Exam and Discipline; No Copying, Please!

                      By Vic Odarve

Without warning, a teacher slapped the student’s face twice after being caught twisting his head to copy another student’s script during the final exam of the course. The student simply did nothing in response after seeing perhaps a million stars twinkling in heaven! In another cheating incident, the lecturer tore the script into pieces before his very eyes in the closing minutes of an exam. Scripts were nothing more than a waste thrown into a garbage can. Surely, this student failed the course! “No copying, please!” the teacher warned.

Final Exam in Engineering Math

Final Exam in Engineering Math

The above scenarios are common sight during final exams. Twisting the heads to almost 360 degrees with eyes dangling a mile just to see and copy the scripts of the classmates seems an eyesore inside the exam room. Sometimes invigilators of an exam talk in a stern voice but lose and raise tempers; hence slapping of faces has acted in.  Copying is more prevalent at the last minute of the exams such that teachers can be seen confiscating scripts and tore them into pieces.  “I am not surprised by this cheating. I have seen this for so many years. It is already in our culture and these strong punishments are messages to our students during final examinations”, quoted one native professor. So be it!

African university, Nigeria

African university, Nigeria

Eastern and western countries have different modes of disciplining college students’ misdeeds. Scripts are merely confiscated and advised the students to go out the classroom quietly. Some schools are stricter when it comes to examination time. In China, for instance, lecturers are allowed to slap students in the face and kick out of the class. But in most countries, physical harm is to be avoided or else you will end up in a court battle. Here, we can beat students with a stick, slap their faces, and kneel before you. And they will not bring you to a court!

But in no way cheating is pleasing to the eyes of God and mankind. Copying one’s scripts during final examination is synonymous to cheating. Whether these disciplines are an extra mile or just a quite short with the red lines established in the student’s manual, this university is not lifting her hands in defeat. Whether one is cheating or copying scripts or corrupting millions of government funds, one is certain: in the last days, we will face God face to face and be judged according to our deeds.

 “I am coming soon, bringing with me the salary I will pay for each one according to his deeds”. Rev 22:12

Glory to God in the highest. So be it!


Nobody Becomes Rich in Teaching

                       By Vic Odarve

Yes. Nobody becomes rich in teaching simply because teachers are low wage earners, the profession requires full time and dedication, and ever increasing cost of living. Across the globe worldwide, various bills are pending in congress and legislature asking for increases in educational funding where salaries and wages for teachers are often connected with. It requires a full time work, dedication; hence income is largely dependent on the remuneration. In today’s complex living environment, the rising cost of daily commodities overtakes the salary increases; hence putting the meager wage earners like teachers in a hand to mouth situation. Therefore, nobody got becomes in the teaching profession.

Classroom lecture in an African university

Classroom lecture at an African university

Traditionally, teaching has been one of the lowest-paying jobs available in the market today. Though salaries vary from country to country, most well developed countries, for example, teachers receive significantly better salaries and benefits than do teachers in the developing nations. In most African countries as well as third world countries, teachers often have prestige, but their salaries are often meager. That is why teaching jobs are less inviting for most qualified college graduates because there are more lucrative positions in commerce and industry. This sentiment seems to be becoming more and more prevalent. Today, teachers’ salaries are often subjected to debates in congress by lawmakers in almost all countries around the globe; hence resulting in a turtle paced increases. With a low paying job, nobody becomes rich in teaching!

A Math exam

A Math exam

Teaching job requires full time commitment. As teachers devoted their time in the classrooms, earning other extra income is limited. Opportunities to earn more outside the profession appears difficult. The meager salary is just enough to meet daily needs. When a member of a family got sick, problems multiplied. These explain why most teachers are victims of usurers and other shark infested loans. What are left of the take home pay are not barely enough for electric bills, tuition fees, hospital bills, etc. Nobody got rich in teaching!

Math textbooks- a legacy for the next generation of students

Math textbooks- a legacy for the next generation of students

Compounding lower salary increases is the spiraling cost of living. The price of the daily commodities often increases exponentially while the salary goes linearly. This adds to the pain they feel. This is a growing concern in almost all countries. Cost of living is rising and outpaces the individual income. In most cases, teachers runs out of money before the end of the month. However, some seem to manage to have car or big houses, but it could just be a façade to hide a mountain of debt in banks and money lender.

Conducting lectures at international convention

Conducting lectures at the international convention

 What drew to the teaching profession are the passion to teach and love to build the characters on our students for life. Teaching touches lives and a noble profession. Teachers help us who we are today and steer the course of civilization of mankind. But teaching profession could not make us rich, but it is the legacy that matters.

EMT 202 Engineering Math 2 Quiz 2

Our second quiz will be on Monday, June 22, 2015. Please review the following matrix methods in solving unknowns for sets of linear equations.

  1. Cramer’s rule. This method makes use of the determinants in finding the solutions. Using the minor’s method, determinants can be solved easier. Very important for the minor’s method is the use of the conventional signs. Any rows or columns can be utilized as long as conventional signs are observed. Then use the formulas for the unknowns.

2. Gaussian Elimination method. This is the most used among the upper triangular matrix system in solving sets of linear equation. Of course transform first three sets of equation into the augmented matrix form. Any legitimate row operations can be used to achieve the required upper triangular matrix. Then, finally, back substitution will solve the unknowns.

3. Gauss Jordan. This method is just a continuation from Gaussian elimination by making the diagonal line into 1’s and zeros upper and lower matrices. Row operations are used to attain the form. Since the diagonal elements are 1’s, unknowns can be solved readily.

4. Inverse Method. This is derived from the AX= b equation. Of course, A is a coefficient matrix, X represents the unknowns, and b, are the constants. Transforming such equation into X = A -1b, may solve the equation where A -1 is the inverse of A.


Try the sets of linear equations below. Solve the following sets of equations by

a) Cramer’s rule b) Gaussian elimination

c) Gauss Jordan method d) Inverse method

                       2x – y + 2z       = 7

                        x + 3y -3z        = 10   

                        3x – 2y + 3z    = 5

Answers:        x = 1                y= 11               z= 8

  1. Victor E. Odarve, BSME/MEP-ME, MAED, EDD

Mayana, Jagna, Bohol, Philippines, Southeast Asia

Where to Live After Retirement

                                                By Vic Odarve

To find a great place to live after retirement is not an easy task. Environment, climate, and cost of living should be on the top priorities. Environment includes its neighborhood, crime rates, and cultural diversity. Weather, too, considering the extremes, cold and hot, often affects old age health. Living cost, for many, must be sustained. The golden age years is a life altering event; hence a place to live in must provide a great sense of joy and happiness.

Touching the lives of the grown up kids

Touching the lives of the grown up kids

The environment dictates the way on how you live. And it is just a matter of your choice. It could be from rural areas to a bustling city or in the land of your birth. It depends much on your way of life… spending time in sandy beaches to forested scenic beauty or to cities nightlife. Others want to sing hymns and praises in the name of the Lord; thus devoting more in the church activities. It is getting to the part of life where we can just enjoy after retirement.

Living in a place of your birth is one of the options

Living in a place of your birth is one of the options

After getting a good and sound environment, extreme weather conditions must be checked. The place must not be extremely hot or cold. Temperate weather throughout the year is usually the best. Typhoons, hurricane, tsunamis, and other related weather disturbances can be a threatening scenario among older age. Weather conditions must not affect any of your health problems. Excruciating pain from rheumatisms, muscles aches, and heart problems are largely aggravated by an extreme weather.

Whether you have enough savings or investments, the cost of living could not be taken for granted. Savings and investments sometimes go wrong. Bank closures and investment misfortunes are in the mess. Usually, living in great cities, cost of living is higher than nation’s average; but for those who can afford with the lifestyle, it may set up your mood. It also has all the required amenities and is pleasantly bustling city life. Try to locate one which is the most cost effective and safest cities in the country. Select a quiet, and peaceful cities where the crime rates are impressively low. Living in rural areas, however, are not expensive as in cities and it may help well to sustain your daily needs because you do not know how long you live. Some retirees may live 100 years or more—a centenarian— a rarity, but today it is common. Whatever you have money in banks or investment, it can be sustained further by choosing your lifestyle in retirement.

Davao city is one of the top ten (10) safest city of the world.

Davao city is one of the top ten (10) safest city in the world.

You ought not to spend your life at home alone in old age! Although money can give conveniences, there are happiness and enjoyments that make your retirement life worth living. Friends, relatives, family, and good health are far more important than your large savings or investment. If by God’s will you have enough resources, learn to share with others and it will transform your life. Being a grandparent, leaving your sons and daughters and their grown up kids

Relatives and friends are more precious than bank accounts and businesses.

Relatives and friends are more precious than bank accounts and businesses.

successful makes you feel happier.

Indeed, to find a place where to spend the twilight years is a difficult task. Like Elijah on his journey to Mount Horeb, the angel of the Lord reminded him;

“Get up and eat, for the journey is too long for you.” 1 Kings 19:7

Indeed, life is a journey, nothing less. A place to live in our twilight years must be prepared.

Teachers are Touching Lives

                             By Vic Odarve

Although parents have greater influence to shape the lives of their children, teachers, too, do touch their lives while they are on schooling. The lessons learned from the classroom lectures often equip them for their future job. Disciplinary measures and its corresponding actions are imposed to mold students to become a better citizen. Moral and spiritual importance derived from the classroom training influence their overall personality development. Though, maybe a short or long period of years, teachers do shape their future; hence touching and influencing the lives of the students.

Grandparents do touch the lives of the grown up kids

Grandparents do touch the lives of the grown up kids

The world inside the classroom is their second home…with teacher acts as a parent. It is in school they learn the importance of advanced education to achieving their desired field of interest or discipline. Students acquire the necessary skills they needed in the hope of landing a better and a decent job in the future. Recently, while inside the shopping mall, I ran into my former student whom I did not recognize. “Sir, you don’t remember me?” he asked. “No, I don’t. What’s your name?” I asked. He gave me his name and explained that he was my former student

Teachers touch the students' lives

Teachers touch the students’ lives

in mathematics. After a few minutes of conversation before we parted he said seriously with a gratifying gesture,” I learned a lot of things in mathematics under your lectures and most of them are used in our petrochemical plant operation. I want to say,”thank you, Sir.” Then he walked and bid bye.

In the classroom, discipline is always in the making. It is like a nucleus, a center of an atomic structure. It is always a

Do it for the glory of the Father sitting on the throne.

Do it for the glory of the Father sitting on the throne.

component in a teacher’s teaching strategy to promote peace and orderly management. Well-disciplined students mirror the personality of the teacher as well as the academic institution. Cheating, ranging from old-fashioned writing on the hands to high-tech spy cameras, is not tolerated. Penalties are well defined in the student’s handbook. Imposing a good discipline will mold students to become a better citizen.

To prepare them a responsible individual, students are trained how to share their knowledge and assist others in the classroom discussions. Topics assignments, classroom group activities such as laboratories and the like, build the trust and camaraderie among the peers as well as develop their personality. In one of the international convention, one of the presenters was my previous student. He presented a paper “How to learn math quickly”?  I could not believe it! After a short conversation, he confided that it was in my class that he was challenged and learned much about how to learn and love mathematics. In returned he wanted to share his experience in overcoming the fear of taking engineering mathematics in this university. That was it. He wanted to share and touch more lives among our students taking engineering courses; expound his experiences the ups and downs, and show to them how he conquered and shifted to a new paradigm. In my little way, I have touched their lives.

To my surprise, this petrochemical Engineer and presenter in an international convention were not even in my list among the top classroom performers.

Today while in the classroom, we cannot read the impact of our teaching in shaping their future. On several occasions, I was moved and touched. I was dumbfounded and could not say anything. Students expressing their success and gratitude are the evidence that teachers are part of their future. It was a feeling of joy and fulfillment! I did not expect that I have touched their lives. Jesus once said,

 What you have done to the least of your brother, you have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40.

Touching lives bring us to a greater heights with the One who is sitting in the great and splendid throne, with a river of life, clear as crystal, gushing from the throne, and his kingdom will reign forever. Rev 20:11, 22; 1, 22:6.

Indeed, teachers touch and transform the lives of their students and they have done it to the glory of our God the Father!