Be Positive and Contented; the Gateway to Happiness

By Vic Odarve

Although life is made up of ups and downs, thinking positively, coupled with contentment on what we have, may lead to a happier life. When life takes unexpected turns and brings along a traumatic pain, evaluate events with an open mind; convince ourselves that life must move on regardless. Think positive. Contentment is necessary for attaining a positive state of mind; accepting the situation; and allowing us to move ahead.

Happier life

Happier life- be positive and contented

Sometimes life takes unexpected turns of events. It is up and down. Think positively. If our failure is awry, inflicting pain and self pity; positive thinking draws us to accept them as a learning experience and then move on. In Statistics, it is impossible to have all failures; there must be a success. That is what it takes for a Nigerian Super Eagles to become African champion and has a right to represent the continent on World FIFA footballs in Brazil; Gilas Filipinas seeks its berth as a qualifier to FIBA world basketball in Spain; and the great and flashy Manny Pacquiao who becomes 8 times weight division boxing champion. What is their common denominator that propels them to success and happiness; it is positive thinking to win games.

My engineering classmate, do pass and fail in some math courses, have spent about 8 years in schooling, but finally becomes an Engineer, a profession he really proud of. He really thinks he could finish it and he did it!

Positive thinking can create a realistic plan for goals in life; allows us to move ahead after some failures; and recovers our feeling of loss. This leads us to a better and happier life.

On the other hand, contentment is necessary for attaining a positive state of mind; accepting the situation; and allowing us to move ahead.  By appreciating the great things we currently have in life; thinking

Contentment in life

Contentment in life-Old folks gathering

about good things for our loved ones; and changing our mood to focus things positively may feel us to a happier life. Do not compare ourselves with others because we live differently. Be contented with our achievements for it is our real accomplishment. Be ourselves. Do not imagine things that beyond our reach. Do not feel jealous and insecure. Be contented with what we have. Do not match our neighbor’s new tennis rackets, shoes, iPads, I-pods, etc., feeling we are behind. Do not feel devastated that somebody overtakes us in some areas of our life. Be contented and live well on what we have.

Take the case of Jose Mujica, the world poorest president who lives on a ramshackle farm and donates most of his pay; do laundry by himself outside the house with water comes from a well in a yard, overgrown with weeds; keep watch outside of only two police officers and a three-legged dog. “I may appear to be an eccentric old man… But this is a free choice. I’ve lived like this most of my life and I can live well with what I have”, he said. “I’m called ‘the poorest president’, but I don’t feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more,” he says.


Paper presentation- International Intellectual convention, Madonna University, Rivers State, Nigeria


Like the Super Eagles, Gilas Pilipinas, and Manny Pacquiao; positive thinking and attitude propel their way to stardom; and for President Mojica, contentment to live a simple life is a way to happiness.

 Like the sparrows and water lilies, we have the right to live and be happy in this universe. No matter what troubles the world brings to our life, we must be at peace with our parents, brothers and sisters, and friends and deal them in a gentle manner. There is always a void that cannot be filled up with material things. This is really a wicked world; a troublesome place unfolding uncertainties that bring us only broken dreams. But no matter how wicked and corrupt, it is still a beautiful world. We must strive to be happy and have peace with our God and peace within our soul. Be positive and contented; the gateway to happiness.

The Words of a Math Professor

By Vic Odarve

Like the ghostly particles neutrinos that are able to oscillate – flip from one type to another – during flight to the earth from the sun; words of a math professor do also change the behavior of the students, pierce their hearts and minds, and bring power and wisdom.

At Classroom

At Classroom

 The words of the math professor really change the student’s behavior. It was the start of the semester. The room was crowded with 450 students. A big class size to handle! A little bit noisy! After writing on the board on a course and its outlines and some brief introduction, classroom discussion started. With my thundering voice, I reminded the class with this statement, “There is no way to pass this course except to study your lessons!” The noise subsided! Silence engulfed the class. They felt a new class environment! And maybe some feared for the unknown because of the telling words. A new sense of environment for they felt the tough times ahead!

 That’s how our first day of the class started. Catching the attention and stern warning for those unwary! This telling introduction meant that grades are to be earned and not just to be given by other means. First impression lasts! It

African Professors on Tour

African Professors on Tour

really changes their behavior.

The spoken words seemed piercing the student’s heart and mind. A day after the opening of the class, one student who wore an Igbo dress (native Nigerian) visited my office trying to learn more on the course. “Sir, I have poor knowledge in my previous course and I find difficulty on this course Calculus, what shall I do?”He was very serious and seemed to be afraid on my introduction. He looked worried and told me he was about to drop the course. Then I told him” Don’t be absent in the class. Just follow up the lessons and study your notes daily. Make it a habit and surely you will pass!”

After a few minutes of silence, he stood up with head low, thinking deeply and went out at my office without a word. So, be it!

Caritas University Professors with Students

Caritas University Professors with Students

The words of the math professor also carry powers and wisdom. Teachers are second parents for the university students. Their words carry powers that influence the lifestyle of the students. Much more if you are an expat lecturer! African college students’ love expatriates!

Gifted lecturers sometimes work like dictators. Their words are treated like coming from God. Hitler, Mussolini, and Emperor Hirohito did the same thing. They had been revered by youths during their times because their words had a power of persuasion! Their remarkable speeches catapulted them into power. They heightened the population’s nationalism!

Jesus, too, spoke words with too much power and wisdom that even fisherman Andrew with his brother Simon and tax collector Matthew left their jobs and followed him without any second thoughts. Even in synagogues, learned theologian listened to his teaching attentively. Others just listened and watched an error or mistakes against the Roman laws on his teachings in order to become a ground for his arrest. And they found nothing! His words bring new hope and new life for the sinners. The wisdom that his words offer to his listeners is endlessly repeated for many generations. He is what He claimed to be! Jesus is God! He is supernatural and his words will last forever even to the ends of the earth!

So, what about my student who came to my office? Truly, he did follow my advice. I saw him sitting silently in front of the class. I knew he was studying hard at the student’s quarter. During the end semester final exam, he was one of the top 5 performing students posted in my blogs. When I met him, he was grinning from ear to ear!

His dream comes true. Indeed, words of a math professor do influence the behavior during the start of the class, pierce their hearts and minds, and bring power and wisdom to the students.

How Bad Friends Influence Your Life

By  Vic Odarve

Bad friends do influence your life negatively. They can alter your view of the world by changing your perception and turning you into a different person; bring a tremendous change to your characters, lifestyles, manners, and actions, and destroy your life.

Quiz in Math. Friends influence to study.

Quiz in Math. Friends influence your study

While you seek friends for support and encouragement during bad times; find enrichment and guidance in your life’s journey and enlightenment of your soul; bad friends can alter your view of the world, change the way how you look up things in life and develop you into a different person. Unknowingly, you meet bad friends usually in social gatherings. People in the upper class of our society usually meet bad friends at parties, religious and civic organizations, political acquaintances, and other forms of activities among society’s bigwigs.

Influence of bad friends is powerful. It is more serious for the rich and famous. Take the case of Ruby; a beautiful woman at early 50’s established her name by making friends and held important positions in known social organizations. With her friends, she found a connection to influential lawmakers; amassed wealth and became

Vultures in our backyard. Birds of feathers flock together.

Vultures in our backyard. Birds of feather flock together.

famous; and acted as a conduit to a graft and corruption. Aware of her impending arrest from the government for her role, she left the country without any traces. But things go differently for her. She was troubled. She could not sleep and eat well. A few months later, she returned as a government witness on a pork barrel scandal that implicated several senators and other famous personalities. Being haunted by her own conscience and why she turned as a government witness against her former friends, she concluded by saying, “I don’t want to die with 80 million countrymen hating me. I don’t want my grandchildren being ashamed of me so I felt I have to do something and I have to correct my mistake and I can’t possibly right a wrong with another wrong”. That’s it. She regretted what she had done. Bad friends influenced and eventually ruined her life.

Bad friends also bring a tremendous change in your behavior, lifestyles,

Friendship fosters positive relationship

Friendship must foster positive relationship

manners, and actions. By keeping in the company and hanging around with bad friends in your work areas, offices, meetings, and other functions, you are strongly connected with their common objectives, likes, and point of views, and gossiping activities. You could not feel and sense the threat at the beginning because slowly and slowly you are engulfed to emulate your bad friend’s way of living in one way or another. Some of the effects are extremely disastrous to your future. You do not know that your constant companionship with these bad friends seems to program your way of thinking and develops into a habit.

The negative influence of bad friends knows no boundaries. Even a short time in a company, the influence is great. It can change the world! Imagine what happened to the daughter of newspaper magnate and publisher Randolph Hearst. The kidnaped Patricia Hearst, his 19-year-old daughter, after 3 months long in company with kidnappers, became friends and converted herself a member of the terrorist organization. She sympathized of the cause of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) and participated willingly in the bank robbery. Just a short period of friendship, the daughter of a wealthy and famous family became a robber. It ruined her life!

The same thing happened to once a shy and religious friend of mine. In one of the invitation for a dinner, he was seen lifting a red wine to his bag secretly; drinking too much, talking negatively about other people in excess, and doing some illegal activities. These lifestyles were developed gradually from his constant company of his bad friends. He slowly and slowly adopted similar interests and behavior from his friends. Birds of feather spent time together! Bad friends ruined his life!

There are many ways to avoid falling to bad friends. Look, associate, and surround yourself only  with friends that give positive influence; hang only to those that are supporting and enhancing your life;  filter their background and stick to one with the same mission and ambitions in your life.

Indeed, bad friends negatively influence your life far more powerful than you imagine. It can change your outlook on how you perceive the world and behave you on the dark side. By putting yourself in the midst of bad friends, like Ruby on the pork barrel scam and Patricia Hearst on bank robbery with kidnappers, you are inviting to a disaster. Bad friends, like a giant black hole sitting quietly at the center of our Milky Way, are lurking for someone impending for his own destruction. The bible puts it, 22 Cor 6:14-15;

14Do not make unsuitable covenants with those who do not believe: can justice walk with wickedness? Or can light coexist with darkness, 15 and can there be harmony between Christ and Satan? What union can there be between one who believes and one who does not believe?

Slowly and slowly bad friends ruin your life.

Questionable Credibility Kills!

           By Vic Odarve

Questionable credibility kills!

Individuals with highly questionable credibility often do not practice what they preach; not honest and fair in dealing with others; put themselves first before taking care for others; and making promises but do not fulfill them.

That’s it. Apart from being  gifted persons who talk with strong and remarkable persuasion like Hitler and Marcos, these individuals often play as right hand to those in powers; influence the company’s owners, its relatives, inner circles, celebrities and government officials, and among the institution’s bigwigs; and allow themselves to serve as a conduit for  kickbacks and corruptions.

Credibility is the name

Teaching moral values are vital

They do not also practice what they preach. A year ago, highlighted in a tabloid and various newspapers, no less than a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court preached that every citizen must pay the right taxes in order for a government to survive. But a few months later, he was brought to a court trial and found guilty of tax evasion and not declaring huge assets. Now he is languishing in jail. He is not honest; he did not practice what he preaches. His credibility kills!

Honesty speaks well to credible individuals. When the three senators explained that they did not get any cents from the scams worth millions of dollars, the opinion polls survey showed that most people believed the opposite. After a year of investigation, they are charged of graft and corruption. These senators are definitely lying to the public; hence they are not honest. They are not credible. Their credibility kills!

Generation must be taught with honesty

Generation must be taught with honesty

Person with questionable credibility cannot be trusted. A suppose leader, who was trusted by his supervisor to review and work out the individual performance of the group, secretly managed to give salary increases to herself and her favorite selected few. It was only discovered when the group complained in unison to the owner of the institution. She is indeed not fair to others. She is not credible. Her credibility kills!

In many instances, my friend borrowed money during emergencies and promised to return just after a few days. But when the days gone, he seemed to forget to return the money; the next time around he was not entertained. Other friends followed the same move. He is not credible!

If your credibility is questioned; people lose their trust and often feel betrayed, stop coming to you for help and prefer others. It has lasting negative

Follow the leaders

            Follow the leaders

impacts especially to your friends, and worst, condemn you as liars. It may come to a point that nobody believes when you tell the truth. Most friends describe these people as pious persons who went to Mass, said a novena every day and regularly visited the church every morning. But beware! Credibility sinks as deep as the bottomless pit!

On the other hand, good reputation and strong credibility truly help us increase our opportunities and chances for success. We must commit to practice what we preach; be honest and fair in dealing with others; can be trusted in discharging our responsibilities; do fulfill what we have promised and adhere to moral values and principles more than friendship can offer. Credibility counts a lot!

Questionable credibility kills!

EMT 201 Final Exam Review

AREAS OF CONCENTRATION                       EMT 201 FINAL                  ENGINEERING MATHEMATICS 1

FIRST SEMESTER 2013/2014                        

Due to the wide coverage of our course EMT 201, I advise to concentrate on the following exercises. Similar exercises will be coming out in the final exam.

1. A tank contains 234 liters of water. A bitter lemon solution containing 5 kg/liter of sugar enters the tank at the rate of 6 liters/min and runs out at 4 liters/min. The tank has a paddle that keeps stirring to keep the mixture uniform. Find the amount of sugar in the tank after 30 minutes. Solve by ODE method.

2. A student deposited N100000.00 at an annual rate of 8% compounded continuously, how long will it take the amount to double in value? Solve by a) ODE              b) Laplace

3. Solve                the first order linear DE                                a) y’ – 6y =12.                    b) y’ + 5xy = 10x.

4. How much will be left after 500 years for a radioactive elements carbon 14 which has a half life of 5750 years if the initial amount is 50 grams? Solve by ODE and Laplace transform methods.

5. Solve the equation y” +y’ –6y = e 4x by a) undetermined coefficient method b) variation of parameters

6. A university canteen serves a cup of tea at 86C  to an Engineering student. After 2 minutes, the tea has cooled to 72C. If the canteen temperature is 24C, how many minutes that the student must wait to cool the tea to 51CUse Newton’s law of cooling. Solve by ODE method.

7. Solve the initial value DE          y’ – 3y=0,   y (0) =1,   find the value of     y (0.4) using        a) ODE

b) Laplace    c) Power series         D) Euler’s numerical method with N=4.

8. Find the equation of motion of a  4 kg mass suspended to a coiled spring with k = 100 N/m, initially displaced a distance of 1 meter from equilibrium position, and released with zero velocity and subjected to no damping or external forces. Find                a) Equation of motion by ODE and Laplace methods        b) amplitude      c) angular frequency      d) natural frequency           e) Period             f) graph of the curve

Engineering Math 201

Engineering Math 201


       Lecturer, Madonna, University, Nigeria, Africa

      Mayana, Jagna, Bohol, Philippines, Asia

What’s Unique in Bohol Fiesta Celebration?

                             By Vic Odarve

Widely ridiculed that the island will sink due to the influx of visitors during the month of May, the Bohol fiesta celebration draws their relatives from all over the world; allows them to join festivities with the native population, and shares their blessings for the whole year. It is indeed a unique tradition that the native inhabitants have been doing since time immemorial.

             A family reunion

For most of the native Boholanos who find their living outside the province, they feel that it is the obligation to visit their ancestral homes and opportunity for a family reunion and meeting their relatives and friends. The celebration drives excitement to revisit the island; links the roots of where they came from, and time for bonding and reunite the old folks, relatives, and long lost friends. Sightseeing the place where their old grandparents used to trail before is also another thing. It is an expanded universe. It is like traveling to the past where our forefathers were once before! And for those who once lived there before want to look back on their childhood years that were filled with events and memories.

During the month of May, villages often have color displays hanging along their streets, welcome signboards to visitors, and different neon lights display during the celebration. There are also carnivals where people could play, enjoy different rides on Ferris wheels, or just enjoy the native foods being sold at different stalls. The populace, with open arms, invites friends, relatives, and even strangers to join the big food preparation at homes.

                A new generation

Highlights during celebrations are basketball and volleyball games, discos, dances, and beauty pageants and clan reunions. The festivities also include processions with floats adorn with images of each village or town’s patron saint and sometimes local beauties. Lots of fun to join!

The folks have considered fiesta celebration as part of their tradition. Fiestas serve as a thanksgiving of the community people to their patron saints for the whole year blessings they receive; share what they have, not just the material thing, but also the joy and happiness; and thank the Lord above all for everything He has given. They save money for a year and spend during fiesta just to have something to serve and celebrate. Through good and bad times, the fiesta must go on.

Flores de Mayo is one of the highlights in 1980-81 Mayana fiesta celebration

Fiesta seems to shape the homing instinct of the Boholanos, and Bohol fiesta celebration is indeed a unique one. Boholanos, residing within and outside the country, come home during the month of   May to join the annual fiesta celebration. It is a never-ending journey of their life… extending to the next generation. Seeing the happy faces could already alleviate the burden after the celebration. For foreigners, hospitality, and warm receptions are worth emulating. For the senior boholanos, the celebration meant excitements to meet your old friends . Because life is so short, we should live to the fullest expression of ourselves before we cross to the other side of the universe.

Join the Bohol fiesta celebration, please!


How and Why Do Students Cheat During Exams?

                        By Vic Odarve

Cheating, which has been a problem for generation in educational institutions, has increased dramatically in the past few years. It becomes a game of ‘hide and seek’ between students and teachers! How and why do students cheat require both expertise in the field and understanding of our society where we lived in.

Classroom lecture! By listening, students are not tempted to cheat during exams.

Classroom lecture! By listening, students are not tempted to cheat during exams.

Teachers need not be a secret agent or detective like James Bond to catch students cheating during exams! Classroom experiences often guide them detect and catch students cheating. There is no second thought about that. They are the experts in this field.

How do Students Cheat?

Below are the common signs students doing the cheating;

1. Students’ eyes wander to the ceiling or somewhere else instead of their own papers. They may be pretending to recall or work out the answers in their minds, but actually copying from another’s paper or sneaking in a cheat piece of scripts.

2. Hands are very busy moving or scanning a sort of paper or scripts hidden somewhere at his disposal. Palms, hands, fingers, and arms are written with codes

Exam time. No cheating!

Exam time. No cheating!

that only they could decipher. Codes related to the exams! Just like an ancient writings, they alone can interpret! Notes are sometimes on their laps or hidden under their chairs waiting for any chance to deliver!

3. Twisting their heads more often than not. Students do bend their heads and shoulders to have a good glimpse on others scripts.

Above are the classic pictures in the exam rooms. Teachers could then simply pinpoint the students who are cheating.
But one thing must be avoided…. don’t immediately suspect students to have cheated without catching them. Some students may just be nervous and twitchy, and other students might just collect the thoughts by looking upon ceiling or around the exam rooms.

Why Do Students Cheat?

The school with difference.

The school with difference.

1. Unprepared to take the exams. Most students open and study the notes only when the exam time period is near. They are running out of time to study. The toll takes in.

2. Behavioral influence. Cheating has been their way of life, whether at home or school. Some merely emulate high profile people in our society who are cheaters and get away with it unpunished. Their minds are whitewashed that cheating is normal.

3. Pressure to get good grades. Parents as well as teachers are always reminding them to obtain good grades. Others are determined to get good grades by cheating. They are lazy to stay awake all night to study.

But how far we have this problem? In biblical times, Rebekah helping her favorite son, Jacob, tricks his blind father, Isaac by having his arms covered with animal skin in imitation of Esau’s hairier body. Thus, Jacob was able to ask for and receives the blessing that should have gone to the eldest son, his brother. It is cheating in biblical time!

Today, both high and low-achieving students cheat. Students generally like to think of themselves as honest and condemned cheating; but they do cheat. They point to examples of cheaters in our government officials that tell us the standards for honesty are different these days. That is why senators, congressmen, and other lawmakers, nowadays, insist that they have not committed graft and corruption despite being indicted by the supreme court and put in jail.

Learning how students cheat and knowing this practice since time immemorial put the teachers/lecturers in a better position to control its widespread practice to our educational system. One thing is clear: The effects of cheating are detrimental both to the students and society.