Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Not everyone was born to be a rocket scientist!

I am happy with how this blogging thing is turning out to be. Not only am I beginning to hone my writing skills (whatver there is) but also gaining a lot of friends via this medium. I am glad I have started and have joined pinoy blogs, a community of Filipino bloggers, a new set of intellectuals of today who are either residing inside the country or those living outside, friendly, courteous, and ready to extend a helping hand to a fellow blogger in need.

I have just befriended one student, Rachel an Ateneo student, who gave me something to blog about. In our repartee via the forum, she reminded me of a distant past, painful but proved to be enlightening in the long run.

As a Fine Arts student in a School of Music and Arts sharing two floors in a building occupied by Dentistry and Medicine students, we could almost feel the sneers and raised eyebrows as we passed the first three floors in order to get to our domain. Maybe we were paranoid but we knew, or thought we knew what they would have been thinking, "Okay, studying to be painters, but hen what?" On a few occasions, the bolder among the lot would call us "squatters." I'm jsut glad we were the last graduates of that school. It has been moved to a new location in Caloocan City. Anyway, although we did not admit it, at the back of our minds, we knew they had better chances of becoming rich. Sure we dreamt of being big someday, probably earning the title of national artist, but hey, one among thousands of students learning how to paint? Chances are practically nil!

Then it came to me. Not everyone was born to be a rocket scientist. Each one of us has been blessed with a talent. The gift of gab, a magic hand that can do wonders, fast feet, a sweet voice... to each his own.

In a meeting several years ago, I sat with a school production of a musicale as its sceninc artist which saw me arguing with some subject coordinators who would not allow a particular student to join the school's play because said child was failing their subjects. I'm sure this is nothing new. We have given emphasis on Math, Science, and to some extent, English, with good reasons. These are the subjects where studies have proven that our students are deficient in. But in our quest to improve on these skills, should we forget about the other disciplines? With my given example, should we deprive the boy to make something of himself by way of his special talents and interests? If the boy can really act and sing well, that would give him a good boost to his ego and it is imperative that we provide him with an avenue to show what he's got. What we could do is to give him some sort of remediation or even tutorial sessions in order to help him with his grades. Stifling his creativity is not an option.

Let's admit it. We are fond of measuring success by how much money we can put into our pockets. If this is the sole gauge of success, do you remember the time when Jun Limpot was drafted to the PBA? He was offered millions of cash. And that was not because he knew algorithm or the laws of physics but because he was good at what he does.

And yet, through all these, I still say that the key to a successful career is not the monetary gain one gets but with the happiness one derives from it. I don't care anymore if my contemporaries in that college building are now successful doctors and dentists. All I know is that I am happy with my wife, my four kids, my old Lite Ace that can only be best described by sayint that it is something that runs on four wheels, my very own little house, my contented ego and my humble blogspace. And these are already a mouthful by my standards. :-)


Dr. Emer said...

"And yet, through all these, I still say that the key to a successful career is not the monetary gain one gets but with the happiness one derives from it. I don't care anymore if my contemporaries in that college building are now successful doctors and dentists. All I know is that I am happy with my wife, my four kids, my old Lite Ace..." -Tito Rolly

You have spoken wisely, Tito Rolly. There are so many other "wiser stuff" taken for granted today because of the warped definition of success: money, power, and fame.

When I was a kid, it was the time of the Apollo mission to the moon. So fascinated was I that I told my father I was determined I was going to be a Neil Armstrong when I grew up. I really wanted to become an astronaut. But as fate would have it, my frequent bouts with flu made me visit my pediatrician more. A new love began and soon, seeing there were not enough facilities here to make my first dream come true, I settled to become a doctor.

More than 20 years later, my eyes acquiring a visual acuity lagging so far behind the ideal 20/20 required for pilots (due to volumes and volumes of tomes read), my dream to become an astronaut is still there. But I don't think I'm as enthusiastic as before. Checking out the NASA and JPL websites for astronaut training made me realize I should get a lifetime supply of Bonamine in order to pass training requirements today. I might die barfing. Hehehe.

Seriously Tito Rolly, I think one should work for his/her dreams or what he/she really loves to do. If you are good at what you do, I am sure power, fame, and money will surely follow without you noticing.

In the end, you will only be summed by how you define your own happiness.

Thanks for this cool post again! :) You made my day!

bayibhyap said...

Let me tell the dentists, and the scientists and whoever else who thinks his profession is above the others, society cannot be civilized and progress to its peak until there are artists, be they painters, poets, dancers, writers, etc. Without the values propagated by arts, the society remains dry and meaningless, tilting towards decadence.

Sassy Lawyer said...

"a successful career is not the monetary gain one gets but with the happiness one derives from it"

oh, i agree 200%.

and i am so glad you're having a ball as a blogger. :)

iskolar111 said...

That's true, success is not measured by how much money you made but on how happy you are on your married life. With a loving wife, healthy and happy kids I say, you have won the lotto.

I think my writing is also improving since starting to blog and that is my motive. What I write are events that factually happened that I can recall to the best of my memory.

red_door8 said...

money is not everything
unfortunately, to others, money matters the most
in fact, if I was able to make to it to the country's premiere state university, then I'd be an AB student. =)

Rache said...

thanks for the link and the generous attribution tito rolly. :)

i'm glad you got inspired by our little conversation. i must say that i agree with every point you made on that entry.

and oh, just a writer's comment, nice way of encapsulating the thought, "not everyone was born to be a rocket scientist!" that says everything.

personally, i respect people's talents because i believe in multiple intelligences. some people are endowed with visual-spatial, others logic, others communication, etc.

i think all of this is just an effect of our careeristic society. like i said in the forum, such a sad reality...

joan said...

i agree with everything that you've said, just remembered an old movie i saw last night "Matilda" (with Danny Devito), a loving family is a treasure worth keeping forever!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, tito rolly, i can totally relate!!
The Arts has always played a big role in my life and I was surrounded by "artistic" friends while growing up. It was a slight annoyance to have to deal with the so-called "big-deal" majors at uni who thought that all there is to being an english major is speaking english. stereotypes, kasi. heh. i agree with bayi's comment about the importance of the arts, though.
for me, personally, it was (and still is!) amusing and sad to know that the stereotyping is still alive and well. amused, because after all this time, the reasons for the stereotypes remain the same. and sad because, well... everytime we allow ourselves to stereotype (me included) we demean ourselves. it's not just the act of boxing the other person (or anything else, actually) into a category for one trait, but more importantly, limiting our own experience because we've already put a label. this is the one thing i try very hard, everyday, to overcome.

BongK said...

in my time at the university, minamaliit ng mga polsci major ang mga hsitory major students (ewan ko ba kung bakit, sabagay wala naman akong pakelam nung mga panahon na yon basta nararamdaman ko na lang na pinandidilatan ako ng mga history major students sa library, parang sinasabing ang yayabang nyong mga polsci major, mamamatay din kayo!), ngayon naman daw yung mga tourism major naman daw ang binoboljak.

anyway, i totally agree with Ka rolly (more than a hundred percent) when he stated "the key to a successful career is not the monetary gain one gets but with the happiness one derives from it" and "Not everyone was born to be a rocket scientist", success is not about money, power and fame, but dignity, respect, love and happiness

na-linked na kita ka rolly

Anonymous said...

same here.

BatJay said...

hi tito rolly.

kahit si jose rizal ay agree doon sa sinabi mo, although hindi niya sinabing "rocket scientist", its utot that counts. in a letter to one of his sisters, he was cautioning them to be a little bit linient to their kids. hindi naman daw lahat ng tao ay pinanganak para maging sikat na doctor na nakapag-aral sa alemanya (or something to that effect). ang ibang tao ay pinanganak upang maging magsasaka at kung ano ano pa and there's nothing wrong about that.

paraphrasing lang ako ha, hindi naman nag tataglish si ka pepe. sa tingin ko eh medyo sobrang mataas ng mga expectations ng mga rizal sisters sa kanilang mga anak (siguro lahat sila pinangarap ding maging kasing talino ng kanilang sikat na kapatid).

BongK said...

kuya, eto yung url:

rolly said...

Doc Emer when I was a boy, all my friends wanted to become a doctor. Now you tell me you wanted to become an astronaut. hehehe God must've been playing with our little minds back then, don't you think? hehehe I'm glad I made your day, kaya lang patulog na tayo pareho no? So, Ijust hope you had a good sleep after reading this.

Bayi it's good to see you again. I had been thinking about that. What if everybody was a rocket scientist and nobody knew how to plant rice. I would go hungry.

rolly said...

Sassy thanks to you and Batjay, I am having a ball with blogging. Your opinions mean a lot to me.

iskolar111 Yes, it seems like I won the lotto. Now, i need to really win so that I can have my family live in luxury. hehehe

rolly said...

red_door8 Okay lang yun. You are graduating in an equally good university, if not the best! I should know!

Rache Tama ka. Schools should take into consideration the multiple intelligences. Thanks din sa plugging sa site mo, hehehe

rolly said...

jonix Pangalawa ka ng nagsabi sa kin nyan. Maganda nga.

Mik sad but stereotyping is a game people will be playing even when we're gone. Ganon talaga yata e.

rolly said...

Bong K Polisci major ka pala. hirap nun! Di ko maintindihan. Ngayon tourism major? hindi lang nila alam dadami uli mga tourists dito satin. Then the tourism majors will make a killing. Kanya-kanyang panahon lang yan. hehe

mari thanks!

rolly said...

Batjay sabi ko na nga ba, mas matanda ka sakin, ayaw mo lang aminin e. Ano na nga uli ang suot na medyas ni Rizal nung binaril siya?

Anyway, ang sarap ng feeling. Akalain mo, pareho kaming mag-isip ni rizal e paborito kong intellectual yun. kaya lang, sana naman wag akong barilin sa Luneta, no?

Bong tama yung addy ko. Ang hindi ko maintindihan ay kung bakit di ako maka-access. Try ko uli sa bahay later.

Anonymous said...

you've just been coated ermmm quoted. see my blog.

bayibhyap said...

I was thinking about the student who was not allowed to participate in the musicale because the child was not doing well in his other subjects. I was teaching this student in high school years ago. He did badly in every subject except math and physics. On one occasion he was absent from school for two days. I asked him later what caused his absence. He had taken the time off to repair his father's car engine, which had developed a carburettor problem. This student failed his high school examination but runs a successful computer business today, all self-taught. I am glad I did not dampen his spirit.

rolly said...

Thanks Cath! Appreciate it.

Bayi now that you mentioned it, you must be wondering what happened to the boy I was talking about. He was allowed to participate. He's a singer now. How big, I don't know.:-)

That's precisely the point of my blog. No one knows what the future brings. I'm glad for your boy. You handled him well.

pepsi said...

hello sir rolly.

i am a member of the orchestra, a sax player, to be precise. of course i am with you in your ideals. i find that when i play my instrument i never want to stop because i enjoy it so much. my parents wanted me to join the local orchestra in town (mainly because 1) they were experts in their own field of music, and 2) they were paying their performers) but i didn't want to because that would make my life more hectic. and, i was not in their level. yet. i dont possibly think i could relate to them anyway.

might've been an opportunity, yes, but i'm contented playing with the school orchestra.

Anonymous said...

I have always seen you as an all around artist.. a poet, a musicia.. name it! When you told me of your blog, I wasn't really surprised. And reading your blogs make me chuckle to myself.

Thanks for sharing.. Finally na kapost din ako!

TinTin said...

(aka pinayhekmi)

Good point, tito rolly (hope you don't mind me calling you tito; you really look like one of my titos). I don't envy those that are rich or making a lot money. I envy those who get up most days looking forward to going to work because they love what they do! I hope to be one of those people some day.

rolly said...

anonymous i suppose we work together. hmm, I made you chuckle? Saan? Akala ko serious na ko, e. hehehe Anyway, thanks sa pagdalaw. Next time lagay mo pangalan mo hane. :-)

tin tin thanks for coming back. of course you can call me tito. Like I said to Jet a couple of blogs back, I like the title. i have many nieces and nephews and we're just like barkada. i would mind if you call me lolo, though. hehehe

Just do what you like doing. I'm sure you will as you seem to be a dedicated, goal-oriented, assured lady. ;-)

ajay said...

Tito Rolly, I agree with you. This blogging thing is getting to be a commitment, a nice way to while away the time while gaining friends like you.
I can also relate with your article.I took up journalism in college and my mom was against it.But I persisted because writing was one thing I truly loved.It was the only work I knew how as I couldn't imagine myself dissecting cells in a laboratory. After 15 or so years, am proud to say I've made the right choice. As they say, do one thing you love and you'll never work for another day in your life. I will tell my kids the same too. There's no way they'll be pressured into becoming rocket scientists.
Btw, I love your writing style. Does that come naturally?;)

jillsabs said...

hi tito rolly!

do you still teach in zobel?

Anonymous said...

Tito Rolly,

Nakikiayon din ako sa mga sinabi mo at sa mga opinyon nila.

Sa iba't-ibang larangan naipapakita ang katalinuhan hindi lamang sa "mental" abilities kundi sa ibang dimensyon na yong iba di lamang natin napapansin pero sa bandang huli saka lamang natin naiintindihan kung gaano kalalim at kadakila ang isang obra maestra. Ganito kalimitan ang nagiging buhay ng mga naunang mga "artists". Halos nagmukha silang ermitanyo sa paggugol ng lahat ng kanilang oras at atensyon sa kanilang ginagawa, minsan napagkakamalan pang sira-ulo.

Tito Rolly, noon naitanong ko na sa yo, kung natatandaan mo, na marahil ay mayroon talagang ipinanganak na magaling gumitara o siguro kahit na sa ibang larangan. Although, sang-ayon ako sa sinabi mo na nakukuha talaga sa tiyaga at constant practice para talagang matutunan ang isang bagay, siguro iba rin yong ipinanganak kang may angking talento sa isang larangan.

Lastly, mas siguro mai-enjoy natin yung tinatawag nating "success" at "happiness" kung naisakatuparan natin ang ating mga pangarap, naging trabaho natin ang talagang gusto nating ginagawa o trabaho sa buhay kapiling ang ating pamilya na nasa maayos na pamumuhay. Tama ka di nga nasusukat sa dami ng pera ang kaligayahan ng tao. Marami rin kasi na maunlad nga ang kabuhayan pero napasadsad din sa trabahong di nila kagustuhan malayo pa sa pamilya gaya naming nagtatrabaho dito sa ibang bansa. Pero ano ang magagawa namin, kailangan mag-sakripisyo at nauna naming binigyan ng atensyon ang economic side ng buhay vs. aming mga gustong gawin sa buhay. Balang araw siguro saka pa lamang lubos na mabibigyan ng panahon ang aming mga pangarap.
Pasensiya ka na rin kung lagi kitang natatawag na "Tito" gayung kaunti lamang ang agwat ng edad natin.
- Santi

Anonymous said...

Hi Kuya Rolly. Salamat po sa pagdalaw. =) It's always nice to read what you have to say. You exude calmness, humor, and intelligence.

For me, happiness should first come from within oneself, cliche as it may sound. Outside forces that contribute to one's happiness should only be made secondary to that. We think it's just easy to have it but for some people whose ambitions interfere with their outrageous wants and desires, happiness is elusive. For me, happiness stems from having simple wants and desires in life, being appreciative of what blessings are to come, small or big they are. The journey towards it is made rewarding by having that contentment and fulfillment one has in their moment on earth.

Anyway, thanks for the food for thought. =)


rolly said...

Ajay you like my writing style? Wow! Coming from a real writer, that is a very big compliment. Thank you. But honestly, if I am to become a writer, I need a very good editor. I tend to be sloppy with my tenses, SV agreement and all those grammatical rules. :-(

jillsabs yes, I do. Shhh. i'm not disclosing that information, hehehe. Do I know you? i've been to your site hoping to see a picture of you. Seems like you removed it already. Anyway, thanks for coming over.

Belle thanks for the lovely comments. Yes, I have humor, am calm but you might be giving me too much credit for intelligence. Mediocre lang ang intelligence ko :-)

Jules said...

Hi! dropped by at your terrific site as recommended by dr.emer. your piece really struck a chord in me, cuz all the assumptions that Filipinos have about college courses are based on our skewed understanding of life. why are our parents only want their children to be either doctors, architects, engineers or lawyers? Why not artists, writers, professors, curators, archaeologists? The reason I guess is the return of investments regardless of fulfillment. That's what we get for having a government and a society that doesn't support industries such as the arts and academe. If you go to the states, many there have degrees in history, comparative literature, geography, etc? why not here too? it's sad.

anyways, great blog!! i must link you to mine. =)

Kat said...

is an AB a Bachelor of Arts degree? just wondering.

anyway, tito rolly, just wanted to say that this entry rocked and hits close to home. ever since i learned how to read when i was 3 years old, i wanted to be a writer. i've written tons of stories growing up and while in high school, but all that stopped when i got to college. i've always been a responsible, obedient daughter so i thought i should start aiming for a more "responsible job". i didn't think writing as a career would feed me and pay for my rent. i didn't major in English like i wanted but still got a BA (or AB) degree. I wanted to get a Master's in Fine Arts, but my parents strongly urged me to go to law school instead. My heart wasn't set on it at first, but i saw it as a good vehicle to pursue careers i did like which were all in the public interest field (e.g., teaching,social work, non-profit administration, criminal defense atty or prosecutor --that's it.) eventually, i was lucky enough to get the job i have now and i'm happy to serve the public even though i don't make that much money. i wouldn't trade my day job for anything. but in the back of my head, of course there's still my dream to publish a novel and i'm working on it. just because we choose something as a major in college or end up in a specific field doesn't mean we are confined to that forever. you do what makes you happy.

rolly said...

Julsitos Yes, it's all about return of investments. Who can blame our parents for thinking that way? It's been the thinking since we gained independence. Thanks for coming over and linking me. I enjoy your blog, too.

Kat I've been searching for this comment at the wrong thread. I'm putting my response here, too. Thanks for visiting. Yes. AB is Bachelor of Arts. i think it was made AB to differentiate it with Business Administration.

Re the choice of career, it has always been my children's decision...if I can afford it. Now, should they opt for something me and my wife can't afford, say medicine, then they'll have to help. If they really like it that bad...

Anonymous said...

A very, very, Happy Birthday to my "soul mate." :-)


goeman said...

I have the greatest respect and admiration for painters, writers, artists, carpenters, those people climb and build high rise buildings, explorers, adventurers, rocket scientists, dancers, musicians. Why? Because I can't do what they do. To me what they do is an inch short of a miracle.

see here.