So, today, I stayed in and pretty much panicked the whole day until 4 p.m., which marked the last time that I will ever enlist for classes. It’s pretty frustrating because I’m part of the last batch of students in our year to “pick” our classes for our last and final semester in college. I enclosed pick in quotation marks, because we don’t really get to choose by the time our batch is allowed to sign up. All the good professors will have been taken by then.
I personally subscribe to the belief that what is important is that you get a good professor. Because no matter what time you end up getting, you will have a reason not to skip the class because you actually enjoy going to it. Because of this belief, this is the schedule that I ended up with:
Definitely not an ideal schedule, but I really, really wanted that Comm class. It’s reputed to be the “Buffy class,” and I’d been wanting to take this class ever since I stepped foot in Ateneo. There are rumors that the curriculum will be changed to Dr. Who, which I surprisingly do not mind anymore.
I’ve actually been meaning to write about grades for a while. See, prior to registration, there was the release of grades. And prior to that was the calculation of our class standing. In one particular class, Philosophy of Religion, I computed my grades and came face-to-face with one of my worst nightmares: my very first “D.”
I was devastated. The final oral exams had become optional (due to Ondoy) and I had a choice between attempting to lift my grades up (very unlikely because I pretty much suck at oral exams1) and sticking with the “D” and accepting it for what it is. I actually set my status message on an instant messenger to some sort of plea to anyone to convince me that a D is not the end of the world. The responses I got were pretty surprising, both in number and content.
One of my friends, a classmate I had for another Philosophy class, shared to me how it was also his first semester to get a D, which shocked me because he was really the only person in our class to get an A. I looked up to him and while talking to him, it amazed me how he was visibly disappointed by the turnout, but also very at peace with the results. Another person also assured me that people still thought I was smart, despite the grade, that I was a “genius” in other areas. (His words, not mine.) Others comforted me and told me that it was O.K. because the teacher I took was what we call a Legend, and that it could happen to anybody. What is important, I was told, is that you learned and you absorbed and you put yourself into it. That’s the most anybody really can do.
I was pretty convinced (but not entirely), so I decided not to take the oral exams, so I could focus on finishing up the rest of the requirements I still had for other classes. And then, I tucked this semester away in a little box, did not really think of it much after and went on with my life.
I mean, I’ve always known the well-worn belief that grades do not determine or measure your intelligence. But this never was true for me until recently. See, I’ve been trying to draw fonts on Illustrator, and after hours of frustrated Failing-At-It, it dawned on me how I actually had an entire subject on Typography last year, how I aced it and how, ironically, I had no idea what I was doing. I did not know how to use the tools, what to call the parts; I did not know anything. It just really took me by surprise.
Then my mind wandered to how I practically failed Philosophy of Religion, but how deeply the class affected me, and how differently I see the world through the things I had been shown by my wonderful professor, and by my awesome classmates — most of whom I can’t really name, or have not said ‘hi’ to — and how learning about hope, actually experiencing hope has helped me talk to certain people more openly and, with more insight, and with more heart. (This is true. This actually happened.)
And this just made me realize that getting an A in something didn’t really mean you knew more about it all the time. That getting a D, just because you said stuff that the professor wasn’t looking for, doesn’t always mean that you “failed” the subject. And this knowledge of how petty it is to care about what I get as a grade, instead of just immersing myself in the text, and in the discussion, and in my own experiences, just made me accept that my (kind of dumb) dream to graduate with honors is probably gone.
But strangely enough, I was O.K. with it.
Even stranger, I got my grades and found that I got a C instead. Which isn’t loads better, but it still is better than I’d hoped. I have no idea how to end this entry, because truthfully, I really am kind of tired from all the panicking and girly trouble, so I’ll just end here and say that the best thing to do is to enjoy what you are learning, and to put yourself into it, because the experience of learning is really all that really matters. Not the grades or the numbers, but what you learn from what you have been told.
1 No kidding, I am terrified of oral exams.
I am probably one of the few people who waited to watch the new feature, (500) Days of Summer, until it came out locally in theatres on October 21st. Because I am the sort of person who frequents the Internet, I have been bombarded by mysterious quotes from the films, lacking in context, and photo collages intended to convey a certain mood or message from the movie, for the last month and a half. So, I knew, essentially, how it would end.
But because I am a curious cat, I decided to see it, to find out how things would unravel. And also because I find Joseph Gordon-Levitt attractive. And also Zooey Deschanel.
I was admittedly wary of seeing the film because a) I am a completely judgmental person and I own up to it. For the last few weeks, this film was shoved into my face by people whose tastes I did not trust. I know that’s pretty shallow of me, to judge something based on what kind of person likes said thing. But I’m just telling you what I felt and why a little part of me did not want to see it.
b) I could not reconcile reality with a world where someone knowing who The Smiths are is unique. I thought, “Well, honestly, who doesn’t know The Smiths?” But my brother has assured me that this is indeed a rarity among girls.
c) Mostly everything the author of this post pointed out, pretty much turned me off of the film.
However, my reaction to (500) Days of Summer wasn’t nearly as antagonistic towards it. Just to clear things up, I did enjoy the film. I liked the leads, the soundtrack, the visuals, the editing, the supporting characters. I liked that scene in Ikea, which I am taking as a Pavement reference. I liked the build-up, the transitions, the clothes. I liked the rabid shouting of “Penis!” in the park.
My favorite part, probably, is the treatment and editing of the film. I enjoyed how it cuts the “500 days” into segments and rearranges them into a chronology that lets you understand their whole dynamic and the duration of their relationship better. Where it shows a scene of them in Ikea at one point, then returns to this a little later, bearing the existing context, explaining why that place is so important to the both of them. I think this is also a reference to how the mind works, when we remember things. How we break everything into moments that matter, and then look into the unimportant parts, where we begin to realize that what we failed to see at that particular time, there are traces of what would go wrong.
I remember where JGL’s character, Tom, talks about how he runs through all his moments with Summer, trying to figure out where it all started to go downhill. And it was all in the little subtleties that he finds what he was looking for, like when he waves that Ringo Starr LP and she was obviously fighting against rolling her eyes. It’s funny how when someone stops finding you funny is when you know, absolutely, that things probably aren’t going to work out between the two of you.
I like how it made me feel like one of the main reasons why you grow attached to a person, despite them being such a big douche to you, is because of all the nice things you’ve shared with each other.
Everything, probably, up until that last scene, I liked. Some parts were a bit too indie-hipster-quirky, but as a whole, I thought it was a very good film. I think the reason why I’d also been a bit averse to seeing it is because, really, of how hyped it became and how all these people who I didn’t share these sorts of things with were starting to close into the little part of the Universe I considered to belong to me (and kindred souls).
Something Summer said (about the sunglasses and little purses with dogs in them) actually made me realize that it’s really stupid to think that what other people like is stupid and complain about it. People like what they like, most of the time without good reason.
So, I like this movie, because I like it. There are many good reasons for me to state (which, technically, I already have), explaining the reason behind this attraction to the film, but I don’t need to have any to be able to say that I do.
And because some people are interested in these kinds of things, this was what I wore:
Elliott Smith, August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003
Today, marks the 6th death anniversary of one of my favorite artists ever. On October 21, 2003, Elliott Smith died of stab wounds to his chest when he was 34. I spent the better part of today looking at photos, watching videos and listening to his music. I felt a growing sense of sadness because the world truly lost someone special. I don’t want to make this sound dumb and stupid, but it’s true.
Here’s a song of The Beatles that he sang. I’d like to think of him in this way. A lot less sad, a lot happier.
Elliott Smith — “I’m Only Sleeping” (The Beatles cover)
I only have to submit one! moar! requirement! this semester and I am home free. Except for thesis, I guess, but that’s OK. My topic should at least make it enjoyable for me. I pray to God that this does not make me hate any of the shows. I’m already dubious about Jordan Catalano. Do not need a reason to hate anyone from Buffyverse or Neptune, CA.
In other news, I have been exercising my tablet-skills by drawing what I wore today, instead of taking photos. Because I realized that I don’t really like posting on my Lookbook (I do have one, the horror~) and I really like doing it. This is what I wore last Friday:
Speaking of Inglourious Basterds, I went to the Philippine premiere last Friday, c/o Cinemanila1 and pretty much: Me = Blown Away. Since I’m not really in the mood to get into it (review-wise) and people are probably going to get mad at me for “spoiling” the movie for them, as people are wont to do, here are Five-Word Reviews concerning Inglourious Basterds and Atlantis’ restaging of Broadway’s Spring Awakening, which I saw the following day:
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS: Five Words Is Not Enough. (Or, “Daniel Brühl is Frakking Hot.”)
SPRING AWAKENING: Regret: Didn’t See On Broadway.
Of course, I could write more in-depth reviews, if people wanted to. I just find that I’m met with “F U, SPOILERS R EVUL” more than, “Wow, what great insight. I will definitely check this out because it seems like a great film/movie/episode/book.”
So, there. I am done biznatching.
For real. It is the worst!
So, I technically only have two days of school left, if I finish everything by Wednesday. Seeing as this is unlikely, I will probably have to go back to school two more times than is necessary. So that sucks for me, because my brain and my body is in full-on sem break mode, I am not even kidding. This semester is probably the only time I will settle for a D as a final grade.1
In other news: my friend Raymond asked my what my bigger plans are for this website. Seeing as I’ve been updating pretty rarely, and not as extensively as I’d initially planned, I’m going to say that I have pretty big plans, and chalk up the inactivity to schoolwork and other distractions. But for real, please believe me when I say that this is going to be full of stuff you can click on. Mostly because I know how ADHD-ridden our generation is, and because, truthfully, I am pretty wordy and I would like moar hits and a lower Bounce Rate.
Also, in the past week, I ran into friends in real life (?) who have told me that they’d been visiting this crap hole (jk, I love Nothing Spaces) and I just wanted to say that you can actually comment without having to sign up. The field for e-mail is just so that you don’t have to enter it again, in the event of you wanting to comment again. And also, so that it knows that you are not a spam bot.
Aside from my nose pimple, I am happy to say that I’ve finished a 3′ x 3′ painting. It’s nothing special, but I haven’t done anything that huge before. I feel pretty neat. That is all.
1 In my defense, it was a philosophy class under Sir Calasanz. If you are/were from Ateneo, you would understand.
So, I combed my hair this one time and I thought my hair looked pretty good, so I decided to make a video, and here it is:
In other news, I’ve got big-big! plans for this little place on the intarnets. I don’t know. I’m getting tired of excusing myself from updating regularly with great things (!) like I had envisioned doing when I first bought this domain. It is past three a.m. so I promise, tomorrow, things will be better.