The Terrible Teacher

Here and now you must know that Elsa has a teacher. Just like any ordinary schoolgirl, Elsa is under the tutelage of a pedagogue who is most concerned about the welfare and well being of all her students! The kind teacher always makes sure that all the students under her care are properly guided!

The school mistress likewise makes sure that she prepares her lessons well so that her students become well knowledgeable! She also treats her students with utmost love, care and understanding! The teacher does this specially to those students who shower her with costly gifts during Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, Foundation day anniversary, Linggo ng Wika, Nutrition month, English and Book week, United Nations Day, Halloween, Birthday and even during Rizal day bombing anniversary and Eid ul fitr!

Unfortunately this does not include Elsa! In as much as Elsa would like to buy her teacher some gifts, she could not just afford the teacher's taste! Once she bought one dozen of China manufactured ponytail with assorted colors as a present to her teacher but her teacher did not accept the ponytails because according to her it was bought for a song! The teacher even took a pair of big red scissors and shredded the multi colored ponytails into several pieces while Elsa looks on with a slight hint of tears at the corner of her right eye!

Anyway, our story in point of fact started on August 14 in the year when military destabilization was the monthly agenda of some selfishly motivated politician who were in cohorts with some members of the armed forces who have been grudging silently against a government who remunerated them meagerly reason for why they live their mortal life in extreme destituteness!
The same day was actually Elsa's birthday! Elsa was already at that age when girls would normally be looking forward to going home so that she could play with her doll. But do remember that, in Elsa's case of course this was not a possibility! One reason why this is not possible is because Elsa owns no doll. The dolls that she plays with are owned by her sisters. And two because Elsa does not go straight home from school! She still has to go to the gotohan in Binondo where she works and stay there up until past midnight. And once she arrives home, she still does the dishes, clean their house, does repairs, and serves her parents and three sisters and only after finishing all those household chores could she cop some z's.

Anyway, as I have said earlier, our story began on August 14. It was Elsa's birthday and it was a rainy day! It was also the day when Elsa was caught sleeping again inside the classroom for the 108th time!

Upon learning from the bootlicking class monitor that Elsa was again caught napping on her chair inside the classroom, the teacher, without asking for any explanation at all, got on the warpath and punished Elsa! The teacher kicked Elsa, dragged her out of the room and made the simple schoolgirl hunker down near the stinky john while carrying a heavy teacher's table! After 3 hours, the teacher called Elsa back inside the classroom and this time ordered Elsa to shine her jet black 3 inch stiletto! Still not contented, the teacher shoved Elsa hard on the wall then hit her face hard 4 times with a thick oxford dictionary wrapped in pink stationery! Then, severely scolded Elsa for what she called: "laziness" and "stupidity"! At this point the school mistress still has not even considered asking Elsa why she was slumberous inside the classroom!

Had the teacher asked Elsa the reason why she was lethargic, She would have found out the truth about Elsa's life! She would have learned that Elsa was multi employed, was working hard and barely had enough sleep every day. Something that a young girl shouldn't be experiencing! Anyway, there it was! Elsa was gravely castigated for sleeping inside the classroom on her birthday! Elsa did not however, complain despite it all. Elsa did not even feel bad that no one even remembered that it was her birthday. She just smiled, stared blankly on the wall and silently sang the happy birthday song to herself. She, with optimism, accepted the teacher's punishment and was in fact a bit happy that her teacher finally paid her attention!

Now allow me this opportunity to detour for a while and bring to your knowledge that, it was just a very normal thing for the teacher to ignore Elsa's presence! This is so evident during the start of the day. The teacher, who only has the heart to affluent kids and basically ignores those students who are financially challenged, would deliberately skip Elsa's name during the class roll call. The teacher also makes sure she doesn't include Elsa in any school programmes! She does not allow Elsa to join any extracurricular activities! Her reason for not allowing Elsa join school activities is that: "Elsa is poor"!

Let me also tell you about the time when Elsa joined the Teatro Club. It was actually Elsa's dream to become a stage actress. But when the teacher learned about her inclusion to the league from one of her favorite rich student, the teacher got really livid and told Elsa to bow out! She even threatened Elsa that if she doesn't quit the Teatro Club, she will flunk Elsa and would make her take summer classes! Elsa got frightened on the thought of failing and much more on the idea of taking summer classes! She could not afford to pay for summer classes and would want to use summer vacation as an opportunity to earn more money for her family. So the very next day, Elsa approached the Club adviser and despondently told her that she is bowing out! The Club adviser was saddened because she saw great potential in Elsa. She convinced Elsa to stay in the Club. But Elsa still insisted that she needs to leave. When the Club adviser asked Elsa the reason why she wanted to quit Elsa told her that she just wanted to follow her teacher's orders and she doesn't want to flunk and take summer classes. Upon learning these, the Club adviser told Elsa that she would talk and convince the teacher to allow her to stay with the Club.

Elsa thought that everything would be fine once the Club adviser talk with her teacher. But it only went from bad to worse because her teacher got awfully piqued. As a result the teacher yelled and humiliated the Club adviser in front of the class. Then, during recess, the teacher approached her while she was snacking on her three pieces of boiled kamote and sipping her unsweetened am under an amugis tree and blipped her two times! The teacher also pulled out a bente nueve and held this in front of Elsa's face while she threatens Elsa further saying: "Hey you dirt poor! Never ever join any league! You have no right to join one because you are flat broke! Empty handed girls like you has no right to be in a club! Much more to dream and have an ambition! Don't dream! They won’t ever come true anyway! Especially with a pauperized girl like out! Quit! Give up! Did I make myself clear?" Elsa was very shocked at what the teacher did and all that she could do was to nod and grief-strickenly utter: "Yes Ma'am."

And so, after that incident, Elsa gave up her dreams of becoming a stage actress someday. She also quit from the Teatro Club much to the Club adviser's disappointment. When the teacher learned about Elsa's decision to bow out from the club, she became very happy and even whistled to the tune of "Bongga ka day". She even gave her rich students plus five in their quiz that day! And from that day on, the teacher vowed never to include Elsa during any school activities! The teacher did not allow Elsa to participate in the school's feeding programme, flag ceremony, class monito-monita, and even during the class gardening! She just keeps Elsa inside the classroom and makes her clean! This by the way is one reason why the teacher still keeps Elsa in her class. The teacher permanently appointed Elsa as the cleaner! And, being as optimistic as ever, Elsa considered this as the teacher's way of showing her utmost love, care and understanding!

Now please forgive me if I already said so much! I hope that you understand that it is my obligation to narrate in full details the entire dossier pertaining to the life of Elsa. Also, I really have to tell you all those details about the teacher so that you'll get to know her more! So, picking up from where I ended and going back to the original story: After being severely scolded in front of the class, Elsa was ordered to clean the Music Room which was right next to their Classroom. What the teacher meant by "clean the Music Room" is: Elsa must get some matchbox from the school canteen, catch some spiders, keep the spiders in the matchbox, clear out the cobwebs, repair the broken roof, paint the cabinet, wax and scrub the floor with a bunot, polish the trumpets, wipe the dust out of the drums, tune the ukulele, and finally collect the trash from every classroom and dump these at the dump site across the street! The teacher did not even gave Elsa a chance to rest and eat her lunch of 2 pieces of fried galunggong and half a cup of rice which were wrapped in a transparent cellophane. Not eating lunch that day left Elsa lightheaded with hunger and fatigue!

While Elsa was busy cleaning the Music Room little did she knew that her teacher, who was busy in the other room preparing the report card of her class that day, accidentally discovered from the school records that it was her birthday. And so, when she went back to their classroom after cleaning the Music Room, the teacher was mysteriously clammed-up! Elsa was expecting her teacher to ululate at her and bemean her in front of the class. But, for some reason, the teacher did not say or do anything. This actually made Elsa feel more special. She thought that her teacher already loves her. Elsa felt more special when the teacher sweetly called her by her name and asked her to come near her. Elsa approached the teacher nervously. Then the teacher gently held Elsa's hand and in a hushed tone told Elsa: "Happy Birthday!"

Elsa could not believe what she heard! Her eyes brightened up and she smiled. When the teacher noticed Elsa smiling she harshly pulled Elsa close to her and whispered: "Foolish! Who told you to smile? Now go and buy me food! It's your birthday right? Hurry! Go! " Then she pushed Elsa so hard that Elsa fell flat on the floor. The class broke into laughter. But, Elsa just stood up, pretended that she didn't hear the laughing, and quietly left the room.

While walking away, Elsa felt warm tears cascading down her cheeks. But no! She was crying not because she felt humiliated. She was crying because her teacher greeted her happy birthday. And because of that, Elsa sacrificed her one week allowance of 5 pesos to buy her teacher a stick of Special Banana Cue from the vendor named Aling Doleh.

After purchasing the Special Banana cue, Elsa excitedly went back to their classroom. She was happy to sacrifice her money for her teacher. She was glad that she spent her money with someone who remembered her birthday. On her way back to her room, she was imagining that the moment she steps in, the whole class would be singing the Happy Birthday song to her. But sadly that did not happen. When Elsa arrived back at their classroom, the whole class was busy taking an exam. No one even noticed that she came back. No one except her teacher!

The teacher was already waiting at the door when Elsa arrived back with the Special Banana Cue. When Elsa gave the food to the teacher, the teacher instead of saying thanks, even knocked Elsa's head seven times with a broom! Then in an angry but hushed voice the teacher said: "You ungrateful moneyless child! Why only this? Why didn't you buy me Goldilocks Black Forest Cake and Rocky Road Selecta Ice Cream? Why only this cheap deep fried sugared banana on stick? I deserve something better! Now run and buy me Sago't Gulaman!" Elsa, with eyes fixed on the ground, nervously said: "Ma'am, I have no more money". Upon hearing what Elsa said, the teacher tightly grabbed Elsa's arms with one hand while holding the Special Banana Cue with another hand. Then she dragged Elsa back inside the classroom and pushed her near the desk.
Then the teacher threw a manicure set at Elsa and ordered the simple schoolgirl to give her manicure and pedicure.

Elsa obliged. But let me point out that while this was happening, it was already past 3:07 PM. Elsa was already very tired, very sleepy, and very hungry! And so, as a result, she mistakenly pulled out the teacher's toenail instead of the ingrown! This caused the teacher to shriek in pain! The class who was at that time taking an exam, thought that the teacher was just vocalizing and so they stood up, clapped, and gave the teacher a standing ovation! Elsa, not realizing her chafe, was surprised when the teacher suddenly screamed and so she accidentally poured the Merthiolate on the teacher's murdered toenail! Making the teacher scream even louder and making the class applauded even louder as well! Elsa, still very much dizzy, thought that the reason why the class was euphoric was because she did a magnificent job at giving the teacher manicure and pedicure. So, Elsa stood up and curtsied in front of the class. The teacher, seeing Elsa seemingly unmindful of what happened, got greatly enraged! And so, she dragged Elsa out of the room and ordered her to clean the Science laboratory! The teacher wanted to kick Elsa but she was in so much pain that she forgot about it. She wanted to hit Elsa's head with the broom but she forgot about it as well! She wanted to slap Elsa but she forgot about it too!

Elsa was only able to realize her mistake when she noticed her teacher limping and when she noticed spots of blood on her white uniform. And so, she hurriedly cleaned up the very dusty Science laboratory. After she was done cleaning she hurriedly went back to their room, intending to say sorry to her teacher right away. When she went back inside their room, Elsa noticed that her classmates were still taking an exam and they were very quiet. Her teacher was also quiet and doesn't seem angry anymore. Elsa considered this a sign that she was already forgiven. But little did she know that the real reason why the teacher seems forgiving was because the teacher took 5 tablets of antibiotic making her groggy. Had the teacher been in her normal sense, she would have beaten up Elsa!

After class at around 6:28 PM, Elsa stayed on as usual to clean the room. Elsa was already expecting her teacher to hurt her or to scold her but the teacher didn't! In fact, the teacher just ordered Elsa to clean up the chalk board then instructed Elsa further to smear the chalk dust all over her body as punishment! Elsa considered this another sign that her teacher has forgiven her already. Elsa still doesn't have a clue that the teacher was just overdosed with antibiotic!
Before Elsa could even leave her classroom, it started to drizzle! Elsa rushed at the school garden to get a San Fernando leaf that she could use as an umbrella. After choosing the biggest one, Elsa sped her way out of the school to go to the gotohan in Binondo so that she could finish off her obligations there. As Elsa started too sped off, she noticed that it has become muddy due to the drizzle. So, she took off her yellow slippers with Betty Boop design and carefully placed it in her bag. Then the rain started to pour heavily. Her San Fernando leaf umbrella could no longer protect her from the rain. The rain continued to pour down heavily and this time there was thunder and lightning! Elsa continued to walk. She must get to the gotohan. She doesn't want to lose part of her salary. Thunder continued to clap and lighting continued to strike! Until a generator got hit causing power outage! Now it was dark! But Elsa needed to go to the gotohan. So, despite the rain, the mud, and the darkness, Elsa continued to walk along going to the gotohan.

Suddenly, out of nowhere Aling Doleh the Banana Cue vendor came into view. Then a lightning strike at the background. The sudden flash of light allowed Aling Doleh to make out an apparition of what seem to be a ghost! A girl whose skin is greatly ashen, dirty, and with blood all over her body! The eidolic sight caused Aling Doleh to get a heart attack! Aling Doleh collapsed and fell straight into a shallow but filthy aqueduct. At the very same instance that Aling Doleh fell into the gutter, the teacher was also limpingly walking by! As Aling Doleh fell into the culvert, filthy water splashed all over. Some of these bacteria carrying water soaked the teacher's murdered toenail. The teacher, after getting wet with the polluted water screamed with pain and anger! Then another lightning strike! The temporary illumination caused by the lightning allowed the teacher to make out Elsa's figure! The incident along the muddy road on that rainy night saw two people being rushed to the nearby public hospital. Aling Doleh was confined for cardiac arrest and the teacher...for leptospirosis!

The next morning, news spread like wildfire! And as the story is passed from one loquacious mouth to another, it was no surprise that an ant hill eventually became a mountain!

Poor Elsa, without due process and on the basis of hearsays, she was expelled from school the next day for allegedly murdering a teacher...and a vendor!

Oh! By the way, I almost forgot to mention the name of the Terrible Teacher who has the reputation of being a mentor to the rich and a tormentor to the poor! Forgive me! Anyway, the teacher's name is: Mrs. Clarita D. Castor!

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth." - Dan Rather

1 Comment:

  1. Adnos Uyañe Plein said...
    The Terrible Teacher was published on the last week of August 2009. All original comments from Readers were lost on June 2010.

    This episode was written when I was still residing at Proj. 3 in Quezon City Philippines!

    I have met many Terrible Teachers! Have you met one too?

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