First Outfit post: The Schoolmarm

So, please give me a chance.  I’m trying my hand on this thing called “personal style blogging”.  I know the photos are at their rawest, unedited form.  I have yet to learn taking those outfit posts I’ve seen in fashion blogs in blogosphere.

Here is my first outfit post on my teaching clothes.  Just a test post. 🙂

This is how I look like when teaching Philippine History every Tuesday and Friday afternoons in a conservative college in the metro.

When I first taught in a university, I was 20 years old then and I hated how conservative my Mom was when it came to teaching clothes.  I had graduated from a state university that is known as the “bastion of liberalism” here in the Philippines (the University of the Philippines Diliman) and, of course, a dress code was almost close to non-existent.  Some professors would come to class wearing slippers, shorts and a shirt, much to my mom’s dismay, while some students went to school wearing the skimpiest of shorts or the weirdest outfit.  The mentality in Diliman was that your brains and your acads (academics) were more important than what you wore.  It was the substance rather than the form that was important, as they put it.  I had a lot of learning and growing up to do back then.  I can still see my mom trying to hide her “horrified” look when her eldest daughter came home every semester break wearing short shorts and flip flops to the mall or to family dinners.  I knew she tried hard not to make a comment at that time though her face still said a lot of words.  Mommy, thank you for being so patient! 🙂

Now that I’m teaching again I realized that there was wisdom in what my mom constantly hammered into us about modesty, respect and style.  Being stylish does not necessarily mean showing off flesh or all the blings in the world but it’s about mixing and matching and dressing appropriatelyAs my dad told me, it’s about respecting and honoring your audience, that means my class, even in a minor thing such as a teaching outfit.  In my parents’ opinion, how you present yourself is already a peek of a bit of who you are.  Propriety, propriety, that’s what they keep telling me.  And today, I guess I’m already ready to listen to them.

Gone are the days when I would go off to class wearing something inappropriate {like an ultra-fit and clingy shirt dress} just to spite my mom and her conservative style.  Back then I was a few pounds lighter and I kept pushing the dress code limits of the conservative, Catholic university where I once taught.  This university was a far cry from the liberal University I had graduated from.  It was quite a culture shock for me to go through the doors of the school with the guards checking the length of my skirt or see if my blouse was too sheer for the students’ sanity.  I enjoyed breaking a dress code or two while I was there.  Yeah, so much for being a role model, huh.  Oh, the folly of youth…that’s what comes to my mind when I think about those days. 🙂

Now, I am learning to take her advice but add my own twist to it.  And with that, our styles have melded and the teaching wardrobe has stopped becoming the “mom-yen war room”.  Today, I understand that boundaries and dress codes are there not merely for your own benefit but for others’ sake. 🙂

How about you?  Have you tried resisting conforming to your mom’s style when you were younger?


STC stint

Even now I am still amazed at how God moved on my behalf for this stint at STC.  It was not something I had planned or even thought about.  Okay, maybe for a split second I thought about it once last year but it was never a serious one.  Oh, the suddenlies of God!

It was a typical Saturday afternoon and I was finishing off my lesson plan simulation.  The three nights before that were toxic.  I could not move and make my lesson plan from scratch.  How was I to do it?  The thought of making a plan was daunting to me.  It was Saturday morning that I finished off in the physical what my mind had only outlined and conceived.  I wanted to chicken out and skip class but then I remembered that nobody wins a battle or the war by running away.  I decided to go.

Good thing I went and presented my lesson.  Ms. D asked me after my simulation {out of  curiosity} how I deal with the younger ones since my demeanor and personality was for older kids, read:  college students.  She then asked me if I was interested in teaching college kids again since they were looking for a History teacher.  Wow!  I remember being ecstatic about it that I couldn’t give a very impressive or coherent response.  Overwhelmed was one word that described how I felt.  I knew it was a God-thing.  I had already laid that desire down at the altar and told Him I would follow Him where He’ll take me.  I had not dreamt that I would, one day, go back to teaching young people again though deep in my heart I had always told Him I still wanted to do so.

with my Nursery kids reading a tale about fishes and sharks

So there, God is bringing me to new places, new people and new experiences.  One thing that strikes me now is that it truly is effortless.  It was Ms. D who contacted the registrar.  I told myself that if M. would give her “yes” to this then this is God.  My co-teacher, Teacher M. told me that it sounded impossible that M. would allow me to teach in another school.  Lo and behold, when M. replied her words were very positive, supportive and encouraging.  I was dumbfounded.  God truly works in ways that are higher than what we can think of or even imagine.

This week, God told me during worship that it’s all about Him and His Kingdom and what He wants to do through me at STC and in this generation.  Yes, there are things He has asked me to give up but – step by step – I’m seeing that it is because He has plans and agendas that need to be laid out before a generation and a nation and sometimes the things that are precious to me get in His way. 🙂

One more thing:  God redeems and He is a God who gives us a million chances again.  He redeemed and continues to redeem my mistakes at DC almost four years ago and now He is redeeming my loss and failure in teaching in the college level again.  This time I have learned not to take His blessings lightly and take them for granted.