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The Who-You Situation

Erick and I went to see Kobe at lunchtime. The latter was confined yesterday at the Mediatrix Hospital for severe tummy ache.

He’s alright now. He just text-ed me that the ultrasound revealed nothing the doctors found significant. Naimpatso lang siguroNagdadalang-poo…

But this is not really about him. On the way out of the hospital, there was this lady doctor in scrubs who was trying to catch my eye. I thought it polite to look at her and give her a smile…

“Good afternoon …” she greeted me. “Good afternoon…” I greeted back, all the while trying to match the face to a name.

Database failure…

“Kilala mo ‘yung babae?” I asked Erick as we walked out to the parking lot.

“Estudyante n’yo ‘yun Sir!” he replied, incredulous.

In my head, I was thinking, how can you possibly be so sure? Kung ako ngâ, hindî

God knows I get into these who-you situations often enough. It’s a syndrome associated with the teaching profession.

By my estimate, at least four thousand students were under me during my teaching years, either as students in my History class or those under my care when I was in the Discipline Office.

Surprisingly, I tend to remember students from the earliest years more than I do those from the latter years. Either the data was written in sectors more accessible for recall or teaching was still such a novelty experience-wise that the students of those years left a more lasting impression.

Of course, the images etched in my head are those of pimply teenagers, which can be problematical if I meet my students for the first time in years. They DO tend to morph into something else after graduation from high school.

“Si Sir! Hindi na ako kilala!” is a common complaint. Alangan naman

I rather tend to remember the guys more. Unless they lose their hair, even if they gain weight – as they invariably tend to do – the facial features remain basically the same.

No so with the girls. They do learn to pluck their eyebrows… color their faces with all sorts of cosmetics… style their hair a thousand ways…

Kayâ naman when I bump into them years later, like that doctor this afternoon… Wonder why nobody has yet invented a device that can store images of people’s faces and age them at the touch of a button…???

[This story was first published on Facebook on 27 October 2008.]
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