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Thursday, May 17, 2007

The legacy of an old chair

I TOOK the responsibility of enrolling my two sons this afternoon, and I just realized how alienated I am from the schooling of my two sons, ages 12 and 9. I didn't know where and how to enrol them and I felt as dumb as a high school freshman, not knowing where the registrar and the cashier are. So I resorted to asking parents (mostly mothers) who were there on how to proceed.

Thank heavens I did not trust the security guard because his instructions did not help me at all! He showed me the wrong room for registration. The teachers seemed inutile sitting along the corridor while writing on some pieces of paper, when in fact they were tasked to assess the tuition fees. I did not know that until I asked them, which prompted me to tell them they should put a sign on their table that says "Tuition Fee Assessment". (Pinakialaman ko na naman ang sistema nila). To think that is a private school run by nuns!

Anyway, I am just blurting my horrible experience enrolling my two sons.

What I wanted to share is that I finished reading Bob Ong's book ABNKKBSNPLAko?!. Reading him was like a trip back to my days in the public school--that I could relate to his funny stories on the legendary nutribun, and felt guilty for being teachers' pet (yes "teachers"), for power tripping over my classmates (Who would not dare to power trip? My mother was a teacher! Smile. Bad me!).

This also brings memories of my old chair that I photographed last December 2006. It is now painted yellow. It used to be just brown with its faded varnish. This old chair (yes the one in the photo) is almost 50 years old. All seven of us, including our cousins, nieces and nephews who lived in our house, sat on this chair. Only one of these remained of the four kiddie chairs. The study table is still intact.

What brings me to be sentimental about it? It is because it carried all of us--all seven of us, now successful in our profession and careers. I remember sitting on this chair doing my homework and school projects or just making doodles on my notebooks and pad papers, or while watching TV or delightfully listening to our late Papang's story about their tragic experiences during the Japanese occupation. And I would not forget our Papang fixing the chairs whenever they get wobbly or broken.

Just like how our parents saw us through elementary, high school and college years, this chair carried us through our schooling--that becomes a symbol of our passion for learning.

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