This is my entry for “D” for the A to Z Challenge.
Would you ever consider your alma mater a favorite? Did you ever think that your time in college were the best years of your life? I did, and I had to consciously adjust my thinking. I was so stuck feeling the wonderful memories that it was probably impossible for me to have better years. In my head, I had the best four years of my life from May 1989 to April 1993. There was no room for a best year in the future. I learned to say that the four years I spent in La Salle were four of the best years of my life.
I had to look up the exact definition of simpatico because I really feel that my alma mater, De La Salle University (a.k.a. La Salle), were (are) simpatico. Well, from my side at least. The school cannot feel. Perhaps, the values of the institution match my own.
I didn’t always feel simpatico with my college. I felt a little out-of-place in the beginning. After the first year, despite having maintained my honor status, I actually asked my mother if I could transfer to the state university, University of the Philippines. There were rich kids in my batch and I was feeling the reality of our financial status. This is a story for another time, though. Anyway, my mother said I should stay in La Salle because I had four schools in high school already. It was the best choice.
I was a nerd, I know.
Then, through a friend, I got involved in school politics. I joined Santugon, the political party where my friend was already a member. She was running for college president. She asked if I wanted to run for office. They were looking for candidates for Legislative Council Representatives for our batch, Business and Economics (B&E) ’92.
I was a die-hard goonie (what we called ourselves). I loved being part of the party. I enjoyed being a Student Council officer. I was not a nerd anymore. I wasn’t really as brainy as I thought because with extra-curricular, I couldn’t make the minimum 3.0 GPA for second honors. Still, I was an Accountancy major and it was one of the more difficult majors in the College of Business Economics. The brightest and more intelligent students were the Economics-Accounting double major students.
La Salle is a Catholic school. We had two chapels and there were regular masses. The one thing I appreciated the most was we were taught to be whole-rounded individuals. Even in college, we had subjects that were not related to our degree, such as Religion (religious studies), Physical Education, Philosophy, Human Biology, Communications Arts (Literature), etc. It was actually in my Literature class in La Salle where I learned William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 (CXVI?) and it has been my favorite since then. I can still recite it on demand. We also had somehow-related subjects such as Calculus and Economics. Before graduation, we were prepared for the real world with an “Orientation” course. We were readied for job interviews.
Apart from very strong values of “religio, mores, and cultura” that were deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds of La Sallians, for which I feel I greatly owe the university, I am eternally grateful for the friends I met. A few of my very best friends have been my friends since university years.
So, yes, I will be a La Sallian for eternity, although living in Africa since six months after graduating from La Salle and leaving the Philippines. I have missed out quite a bit, I think, being away. I don’t get to watch the UAAP basketball games. I don’t follow the UAAP Cheer Competition. I missed the Centennial celebration.
I have always wanted my children to follow my footsteps and go to La Salle. I was happy that my son agreed. He was going to go to university in the Philippines, despite being a South African through and through who doesn’t even understand the Filipino language. He applied in La Salle. As a back up, he also applied in Mapua Institute of Technology. He was keen to study Information Technology. I was back in the campus, if only very briefly.
It was not meant to be. He was accepted in Mapua and although he only got placed in La Salle after asking for favors, he was not built for the Philippines. He came back to South Africa. Sadly. (There’s still another child, though…)
Not all is lost as I get to feel the La Sallian spirit. In the last two weeks, I had been watching some videos from the Centennial celebration.
I feel it… I feel La Salle. It’s in my heart, forever!
Let me end with the more vibey La Salle spirit. 🙂
Much love and hugs from forever La Sallian, Jailene (which is the “J” in Anne J)