I was in fourth grade and for our Art class project, we were tasked to melt crayons and use it to design those plain, kraft tissue boxes and best works will be displayed in the upcoming art fair.
In case you don’t know, for kids in school, anything that’s gonna showcase your work is, sort of, a big deal. I was also one of the transferees back then and I’m on my 2nd year so I want to ace my game because I finished 8th on the previous year. When this project was announced, I was thrilled because I know that I have an edge! How? Well, my sister gifted me that 64-piece Crayola set 2 Christmases ago and I can use those crayons to make my piece stand out. Ha! I got my basic shades and the big ones like Maroon, Hunter Green, Periwinkle and more! I’m so ready to melt them & design my kraft box and by the end of the day, my piece will be displayed. Itaga mo yan sa bato! – That’s what I told myself.
So I did. And when our teacher (Mrs. De Vera, hello Ma’am!) picked the chosen pieces, my work was included! Hallelujah! I was stoked! I was wearing a huge smile until I reached home and announced the good news to my family. But for some reason that I can no longer recall) the date of the fair was moved a few weeks later. So I patiently waited. Then one afternoon, our teacher asked a couple of students to help prepare for the art fair. I was like, finally!! Of course, I volunteered because I also want to personally clean, prepare & bring my piece to the display hall.
Then the most unfortunate thing happened in the life of a fourth grader…
Can you even guess what happened? I don’t think so…
When I went to the teacher’s lounge to start helping, I saw our teacher peeling off melted crayons from the projects that were “destroyed” and when I say destroyed, I meant that some of the designs of the chosen pieces were melted because they were accidentally exposed to the sunlight from the window. Remember that they had to reschedule the art fair so my guess was those boxes were exposed for so long that they melted off. And right at that moment, my teacher was holding MY PROJECT. My project was one the destroyed pieces. Pag minamalas ka nga naman, di’ ba!
She was instructing me what to do but I can’t concentrate because I know that she’s holding my piece. She removed the melted part and from the looks of it, there’s no hope and threw it on the garbage can together with the rest of the damaged ones. After she left the room, I had to be sure that it’s mine and so I approached the pile and looked at the bottom of the box (it’s where you write your name and where they put the grade) and found my name and grade. 😭😭😭
I can vividly recall that moment… I was sad and disappointed. Again…I was heartbroken. After confirming everything, I know that my work won’t be included in the fair. I mean, why will you include a “salvaged” piece of junk in an art fair, anyway?
I guess the saddest part was when I saw with my two eyes that my hard work was thrown to the garbage can.
Walang pagdadalawang-isip, walang ibang emotional consideration whatsoever. I’m not saying it’s my teacher’s fault because she’s just doing a very practical decision and that’s to get rid of what’s not needed. Maybe if I’m in that position, I’ll do the same. Maybe it’s just the emotional impact on me.
For a child, it’s a product of my creative imagination and I’ve unleashed the inner artist in me. I was proud of it. I was that 10-year-old kiddo splashing the melted crayons on my kraft box as if I’m Michaelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel. It was a big deal for me. And to see my project flying its way to the trash can is simply heartbreaking.
Buti na lang that time the fair was not open to the public and my parents didn’t get to visit kasi kung nagkataon, napahiya na talaga ako ng bongga! So after that day, I went home with my head down, broken-hearted, crayonless, bitter & told myself, “Sana Sabado na.”