The thirteenth week

Sara may be deferring, but that doesn't prevent her from being in the editing bay, the nucleus of everything thesis lately.

With the lines forming outside the vice dean's office, the second floor is abuzz with activity. The center of gravity, however, lies in the editing bay - that collection of rooms that's full of computers, video editors, and yes, everybody's stresses.

Tomorrow is the final submission of those letters of intent to defend. For some groups - seven as of last count - today was the day of last-minute changes, scrambles, and early congratulations. We received word that our thesis, aside from a few minor revisions, is "defendable," but only I managed to let out a faint cheer. Right now I'm thinking about the abstract we have to submit, and I'm not expecting a reply from any of my partners at this time, despite having sent off a copy to both Cuyeg and Jason.

Right now, however, I have Marielle on YM. "We Gary robots should stick together," she said, as we started typing what she calls "one hundred crucial words" together. Twenty minutes later, she has eighty-eight, and I have sent my eighty-two.

The abstract may be some sort of last-minute thing for us aspiring defenders - too early to call us graduates, I guess - but it's been treated as a necessary inconvenience to be able to earn the badge that says we're-done-and-we'll-defend. I remember Celize earlier, hugging Marielle as news of their being "defendable" broke through the laptop nook at the editing bay. Justin, I think, wasn't even aware that they were virtually given the go-signal. It's that subtle; only a nod, and we're on the go.

For the others, though, it's still a long road to ruin, to quote that Foo Fighters song. Icka and Les' thesis, for one, virtually went to the heavens when their hard drive crashed four hours before they could show it to Sir Rapatan. Of course they were given an extension, but today they were reediting the entire thing, as they were asked to reorganize the documentary. Luckily they still managed to interview Gaby dela Merced at the very last minute.

There's a sense of zoom to the second floor lately. Well, it's the last regular week of the term. Everybody calls this hell week, but for some of us in the course, we barely give a damn about floating subjects anymore. I don't really have classes on Mondays and Wednesdays at this point, but we still have that advocacy project for gender studies class that we've been admittedly cramming. For some reason, I can't get my mind to work, despite Jin pushing me to stop taking pictures and instead think of micromovements. Kizia probably was the one who saved me during the seventy-five minutes we were in the room.

And even if we feel that the end is nearing, well, we couldn't feel it, even. It's just the usual cramming drive, that last push that we have to do to be able to get things finished, even if things aren't obviously going well. I have done some sort of thesis counseling for some groups who think they can still make it, but sometimes you really just have to get things done another way, I guess.

Tomorrow, we're still going to show our film to Sir Mariano, despite the fact that I would've dropped off the abstracts and the LOI earlier that morning. Everybody was short of time: I think our mentor had three appointment requests at the same time! When our turn came, we never got stuff hooked on the television, and we never got to show the entire thing, since a lot were waiting.

But there also seems to be too much time, as deadlines keep on moving. Our investigative report has been moved another week, for the second time, and then I don't know what else will happen. Maybe it's just a joke for Alyssa's birthday tomorrow, but who are we to guess?

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