Fr Bobby Yap's message to the Ateneo community, 28 February 2022
28 Feb 2022 | Fr Roberto Yap SJ
When we closed down our campuses on the 18th of March 2020, we were forced to tread unfamiliar terrain.
We had to unlearn almost everything we've been doing our entire lives as educators and students, as administrators and employees, as we had to cope with the lockdowns. Online learning. Work-from-home setups. Videoconferencing. New health and safety protocols. The list is endless -- and so were the challenges and opportunities.
It was not easy making these adjustments. But because we are committed to our educational mission, we adapted. We seized many opportunities to improve our way of teaching, learning, and formation, as well as our way of planning and doing our day-to-day administrative duties.
Now, the world is slowly moving towards a "new normal," where we are trying to learn to live with the virus and regain our foothold in this altered environment.
On March 1, our employees will head back to our campuses to begin rotational on-site work, following the start of limited face-to-face classes for some higher education units a few weeks back.
Our administrators and staff have been hard at work preparing for this next step in our gradual return to campus, ensuring that the proper protocols and rules are in place for a safe working and learning environment.
We are again being presented an opportunity to explore new ways of moving forward with our mission – and this includes adapting to new processes and guidelines to guarantee everyone’s health and safety at all times.
And as we've seen in the past two years, living in this new normal requires all of us to continuously learn and unlearn ways of doing things, while maintaining an equilibrium between work and life. This may be difficult and stressful, but we need to do this to grow and thrive, and to continue with our work as a University.
So as we slowly return to on-campus activities, let us be in that "learning" mode. Let us take this opportunity, this initial return-to-campus, to learn, practice and make progress, and adapt to these changes, both at work and at home.
Let us use this time to see new possibilities, to make little mistakes, and to make adjustments, so when we go back in full swing, these new processes will be second nature to all of us. Let us embrace learning, as Brian Herbert put it, and I quote: “The capacity to learn is a gift. The ability to learn is a skill. The willingness to learn is a choice.”
I hope to see you on campus soon. Thank you, and have a blessed day.
27 May 2022