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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

End-of-school daze (2)

The thought of me being through with school came rushing back when I chanced upon the blog of Sir Martin, an Asian Studies teacher at the Philippine Science High School.

Sir Martin reminds me of my own Social Studies I teacher in MaSci, Mrs. Joy Torcuator, a most inspiring teacher who helped fuel my love for learning and in particular history, trivia, and I’d like to believe love for our country. I can still recall her tales about the encounters of her father with the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II- replete with her animated gestures. She eventually became the head of the Social Studies Department; I was her alter-ego during the Boys and Girls’ Week. She was very supportive of our endeavors in the UNESCO - Social Studies Club when I was the club’s president, including what was arguably the first-ever philatelic exhibit to be held in our school showcasing the students’ collections. We students are lucky we have Sir Martins and Mrs. Torcuators around.

Like what I said in the comment I left in Sir Martin’s blog, after parents and siblings, teachers are my next most favorite humans on the planets. Doctors come in at a close fourth.

Taken last March 8 at the San Pablo Health Center in Pasay City. I'm with my 3rd year students and the health center staff and barangay health workers whom the students trained over the last academic year. Interesting also is the fact that this same group of health workers were our group's own students when we were still in medschool, back in 1992.Maybe it is because I’ve practically spent my whole life in school: 2 years of preschool + 6 years of grade school + 4 years of high school + 4 years of college + 5 years of med school + 1 academic year of teaching for a total of 22 years or 81% of my 27-odd years on earth.

But, yeah, teachers trump doctors. Even if I am a doctor myself and I see the miracles the latter perform on a daily basis.

Most doctors, though they deal with very serious, life-changing conditions that happen in a patient’s life, they deal with one patient at a time. But with teachers- it’s usually a bigger crowd- hanging on to every word you say which can potentially make or break their lives and their spirits.

Before I get myself too caught in the web of which-profession-is-more-noble-and-has-the-most-impact-in-people’s-lives, I’ll just express my profound gratitude to God Almighty for letting me wear these two hats of being a healer and an educator.

I learned this prayer from my Tita Vicky, a nurse in New York City. It has undergone some modifications in the course of the years that I’ve said it. It’s a prayer which I can say when I’m either in my teacher mode or my doctor mode. But more often than not I just pray to God using these words, regardless of the hat I’m wearing, since I can’t separate them anyway.

Lord as I carry about my duties as Your instrument of healing and learning here on earth

Please keep my mind alert

My eyes keen

My ears piqued

My tongue patient

My heart compassionate

My tummy cooperative

My hands steady

My knees sturdy

And my feet quick.

May I see You in all the people I will meet today and may they see You through me.

Amen.

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