Thursday, May 09, 2013

Choose what you want

This is the second instance that someone said that it was a waste for someone like me who was inclined to science to choose another course such as law. This statement was made by our director in the office. The first instance was at the cocktail party at the foreign service exam. I was told so by the person in charge of the foreign service institute, which handles training for diplomats.

I just noticed that both people who said these statements were women and were not natural scientists. Our director had a media background before she went to law school. The diplomat had a social science background as well. They were already high-ranking women in their respective fields. But none of the scientists or engineers that I know have criticized my choice. Maybe because we all know that we do what works, not what other merely people tell us.

Why did I shift from electronics engineering to law? I did not find electronics interesting any more. I wanted to study electronics engineering because I thought that this course was useful and important in the future. So I enrolled in the University of the Philippines. But I did not like mathematics and programming. So I had low grades in those subjects.

After one year in university, my family moved from the Manila to Washington because my father was assigned to be the military attache. I studied in Georgetown University under the School of Foreign Service.

I liked the course called Science, Technology & International Affairs. There were four subfields: Environment; Business, Information & Communication; Biotechnology & Global Healt; and Security. I chose Environment because it was relevant in the Philippines.

But I failed miserably in school because I put off writing papers and failed many courses. I just like learning new things. I felt like a failure and even attempted suicide by choking on rice and drinking myself to death. I learned that one bottle of rhum is not enough to kill you.

We went back home to the Philippines. I studied Consular and Diplomatic Affairs in De La Salle College of Saint Benilde. I did well in school because I already know the material and people were supportive. The environment is easygoing and laidback compared to a research university. I was able to join and win essay contests during my time in college because I did not feel pressured by school.

After graduation, I worked as a writer in E. Excel, an international health company. I resigned because I took a holiday vacation in America. I worked next as a researcher in the Philippine Army. I loved the work because we were proposing projects, going on workshops, and getting free lunch. I also had mentors which corrected my work often. The environment was generally laidback and easygoing.

Then my father filed against my mother a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage based on psychological incapacity. Do you know who was psychologically incapable of marriage? It was my father, and he had the gall to file the petition. I consulted a lawyer, but my mother refused to file an answer. She was held in default. So the petition was granted. There was a decision but no decree because there was no liquidation, partition, and delivery of presumptive legitimes to us children.

This is the reason I went to law school. Even though law school is hell because you're scared to be called to recite everyday, you learn a lot. So I don't mind my low grades in law school as long as I am learning everyday.

So do I still think I should have pursued science? No, because people change. People should be free to choose what they want and live with it as they please.

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