Thursday, December 1, 2022

Break Now, Books Later

by the Weekly Sillimanian | January 22, 2022

It has been more than a month since our country felt the wrath of Super Typhoon Odette (internationally called “Rai”). And despite the polarizing resiliency Filipinos are known for, it is still too soon to say that life is slowly getting back to our pandemic standard of normal. Luckily, Silliman University’s administration (SU) administration moved the start of classes to February 7 to accommodate those affected by the event. So, students and their families should have enough time to recuperate now, right?

Because of SU’s impressive academic reputation both locally and internationally, it is not surprising to still hear Sillimanians talk and worry about school, even during this allotted break time. While education is a worthy matter to invest one’s time and energy in, one must remember that there are times, such as right now, when it should not be the priority.  

Right now, students’ minds are clouded by many other things. One of them is the unreliable internet connection, phone signal, and electricity that affect communication. Although Dumaguete City and its neighboring local government units have been fortunate enough to have these services again, other places are not as lucky. Remember that the students of SU hail from beyond Negros Oriental, so no one should expect everyone to have such resources whenever.

When we come to think of it, isn’t it detrimental for the overall quality of learning to have little to no internet connection, given that classes are currently held virtually? 

More importantly, there are people who are struggling from lack of shelter, food, and water. What is the point of striving for 4.0s when one’s stomach is empty and there is no roof over their head? We have been brainwashed to think that suffering because of hard work is something to be proud of — when it is merely a badge of how botched our priorities have become. And the most tragic fact of all is that we have already lost people, loved ones whom we will never get to share the triumph of our academic accomplishments with.

We thank the administration for postponing classes and we encourage them to continue providing support that looks at students and faculty as people, not just their educational needs. Additionally, as much as we want everyone from the university to read this, we know that is not possible because of the previously mentioned factors. So, we urge you, the reader, to speak for them whenever you can so we can hopefully ease their struggles a little bit.

Every time you feel inadequate for keeping your mind off academics, remember that you survived one of the strongest typhoons in Philippine history — and during a pandemic too. So, do not feel guilty for wanting and needing time to recover. When February 7 comes, you will thank yourself for taking time off.

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