Monday, December 08, 2008


.:Not Immersed Deeply Enough:.

My, oh, my. What is becoming known as the “Ateneo Immersion Scandal” is rearing its ugly head on the Internetz lately, and don't worry, it's not the “Scandal” we've come to expect online...

Apparently, a particular student who went on immersion with the Aetas ended up completely reviling the whole experience, and wrote one of the most eyebrow-raising posts I've ever seen.

My dear, I know the immersion was no bed of roses. Of course it wasn't, nor should it be. The point of the immersion is for you to widen your horizons, to understand that society has its glaring examples of inequality, and those of us too cooped up in our ivory towers don't see the whole picture when we speak while bereft of the opportunity to interact and to commune with people who may, on the surface, not be as fortunate as we are.

I don't think it's fair to judge you as a person for your one post, but I think it's fair to say that this post is a poor reflection on how you took this experience. I only hope that in time, you'd come to understand that there is more to life than your immediate environs. You've successfully gone through it firsthand and understood now what these people go through day in, and day out.

I don't wish you ill at all. I only wish that this whole experience you had in your immersion would help you change for the better somehow. I know how it is for people to judge you all too quickly without knowing the other side of the story, so I'd best just wish you the best, and hope that you'd truly learn something from your experience, and perhaps, when you become successful in the future, you can do something to help alleviate the “ills” you perceived in your short stay with the Aetas. Now, you may no longer claim ignorance. Now, you are called to action.

Godspeed to you.

.:No, No. That's Not “Sourgrapping” At All...:.

A recent article from the UST Publication, “The Varsitarian”, took a shot at Ateneo, seeing the writer asking the burning question, “how could an institution that’s barely an expanded liberal arts college and with only a smattering of degree programs tested by state licensure exams become the top Philippine university?”

Now, pardon me for pointing out the elephant in the room, but isn't this writer just reeking of bitterness? With no disrespect to UST whatsoever, I find the tone of this writer incredibly condescending towards Ateneo, as if to say that Ateneo didn't deserve the ranking, but UST did. Just because it was couched in the disclaimer that the writer wasn't “sourgrapping” does not mean we ignore the massive snarkfest that ensued in the whole “article”.

I was especially tickled pink by the whole decrying of “student to teacher ratio”, because let's face it, that ratio is a factor. It doesn't matter if only fewer students can afford the tuition or not, because if that were the issue, there would be no waitlisting in Ateneo, but there is. What this means is that each year, more than enough students go to Ateneo, from all those who applied, and a lot of other students who could actually afford to go to the school simply don't make the cut. Just because you cite a reason for this ratio does not discount its importance in the factors.

After this article and the other one that lambasted the Ateneo professors who supported the RH and used it as an opportunity to slag Ateneo as a whole, I am not entirely surprised why some Ateneas are a tad angry at UST, albeit again, that's misdirected anger, to say the least.

This was sloppy writing with a clear-cut agenda to malign a particular institution. As much as I'd want to write a point by point rebuttal of the article, I think it speaks for itself already. I don't have to cite statistics to prove my point. Neither do I have to ingratiate myself to my UST friends by comparing their school to mine. All I have to do is stick to the main point: here's a writer who, because he refuses to agree with what a particularly study has shown, undermines the credibility of the study instead of truly substantiate his claims. The throwaway paragraphs extolling the virtues of UST are practically negligible in the face of the sheer disdain oozing out from the article against Ateneo.

Don't get me wrong, though... if Ateneo wrote an article like this, I'd probably slam it, too.

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