And finally

Suddenly, with ubiquity at our necks, we've become so used to endings.

Before I went on the verge of feeling terrible again, I read Maebel's text message, the one she sent this afternoon. "Hey Niko," she went. "Nasugat ako sa toe... it's bleeding... waaah! Hinila mo ako eh..."

Actually, I did. I was invited to the dark room, which was our domain a year ago. I was asked about test prints, and thankfully, I still remembered some things about it, and even managed to give her a tip about how to make test prints that give more bang for the buck. It's been a year, and already I don't know how to discern a good photograph from a bad one, despite believing that whatever you learn merely slips in your subconscious once it's all over.

I spent the entire afternoon doing what I called "sound sensitivity editing" for our thesis. Sir Mariano thought the dialogue was faint in places, especially on that one part in the café, where we had to content with traffic and a construction site immediately beside us. The idea was, since both Jason and Cuyeg are used - maybe tired - of editing the same footage, they end up hearing the lines in their heads, thus overlooking the entire thing. It was a good opportunity for me, too, to learn Final Cut Pro - at least some parts of it - without having to take up post-production class.

If not for thesis, I would've left for home immediately. But, well, today is my last regular school day. Provided everything goes well - and, admittedly it seems to be the case - all I'll have to work on are my final requirements, thesis, and inevitably, graduation. The editing bay was, as usual, a flurry of activity, either for those defending, finishing their post-production, or just bent on finishing thirty patterns for Miss Sibayan, but there really wasn't anything about the fact that it is, for eleven groups at least, the last regular school day. I only got something from Kris, who decided to wear shoes after wearing flip-flops for the longest time, and only to commemorate the apparently eventful day. And then she asks me about the pending comments Miss Bacalla is yet to give.

In fact, I think I saw many people that I haven't seen for almost the entire term. Mae dropped by, with shirts for Jaja, and the usual personal space requests. When I decided to follow her around - my valid excuse was a "sound rest," something I had to do to prevent hearing the dialogue in my head - I also saw Butch, who was trying to get her EAFs. I think the last time I really saw her was the day before Valentine's Day. I got the usual queries about thesis, and I gave my usual answers about thesis. Final revisions, and then, post-defense requirements.

I had lunch at Z2 today, because I was to pick up Jason's laptop to be able to implement my batch of edits. Lately I've been spending more time there, maybe an inevitable push of fate, because thesis is slowly rearing its head again, although thankfully in a less stressful way. Also, I was dead hungry, having last eaten six hours and thirty minutes before. That's the downside to having a class throughout the middle of the day, and world history at that.

Ayis, Maebel and I spent the remainder of the class talking about the dark room. Yes, we know about the ghosts that apparently stay there, and apparently they're becoming a bit more relevant to the lives of the new photography students. I was surprised, because the last time I was there, I managed to work alone and yet not feel anything creepy - call it naïvete, or call it plain focus. It never crossed my mind, though, that for the past two weeks I'd be talking quite frequently to the person that sat behind me during the past three months. Previous to that I was just thinking of how to deal with Hans and his tendencies - which, unfortunately, intensified as he got pushed against the wall - and now, there's this girl called Maebel who's bent on getting to school on time.

She wasn't, for yet another time. She was riding a jeep that insisted on stopping even if the traffic lights are green, and on looking for passengers even if the vehicle is packed. Expletives were already being thrown, and only because she was almost in a terrible position, thanks to those lates, which were apparently scrubbed off by other requirements. And now, we're all just talking about ghosts, jeepney drivers, and other stuff I obviously couldn't relate to, despite the supposed similarities.

Time was running out on us. The time constraints on documentary film class had Sir Doy rush the remaining reporters, especially since today was when people started doing layers of redundancies over filmmakers. Jackie, Sars, John and Leslie were clumped together since they were reporting on one I-Witness reporter each. Others had excerpts, but it was repetitive. All I found fun was sitting on the teacher's chair, working the audiovisual equipment.

John had told me earlier that the defense schedules were up, but for some reason we weren't there. Half-panicky, I later realized that we are scheduled to defend in eight days, although our feature was mistakenly attributed to another group. A sigh of relief for me, at one point, and a longer sigh of distress at another. Because, you know, actually, that's it. After waiting for M208 to open, that was it.

After sending a quick apology to Maebel on the bus, positivity quickly gave way to cynicism.

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