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Lessons learned in panic

Today I’ve learned another lesson—in a way, it’s a reminder—and the more I think about it, the more beautiful it becomes.

I studied hard last night in preparation for my math exam, the fourth one. I spent quite a few hours studying it—I started at 4:00 in the afternoon and ended at 30 minutes past midnight. Don’t get mistaken: I had breaks in between, for meals, for bathing, for tooth brushing . . . need I elaborate? But the fact is, I’ve studied.


I woke up at 5 am the next morning. I knew I had to be early so as to salvage the time: Sir Vry comes quite early during exam time and I knew I couldn’t waste even the extra 15 minutes, a bonus for people who come early. I walked all the way to Math Building (from Yakal) because there was no Toki jeep in sight. It was still too early that everything still felt sleepy. Still I charged on.

And then the exam…

When I browsed through each of the questions, I said, “Thank you, Lord. It looks easy.” It really did look easy…I knew I had studied every bit of it.

The first parts of the exam was breezy; everything went on as planned. But come test three, I knew I was losing my hold on it. We were asked to graph the function, find the asymptotes (vertical, horizontal and oblique, if they exist) and determine the relative extreme values. I think I must have spent more or less 30 minutes in that part: I still solved for the first and second derivatives. “Why is this so difficult?” I asked myself because I couldn’t get the right answer.

And then, through careful browsing of the test paper, I was jolted out of my wits: the first and second derivatives were already given: all I had to do was find the critical numbers, the possible points of inflection, and then determine the signs, etc. 30 minutes na lang ang natira, and I still had to answer twenty or so questions.

I panicked.

Man cannot understand the entirety of God’s mighty plan for His life. I can only thank Him for doing what He does best.


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