Sometimes Life is Pain and Sacrifice

By Vic Odarve

She was one of my best math performers last year. That’s why after every school exams and quizzes, I always checked her papers first over the others. It gives me the thrill to scan over her solutions; watches the steps involved, and the way she presented her mathematical manipulations until arriving her final answer.  Except for a few cases, she always got a perfect score. So I thought that I am one of the lucky professors to have this student under my course. Her performance becomes a barometer on how effective my teaching strategy is!

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A Math Professor

That’s it. I am comfortable on her way she acted as a student taking up an engineering course…a course where some stupid ones failed to graduate because of math. In one of my visit to the university library to read some local newspaper, she requested me to have some explanation on the math solutions previously discussed in the classroom. “Okay, what part of the topic?” I told her. She opened her notes and showed the steps where she got the problems. After some explanation and discussion, she was contented. Feeling satisfied, she said, “Thank you, Sir, I understand already”, she said. Then I said,” What was the result of your last quiz?” “I got 90 % score, Sir”, she smiled. “Good, and on next quiz, you must get a perfect score”, I replied. Then she slowly walked and slipped away out of my sight. I paid little attention. She got a good score. So nothing to worry!  She may just serious enough and want to do more on her study every day.

Then, the next quiz came. Only 2 out of 54 students in a class got a perfect score. And she was one of them!

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After pain and sacrifices, life is beautiful

It was then that I gave her an attention. I noticed that during the class session, she sat at the end of the last row of the seats in a packed and overcrowded room. She listened intently and focused on my discussion. No friend, no talking even on her seatmates as if she knew none of her classmates! “She must be too shy”, I guessed.

The semester math course was about to finish. I gave a quiz before the final exam. “This would be the last quiz”, I told the students. Then what was the result? She got perfect score again! She had done it! “She is a good performing student”, I told myself.

The next meeting I returned the quiz papers/scripts. She was absent. For almost two weeks, I could no longer see her. Then I inquired her classmates what happened to this girl. To my surprise, none of her classmates knew her. She vanished and I received no word from her and her whereabouts! I was completely pushed to the wall blank!

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An African setting. My class in Math usually consists of 300-400 students.

After two weeks my phone rang. The girl informed me that she does a part-time job in an instrumentation company to support her schooling financially and thus, she failed to attend the class. I was dumbfounded and could not believe it. Lately, I also found out another student who often absent during my class lectures is also doing a part-time job in a food chain restaurant.

Sometimes we feel that life is a pain but for these two students who did sacrifices mark that they are really great. Students engaging in this task will reap in joy and bountifully. The Bible puts it,

Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” – Psalms 126:5-6 (NKJV).

So be it! Sometimes we feel life is a pain but in the end shall reap in joy.

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THE SIMPLEST WAY TO LEARN MATH

By Vic Odarve

Good mood and positive thinking! These are the basic requirements. Now join me in the simplest way to learn mathematics! It is enjoyable and fun! Follow me and let’s explore!

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Math textbooks- a legacy for the next generation of students

At classroom, you listen intently to your teacher or lecturer. Every word he speaks gathers important information. Observe how he does the steps in solving the problems or exercises. Relax. Take note and ask questions if necessary.

Then at home, it is your turn! Open your notes. Review and study the steps. Recall the reasons why he does it.

Finally, test your understanding! This is the moment! Close the notes and get an extra sheet of paper and solve by yourself. Solve it! If you fail to get the correct answer, open your notes and see where in your way you get wrong. Repeat if you get wrong! Don’t stop doing it until you get it right! It is just like playing the game of “hide and seek”. You hide the solutions of the problems in your notes and seek its answer by solving it by yourself. That’s it!

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Madonna University, Nigeria, Africa

It’s as simple as that. It is just a pleasure! Practice makes perfect as the saying goes. It holds true!
This simple technique develops a positive thinking. If the final answer is the same as your notes, it gives you confidence. And getting the correct answer raises your adrenalin to a certain level of excitement and joy. Confidence is building up!

Then go out in your study room and relax. See the world outside. It pictures well. It sounds good. You will be in a good mood as if the world is joining your excitements. Happiness for getting the correct answer! That is without seeing the solution from your notes! And you get it right! It is like medicine. It alleviates depression! It fosters positive mood!

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Outside the study room, see this beautiful Mayana ricefields.

One of my friends was doing this before our final exam. I met him outside in his house while seeing the beautiful pictures of Chocolate hills of the Philippines, famous Boracay beach, and National Pilgrimage Center of Nigeria managed by Father Edeh at Elele, River State, Nigeria. My friend was singing as if in harmony with the bird’s sweet song on the bough of the trees as sunset faded in the African sky. I told him “Why are you look so happy and smiling, my friend?” What was his answer? “I know now how to derive the famous equation of Einstein, E= mc2 by following the steps from our lecturer. I solve it by myself, without looking my notes” That was his reply. So astonishing was his reply! It caught me by surprise. Indeed, he had learned mathematics in the simplest way! And enjoyed it!

Learning mathematics is a fun-filled activity. It makes the lives of the students better and we, too, the lecturers, are enjoying! Even this simple technique is interesting! I love students come to see me with toothy smiles saying,” Sir, you make our study of mathematics in this university simple and easy. And we enjoy it”.

Fighting the Philippine’s Looting Machines

By  Vic Odarve

Graft and corruptions, tax evasions, and smuggling activities are the looting machines that keep the Philippines a poor country.  To combat this looting machines, the President had accelerated his predecessor’s campaign against graft and corruptions, tax cheaters, and smugglers. To date, several officials have been fired for alleged corruption or

Graft and corruption

misconduct and going extravagant trips. On tax evasion, the government has ongoing tax administration reforms and review of the declared asset and income in the submitted Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) of all public officials. Lately, the President also issued a directive to publicly destroy illegally shipped contrabands in the country’s economic zones aimed at deterring smuggling. Thus, a war of nerve emerges… Duterte vs The Looting Machines.

According to a report by Global Financial Integrity, the Philippines lost aboutP19.34 trillion between 1960 and 2011 on graft and corruption and keep on increasing. Big time corrupt officials are from the government offices, bigwigs in our society, and business magnates and oligarchs. Hence, it is not surprising that to date, nearly two dozen officials have been fired for alleged corruption and going on extravagant trips since Duterte came to power two years ago.  The   Bureau of Customs tops the list among the corrupt government officials. Duterte said, “If you go to the national government just to look for an opportunity for money, go look for another job. I will really fire you,” Duterte told employees of the Department of Agrarian Reform on June 20. The Pork barrel scam led by Napoles where billions of pesos were stolen from the Filipino people must be a thing of the past. Corruption remains a significant barrier why we are left behind from our Asian neighbors in economy and progress.

Illegal shipment

On tax evasion, the government has found out that the primary source of corruptions is the BIR examiners in connivance with government officials and politicians and bigwigs in our society. Therefore, the government with all of its power brought to the court all corrupt BIR examiners and government officials and slapped with tax evasion cases. In the previous administration, they impeached former Chief Justice Corona while the current one is the case of Chief Justice Sereno. Tax evasion was also dealing with Rappler and Dunkin’ Donuts of the Prietos, who own the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Erring examiners were put under investigation after being asked to resign if they will not stop corrupt practices. The BIR had also filed before the DOJ three tax evasion cases against homegrown cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corp. and its top executives for a total of P37.9 billion in unpaid excise taxes due to the alleged use of fake tax stamps. Lucio Tan, one of the richest Filipinos, owes the government at least P30 billion in unpaid taxes. And still, there are some other oligarchs in the country doing the same under the government periscope.

The coming of the new generation

Another headache is the smuggling of goods from foreign countries that include basic necessities such as rice, onions, etc. and cars. Lately, the government intercepted expensive cars and motorbikes together with some of the 800 contraband vehicles imported in Cagayan port. Thus, as directed by the President, bulldozers were used to destroy a total of 68 contraband luxury vehicles valued at P277.9 million and 8 luxury motorbikes worth P19.5 million. Among the luxury cars destroyed were Lamborghini Gallardo, Porsche Carrera and Mercedez Benz SLK 280.  Since car smugglers still rake in profits from the selling of seized cars, destroying the smuggled luxury vehicles will give them no opportunity to secure them legally through the Bureau of Customs.

The Philippines is a sick man in Asia due to graft and corruption, tax evasion, and smuggling. Since Duterte is not beholden to any of the political, social or economic elites, he can focus his energy to run after these untouchables without fear. Although he has a big foul mouth, Duterte has the will to implement the law for the good of the country. People are fed up with sweet talking politicians for several decades. But one thing of caution to the president: he must always consult and listen to his advisers on critical matters like the case of mayor Espinosa and now on Senator Trillanes before making a public announcement.

Fighting these looting machines is a difficult job. But Duterte has the support from the majority of the Filipinos. Sometimes the scenarios’ give us pain but it must be done for the betterment of the next generations.