So long, Maestro

robert caluya

JUNE 3- Opening of classes. Mr. Robert C. Caluya must by then, as he usually does at that time of the year, be very busy checking his class list, meeting new students, making sure everything is in order for another productive school year.

But no, he will, on June 3, be sitting on a plane for a seven-hour flight to the World Down Under to join his siblings there. He took a leave of absence from work for six months, whatever that means.

While sadness fills my heart and that of many because of this news of yet another genius leaving, a sense of gratitude seems more apt, for there is really so much we should thank Sir Robert for. He who has given so much. He whose generosity and foresight can be seen in the vast sea of talents he has nurtured. His former trainees—including Hawaii-based Randy Leaño and the Cabrales twins Sherberk and Sherween—have also made names in their respective fields. His friends—including INCAT dance guru Noli Joaquin and The Ilocos Times Managing Editor Mitch Esmino whose association with the Maestro dates back to youth—attest to his caring and loving nature. Continue reading “So long, Maestro”

A teacher’s strange frustration

It’s a crazy feeling.. when you trained a student well, saw in him a lot of potential, believed that he is well-empowered to make a difference out there where the real action is, and actually felt excited on what and how he can contribute to humanity… but you suddenly see him in the hallway applying to be, just like you, a teacher.. right away.. fresh from graduation.. the rented toga still bearing sweat marks.

But doesn’t the world outside have greater need for good men and women? Not that I am saying we don’t need brilliant persons to be teachers. Not that I am saying teaching is of little worth (of course, not!). And not that I am minding the career plans of others more than I should (or maybe, I am). It’s just that, except for education graduates who are really meant to teach, you have a lot of good career options out there if you are really brilliant. And, if you end up wanting to be a teacher just because you’ve got no good options, all the more you should not be a teacher.. for no way should losers teach our kids. And the worst kind of losers are those who have not even tried enough, or at all.

Better to see the world, battle in the jungle, get bruised and struggle, gain some texture, determine what among those we teachers have taught you are real and what are lies and exaggerations. Then, if you still want to be a teacher.. good!

No offense meant. I know some who were fresh graduates when they joined the academe, and they eventually became excellent teachers, real treasures. I have respect for them. Just some random musings of this teacher too eager to see the youth make their mark elsewhere only to see them again in the same spaces where we all dreamed together.