Showing posts from May, 2005

Undergraduate, Not Student

Marianne Moore:THE STUDENT

"In America," began
the lecturer, "everyone must have a
degree. The French do not think that
all can have it, they don't say everyone
     must go to college." We
incline to feel
     that although it may be unnecessary

to know fifteen languages,
one degree is not too much. With us, a
school--like the singing tree of which
the leaves were mouths singing in concert--
     is both a tree of knowledge
and of liberty--
     seen in the unanimity of college

mottoes, Lux et veritas,
Christo et ecclesiae, Sapient
. It may be that we
have not knowledge, just opinions, that we
     are undergraduates,
not students; we know
     we have been told with smiles, by expatriates

of whom we had asked "When will
your experiment be finished?" "Science
is never finished." Secluded
from domestic strife, Jack Bookworm led a
     college life, says Goldsmith;
and here also as
     in France or Oxford, study is beset with
dangers,--with bookworms, mild…

Honesty: From Fact To Feeling

"It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have time."

- Tallulah BankheadThough my family would write Roman Catholic in our documents, we didn't practice going to church every Sunday. My parents didn't teach us to pray and fear God.

In grade 4, I transferred from a public school to a private Catholic school. My new school held mandatory confession every first Friday of the month (usually after the first Friday mass.) Our teachers instructed us to write down our sins so that we won't forget them and so as to make the process fast.

I was sort of excited with confessing, as it would be my first time. I simply saw it then as another new concept to learn.

But as I got used to doing it, listing sins became just another task. There were times when I could only think of lying and being lazy to do homework as my only wrongdoings for the month. I would then invent sins as I thought it couldn't be possible for a human being to commit only 2 offens…

Speaking Of Idols, Here's Mine

Piano Forte News: Many amateurs get terribly nervous about playing in public. What would you suggest to them to overcome their fear?

Gloria Cheng: One needs to keep things in perspective: a recital is not a life or death situation! Try to keep in mind that the audience is there because they like you and they've come out to share in a wonderful musical experience; so the nice thing to do is to just give them a good time. The other thing to keep in mind is that you are not important, the music is what is important. When I can forget myself and inhabit the piece and just become one with it, then my own problems, hang-ups and ego disappear, which is as it should be.I think the musician is important, but what Cheng is saying is that the goal's not to show off.

My treasure, adversely speaking

After the lapse
Of a year or two,
The books your neighbor
Borrowed from you
Are his, according to his lights,
by the principle of squatter's rights.

—Anonymous I have tons of books which I borrowed and haven't returned yet. Most of them from friends I don't see any longer and some from those I no longer wish to see.

I will return them, if the owners ask for them. Returning these books would be a nice way of seeing old friends. But if they let me keep their books, then these shall serve as good remembrances, gifts.

Magnificent Obsession: Wearing My Heart On My Sleeve

I ask my brother why novelty songs get easily stuck in your head even if you don't want them to.

I, being a commuter, think that the PUV drivers who seem to be in mutual agreement to tune their radios to the same station that plays novelty songs have something to do with this.

But my brother simply answers that the reason why these songs replay in your head after listening to them for a couple of times--or even just once is because they use only 3 chords at a maximum. And most of them major chords. Well that's his theory (feel free to rebut it any time.)

With that statement, though, I figure that if all it takes to write a song are 3 major chords, then maybe I could write a song as well. (In this part of writing I hope I am not offending every decent songwriter there is.)

He says what's commonly used are C, D, G and A. So in my song, maybe I could use F, B and E (I say to him with much naïveté.) I still am not familiar with chord progression, but I have time to learn and …


by Robert Francis

He cuts each log in lengths exact
As truly as truth cuts a fact.

When he sawed an honest pile
Of wood, he stops and chops awhile.

Each section is twice split in two
As truly as a fact is true.

Then having split all to be split,
He sets to work at stacking it.

No comb constructed by a bee
Is more a work of symmetry

Than is this woodstack whose strict grace
Is having each piece in its place.¤

When the class gets too noisy, my Math teacher in grade school begins speaking softly, quietly, then we pay attention.

I Take The Weather Personally, Teddy

"Do you feel as useful as the letter g in the word laughter?"
- from a local radio station

"The lighthouse has made me a better person."
- Mang Ruben, Lighthouse keeper at Burgos, Ilocos NortePAGASA says this is not the hottest climate the Philippines has experienced. But this is the hottest I have experienced.

A fragment of "Owning the Maze":

My sister took the window seat. She always did. I strained to see the view outside. There were buildings, the highway, billboards. We were still in Manila. As the view changed into trees, mountains, streams, and the sky became wider, I knew we were near to something to what now I would call, digression.

In childhood, that digression was clearly a place: Baguio and its horses, Vigan and its pink sand. Until I grew and figured that all I had been wanting, all I was waiting for at that long trip, straining, looking at the window, was a moment of amazement.

A bit older, I thought that the place had little to do with tha…


What I have learned today:

1. Although story is staple, there are memories and desires that musn't be expressed at once (some times at all.) I had been in a dazzling place with a lovely person. I had a camera with me, but never thought of taking any picture. Because

2. An impulse to take a photograph is a surrender to forgetting. Furthermore, it's an insult to the subject, not seeing it with your naked eyes.

3. It is one of the most magnificent feelings walking away from an admired person without anxiety to meet again, knowing you will be remembered well.

4. But today is not a perfect day. The worst inappropriate song that could be stuck in your head has just stuck in my head. Here are some of the lyrics:I took the hand of a preacher man
and we made love in the sun
. . . .
I've been undressed by kings
and I've seen some things
that a woman ain't supposed to see...
Still don't know it? Here's a dead give away:I've spent my life exploring
the subtle wh…