February 1, 2023

One need not be briefed of the dreadful virus anymore and its effects to society, the government, the family, and the individual. The Covid-19 is really giving each one of us a hard time. Shall we falter? Shall we stammer?
As the tide ebbs, all aspect of life gets affected by the stream. Still, each of us have built our own escutcheon and learned to go with flow, in our own different ways.
The learning of a child, particularly is one that is greatly struck by this pandemic. I would probably compare it to how a colleague tends to groan of pain from bukak-eng (gas pain), a word which, by the way, I learned recently. We all groan from pain brought about by this new mode of learning. No one is spared – the child, the teacher, the parent, the guardian, the family, the whole community. I can probably enumerate all the dialogue, comments, the whines, the jokes, and sighs I often hear or read in social media but it will not amount to any positivity or looking into the famous “silver lining of the cloud”.
The drawback of the new mode of learning is inevitable. We can grumble all we want the whole day (I do that.) but it won’t change anything. Tom Cruise once said, “When you have to cope with a lot of problems, you’re either going to sink or you’re going to swim.” A parent would not want to sink, nor a child, nor the educator. We swim; and we swim, together. I belong to the generation who had this High School Musical fever and I like that song they sang that goes, “We’re all in this together/ Once we know/ That we are/ We’re all stars and we see that/ We’re all in this together/ And it shows/ When we stand hand in hand/ Make our dreams come true./ I hope you sang along. Much will be done when we do things hand in hand. It’s easy to say, “You’re not doing anything, anyway.” And it’s easier to reply, “How about you?”. And the blame goes back and forth. Again, I can enumerate all the things an educator does in this new mode of learning. I can also go about asking parents and guardians all they do and enumerate them here. All the more-the struggles of the learner. I remember a famous Korean statement, eo-tteok-hae, which means, “What to do?”
Eo-tteaok-hae? What shall we do? While we are still powerless over academic freeze, what can we do then? I looked into this brilliant guy named Carl Jung, a famous Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist. His statement was rather cool. “Understanding does not cure evil, but it is a definite help, inasmuch as one can cope with a comprehensible darkness.” Togetherness, understanding.
Dr. Jovy Anne Jimeno-Tangalin of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center-Department of Psychiatry really made sense when she said, “To cope with Covid-19, let us realize that we are all experiencing the same situation. We are all sailing on the same events however our ships are different. The fears, the anxiety are normal reactions to stress that we are encountering right now. We cannot really control what is happening externally. What we can control is ourselves.” If we cannot control the situation, we can at least control ourselves. Whatever boat we are sailing in, be it the boat of this new mode of learning or any other boat, let us all sail well, and graciously well.
The desire of all schools – to still deliver quality education, resonates amidst this pandemic. Let us team up – community, stakeholders, parents, guardians, fellow educators, in attaining one goal, not just for the continuity of learning but also the essence that comes with it. I believe that if we just do this thing together and understand one another – do away with blame-game – it will be a definite help and this incomprehensible darkness will soon come to pass. Anos, kadwa. Aja! — Krystle Joy Coral-Reyes