6/25/2007
Yearbooks

Niko never seems to run out of energy. His enthusiasm for almost everything goes for miles, accomplishing far more than he intended to. He also never runs out of things to talk about, although this all depends on whether anybody is around. Also a fairly good writer, he spends his idle time thinking about what to write next. Not making it to the publications meant meeting new friends and actually being a good friend, every single time you need him.

We were asked to supply eighty words for the Green and White staff, and already we're stumped. As the deadline loomed and everybody crammed their write-ups, I've seen more and more people turn to their classmates to provide them with adjectives, phrases, or sentences that describe them. Even worse for some, entire write-ups. And some of them have turned to the one person they thought would be of help to them. Me.

But alas, I have turned them down. I think five people asked me to make their write-ups, but I never did any one of them. My policy was, I'll never touch anybody's self-testimonial without me having touched mine. (Catch was, Jackie and Clarence got ahead in line, and I gave them sentences. Then I got irritated and imposed my policy very strictly, making up excuses along the way.) Come to think of it, I just refuted the very thing I wrote on my write-up. "Actually being a good friend, every single time you need him." With the way I treated this issue, it's already a lie.

Then again, who doesn't lie in yearbooks? Nobody writes sincerely in those hardbound books with page after page of photos, solicitations and zany attempts at being literary. I remember flipping through Jason's high school yearbook, and we were reading all the write-ups, and how everybody in OB Montessori's graduating classes of 2005 have been portrayed glowingly. All the paragraphs point to one's obscure goodness, even if it seems (for the clueless person like me, at least) that the descriptions have been unknowingly forced upon their throats, and then some. It didn't help, for those praised at least, that Jason was picking out certain individuals and was talking about what he thought about them. Well, that's him, all right, but there it was - him, me, Cor and the yearbook, and all the crushes, friends and losers in his high school life.

But at least they get remembered for something positive. Besides, who'd have a clue? One guy's entry would probably praise him for being a very good writer, and if that guy was very advantageous he'd use this as a selling point when he looks for a job. (Maybe he'd mention this in his resumé. He'd cite some obscure yearbook in his personality references. The human resources manager would be gullible enough to track this down.) But nobody would have a clue that what he wrote was enjoyed only by his literature professor and everybody else thought it was spooky. And he was spooky in real life. Only those who were there to see it would know. One down for the world, folks.

And so I wonder. Why have everybody asked everybody else to write them something for the yearbook? Sure, they'd be able to provide a spin to things they probably never saw, but you'll never know what they'd write. Maybe they'd write something good, but cunningly negative for the learned. I remember putting in the word "twisted" to my description for Clarence, for one, although I didn't really mean it negatively - exactly what I mean! We surely care for everybody else, right? Let's write them the safest thing. Maybe they would be surprised at what they learned about themselves. (This would be much more complicated if nobody really likes you. I actually feel very sorry for Jom. Or not.) But nobody realizes that this is the only time you could redeem yourself - and, lo and behold, you're the best Student Council president either Santugon or Tapat never had!

I think nobody has seen the gravity of the Green and White decision to give the write-ups to the students. You're the block's not-so-straight loser? Turn yourself into the reliable creative consultant! You're the stupid hunk? Turn yourself into the guy everybody can rely on! You're the reclusive computer geek? Turn yourself into the audiovisual whiz kid! You're the girl with both the beauty and brains to back it up? Well... state just that! It's the art of euphemisms, magnified. That's why we were taught this at the very first term of our college lives - so that we could lie about ourselves, and do it perfectly.

Then again, we can also be perfectly obscure about it. Faked humility, perhaps. Maybe you could write about me, because if I write about myself I'd be very biased? Well, then, they'd be biased towards themselves when they write yours. You're suddenly his boyfriend, or her best friend, or the class bleep. Who knows? Your image to the world is in their fate, and only rarely can you rewrite it.

I did my own write-up because, frankly, I didn't want to disturb anybody. The week before the submissions ended, we were shooting videos, working on talk shows, and only lately, screenplays and theater plays! And my YM window kept on screaming the fact that everybody is busy, and thus, don't have time for any of your measly excuses for a conversation. But I won't lie on this - I think I have a handle on what everybody thinks of me. You can just see my Friendster comments, or what everybody else has written - or what I myself have, for that matter. Voila! Write-up is served. But maybe it's because I have learned the art of euphemisms to the point that I have applied this to everything, even the good things. At this point, I'm rubbing it in, but my write-up has that covered. They'll never remember me for being cocky and all - they'll remember me for all the good things I have (apparently) done!

But really. It's because this is the first, and only, time I'll ever do so. Elementary school never had one. High school, as some may know, was a failure - it was doomed to fail before Robyn and I attended classes - but we were steps ahead of everyone, by deciding to have the students themselves answer obscure questions rather than describe each other. Then we'll let the rest of the world judge whether you're worth hiring or not.

And yet you're worried as to whether you got your write-up right. The deadline's over, and so is the sucking up part. Everyone's no longer worried sick with building impressions to attract girls with extraordinary writing abilities in a surprisingly pretty package. We've finished working with the euphemisms. Now comes the hard part - tearing them apart. Now let's see who wins this part of the game.

And your responses...

niko! can i return your in design cd next monday? cause i'll be using my laptop for my prinpro project, and it won't be here until friday...

Blogger Celine7/04/2007     

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