Last Wednesday I assigned something “disturbing” to my English classes.
It was a 1996 article about a UP graduate (BS Agriculture Major in Plant Pathology to be specific), who ended as a maid in Hongkong after her short stint as a young scientist (since P4000 per month would not be sufficient for her, let alone her family, so she looked for a job abroad which then pays P12000 monthly).
Silence was all there was when I finished reading.
On top of all their uneasy thoughts was the question: what would happen to me when I graduate from UP, after all the hardships I’ve been through from first year to fourth or beyond year, in the hands of the cruelest professors, in a most stressful times, under intoxicating expectations? Then several other questions pop:
Would I be able to land a well-paying job?
Do I want a well-paying job at the expense of a job I would love (which seems to be always way cheaper)?
Should my job be in the service of the ailing nation?
Which should we prioritize supporting, our family or our country?
Do I even need a college degree to pursue my dreams?
Is the government to be blamed for brain drain and the Diaspora of millions of Filipinos who can’t find a decent job here?
Should we finger-point or start challenging ourselves to prepare for life after UP?
What happened to other UP graduates?
Why did Sally choose to be a maid?
Didn’t she waste all the privileges of being a UP grad?
Are there others like her?
Believe me, the discussion ended in a positive note. I could only tell a few stories of my friends who now earn twice or thrice bigger than my salary, or those with equal or less pay than mine, in jobs they want because since the very beginning they know their worth and they know what they want. This, plus a good balance of love of country and love for family, plus a little pride. We weren’t saying that Sally doesn’t. That’s her choice.
Well some of my friends earn big time in call centers and multi-national companies, others enjoy the relatively low pay of broadcasting and journalism stints, some teach in UP, some in high schools, some started as bum and ended as freelancers, some went to the lucrative business process outsourcing, some pursued further studies here and abroad, some were not able to finish college and some put up their own business, some became flight attendants, some are now mothers and fathers, some are still trapped in their parents’ house, some are travelers and globetrotters, some are bloggers.
But many are still in the service of the nation: those who stayed in the University, those who went to the Congress (and other public office) for a good cause, those who are in UP Pahinungod, those who work for non-profit non-governmental organizations, those who write ceaselessly and expose social ills.
So if students would choose to be employed or to put up a business which to them is not degrading or corrupt or illegal, then they call the shots.
The students got my point.
mam ai! pa-sit-in naman sa klase mo! hehehe 🙂
oh yeah sure! 😀
paglabas mo ng UP, ang akala mong real world na naranasan mo sa apat, lima, anim o kung ilang taon pa mang pag-aaral mo sa UP ay patikim pa lang. pagkatapos ng mahigit isang taon sa call center at kumita ng four times sa allowance ko nung college, umalis din ako at lumipat sa trabahong may mas mababang sweldo. balik UPLB ako. university research associate. sa totoo lang di ko alam kung ito talaga ang gusto kong gawin sa buhay. pero sigurado akong mas gusto ko ito sa buhay call-center kahit alam kong mas gusto kong maging chef. hehe mag-aaral… Read more »
oooh…d q po lam bat napadaan ako ri2, mmm, peo na-discuss mo n po i2 s class maam d b? ita2nong q nga po sna s nyo nun kung bkt po i2 at ung dlwang chinese readings ung napili nyong ipbasa smin…curious lng po… 😛
pag-usapan natin to ng mas masinsinan pagbalik ko ng elbi… nuninuninu… magninilay-nilay lang muna ako…
if an article is thought provoking, it can engage even the most silent person in class into a critical discourse.
if an article is well-written, it can guide students how to write by being influenced by the author’s style (or why not imitate?)
if an article is close to us as Filipinos or human beings, it deserves to be discussed.
These are my criteria in choosing my reading list. 🙂
nalungkot naman ako dito. minsan napag-usapan namin to ni ma’am amy colanta, yung issue na ang impractical ng comp lit kasi di ka naman talaga yayaman dun. minsan nagdoboubt pa rin ako choice ko ng masters.
uh-oh sorry sarah 🙁
i felt the same way over and over for two years until I realized, I’m about to finish my coursework and I had fun experience naman (well not all the time, especially if deadlines are draining me).
hanap na lang tayo ng mayamang lalaki na poproblemahin kung pano yayaman. 😀
ma’am dun po sa sgot mo kay lyka, effective po tlga siya ksi kahit last class ko ng ang eng2 every wed and fri, enjoy parin ang klase.hehehe…. sana po laging ganun ang klase ntin… tska npka ganda po tlga ng mga stories na un, it really prepares us for our future… =>
ako ang katanungan ko lang eh bakit hindi picture ko nung graduation ang nandito? lolz share ko lang, i graduated bs stat minor in cmsc sa elbi. habang nasa college, ni-petition kami ng daddy papuntang tate. pagkagraduate ng college, ayun lipad na agad. sa tate hindi ko alam kung pwede kong ipagsigawan na UP graduate ako pero ayoko ng odd jobs kahit malaki ang sweldo. napaka-supportive nga ng mommy ko eh, sabi niya meron naman daw siyang kakilala na up graduate na dealer sa casino, amps! pero binigyan ko lang ang sarili ko ng up to 3 months para makahanap… Read more »
hi ai! well im just lucky i got the job (and the pay?) that i want after graduating from UP. I think it depends on your field. i really don’t know.
but i think what’s more important is UP taught its students to be resourceful, and practical, I think. It’s a no-brainer, why would you get a low-paying job if you can’t feed your own family?
and there’s nothing wrong with being a house help. 🙂
Tama yan Ai! Kapag may nahanap ka pa-share naman. Haha. Polygamy?! Mishu Ai!!! 😀
big fish in a small aquarium…
small fish in the big sea.
ganito nga raw tayo
before and after UP.
from miragurl in multiply! (really insightful, thanks) *** sorry ngayon nalang ako nakapag feedback. anyway i read the article at kung estudyante mo din ako, baka natakot ako after reading it. personally, i thought my future after graduating in UPLB will be bleak. i was in college for almost 7 years and teacher ka na, estudyante parin ako. i was NEVER the ideal student and alam mo yan. =) so i’m surprised that i landed a very decent job. i now work at CGI which is one of the creative companies of mcdonald’s as an account executive. siguro talagang anything… Read more »
ma’am hindi pa ulit kita nakikita around. nakakamiss ang eng2 class natin.
Im quite mobile lately e. elbi-diliman-starosa-laloma-pasay-somewhereelse
I will just comment a quote . . .
“A teacher affects eternity he can never tell, where his influence stops.”
by Henry B. Adams
What does it feel being a teacher? Is it your best choice for long-life career? Or not satisfied and need to find another job?
napadpad ako sa site ni mam ai.. ehehehe.. bibisita ako dito sigurado ng madalas.. ^^ dahil hindi ko poh kau naging titser sa silid-aralan (sa LTS1 lng naging faci) dito na lng.. ehehehe galing!
made me more confused on what course to take. haiyst.