Mi Casa Es Su Casa with Ms. Charina “Shane” Co
As classes begin to roll in and we have been stuck with the same setting as last year, it has been relatively challenging for us to go on. There is a collective yearning to go out, meet our friends, and experience campus life. A mutual understanding settles between Enderun students; the displeasure of lack of progress mixed in with the loneliness of solitude.
Nonetheless, this pandemic has shown that despite all the challenges, hardships, and pain we’ve experienced, there is still space for hope. Like Pandora’s box, we lock hope within ourselves and dream that perhaps one day, all will be back to normal. Hope has been a constant factor during this lockdown. With that said, as the third installment of INK’s article series, Mi Casa Es Su Casa resumes, we welcome one individual who has kept her head up during these tough times. Enderun’s beloved SHS English teacher, Ms. Charina Shane Co shares a few insights, thoughts, and advice on how to survive the seclusion while keeping hope alive.
INK: How are you coping with the Pandemic?
Ms. Shane: One tactic I would use is sleeping. Yes, just sleeping. Therapy is important but because of the pandemic, we couldn’t go out. When I was on the verge of overthinking or my thoughts were going wild, I would sleep. It was a good tactic that allowed me to rest and at the same time, forget my worries for a little while but when GCQ arrived, I knew it was time to reconnect with my friends and allow them to help me cope with the pandemic. We would go to the mall and enjoy samgyupsal all together—it’s my favorite—and maybe once in a while, we’d go to a cafe and just enjoy each others’ presence. Occasionally, when I’m alone- because you can’t always ask your friends to go out with you- I’d eat samgyupsal by myself and go shopping. It’s these minor things that really kept me grounded. I learned how to use these tactics to keep moving forward, no matter how hard it got.
INK: What has your daily routine been like this pandemic?
Ms.Shane: I’m a very outgoing person, I must say. When we were still doing face-to-face classes, I would often come home late at night. Not because I was always partying of course, but because I would stay at school and talk to my students who later became my friends. Having felt this, the pandemic really changed my life; I felt imprisoned. My mornings would consist of attending classes. In the afternoon, I would still be in classes, and in the evening, I would have to create presentations and modules for work while studying my thesis. Last summer, I had a few problems sleeping but I had to find ways to get up and go on. It’s hard but we can bounce back from things like these.
INK: What are some things you’ve discovered about yourself during this lockdown?
Ms. Shane: Actually, I had no plans to become a teacher. Though I love English and teaching in general, it wasn’t something I really considered doing nor planned on pursuing. Sometimes, I would question my brother and his work schedule. All he had to do was go to work, go home then sleep. Meanwhile, I would go home and continuously check papers and plan my day. The repetitive cycle got to me and I would feel like I wasn’t doing my best as an educator. So, this pandemic felt like it opened new horizons for me to understand my capabilities as a teacher. I realized that even though I don’t get to teach my students face-to-face, I can still carry out my passion for teaching. I can still reach students and give them what they need. Most of all, this pandemic taught me to separate my personal life from my professional life. Not everyone is on the same boat, and that’s okay. We all have our own struggles and, again, that’s perfectly fine. You can’t really compare your problems to others but you can acknowledge your privilege and work through personal complications one at a time.
INK: Can you give us a few personal memories you’ve created during this pandemic?
Ms. Shane: Pre-pandemic, everything was already hard. Believe it or not, I wanted to transfer work and even applied for another school. I didn’t get a call back. So, when the beginning of the pandemic occurred, I felt anxious that the same obstacle would repeat itself. Everything was a slow process and I continuously felt like I wasn’t competent enough. Nevertheless, I applied to various schools and got a call back from a specific pilot school in Pasay. I had the contract and everything, yet something in me halted; I was waiting for Enderun. I wanted to give myself another shot during the Pandemic and try out for Enderun. It was one of my “target schools,” and I really wanted to work there. The school in Pasay prepared my office, a schedule, and even a position that meant I was going to become more than a teacher but suddenly, Enderun’s HR called, sent me a contract and offered me a position. Honestly, the whole thing felt absolutely magical. I felt like God was paving a new path for me and delivering me towards a better, safer future. I later found out that students in that school were harder to handle and the workload was hefty beyond words. Some of the friends there were stressed out and others even resigned. I kept on realizing that Adulting is hard. When I was young, all I would do is ask for “baon” and study but now, facing lots of bills, issues in your personal growth and all, you kind of become thankful for your life and wish you could go back to High School. Still, I’ve learned a lot and the Pandemic definitely gave me space to grow.
INK: Any changes to the layout of your house? Any new items or pieces you’ve added to your home?
Ms.Shane: Actually, [there are] no new changes to the house or its layout but I do have a new member to the family: my dog! I wasn’t a dog person before but my brother brought a senior dog into our house. I felt like dogs would always bark, pee, and distract you, but it’s different when you become a “fur parent”. I would automatically wake up at 8 am to feed, clean, and walk my dog and try to come home before 7 pm. They change your life and start to grow on you.
INK: Any books, movies of series you’d like to share to the readers?
Ms. Shane: One good self-help Kdrama I would suggest is “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay.” I felt like it really encapsulates the emotions of adulthood. It showed how people are torn between passion and money, love and career. While for books, I’m extremely fond of them. During the 9.9 sale, I purchased a couple of books but one I really liked was “Veronika Decides to Die.” The book’s main focus is death but it’s not something relative to dying. It tackled explicit content such as suicide, murder, anxiety, madness and of course, death. At first, I was thinking, “ang boring” because it used a narrative style. As I continued to read, one quote that struck me was, “People are not crazy, it is society that makes them so.” Afterward, I started to empathize with the book and used it as an example to take things slow. It changed my perspective and I started to think, “All of my soons will become a finally.” Things in life are not always achieved soon but one day, I will achieve my goals.
INK: What is an inspirational message you want to give the readers? Something to keep them going?
Ms. Shane: We will one day reach our dreams and until that day comes, we don’t have to be pressured about what society, social media, or our family tells us. We know ourselves better than others and if you start to feel like you need help, you can always reach out to the people you believe can help you. Depending on others is all right but we have to remember that no one can aid our pain except ourselves. When we start to acknowledge we need assistance, that’s when we truly begin the process of betterment. One thing I want the readers to understand is to know your limits. If you’re tired, go to sleep. If you’re lonely, go cry; if you want comfort, find comfort in yourself first. We start to become better when we love ourselves. We all have our limits, and it’s best to know when to give yourself a break. As they say, “So this is the beginning of loving yourself, welcome home.”
Getting to know Ms. Shane was a real pleasure. Her honesty, strengths, and admitted weaknesses remind us that it’s okay to fall back and have our moments of sorrow. It’s normal to not be okay during times like these, or during any stage of our life. But, Ms. Shane also reminds us that with every failure we experience, we start to generate a road towards success. Hope lives within us all, yet at the end of the day, it’s up to us to keep looking for things to hope for.
We, at Enderun INK hope you enjoyed the third series of Mi Casa Es Su Casa. Who would you like to read about next? Let us know in the poll down below. You can nominate your fellow professors, alumni, and Enderun Employees!