Magic #21: Why they teach

One of the world’s greatest mysteries is why state university teachers stick it out with their employers.

Is it really the prestige of the university? Is it the company of friends? Is it a perhaps-not-so-naive belief that they are teaching the nation’s future leaders?

Because for sure they’re not there for the salary. I learned it can come late by a few months.

Not are they in for the school’s infrastructure: department offices cramped in the building’s attics, rusty railings, unkempt hedges.

So — why?

Let me hazard some guesses.

Maybe they simply love teaching bright kids whom they think will definitely make a dent in Philippine society.

Maybe they don’t look so much at the bad things these kids might end up doing (hah! there seems to be an equal number of famous and infamous alumni in prestigious, nationalistic state universities), but on the good things that they can surely seek to do. That is, these teachers are realistically optimistic.

Maybe they don’t mind the crappy place, the less-than-professional look of the halls and gardens, but they do mind the seriousness of their responsibility as molders of minds that may be greater than theirs.

Or maybe it’s the prestige after all. Who cares if it’s a low-paying fugly place, but you’re getting the attention of your counterparts from other institutions simply because you teach in this school? Your research is also going to get at least a second look when you submit it for publication, right?

Maybe it’s also circumstances too personal that our imaginative brains cannot be imaginative enough, only because it takes heart and not brain to find out that there simply is a thing as loving…in all its grand, maddening, and multifarious forms.

Seeing the faculty evaluators amused during my teaching demo only bolstered my admiration for them.

I applied for a teaching post in the university.┬áHere’s to madness and to love!

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