Lost and found
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
—Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”
After graduating high school valedictorian in 2005, I had no clue on what course to take up in college.
My calculus teacher who had noticed my knack for problem-solving encouraged me to pursue mathematics. Unfortunately, BS Math was frozen due to limited takers. The dean endorsed me to enroll in BSED Math instead, but I refused. I envisioned overworked yet underpaid teachers like my mom who don’t get the credit they deserve. I went home clueless about my future.
A week later, I won a government scholarship. The coordinator told me to enroll in a business degree and promised me employment. I swallowed my dislike for business and took up accounting just to save my parents from paying my tuition.
The system said I was overqualified even after I passed the 2009 CPA board and had no work experience yet. I reread the contract and found no required course or assurance of employment. I applied for work with private industries but then, overqualified na naman!
Just when all hope seemed lost, I was allowed to sub for a math teacher in a high school. Standing in a classroom full of young minds waiting to be inspired, I felt an indescribable euphoria filling up the emptiness in me. I had found my passion!
I saw the real ME unleashing the skill my calculus teacher had noticed. I explained lessons with fluency and ease while trying to level with the understanding of each learner. I went home exhausted each day, but the sense of fulfillment kept me coming back for more. The various roles I played and the modest pay didn’t matter. I felt an inner peace each time I utilized my potentials and skills to satisfy my students.
My three months of substitution ended and I landed a job at the Commission on Audit. I was thrust from my comfort zone to a boring environment, but my teaching memories lingered. Oh, how I missed talking and listening to students! I couldn’t see myself checking vouchers and receipts every day until I retire.
Though it took me so long to discover where I truly belong professionally, I couldn’t afford to let my passion die with my past. Society may brand teaching as the career for unfulfilled graduates without stable jobs, but I swore to overcome the odds by enrolling in professional education units.
Being a wide reader, I could content myself with merely passing the LET, but no! I so wanted redemption from my troubled past that I wanted to be in the Top 10.
Every night, I read random concepts and answered general info quizzes in the Net. I used a basic math reviewer for engineers to compensate for math topics I didn’t encounter in college.
I even enrolled in My Review Coach, an online review of Mind Gym Philippines for non-NCR residents. Most of its topnotchers were from the University of the Philippines, but there was no stopping this island boy from rising and being a cut above the rest.
I gave it my best last Sept. 30, and two months later, I became Mr. Top 4.
Now arises the dilemma: money job vs. passion job? Having found myself, I’ll choose the better one this time.
Josephus Anthony C. Bumaat, 23, is a state auditor at the Commission on Audit in Tagbilaran City. He is vying for a national item in the division ranking of secondary school math-teacher applicants this year.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94