[More Than] Lessons from the [Zeroth and] First Week of [Graduate] School

[Late blog entry.]

Last June 9, I made this immediate major decision of taking up graduate units at UP-Diliman instead of my alma mater, the Ateneo. As my original plans include not really intending to finish my Masters here in the Philippines, I want to have my brain all-geared up for school when I become a doctorand in the United States by Fall 2012. Besides, having some Masters units is still a plus in terms of experience — after all knowledge gained is knowledge earned. Many other reasons (like less expensive tuition fee, by four degrees?) I will not be really discussing here but to clear it, I still love the Ateneo more than any other school in the country. It’s just that at the moment, I can get the necessary experience for the research I want at UP Diliman (toxicology of nanomaterials, at an environmental perspective) as well as the cultural adjustment I may need when I finally go to the Land of the Free.

They say that when an Isko goes to Ateneo to do his/her graduate studies, s/he gets a pleasant surprise of what the Ateneo culture is — the slang words, the seemingly-lavish-but-not-really lifestyle, the UAAP hype, and so on. An Atenean on the other hand, who does his/her graduate studies at UP (particularly Diliman and/or Manila) encounters a rude awakening. In a harsh way (I have not yet experienced this in FULL, so this is a disclaimer!), I have experienced a few simple “rude awakenings,” some of which include long walks in between buildings, getting drenched in the rain, and waiting for long hours at the university registrar. Praise God for hot college chicks I was able to survive these small ordeals of life.

I officially renewed my student life last June 14 at ES201 (Fundamentals of Environmental Science I) class. We’re just nine in class and I’m the only male. We have a decent mix of people from all ages. But anyway, first week of class has always been meant to be always informal. The “informality” of my first day however was not that I imagined it to be. Our professor’s remarks made me appreciate the UP culture and motivated me to become a better scientist (by of course, for now, pursuing for my PhD applications).

Here are some bullet points from his lecture:

  • Science must be our culture. Our culture must be science.
  • Environmental science is not just a fad, but a mixture of disciplines.
  • Science is a way of life — an investigation of the planet as a whole.
  • Daily life actions affect the environment.
  • Deciding not to ride a smoke-belching jeep is helping the environment.
  • The Philippine government/politics is too much of “management” that it has not time and budget for “research.”
  • Our government’s crooked systems too much takes science for granted.
  • The next president of the Philippines must be a scientist.
  • Work here in the Philippines after you get your higher degrees abroad. — learned this at the Ateneo too
  • With consciousness comes conscientiousness.

There. I’m loving graduate school so far. And there are more reasons. Haha.

And PS, this means I can officially cheer for the UP Pep Squad this UAAP. ❤ But my heart still goes to the Ateneo Blue Eagles. No offense, Blue Babble, I’m still blue-blooded.

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5 comments on “[More Than] Lessons from the [Zeroth and] First Week of [Graduate] School

  1. Glad you’re enjoying your UP life so far. I also had the “rude awakening” you experienced when I transferred to UP. Case in point: Enlistment via CRS. I dunno if you experienced hell during that stage but the whole ordeal of getting a subject whether online or through pilas made me think Ateneans really have no business complaining how slow/fail AISIS can be. Try nila sa UP noh! :)) Good luck sa MS! 🙂

    • Hmmm since I just took 6 units, medyo di ko sya na-experience pero I was seeing undergrads na pagod na pagod na kakalakad from building to another just to get enlisted. May mga narinig nga ako sabi “shet, kahit anong subject na nga lang, matapos lang ako today.” Made me appreciate AISIS nga, kahit uber bagal. Thanks Xianne! Good luck sa endeavors too! 🙂

  2. Hey Troy, just submitted my application form for MA sa UP rin. haha, I’m still waiting acceptance (or rejection), pero reading this is making me kinda nervous ah. haha.

    Are you working ba? Kinailangan ba magleave para sa Registration procedures?

    Wala lang, just preempting my acceptance, if ever. haha.

    Goodluck 🙂

    • Hello Marvie, yup I am working while studying! 😛 Pero there, I’m only taking 6 units (7 next semester) kasi sobrang wala sa plans ko ang mag-tapos ng Masters. Getting a Masters degree in the Philippines is just a back-up plan, if di ako matanggap sa States. :)) Yes kailangang mag-leave for registration. UP = University of Pila. HAHAHA. It will take only a day, pero try to be start everything by 7AM! It took me a day and a half kasi I started 9AM na. Your trips to the registrar will eat up most of your registration.

      See you next semester! Haha don’t worry, masaya sa UP actually. Feels like Katipunan. Pero about the “rude awakenings,” yeah I have experienced lots of them from the point I wrote this blog up to the present. 😀

  3. Pingback: Promises for 2011 Checklist | Philosoposer's Lounge

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