4/10/2008
The foreign chocolate treatment

Ariane really is making the most of the very last giveaway - yes, we finally got the chocolate treatment.

Jose fought, figuratively, for the last DHL bag that Sir Doy gave away. Everybody knows that, during the last meeting we had, he already got some magazines about sound editing, if I remember correctly. Then again, what was inside was something I really would've wanted to have - a copy of Time Out Singapore, which turned out to have a fairly interesting look.

Then again, I already got myself something from "the refrigerator" - a VCD copy of Batch '81, one of the films Sir Doy wrote. I've always wanted to see it, partly because it was one of Jason's favorite films, and partly because I have somehow acquired a greater appreciation for old films since I started taking up majors. I watched it during the Holy Week, and thoroughly thought about it once the credits started to roll. I was okay with that, really, but Sir Doy brought out one last giveaway from his ubiquitous black messenger bag.

Half a minute later, I was holding in my hands a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates. "Kasya, kasya," I went, realizing that two rows of fifteen means thirty pieces, which is more than enough for a class of twenty-five. It was for the entire class, and Sir Doy specifically instructed us to get one, and just one piece. And since it was a special day, we were allowed to eat it in the classroom, while we were exchanging our documentary ideas. I think nobody wanted to eat it because, well, it was a Ferrero Rocher - chocolate, crushed hazelnuts, hazelnut spread, mouth-watering goodness and all that. That's what I planned to do, anyway.

It wasn't really a big deal back then, but there were stories going around. Sir Doy would usually give away chocolates from his overseas trips to his students, the upperclassmen said. When he pulled out the box, I thought, this is our foreign chocolate moment, although Ferrero Rochers are available locally, and I barely finished my set for a month after Valentine's Day. He did come from Singapore, as one of his documentaries was included in the Singapore International Film Festival over the weekend. When Sars was unwrapping the chocolates, she remarked, "amoy Singapore!" and then gave me the tape that acted as the seal. It did smell like chocolates, but it was already a familiar smell to me.

Tomorrow is supposedly the biggest day for the lives of those who are part of the six remaining thesis groups from our batch that are defending tomorrow. We've been pretty much trained for this day, although as a final requirement for conceptualization class, and at this moment I don't really feel very nervous. It's just a formality, after all, and maybe, after all the questions have been asked and the applause has been sounded, we'll just submit a few other things and we can say we're done. When the wrap-up finished, Jason and I were huddled in front of his laptop again, discussing and arguing about compression codecs and DVD capacities, while Jackie, Kaymee and Ariane were dead worried about the third part of the documentary having out-of-sync audio from out of the blue. Three hours later - after Dominic Morissette's talk slash forum slash "light refreshments" slash discussion about out post-thesis future - we were all at the editing bay, worried about DVDs in every conceivable way, and yet somehow feeling that the end is just around the corner.

I don't feel particularly rushed, now that everything will soon slip away, and we'll all be merely memories along the halls of Miguel's second floor. In fact, while I've been making more mistakes, and taking my time, it's as if all we're going through is a mere box of chocolates on the refrigerator - an indulgence that we're a little bit too used to. But soon it will all be gone, and you'll only be playing with the wrapper. Precisely what I did today, after making the most of yet another Ferrero Rocher - the aluminum wrapper became the golden ticket, and the paper cup (of sorts) has been turned into a cross between the Olympic torch and a bouquet of flowers. Well, Sars worked on the latter.

At the end of the class - as I expected, we were dismissed early - the remaining chocolates were fought upon by whoever had the box, and whoever was around it. Everybody did get one each, except for Kor, who didn't arrive in class on time, and was so dead worried about not making the deadline, to the point of texting me while we were all savoring our chocolates. And then, as if we haven't had enough during the two birthday surprises, we were still bent on having photos with Sir Doy, at least for one last time, while everybody was dropping a hint about course card distribution day. I got mine too, with Naomi's help - she who dared to get her MacBook Pro, that expensive piece of kit, and pointed it at the three of us as if we're college kids. It worked, and I'll be waiting for that photo, maybe until all of us can say it is almost over, which is when they stop asking questions tomorrow. Maybe we'll look for chocolates immediately afterwards.

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