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Tributes to Ms Maria Silva

Tribute to our Dear Teacher and Friend- Miss Maria Silva

Miss Maria Silva was one of the best teachers RMS has ever had. Her teachings in Math cannot be compared to anyone’s. I remember when I was in class 7, she was my class teacher and taught me math for the first time. I was so excited about the way she taught- all the shortcuts she learnt from experience: from multiplying numbers by 11 to remembering the squares of numbers; I remember them, and still use them.

And what set her apart was that she would explain a concept till the weakest student of the class understood. And if she didn’t succeed immediately, she would think it over, and teach it in some alternative way to make it simpler. It was amazing just to be in her class! She would always call the weak students up to the blackboard and make sure they could solve the problems, assisting them as they proceeded. She also made remarkable analogies: I remember how she compared similarity and congruence of triangles with copies of a photograph!

After exams, one paper we were always sure to get first- Math. She used to tell me that she woke up early in the mornings to correct the papers. And she used to be so happy if anyone got full marks, and quite disappointed if they lost a few due to silly mistakes. But she was always encouraging. She also encouraged her students to take part in various competitive exams. (More than encourage actually!)

Besides being a brilliant math teacher, she was a great, humble person. Few things I can still recall are- that her favorite psalm was psalm 23 and her favorite saint was St Paul. She would speak of them many times in value-education class. She said her knowledge was just a drop in the ocean, but she wanted to spend much of her time after retirement studying the bible.

Just a month ago, on September 6th, I spoke to her over the phone. She spoke so clearly and cheerfully, that I was shocked to hear of her death. I can’t imagine the pain and suffering that she went through over the last two and a half years.

I was fortunate to have a gem of a person like her as my class teacher for three years. I’m sure many RMS ex-students can say, “Miss, you were the wind in our sails”. Thank you miss, we will never forget you.

-Dylan Colaço (2007 batch)

This tribute is written by Br Vivek Da Silva, ex pupil of RMS, currently  working in Africa.

Allow me to use this space to pay tribute to one of our great teachers from Regina Mundi School, Chicalim, Goa. It was the school I attended as a youngster. Mrs Maria Silva taught Maths like no other in that school for 35 years. Her time there was characterised by dedication to her work, love for her students and committment to the many ideals of Blessed Edmund Rice. She was truly mother and mentor, teacher and educator.

Br Baptist Finn in writing about her said, “We have often heard the expression ‘woman of faith’. Maria exemplified it. She lived with passion. And God knows, He shared much of His Passion with her.”
She was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 and she battled it with spirit and faith. I spoke to her over the phone some time ago and she was in such high spirits even though her body was wracked with pain. She truly gave suffering with dignity a new meaning. I am sure the manner in which she carried her suffering sanctified many.
She passed away this morning in Ahmedabad where she had gone to visit family after yet another round of treatment in Mumbai.
At this sad time we remember her in our prayers. We pray that her gentle soul will rest in the loving embrace of her loving and caring God. We pray for her children – Marjorie, Br. David Ryan cfc, Rohit and Ralph. May this time of great loss and sorrow be a time for them to count the many blessings and graces they have received through such an exemplery and loving mother.
From now on, surely, there will be one star shining brighter than others in the night sky. The sun will feel warmer on the face and the wind will be a lot cooler.

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