Year Taken: Summer 2013
Schedule: MTWHF 3-5PM
I was one of the people who decided to Google good GE professors before enlisting in my first free choice GE since I entered UP, and one of the profs that came up in my search was Sir Bernard Caslib. From reading different reviews of him on blogs and PinoyExchange, I knew immediately that I had to enlist in his class.
The Philo 10 experience under Sir Caslib is definitely not easy. Most people I know would look for easy unos and “petiks” classes when it comes to GEs. The Sir Caslib experience does not give that. In his class, 1.00s are only given to those who work hard and are deserving, so if you’re looking for a sure-uno Philo class, then step away from his course. It’s not the one for you.
Philo 10 under Sir Caslib means having to read. And by read, I don’t mean a two-page article every now and then. In his class, one must read approximately 15 pages before the start of every class. On a regular semester, this would probably be manageable, but because I took Philo 10 in the summer, the amount of readings was enough to drive me insane. Fortunately, it’s only difficult for the first two to three sets of readings. One learns how to manage them and read as thoroughly and as efficiently as possible. In fact, once you’ve finished all your readings, you will miss having to read, as all the readings for this class are actually interesting, relevant, and eye-opening.
Philo 10 under Sir Caslib also means having to get out of your comfort zone. You will be forced to dance, act, and sing in front of the whole class. Make a dance number related to Philosophy? Sing Karaoke in class? Use Filipino movie lines in a skit in order to define the meaning of life? Yup, Sir Caslib’s Philosophy class makes you do all those and more. Oh, and if you think you’re not creative, think again. Philo 10 will squeeze whatever creativity can be squeezed out of you.
Oh, and remember those GEs wherein you didn’t know anyone at all because all everyone did was stay silent in their own seats? This class is not one of them. Under Sir Caslib, we were made to do a lot of groupworks. You will definitely not get out of this class without forming a bond with the 20+ people who share class with you. This is definitely one of the things I am most grateful for in my Philo 10 experience: as a CS freshie, my social network in UP was extremely limited. Fortunately, Philo 10 allowed me to meet people from different batches in different colleges such as graduating students from HRIM, fellow sophomores from CAL, and juniors from CFA and Eng’g. And the thing is, you don’t just meet them and end the semester as acquaintances. The Philo 10 experience allows you to bond with your classmates because even if the work is heavy, when shared with other people, everything you have to do in this class becomes fun. Of course, creating and maintaining friendships in Philo 10 is still a choice, but it’s a choice that you definitely won’t regret making. Every activity can mean an extra outing or “gala” after class, the final weekend can mean a sem-ender, after the Charity event, you can choose to go out with your newfound Philo friends. In Sir Caslib’s Philo 10, making friends and keeping them is a highly encouraged choice.
Oh and how can I forget about Sir Caslib! Sir Caslib is amazing. He is witty, smart, and knowledgeable in everything he teaches. Every class with him doesn’t even feel like a class, it just feels like a conversation with a friend. Sometimes it even feels like a talk show. I promise you will never get bored when he is speaking – he just has brilliant insights on everything from the Filipino culture to love and sex. You won’t fall asleep in his class. Most likely, you wouldn’t dare to, but honestly, it doesn’t take any effort to stay awake. Just read your readings or else you’ll be taken aback when he decides to grill you randomly. Every class with Sir Caslib this summer made me very happy – class with him is always thrilling and exciting. Because of him, it’s never a chore to attend Philo 10.
Overall, my Philosophy 10 experience was a highly fruitful one. I may not have attained a 1.0 in this course, but I gained experiences worth sharing and friends worth keeping. It was hard – oh, just wait for midterms and final paper season – but this is surely the best GE course I’ve taken in UP so far and I have absolutely no regrets in taking it. You really become a different person after Philo class, be it because of the readings or because of your experiences. You don’t come out of Philo 10 the same person as you were before – you really become so much better. And I think this should be the whole point of classes in UP: more than 1.0s, one should strive for self-improvement. Sir Caslib’s class is the perfect way to do so.
Enlist in his class, go to the field trip, and don’t cram your final paper. It’s a leap of faith, but trust me. You’ll do fine.