Friday, March 13, 2009

10th Week: Edj Getting Busy

Everything, within the past month, was overwhelming for me. It's within that month that I got a lot of firsts: first time to somehow help campaign during the election, first time to meet a lot of people, first time to muster up courage in such a short while, first time to be very busy in general.

By Tuesday I got Ma'am Vallejos to sign the "agreement" form, stating that she is my thesis adviser and I should have it done by 1st semester next year. I am normally uncomfortable to do tasks that involves "requirements" (in this case, getting an adviser and have him/her sign the said form) and I usually have a companion with me. It's those times that I can't do things alone. But I think this week is the start of my independence in the sense that I manage to do things alone with just a little help from others. Anyway, I told her the topics that I want to tackle and I said that it's up to her what should I do. I told her I wanted to either solve the Heat equation, solve Einstein's field equation, or compare and optimize methods for solving ordinary differential equations (ODE). The first one was her suggested topic to me while the rest were my researched topics, which she liked. She said that she's going to tell me my topic by next week.

By Thursday we saw students who were applying to be Sir Escaner's advisees (he is an analogy to box-office hit movies), and since it appeared that we were waiting with them. While waiting for our last class, Regina and I were talking about a transcendental professor and his/her minions (the gender of the professor will never be disclosed) and about how should we perform on our colloquium. And while we were talking, we saw Sir Basilla walking around the Math Building.

By Friday, I attended Sanlakas Youth's last General Assembly. Regina can't come since she has to come home, so here is another first for me (the GA). It's a good thing BJ and Primo were very accommodating. We listened first to the Educational Discussion and we talked among themselves about it afterward. Surprisingly, each of us has to talk about the thoughts on the issues, and I tackled it mathematically. I just don't know why I did that but I know that my thoughts were of little value to them. Surprisingly, Primo interpreted my thoughts right (it's about extrapolation). As we were going home, BJ told me that up to this point, this was the ED that he appreciated much because we all got to say our thoughts unlike before that, according to him, everything's just absorption. He's still even joking about the recruitment (he started it during the victory party).

Finals week is now fast approaching. And I'm getting even more busy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

9th Week: Successes and Failures: To Comply and To Interact

Last weekend, Sir Emil sent me an "invite" to KAISA's Victory Party at Monday night. Since I knew beforehand that my mom will allow me, I replied to the number specified that I would come. After all the tralala's, I asked Regina if she received the same invite to which she was negative. We came into a conjecture that the people who knew her number ran out of credits. So from that point I insisted to drag her along because in the first place, she is the more active member of the organization than I am.

Supposedly, on Monday, I should be attending the recognition of CS at CS (Catch my drift? They're College Scholars and College of Science, respectively.) by early morning. But I purposely woke up at 9AM, the usual time I wake up on Monday mornings. I packed a few shirts and towelettes and bagged in a few extra stash of cash. I told my mom that just in case I found a place to stay overnight, I will do so. Surprisingly, she agreed. And I knew that for a few days, I will miss my authoritarian mom.

So there, I went to the mall first to buy some stuff before proceeding to my class. After it, since it's too early to come to the party, I first asked Sir Basilla about a few tweaking details. Disappointingly, I failed to find the answers that I need. So what does that mean? Prior to everything, I "enlisted" myself to be an 'advisee' of Sir Basilla. But since I found myself "incompatible" to the Great Lord of IM (Institute of Math), I told myself to go to either Sir Takenouchi or Ma'am Vallejos (when I speak of the latter as my thesis adviser to my friends, they will be shocked and they are telling me if I am serious of the matter, on which I'm positive).

So Regina and I talked while waiting for the time to come. After some time, she received a call while she was taking a nap. From her responses, it seemed to be a member of the org trying to tell her about the party. Talk about official invitation!

So we went to KFC Katipunan Ave, the supposed meeting place 5 steps away from the venue. From there we met Sir BJ, the VC of Sanlakas Youth. Well, that's just the start of me meeting new people. To exaggerate, I already met hundreds of KAISA members just at KFC! And after I queried about my dilemma, they said that I can stay together with a few people at the headquarters of KAISA! Problem solved!

At the venue (it was, if I remember correctly, at Xanland), I met more people and got to know some of them. And there was a problem regarding the number of people in the venue. The place can only hold 50 people but 150 people are expected. I was surprised when they were packing and headed for their Plan B!

The venue was actually moved to Ma'am Steph's house. Since there were a lot of people, the place somehow became small. After the general "program", there were games, food fest, people being thrown to the pool and lots of [wild] dancing. They started by 8 and packed up by 1. What a long night!

So we now headed to the HQ where I stayed. The "living room" was a bit messy due to election paraphernalia lying everywhere, but I managed to get a spot and eat a little before I go to sleep. At a corner of a room, I snugged myself and slept. Everything went normal, and Tuesday came. I woke up early and took a bath. I left to school with a few people, including Sir Jose (or should I put it Councilor Jose, whichever you prefer) and we walked together to Math Building once we're at UP.

I don't know, but it's like a social aspect level-up for me. Within a night, I got to know a lot of people. They were a lot that I actually forgot some of them (sorry!). I guess that's one thing I have to improve on: name recalling.

Ma'am Vallejos dismissed us early so I grabbed that time to talk to her and tell her that I want her to be my thesis adviser (which she affirmed, and gave me a topic) and from that point on, I became happy, knowing that my thesis work will have a direction[al vector]. Why her, you asked? It's because I want to do numerical analysis and I want to employ something which has algorithms, and I found her perfect to be my adviser. So from that night on, I researched on what topics do I want to tackle.

When I went home, my mother is suddenly experiencing mood swings. She easily gets angry and gets back to being authoritative. But it's just some days before when I told myself that I miss my authoritarian mom. I should be careful what I wish for!

By Wednesday, as I am to come to my Korean class. I met Ma'am Laura and she recognized me, so we somehow greeted each other. You may say that it's a trivial thing so just pretend that I'm a child and it's my first time to interact with other people aside from my family, friends, and teachers. Seriously. My social aspect has never been like a bomb!

Thursday came. Sir Takenouchi asked our class who will be his 'advisees'. He said he can accommodate three students. Precious and Goegie claimed the two spots and left the last one hanging. Sir Takenouchi asked Kai about who's her thesis adviser, to which she replied "Sir Basilla" and Sir Takenouchi commented that he is good. He then asked me the same question, and I said, lying, that I'm still undecided. He told us that our class was his top priority and some students who are not in his class want to be enlisted as his 'advisees', so he's basically "waiting for me" and that thwarted a hole in my heart. He then asked me who I'm still considering, and I told him the one that I talked earlier.

No classes on Math 150.2 so we were dismissed early. Jan and I saw Kai and Precious so I joined with the two ride a jeepney to SM North (Jan was riding a jeepney to Pantranco). It has been an hour or so before we hailed a jeep and we keep on calling myself the jinx, the one who brings bad luck. Surprisingly, I thought someone was waving at me (or I think it was my imagination). To my surprise, I saw Sir Bong (or should I put it Councilor Bong, whichever you prefer). I waved back.

By Friday, Sir Takenouchi sent me an SMS, telling me if I have decided on who will my adviser will be. Somehow, I felt negatively different. I cringed while replying that somebody else can take that slot. He then sent a reply telling me that "It's ok. You should choose the one who gave you your favorite topic." It's kind of heartbreaking so I came to a resolve that I will do my best on this thesis. I told Regina what happened while she was teaching me some Math lessons.

It's night when we were done. While I was walking home, I saw my friends from UP Tomo-Kai. Apparently, it was Luke's birthday and she gave me some charm for studies. She also invited me with her friends for her treat at Yellow Cab, which I agreed to joined. It was at Katipunan Ave so while traversing the way, Monday's events sank in again. Well, the dinner was fun and cute. I thought we caused some chaos there since we were too noisy and we were playing a game. And note: we are on a long table!

Somehow, I've been ecstatically happy and I am busy lately. And if you've been asking if I address the people by Sir or Ma'am, it's just because I'm intimidated to write about them by first-name basis.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

8th Week (Part 2): Crush and Going Back to Real World

A/N: Pardon, this part is written in first-person point of view for maximal "efficiency" in narrating.


I don't know. The first time I saw you was on a picture, really. I saw everything written below that face. "Another pretty face," I said to myself. I thought everything will stop until that. I was wrong.

I was shocked when I first met you. Actually, it's when "I saw you personally". You were like a star previously placed in the heavens, and now laying right before my very eyes. Your physique isn't what I really imagined, but who cares? The notion of seeing you is enough. And I thought my admiration for your beauty will stop until that. I was wrong.

It turned out to the point that I longed for looking at you. It's the point in my life that I actually feared of being into. I don't want to be a lunatic again. I don't want to lose my sanity, "I'll try to make this right," I said to myself. I'll try to maintain my composure and not to be wild.

Yes, you are my crush, I admit that. But it's not before that I'll expect too much. I'll be contended on where I am and where you are. I'll be contended that what connects you to me is a picture that a friend gave me.

Yes, being you as my crush made me feel alive again. It's been a long time that I had a crush that's not a friend of mine. As you see, I went through this time that I had crushes on my online friends. Yes, online "friends". I care about them, but they don't care about me. I felt dark. I felt I haven't received the attention that I wanted, needed. What makes you different? You don't think I exist. We won't be friends, at least for the time being. And you won't hurt me, I know. I'm no longer in the dark. I felt I'm real. I feel that I'm back to the real world.

But destiny is such a pain in the ass. I keep seeing you and your pictures more frequently. I thought that this will become the end of me. I know I'm near obsession. Surprisingly, I didn't become what I used to be. I made glances at you, yes. I got your number by "accident", yes. But I saw one of your account on one of the social sites that I have an account as well, and I didn't add you. No, I didn't force myself to stop myself from doing that. It just came naturally. I'm proud of myself for that but not that proud.

You are an intelligent person, yes. And that fact is what motivates me for studying. You may not become my friend, but I know that by studying, you can be a part of me. I can accomplish things I never imagined I can. I'm trying to become an honor student, and you are the force that drives me for doing that.

I'll be ashamed, though, if you just read this and knew that it was you.

Oh, well. Back to studying.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

8th Week (Part 1): Edj, the Political Animal

Two weeks before this, I can still remember it clearly. Sir Yoshi was the one to talk. Suddenly, Regina saw people in yellow* outside the room. My sight followed. Yes, they were outside. The yellow people. Regina and I went outside and orchestrated their campaign to be made at the room. It was like magic for me. I suddenly became enthusiastic helping them. Yes, the campaign for USC elections filled my blood and my whole week revolved on it. Even though the yellow people don't know me, I still tried to help them. I'm a Sanlakas Youth "member" to begin with.

Last week, to almost all of the people I knew, I promoted the party. I encouraged them to vote. Of course, everyone has the right to choose so I really didn't force them what I want them to vote, but rather promotion all the way. And since it is the campaign season, I got the chance to meet the candidates and got to know some of them, although I already know who to vote.

The campaign period was rather short and quick. It's within that interval that all of the candidates should visit every place in UPD to campaign. I only got to know half of all the candidates, and the only thing that I can critic them was via their profiles on their posters.

I wore my only yellow shirt this Tuesday. To add to that, I wore my ninja outfit. It was Denji ready for battle. Or rather, it was Edj ready for battle. I'm too proud to say that this is "officially" the first time that I'll cut classes. Yes, I attended the Miting de Avance (MdA) at the AS Steps as a sign of support.

I met Sato on my way to the steps, and she told me that all of them are at the booth by the lobby. ALL OF THEM. Somehow, I know I have to go there but there's still a force stopping me: intimidation. How would I go to a place where only one or two persons knows me? Funny me I sat somehow near the booth, waiting for 9AM to come. I saw the KAISA slate: almost all of them were there. Then after a few minutes, someone greeted me: it was Sir Titus, one of the very few people who knew me. Of course, I returned the greeting. Then I was staring at someone.

The lobby was bombarded with primary colors. Not really all of it: replace blue by white. I can see some of the candidates murmuring something: they were tying to memorize what they have to say at the MdA. People with signs ravaged into the lobby: primary colors again. Then someone approached me. I think he was Chorva: he invited me to go to the booth and wear a sticker-pin as a sign of support. Of course I went there, knowing that the slate was gone to prepare for the MdA. I buffed myself and tried to help those in the booth with carrying the things. Some active support from me, at last! Even at that little thing that I did, I'm happy. At least, little by little, I do feel I am really helping them.

So we went to the parking lot, minutes before the MdA. I saw the whole slate there and a few more people organizing. Within those few minutes, I learned a bit more about the people who I'm going to vote. We all now gathered in a big circled and started to pray, led by Barbie. As you see, I do recall that Barbie was once my classmate, but I really can't recall the subject where we were classmates. Sorry, Barbie, I feel ashamed. :( Before the slate went to the steps, I wished Barbie good luck (I wished the whole slate good luck, but I only told her.), and she said that my outfit was cute. <3

At the MdA, you can really see the partition: people wearing red, people wearing blue/white/Super Mario shirts, and people wearing yellow (us) and green. Surprisingly, the loudest cheer came from us. Or is it because I'm in the group?

Let's skip to Wednesday: Election Day. A few people knew why I was terrified on that day. I'd like to share it to you.

From "Parangal sa Mag-aaral" held at the Bahay ng Alumni, Sami and I went straight to the Math Bldg (MB): he, to attend his class where he's always late, and I, to vote early and hang out. (It somehow pains me to write this part right here, so pardon if you sense a shaky Edj.). I sensed things around me as a discrepancy. Team Eco-Moda** and N-th Root Team** stuck posters near the precinct booth at MB. When I saw Regina strolling around, I immediately approached her and shared my thoughts about the posters, so she texted someone from our party about the legality of the incident and how will they respond. They said that it was all right but to be fair, KAISA's should be there as well. So after that, I went on and vote.

We were shocked by what we saw at the precinct table: there was this "spy" from the N-th Root just beside the officer-in-charge. We thought why that person wasn't dragged away from the table. Again, Regina texted someone for the legality of that person. They said that it was illegal and we should try to shrug her off. But Regina had a class so the whole responsibility was passed on to my shoulders.

Instead of dragging the N-the Root minion off, I just stood near and observed everything but maintaining my distance from the precinct. I stood, observed. Moments later, I got the feeling that the minion is watching me as well. I stood straighter in fright, and began to be conscious with my actions. Out of nowhere, I grabbed my camera and took a picture of the minion. To my surprise, the minion also took my picture (Note: with clicking sounds from its phone.). So basically, we got each other's pictures. I was frightened further. Luckily, I saw Sami so I dragged him to a far place, far from the neighborhood of the precinct. At there, I expressed all of my feelings to him. I told him that that minion will fabricate lies about me. I told him that I don't want to be accused of what I haven't done but because of my dumb actions, I further looked suspicious. But he slapped the reality back into me. He told me that why should I feel guilty of what I haven't done in the first place? And why would I put myself into their level (We classified them as low-levels: they play dirty for an instance, and they whine a lot and put the blame on somewhere else.)? So my fear was dispelled for a bit, thanks to him. In the middle of that I saw a person from KAISA sticking up a poster (regarding earlier). Away from the sight of the minion, I approached him and told me about that minion. He said he'll talk to that to confront. Later, he approached me and told me that they will inform me later on if that minion was illegal (I heard that by around 1PM, the minion was thrown off the window. 8D).

We met some of our friends after that. I told them of this "scary" experience. Afterwards, I stood tall and told them that everything will be alright.

After my Korean class, I met with Regina at her dorm to somehow copy her notes from the subjects I haven't attended. But instead, we just lax by the sofa, watching random videos, and waited for 4PM to come. She eventually invited me to come with them and "pollwatch", to which I obliged. It will be the first time for me. I texted my mom about it and I haven't received a reply from her: a thing I'm not used to. Normally she would somehow rant or nag me, telling me to go home early. But this is not the case today. At that moment, I missed my authoritative mom whose binds I tried to get free before. So we met some of them at College of Law. Haha, we went to various places. We went to Computer Center thinking that one of the main servers was there, but they told us that it was at College of Engineering. So we went there and saw a few more of them. Then we went to Lutong Bahay and ate there and bought some choco shakes. As we get back to Engineering, scenes went, let's say, too hilarious to tell. 8P But we went back to Law.

There, they told us to go to College of Fine Arts (CFA) to see what's happening there. As we got there, we asked for the results, but they said that we should wait for the proper time to come. Few more hours minutes of waiting, the results are out. Regina really thought that the numbers we see on the result (printed in bond paper) stand for CFA voters only. So we went to Vinzons Hall since we saw there lots of people and some shining light. Lo and behold, the results are shown! What we had on our hands is actually the final vote! So Sir Titus actually won Chairperson. And I was right about the three persons from KAISA who will make it to the Top 12: Sir Bong, Sir Jose, and Sir Lee. Talk about predicting the future...

So we ended up late at night but it was fun. The atmosphere was celebratory. I went home without someone nagging at me. My mom even asked me when will the party be. I just told her that I'll be waiting for announcements. 8D


*people in yellow: KAISA people. I'm too intimidated to write this one. Sorry.
** to those who know: "SSSH~!"