The requirements of computer engineering program demands the author to date a laptop everyday. This student could only heave a sigh at the nostalgia of yesterday. The yonder years of school were simple and easy. All you need are books and notes, a pen and paper and you're good to go.
Running to and fro the ends of the court while following the bouncing ball, active lads have a way of building camaraderie. Strangers become acquaintances. Acquaintances become friends. The exhaustion brought by the vigorous game is nothing compared to the enjoyment the players get from their game.
DISCLAIMER: The author does not endorse the occult nor does this person meddle with any work of magicK. The wanderer did not expect it. It can't be the end, can it?
After three years of hopping from town to town and knowing their bylaws, wanderers must choose a craft to master. There are four to choose from: lordship, metal and minuscule craftsmanship and wizardry.
A lord oversees an entire fief, the village to which he or she is assigned to. He or she ensures that all of the villagers get the right parcels at the right time. In addition, he or see sets rules on who and what can only enter and leave the fief at a certain period.
A metal craftsman is adept at putting small but fantastic machines together to form a more powerful mechanism while a minuscule craftsman focuses on designing runic patterns on silicon wafers.
A wizard armed with knowledge of incantations creates items of wonder. These items are mostly requested by merchants as they need an aid for constantly organizing and recording their trade. Besides that, items can also be designed to provide entertainment to the masses.
'Become a wizard, it is!', the wanderer decided. It's the only craft this individual had a glimpse before. Hence, there won't be much difficulty in learning its ways. The wanderer MUST master a craft else this individual's future will be bleak. This person's knowledge of the previous bylaws are only average if not weak.
For one year, the wanderer studied the fundamentals of wizardry. Spell after spell, incantations were tried. Book after book, secrets were extracted. Lo! It served this individual well.
With so many items started, very few were finished. Big dreams were sketched but most remained on the canvas.
Along the journey, the wanderer came upon 'The Guild', a group of wizards. The members come from different countries. Enthusiastic to learn more about the art, the wanderer joined in.
The wanderer's first days in The Guild were a spectacle. Items. Items. Items. A lot of these should be made. The wanderer wished to comply with all requirements but a few more bylaws needs to be studied. Annoying as it was, those were tackled first.
As days passed, the wanderer's dedication for the art strangely waned. Sure, items in The Guild should be finished swiftly but that alone did not cause this person's lost of interest. 'Something that did not feel right about the situation.'
Rowdy students filled the study hall. Two weeks before the finals, upperclassmen are busy creating prototypes, completing lab reports and cramming to get the required points for passing a subject.
The study hall is not conducive to learning during the time you need it most. However, the author did not go there to only study. A somber feeling of solitude struck this person when the members of the clique are nowhere to be found. 'Company', was what the author looked for.
Normally, one or more would be there at lunch time. This place is the hangout of the "tropa". Stories would be told, food and knowledge would be shared, PC games (sometimes network) would be played and movies would be watched at this informal domicile.
As of this writing, majority of the tropa are at up north having their graduation class field trip. They are learning the rudiments of the tech and semi-con industry. Later night, they will be back in the city.
Empty Northwest Study Hall. (photo by R.A.Waquiz)
The author cannot imagine that this situation will be a norm next term. An eerie feeling of isolation in the midst of a crowd will always be felt. Most of the tropa have their final academic units on load this term. A friend's proper reaction to this should be: "Yey! Just one more boulder and you'll be graduating. Good luck guys!" Instead, the reaction is: "They'll be leaving soon. I'll be left behind with my remaining loads that I should've taken when they're still on-term." Selfish as it may seem but this is the truth.
Having the tropa as friends contributed to the author's personal growth no matter how hard this individual denies it. This person discovered that one can be good friends with people who are different from you [more than 50% different]. This person has an auto-reject personality towards people who has no love for the classics. Well, that was in high school.
Letting unknown, seemingly exotic (in terms of their personality) people into this person's circle was a risk. But it was worth it. The author discovered people who don't follow the society's stereotypes and who do not give much prejudice toward acquaintances. Nature of both sexes were proven as fact of fallacy. Hidden common grounds were found. Slowly, this individual learned to open up to these "new" people. Esprit de corps was exercised but most importantly, bonds the author never imagined were forged.
Fear occasionally plagues the author's mind. There's a lot to do, academics and extra-curricular activities. Much is at stake in both. Sacrificing one for the other is not an option even though academics is more prioritized. It's a blessing that the author finds support and comfort from the tropa. They are willing to give you a lift whenever possible. Those experiences taught the author that seeking help is never a weakness.
Second floor, Northwest Study Hall holds and will continue to hold bittersweet memories that make the author's college experience unforgettable. Adieus might be exchanged soon but everyone will eventually graduate. As Dori said in Finding Nemo, the author needs to "just keep swimming".
As an engineering student, the author attends laboratory courses. Aside from conducting experiments, writing lab reports make these classes heavenly experiences.
In some laboratory classes, reports are required to be written in engineering lettering. You can't be an engineer without going through this rite of passage. Forget the PC or laptop, grab your 1-3-3 guidelines and 0.3 sign pen and begin the art! Use of correction pen is a NO-NO. Your work must be perfectly written. No errors! As lovers of art, the use of JPCS font and fast draft printing is considered heinous. Every experiment is done with love thus three pages of the report are dedicated for data analysis.
Other lab courses require computerized reports. The disheartened students [they love handwriting] generously embellish theirs with decorative images and pictures of the actual experiment.
A few people know that engineering students have a way with words. Students write with finesse by beating around the bush. They express a single sentence in two paragraphs. Magical things of the unknown can be inserted within the these. The outcome? The student just gets the instructor impressed with the fat report and receives a 90+ mark.
Engineering students are not only trained in the technical skills but in the arts and letters as well. Every student is on his or her way to becoming a renaissance man or woman with the wholistic training they get from the program.
As we tread life's path, we pick some duties along the way. Some of them, were personally handpicked. Others were given by the people we meet along our way. As the sands of our time diminish, more things are expected from us.
Humans as we are, we can't accomplish every duty handed over to us. We can't fulfill all responsibilities (very well) in one sitting and we can't live up to everyone's expectations. We are bound to take false steps along life's journey.
Even if we manage to accomplish everything on the to do list. Even if we finish them perfectly, these will not bring true happiness and satisfaction.
The author has always thought that work before play is the best formula in life's journey. Passion is set aside to make room for the tasks assigned. Health is forsaken to meet deadlines. Personal matters are forgotten to get results others demanded. In effect, the author's engaging interest in the routine has become stale. The chains of the dark chasm has caught this person until today.
Today, this person conducted a technical seminar in a computer college. Teaching, imparting knowledge seemed to be a forgotten desire. The event's outcome was not perfect but positive emotions surged from the author's core being.
The author felt absolute bliss that the students learned the basics of game programming. For the first time in ages, this person felt contented with the outcome of this individual's efforts. The sheer joy that came from effectively training the students cannot be compared to any material compensation.
The students did not just learn game development. A new path in computer programming has come their way and it can foster holistic growth.
The interwoven emotions created an endless source of energy. The training was conducted a couple of hours in the afternoon and it's now early dawn. Many things have happened after the seminar. A long walk way home was taken. Dinner was eaten. A movie was watched. Still, this person still has energy to spare.
A new source of hope and will to live was discovered today.
Duties. Responsibilities. Expectations. When one's life solely revolve around these, that person is surely bound to get burned out. One day, his or her eagerness in doing his or her routine will questionably dwindle until nothing is left. Likewise, his or her interest in life will slowly ebb.
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." (Thurman, H.)
No person can overcome all endeavors on their own. Hence the cliché, "No man is an island." Unfortunately, there are some people who choose to go on their journey alone. Some think that they must do everything or they can do anything by themselves.
People who are afraid of being turned down or ridiculed resist the urge to ask help even when they really need to. Why? Is it because of pride? For some, it is. For others, it is because they have developed a predisposition to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Our society demands too much perfection in various fields. Manufacturing companies strive for zero defect in their products. Enterprises create business models before going into business ventures. Celebrities make lots of effort in maintaining flawless fair skin. Everything is based on a carefully structured paradigm. Everything is based on calculations. These in turn create a norm that does not almost tolerate imperfections.