A hot summer night

So tomorrow I go back to work (and so does most of New York).  Others had the misfortune of having to work Monday, but we did a 4-day weekend.  My kitchen light conked out and has been flickering like crazy despite a replacement light.  We were told to purchase the ballast replacement and since we got it today from Lowe’s, I left a message with the management office to please send the electrician over tomorrow to have it done.  It’s a little difficult doing the dishes at night by the dining table light and the stove light. 

I was peeking at my sampaloc stalk which continues to grow but now I’m a tad bit worried about it not sprouting any leaves.  If it doesn’t by the weekend, my stalk, I think, is doomed to wilt away.  (Am I being a pessimist thinking that?)  That tiny stalk has been such a source of hope as far as my window garden is concerned.  My herb seedlings have started to flourish — I can actually make out the basil from the parsley seedlings now that they are around 2-3 inches from the top of the soil.  One of those things I will just have to wait out.

It’s such a hot night tonight.  (Why am I still here in the living room instead of in the airconditioned bedroom anyway?)  Busy blogging.  Trying to make up for the time I won’t be doing it tomorrow at work.  (Save if I get to draft anything during the day, but I plan to write some letters in my spare time..)

I have to recover files that were lost — I have some of my document templates on disc.  I have to burn CDs of those that are in my H drive as a precaution — heaven forbid that the company server crashes or something!  I might actually make it to the post office after all to mail some much-delayed letters.

I just got an e-mail from one of my bestfriends who carries the weight of the world on her shoulders.  Makes me want to bow my head in shame for letting the heat get to me.  Not that I don’t have my own burdens — but I have been fortunate to have a hidden hand helping me carry the load through all this time.  It’s one of those e-mails that makes you wish you had magic powers to change things.. make life better.. help someone with some problem or other.  I guess that’s why magic is what it is — otherwise, we’d all be sitting pretty and maybe some of the most elementary things we know today wouldn’t have been invented because everything just came with the snap of a finger.

She said “Mabait si Mama Mary.”  Spoken like a true daughter of Mother Mary.  Her faith keeps her strong and her strength keeps others strong in turn.  If I found a genie tonight, Fe, you’d get one of my three wishes.


Feedback on Law School

Indulge me my biases but I received Feedback from someone who is going through the same thing I went through practically 18 years ago (Yes,it has been that long!) when I was a Freshman in Ateneo.  Angel, a current Freshman at the Ateneo School of Law wrote in response to an old post “Back When I was in Law School” (March 31, 2006):

Hi. I like reading your entries. I am currently in Ateneo Law as a freshman and I am amazed at your stories. Very inspiring one way or another…

The Pinay New Yorker writes: Angel, inspiration is one thing you will need a lot of as you go through semester after semester of longer case loads, more difficult subjects, even more difficult professors, and I hope you be spared of having to be put under probation.  (Something I was not, but which I survived.)

I always tell law-student hopefuls (mostly college students who are considering pursuing higher studies in the legal field) that law school is definitely difficult, and the only thing that will keep you going and see you to surviving to the Bar Exams and beyond is to want it so badly you will hurdle anything and everything to get your dream.

You will find yourself cursing your professors for belittling you and insulting you in front of your class despite your best efforts — but believe me, when you sit down to take the Bar, you will see that all that aggravation makes your different — and more importantly, better prepared — to tackle the test of your life.

If you think Persons & Family Relations, ConstiLaw 1, Legal Ethics (is it still Fr. Ferrer?), Statutory Construction and Criminal Law I gives you a most unreasonable burden in terms of case load and books to read, don’t hold your breath that it will get better because Obligations & Contracts, ConstiLaw 2, Criminal Law 2 and the rest of the second semester’s killer subjects will only have longer case loads and more reading assignments.  It doesn’t really get any easier, but you will find that as the semesters find you moving on, you will have a better sense of reading the law as one body, and not just individual provisions. 

I realized this is not as easy for students as it is for someone who has gone through the four years of law school, more so in the beginning.  You get the bigger picture once you see the horizon.  You get to read the cases faster and find the issue and the ratio decidendi without as much difficulty once you get the hang of it.  Bernas’ comparative discussion of the different Constitutions begins to make sense to you.  The memorizing can get tedious but you will get your memory working hard enough that it will be second nature in time.  (Of course retaining what you memorized beyond the actual recitation day is another thing. LOL)

It doesn’t get any easier but it WILL get better.  No matter how unfeeling your professors may seem, they actually want you to succeed.  I know because my own bestfriend taught in her alma mater (not Ateneo, though), after she successfully hurdled the bar as her way of giving back. 

Don’t just memorize the law — try to understand it.  Read the chapters together instead of reading the codal provisions individually.  Look at the story being told in each case, then zero in on what led to the decision that makes the case remarkable enough to be part of the curriculum. 

When I started in law school, there were 4 sections.  By the time we were ready to take the Bar, we had been pared down to 2.  As we saw the sections being streamlined, friends were being booted out, we started to work together, dividing the class into groups to tackle reviewers for each subject.  Some of us even taped the “tape-worthy” professors such as Atty. Cesar Villanueva who made Corporation Law come alive for us and transcribed his lectures word for word.  We assigned the cases way in advance so that the class had the digests to read (but not to depend on) when they came up for recitation.

Don’t ever get overwhelmed.  Take your daily disappointments as everyday happenings but do not dwell on them.  You have quite a ton coming your way as you have barely started.  That’s why you really have to want it to overcome it all.  Are you up for it? 



The Fireworks of Freedom

Each of us has our concept of freedom, one different from the other.  It may not necessarily be freedom from oppression from foreign powers, from incarceration or for the rebellious youth, the stranglehold of their parents — freedom is a concept that takes different forms and shapes.

Freedom, however, in my personal view, is not absolute.  Like anything, there is a need for some form of restraint, otherwise, freedom evolves into excess.  Like most everything in life, moderation is essential. 

The space shuttle DISCOVERY hurtled into space again after a long haitus due to the last space shuttle mishap, lighting the skies again in a most symbolic fashion on this significant day to this country.  For all the mire that the country is in the present time, recalling and giving recognition to the lives lost to make this nation what it is today is most befitting.

Fireworks are going off all around me in this usually quiet part of New York.  Americans are very proud of their history, no matter how they struggle to write its continuation in the present.  This is my 6th fourth of July here.  As someone transplanted from 10,000 miles away, I am still a spectator to all this celebration.  5 years ago, I was even in Manhattan to witness the fireworks spectacle by the East River (thanks for the correction, Nina) — watching atop one of the waterfront buildings with my sister who was here then.  You can’t help but feel the emotion of the celebration if you watch the fireworks with the accompanying music.  Happy 4th of July, America!