The Chicken and the Fence

 
Sometimes, we must try something else to succeed rather than trying harder…

I was spending some quite hours in our swing when I noticed our chicken attempting to get out of the fence. With all her energy, she keep walking to and fro along the span of the wire fence and sometimes trying to fly over it. The greater space outside, or the site of greener grounds, must have tempted her to get out of our yard. Her walk seemed frantic, and from time to time, she pushed herself through it to no avail. She occasionally cackled, as if begging me to help her escape.

I smiled to myself. I turned my head to look at the gate. It was open! The gate was open and it was only few feet from her. It was only a short distance but she did not dare come near it. But why? Was she afraid of me for I was only an arm’s length from the gate? Or she has not thought about another possibility of going out? That her only option is to fight through the fence and win her simple battle…

The chicken reminded me of some of my students. Last week, we had our enrollment for the first semester this academic year. It was really a busy week, advising them of their subjects to take, encoding their courses, and attending to their endless inquiries and songs of frustration. But that was fine with me. What really saddens me is the fact that some really insist to pursue their course despite their unfavorable circumstances. What I mean by that is that these kids already have several failure grades, even back in their lower years in college, especially in subjects prerequisite to higher courses like mathematics and physics. Yes, it is really a sad thing…

And it would really be a difficult thing to be in their shoes. Shall they pursue the course and still struggle through more years of uncertainty? In fact, some of our students finish college for seven years or more. Others have not finished at all, after several years, because of discouragement from always failing certain subjects.

If we analyze it further, they should ask themselves why they fail. Yes, they may love the course and have the passion to pursue it. But it is not always about love and passion. Oftentimes, success requires certain skills and capabilities. It they had realized earlier that engineering needs more than just basic mathematical skills, then things would have been a lot easier for them…

Which would be a harder struggle? Which need more courage and self-will? To leave their present course and shift to others which befit their skills and talents? Or to continue pursuing it?

It is really frustrating to watch people fighting yet not succeeding. Somehow, I can do something as an educator. Yet in the end, they decide things for themselves…

From the swing, I stood up and led our chicken to the gate. She was finally freed…

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