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9:52 pm | mrs. merino, my most favorite teacher

Posted by Paurong sa Biyernes, Hunyo 2, 2006

After the trouble I had encountered a while ago, which was ended by a sudden halt of the fuming weather, I ended up quitting my computer usage on Study Net that made this day the last time for me to go there for no necessities. I had made a promise that I will no longer go online during the whole school year 2006-2007 to adamantly focus on my last year to spend on my beloved and abhorred high school life. Likewise, I am no longer the old Jonell who turns himself into a relatively couch potato–sitting in front of the television until his eyes pop out or his tummy holler incessantly. Those are just some of my new beginnings, mind you.

Looking at the calendar makes me weak more and more each time I have to remind myself that the opening of the school year is soon approaching in a tremendous manner I cannot even accept. Imagine, after two months of doing nothing, except for hanging around, sleeping, eating, malling, having some leisures, reading and writing, the school is going to eat me again as the situation of all pilot students are becoming more drastic. I can’t help but to look forward on the nice and not-so-nice events that will come my way this school year.

It all catapulted on my mind–those memories I can still recall and all of the past three years’ highlights on my life.

Entering high school is a big tumult to me, not to the extent that I cannot handle myself, but to tell you in good conscience, I had so much agitations and frustrations from my first year at Rizal High School. All at once I experience and expected the unexpected things I never bumped with when I was in elementary. I was then this scrawny, weirdo who has his own world and who is so damn stupid to be the Valedictorian of their school. People from every corner messed me up by noticing my defect in enunciating the “s” sound which then turned to be a degradation process to me. That was a long time ago when I was in elementary. But sooner and later I received so much appraisal and compliments when I was in first year. I was on the pilot section. I was a section one student but I never wondered why I was in that section, considering that there are about two scores of sections in each year level (wooh! that’s a lot!). And that was something to be proud of. I was totally handicapped during my first month being a freshmen student but I was not hopeless. I had my best friend’s hand to hold on. That was not quite long. It was also when I considered myself to have a knack on writing and directing. But looking back on those silly days is so much of a child-friendly television program. I started writing stupid stories and directed foolish acts which I detest entirely. As I said, it’s too much to talk about those days.

The months passed so quickly that I became a Sophomore. I was demoted to section two. At first, I can’t see the point to which the premise could be linked to. I was on the highest section starting from my Kindergarten up to Grade Six then First Year… why should I be demoted? It was eventually demurring. I accepted the darn fact that I was a section two student and that I truly didn’t deserve that honor of being a section one student last time. Second year thought me a lot of thing and I was no longer the Jonell with ingenuous and (forgive me for saying this–) babyish mind. Thus, I cannot exclaim that my eyes are fully open that time since I was just starting to see the real world and its incombustible lewdness, lust, materiality, and the like. I was starting to mold myself by the help of the things that happened that made me a better teenager. With the help of a close friend, I became more vocal, braver on facing circumstances and situations that render lethargy.

Then, when I was a Junior, I was not expecting that I would remain on section two. Being a third year student opened my mind on an impeccable number of reality whereupon people see me as a mature fifteen-year-old student. I no longer complied on the rules I was used to comply with. I resulted on being a lazy student to be disapproved by many because of my faltering aptitudes. A lot of people told me I have so much potential on writing, but to tell you in all honest, I am not confident on my English. Some people admire me because of my alleged innate talent on writing. They say I have a wide imagination. But that is erroneous. Not true because I am still seeking for that vacuum of silence I am yearning ever since I knew life. They say I have what it takes on directing plays. Not to brag, I am a dedicated leader but everything was messed up by an intriguing case that ended on my different perspective in directing. It was evident on my last production. On my earlier plays, I always see it as wonderful collaboration of my thoughts and my ideas. The connivance was upheld by my critical thinking and mutual concepts. I thoroughly produce plays that should be satisfying and worth it. I have done it many times and people always counted on me. Then I decided to fail them all for once. That firm decision is caused by a betrayal I appal so greatly that made me decide to stop being a director. I used to aspire on a theater career both onstage and being a director. That was then. It was then decided. I was no longer psyche on having a play on the School Auditorium. Everything was different.

To cut it short, it might not be apparent to you, dear reader, that I am already digressing on my previous focus on this post. My aim was to tell you the influence my English teacher has done to me but I really should take into regard the aforesaid things.

She is Mrs. Ofelia Merino. I remember our first English class with her. I was so freakin’ eager to have that first class with her because at my first look at her I perceived that she would be a terrific teacher for me. And it was true. I apprehended myself, thus, ending up on her noticing my passion on her subject. Right then on that first class she had with us, she started to have a different look at me. It was evident that we both admire literature. I know what she was talking about on that day. I know the books she was talking about. Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Erich Segal’s Love Story. It made me more interested on being more active on her class. Wish granted! I was one of the most active students in her class. The first time she asked us to have our book presentation, she gave our group the Hamlet play. At first, I don’t even know Shakespeare. But because of Mrs. Merino I learned and knew how magnificent William Shakespeare is as a playwright. I led my group on having the Hamlet presentation and guess who was the lead? Me. It was the first time I had a soliloquy. I memorized To Be Or Not To Be. Mrs. Merino was undeniably impressed. I was energized by her praises and compliments. I deserved to have a betterment. Everyone expected another nice presentation from me after my garnering of the Best Director, Best Actress and the Best Group award. (The Best Actor award was gotten by the one who portrayed the Hunchback of Notredame.)

One time, as she was having our English class, I do not really know when is that exact situation she was at the back side of the room. I approached her and silently asked her if I could present Romeo and Juliet. She gasped then gradually smiled at me. “Do you want that?” she asked. I was fired up. I knew from her grin that she is interested on my proposal. She agreed, mind you, she agreed. I was psyched up once again. Is anybody out there who’s reading this wants to ask why did I have such idea? Kidding aside, I was moved by the music video of Gemini which shows parts of rehearsal for a Romeo and Juliet play. I dreamt on having a Romeo and Juliet presentation… And alas! Pinagbigyan na naman si Jonell… It ran through many obstacles before it finally was official. I have the dibs on having the Romeo and Juliet presentation. It was a more challenging job for me for I handled a joint-force between the first group and my group (there are four groups). It was a tough job handling eighteen students and at the same time managing the collaboration of the united group and at the same unbias time, I was again… the lead. Yes, I played Romeo Montague. Every little preparation that I made was worth it. No one really knows how much effort I have exerted for the project. I deserve the applause. I was the Best Actor, I had the Best Actress (the mother of Juliet), we are the Best Group, and I am the Best Director.

Later on, she announced that she’s going to get two students from our class to join some of the section 1 students on watching a play by weekend. Rumors run down each ears that resulted on having a draw lots. The names of the two directors of the previous plays (My name for Romeo and Juliet and the name of the director of The Count of Monte Cristo) was included as well as the Best Actors’ and Best Actresses’ for the two past presentations. I was lucky enough to be drawn out of those pieces of paper. At first, I hated the fact that I was with the section one students when we watched the play Ang Palasyo ni Valentin. But I was really fortunately. It was a marvelous experience for me. It was my first time to enter a theater and to watch a play. My stamina on directing increased dramatically and I looked forward unto a time when I could watch another theater play. Not to be conspicious or anything, I think Mrs. Merino intended me to join the watching of the play (because it was free) but then tried to create a plot wherein things could appear as fair as possible. I felt it from my heart.

The Monday after, as I was walking along the corridor, Mrs. Merino caught my attention on having a talk to me regarding on what can I say about the play. As I was telling her the odds and ends and the things I liked on the presentation, I saw that flash on her eyes saying that she’s very happy for me–to be appreciating what she, too, appreciates.

Mrs. Merino was not much of a teacher to me. She was a friend to me. And to be more particular, a phone pal. Who often talked over the phone not only about school stuffs but also far beyond what she teaches. You may think I’m making “sipsip” to her but honestly I didn’t do that to her. She’s just my most favorite teacher that taught me so much.

On class participations, I am always reciting but there came up that time I began to disrespect her, if you could use that term. I became lazy enough to be chided, monotonous enough to be reminded. She was there for me to hear my family problems and mentioning every moment I treasure would make this web log explode.

May I sum this up on recognizing the gratitude I have in my heart. If not because of Mrs. Merino I am not this kind of Jonell. She inspired me to write more. Though I don’t write professionally, I still write. Here I am writing. And I will always keep to my mind that writing is not a rubbish thing.

She’ll always be my most favorite teacher.


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