In Bigger Prints

Table of Contents


Section I

1 The Egg

2 Hatsing! (Bless Me)

3 Arthropodic Wisdom

4 Dear Decision Maker

5 Letters To The World

6   A Pain In My Head

7 Something Happened On My Way To School
8   A Discourse on The Grand Laws of the Universe

9 Black or White

10 Bayanihan in Jeddah

11 Chair of The Interim Board

12 Breakaway Telephonic Existence

13 The 'R' in Mrs. Regis

14 One City, One School

15 Eggs Breaking

16 PESJ History

17 The Chicken Fence

18 Believing The Man

19   My Own Version of The Jolo-Caust

20 My Sister's Version

21 The Rifle Guitar

22   Cat Stevens Unplugged

23  Landing on D-Day

24 The Great O-O-Os of the Late 20th Century

25 He Kept On Stumbling Over Chickens And Eggs

26   The Renaissance of Tilapia Farming And The Likes

27   The Saga Continues

28   The Pigeons In Our Lives

29 The Essence of Education

30   A School Is A Home

31  Gentle Fire From The Qur'an

32  At The Threshold

33  A Brief Discourse On Dancing

34  Being First

35   At The Edge of Light-Blue Metallic

36   Grappling With The Colossus


Section II
In Bigger Prints

The Power To Be
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 1 # 1

Of Crabs & Men
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 2 # 2

Excerpts from B & B Vol. 2 # 2

An Inability To Understand
Excerpts from A Speech by Prince Charles,
B & B Vol. Vol. 3 # 1

'Educating Miriam'
Excerpts from A Case Study of A Philippine School,
B & B Vol 3 # 2


Section III

A millennial short story


A Glossary of Pilipino
(& Near-Pilipino) Terms
Wondering what iklog is?

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Prologue, Epilogue, Iklog (O Manok?)
Copyright 1999 by Said Sadain, Jr.

30   A School Is A Home

Or writing school essays such as this:

(The Philosophy of School)

A school is a home, a larger home, a greater home : its basic structure consists of a mother, a father and the child. Its primary goal is the preservation and growth of individual and society by way of imparting knowledge in a structured learning process. To achieve this effectively, it needs to inculcate into its culture a sense of belongingness and the permanence of such values as faith, trust, friendship, partnership, sincerity, appreciation, cooperation, in much the same way that a home should offer the security and constancy necessary for the sound development of a child’s basic character.

As in a home, the health of the school is sustained by the elements of love and thoughtfulness, caring and responsibility, respect and understanding, which must be mutually shared by each member toward the other. No pushing, no grabbing, no disregarding. While every one - the mother, father and child - will necessarily have its own role to play, everybody, in varying degrees, must feel responsible for taking care and upholding the general well-being of the family, knowing full well that the lack of any of these virtues in the soul or bearing of a family member renders the family and the home less than healthy. The need for health becomes all the more vital in an academic institution, considering that we are in the business of developing and molding minds and hearts of the credulous and the innocent. Any wrong or careless role-modeling on the part of the father or the mother is bound to sow really-wild oats and fateful consequences that will consume the earth.

The parents of the school, who must pay for the upkeep of the school, can be likened to the father of the home. Thus, while the father must make sure that the family is properly provided for with clothing and shelter and food, he will also expect that the wife and children accord him the respect, the gratitude, the services and importance due to him. In the comfort of his home after work hours, he can feel satisfied and rewarded for his day’s hard work and he can strengthen his resolve to do better tomorrow; and not otherwise just drop down, an exhausted couch potato feeling as if he had just been milked dry like the proverbial cow in the field.

The mother is entrusted with much of the health and wealth of the home, and as such, her responsibility and role can never be emphasized enough. The mother, the teacher, the bosom, harbors inside her all the keys to the doors and windows and crevices of a home. As the traditional keeper of the house, she must know how to use all those keys properly. Otherwise doors and windows can remain locked, rooms inaccessible, and a home can be crippled and can easily deteriorate this way. The lady of the house who preoccupies herself with her own image in the mirror does not make a home; neither can a self-centered, selfish, inconsiderate teacher claim to be able to function effectively : remember how the young Snow White almost did not live happily ever after.

For this reason, the highest standard and the strictest level of dissection is brought to bear on the teacher.

There is every truth to the saying that teaching is a selfless and noble profession. It is noble, not because it is a job suited only for the nobility, but because it requires gentleness, propriety, and other qualities of nobility to serve as the role model for the children of the school. It requires level-headed thinking and liberal-mindedness that one cannot expect from the stubborn, the frantic, the uncouth. Teaching is selfless because it calls upon the teacher to offer a lot of patience, painstaking attention, the ability to be in the shoes of the other person, and other ego-effacing capabilities, all in the course of converting children from being restive and mindless to being refined and mindful.

Teaching, for the dedicated, becomes a motherhood with a 24-hour work day. A teacher or mother who does not realize this, or who is not prepared to take upon this selflessness and this nobility becomes less than a teacher, less than a mother. She simply becomes an instrument by which education or motherhood is consummated, no more better than the video display monitor or the test tube.

Among the sectors of the school, the children are the focal point about why a school is there in the first place. Take out the children and you take out the need for the moral partnership between the parents and the teachers, no compelling reason to make a marriage work out. It is for the child that a home must exist, a school must flourish. A child can be the most blessed or the most wretched in this setup, depending on how well the moral partners carry out their respective responsibilities.

A failing in one partner will be the loss of the child, and for this reason, one partner cannot afford to remain indifferent to the other partner’s shortcoming. A family can thus justify its modest existence even without the luxury of a car or a microwave oven, as long as it assures itself of a righteous atmosphere for the upbringing of the children, an atmosphere which encompasses all the shades between doing a good deed and righting a wrong.

As with raising a family, a school gropes around in a learning process. Academicians, of course, are expected to be better at this trade because they have been formally trained, unlike the young mother. As such, higher degrees of expectation and performance evaluation are applied in measuring the success of a school.

The learning process however is unavoidably a trial and error experience for everybody. Mistakes are but natural, and the acceptance and recognition of such mistakes are the next best logical thing to avoiding them. It is in this recognition and acceptance that the learning process evolves from a pencil scrawl to a refined essay, that an error is addressed and corrected. One shoves the dirt under the rug and the cleaning process becomes corrupted; one refuses to recognize an error and one falls into a trap of rigidness and decay, the complete anti-thesis of a learning process.

Parents, teachers and children must take care to nourish this learning process in the school. A harmonious relationship of father, mother and child which encourages the flourishing of the learning process as against the acerbity and attrition of a broken family, is like fresh green leaf compared to a brittle dry one, like a pliant bamboo compared to a thorny cactus. Each of these - the green leaf, the dried leaf, the bamboo and the cactus - will of course have its own purposes, its own uses, but some of these are more pleasant than the others.

A school that is a greater home for the children must choose to be pleasant, while being aware that it cannot afford to be unpleasant. Otherwise, it can only be less than a school.

May, 1996


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