With my last grade this semester finally released, I guess it is now time to say I am officially done with my first year of law school.
The appropriate thing to do is to jump for joy and throw my readings in the air while shaking my belly like a bowl full of jelly. And yes, I really want to do that, because HELL YES I SURVIVED SO SOMEBODY THROW SOME CONFETTI ON ME WILL YA.
But there's so much to say, and so little words that can do it justice. The year that was has been filled with tears, laughter, love, and loss - in varying degrees and intensities. But it has also left me feeling rather.. quiet. Stripped. Bare. Like there is nothing more I could say that my silence has not already said.
So here's to silences, and the infinite meanings they bring. And here's to the words, which are yet to return.
there should be stars for great wars
- Sandra Cisneros
Summer, or something like it.
While my semester is not entirely over yet (one more project to go!) I think it's safe to say that I am now officially free from the bondage of acads.
AND YES I FEEL LIKE DOBBY BEING GIVEN A SOCK. I AM A FREE ELF NOW.
(Wait let's let that sink in. Karla. Is. A. Free. Elf. Asdkfhaskl!!!)
But while this translates to freedom, I haven't exactly been lazing around all day this week (as much as I'd love that). Some of my friends and I volunteered to work at the Quezon City RTC to make an inventory of cases in an effort to decongest the court dockets. This is part of an initiative by The Asia Foundation to aid the Judiciary in the administration of cases. We've been assigned to the drug court, where we read and file cases in relation to RA 9165 from nine to five. To my surprise, despite the long hours, it's actually been quite fun. Perhaps it's because of the company, or perhaps it's because of the fact that by sorting through the files we're getting advanced lessons for Criminal Procedure (a subject for next semester). But regardless, it's genuinely nice to be immersed in the world we must now embrace as our own and not feel like it's dying to get rid of us. The staff, clerks, and even the judge whose sala we were working on were all very kind and welcoming.
In the last few days, I've come to realize a lot of things about school and the law profession in general. Some of them I already know, some of them things that just dawned on me this week - but all of them part of what would hopefully shape my way of looking at things in the next few years or so.
I wish I could write some more tonight, but I'm tired, and my body, as a way of celebrating my "provisional liberty," is eagerly trying to recover all the sleep I lost during the sem. Also, my parents and I are going to Baguio this weekend, and God knows how much I need the vacation - and a change of weather - so I'm trying to get as much rest as I can. I don't want to be all sleepy and cranky during the trip!
Well, there. I guess this is me kicking off my so-called vacation. Here's to hoping this summer is going to be every bit the break I need it to be.
Some random photos from Finals Week
From one of the readings for Legal Theory finals (..from which I got exempted! Rejoicing because it may be the first and only time I will ever be exempted in a law school exam! Seriously.) Even the strongest must sleep at times. Preach.
From an ad on the waiting shed just across Law. Does this mean that the benevolent landlord will accommodate one's beliefs, and allow his tenants to exercise them without hindrance? Justice Puno approves of this accommodation.
Justice Isagani Cruz, on substantial distinctions. Daaaamn. Rest in peace, Justice Cruz. I sure hope heaven no longer has arbitrary classifications, only valid ones. Like, I don't know... goodness? :))
Because Jollibee is holy ground, especially for Consti. I swear to God, everything we studied from 11 am to 11 pm came out in the exam. Apparently, this place is my good luck charm, especially for Consti. I don't know why I didn't embrace the idea sooner. (Looking at you, first sem. Remember that night of Dadole?) I love you, Jollibee. I'm sorry it took me so long to realize that. I'm a convert now. Your sacred ground is my safe haven. P.S. I can live on your burger steak and palabok forever.
But of course. How do you take exams in the theater behind this wall? Yep. In a grand manner.
This, just because I don't think I was able to post them here last year, and because I (really, really) need the motivation. Seeing my grad pics always gives me a sense of affirmation; it reminds me that not too long ago I was able to finish something I started, with much devotion and dedication. I should be able to do it again.
(Suddenly realized I don't have copies of these here in my condo. Should probably get them and put them on my wall or on my desk. Lol.)
I can't believe it's already been a year. Oh, time.
Ready for battle
I bought five bluebooks today as an early attempt to prepare myself for battle. I kind of get paranoid when it comes to things like this because, being the forgetful person that I am, I'm afraid that I might enter the room with no ballpen, no eyeglasses, or no bluebook. It's a recurring nightmare, trust me. (Second only to failing a class - but still.) So I bought five, even though I think I will only be needing three, just so I can be sure that that scenario stays in my head and never plays out in real life.
It's funny how we are made to feel like law school is such a different world, detached from the rest of the university. Even our bluebooks are special. (If you notice, they are much thicker than the regular bluebooks, and cost P10 each, as opposed to P2.50.) On most days, it's comforting, because everything inside Malcolm becomes familiar: when you see the same faces and walk the same halls, things start feeling like home. Everyone knows almost everyone - by face, by name, by affiliation. There's somehow an unspoken acknowledgement that you know each other - it's like you are all in this exclusive little world speaking a language no one understands.
But on some days, it can also feel alienating and suffocating for the exact same reason. Because our blocks don't get shuffled, we see the same faces all day, everyday. We rarely have time to go out of the building, so it's just the same food, the same library, the same environment. You can feel easily smothered just because you hardly feel like there is a life outside the marbled walls of Malcolm Hall.
A lot of days, I can't tell if I feel welcomed or stifled.
Today, however, we held our last Oblicon class - an integration/review class with another block - inside the Ambion Room, where I took my LAE more than a year ago. I remember thinking to myself that day that even if I never get to call this building my home, at least for just one Sunday, I was able to experience what it was like to take a seat on these wooden chairs and marvel at the wonderful sight of the Sunken Garden by the window.
This afternoon, while listening to our prof review the ways of extinguishing an obligation, I looked out those same windows. I miss being out there, I really do. But today, I'm glad to be inside this bubble. I just hope it's glad to have me too.
Finals are next week, so I'm spending my entire Holy Week here at my condo unit, alone and buried in cases. This is actually the first time ever that I won't be spending this week over at my grandparents' house in Batangas because (1) they are in Singapore visiting my mom's sister, and (2) I have exams. Both my parents will also be going on their yearly pilgrimage, so I really have no one else to keep me company this week other than my books - and my fear of failing. Ha. Ha. Hahaha.
Saturdays in UP
My Saturdays are almost always spent in the Malcolm Hall library, holed up in my little corner at the third floor, away from most of the world with only my readings and notebooks as company. Sometimes, I anticipate the occasional snack or dinner invitation to get me motivated for the rest of the afternoon, but on most days, I start and end it alone. Yet there is something about Saturdays in UP that doesn't make it lonely or sad - just lovely in its quietness.
This is my favorite spot in the entire campus. It also has, for me, the most beautiful, breathtaking view. The way the lush green trees arch above the Oval, framing it perfectly, is just stunning. As an undergrad, when I used to get to this spot - to this exact point right across Law, with the view of Engineering a little up ahead - and I see this before me, I felt this overwhelming wave of both terror and thrill. It's because of many things, yes - the people, the places, the physics, the prose, the provisions, the possibilities. This exact location held so much promise and meaning, I could not remember a time in the last four years that I did not stop for a few seconds to marvel at this sight, and the many feelings it gave me.
And even now, as a law student, I still feel that every time I pass by this spot. This view still gets to me. It grabs me. It takes me by the hand and stops me. How can it not? I see this and somehow I forget being sad, or defeated, or tired. Just... glad. Glad that I'm here, glad that this is mine. Everyday, and especially on Saturdays, I have this to keep me company. I have this to reassure me that things will be alright. I have this to call home.
I can only hope many others still get to call it theirs too.
(My deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the UP Manila freshman who committed suicide last Friday. UP loves you; it was unfortunate that the system made you feel like it didn't.)
where small tears go
i have often wondered if there was a place where small kinds of sadness come to die, where faint shades of grey dissolve back to white, where tiny sighs can be heard. i often think that days aren't exactly seamless, that they are held together by little silences that speak louder than our words. those tender moments, those glances at the clock realizing we are late, or the quiet panic as we remember we forgot something, the uneasy glimpses at our still unlit cellphone screens; they are not heavy like paperweights dangling on your chest. they are blisters on your feet when you try to walk with new shoes. they are small tears you never try to wipe, those you leave on your cheek to dry.
Thursday night reading
He started finishing Madeleine’s sentences. As if her mind was too slow. As if he couldn’t wait for her to gather her thoughts. He riffed on the things she said, going off on strange tangents, making puns. Whenever she told him he needed to get some sleep, he got angry and didn’t call her for days. And it was during this period that Madeleine fully understood how the lover’s discourse was of an extreme solitude. The solitude was extreme because it wasn’t physical. It was extreme because you felt it while in the company of the person you loved. It was extreme because it was in your head, that most solitary of places.
The more Leonard pulled away, the more anxious Madeleine became. The more desperate she became, the more Leonard pulled away. She told herself to act cool. She went to the library to work on her marriage-plot thesis, but the sex-fantasy atmosphere—the reading-room eye contact, the beckoning stacks—made her desperate to see Leonard. And so against her will her feet began leading her back across campus through the darkness to the biology department. Up to the last moment, Madeleine had the crazy hope that this expression of weakness might in fact be strength. It was a brilliant strategy because it lacked all strategy. It involved no games, only sincerity. Seeing such sincerity, how could Leonard fail to respond? She was almost happy as she came up behind the lab table and tapped Leonard on the shoulder, and her happiness lasted until he turned around with a look not of love but of annoyance.
An excerpt from The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.
Sigh. Just when I thought I could not love this book even more. Oh, fiction.
what she wore
you take your skirt off because it somehow felt heavy. the mint was a lovely backdrop to the pink belt, but only your mirror paid you a compliment, and it wasn't even convincing. they didn't understand what they were looking at when they see the gray bruise on your inner arm, the one that said blood had been taken away; a part of you had been taken away. your phone rings and you somehow know where this is going. your shirt is immaculate in white lace, but somehow it feels dirty, unclean, like a sorry that has been said but not meant, like an okay that hovers in the mouth but only faintly honest.
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