Shirley, Tessie, Anne and Old Man Warner

June 30, 2012

I got home from my great grandmother’s wake at 1am. I slept the whole trip home, and I had a weird dream during my sleep at home. My seventh grade Music teacher and my second year Math teacher turned third year Chemistry teacher (they look alike and they both know it, but they don’t believe it) went to Lola’s wake. My Music teacher told me that he is the great grandson of my Lola’s cousin, and that my Math turned Science teacher is his girlfriend. I woke up freaking out and laughing to the point that my mom ran into my room and checked if I was okay.

~

Since I only had seven hours of sleep, and it’s a Saturday anyway, I went back to bed with the two teachers in mind. I no longer slept because I couldn’t (but my head ached), and my weird thoughts were replaced by the thoughts of the short story I read in English class (BTW, DOUBLE ENGLISH IS THE BEST OMG I WAS NEVER BORED IN A DOUBLE ENGLISH CLASS. Anyway). We read The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. I was really disturbed after finishing the story, but I was excited and I felt the suspense when our teacher told us to read until page five only. The teacher asked for our opinions about the story, then she let us continue. Then, we watched a 20-minute video adaption of the story. *Please read the text (it’s hyperlinked to the title) before continuing*

I know I should not judge the past with the ideas of the present, but seriously, in the video, there were already cars. That village is just weird… They still believed in human sacrifices for a bountiful harvest… And what a weird way on how to select the sacrifice. Humans sacrifices… HUMANS SACRIFICES! OLD MAN WARNER IS A WEIRD OLD MAN! But I liked that he defended their tradition; he still stood up for what he believed in. Anyway…

Tessie Hutchinson… I like her… Too bad, she lives in a village wherein tradition is not properly observed (since all the rituals were no longer practiced) but was definitely practiced. I like her because she voiced out her opposition of the tradition when she said that it was unfair… She is modeled after Anne Hitchinson, who also voiced out her views to the point of being excommunicated.

I admire these women, because they stood up for what they think is right, even if their people opposed them. I admire their courage to speak all alone in the midst of narrow-minded crowds called their communities. I also admire Shirley Jackson because she had the ability to write such a beautiful piece. This piece was banned in America after being published on a newspaper, but it is now considered as a classic piece of American literature. I really did not expect the ending…or was I only confused with the names and statements that I thought were useless but they actually had symbolism… Anyway, to Shirley, Tessie, Anne and Old Man Warner!

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Going Out Strong

I have my reasons for my decisions, so I hope you respect it. You can question it, but please… I have the right to decline. I get your point, but we’re talking about my property here. (Please forgive me for my strong emotions, excessive parentheses, and lines and a whole paragraph in Filipino in this post)

~

As I have said before, I do not like my seatmate very much. She gave me a reason to like her on Monday. Then today, Thursday, she gave me a reason to totally dislike her.

She asked if I still had my notes from first year. I said that I compiled them and that they’re in my locker. I thought she wanted to check something (since we were discussing about matter in Chemistry and we covered a bit of Chem in first year… Why is it that there’s always this something that happens during Chem that is blog-worthy?!? There’s something about Chemistry class… I have yet to find out what this sorcery is. anyway)  She wanted to copy my notes in first year for her sibling’s sake. My head went like this: I am busy listening to the teacher here, and what the heck did she ask me? Doesn’t she have her own notes? Is she that desperate? Is her brother/sister (I can’t remember) that desperate? From what I’ve heard, her sibling is still in grade school. I voiced out: No, you can’t. I just said that to end the conversation and so that I can concentrate on the lesson (even if I knew it since I don’t know).

So she started questioning my decision. She asked why I wouldn’t, and I said that I just don’t. Why would I let someone copy what I’ve worked hard for? Mahirap gumawa ng notes, okay? Kahit na sabihin mo na kumokopya ako sa powerpoint presentation ng teacher, mahirap kunin ang important notes lang at mahirap magsulat. Siyempre, papakopyahin ko yung kaklase kong absent nung discussion, pero yung ganito? Selfish na ako kung selfish. 

She asked if I lend my brother my notes, and I said that I don’t (because he doesn’t ask for them, in spite of him being in first year. I do give him my worksheets after I have erased all the pencil marks and cover the ink writings with correction tape in order for him to practice). I explained that I don’t give him my notes in order to teach him to study on his own and that I do not want to teach him to slack off and be a sloth (a person can depend on others, but one cannot always depend on others, right?). And she kept on asking why I wouldn’t let her copy my notes. She also said that she no longer had her notes with her. Deep down inside, I thought, “Of all people, why me? And why did you not keep your notes for the benefit of your sibling in the first place? And why are you making this such a big deal?

She told me last Monday before that she is very much outspoken. I like people who speak out, and that is why I started to like her. She is, I have proven, and I started to dislike her. I just hope that she knows what to voice out and when to voice it out. Come on… It’s hard to explain yourself when you’re trying to respect the teacher in front of you who’s trying her best to deliver the lesson to the class by simply listening to her. I mean, she could have just asked me some other time.

Pero ang tunay na issue ko: bakit ba ganun siya makatanong? Dios mio, karapatan kong magdesisyon para sa sarili ko. Wala naman kami sa korte. Feeling ko parang ako si Jose Rizal noong nililitis siya; wala siyang abogado at hinatulan siya kaagad. Pakiramdam ko na hinatulan niya akong may-sala sa pagiging makasarili at maramot. Hindi naman ako ganoon. May mga pagkakataon lang na hindi ko dapat ibigay ang ilang mga bagay-bagay. Kung gusto niyang mag-advanced study yung kapatid niya, gawan niya ng paraan. Siya mismo ang gumawa ng paraan. At ilang beses ko na itong pinaulit-ulit, pero desisyon ko kung papahiramin ko siya o hindi.

~

To my seatmate: Yes, you are free to speak your opinion, but I have my reasons, and I would really appreciate it if you would respect my reasons. You are free to question my decisions, but let me remind you that you do not know me; you know nothing about me. Also, if you have plans to question me more in the future, please take it slow and don’t go out too strong. I don’t like people who are ineffably outspoken to the point that they think that they’re always right. Minsan din naman, kung hindi talaga, huwag mo nang pagpilitan yung sarili mo.

 

Sincerely, your self-proclaimed bad and selfish seatmate.

Joy and Sorrow are Inseparable

*This is not the original essay that I was going to post. A sudden change of mood influenced my writing. It was supposed to be a very positive piece, but things never go the way you planned them.*

I once read a book (and it is one of my all-time favorite books), and it mainly showed that after happiness, sorrow comes, then happiness comes again. It is true. I have proven it today.

~

I started the day in a very sabaw way. I was sabaw until my mother came in my room crying.

(to explain sabaw and sabawism) Sabaw… How does one define “sabaw”… Well, one is sabaw when one is not in the right state of mind. One is sabaw when one acts with stupidity, craziness and randomness. That’s how I define sabaw. Sabawism is one of the few things that I have mastered in my 16 years of existence. It is also one of the many things that I cannot explain. Sabawism is ineffable. It may have a definition, but it does not perfectly fit the word. The words can’t fully define or describe sabaw or sabawism… In order to know sabaw, you have to be sabaw (even unwittingly being sabaw counts).

Earlier today, I saw a poster (Nutrition month/healthy eating campaign) in our cafeteria that says “Tuesday is Soup Day”. That has been there since I was in the fifth grade. Five years have passed and it’s still there, and yet I only realized today that Tuesday is truly soup day… Sabaw day! (in Filipino, the term for soup is sabaw). What a revelation! I was really acting weirdly, stupidly, randomly and crazily today. I went up to the fourth floor then went down to the ground floor just to get the key, then went back up again in the morning. I mixed up my answers when I recited during Social Studies and I chitchatted and scared my classmates with stories about spirits in our school during Filipino (it was like free time). During the latter part of lunch, I thought I was late in class when the warning bell just rung. I thought sublimation was decantation and I counted the wrong number of lines in the special ruler in Chemistry.

Then, I had fun while talking to my friends and keep on saying “bye” to Miss Alie then I/we end up walking with her again. We went to our school buses and waited until 4:30, then we left. I was fine when I got home, but mom was kind of mad at me, but I was still sabaw. I studied for the Chem quiz tomorrow, then started memorizing Dios Te Salve Maria for Spanish class tomorrow (crammer).

I was texting a friend about my day, then my mom came in crying; only this came into my mind: someone died. I thought it was my dog. It wasn’t. It was my great grandmother. I was shattered, but what about my mom? I felt really bad and I forgot all the sabaw and happy vibes I had.

It’s a good thing that Lola Anday was blessed by a priest this morning when she was still living. It’s a really good thing that she died today instead of yesterday because my cousin got married yesterday. It was a good thing that she only died now because we got to celebrate her 100th birthday last February, and most of the family was there (those who were overseas didn’t make it, except for my Aussie cousins). It was a good thing she only left now, because without her, there would have been less happiness in the lives of my Sanchez Family, including the lives of my youngest cousins. Without her living up to the time that I turned 16, I don’t know… No one knows.

Now, I can’t breathe… My heart is too torn right now and I cannot manage to continue my school work. Miss Areola, it’s okay if your give me a zero in something because I was not able to memorize the prayer. It’s my fault anyway. Miss Alie, I’m sorry if I will fail the quiz (but I hope I won’t). I tried to concentrate, but I really couldn’t. I just need to vent out all the bad vibes now. I just can’t…

 

*breakdown*

It Was In Front Of Me

It was 8:30pm on a Monday, and I wasn’t done with my Chemistry reading assignments. I was too tired from moving all around the house because we had no househelper. I just wanted to sleep and don’t give a care in the world. I went into my room and told myself “I’ll just read for Chem tomorrow morning. Maybe I can understand it better when I get to school.” Then I realized that I haven’t found my laboratory apron yet. It took me 30 minutes to find it. I looked, then stopped, picked up my book and read, then went back to looking. It was only there under a pile of clothes. It was only in front of me, and I didn’t even bother to look for it in that pile of denim shorts and pyjamas. I feel that I wasted time; I did.

I felt the same way when I saw a photo of the list of the newest members of my school’s glee club on Facebook on the same afternoon. I had no plans on checking my FB, but due to an announcement that I had to post, I saw the photo. I was happy for those who passed, especially for my friend’s cousin and for another friend, but I wasn’t totally happy. I envied of them; they chose to try their luck to see if they can take part in the various concerts, performances and competitions that the glee club will take on, while I watch them achieve their dreams.

I’m not saying that I regret joining my previous and current clubs. I really had fun in my service-oriented clubs! I had the chance to interact with people who were “different” from us in so many different ways. I had fun with the crazy people senior to me and the little kids that we helped in first year. I would never forget how I almost became a club officer and how I gave first aid to a teacher during a basketball game in second year. But looking back, those were not the things that I really wanted to do. Of course, I always want to lend a giving hand, but I could do that in another way. I’m not saying that I don’t like giving first aid (in fact, I love it so much…I just don’t want to be a doctor or a nurse) or that I don’t want a deeper relationship with God through serving His people. But to think of it, I think I could have done better in what I do if I just auditioned for the glee club.

Due to devastating heartbreaks during auditions for the grade school glee clubs, I was traumatized. Added to these were my last voice lessons in the first semester of SY 2011-2012. But my heart still yearned for the high school glee club. Well, I don’t like the fact that glee club members are excused from Music class (because I love Music class and it’s one of my favorite subjects), but when you’re in the glee club, it’s as if everyone looks up to you. I’m not looking for praises, but to be part of that group is such an honor. You get to represent the school in various events and competitions, whether it’s interschool or international. You get to have friends from other batches, you get good training, and of course, your college application form will look good with “Member: Glee Club” on it. But most of all, you get to perform.

But along these positive notes, there are bad sides to joining the glee club. First, training every Wednesday to Saturday (yes Saturday). Then, the expenses: dresses for events, transportation, and don’t forget the plane ticket. Third, I always get coughs, colds and sore throat, so that’s bad (and I really should avoid cold and sweet food… Noooo!). Fourth, I’ll get too stressed. And last, since there’s training every Saturday, no volunteer work or org meetings (but that’s just minor…my concern’s the volunteer work) for me. Don’t forget the pressure on academics (if you fail, club suspension happens) and Music class! Of course, it’s only normal for these things to happen. There should always be something in exchange of something (however simple it is).

I did not join the glee club because of the “negative notes” I said above. I am very much willing to sacrifice anything for the sake of my talent’s development. I did not join because I was afraid; I am afraid of rejection from my dream for three times. Fear has always been my hyndrance from everything in this world. I don’t interact with guys that much (explaining why I only have one guy friend) because I’m afraid that they’ll hurt me in any way possible like the way some guys hurt me in my dark past. I tend to not tell my parents about my real situation because I don’t want them to reject or disown me or something. I fear rejection, and I felt that I will get that when I audition for the glee club when I was in first year, and it went on until now.

I love performing, whether it’s a short skit in class or a voice recital, but fear always comes my way. Sure I can perform by myself in a full house, but I couldn’t do it with the glee club. Maybe because it might jeopardise my school life. Well, jeopardise might be a strong word, but I will surely have a more difficult time when I’m in glee than my current situation.

Auditions were open to everyone, and my friends told me to give it a go since first year until now. It was just in front of me, yet I didn’t bother to get it. I could be packing my bags for New York and Ohio… But I chose to sit in the school auditorium and watch them sing the songs that I love. I chose to settle in my comfort zone; I did not dare to dare. What a coward, what a shame. Not going for it when you know that you can somehow do it.