Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Graduate-University Theory

I just don't get it. Why is it that some people try to associate a person's overall personality and aptitude from his or her alma mater? It doesn't really make any sense. It sounds stupid, especially if some people rant about it in public.

I had dinner with my officemates last Thursday and upon entry to the pantry, three unguided, ranting souls (gay, two girls), were discussing something passionately about a person they seem to hate. When we entered they paused for a bit and my team mate swore she saw one of them (the gay in particular) roll his eyes. I was too hungry to notice then.

We sat and they resumed talking in loud voices about this one person, a boss, that they hate. There were no names mentioned, but all the negative attributes were discussed. With how they described their hate and how they narrated the torturous graphic scenes they would love to do to that particular boss, left my team mates and I distracted in our entire meal.

But that wasn't the real issue. This gay blurted out. "San ba sya nag-graduate?" (Where did she graduate?) Until all of them started bashing La Salle, UP and UST. Some said they didn't dare envision themselves studying in Lasalle because people there are elitists and very laissez faire. Lasallians, for them are deemed passive, unintelligent and just good with presentation skills. UST is always seen as their last resort, a perpetual fallback, while ATENEO against UP seems a much safer (physically safer) choice. Needless to say they are all from ATENEO and the three of us, my team mates and I, represent the three universities they shamelessly bashed.

It's been a constant human fallacy that most people enjoy to associate and generalize people coming from specific universities. Companies and people discriminate graduates of specific universities which forms biases. One failed move of a graduate means the overall failure of the institution and the students that are associated with it. It is sometimes an easy explanation to understand things.

I understand that we all are support for our alma mater, but isn't it childish and narrow-minded for some people to assume everything is associated with their respective universities? If these people in the pantry, these specific Ateneans, have forgotten the role of external factors like family, influence and years of stay in the institution, then I think they have no idea what they're talking about. It's true that there are known traits of students that the institutions produce, but it's not an end-all explanation of the person's existence.

To ask where the person graduated in attempt to explain the unexplainable seems a little bit childish and lame. The success of an individual might be fueled and supported by the institution he or she graduated from, in terms of prestige and branding, but that is not the ONLY factor to consider. The person should be assessed based on his personality and capability that are willed and executed to the best of his abilities. If the person succeeds in something, the success coupled by his own will gives pride to the institution, but most importantly gives pride in himself.

AS Humans, we shouldn't be LIMITED in groups in any ay. We are of our own making and we are individuals who make our own decisions in life. We do not depend on associations and institutions to make the decision for us.

Also, for those 'educated' people who might act so high and mighty, I just wish they would be considerate with their surroundings. Their private opinions may be respected, but there is nothing attractive listening on how they bash institutions and create a conversation based on fallacy. They should be mindful of their actions lest they be branded as the "uneducated ones."

Truth be told, I really don't care where the person graduated. I'm facing the person here and now and that is all that I will ever need. The institution might help further explain his personality, but I don't rely on it like how I don't rely much on horoscopes. It's stupid to think that way. I would feel I'm being superstitious.

Also relating to some Ateneans whom I've had a couple of bad experiences with. I've met the egotistical ones at the pantry. I've also met immoral syndicates that shamelessly embrace their alma mater when they should have been spewed to the filthiest muck. But you know what, I don't hate them because they came from Ateneo. I hate them because of whatever they did. THEM. I also consider the fact that I have good, intelligent friends that are from Ateneo who are NOT like those unfortunate souls I mentioned. In fact they despise those, even if it's from THEIR own beloved institution. It's proof enough that the person-university theory should not exist.

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