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WHATTADAY!!!

“Whattaday” is an augmented word formed out of the general expression “What a day!” It means that something so big happened that it breaks the expected habitual humdrum and overwhelms the person involved. The word aims to evoke a feeling of surprise or disbelief, depending on the polarity of the situation: either it must be really good or it must be the exact opposite. As for me, September 17, 2007 must have been the most punishing whattaday. Ever!

I DIDN’T DO MY ASSIGNMENT BECAUSE I MUST SLEEP

I had to stop doing my homeworks on the midnight of September 16 (or was it almost dawn?) just so I could give my body a time to rest, which then has to be really quick so I won’t be late for school. I have been known to be a notorious late-comer and it’s starting to affect my grades (Yes, attendance is graded, and it’s lame). So I thought that by coming to class before anyone else does will break that reputation (and save me from the dreaded “3.0 mark”).

I raced towards my classroom and was the first to arrive, alright. It was a sign of a good day, which is accentuated by a beautiful sunrise. Then the sunrise became sunshine, gently emitting rays to signal the start of day. I settled in my seat, assured that I’m not late (first in a long time). My classmates arrived. The bell rang. Fifteen minutes later, it became apparent: the teacher was late. Ironically, this is the one and same teacher who preaches the importance of early attendance, and any student who fails to abide by it she’s ready to give a failing grade. Just to recap of how bad in shape I was: I didn’t have any assignments to submit; I wasn’t awake enough to get anything done efficiently; I wanted to sleep but I couldn’t; and, on a rare day like this, I wasn’t late when I can be. It was early in the day and I was miserable already. Thus, the continued with a series of misfortunes.

 

IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE

Next period was Math and the instructor assigned me to summarize all the reports that each pair of student did within the week. She probably did this because: a) she’s lazy; b) she wanted to put the line of learning about a complicated subject into the hands of a student with a serious trouble with numbers (ahem, that would be me), or; c) she just wanted to buy time because she didn’t have anything else to teach based on her semestral plan. I went discussing from ANOVA to every statistical stuffs that precedes it, all by myself. Was she punishing me or trying to embarrass me in front of the class? I don’t know. I didn’t bother finding out and I didn’t bother remembering what I just discussed. But it’s pathetic.

Then in Communication Values and Ethics, a major class, I had to participate in a debate. It was a class exercise that was to be graded as a special project. Two teams comprised of four members each and will have to argue for or against Silent Press vs Irresponsible Press. During the debate, one can assume that I was simply bluffing and/or leading the opposing team in circles. That must have been the most comic debate I participated in. It wasn’t supposed to be like that.

Right after that messy debate, I dressed up as a Swiss mad doctor out on a winter night, for Drama and Theater Arts, another major class. I was scheduled to perform a monologue, another midterm exam disguised as a class exercise. I made a conscious decision to perform the climactic singing part from the Jekyll and Hyde musical. The song, “This is the Moment”, is challenging to perform as it contains rapid progression of high notes, strong pitch and aggressive tone, and some abrupt build up of volume. Fine tenors are the only ones permitted to sing it with passion and strict seriousness. But I’m no tenor. And I’m foolish enough to pretend to be one. And the only place I can sing with passion is the shower.

Nevertheless, I managed to be dramatic and convincing in the first two verses of the song (because the notes in those parts are low). Until I reach the chorus, I couldn’t register a higher note so my vocals totally went off! I was singing but no voice is coming out. I eventually lost my concentration and had myself laughing while singing instead, and it went like so every time I was about to sing difficult parts. Lack of sleep and limited talent is a lethal combination to become a flop!

My last period, TV and Radio Practices and Principles, loaded more weight to our already rigid schedule. For our exam, the teacher appointed four groups to make a documentary, a project that is to be made in a week’s time only! I seriously needed time to take a breather!

 

WHAT SCHOOL IS AND ISN’T…

School is a funny institution. It makes you do a lot of things in a limited period and expects you to produce something great, and yet gives you little or no foundation before setting you off on your task. At least that’s my case with mine. Between finding out how to do it and doing it decently so it won’t suck and just plain doing it in time is really a challenge. Granted, it expands the experience that will be useful in the future. But if every teacher hands out your task and requires them to be submitted on the same day is rather unrealistic. And a teacher being jealous because you favor another project isn’t helping anyone. Balance is a trait that’s missing in the picture. To be a student, one must readily lash out big sacrifices, and more often than not, it involves sparing one project’s success in exchange of another’s chaos. To be a student is to disregard what privilege you have, both personal and obtained. And finally, to be a student is to forget about compensation and be reminded always of the consequences. This is college and everything should be the best.

On my part, I didn’t have a stellar attendance record due to the aforementioned things in the latter paragraph. I was always missing in action inside the classroom because I figured I’ll likely forget every bulleted terms and keywords they teach us. But when it comes to special projects, which, my teachers claim, is supposed to build my experience and is a great way to get ahead in life after college (they didn’t actually say that bluntly but they might as well have), I made sure that I can’t be ignored.

 

A DIFFERENT WHATTADAY

September 18 cometh and everything is a little funny now because it is another “whattaday” for me, sans the misfortunes. I don’t have anything to do today. I don’t have anything to worry about at all! Now I hog the the air to swell up my lungs and deplete my battered body of stress cells. Nothing is happening. I’m beginning if I have died yesterday after experiencing a handful of blows and today I’m in heaven as a reward for my persistence. But I am alive. After this narration and precarious rant, my plea must have been answered. Will this serenity last? Hmmm.


Author’s note (Dec. 28, 2011):

When the semester described in this article, has ended, I stopped schooling for a while. I simply told people that I deserved to rest. I have a bigger reason, however, which I will tackle in a different article soon.

I modified some sentences that are superfluous, changed some that are confusing, added some for emphasis, and omitted some that are irrelevant. I used my memories to make this post truly reflect what I felt back then. And I hope that they give you a funny feeling after reading this.

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