Thursday, October 9, 2014

Get What You Paid For!

I have been teaching for quite a while now, and somehow I have grown in terms of dealing with my students. Being in the class every day with different people from different backgrounds or orientations sometimes can be draining. I usually talk to them in "parables" (yeah, parang Jesus lang!) Anyway, I talked to them and told them this story.

Mr. Phalo Sut has a habit of going to the mall. He goes there to see beautiful things, and even things that he wants to buy. He would go inside stores and check out the products, try them on, and even get the feel of using those products he like. He usually plan ahead, save for the things he wanted and eventually buy them soon as he has accumulated the amount of the product's price. 

One day, it has dawned on Phalo that he is one of those students in the college who doesn't have a netbook/laptop. So as he went on to his routine of "malling" he went immediately to the computer store. He checked out the latest models of netbook/laptops. Then he saw this model that caught his attention. It's too expensive but it's also not too cheap. It costs P30,000. He thought, if I buy other brand or other model, it's not me! I have to have this! He checked his wallet and he only have P30.00 in his pocket. He said, this will turn into P30,000.00 one day, and I'm gonna have to get you "baby" caressing the laptop he wanted. 

Days passed and he kept coming back to the store to check. He was so certain that he's going to buy that laptop, that substantial portion of his allowance went to his savings named "baby" meaning the laptop. He keep asking for money from his uncles, aunties, cousins who are already working and every time he has an opportunity to save, he opt to save. Not surprisingly, he was able to accumulate the P30,000.00 he ever wanted to acquire his "baby". That was already after one and a half year of saving, and sacrificing some of his desires just to get the amount. 

Upon knowing that his money reached the price of his "baby", he went to the store and look for his "baby", there it is, seemingly smiling and as if he imagined the laptop told him, "I was here waiting all the time. Get me now!" So he took the unit, asked for assistance so he could pay for it. The store attendant obliged and assisted him in his acquisition. 

At last! He said, I can have you now! He paid the unit and get the official receipt. He rushed home, so excited to tell his parents that he got his first ever P30,000.00 laptop! He was so happy, that when he get home he realized, the laptop was not with him. He only got the "carton" of the laptop but not the unit. He remembered, that while he was paying it was being readied by the attendant, install some things etc. He was disappointed with his carelessness, nevertheless, went back to the computer store. When he got there, the attendants greeted him smiling, being the known window shopper who made his first actual purchase that day! 

He went looking for the attendant who assisted him, and asked for his "baby". The attendant, however, said that he has given it to him when he paid the unit along with the "carton" packaging of the laptop. He protested! Impossible! It's not inside the package! It was not really put in there! You have to give me my "baby", my laptop! He shrieked violently. But his efforts were in vain. The attendant and all the crew in the store denied seeing any laptop left in the store. 

He asked for the CCTV camera, but the store said, their CCTV camera is not working because it has been undergoing repair that day. He was so disappointed that he wanted to break every glass in the store and punch every person he sees. He saved almost everything for his "baby!" and he can't believe this is happening! He wished that was just a nightmare, that he would soon wake up! But to no avail. It's the reality! He did not dream of it! It really happened!

My students were as violent as Mr. Phalo Sut, they felt the frustration and disappointment of Phalo. They were suggesting ways to recover, and one even said he's got to file a case against the store if he were Phalo. One even said, he's going to torture the attendant and gave a great plan how to abduct the scumbag! 

Then I asked them to calm down, and listen to me first. I threw them this question:

"If you were Mr. Phalo Sut, at the very least, would you have felt disappointment or frustration?" 

I was asking an idiotic obvious question! They all almost said it in chorus, "Of course sir!" With great conviction!

Question again, "Can Phalo use the O.R. as his laptop?"

It's obvious! No brainer! "Of course not!" they almost shouted at me.

Then I asked them again to calm down and said, "I hope class, that you wouldn't act like Mr. Phalo Sut. This is a class, a 3 unit subject, and yes you or your parents have paid for it! Most of the money used to pay for the tuition of this subject was hardly earned (some earned and saved for your education since long time ago), and I hope, you have the intention to get the value of what you paid for, not just the "official receipt" i.e. your transcript of records! Your transcript is just an indicator, like an O.R. it only serves as proof, but it can't be of help in the actual field, you can't use it. It would only prove that you did have this subject, and you were able to hurdle it, but, the real essence of this subject is that you would have the knowledge to apply it! Be vigilant to get the value of your money, by getting your "baby" not the O.R.! Be always aware, and have the intention, to bring home the real value of what you paid for. 

Then I continued, I gave you this analogy as I noticed, some of you would try to do every "diskarte" there is to pass this subject, and yeah, you might even get the grade, and it will be on your transcript (your O.R.) but when asked in an interview, regarding this subject, you wouldn't have any knowledge at all. Or when faced with a job, that requires the application of this subject, you don't know how to do it, because "nagpalusot ka lang" (you just made your way over it). Hence, ladies and gentlemen, I tell you, do not trade the valuable asset for the O.R.! Get the real value of your money! Don't get too excited, just go through the process and learn!

I saw nods of approval and agreement. I saw them open their eyes. 

You may be like a student who wants to just pass over an obstacle, not knowing that the process is more valuable than the end point. If you gained knowledge, acquired skills because of the process, you got the value not just the receipt. So don't be too focused on the grade, rating for evaluation, impressing other people, learn to be the person who learns, and who gets the value of what he's paid for (whether paid in money, time, effort).

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