Sunday, May 11, 2014

Marticio - Reaction Papers: Protests Do Not Necessarily Have To Be Deafening, A Beautiful Mind & The Life of Mammals (3)

B SE Special Educatio
STS X2 - Professor Juned O. Sonido

Protests Do Not Necessarily Have To Be Deafening

I was never one for lobbying and walkouts. Maybe I would be considered undeserving to be in the premiere state university of the country, but I like to think of myself as being one of a modern-day Gandhi who is an advocate of nonviolent revolutions and Rizal who likes to express opposition to abusive authority through writing. (To begin with, I am really fond of writing.) Sometimes, I feel guilty about being just a little bit disinterested in invitations to events such as the Unity March Against the Budget Cut, Million People March and other strikes of the same nature. Don’t get me wrong, I truly admire the people involved in these protests and their efforts to voice out their fellow students’ concerns. I, for one, am thankful that through what they are doing, it is still possible for my mom’s burden to be lessened by having to pay for a lower tuition fee in case the protest actually works wonders. I don’t know, I am honestly torn whenever I am immediately decided that I do not want to join this, I do not want to join that. I am just not the type to uplift this country in that way.

But that does not mean I am not doing anything. For instance, I am fond of attending public debates and even initiating private ones with my peers regarding local and world issues. I also make use of social media well by following accounts that keep me informed of what is happening all around me. I attend forums and conferences for the same cause, and that is why I am grateful I was able to be a part of the People’s Forum on US Militarism and Its Impacts on the Philippine Environment. Honestly speaking, before, I thought it was a good idea to have close ties with one of the world’s most powerful countries, the United States. But then, the forum proved me wrong by explaining why all along, the Americans never really left our supposedly sovereign nation on its own. Furthermore, this was fueled by the fact that I am also taking up the required course on Rizal’s life and works this summer, and so I am more prone to understanding why undisputed independence is what we need. Yes, help from other nations is essential, but Dr. Giovanni Tapang, one of the two speakers was right: thank you, USA, for “helping” us, but that does not give you any excuse to, for lack of a better term since you did it without permission, invade national territory. It almost came off as what could be called today as “feeling close” or “FC.” Even though both sides are on good terms, it is important for due processes to be maintained so as to ensure the benefit of the Filipino people.

My hope then is that sooner rather than later, the government finally listens to what low- key citizens like me have to say and takes responsible action for it. 


John Nash’s Mind Wasn’t The Only Thing Beautiful

I am a self-confessed introvert—and proud of it! This little fact about me entails so much though. Oftentimes, I talk to myself whether it be in front of the mirror or not. I am almost always on guard in case my mom suddenly enters the room and finds her child talking to... no one. Am I crazy? I don’t know. Maybe yes; I have had a lot of experiences in life to welcome me into the realm of crazies, but then, maybe no; maybe I’m just a regular teenager (or more appropriately, a young adult) whose keeping to herself too much due to heartbreaks (not necessarily romantic ones) combined with boredom has caused her to create a secret world. I know, it sounds way childish, but that is the beauty of being given the choice of what you want to do with your life. Perhaps, this is the second of what I have personally concocted as a three-phase mental pinnacle in life. We have childhood schizophrenia, “this” thing I have been experiencing and Alzheimer’s. I am not saying each of us will inevitably undergo all these. Besides, I do not remember myself having an imaginary friend when I was little. It is just that many have the tendency to do so.

Unfortunately for John Nash, none of these were the case.

The thing about his condition is it was very likely a cause of his antisocial and perfectionist nature. I can very well say that, for all its worth, that is the price you pay for being an island. This is probably a wake-up call for me. No, I am not as smart as John Nash nor am I going to get a Noble Prize anytime soon, but my obsessive idea of fun as being locked up inside my room has the potential to make myself a bad version of introversion. Being diagnosed with schizophrenia is probably one of the worst things one can ever imagine. If anything, it pains the people around the diagnosed person even more to see their loved one suffering from things (or “people”) they themselves cannot see nor hear. In other words, they seem to be fighting a lost battle, and yes, this is coming from a relatively optimistic little girl like me. Good thing for Nash, his wife was not the type to give up easily even when it already meant her getting hurt both physically and emotionally. I would never want to hurt my mom in that way. I would never want to hurt her in any way. (Oh, and isn’t this just perfect timing since this paper is due on Mother’s Day?)

Yes, others have it worse. But the quality of life is not measured by the intensity of pain you have endured. In the end, it is all about who stood by you, who believed in you. And that is what I meant when I said that John Nash’s mind wasn’t the only thing beautiful; his loved ones were too. 


Another Inconvenient Truth

Growing up in a devout Catholic family, I was never swayed to believe the Evolution theory. When I enrolled for a Bio 1 class though, I learned that beliefs related to the existence of man in this world runs across a spectrum that goes from one extreme to another. We can then find in the middle that the Catholic Church’s stand on Creationism remains while accepting evidence-based Evolution in the aspect of common ancestry but not random, unplanned processes and natural selection.

The two installments of The Life of Mammals that our class got to watch, The Social Climbers and Food for Thought featured what would more likely be in favor of Evolution rather than Creationism when it all came down to it. But it was more than that—I think we all know that. Being out in a potentially unsafe environment due to the stronger predators surrounding them, survival 101 is a must for these mammals. The thing is, the monkeys do it on point, and this makes me want to compare them to humans. To us. The howler monkeys’ utilization of their excellent color vision, for instance, allows them to know whether a leaf they are about to devour is poisonous or not. In a deeper sense, I see this as being rightfully skeptic, an attribute many of us need to improve on. It was also astonishing how the different species team up to save each other from danger. How good would it be if we lived just like that?

Even more than what I have already mentioned, orangutans were shown to imitate humans in their activities, and they were not mere household chores but involved the use of hammer and saw. I have never even independently used a saw in my whole life, and then I see this animal doing it while seemingly genuinely enjoying. I guess what I am trying to say is that it amazed me how this documentary slapped me in the face with the inconvenient truth that I am lazy. Alright, so I work out, I prefer stairs over escalators and elevators, but all that because I want to stay fit. But these orangutans, all these primates that are apart from us, do it as a way of life without complaining and without wanting to impress anybody. Being the person that I am, I believe that is my take-away from this documentary, and knowing about these things now, I know I should learn, considering that I fall under that category considered to be the highest form of animal. I think it is my duty to responsibly live up to that identity, and so it goes without saying that that entails I, and all of us for that matter, protect those supposedly inferior to us and act upon the words that concluded the film: “Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, perhaps it's time we control the population to allow the survival of the environment." 

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