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Howdy mates? I hope the weather has been kind to you today.
Are you familiar with retreats or recollections? It is usually conducted before graduation. It's some kind of a flashback on what you've done while you're studying, a realization of your mistakes, and asking for forgiveness from those you've offended so you can move on to the next phase of your life.
Private schools usually go somewhere else to have their retreats while public schools just do it on the campus. Well, it depends on what the majority prefers.
Just had this crazy retreat experience when I was in college.
It was the finals and everyone was going crazy, especially the Computer Science students because of expensive projects. Our course was one of the costly courses by the way so we have to find ways to stretch our budget. Unfortunately, the retreat or recollection was a requirement for graduation.
The Guidance Office talked to us about how much it will cost and the inclusion of their retreat services. I think it was almost a thousand pesos that time excluding our personal allowance. The facilitator kept on reiterating the word "graduation requirement" throughout the meeting. "Wala na sa'y reaction paper pag sa Guidance mo magpafacilitate ug retreat". It means that they won't require us to submit a reaction paper if we choose them. I told them, "The class needs to discuss this first and we'll let you know."
"Pres, di na jud makaya ang gastos. Nagreklamo na akoa parents", my classmate complaint that her parents are in pain with the school expenditures. "My church can help you out, we'll make it affordable. It's only an overnight activity anyway." Suggested by Ms. Joyce, our instructor. We chose the Christian church for the recollection. It was known in the whole campus that only our department didn't have the Guidance Office as our retreat facilitator.
"Hadlukon man ta'g reaction paper", I blurted. (Means why would be scared with just a reaction paper?).
It was the retreating night and everyone's ready for the program. It started with a prayer and the schedule of activities.
And then we talked about the pains of our past. Everything started to become dramatic. I cried a lot, to be honest. I was mending my childhood wounds while some were emotional about their love life. And there was singing and praying and laughing. We were enjoying the moment. It was indeed a nice and unforgettable night. We were also lucky to do it on a weekend. The place was near the beach, so it was perfect.
When we were back at school, we all get started to get busy with our thesis. Then we were reminded by the Guidance Office to submit our reaction papers. I really didn't get why reaction paper was a fad that time. It's like we have reaction papers in all of our subjects, geez.
I was the first to make my reaction paper. I've noticed that the majority of my classmates were struggling with it. I went to my classmate Eli and said, "Here is a copy of my reaction paper. Please observe how I wrote it. Everyone can follow through. Let this be your guide. And let's submit it on time so we can all graduate". We met the deadline. We were happy, yay!
Here comes March.
"Hey Pres. the guidance counselor is so mad at you right now", an instructor told me.
"Why? What did I do?", I was so shocked and clueless about what's going on.
"She's going to tell everyone on the campus that the President and Dean's List of the Computer Department is a cheater! She'll actually do it on your graduation day!", our dean madly announced.
"Huh? I don't know what's going on!", I was almost crying.
"Then she'll get a memo from our department if she's going to do that", my dean said.
The Guidance dean went to the office and gave me the documents. And I couldn't believe what I've seen!
Everyone copied my reaction paper, literally from the very beginning until the very end including my name! I didn't know what to say, I wanted the ground to just swallow me right away.
"How can you explain that? You said you're honest? That's an integrity issue!", the Guidance dean exclaimed.
I was dumbfounded. I only had good intentions. I didn't deserve to be judged like that. I became furious but I didn't know whom to be angry with.
Then suddenly my classmate Eli admitted, "I did it, I gave everyone a copy but I didn't know that they won't make their own." And I understood and forgave him.
I planned for my counter-attack. "Why did it take time for her to figure this thing out?". And I've learned that she was on vacation in February. "What did she do in March?", "She really wants to put me down!". I was overthinking.
So what we did is, we advised everyone to rewrite their reaction papers. I supervised my classmates, helped them in any way that I could. I didn't speak to the Counselor even during our graduation day. But I had to humble myself and do so because she has to sign my clearance hehe. And when we talked, she wasn't mad anymore. I also discovered how kind and generous she is. Whew.
I learned that open communication is very important in resolving a problem. Overreacting to an issue will only aggravate it further. And it really pays to be level-headed. Even though I held a position at that time, I was glad that I still respected those who were above me and didn't fight back.