Good luck to the rest of us

Was Mae cheering on? I don't know. But (most of) the rest of us must be happy.

Half past four and I'm awake again. Basically my mind was in between advanced radio production class and journalism class, in things that I've given too much time on, and otherwise. The moment I switched my mobile on, I got one text message and it was utterly familiar to the rest of us.

"Good luck tomorrow! Knock 'em dead!"

I ended up shouting at my phone, simply because it's too early in the morning when I got it. There was another text message, and it was the same person, saying the same thing. Why I shouted is probably an entirely different thing.

"Mishaaaa!" I blurted out at the breakfast table.

Back to reality. Welcome back to thesis.

At this point only thirteen groups remained. Ten of those came from our batch, and already we were being asked questions, as much as we were the ones doing the asking. What would happen if we get disapproved? Would we be able to work on a thesis proposal in roughly twelve days? Yesterday some have basically mentioned how they have started working on the proposal, and maybe beyond, even, but it never hit me until I finally went up the stairs and back to M208, where three Wednesdays have been spent in anxiety.

It's pretty much like baseball: three strikes and you're out. I've been there so many times, and we've probably spent two days of our entire lives consulting with Sir Mariano regarding loopholes, story lines and semantics. In fact, our proposal was signed a week before the deadline. Not content, we revised it two more times, and I ended up submitting the required five copies on the deadline itself. There wasn't so much fanfare like the first reading - that day I ran up and down revising the proposal further - so maybe we're getting the hang of it. Whether it eventually is worth it is another matter.

Miss Diaz entered the room five minutes earlier than she said. Saying she had good news for most of us, we eventually realized we're defending our feature proposal again. Jason and Cuyeg were in the back row, having arrived seconds before the announcement, and already contemplative. It's like my heart sank. Three times and we're still not through? What's more, the panel - not yet that nerve wrecking, but nerve wrecking nevertheless.

Coming out of M209, and Jason thought I made our chances worse. I didn't give an answer. I thought he was getting teary-eyed.

And suddenly it seems I was having a lot of sympathizers, most being in the same state of flux as I am. I found myself pulling a stool at the editing bay with Char, Kris, Leslie and Mimi telling stories about defense, why it took longer than anticipated, why it seems better and yet worse at the same time, and why (for some reason) gender issues ambiguously came into play. After all that, I retired to the radio booth, still recording stingers, rather than starting work on the research paper for journalism class.

John got ahead of me forty minutes ago. "Yes naman, approved!" he typed in the conversation window. I shouted at the monitor, again.

"Seryoso ka, John?"

At the risk of sounding like a freak, I pulled out my phone and texted Jason and Cuyeg.

That is a big sigh of relief. It came to the point when I was toying with the idea of losing priority enrollment privileges, and not minding it, since I've enrolled in every class I'm supposed to take. Maybe not being in the dean's list is another thing, but it never even crossed my mind. Right now, though, I've been given another task to fulfill, and here we go with another challenge. Twelve days to convince the department further that our proposal would work very well. Some say they can still disapprove our proposals - as some call it, a throwback to research class - at this point.

Not everybody is lucky, however. Kayette's group has been disapproved for the second time - they were given the same card on the second reading - and it seems them waiting for M208 to open so that Gaille can get her stuff back has been relegated to the mundanely extraordinary. I think I saw Danica shedding some tears at the corridor to the female restroom - apparently some can be told about their decision as early as the defense itself. No wonder Kris kept on asking me about the results, barely thirty minutes after we wrapped up the arguments. I was extraordinarily silent, they said. I actually wasn't breathing.

Sad as fate may seem for six people that took the same challenges as us, I'd end up thinking that the past eleven weeks, and further back, we spent on thinking, arguing, and maybe demanding is all worth it. Twelve days of doing a thesis proposal is the next step, and then I could justify doing some things and lose privileges on doing others, but at least I can say I didn't make a fool out of myself with the reactions I give out, and the puzzling ideas I somewhat entertained - from the fact that the last submission fell on Issa's birthday, to the idea that my glitchy Internet connection as of late was a sign that we would make it this time, as Meh somehow suggested. Maybe it's just me and my vocal, err, prowess.

The next thing I know, I'd receive another text message, and I'm falling away from my mobile.

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