Sunday, April 17, 2005

Sunrise, sunset.

They grow up so fast.

Was just having this weird lucid experience looking at my class record the other day while I was computing grades, and was incredulous how I'd filled its pages so quickly. Three years--six sems--40 units. And I never thought I would even survive my first sem.

Now I'd have to buy another record book. The cover of the one I have now is frayed at the edges. And I suppose, in a sense, I want to preserve this record of the students of my very first three years of teaching. Maybe I'm thinking it's going to help me remember the names later better?

I remember it so clearly, the first time I met my very first VC 20z class. I had another class, VC 120x which I had met the previous Monday, but they were fewer, and relatively seemed like a mature, well-behaved bunch.

But VC 20z was huge. They didn't even seem to be talking to each other. Looked like they came from different blocks from their freshman year. The VC 20 z students clearly established stakes in areas of the room. This was what made it easy for me to remember everybody's names. By third meeting, I think I'd matched everybody's faces to their nicknames. (It's tough, especially as a lot of their nicknames have no basis in their given names.)

First I noticed was this clique made of some boys and a girl whom I guessed came from Makiling. I don't know, but it somehow struck me that they had this very self-assured air around them and laid-back fashion sense which reminded me of the Makiling grads in our batch. Turns out later I will be partly right. There was a Makiling grad in the group.

Then there was this all-boy group who occupied the corner to the back and left of the room, near the windows. All I could remember about them was they had this groupmate who always made them crack up. They laughed at anything.

The front row seats were occupied by this group of pretty girls whom I was guessing came from private schools because they were always speaking kaka English. There were three of them who were always late--but still took the front seats anyway.

To the back and right side of the classroom, there was this mysterious couple. Sometimes the girl would not even be there but just her bag. And I noticed that after I checked the attendance the girl would just disappear and then reappear, most usually when I'm checking their studies for the plates. But always the big serious guy would be there, the one who I guessed was the boyfriend of the bag.

And then, lastly, there were two rather extroverted guys whom I cannot associate with any group till much later. They would always react to whatever I said and make a joke out of it. Sometimes it would be funny, but sometimes, because of my supreme lack of self-assurance, it made me paranoid that somehow they were making fun of me.


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