The Sunbaked King

Honors’ Class

When I was in 4th grade, I got accepted into the Honors’ Class. Did I feel honored? Not on your life. It was one of the most traumatic years of my childhood, and perhaps my entire life. I got asked to strip in front of the class by a teacher (jokingly, but it was a menacing threat nonetheless), was accused of theft, and received my first D (which was my fault, but still). You know something’s wrong with your 4th grade experience when your initial reaction upon seeing your name as one of the qualified students for 5th grade Honors’ Class is to cry in sadness and regret.

During the summer of 3rd year high school, I got accepted into the Ateneo’s summer program, the AJSS. Students from all over the Philippines get together for six weeks and act like they’re college Ateneans. It was a fantastic way to meet people, and was perhaps one of the richest and most rewarding summers I’ve ever had. Brilliant people are always fun to be with. However, the day before I was due to return back to Davao, I got the most disturbing news: a storm was brewing back home. My best friend on the other line reassured me by saying that everything was going to be fine, I just needed to explain my point-of-view. Everything did turn out fine, but not before the misery of being painted as a snobbish asshole. Which I was. Which I probably am.

A few weeks ago, I got hired by one of my most “coveted” companies. I was no stranger to the fact that the people I’ll be working with were going to be brilliant; some of them I’ve worked with in my previous company. I just didn’t know how brilliant exactly. And then I learned this funny little factoid: all of them were summa cum laudes of one Math course or some other. Four from the UP system and one from La Salle. Wow. I was the only non-Latin-honor-bearing person there. I’m secure enough about my own intelligence not to be affected, but what really got me thinking was this: what is the sacrifice this time around?

It just wouldn’t be complete without it.

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Filed under: Rat Race

12 Responses

  1. White says:

    You know what, it does not matter whether you have college honors or not. Nearly half of the Latin-honor-bearing people I know personally were not worthy of it. And those who were supposed to get those honors and bestowed one actually excelled in their chosen field.

    Of course, there’s something more in your post and this is just an intro. 🙂

  2. White says:

    [correction]—-and NOT bestowed one….

  3. N says:

    Hurray for non-Latin honors! 🙂

    You should know by now that it (academic honor) merits for something, but not everything. Get out of the insecurity bubble before you jeopardize yourself for thinking you’re not good enough because, my dear, you are THAT good.

  4. M says:

    What I said in our e-mail conversation. 🙂

    I’m glad that you’re not affected by that mindless statement. Besides, you’re a bright boy. You have no reason to be insecure. None at all.

    At wag pangunahan ang tadhana by worrying about the “sacrifice” that you’ll have to endure. Hindi pa naman nangyayari at walang kasiguraduhan na mangyayari. Just enjoy your lucky streak this year. 🙂

  5. kerwinray says:

    @White: Thanks for the encouragement, White. And don’t worry, I’m not insecure in any way. 🙂 And finally, yes, you’re right, this isn’t about insecurities about intelligence at all. It’s another matter entirely. 😉

    @N: Wee! Another one of your UPRs, Nes? 🙂

    @Mak: Yep, thank goodness for self-confidence, right? Now it sounds like the post I just wrote is a reason to fish for compliments! *Archuleta* Shucks, stop it! *Archuleta* Hahaha.

    I don’t understand the universe. It takes as it gives.

  6. kerwinray says:

    By the way: N, M. White, you should start referring to yourself as W. 🙂

  7. N says:

    Yey for W! Sorry, I don’t know you, but I am just having a blast with one-letter names.

  8. deejay says:

    hmmm… don’t mind it.

    neither latin honors nor greek letters equal competence.

    good luck! 😀

  9. kerwinray says:

    Deej, I know. 🙂

  10. tristan says:

    kaya kaayo, ker! kkk! i believe… haha. but, ker, a lot of good things came from the 4th grade honors class… eventually.

  11. kerwinray says:

    Tris, tama. A lot of good things came from PEOPLE in the 4th grade honors’ class. 🙂

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