Three days ago, I had an exam on Philippine Foreign Policy (PHILFOR, as we like to call it); it was my first exam for a Majors subject. My professor told us that we had to read three journals/articles (pictured above) to answer the two-out-of-four questions in a two-page-essay-style format. I had a whale of a time reading those.
As you can see, I peppered the journal/articles with bookmarks (notes and highlights too.) They were really helpful in showing which ones had common topics, like one was more detailed on pre-Cold War relations, other was on post-Cold War, and the other was on the rising power of China and the 9/11 terrorist attack. Yeah.
When we took the exam, the professor told us that it would only take us 30 minutes to finish. Anyway, the questions were 1) what was the Philippine-US relation during 1990-1996? And 2) what was the Philippine-US relation during 1997-2002? This didn’t cover pre-Cold War, and question 2 was extremely long. There were too many factors to cover in too little time. Nearing the end of the day, I and my classmate in German, were the only ones left in the room.
This classmate of mine has a long history of being really intelligent and whatnot. ‘Though, I don’t know much about her studying habit since I only see her in German class. At any rate, I’ll have to give you some back story before I proceed.
Back in fourth grade, I was this extremely diligent, hardworking, and a stereotypical Asian kid. Unfortunately, I was bullied a lot for being a nerd. There was this one girl in class who always seemed to top the class, and I have this thing on losing to girls. I don’t like losing to girls, especially if it’s something I know I can win in. Academics was probably the only even ground for competition, and so we “competed.”
I don’t remember much, but I do remember always finishing second. She would always be higher than I was, and she really didn’t care that I was mad at her for “beating” me in a “competition” that she apparently was oblivious to hahahaha!
Then, one day, I “beat” her in zoölogy. My overall score in my report was around two to three points higher than hers. She was higher in all the other subjects, but it didn’t matter to me. I remember telling myself, “She finally isn’t the best at everything.” Which brings us back to the present situation.
When I was writing that essay for my PHILFOR, I just knew that-that German classmate of mine would be the last to pass the paper. I knew how smart she is (she gets perfect scores in German, and I don’t mind it since learning a new language is difficult and everyone has to go on their own pace.) I felt this new kind of rivalry beginning to spark. After 11 years, someone has finally peaked my interest in competing academically.
We passed a page-and-a-half essay, she finished first, then my professor took mine since she said, “I don’t wanna wait anymore! I’m too hungry!” All three of us laughed, and we discussed the answers a bit. It would seem that we (me and my German classmate) discussed too much in the essay, and it was too detailed. The answer to number 1 was fine, since I managed to put in into one page. We only needed to discuss the general factors of the China dispute and the 9/11 terrorist attack for number two. We went to the lengths of discussing the Abu-Sayyaf, Balikatan 02-1 etc. etc. Seriously, too many to even explain.
Is it silly of me to think that I hate losing to girls? I don’t really care if I lose to guys, just the thought of me thinking losing to girls makes me shudder… I don’t know if it’s a sexist thing (of which I doubt it is, since I love dem bitches) or an ego thing (of which it most probably might be.) Either way, there’s no down side to a little healthy competition.