Wednesday, March 21, 2007

End-of-school daze (1)

We’re in the homestretch of the academic year. Come next Friday, we say goodbye to Academic Year 2006-2007 and face head on the not-so-welcome task of grades computation.

The UP Medicine Class of 2007 already is counting down the days till they depart from the College and PGH altogether, albeit temporarily for many (I hope!). In about five weeks’ time they’d be F-I-N-I-S-H-E-D with med school. Congratulations!

While in the thick of preparing for our own board exams, it dawned on me that same realization- that I was through with school! And the embodiment of that realization was the eternal Bugs Bunny cartoon where he chanted No more classes, no more books! No more teachers’ dirty looks. And so, Dear Bugs, here’s that June 2005 entry from my old blog in case you missed it:

Dear Bugs,

I can’t believe it. This is the first June since 1984 that I am not in school. I’ve practically spent some 88% of my life reading, writing, taking exams, traveling to and from school, reciting, mingling with fellow students, quarreling with fellow students, ranting about teachers, raving about authors, braving storms and rallies and sports activities, cooking inedible creations, steno-writing, connecting electrical wires, falling in love, falling out of love, worrying, praying, begging, crying, dating, graduating from one level into another- year after year after year. For the last two decades. And now- the rituals of June shall never be…

No more back-to-school shopping riots. No more purchase of white polo uniforms, white socks, meters and meters of plastic cover, and tons of textbooks/ workbooks/ notebooks. No more pencil case that doubled as a piano. No more pencil case-slash-Swiss-Army gadget: multi-leveled beauty with sharpener, ruler, magnifying glass, among other thingamajigs, and enough space to contain ten Mongol pencils and a couple of erasers.

No more first-day-of-school jitters. No more fake throwing up just before the school bus arrives. No more fake diarrheas so I can stay home and wallow in denial while capturing the last fading rays of summer as it gave way to the torrential rains of June. No more craziness about “missing” school. No more excitement in meeting new and old classmates. No more use of the humongous nameplates for a good week (or month). No more election of class officers. No more making of Cleaners for the Day schedule.

No more morning rush so that I will not miss the school jeepney service. No more watching of service-mates while they were drooling while sleeping. No more watching of service-mates while they were sleeping with their mouths open. No more pretending to shoot three-point shots using small rolled bits of paper into the mouths of service-mates while they were sleeping with their mouths open. No more smell of ginisa or prito that adheres to all our uniforms on most mornings. No more finishing of homework assigned yesterday while on the way to school today. No more rattled nerves while listening to the radio enroute to school on obviously stormy mornings awaiting the usually belated announcement of Nilo Rosas that classes were suspended. No more sidetrips to Harrison Plaza when classes are suspended.

No more chance to lead in the singing of Lupang Hinirang in front of the entire school- from pre-elem to high school. No more chance of being asked to be the conductor (mag-beat baga) of the ensemble as they sang Lupang Hinirang. No more uttering of Panatang Makabayan, singing of the school hymn, saying the morning prayer. No more finishing of homework while in the flag ceremony. No more skipping the flag ceremony while finishing homework.

No more monthly and periodic exam printed, nay, typewritten and mimeographed on brown recycled paper. No more singing of Pass Your Papers after an exam. No more anticipation of what was packed in your lunchbox for recess. No more communal prayer before recess. No more buying of scramble or sago’t gulaman during recess. No more recess. No more communal prayer after recess. No more jotting down of who was Noisy and Standing while Miss was out. No more standing up when you recite. No more graded recitations.

No more Nutrition Week, Linggo ng Wika, United Nations Day celebrations. No more Intrams, College Days, Rector’s Day, Foundation Day celebrations. No more Parol-Making Contest. No more inter-section singing, dancing, sabayang pagbigkas, CAT competition. No more CAT. No more ROTC. No more logging in at DMST. No more making fun of officers. No more scouting. No more camping. No more jamborees. No more quizbees. No more Science Club. No more Teachers’ Day, Araw ng Maynila, Feb Fair. No more Science Fair. No more field trips to the Planetarium, Coke plant in Pandacan, pencil and crayon factory along South Super Highway. No more field trip to the Ayala Museum dioramas. No more field trips to Ciudad Mystica in Banahaw. No more yayas tagging along during field trips. No more field trips.

No more cutting classes. No more sneaking Penthouse, Playboy, and Abante into school premises. No more playing Mataya-Taya, Moro-Moro, Langit-Lupa, Monkey-Monkey-Annabelle. No more playing 10-20. No more sending of cheesy love letters to a classmate you’ve had a crush on since prep. No more 10-peso roses for your crush on Valentine’s. No more JS Prom.

No more receiving report cards. No more parent-teacher associations. No more final exams. No more posting of top ten students. No more recognition ceremonies. No more graduation ceremonies.

No more semestral vacation. No more Christmas vacation. No more summer vacation to prepare for the next school year. No new school year.

But the learning goes on.

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