23.12.11

Of mushy teacher reports, high school life and pre-college dilemma

I saw a yellowing old envelope (it had rat poops on it, gross!) on the cabinet the other day. As the curious little boy that I am, I opened it. And guess what I found. No, not rat poops again but a copy of my 6th grade report card. How awesome is that? I have no idea how this 10-year old stuff got into our living room although Mom is a certified rat pack who loves to keep trash so I shouldn't be surprised (and this is the part where I crumble and fall to pieces for calling Mom a “rat pack” ).

Moving on, yes, I saw my grades. What the, I thought. I might not really been a bad student after all.

But what really caught my eyes was the teacher’s narrative report. (Just so you know: My 6th grade teacher was the typical notorious old-maiden. I didn’t like her that much and I thought that the feeling was mutual. I remember a time when she caught me vandalizing a book and gave me a “pingot”. Sheeze. It’s really embarrassing.) Mushy statements were hit and I really thought that most of what I read was flattering. It’s heartfelt and corny. I just don’t agree with the third one. Though I’m trustworthy (or so I thought), I don’t think I’m honest in the truest sense of the word. And I never believed honesty to be the best policy. Never. Because the truth is, the truth is hard. It is stubborn. It is awkward. It is cruel. And most of the time, the truth hurts. Honesty or kindness? 90% of the time, I’d choose kindness.

I wish I kept all my report card, just to remind me how silly but brilliant I was as a kid.


I went into a public high school. It was a personal decision actually. My dad wanted me to go into this certain over-rated private school (where my two younger sisters are alums) in our province but because I’m a good son and I was being practical so I disagree with him much to my mom’s delight. And it’s of one the best decisions I’ve made as a teenager. These are the best times and here are some of the reasons why.

FRESHMAN

The thing to be frightened about studying in a public school is not getting good grades – it’s the scaring number of textbooks. Can you believe that I had, as far as I can remember, 21 books when I was a freshie? And you are obliged as a GOOD student to carry that around every day, well, most especially if your professor is a textbook-only child. In my case, I have to walk about 500 or so meters from the school gate to the freshman building and climb at least 20 flights of stairs to get into our room. Talk about luck.

I got my first share of pain when MJ (no, not M.J. Blige and definitely not Michael Jackson) shattered my heart into pieces. I learned through a friend that my crush of three years had a thing for a close buddy and the feeling was mutual. I was torn between letting go of MJ and saving the friendship with my buddy. But knowing me (here I comes again with my self-patronizing) as a good boy, you may have an idea what my decision was. Lesson learned? When a heart breaks, no it don’t break even.

The funniest experience ever was when we (me, my best friend and a bunch of fellas) caught one of the P.E. professors making out with a stud from the college department. And the thing was – gasp! – they were both guys. That’s supposed to be a secret. Well, not anymore.

SOPHOMORE

I’m always with the brainiacs. Of course, birds of the same feathers flock together. Lol. But don’t be fooled by the rocks that I’ve got ‘cos I’m still, I’m still Hoobert from the block ‘cos even though I did pretty good in my acads, I didn’t penetrated the honor’s list. I’m always either on the 11th or 12th spot. The honors studs were just too tough to beat.

During my second year, I learned and mastered the art of making “sipsip” with your professors. We had this professor who was a celebrity, labeled notorious by the higher years. In the first few meetings, I saw how angry she can get. She’s scary! But the funny thing was when she was in the mood to talk, she talked about her chickens, how she dealt with engkantos as a kid or her marriage life. To make her notice that I was interested with her stories (even if the truth was I rather cuddle a pillow, stay in bed and pick on my nose), I asked questions. And you know what, I got a pretty good grade in her subject.

JUNIOR

I remembered one of our first Values Education assignments was to interview, no offense meant, prostitutes. It’s really ironic ‘cos we did night-club hopping during the day. It was my first time (and the last as of press time) to enter a night-club and it was really weird. I didn’t tell my mom about it ‘cos she’ll certainly freak out. Lesson learned? Not all prostitutes are beautiful.

It was the first time I laid my eyes on my “first girlfriend-to-be” Eunice. I didn’t find her attractive at first. She annoyed me – or was I just intimidated? Coming from a string of sectionals, regional and national competitions, everybody knew her. She’s like Ms. Popular and I was Mr. Nobody. It took me some months before I approached her; she went to a different high school by the way. Believe it or not, torpe ako noon.

I ran for a position in the Student Government. I knew that I had it in the bag. Talk about too much confidence. Yeah, I was pretty popular with the lower years and I don't have an idea why. Much to my surprise, I lost with 9 votes difference to my closest contender. Know who my closest contender was? My bestfriend. That moment, I want to stab her to death. Hahaha, just kidding.

SENIOR

I can’t help but laugh every time I remember the day when I stood up against our hugely unpopular still-single-at her-50s (no wonder) school head. She freaking insulted my drawing – she told the class that the atom I drew looked like a sperm entering an ovum. What the, I thought. I remember being flabbergasted, not because I believed her but the fact that a school head would say that. I know, I know, it’s a ground for expulsion but I felt much better after. The funny thing was she knew me by my name since then.

I hated the fact that I was the teacher’s favorite. It seems cool to you but not to me. Our professor back then was called Mr. Bean by my good-for-nothing mates (he does look Mr. Bean, oops) so I was called Little Bean. Dammit!

But my most unforgettable (and potentially-deadly) high school experience happened outside the campus. It was a Saturday and two of my girl friends were celebrating their birthdays. We went to a hot spring (about 20 of us, most were girls); well, to make the story short – we almost got massacred by a dozen of “war-freaks”. Some of the boys got punched and a mate fainted. It was pretty scary; it’s like we were on a slasher movie or something.

I don’t want to lift a chair but I became part of almost every club our high school has to offer: Science Club (Sec), Values Education Club (VP), HEKASI Club (Pres, note: HEKASI is my fave subject ever), E.P.P. Club, English Club blah blah blah. I was also the class business manager for three consecutive years with the exception of senior high when I moved up the ranks and became the Class VP. It’s a proof that my mates loved me that much. I was also the Spelling Bee champ during junior high and the runner up during freshman (I lost to a senior). And to top it off, I got one of the highest NCAE scores in our campus. Yeah I was a nerd. I still think I am at times.
...

One of the dilemmas I had during my senior year was where to study college and what course to take. As much as people perceived that I knew what I wanted to do in life, my future wasn’t clear cut. I was, then, pretty clueless. But still, I am lucky ‘cos I am not one of those kids who have dictators for parents. My parents, especially my mom, encouraged me to follow my passion. I remembered her saying, “kung saan ka masaya, dun ako”.

I filed only two college applications – both for public universities, University of the Philippines and Bicol University. I withdrew my application in my dream school, Ateneo de Manila University. As much as I hate to do it, coming from a lower middle-class family and the fact that my sisters were going into a private school my dream of being an “Atenista” isn’t possible.

Coming from a public high school, UPCAT is a must take for me. But I don’t remember being too psyched about it, well, except for the fact that I bought an UPCAT reviewer which I haven’t read that much. Who can blame me? I was too focused getting into that blue university and that whole UPCAT thing was just for ego-boosting purposes and the bragging right that I passed the “freaking mother-of-all-collegiate-entrance-tests.”

In high school, I considered Columbus and Magellan as gods so it’s a no-brainer that I wrote BS Geography as my first choice in the courses offered in UP-Diliman. AB History, second choice. I told you I was a nerd kiddo and boring. Then I probably wrote either BS Nursing or Communications whatever in my second college of choice – UP Manila.

I also filed a college application in Bicol University as Plan C if my applications in UP or AdMU didn’t work in my favor. And thank God I did. BS Nursing was my first choice then BS Education. Did you know that I dreamed of being a teacher in some point during my childhood years?

I didn’t go to UP (I missed the cut-off mark by just some points) or Ateneo de Manila but the thing I learned was every single soul has his own path in life. Don’t sweat yourself too much thinking of a clear career path when you are in high school – that’s partly what college is all about, discovering who you are and what you want to do in life.

19 comments:

Hoobert the Awesome said...

Krismas na krismas ang topic ng blog ko. HAHA. I got sick kaya late na nga 'to. But I'm now okay. :)

Merry Christmas everyone.

Hiyono said...

I hope you're really well now Hoobert. December has been a bitch huh? I wonder what's in store for you next year? Kabaliktaran yan, malamang.

I enjoyed reading your past. Mahirap talaga pag jack of all trades. Di mo alam ano talaga gusto mo sa buhay... well not really sa di mo alam, mahirap pumili ng destination! Haha. Magaling kasi ee. ;)

HEKASI was also my favorite subject. Only because of a great teacher. :D English comes first. And... I hate math as well, even if I did alright in that subject. Ugh... too many formulas to memorize.

Sikat ka pala talaga noon. Dinala mo naman hanggang ngayon ang trono e. :3

Kerb said...

Ang sarap manariwa ng HS memories Jub. Ikaw na!

Advance Happy New Year!

Hoobert the Awesome said...

Yeah, 100% agree Hiyono. December is the bitchiest month for me. Though I must say that it made this last quarter more exciting. You know, I've been a little down the past 4 months because I felt I had no specific directions in life. Basta, ang gulo. Lols.

No, I'm not a jack of all trades. Truth be told, limited nga ang kaya kong gawin kaya mahirap talagang mamili. Hahaha. And madali akong magsawa or maybe masyado lang akong impatient.

I <3 HEKASI 'cos I am a geek like that. Hahaha.

Happy Holidays Hiyono!

Hoobert the Awesome said...

Hahaha yes Kerb. Ako na talaga!

Happy 2012 to all of us.

soloflightEd said...

ey hoobert.
great recollection of posts! you know you'll look back at these after how many years and you'll see what you were thinking at this point in time, the same way you did when you first opened up that report card.

this was a good read! this reminds me of my own time when I was also in highschool. we've some similar situations but some of yours are pretty extreme! haha. happy new year!

Hoobert the Awesome said...

That's actually my reason Kuya Ed kung bakit ako nagba-blog. Who knows? Magkaroon ako ng severe case of amnesia or di naman kaya ay Alzheimer's dse. At least I have a blog that will remind me of my younger years. Oh diba!

Thanks cos na-appreciate mo. Pero natawa naman ako dun bigla. Extreme talaga yung word. Hahaha.

Batang Lakwatsero said...

this post is very nostalgic, na-miss ko bigla ang aking highschool lofe... I might do a similar post soon. :)

Hoobert the Awesome said...

Yeah you should Lakwatsero. It's for you to be reminded of the good, old days. High school is the best time of our lives. No competition.

I'm happy that I inspired you to make a similar post. :)

Sey said...

Look at what an old report card brought you - a flash back of memories worth remembering. I must admit yours were nice and really worth taking the time to look back, cause I felt I had a boring high school life.

Sendo said...

naman...im in a brainia's blog hehe...wow naman, nagrereminisce ^^ ayos ah. namiss ko tuloy hayskul..grabe nagka-club hopping kayo ? galing ah, tapos may project pa kayong mag interview ng prostitutes..hindi ba naisip ng titser niyo kung gano kadelikado un? wala lang, concerned lang hehe. Anyhoo...tama ka...every soul has a path of its own.....pero ngayong graduate nako ng college..saka pa talaga nagsisimula ung "iscovering who you are and what you want to do in life." hehe. ^^ anyhoo..good luck to all your future endeavors lalo na this 2012..happy new year ^^

Hoobert the Awesome said...

Yes Ate Sey. High school is the best time of my life. Hands down. Thanks to my friends, of course. :)

Hahaha, masyado ngang OA. Dahil lang sa isang report card, nakagawa ako ng pakahaba-habang post. Lols.

Hoobert the Awesome said...

Hahaha siguro Sendo di naman naisip ng professor namin na maari kaming magahasa ng mga prostitutes dun. Inosente pa naman me at that time (kahit naman ngayon). Pero lucky us, mababait naman sila. They even offered us foods.

Pero di talaga sila kagandahan. Swear. Kahit naman siguro malasing ako, di ko sila papatulan. But we'll never know. Hahaha.

Happy 2012 to you, too.

Mei said...

That was quite a long history of your school life! Haha. All of us has his own stories as a students and maybe most of us may have the same or almost the same stories. I can say that it's fun to be a student. We don't have to push ourselves to study hard. As long as we study, that's enough. hahaha.

Hoobert the Awesome said...

Hahaha. Yeah, everyone has a story from high school etched out of memory and myth. Kaya lang minsan sa dami, di mo na maalala yung iba.

Natawa naman ako dun sa last na sinabi mo. Though I agree, ganyan din ako. As long as I study, keribels!

Happy 2012 Mei!

Malditang "Kura"cha said...

sa haba ng entry na to yung Little Bean ang tumatak. hihihi! Kidding. Ikaw na ang may pinaka-malalang HS life. hahah! Interview a Prosti?!?! Wow! San ba yang school na yan ha, hindi ko ie-enroll ko ang magiging anak ko. Magiging katulad ako ng mommy mo if ever. Lagot sa kin ang teacher mo. hahah!

Nakakatuwang isipin na parang walang wala ang HS life ko. Mas love ko ang college years. Well actually, I hate HS. I was a bullied during my elem and HS days just so you know. Kaya punong puno ako ng bitterness. hahaha! I'll be attending a HS batch reunion this Jan or Feb. It's my time to shine. lol!

blissfulguro said...

cute post:)

i think Organizational Communication yung sa UP Manila :)

ang problema naman nung high school ako, hilaw ang career orientation sa amin..

alam mo bang malaking tulong sa mga kaguruan ang mga "teacher's pet" dahil ang mga bagay na naiisip pa lang namin ipagawa eh gagawin na agad nila..

Hoobert the Awesome said...

HAHAHA. Nakakatawa ka talaga Ate Kura-ching. I'm thinking nung nagpakalat si Bathala ng sense of humor, dilat na dilat ka. Napunta lahat sa'yo. Hahaha. :D

Opo. Prosti nga. That's why I didn't do the story-telling to my mom cos she'll surely freak out. At baka sumugod pa siya sa school. Lol.

Sinong nang-bully sayo at upakan natin?

Hoobert the Awesome said...

Ganun din naman samin Bliss, walang masyadong orientation kaya ayun nangapa talaga. Haha.

Thanks for the insight. You're so cool and SMART!