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From Our Readers: "My Professor Broke My Heart"

This is not a love story.
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"You are not entitled to go to this class."

Those were your last words as before you asked more than half of the class to get out because they failed your daily quiz about current events.

I don't know why it had to come to this. You are weighing intelligence as something that is associated with current events. I understand that it is in line with our course, but failing half of the class just because they don't know the exact name of the governor of Surigao or the exact place where Ms. Universe 2017 lives, or the other Koreans involved in that Tokhang for ransom case, is just not right.

Maybe I am speaking out of anger, or maybe I am speaking out of truth. Maybe I am letting my emotions cloud my judgment and let me speak, or maybe I just want to speak and let it out in behalf of my schoolmates who have actually started hating you.

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I hate you, too, Mr. Practitioner. Not because you kicked me out of your class and dropped me out of your records, but because I think you are a waste of time, as much as you think we are a waste of yours. You are good at what you do, but please don't impose on us that we are nothing like you and we will never be as good as you. You are a good reporter, but maybe you're just not good at teaching.

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You are good at what you do, but please don't impose on us that we are nothing like you and we will never be as good as you.

We deserve something more. We deserve someone who loves teaching and do not think it is a burden, that we are the burden. We deserve someone who sees to it that at the end of the day, there's a dynamic information that goes into our minds and triggers curiosity in us that will lead us into wanting to learn more. We deserve someone who has the love of knowledge and make us realize the importance of it. We deserve a professor, not a bully.

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We deserve someone who has the love of knowledge and make us realize the importance of it. We deserve a professor, not a bully.

I know you think we don't deserve you. You even said in class once that, "Ako na nga ang teacher ninyo, ganyan pa kayo." You even stressed that you are a practitioner in this huge media network and that having you in class should make us strive for more. And we are striving for more. You don't know how we take note of news. We read about key information and huge personalities involved. It's just that our notes and your questions are not the same.

I don't know what made you think that way. I don't know why you think it is about you and the career you have right now. But as far as I know, I'm pretty sure school is a place for cultivating minds, not a place for stepping on those developing minds and destroying their confident about themselves.

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I'm pretty sure school is a place for cultivating minds, not a place for stepping on those developing minds and destroying their confidence about themselves.

"You will learn this the hard way," you said as we were heading to the door of the room when you asked us to get out. What do we need to learn the hard way? That someone as big as you is bigger than our love for knowledge? There are a lot of professors like you—vain, rude, and someone who has no love for learning. People like you break me. People like you destroy me.

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PRIMO.

First. Pixie dust and paper cuts – these are the first things Wendy knew about Peter Pan. Aurora first met Prince Philip when she was sixteen. Learning how to ride a bike was also a first while I was growing up, but you are probably the first of too many. The first collection of dust and stars; maybe Luna will try to ask, who was your first? I might answer and tell her that it was you.

The first of too many stars in the sky. You are the first of too many fallen leaves during fall – and you will be the most anticipated snowflake as winter comes. A dark path that you can’t see without any light, hence, you were once the moon and there are the stars that shine so bright at night. Are we too early? Or we just really want to be ahead of time? Even in a glimpse, I would like to see the two of us connect as if we can reach the sky. There are other parts of the heavens you have never saw and other oceans you haven’t laid your feet onto – but the constellations will always wait for you. Close your eyes, love, close your eyes. Start counting backward: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Count backward until you see the twinkling lights that will guide you to the right path. To the right satellite; to the right person. A first.

There are many firsts – first love, first heartbreak, first sport you played, the first thing you do in the morning, the first thing you remember about the person in front of you. There are a lot. It’s actually up to us how we will consider something as a first. So, Primo, you are already a first of too many.

Bea Alamis 8 hours ago

If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

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