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Posts Tagged ‘Frank McCourt’


I’ve finally finished reading  Teacher Man, just in time for the official start of Lent tomorrow which is Ash Wednesday.  I’d like to set aside reading books that are not spiritual in nature, at least through the whole days of Lent, a simple act of self-denial and sacrifice.

Have you ever heard of Frank McCourt? He was the author of the more popular  bestsellers Angela’s Ashes and ‘Tis both memoirs which he wrote earlier. Teacher Man is his third book.  I was lucky enough to buy a hardbound copy a few weeks ago in one of my forays at Booksale. He told  his story as a high school teacher for thirty years in New York  City, the travails he encountered as a first time teacher who was supposed to teach English but ended up telling stories about his childhood and his past life, finding himself yearning for his students’ respect. He was frequently in trouble with school administrators because he didn’t want to follow the school curriculum but he ended up as the best-loved  teacher in his school. I like the simple quality of his writing. He made me laugh, he made me smile but he made me cry when I was reading his first two books.

I remember my father who gave me a hint  that he wanted me to be a teacher when I was still starting in college.  But I didn’t want to be a teacher, back then, I had so little patience. I just wanted to write and make research so I majored in Economics –  lot of analysis, a little of Math, more on Statistics, lots of feasibility studies and remembering the Law of Supply and Demand by heart.  Once you become a parent, teaching is a done deal. I mean, from dawn to  sundown, you are a teacher, a playmate and best friend to your children. And you never stop learning too  about life .  Everyday of your existence, there is something you learn, you become the eager student  and struggle to be the best teacher to your kids.

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I had a great time yesterday bonding with some high school classmates at the University of Santo Tomas, our Alma Mater. No, I wouldn’t give you the details here because I’d like to write about it at a future blog.

Bechay, one of my classmates, dropped me off at Metro East Mall at around 4pm and since it was still a bit early, I went directly to Booksale.  I love browsing at this branch because they have lots of titles to choose from. Browsing  is a delight in itself  but  when you discover something which you have long wished you have, gee, it is like hugging a secret  and keeping it just to yourself.  🙂 Got no particular book in mind actually but I was simply delighted to see these two books which have been on my wish list since last year.  I was about to buy a copy of Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi at National Bookstore (a copy doesn’t come cheap at P350.00) when a Shelfari friend told me that she bought hers at Booksale in Cebu. She even volunteered to get a copy for me if I won’t be able to find one. Imagine my surprise to see a trade paperback copy of the book at only P115.00 and it even looks newer than the one they have at NBS. Since getting acquainted with Khaled  Hosseini a few years back, I’ve been on the lookout for more Asian/Middle Eastern authors.

Then I saw a  hardbound copy of Frank McCourt’s Teacher Man, wow, make that a double smiley face 🙂  🙂 because I was in 7th heaven and that is no exaggeration. I enjoyed the first two books of McCourt, his own memoirs when he was growing up in a poor place in his native Ireland. Teacher Man is his story as a high school teacher in New York.  I love memoirs and I could not wait to start. Whichever comes first would surely be a great read.

And did I tell you, they are on my wish list? I am just lucky, I guess!

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