School’s Around the Corner – by Carla Nicole Garcia


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Carla Nicole Garcia, 9th grade Junior High School student

Monday, August 6, 2018 – First day of school at SAS for school year 2018-19.

I am so very excited to go back to school after the long summer vacation and layover.

The first thing I will do is find my best friend Lorraine. I haven’t seen nor heard from her since the last school year ended.

Lorraine is such a nice, caring, thoughtful, and great person. To say I missed her a lot during vacation is putting it lightly. She’s so much fun to be with.

In addition to meeting old classmates, teachers, and friends, I want to meet new classmates and new teachers.

I feel a bit nervous. 9th grade… junior high school – wow. I am in the big leagues now. Middle school was great but this – this will take some getting used to.

Let’s see.

I expect to see my SAS Ai batchmates:  Maxin Angelo Musni and Alexis Kyla Costales. Kyla joined the SAS Ai program this year. Maxin and I joined the program last year. We’ll all be in the 9th grade together.

My task and mission is to get to know both of them better, build friendships and establish good camaraderie with them. I will do the same with the other scholars in the SAS Ai program.

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“Please leave my paws alone… thank you.”

My summer vacation was largely spent helping my parents at home, doing daily chores and taking care of the household pets. Water has to be fetched daily from the well. The water well lies a good hundred yards one way away. I did that daily, filling huge water container reservoirs to the brim.

I fed our two dogs and three cats, groomed the dogs and gave the cats a quick manicure. The cats protested (of course). The dogs rejoiced and howled with glee upon seeing the cats suffer mis-perceived indignities and light discomfort.

 

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“Did it hurt when they cut your nails?”

But, as they say, “life goes on and must go on.” I am getting more and more focused on school. And that is where I’ll be until Monday comes along!

 

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“Learn to Concentrate…”


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Our SAS Ai scholars pose for a group photo during a quarterly scheduled meeting

“You must learn to concentrate,” the home room teacher, Mrs Salve Lascota advised one of her brighter students. “There are just too many distractions out there. You cannot let your mind wander.”

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Heavily distracted

Young Cristina nodded her head. “Thanks Ma’am Bing,” she replied, somewhat embarrassed for having been caught daydreaming. She redirected her gaze from the window back to her desktop. She even shook her head lightly – as if to clear the cobwebs that seemed to cover her brain. It was two o’clock in the afternoon and she felt drowsy. She and her buddies had generous servings of Halo-Halo topped with ice cream – a deadly combination of high sugar and fat.

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Halo-Halo with Ice Cream

She seemed to take in the advice. But… then she thought, “Concentrate on what? What could Ma’am Bing be talking about?” Cristina is no slouch by any stretch of the imagination. She is a bright young lady, serious and motivated, who dreams of being a dental hygienist someday. But man, it’s hard to stay awake in class in the afternoon, in the oppressive heat, in the asphyxiating humidity. Add to that Mrs Lascota’s sing-song-y presentations that’s so soothing it can lull, even an ornery Tasmanian devil, to sleep.

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Infatuation can be distracting

Truth be told, Cristina is distracted. Big time. And she knows it. It’s that Aglosolos boy from Libtong. Yes, he is a bit rough around the edges, sometimes rude and often ill-mannered but he is a solid young man with a great personality. Charming, crafty, and clever as the asp that long ago coiled around the apple tree in the garden of Eden and seduced Mother Eve into eating the forbidden fruit. So Cristina drifts into dreamland every now and then, thinking about that Aglosolos boy who haunts her every waking moment.

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Concentration

Ah… the perils of puppy love. Infatuation. First awakenings. And in high school, things can morph into a wilderness scenario so very easily. Fortunately, we have teachers like Mrs Salve Lascota who, out of love for their craft, their students, exert influence over them, encouraging them to channel their attention to their studies, to focus on their goals, and to concentrate on things that are relevant and important.