All roads lead to Katipunan.
Hundreds of graduating high school students from Metro Manila and neighboring province (Rizal and maybe Bulacan and Laguna) flocked since yesterday to THE University of the Philippines to try their luck in UPCAT. The exam's not basta-basta after all, it's your ticket to entering THE UP.Passing the UPCAT would earn any graduating high school student the bragging rights of being MATALINO. It's THE UP by the way, the premiere university of the Republic of the Philippines, so it's really a big plus plus in your entire education life and even in your resume if you go to this school. That's what I think.
Yes, just like many graduating high school students, I dreamt of going to this university. It's as if studying in this school would make every person I know or encounter bow down before me and worship me the moment they know I am from UP because I am smart...no, make it genius. Hahaha of course, it's an illusion!Lol. Seriously, I was devastated when my mother told me she had no money to send me to a review center during summer so that I could study for the upcoming UPCAT. Instead, she made a deal with me to buy me a reviewer instead---I agreed with her offer. The reviewer on hand plus a study session with my two closest pal are my weapon for UPCAT.
UPCAT wasn't easy...it is never easy...and it will never ever be! The moment I finished the exam on August 2, 2007 I knew right there and then that I need a miracle to have my dream of studying in UP come true. I know I was right when I said that.
Fastforward to February of 2008, we checked the website to see if my name is included on the list who passed the exam. It's confirmed. I failed in UPCAT. Oh well, that's life. I admit that I am saddened and nanghihinayang but at least, I still ended up with a good school...my beloved alma mater, THE University of Santo Tomas :) It's an honor, really, to set foot and study in this school. I love my school, no regrets...really.
I decided not to go to work today and instead come with my parents because of one thing: my younger brother is having his UPCAT today.
We left the house at 5am in order to avoid the expected heavy flow of traffic that day. We managed to get inside the campus before 6am, minutes ahead of my brother's 6:30 scheduled exam.
The next couple of hours is one of the longest in my life! Almost five hours worth of waiting for him to finish is no joke. To make matter worse my phone's battery was drained, the fm station that my mother enjoys listening to sucks (it's not 90.7 btw) plus it's raining that's why we're stuck most of the time inside the car! Tsss.
|Parked cars: waiting for the examinees to finish|
I enjoyed the light conversation with my parents during those five boring hours. We kept on laughing and laughing because of our silly stories and remarks that the three of us shared. I enjoyed it really but the waiting part really drives me nuts. Good thing I survived the whole thing!
After enduring all five hours of waiting (too much emphasis on the five waiting hours lol), had our quick lunch at Vivian's Tapsi *yummy* then went home...finally :))
A little confession: somehow, I'm jealous and envy my brother because he was enrolled in a review center while I was given the only option to self-study (and some help with my friends). But I have to understand that if they will not do this, he might have a hard time since he's a lazy student and definitely, telling and letting him study by himself is like talking to a wall---useless. So I just hope that he'll pass this...or at least in USTET since he expressed his interest in studying in UST. I really really hope that he was able to apply and will still apply what he learned from his review in his upcoming college entrance exams. I hope he'll pass in UST * fingers crossed.*
Oh well, at least it's one down for him. More or less he still has three entrance exams to take -on the 22nd he'll take his USTET, then later this year in Mapua and Lyceum.
Most students think that education stops the moment they march in PICC and get their diplomas onstage while wearing their togas. They believe that the grades they got from recitations, assignments, projects, quizzes, examinations, and even theses show how "learned" they are.Sometimes, they even think that graduating with laude honors would make them the smartest and genius individuals of their time. I know this too well, I was once a student.
But just like what the great Einstein, a school dropout but is considered as genius, we can only say that we are truly educated if, despite our decision to unlearn the many things that we studied in school over the years, we remain rationale with our choice of our own decisions, words, and actions. Education is a continuing process of discovery and application. The true essence of education is how we cope with and run our lives based from our knowledge, our understanding of the world, our principles, and most importantly our experience or learnings. After all, it is through our past experiences that we're able to learn or discover things that could help us eventually in the future since we already know how to do it right...the second, third, or even the 100th time! The important thing is that we really learned from those experiences.
In connection with Einstein's words, I suddenly remembered what our professor, Sir Ian Esguerra of PDI said that in the real world, we have to learn to unlearn the things taught in school because more often than not, they are irrelevant. It's important though to master the rules, for neophytes, but the moment you understand all these things and you're confident that you know how to apply it properly, that's the only time that you can finally break the rules and do your thing...the way you understand and experienced it.
Ang mahirap kasi sa mga estudyante or matatalino kuno, pag actual time ng application kulelat na! Reason: they rely too much on books or theories that they are too afraid to break the rules. They only follow or do what's written on the book just like a teenager who meticulously follow her recipe book not knowing that sometimes, it's okay to bend the rules. It's time to learn how to take risks.
Education or being educated is all about taking risk. You question, search for the answer, discover it, experiment, then maybe fail twice or ten thousand times, but at the end of the day you LEARNED. Learn that it's okay to have failing grades or get a negative zero in a quiz---that's not the real measurement of learning because knowledge is measured not inside the classroom but outside the four corners of the school...you can say that you really learned when you can perform well even outside of your comfort zone because you perfectly understand the "world."And when that finally happens, you can proudly say, TO HELL WITH THE BOOKS, THE LECTURES, THE READINGS and YES TO YOUR OWN DISCOVERY AND UNDERSTANDING OF HOW THINGS AROUND THE WORLD REALLY WORKS... that's KNOWLEDGE and EDUCATION for you.
Oh, and one last thing: really, it's not from what school you came from or if you have laude honors---all these will go down the drain if you do not know, understand, and even navigate your own world. Knowledge is useless if you do not have actual understanding.