Wednesday, May 30, 2012

100 books

This is a sort of Facebook game I saw some time ago. I should be smug and all, having read 35 out of 100, but I'm a bit disappointed with myself. Yup, you should be reading more, says my alter ego.

The list is a bit anomalous though, listing Complete Works of Shakespeare in # 14, but Hamlet appears in #98. Same with #33 and #36. It is also very Brit, with very few smatterings of Asian and African authors, and no Greeks-without-surnames. Perhaps because it's from BBC?
****************************

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses!

1.  Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen 
2.  The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3.  Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4.  Harry Potter series - JK Rowling  
5.  To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6.  The Bible
7.  Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8.  Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell 

9.  His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens 
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy 
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare -- I've only read Romeo & Juliet, Othello, and As You Like It
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien 
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame 
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens 
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis 
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini 
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne 
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown  
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery 
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding 
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel 
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zifon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon 
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt 
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy 
68. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker

73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Inferno - Dante
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro 
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White 
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom 
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton 
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery  
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams 
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas 
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

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My failed project as a college freshman is haunting me! [As a freshie, I vowed to read every Shakespeare, Dickens, Bronte sisters, and Austen. I failed, because I encountered more interesting authors like Mishima, Woolf, Fitzgerald, Garcia Marquez, and Russian guys whose names I can't remember.]

Hmm. There is definitely a lot to do upon retirement. :p



Monday, May 28, 2012

Neil Gaiman's Awesomeness (Exhibit A)

as published in this site. The speech is a bit long, and while "longer doesn't necessarily mean better" as per the genius April Lacson, this 20-minute speech is worth every second of it.

*****************************
Neil Gaiman
Author of short stories, comic books and graphic novels
Commencement Address at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, 2012 


I never really expected to find myself giving advice to people graduating from an establishment of higher education. I never graduated from any such establishment. I never even started at one. I escaped from school as soon as I could, when the prospect of four more years of enforced learning before I'd become the writer I wanted to be was stifling.

I got out into the world, I wrote, and I became a better writer the more I wrote, and I wrote some more, and nobody ever seemed to mind that I was making it up as I went along, they just read what I wrote and they paid for it, or they didn't, and often they commissioned me to write something else for them.

Which has left me with a healthy respect and fondness for higher education that those of my friends and family, who attended Universities, were cured of long ago.

Looking back, I've had a remarkable ride. I'm not sure I can call it a career, because a career implies that I had some kind of career plan, and I never did. The nearest thing I had was a list I made when I was 15 of everything I wanted to do: to write an adult novel, a children's book, a comic, a movie, record an audiobook, write an episode of Doctor Who... and so on. I didn't have a career. I just did the next thing on the list.

So I thought I'd tell you everything I wish I'd known starting out, and a few things that, looking back on it, I suppose that I did know. And that I would also give you the best piece of advice I'd ever got, which I completely failed to follow.

First of all: When you start out on a career in the arts you have no idea what you are doing.

This is great. People who know what they are doing know the rules, and know what is possible and impossible. You do not. And you should not. The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them. And you can.

If you don't know it's impossible it's easier to do. And because nobody's done it before, they haven't made up rules to stop anyone doing that again, yet.

Secondly, If you have an idea of what you want to make, what you were put here to do, then just go and do that.

And that's much harder than it sounds and, sometimes in the end, so much easier than you might imagine. Because normally, there are things you have to do before you can get to the place you want to be. I wanted to write comics and novels and stories and films, so I became a journalist, because journalists are allowed to ask questions, and to simply go and find out how the world works, and besides, to do those things I needed to write and to write well, and I was being paid to learn how to write economically, crisply, sometimes under adverse conditions, and on time.

Sometimes the way to do what you hope to do will be clear cut, and sometimes it will be almost impossible to decide whether or not you are doing the correct thing, because you'll have to balance your goals and hopes with feeding yourself, paying debts, finding work, settling for what you can get.

Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be – an author, primarily of fiction, making good books, making good comics and supporting myself through my words – was a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal.

And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right. And when I truly was not sure what to do, I could stop, and think about whether it was taking me towards or away from the mountain. I said no to editorial jobs on magazines, proper jobs that would have paid proper money because I knew that, attractive though they were, for me they would have been walking away from the mountain. And if those job offers had come along earlier I might have taken them, because they still would have been closer to the mountain than I was at the time.

I learned to write by writing. I tended to do anything as long as it felt like an adventure, and to stop when it felt like work, which meant that life did not feel like work.

Thirdly, When you start off, you have to deal with the problems of failure. You need to be thickskinned, to learn that not every project will survive. A freelance life, a life in the arts, is sometimes like putting messages in bottles, on a desert island, and hoping that someone will find one of your bottles and open it and read it, and put something in a bottle that will wash its way back to you: appreciation, or a commission, or money, or love. And you have to accept that you may put out a hundred things for every bottle that winds up coming back.

The problems of failure are problems of discouragement, of hopelessness, of hunger. You want everything to happen and you want it now, and things go wrong. My first book – a piece of journalism I had done for the money, and which had already bought me an electric typewriter from the advance – should have been a bestseller. It should have paid me a lot of money. If the publisher hadn't gone into involuntary liquidation between the first print run selling out and the second printing, and before any royalties could be paid, it would have done.

And I shrugged, and I still had my electric typewriter and enough money to pay the rent for a couple of months, and I decided that I would do my best in future not to write books just for the money. If you didn't get the money, then you didn't have anything. If I did work I was proud of, and I didn't get the money, at least I'd have the work.

Every now and again, I forget that rule, and whenever I do, the universe kicks me hard and reminds me. I don't know that it's an issue for anybody but me, but it's true that nothing I did where the only reason for doing it was the money was ever worth it, except as bitter experience. Usually I didn't wind up getting the money, either. The things I did because I was excited, and wanted to see them exist in reality have never let me down, and I've never regretted the time I spent on any of them.

The problems of failure are hard.

The problems of success can be harder, because nobody warns you about them.

The first problem of any kind of even limited success is the unshakable conviction that you are getting away with something, and that any moment now they will discover you. It's Imposter Syndrome, something my wife Amanda christened the Fraud Police.

In my case, I was convinced that there would be a knock on the door, and a man with a clipboard (I don't know why he carried a clipboard, in my head, but he did) would be there, to tell me it was all over, and they had caught up with me, and now I would have to go and get a real job, one that didn't consist of making things up and writing them down, and reading books I wanted to read. And then I would go away quietly and get the kind of job where you don't have to make things up any more.

The problems of success. They're real, and with luck you'll experience them. The point where you stop saying yes to everything, because now the bottles you threw in the ocean are all coming back, and have to learn to say no.

I watched my peers, and my friends, and the ones who were older than me and watch how miserable some of them were: I'd listen to them telling me that they couldn't envisage a world where they did what they had always wanted to do any more, because now they had to earn a certain amount every month just to keep where they were. They couldn't go and do the things that mattered, and that they had really wanted to do; and that seemed as a big a tragedy as any problem of failure.

And after that, the biggest problem of success is that the world conspires to stop you doing the thing that you do, because you are successful. There was a day when I looked up and realised that I had become someone who professionally replied to email, and who wrote as a hobby. I started answering fewer emails, and was relieved to find I was writing much more.

Fourthly, I hope you'll make mistakes. If you're making mistakes, it means you're out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be useful. I once misspelled Caroline, in a letter, transposing the A and the O, and I thought, “Coraline looks like a real name...”

And remember that whatever discipline you are in, whether you are a musician or a photographer, a fine artist or a cartoonist, a writer, a dancer, a designer, whatever you do you have one thing that's unique. You have the ability to make art.

And for me, and for so many of the people I have known, that's been a lifesaver. The ultimate lifesaver. It gets you through good times and it gets you through the other ones.

Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.

Make good art.

I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.

Make it on the good days too.

And Fifthly, while you are at it, make your art. Do the stuff that only you can do.

The urge, starting out, is to copy. And that's not a bad thing. Most of us only find our own voices after we've sounded like a lot of other people. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.

The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you're walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That's the moment you may be starting to get it right.

The things I've done that worked the best were the things I was the least certain about, the stories where I was sure they would either work, or more likely be the kinds of embarrassing failures people would gather together and talk about until the end of time. They always had that in common: looking back at them, people explain why they were inevitable successes. While I was doing them, I had no idea.

I still don't. And where would be the fun in making something you knew was going to work?

And sometimes the things I did really didn't work. There are stories of mine that have never been reprinted. Some of them never even left the house. But I learned as much from them as I did from the things that worked.

Sixthly. I will pass on some secret freelancer knowledge. Secret knowledge is always good. And it is useful for anyone who ever plans to create art for other people, to enter a freelance world of any kind. I learned it in comics, but it applies to other fields too. And it's this:

People get hired because, somehow, they get hired. In my case I did something which these days would be easy to check, and would get me into trouble, and when I started out, in those pre-internet days, seemed like a sensible career strategy: when I was asked by editors who I'd worked for, I lied. I listed a handful of magazines that sounded likely, and I sounded confident, and I got jobs. I then made it a point of honour to have written something for each of the magazines I'd listed to get that first job, so that I hadn't actually lied, I'd just been chronologically challenged... You get work however you get work.

People keep working, in a freelance world, and more and more of today's world is freelance, because their work is good, and because they are easy to get along with, and because they deliver the work on time. And you don't even need all three. Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. They'll forgive the lateness of the work if it's good, and if they like you. And you don't have to be as good as the others if you're on time and it's always a pleasure to hear from you.

When I agreed to give this address, I started trying to think what the best advice I'd been given over the years was.

And it came from Stephen King twenty years ago, at the height of the success of Sandman. I was writing a comic that people loved and were taking seriously. King had liked Sandman and my novel with Terry Pratchett, Good Omens, and he saw the madness, the long signing lines, all that, and his advice was this:

“This is really great. You should enjoy it.”

And I didn't. Best advice I got that I ignored. Instead I worried about it. I worried about the next deadline, the next idea, the next story. There wasn't a moment for the next fourteen or fifteen years that I wasn't writing something in my head, or wondering about it. And I didn't stop and look around and go, this is really fun. I wish I'd enjoyed it more. It's been an amazing ride. But there were parts of the ride I missed, because I was too worried about things going wrong, about what came next, to enjoy the bit I was on.

That was the hardest lesson for me, I think: to let go and enjoy the ride, because the ride takes you to some remarkable and unexpected places.

And here, on this platform, today, is one of those places. (I am enjoying myself immensely.)

To all today's graduates: I wish you luck. Luck is useful. Often you will discover that the harder you work, and the more wisely you work, the luckier you get. But there is luck, and it helps.

We're in a transitional world right now, if you're in any kind of artistic field, because the nature of distribution is changing, the models by which creators got their work out into the world, and got to keep a roof over their heads and buy sandwiches while they did that, are all changing. I've talked to people at the top of the food chain in publishing, in bookselling, in all those areas, and nobody knows what the landscape will look like two years from now, let alone a decade away. The distribution channels that people had built over the last century or so are in flux for print, for visual artists, for musicians, for creative people of all kinds.

Which is, on the one hand, intimidating, and on the other, immensely liberating. The rules, the assumptions, the now-we're supposed to's of how you get your work seen, and what you do then, are breaking down. The gatekeepers are leaving their gates. You can be as creative as you need to be to get your work seen. YouTube and the web (and whatever comes after YouTube and the web) can give you more people watching than television ever did. The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are.

So make up your own rules.

Someone asked me recently how to do something she thought was going to be difficult, in this case recording an audio book, and I suggested she pretend that she was someone who could do it. Not pretend to do it, but pretend she was someone who could. She put up a notice to this effect on the studio wall, and she said it helped.

So be wise, because the world needs more wisdom, and if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would.

And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. 

Make good art.



Sylvia Plath is crazy.

And so am I. I think. Of course I’d like to think I’m sui generis but everyone is sui generis so everyone is in reality more like everyone else. WTF.



Lady Lazarus
  
   I have done it again.
   One year in every ten
   I manage it----
  
   A sort of walking miracle, my skin
   Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
   My right foot
  
   A paperweight,
   My face a featureless, fine
   Jew linen.
  
   Peel off the napkin
   O my enemy.
   Do I terrify?----
  
   The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
   The sour breath
   Will vanish in a day.
  
   Soon, soon the flesh
   The grave cave ate will be
   At home on me
  
   And I a smiling woman.
   I am only thirty.
   And like the cat I have nine times to die.
  
   This is Number Three.
   What a trash
   To annihilate each decade.
  
   What a million filaments.
   The peanut-crunching crowd
   Shoves in to see
  
   Them unwrap me hand and foot
   The big strip tease.
   Gentlemen, ladies
  
   These are my hands
   My knees.
   I may be skin and bone,
  
   Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
   The first time it happened I was ten.
   It was an accident.
  
   The second time I meant
   To last it out and not come back at all.
   I rocked shut
  
   As a seashell.
   They had to call and call
   And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.
  
   Dying
   Is an art, like everything else,
   I do it exceptionally well.
  
   I do it so it feels like hell.
   I do it so it feels real.
   I guess you could say I've a call.
  
   It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
   It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
   It's the theatrical
  
   Comeback in broad day
   To the same place, the same face, the same brute
   Amused shout:
  
   'A miracle!'
   That knocks me out.
   There is a charge
  
   For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
   For the hearing of my heart----
   It really goes.
  
   And there is a charge, a very large charge
   For a word or a touch
   Or a bit of blood
  
   Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
   So, so, Herr Doktor.
   So, Herr Enemy.
  
   I am your opus,
   I am your valuable,
   The pure gold baby
  
   That melts to a shriek.
   I turn and burn.
   Do not think I underestimate your great concern.
  
   Ash, ash ---
   You poke and stir.
   Flesh, bone, there is nothing there----
  
   A cake of soap,
   A wedding ring,
   A gold filling.
  
   Herr God, Herr Lucifer
   Beware
   Beware.
  
   Out of the ash
   I rise with my red hair
   And I eat men like air.

(1965, Sylvia Plath, Ariel)

*****

There is a charge for the hearing of my heart.



Saturday, May 26, 2012

Over Sa Ganda: My OSG Experience

         “Ano naman ang gagawin mo sa OSG?” my former boss said as I informed her that I will be on leave from work for three weeks to have my internship. I didn’t know what to answer because frankly, I had no idea what an internship with the Office of the Solicitor General would entail. 

Uhm, probably not that.
 I have only heard of the OSG mostly from annulment cases, as the kontrabida that would not allow estranged couples to lead separate, happy lives. Also, being in the first batch of interns from the UP Office of Legal Aid (OLA), I was just eager to experience something out of the ordinary OLA duty. From what we heard from previous interns under the regular OSG Summer Internship Program, it would be fun “kasi maraming field trip”.

Tanggapan ng Taga-usig Panlahat
Of course, as an OLA intern, I was not so enthusiastic about these alleged field trips since I expected to labor under entirely different circumstances. The fact that we are called externs made me think that we will be excluded from whatever is planned for the rest of the interns. Also, most of us OLA interns are graduating students, so I thought a lot more is expected from us and that the standards would be higher. Fortunately, we were included in the activities set for the regular interns, which I highly appreciate. If not for this internship, I wouldn’t have been able to visit various agencies that I have no business to be in (as yet).

Bilibid... Or Not.


Ombudspeople. LOL.
with the Sandiganbayan Justices

Court of Appeals

Supreme Court

Because I would be spending shorter time with the Office, I took it upon myself to ask for more work from the lawyers in my division (Ignacio Villamor Division). During the course of my three-week stay, I was able to prepare various legal memoranda in aid of the cases being handled by the Division. I also wrote two Comments, a Memorandum, and an Appellant’s Brief, all filed with the CA and the SC. I am proud to say that my output required minimal revisions from my supervising lawyers, despite not having any prior experience in writing pleadings.

My three weeks with the OSG have been well-spent. I made new friends, learned a lot from the lawyers and staff and more importantly, I learned more about the law firm of the Republic and how important its role is as an instrument of social justice. So the next time someone asks me what is there to do in the OSG, I will proudly say, “Serve the country.”



Friday, May 25, 2012

Batugan is such a sad word.


And my SLR (Supervised Legal Research, or mini thesis) adviser used it on me. Ouch. Hindi man lang tamad, batugan talaga agad?

The conversation went this way:
Cess: Hi Sir!
Prof. SFL: Uy! Kumusta?
Cess: Eto Sir, wala pa ring SLR.
Prof. SFL: Batugan ka kasi e. Set your priorities!
Cess: Magsa-submit po talaga ako after OLA.
Prof. SFL: Hmm, narinig ko na yan.

Oh dear. Why am I having a hard time working on my paper? I chose the topic, it was approved, and I submitted an abstract which was also accepted without any revision or violent reaction whatsoever. All I have to do is write the effing thing.

Batugan. I don’t think anybody ever called me that except my mom probably 20 years ago, when I refused to do household chores because I was reading the Bible. You see, it wasn’t even that bad. I was busy saving my soul!

Grabe ka Sir. Working  Employed student po ako. But it was my fault. I shouldn’t have brought that topic up. Tanga rin e.





Saturday, May 19, 2012

Compare/Contrast

Each From Different Heights 
by Stephen Dunn


That time I thought I was in love
and calmly said so
was not much different from the time
I was truly in love
and slept poorly and spoke out loud
to the wall
and discovered the hidden genius
Of my hands.
And the times I felt less in love,
less than someone,
were, to be honest, not so different either.
Each was ridiculous in its own way
and each was tender, yes,
sometimes even the false is tender.
I am astounded
by the various kisses we’re capable of.
Each from different heights
diminished, which is simply the law.
And the big bruise
from the longer fall looked perfectly white
in a few years.
That astounded me most of all.



(1989, Stephen Dunn, Between Angels)


******************************************************************


Are there really distinctions? Love, infatuation, friendship-with-benefits. You always end up bruised, and the bruises would always look "perfectly white in a few years."

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Level Cleared


And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.

Our block, E2012, had its last block inuman last night. Of course it doesn’t mean that we’ll never get together again and drink until we’re wasted in the future, but it is some sort of a farewell thing for those who will be going off to hermitage a.k.a. bar review. Yes, they graduated, some with honors, from the UP College of Law.
I don’t know if it was just the alcohol, but seeing them after graduation made me go senti and scenes from the past five years flashed before my eyes. Mike and Jan, who left law school in first year, were present, and I’m happy that they are happy with the lives they chose to lead after their brief stay in Malcolm.
My blockmates have reaped the fruits of their labor, after five (or more, di ba Jop?) long years of physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, and social humiliation. I’m proud of them, but I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness because it means I will no longer run into them in the library, student lounge, canteen and the halls of Malcolm. Shucks, ang emo ko. Good luck, my dear blockmates. Level up na kayo. I know you will conquer the bar. Meanwhile, I will have to deal with another Bar. 
In fairness, hindi ako nalasing. But seriously, these are the people who have endured learning the law in the grand manner, the future luminaries of the Philippine legal system. Choz.
To keep myself from being overly sappy, here’s a poem from Hermann Hesse about farewells, acceptance, and new beginnings.
Stages*
As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.
Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.

The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slave of permanence.
Even the hour of our death may send
Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.



Huling hirit. Ang block video na ginawa namin ni Tin L. last year, for more nostalgia.