Episode 69 – Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 (7098)
The summer vacation is over, and it’s time to back to school. This coming Monday (June 13th), about 25 million Filipino students in different levels will be ready to come back classes for the school year 2016-2017. And they are now so busy to buy school materials and to prepare for this Monday’s opening classes.
Although I’m now working in the corporate world because I’m no longer a student since 2010, I still share the story about my experiences and some memorable moments during the school opening when I was still young as a student (1994-2009).
Deaf School Era:
- 1994 – This was my very first year to attend a school. I first attended at Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD) in Pasay City on June 6 for the preparatory level. My class schedule was in afternoon, and I was accompanied by my elder brother.
- 1995 – I attended for the first grade (Grade 1) elementary at PSD, and it was my first time to attend for the morning class. I was accompanied by my brother-in-law in the morning while my mother took me going home in the afternoon (I usually ate my lunch with her in the waiting area after my class before going home at noon).
- 1996 – Attending for the second grade (Grade 2) elementary at PSD, I didn’t attend for the first day of class until the next day. This was my second (and last) time to attend for the afternoon class. I still remember when I was taken by my brother-in-law after my class we took a provincial bus to go home in Laguna.
- 1997 – Attending for the third grade elementary (Grade 3), for the second time, I didn’t attend for the first day of classes at PSD. My class schedule was in the morning (attending in the morning was lasted up to my fourth year high school).
- 1998 – I came on the first day of classes in the earliest date – June 1 for my fourth grade (Grade 4) elementary level at PSD. This was the time when newcomers became my new classmates. It was the first time to attend classes up to mid-afternoon and first time to have “solo flight” (unaccompanied) going home from school.
- 1999 – Attending at PSD for the fifth grade (Grade 5) where a “strict” teacher became my class adviser for a year.
- 2000 – Attending for the sixth grade (Grade 6) and final year in elementary at PSD. However, my former deaf “sweetheart” became my classmate which made me so troubled with her during the time.
- 2001 – Entering for the first year high school (freshmen) after elementary graduation at PSD. For the third time, I didn’t attend the first day of classes until the next day. This was the first time to have a full day class schedule (I usually arrived home from school after the sunset).
- 2002 – Entering for the second year high school (sophomore) at PSD. This was the most memorable during my high school days when my members of Tent & Co. were all my classmates in one section. We were 19 in one class section – the most during my high school times. The school opening was moved to the third Monday of June (which was June 17 – the latest in my school life).
- 2003 – Entering for the third year high school (junior) at PSD. However, my first days since the classes resumed faced with some controversies including my discovery of my deaf crush who later became a lesbian. The opening of classes was moved one week (June 8) due of SARS outbreak. This was my final full school year to study at PSD before becoming an exchange student in 2004 and transferring to other school a year later.
- 2004 – Attending for the first day of classes as entered for my fourth year high school (senior) at PSD. This was happened while my application for the exchange program was in process. However, attending for my first days of resuming classes was marred with controversies such as the “favoritism” of the teachers to “You-Know-Who”, my protest against my application for the exchange program, and the worst incidents happened in my school life. This was the worst school opening during my life in PSD (and in “Deaf World”). Unexpectedly, this was my last time to attend classes with my long-time deaf classmates (as well as my members of Tent & Co.) at PSD before I went to the United States for the exchange program.
In August 2004, I went to the U.S. to study at Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD) in Talladega for senior year high school as a part of the exchange program that I passed. However, I didn’t attend the first week of the classes at ASD due of attending the orientation with other exchange students in Washington, D.C. I attended classes at ASD (August 16) one week late after its classes resumed in second week of August.
Post-Deaf School Era:
Right after my experience in the U.S., I came home to continue my studies for fourth year high school (my graduation at ASD was not accredited due of exchange program). However, I didn’t go back PSD, but instead I was transferred to a non-deaf school in Laguna – International Montessori School (IMS). Because I only came back home on the first week of July 2005, I missed the first four or five weeks of classes (as well as the first day of school opening) at IMS after they’re resumed in June. I only attended my very first school day in IMS on July 11th (eventually my first day as a non-deaf student and in Post-Deaf School Era). This was the first time in my school life that I didn’t attend the first school day (or week) of resuming classes.
- 2006 – Two months after graduating high school at IMS, I attended my very first school day in college at Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Santa Rosa Campus (the second non-deaf institution that I attended). I studied for Information Technology (I.T.) course. I still remember on my first day at PUP-Sta. Rosa when I attended a wrong section which would be IT 1-1 and later I transferred to section 2 (known as IT 1-2) where a batch of freshmen students would become my classmates (most of them became my close classmates as well).
Trivia: I attended four different schools in a span of only two years from June 2004 to June 2006. I attended fourth year high school at PSD for only two months (June-July 2004) then ASD as a part of exchange program (August 2004-May 2005), IMS for my continuation in fourth year high school (July 2005-April 2006), and PUP-Sta. Rosa for my college education (began June 2006).
- 2007 – Attending for my sophomore year at PUP-Sta. Rosa. This was the most memorable for me during my college life.
- 2008 – Attending for my third (junior) year at PUP-Sta. Rosa. The school was now partially operated at Tiongco where the bungalow houses were converted into classrooms.
- 2009 – Attending for my fourth (and final) year at PUP-Sta. Rosa. However, my final college year was not so memorable for me because of these distractions – the “infamous” open forum of my group mates for our I.T. project (similar to thesis) and the controversy that I involved to my former crush and classmate (eventually her younger pretty sister was about to attend for her first year college making my security so tightened). This was the worst school opening that I ever had in Post-Deaf School Era.
Despite of these challenges during my college life (including the “infamous” controversy that occurred in February and November 2009), I was able to finish my studies on May 2010.
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This year’s school opening may be occurred in many schools – elementary and high school but not in most state colleges and universities because they are about to end their school year (or semester or whatever) in late May or early June after moving their school calendar (their classes will be resumed on August or later). (This was the reason why my long distance relationship was disbanded almost a year ago. Moving school calendar in college sucks!) This is a kind of confused though. I feel sorry for most college students who are about to have their vacation within rainy season while the others, especially non-college students, are about to go back to school after their summer vacation. And most graduating college students will be graduated lately by July instead of April or May!
Another thing, because June is already the start of rainy season (especially typhoons and flood prone areas), class suspensions will be usually happened. But the students are just fine as they have already done these for the past years.
And one more thing that most students will face this school year is the implementation of K-to-12 program where they attend their school from Kindergarten up to Grade 12 (adding two more school years before attending college). I don’t understand why the government needed this to improve our education system. I was lucky though because I had attended school up to fourth year high school (equivalent to present-day Grade 10) before college (except, of course, attending for the exchange program in the U.S. for a year).
I really miss being a student bonding with classmates and school friends, asking my parents for my school allowances, waking up so early for classes, having crushes at school (sadly, I never have college sweetheart), scolding from the teachers, tough challenges, sleepless nights of making a major project and the never-ending exams that I had faced before. Well, I’m so thankful right now because I’m already a hardworking career man as a graphic designer for almost 6 years after graduating college. And if ever I’ll have my own family in the future, I will teach and guide my children into their bright future.