Sunday, May 11, 2014

Eleennae Love Ayson - Reaction Papers

Eleennae Love M. Ayson
2012 – 71125
Sir Juned Sonido STS X2

Fulfilled: A Glimpse Of a Scientist’s Life

            If the word “scientist” brings to mind unkempt hair, dry and awkward personalities, or lives devoid of any socialization, then Dr. Custer Deocaris is no ordinary scientist.

            Oh. My. Gosh. Even with the glittering introduction, I didn’t expect much from Dr. Deocaris. He was so candid, carefree, charming—breaking any stereotype I have of scientists. He looks more at home under the klieg lights than locked in a laboratory brewing who knows what. He seems so… normal. So human. Someone you’d meet on a bus or in a long, unmoving line, albeit with a dash of flamboyance and charisma.

            I guess you really need something to keep you sane in this cutthroat world of science and research. Spending hours in a lab or coming up with innovations in a well-researched field is exhausting, and focusing on that alone won’t really help you in the long run. Dr. Deocaris kept his life filled with activities outside the lab.

            I still can’t believe his schedule, though. Does the man even sleep? 24 units every semester with 12 units in Creative Writing alongside his MBB majors—and 3 writing classes is no joke—plus theater plus campus activism plus whatever campus activity he made up his mind to join is crazy. His load hasn’t even lightened as the years went by. He upholds several advocacies, writes and lobbies bills in the Congress, makes logos for NGOs, trains for the Manila Dragonboat Team, and hosts radio programs in his spare time. Wow.

            Crazy as his adventures—not life, because he needs a royalty for that hahaha—may seem, it all boils down to what makes him happy and fulfilled. He loves his job(s), and he loves helping other people. He doesn’t mind the constant grind of activities, because he’s satisfied with his lot in life. He lives for himself, and he doesn’t mind what other people think of his lifestyle. He’s so comfortable in his own skin, and I admire that. That’s all he ever needs, I guess. 

Eleennae Love M. Ayson
2012 – 71125
Sir Juned Sonido STS X2

A False Dichotomy Continuum

            Since childhood, I’ve always considered animals and humans on the opposing sides of a dichotomy. Everything that is not human is animal.

        The next sentence is expected to state that these documentaries changed my views on this controversial issue. I should say that it’s not a dichotomy but a continuum, a reflection of the theory of evolution and all its wondrous

            Sadly, it doesn’t.

The society of each group of monkeys is complicated. It has hierarchies. It has traditions. It has knowledge carefully compiled by elders and passed on to the next generation. It has its views on gender relations. It has techniques on power play, and it has seen quite a game of thrones. What then, makes the monkeys different from humans?

            These documentaries showed the societies of monkeys in an interesting light. They humanized the monkeys. They were given nicknames. Shots showed each monkey’s distinct personality. The documentaries used a popular literary technique of zooming in on an individual’s story—in this case, a monkey’s—before zooming out to present its role in the bigger picture of society. The whole feel of it is so human. Human, human, human. There is no other synonym for it, nothing to keep away the dull, grating knife of redundancy. There is nothing quite like humanity. It’s not about the complexity of our civilizations or the reflexivity of our languages or the shapes and functions of our bodies and body parts, but it’s something that I can’t put a finger on. Something wholly other.

I don’t buy the theory of evolution no matter how awesome their breakthroughs are. Backward and old-fashioned? I don’t think so. Blind to the innumerable evidences present around me? Nope, not really. I still believe that God created this world and crafted each creature carefully according to His design. People ask me why I can’t look past the dogma of religion and at the “bigger picture”, but isn’t that ironic? I think that creationism is the bigger picture, something way beyond the limitations of human understanding, something we can never really fathom, control, or replicate. It’s a hard thing for many intellectuals to admit, because humans love at least an inkling, a semblance of control over the situation. But I believe it’s true, and this belief is strengthened by the documentaries.

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