For Jade, on her eighteenth birthday


Dear Jade,

Happy birthday!

I really meant what I said yesterday that I wanted to say so many things at the eighteen candles speech thing. However, I decided not to say them because of several reasons. One is I found it uneasy to talk in front of all those people. You know how I always clam up every time I have to do that. Secondly, the other girls’ messages were short and I did not want to take too much time. And lastly, I did not want both of us to cry. I did not want to ruin your makeup.

During dinner, I thought of what to say and how to say it. I wanted to tell you how I find you admirable and how thankful I am that we are friends. Because it was your eighteenth birthday, I decided to tell you the eighteen things I love about you. It did not even take me five minutes to enumerate. Here they are.

18 Things I Love About Jade

1. Your penmanship is cool and your notes are always neat.

 Is it the tilt of the pen? Or the pen itself? Why are your notes always neat? Spill the secret!

2. Your queer OC habits are charming.

You are the only person I know who uses a ruler in highlighting text (Xtine is a mere copycat — Hi Xtine!). You are the only person I know who uses a ruler to draw a benzene ring. You rewrite all class notes even when it seems impractical and time-consuming. These habits are a bit weird but I find them cute. They make you unique.

3. You look like Barbie.

Have I told this to you before? Sometimes I think you look like the world’s favorite doll. I love Barbie and sometimes, I feel like you are a life-sized doll.

4. Your big eyes are lovely.

I am always drawn to people who are wide-eyed. Every time I look at your eyes, they make me feel like you can see right through me.

5. You make me laugh with your corny jokes.

Your jokes are not always funny but they always make me laugh. I don’t know why.

6. You are a proud left-hander.

I was not really thrilled that I am a lefty. It was you who introduced me to the lefty pride. I remember how excited you were when you saw me noting with my left hand. I find it sweet every time you would share to me an article about being left-handed. Somehow, you made me see that we, lefties, are kind of special.

7. You love reading.

We both love to read and books are one of the topics that always dwell our conversations. I love how you always share with me the books you love. I love it that you are not bored when I talk about books and authors that are quite unpopular (or if you are bored, you never show it).

8. Your cheesy smile is infectious.

I know almost all had already said this but let me say it again because it is true. You always seem to be smiling. Your beaming face is like the go signal for me to smile. Do your face muscles ever get tired?

9. In you, I found the one person who is more iyakin than I am.

People always tell me that I am such a crybaby. I was always find myself branded as the “pinaka-iyakin.” I used to believe this until I met you. I remember how you would cry every time you receive a low score on an exam that you studied for (that low score is usually higher than mine, though). I may not show it but I always feel bad when you cry because I can almost feel your disappointment. Sometimes, I do not look at you while you sniff and wipe your tears because I could feel like I would break down any minute, too.

10. We share the love for Leonardo.

My crush for Mr. di Caprio goes back to when I was like three or four. I never shared this to anyone because I thought nobody would understand. Who develops crushes on old men? But there you were, upset that he, again, failed to win the coveted statuette for best actor (I know, dude. It broke my heart, too.). It is a comfort to know that there is another person out there who shares the same sentiment.

11. You are a model student.

I am always motivated by your astounding perseverance. I always ask myself, “Why can’t I be like Jade?” Then, I start studying because I feel ashamed of my pig-like laziness.

12. You are a time-management pro.

This is another secret you have to reveal: How do you manage to still read books despite our hectic schedules?

13. You teach me study techniques and memorizing tricks.

You saved me so many times from flunking those exams that require lots of memorization. Those might be just simple helpful gestures to you but they mean a lot to me.

14. You always seem to be older than your real age.

No, I do not mean you look old. I mean, you always seem to be wiser than your years. You are responsible and always sensitive to the feelings of others. I am older than you are by almost a year yet you are more mature than I am. I think this is your strongest trait and I look up to you because of this.

15. You are friendly to everyone.

I have never heard you say an unkind thing to or about another person. You are one of the nicest people I know and I am sure others will say the same. It is no wonder why you always get along with anybody.

16. You were friendly to me even when I was a snob.

I do not have many friends because people say I am suplada. While other girls ignored me because of this, you never gave up until you were able to get past my supercilious mask and reach the real me. Not many people are willing to do that and I am grateful God created circumstances for us to meet because you showed me that people are not who I think they are.

17. You always make me feel comfortable.

I do not know why but you can always make the ambiance delightful. You can always get me talking even when I am not in the conversation mood. I can see that this magic of yours does not only work for me. People are never uneasy with you around.

18. You love me (and Nicole) and I (and Nicole again) love you back.

No more explanations needed. We just love you, Jade.

 

This list might not be complete as we have known each other for only two years. But still, I am thankful for the friendship. I wish you all the best.

 

Love, Wencey

Why I Chose To Be A Moth


If you are going to be an arthropod in your next life, what arthropod will you choose to be? Why?

My professor gave this as a five-point bonus question on our exam a few weeks ago. Without hesitation, I quickly wrote that I would want to be a moth. I gave a short explanation because of the limited time I had and probably because of the triviality of the question. I would love to expound on the topic more and that I am going to do now.

I would choose to be a moth for the simple reason that moths are usually left unbothered, unlike their cousins, the butterflies, which attract more attention because of their flamboyant display of wings. I do not like that.

People say that moths, in contrast to butterflies, are dull, even up to the point of being ugly. I agree with that. In fact, I would not give a moth a second glance if I ever see one. Drably clothed with grays and browns, they are definitely not pretty and therefore, uninteresting. So when I see one, I usually leave it alone. I believe others do the same, too.

That is also how I want others to treat me. It is not that I want to be alone all the time. I also need companionship but for the most part, I like being alone so that I could ponder about things and self-reflect. I want people to leave me alone, especially when I am working. I do not like engaging in uninvited conversations that are utterly meaningless to me. I do not like being bothered for things that are not important. I am an introvert and for an introvert like me, a butterfly’s ostentatiously vibrant wings would surely be a disadvantage.

I also want to be left alone in the sense that I do not like attracting unwanted attention. Butterflies get a lot of that. People do not catch moths to look at them closely (except biologists, I believe). But they run after butterflies to marvel at their beautiful wings. I do not know a poet who wrote verses for the plain moth. Instead poets wrote countless poems for butterflies. Artists never find inspiration from a moth’s pair of wings but a butterfly always finds itself as an artist’s muse. The attention might seem pleasing but it is not the kind of attention that I seek.

I hate it when other women approach me to introduce themselves and, then, say that they find me pretty. I hate it when a man offers intimate friendship immediately upon meeting me for the first time because of the prospect of a romantic relationship in the future. What if I were not pretty? Would they give a second of their time to be my “friend”? I do not think so. And besides, I do not think I am pretty. I just happen to look much younger than my age that makes me somewhat cuter than other women.

I would rather attract the attention of somebody who can see past through my exterior and appreciate me for what I am inside. I do not like being admired by people who are blind to what I am and what I can do. I do not like artists and poets who recreate me as a magnificent being while being ignorant of who I really am. I want to be safe in the hands of someone who has a deeper understanding of life, someone who knows me better than what I display to the world.

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How about you? If you are going to be an arthropod, what would you be and why?

Writing Through Hell


When I started this blog, I resolved to post at least once a week. But these past two weeks, I failed to keep up with my pre-set deadline.

The reason is obviously school. With only two weeks away from the official end of classes, it seems that everyone – both professors and students – are cramming to make up for the remaining lessons which, in my opinion, could use another month or so. With very much little time left, the quality of learning is again at stake. I am getting sick of this way of life (why can’t I just get used to this and go with the flow?).

Starting tomorrow, hell weeks will be ablaze (a hell week is a week’s schedule cramped with exams, reports, and submissions). When we say “hell”, we really mean HELL. This week is peppered with two lab exams, a case study report, two paper submissions, and a lecture exam. Don’t ask me what’s penned on my planner for the week after this.

Hell Week

Actually, I should not be scribbling in this blog right now. I should be studying the eighty-page chapter on arthropods for tomorrow’s exam. I have been trying to focus on studying since last night but I can’t. The little voice at the back of my head keeps telling me, “Write! You haven’t written for a while. And you have been neglecting your blog for two weeks already. Put down that book now and I start writing.” Sounds like a little devil? Well, no. That is my angel. So I did as it told me. I put down my book and logged in.

I understand the importance of studying. I will always be one person who would encourage students to study more and spend less on other activities. But to tell you honestly, I hate studying. I love learning but I hate sitting down at the library for hours, reading and noting again and again until I fall asleep. I hate memorizing. I hate boring lecture classes. I appreciate hands-on learning better where I can study at my own pace (that is,  without deadlines and exams). Sometimes, I get tired of the system. I think I seriously need a break but I can’t. I just can’t.

study break

A friend once told me that if you want decent grades, taking study breaks is a crime. In that case, I am a criminal. I am constantly taking breaks even on times when I really have no time for them. Like today. Like I said, I should not be writing this post. I should be studying the Phylum Arthropoda.

Study breaks have always been  reading and writing for me. These are really the only things I do – studying and reading and writing. I do not know why reading and writing have always had a calming effect on me. It seems that after taking a break, I always find myself more receptive to the information provided by my books and lecture notes.

The magic of reading and writing is still a mystery to me. How do reading and writing make me feel refreshed? But still, I am happy to have these options other than studying all day. I am particularly thankful to God for giving me this gift of being able to express what is within me.

So for the coming weeks, I will try to keep on writing to save me from hell. Wish me luck. 🙂

I apologize for the undeniably distracted, random post. I promise to make a more sensible post after this semester is through. 🙂