Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Some Thoughts

WARNING: Serious stuff up ahead. Excessive rumination and reflection – accompanied by prolonged ponderous thoughts – may result to premature aging, depression/euphoria/both at the same time (depending on the weather or the phases of the moon), or worse, sudden enlightenment, the achievement of nirvana, and the transcendence of earthly pleasures (Earthly pleasures? Nooooooooooo!). Let the games begin. Ohmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….

Met some of my classmates while lining up for enrolment this morning. While ate angie and sir arnel were taking on 6 units of coursework this summer I, on the other hand, signed up for residency status; I won't be attending classes this summer but I could still avail of library services. May mga utang na kailangang bayaran. Mga papel na kailangang tapusin. Now is the time 'ika nga...

Now I am at a cusp in my peyups adventure. And Gracia's unexpected text got me thinking of what could be my last school year here in wonderland and the possibilities in store for my future…

It has long been decided that I will only get to have 3 years here in UP. I have anticipated that this would be sufficient to finish all the required coursework but given the pace I have taken (leisurely is the adjective that comes to mind) in dealing with my studies, my thesis work will not be covered within this time period.

This led me to queries regarding the MRR (Maximum Residency Requirement?) in our graduate study course and we were told we had six years to gain an MA. I plan on teaching again after my third year of study in UP, granting that I don’t add another INC to my “illustrious” career (hehe). My heart is most definitely set on reclaiming my “employed” status at 2010, no matter what. (huwaw)

Unfortunately, mapping out my strategy for the next year and all this thinking of my future led me to confront some dilemmas I had been hesitant to face for a while.

As far as I know, Manila has a lot of opportunities for employment. This place is teeming with schools, colleges, and universities and if I were to make the necessary risks and venture out into the field, I might be able to snag myself a decent job teaching somewhere in the metropolis. I confess that I had been keeping a copy of my resume but I still have to tweak and edit a few spots if I were to decide to look for employment here. And to be honest, this resume is nothing less than “bad ass”, if you know what I mean. Gaining employment here would provide me a means (though how sufficient I have yet to figure out) to extend my stay here in Manila, continue working on my thesis, and finally gain a measure of independence I have been yearning for. The picture is still a bit fuzzy – the economic side of this is still unclear, to be sure – but this is the possible future that I envision if I stay in Manila.

Then, there is that persistent call to go back to Bacolod. My initial promise to myself when I set on this journey was “Mabalik gid ko sa Bacolod.” My former colleagues, through various means, would also echo this sentiment – that I am welcome to come back anytime. And I do admit that going back has its advantages. First, competition wouldn’t be that fierce – considering that being a UP graduate student gives me an edge. Though it would be better if I already have an MA tacked on my name, this is as good as it gets for now. But still, who wouldn’t want me? (not like that, you pervs…wholesome tayo)

I am confident that I have amassed additional knowledge and skills that would serve me well once I return to teaching. And personally, I am yearning to go back to the classroom and regurgitate the fruits of knowledge that I have gorged on these years...spewing the rich brew of predigested facts mixed in with chunks of viewpoints gleaned from a varied mix of primary and secondary sources upon the eager youth who hunger for knowledge, with mouths agape and eagerly awaiting. (eww gross…I know)

But coming home with “unfinished business” would entail quite a few challenges. I have already pictured out a complicated scenario involving me in Bacolod, several boxes of photocopied documents, residency status for about a year, several trips to Manila, the stress of balancing workloads, etc. This scenario would require me to take on a part-time teaching load. The advantage here is that I am home and the amenities here would surely help me balance my books – and my sanity. Plus, three years is enough time to craft a “bad ass” thesis.

Here’s the timeline: source gathering 2nd semester 2009-2010; residency or LOA, whichever is most advantageous; one full year to make the research proposal; come back to UP for summer enrolment in thesis course; adjust schedule for research proposal defense; work on thesis for another year; submit on third (final) year; oral defense (brrrrr); constant travel to Manila anticipated; hire research assistant if there is a need. Kayang kaya kaya?

Kaya nga ng guitarist ng bandang “Queen” (he majored in astronomy and submitted his dissertation almost 20 years late, if I’m not mistaken), ako pa? hehe (take note though, that dissertations are afforded a longer time for completion but twenty years? Come on!)

(If you still haven’t noticed, aside from crafting letters for “varied purposes and occasions,” making schedules is another talent of mine – comes with the OCD, I guess)

All this thinking makes my head hurt…pretty soon I’d be punching out permutations and probabilities, but – never mind that.

So, this LONG blog post in my belief is fitting this Holy Week; the time when we are urged to reflect on what we were these past few years, what we had done to get to where we are now, and what the future holds for us. Christ had to deal with some pretty big decisions during his last few days on Earth and he ended up saving humanity from damnation. Though I aspire less loftier goals, I do hope and pray that I be guided to make the right choice as I figure out the rest of my life.

Have a blessed week, everyone.

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