Bad days, Law school

Decluttering

I honestly have no time to do write this right now but I feel like I have to – just so I can finally clear up my thoughts and focus with the loads of cases I have to read. Hence, the title of this post.

My life has drastically changed since February came. It started with the unfortunate and sudden death of my uncle which sent our family nothing but grief and shock. I remember those sudden bursts of emotions; the crying, the resolve to act tough whenever I had to visit relatives and accompany my grandmother in attending to the burial preparations of uncle, and how physically tiresome it was for me to go on visits and attend to my lessons at the same time.

Unfortunately, I ended up not being able to attend his interment though, which honestly felt totally unfair for my part considering all the efforts and visits I willingly gave uncle for that span of time when we were still waiting for his body to arrive from the US up to his wake, because I had flu that day and my parents told to rest instead so I wouldnt miss my exam the following day.

I guess part of me wished I went nonetheless. To a certain extent, burials are closures for the ones left behind, especially for those who still cant fully grasp how our loved one left so early. And I needed that that closure so much.

Then there was the conflicts of law tournament too, immediately followed by our midterms exams the next day. Theres not much to say about this part of my month though except for the fact that it all happened at a fast succession, and at one point the burial overlapped with my preparation for the labor exams, that I never even had the luxury to stop and assess how I was faring. It felt like a constant struggle to chase lessons after lessons while trying to bottle up unwanted sentiments in the meantime.

I still cant believe how I managed to survive after all those event.

The latter part of the month still had me drowning over backlogs but at least it was for a good reason. I honestly want to speak more of this part of my life just so this post wouldnt be as depressing as it already is – but I dont want to risk my stay in school as well – for the slim chance that some stranger reading this blog might understand what I am trying to talk about and sell me off. I would be lying if I say that all the change isnt making the nerd and anti-social in me freak out but just like any other human, I try my best to cope. I feel very thankful though for having met so many kind people over these past few days who made this point of the year so much better; and relieved as well, because I know I made the right choice and found the right company I was secretly hoping for.

Anyway, going back to my depressing and sad self… I wish this is a figure of speech but I tend to forget how to breathe lately – like the inhale and exhale sequence, which is odd. I only realize that I am holding my breathe when my chest starts to ache from the shortage of air. How did I end up forgetting something so natural though? I guess this is my arrythmia making her dramatic return, not sure but I hope not, or maybe the caffeine.

I still have lots of shit on my mind but I guess this will do for now.

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Law school, Random

I’ll probably erase this tomorrow.

​So many things have happened since the last time I was here, by here I mean in this blog – and I want to apologize for not writing about all the shit I should be writing about. A lot of these events involve a decent amount of sentiment and for someone who is days away from taking her midterms, I dont think I have the luxury to pause and assess how I am holding up. Trying to keep my cool has always been my forte pero mahirap pala. Ah basta, not now.

I didnt even plan this post. A minute ago I was just trying to lessen my backlog in admin law but Rico Blanco played over Spotify and valentines day just ended so my strong-and-independent pretense is at its limit. I wonder if I should cry again. I wonder if I should cry for my beloved uncle who died and who still isnt home, for the pressures to do well this upcoming exams, for my indecision whether reading all my backlog in full text is a wise move, for missing how it feels to have someone I can disturb and talk to at any second of the day without feeling guilty for being a fucked-up burden, for friends and for so many realizations I still dont want to accept.

Joke lang. I’m okay, just a little tired.

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Law school, Letters, Love

Impasse

 ​1

I dont like it when people stare at me so for the most part of my life I pretend not to see people and friends along the way and bow my head down when I walk on the sideways or in any crowded place just to avoid that split second eye contact. Some take me for a snob, easily spitting words as if it doesnt hurt or bother me, but I just laugh it off since I was never really the type to dismiss and correct what others think about me. Besides, who wouldnt want their social-akwardness be taken for snobbing?

But we have shared so many split seconds of stares at the library when we pass at each other or even some instances when I will chance upon you looking at me, that I felt it has become a habit – perhaps even an obligation – to recognize your presence which I surprisingly dont find irritating, but which I find weird because we dont know each other – unless we have met before?

I dont even know your name. I just know you must like studying at the library too, always sitting on the same spot, surrounded by your friends and on some days, with another girl who is probably your girlfriend.

2

We hugged the last time we saw each other and you pinched my cheeks like some neighborhood kid you havent seen for awhile. You told me that you left your job to move to the city soon. You didnt like how slow progress is in the province, and you felt that your engineering degree can do more than constructing roads and buildings for our town. Ambitious, perhaps a little too cocky, but I like that part about you.

You took me home when my dad started to call me at ten in the evening with the rest of the gang. We sang Maroon 5 songs on our drive home, occasionally sharing embarrasing high school stories and updates about the rest of our batchmates. At that point I realized how I missed high school so much and thanked God for having friends I am comfortable being with. That includes you, of course.

Few days later you sent me a message over Facebook. You said you wanted to see me and that you miss me, followed by some wide-eyed emojis and a blushing smiley. I was honestly taken aback by the sense of urgency in a message as straightforward as that but I didnt want to make a big deal out of it so I just said sure, maybe I can finally meet your long-term girlfriend as well the next time we hangout and that I miss you too, even if I honestly didnt.

Before waiting for your next reply, I bid good bye, using my loads of assignment as an excuse to end the conversation.

3

I feel like he should be a part of this. So here we go with another letter I will never send.

For whatever bitterness and constant push and pulls that we made out of our breakup, you deserve to be here more than anyone else. I hoped to write about stories that will never progress, tangents that will never meet. This tangent had a name, I think so. But for my lack of interest in mathematics, of course I forgot what that was. And you know how much I hate using figures of speech anyway.

You are different from the rest of these people I wrote about. We met and we fell in love and at one point I was pretty sure we could have ended up getting married. Next month would have been our fifth anniversary or sixth, maybe.

Now that I think about it, you havent been sending messages anymore. Maybe you grew tired of how I stopped responding to the messages you sent after our last chat just before the holidays. It was the night after we went out to watch a movie and the things we talked about got dragged too far that words we shouldnt have said came out. I am done apologizing for being honest though and I am done with clandestine meetings to see if we still have a shot at redemption, we dont, and we got to stop.

Maybe at a certain degree, we reached an impassé as well.

While you came close to my life and stayed for quite some time, you and I just came to a point when it was impossible not to ask ourselves if what we felt for each other is strong enough to embrace what we went through, what we were going through and what we will go through in the future; a point when I started feeling that you only realize how much you love me when I leave and that our relationship was too heavy for me to bear when the stress in law school was in itself difficult already.

You see, staying in a relationship is a choice we get to make for ourselves after answering one thing: is this love I have for you enough to make me endure everything else? And I think that was when we hit the high wall.

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Friends, Law school

To our baby girl

“Maghanap ka naman ng babaeng kaibigan, di yung puro kami lang.”

This is what my good friend told me one time when we were talking about my enrollment in law school a year ago while sitting under a shade in Sunken Garden. To be honest, the fact that I get along with boys better than I did with girls never bothered me before. Friendship with girls can be complicated and tiresome so I distanced myself as much as possible from them save for very few ones who were not bothered by how unwilling I am to stand the usual drama necessarily included in female friendship. But then it hit me that if I were to change things, law school would be the perfect place to start since no one would really know how boyish I am.

Then commenced my goal of earning myself girl friends.

When I first met Yvette during our law school orientation, I never really expected us to grow close because of how different our personalities are. My first impression of her was that she was the typical RK burgeoisie in the films that I saw and books I have read: all-girls school graduate, holding a starbucks frappe, using expressions like “omg” with the accompanying sleek hand gestures and cute shrieks. In fact during the course of our conversation that day she asked me what school I graduated from so I told her I came from UP and she said: “Omg UP ka pala?! So ikaw yung nag-ra-rally ganun” whilst gesturing what looked like a ‘welga’ pose with arms raised.

I took it then as a sign that my quest for finding myself girl friends is going to be tough if not altogether impossible.

More than a year later, Yvette proved me wrong. Far from the brat I first thought she was, she turned out to be one of the most passionate, honest and goal-driven girl I have ever met. Sure she complains a lot about her figure, a bit obsessed with Korean dramas and reality shows, and has an odd dislike for circles and shawarmas – but beyond all that is a dedicated person who is just as sure as heck about wanting to become a lawyer as I am.

As she celebrates her birthday today, I wish her nothing less than the desires of her heart. I am so thankful to have met someone who constantly pressures me to do better at school because of how beastmode this girl can go, someone who keeps me updated with all the showbiz chismis which I am often so dumb about and someone who can keep up with my fascination for serious conversations and love for literature.

Thank you so much for the close to two years of bully-bullied, passive-aggressive, batterer-battered friendship, Yvette! You are a blessing to anyone you happen to come across with in your life and as much as how hard you deny this, I am pretty sure someone will come to like you just the way you are. Do not take this as a sign that I am giving up on dreaming that you and J end up together though – that is not going to happen.

In behalf of the REIDers, we wish you a happy 21st birthday soon-to-be Atty. Yvette Zaide Soberano! I wanted to write something better for your special day but I am about to leave for the airport and I want to finish this now before I end up getting busy and forget posting this altogether so this will do – let me make up instead by greeting you on every platform possible, as per instructions *wink*

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Law school

Five things this semester taught me

Starting a semester can be overwhelming but the good thing about being an upperclass student is that the experiences you have along the way will help you build up better habits and strategies to boost not only your academics but your interpersonal relationships as well – because let’s be honest, half of the stress from school comes from irritating people you have to deal with apart from the loads of schoolwork you already have on your plate oops.

Each semester can be a fruitful learning experience as to what works best for if you think about it seriously and reflect upon the mistakes that you made last time. Hopefully, at some point all these will add up and create some sense of stability in your routines so you can just focus on what truly is important: learning the law. Naks.

Just as every experience at school is a personal one, each list you make should be personal as well. And that is why I have decided to write this blog post: so I can keep track of my progress (I do hope I am making one, otherwise I’m in serious trouble) in trying to figure out the techniques that work well for me. With that being said, here are the things that last semester taught me:

  • Your room is a better place to study than the library – in fact, any place can be a good place to study if you just pull your shit together and resist the urge to slack off. The library would have been perfect were it not for the fact that it is almost always full – so if I want a good spot, I need to at least go to school before lunch time hits lest I’ll end up in some seat nearest to the air-condition and freeze to death before I can finish my cases. Towards the end of the semester, I stopped forcing myself to get up in bed earlier than usual to prep for school and just stay at my dorm room to study and it worked. The trick is to just basically recreate my routine at the library in my own room: 50 minute work-10 minute break combo, listen to jazz music and lay out what I need to do for the day. Staying in my dorm also means more freedom and comfort because no one will shush me if I memorize too loudly or stare at me if I tie my hair into some messy bun.
  • Learn to say no sometimes when it comes to group studies and helping people out. Just think of it this way: the amount of work you do will certainly affect your grades and what you learn about the subject and everyone else in law school pretty much has the same concern as you are: not to fail. So every time you feel uncomfortable going out to study or you just have other plans for the day in mind, go ahead and tell your classmates that you will pass on the group reviews. You do not have to act like a superhero and help out everyone who asks for your help if you still have lessons and readings to catch up too, especially considering how tough second year is. Prioritize yourself above anything else because every other law student does too, for sure – and your true friends will understand that. There are other ways to help anyway, like sending them copies of your reviewers and other references which might be of help to them.
  • Your midterm exams matter but screw up your finals and you will most likely flunk the subject. This is something which I think can be really unfair: all those months of sleeplessness and hard work may become useless if you end up having a bad final examinations for reasons out of your will – like getting sick or failing to finish your review because you overslept, etc. This happened to me for so many times now and I think it is time to accept that this is just the way it is, with final examinations making up one-third of our final grade. I feel particularly nervous for my grade in Negotiable Instruments Law right now considering how terrible my exams went but I still am going to hope for the best, although chances are I might retake the subject next school year. Tanga ko kasi nung exam. Kaiyak!
  • Start saving up for your finals week expenses early and buy a coffee tumbler, duh. Obviously for my caffeine addiction, snacks and reviewers. Being broke a week before final examinations is the worst – so save up early and stop asking too much money from your parents, you 22-year old dependent. The last of your concern during the finals week should be your budget and how to tell your parents that you already spent your allowance for the week a day after receiving it. Remember to buy a coin bank on your next visit to shop school supplies!
  • Minimize your use of Facebook, Twitter Instagram during school days. Remember how relatively productive you were when you did this for your finals so why not try a little harder this time and uninstall everything by the start of the semester? I am keeping  Youtube though because Jess and Jenn are part of the reason why I am still sane. Seriously, it helps a lot to have an interest that is unrelated to law.

Wow, this sure ended up lengthy. I really do hope the next semester will be good to me, the last one was just so horrifying.

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Law school

Some bullshit at six in the morning

​My friend and I talked about my former professor in UP yesterday that her sister in law mentioned to her few days back. We ended up having a lengthy conversation about her and anthropology in general that by the end of it, I realized how I miss college so much.

I used to believe that the academe was my calling: take my masters in UP Diliman and teach in a university after while writing papers on linguistic and visual anthropology. Three years ago, I was sure I did not want to pursue law and become one of those women in suits working at the corporate world.

And then I thought about how inconsistent humans are. Because while a part of me does want to become an anthropologist, here I am writing my notes on criminal procedure stuck at trying to understand how appeals on criminal cases are made.

I have no intention of quitting without passing the bar even if it costs me hours of sleeplessness and shitload of stress; but there are times when I cannot help imagine an alternate universe where I am taking up my masters – would I have been happier? Would the Tanya in that world wonder as well what could have happened if she took up law instead?

So here lies the dilemma: on one hand, we end up sorry and restless over all our unfulfilled goals, always wondering about so many what ifs but on the other hand, we will never learn to stand up to the choices we make and pull shit together to make our way out of the mistakes and inconveniences that we stumble upon had we been given the ability to see which road to take. I guess we get to value circumspection and reflection because every decision makes a huge impact for what comes next. If life was easy and we get to see a glimpse as to which passion to pursue, a lot of the values which make us human would never have existed. And as cliché as this might sound, our choices – including mistakes – definitely define and direct our lives.

Okay now that I finally had it out my mind, kelangan ko na magkape at madami-dami pa akong babasahin.

For the record though, I still am choosing you law. Although I really do not have a choice here, do I?

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Dorm life, Law school

Going solo, again

​I have been staying in the same dormitory since last year when I started studying at San Beda Law, located just across UST and a fifteen-minute ride to school. Basically, the place is an all-girl dormitory run by RVM nuns which is the same congregation that Lola Belen belongs to. Obviously, having been raised in a conservative (read: strict) family, this dormitory is the only option that I have.

I had my own room last year but because of my parents’ indecisiveness as to whether I should transfer to a condo unit, I lost my room reservation and had to share a room with two other students for this semester. And though both of my roommates are very nice people and we get along well, I just prefer to have my own room due to the amount of school work that I do on a daily basis; some of my recurring concerns right now are first, that I feel uneasy and sorry for staying up late because my roommates have to bear with the light from my study table and second, I also like to memorize provisions out loud but I obviously can’t do that now that I have roommates. You see, there are a lot of reservations, if not restrictions, on the way we conduct ourselves and behave when you share a room with other people.

Yesterday though, I was told that there was a vacant room on the fourth floor for me to take if I still wanted to move to a solo room, obviously I said yes. So yay! May sariling kwarto na ulit!

I got a little bit carried away and started thinking about decorating my room for good: displaying photos I took from my Instax, setting up some of my favorite artwork in the wall, lining up all my law books and those I collected over the years, putting comftier beds and pillows, lahat na. These are things which I really wanted to do last year when I first moved but I just felt that I was not too convinced of this place yet, that there was no attachment whatsoever or desire to set up something more permanent and thought of, and that I was somehow still hoping to get a bigger room, but this time… I don’t know, maybe I have already come to love this place somehow? Ewan.

So yes, I might shop for room decors and stuff once I transfer to my new room and then start decorating. What a good way to relieve stress.

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