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A Friend's Experience in Campus Journalism

Updated on August 3, 2011

Reaping the Rewards

No man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection towards his pupils and a genuine desire to impart to them what he believes to be of value. - Bertrand Russel

Today, I would like to share my friend's experience in school paper advising and capacitating a child to become a better person through campus journalism.

As I do, I am reminded of the story of Mrs. Thompson with her student Teddy in the Making a Difference movie and in the story Teddy's letters. I hope, you can find a copy of that story and be touched. I would like to encourage teachers to look for this story and hopefully, they decide to reflect and become a better teacher after reading it.

Joan is a school paper adviser and she wrote this account of her student. Here it is.

I met him six years ago, a shy and unassuming senior student in our school when I was looking for a cartoonist in our school paper. He came to my office one afternoon, and volunteered to audition as a cartoonist. I asked him if he knew how to draw cartoons, and he shyly admitted that he did not know how, but he was willing to learn.

I risked training this young boy, and I watched him blossom before my eyes. It was amazing. He was very patient in learning, and never got tired of improving his craft. He won in the division level, survived the regional competition, and happily participated in the NSPC. He didn't win there, but he said that he didn't mind. Later on, he proceeded to win bigger and better battles in life.

The day after he graduated from high school, he came to say goodbye. He had become more open and was able to communicate his gratefulness for the chance I had given him. I asked him about his plans for college, and he enthusiastically announced that he would pursue fine arts. Why? I asked him. His answer surprised me: "Through cartooning, I realized that I am finally good at something. You will be proud of me, Ma'am." He left me with that promise.

His first three years in college passed by quickly; I was occupied with my work, he was busy with his studies.

The summer before he was about to enter his final year in college, he came to me again. I was amazed at how much he had grown; the shy, lanky and dark young boy had given way to a tall, well-built young man sporting a long hair. He brought along a portfolio of his artwork, which he proudly showed me. I could not believe that he was that good; we kept joking about his 'poor attempts' of being a cartoonist in high school.

He also told me that he would soon be busy with his thesis in school, and he was confused about setting priorities. I told him to drop everything else; gimmicks, friends, relationships and fun, and focus on his studies. He heeded my advice, because one night, he texted me: 'Mam, im doing well. Pls. buy newspaper 2mrw. We're featured there.' True enough, I saw his picture, together with other young artists, who had been chosen to put up an exhibit in the Mall of Asia. My heart swelled with pride; he was my cartoonist!!!

Towards the end of the year, he called me up. He excitedly delivered the good news; his artwork was chosen as Best Thesis. I nearly cried, and I was so touched that he considered me important enough to be told splendid news!

The story didn't end there. A week later, he texted me to call him when I had the time. I immediately did, and this time, I was tongue-tied when he broke another good news to me: his grades had been evaluated, and he would be graduating Cum Laude.

After his graduation, his younger brother went to my office, bearing with him a gift which brought tears to my eyes. It was a painting that my student had made, with a dedication at the back of the canvass.

It read:

Mam, this is not my best work. But it is one of my firsts. Thank you for believing in me. I hope I made you proud.

Thank you very much Jo for sharing this story. I have read this thrice because of the great sense of gratitude the student offered you.

Students may have the same or exceedingly greater sense of gratitude to their teachers if given such importance and dedication they could extend to them.

That's also saying my big THANK YOU to all my teachers.

GRATITUDE is a garden of LOVING INSPIRATION. - Don B. Balderas, Jr.


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    • DON BALDERAS profile image

      DON BALDERAS 6 years ago

      And that inspiration to do more good acts is a gesture of gratitude to the persons who have caused it to occur in you.

      For always, the goodness we treasure and live is our act of kindness to ourselves and our gift to the Great Source!

      Good luck Ino.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Thanks for sharing this heartwarming story about success, Sir Don. It really inspires me to do more good acts.

      This attitude blossoms in me because of the positive inspirations that our parents, teachers and friends inculcated and shared with me.

      To Ma'am Jo: thanks for honing the talent of this man and fellow teachers who always see the hidden potentials of their students!!!

    • profile image

      DON BALDERAS 6 years ago


    • profile image

      shirley 6 years ago

      So touchy don...i really appreciate ma'am Jo for what she had been contributed to this young boy...i admired this humble boy for expressing his gratitude to ma'am Jo...& to other teachers as well...

    • DON BALDERAS profile image

      DON BALDERAS 6 years ago


    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 6 years ago from Houston TX

      Don, I hope you learn a lot of lessons from your experience. Because as the saying goes that the best teacher is experience.