When I was finally assigned as Immigration Boarding officer, someone told me, “Angels, you will not find walking on the pier that easy so be watchful and careful.”
-Lifted from Part I.
Every time my name is at 1st to 3rd spot on the line-up on the Boarding Assignment blackboard, I come to the Boarding section to attend the raffle and to get the name of vessel that will be assigned to me for boarding.
International ships that come to our country to deliver cargoes, yachts, foreign military ships and luxury/cruise vessels with tourist passengers are boarded by immigration officers for inspection and formalities.
On one occasion, I brought my son Nico on my boarding duty to a helicopter carrier of the French Navy that was equipped with missiles. A kind French naval officer toured us around the vessel and we stopped at the bridge. He showed us a stick-sized steering mechanism and the manual steering wheel (used for emergency in case the advanced steering gadget stalled) as big as the one installed in our RoRo ferry plying the Virac-Tabaco route.
Sometimes our function is like walking on the park, at other times challenging when you encounter a ship with a stowaway passenger. Mustering the vessel with the Customs officer, a doctor of medicine from the quarantine office and the captain of the vessel all sitting on the boardroom made me feel how it is to be an immigration officer in ‘full boarding uniform’. I always let the two officers above to finish first their formalities, duties and functions before discharging mine.
The stowaway passenger makes the immigration officer’s work complicated and takes much of our time, instead of going home early. As usual, the shipping representative or agent of the shipping agency who accompanied us to the ship will do all the necessary documentation about the stowaway for submission to concerned government agencies, with the documents intended for the Bureau of immigration passing through me.
Posting of an immigration guard, if deemed necessary, is determined by the immigration boarding officer with the cooperation of the captain. Further, the captain may be made to sign a note as guarantee that the stowaway will not leave the vessel.
The teaching profession is a world apart from boarding vessels. As you can see, teaching starts at home by preparing the lessons for the next day. Practicing it out by delivering the lesson, as if you have students in front of you listening, builds your confidence.
By familiarizing how to deliver the lesson and committing important points/ideas on your memory make a professor a picture of an amazing lecturer (please read my article ‘Amazing Teacher’ in Catanduanes Tribune).
Confidence gives opportunity to an instructor to adlib, crack jokes and give examples related to the lesson, just don’t overdo it. When you are standing in front of your students dressed at your best, a must for college instructors, you develop among the students a level of trust and admiration.
Delivering your lessons with mastery and ease, you are reciprocated with attention and respect. You can do eyes to eyes with your students while forcefully driving your point but don’t let your eyes wander too long to a charming student’s eyes. After your class, while leaving the room, you will hear murmuring of students, some stay in the room for few more minutes to let the knowledge and experience sink deep into their consciousness.
Professing, teaching to students, is challenging and if you lack love and passion, you’ll easily tire and lose interest, for it’s doubly demanding and strenuous. But it’s rewarding and one finds fulfillment when one sees faces of students light up with happiness and real enjoyment upon absorbing your lesson. It’s the bonus that you earn that money can’t buy. After you retire from the service, that bonus will stick in your skin, your persona up to your old age.
I have known of an alter ego who started teaching at a very young age. By the way, he got a boyish face and during his younger years he dreamed to be priest and a pilot.
One day after teaching for an hour, the bell rung to end my lesson for that subject. This alter ego of mine passed by and occupied the adjoining room next to me for his next subject. The room I occupied will be free for an hour after my class so I remained to review my lesson for my next class. My other reason for staying in the room is to eavesdrop on this instructor if he was a damned good instructor as I heard from the grapevine .
Enter three students from the next room after asking permission to listen to my alter ego’s lecture, two males and a beautiful female. My mental radar heightened its scooping ability to observe the next room. My friend was standing tall before the rostrum with chalk in one hand, eraser at the other hand, classcards on top of the rostrum, vocalizing his extensive knowledge of the lesson with an uncommon mastery of his subject. No notes on top of the rostrum to help him as guide or reminder if he forgot something. His voice could had been seasoned in a debating contest or by years of oral reading done by dedicated seminarian to attract attention of listeners. What a way to practice/exercise on, to be a very good college instructor!
I stood and proceeded to the library, thinking of what I must do, to be another excellent instructor like him.
“But we will show them
As we walk together in the Sun
That our two different
Worlds are one”.
-Al Frish/Sid Wayne.