Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

Up until last night I was still in denial that I had to go back to school today, and I kept hoping North Korea’s rocket launch would warrant a suspension of classes. It’s not because I’m superstitious or anything, but starting Summer Classes on a Friday, and on Friday the 13th at that, is not just ominous, it’s wrong. Come on, it’s Friday for crying out loud! How can anyone in their right mind be up for starting Summer Classes on a Friday, out of all the days of the week? Pick any other day, even Sunday, I’d wager on that Rebecca Black song, just please leave Friday alone. Friday leads up to the weekend, and it’s the most looked forward to day of the week, it’s practically sacred, and to mar that special day is heinous. Besides, what do they hope to accomplish dragging us out of bed on a Friday, only for classes to be interrupted by the weekend anyway? How counterproductive! Why couldn’t it have waited until Monday, then we could’ve started things right and proper?

But this is UP and the Academic Calendar is the law. I can only think of two rare occasions that it didn’t get followed, back in my freshman year, one when we didn’t get to have a Freshman Welcome Assembly because of the H1N1 virus scare, and another time when Finals Week got extended because of Typhoon Ondoy. So, short of the threat of a contagious disease and a devastating flood, no silly reverence for Friday or fear of bad luck will keep classes from pushing through, I’m afraid. And the rocket launch failed too, so that about ruled out the possibility of classes being cancelled. My inner Jennifer Aniston is not cool with that at all.

Anyway the show must go on, so I woke up at the ungodly hour of 7 am, and thanked my lucky stars I didn’t take a 7 am class. It’s one thing to wake up at 7, and quite another to have to be in school by 7. Until sophomore year, I took 7 am GE classes, but starting junior year, with majors and a few electives on the side, I just couldn’t take it anymore, waking up everyday so early. At least this summer I was spared by CRS, and my classes are from 9 am to 1 pm.

I went to sleep last night a little bit past 11, after half-heartedly preparing my things, so I didn’t get a full eight hours of sleep, and right from the moment I woke up bleary-eyed, disoriented, and sluggish to my blaring alarm clock, and I use an old Nokia cell phone for my alarm clock so it’s loud and impossible to sleep through, I knew I had woken up on the wrong side of bed. Not even Hip Hop Abs’ Shaun T. and his energetic Last Minute Abs routine could lift my mood and I stumbled downstairs grumpy, and I wreaked havoc in the kitchen, spilling milk and coffee and cooking runny oatmeal. Those little things just all get magnified and they add up to a pissy me, all a-bitching and moaning.

But a cold shower on a stiflingly hot morning did the trick, and I gradually came to terms with Summer classes on a Friday and I got ready in a jiffy. Commonwealth traffic wasn’t heavy, and I kept my cussing to a minimum, reserved only for the worst drivers, and when I got to UP, I found the perfect parking space, a short walk away from my building. Hooray! I got there fifteen minutes before my class, which was just as well because I still needed to look for my classroom. On my way up to my classroom at the Faculty Center, I ran into one of my friends who happened to be my classmate and we looked for the room together. The Faculty Center is like a maze of hallways, so even if the doors are numbered, it’s still easy to get lost and miss what you’re looking for. We found it before long, and by coincidence, two more friends of mine were also my classmates! It was a really pleasant surprise, because I don’t make it a point to take classes with my friends, or coordinate with them so we’d have a class together. But it’s always nice to see familiar faces! At least I’ll be spending Summer in the company of friends!

My first class that morning was Speech 111, Elements of Voice and Diction, and our professor had a prior engagement so she gave us a brief overview of the course and an assignment for next meeting, and then dismissed us early, at around 10. As a bonus, my classroom was air-conditioned! Air-conditioned classrooms are few and far between in UP, except for audio-visual rooms and offices, and I really lucked out this time, because it’s so hot at the Faculty Center, all the rooms face windowless hallways! So far, so good, and as far as first impressions go, I liked my professor fine and the course seems promising! And on a funny note, when our professor called the roll, one of our classmates is named Prince Philip! I am not kidding. He was absent though, so now I’m curious to know what he looks like.

Speaking of first impressions, I wanted to dress to impress on the first day of Summer classes you never know who you might meet, after all, and last night I picked out this outfit of the day. It kind of looks like a separate top and a striped skirt, but it’s actually a dress, with a garter to cinch in your waist. As usual, I wore my favorite sandals from Stacatto. I bought them for my 19th birthday and they’re so comfortable to walk in, and I’m the type to walk with a bounce in my step, the wind in my hair effect, and a wide grin, when I look and feel good. (I’m so vain). As for my face of the day, I kept my makeup simple and clean, and I wore one of my favorite lipsticks, Ever Bilena’s Matte Lipstick in Mauvey.











Back in high school, aside from the fact that we had uniforms, I didn’t really bother trying to make a good first impression, because whether they liked me or not, and vice-versa, we would be spending a year together. I was not likeable in high school. I’m still an Ice Queen, but I’ve learned to lighten up and take myself less seriously. A little bit. 

Since we had an hour to kill, I hung out with my friends at Palma Hall (fondly called AS) for a while before heading to my 11 am PI 100 class. It was nice catching up with them, talking about how our vacations went, comparing and joking about our plans for internship, just really easygoing stuff. They also had PI 100 at 11, but they were in a different section, just a few doors down from mine, so we went our separate ways.

The size of my PI 100 class was supposed to be for thirty students, but our small room was packed, and all the seats were occupied, so it kind of looked like the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature allowed overbooking. There were even students passing by and peeking inside the room, perhaps hoping for a chance to get in the class, even after the registration period was over, but they would get discouraged by the full classroom. And because we were that many, all that body heat with only two old ceiling fans, made the room a sauna. It was that hot.

While waiting for the professor to arrive, my stomach began rumbling like crazy because I had breakfast at 7, and by 11, I was starving, good thing I prepared a light lunch for me to take that morning, crackers, cheese, a banana, and some water. Before leaving the house, I had a choice between taking a banana or an orange, and I went with the banana, because I’d have a hard time peeling the orange. But there’s all this stigma to eating bananas in public, and it made me conscious in a class full of guys. It was hard enough not to draw attention to myself eating in my seat with my crunchy crackers and cheese, and I tried to eat the banana as discreetly as possible, but the banana wouldn’t have it. I shifted my eyes down and didn’t make eye contact with anyone, but I could feel the stares burning into my scalp and I remembered all those 9GAG banana memes. I finished eating it as fast as I could, it had gotten mushy in my bag, so it wasn’t very delicious.

Photo0324But while I was eating, I noticed the graffiti on my desk. It was so striking, nanlilisik na bulag. In Filipino, nanlilisik is like a death glare or like your eyes are flaring in anger, but bulag means someone who is blind, so it’s kind of ironic. And as I sat there munching away, I wondered who had sat in that chair before me and what was going through his or her mind at the time. I sometimes wonder if historical figures had used the same classrooms, I mean UP has produced a lot of statesmen and lawyers and other revolutionary figures, and I’ve always been curious, if I’ve walked the same path as them, crossed the same hallways, or been in a room their presence graced, and what they were like as students, that sort of thing. Did they ever vandalize? Were they already greats in the making, or were they just like me, struggling for honor and excellence, getting by day to day? I can’t imagine Miriam Defensor-Santiago not having the answers or just chilling out on AS Steps. Some of the worst, or best, depending on how you look at it, graffiti I’ve seen are in restrooms, especially in the Math Building. The Math Building girl’s room, especially the second cubicle has all these cries for help and entreaties to God to help them pass Math subjects, and Math used to be this gloomy building that emanated sheer misery. It’s gotten renovated and re-painted though, so I don’t know how the restroom looks anymore, but in general the Math building’s gotten a face lift.

But going back, the most common graffiti is the “Push to Eject Prof Button” on desks and I’ve seen really creative and well-drawn “buttons,” like on a launcher pad, and there were times that I really did press my thumb with impotent fury into my desk when I had really bad professors, and would feel better somehow, imagining my professors flying out of their seats and into the ceiling, with their legs dangling. But I had no such recourse here, because unlike my first class, my PI 100 professor didn’t show up to class. I was partially glad that I could go home early, but also a bit annoyed that there wasn’t an announcement or a notice at least. The policy for a free-cut, is one third of the period, and during Summer, a 3 unit class meets for 2 hours everyday, so that’s forty minutes wasted, that could have been put to better use. And I actually stayed fifteen minutes past the free cut even when a lot of my classmates had left already because there are some profs who still show up, just to troll and see if any students wait up. I was the second to the last to leave, at that. Oh well, I know two people in class, so at least it wasn’t a total loss.

On my way home, I really wanted to see the sunflowers again, so I passed by University Avenue, and on my way there, I passed all the beautiful trees along the Academic Oval. I love it when everything’s bright and green and the tree branches meet in the middle and it looks like an umbrella of foliage. I’m sorry that the picture is sideways, I took it while I was driving, and I had one hand on the steering wheel. I was going slow and I kept my eyes on the road, but yeah, there won’t be a next time. Bad driver.















I also passed by the University Theater, and I saw people hanging up a sign there, and though I didn’t get to see the whole thing, I’m pretty sure it says “Serve the People,” addressing the graduating class and reminding them of their duty to the country as Iskolar ng Bayan, or scholars of the nation.















Best of all, here are the sunflowers! Aren’t they a sight to behold? They’re already so tall! They fill my heart with warmth and hope.















IMG_0601I got home in a little more than fifteen minutes and cam-whored as usual by my window, where I get the best light. It was dark in the Faculty Center bathroom, making it hard for my camera to focus, even with face detection, and I didn’t want to use flash because it just makes colors look so cooked, not washed out, but cooked. And besides, I was conspicuous enough taking pictures in the bathroom without flash, and the other girls were giving me pointed looks. This is also just to show you how my makeup looks after a half-day of getting sweaty and oily, it hasn’t budged! If anything, my makeup actually looks better because it’s oxidized from my acidic skin and my foundation matches my skin tone closer than when I first put it on. And a little oil made me more dewy-looking and glowing, than when it was completely matte from fresh application.

All in all, it wasn’t such a bad Friday the 13th. I’ve had worse first days of school. At least one out of two professors were present. I’ve experienced an all-day free cut before because all my professors weren’t back from vacation yet. Or even if they were back, they didn’t come to class the first week just to hide from students trying to go through Adding Matriculation (Ad Mat) into their classes. That’s UP life for you, so all things considered, Friday the 13th was a hit and miss at the same time, but I want to focus more on the good. The sunflowers were too pretty for my life. One more year to go before I can proudly hold my head up to the sunshine like the sunflowers and spread my arms out in oblation.

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