Recent Thoughts

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Definitely not running for honors

This is not a graph of the Dollar-Peso exchange rate the past few months where the lower the value, the stronger the Philippine Peso gets. It's how my GWA* (General Weighted Average) plunged through my n-years at UP Diliman, ehe.

They say that a picture paints a thousand words. Well, here's a quick recap of the story behind the 'picture'.. (Click the picture for a larger view)

1) It's my first sem ever in college and obviously, at UP. Incidentally, it's also the highest point of the graph, haha! Back then, it wasn't my strategy to excel in my subjects that consisted of GEs (General Education, UP's term for minor subjects) and a 5-unit Math major. Of course, I studied for my exams and I aimed for above average scores. But I never aimed for the highest marks the way I used to back in high school. I figured back then, I am but a small guppy in a sea of science high school aruwanas, how could I possibly stand out? Haha! I also decided that I am done with trying to meet other people's extreme expectations (read: receiving honors / medals). Looking back after 6 years, do I regret it? Yes.. Haha! Because it was my one and only chance to be a College Scholar (UP's own version of a Dean's Lister), and I didn't even grab the chance. Looking at the empty fields of my resum
é for 'Honors Received' in college, of course, I do regret it.

2) I finally had a EEE major -- a introductory programming course. That sem, I tried to outdo my first semester performance, but alas, my first real taste of hard core programming (my programming lesson back in high school are so easy!) and Chemistry did not cooperate. I redeemed my Math self-esteem that sem though with a 2.0 in my first Calculus course (I got a 4.0 in my college algebra and trigo subject, thank God I managed to pass the removals back then).

3) It's the school year where I was my organization's officer -- my first major extra-curricular responsibility in college. One can assume it affected my academic performance, but really, to produce a 2.50 average for a year where it's 85% majors for me is not an easy feat.

4) My first DROPPED subject -- Math 157 AKA Discrete Math Structures. Primary reason for the surrender? It's the professor, hehe! Dr. Hermo is probably the most feared but famous Math professor in UP in recent memory. But he sure was one of the best mentors. Mabagal lang talaga ako pumick-up, haha!

5) First 5.0 -- EEE 103 and EEE 51. 103 is an introductory course in electrical engineering and 51 is a subject of complicated and convoluted electric circuits. I am just thankful I'm through with those. It's my first time to be a disappointment, at least academically, to my parents so telling them (they're abroad) was a challenge. The reaction was way better than I expected though. :)

6) I was the President of my organization this school year. Yes, yet again, it did affect my studies which bore another DRP and the said 5.0s. After my term, I decided to 'retire' from the leadership business.

7) More 5.0s for me, but it's also my first ever 1.0 on a 3-unit subject -- Psych 101. Wow (sarcastic), a 1.0 on a free elective, haha!

8) My first ever 5.0 and DRP free semester in 3 semesters! But before you say I have redeemed myself, I almost did not achieve this minor achievement. I actually had two 4.0s that sem which I both luckily passed.

9) Dark Ages. The steep decline should say it all, hehe -- a deep hole from which I have to save myself from as of yet. It was the worst year of my life but if I look back at this point in my life someday, I know there was a good reason behind it. You know how your room gets even messier while you try to clean it? You know, the brief period where you put out all your stuff in the open to decide what to and what not to keep, and arrange them properly from thereon. That's how I want to look at that stage of my life.

10) To end on a brighter note, I'll focus on my 4 fruitful summer terms -- all of which were DRP and 5.0 free. At least, my summer sacrifice weren't for naught. :) Notice how my GWA would minutely increase after each summer term.

Obviously, I am barely the achiever that I was back in high school. When I finally graduate from college, I would receive nothing else other than the fake diploma the Engineering Dean would hand to me (the real diploma will be released MONTHS after, haha!).

Do I have regrets? Of course, I do. But not over the medals or honors I would have received if I made the conscious effort to focus entirely on my acads (and probably perform better). Friends would always dish out the patented excuse that after all, "mahirap naman kasi talaga ang course ko -- Engineering ako, CoE pa..". But it's an excuse I would rather not use, and I myself wouldn't deem reasonable (if I were on the receiving end of the excuse). I can't even invoke the classic Starstruck excuse where "tinry ko naman po ang best ko" because deep in my heart I know I didn't.

But what's done is done. (Clich
é excuse na naman, hehe!) I would have to live with the consequences of my mistakes, but at least as I go on with life, I have ways to redeem myself and realize my true potential. Wushu, may mga ganoong statement? Hehe!

At least I had a full college life -- and this is an excuse I would always stand for. With 'full' being defined as something that was designed to teach me some things I wouldn't have learned any other way, and made me a better person. Like I always say, better grades only make me a better student and a better son, but not necessarily a better person.

*Not to be mistakened as my Semestral GWA. Each point in the graph is an updated, overall and as-of-this-sem GWA. My semestral GWA is another story. I would need a deeper Y-axis, haha!
*GE GWA: 1.80, so kahit pala based on minors, hindi pa rin ako Cum Laude, haha!
*Eng'g GWA (subjects required for all Engineering students, regardless of specialization): 2.72
*EEE GWA (all my actual majors): 3.22. Oha, bagsak na bagsak, hehe. Andami kasing 5.0 eh. May mag-ha-hire pa kaya sa akin?

Quick Thoughts