Friday, November 25, 2005

Seventeen, going on nineteen

Nineteen units.

Yes. Nineteen units of science courses that will make blood ooze out of my wide, fat nose. Nineteen units of subjects that will, in due time, sap all of the strength I've stored up during my day-long naps during sembreak. Nineteen units of Chemistry, Biology, Calculus, and Physics that will turn me into a skeletal human being walking around the campus.

I'm exaggerating, of course, but in UP, 19 units is a lot to keep someone wide awake during the night. I'm not complaining, though -- that's a stupid thing to do. But I do know of a few friends who have enlisted 20 or 21 units, and I'm wondering how they could possibly manage their time -- rather, themselves. If only cloning or time travel were plausible options.

I'm in the second-to-the-last leg of the feared UP-Diliman Math Series; it's Math 54 (Elementary Calculus 2) I'm taking. My instructor is Mr. Christopher Santos, a tall, bespectacled man who knows everything he's talking about, especially when he proves mathematical concepts and all that. I and my seatmate, Noelizza, would then find it hard to control ourselves from saying, "AMAZING." It baffles me how mathematicians can find baffling ways to prove their point.

I'm enjoying Chem 26 (Analytical Chemistry), too, not because it's easy (if only it were!), but because Dr. Pascual teaches it. I don't need to study the books because my notes have it all; she is practically a walking library of analytical chemistry. The class gets very interactive when she asks each one to answer her questions, which is like everytime we meet. To escape from getting the hard ones, I'd raise my hand once the first question is raised. That way, she doesn't have to call me the next time.

The lab part, Chem 26.1, is supervised by Mr. Greg(gy) Santos. I'm not sure if it's going to be as fun as Chem 16 because the experiments employ loads of calculations. Sir Greg -- he insists that we call him Greg, not Greggy -- seems to understand that students will always be students: they will, time and again, barrage the instructor with questions with things that they don't quite understand. Thankfully, Sir is patient enough to entertain me.

"May naisusulat na ako sa notes ko," I'd tell my classmates in Physics 72. After all, Miss Jaki Gabayno's class is a far cry from the one I had in Physics 71: she slowly explains the lessons so that way, most of us would understand them. She's short and small and smiles a lot. Inside her skull, however, must be a brain that might as well discover something that will shake the very foundations of Physics.

While I hated Biology in high school, I think I'm going to love it in college. Dr. Lilian Ungson and Dr. Sonia Jacinto are my professors: the former teaches botany, the latter zoology. The class is scheduled from 1 to 2:30, followed by the laboratory part handled by Miss Mae Rose Sumugat. It's a good thing I'm seatmates with Juanchi and Angela, my classmates in MBB, who, like me, adapt to harsh, sleepy conditions, by talking with each other.

That's about it. I'm pleased that I have 19 units of subjects that will make me learn how to trust in God's grace and sovereignty, knowing fully well that my strength is utterly lacking.


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