October 5 is World Teachers’ Day. My mother’s a teacher and most of my father’s siblings are too. My closest cousin is one also. I guess one can say that teaching is the family’s profession. But teaching; is not always brought about by those who have studied the course for years in college, no. My mother is a living testament to that. She did not graduate from a teaching degree, but from a Political Science course in her undergraduate years. Nevertheless, in my 20 years of living, she has taught in for roughly about the same year, too. And she has touched and changed, if not molded, countless lives of her students. I am proud to say she never misses a student. She has high regard for those who excel in her class and her students exhibit the same amount of respect towards her, too. Her commanding presence inside and even outside the classroom shows she is one heck of a woman. My mother; is a great teacher. But what I like most about her is well beyond her lectures and how she does she does her lesson plans and her quizzes, it is on how she views the teaching profession. I was barely five or six years old then, when she would take me to her Humanities class where she would discuss about how the symbolism in films affect the viewers and what they mean to the director, as well. At a very young age, I was taught to see films as more than a medium and an art, but as a form of revolt and communication between the filmmakers, and the audience. Me and my mom would watch animated films like Brother Bear and Finding Nemo and she would quiz me about the story’s moral and make me analyze certain critical situation; “What if Kenai did not become a bear? Would he have been the man that he was after the story? What was Sitka’s role in the story apart from being the guardian of his brothers? Why is Marlin so overprotective to his son?” These questions, asked to a toddler barely learning how to solve complex mathematical equations but these were, the things I loved the most. Having great conversations, and learning different point-of-views were the focal point of my childhood. Even now, older and wiser, I think, I still look for the symbols. Analyzing every angle, every emotion projected on the screen. My mom and I were not one to watch cheesy and sappy films. We watched films that awaken our critical thinking, historical fictions that challenge our wit and memory on certain facts we read about in history books, constantly debating on whether the Germans or the Americans started the war, of if the American Civil War had a point. Her views on economics, communism, and politics, always a great conversation to be had (but not over dinner, you won’t finish eating). We watched films like Saving Private Ryan, The Terminal Man, A Brilliant Young Mind, and films both equally entertaining and gratifying after every watch. I cannot remember how many times I have watched Brother Bear and Spirit: The Stallion of the Cimarron with my family that me and my brother practically memorize every word. The ups and downs of the voices, the exact time the musical score starts. The lyrics of the song, the way the animals converse. Even without looking at the screen, we knew what would happen next. We shout, “He’s going to jump in three, two, one! The sun arrives. The eagle flies!” Our house, filled with wonderful memories of the times me and my brother take turns dubbing the characters. Films were our past time. On my twentieth birthday this year, Finding Dory had its premiere night. We watched the last full show. My mom, now 43 years old, still knew the story by heart. Why wouldn’t she? Films revolved inside our family’s abode it is one of the things that can get us to sit together and enjoy a weekend, free from stress.
And yes, this all started, for me, with a film, and a book. That book, being The Little Prince, and that film, being Spirit: The Stallion of the Cimarron. I was about say, five or six? When my mother brought me to her class and showed her students the film. I remember her discussing then, after. But I can never forget her questions?
What did Spirit represent?
What does the film tell you about life? Love? Family?
What does the Indian’s goodbye mean?
This film, was, what started it all. How my fascination with symbols and finding ‘the’ story within started. In later years, my mother would let me watch even more films, Serendipity, Sense and Sensibility, The King’s Speech, a various collection of films humorous yet full of insights on life, love, and passion, all the same. A personal favorite quote, happened to be from the Princess Diaries. Another, from Forrest Gump: Mama always told me, life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” These and more piqued my interest even more so I was always on the look out for new movies my mother would have. A film, Mother’s Day, was one very cruel yet on point depiction of a mother’s love. Shown in the most twisted kind of way, the film was insightful and real. A mother’s love knows no bounds. A mother would kill, a mother would go crazy, a mother would steal, a mother would do anything. My mom is a teacher, I have previously said so, and on the 5th of this month, is World Teachers’ Day. So, in a very special homage, I will share 3 of the very best films in my mom’s Top 10 movies for teacher motivation. My mother’s list for things like these are what I admire in her. Her taste for films and books, out of the ordinary. Radical and revolutionary, but surprisingly done in a very conservative way. Her words of wisdom come from a very challenged past but they are most certainly often right. Her views on knighthood, and villains, equally interesting and fascinating like her views on every protagonist of each story she reads or sees. I am awed by my mother. I cannot even begin to imagine the fascination her students have towards her. She is the embodiment of a teacher in her own way. She is the teacher who teaches conventional things, in an unconventional way. My mother is a teacher. With or without the four year degree. She is my teacher. You really ought to meet her.