After weeks of hardwork, practices with the students, polishing the movement on stage, stapling hundreds of programs and mass guides, it is finally over.
I somewhat predicted that I would cry on my students' graduation ceremonies. But I can't help running around during the whole cermony to make sure people are doing their jobs right. I am such an obssessive-compuslive (OC). I can't bear seeing dull moments. I want everything in order and at the right pace for the 1st graduation ceremonies. Reflecting on what I was doing, I thought again, I don't think I can cry anymore being stressed out by all the coordinating I was doing. Oh well. It's not a problem, in fact, it's a relief that I won't be able to cry -- I mean, I am soooo ugly when I cry!!! :D
The last part of the program is when the students sing the alma mater hymn and proceed to descend the stage. As for me, I was hell-bent on congratulating my students because I don't want to regret not being able to congratulate them. (I hate regrets!) So I welcomed my advisory class at the side where they would go down from the stage, and one by one, I shook the hands of the boys, and embraced the girls. As I embraced one of my students, she whispered "thank you, miss" to my ears with her voice cracking, and when I let her go to look at her, I couldn't help shedding my own tears because I was moved. I continued to congratulate the rest. I offered my hand to another student, and instead he offered me his arms and we embraced each other. Another gallon of tears flowed. Then I embraced another student, and I found myself huddled in the middle of a crowd of students. It is the closest to heaven I could get here on earth: those 30 seconds in my students' embrace.
I looked around and saw no teacher and administrator left among the students and the parents. I was all alone, but I still continued to congratulate the students.
I cried at the "congratulations" I receive. I cried at each "thank you" I heard. I cried at each invitation from the parents to have a picture with their son or daughter. (Golly! I wonder how I looked in those pictures!!!) When I finally thought that I have given my congratulations enough, I proceeded to the venue where the teachers and administrators gathered for a celebration dinner.
Our brother president asked if I was okay, but I was still sobbing (hagulgol in tagalog) a bit so I couldn't give him a straight answer. I couldn't tell him I was crying not beccause I was sad, but because I was happy, I was moved by all the sentiments, and I was relieved that the graduation is over. I lined up for the buffet, and a student strayed in the midst of teachers and administrators video-taping each teacher, and when my student reached me, she thanked me for the carabiner I gave them last Christmas. She told me that in 10 years, she will show me that she will have her own car keys hanging in that keychain, and even perhaps her own house keys. She also thanked me for teaching her about time. Again, I poured another gallon of tears.
I cried gallons that night. And as i write this very momentous event, I can't help crying another pint more.
Congratulations to the First Batch of high school graudates of DLSC! I will surely miss each of you. Just remember what the red pen symbolizes. Each of you is unique, but we are one in revising our lives to make the best novel we have ever written.