Why Even Academic Performance is Also Highly Affected by Financial Status

Let’s assume that we have two students who are equally smart (IQ-wise), has access to the same educational materials, hardworking and persevering in their studies, and equally a master in the same subject matters and skills. Basically, they have equal mental capabilities with only one thing different – their economic status. One is well off while the other not so much. Will their academic performance be affected differently? Definitely. Let’s looks at some parameters where their performances will differ greatly.

One. Time to study. A well off child has nothing better to do except to study. That is if you assume he or she doesn’t take advantage of his or her cash and shops, go to parties often or do pot. Let’s just assume that for this case, he or she is more focused on studying. As opposed to a not so well off child who, if not living with his or her parents, does everything for him/herself, i.e. laundry, cook/buy/prepare food, iron clothes, clean, buy groceries, budget, what not. All the things that are necessary for survival which a well off kid has someone else do those things for them while the other needs to do it on his or her own simply because he or she can’t afford to hire any help. This still rings true even if the not so well off kid still lives with his or her parents. Since chores are often done by the children, study time is still lessened due to responsibilities. Also, if a well off kid is “independent” in a way that he or she has his or her own place, those little chores are still easier owing to the fact that they can afford to hire services such as laundry services, food delivery, etc. A not so well off kid has none of those options at all.

Two. Problems and priorities. All of us have problems. As a student, our main problem would be tests, quizzes, exams, recitations, papers, in short, studying. For a well off kid, studying is their main problem and priority. Especially if their parents are gracious enough to take care of everything else for them, they should be able to study just fine and focus all their energy into studying and nothing else. Not so well off children are well, not so well off. Studying is not their only problem. Most of them think about money more often so that they can pay for their tuition, board and lodging, food and other school fees. And these problems are actually prioritized more by not so well off students compared to their studies. I mean, if you haven’t found money for your exam fee then studying for exams would just go to waste since you won’t be able to take the exam anyway. Too many other things occupy a not so well off student’s mind that studying only comes after all these problems are solved. No wonder they perform poorly in school. Stress is their main enemy. 

Three. Budget on good food. Nutrition is essential for a growing mind and body. The better nutrition you get, the better your body and brain works. That’s why some food are called brain foods and others are toxic food. But good food is expensive. Eating a good and healthy meal three times a day and maintaining snacks in between just isn’t a priority for those students who are not so well off. As much as possible they’ll save money on food so that they’ll have spare money for more important things – tuition, fees, etc. This results in them getting only the cheaper, not so healthy variety of foods (mostly processed) which are not really good for your body and especially your brain. A brain without sufficient nutrition, no matter how much of a genius its capacity is, will never do well. It’s like a great machine that isn’t well oiled. It is the best but it functions so defectively due to lack of oil, lack of nutrition – the most important thing neessary to keep it in top shape. This is not a problem with well off kids.

There are many other parameters that can show how much economic capability affects academic performance despite the fact that brain capacities may be equal. The reason why there are more people from the lower economic class who perform poorly in school compared to those from the upper class is not because those from lower economic brackets are dumber, slower or more idiotic than their upper class counterparts. No, that’s bullocks. It’s because of a difference in priorities and access problems. It can easily be understood if you study Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Those from lower economic brackets struggle everyday to meet their basic neccessities like food, shelter, water, and clothing. According to Maslow, as long as these basic needs are not met, a human being won’t be able to transcend to the second level of needs let alone the higher levels. The thirst for knowledge and need for education is located in the higher levels of Maslow’s hierarchy. No wonder those from lower income brackets find it hard to prioritize such over their basic needs. Compared with those who are fortunately well off, their basic neccessities are already taken care of allowing them the opportunity to transcend to the higher levels. The academe, especially since in our country good education and tertiary education (which is very important in the PH because without it you won’t be able to get a decent enough job to help you break away from the cycle of poverty rampant in this country) remains elusive to those from lower economic classes. The poor therefore remain poor and the rich get richer and our educational system is helping in fostering such a cycle. Whenever people say that education is the most important thing to achieve success, if a great number of our people have no easy access to it, then progress would be slow indeed.



Thinking About: Career > Life vs. Life > Career vs. Career = Life

When there’s time, thinking about a lot of things comes naturally. Right now, I have more than enough time to think about things even those that I should have forgotten by now. This is why sometimes, I’d rather be too busy to care than be too free not to — thinking about certain things is sometimes exhausting. It’s often easier to forget about everything and drown yourself in work, career, school, schedules, activities and events. But when you’re idle and doing nothing, that’s when the thinking starts and the reminiscing as well then in creeps the loneliness — the reality that you are alone in the world, that nobody actually cares about you, that you are lost, and all the things you have done in the past amount to nothing important at all.

There are people who definitely recognize that a career is not everything, that money can’t ‘probably’ buy you happiness (probably in a sense that it can sometimes, temporarily). But these same people drown themselves in their respective careers not because it is what is most important in their lives but because there is nothing else left. When you are someone who is on the margin of romance, meaning not one time were you ever asked out on a date and not one time did you receive a secret admirer letter or even a confession, you suddenly grab the second best thing in your life — a flamboyant career (cause you have the time and luxury to). Also when you’re someone who in his/her present circle is not one who can easily find true friends but only professional acquaintances, then career is the way to go to grow a professional social network. Yes you know a lot of people, by name and face and by designation but do you really know them and do they really know you. People who misconstrue men and women who are focused in their careers probably haven’t experienced that part in their life where nothing else matters but your career because there is, in reality, nothing else. Importance no longer places any hierarchical value because there is nothing to weigh to begin with, the other balance is as empty as a dried up well. So career people such as this dwell in their career and busy social or working lives to fulfill their heart’s needs — that human connection. So when these people tip from the busy scale to the idle stage, that’s where the “depression” comes in.

Most of such career people get drowned in their idle-induced depression and find it hard to function during these idle stages hence they revert to their busy schedules and the circle never ends, by the time they realize this mistake, it’s already too late — they just can’t escape it anymore. Others embrace their idle moments and turn them into self-realization sessions. Yes, the loneliness does kick in during those times but at those moments, these people try to assess what they are missing in their lives. They start to question: “Why is it that even with a great career, I still succumb to loneliness? Why am I not really happy?” It is a legitimate question, one that most career-driven people get to realize only during the idle stages of their lives. Each one gets a different conclusion to this self-assessment depending on the current circumstances he/she faces and also based on the experiences he/she had in the past. Some think that it’s time to live life to the fullest because a great career is not everything. Others end up contented with the status quo, concluding that they still have a lot more work to do and maintaining a career is more of a priority as of the moment, life can come next time. While the rest conclude that even if they try they’d never get that chance to be happy anymore and the only assurance that they have to leave a certain legacy in this world is by being the best in their respective career.

Career-driven people do think about life as well because they also recognize that career is not everything, at least at one point in their lives they did or they still do. So don’t judge career-driven people, you don’t know what their thinking. If they end up choosing career over their happiness (or if they end up thinking that career is their happiness), let them. They’re not living your life, you have no right to tell them what to do — except when you’re being prejudiced by their life choices but still… No one should apologize to anyone for wanting to fulfill his/her dreams. Like what Rowena from Supernatural said, “I will not apologize for being a career woman!” Yes, no one should. Especially not women.

Long Weekend

Let me sum up my week and all the previous weeks I’ve had ever since I stopped writing in this blog: BORING.

Lately, I’ve been more cranky than usual. It is not the hormones that are talking because I’ve already finished this month’s visiting days but it’s just that I have nothing to do that makes me really excited. Compared to previous years (i.e. when I first started law school) my life right now just kind of sucks. It is this same old boring routine that keeps happening over and over and over again like I am stuck in a time loop. To get away from all of that I write stories and watch movies, binge all I like as long as iflix remains free until the end of the month. I’m stuck in my room, refusing to go out, not wanting to go out. I’m not really depressed because I am eating well enough. I function well enough to keep my focus. I feel fine and normal. I even meditate and do self-exploration. So is this just laziness talking?

I have tons of work to do and not an urge to start or when I do start not a single motivation to finish. Either law school is getting easier or I’m getting smarter. Haha. LOL. Another possibility would be that I just happen to lose interest and no longer care. The latter one’s the most believable. As much as I want to follow the advice of “Remember why you’re here. Why you want to become a lawyer.” I always end up remembering the fact that I already lost interest in law 5-6 years ago while I was still in College. What I really wanted was a scholarship for a Master’s Degree either in Europe, Japan or Singapore. (notice the first one’s a continent and not a country?) What I wanted was a fellowship program so that I can become a diplomat, which I probably would have been now if ever I have the chops to pass the FSE. Law school just came as a “okay, since we’re here let’s do it” thing, sudden and not well thought of. It’s not that I am not learning or enjoying it but somehow I feel that UP College of Law is not really the place I want to be in right now. All I want is to get out of here and do work pronto. I really can’t wait for OLA to start, and I don’t mind the “alleged irrationality and irritability” that a certain figure in that “internship” could “probably” give me when I start until I finish. The claims that “it might be hell” actually intrigue me even more. Maybe I am an unproclaimed masochist but I really want to see if I’m up to the challenge. Scolding, shouting and abusive language or behavior (mostly rumors from upperclassmen) will not kill me. Sure it hurts my pride but all the more do I want to give it a go. Maybe that’s the thing that will finally get me off this boredom of mine. Sadly, I still have to wait for two semesters before I can start. Bummer.

Damn, look at the time: 2:55AM. Add insomia to the list and maybe I am depressed, I just won’t admit it. Anyway, I’ll end here. I just wrote this boring stuff to have something to post in this self-praise blog anyway. Feel free to ridicule, I somehow find it interesting. Maybe I’d try looking for a dominatrix next. Haha. πŸ™‚

Freud on Love: Pain

β€œHuman beings are funny. They long to be with the person they love but refuse to admit openly. Some are afraid to show even the slightest sign of affection because of fear. Fear that their feelings may not be recognized, or even worst, returned. But one thing about human beings puzzles me the most is their conscious effort to be connected with the object of their affection even if it kills them slowly within.”
― Sigmund Freud

“According to Freud, and I’m paraphrasing, instinct of love toward an object demands a mastery to obtain it, and if a person feels they can’t control the object or feel threatened by it, they act negatively toward it. Like an eighth-grade boy punching a girl.
– Dr. Cameron, House, M.D.

Freud was definitely right about one thing. The instinct of love makes people do stupid things. (Note: Only Romantic Love, other types of love are excluded in this article) Most people long for it but are actually afraid of it. That’s where all the bitterness and the #hugot come in. People love romantic novels and fantasize about love because they know it’s fiction but when the real thing comes, they run away in an instant. Love is not the grandiose thing that most people see in TV dramas or read in books. It is ugly, painful, stressful and confusing. It does things to a person: emotionally, psychologically and physically. In a word, it’s nasty but why do people claim it to be the one thing that matters most in this world? One reason, because it is the thing that differentiates us from other living beings, the ability to love. Now, every scientist and philosopher would kill me on this because most believe that what makes us the top species in the Animal Kingdom is not love but reason, in a way they are correct. Love is also part of reason. Reason, the ability to formulate judgment, make rational thoughts and decisions, the ability not just to think but also make ideas out of those thoughts. Reason in itself is complex and so is love. Love, the ability to think of another person’s well being, the ability to self-sacrifice and the ability to not only care but to care deeply for another person. It is something that is even beyond reason. It’s because reason helps humanity survive, love on the other hand cancels all those survival instincts and lets people throw away selfish motives. Basically, love goes against reason. It is stupid, irrational, dangerous but it’s not wrong. It’s just plain idiotic. So highly rational people tend to go against it. Fear it in such a way that he/she acts negatively toward it. Making the object of the love a point of hatred, anger and disgust to cancel out the love that is already developing because if not, it will slowly kill the person who is loving. At least, that’s what many who uphold the Freudian concept of love and hate think — a person like me.

I have less than average when it comes to experiences of love. The definition itself baffles me. It is a concept that I think is over-dramatized by a ratings-hungry media, especially romantic love. The very notion itself, I find unimportant. Although I admit I cannot cancel love entirely from this world because then the world would turn to chaos — but romantic love itself, not in the equation. Other forms of love can equally give this world the peace it needs. I actually think that romantic love is what causes most of the problem in the first place — correction, the “irrational need” of people to feel romantic love is the problem. Romantic love in itself is a beautiful concept. One, that if true, can lead to genuine happiness, for a while until death do you part. But then it is not a need, unlike what most people think. Love, is important, but romantic love isn’t. Yes, I write about romantic love but I am not a hypocrite when it comes to this belief because in many of my stories, love is not portrayed as the “love conquers all” bullshit that most people are spewing out of their bestselling Wattpad novels cleverly fooling the next generation, brainwashing them to the “irrational need” of romance while cashing in stacks of money in return. My stories deal with reality — LOVE DOESN’T CONQUER ALL.

In real life, when you love someone it doesn’t always mean balloons, confetti, or fireworks. Most of the time it’s loneliness, confusion, rejection and my personal favorite: depression. Almost to a point that you can no longer function as a rational human being. There are other factors that play in other than the fact that you love each other. Those stories where the first generation doesn’t get a shot at their love and the second generation gets a try and ends up well is not always real. Life is unfair. It won’t give you the retribution you (or your next generation) deserves just because it screwed you over one time — it doesn’t owe you that. Life is UNFAIR. Romantic love is not all rainbows and butterflies, even if you do find one. One reason why I write love stories — because that’s the only thing that I can control. Real life, I can’t since it’s messy and unpredictable. Writers often are control freaks. The fact that they write fiction is because they can’t deal with the reality that is staring them right in the face. To compensate, they write stories, hoping they were real. An addiction that gets their minds of the real things that are happening in their lives, our lives — loneliness, bitterness and rejection.

So yes, I am bitter towards love. I may act all content with where I am right now but I do long for that romantic touch once in a while. The only difference is I have somehow accepted the fact that maybe romantic love isn’t just for me — it may never be, given my angst towards it, my fear. Acceptance has brought me to the realization that romantic love is just a “want” created by the constant brainwashing that I received ever since I was a child (Disney, the main culprit). It was never a “need” because in all honesty, I won’t die if I never have it in my life. Yes, I’ll be a bit lonely but there are a gazillion of other different ways to compensate for that. Romantic love is not the only thing that can make me feel good about myself, make me feel secure or confident. That song by Alicia Keys : “If I Ain’t Got You” is probably the most stupid song I ever heard. If it’s melody wasn’t that catchy I’d probably never sing it in my lifetime. Problem is, it’s extremely catchy and easy to sing. No one truly needs nothing else but love (or the object of their love in this case) in their life. Most marriages (happy ones, even) are destroyed by ambition, unfulfilled dreams and desires, unexpressed wants. Everyone will always want something for themselves (things that make them better people and heighten their individuality like a career, a job, an ambition or a wild dream), love is not the answer to everything. Ironic that a past love interest once made a violin cover of that song. No wonder he didn’t like me.

To anyone who would probably read this, I take only a few most probably none other than myself would make that time, I would definitely sound bitter. Then blame my past experience(s) in love into that undying bitterness. Say I’m not over, that I still love the person(s), or I’m just angry at them for not returning the favor. In all honesty, I don’t even know myself. I might be one of those things or even all of them at once. I don’t know for sure. All I know is that: one, I will never be angry at God (or any other omnipotent all-powerful being out there) if ever I never get that dose of romantic love in my lifetime. I have loved and that’s good enough for me. It is His/Her call anyway if He/She gives me one. Two, I know now that I have to first channel love for myself before I expect it from others because if fate has it set that no one else would love me for who I am then I’d be doing myself a huge favor if I just focus on loving myself. Lastly, I will no longer ask for it like I would for food, good health or divine protection. Not having it would not put me in danger but a day without food, an unhealthy system and susceptibility to harm or evil will. If ever fate favors and romantic love will make it into my calendar one day then I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. In the meantime, I’ll be happily bitter about romantic love and continue to LIVE (not just be alive) even without it.