Raising glasses to raise standards
Respected members of the school administration, my esteemed peers in the faculty, guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
This hallowed institution, The University of San Carlos, arguably the oldest school in the Philippines, has a strong sense of vision. That of, and I quote: A SOCIETY where citizens are competent, noble in character, and community-oriented. My friends, we can do more. So much more!
Today as I look to our students, all bright-eyed, sprightly, well-mannered, and promising leaders of tomorrow, I feel a sense of shame. Yes, you heard me right. Not pride, but shame. As a member of this proud institution's faculty, must we, year in and year out, spawn a mass of graduates who are nothing but nerds and wimps! Yes, nerds and wimps they all are! Impotent and utterly malleable.
Shame on them for what they've become. But curses on us for molding them to be so!
I call upon my peers in the faculty; let us reverse this horrific trend. For too long, we have continued this academic tradition, echoing throughout history. A tradition whose correctness I now challenge and put to question. A tradition that I believe does not answer the challenge of the times. Let us introduce a drastic change. Let us create a new curriculum grounded in the realities of our modern world.
My friends, it is high time that we introduce beer drinking into our curriculum. I propose this as a required subject for all freshmen. Five units for lectures and five units for laboratory work. After all, what is theory without practice? I propose to call this course Sociology 100 Community etiquette from a grassroots perspective.
Let us introduce the 'kanto-culture'. It has a lot to teach our students. Allow me to enumerate a few:
1. The value of street smarts as opposed to knowledge based on bookish theory
2. On drinking session discussions, we can introduce the basic concepts of logic through practical argumentation and debate
3. On chipping in for the next round, we can hone mathematics
4. On the pouring of drinks, we can introduce the concepts of liquid mechanics and, when spillage occurs, the basic concepts of Chaos Theory
5. On bullying passersby, we can teach group psychology
6. When inebriated, we can teach physical education by practicing hand-eye coordination and motor skills under extreme conditions.
This is just the tip of the ice berg! Or in the language of a beer drinker, just the tip of the ice cube. There is so much more we can teach. And so much more we can all learn.
My friends, we live in a day and age of brutal competitiveness and continuing struggle. Looking at our students, I see them ill-prepared to fight it out in the jungle of modern society, or even just the neighborhood 'eskina'. But I believe we have the answer. Let us teach them beer. Truly the ale to help us cope with society's ills.
Throughout history, and throughout different cultures, the truest initiation of youth into manhood isn't the taste of fresh blood from wounds, suffered or inflicted, after a battle. It is the taste of bitter bile from one's own vomit after a bottle too many.
In times of crisis, let us raise our glasses. In times of uncertainty, let us order another round. Are we an institution that teaches boys, or are we an institution that teaches young men? We have the answer. But we need to act. Not tomorrow, but today.
If not us then who? If not now, then when? I have sworn commitment to this task already, (hic) as you may have already noticed, or smelled, but now I ask everyone in this room to share in my commitment. Join me as we raise bottled spirits as our flaming torch of advancement.
Let us drink to our students, to our youth, to our future.
BEER IS THE ANSWER!