Two-track thinking

So classes start tomorrow. Another fifteen weeks or so of sheer business that'd eventually be sprinkled with everything not involved with academics. It comes around among AB-CAM students quite popularly, that the "hardships" we've been through the last term is the easiest things can get.

And, in my case, it's composed of photography, production and voice modulation. Oh, and statistics.

One thing that's different from the last terms is, simply said, the nervous breakdowns (or what amounts to it) that I have aren't showing up. Or maybe I'm distracted at things like, say, new breakfast shows to wake up to, or the prospect of things botching up as they usually do. I'm not expecting anything spectacular, and yes, I am still surprised that I performed quite well last term. (Not to mention I actually miscalculated my GPA for last term. Turns out I'm still in the first honors dean's list.) And indeed, we were sort of numbed by everything that's happened last term - I know it was the case for one of us, inclusive of a thirty-minute phone conversation - which means anything that's thrown at us is nothing but a minor upgrade.

But that's looking at things optimistically. On the other extreme, I could go delirious and notice that a lot of us are barely hanging on, and a handful have actually let go - either failing or, less spectacularly, shifting - and declare that failing in the hands of reputable teachers is our sealed fate. We're all bound to run after severely limited film supplies, fight over severely limited dark room equipment, kill over severely limited computers - and maybe, just maybe, make a showbiz tragedy out of severely limited ideas, where a few are bound to monopolize.

Chances are, we've entered a race where ideas run wild. That's what we are supposed to catch. And I sometimes wonder whether I'd survive that in a world where, as mentioned, few are bound to monopolize those ideas. And indeed, we are clinging to people.

But we are not in a lack of ideas, I suppose. Only point is, some have wonderfully positioned themselves to make it look like they're doing it better - "gods" at it, for that matter, like that blaring videoke machine where nobody seems to let up despite a very obvious lack of singing talent - and now we are the ones being stepped on. And with the faculty somehow not making things any easier, it's seems we're bound to lose.

With all of these perceived realities running through my head, I'm supposed to have a breakdown now, right?

The next surprise is, I'm not really excited about school. Sure, I've been hyping it up just to get me ready, without trying to sleep early because I'm supposed to get used to sleeping late, if not at all, but after all, I've been bored to bits and thus have ended up thinking that there's really nothing in store for me after all. I do fuss over the smallest details, and I might as well kill people (and cosnequently get convicted - I'm turning eighteen, I've got no more immunity) when I break the lens, lose a tripod, wreck the film, corrupt the layout, trash the recording, or botch the calculation.

Come to think of it, I've got more places to do so. Community service, photo shoots, more interviews - mention it, I'll give you more examples.

Then again, all this pessimism eventually gets killed. All experiences make one step forward; we find thrill in running around (but not in losing sleep), doing public transport, making side trips after the big meeting, or maybe a big night out to celebrate it all off. If they'd only include me - oh, wait, pessimism! - anyway... okay, so it collapsed. I am meant to be this way. And then, probably, I'll trot off into some dream land where only I exist, but then again I'll eventually get lonely. Oh, the drift.

I can only ask merciful heavens to guide me in choosing the right aperture speed, writing a good story, speaking in the right pace, buying the right can, reading the right handout properly, and looking closely at the numbers I'm counting.

Oh, and through my eighteenth year, where nobody is supposed to make fun of me, for we are all in the same league now. At least for a few months or so. I gotta, gotta, gotta be assertive.

And your responses...

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