Letter # 7: To one of the best teachers I’ve ever had
Meet Fr. Luis Candelaria. He was my Organizational Behavior (LS100) Teacher back in 2007. He was 88 years old back then. It’s already 2011 – just do the math. To me, and probably to a lot of other students, he was more than just a teacher.
Hey Fr. Candy,
I remember sitting in front of your class during that first session. I remember how my classmates and I exhanged “I-can’t-believe-this” looks when you told us that you were 88 already. I remember that by the end of that early tuesday morning, you already got all the girls in class smitten because of how cute and adorable you were and how slow you walked. 🙂
I remember you surprised all of us during the second meeting because you’ve already memorized all of our names already. Teachers usually take weeks to do that; some never even bother to memorize the names of their students. After that second class, even the boys were raving about how cool you were.
You didn’t give us lectures – only snippets of your experiences overflowing with lessons to learn for each of us. You made us do the lectures. You made us facilitate each class. You made us read one book a week and submit one paper a week for each book (We all thought that was going to be easy – but it was hard). It was a different class and a different experience for all of us. (I never got to use the organizational behavior book we bought for the class)
Well what I’m really writing to tell you is that I want to thank you for influencing my life probably more than any other teacher I’ve encountered. We all have teachers who’ve touched our lives – well you’ve touched all of ours.
Thanks for making me read more books in one semester than I ever have the years before. “Who Moved My Cheese”, “Fully Human, Fully Alive”, “The 10 natural laws of teamwork”, “What Matters Most”, “6 thinking hats”, “Working with emotional beings”, “The 7 habits”, “Follow your heart”, “The winning attitude”, “Why am I afraid to love?”, “Why am I afraid to show you who I am?”, “Being Happy”, “Making Friends”, “Will the real me please stand up?”, “Developing the leader within you” and “Developing the leaders around you.” – Those were the books you made us read and each and every one of them contributed to who I am today. You introduced me to John Maxwell and his leadership philosophies – most of which I have tried to adapt in my own leadership roles. You taught me how to deal with change, how to develop the right attitude, how to develop others. You introduced me to books which challenged the way I thought of this world and what I thought of my own being. Most importantly, you taught me to follow my heart and you made me realize that what I really wanted to do – To lead people, to serve people and train people. To be a priest (haha joke), rather, a consultant, like you and to make a difference like you did although in a different career path.
Father, I remember during our last official class that you grabbed me by the arm, asked me what I wanted to achieve in life, gripped me and punched me so hard in the arm after I told you that I wanted to be like you – except the priest part of it all. (By the way, the punch was so hard I got a small bruise! You were too strong for an 88 year old.)
Lastly, I remember that during our last conversation that you told me with full confidence and another tight grip in the arm that I believed I can achieve everything I told you I want to achieve. Then you hugged me and punched me once again.
I miss you Father. I plan to visit you one of these days. I hope I can.
Thank you for the lessons that I’m sure couldn’t be taught by the 700 peso textbook which we never used.
A student whose life you’ve changed,
P.S. Sobrang mahal nung shades mo! Lupet! hahahahaha!