I was chatting this afternoon trying to pass time promising myself not to sleep the whole afternoon so that I can sleep when it is time to sleep tonight. I was able to chat with a long time friend, Cathy, and made some realizations that I will be sharing in this blog entry.
The thing with Cathy is that we were classmates in Grade 1 as little children who did not know anything in the world. We then saw each other again in Dumaguete as College students. I just felt that the situation we had was serendipitous (is there such a word?) so that somehow became a factor that after sometime I could say that we became friends. I left for PMA the first time around got discharged, had a series of mishaps, went back to PMA and then we somehow reconnected through friendster. When we used to talk about things before, it was often our point of argument of who was the third honor award. I am very confident that I was the one and yet she insists that she is and tells me that she still has the ribbon with her. Chatting with her this afternoon, that became the jump off of our conversation.
For the two of us Grade one was like the last time we ever got an academic award. We advanced in school but we never really strived for good grades. I concluded that it maybe because we were validated early on as children with brains inside our head that growing up we did not find good grades as something that we should strive for. We just knew that we were not dumb. The memories of school came back inside my head and even now I still wonder how I passed subjects like Chemitry, Biology and even Filipino. When I took up Biology here in PMA I realized that I did not learn anything in Biology as a second year student then in Dumaguete. I remembered how it was so hard for me to study for Calculus as a yearling last year and how I just cried because I was afraid I was to be turned back or discharged if I will not be able to raise my grade. I had to make that hard effort to really study for my lessons and even feel weird while doing it because I spent the last, say, more than 10 years of my life in school without developing a study habit. In the final analysis, I learned that something was damaged to me when I got that honor back when Cathy and I were classmates (it doesn't matter now who got the third). Have I not exerted extra effort to repair that damage last year, I would have bade PMA goodbye. But the more important issue here is that are we really learning the things that are important because of the recognition given to us by other people? Are those who excelled in their academics later on the people who were not validated as little children such that they became imprisoned by this constant search of being acknowledged as someone who has the brains?
I am still trying to think about this matter and I do not have a conclusion. Maybe lessons in life are learned in different ways and that there is not clear cut formula. As Cathy would put "trying to be smart is not that smart thing to do." I guess each of us will learn the lessons of life in a way that is unique to us. The same experience may not have the same effect to another person. What we get out of every experience we have will only be according to how we percieve it. We may stumble and learn that we must change our ways but in the end life is a series of mishaps that could cause us to fail or be our building blocks to being successful at any endeavor we will go into.
Cathy left the chatroom after around 30 minutes. I logged in to blogger and typed this thought. Maybe just like the lesson I learned in receiving that still contested third honor, I will also learn a lesson or two even in conversations with another person from another part of the country. This time around, I think Cathy will not argue with me anymore.