Saturday, May 1, 2010

While Aspiring is One Thing, Achieving is Another

The Smile of Feat. Achieving the 9th place at the Licensure
Examination for Teachers, Elementary Level, October 2009.
It started only as a wild aspiration that I thought was absurd to happen. I used to dreamily imagine myself before an applauding crowd, recognized for an intellectual struggle well done. As I did every time so, I felt a surge of happiness awash my whole self.

University officials, college faculties, distinguished guests, beloved parents, schoolmates, friends, ladies and gentlemen: Today is the tangible realization of that once wild aspiration. As I stand and speak before all of you this very moment, I feel the same surge of happiness awash my whole self for now I am one of the top professional teachers fully equipped with enlightened intellect, honed skills and desirable values committed to the relevant development of the country.

When I finished college, I thought that the battle was over. After four years of being under the sun and among the dust, I thought that everything was as majestic enough as to swallow those happily-ever-after fairy tale endings. But as the saying goes: "It's not over til its over." It was instead just a beginning of more difficult yet more rewarding things in life.

Taking the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) came to me as a completely new ballgame of challenges. The fact that I belong to the old curriculum despite the other fact that the exam is based on the new curriculum really made me feel apprehensive. What if I don't make it? What a disaster and disgrace that would be! The huge word "FAILURE" scared me most of the time. I can't wholly imagine my father in lightning flashes and my mother in roaring thunders! Yet, I put all those heavy ruminations and resolved that I am an MSUan, prepared to explore the unknown and hit the stars!

Cheers.

And so to start shaping my life the way I wanted it to be, I enrolled at MSU CETD Licensure Examination for Teachers Review Center. There, I went through perceptive lectures, practice tests and intensive review. However, along the way my apprehension of losing the battle came back to me again when after the course of review I flunked in the post test, mock exam and pre board. Guilt shrouded my sentiments of not doing my best and just wasting the hard-earned money of my parents.

Yet, it was no time turning my back. I faced all the emotional setbacks bravely. It was a month to go. I decided to stop horsing around. I geared myself through reading, studying and reviewing. I constantly monitored my progress by testing, checking and verifying. I don't know when on earth have review became a hobby, a sport or a calling. All I know is that it was the classic writer Homer who once said; "There is a time for many words and a time for sleep." But ladies and gentlemen, even in my sleep I chased of the words that I reviewed!

Laughs.

After the original date of exam was moved, the big day then came. I woke up early to greet the day with a fervent whisper to the heavens. I wore my best bid and tucker. My head was a fruit basket full of learnings. I reported to my designated testing center like a comic superhero ready to slay dragons.

I took the exam for a whole day. The word "torturing" would captivatingly describe the whole test. It composed of three parts: General education, Professional Education and Content Courses. The questions ranged from knowledge to application. There were even weird ones that I never forethought would pop out there. The choices were made as much plausible possible that it beat my brain out which best to hit. It was as difficult as pulling out an impacted molar.

When the exam ended by the late noon, I can only set off from the testing center with a sorrowful tune of " There can be miracle when you believe...".

Sigh.

For over a month, I waited for the final verdict patiently and dreadfully. It felt like being on pins and needles. If prayers were fireworks, the skies could have exploded brightly that month. But of course, I believe that there is truth in the old adage: "Man proposes, God disposes." I claimed that I gave it my best shot even if I felt it wasn't enough. And so when the results spread like the frogs of Egypt over an academic community of almost desperate humans, I couldn't wholly believe the events of my life- my name being etched in the screen, and paper as one of those at the top of the list! It took me a week of tossing days and sleepless nights before I fully grasped the reality. Indeed, some things in life are really just too good for real. TRUTH, that was! All I proved was that God never ceases doing wonders to a person who works for what he aspires.

Such feat changed my whole life. People who didn't recognize me before looked at my way with such surprised admiration (probably thinking that I am the black horse who made it). I always smiled, which instead convinced some that I was at the verge of my life. But I wasn't. My super ego always reminded me never to get everything at present through my head. After the results, all things are back to zero, clear, normal.

Posing for picture. A new found club of fans? Haha!
Isaac Newton once spoke: "If have seen farther, its because I have stood on the shoulder of giants who have gone before me." And I would not definitely let this rare occasion just slip away without expressing my earnest gratitude to all the persons who I consider giants in this aspiration come true of mine.

To MSU GSC Chancellor Abdurahman Canacan, thank you for giving your best time and sheer effort as a whole to improve our university so as to offer the students the best education possible.

To my college mentors- Dean Alicia Pulido who did interventions to keep my batch abreast with the new curriculum, Prof. Marlon Alcantara who gave me a lot of motivations during the review, Prof. Felomina Celiz who unselfishly shared almost everything she knew because she wanted us all to pass the exam, Prof. Salome Sestina who did a lucid and sophisticated review, and Prof. Thelma Pagunsan who speaks often to me meaningfully- thank you for taking me under your wings and encouraging me to soar high.

To my department teachers- Prof. Violeta Pareja who serves as my adviser in and out of school, Prof. Josephine Mones who I consider my mother in the college, Prof. Florida Forones who always inflates my spirit with her bubbliness, Prof. Glorieta Bandolon who often appreciates my writing skills, Prof. Precy Regalado who constantly reminds us to be good teachers with Bible verses, and Prof. Rosario Camacho who tones down our talkative behaviors- thank you for pulling me out of my shell and nurturing me to be he best that I can.

To my beloved parents, thank you for allowing me not to work at home so that I can review well, for hauling out money from your rapidly shrinking wallets even if it means it's the last you have, for inspiring me always to reach greater heights, and for loving me unconditionally.

To all my relatives, friends and classmates, thank you for your confidence, trust and prayer.

And above all, to the Almighty God, thank you for lifting my spirit up in times of distress, for guiding my feet to the right path, and for bestowing upon me a divine wisdom.

At this moment, to you, graduating education students: I must say, make the hay while the sun shines. Grab all the opportunities to learn by heart and grow at best while you are in the university. It would be a good difference if we produce more topnotch, but it makes a better difference if we make a hundred passing rate. Let us not rest on being the outstanding. It's time that we strive to become the standard!

And before I shall close this speech, let me leave you with my favorite definition about success by Ralph Waldo Emerson. He said that success is: “To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To leave the world a little better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.”

Mabuhay ang mga guro ng bayan!