Writing in short bites

Mad Magic Txt Skillz


Carlo really hates teaching nowadays.

Oh, he heard all the horror stories before, how it was a thankless job and that he’d probably die of trangkaso before he was 40. But he still went through with it.

Now he had to deal with 14- to 15- year old teenagers in a private all-girls school who would rather giggle and flirt their way through their lives rather than deal with Bienvenido Lumbera and Amado Hernandez. And their writing skills were atrocious, thanks to text and chat. If Carlo had his way, he would have shot whoever had come up with those technological advances in the first place.

But what he hated more were the cat fights and the rivalries. Yesterday was a perfect case. He came in around 6:30 a.m to get his lesson plan ready and by 7:49, he was the first at the classroom. At 8:15, he surveyed a room-full of 3rd year students and gave off his usual cursory morning warning: “All right, people. You know the drill. Cell phones off. I don’t want to have to confiscate them.”

A few girls turned to look at him while the rest kept chatting with their seatmates or texting on their phones. Carlo sighed. He turned around to the blackboard to write something and when he turned back, he saw a number of hands– all holding up cell phones– in the air brought down quickly.

“Hoy! I saw that!”

There was a scream and the door burst open in a splintering crash to reveal a 4th year student, hair a mess and her green blouse and plaid skirt rumpled. She screeched, “You bitch! You were the one who stole my boyfriend!”

A student in Carlo’s class stood up and hotly replied, “He loves me! Not you!”

Carlo grimaced. He knew what was coming. He said in a beseeching tone, “Now girls…”

The first girl uttered a curse that was nowhere near ladylike and thrust out her left hand. In it was a black Nokia3410 and she was texting furiously on it. Immediately, a small whirlwind surrounded the second girl and threw her up while scattering her seatmates around her. Despite being bounced around by the wind, the second girl received the message di-dit! with her Samsung Rad cell phone on her right hand, transferred the phone to her left and started texting back. Half a second later, an invisible hand slammed into the first girl and threw her against the corridor wall. As she groaned, trying to get back to her feet, the phone in her right hand chirped, ba-weet!, as it received the message.

The second girl rushed outside to continue the duel, followed by the other girls chanting “Fight! Fight! Fight!” Carlo sighed again. It was going to be one of those days.

(First published Monday, July 28, 2008, at 4:47 P.M.)


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