Thursday, September 1, 2011

Confession 101: I Have a Dream (Part 3 of 4)

Reaching late twenties, your priorities will start to change. You will have to choose what really matters to you because obviously, you cannot have it all. In my case, I want to pursue things which help me to become a better teacher. Teaching economics would be very difficult if we are going to discuss theories alone. We should put its relevance to the real world and forget the assumption: ceteris paribus or everything else remains constant. To teach is still the greatest goal in my life. And for me to become a better social science teacher, I have to expose myself to the realities outside the four corners of the classroom. I have to undertake jobs which will equip me to become an expert economist. Ambitious as it is but that’s my dream. My simple dream.

It all started when I was in college. Coming from a poor family, I never had a chance to study at my dream school taking up the course which I really want (I was admitted at UPLB for BS in Agricultural Economics program). So I ended up studying at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) Tagum Campus taking up Agricultural Engineering since that’s the nearest school where my family can afford to send me. I really don’t have interest with that course and I can’t really see myself to become an Agricultural Engineer working in whatever company maybe!

I can still remember the moment which I consider the turning point of my life. The moment when I decided to become a teacher. In our sociology class back then at USEP Tagum when I was in second year, listening to Prof. Cenabre who eloquently explained about the relationship of man and the society, I said to my self, “That’s the thing I want to do. To teach about society”. I want to talk about the society and have better understanding about it. At the same time I want to include Math in it because I just love Math. Economics is the perfect field for that. I started to write at the schools in Mindanao which offer economics. Little did I know that USeP Obrero Campus offers excellent undergraduate and graduate economics courses. I started skipping my calculus and physics classes also. Instead of listening to my professors, you can find me at the library reading economics books, newspapers and magazines and checking the stock market (though I didn’t fully understand how it works that time). My grades in our quizzes and exams started to miss the passing mark which previously (dili sa panghinambog) were usually perfect scores. And I really failed in those subjects. It took lots of courage for me to tell my brothers and sisters and my parents about my decision in shifting to other course and transferring to other school. Huh! How can I still afford to transfer where in fact we can barely sustain ourselves in USeP Tagum? But I took the risks. Guys, it was not easy to go to the city and live there with ample funds. Trust me. It’s not a joke. I’m so thankful to the Lord that He has given me that chance to pursue things which I really want. By the way, I took summer classes to pass Physics and Integral Calculus since they are required subjects in Economics.

And there I was, able to finish my dream degree in Economics in a good school (sa econ lang ha). And when DCHS considered me as a qualified teacher in econ, I enjoyed thoroughly my job. I am currently taking my master’s degree in Econ. Honestly, I still have plans to earn PhD degree in economics with concentration in Development Economics. I just love discussing about society and find ways to make it better. I think that’s my own way of helping the country; to generate ideas and to conduct studies which will further the basis for economic policies.

I want to earn my Ph.D. degree in a good university outside the Philippines. This is to have better academic training for me to become a better academician also here in our country. I just can’t afford to finance my post graduate studies on my own in the future since the universities which offer this program are very expensive. Scholarship is the answer and usually these scholarships are being offered to individuals from developing countries like the Philippines with experiences in government service, have teaching experience in college at least for two years, or must have economic research related jobs. And I am so sorry I can’t do it when I continue to stay in Davao Christian. Even right now, there are scholarships offered to me for short courses in economics in Europe but I am not qualified since I don’t have enough exposure to public service.

Right now, working with the Department of Science and Technology as Science Aide where I prepare project proposals, monitors the projects being implemented by the agency, making activity designs for seminars and trainings and facilitate them, is already a good start. This is a good stepping stone for me to be hired in local and international organizations like United Nations Development Program, the World Bank and the like which focus on doing interventions for economic development of countries. God willing, those experiences hopefully will equip me to become an economics professor in the future.

So that’s why I left Davao Christian to pave way for my dream of becoming a professor in economics someday. And what’s the problem with that? It seems a good idea. It may seem so good but I undergo difficult process right now. Why? That’s the last part (4 of 4) of these confessions.

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