Written by Patricia Jose. Edited by Denise Joaquin and Matthew Yuching.
Photo Header by Patricia Dy.
If you’re taking classes under the Department of Economics, you’ll possibly see him around, or even be one of his students! Mr. Gerald Pascua specializes in macroeconomics, but don’t let that faze you. He graduated with a degree in BS Chemistry with Applied Computer Systems, with a minor in Literature (Filipino) from the Ateneo de Manila University. He then pursued a master’s degree in Economics at the UP School of Economics in UP Diliman, which he just completed this month.
Patricia Jose (PJ): “How has your stay in the Ateneo changed your views on teaching?”
Mr. Gerald Pascua (GP): “What teaching in the Ateneo made me realize is that learning is a two-way process, concerning the teacher and the student. The teacher can be very good in delivering his or her lectures, but if the students do not exert [the] effort to breach the learning gap, then it will be a waste. Similarly, if the students are really willing to learn the subject, but the teacher is not giving enough examples to make their point clear, that’s a sad scenario to see.”
The ideal case is that the teacher provides proper input, which targets the students’ needs as much as possible, and that the students do their job. Insofar as the Ateneo is concerned, I think we have the proper environment to foster that and so it depends so much on both the teacher and the students’ participation in the learning process. I cannot highlight further the importance of these two parties, really engaging towards communication. Sayang kasi kung teacher lang o student lang.”
PJ: “Who or what has been your influence in choosing to be a professor?”
GP: “My experiences as a student, as an undergrad, and eventually as a graduate student made me realize the importance and my passion for research. That passion of research is partly caused by the interactions in the academe and involves not only teachers but the entirety of it; the staff, the students, my colleagues.”
“So, short answer: [which person] is responsible? It’s not one person. It’s a confluence of factors, and confluence of personalities.”
“I’m glad that Ateneo was able to foster that academic environment for people to ask questions. And the environment is conducive, such that if you want to look for answers they are readily available to you. There is the library, and if you need further guidance, you can have your mentors to ask around. That includes your teachers back in undergrad, your colleagues now, and your other research fellows willing to support you.”
PJ: “Why the interest in economics, coming from chemistry?”
GP: “I think the world is pushing towards multi-disciplinarity. And, if we can, and if we’d like to, I highly encourage people to immerse themselves in other forms of discipline not only to enrich what they know but to enrich what they can contribute to the world.”
PJ: “Any memorable moment from a student or certain class?”
GP: “Sometimes, the lectures get really serious. We were talking about inflation, the change of prices. And then I was describing the recent trends in [the] Philippine inflation rate which is horrid. As I said, “This explains why the Philippine inflation rate is soaring,” a student, unconsciously maybe, sang out “fly-ing”. I continued the singing the lyrics of Breaking Free, to which the class joined in also.”
PJ: “Any memorable professor from your stay in Ateneo?”
GP: “Definitely. At the top of mind, my theory classes at the Kagawaran ng Filipino. I minored in Literature (Filipino) and for me that has been one of my most rewarding experiences as an undergrad.”
PJ: “What is your go-to vacation spot, or what is your most memorable vacation?”
GP: “Since workaholic ako, locally Baguio. It’s also where my graduate fellows went to relax, and it’s one of the memorable breaks I’ve had.”
PJ: “Fast Talk—What’s your warning label?”
GP: “In case you borrow something, make sure to return it in good condition”
PJ: “Ano ang always mo?”
GP: “Marami pero, always do it with passion, whatever it may be.”
PJ: “Fill in the statement: “I want to be remembered as…”
GP: “I want to be remembered as somebody who is equally both challenging and rewarding.”
Sir Gerald Pascua’s classes may seem like a challenge, but with his passion and dedication to teaching, students often leave with not just insights to the day’s lessons, but also applications to lessons outside of the campus.
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