“Nganong wala pa man atong module oi, nganong dugay man kaayo niabot karon, pag abot ato ha atoa dayong humanon kay mamaligya pa bya ta ani” (Why is it that the module is not distributed yet? What’s taking them so long? Once it arrives, we need to finish it fast because we still need to sell these products.)

While walking along the corner of a common street, on our way back to our place, I was reflecting on these words I heard from students. I was with my best friend who is also a teacher. We were laughing because we can totally relate to the teachers who were not able to distribute yet the learning modules because coming up with one, creating a learning material is very challenging and time-consuming.

It was funny, but something is pinching my heart.

WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER and so, here we are, WE ARE ALL STRUGGLING.

I always try to be POSITIVE during these negative times. With loads of works to accomplish as a teacher, I always take them as learning opportunities. As a student finishing my postgraduate studies, I always inject into my system any sort of positivity just to keep myself pushing and fighting in realizing my dreams.

Every day and every night are planning and experimenting sessions on HOW TO MAKE THINGS WORK in this new set-up, in this new normal, in this chaotic process of teaching and learning.

I always try to be STILL because taming my emotions can be very helpful, especially when negative ones are here and there, thrown by social media posts, ranting students, complaining colleagues, and crawling Internet connection.

How do we deal with all these challenges when the heart that can pump us all relies on our digital competency? And this is not a one-lane road because both teachers and students should exhaust all our efforts if we wanted to get to our destination.

We are all in this intellectual journey laid with a crooked and winding road. Poverty becomes more powerful now. Procrastination is luring us every minute of every day, just waiting for us to give in and be devoured by it.

Yet, giving up should not be part of the option.

Every day, we need to make one step forward, even how slow our pace is.

A step each day still matters. It can still take us somewhere.

Again, we are in this together.

It is somehow comforting to reflect that no matter how difficult the roads we are journeying now, at least WE ARE NOT ALONE.

We can always find help.

Let GIVING be our strong weapon to defeat POVERTY. Let technology be the instrument to tame our laziness – finding the best way to do things because we are lazy with the old ways.

The goal is not CHANGED. We are just laid with a different route.

Together, we’ll make the best story on how we survive these difficult times.

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