Wednesday, February 25, 2004

.:Three Down, Two To Go; Three Down, One To Go:.

I have three subjects out of the way, and two to go. Unless I am sadly mistaken, all three subjects are indeed A’s: Theology, Philosophy, and Political Science. With only Asian Film and Media Law and Ethics left for me to deal with, I must say that I feel pretty good about my chances of earning a perfect semester, no question about it. Getting a 4.0 is simply not a mean feat for anyone, and as such, I’d want to have a claim in being able to achieve that, in any case.

I’m pretty happy with the whole setup of this day, as it was exceedingly contributory to how I was particularly well-motivated to do well in my oral examinations. I was reviewing Cami for most of the time, along with one of her friends, and then through our reviews, I was able to bond with her nicely enough. Afterwards, when it was about time for her to take her test, I saw her in the third floor of the Dela Costa building, and as I checked for my time, I saw ma’am Elsa Magtibay in the other Consultation Room. Funny thing is, Cami then called my attention to who was in the room with ma’am Elsa. Daph Villanueva, no less. Cami was laughing at me over acting so giddy and all about it, as it would appear that I have been running into nice CP’s or PCP’s for most of the day, even just by SMS. I swear, this was a really fun day, to say the least. I was making sure I could help out anyone I’d run into who had to deal with the thesis statements in the book. While I seem to be feeding them the answers, considering how open this weblog is to anyone, it would be a good idea to use my answers as no more than a guide, for their own sake.

Ma’am Elsa was happy to hear about my plans, and was hoping to see me around. I’d like that, but I’d also be realistic and say that my applying to teach does not guarantee that I will. I will do my best, though. She apparently realized that Daph was… a fit in my criterion…

In any case, three down, one to go. There are four people I wish to bond with before I graduate. Diane Sayo is one of them. Rachel Reyes is another. I sincerely appreciate the chance to do so with Cami all the same. I am grateful for the hugs, really. It made me feel that my efforts were all worth it (You do recall that if you didn’t ask me to, I prolly wouldn’t have bothered answering those thesis statements online?). She happens to be one of the few people who over the course of the week, in spite of availing of my aid, did not make me feel one bit like an IW. That’s great. Really. I was having fun talking to her because of all the lateral puzzles she was trying to solve, and the nice conversation about things like the La Salle Scandal.

Maybe she doesn’t have Sacha’s voice, but her voice is quite interesting itself. She of course took a 180-degree turn from her formal look before I met up with her after my orals. Maybe we’re not best of friends, but I’m pretty grateful that I still managed to get closer to her as a friend before we graduate. She’s one of those wonderful surprises that you can’t believe you missed for the longest time. With that being said, maybe it’s obvious who that one person to go happens to be… if not, I’m still pretty glad how things are…

.:No Wonder It’s Also Called Stalkster:.

So many resources one can actually acquire by virtue of Friendster. Funny thing is, after listening to Fr. Que for just a short while about Hannah Arendt, I went off to sit in on Sacha’s class (As usual.), and it looks like her students are beginning to get an idea about me. Of course, while my long-running joke is about teaching swimming in ICA, let it not be said that I really am serious about trying this out for myself. Maybe I’m wrong, but at this point in my life, teaching seems to be what will fulfill me as a human being. I’ve been wrong before, but I don’t see any reason why I should knock it before I try it.

In any case, I was acting like a genuine stalker today (Not one of my obvious strengths.), as I was considering e-mailing myself a video clip then playing it in Sacha’s projector. Imagine her talking to her students, and a video clip of her three minutes prior to it is playing on the big screen. Wonder how that would capture the attention of her students. Neil seems to be gung-ho about Game of the Generals lately, though. Yes, my good man: keep it up. Let us resurrect the glory days of this fine, fine game.


Unlike how Abby and I used to go, I must say that I’m really happy that we’re doing very well now. I know some old nagging issues will resurface from time to time, but I guess it’s just a phase, really. And she’s right, though: maybe I’ve been reading too much into other people lately. Not just her, in fact. Maybe that makes me look at things from a rather unique and unorthodox point of view. Nonetheless, I still believe that dialogue was of immense help.

At least, gone were the days of a huge issue erupting in my face regarding her that would require tons of damage control. Any issues we have are better-resolved now, although there are naturally still things I cannot and will not address, as the case is the same with her. In spite of that, our good standing with one another is something I am pretty much grateful for already. Maybe I’m not her best friend per se, but I’d like to think that I still matter, to some extent.

I’m grateful she was understanding enough to know that it was just my brain working overtime that made me feel bad the previous day. I know it’s not such a great alibi, but it’s the truth, anyway. I at least managed to explain to her with some measure of clarity why I was acting up the way I was acting up, and I guess the fact that my expectations aren’t as congruent with what appeared to be that of others do tell me that I’ve been putting myself too much in other people’s shoes the other day. Although, of course, while it’s no cause to bring out the champagne, certain other people, given the different circumstances, would really make it a valid cause to bring out the champagne. There, I can expect. But that’s a different story for a different consideration.

At the same time, we talked a bit about Christ’s example. As He treats Himself as a means to an end, this does not fall in line with the second categorical imperative, apparently. Despite the argument for its being a validly moral act, then, this is quite a hurdle that is difficult to overcome. Richie’s case is more of the same, really. Talked to Mr. Bulaong about it a bit, though he reminded me to send in my application soon. Will do. Will do.

So maybe I have seemingly exceeded my academic yardstick. That’s frankly not the case. It’s pretty obvious that she’s been lying low, to begin with, as she really didn’t have to do anything to become Cum Laude. I had to. With that being said, I think that Abby as my yardstick for academic success was quite a sensible choice, to begin with.

Thanx, Abby. I owe you yet again.


So here I am right now, doing my paper for Atty. Perez. Pretty long paper, mind you, but I already hit the page requirement, so I’m sure I can finish this whole thing by tomorrow, at the latest.

In any case, Abby (Again! She’s on a roll…) and I talked a bit on the phone, as she’s apparently done with Theology. I suppose Mr. Dy-Liaco liked how she answered thesis statement number 4, as he said that she did fine. Then we talked a bit about Dungeons and Dragons, as she’s playing Neverwinter Nights. The funniest thing, though, was when I told her that I couldn’t get to Rockwell, so I couldn’t take Sach up on her invite to play billiards. Abby taught me how to get there, but…

Abby: You may as well stay home and do Pablito.

Marcelle: Wouldn’t it be better to…

Abby: Evil man!

Marcelle: You know what I was about to say?

Abby: Yes.

Marcelle: So right. Wouldn’t it be better for me to do billiards instead, or Sacha, for that matter?

Abby: Right. Who would want to do Pablito over Sacha, right?

Marcelle: Yep. Wrong choice of words, Abby.

.:The Theology Transcript:.

I essentially used up all my time without stopping and letting Mr. Dy-Liaco ask any questions. I think the best way to get a good grade for this is to not let him fill in any blanks for you and to know exactly what you’re talking about, and to string your arguments cohesively enough. I’m not 100% sure of an “A”, but at the very least, I’m certain that in being able to maximize my time and cover the material concisely but clearly, I did quite well.

Mr. Dy-Liaco: So Marcelle, you’ve answered all the thesis statements on your website. How long was your answer to each question?

Marcelle: The whole document was about eleven pages, single-spaced, on MS Word, sir.

Mr. Dy-Liaco: Yes, but how many pages did you devote to each question?

Marcelle: Mostly three pages each, sir.

Mr. Dy-Liaco: Among all the thesis statements, what were you the most happy about?

Marcelle: I have to say I’m pretty glad about Thesis Statement 1A, if only for its scope and everything it encompasses.

Mr. Dy-Liaco: Okay. Talk about Thesis Statement 1A, then.

Marcelle: “Thesis Statement 1A: This course consists in an effort at sustained, directed, and personal thinking out of Christian Faith with the aim of fostering the ongoing growth of seniors toward full maturity in the Faith, as active members of the Christian community, the Church, capable of responding as true disciples of Christ to the urgent challenges of Filipino life today.”

Sir, what I realized about this thesis statement the first time that I read it is that it is clearly an attempt to outline the entirety of the course itself. It’s a catch-all statement that tries to tell us precisely what Theology 151 wants us to learn. In realizing that fact, I am then pressed to ask myself: what is the crux, the central focus of this entire course? Given the many elements involved, it is irrevocably CHRISTIAN COMMITMENT. This Christian commitment is something that is brought about by a deepening of the Christian Faith, so let us talk about this first.

Why sustained and directed? We realize, firstly, that this effort to think upon one’s Christian Faith stems from the fact that as a nation, the Philippines is highly involved in Folk Christianity. Many people live their lives without ever knowing the reasons why they believe in what they believe. In thinking upon our faith, we begin to make heads and tails of their meaning to us, and we begin to grow in our faith by knowing it better. This meditation upon the faith should not be merely in sporadic bursts, but a continual effort, hence, sustained. It must also be directed, not only because of its being imperative to our growth, but because it must be directed as focused upon us, as we try to determine which elements of our faith are of significance and pertinence to us. Maybe one would want to migrate once FPJ wins. Thinking upon this is directed, given the context we find ourselves in.

Ultimately, this is what makes our thinking upon our Christian Faith as personal. Each of us would have our own steps to undergo throughout this lifelong process of growing in the faith, as it is obvious that one semester cannot provide for us to make this growth so tangible.

So we, as seniors, are nearing some important crossroads in our lives. These are crossroads that we will take and crossroads that will definitely have a significant impact upon our lives. Because of our being imperfect, it is here that we ask for a graced imagination and reality through prayer. We ask through prayer for aid in finding who we are and where we want to go, in order for us to be able to move forward and actually work towards our human fulfillment. Clearly, once we act this out, Christian Commitment comes into play.

We have this general notion that commitments are romantic relationships between husbands and wives, or girlfriends and boyfriends, but we ought to know better. Commitments, for our purposes, interpersonal ones, can be commitments to one other person, or to a community or nation. We know we freely enter these commitments, as a commitment is a promise: a special kind of choice. We know that our choices are ground in freedom, and they concretize this freedom. As we make this special choice, our story, it then shapes our choices further. Why do we want to do this? Inadvertently, our commitments will intertwine us with others, and thereby give us our Great Humanizing Goods of love, friendship, and communion, ideally. At the same time, our motivation to enter commitments are likewise the Great Humanizing Goods.

Admittedly, maturity in the faith does not happen after one semester of theologizing. Despite this fact, this course lays out to us how we can continue to mature in the faith, and allows us to realize how fides et ratio work together hand in hand, as our faith is not just a faith to think about, but a faith to think with, in fact.

Our commitments are ideally being constantly affirmed by our conscience: not just an arbiter, but as I fondly term it, our life’s compass, that takes us in the direction of the flow of our being. Our commitment, while freely entered, is paradoxically something we are responsible for. We oblige ourselves to uphold this, knowing that we ourselves appropriated this for ourselves. One might say it’s “making things hard on one’s self”. After all, one has the option of doing otherwise. However, I prefer to label it as being “one’s own boss”. Given the grace of the Holy Spirit, one exercises his freedom to enter and maintain this commitment, as His sources for it are the Great Humanizing Goods. As such, if one is in a genuine commitment, the growth follows.

As such, because we realize that Christian Commitment comes with being part of Christ’s Body, the Church, our thinking out of Christian faith has to be operationalized by our conscience, our subjective norm of morality, in a place where communion should happen. The Church, being our tangible link to the transcendent God, is that which we commit ourselves to. Why? Clearly, Christ is the example par excellence of the fulfillment of a genuine commitment from start to finish. The Church, as our tangible link to Christ, is precisely that which allows us to foster a personal relationship with Him, through His works, through His words, and through action in His Church, as we now respond to the challenges in being Christ-like.

Mr. Dy-Liaco: You started with Thesis 1A and wrapped it up with Thesis 4 in precisely ten minutes. Very nice, Fabie… Marcelle.

Marcelle: ::smiles nervously::

Mr. Dy-Liaco: Are you doing okay?

Marcelle: Well, sir, it’s hard to believe, but I might not be in advertising or public relations after all. I don’t know. I just felt like I wanted to teach Philosophy. The past couple of oral exams, I’ve been uploading my answers to the thesis statements, and while I make sure they’re not plagiarizing me word for word, I thought that I could help more people in a better way. I know it seems shallow to me without thinking it over, but at this moment, and maybe it’d change, but at this moment, I just feel that my fulfillment will come through teaching. I don’t know why, but I guess there’s just something about it.

Mr. Dy-Liaco: Okay. I’ll see you, Marcelle.

Marcelle: Yes, sir. Thank you.

Mr. Dy-Liaco: Thank you.

::handshake, end of transcript::

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