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August 2, 2008

A Tribute To A Teacher

The sun loses a ray of light every time a teacher on earth dies. It is one flame less and the darkness that threatens mankind into the plunge of ignorance thickens and gains strength. It is an irreplaceable loss.

Today, I have lost a great teacher. As far as I can recall, she was one of the greatest teachers I have met. Simply because she has changed me and made me become who I am today. From a once shy and aloof kid in my elementary, she was able to see what perhaps others have failed to see: my potentials. Along with other few teachers as great as she was, I was able to gain confidence, establish self-esteem and develop my skills, simply because this teacher believed in me.

She taught me to speak in public, to not fear the stage and the audience, to write without boundaries nor fear of ridicule. And although I am not so sure whether I have lived up to her standards, I am thankful that somehow, through her patient mentoring, I was able to instill in myself the confidence to speak my mind and write from the heart.

She was my English teacher but she taught me more than just English.

When I learned about her death a few days ago I was devastated. The last time I saw my teacher was a few weeks ago when we were at Church attending the mass. She was perfectly okay and I would never suspect that something was physically wrong with her. I remember the moment when after mass, I approached her to thank her for being my teacher. I told her that I was already a doctor, that I passed the boards, and I was planning to enter public health. I could remember how proud she was. She was sincerely proud of her former student and I was proud as a student to have told a former teacher how I have accomplished so much in my life.

The day I received a message from friends that our teacher was sick and was confined in a hospital, I was planning to visit her. I was told that she was already in coma and I had the impression that she had a stroke. But circumstances at work and home unabled me to make a visit. A few days later, I received a text message from a former classmate, telling me that she died.

I was full of regret. Regretting the fact that I was not able to say my last thank you to a teacher whom I greatly admire. I respect her as a teacher but I have always felt that she was more than that. The brief moments of victory I have earned in high school was largely because of her faith in me.

She chose me to participate in an inter-section extemporaneous contest when I was in first year. I won.

She chose me to participate in an inter-school extemporaneous contest when I was in second year. I won.

Even if some had the opinion that I should not anymore join the following year's contest for NOPSSCEA, she still chose me to participate in the extemporaneous contest. I did win the qualifying, but only won second place during the finals. Still she insisted that I was her best student.

Because of these victories, I was able to spread my wings a little further. I owe her my gift of public speaking.

Now she is gone and perhaps no other English teacher could ever match her quiet zeal and patience for both her life and her students. I am proud to say that I was once her student and while some could not appreciate her for who she was, I am grateful for what she made me become.

Thank you Mrs. Rosit. Thank God for the gift of you.

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