Everything is created twice....
First, in the mind ....
then, in the physical ...
be careful on your thoughts then ...
for they make you ...
by Daniel Errico
Before time was time, there was a Great Hill.
And on the Great Hill there lived the Yolks.
The Yolks spent their entire lives climbing the Great Hill, trying to reach the top.
Some Yolks climbed fast.
Some Yolks climbed slowly.
One Yolk in particular was a very slow climber. He was different than the rest of the Yolks.
When he climbed, all the other Yolks passed him.
It was hard for him to watch them pass by.
He felt like the worst climber in the world.
Some Yolks made fun of him as they passed.
Some Yolks wanted to help him climb, but he didn’t let them.
It was hard for him to climb. It was even harder when it rained because the ground got slippery. Sometimes it seemed like it was only raining on him.
But it wasn’t.
There were times when he felt like he wasn’t moving at all.
But he was.
Then one day he met another Yolk who climbed even slower than he did.
He helped the slower Yolk climb.
“Thank you,” said the slower Yolk.
“You’re welcome,” said the slow Yolk, “I can’t be of much help to anyone else since I climb so slowly.”
“Slowly?” asked the slower Yolk.
“Well yes,” said the slow Yolk,” I watch other Yolks pass me all the time.”
“I do not know if you are slow or fast, but I do know that you helped me, and that you are still climbing.”
The slow Yolk said goodbye to the slower Yolk, and he kept climbing.
“Still climbing,” he thought to himself.
“That is true.”
And he smiled.
So the slow Yolk kept climbing. He climbed when it was nice out, he climbed when it rained, and he even climbed when it snowed.
As he kept climbing, he got better and better.
Sometimes he would pass other Yolks, and sometimes they would pass him.
He had stopped paying attention.
He also noticed that some Yolks were no longer climbing.
When a Yolk stops climbing, it stays where it is.
Some Yolks stop climbing because they are happy with how far they have gone.
Others stop climbing because they don’t want to climb anymore.
The Yolks that had stopped climbing did not like to be passed, and they made it harder for others to get by.
But the slow Yolk kept climbing, right over them!
There were still times when the slow Yolk thought he was climbing an impossible hill, but he kept climbing. Always, always, climbing.
Do you think he made it to the top?
IT MUST BE MURPHY!
I woke up on the wrong side of the bed tired from the previous day’s work. I fixed the covers, bathed and found myself running towards the Bellevue gate. The street before me looked like a Doomsday road. There were no cars, no cabs, no jeepneys, no motorcycles, no people.
I was supposed to go to the La Granja campus. I waited for like a decade and found myself texting Leah (a friend) inquiring where the great AOS bus is. My mouthpiece is broken so it was useless to call anyone. Leah’s phone was not cooperative as well.
The next thing I knew I was sitting behind a guy for a motorcycle ride. I HAD NO CHOICE! Leah texted that they are at SM. When I came to SM, the bus was situated in Xavier Estates. I went to Xavier Estates only to be informed that they are approaching Rosevale. In other words, I WAS CHASING THE BUS!
I was frustrated. So I walked to a place named Stonetown and found a sofa to wait for a van supposedly. It was supposed to be an exciting journey to La Granja Estates. But I found my feet headed for ALwana.
Well, it must be Murphy’s law at work. Hopefully, the day won’t end this way. For tonight is a night of worship at our church.
They are from John 15.
4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
14You are my friends if you do what I command.
2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful.
I was attending this seminar on "Reading Difficulties" and yes, I was disappointed. It was one of the worst seminars that I've registered myself into. Well, thanks to the school who made a foot on the bill. I found myself complaining at the way the method was made. So "old school." And there more than 300 people in the room. The speaker was reading "thoroughly" her so-called materials that were surprisingly photocopied from several books with horrible letters that some were too tiny to matter.
Good enough there was Joni, a friend from another church. I sat with Joni and we both agreed that the lecture has been sssssssssssssssssooooooooooooooooooooo "ineffective."
After a boring morning, I looked for a comfortable sofa to steal sleeping moments while having a break for it was awfully cold. (BTW, the morning activity was so full of a GTKY activity that was so non-sensible like "Look for someone who doesn't have a boyfriend?" I mean, "Who cares?")
I managed to continue the afternoon session. I was trying to find worth with the school money used for my registration. Joni and I were both very sleepy. Who wouldn't? While I was having coffee to avoid sleeping, Joni and I began talking about the word " meaning?"
We both realized that we needed to find meaning in that seminar. And I can't help but think about the WORD. It became a big word that afternoon. I told Joni my worries on the said word. You see, in my workplace, I worry a lot recently.
I worry that my co - teachers will not find "meaning" anymore in what they do. I worry that they will stop looking for that "meaning" because they are tired. I worry that some lost it ... in the middle of "things."
I worry about the "new" teachers, too. I worry that they will not be able to see meaning in what they do especially through training. I am more worried that they will not be able to find it.
While I was lost in my thoughts, I suddenly heard the speaker mention a poem that caught my attention finally. Though the material I was reading was crudely photocopied, I found myself mumbling words that I liked. It was Shel Silverstein's "The Zebra Question."
Here it is. I am proud to say I memorized it after one reading.
THE ZEBRA QUESTION
I once asked a zebra,
"Are you white with black stripes?
Or are you black with white stripes?"
Then the zebra asked me,
" Are you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?"
"Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy days?"
"Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?"
The zebra went on and on and on
And on and on again ...
And I said to myself,
"I will never ask the zebra that same question again?"
In our search for meaning, we find ourselves asking a lot of questions? I saw myself in the poem. And yes, why do I ask every now and then? Though my questions are important to me, I should realize that to look for "meaning" through things does not need to be hard.
There are things that naturally happen by chance and all we need to do is appreciate them. There can be things, also, that require our choices. And there are things that we simply can not control, whether they happen by chance or by choice.
THE DAY I HAD THE BITES
It was June 17, 2009 and it was an ordinary working day except that I received bites from a child in my classroom. (Actually, technically, it is not really my class, for I am just taking over since the real teacher is on maternity leave. )
I am a very reflective person and perceptive as well. But, because of the many roles that I have in my life, I do not have the energy anymore to write in a blog like this.
It’s been four years since the last time I was teaching in a Level 1 classroom, a class of young students from first to third grade. And though I am an experienced Level 1 teacher for 5 years, these are the days when it is scary to be around children who are still forming their concept of morality, justice and social behavior. In other words, behavior is of the essence for this group.
Last year, I had a beautiful experience with my Level 2 class, seeing my grade 6 graduate from the elementary program of the Abba’s Orchard. Most of them were my first graders in Level 1. Jethro graduated and I still remember the boy who had a tiny squeaky voice who taught the actions in a song, 12 Days of Christmas. AJ, who was one of my headstrong students, graduated with a lot of friends to miss. I can still remember that he would defy me with such confidence as if he didn’t need me. But, last year, he was almost my second assistant in the classroom. He was the perfect handyman in the classroom, a trustee especially in solving environment problems around my students. Jethro and AJ were, I should say, one of the most challenging students I had when I was a Level 1 teacher.
Yesterday, I met another lovely child and I need to hide his name as G. G didn’t want to eat his lunch and I had to ask my partner, Ms Icy, to make sure he eats. He decided not to and I realized that when he has made up his mind, he wouldn’t change it. He kicked the chair where he was supposed to sit and threw tantrums. It was a tough call!
I needed to bring him outside in order not to cause an embarassment to himself. On our way outside, he moved to scratch me. I was about to release a painful cry when he motioned to bite me. He was successful and I got 6 teeth bites from him. It didn’t stop there. I had to lock him carefully in order for him to calm down but he was very strong and furious. According to history, he has temper problems. Good thing, I learned TKD long ago, that’s why he wasn’t successful in spitting at my face.
He was screaming. I told him that he was making it difficult for both of us. It was a thirty-minute struggle and we were like wrestling with each other’s wits and strength.
I had to control myself from saying anything that might provoke him more but I was holding him tight. My 98 - pound frame is not that strong to hold on more. I thought I would snap! All I was thinking was that God would touch him and he would grow tired to stop.
He finally stopped and was sobbing. Moments like that would crush me. You see, in the life of a teacher, the most difficult thing is when you need to hurt the feelings of your student in order to teach something valuable in life. I heard myself saying, “G, I am doing this because I want to be your teacher. And though you do not understand yet why I am not giving in, I’d like you to know, I’ll be here to help you get through this day.”
He paused and pushed me away. He said, “Don’t touch me. Okay, I will eat.” I respected his request. But I told him I have to watch him from afar. I got his food and jug of water and watched him eat. I had to look for a mug of coffee to relax. Then I sat on a white chair facing the horizon with my newfound student, G.
Seeing that he was tired, I asked if he wanted to rest. He was not reluctant at all. Then I told him, “You can come back to the classroom as soon as you feel better.” After an hour, he came back. Thirty minutes passed and I saw him working well. Then when it was his turn to shake my hands and say goodbye, he then asked, “What is your name again?” I almost cried at that instant. I cleared my throat and said, “My name is Ms Jeni.” What a way to introduce each other!
Today, he came inside the classroom. He didn’t shake my hands when he came in especially that he was a prodded by another teacher for an embrace. But one thing is certain. He began to show respect. The day finished with him working beautifully. He was the last student to come out but he smiled and said, “I am going to work again tomorrow, Ms Jeni.”