Here’s a toast and roast to UP students in Los Baños (the ones I’ve handled, at least) who are worth the stay for about four years now in the University of the Philippines:
1. Elbi students’ fashion sense is extreme. In one room, you could see the typical maong and shirt/blouse, as well as shorts and sleeveless, but sometimes there are also cardigans and ties, flats and stilettos, sarong and malong, animé costume and “SpeechCom costume” (smart casual or semi-formal), party dress, summer dress, and ‘cross-dress’.
2. Some nurse an attitude problem. It is a fact that students talk about their professors–but sometimes, they mimic–if not parody–teachers too. Why is this worth the stay? Mimicry is the best flattery.
3. They love to hug and touch. Many studes shake hands and kiss or beso-beso because of organizations, fraternities, sorrorities, and other affiliations, but they can go an extra mile farther.
One Valentine’s Day I asked my classes to stand and hug each other (there’s a discussion-synthesis after that activity, of course), they agreed, without further ado. Another time: I jokingly asked a crying student if he needs a hug, he gave me one. Other times: when they feel like hugging me after not seeing me for a long while, they share human touch. If they can’t do this physically, they do it electronically (I’m talking about e-mails and blogs).
The best way of “touching” an English teacher, though, is whenever students do their work diligently and in good taste (This is the time I go “Gad, they were listening all along! ).
4. These guys know their strengths and weaknesses. If they’re on the danger side of their studies, they drop the course; if they’re winning the battle, they stay; if they’re totally clueless about their standing and are afraid to face the hurtful truth, they disappear from the face of the earth, then show up after five million years like a boyfriend who asked for space, still remembering you, asking “What happened… Can I have another chance?”
5. Math geeks, science geniuses, and engineering nerds have something more than handsome brains. Majority of the 10,000 plus students in UPLB are Bachelors of Science. Insightful comments would usually come from them–that’s 10,000 pogi/ganda points. And when their serious faces crack for a rare smile, it’s like witnessing sunrise at the first dawn of the century, another 10,000 points!
Seeing Beauty stare at me early in the morning or late in the afternoon is one hell of a reason to love my job, while getting paid for it.
Happy centennial, UPLB. mabuhay kayo.
iskolar ng bayan: palaban, makabayan, matatalino, lumalaban kahit kanino, may itsura pa.