Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"Rizal was a good student, above average, though not excellent."


 In remembrance of the national hero's 145 birthday on June 19, 2016.  

"There can be no tyrants where there are no slaves."
"He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination."
"The youth is the hope of our future."

Dr Abe V Rotor
 Living with Nature - School on Blog (avrotor.blogspot.com)
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, [www.pbs.gov.ph8-9 evening class Monday to Friday


Dr Jose P Rizal (1861-1896)

Have you ever thought of comparing your grades in school with those obtained by our National Hero when he was a student like you? Well, don't be naive, and don't underestimate yourself.


Of the 21 subjects Rizal took in the University of Santo Tomas, he obtained

  • Sobresaliente or Excellent (1.0)
  • 6 Notable or Aprovechado or Very Good (1.5)
  • 8 Bueno or Good (2.0)
  • Aprobado or Passing Grade (3)
Based on today's standard, Rizal didn't qualify for an honor, and even if he met the average grade for cum laude, he was disqualified for getting a 3.0.

Rizal's lowest grade was in General Pathology, Its Clinic, and Pathologic HistologyAprobado [Passed: 3.0] Why he fared poorly in this subject is a subject of guess, possibly discrimination, personal problems, or simply his heart was not really in medicine.


A cursory analysis of Rizal's academic records shows that he obtained perfect grades in Preparatory Course of Theology and Law. But his grades declined in Preparatory Course of Medicine, more so in the succeeding four years of medicine proper. Which points out to Rizal's superiority not in medicine but in other fields, unquestionably in philosophy and letters, and the arts.


Many biographers of Rizal find Rizal's record at UST not his best. Well, it is not in medicine we find Rizal the genius and the hero. It is in the holism of his person we look up to and set him model of greatness for Filipinos, his race, and for all mankind.


Here are the grades of Rizal in UST (1877-1882)

A. Preparatory Course of Theology and Law (1877-1878)

  • Cosmology—Sobresaliente [Excellent; equivalent grade: 1.0]
  • Metaphysics—Sobresaliente [Excellent: 1.0]
  • Theodicy—Sobresaliente [Excellent: 1.0]
  • History of Philosophy—Sobresaliente [Excellent: 1.0]
B. Preparatory Course of Medicine
(1878-1879)
  • Advanced Physics—Aprovechado [Very Good: 1.5]
  • Advanced Chemistry—Sobresaliente [Excellent: 1.0]
  • Advanced Natural History—Aprovechado [Very Good: 1.5]
C. Medicine Proper

1st Year of Medicine (1878-1879)
  • General Anatomy and Histology—Bueno [Good: 2.0]
  • Descriptive Anatomy—Bueno [Good: 2.0]
  • Exercises of Osteology and Dissection—Bueno [Good: 2.0]
2nd Year of Medicine (1879-1880)
  • General Anatomy and Histology II—Bueno [Good: 2.0]
  • Descriptive Anatomy II—Bueno [Good: 2.0]
  • Exercises of Dissection—Bueno [Good: 2.0]
  • Physiology, Private and Public Hygiene—Bueno [Good: 2.0]
3rd Year of Medicine (1880-1881)
  • General Pathology, Its Clinic, and Pathologic Histology—Aprobado [Passed: 3.0]
  • Therapeutics, Medical Matter and Art of Prescribing—Sobresaliente [Excellent: 1.0]
  • Surgical Anatomy, Operations, External Medical Applications and Bandages—Bueno [Good: 2.0]
4th Year of Medicine (1881-1882)
  • Medical Pathology—Notable [Very Good: 1.5]
  • Surgical Pathology—Notable [Very Good: 1.5]
  • Obstetrics, Sicknesses of Women and Children—Notable [Very Good: 1.5]
  • Siphilography—Notable [Very Good: 1.5]
Rizal's academic records were presented in the 145th Discurso de Apertura (Opening Lecture) by Professor Regalado Trota José, citing the works of Spanish Dominican historian Fr. Fidel Villarroel, who labored in the archives and systematized its collection for 50 years which will be published this year to mark the quadricentenary of Asia’s oldest university.

Professor Jose, citing Fr Villaroel summed up Rizal was as student at UST.


1) Rizal was a good student, above average, though not excellent; but none of his classmates were excellent either. Rizal was not as gifted for Medicine as he was for the Letters and Arts.


2) In Madrid, his medical grades were the same or a little lower.


3) He is not on record as having ever complained about his grades in Santo Tomas, while he did complain about those he received in Madrid.


4) He was never discriminated against in Santo Tomas; on the contrary, he was favored with a dispensation which few students received.


5) Racial discrimination did not exist in his class, as shown by the fact that all his Spanish classmates fell by the roadside one by one in the course of four years.


6) In the fourth and last year in Santo Tomas, only seven students remained [out of the original batch of 24], and Rizal was one of them.


7) And he ended that year in second place.


How about your record? Go over your transcript. Yes, you can be great, too. However, greatness radiates beyond grades, beyond the walls of the university, beyond the imprimatur of power and faith; in fact, beyond life itself. Think about it this Rizal's birth aniversary. ~

Reference: The 145th Discurso de Apertura (Opening Lecture) to welcome the new academic year of the 400-year-old University of Santo Tomas (1611-2011) last June 6 at the UST Santisimo Rosario Church. The lecture, “Facebook Flashback: The Archives and the Story of the University (of Santo Tomas),” was delivered by Professor Regalado Trota José, UST archivist and commissioner of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Based on trom the works of Spanish Dominican historian Fr. Fidel Villarroel OP, who labored in the UST archives and systematized its collection for 50 years and wrote a massive multi-volume history of UST to be published this year in celebration to the university's quardricentenary.
NOTE: Please read Rizal My Hero, which follows this article.

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