Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Coveted Life of Sister Veronica (Part 2)

Last time I shared with you some austerity measures that we can learn from Sister Ver. It was quite interesting to note how life in the convent could change ones way of life after sometime. For those who do not know what I am talking about. Let me introduce to you Sister Veronica. She is an ex-nun who has devoted all her life to the teaching profession. I came to know Sister Ver in my short stay in La Salle and I have much to learn from her interesting life.

Sister Ver used to teach in La Salle High School Boys. For some reason not quite clear to me, she opted to teach in college and landed in the philosophy department. As a colleague, I have nothing against her. Well, I guess because I have an extreme tolerance for eccentrics being one myself. Others have a problem about her being close minded. She stands by what she believes is right and refuses to be swayed otherwise. The devil in me, however, does not find it difficult to deal with the likes of her. The thing is, you can’t fight fire with fire and to deal with Sister Ver, you need to go through the subtle approach. Make it look like she was not wrong but she just changed her mind. People who knew of this strategy have constantly used this power to influence her decisions and to gain her favors.

The thing with Sister Ver is that she is so good to those who are good to her. And sometimes, they manage to borrow money from her without interest! Here is someone who is so bent on living a miser’s life allows herself to lend money so that others could do better with their endeavors. The sad thing, however, is that these people so good at getting money from her are also so good at eluding her come collection time. What do you expect? A friend in need, is a friend indeed!

There had been rumors at the real truth about her leaving the congregation. They say that she was actually asked to leave. Sister Ver has been in the teaching ministry in La Salle since time immemorial. And because she is leaving out of the convent, she has the luxury of owning a home. The thing however is that the enterprising side of her made her think of taking in boarders in her humble abode. And not only that, she also engages is lending money for a meager interest. Well, such practice is unheard of with nuns. Poverty, chastity and obedience, right? As expected, word reached the convent and they asked her to leave. To which, the rest is history. Sister Ver, on the other hand, has a different version of the story. She said that her mother superior developed an extreme liking for her, a fatal attraction of some sort. Because of this, she decided to leave. I don’t really know who’s telling the truth but I’m kind of inclined to believe the former.

As a teacher, Sister Ver was known as the tormenting ex-nun. She has no qualms about asking her students to memorize Rizal’s My Last Farewell and making that her final exam. Of course this was received with much protest knowing that there really is no point in the whole activity, not even appreciation since all it requires is complete recall. For the diligent ones, the way to deal with Sister Ver was to just give in to her demands and survive a semester without really learning anything. But for the bolder ones, they would begrudgingly air their protests come evaluation time. It is because of this that the academic board finally decided to take her off the teaching pool and make her a discipline officer.

Sister Ver did not really know the real reason for the change of designation. Somehow, she saw it as a change from the demands of academe. Now she would not be pressured to compute for grades (she always makes it a point to submit her grades ahead of everyone else), prepare her lessons (after all those years of teaching the same subject, I don’t really see the challenge for her in this respect) or even in dealing with students who try to sweet talk her for a passing mark. Now, all she has to do is walk around campus and look out for campus rules violators.

Sister Ver the Discipline Officer. Armed with a whistle, Sister Ver would come to school early each morning and start her morning walk around campus. Her target- students who are not wearing their IDs, graduating students not abiding with the rules on proper civilian attire, regular students who are not in their school uniform and lovers openly displaying their affection in public. She would start her rounds at eight in the morning, carefully staring at each students chest as she makes her way in the corridors. From there, she would pass by the classrooms, occasionally peeping through the door and checking for students who are not in uniform. From there, she would head for the cafeteria and the gazebo where she would sometimes find couples holding hands or even cuddling each other. When she does, she would approach them and give them a lecture on proper decorum for students in campus. And I tell you, with the youth of today, she is treated with indifference rather than with respect.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...