More Vignettes from My Memoir

For this week’s post, we dive into my first nonfiction title. I’ve attached a page from chapter three, ‘Writing 8.5’. As per the pic, as a high school frosh, I had a difficult teacher. She had her mood swings and, sometimes, she took it out on us.

Mrs Guyabano

My class would agree that there was absolutely nothing wrong with saying one oh one (101). It’s three syllables as opposed to five. Poh-tay-to, po-tah-to…no difference.

I likewise found it ridiculous that Mrs Guyabano put too much weight on one oh one instead of lauding my classmates’s long, convoluted solution. It almost seemed that she was making life harder for everyone.

Aside from this, other malapropisms discussed in the book were priceless ones like ‘basketball ball’, ‘pizza pie’, and ‘equipments’. I set out to change people’s mindset on common grammatical errors. To paraphrase Magic Johnson, you should ‘Know your grammar’.

Moreover, I unpacked other slippery phrases like ‘as we all know’, ‘as such’, and ‘you know’. The former was a colleague’s pet phrase. Every time I heard him uttering this, I had to stop myself from correcting him. He’s should’ve known better as he was a consistent honour student. Meanwhile, I singled out a schoolmate who uttered ‘killed dead’ during morning praise. One of my section mates said,‘He’s not just dead; he’s killed dead’. This was a rare brain cramp, as the former hosted many school events impeccably.

Alma mater

Throughout the book I went back to my roots. In many ways, my high school shaped me. I had great detail in sharing my story. My alma mater is a microcosm, the universe in miniature. My time there jumpstarted my writing odyssey.

Basket bull

I mentioned her further in a subsequent instalment. She confessed that my batch mates could afford gaudy basketball jerseys for the intersection wars. However, some of them have yet to pay their graduation fees. She proposed a forum on the matter. This was met with loud boos.

‘That’s it,’ she blurted. ‘The intersection games are cancelled until further notice’.

The guys took their grievances to Brother Ed (now Father Ed). At the time, he was the Assistant Principal for student affairs. On campus, he was also my biggest supporter. I’m certain that he was way more reasonable than Mrs Guyabano. He already had a lot on his plate: the graduation, the yearbook, and his post. He would act as emcee during the commencement exercises. See also: my throwback post titled ‘Losing Family’. This gives a more in-depth look at Bro.


Not long after Guyabano’s pronouncement, the games went on. I was away when this transpired. For the uninitiated, the matches pitted the five senior classes against each other. As usual, it followed a sudden death format. Whoever went undefeated would be crowned the champs. At the onset of the graduation practices, we were given a contract. This stipulated that we only had a set number of abscences. The class secretaries would check our attendance.

To be honest, I really didn’t see the point of allotting three weeks for song rehearsals. When I graduated from uni, we never had this conundrum. On the big day, a guy gave us a few instructions and that was it. As per Macbeth, it was ‘Much ado about nothing’. In addition, turning up to these hideous sessions was one thing. Getting accused of not singing was another.

Nonfiction debut

At 298 pages and twelve chapters, my book is not a lightweight. I spent four years writing, editing, and proofreading. This will always be my first foray into nonfiction book writing. Although an arduous undertaking, seeing my work makes all the huffing worthwhile. Not many people can say that they’ve written three hundred pages. Downplaying another’s flair is easier than besting the latter.

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