Words are starting to muddle before my eyes so I decided to take a short break from proofreading the last part of our final thesis documentation. I sighed as I took a glimpse of my thesis partner who, at that time, was placidly sleeping on the other side of the room. Damn it, I should have given in when he offered to help earlier that night. But being an occasional neat freak, I volunteered to do it all on my own.
We have already passed the defense, but in order to move forward, we need to get the signature of our entire panelist in which one out of four was missing. To give you an idea, let me explain the entire process…
After defending the thesis, it has to be published, and then applied for a patent. Once we have completed these tasks, we will earn one (out of many) signature needed for our graduation clearance. These signatures are the leverage that will allow us to get out of the institution that fries our brain cells every single day. They are the ticket to freedom; to a better future, a fulfilling job, or maybe a business, and some other conventional shits this world has blueprinted for us, blah blah blah. Pretty much like collecting stickers to get that overvalued Starbucks planner.
Two days prior, everything seemed to fall on our side when one of the panelists did not make it on time. We had to find a replacement. And guess what. The only person available and “fitted” for the role is a notorious instructor known for failing an entire section, just because…he can. Pffffft. Left with no choice but to curse everything in sight, we led him to our defense pit.
Vexed with the sudden turn of events, I started to think about how I will explain to my parents that they would have to wait for another year to see their favorite daughter on stage, to receive a piece of paper as a compensation for being mentally and emotionally tormented for the last five years of her life, for flopping the defense. I later regretted thinking about these negativities instead of focusing on our thesis itself. Expecting for the worst makes me calm in some ways, though.
After almost an hour of a battle of wit and persuasion; squeezing and rebuttals we were able to crawl out of the pothole…barely breathing, but alive. Oh, thank you, heavens!
Good thing we managed to have this photo taken looking like we did not come from a bloodshed.
Back then, I saw how this instructor went easy on us. Way too easy he didn’t ask much about our thesis. Medyo na-disappoint pa ‘ko. Just kidding. It seemed like the gods savored us a pinch of a miracle because as I’ve seen in our previous lectures (yes, I attended one of his Advanced Math classes before), he was very keen to details. During recitations, he’ll look for every possible loophole he could find and if he finds one…bam. See you next sem. I am quite exaggerating, but see how it left a mark on me. To be honest, I still feel icy cold at the nape of my neck whenever I hear his name or any words sounding alike.
I was actually looking forward to the night after our defense, so that I could, at least, sleep longer the three hours, not on a jeepney ride on my way to the campus or at a school desk, but on a decent bed, my bed with my pillows, and my Doraemon fleece blanket. So imagine the disappointment when I found myself revising 300 pages worth of documents in one of the midnights of March 2014 just because he refused to sign our thesis waiver. He said he’ll only do it if we revised the paper according to a certain standard that even our own adviser didn’t require us to follow. The hell with it.
I really don’t mind doing the extra work. That was easy. The hardest part was thinking about how stuck we are while our other block mates were having one of the best nights of sleep of their lives. With no more thesis in mind. I feel so unjustly treated by the universe. *Cries*
If you are still reading this, I thank you from my aortic valve. I didn’t notice that this post is becoming too long now, I am sorry. So to cut it short, my thesis partner and I were able to collect those stickers just enough to claim that school year’s Starbucks planner.
Say hello to our 20-year young selves. Eager to see what lies ahead of us in the “real” world.
Three years after leaving the university, I still fall into these kinds of circumstances. Some are even far worse, be it with career, human relationship, and other aspects of life. I am far from being an expert; life still scares me, but allow me to give you a takeaway:
Keep going. Kaya mo ‘yan, tinatamad ka lang.
It is easier said than done. But it is worth it. I know, because I’ve been there. Maybe I am still there, I don’t know. I haven’t got all my shits figured out yet, but who does?
Even Barney Stinson had his hippie phase before being the legen-wait-for-it-dary of a person that he is.
So yeah, tiwala lang.
**I am not saying that hippies are not cool, I just want to make a point. Apologies.