16 March 2011

Two Rules

I was relaxing this morning with some colleagues from the ISD when I somehow got around to relating this experience I had while I was still a young teacher in the early eighties.

I had given an end-of-class quiz to one of my junior high school classes and in the middle of it, while I was seated at the teacher’s chair in front, I could see through the corner of one eye that two of my not-so-bright students kept looking my way and were extremely fidgety on their seats.

Ah-ah… Nagkokopyahan

So alright! Maybe “not-so-bright” is being extremely kind. Put it this way… The class standing of the two would have been way up there if the game was perdegana

Rule number one to remember when one is planning to cheat during a test is that the teacher – when in front, and especially someone as tall as I am, regardless of whether standing or sitting down – can see EVERYTHING! That, for those who do not know, is the reason behind the elevated platform underneath the front blackboard.

Of course, the two fidgety adolescents were nothing but clumsy amateurs. The really hardcore professionals in the art of cheating – and there are, believe me, even in high school – would not even have looked my way, let alone fidget on their seats.

But didn’t I say earlier that, in the intellect department, the two lads were not just a little bit on the wrong side of the spectrum? On a spur-of-the-moment thing, I just decided pabayaan ko ngang magkopyahan ang dal’wang itlog!

Now, of course the purists would cringe and say I should have stood up to put an end to the cheating – it’s a values-formation thing, see…!!! I’ll be the first to admit that I was remiss in the performance of my duties, kayâ lang… magagalit lang ako!!!  At the time, my thinking was they would get what they deserved, anyway, when it was time to check their quiz papers.

Besides, if I know myself at all, I just probably gave in to the unmistakable humor of the situation!

Which brings me to rule number two: make sure the person you are copying from knows the correct answers, hello naman!!! Alangan namang iturô ko pa sa dal’wa ‘yun!?

Now when I got around to checking their test papers… Eh ano pa kung ‘dî big fat goose eggs! Kayâ baga!!!

The gentlemen I told this anecdote to – JC, Dennis and Ronnie – aba’y halakhak na! But JC’s question was of the thoughtful sort… “Wala namang talagang bobo, ‘dî ga?”

Well, what could I say to that, having encountered the haves and the have-nots inside the classroom for almost two decades while I was teaching? I thought for a while and then chose a safe reply.

Within the context of multiple intelligences, perhaps walâ talaga… That is why, I explained, the very same athlete whose intelligent passing you admire while he is on the court has a report card na tadtad ng palakol

The very same ability he uses to recall and synthesize information when making moves on the court is just not present when he’s asked to, say, differentiate between sine and cosine or solve geometrical problems while inside the classroom. So, or at least I told JC, in this context, and I say this without being judgmental, malamang meron…  I guess, it ultimately depends on the person where his or her interests really lie so that his or her intelligence may eventually wield itself.

It is way too complicated to discuss in one blog story, and – at any rate – I do not really write my stories for intellectual discussions. Too tired from work for any intellectual pretenses, nagpa-practice lang ng English…

[This story was first published on Facebook on 23 January 2009.]

The Our Father
Multiple Choice




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