Saturday, August 06, 2011

Goodbye Madam!

The other day, a batchmate announced in our Facebook group page that one of our high school teachers died. She was 83 years old.

Scores of messages filled our group's wall. "She was my favorite English teacher" says one. Another mentioned the teacher's unusual habit of eating menthol candy during class and sticking the wrapper in the blackboard. "She was my favorite Math teacher" says another.

I don't know if it often happens but I find it unusual for someone to be an English and Math teacher at the same time. And she's excellent at both, inspiring students to do better and excel. I remember a time when half of her literature class had to take removal exams.

Also, I love how she pronounced the word "POEM". She even corrected us from our wrong pronunciation. Imagine, no one among us got it right the first time!

She's a motivator. Every week she gives us an assignment - a quotable quote, plus an explanation why it catches one's attention. Even the funniest quotes gathered by some of my comical classmates turn into something that gives us serious moral lessons.

She's compassionate. She gave some of my naughty classmates second chance when what they did could have cost them dismissal, or even some time in jail. They were forever grateful to her.

And so, what are my memories of her?
1. A principal at that time, she signed my suspension letter - due to habitual tardiness. Up to now, I haven't overcome it.
2. She gave me 3.0 in all grading period. I could not believe my consistency.
3. She scares me when she raises an eyebrow and throws a question. It will surely throw you off your seat.
4. Her pronunciation and the way she reads poems is quite intimidating. It has some chilling effect on me which I cannot explain at that time.

But hey, it was because of her that I began to appreciate poetry and literature. My early poems were done because it was for a class assignment. But a few of my friends continued writing poems and short stories even after we're through with lit class. And even until now, I collect quotable quotes.

What can I say but goodbye, Madam! You are surely the best!

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