Friday, May 10, 2013

Post-Graduation Thoughts


Too bad the annual graduation period is immediately overshadowed by the upcoming elections. All the ‘busyness’ and hustle and bustle have been both inspiring and amusing at the same time. Of course it was nice to see people whom you know graduating finally. Particularly in the Philippines, the fruit of one’s longish labors and pain is almost always a good cause for celebrations. Social networking sites abounded with personal accounts of preparations for the graduation ceremonies, exhaustive greetings including the ones mentioned in the theses manuscripts, and a seemingly endless flow and uploads of photos (both taken solo and not) among many others. And all that is understandable.

But one message emerges amidst all those graduates’ excitement. That is the idea that education now has become a campaign of sort dedicated either to some high cause or, on a closer level, to one’s family. The graduates have all the right to declare it. Stripping away the romanticism of a smoothly flowing transition from freshman to a senior, education can be a difficult battle composed of financial shortages, personal problems, and academic woes. Having finished all those acad stuff, it is a good act to shout out the fact to the world. Although a rather late one, I send out my warmest greetings to those I know who graduated last March or April.

Of Messages

Another amusing thing which I have observed during the graduation period was the posing of the question of successfulness. Can you only say that you are successful in life when you are finally invited to speak to young graduates? I personally don’t think so. But of course sending in a man of triumphs and success to the main stage is only natural because the graduates, most of them waiting to be released to the so-called ‘real world’, need someone to look up to and consider as their role model. But after listening to a particularly interesting commencement speech, it made me look back to my own graduation and on what I have achieved so far. Not much, but they definitely brought in personal fulfillment to me.

Be Proud (If You Deserve It)

Lastly (and this I think must not be allowed to pass unmentioned) being able to graduate is naturally endowed with a character of pride. That is good if and only if you know you deserve it. I may not have been in the front seats during my graduation, for instance, but it felt good to be there because whenever I recall the unnecessary anxieties and nightmares (both literal and metaphorical) I had during the last months working on our theses as students, we knew it was all worth the toil.

Somehow my mind fails me to grasp the very idea that some people would go beyond what is supposed to be right just to put in someone in the graduation line. For most cases, we get our academic results based on our performances. And in a logical sense, if certain requirements are not meant, you do not get a passing result. To threaten and belch empty words just to wear your toga was something I did not expect. What saddens me most is that when one does that, you are pretty sure that many would know that a simple act of receiving a diploma was not worth it. It was all but saving face only. Pity.

But let me not dwell on these lowly issues but allow me to end this short narrative about a very new feeling. It’s that sense of pride, a teacher’s pride, of seeing former students walk up the short flight of stairs towards the long sought diplomas and see them flash their priceless smiles in front of the cameras. It’s that pride that comes from the thought that, once in their short stay in the university or college, you have been there, you have been a part, if not a major player. No thank you notes sent are okay with me. Their smiles I have witnessed were already enough.  


Jeverly Mercado said...

Thank You sir Francis for being our prof. in Physics. We texted you upon seeing our grades but I think you changed your number. I really learned a lot from you and I enjoyed your bonus questions.You made physics easier to understand.Thank You again sir for being a part of our college life :)

Pransism said...

Hello Jeverly. I am more than proud to have been part of your college lives. I hope you walk straight to successes as you proceed to your professional lives. See you soon.