deadline included.
But no matter how heavy the workload, I was happy about it. You know me. I love pressure. I soak in the pressure cooker that was my work and everything that it demanded of me, so well that if I was meat, I’d be perfectly tender, and moist, and succulent by now. I revel in pressure – and coming out of it outstanding.
It has been a week of living on an unbelievable pace, operating five things at once, and going around submitting the final copies. It was great, but all the buzzing left me locked away from the keyboard, failing to go type-type and updating my blog that frankly, as of this time I feel like a lightning rod of ideas, like I want to post ten different things at once just because of everything I had experienced the past week.
Deep breathing… deep breathing…
Now let me tell you all about it. The Ox[en] signing on and reporting for duty.
Last Saturday, my family threw a huge, huge party for me at Don Domeng’s beach resort to celebrate many big moments in my life actually. It was four occasions rolled into one: my 18th birthday, me finishing my BS Nursing degree, me passing the state nursing licensure exam, and my graduation again, next Wednesday from the Certificate of Teaching Program (CTP) that I took in the university that made me Ma’am PM.
If you’re wondering why I was celebrating just now, it’s because I am not fond of parties, or maybe I just don’t find gratification in basking on my so-called achievements. When it was time for my 18th birthday, I told them I’d celebrate after graduation. When I graduated, I told them I’d celebrate when I pass the board exam. When I passed the board exam, I said I’d celebrate after I graduated again. But they did not buy that last one because they probably saw what I was doing so the party last Saturday happened.
There were a lot of people, guests of the family, not mine really, but it was still fun because my friends from the university paper, who were all so supportive of practically everything I do btw, were all there, and all my family were also there, extremely proud of me for sure, even Kuya came from Bulacan just to be with us. He did not sing though, what a miss, I was sure my friends would drool over hearing him sing.
I would like to say to my family and friends that the reason why I did not want to throw many parties over my achievements was because of the fact that all that I had achieved really meant nothing compared to the joy I feel with the simple fact that they were my family and friends. I do not rejoice on material achievements, because they do not really mean so much to me, well at least not as much as my family and friends, because ultimately, their love is my joy. I could have all the achievements I have received and more, but without them, I really do not have much at all.
It was as if the cosmos took revenge on me after the party I threw last Saturday because I discovered the ‘hell’ in hell week when Monday started. I was swamped with so much work!
Last Tuesday, I gave my students their final examination in their course that I taught, Natural Science 213, and after their test we bid goodbye to each other because that was the last time we would be meeting with me as their teacher.
We were all both happy and sad, I knew they would miss me and I too. One even joked that it would be great if I would follow their class, that next June I’d go and take sophomore sections so they’d still have me as their teacher. I took a lot of pictures of them, in class, while doing activities, and finally just group photos. I told them I would need those pictures for the narrative report that I would pass on that coming Friday.
But of course those pictures served more than the narrative. I needed those pictures for the final requirement sure, but more than that, I wanted those pictures so I could steal something from the suitcase of time, so that I would always remember my students and all of our experiences together, my first year teaching, and all of the lessons we both learned from each other.
When they evaluated me, all of my students from the three sections gave me so much more to remember. I would treasure their words, and keep their letters, because I know for sure a time would come that I would need those to remind me why I wanted to teach, and why I was teaching.
That Tuesday was out last meeting, and when we saw each other around campus on the days that came after that, we were all so excited and giddy and grateful for some reason that we do not say, but know exactly deep within.
I had to finish all of my paperwork on Thursday because Friday, yesterday, was already Recognition Day of the College of Education, graduation would be on Wednesday.
Interestingly, the company of the national daily who had a monthly magazine that I passionately wish to write for informed me that they would like to see me for an interview the next day, Friday. Of course I cannot come and with the risk of being put off, I honestly told them my predicament and asked if they would be kind enough to reschedule. Fortunately they were, so the interview would be on Monday.
Keeping my fingers crossed.
Now let me tell you what happened on Recognition Day. First of all, I was the only one who came and brought my parents. You might find that interesting, because after all this was my second degree and I still have my parents attend these kind of functions.
See we are a very tight family, we are involved in each other’s life, and even when I tend to undermine my achievements, I know that they give my parents a deep sense of pride and joy, so why not. The faculty appreciated this of course, for one, my parents were good friends of the university, particularly the campus that I attend, so it went well.
So well in fact because I received Best CTP Student Award and this of course is equivalent to valedictorian, best in demonstration teaching, and outstanding student teacher honors. My mentor liked to joke about it later telling our friends that I was ‘best in everything’.
All I can say is this, thank you to the student teaching program for giving me a most wonderful time, thank you to my cooperating teacher for giving me a better time because of all the opportunities, and thank you to my students for giving me a best time basking in the teaching-learning process.
You might be wondering at this point where my Man and I had been this whole week. Since it was hell week, we were both on our separate universities, attending to our own businesses. We seldom saw each other and when we did it was quick, if not it meant we were helping each other finish a project or a paper.
I liked to call it a kind whirlwind romance for special occasions. I think we are fine though. We are being supportive.
I cannot imagine another point in my life where I was this busy. I started keeping a schedule book just to help me battle it all out. I remember catching some sort of horoscope prediction for my sign this year, I was born apparently on the Year of the Rabbit and this year meant work I had never seen in my life coming.
Not that I believe it or enjoy reading these kind of things, but I find them interesting and the way people enjoy them fascinating. But so far, I think I am starting to get convinced. Whew!