Do you ever wonder what teachers do in their free time? What they eat, who they talk to, what sort of activities they actually take interest in (Besides studying, teaching or learning.). I mean, to students, they’re just the people who annoy the heck out of us by barraging into our heads a lot of things we don’t really care about. To students, they’re practically nobody.

They’re not friends, not matter what they say. They’re not the people we tell our secrets to., no matter how much they tell us that we can talk to them about anything. They’re not the people who we can genuinely laugh out loud with… simply because they’re our teachers. There’s only one or two out there that would actually be someone a student would feel be worth stopping to talk to and spend some time with, y’know, just hang out.

But then, it makes me wonder, do teacher’s think the same way? Do teachers think about what their students do when they’re not studying? What they take interest in? What makes them laugh?

Having hundreds of students, I don’t think they do. Having hundreds of students, I think teachers never really 100% mean it when they say, “You can talk to me anytime.”. To teachers, students are just the people they barrage a lot of things they probably don’t really care about. To teachers, students are practically nobody, too.

Do teachers think that there’s only one or two students out there that they feel is worth stopping to talk to and spend time with? If a student smiles at a teacher and hugs her, does the teacher consider her to be a friend already? Not a mere acquaintance, but a friend? Do you ever wonder if the teachers celebrate friendship day? When they’re at the faculty, do they exchange gifts? When they’re at the faculty, do they talk about retarded stuff and laugh about it?

Come to think of it, what do teachers find funny when they’re with other teachers? Do they make fun of students and laugh at them the way some students do? Do teachers blog or rant about their life to the internet or to other teachers? I wonder how many of them have a life outside the teaching business. Huh. Why do you think it’s so weird when a student sees a teacher in the mall?

I wonder what they think about when they figure out they’ve built a reputation of being the teacher everyone hates and fears. Do they really care about what the students think of them? Is it a, “As long as I do my job properly, I don’t care what they think.” kind of thing? Teachers are just so hate-able to students.

I wonder how many teachers whole-heartedly mean it when they say that the satisfaction of knowing that their student has grown to be a successful person is enough retribution for all the hardships they’ve gone through as teachers.

An atheist is someone, to put it rather broadly/bluntly, who doesn’t believe in the existence of a supreme being. In other words, God. I know two people who are atheists. More of acquaintances but less than actual friends. A little while ago, I had a chat, a sort of interview with one of them -the one I’m a bit closer to.

Male, fifteen years old, studying in a Catholic school.

The first thing I asked was, “What’s it like being an atheist?” I now realize that maybe I put it a bit too directly but he didn’t seem to mind.

He answered, “It’s not all that’s cracked up to be.”

I asked him stuff like, if he chose to be an atheist and he answered that people can’t force you to be an atheist, but then I replied, “But isn’t it sort of like having religion? I mean, for now, our religion is being forced unto us because we’re not of age yet. Isn’t it the same thing?”

He just shrugged.

And everything sort of started from there. Denise joined me after hearing his answer. I asked why he didn’t believe in a supreme being and he said, “Give me an example of something you define your God to be.” or something close to that.

Denise said, “God is good.”

He said, “If he is good, then why does he create all this war? This pain? This suffering?”

I said, “If we didn’t have troubles, life would be boring.”

Denise said, “People learn through their suffering.”

Then he brought up another issue. “God gave us free will and yet he says that everything is according to his will…”

I finished his thought by saying, “Then what’s the point of giving us free will in the first place?”

He nodded in agreement.

Denise then said, “God gave us a choice.”

But then I said, “If God gave us a choice and yet he says that he knows everything already, then why bother giving us that choice in the first place?”

I thought, Why give us the choice when the outcome is something he planned anyway?

It was a rather enlightening talk. I asked him, “What if it was in God’s plan to make you an atheist?”

He answered something I’d forgotten but then he said something that ended with this, “…because He doesn’t exist!”

Somehow, it didn’t disturb as much as it probably should. Maybe because I knew He did exist. For my friend to say something like that without hesitation, and with such passion made me think. How many people do you see going around telling people, “I believe in God.”?

Then I asked him, “If you don’t believe in God, what do you believe in?”

When he didn’t answer, I said, “Since God is everything and you don’t believe in him then that means you believe in nothing.”

Denise said, “That’s sad…”

He then repeated, “Well, being an atheist isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.”

Jebbie came somewhere in the middle and started asking questions, too like, “Why don’t you try believing in him?”

He answered every question and I sort of admired him for having the courage to believe in not believing. I wonder if it’s easier to believe in nothing than to believe in something. Atheists compared to Catholics, who has a greater faith? The atheists who put all their faith in believing there is no God or the Catholics who put all their faith in believing in a God they haven’t seen? I’m going to end here because religion isn’t really a topic I’d like to discuss. Especially this because mainly, I believe that there is a God and I believe that what he does, he does because he loves us.

My friend, being the opinionated person he is… I wonder if he’s lonely.

Tell me, what do you believe in?

Sweet, Sweet Irony

September 7, 2008

IRONY just loves to barge in when we least expect it. It just seems to walk hand-in-hand with Murphy’s Law. It feeds off the thoughts of the pessimists as it craves attention from everything and everyone else until we’re all walking around with dark clouds over our heads.

“God, what did I do wrong?!

I, for one, would like to focus on these particular scenarios:

  • A teenager going through a difficult time in his/her life says, “My parents are never there. They don’t know anything. I wish they’d pay a bit more attention to me.”
  • Teenager gets in trouble. He’s failing a subject. She’s the laughing stock of the whole school. He got into a fight.
  • Parent finds out. Parent lectures him for hours. “When I was your age…”. Mother tells her to ignore the taunts. Father yells at him which makes him even madder.
  • They’re FINALLY paying attention to the teenager.

But did he/she want his/her parents knowing and intervening? -most of the time, they don’t. Whatever happened to “I wish they’d pay a bit more attention to me.“?

  • How ironic is it that when kids need the most attention, the most care and comforting, they push away the ones who can actually give the care and comfort they need -the parents?
  • How ironic is it that when the parents actually start paying attention to the kid, that’s when the kid doesn’t want the attention?

Whose fault is it? The parents’? or the kid’s?

There are many reasons why kids never tell their parents anything. The reasons, in a nutshell, usually mean, “They’ll never understand. So why bother?”. See, that’s the thing. For parents TO UNDERSTAND, you have to TELL THEM. You have to explain to them the severity of whatever tragedy you might be going through. They wouldn’t know. Times have changed. Drastically so, I might add.

How do you expect them to understand when they don’t know what they’re supposed to be understanding?

But then, the problem doesn’t always lie with the child.

Many parents have a one-track mind. I don’t want to assume anything. I’m just guessing from what I’ve observed. When a child gets a low grade in the report card, he is immediately terrified of showing it to his parents. Why? Because most parents think that:

Report Card=Ultima My-Child’s-School-Status-Report.

Although the report card is a very accurate way of knowing what is going on when your kid is at school, it’s not JUST THAT. Your child is failing math. The end. That’s it. He needs a tutor because he just doesn’t get it. NO. WAIT. ASK FIRST. WHY are you failing math?

This is the second thing I’d like to point out from my observations. Many adults seem to like to assume things. I’m not saying that they always jump into conclusions it’s just that sometimes, because of their age, because of their authority, because they’re our parents, almost EVERYTHING they say is right and final.

It’s already become a classic to hear the line, “…Because I’m an ADULT.

When your head is constantly hurting and you’re a bookworm, parents say, “You need glasses.” and they rant on how you just LOVE to read in dark places/under dim lighting or read while lying down, but then you never do. You don’t tell them that you lie awake every night in your bed. You can’t get to sleep, thinking about something that’s deeply troubling you. You’re afraid to tell them because you think they’re going to ask, “What’s troubling you?”. You’d rather you go all the way to buy a pair of glasses for someone with 20/20 vision.

This is another problem with kids. They’re always afraid to say something, always afraid to confess what’s really happening in their lives. They just have to be tragically misunderstood even if they bring it upon themselves -unintentionally or not. They just don’t trust parents with the secrets of modern teenhood because parents are the most influential of all adults. They have the power to alter reality for kids and shape the world in a way that they’d like their children to live in. That is what the kids are afraid of. It’s either:

They say something and a dramatic change happens.

or

They say something and nothing happens. The fact that they know anyway just creates this barrier of total awkwardness between them.

And the reason kids are afraid is because parents just don’t get it. Many members of the adult population just don’t understand. I’ve already said it. They even point it out themselves.

When I was your age...”

That’s it. They just don’t want to listen. They don’t want to understand. They just don’t comprehend the fact that it’s different now. Just because they’ve gone through the kid stage doesn’t mean they’ve got it all figured out. Just because the adults have been kids before doesn’t mean they’ve experienced all there is to being a kid because face it -you’re not kids anymore. You’ve got the wisdom that comes with age, we know that but just think about how limited that wisdom still is. Have you ever seen a teenager rant to his parents? Have you ever seen a kid and his parents watch anime together?

Embrace the differences. You don’t have to like it but you could at least experience it for the sake of getting closer with your kids. There’s nothing to lose. Stop living in the past. Hold on to it but not so much that you forget that there’s a future.

IRONY just loves to barge in when we least expect it, but that’s what makes life just a little bit more interesting. Just think about how you can take something that creates such a negative effect and turn it into something you can laugh at not only with friends but both as parents with your children and as children with your parents. Loosen up. Learn to accept. LIVE.