Saturday, March 18, 2006

Small, small world

Today was the day of the OpMan defenses, and I headed to Ateneo with Jen Ong and her Povedan friend Arianne in tow (a Xavierian friend, Casey, SC president/valedictorian/Jen's fellow freak of nature also joined us there). Knowing Jen's dilemma over which fallback school to choose (Ateneo versus UP) in the unlikely event she doesn't get a scholarship to Singapore, I had invited her to come witness Atenean Managment majors in action. The result? I think UP is beginning to look even better to her. ;p

Before the defenses kicked off, all of the panelists watched a benchmark group present and be judged by 2 SOM teachers (1 of whom happened to be Pau's brother Jacob). The grade the group got would be the standard by which we would assess the groups assigned to us. Unfortunately, the benchmark group was terrible, and they got creamed by their panelists. Jen, Arianne and Casey were dismayed, and I could see them picturing themselves in Diliman already.

The 3 groups I judged were pretty disappointing as well, to say the least. 2 took on garments-related businesses while 1 was into jelly production. I had read their papers beforehand (asked my brother to pick them up from the SOM office a few days ago), and I was prepared to slaughter all 3 groups for what were business concepts with inaccurate demand forecasts, poor capacity planning, and many, many unaccounted expenses. Indeed, it was so easy to poke holes in their projects that I didn't even have to be bitchy during the Q&A portions. I just matter-of-factly pointed out all their oversights and errors and let it dawn on them that they failed to foresee a lot of vital factors. It also helped that my co-panelist was also from the garments industry, so I didn't want the massacre to be too bloody. As it was, between the 2 of us, it was a mercy killing. After all 3 presentations, my co-panelist and I discussed the fates of the unfortunate groups, and we agreed that giving out Fs would be too harsh (especially considering most of their mistakes could have been avoided with proper guidance and supervision from their teachers; I believe in never punishing students for teacher lapses). I don't know what grades my partner gave but I doled out 1 C+ and 2 Ds. Trust me, that was extremely generous.

Incidentally, 2 out of the 3 groups had some of my brother's batchmates from Xavier, including their then SC president. To their credit, the predominantly Xavierian group held their own while we were grilling them. But it was still a shoddy project. Jen couldn't believe Ateneans could be so... mediocre. I told her it's one of the disadvantages of studying in such a small, sheltered environment: the students are detached from the real world and tend to forget practical matters that apply beyond the confines of Ateneo.

Also incidentally, the Xavier boy group's OpMan teacher was Jacob, who by the way looks a helluva lot like Pau. :p Jen and I were expecting him to be as softspoken and nice too, but after we saw him gun down the benchmark group, we decided he's a bit meaner. Either it's a male thing, or it's because he teaches college kids, not high school kids.

AND also incidentally, my co-panelist was a batchmate of mine from Ateneo, and someone I didn't particularly like very much back then. So to my surprise, we tag-teamed pretty well and had the same observations and comments on the presentations. I guess my EQ has improved somewhat since college. :p And heck, I'm too old to be harboring petty grudges...

...except when the grudges are justified, as in the case of a former orgmate I ran into. He was on the panel of a different set of groups, so thankfully I didn't have to interact with him much. But it wasn't pleasant to see him, and being forced to smile and say hi to him. I hate fake civility, but again, maturity dictated propriety. That's another problem with coming from such a small academic community: the chances of running into people you dislike are much higher.

But then again, the chances of running into people you like are high too.
My former OpMan and Stats teacher, Adrian Ramos-- Sir Aids to us-- was also a panelist today. I didn't know he was back from the US, where he took his MBA at Kellogg. Now he's helping out with their family business (he's of the National Bookstore Ramoses), indentured slave as I am. Sir Aids was one of our favorite teachers back then because he really made himself available to us (even when we texted or called at 2 in the morning!) while we were working on our own OpMan projects. Naturally, we did far, faaaaar better than any of the groups I saw today.

My afternoon at Ateneo-- dear, beautiful, tiny, snowglobe-of-a-school Ateneo-- reminded me that college was so very long ago, yet I can never really fully escape from its cramped confines... nor do I necessarily want to.

But yeah, Jen, after today, I wouldn't blame you if you chose UP. :p


At Monday, March 20, 2006, Anonymous jen ong said...

Since when did -I- become a freak of nature????

But, nevertheless, last Saturday was very very educational! Thanks so much for showing me that I should be a Maroon :D The fact that you think I should be a Maroon when you are an Eagle is what got me thinking.

Jacob Cabochan is a male version of a meaner Pau :D

At Monday, March 20, 2006, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

I'm actually doing Ateneo a huge disservice by convincing a freak of nature like you (yeah, you know you are :p) to turn down their precious merit scholarship and go to the other Katipunan school instead. But my concern for your welfare weighs more than my loyalty to my alma mater. ;p

P.S. SIX medals. Told you. Freak. xp

At Monday, March 20, 2006, Anonymous jen ong said...

I am not a freak of nature. I am a normal human being...with plus plus (like Ms. Pe says :D). Getting 6 medals doesn't make me a freak. A freak would get ALL medals that were possible to get :D

At Tuesday, March 21, 2006, Anonymous Laura said...

You should see my other brother (Eric). He looks more like my sister. Except without the boobs.

Still the prettiest!

(Kidding. It's still too early in the morning so I'm not thinking right.)

Actually, Jen, I entered Ateneo not really based on 'getting a great education' but because I wanted to go to a school where I could contribute something or change something. (In my case, my target was, and still is, to contribute to the FA department, or at least, to my organization.)

Lessons, education, quality, those are things you look for by yourself and demand to yourself. No matter what school you go to, they can't force you to be brilliant. You have to do it yourself. Don't let a bunch of mediocre students set the bar for Ateneo quality.

Not that I'm forcing you to go to Ateneo. :P (Hey, it's another head at the possible audience count for our shows.) U.P.'s good too. Well, in the end, it's totally up to you. Just my two cents.

At Tuesday, March 21, 2006, Blogger Peej Bernardo said...

Oh yes, college seems such a distant, distant memory.

But Ateneo's still there, I guess. Come on Sundays, at dusk. Best time for a stroll. Enriches the soul.

peej b.

At Tuesday, March 21, 2006, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Jen, just so you know, the last 2 comments were posted by 2 of Ateneo's finest, to offset whatever damage inflicted by the groups you saw that day. ;p

Laura's right. In the long run, it doesn't matter where you study as much as HOW and WHAT you learn, and WHOM you learn with and from. There will be mediocre slackers in UP too, and Ateneo does have its share of brilliant individuals (you've already met some of them *ahem*). But ultimately it's a very personal decision. Don't let Granny, or anyone else, influence you too much. You are definitely smart enough to make your own decisions, you freak of nature you. xp

At Wednesday, March 22, 2006, Anonymous jojojojo said...

In Ateneo's defense (and Ms. Lim is probably snickering at you-don't-have-a-right-to-call-yourself-a -Blue-Eagle-old-me right now)...

"Don't let a bunch of mediocre students set the bar for Ateneo quality." --> I agree with Laura. My Merit English classmates were brilliant, may I just say. They gave me that whole "big fish, small pond" realization about high school. Our prof was a Pinoy from Brown who'd previously taught at UC Berkeley. He said some of the kids in our class scared him with their intellect. Hahaha.

Some of the smartest kids at my current school could not speak half as eloquently as those kids if they tried.

Then there's the debate team. (I'm biased bec my best friend's on it, but it's true... They ARE world class.)

I don't really have a point here besides it's the man who makes the school, not the school who makes the man.

Btw Jen, I'm sure you'll get into Singapore...

At Wednesday, March 22, 2006, Anonymous jojojo said...

correction... not the school THAT makes the man...

At Wednesday, March 22, 2006, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Deserters don't have any right to participate in this discussion. xp

Haha, kidding Jo. Ateneo was dealt a huge blow when you left. And Chars is definitely a credit to ADMU. It's scary to think of her and Jen reuniting on the debate team, ain't it? Seems unfair to the other schools... ;p

But yeah, I'm sure Jen's going to get that Singapore scholarship too. :)

At Wednesday, March 22, 2006, Anonymous jen ong said...

I'm trying to convince myself to be happy in going to Ateneo since my mother forbid me from going to UP. :( Blech. I need major brainwashers to convince me all over again.

For some reason, I don't actually feel like debating in college, but I have a feeling that I will wind up debating if I do stay in Ateneo.

Now I really really really hope I get the Singapore Scholarship. :D

At Thursday, March 23, 2006, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

I really, really hope you do too. :)

P.S. My mom says I should talk to your mom. Hahaha.

P.P.S. You need Atenean brainwashers? Paging Ms. Pe and Chars! ;p

At Thursday, March 23, 2006, Blogger Peej Bernardo said...

Thanks for the compliment, Ms. Ailee, but i would hardly describe myself as "fine". Not to fish, but there really are a LOT better specimens of "fine" Ateneans out there than me. Many would agree.

At the end of the day, I guess, taste of school is just like any other taste: a matter of opinion. Of course I'll forever be a die-hard Atenean. It is, for me, the best school in this country, notwithstanding what the surveys say. But I say this because I have been in it for twenty-one years of my life, and because I spent many happy memories there.

I guess it's the same with the other schools. Spend too much time with something [or someone], you're bound to love it too.

I've come to realize that the world is not populated by like-minded people, however. There's no use convincing them, so I don't even try. Live and let live, I guess.

'Di ba? Pero Atenista pa rin ako.

peej b.

At Thursday, March 23, 2006, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Oh that you are, Mr. Bernardo. That you are. :)

At Friday, March 31, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so hope I don't get you as a panelist for OpMan next school year! hahaha

Hi Ms. Lim!


At Friday, March 31, 2006, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

*rubs her hands together and laughs in evil glee* Ooh, I can't wait for next year's OpMan defenses and see if I get any unfortunate Cyrenz. ;p

Tip: you really want to avoid me like the plague? Don't do a garments-related project. That increases your chances of not getting me as a panelist. Haha.


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