today, i became a proud mama.
a few years back, i taught Graphic Design and Multimedia at the Cebu Institute of Technology. my class was every Saturday for 4 hrs, with 2 hrs lecture and 2 hrs lab. now for anyone who has never tried holding a seminar/class for 4 hrs straight, it can be pretty tedious and a strain to your vocal chords. it gets frustrating sometimes, esp when you encounter students who may be a bit slow to learn, so you try to spend more time with them. i have to tell you though, teaching is the noblest job in the world, hands-down. well, second to motherhood, but i'm talking monetarily-paid, bi-weekly paycheque kinda job. so it is with great pride knowing that, just last month, my students -- the awkward, unsure bunch of kids who annoyed me at times -- have finally walked the golden aisle of victory. they can now proudly say, "I am a PROFESSIONAL."
but, as much as i am soooooo proud of them, i also worry. like a mom who is finally letting her children go to explore what the world has to offer, i worry that the world might not be so kind to them. us older folk know what it's like already. we've been humbled, shamed, rejected and put in our place so many times that we've developed callouses from it. but these kids, they've never tried being in that position. for years, they've been sheltered. they only know school and allowances and weekends. are they ready for all the ups and downs of professional life? they don't yet know what it feels like to be rejected by so many companies, because they're too young and inexperienced. they don't yet know what it feels like to have their skills questioned or their egos trampled on because the big boss "didn't like it". it sucks bigtime. but on the lighter side, they will experience their first company outing and meet other professionals. they will be able to apply what they've learned from school and prove to the world that they are capable. and they will receive their first paycheque. doesn't matter how small the amount is, it is theirs. they earned it. and that is a driving force for many entry level workers to strive harder.
perhaps i am worrying for nothing. i have faith in these kids that they will rise to the top of their careers and be recognized for their efforts. and im not just saying that because i was at one time a part of their academic lives. i'm saying that because i believe in them. and sometimes that is all the encouragement they need.