Stupidities in college (First of three parts)

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By Atty. Antonio P. Pekas

“ The next day, you went back to the hospital to ask for an excuse slip to you could take an exam in lieu of the one you missed due to your “ fake sickness.” Often times you were given a day to prepare. Thus, you got more time to review.“

When I got into UP Los Banos, skinny at 17, I joined the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) Fraternity right away. So my friends in college were either from that group or from the Green Mountain Circle composed of fellow Cordillerans.
To have friends in the campus is very important. For we lived in the campus which became our world. It is the most beautiful in the country. Put up by the Americans, it is like a typical American university on an almost 1,000 hectare area. It includes a big part of Mt. Makiling. Without many friends you would have felt like a monk in the wilderness.
When you went to class in another college, the distance can be a kilometer or two. So you had to take a jeepney.
You learned tricks on how to survive from friends, particularly, from older ones in your groups.
Here is one. Since we were living a good life, drinking and all that in the midst of academic pressures, one had to find ways to cope when preparation for an exam was a bit short. One trick was to go the university hospital which is for free and feign some sickness. Some creativity had to be applied. “Doctor, I get splitting headaches and fevers at night.” Then the usual questions, taking of blood pressure and administering all sorts of tests like reading of the alphabet from a distance. All the while you had to appear sick. No matter how bad you were in acting, you had to try. Then they will give you some pills or prescribe some more which, of course, you never bought.
A friend once took the same route and said to the doctor he had really painful muscles and in other parts of the body. Thereafter, he had to exert real determination not to laugh as, after the usual questions and pressing of the stethoscope everywhere, a therapist massaged him and even used a laser massager.
The next day, you went back to the hospital to ask for an excuse slip to you could take an exam in lieu of the one you missed due to your “ fake sickness.” Often times you were given a day to prepare. Thus, you got more time to review.
One time I took a calculus exam without enough preparation. Either we got drank the night before or I was reading a pocket book.
Right after the exam I knew I was short by about three points to make it to the passing mark. Breaking my head overnight on how to accomplish that I went to see the beautiful and young lady teacher who was good in her job during consultation hour for students. I said, “Ma’am, can we please check my exam booklet together so you can immediately point out my mistakes?” A sincere teacher that she was, she readily agreed. So she was checking my paper while I was sitting across the table. She was clearly explaining my mistakes as I kept nodding, looking so pitiful while asking clarifications as if I needed some. After about 20 minutes, we were done.
She then totaled my score and I was dead on the money. I was three points short in order to pass. With me looking so pitiful right in front of her, She again went over my booklet and on the second page she said, “A, eto pwedeng dagdagan ng one point.” Then she turned over the page and said again the same thing. On the third page she added again another point. …. So, halleluiah!! I made it.
Well, it was miles away from a Robert De Niro caliber of acting, but I made it.
The next exam, I studied well and had no hangover so I got a good score.**


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