Thursday, March 25, 2010

after goodbye, nostalgia

Goodbyes are most often the saddest part of life. The word just means end for me. Others want to be optimistic and say that goodbyes are really hellos but no matter how you sugar coat it, goodbyes are endings and it just plain hurts.

Tomorrow is the graduation day of XUHS Batch 2010. I wont talk about the batch coz I don't really know them that well aside from teaching 10 months of Church History which I doubt they remember. Rather, I want to talk about another ending in my life. Tomorrow I bid goodbye to active student formation work. Yep, I wont be with the OSASI next year.

As I look back at my 9 plus years at XUHS, 80% of those years consist of active student formation work. In my second year of teaching, I worked with the Social Action Program. When SAP ceased to be, I worked with the Office for Student Activities and Social Involvement. Those years were the highlights of my teaching life. I suck at classroom teaching anyway. I teach best in the field where life looks you in the eye and you have to guide kids to learn to see reality. The kids I worked with all those years have become my friends. They were my students too but I dont think they remember my lessons in class at all. I don't think they still remember that they can marry their second cousins and that diocesan priests do not have a vow of poverty.

I would rather they think of me as the teacher who made them walk kilometers in the dead of the night in the puring rain evading drunk farmers and cow dung. I would rather they think of me as a friend who tried to listen to their teenage angst in spite of my inadequacies and failings. I would rather they think of me fondly as that teacher who can't dress right and is more at home in dilapidated chapels and endless mountains than in the four walls of the classroom. I would rather they think of me with mud on my feet from hours of surveying and monitoring. I would rather they think of me as a human being who tried.

Those were growing years. I think it is where I learned the intricate skill of politics and superhuman organizing. I think it is where I learned to know what it means when we say, bahala na si Batman. I think it is also where I learned in a big, wonderfully humbling way the truth that what I'm doing is God's work. I know that coz He took care of me all through out. It was only when I began relying more on my superhuman skills that I began to fail myself, my students, my bosses and my God.

Now I feel myself growing in a different way. There is already another call. And the guy in the clouds is brewing something wickedly exciting again. Though it hurts to say goodbye, the excitement for another chapter is stronger and draws me farther and father everyday. I have a vague idea where He's taking me. I think I will enjoy the ride too. But for now, I want to wallow in memories. A fitting ending to wonderful years with the SAP and the OSASI.