When I was starting school, I believed that people perceived me to be a very smart kid. And I think this was all because I finished the kindergarten entrance exam (yes, there were exams and interviews for pre-school) the earliest and was actually awarded the first honors in our class. I consistently got this honor together with spelling bee and speed math championships until first grade.
Then came second grade… Suddenly, I was no longer first but second. However, it was not a big deal for me. I remembered my parents were also nonchalant about it. I say this because they never asked anything or talked to me about it. Yes. That’s how I remembered it. Just nothing new. So when Recognition day (the day when they award the Top 7 students of the class for each level) came, I was surprised to know that this was a huge heartbreak for some.
During Recognition Day in our school, they usually have the awardees seated according to grade level (Grade 1 students occupy the first row, Grade 2 students in the second, and so on) and rank (1st-honor students occupy the first column, 2nd-honor students in the second, and so on). So obviously, I sat where the Grade 2, 2nd-honor student should be. And as the program was starting, I felt someone tapped me in the back. It turned out to be the popular 1st-honor student, which I actually looked up to, of the third graders. I haven’t met her before so I was shocked that she even talked to me. I was even more surprised when she asked me, “Anong nangyari? Bakit second ka na lang? Balik kang first ulit next year. Kaya mo yan! (What happened? Why are you only in second? Get back to first again next year. You can do it!)”.
I just smiled shyly and did not answer. Then it hit me. Aside from this being actually a big thing for others, this third grader believes in me. Okay. Hearing it now, it sounds like a very shallow sentiment. However, the memory that remained by hearing those words still stands out. Actually, when I read today’s topic for The Daily Post (which was: Who was the first person who believed in you?), it was the first thing that came to my mind.
I don’t know. Just imagine someone that everyone looks up to, then you find out unexpectedly that he/she actually knows you, follows your accomplishments, and cared enough for you to talk to you just so they can say that you can be a better version of yourself. That for me is heartfelt and just pure belief.
Just thoughts: 1. I wonder where she is right now? I hope she's doing well for herself. I believe she does. 2. So why did I became second? My second grade teacher told my parents I was not copying down notes and was not actively participating in class. It turned out, I had congenital myopia. 3. I never got first honors again.