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This is part of my letter for grad school.
Competence, conscience, compassionate commitment to change and Christ-centeredness. These are the four profiles expected of every graduate possessing Ateneo Education. I, myself, have been taught and trained in this institution and I am proud of what I have achieved so far. Three years ago, right after my graduation in college, I have been given the opportunity to teach in Ateneo de Naga. I told myself this is my way of giving back to the institution that changed my life. This is very reason why I am planning to pursue further studies. What makes Ateneo different from other institutions is that not only students are expected to excel in their particular fields but also the pedagogues.
For the past three years, I have been teaching two subjects alone. Every semester I am teaching the same thing over and over again. As much as it gives me the satisfaction to teach my students about love, freedom, responsibility, inter-human and the likes still I feel inadequate. I feel that something is lacking. That I know in my self I can always give more.
Competence. I want to better myself. I want to be better equipped in this field I have ventured on. Philosophy has always been seductive for me. It makes my mind go into places I have never dared going into. It makes me want to reach the horizon, only to know that the horizon stretches and stretches on. I want to teach my students new things, I want to contribute to research in my field and I want to be more critical of the status quo. I want to make Philosophy relevant in our age. I believe the only way to do this is to first immerse myself once more in the rigorous environment of the academe.
Conscience. I was honest with my superiors when I told them that I was feeling inadequate. If I had not been honest I would short-change my students, I would short-change my community because I am not giving the best of myself. I would be lying if I say I am not pursuing a graduate degree for professional advancement because I am. But this is only secondary. I want to wake up every day knowing that I am doing something I love. I want to be worthy of being called a pedagogue.
Compassionate commitment to change. Cliché as it may sound but Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” It is a cliché because it works and it is true. How can I teach my students to have courage if I myself do not have the courage to go out of my comfort zones? How can I teach responsibility if I myself have been complacent about the things happening around me? Taking further studies and being in a new city is me taking courage and being responsible. Changing the world would be a lot, but changing the self is the easy part.
Lastly, Christ-centeredness. As Christ was once a teacher, I myself want to be true to this mission. Not everyone is called to be in the teaching ministry. It is a noble profession for a reason. If this my rightful place under the sun, if this the vocation the I am being called into, then gladly I would take its joys and pains as Christ did.
As an Atenean we were told to go where there is a greater calling. I am willing to follow where this may lead. I believe I have the focus, determination, drive, energy of the young and the heart to pursue whatever I want. And I don’t easily give up. But I also have some hesitations. Part of me is scared. It has been sometime since I last wrote papers for research subjects, I am afraid I need to be refreshed. Another is it will be a whole new city, a different world so I have to still myself. I only have to be firm with my resolve and be grounded to the reasons why. All these to be of better service to Others, for the greater glory of the Lord.