teacher extraordinaire

May 5, 2014 at 9:14 pm 3 comments

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he was one of my favorite professors in college in the philippines. he stood over 6 feet in height, which was quite tall for a filipino, had a round face and side shaved hairstyle, and had an apple-shaped body.

he had a commanding presence and a voice that could easily pass for a man of god. actually, he was an ex-seminarian who quit just before he took his final vow as a jesuit priest and ended up marrying a former nun.

he taught religion and philosophy – subjects that he knew well. he lectured without using the textbook as a prop. he was very good at explaining complex topics in simple terms. he seemed to live by the motto (attributed to einstein) that “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” it was no wonder that his classes were very popular and well-attended.

he could be arrogant and full of himself – and i say that in a nice way. on the first day of class, he’d say, “if you fail this class, there’d be nobody else to blame but me. it means i have failed you as a teacher.”

it went without saying that i passed all the classes that i took under him, and i had never heard of anybody who failed them either.

although he was loved by the students, his method of instruction didn’t sit well with the school administration and other professors who found it too unorthodox for their liking. under the circumstances, he didn’t last teaching. he quit on his own volition or was forced out.

he left the academe to become a rice trader to support his family. the last time i heard, he died of a heart attack. may he rest in peace.

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