Thursday, June 26, 2008

Grade Six - New School Again

Dear insansapinas,

Grade 6 - New school, new classmates and new teachers. I danced the Havanera de jovencita

The new home was an hour ride from Manila. My father was provided with housing facility and car service.

I was a late enrollee again. My form something something had to be submitted to the
Registrar’s office.

My name was foreign sounding so that every time my teacher called my name in the roll, the class was thinking if if I were a foreigner. There were many pupils in the class whose last names were Smith, Johnson and etc. They were disappointed to see an olive skinned girl with a pigtail sitting at the back, after I was officially admitted in the sixth grade.

They were speaking a dialect which I could not understand. The girls would not talk to me. As if we were always in a retreat which was a requirement in that Catholic school. No talk.

During a school celebration, everyone was required to participate. No selected dancers to form a group. The whole class was the group including other sections. The costume for the dance was expensive. It was a Maria Clara. My mom could have sewn it for me but the PE teacher said that we were going to have it made by a seamstress she commissioned to do all the costumes for the dances. My mom said that she smelled a big commission. I did not understand what she meant. The teacher said that we can wear the costume with just a little alteration for our graduation dress. It was made from white lace and silk fabrics. Who would wear a llong or abbreviated Maria Clara in a graduation? I was wrong, there were many.

Miracle of miracles, I was always number one in the honor roll. The lessons were already taught in grade 4 where I came from. At the end of the SY, I was a candidate for valedictorian except that I lacked the residence. My mother tried to appeal but the son of the grade five school teacher got the top honor. The teacher was the one who approached me before the deliberation . With arched eyebrow, he gave me that so-you-are-the-girl-who-wants-to-grab-the- honor-from-my-son look. The son was the crush of the "campus". He's intelligent and good-looking. I too had a crush on him but his character turned me off.He's conceited.

I promised my dad that he would pin me the medal. It had been years when he did it when I was in grade three. I got only the third honor. I felt sad and disappointed. I hated the Maria Clara costume.

My mom went to my cousin in the City. She was the seamstress of the stars. She sewed me a graduation dress that was beautiful. That was a graduation gift for me. I could not wait for the graduation. It lifted my spirit. Babaw ko.

But wait, the cashier's office would not give me a clearance. The notice said that I still owed a month's tuition fee. My mom was pissed. She gathered all her receipts for the tuition fee payments and rushed to the cashier's office. She was late. The cashier was already handcuffed. He had been overcharging the parents. The tuition that was supposed to be included in the first payment was still
added to the final assessment. He thought that the parents were too busy to notice and would be paying pronto every periodic examination so that the kids would get the test permit without hassle.
Kasinpangit ng ugali niya ang mukha niya.


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