Saturday, August 12, 2017

Dropout and Proud, The Autodidactic Polymath

   My life changed every five years or so like clockwork.  I was a Media Representative selling television show spots and newspaper advertising space for 5 years.

   Then, I was a public transport operator.  It started when I bought a beat up 45-seater mini-bus with no franchise.  That’s called colorum, a slang for illegal public land transport in the Philippines.  I went to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).  I got my bus a franchise to run legally.  It plied the Cavite City to Baclaran route.  Eventually, I got tired of owning a vehicle I couldn’t drive.  It was too big for little bitty me.  

   I sold the bus and bought a pre-owned 1990 Nissan Sentra and got it a franchise to run as a taxi cab.  Two years later, car brands gave an offer I couldn’t refuse, 50K downpayment for a brand new unit.  I sold the Nissan Sentra for 150K and put a down on one Toyota Corolla, one Mitsubishi Lancer and one Nissan Sentra Series 3.  I got all three new cars a franchise to run as taxi cabs.  I paid the car loans with the income.  That business was a great ride but then personal computers became more affordable.  

   After 5 years, I sold the taxi units and bought a Macintosh because my multimedia designer son, Chris told me the MAC was idiot friendly.  I taught myself the office applications.  The MAC had an encyclopedia installed in it.  I was living next to a university so I thought of putting my MAC to work by doing term papers for 200 fully printed ready for submission.  A year later I realized I’ve gotten good enough for an administrative job.

Ayala Avenue, Makati City
   After 2 short stints in small companies as Administrative Assistant, I was ready for an Ayala Avenue office.  There I went from Administrative Assistant to Administrative Manager in two years.  I loved it there.  I stayed for 8 years until an opportunity to come to America dropped on my lap.

Loretto, KY, From:
   I flew to a small county called Loretto, Kentucky, population 623, all white.  I was probably the first Asian they ever saw.  A friend said I was brave.  My second job in Kentucky was Executive Assistant to the Retail Executive of a bank in the city of Louisville.  That job lasted for 4 years.  
My name was changed to Lori when I became a US citizen
Louisville, KY
   All the above mentioned experiences are not rocket science but when I heard my father say “my daughter can do anything she puts her mind to,” I felt like I won a Pulitzer.  

   Someone said I must be a genius.  Another said I’m just restless and reckless.  I thought I was psycho, until I found this term: Autodidact Polymath, a self-taught person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas.  “An autodidact may or may not have formal education,” (Wikipedia) They are mostly dropouts like me.

   I have never in my life pretended to have a diploma, which is easily faked.  I’m not a genius, just an Autodidactic Polymath and my father is proud of me.


   Vilma Santos is another perfect example of an Autodidactic Polymath.  She was a movie actress who excelled in public service.  She was mayor of Lipa City for 3 consecutive terms and the first female governor of Batangas also for three consecutive terms.  She is now a Congresswoman.


  1. Lori, as a young girl, was my bosom buddy while we were in the University of the Philippines at the height of the First Quarter Storm in the early 70's. I'm happy to see her as a renaissance woman in spite her being an autodidact. I flip my hat and add a bunch of feathers in your cap and I pray for more progress as you pack on the remaining years of our lives. Besos Muchos and Congratulations, sister, you paved your life story well!


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