Sunday, January 27, 2008

Forever Student (and feeling old)

Earlier today I was watching a group of college kids taking photos of each other. They enlisted the help of their professor to take a group shot wherein they were lying down on the grass in a circle with their heads together. I couldn't help but smile because I remember having a photo with the same shot and it was in the beach with my college friends from the publication office (Malate Literary Folio). I also remember seeing Sweetie's college photo album and they also had the same pose.

I felt old! Eeeeeeps! I did! I've been doing a number of trainings for students and I started realizing that I was old when:

(1) They didn't know who "Lucky" was. Luis Manzano when he was a kid was nicknamed Lucky by his Star for All-Seasons actress-mom Hon. Gov. Vilma Santos. Now I have to find another punchline when I explain "I'm feeling lucky".

(2) They don't know who "Carlo" is in the Purefoods TV commercial... "Dear Diary, Carlo sat beside me today and he's so cute!" Rawr! Carlo was played by Patrick Garcia. They also don't know who Doogie Howser is. So now I have to remember to use "Carrie" (Sarah Jessica Parker) of Sex in the City when I explain what blogging is.

(3) They don't know what a beeper looks like. My very first mobile phone was issued by my employer, Smart, and it wasn't a GSM phone. (Now don't even ask what the model was).

(4) Their jaws dropped when I said that it took hours for my professors to download a 1,000kb file from the internet and during that time only professors had complete access to the internet. I do remember chatting back in college though.

(5) They all giggled when I said the only game I know how to play is Pacman and Tetris. (My parents were really strict about those things, I didn't even own a "Game & Watch" and my prized possession then was a watch where I could play Pacman). And don't even dare ask if I know how to play Super Mario, you just might make me cry.

And on the side, my 9-year old nephew interrogated me last week:

Kyle: Tita, how old are you?

Me: Old enough.

Kyle: Tita! Sige na!

Me: Okay, fine, fine, I'm a year younger than your Mom.

Kyle: So you're 32! (rawr! magaleng mag-math ang batang ito!)

Me: Uhuh, so?

Kyle: Tita Piggy! (he thinks I'm cute and fat!) Antanda mo na! Dapat may asawa ka na!

And then Kyle gives me this really, really wide-eyed (dinilatan) look. Buti na lang cute siya. And my answer -

Me: Eh I don't feel old eh and I'm not really rushing.

Kyle groaned out at that point and scolded me. Thank God my cousin saved me from further torture.

Well going back to my original story. The past few weeks that I've had the privilege of speaking in front of thousands of students I realized that I finally got over being nervous when I do presentations (and stage fright) and that it is indeed a privilege to share my learnings and experiences to kids. I always highlight though that everything is a continuous learning process, that we should always be students, always open to learning new things, acquiring new skills and always keeping your eyes, ears and heart open.

To the students who've been dropping me lines in my email, thank you very much. I hope you picked up some stuff from me (and hopefully not the kalokohans). Hehehe.