Y is for the Years I can’t get back
Writing this article is the confirmation for me that I’ve reached the finish line of the very long winding race of college. The idea of a diploma is for my parent’s keepsake that another of their ducklings has reached the surface and will be armed and ready for the dog eat dog world out here. And for my graduation picture to be put beside with the laurels of my over-achiever siblings was a feat of and itself.
I remember saying when I was still in school, “I did that way back on my first college”. All the Grammar Nazis (you know who you are) was eyeing me to be burned on a stake. But it meant how it’s said. Being a shifter extraordinaire of different courses, I had to label my college life into phases, because numbers confuse me.
The first phase which I call Bloody Mary phase, which I deemed necessary to be labeled like that because of the amount of blood I loss both figuratively and literally. It’s a course chosen for me, handpicked by the parents. The look on my face when I learned that I was already enrolled in BS Nursing was with both fear and constipation. Being in a new territory was terrifying but being a freshman in a new territory that’s a recipe for a good comedy. Learning from the background how the other part of the population does stuff and trying it for yourself is both rewarding and doesn’t fail to make you feel stupid.
All the books thicker than your skull to be read, all the information you need to absorb and the skills you need to learn is just a pre-requisite to put on a uniform. All the highlighter I used was enough to build me a raft to paddle back home. In nursing you get to know a lot of how things work in the human body. It’s fascinating and disturbing at the same time. But I didn’t found out why my heart was not in this course. I wasn’t just cut out to be frog dissecting, needle pushing, sphygmomanometer pumping, test tube handling and night oil burning nursing student.
Still in the phase is where I begrudgingly shifted to BS Medical Technology where I learned how to deal with drugs, and no, not that kind of drugs, but the kind of drugs that makes you well and healthy. Ironically it made me sick just thinking how a strand of Carbon makes something so darn complex. I didn’t last long though; sadly this course and I didn’t have chemistry.
The last course for this phase was BS Nutrition; for the most part it was tolerable, learning proteins, carbohydrates, and the likes. But there is still that itch deep inside. Yes I am weak, and I caved in. Well even with the love of food I did not finish this course; sadly I do not have the stomach to pursue what I do not want. I was sensing a pattern here. You might think I do not hold education on a high pedestal, but that is one of the things my family which I share with them, treasure most (other than our dog Abby). Education in our family is given high importance. I do not know why the smart genes skipped me, leaving me with mediocrity among the “Scholars” (the school’s name burns me). I still want to be a degree holder, though the road to it seems bleak and far. Being in that state, stuck in a depressing mindset I wallow in self-pity. I did not care for time and I paid for that oh so dearly.
Next phase was the Sabbatical phase. This phase gave me a break on the whole scene. Just being mellow and chill as I find myself, and the problem was I thought I had the time to spare. Being on the lowest point of my tragic teen life, I did what the lonely does best. EAT. Getting out of my angst filled state, rather than cutting myself I diverted to cutting, chopping, mincing, sautéing, marinating all the works into the kitchen. I found myself enjoying this art. And the products are rewarding if seasoned correctly. I found myself again, getting up and enjoying the taste of life. I enrolled in Culinary Arts, it was for 6 months. I remembered, going to the institute going in the rains as a typhoon smashed the city. Unfortunately my shoes did not make it through that experience. But I did come out renewed on the whole experience. Finding out that life is really short I want to put my mindset on track. Cooking was a good outlet, but I did not see it suitable for me for a career. Again I left. I put down my apron, not taking the heat, I left the kitchen.
Final phase on the list is the Read Or Die Phase. Going back to the homeland was good to my system. Where the tricycles outnumbered the passengers, where the fare increases as the night goes darker. Refreshing at the same time as nostalgia hits your face. AB-English was the course I chose, well semi-chosen, because my eldest sister talked me into it. Making articles, reading books, reviews, research was only the tip of the iceberg.
Getting to see old faces mix with the new was disorienting. My high school batch mates were nearing their graduation and those who I know who are my juniors are now on the same year as me. I was so pissed at myself but getting back on my past mindset won’t help me.
Being a freshman all over again, adjusting on a different setting and people. Challenge accepted I said to myself. But my knees were trembling as I ask a girl where the ACD building was. I started my new year being the old guy in the class, being called “Sir” and leader of every group in every class for the rest of the semester. That was enough punishment for the time I lost and spent idly.