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Loose Vowel Movement


Because the college lads are busy with their midterms, there is time this week to work more comprehensively with the youngsters in the high school team. Today, I gave the lads a patient step-by-step introduction to the fine art of finishing.

“When in the box,” I began, “while power in shooting has its merits, it is ultimately more productive to place the ball far from the reach of goalkeepers.”

“The tendency with young players,” I said, “is to shoot at the goalkeeper because that is the target the eyes, and consequently the brain, recognize.” Quick look at the faces to see if anyone was not paying attention.

“You must learn early,” I finished, “to recognize the spaces, not the body in the middle of the goal.”

The ensuing drill was relatively simple. I had the goalkeeper, Aaron, stand in the middle. I stood just to the inside of the left post, and asked Henry to stand to the inside of the right.

“Pass the ball to either one of us,” was the instruction. The idea was to get the lads used to the passing to targets close to each post before eventually moving away when the lads caught on.

Now, of course, once we moved away – i.e. the visual target was removed – the “passing” invariably ended up in the hands of the goalkeeper.

“Ay!” was the expletive each time somebody shot at the ‘keeper. “Wow,” was my typically caustic remark, “the vowels keep coming.”

“Ano nga ga ang vowel?” Aaron uttered with an embarrased grin, instantly drawing a shame-on-you from me. Aba’y Level 9 na ang lintek!

“’Yun ‘yung sa loose vowel movement!” was my silly rejoinder. I dunno… When in the company of adolescents, I can be just as inane.

That quip reminded me of one day when I was a Year Level Moderator back in the eighties or the early nineties – too long ago to remember exactly when – when a senior returning from a day’s absence came to the office to get an Admit Pass. “Please excuse my son for missing classes because he had loose vowel movement.”

Written by the senior himself, I was in no doubt, and signed without reading by one of his parent. I don’t exactly remember how I reacted, but I know myself only too well to know that that senior would not have left my office without a right proper roasting.

Loose vowel pala, ha

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