Saturday, August 20, 2005

Punctuality and Math

It was a lame start: what could be more lame that waking up late on a day that requires nothing less than punctuality? Jolted out of my wits, I jumped out of my bed, looked at the premature yellow rays of the morning sun, checked my clock(which is really my phone), and upon knowing that I had only 30 minutes to take a bath, walk, and review my notes (30 minutes to do all those!), I knew I was in that state called panic-but-not-really-panic. I hurriedly scrubbed my face with soap, shampooed my centimeter-long hair, put on a red shirt and denim pants, and wore my socks without drying my feet.

"Lord, tani hindi ko ma-late." (Lord, I hope I don't get late.).

That was the first stretch, the preparation--and so inevitably came the second part: the 15-minute walk to the Math Building. I went out of the dorm at 6:35 and was quite expecting something as miraculous as a Toki Jeepney on a Saturday, but there was none. I had no choice but to walk, jog, and run and a combination of all of them while still scanning my notes and trying to stick the derivatives of the sech and csch inverses into my head. Prayerfully, I asked the Lord to help me--at the back of my mind, I was thinking, "Lord, You know what's best for me." After all, His grace is sufficient especially in times when we reach the end of our capacities, our weaknesses.

When I arrived at Math, I ran all the way to Room 303 which was on the Third Floor. I was surprised at seeing a rather small number of my classmates--only a fourth of the seats were occupied--and there was no sign of Sir Palma yet. It was another 10 minutes, I think, when he finally arrived.

The exam was good for two hours, but I thought I wouldn't be able to answer all questions (amounting to 70 points) on time. The first part of the test was on calculating the limits of functions (both trigonometric and polynomial) where I found the greatest difficulty. I tried everything possible (or I knew was possible)--the L'Hopital's Rule, the limit laws, et al--but there was no bright light to be grasped: I didn't have concrete answers.

I decided to move on to the next parts which were comparatively easier than the first part. When I knew we had to graph functions, I felt something called dread: I hate graphing. I said, "If If I can't graph this by definition and transformation, I'll have to do plugging, even if that means Sir Palma will kill me (this part is hyperbole)." But the Lord's grace was sufficient--I was able to move on.

I forgot to mention that at the beginning of the exam, we were told to skip two questions. I half-rejoiced at the mere thought of skipping two problems, but I forgot all about such announcement in the middle of the exam (I was too stupid not to have read what was written on the board!). And so I answered one of them, a problem on parametric equations and finding a point in the intersection of the tangent line to that curve. It was so hard but I was able to get an answer anyway. I wasted almost 15 minutes reviewing and re-solving the problem, but of course, it would be of no use.

Two hours came to pass, and when Sir Palma told us we had two minutes left to review our answers, I bowed my head and closed my eyes, and prayerfully thanked the Lord for the answers I've written.

"To You alone the be glory, Lord."

Then I went out of the building, the heat of the morning sun touching my face with a comforting warmness that made me feel as if it was truly the Lord caressing me.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Almost a year now

It's always the internet that people use when looking for something. I mean, you can practically learn everything from this wide cyberspace they call the world wide web. There are so many things that will surprise you, of course. Some websites are fascinating, others interactive, and some are so packed with huge bulks of information that may just as well cause information overload.

And of course, there's my blog: a collection of entries that speak a lot about me and about the things that happen to me. It's short of one year now since I last started this.

And now, it's time for an evaluation: have I truly glorified the Lord through this? Have my readers--if there are such people who exist--known the Lord more because of what I've written?

I hope and pray that it's a yes to both questions.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Yakal Christian Fellowship

I'm afraid these are the only photos I have of some of the regular attendees of the Yakal Christian Fellowship, a dorm-based fellowship in Yakal Residence Hall of UP Diliman.

Let's start at the left photo at the top, then continue in a clockwise direction: it's Jaylord with Ate Lavinia and Jeiel during our Rummage Sale at the UP Village Barangay Hall.

Next photo shows me, Manong Ralph, Ate Lavinia, and my high school classmates and still college schoolmates, Vanessa and Shean during our dinner at Ihaw1.

Then, it's still at that dinner: Manong, then Ate Joan, then Kuya Derf, Kuya John and Kuya Reymar.

And lastly, I and my brothaaah, Ralph.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005


A breather.

That's what I choose to call this ten-minute break I've given myself. It's a terribly short one, and part of me desperately wants to continue this until tomorrow, but I know I have to study: I need to.

I've just been to Molave to study Elementary Analysis I, aka Calculus, aka as Math 53 (the second in the horrible UP Math Series) with Stephanie and Ralph, my classmates who, like me, are not as prepared as we ought to be. Besides studying Math, I have to finish my Physics Lab report to be submitted tomorrow, prepare for a possible Chemistry Lab Post-Laboratory quiz, and many more.

Please don't blame me for cramming...close friends would surely disagree with that. You see, I tend to do things ahead, but the things I'm doing now are the things that I had started doing two days ago but still remain unfinished to this date.

I thank the Lord for the internet connection I have in my room; it was disconnected for almost three days, but now it's back.

I guess my ten minutes will be over in a little while. I still have emails to check, and Paul is in my room. Tumatambay na naman.

Saturday, August 6, 2005

Greener grass

He is dead.

"I WANT to be remembered as someone who planted the seeds of change."

He said that he did not want accolades, and that his greatest legacy would be his dream of a new Philippines devoted to the basic tenets of democracy, fair play, decency, dignity, honesty and honor in public service.

But he is dead. "And where are the seeds of change?" we may ask.

His son gives us a wonderful answer: Let the seeds spread. The grass will be greener the next day.

I learned of this untimely death while I was browsing through the Inquirer-GMA website. Shocked, I read the whole story and felt downtrodden after. He was a great political Filipino icon: he didn't take sides when that was what the others did.

So that was the reason why, all along, I didn't hear the intelligent, sensible eloquence of Roco these days. He was confined in the hospital, perhaps waiting for his day of death. I think he'd make a good president, but how can he be one if the majority of this ignorant, self-seeking voting public would choose to elect actors instead of true leaders?

* * *

Haven't you noticed? Two of the President's opponents in last year's election are already dead.


Friday, August 5, 2005

When the going gets tough

I've just arrived from my Physics Laboratory class where I had an exam. I had two exams today, by the way: math and physics, and both were equally tough. I'll have my PE class (which is the popular Pinoy sport called arnis) in a moment, but I'm still wondering if I can manage going there without collapsing. Maybe I'll give my time a break.

It's a miracle--and I say this with much conviction--that this day ended without me getting insane, or has it?

I didn't get much of a sleep last night, it was rather a nap. I went to the University Main Library, that huge, domineering piece of architecture in the middle of the campus, with my brother and Kuya John (who hails from my North Cotabato) to study. You see, for those who haven't discovered it yet, the Lib is so conducive a place for studying that almost all bits of information rush into your head like electromagnetic waves. But there are always exceptions, and I think, to my dismay, that last night was. Maybe it was the Lord's way of jolting me out of pride because I admit that most of the time, I rely on my own abilities, and what He must have wanted to teach me was to depend on Him, even in answering the easiest questions. I tried reviewing the basics of differentiation (I'm taking up Calculus, by the way) and continuity, but there was so much to be done, and over all, I did a half-baked job. But that's beside the point.