I remember debating with myself in front of the PC whether I should take EC102 or ECE12 only to reach the conclusion that ECE12 is easier to re-snuggle. I was third batch of the summer enlistment and my friend suggested that I take a professor named Chua for EC102. He only had two reviews on Project Blue; both reviews were positive in nature. There were 17 slots left in the schedule that I wanted and I took it. I didn’t care about ECE12 anymore when I clicked it.

The first day of classes arrived and honestly, I was feeling quite jittery that day. I was the only one in my batch taking EC102 and I was the only Chemistry major in my class. I was worried on what was coming my way. Then, someone sat on the chair to my right. If I were to describe his outfit, it was the stereotypical SOM major wear— boat shoes, shorts, polo, and to top it off, he had shades. I didn’t take notice of him that much until he decided to start up a conversation with me.

Our conversation started with small chit-chat on what enlistment batch I was. He was surprised when I said that I was in the third batch, which sent flags through my head. Was my EC102 teacher that in demand? I know that our small talk drifted to course talk and was surprised to see a Chemistry major, leading to a discussion on Schmitt Hall supernatural stories and perks of being a Chemistry major.

Then the bell signaling it was 9am rang. However, there was no teacher in front, which got my attention. The guy beside me wondered how many we were and started counting the number of students in the room. His action also got my attention; then, he had this look of content after counting. He picked up his bag and went to the front— towards the teacher’s table. Yes, I had unknowingly made small chit-chat with my EC102 teacher. I was amused that one moment and I knew then that I would appreciate the class of Mr. R.Lance Chua.

If there is one thing that make Sir Lance stand out among the teachers that I’ve encountered so far in Ateneo is that passion and hope that he still has. He’s relatively young, so he hasn’t been that desensitized by the workings of the Philippine government, which could be the reason behind having so much hope. Moreover, this intense hope he has is for his students. Sure, he would teach us Economics— the essentials, but that wasn’t his main goal for teaching economics. No, he wanted us to strive in maintaining an advocacy; he wanted to instill in us the belief that the Philippines could become better, but it had to start with those who are well off. To him, his students are game changers. It was his practicality and forward-thinking that got me going to his classes everyday (except one session wherein I was dead tired). He always had so much to offer that it motivated me to continue striving.

Mr. R.Lance Chua had made my decision to ditch ECE12 very worth it. Moreover, his discussions that concern an international perspective solidified the part in me that loves International Relations. I might actually consider taking the Diplomacy track of the POS department. My Economics teacher in high school may have astounded me with how he conducted classes, but Sir Lance made me see the country in a different perspective while highlighting the economics behind it.

For those planning to take EC102 in the future, pray and hope that you get Mr. R.Lance Chua. He is worth it amidst the scary distribution of requirement percentages.



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