UP Saga 6-1: I made it through the wilderness…
Previously in Season 5: I took the PhD Qualifying Exam, but the 301 question on creating a theoretical framework for ABS-CBN’s “Boto Mo, I-Patrol Mo, Ako Simula” did me in. That one was really frustrating as I do not watch TV and I could hardly come up with a framework for a TV show I wasn’t familiar with. I was also quite careless in answering the question for 312, so I had two wrong answers. Rod — who had failed one question (also 301) — and I had to figuratively fight tooth and nail to be allowed to re-take the Qualifying Exam before enrollment ends. The previous Chairperson wanted us to do the re-take next semester. It was a hit or miss thing, last chance. If we fail the re-take, it wouldn’t matter that my grade point average is 1.41 or that Rod had the highest grades in class. We would get kicked out of the PhD program.
Since Rod and I were insistent that we do the exam immediately, the current Chairperson asked us to write an essay discussing what difference it would make if we took the exam now.
The Department Chair, Dr. Lacson, gave us the go-signal to take the test yesterday. I was in a very good mood, despite the wonky review session I had with Cris over chat (bad internet connection). I was singing a gospel song on the way to the MRT station when I noticed that it had started to rain. I opted to take a cab to Edsa Shangri-La and just take the MRT there. To my pleasant surprise, the cab driver was playing Christian music. First time I’ve encountered that, actually. Was really thankful. It was like the cabbie was praying for me. Hehehe.
The question for 312 was harder this time. It asked about the conditions of causality, how these are fulfilled by rigorous true experiments and rigorous survey (I almost missed reading the part about the surveys; thank goodness I re-read the question!!!!!!!!!!!), and the weaknesses of both methods against the conditions. I actually forgot the third condition so in my desperation, I unloaded nearly EVERYTHING I knew about true experiments and surveys, from the scientific process, to the formula for systematic random sampling (find N, get n, get k = N/n, blah blah blah), down to t-tests and how having a p-value of .05 means that your placebo group and your treatment group are significantly different.
I think I lost you in the last sentence, but you get the point. I unloaded it all in the hopes that the third condition would come up somewhere in the mass of information.
My toughest professor, hands down. I also made a really critical error in her subject last semester. I was already doing really well in her class. I was finally getting good grades, in the 1.5/1.25 realm, which was great, considering she gave me a 2.0 in the previous semester. But I was really really really absent-minded during the final paper submission: I actually only passed half of my paper. I felt my knees go weak when I fetched the corrected paper from Ate Viring and saw…Gad! Why oh why didn’t I check that the printer was not done printing!!! So instead of the nice 1.5 or 1.75 I was expecting, I ended up with a 2.0. Again!
Teacher Ganda was also my examiner for 312. As Cham would say, “JENNENT!”
So there I was, sitting right after answering question 312, when my peripheral view caught sight of an angel with windblown hair, walking towards the school entrance. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was Teacher Ganda.
My thoughts when I sat there, mesmerized:
“Haaaaay. Ang ganda ganda ganda ganda mo talaga. Ang pangit pangit pangit pangit nga lang ng grades na binibigay mo sakin.”
(*Sigh* “You are so so so so beautiful. But the grades you give me are so so so so ugly.”)
I remember this one session when she came into class and it was super warm so she had to take off her blazer. It revealed a flimsy camisole-like sleeveless shirt underneath. It also had a low neckline. I thought I was going to go blind. And deaf. I thought I was sorta hearing her lectures in Greek.
I couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying. Well, she was discussing the formula for standard deviation, which was making things worse. I looked around the classroom and noticed that all my classmates — male, female, sorta male and sorta female alike — were dumbfounded. At first I thought it was because of the lectures, but one sorta male classmate whispered, “Natitibo na ako.” (I’m turning butch.) It was a relief to know I wasn’t the only one losing her wits over all that milky skin.
Lesson Learned (as a Professor): Always make sure you are covered in class. I didn’t realize, until that experience, that the wrong outfit could distract students.
Lunch with Milflor
Milflor was my original batch mate but she’s a full time student. 12 units so she’s taking her comprehensive exam next month. Woo. Incidentally, her lowest grades (1.5) also came from Teacher Ganda. Haha! In any case, nothing beats going through a tough question like going to Chocolate Kiss with someone who’s as much a foodie as I am. That Dayap Cake filled the void. And Milflor was as sweet as ever. It turns out that she prepared two peanut butter sandwiches and brought some mineral water with her. She was thinking all day long that she was probably not going to eat what she brought but, well, she saw me. It was probably God’s way of telling her I need nourishment and that peanuts are supposed to be brain food. Haha! I gave the other peanut butter sandwich to Rod while we were answering the 301 question.
On To The Next Round
This afternoon, I texted Dr. Lacson to ask if the results had come out. I waited till after lunch to text him because I didn’t want to lose my appetite in case the results were not favorable. The first reply I received was a blank text. I asked him about the blank text. Two more messages arrived and both said: You passed both questions.
So there. I’m now 18 units away from my comprehensive exam and dissertation. Wait. Now that I’m enrolling, that would be 9 units more. I wanted to celebrate with a Red Ribbon White Forest cake but the branch near my condo ran out of stock.
Season 6 begins…