Carlo has been missing from these pages for over a year. He was busy.
But his heart was elsewhere. He shifted to the course he really wanted. (On the side, he also earned his private pilot license.)
Four years later, in 2008, Carlo graduated from the Ateneo with a degree in English Literature, his one true love.
We went to Lausanne, via Amsterdam and Genève. I was there for an executive course in extended supply chain management at IMD, the International Institute for Management Development. Carlo was there as his graduation gift.
Carlo walked me every morning to my IMD classroom. Then he took the train to tour Zurich and Genève, hundreds of kilometers across Switzerland. At 5.30pm every day he was back in Lausanne to pick me up from school. Role reversal.
He toured me around the Roman ruins in Lausanne. Showed me where I worked 2,500 years ago – the ancient dock area behind the Roman forum, where goods were traded and shipped across Lake Geneva. Supply chain.
Carlo’s dream is to teach. I wanted him to be a leader of people. Over cheese fondues and on long evening walks in Lausanne, Carlo and I debated management, teaching, salaries and life changes.
In the end, I told him he had my support, whatever he decided. Then he showed me Chillon Castle, and I showed him Gstaad and Lucerne.
It took him a year to find a job, teaching English to two hundred 18-year old high school seniors at St. Paul’s. An all-girls school.
Alluring as that was, his True North was teaching at the Ateneo. He is fourth in a line of eldest sons who went to the Ateneo. It is his alma mater. And his father’s. And his Grandfather’s. And his Great Grandfather’s.
It is also the best university in the country. Of course 🙂
But in 2008-09 the recession was hitting hard. There were no job openings. Missed opportunities. More debates. “Dad, I got into that school once, and I’m going to do it again."
After another year, the planets aligned and the gods made it happen. Carlo gave a lecture at the Ateneo, and a faculty leader asked the magic question, “Why are you not teaching here?!”
Carlo now teaches English Composition and Introduction to Fiction at the Ateneo de Manila’s Loyola Schools. And he is in graduate studies in Literary and Cultural Studies.
Teachers don’t earn very much in our country. But Carlo saved nearly every cent of his St. Paul’s salary, and is paying his own way through Ateneo’s graduate school. I have long realized that Carlo inspires me. At the end of the day, leaders are teachers, and teachers are leaders.
It took two years, but my Captain is now exactly where he wants to be. I can hear the two other Ateneans in that line of eldest sons laughing up there. There is no doubt about who is pulling the strings.
Ad Majorem Deo Gloriam.
Posted from Manila, July 31, 2010
Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Carlo has a couple of articles lined up for publication.
In the meantime, here are is some of his best writing in Flying in Crosswinds.
About 200 feet.
It is inevitable that not everyone will make it. Otto Lilienthal’s last words (after his last, fatal, glider crash) were, “sacrifices must be made.”
Well, not if I can help it. This brush with mortality has taught me to become a better, safer pilot. I hope that the same will be true of any aviators reading this.
I think Varsha and Reena would like that.
Read this entire jewel here
The truly masterful pilot doesn’t just fly by the numbers, reliant on procedures and gauges.
He is not a slave to his flight plan or the needles on his control panel.
It’s the other way around.
At some point, the airplane becomes more than just a noisy equation. It becomes an extension of his mind and body. The change affects every part of a pilot’s flying; it is a reinvention.
Read his entire article here
Very time-consuming, this business of growing up. It seems that all the grown-ups I know (I don’t quite count myself as one yet; call it denial) are in a perpetual rush, always in a hurry to do something and be somewhere else, running after security and the strange things grown-ups seem to be obsessed with.
Not many take time to smell the roses, and fewer still take risks to do what they really want to do.
They finally found out who shot him down, a young German Messerschmitt pilot who was shocked to discover that he had killed his idol.
It’s important to go for the Invisible Important Thing. You never know when that Messerschmitt will pounce on you, guns and cannon blazing.
I’m thinking of Ernest Gann now, and how the Messerschmitt, or the heart attack, or the missing elevator balance hinge bolt, or the last stroke, always gets you in the end. How will you fly before it does? On autopilot?
Read the entire article here. One of Carlo’s best pieces.