In our Summer Teacher Education program, courses in theosophy and anthroposophy give me a view about the core values and ideals of Waldorf education. The handwork class demonstrated the connection between textiles, geography, and the spirit forces. Wet-method painting and singing taught me practical techniques to share with the students. Eurythmy offered a new dimension of movement that will add health, balance, and a collective spirit to the Waldorf classroom.
One class called Inner Work has me looking inward to discover how I could become an amazing teacher outward. It makes perfectly good sense to me to spend some time focusing on oneself in order to devote one's day nurturing many children. Essential to the Waldorf teacher is to have someone in your consciousness soul to venerate, to adore, hold in high regard, respect, and admire. It is this person whom you will call upon when you need strength to push forward with your earthly tasks.
For me, that person is Lolo Victor. He is my maternal grandfather. Lolo is grandfather in Tagalog. My memory of him goes back to the Philippines when I was about 5 years old, and I had two younger brothers who were then 4 and 2. I picture Lolo Victor in a white T-shirt, slim and sinewy arms, tanned from the sun, with short-cropped graying hair. When we were in our family home in the provinces of Binangonan, he would spend time with us, a lot of time outside among the fruit trees in our yard, and the thick underbrush of the countryside. I see him with a machete in hand, chopping away bushes and bamboo, to carve a path for our many adventures. I see him plopping a chili pepper straight from a bush into his mouth and maintain a smiling face. He told stories. He helped my dad dig a well in the yard, and mechanize a hand pump to bring water to the surface. As children, I remember taking baths under that hand pump in a steel basin palced at ground level. We would splash around and the chickens would cluck, cluck, cluck and visit. He was also the one who gave me the confidence in my artistic and creative drawings, encouraging me to draw things I see in nature.
Mostly, the memories exist as feelings, as a spiritual connection to something more, which is why I hold him in veneration.