Chances

Last week we were at our daughter’s primary school for our first parent-teacher meeting for the school year. As me and my wife were walking towards my daughter’s classroom, I glanced upon a boldly written note on the bulletin board at the corridor which caught my attention :

“The most important thing you can give someone is a chance”

Cool I thought. True indeed. In a primary school setting, where the minds of young children are still in a formative stage, do we really need to separate goats from sheep when it comes to academic achievement ? Our daughter’s 28 year old male teacher further threw a hammer into the fire when he said ” at this level (grade 4) it is all about self-confidence and responsibility “. I remember when I was a young tot going to school back in Pinas, I was like the hunchback of Notre Dame with my backpack, carrying more textbooks than I could carry and burning the midnight candle with a homework for every subject every night. I was smart yet I couldn’t even fix my own breakfast. How we parents gloat at our kids being bright and sharp like they could face Alex Trebec at a Jeopardy show in a finger’s snap. Such an accelerated pace of academic progress – does it really help our children in the long run or are we parents simply feeding our egos ?


I am reminded of an old Bert “Tawa” Marcelo comedy skit, when needing to impress people who were second guessing his intelligence, he retaliated to his critics with a stern rebuke – ” and by the way, don’t you know that I graduated valedictorian at Baliwag Elementary School? ” πŸ˜† I’d be cynical now but really, who gives a flying f*** of what we achieved in primary or elementary school ? When it comes to crunch time, getting through that interview and bagging that job is what counts.

Social integration/personality development or academic skills ? Which is more important at early schooling age – teaching kids to have fun learning or stressing them with excessive workload ? Teaching them to grow progressively, learning to be independent and responsible or turning them into prematurely smart robots ? Teaching them to respect and reason out or coercing them to bow and say yes to the authority all the time ?

Early school sets the foundation, the tone for one’s journey to a lifetime of learning. If we start separating sheep from goats not giving a child the chance to progress to his potential at his own pace, could be looking at someone who would potentially undergo a crisis of self confidence in the long term. If learning isn’t fun at the start, it could never be fun in the future.

WHAT WE LEARNED FROM THE PACQUIAO – MARGARITO FIGHT

The fight was a perfect script for a Rocky episode – a David beating a Goliath, the smaller man beating the much bigger opponent. But beyond the hype, the revelry, the stunning display of the Pacman’s awesome pugilistic skills, every conceivable praise had been bestowed to the 8 time world champ, perhaps the best boxer we’ve ever seen. I have myself run out of superlatives for the Pacman πŸ˜‰ but let allow me list a number of revelations this fight gave me :

a. Joshua Clottey is a genius. He fought the Pacman’s 1000 punch barrage from his turtle shell, too scared to have his orbital bone crushed and therefore collected his fat paycheck with a clean face.

b. The Pacman is a true destroyer. He punches not to gain points but to annihilate his opponent. The post-fight faces of Diaz, de la Hoya, Cotto and Margarito – those who elected to scrap it out with him all look like they came out of a train wreck.

c. Freddie Roach is a genius. The man’s predictions are spot on, give and take a few rounds. He has the knack of figuring out and exploiting the opponent’s weaknesses. Scary to bet against Roach on a Pacman fight.

d. ESPN’s Teddy Atlas should eat crow. This pathetic reporter never ever got a Pacman fight right. He got it wrong again for the nth time. Let it go Teddy. The Pacman is for real. And you’re one lousy and ignorant boxing commentator.

e. The betting odds showed how the public strangely understood the fight. The odds heavily favoring the Pacman turned out to be correct. It was the Pacman’s show all throughout, trying to put down a stubborn, badly beaten bull.

f. it is fait accompli for the Pacman. He has no more mountains to climb. A victory over Mayweather is simply icing on the cake. 8 lineal championships is harder than climbing Mt. Everest without oxygen. If I were the Pac, I’d quit and focus on politics, managing my P70B a year pork barrel portfolio. Heck, that would be more fun than getting banged on the head for 12 rounds in front of millions. If the Pacman can’t get rid of the boxing itch, he could do 6 round exhibition matches every now and then with decent journeymen fighters who won’t mind getting banged up for a fat paycheck.

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30 Responses

  1. “Such an accelerated pace of academic progress – does it really help our children in the long run or are we parents simply feeding our egos ?”

    you got it. It’s the parent’s egos at work here. They’re proud and also feel secure that their children may find success in the future because of their smarts. However, knowledge comes naturally as the child matures. No sense in forcing the kid to excel , more so at such young age.

    Pacman all the way ! Amazing victory. It sealed the deal for who is the best boxer in the world this decade.

    • I do think that when we focus simply on academic excellence, forgetting the social and personal skill development of kids, we aren’t doing them any good at all. In my own experience, achieving success – in evey walk of life -has more to do with personality rather than academic excellence.

      I hope the Pacman quits boxing and preserve his legacy.

  2. I don’t mean this to sound sullen but what is the point of education when humanity’s core subsistence is tethered to the dictates of the market. Humanities existence is ultimately reduced to consumerism.

    It is quite disgusting that man spends a good amount of his life and resources educating himself just so that he can buy or create things that other can people buy.

    If our highest achievement is to amass wealth then should of started working when I was 5.

    • Interesting that even Einstein at some point praised socialism and frowned on capitalism when he said that society is not turning out artists and philisophers because their careers can’t guarantee they can make both ends meet. Everybody in the capitalist world is brainwashed with the notion that the ultimate goal of education is to achieve financial success.

  3. Some of these parents forced their children to do good in school even at an early ages to fulfill their own unfinished or unfulfilled personal issue.

    When it comes to boxing, wala na akong masabi kay Pacman. He is truly one of a kind. Huwag lang sana syang kumanta, mag artista and comment on issues that are way beyond his intellectual understanding.

    • It’s probably the fear that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks so parents feel that the manifestation of intelligence an an early age guarantees success in academic pursuit in the future. They however forget the mental and emotional aspect and also the fact that the brain evolves and matures as we grow older.

      LOL.. the extra curricular activites comes with the celeb package πŸ™‚ Such shortcomings can be easliy forgiven when the man paid P125M in taxes last year as opposed to Henry Sy, the owner of SM who paid a paltry P7M and billionaire Lucio Tan didn’t even make it to the top 100 taxpayer list. Now you know why these f*****s are filthy rich 😦

  4. The Pacquiao-Margarito fight was the first Pacquiao fight I’ve ever seen live. I saw the de la Hoya fight on youtube. hehe. But the Margarito fight was a bit disappointing because Margarito just got pummeled. He didn’t have a chance. Would’ve been better to see Pacquiao fight someone more competitive.

    • with live you mean you were at the Cowboys Stadium ? That was awesome.

      Well, all I can say is no one ever manhandled Margarito in such a convincing manner, not even 6’2″ Paul WIlliams the tallest welterweight ever who beat 5’11” Margarito in a decision but Margarito won 4 or 5 rounds out of 12. The size difference of Pacquiao was the selling point.

  5. In certain cases, some parents are just boosting their egos though their grade schoolers. The real competition is more value adding as the child ages. But enough preparation must be given to the children — having good study habits, right amount of independence, values.

  6. β€œThe most important thing you can give someone is a chance” — somewhat Zen-like

    I for one am not the type who looks at academic achievements. Remember the story of your high school valedictorian? Their success stories are more of the exemption rather than the rule.

    It’s more ano ba yung napulot mo dun at pano mo yun nagamit…

  7. Prevaiing theories on childrearing will always change, but hopefully we will learn balance. Hopefully we will learn to work hard. Hopefully we will always know our psarents dsid their best, even when it seems pride may have clouded their judgment

    • very true and sometimes we children acquiesce with our parents’ wishes because we didn’t want to displease them. my parents were both educators but they never forced me to go beyond my limits to excel, nor did they gave me more pressure than what the school system already did.

      I have seen young kids who are slower than others and parents seem to think that they are failures. I have friends who express utter frustration with their young child – can’t we give them a chance to develop their brains ?

  8. parents who go nuts with their young children forcing them to learn hoping they’d be geniuses are doing more harm than good. As you said, making learning fun is the most important thing at their age. What happens when they grow older, they would drop out because of too much stress.

    Boxing is a cruel sport. I can’t watch it. I can’t stand women boxing gosh.

    • the mental part of learning is very important too I think. Kids who drop out in high school clearly didn’t see learning as fun when they started.

      I saw a documentary the other day about NFL players who suffered concussions in their career experiencing neurological problems after they quit playing – how much more boxers ?

  9. There are deranged parents out there, we all have seen it probably…
    Humans have their own natural talents, fortunately for some, they’re born geniuses. Wish I was one… hehe….

    This fight was quite impressive. Agree with some here…he should hang it up and become a better politician…forget about singing and acting please; magsabong, sabong ka na lang. OTOH, the problem is Mani is super rich he can finance his own movies and buy a recording company if he so desire, surely a losing business proposition. Baka sa GenSan alang manood ng movie nya…di na nya ipamigay yung pork barrel, hehe..,.

    • I’ve seen very academically smart folks who had no people skills whatsoever … can’t even find a girl they could date hehe πŸ˜‰

      I’m also annoyed by the Pacman’s singing adventures πŸ™‚ but methinks the people don’t come to be entertained by his singing – they just want to see him πŸ˜‰ He did already start building a hospital in Sarangani. hey, let’s give the man credit for what he is doing – that’s my bottom line unlike these pathetic highly educated politicians who don’t give a rats ass about the state of the people they represent.

  10. i am not yet a father, and God knows I am scared to be one for raising a good child is probably one of the biggest responsibility there will ever be. but like what my siblings always tell me, there is no greater feeling that seeing their kids grow and learn on a daily basis. nakakatakot daw pero fulfilling talaga.

    • agree. Methinks our school system in Pinas ought to be changed, the way we educate our young children. focusing solely on academic excellence will not work anymore. I think kids ought to communicate and reason out more, learn life skills and independence rather than the proverbial obedient, masunurin, santo santito who follows everything what older folks tell him even if it is wrong. We teach them early to reason out and refuse and recognize what is bull we are doing good for the future of society.

  11. I don’t like seeing decal/stickers on cars where it says their kids are honor students of so and so school. I agree with wits on this issue πŸ™‚

    I say Manny should quit while he’s miles ahead of everybody. Just learn how to do the job the people mandated him to do.

    How have you been?

    • show offs indeed. That would pale in comparison with a pretty ordinary house I saw here, with the owners name, PH.D. printed right beside the big mailbox near the driveway. LOL πŸ™‚

      I think retirement is better for him so his mom doesn’t faint everytime he fights hehe.. For sure he doesn’t want to see Mom getting knocked out permanently πŸ™‚

      I’m swell, thanks for asking. Got pretty tied up with work these days – as usual. Hope you’re swell too πŸ˜‰

      • Noypi ba yung naka Ph.D?

        Know of one Atty Mamaril in Northern California, his vanity plate was “Esqr”. Then met him at an association party one day co-baguio boy ang lintik, hehe….

        With Mani’s fortune, he should survey provinces or small towns/villages of Mindanao or the visayas and bring out electricity to such places, his legacy will be more memorable.

        • Fortunately not πŸ˜‰ he’s a Chekwa πŸ™‚

          Fact is Manny is doing something as he promised. It was already pretty controversial for him to run in adjoining Saranggani province where he is not a resident so he had to build a house there πŸ˜‰ His pork barrel as congressman is limited to be spent in his region only and not anywhere else methinks.

        • To be honest, having such few letters before our names will boost your confident to mingle with people. In the US and Europe, if you dont have academic achievements, they will not talk to you or be part of any professional groups…di ka nila papansinin! They have high regard for those who achieved academically…Kahit sabihin natin na wala namang binatbat sa isang high school graduate or drop-out, still it matters in dealing with people, your skills/experience will just come next! Kung masyadong show-off or talaga namang bida o mayabang, ibang usapan na yan!

          • It’s definitely an advantage πŸ˜‰ It’s common here in Canada where people affix their degrees in their business cards, i.e., John Doe, B.Sc. Some organizations who provide the business cards to their employees won’t allow the degree to be affixed and I’m not sure what the reason is. Seems harmless to me though.

            Having said the above, and I’ve been here for a while now, no one ever dared asked me if I have a university degree. It’s just the culture of folks here. Perhaps they don’t really care or the feel it is intrusive or they just don’t put too much premium on it.

  12. Theoretically, everyone has a chance to explore – to learn new things but for people who came from poor families, their chance is limited and conditional! Unfortunately, when I was a kid, I had limited chances to buy books and other supplemental reading materials for me to improve my comprehension, and hopefully able to improve my writing skills at the early age. When I grew older and got a stable job, I can buy books and able to read my fav novels and short stories. Maybe the only chance I can give to the young generation is to able to share my collection of books/magazines and souvenirs during my travels which will be part of my minilibrary to be set-up in my hometown in the near future.

    About Manny P., Im happy that he brought pride for us Pinoys! Sana, hindi sya masyadong magpagamit sa mga politicians! He should stand firmly on what he believe in terms of helping our countrymen…Having bought (in Las Vegas) a souvenir of Manny’s tshirt will always remind me of his humbleness and kindness… Advance Merry Xmas!

    • Sometimes you wonder – how many talents have gone untapped, because kids are too poor to afford education ?

      I also think that higher education, is more than learning or passing the test with flying colors. It has to do more with originality, with design and creation of new ideas. education isn’t only meant to provide financial rewards to someone who has it but likewise contribution to society in form of innovations , new ideas.

      Looks like the Pacman is really serious with his politics. We shall see if he can remain incorruptible in the long term ;)I hope he fights Andre Berto (26-0) next. That will be a great fight than aging Marquez and Mosley. I this case retirement would be preferrable. πŸ™‚

  13. i like the note on the bulletin board. yup, let’s all give one another a chance. everybody deserves it.

    won’t comment on the fight. am not into boxing. hehe.

    merry christmas and a happy new year πŸ™‚

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