19 October 2008. It was half past nine. By midnight I wouldn’t be able to upload grades in Ateneo’s AISIS. My only hope was the free wifi at Chow King Urdaneta. We chose to have our dinner there specifically for the internet. But nobody in the group can connect. We left Diliman that afternoon hurriedly because I don’t want to drive along Marcos highway at night. I thought that we will arrive in Baguio by dinner and I will have some time to send my grades. But we were still packing around 3 pm and there was no way that we will make it by seven.
Jonathan, one of my student assistants, had volunteered to input the exam scores of my students in my prepared spreadsheet while I was still checking the last of the papers. Cheryl, my other student assistant, and Alvin, my unofficial assistant SecGen and a junior councilor, were still busy packing some more things. As any teacher would know, marking papers are the most difficult and the most time consuming of all the activities associated with teaching. “If only I started marking them earlier!”, I said to my self. But how can I? I have two students who I prepped for their presentations and even if they could manage by themselves, the sheer magnitude of the number of papers to check is too much. These are more than 150 students!
I didn’t even had a decent birthday celebration two days before. A day before we left, we had our last meeting for the congress, and we had to rush to get some more supplies and get the medals for the fellows. Would you believe that the panic button for congress preparations was pressed two months ago?
Then all of the sudden Cheryl says, “Sir, may free wifi sa Tapa King!” This Tapa King at Binalonan saved me. We parked at the gas station near it and literally in the middle of nowhere, I submitted the grades. xxx
On the 26th of October this year, the Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas will elect another set of officers for 2011-12. There has been no dearth of talents in its roster of members. What scares people actually is the avalanche of things that needs to be done once elected.
I have been a SecGen for 2 years. I was scared initially. Nobody is really prepared for it- juggling research, advising, teaching, and SPP.
But I had had a lot of help. Believe me when I say that there are more offers of help than actual problems and there are more solutions than difficulties.
After all the Congress Advisories have been said, being the SecGen/an officer is just another state which makes you more respectful and appreciative of THE other people who have done a lot for physics and the physics community in the Islands.
Oh by the way, the work of a Sec-Gen extends at least two months after its term is over. Think final reports for funding agencies and closing of books.