what was supposed to be a happy get-together ended up as a depressing day for most of us in block b. the final grades in one of our subjects were out; the results were disappointing.
well, we really shouldn't have been surprised. the professor (who incidentally was part of the panel that interviewed miriam's son) was notorious for dishing out 5's. and he doesn't give 4's either.
at first, we brushed off stories we heard from his former students. but we eventually experienced how he is in class (yes, the stories were accurate). not only was he intimidating, he had the habit of getting upset all of a sudden and walking out of the room, calling us the worst batch in years. and he had no qualms about giving anyone a 5 for a recit.
to top off the absurdity, he gave us a surprise quiz. it's his prerogative really, but we learned later on that other blocks didn't have such. worse, almost half the class flunked. it seemed to us that when our views simply do not jive with his, we're lucky to get a 2.5. most of us got 5's.
when the smoke-up list (dropping list) came out, 12 from our class dropped the subject. i would have done the same had i known my class standing before the deadline for dropping. i was on the fringe of failing (a little above 3). under ordinary circumstances, it would have been ok. but in a subject where you are doomed to fail in the finals, you need at least a 2 to make sure you get an automatic 3 in the final grade (2+5=7/2=3.5~3). that was his policy we were told, or so we thought.
17 of us stayed on, including my seatmate whose average was a little below 3 (she was the highest among those in the smoke-up list). we prayed we'd get called more often to make up for the low scores. both of us were called once but that was not enough to get near the much-wished-for average of 2.
the final exam was difficult as expected. 4 essay questions to be analyzed using a certain framework or to be related to assigned readings. what was difficult about it were not the questions per se; it was the passing rate of 70, and the uber brilliant mind of our professor whose thoughts we could not possibly fathom.
i needed to pass the exam. so i stayed on until the proctor asked us to submit our papers—almost 4 grueling hours in all.
only 4 of us passed the final exam. out of 40, i got 29. passing score was 28. i was that close to getting a final grade of 5 for the first time in my life. i was ecstatic of course when i learned about it, although only after resigning my fate to getting a 5. luck was on my side i guess. or as my blockmates would joke: malakas kasi magdasal.
my seatmate got the highest in the exam (comeback queen). she did light an orange candle at st. jude.
i really should be happy for myself...for my seatmate...and for the four of us who passed. but inasmuchas i would want to, i can't.
i can't be happy because i know that the whole system is just so unfair. the rest of the class got 5's. two of my friends scored 27 in the finals, just one point shy of a 3.0 but they ended up getting a 5.0. in the finals. worse, they got a 5.0 in the final grade because the prof raised the passing grade from 3.5 to 3.0. that means we needed an average of 1 in the recit to pass if we get a 5 in the finals (that's just so impossible).
but the worst part of it all is that while the automatic 3 rule does not apply to us, it applies to others. one student from another block got a 3 even if he flunked the finals just because his recit is 1.5. my friend has almost the same class standing (the prof even praised her for giving the best answer ever to a question he's been asking for years) but she still got a 5. the difference? we were not his favorite block. if my friend's recollection is correct, the prof gives a 0.25-increment to his favorite block.
the sad thing is that these friends of mine, who have been studying just as hard as i did and who have even performed better than i did during the sem, will have to retake the whole subject just because they failed in the finals. in the words of one of my blockmates: "pasado ka nga the whole sem, bagsak ka lang sa finals, bagsak na lahat."
how can i be happy when to be happy about it is to condone the rotten system?
i am disappointed with our prof. disappointed because he is so brilliant yet coldhearted. disappointed because he is an advocate of rights of peasants and women, and yet he could not see the oppression he's inflicting on his students. disappointed because he is quick to point out what's wrong with the legal system, but he himself is blind to his own excesses.
in the end though, he is still the professor, we, his students. in a world were professors are gods, all we can do is hope and pray that their conscience bother them. (and that there is indeed such a thing as karma.)
ironically, injustice begins where the quest for equality starts.
quoting one of our professors: "this is the college of law, not of justice."
absurd headline (c/o insider): mga dayuhan hinikayat na magparetoke para tumaas ang turismo sa bansa (calling dr. vicky. belo country na ba tayo?)
disturbing news: ortigas shoot-out. the video speaks for itself. overkill naman yun. nakahandusay na nga sa loob nga kotse, nilapitan pa, pinagbabaril. la pang id ang mga pulis, nakashorts at sneakers lang. hindi naman pala hot car. shux, ano na ba nangyayari sa'tin. something is just so wrong with things these days. i can't trust policemen anymore.
well, nothing surprising really. the president can't even be trusted.