How I Survived English
by Maureen Vivas
When I was younger, I hated English. I. Hated. It. It was a stupid language and the subject-verb agreements are weird: teach, taught, catch, caught. The words turn into a totally different spelling just by changing the tense or whatever the hell you call it. I was so near to failing the subject. But come high school, a great English teacher entered the picture – Ms. Joy Cruz. She was the kind of teacher you would feel very guilty if you doctored a book report. She was a good speaker, a good teacher and a good friend. My survival started there. I started to read novels for real and I understood movies and TV series more clearly.
More than the teacher that helped me get through my weakness; Twilight Saga is the first series I read religiously. I could not get the phone out of my face. I was reading through PDF then. I was just a mere student who could not buy paperbacks. And then I watched Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief alone, found out that it was a book adaptation and got obsessed with the series. For the first three books, I was reading through my laptop. It was so hard. It was too big, heavy and inconvenient. Plus, I could only read at home because I could not carry my laptop around and read books anywhere I wanted to. Nevertheless, I finished reading all five books and now, including the Heroes of Olympus series.
I like watching movies even when I was a kid and growing up, I learned to appreciate the act of watching movies alone. If no one would come with me, then I would go alone. It made me appreciate the films more anyway. I am into Disney Channel as well. I am a self-proclaimed Disney-baby – no – a self-proclaimed Disney princess. Princess Maureen. Me likey!
In short, I learned to love the language to the point where I was writing in the school paper and posting articles on my own blog site. Even when I was a kid, I like filling diaries and journals of my story. I have tons of notebooks and journals full of crazy stories. I, too, am the kind of person who transfers emotions into writings and I believe that honed me into loving the language even more. I am not perfect, but I did survive and am still surviving.
I also realized that when no one is forcing me to like, love, or learn something, I appreciate it on my own. There must also be a correct timing for everything. And for me, adolescent was the right time to appreciate English. Through this love and passion for the language, I am now on my way to becoming a professional teacher. I have taken 16 units of Education subjects to qualify in taking the LET – fingers crossed.
The shameful truth though, is that I know more about English grammar than Filipino grammar; I read more English novels than Filipino novels. This is so hypocritical of me. I know. I am the one who keeps on telling my friends to be patriotic, but what am I practicing here? I love the Philippines and the Filipino Language and I am sorry for not being the best on the grammar. One thing I realized through writing this is that I need to read more. All these learnings have not been enough. I keep on saying that before one masters the English grammar; he or she must be a master of his or her mother tongue first. In time, I will be the master of both. I promise.
Disney Channel is in English, the books I read are written in English and yet I find it stupid and weird? Maybe I am weird. Yeah! I am weird.