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El Filibusterismo: Summary and Analysis of Chapter 13 (The Class in Physics)

Placide Penitente enters Physics class, in which Padre Millon is his professor.  The discussion drags on without the use of any laboratory equipment and other learning aids.  The university had bought a number of instruments, but these remain kept in glass shelves and are never used.  Placido had already been marked as absent, and when Padre Millon calls on him to answer a question, the priest gives him a very low mark.  Placido argues with Padre Millon over this injustice.  The unyielding friar continues throwing insults at the youth, and Placido Penitente walks out of the class.

Points of Note:
A few important facts to note about Padre Millon:
1.      He is primarily interested in metaphysics and handles classes in philosophy and theology, after which he teaches chemistry and physics -- subjects in opposing ends of college education.
2.      He only glances at his textbooks during classes in physics and chemistry (little knowledge is dangerous), barely believes in what the experts are saying, and eventually approaches the subjects in a philosophical manner (he still does not believe that the earth is round, or that it is revolving around the sun).
3.      He frequently throws insults at his students, and also about the subjects he is teaching.
4.      He habitually throws questions to students, but does not want to be questioned himself.
5.      He lets his students memorize the book word-for-word, without explaining the lesson.
6.      He uses profane language and curses at his students.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: Why doesn't Padre Millon conduct his lectures in proper Spanish?
Answer: He has no respect for his students, who he thinks are dumb and thick-witted.

Question: What can we say about the character of Placido, based on the way he is described in the chapter?
Answer: He exemplifies the common Filipino, prudent and modest, and willing to endure difficult circumstances to stay away from trouble but when filled to the brim, can also explode like a volcano.

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