I was intently listening to the Resource Speaker when my classmate told me that we should get a Master’s Degree. The person on the podium that time was a successful professor from Philippine Normal University. Her every word was full of wisdom and inspiration for graduating students like us.
“After we graduated in this course, we should take the Licensure Examination for Teachers first.”
“Yes, and after that, we are going to work in a public school” my classmate responded.
“Then, when we already have enough money, let us enroll for a Master’s Degree,” I told her with an affirmation that we really must enroll.
After a year teaching in a private school, I decided to contact a friend of mine. She graduated in Philippine Normal University. I know she would be of great help for me.
It was on the 23rd of April when I, together with my friend Meliza, went to Manila to make an inquiry in Philippine Normal University.
A sense of excitement gushes forth within me by merely seeing the old university from the window of the train. It always feels good that once again, I would be a student in a university.
We took off at UN Avenue Station and crossed to the other side of Taft Avenue. We walked towards Save More Supermart and passed the university belt. Philippine Normal University (PNU) was just beside Technological University of the Philippines (TUP).
The building’s facade was painted subdued yellow. The digits 1901 was painted near the top of the building, indicating the year it was established. There were a few people inside the university. We saw different images of PNU taken from different angles enclosed in a glass case. There was also a large monitor which showed prominent people who had made significant contributions to the university. On its right side was a corridor that led to the different offices. On the other side was a stairway used to go to the upper floor. We walked in the direction of the Admission Office. In front of it are bulletin boards which display information for both graduate and undergraduate students. We asked the staff inside the Admission Office about the requirements needed to submit for a Master Degree. After a week, we went there again to submit our requirements and to undergo an interview.
One of the requirements to be admitted to the university is to pass the GCAT. So, what is GCAT? It stands for Graduate College Admission Test. I took the exam on May 15, 2010. Meliza and I agreed to meet at the train station at exactly 7 in the morning that day.
We arrived at the university at 7:45 and that time I already felt butterflies in my stomach. Since Philippine Normal University was my friend’s Alma Mater, we did not find any difficulties in looking for the assigned room. It was on the second floor of the building. Finally, we were at the doorstep of Room 206. There were still few vacant seats. The proctor instructed us to check for our name first on the door. Our names were there so we proceeded inside the classroom. We prepared Mongol no. 2 pencil and our examination permit .
The proctor checked all the examination permits and gave us the test questionnaire. It was composed of general and cloze test in English and in Filipino, reading comprehension, math and logic test. I taught history and I was able to answer questions on general category easily. I still remember my answers there such as the Ikebana and other tourist attractions on different countries. It took me a long time to answer the cloze and reading comprehension test. When it was Math and the logic part already, I felt so nervous that I whispered a silent prayer that God may guide me in answering those. I did not pass the test right away after I finished it, instead, I used the remaining time to review my answers. I checked all the items to make sure I did not skip any number. That has been always my technique in taking an exam. If I cannot figure out what is the correct answer, I just make a wise guess.
It was exact 11 AM when I passed my test paper. When I went out of the room, Meliza and I chatted about our answers on the test. I kept on asking her about some items in Math such as how many weeks are there in 3 years and some questions in linear equations. Math is really my waterloo. I don’t know why but numbers really do make me dizzy. After that, my friend and I agreed to go to Quiapo church to pray. That day went fine to both of us.
May 22nd was the date when we found out the result of our GCAT examination. The proctor who had been there with us while taking the GCAT gave us the telephone number and the website of PNU if we could not go to the university to check the result. I grimaced slightly in disgust when I thought about the information he gave us. The PNU website was not always updated and it was a bit difficult to contact them through a phone. I did try all those things when I was inquiring for a Graduate Degree but it was futile. I thought that the best way was to visit the university. Since my younger sister will be going to PNU on that date, I just asked her to check the result. She left home early in the morning because she had to buy some stuff to Divisoria. After that, she went to PNU to check the result and also do some school activities there. She arrived 8:00pm and I was doing my online job that time. I heard her hurried footsteps from the living room. She was beaming with happiness when she told me that I made it, I passed my GCAT exam. I was overjoyed and speechless. My worries about the result had gone. My parents soon forgot their anxieties and were also elated to the good news. I enrolled there May 28th and that was the start of my MA life.
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