Silencing the Oracle!!

Atty. Ralph A. Sarmiento's Blogsite!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I would have been a Physicist!

Not many people know that if I had not become a lawyer, I would have been a physicist. My physics teacher in high school, Mr. Villarico, was encouraging me to take up nuclear physics or at least any math-related course. That was why he almost fainted when I told him after our high school graduation that I had already enrolled in Political Science in preparation for legal studies.

But in taking up law and in becoming a lawyer, I never really said goodbye to mathematics. My mother, a math teacher herself, had told me that there really was no difference in the study of math and the law because in the latter, instead of numbers, what you have are words. Therefore, when I was in law school, I treated the law with mathematical precision. As such, when I see words making up a legal provision, I see them as numbers making up an equation, and when I see legal provisions, I see them as mathematical formulae for the solution of legal problems.


  • At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ATTY RALPH: "I believe, however, that the teacher is really irrelevant because students of law are really supposed to be autodidacts if they are to understand and comprehend the nuances and intricacies of the law. The law is not taught; it is learned and studied."

    To say that the teacher is really irrelevant is to make a mockery of institutionalized learning of which the author is undeniably a part of. While it is true of course that one has to possess a certain degree of independence and unbashed sense of adventure when delving into the intricate maze of logic and philosophy of the law (which is by the way applicable also in other sciences) it is also true that some established precepts and theories are too complicated to absorb and comprehend in the context it was meant to be absorbed and comprehended by its creator without the guidance of a mentor who has experienced it.

    To proceed from the your statements sir would be to admit a fact that cannot be accepted at any level of that intellectual discourse. It would admit the fallacy that to say the teacher is relevant and material, is to sweepingly admit that the student is a parasite- a fallacy of which I cannot allow undisputed and uncorrected... even in a blog because it distorts my judgment which is neither tainted in weakness or parasitism.

    No. The student has a resposibility to learn as much as he can and that responsibility extends outside the four walls of the classroom... the world is in fact his place of learning. But every young mind needs guidance as every bird must be nurtured before it can fly. Admitting that is neither a weakness I am shamed to display, but a certain sense of humility I feel no remorse accepting.

    "All wise men know that they don't know everything." I do not claim that I know everything, I do not inadvertently claim that I am wise either. But there is something to be said about a student who while making it a personal responsibility to learn also respects those who have gone farther than him... both in experience and professional degree.

    If experience is the best teacher, then is it not but natural to listen to the wise words of those who have been taught by the best?! But to listen discriminately and to listen indiscriminately is an issue I have never addressed- of which you have decided to settle for me. Let me clarify the air of dispute about this.

    A student is not a sponge... but a filter. He listens, learns and makes up his own mind. That is what a student should be and I have no wish to deviate from the moral imperative and judge a student from such a negative angle.

    To say that the teacher is irrelevant because the student is a sponge is creating a statement on a premise that is not only baseless but totally presumptive- Great men do not generalize and neither should you, sir. :)

    In the end, I think we should agree to disagree. Because I believe wholeheartedly and so passionately, that a teacher is never irrelevant and never immaterial. They are only made so by people who believe in the worst of man (of a student specifically).

    The teacher is of such a high regard in society… of such a noble responsibility is theirs that to render them immaterial and irrelevant is to deny the value of their knowledge and experience because of myopic reasons such as pride or stubbornness (both of which have no place in any academic atmosphere and intellectual endeavors.)

    I commend you sir, for all the great things you have achieved. It would be such a waste to deprive that of your students who not only feel a sense of right to the experiences you have but also a sense of pride knowing that if they should build their own foundations of thought and proceed from any other source of knowledge or information, axiom or precept- it is of such a quality and degree that would make their final thoughts, final theories in the end- perfect… Because after all, your experiences and wisdom coupled with their innovation and ingenious just might culminate into the guttadamerung of old science and all old schools of thought!

    Now, tell me… Is the teacher really irrelevant? :)


  • At 6:51 AM, Blogger About Andrew Sheldon said…

    Atty Ralph, having made that decision, you should now abandon practice and become a philosopher and political activist, because the law is entirely inadequate. You might think you are serving humanity, but the law as it is, for the most part is only resulting in persecution. Destruction is inevitable from democracy and a thousand statutes. Common law is entirely adequate, reason as the standard of value; i.e. a meritocracy. Democracy in the Philippines has resulted in the alienation and persecution of the people of Muslim Mindanao. Marginalised by democracy and self-righteous Christians.


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