Sir Alexander Alix, quintessential Pisay trigo and calculus teacher, passed away recently due to cirrhosis of the liver. There's a service for him at Pisay tomorrow, Dec. 3, Friday. Since I doubt I can go, I'll say my piece here.
Alix was a helluva guy. Friendly and gets well with the students. And he gave high grades. Seriously. He gave me flat 1.0s (highest possible grade) for all four quarters of fourth year math. Now, not to brag, when I was in high school, math was my thing. Seriously, I could breeze through my high school math classes in my sleep. And few of my batch mates will contradict me when I say I was one of the best, if not the best in math in our batch. (That last part is debatable, some people might contest it. :p) The point of this is not me bragging, since I do that often, it's nothing special. No, the point is that I seldom took math period seriously. I often spent math class doodling something in my notebooks, at least on those occasions that I had a pen.
On one such math class, Alix caught me and a classmate (you know who you are...) passing around a hand-drawn comic strip in class. (During my high school days, I often spent my free energy drawing such small strips about classroom happenings, particularly in the second year. Alas, none of the aforementioned high-school artworks have survived. But I digress.) I got a severe tongue-lashing for that one, something along the lines of "No matter how good you are at math, you can't just goof off in class." I felt quite bad about the incident, not only because I got to eat some humble pie in front of the class, but mostly because I felt like I had disappointed the guy. It's not that I don't goof off in other classes, I certainly do; but I felt that Alix expected more of me, since for some reason he believed me to be a good student. I didn't have the nerve to respond or apologize to him about this, I just took my tongue-lashing in silence. I wish I had told him I was sorry. I realize this is such a small, trivial matter, but God knows I like to obsess over small, trivial matters.
In any case, cheers to you sir Alix, wherever you may be. I don't spend much time with the other alumni, but over the past few days, I've seen the news of your passing spread through the online Pisay alumni community quickly, and many are planning to be there Friday. Rest well, sir Alix, and know that your students look back at you fondly.