I CAN see the TLE teacher’s face as somewhat puzzled with this statement: “the boys are having a good time in your class”. We casually parted our ways as he dashes to verify what the students are doing. But I am slightly worried about his reactions if he finds out the fact that his students, instead of learning Technology and livelihood education are in the act of playing cards. He might be more kind and will handle the situation positively, I guess. So, I went to the faculty room speculating that maybe, playing cards are substitute professions in case the learner fails to become good carpenters, masons or plumbers. I giggled more when I notice the faculty room becoming the public market of all sorts from corn, tinapa, DVD’s, lotions to underwear, peanuts and even banana. It seems like, the epitome of the expression “Only in the Philippines”. Alas, I forgot, it’s nearing payday and merchants, even fellow teachers were fairly clever in handing their products by credit terms. I pondered what must I sell too. But on second taught, I have never been a good merchant.
Days later, I brought the captured cards towards the classroom to see how my advisory class was faring. And again, with the idea of rolling out the ill effects of gambling, I sat in the teacher’s table and called out those who wanted to play “pusoy”. Nobody came, regardless of my loud voice and repeating the announcement three times. I was baffled, hence I called out one student and asked why. The student answered: I am hesitant to shuffle that card anymore. How was that, I asked. The student replied: when the TLE teacher came, he caught us gambling, he became mad and took the cards including the bet, he ripped it off and smacked it in our faces plus we got tongue – lashing moral lectures. I stopped for a while as I weighed that act against my prior nasty positive discipline of narrating gambling stories. Conclusively, mine was not an effective teaching strategy. Subsequently, I added “good for you because I will do the same if you insist on gambling in the school premises while being heedless in the lessons your teachers wanted to convey”. In my mind, the TLE teacher perhaps knows what Proverbs 23:13 means. Spank the children with rod; it will not kill them anyway.
And what was in gambling, that which in any manner, will not die a natural death? For mathematicians it simply means permutations and for laymen, it is called combination. If a pair plays pusoy, both has fifty percent winning chance, for trios they have thirty three percent and for quads they have twenty five percent. The chances lessen if there are more players, unless one assumes the “Bancador”, which then restores the fifty per cent chance.
In Jueteng, you need to choose one pair of numbers starting with one to thirty-seven. The odds will show that you have one chance out of six hundred sixty-six combination of numbers - often called the devil’s number. And the devil for sure came from the Mathematics department, because He tripled the numbers to form the lotto – the one out of ten million winning chances. Indeed, the slim chance, craftily hidden to attract bettors was overwhelmed by the glowing millions and even billions of monies as stake. Thanks to the devil. Teachers like me and you, who will never be promoted including the gullible ones may at least glimpse the piddling light of Hope. Surely, buying raffle tickets or betting in cockfights have better winning chances than lotto.
But has anyone overheard any teacher, employee and even head teacher gambling in the school premises, like say, “in the school dubbed as Republic of city high”? To be continued