MS vs BS and the Pieces of the Puzzle

There’s a big difference between an MS and a BS. And it’s not just the obvious fact that one starts with an ‘M’ and that the other with a ‘B’.

The difference isn’t just in the wardrobe preferences either. Truth be told, though you would find me sporting ‘professional’, ‘corporate’ outfits most days, there are still ‘haggard’ days that you’d catch me wearing a pair of good ol’ rubber shoes – sorry t’merc.

Okay, please don’t hit me on the head when I state this difference right here: Compared to BS students, most MS students are better thinkers.

I told you not to hit me on the head.

I’m talking about students here, by the way, not graduates. (I’m not saying that those holding the MS diplomas are the more superior thinkers of society!) I’m just saying that most MS students think better than BS students. Okay, let me rephrase that. Most MS students think better than how they did as BS students (now that’s better).

Or maybe it’s just me.

Yeah, I think it is just me.

The thing is, I realized something last Monday. I’m now more analytical when it comes to my classes. And my attention span is much, much better. (I think)

For those who don’t know me, I used to daydream and doodle a lot during my undergraduate years.(Now that’s a revelation!) Heartfelt apologies to my previous professors and instructors. But – in all honesty – most days I would just sit through classes drawing on the margins of my notebooks, thinking about something that happened that day, pondering on the events that are to take place that week, fixing up my oh-so-haggard schedule, and then counting the minutes until that class ends and the next one starts.

Because unless you’d tell me why and how that class is important to my life, you’d lose me. Definitely lose me. (Side note: And this is the reason why I always used to emphasize the courses’ importance and relevance to my previous classes back during my teaching days! Haha!)

But now that my tuition fee is much, much higher, and because it took me a great amount of effort to get my four IT subjects this semester – I’m subconsciously learning to be more ‘effort-full’ in listening to my lecturers.

And maybe it’s because I’m now trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, trying to see how all these Masters subjects are going to fit into the rest of my life.

A note to all who want to pursue their Masters degree – you shouldn’t do it just because it’s the trend. You do it because you want to specialize. Because there were lessons in your BS days that you weren’t able to learn but you oh so want to learn about now. And because those things that you want to learn about are the things that you want to use for the rest of your life.

This is coming from a girl whose wildest dreams include working as a magazine editor, having a bestseller published, and getting a recording album produced.

Funny right? That’s why I’m trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Because why take up MS in IT? Why pursue knowledge on databases, automata, networking, and service dominant logic??? What do all these have to do with Mari and the Mari that God wants me to be???

There’s this course that makes my heart race whenever I think about it. Multimedia Innovation. Whenever Kuya Anthony talks about his light trap and the new inventions that he has percolating in his mind, I see these light bulbs and sparks going on and off in his head. Know what? I get that way whenever my lecturer talks about ‘Photoshop’, ‘Flash’, ‘Sound Forge’, and ‘Premier’.

But what about everything else? How does everything else fit into my life?

Yes, I’m 21 years old and I’m pondering deeply about these things. Because I don’t want to waste time and money (not to mention sleep and precious brain cells) on things that I’m never going to really use anyway. Or on things that don’t matter. Or on things that aren’t ‘me’. Or on things that won’t be really used for God’s glory.


“In your heart of hearts, what is it that you want to do? What is it that you think you are called to do?” I remember a pastor asking me that question a few weeks before my 20th birthday way back in 2008. I never really gave her my answer. But if you would ask me that question right now, my answer would this: I want to teach. I want to equip and inspire young minds and hearts, unlocking the destinies of each one. I want to see hearts ablaze and eyes lighting up as possibilities of their future are opened up before them. I want to see students finding their very purpose in life and I want to see them walking in it.

There’s a purpose why I’m in IT. There are many great minds entering and venturing the field of IT these days. The Web is one of our time’s most influential mediums. So what happens when a daughter like me influences young men and women whose skills and talents would be used shape one of our generation’s most powerful tools?

But I can never teach what I do not know. You can tell whether a lecturer is teaching out of his or her experience or whether that person is just making things up as he or she is going along. I don’t want to be a mere actress in front of my students. I want them to get something that is of substance. Something that I truly know and can speak authoritatively about.

One of my favourite ICS shirts has a print in front that says, “We can change the world”. I want to teach in such a way that my students will know AND walk in that.

And so this is the reason why I’m saving up a considerable amount of Ringgit and losing a considerable amount of sleep. I now see my MS as an investment.

I will get every lesson I can get from every lecture and have every word and theory inculcated into my system. Letting those things become life so that when I pour them out to the next generation – they will become life for them as well.

I will make the most out every assignment. Learning what I can learn. Gaining experience in whatever way I can gain experience in. That I may truly become an expert and that when I would eventually talk to my students – I would KNOW what I’m talking about.

And I will be excellent in my research. As I delve into e-commerce, as I go deeper into service science, and as I try to create a new framework for business-to-business companies – I pursue excellence because I am a representative of the Creator God who can make something out of nothing. And so this research will be a testimony. To me. To my faculty. To the e-marketplace. And eventually to my students.

I see myself teaching for the rest of my life. Teaching life. In the Computer Science classroom setting. In the church setting. In the family setting. Even in the Internet setting – teaching through multimedia when time and distance won’t permit me to do the actual face-to-face thing (I have this blog to start things off right? And who knows – maybe I’ll develop something that would revolutionize teaching through multimedia innovation!)

I’ll be working up a lot of brain cells tonight. I have two papers due early next week. One for Multimedia Innovation and another for my research. Burning the midnight oil would be a pain and a sacrifice if I did not know or if I did not consider the greater purpose of this night’s puyatan session.

But now that the pieces of the puzzle are coming together, I can go through this night joyfully.

Not to mention this semester the semesters to come.

Happy new year, everyone!

9 thoughts on “MS vs BS and the Pieces of the Puzzle”

  1. @zencomix (uncle dave?? hehe): youth. college students. 16-20 years old, most probably. though i’ve taught kids before (4-10 years old) and i loved it… (but I probably won’t teach kids computer science!)

  2. Yes, it is Uncle Dave! Auntie Pena for some reason had trouble with her comment going through.
    I think you’ll make a great teacher, no matter which age group you finally teach!

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