Dumol discusses joy of university work

Dumol discusses joy of university work

by Daryl Zamora, CCO on October 24, 2012 - 10:19 am

Amid eager faces of new faculty and staff, Associate Professor Dr. Paul Dumol recently talked about the threefold joy that enlivens an academician’s life.

The Medieval Studies PhD holder quoted a document: “[The teachers’] biggest motivation for working in the University…is the joy they experience upon discovering and contemplating the truth; being able to form students and see how their personality, knowledge, and decision-making skills mature; and realizing the depth of the service they render to society.”

Dr Paul Dumol. CCO file photo by Carlo Cabrera

Smiling, he said: “I love this sentence. This is us.”

Dr. Dumol, a renowned historian and playwright, was discussing the educational principles of the University. As part of HRM’s UA&P Philosophy and Values Program, the session aimed to shed light on the University’s culture and identity.

Threefold joy

According to Dr. Dumol, who once served as UA&P’s vice president for academic affairs, the first part of the said joy is in finding and beholding the truth.

“That refers, of course, to our research,” he said. “And if we do research and we do not have this experience of joy, we’re in the wrong profession.”

The second part of that joy is in seeing students improve intellectually, emotionally, spiritually.

“We’re very happy when this student who keeps on getting a 3.0 — aba naka 2.75!” he jested. “Ang baba di ba? But that’s a big step! Especially if you’re the teacher. And the 2.75 means that maybe a 2.5 is around the corner.”

If a teacher does not have this excitement, he said, then she or he is not for undergraduate subjects, but for graduate ones.

“Because the teacher of the undergraduate [subjects] has to love his students,” he said. “And ‘love his students’ in the sense that your ‘high’ is in seeing them learn how to read, learn how to write, learn how to reason out, learn how to think.”

In graduate school, teachers and students may simply enjoy “discovering and contemplating the truth.”

Finally, the joy of university work is in “realizing the depth of the service [teachers] render to society.”

Dr. Dumol lamented that this is one fact to which teachers are “frequently blind.”

“We have to see that,” he said.

“Many, if not all, the problems in Philippine society are problems the roots of whose solutions should come from the university,” he stressed. “Tayo ang tagahanap ng solusyon, not business corporations.”

‘Out of the box’

He also reminded the audience that “there is no problem in Philippine society that we are afraid of.”

He said that while UA&P is limited by the number of academic disciplines it has, its teachers and researchers should not be discouraged in proposing solutions even to social problems that are not strictly speaking in their field of expertise. After all, the trend now among many successful organizations is thinking “out of the box,” he said.

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