How to be an Outstanding Professor

Jul 25, 2012 by

Warning alert: This is a highly egocentric blog. If you have preconceived notions about my egotism, this would affirm it all and it is best to preserve your sanity by not reading through. But if you like me for what I am, please proceed.

This is the speech I delivered during the Awarding Ceremonies for the 2012 Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement and Performance. I wrote it for speech purposes so some structural issues in grammar may appear problematic, but please. I just got outstanding. LOL

Chancellor Espinosa, Vice Chancellors, Fellow Awardees & Honorees, friends… this is an entirely new experience for me to be delivering a speech of gratitude and inspiration in front of all of you distinguished members of the UPV Community – many of whom have seen me grow up in this university since my college days. While I am so used to performing in front of many people playing different characters (most of the time playing a non-human character), I guess playing as myself is more challenging than any of those things. Right now I feel like bursting into “I don’t know why I’m frightened, I know my way around here…” But hey, that’s just too soon for a speech twist.

It was during the division chairmanship of Dr Zoilo Andrada when I got accepted in UP. I cannot deny the fact that my training as a teacher in CSCJ (in all of its Catholic OC-ness) has prepared me well for the teaching pedagogies I needed in UP as my new working space. I thank my Sagrado family for trusting me despite my freshness out of college. It is also public knowledge that THE Kevin Piamonte has been a certified mentor’s mentor and I am proud to say that I am his best product. Coming back to UPV specifically in the Division of Humanities was not a strange thing for me as I have always considered her my home. Coming home is always something we all look forward to.

On my first day in class as a teacher, I tried my best to terrorize my students. But the attempt to achieve a terror factor was an Epic Fail. At the end of the class the girls came up to me and said I was too goodlooking to even try terrorizing them. I thought it was a momentary flatter from kids who tried to tickle my vain side, but if you ask our ever-fabulous Ike Legaspi, he’d tell you how consistent I have been in the looks department as shown in my student evaluations. Can you believe that my killer smiles and gorgeous looks were written under “weak points”?! How unfair can life be?!

Speaking of killer smiles and gorgeous looks, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues at the Division of Humanities for the wonderful company we keep amidst our bustling schedules. Our regular lunch fellowships are always filled with boisterous laughter that sometimes border on kabastusan – trust me, ladies and gentlemen, that’s the secret to our agelessness. Try it. It’s free. To Ma’am Rosela Zaragoza, thank you for all the motherly advice and for your unshaken trust in me. I also would like to thank Ike for encouraging me to give him my papers so that he and Ms Gene Ann of Bio Sci could arrange it and submit it for evaluation. Now I am proud to say I belong to their elite circle of Outstanding Employees. I also would like to thank my kids in UPV Hublag Dance Company for putting up with me through good times and the bad. I stay in Miagao until 7 PM every day and travel back home to the city just so I can rehearse with the kids. If you don’t call this love, then I don’t know what it is. Our dance studio in Hublag has been our warm home for some time now and we thank our friends in UPV CCA for their support, especially to Sir Roman Sanares and Ms Fryia. Thank you to my HB friends, my Lerker friends, my SSEAYP Paglaum Family and Kathy & Stevie for the constant company and wonderful times of friendship.

These days, a lot of teachers in UPV are composed of young individuals. It excites me to imagine the possibilities of what my fellow young professors can do to introduce innovations in teaching and extension service because they just have so much energy and enthusiasm to make UPV learning a wonderful experience to our students. This might surprise most of you, but in spite of my Western-minded and outspoken façade, I am a product of old-school. I am a fierce conservative to tell you the truth. I check attendance, I tell my students to put their feet down when inside the classroom, I tell them to look decent, and I throw a fit when they behave inappropriately. Most of all I tell them to always greet their professors when they meet them at the hallway.

I love teaching in as much as I love my art as a performer. I cannot choose between the two. I think I have two hearts. After all, if you come to think of it, teaching is almost like being a performer. You master your lessons as you master your script. You use your body as a vehicle to facilitate learning as you use your body to act a character. You deal with different personalities as a teacher in as much as you deal with the whims of other artists in the theatre. Most of all, you produce people whose lives have been changed because of your teaching just like you finish a show with people who leave the theatre inspired as they bring home with them a new perspective about life.

But — for all it’s worth, I love UPV. I am extremely indebted to UPV for what I have become today. I wish to continue being a better teacher and I know I have a long way to go. Thank you to all my mentors (who are now my friends). Thank you to all the Chancellors whom I have been under as a teacher: Dr. Glenn Aguilar, Dr Minda Formacion and now Chancellor Rommel Espinosa. Thank you to all the officials who find me nice and for giving me the opportunity to shine in my own ways. It is also my ardent wish that our administration would resurrect the arts in UPV. Hublag is just one of the many vehicles for our students’ need to make themselves complete. The arts is the soul of man and it is very unhealthy to live a life absent of the arts. Mas masaya naman talaga ang buhay pag may art.

My father in heaven must be very proud of me. My mother cannot be here today but she said I must thank her on the microphone and that she’s very proud of me. She said she will spare me a month’s worth of electricity bill because of this award. Thanks Mom!

Since I cannot simply express my gratitude to UPV in words, allow me to say it through a song. This song is one of my solo highlights in Gleeorious and it fits this moment perfectly. I wish to congratulate my fellow awardees and honorees and I personally pray that UPV will continue to make a difference in making this world a better place. I am very proud to be a part of this community.

Bobby Rodriguez - My Iloilo

Credit goes to Mr Emmanuel Lerona for the poster and photograph


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