Right Minus Wrong: Ang Huling Lektyur ni Misis Reyes (Play)
The first play titled Ang Huling Lektyur ni Misis Reyes, written by Tim Dacanay, is a story of a resigning teacher delivering her last lecture for the school year. Instead of saying personal farewells and thank yous to her students, Mrs. Reyes (Lotlot Bustamante) dared to discuss a sensitive topic you cannot expect a Music teacher would discuss: sex and sexuality.
While Mrs. Reyes often amuses the crowd with her quick wit and contagious laughter, her final lesson was filled with stories of her life. She saw how students nowadays become victims of social ridicule and deprived of education because they became pregnant or they have engaged in homosexual acts. Mrs. Reyes opened the discussion that it is okay to discuss human sexuality in class by relating it with the musical concept of “dissonance.” She felt the urgency of questioning the system and the society in making better life decisions, and she does so with a group of people that became closest to her hearts–her students.
Certainly, Mrs. Reyes’ last lecture would not have been appropriate for a Music teacher’s lesson plan. The sister-principal disapproved her well-researched coverage of topics many months in advance before her last day in school. The principal even questioned her capability to teach such lesson, and even demeaning Mrs. Reyes’ passion for yoga. But Mrs. Reyes is not the ordinary teacher; she is also an idealist who believes she can help reduce the rates of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases with proper education of the youth.
In between her lessons, she injects in snapshots of her life’s issues on relationship troubles with her husband, her son’s addiction to computer games, and her misunderstanding with her sister, and her sister’s gay son. Despite her not-so-perfect past and present, she sets an example that you can still do responsible actions for a brighter future. She wished that her students will not give up their hopes and pursue with their education, because life will always have its struggles but these should not stop us from becoming better persons.
The style of Mrs. Reyes’ lecture is reminds me of Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. She felt that her last day will also be her last chance to teach them. Her students may not remember a year’s worth of Music lessons, but she hopes that they will remember her as a teacher of life and of hope.
If we were Mrs. Reyes and today is your last lecture day, what wisdom would you impart on your students?