…I will suddenly feel as if I’m no longer really there but watching from the sidelines. I’ll begin to daydream. If I’m feeling pessimistic, I think only about how bored I am. Either way, a voice inside urges me to go back to the room and sit down at the table.
I have no idea how most people answer such voices, but my manner of response turns people like me into writers. My guess is that it turns us more typically into writers of prose and of fiction than of verse. Here, then, is a bit more insight into the properties of the medicine I must make sure to take every day. We can see now that its active ingredients are boredom, real life, and the life of the imagination.
(Orhan Pamuk, The Implied Author, Other Colors Essays and a Story, Vintage. New York: 2007)
Classes have just started and, except for my class in Introduction to Journalism with so few students enrolled I could hear myself breathing while I am giving lectures, I can almost feel I’m indeed back to a setting where I think I am at my best—the academe.
I’ve been away from the university for a year and a half, and it’s not easy to come back when a lot of things have changed, gone, and been replaced. Now I know how students who after a decade of hiatus come back to continue their studies feel, only that in my case I am teaching. But the underlying realities, and difficulties, about dealing with change remain static. For somebody whose life is in a constant flux, confronting change is nothing new to me. I write because my tolerance for boredom is nearly nil. I realized that saying this places me in a very embarrassing position that forces me to admit that I am bored, forever under the spell of unbearable ennui. That’s why I cannot give up writing.
And although life in the academe is not as exciting, as defined in the more bacchanalian sense, compared to life outside, the realities we create inside its intellectual atmosphere is still as real as all other realities we can think of. These realities are as worthy of being documented.
But if before, during my insouciant existence in Manila, I could just write about anything my mind cared to write and post them in this blog site, disregarding any rule of decency and propriety, this time I decide to change the course a bit not only in the manner the posts are written but also the subjects of my short essays, commentaries, and opinions. This is not because of the want to come out wearing the same color of feathers as my colleagues. Only the desire to share my thoughts, this time more distilled; and it is hoped, more mature.