Ja the Weird Kid Transfers to a New School

I was in grade two when it was announced that my school was going to be converted to a mall. The school was moving to Batasan and that was far from where we lived. The move was going to be implemented the next year, so I could have stayed for one more year, but my mom decided to transfer me right away.

Ma decided to make me go to an all-girls school where Ma and lola graduated. Lola was part of the school’s first batch of graduates. The whole batch was as big as one class (forty plus students).

When mama was there, the American nuns who ran the school did not allow the girls to have sewing and cooking classes because they felt that it contradicted the school’s mission vision on women empowerment. The nuns let the college students smoke on the roof of their dormitories. They were that liberal for an all-girls Catholic school.

I didn’t want to transfer to that school, but ma said that I should take the entrance test. If I don’t pass, then I will not transfer. I was planning to flunk the test, but it was too easy that my ego could not let myself shade the most idiotic answer. I remember one question that went, “Which one differs from the rest: a cow, a cat, or a tree?” I was like, “I’m grade two already, this is an insult to my intelligence, of course it’s the tree! Duh!” When my mom announced that I passed with flying colors, I cried.

I knew that most of the students in my current school were transferring next year. I did not know where my crush, Matthew, was going, but I thought that if I were to transfer to a co-ed school, there’s a tiny shrivel of hope—a tiny shrivel—but at least a shrivel, that he might go there too. If I were to transfer to an all-girls school, there was no way in hell that we were going to be classmates.

I shared this with mama and my cousin Annika when we went to the mall. They both made fun of me. Jaja has a crush, Jaja has a crush, Annika said, taunting me. My mom started laughing. I threw a tantrum. I was on the floor crying, thumping my fists and legs as hard as I could. A lot of people were staring at me, but I didn’t care. I tried to keep on crying, but I couldn’t. Crying took so much energy in me that I couldn’t sustain it. I stopped crying. Ma and Annika were still laughing.

My transfer was complete, and I was devastated. Every night, for a very long time, I would take the framed class picture on my bedside table, and I would touch the face of Matthew, and I would cry. I would never see him again, and it felt so bad.

My new school was so different from my old one. In my old school, there was barely any homework. It was like once a year. In my new school, there was so much homework that I was stressed. The year ended and my mom told me that I was an honor student. I was stunned. I never knew I was smart. In my old school, you’ll only know if you’re an honor student if you’re in grade 7, so until that time there was no way that I’d know that I was smart. My mom never informed me that I was smart, and I guess she didn’t know it either because she said that she was also surprised when they told her that I was an honor student.

When the year ended, I found out that my old school never completed their transfer to Batasan, but it was too late to go back. I didn’t know why I thought I couldn’t go back. I was miserable in my new school, but going back to my old school seemed impossible. I don’t know why I didn’t try to call my best friend Lara (I talked to her on the phone, so I must have known her number. I didn’t know Raisa’s number. I didn’t care for my friend Katrina) to find out where she was and what she was doing.  I forgot all about my old school. My transfer to my new school was complete.

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3 thoughts on “Ja the Weird Kid Transfers to a New School

  1. After Pisay, Matthew studied in ADMU for 2 years. Perhaps you were too busy with your “to shift or not to shift” dilemma that you failed to see him even when he was near. But just as well, for meeting him there would have turned you off your focus. Though, there might be a chance you might hear from him ’cause I told him about your “triangle” blog on blogspot just a while ago, before I read this one on wordpress.

    I’m glad I stumbled on your website. I like your writing style, free flowing and sincere.


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