As I reflect on my life, I have come to appreciate how paper has shaped my personal life. My parents were bound by a legal paper called a marriage certificate. This marked the start of my life in this world. My birth certificate strengthened the legitimacy of my citizenship after my birth. We know how important this paper is. We need it in all our legal transactions.
When I was still young, I remember how my mother would drive away my sadness by making origami birds. She would give me paper birds of different designs and colors. And how I enjoyed playing with paper planes! Another source of my pleasure was expressing my feelings through drawings on my notebooks. I drew anime and cartoon characters. My self-esteem would increase when my classmates expressed their appreciation of my drawings. I also felt delight in looking at different pictures in books, magazines, and comics even without understanding the written texts. Later, I started to find joy in reading beautiful stories and informational selections from any reference papers. Then, I found recreation in writing my own papers that serve as my ultimate self-expression.
Paper also became a big part in my educational experiences. My mother taught me how to write, and I scrawled straight, zigzag, and curved lines on many sheets of paper. I wrote my first name crookedly on a Grade One pad paper. I started picture reading our First Grade books. I took notes on my notebooks. I usually made my projects and homework using paper of different shapes and colors.
In my higher years of education, I used lots of paper in research, including photocopying of entire sections of books and printing of countless articles from the internet. The most exciting part was getting my report card—and making my parents happy, or sometimes sad. The most important piece of paper that marked the end of my formal education was my diploma, with a remark that reads “cum laude.”
Not all my paper work had to do with education. When I started to have crushes, I wrote passionate love letters on scented linen papers to express what I felt. I experienced rejection in the form of crumpled sheets of paper. In other words, I was basted by the girl whom I adored. But I found my true love and partner through a clean sheet of paper. On it I wrote a poem about how I admired her. She made an affirmative reply on a scented linen paper. It led to another piece of paper that had our names and our signatures, together with the names and signatures of the principal sponsors. That was our marriage certificate that bound us for the rest of our lives. After a year we had another paper with the name of our first baby. This gave us ultimate delight in our married life.
As an educator, I find that paper continues to govern my life! I have to deal with a lot of paper work, such as lesson plans, class records, test papers, and reports. Due to my expertise in generating paper work using computers, I was tasked by our District Supervisor to make several reports. I was even designated as the District Educational Management Information System Coordinator and District Information and Communication Coordinator, which meant organizing the paper information of the whole school district.
For almost three years, I was exposed to thousands of reports that involved papers. As a consolation to all my efforts, I was designated as the school head of Pag-asa Elementary School by our Schools Division Superintendent. This appointment paper brings another challenge involving lots of papers!
Just recently, I was chosen as one of the scholars of the Agusan del Sur Provincial Government to pursue masteral studies at the Ateneo de Davao University. Now I am striving hard to meet all the paper requirements of the University!
Indeed, paper has played a great role in my life. It has given me contentment, and sometimes, despair, but all in all it has strengthened my total personality. I believe that as I continue my life’s journey, paper will continue to define my life.
Aldory O. Gevero is the school head of Pag-asa Elementary School in La Paz, Agusan del Sur currently taking up his master’s degree in Educational Administration at the Ateneo de Davao University.