Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Blues

My car’s number coding is on Monday, so today I had to ride along with my sister, and it just so happens that I only had classes today from 11-1 and hers are from 9-4, so I had to go to school early and later wait for her to finish up, to save on gas from back and forth trips. I totally get it, gas is expensive, and if I have to wait, so be it. Of course I wasn’t happy about it, but I at least made productive use of the time and didn’t just sit around idling away. I blogged, and I met my PI 100 professor, had some laughs, but I have mixed feelings about how today went.

This morning, I woke up feeling generally well-rested, after my workout last night, I fell asleep right away, but of course waking up at 7, who can avoid feeling groggy? I know I dreamed some pretty weird stuff, but I forgot it already, and to be honest, doing the Last Minute Abs routine straight out of bed doesn’t really help retain dream fragments because I was busy concentrating on getting a good warm-up. Anyway, I went about my morning routine like any other day, and off to school, I went with my sister.

I asked to be dropped off at CMC to get my ID validated so I could go to the Main Library later, and I wrapped up a blog entry I started the night before there, right outside the BC Department, and I took advantage of the Journalism Department’s internet connection. Too bad they block Twitter and Facebook, but at least the connection was a lot more steady than Dilnet. I haven’t tried YouTube though, but I guess that’s pushing my luck. At any rate I got some work done, and it’s kind of a longshot, but it doesn’t hurt to give it a shot. Cryptic for now, let’s see how this develops and then I’ll tell.

While I was sitting outside the department, I caught a glimpse of my program adviser Ma’am Jane, and I think my heart leapt for joy into my throat. She’s been gone on leave for a semester and I got handed off to the next available adviser. She’s been my adviser since my freshman days, and I kind of got separation anxiety, or curriculum anxiety, because if you don’t have rapport or if your adviser doesn’t know you, it can be a real pain trying to defend your subject choices. Ma’am Jane always grilled me, but not to give me a hard time, only for me to be more decisive, and to stand by my decisions. I love that about her, she’s hands-on, but at the same time she let’s you go to find your own way. I miss her and our BC 104 days. I really hope she’ll offer BC 124 next semester. So I thought I’d say hi and maybe sneak in a consultation, but she was busy, but it can wait until first semester. I was just glad to see her again. She said I looked good too. Woot! Woot!

IMG_0738IMG_0739Speaking of, before I headed out of CMC for AS at 10 am, I freshened up in the lavatory, just sitting around and using Wi-Fi out in the hallway was really hot and humid, I tell you! And I was wearing a pink mini skirt and a loose shirt at that! On another note, I didn’t realize how loose the shirt’s gotten on me. It just felt comfortable and I put it on, I didn’t think it’d look like a sack. Oh, well, I bought that back when I was still really thick, now it just hangs on my broad shoulders and does nothing for my waist. As for my face of the day, I’m still on the red side after going swimming yesterday, and my eyebags are dreadful, but I’m wearing Nyx Round Lipstick Orange Soda here. I put my hair up in a low and loose side ponytail because buns tug too much and I end up losing hair.

So after camwhoring, I left the building. Literally. And I stepped out into an oven. No, a kiln! Not even my double-sided umbrella could shield me from the sun! I didn’t want to take a jeepney to AS out of miserliness, and also because I was in a skirt, so I was walking in the direction of the Lagoon to take a shortcut, when my eye caught the sunflowers over University Avenue, and I figured I would go around the Oval anyway, why not make a small stop? So even in that heat, for the love of sunflowers, I trudged on over there. I wanted a closer look and I was hoping for inspiration and clarity. Sunflowers just face the sun and they do it beautifully, and I want to know what I’m supposed to do, and to do it beautifully. Maybe that’s kind of a farfetched analogy since I’m a person and certainly life’s a lot more complicated than just sticking to what you do best, but I want to be more purposeful. But yeah, aren’t they pretty? 









And then I saw that one of the flowers had a gift tag attached to it! It was a really sweet message, and it warmed my heart. I don’t know who it was addressed to, but I’m really happy for her. The sunflower is a symbol of the fruition or realization of dreams and hard work. Godspeed!







After that, I walked to AS with some lightness in my heart, even if it was boiling outside! No joke. The fabric of my shirt was so thin, my sweat just about soaked through it by the time I made it to AS. And when I got there, I was still too early for my 11 am class, even though I’d about walked as slow as my legs would allow, normally a brisk walking type. It was good exercise, nonetheless. In class, I sat there wondering if my PI 100 professor would show and I was torn between wishing he wouldn’t so I wouldn’t have anything PI 100 related to do yet, and wishing he would because then going to school on Monday would’ve been in vain!

But before I go onto how our meeting went, there were these two guys sitting in front of me and they were so obnoxious and loud! Before the professor arrived, I overheard them talking about trying to convince the professor they were Korean and couldn’t understand Filipino so he would have to speak in English! I mean I would get it if they were fresh from the conyo-land high school they came from, I was like that too before, but this is UP for goodness’ sake! I was (and still am) ashamed when I don’t understand deep Tagalog when I’m a Filipino and I really try hard because it’s supposed to be my native language, but those guys weren’t even making an effort! So I sat there feeling disgusted at them, and then a man showed up and got everything in order and started to call the roll, but realized he brought a wrong class list or something, so he told us he would be right back, and he left. We were waiting for him, when another man entered the room, a different man and introduced himself as our teacher! What just happened! We all had that flabbergasted look on our faces, but the man settled in and introduced himself and it turns out he was our teacher, after all. Maybe the first man mixed up classes, but it was just the strangest thing!

It was all in all very bizarre, and we had a brief orientation on how our professor would handle our PI 100. He seemed very laidback and he joked a lot, but he had the sharpest wit. When the two guys requested he speak in English and he asked them why and they said they were Chinese, he told them they should’ve gone to La Salle, that way they’d be with their crowd and they wouldn’t be having that conversation. And one point just went to the professor for that. It was so annoying how he spoke to them in Filipino, and they answered in English, meaning they understood perfectly well, but didn’t make the effort to communicate! I had a classmate like that before, she wasn’t Chinese though, she was just a conyo kid through and through and I made it a point to address her in straight Filipino, and always, always, without fail, she would answer me back in English! I don’t mean to discriminate against Chinese or conyo kids, but I know plenty of people who were brought up speaking English, but if you talk to them in Filipino, even if their Filipino’s awkward and stilted, they’ll make the effort, and they don’t expect other people to adjust to them. Meaning, isn’t it so absurd we’re all in the Philippines and yet the lingua franca is English! I’m not saying Tagalog or Filipino isn’t without its issues as a national language, but those guys acted like it was beneath them or something! When we went to Ilocos, I wished I could speak Ilocano so I could understand them, when we went to Cebu, I wished I knew Cebuano. I wanted to be able to reach out to them and relate to them, and not expect them to relate to me or adjust to me.

Then our teacher asked them if they knew any Chinese heroes or if they knew the role of the Chinese in the resistance effort during the Japanese Occupation and they just shrugged, so arguing you can’t understand Filipino because you’re Chinese, but knowing nothing about their own legacy is so invalid! And then our professor made a point, that it’s hard being Filipino Chinese because it’s neither fully Filipino, but neither is it Chinese either, kind of a middle ground where those jerks just insist being Chinese exempts them from using Filipino, but not knowing any local Chinese history. Three points to the professor already!

But then the professor asked us if we knew about any local heroes in our respective provinces, and my province-less-ness cropped up again. He said it was sad not having a province and knowing only Metro Manila, where there’s no real culture, and I agree. I’ve explored this in my Batad entry, but it’s all the more true when I think on how Manila doesn’t mean anything to me, historically/heroically, or otherwise. I don’t feel the sense of belonging or owning that I would know about Manila as my place for over twenty years. He also asked us if we’d read any works by heroes and he was really disappointed that we couldn’t name any, because our generation doesn’t read anymore. I recited about Amado V. Hernandez’s Mga Ibong Mandaragit, but I was really tentative about it. It got his attention though.

So, going back to Rizal, he asked us what we knew about Jose Rizal, and what else we wanted to learn about him, because even though so much has been said, to this day, Jose Rizal is still an enigma. I totally agree, and I’m curious to see how he’ll paint Rizal for us, because I didn’t really get to appreciate Rizal in high school because of a lousy teacher who didn’t know how to teach and who just assigned chapters of Noli and El Fili to class reporters. How can anyone be engaged by that? I’m really hoping this time around will be more interesting. Fingers crossed. Well how can anything be boring with a fictionist?

The professor also went on about how sad it is that the best and brightest all want to leave for greener pastures, what would become of the country then, with a fractured sense of nationalism or patriotism and heroism? And it’s because we hardly know anything about ourselves as a country that we don’t think twice to leave it. I’ve been thinking on that since class was dismissed and I really don’t have an answer. It’s kind of a conundrum to me. Even now that I’m getting sleepy while writing this, my mind is still furiously trying to figure it out. Maybe tomorrow will shed some light on the matter at hand, when we tackle ideas about heroes.

After class, I spent the rest of my time waiting at the Main Library and it’s such a comfort, being in the presence of books, all that peace and quiet. Not to mention it was way cooler in the library than anywhere else! I tried to take my mind off of things by just browsing the web and catching up on blogging, but at the back of my mind, it was all still there.








I still don’t know what to make of today, it was such a mixed bag. Some laughs, a lot of thought provoking insights, some contemplation, some brooding. I really hope tomorrow will be brighter.

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