Theology 131 Oral Exams

Did I seriously Think that I had enough courage, enough guts, to take up an oral exam with Fr. Adolfo Dacanay for Th131?

It seems that Murphy’s Law is catching up on me this year. Out of 3 thesis statements, the one he picked was the one that I least knew. It was the one about “Fundamental Option”.

He said I muttered my thoughts and threw in my arguments like chopsuey. It seems that I wasn’t driving at the main point. That is, if there was ever one that I was basing mg whole speech with. He interrupted during my disarranged treatise about sin and punishment. I thought he would massacre me with insults. Instead, he tried to guide my thoughts and asked me the most basic question of the thesis: “What is fundamental option”?

Oral exams are the bane of my existence in Ateneo de Manila University. I thought it was the humanities in general. Well, to some extent, YES. But oral exams are like an avalance. You ramble on and on without any direction. The course is laid out for me but somehow, I can’t keep focus or go in a certain direction. I just say whatever pops into my head. And somehow, the main point of the whole thesis gets obscured somewhere inside my head. This happened to me in Philosophy orals last year.

I walked all the way home. My usual 30-45 minutes. I thought about the things that I should’ve said. Damn. I felt a lot of regret.

Fundamental Option is the orientation for doing either the good thing or the bad thing. There is a duality between Fundamental Opetion and Particular Acts. It is what we do repetitively that defines who we are and it is our Fundamental Option that inculcates in us a inclination to do either the good or the bad during the process of discernment and the ultimate decision in doing particular acts.

The thesis of Fundamenta Option introduces something new: We cannot quantify particular actions and sum them into what we are as a person. All our actions affect what we become as a person. Thus, we have to strive to do the good in all and everything that we do.

Simple enough eh? But I failed to mention those important things in my 10-minute oral exam. I pray to God that I can scrape a C in this.

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