4-RULE RECIPE (An Excerpt)

A few years back, and I mean 2 years back, I formulated a 4-rule recipe to being a true winner. Why? Because I had nothing else to do that day, and that I, myself, needed much convincing. I tested it out on several occasions and found it effective, relatively speaking. I was only able to externally test this out (meaning not on me) recently, with my co-moderating class (peace Lolos and Lolas). During the Intramural games, I saw how my students reacted to some of their teammates, opponents, even the officials during a game they felt they were unfairly treated, and realized that something had to be done. I gave them the 4-rule recipe (which I tweaked out a bit).




BE A SPORTSMAN. No matter what they do to you, you need to respect them. They might try to hurt you, but hurting them would only hurt you more. Picking a fight with them won’t resolve anything. It only aggravates the situation. You would end up mad as hell, vengeful and your game would be affected. Most often than not, you’d lose not only the present game, but other games too. If they hurt you, just calmly tell them not to do that again. Take note of the word CALM.




DO NOT PLAY THE BLAME GAME! That is a big NO-NO! Instead of pushing them when they are already so backed up against the wall, offer to pull them up back to their feet, back on the road and cheer them on. Instead of yelling at them, telling them what they did wrong, which I know they were already made aware of, and what they should do, convince them and tell them, “everything’s all right, we all make mistakes”, let’s <RULE 4>.




PACE YOURSELF. Don’t pressure yourself too hard. Know your limits. Always be CALM and CONFIDENT when playing the game. Don’t doubt your capabilities. “I CAN DO IT.” Instead of competing against you opponent, challenge yourself to be better. Do your best in playing the game and you’ll never truly lose.




ENJOY THE GAME. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s always about loving and enjoying what you’re doing that will get you through thick and thin. You’ll never lose so long as you enjoyed the game. Being declared a champion or winner is just a BONUS.


Though the beginning and the ending of a story makes it great, it’s the events in-between the beginning and the ending that makes the great story a masterpiece.


I know I’ve only taught for 5 months, and have not much right to say what should or shouldn’t be done. I would have to admit that I am inexperienced in the field. But my 19 years of being a part of the educational system, as a student, provided me with enough experience to make some crude deductions. Much like a game, math also follows the same recipe.


Here’s a confession. I hated mathematics. No kidding. Although I didn’t fail (thank God!), I didn’t appreciate it, let alone find meaning in studying it. I know. I shared the same indigestible feeling, the same resentment towards math, as what most of my students feel now. Quite obviously, though, I got over that resentment. I even came to appreciate it tenfold. Why? Math is actually a game — a game of reason, wit and numbers. Even more, it taught me the true value of life.




WE ARE HUMAN. We will make mistakes, whether we or you like it or not. It’s because we are human. Accepting their flaws, and them accepting its veracity, would create a harmonious relationship. The keyword here would be COMMUNICATION. It’s never communication when only one person is talking. It requires both sides to listen to what the other has to say without prejudice or fear. Fights usually begin with one-sided “talking”, so it’s best to learn to share, as well as listen.




THEY ARE ALSO HUMAN. Always encourage them to strive to do their best. Acknowledge and commend them in their trivial pursuits and perseverance. Assist them in their misunderstandings and understand their imperfections. Be a good influence to them by doing the right thing and admitting your mistakes.




YOU, TOO, ARE HUMAN. Don’t force yourself to understand everything right away. Assess yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses and work on those things. It takes a lot of practice to be good, even more to be better, and so much more to be the best. Excellence is never a one night stand.




MATH IS BEING HUMAN. It is a subject, but more importantly, a way of life. Passing or Failing the subject SHOULD NOT be the priority. It might sound strange coming from a math teacher, but it is what I, personally, believe in. The priority is to learn to love and appreciate math, while enjoying doing it. Passing or getting high grades are simply BONUSES.


Like Math, successes and failures are part of learning and discovery. Learn to not fear failure, instead love or appreciate success (not praises), be it yours or another’s. Love what you are doing. Love what you have accomplished on your own. Once you become passionate, everything follows.


The 4-rule recipe might not be easy to swallow. It’s unconventional too. I am not insisting that you should follow this recipe for you to know Math or win a game or live a successful life. That is not an assurance. I am simply sharing my personal experience and realization to you. I don’t know if this recipe would work for you. You’d be the judge of that.


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