her style of casting spells on numbers, fractions and formulas have always bored me. no, it was not her, it was her method. she has that hypnotic way of swaying her chalk wand on the blackboard whenever she would start her lessons for the day. her voice would always calm my neurons instead of waking them up to solve those numerical and alphabetical formulas. she was that composed, nearly five foot tall mother figure teaching her children the formulas and equations on dealing with all the cursed mathematical formulas from the curriculum. she was kind, motherly kind, and i like her for being that way outside the classroom.
i like her but she was never my favorite.
manipulating numbers and formulas is far from my line of interest. i know i can do simple charms to solve simple equations but i am a huge failure in enchanting multiple problems and conjuring up solutions. that's when the problem kicked in. you see, when i was in highschool numbers matter. and it matters a lot when you are on the run for honors.
no grade below 82, general weighted average of 87 and up, no record for disciplinary action- were just some of the prerequisites to be on the honor roll that every aspiring high-school student back then tried to accomplish. the spells i cast worked fine on all my classes except on teacher rose's.
it was as if all numbers have developed a counter spell against me that no matter how hard i tried to keep my focus, i still failed to summon the right answers.
it was the 2nd quarter of the school year. teacher rose called my attention one afternoon after class and informed me of my performance. like a mother comforting her child, she pat me on the shoulders and showed me my grade- 79. it was my first time to receive a "palakol" (a grade which falls under the line of seven) on my entire academic journey and i have never felt weakened, embarrassed and sorry at the same time. although my family did not expect much from me, i have set a high bar for myself to compete for the honors list, but lo, because of my inability to command those numbers effectively, i would be axed from the list.
i should have seen that coming. it was that scene when the math teacher would show you her class record for you to feel sorry for yourself and snap! you're of the honors list just like that. but teacher rose was different. instead of making me feel sorry for myself, she offered me her sweet motherly smile and told me that she would give me another chance. she promised to give me an 82 instead of a 79 grade only if i promised to do better next time. she gave me another pat on the shoulder and smiled.
that was my most vivid memory of my most intimate encounter with teacher rose. it was only on that afternoon that i felt the power of teacher rose's magic. it's that kind of magic that transcends numbers and equations and formulas. it's that kind of magic that touches the heart, the one that gives hope. if not for teacher rose, i would not make it to the honors list. since that day, the spells i cast over the numbers have improved. i even got grades higher than 79 and 82.
she was never my favorite but she gave me hope.
yesterday, the former president of the student council from our high school batch texted me about teacher rose’s defeat against cancer. apparently, her spells and enchantments were not able to help her against her long battle and struggle against the disease.
since yesterday, i haven’t heard anything from her years after high school
graduation. how unfortunate that i won’t be able to express my gratitude for her simple magic, her simple act of kindness.
i would always miss her calming voice, her motherly aura, and her magic.
eternal rest to her kind soul.