Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Subject Matter: Job Description

I was having lunch when one of my colleagues [who was browsing on her iPhone] shared what she just read on her email...  The Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre. All of us having lunch that time was just appalled by the sad news. As people who work in an educational institution, we all thought that it was just another horrible news. I thought wrong.
Then, it was time to play teacher again. I went back in the classroom and forgotten all about the news. I had a duty to carry on - to watch the little ones play in the school playground before they go to their respective "special" classes. It was one fine cloudless afternoon but seasonably chilly day... and hundreds of miles away from Newtown Connecticut.
The day went on and my kids spent the last hour of the day at the computer lab. After I put the kid the I am working with in the bus it was then time for my next job - the Before and After Care. And the day went on just like any other day but with fewer kids checked in.
We went outside and play. The news about the massacre totally escaped me until one of the parents who came to pick up his child told me about it again. I just gave him a nod and that was all about it.

It wasn't until I was home and watching TV when I fully understood everything. And it was not until I saw the pictures of those little ones being flashed on our TV set that the whole scenario sank in.
I was crying the whole time I was watching TV and I choked up a couple of times when I tried to hold back the tears. It was not a sad news... it is a gruesome and dreadful news that even for someone who has no child of its own like me can't take because it was too much to take in.


I work in the classroom again. Yes, after 3 years of being an out-of-school teacher, I am back. This is actually my 2nd year as a part-time Educational Technician. Though I am not a full-pledged teacher I am happy that I finally get my feet back in the 4-corners of the classroom and working with the children in a school setting again. It's totally the extreme opposite of what I am used to but the feeling is the same.
I work in the Kindergarten classroom now. As compared to what I was used to 15 years back, it may be a little bit different but the excitement is the same. The stress and the pressure is the same. And the non-monetary rewards and benefits are the same. But this is not about my new-found happiness of being in the classroom. It is about my job description as an educator.
As an educator, it is in my basic job description to educate, nurture, mold and help children to achieve their full potential, make good choices and be responsible citizens. But beyond that, I know also that my it is my job to protect them from harm be it physically, mentally, morally and psychologically, as well.
After an entire weekend of TV shows all dedicated to the fateful event in Newtown, Connecticut I finally stopped and reflected. What would I do if I was confronted with the same. I had to admit I had goosebumps as of this writing just thinking about it because I work with kids of the same age group... 6 and 7 in Mrs. Roberts' Kindergarten Class. And to think that Room 36 is the first classroom when you enter the door, the more I feel horrible.
That unthinkable event could happen anywhere. It could happen anytime. It may not be in the classroom. It could be in the playground. The possibility is scary. I am a teacher and I am sure will die as one but hopefully not in the same manner as the 6 other victims of the massacre. But then, I most probably do the same thing that Victoria Soto did if I was in her shoes - shield my children with my own body from the bullets of the gunman... not because I have no choice but because I wouldn't know how to confront the parents of my children under my care with a question - what did you do to protect my child?
It may not be literally written in my job description "to die for my students" but I'm sure any teacher will sacrifice her life for the sake of her student. It may be the most heroic thing to do but I believe no teacher will do anything heroic just for the sake of being a hero but for the love of her students. And I believe that it is possible for any teacher to do everything in her power to save her students from harm because it is in her DNA.

To all the Victims of The Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre... my prayers and thoughts are with you and your families.

To all the Heroes of the Fateful Event, my prayers and thoughts go with you as well. I am sure that your teachers are so proud of you all for living the lessons you learned from them.

To all my Students... former and present... thank you for the opportunities you gave me to be a part of your education and life learning experiences.

* Ruthi Orona-Gregoire

Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Success 101: The LNHS Teachers

My summer vacation in the Philippines is not complete without visiting the school where I taught for 11 long years.

My life as a teacher is not complete without the help of all my colleagues who have been part and parcel of my professional life.

They are one of those people who inspire me in so many ways. Their dedication as educators is unparalleled. Their hard work and perseverance to promote quality education is unequaled. And their selfless devotion to mold the youth is noble.

As a former educator, I am proud to be a part of the Liliw National High School community where I didn't just teach lessons to students but where I learned basic lessons in life both from the students and my colleagues alike.

To all of my former Co-Teachers in Liliw National High School... thank you.


Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Subject Matter: The Class Reunion

Class Reunions are both happy and sad occasions. It is one special event in a student's life that he looks forward to  after graduation. Most always than not, it is the most awaited moment in a student's life that he plans to either attend or avoid. And yes, it is one event where a student reunite with his former classmates to walk down memory lane created during those days when they were still young and stupid! LOL
The Venusians - 30 years after and moving on.

Last summer I attended our 30th High School Reunion in the Philippines. Yes, you heard it right 30th years! After 30 loooonnnnnggggg years it was wonderful to see old friends and classmates again.

The Class after the Thanksgiving Mass
The Boys
 The Girls
The Venusians 81-82

After 30 years... we were able to catch up and touch base and pick up where we left off.

After 30 years... we ate and drank and feasted during our special day of togetherness.
The Feast.
The boys enjoying the food.
 The girls enjoying the drink????
After 30 years... we danced and sang and had fun like we used to 30 plus years ago.
Having fun.
Maila singing an old favorite song while the rest of the classmates crooning in the background.
Ballroom dancing with Peter.
 Dancing to the music of the VST and Co.

After 30 years... we cheered for the good old days and the happy experiences we shared together.
Cheers to the Good Old Days!
 Cheers to those who did not make it. You guys are truly missed.

After 30 years... we bonded with good old friends who despite the 30 years gap of absence, we remained friends.

After 30 years... we see again our former teachers who are responsible for part of who we are now as a person.

Ms. Veridiano giving a speech.
Mr. Reveche jamming with Xavier.

And after 30 years... we still partied like there was no tomorrow.
Joel's Angels dancing to the tune of Justin Bieber's Baby, Baby
The Classmates dancing in circle.

Class Reunions are always happy occasions that students should look forward to - to remind them of their roots... their accomplishment... and their long friendship with people who became part and parcel of their lives.
The 5 Stars minus 2.
With my 2 partners in crime... HS Sweethearts Allan and Aida.
The 5 Stars again.
With the "Last Trip" Girls.
With my Daddy Bertille and Mommy Chona.

And Class Reunions are occasions where you just want to experience belongingness all over again.

An Open Letter to the Venusians Class 81-82

Dear Classmates,

Thank you for all the happy and not so happy memories we shared together. Thank you for all the good and not so good times we will remember forever. And most of all thank you for the friendship that I will treasure for as long as I live.

It was indeed a blessing that after 30 years, we were able to see each other again and walk down memory lane. Looking back, it was indeed great to reminisce the past with new perspective and attitude. And yes, it was such a wonderful experience to do some of the things we used to love doing back then.

30 years - what a number! It seems only yesterday when we were making impact on each other's lives. 30 years had passed and here we are - nothing has changed. We are still the same people we used to know but a lot wiser... much smarter and more tamed. wink*

After 30 years, we meet again with different stories to tell. We all achieved big and small things in our own special and different ways but we all remained grounded and humble of our own achievements.

After 30 years, we still know how to party and we partied like we were 30 years younger. LOL. Those who never had the courage to even stand on the dance floor 30 years ago, were the ones who never left the dance floor that night. Oh what a wonderful sight.

And after 30 years, those who were friends are still friends and going strong. And I know deep in my heart that we have something to cherish as we move forward to another 30 years.

To those who did not make it... it was not the same without you. We truly missed you guys. But even if you guys were not there, you all remained in our thoughts and prayers. And we are hopeful that on the next reunion, you will be able to join us then.

To those who master-minded and spear-headed the event... you guys rock! Kudos to all of you. Your hard work, generosity [with your time and effort] and your unequaled dedication are well appreciated. Our 30th HS Reunion will not be a success without your blood, sweat and tears. Thank you for your sacrifices.

To those generous sponsors who gave more than what we expect - you guys are awesome! Thank you for your big heart and big love for the Venusians. Thank you for sharing so much. Next time again? wink***

To our former teachers, Mr. Reveche and Ms. Veridiano - you both are wonderful. Thanks for coming and sharing this wonderful occasion with us. Thank you for the lessons in life and for molding us. Hope that you will be there again on our next reunion.

And to all my classmates - you guys are the best! I will never ever forget you. Love you all. See you in our 50th Birthday Reunion.


Ruthilicious... absent in the Classroom, present in the Chatroom. She blogs when she is NOT Facebooking doing chores and she blogs while she is ALSO Facebooking doing chores.

To read more about her Teaching-Learning Experience... Click HERE.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

On Giving

"Jesus sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.” - Mark 12:41–44 

 Christmas is just around the corner. It's time again for love and giving.
Giving is a "big" word for someone who is deprived of things as basic as food.
Giving is a "huge" concept for someone who is denied of justice.
And giving is a "monumental" idea for someone who is disputed of his rights.
Blessed are those who despite of being hungry can share whatever he has in his plate.
Blessed are those who in spite of  being wrongly accused can forgive his accuser.
And blessed are those who after being stripped of his right can love without reservation.
Love is present in giving.
You can give without love but you cannot love without giving.
A giving heart is burning with love.
For those who give for the sake of giving... a less love is received.
For those who give out of love... love is over-flowing.
And for those who give and who love... they are blessed and loved.
Let us love and give.
Let us give love.
And let us be grateful of the love that we are given.

- Ruthi Orona-Gregoire

------------------------------Spiritual Musing Sunday-------------------------------

Lord, create in me
a giving and loving

Friday, November 9, 2012

My Bestfriend's Wedding

Wedding is always a happy occasion. I love weddings because they always bring out the best in the people. Weddings bring families, friends and well-wishers together to celebrate the special event with the loving couple.
I spent my summer in the Philippines this year. It was nice to be back home after 5 long years of being away from family and friends. Consequently, this year one of my BFFs finally decided to tie the knot. And since I came home without anyone knowing about it [except for 4 people], my visit came as a surprise to my friend Tess. The meeting brought back the "drama queens" in us. LOL.
I have known Tess for as long as I can remember and we have been friends for more than half of my life. She is one of the closest people who know me inside-out. She knows my weaknesses and my strengths. She rejoices with my achievement and cheers me up when I fail. And more importantly, she was there at my side when my Dad passed away giving me not only sympathy but moral support I needed during that time. She grieved and cried with my lost. She is one of the sisters I never had.
When I left and married the love of my life, I left with hope in my heart that someday, Tess will soon find her Prince Charming or the Frog just like I did. [By the way, I found my Charming Frog with my BFFs' great influence on my decision-making process, LOL]
And after 4 long years of waiting and hoping and praying [not necessarily in that order] she found Richard. The only man she vowed to spend the rest of her life with.
They finally got married last July 28th and I was there to witness her happiness.
With Richard and Bless our other BFF.

I was there to share her special moment that we both prayed hard for.

An Open Letter to my BFF

Dear Tess,

Congratulations and Best Wishes. May God bless you both with a relationship as strong as your belief in the goodness of people... with loyalty as firm as our friendship and with trust as unshakable as your faith in God.

I want you to know that I am so happy for you that you finally found "the right guy" that you, Bless and me thought is either illusive or just urban legend. LOl. God is good as you always say and believe. And he never fails. He finally granted and answered your prayer. May He continue to bless your relationship and keep you both healthy, strong and in-love.

Thank you for the friendship Tess. There was not a day that I thought about you when I left. There was not a moment that I hoped that you finally find someone to grow old with. And there was not a day that I dreamed that someday I will be there to witness your wedding. And God is good... I was there to celebrate this wonderful moment in your life.

And as we continue to lead our separated lives, I want you and Bless to know that no matter how far away I am I will keep you and Bless in my thoughts and prayer.

I love you. Stay happy my friend.


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