On Parker Pens

One of the movies that made an impact on me is A Beautiful Mind. If there is one thing I picked up from that movie, it is that brilliant minds are wired differently. Is that a such good thing? Well I don’t really know. But I do know that it’s good for a couple of expensive pens.

Remember that scene where John Nash found out he was nominated for a Nobel Prize? He got a number of pens. It was that moment that made me realize that pens=academic achievements.
As you know, I am now in the academe. My journey has just begun and I don’t think I’m anywhere near that Nobel Prize. But I have already earned a few pens. I received my first one during the same time I got the “comma cum laude” after my name. It was a Cross pen from my thesis adviser and it had my name engraved in it. Shortly after, I earned my “comma RCh” and my very first Parker.
You see, had I been given a pen for every achievement during my undergraduate days, I would have already had enough to go around. Maybe I would have pushed myself harder if it meant having a pen. But the thing is, you can’t really ask for it from other people. So should I buy pens for myself?
Haha! God no. That would defeat the purpose. What I intend to do instead, is to give pens away. Maybe I can be that person that gives her little monsters a constant reminder that their efforts will not go unrewarded and that their achievements will not go overlooked. I wanna be that person for as long as I can. So I made a promise to my little monsters.
I promised I would give a pen to every little monster who would top departmental lab exams. At the end of the semester, the top student of the class would also get a pen (a Parker pen with his/her engraved initials, if you must know) provided that his/her grade is 1.75 or better. Sure enough, I have remained true to my word. Below is a tally of pens I have given away last semester.

Chem 16.1
Section 1L: 2 (one is a Parker)
Section 27L: 3 (one is a Parker)
Chem 15.1
Section 6L: 0
Section 24L: 5 (two are Parker pens)
Here are testimonials from three of the recipients of the coveted Parker pen.

This pen here that I have is not just an ordinary pen. This pen is an inspiration to me. I put this pen in a place where I can see it every time I study. You know why? Well because it tells me that I can always be the best everytime I look at it. It gives me strength whenever I feel like being such a loser. It lifts me up whenever I feel down after all the acad works. 
This pen here that I worked hard for is like earning my first salary in my first job. The hardship I’ve been through just to get this pen is worth it. I’ve loved Chemistry since high school and I loved it even better because of Chem 15. Who says I have been a GC (Grade Conscious) or a Chemistry bookworm during those times? To tell you honestly, I only read the book an hour before Chem lab or lecture.  What’s the secret? Well just to sit down at that very chair and listen to the greatest professors this country has ever had inspired me to strive hard and ace Chem 15. 
To all those who are taking Chem 15, my only advice to you guys is to love the subject and love the one teaching it. This is all I can say because this is the only thing I have done. And there I go. I got the all mighty pen that I have here in my hand.
AATandoc, 24L
Before, I sincerely hated chemistry with all of my heart. and soul and being (pun intended). When I entered the university under BS Chem Eng, I felt quitting my UP dream. When I thought my hatred could not be worse, I was dead wrong. A lot of things happened and there are times when I felt like dropping the course. However, under both Ma’am Torio and Ms. Mercado’s guidance, I was challenged and I resolved to do better. 
As I studied chemistry, I learned to appreciate it more and more. Gradually, I think my performance improved. When Ms. Mercado announced that she is going to give a Parker Pen with an engraving  to people who are going to get a grade of 1.75 or higher, I became more interested. My father has lots of Parker Pens as awards for becoming employee of the year so I really wanted to have one which I earned with my blood.  When Ma’am Glowie gave me my Parker Pen, I felt elated because I think somewhat I had matched my father, which is my inspiration and primary standard. 
CMBBerbon, 27L
When I entered college, I knew that it would be hard. I am not an honor student during my high school days. I tend to be the mediocre one. So getting a 2.75 or a 3 is fairly enough for me. But then… Ma’am Mercado came. And her promises blinded me. The promise of a twinkling Parker Pen.
When Ma’am Glowie told us the consequence, I thought “Ah. 1.75. ok. Never mind.” And then… All these exers came back to me with such good scores… My first exam was a trash.. But then, the second one was 2 points shy to the top list… This… This good scores… Along with good relation with my teacher pushed me to aim higher. Hey! Ano namang mawalala di ba? Try lang. Parker Pen din yun! I tried my very best… And there you go.. My Parker Pen with. C. B. M. L. I love it so much. Thank you Ma’am for the pen! And also, for everything you taught me. 🙂
So you guys, try! Walang masama. A parker pen is something you could treasure. At mabait yan si Ma’am. 😉 

CBMLo, 24L

At the end of the term, I gave a final message to them. It was sloppy but there was one thing I did right–I promised a pen for when they graduate with honors, top their respective board exams, win outstanding student and best thesis awards… you know, achievements of the sort.

My little monsters are well… little. But I trust that I have raised them well enough to become full-blown monsters in the future.
Monster. English ng “halimaw”–UP jargon na ang ibig sabihin ay sobrang magaling na estudyante.
If you are a little monster reading this, I earnestly look forward to owing you a pen.

Note: This was originally posted on January 13, 2013 at theglowie.blogspot.com. I kept a Parker Hall of Fame section on that blog where I feature students I have given Parker Pens to.Unfortunately, I was not able to extend the same courtesy to UP Cebu students (my financial status changed) although I still make good on my promise to my former little monsters from UPLB.

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