Filipino has always been our family’s waterloo. It was always our lowest subject, no matter how much effort we exerted. I hated it; so do my kids.
So year after year, come major exams, I am always on tenterhooks — and during parent-teacher conferences, the Filipino teacher is always on the top of my list of teachers to see.
Our son Ian had been having his share of difficulties in Filipino. More so now that he is a high school freshman. Throughout the 2nd quarter, we got regular reminders from the teacher for him to exert more effort. At the start of the 3rd Quarter last week, their class reviewed their quarterly test papers in Filipino with the teacher. Ian came home that evening crestfallen. He related to us what had happened in class.
He was initially overjoyed to see that he had passed his exam. That joy was short-lived however when, upon adding up his scores, he found out that the teacher had made a mistake in addition. His real grade was 3 points lower than the total score on his paper. And it fell below the passing score. At this point, I could almost imagine the inner struggle in him. It was so easy to just keep mum about the correction since the teacher had already written his grade in her record book. But could he live with his silence?
In the end, Ian went up to his teacher and pointed out her mathematical mistake. He knew that by doing so, he had just gone from a PASS to a FAIL. Not a very uplifting moment, considering that he needed precious points to pull some of his low quizzes up. To top it all, a classmate called him “an idiot” for doing so. That must have been quite a blow for him.
So that evening, as he related the incident to us, we felt the pain and sadness inside him. His sisters tried to console him by telling him he did the right thing. I also tried to tell him the same thing. But a mother’s words are no match for that of a peer who thinks his honesty is idiotic.
As they say, the true test of a person’s character is revealed in the direst of moments and in adversity. A man’s character is tested by what he would do under a situation where he knows HE WON’T GET CAUGHT. Ian was definitely tested in this instance and with much difficulty, I’m sure, he made his decision. At his own expense, he chose to follow his conscience even if it meant failing his Quarterly Test.
Well, to cut the story short, Ian got his report card yesterday. Lo and behold, he PASSED Filipino and actually pulled up his card grade by 5 points from the 1st Quarter!!!! At the parent-teacher conference today, his Fil teacher told me how pleased she was with his honesty, that she could see all the effort he exerted in her class (even memorizing a poem for Linggo ng Wika better than many in the class) and that he really deserved to pass this quarter.
We are so, so proud of Ian for standing on the side of HONESTY and not compromising under pressure.
Son, you make us all proud of you because you have shown us what stuff you are really made of inside when push comes to shove. We hope and pray that by learning to remain honest in small things, you will grow up and stay honest in larger, more crucial situations.
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