Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Don't get me wrong, I'm happy enough to teach at Ateneo de Davao. Sometimes, though, it gets me wondering.

You see, I'm teaching because I want to give back. Ten years in corporate IT, several more years of fiddoodling with Linux and open source, I've certainly got something to share. And please don't tell me that I'm doing it for the salary because, heh, if I showed you my payslip, you'd probably snigger and snark. Let's not even talk about the silly bureaucracy inherent in any large organization.

I'm wondering, though, if an Ateneo falls within the community that I ought to be giving back through. Religious roots aside, Ateneo ranks way up there in terms of tuition and matriculation fees. The students can certainly afford. Will the knowledge that I'm imparting get passed on in turn? Or will it just be used to fuel selfish careers? I don't know, and perhaps I'll never know -- it's that old saw again about the sowing and the reaping.

On the flip side, Ateneo has excellent -- if underused -- facilities, and that fulfills the working environment that I need. I've been trading notes with friends from other schools and the labs I work with are miles ahead of what they have. I would feel constricted otherwise.

So now the dilemma: if I work with the less privileged, I would also be drastically scaling back the lessons I can teach, even far more than what I'm already doing now with my students at Ateneo. In terms of need, I might be reaching a more deserving audience, but they won't receive the best of what I'd be able to give.

And on the flip side: I wonder if teaching at an upper-class school matches the spirit of my original intent. Am I doing the good that I'm supposed to be doing? Or have I become a tool for just another capitalistic endeavor?

Ah, questions, questions.