Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Measuring Time

I'm not much for holiday greetings but I have to admit I was touched by this message from a student K--:

Hi, sir Dom! Thank you for being a part of my year 2013, sir.  Sorry po kasi pasaway kami sa class mo pero salamat pud sa pag-antos sa amo. :D Hehe. Thank you for helping me become a better servant-leader, writer, and person. And of course thank you for converting me, A--, and K-- into Whovians. Salamat kaayo sir!

I’ve been teaching in Ateneo for -- how long now? -- four years? Five? Far longer than I expected I would be, considering my threshhold for any one job has been about three years.  If this goes on, I’ll probably match or exceed my seven-year with IBM.  Then again, at my age, I really have to set down roots.

Because of my teaching, my time sense has altered somewhat.  I’ve come to measure time by the batches of students that I’ve taught.  The years seem to move so much more quickly now: some of my former students have become colleagues at work and some have gone on to become professional developers.  In a few more years, they’ll be moving to middle management positions or earning their PhD’s.

It makes me stop and think where I’ll be.  Looking back, corporate work was never really for me, and I’m too old to be a developer (but I was never developer material in the first place.)  I’m ambivalent about a doctoral degree because of the time investment vis-a-vis the projected career path.  Will I have the legs to go on the way I’ve been going?

This year my first full batch will be graduating.  By a full batch I mean students that I’ve taught since their second year (they haven’t let me teach freshmen yet.)  It’s been a wonder seeing them grow -- there’s this inexplicable transition into maturity sometime in their third year.  What they’ll be after Ateneo?  Que sera sera.

I suppose the same goes for me.