School Year 2011-2012 is coming to an end in a few weeks. Recently, my students under Public Speaking are finished with their culminating activity that was held in the auditorium. It served as their final examination. They’re all so good. I acted more of a facilitator for them during that activity rather than a teacher. Most of these high school students will graduate this year. Some will stay partially because they needed to finish a specific number of “manuals” (it’s a Christian school thing).
Speaking of high school, years have passed since my high school days. It’s been 15 years. Still, some memories are fresh as if it just occurred a few weeks back. I can still remember how I find it hard listening to lectures, yet I can work so well when things were given to me in writing. Hence, in a Christian school setting, I work so well in manuals (but not as good as my Top 3 classmates). As a high school student, I’m not that charismatic. I’m not the popular one (I’m not pitying. It’s true). I’m not athletic. Although I am basically a fit student, I’m not athletic enough. Back then, how I wish I could play hoops or sprint like the players back then. However, it’s not destined in me, despite the zeal within me. It was just now that geeks or the likes are popular (thanks to Big Bang Theory, CSI, Criminal Minds, and movie incarnations of Marvel Characters like Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Ghost Rider etc.), but back then, if you like cartoons, you are “childish” and “kengkoy”. It is just now that trivia-giving is cool (thanks to the late Ernie Baron and thanks to Kuya Kim Atienza), but back then, you’ll be branded as weird, boring, and uncool. The difficult part of my high school life? Interacting “normally” (or to put it appropriately, acting the way most people act). Not to mention some bullies.
Speaking of high school experiences, I know I’m not alone on this, but one way or another, we are hurt by the experiences we had back in high school. The sources vary. It can be from a teacher who had treated you wrong. It can be from senior, junior students, or even your own classmates. Because of the popularity of the word “bitter”, we can’t admit that to avoid being called “bitter”, coupled with the sarcastic “move on”.
It shakes my head when an alumnus of a church-school system, one way or another, call their teachers, senior members, and in totality, the members negative names, when, looking back in their high school days, they were given chances after another. To add to the injury, they have pleasure in making of fun of the now well dressed, well educated person by making fun of his high school blunders. Yes, it’s funny, but doing that thing on a long term basis is an indication of baggage.
As a volunteer teacher of my Alma Mater, I have seen how teachers have grown old and wiser. After all, they will not be the teachers that they are admired and respected if they have not experienced blunders. The leaders committed mistakes one way or another, especially how they approached us back then. This is the very reason why they became better leaders. Leaders become better leaders because they commit blunders and just moved on. You wanted a better leader and a better teacher? Show me one, and I bet those people will tell you their mistakes and blunders that eventually led them to be better individuals.
Let us remember these things: members come and go. Any high school baggage that you throw to the members of today will hit the wrong target. Nowadays, looking around, in my personal observation, this is a brand new generation. Chances are the people that hurt you during your high school days are no longer there. The people that offended you? They have learned their lesson one way or another. If they’re not yet learning, God and life will make them learn until they learn. The teachers and leaders back then didn’t mean harm when we were approached negatively during our student years. After all, teachers who are really being mean didn’t last that long in a church-school setting. Their approach is different, but their intentions and willingness are golden.
High school life is a very wonderful life, despite the experiences. When the idea of bitterness sinks in, just count the positive things that occurred to you. The day you were selected in the high school basketball or volleyball team. The day that you were chosen to be a delegate. The day that you become champions. The day that God gave you the charisma to the point that you are approached first before you approach them. Refresh those positive memories. I believe all of us have them – positive members. There are students who never got the chance to be one, yet they went on with their lives and eventually became good on what they really have.
To the current graduating high school students, forgive your teachers if you feel they have wronged you. If you are in church-school setting, forgive the members that offended you. It’s part of the spiritual growth and journey towards maturity. We ourselves have our own journey. We ourselves have offended people one way or another. High school life is a life worth remembering, especially if it is remembered positively and treated with a teachable heart.
Congratulations in advance, batch 2012.