Fun and Fond Memories
“unforgettable, memorable” . . . professor and others besides . . .
I cannot forget all my Professors in the graduate school of Environmental Planning, University of the Philippines. I may have forgotten their names, but their moods and teaching styles I can never forget. Writing about them would need so many pages. Maybe sometime I would reminisce and write on my experiences with them. However, I would like to highlight a short impression on one of them â€“ “unforgettable, memorable professor”, I cannot forget. Yes, I can never forget because, well, first, he was the Dean of the school and second because of his unique style and mood of teaching.
Dean Andy Viloria, he with his soft almost inaudible voice, and his lectures frequently interrupted by long pauses that kept us in suspense over the next words and phrases that he would let out; the pauses sometimes were long enough to make us fall sleep, especially when he would stare out of the window as if looking for words among the grasses and vegetables and trees planted in the open fields beside our building. There were even times when what he would see outside the window would form part of his lecture, e.g. a man harvesting vegetables would form part of his insights on the politics of economics, or was it economics of politics, whatever. All of these and many more, like the way he gives out short smiles audibly between or in the middle of sentences characterized his unique style of lecturing and teaching. And oh, I loved his innovative concept of a “thought paper”; a short opinion or position paper on an issue or subject that had to be submitted every meeting. The “thought papers” were always returned to us the next meeting, and some were presented for discussion by the students. It was a very fruitful exercise.
He loves to discuss and philosophize on current issues, especially political, economic, domestic, even, global. There is no correct or wrong answer to him; everybody is entitled to his own opinion, but for Dean, as we fondly call him, there is such a thing as a bad and good decision. He is also the kind of person who goes on thinking while talking at the same time. To me, he is a sort of a philosopher, seeking for truth and the ideal. He could have been a good philosopher columnist.
There are lot of things, "unforgettables" . . . "memorables" . . . faces, places, personalities, experiences, like the prefab school buildings, the administrative personnel, my terrible experience writing my thesis and term papers (the cut & paste method in vintage typewriter with jumping letters; (I wish I had computer then, I could have earned higher grades in Research and Report Writing), the fountain and landscaped mini-campus in the middle of the u-shaped rows of prefab structures and many more. Perhaps in the next episodes I will share (or maybe expose, as is the favorite pastime in the senate and barbershop today) other fun and fond memories . . . “unforgettables” . . . “memorables” . . . of my life.
Hasta la vista, amigos y amigas!
TO GOD BE THE GLORY AND HONOR!