March 12, 2014.
Just in case I don’t get to upload this blog post on the actual day.
It’s Saturday and we just got back a couple of hours ago from Tagaytay (Philippines), where my mom has decided she’d settle in when she gets older. It’s pretty cold and windy up there and one need not be paranoid about floods anymore (compared to where we live now, which is in Malabon–again in the Philippines) since, as the land-seller says, “If it floods even one inch up here, you can be assured that the rest of (Metro) Manila has sunk.” I can say it’s a really great place to settle in: no need for airconditioning despite the Philippines’ tropical climate, relatively friendly neighbors, quiet village but not so far from civilization, et cetera.
Anyway, we get back home and my oldest sister tells me about this series entitled Veronica Mars. It’s basically an old series (2004-2007?) starring Kristen Bell who is the daughter of a private investigator and has taken to following her father’s footsteps. Kinda like Nancy Drew, but more independent and whose ‘hobby’ is semi-supported by her dad. So we’re watching this series in the dining room since my mom was busy multi-tasking and cleaning out the refrigerator, when I checked out my CRS site to view my grades this semester. See, despite being a sort-of decent, well-rounded student with no harmful vice to speak of (i.e. drugs, alcohol, smoking), I just got to be a College Scholar (hereafter referred to as CS) this semester.
CS is a recognition given to those who manage to acquire a 1.75 general weighted average (GWA) for a semester. Our grading system is such that 1.0 is the highest, 3.0 is the passing, and anything below that is failing; ergo, the lower the grade, the better. Those who get a GWA of 1.45 and ‘below’ for a semester are recognized as US or University Scholars.
CRS is our school’s online..database of sorts where we enlist our subjects and view our grades and whatnot. Oh, jsyk, I’m in college.
Latin honors.. I really don’t think I need to explain anything about this except that in our grading system, you get to be a cum laude with a GWA, for your whole college life, of at least 1.75; magna cum laude for at least 1.45; and summa cum laude for at least 1.20.
Back to the main story.
Needless to say, as it is my first time to be a CS, I was ecstatic. Of course I want to be at least a CS for my remaining summer and 2 semesters now that I know I can do it, so it came to me to calculate the lowest GWA I’d have to get in my remaining 33 units to qualify for Latin honors. The short of it is I’m gonna need 1.1212 to qualify for cum laude. Thing is, if I could do it, I would’ve done so ages ago.
I’m not limiting myself by saying that, partly because I don’t want to jinx any chances of getting higher GWAs in the future. But given my extracurriculars and apparent capabilities (and other things), I think that getting a GWA above 2.0 is already an achievement for me. Furthermore, it will be my senior year when the next academic year starts. I’m not belittling my siblings, but I am proud that I will be (with God’s will) the only one among us who will graduate on time, besides the only one who hasn’t failed anything during her undergraduate course (and hopefully, will continue to be so), along with being the first to be recognized as at least a CS during her undergraduate years.
However, other realizations come to mind. See, I was a really bad daughter when I was in elementary–which was also when, ironically, I was at my best when it came to academics. I always told myself that it’s okay since I bring home good grades, that my easily-aroused irritation and bad attitude should be excused because of the high grades I bring home. Despite how mediocre my grades were during high school, I was still proud because I studied and graduated from one of the top high schools in the country and got into a prestigious course at, dare I say, the top university in the country. Needless to say, it was the only school in the country that is offering my course. I now realize that the things mentioned above, along with the comparisons I made with my siblings’ alternate academic journeys, made me complacent and developed a somewhat dampened sense of superiority in me. It made me put my self in the area of exceptions. I realized that the way I thought when I was in elementary never really went away, that I still was a douchebag of a daughter at times since I believed that I can still redeem myself in my mother’s eyes with my grades.
But when life throws you a curveball, you either gotta meet it head on or avoid it, if you can. I don’t think I can avoid this particular curveball, so now I’m facing it head on. I’ve always been so proud of my academic achievements, no matter how small they may be to others (most people, actually) since, besides being testaments to my brain’s capacity and my ability to multitask, they make my mother proud. See, my mother has this habit of owning other peoples’ actions and decisions. With my sisters not exactly rushing to graduate and the other troubles that I will not mention here, I feel proud of making my mother feel that she succeeded in raising us. I want to be the exception among the three of us, in a good way, because she raised us all the same way and I believe that having at least one of us turn out the way she expected will make her realize, “Look, I did a great job of raising my kids after all.” With all these in mind, I had two goals upon entering college: 1) graduate on time, and 2) graduate with honors.
Of course the second goal was replaced with “SURVIVE”, especially during semesters of taking prerequisites to our majors, some of whose relevance to my course I cannot fathom. Now that I realized that I most likely, by which I mean 95% probability, will not graduate with honors, I feel disappointed in myself and for my mom. My mother herself graduated magna cum laude, and that is without the comforts of our living situation today, either financially or brought about by modern times. Our grandmother was super strict on her and her siblings out of necessity, and she did household chores everyday while she was a student. Not one of us followed in her footsteps (both honors-wise and in the chosen field), and I know it must be hard raising us as, virtually, a single mother.
I know that I’m a pretty decent person but now I realize that I’d have to grow up a bit more, and not hide my faulty attitude behind a wall of numbers. Now that I know I won’t be able to make my mom proud of me in the way I hoped to, I have to redeem myself not just through grades but also through being a better daughter. I know this means less tantrums, less shouting, less arguing, and more patience, more persevering, and more succumbing to her ‘will’. I know this will be hard, because I think she has more than enough control over my life as of the moment; but the thought of having her realize that her best was, and will always be, more than good enough to make us the best versions of ourselves (besides our ‘soulmates’, if we are to meet them. hoho) is more than worth it. Starting tonight, I resolve to be a better daughter in all aspects.
And unlike my apparent attitude towards my New Year (2014) post’s goals (finishing at least one Tribesports challenge every month and blogging every month), I intend to stick to this.
“He mounted the broom and kicked hard against the ground and up, up he soared, air rushed through his hair and his robes whipped out behind him — and in a rush of fierce joy he realized he’d found something he could do without being taught — this was easy, this was wonderful.”
— excerpt from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone