I am presently preparing for my comprehensive exams this September; this after finishing all my course work in two years. The thesis writing part, arguably the more challenging part of graduate school, will probably take as long, if not longer. I’ve braced myself for the long and grating tow ahead, but at times I catch myself feeling terrible at the prospect of years spent unproductively. I plan to proceed to law school right after I’m through with grad school, that’s if I still have enough energy and drive to go on schooling.
I spend most of my days now preparing for my classes in Ateneo and reviewing lessons and lecture notes from as far as two years ago. Often I read journal articles whose extreme academese irks me. But I need to tread on because there’s no way to go but on.
Life’s a little slower these days. I already ran out of reasons to feign being preoccupied. I can now truly savor reading papers of my students and appreciate attempts of each of them at writing elegantly and clearly. I quietly smile at their blunders and feel exceptionally happy if I see glimmer of hope that one day one or two of them can be great writers. In fact all of them can if they work harder and try some more. It’s difficult to teach writing. What makes it worthwhile, though, is my regular conversations with them in class. Yes, they’re more privileged than most Filipino youths but they’re like any regular Filipino youth. They dream. And they dream big.
After the dust has settled, I found things are different but the same. It was like before; the morning commute from Mandaluyong changed a little. The early morning sun is as bright as ever. Commuters soaked in sweat waiting for the trains to come don the same look of desperation and hope. And I am the same man, excited, as always, to begin the day, but there’s something more. Something is added. Having weathered the storm, I, we emerged stronger this time.
I’m a happy, very grateful man.