I was watching the impeachment proceedings on TV today and I was so impressed at how the “older” players of the hearing articulated their points. In contrast, the young lawyers proved no match to the experienced, seasoned, and yes, OLDER counterparts. This brought back thoughts of an experience not too long ago when I was applying for a faculty position in one of the universities in Baguio.
Having been retired from the United States from many teaching posts and over 30 years of teaching, I decided to “fill my time” to share a little of what I know to Filipino students. But my yearning to teach turned to frustration when I was informed by the Dean that the University does not accept faculty older than 50.
Getting old in the Philippines for professionals like me must be frustrating! I believe that the assumption underlying this policy might be that older faculty has a decline in their mental abilities. This translates to the false belief that aging brings about intellectual decay. This is far from the truth. We who have been in the work arena for many years are cognizant of the disparities of what is taught in the classroom from the realities of what happens in the workplace. And thus experience brings about a more realistic way of teaching. Our examples in the classroom are rich, they are realistic, and they are unique.
Interestingly, this same university employs new graduates as clinical faculty. I would justly assume that these faculty members teach from the book, none from experience, and zero from intuition. They might possess the elements of the theoretic background of their discipline but they may lack the rigor of that discipline. Is there any doubt then why the schools in the Philippines graduate students whose majority fails in the licensing exams?
For the Philippines to improve their young, they must rely more on experienced faculty who can teach not only from the book but also from practice. In addition, the Philippines must pass a law barring discrimination based on, among other things, age. This being the reality, I am moving to another country at the end of this month, where my talents, experience, and AGE are valued! So, is it more fun(nny)in the Philippines*?
I may be over 60 but my knowledge, talent, and value remains to unfold. No, it has not yet faded to be thrown away.
* The Philippines department of Tourism promotes the country with its slogan: IT’S MORE FUN IN THE PHILPINES
By: Dr. Tomas Madayag