Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"Why CDA?"

"Why CDA?"

   This is mostly a question I get from relatives and friends.  To those who don't know, CDA means Consular and Diplomatic Affairs. It's an interdisciplinary program in La Salle-Benilde. Being the artistic type, they assumed I would take up something along the lines of Fine Arts. Or a music program. I've also assumed I'd end up in any of those options as I began the process of transferring to another school.

 To be fair, I did apply for Fine Arts at the University of The Philippines as a transferee. I presented my portfolio which was the first step of the application process if you even want a chance to take their applied exams.

 I took the "exams" but I didn't get in. I also attempted to get in their music program but I didn't get in as well. In retrospect, it was more of a classical music program which would've probably drove me up the wall in the long run so I think I dodged a bullet there.

   Exploring other options took me to Benilde's course offerings. Their art programs are certainly impressive. They even have Music Production. Just out of curiousity, I checked the other course offerings outside my initial interests.

 I came across CDA. There wasn't anything in particular that jumped out on me as I read the course description. Something just clicked in my gut. After going back and forth with the other courses, I told my mom, "I'll go with CDA."

 (This thrilled my mom who thinks I'm out to become an ambassador and change the world or something.)

I took the entrance exams and passed.

 In retrospect, I guess there was always a general discontent in my mind. I needed to know that there was much more in how the world works, how people react, why society is the way it is and how the little things form the big picture. As a kid, I was unusually drawn to topics of environmental issues and social injustices. I didn't know much about politics back then but I was somehow aware that the world wasn't as black and white as it seemed. I find it intriguing how the smallest factors can hugely affect a particular issue or incident. Also, I love challenging common conventional knowledge.

 High school pretty much killed my curiousity in science-related subjects and history. CDA was a perfect match to my general discontent, my questions, and my occasional tendency to research random stuff on my own. I have no background in history, international studies, heck I don't even know much about the Philippine government.

Does Obama dancing with Ellen worth some serious international discourse?
This seriously makes me happy.

 But isn't that the point of higher education in the first place? I discovered how fascinating world history is and how the past still reverberates here in the present, Rizal's life was a lot cooler than my high school profs ever taught me, and international relations was hard. I took morning classes for my Spanish subjects just to increase my chances of having a prof who's actually from Spain. (My last Spanish prof was this lovely lady who was originally from Poland but moved to Spain where she spent most of her childhood, so that counts. Also, she could see right through her students' bullshit so I quite like her).

 Admittedly, I still don't know enough about the world, political issues and international discourse. If you ask me about theories, current events, I would probably give you a general idea about it but I'd rather leap into the sun. But I do love probing people's thoughts, asking questions, and sometimes doing my own research on things that intrigue me. I'm not the debating sort. I'm more of "watch-for-interesting-ideas-do-some-research-here's-my-thoughts-on-it" sort.

 Most of the time, I have learned enough to know how little I know.

 I don't even think I'm cut out for any government/ NGO/ world affairs type of career. Perhaps it's too early to tell. I still consider myself an artist, first and foremost. Most people would consider this course I took as some sort of fallback career but I don't mind. This helps honor my cerebral side while my artistic side gives my brain a break and helps my intuition come through.

 Come to think of it, I think it was intuition that led me to my course.

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