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Monday, April 30, 2007

...so worth posting...

Mikaela Irene Fudolig – BS Physics
Speech at the Commencement Exercises, UPD
April 22, 2007
16 yrs old. BS Physics. Summa Cum Laude.

One of the things that strike me as being very "UP
Diliman" is the way UPD students can't seem to stay on
the pavement. From every street corner that bounds an
unpaved piece of land, one will espy a narrow trail
that cuts the corner, or leads from it. Every lawn
around the buildings sports at least one of these
paths, starting from a point nearest to the IKOT stop
and ending at the nearest entry to the building. The
trails are beaten on the grass by many pairs of feet
wanting to save a fraction of a meter of traveling, no
matter that doing so will exact some cost to the
shoes, or, to the ubiquitous slippers, especially when
the trails are new.

What do these paths say about us, UP students?

One could say that the UP student is enamored with
Mathematics and Pythagoras, hence these triangles
formed by the pavement and the path. Many among you
would disagree.

Others could say that the UP student is naturally
countercultural. And the refusal to use the pavement
is just one of the myriads of ways to show his
defiance of the order of things. This time, many would
agree.

Still, others will say that the UP student is the
model of today's youth: they want everything easier,
faster, now. The walkable paths appeal to them because
they get to their destination faster, and presumably,
with less effort. Now that is only partly true, and
totally unfair.

These trails weren't always walkable. No doubt they
started as patches of grass, perhaps overgrown. Those
who first walked them must have soiled their shoes,
stubbed their toes, or had insects biting their legs,
all in the immovable belief that the nearest distance
between two points is a straight line. They might even
have seen snakes cross their paths. But the soiled
footwear, sore toes, and itchy legs started to conquer
the grass. Other people, seeing the yet faint trail,
followed. And as more and more walked the path, the
grass gave in and stopped growing altogether, making
the path more and more visible, more and more
walkable.

The persistence of the paths pays tribute to those UP
students who walked them first – the pioneers of the
unbeaten tracks: the defiant and curious few who
refuse the familiar and comfortable; the
out-of-the-box thinkers who solve problems instead of
fretting about them; the brave who dare do things
differently, and open new opportunities to those who
follow.

They say how one behaved in the past would determine
how he behaves in the future. And as we leave the
University, temporarily or for good, let us call on
the pioneering, defiant, and brave spirit that built
the paths to guide us in this next phase of our life.

We have been warned time and again. Our new world that
they call "adulthood" is one that's full of
compromises, where success is determined more by the
ability to belong than by the ability to think, where
it is much easier to do as everyone else does. Daily
we are bombarded with so much news of despair about
the state of our nation, and the apparent, perverse
sense of satisfaction our politicians get from
vilifying our state of affairs. It is fashionable to
migrate to other countries to work in deceptively
high-paying jobs like nursing and teaching, forgetting
that even at their favored work destinations, nurses
and teachers are some of the lowest paid
professionals. The lure of high and immediate monetary
benefits in some low-end outsourcing jobs has drawn
even some of the brightest UP students away from both
industry and university teaching to which they would
have been better suited.

Like the sidewalks and pavement, these paths are the
easiest to take.

But, like the sidewalks and pavement, these paths take
longer to traverse, just as individual successes do
not always make for national progress. The unceasing
critic could get elected, but not get the job done.
The immigrant could get his visa, but disappear from
our brainpower pool. The highly paid employee would be
underutilized for his skills, and pine to get the job
he truly wants, but is now out of his reach. And the
country, and we, are poorer because of these.

Today, the nation needs brave, defiant pioneers to
reverse our nation's slide to despair. Today, we must
call upon the spirit that beat the tracks. Today, we
must present an alternative way of doing things.

Do NOT just take courage, for courage is not enough.
Instead, be BRAVE! It will take bravery to go against
popular wisdom, against the clich├ęd expectations of
family and friends. It will take bravery to gamble
your future by staying in the country and try to make
a prosperous life here. It might help if for a start,
we try to see why our Korean friends are flocking to
our country. Why, as many of us line up for immigrant
visas in various embassies, they get themselves
naturalized and settle here. Do they know something we
don't?

Do NOT just be strong in your convictions, for
strength is not enough. Instead, DEFY the pressure to
lead a comfortable, but middling life. Let us lead
this country from the despair of mediocrity. Let us
not seek to do well, but strive to EXCEL in everything
that we do. This, so others will see us as a nation of
brains of the highest quality, not just of brawn that
could be had for cheap.

Take NOT the road less traveled. Rather, MAKE new
roads, BLAZE new trails, FIND new routes to your
dreams. Unlike the track-beaters in campus who see
where they're going, we may not know how far we can
go. But if we are brave, defiant searchers of
excellence, we will go far. Explore possibilities,
that others may get a similar chance. I have tried it
myself. And I'm speaking to you now.

But talk is cheap, they say. And so I put my money
where my mouth is. Today, I place myself in the
service of the University, if it will have me. I would
like to teach, to share knowledge, and perhaps to be
an example to new UP students in thinking and striving
beyond the limits of the possible. This may only be a
small disturbance in the grass. But I hope you'll come
with me, and trample a new path.

Good evening, everyone.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

callcenter underrated

A discussion board in a group here in friendster caught my attention recently...a post which gathered opinion on the current "YUPPIES" taking a career step in the callcenter industry and not being able to practice their respective professions...

Contrary to what most people think about careers in callcenters, my stand is otherwise...

it is a known fact to me ever since i stepped in college, and there is no need to convince me, that indeed our educational system is flawed and inefficient...and it has always become a DIPLOMA MILL for the past decades...and is still at the present...

I remember so vividly how "LOST" i was when i stepped out of high school since i lacked the guidance and exposure of the many possible career paths there would be to pursue in the "FUTURE" which is as we speak is the PRESENT...

my point is, if the government had focused its energies on improving our educational system rather than politics and earning millions from "MILITARY strategies" then I think our brilliant and well-educated WORKFORCE might not be at their place right now receiving calls from First World countries and working on graveyard shifts for the FAT PAYCHECKs for premium pays for the days work during holidays which they are supposed to be spending with their families....

...if the government had been serious about its business of existing FOR the people and BY the people, we might have not become a country of CHEAP LABOR for the arrogant Richer countries...and it could have been us kicking their asses...

...and who knows...popping up of Nursing Schools might never have occured...

...and i still keep thinking WHAT IF...

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