The word super has always alluded to things of the highest quality. That is why the reason behind calling this semester’s Out of the Classroom Learning Activity (OCLA) a Super OCLA really escapes me.
Of course, the first thought that entered everyone’s mind upon hearing of the news was how awesome it would be- what with the professors advertising how this scheme would conveniently lessen the students’ expenses. We have long familiarized ourselves with the concept in which more participants would spell out lower prorate. Plus, the plan managed to, somehow, make it seem that this would be the only trip we’ll have to spend for this semester. It was a sweet deal right off the bat. Or so we thought.
Everyone seemed to be reeling with excitement- never mind the fact that the tours will be centered around our ‘National Hero’, Rizal. Groups of friends came to chat about it all day long. For the Freshmen, this would be sort of an initiation process- their first-ever tour after choosing to tread the path of a Tourism industry player. For the students on either their second or third years, this trip would add to their long list entitled Places-I’ve-Already-Visited. For the Seniors, it meant their second to the last out-of-town with the batch they have come to love. There was a reason for everyone to look forward to the OCLA.
The preparation was done and the date had already been carved into stone. We just need to sign our names and confirm our participation, then pay up when they ask us to. The institute already booked flights and dealt with matters regarding accommodations. Whatever more could we ask for?
Except that, inevitably, the saying ‘The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray’ kicked in. Or maybe it was the volatility of the price of flights. In any case, the students have suddenly been asked to book their flights on their own, shattering a piece of the whole ‘convenience’ theory. Well, the office still offered the option of Group Booking, but that would be the last resort. They said we had a better chance of cutting costs if we deal with discovering cheaper flights over the airlines’ websites found on the internet.
Alright. There was still no reason to panic. There was still a safety net after all. But then, one day, that was gone as well. No more Group Booking. Talk about pulling the rug from under our feet.
From then on, you could no longer hear people revelling at how wonderful the OCLA was going to be. There were certainly more rants than the previous jovial exultation.
“Nagplano pa sila- wala rin pala kinahinatnan except sa fact na mag-iistay tayong lahat sa Dakak. Napaka-disorganized!”
“Ang mahal ng flights!”
“Ang hirap mag-book!”
“Mas masaya sana kung ‘yung klase lang natin. Parang super dami na’ng tao. Nawala ‘yung sense of ‘exclusivity’.”
“Ang daming gagawin para sa iisang fieldtrip- Txxx reaction paper, Txxx report, Txxx plan, etc. Hindi rin makakapag-enjoy.”
“Wala na’kong pera! May required pa’ko na samahang GE fieldtrip at pati Txxx may pupuntahan din naman pala.”
In the end, the whole thing just caused frustration with quite a number of students eventually deciding to not go at all. The entire debacle had one student pleading, “No more of this ‘Super’ OCLA next sem.” Indeed, if they cannot ascertain the fulfilment of a grand plan, they should not ever toy with the hopes of the student body for a great OCLA. It’s like dangling a piece of carrot in front of Bugs Bunny and taking it away the second he dares to grab it.
May the students never have to be frustrated over something like this again.