On a bus the other day a woman with a baby sat opposite, the baby bawled, and the woman at once began to unlace herself, exposing a large, red udder, which she swung to the baby's face. The infant, however, continued to dry and the woman said,-
'Come on, there's a good boy - if you don't, I shall give it to the gentleman opposite.'
Do I look ill-nourished?
W. N. P. Barbellion
August 7, 1915
Today, UP holds the UPCAT, the admission test that occurs earliest. I hope, this early, that the people who'll best us would take the test today. I imagine her test morning like mine, accompanied by parents, given a few chocolates or legumes to stimulate the brain. She can't deny her nerves dancing on end, in a swirl of anticipation and fear. She'll make a lot of educated guesses - no - not graceful at all if you look at the guessing. However, I look at the education. I'm already proud of the emergence of the germ. Some of the people I'm with look down on her. I know and wish never to forget that she went through a lot to get where she is. She and her batch comes! Next year, I may still be in the system to work with her, provide what she asks for, remind her to ask in the first place, and listen to recitations and silences that I'll never fully understand. I should always be reminded to respect, nevertheless. Her batch, I hope, will best ours.
Next year, both she and I may be rejected by the system. Still, I wish to make her acquaintance one way or the other. The route matters not. She will, I know, surpass us.
This dawn, I wake in the thrall of several thrills and melancholies. Some of the excitements, I'm disposed to share, the others remain rotting or blossoming in a swamp where only the strong can manage without staining themselves. While I don't think lightly of those in my company, stranger or not, I can't accompany anyone there. Those others, in their nosiness or affection, will try to pry. There're no doors to swamps; either you're there, deep in the muck, or you're not. Let them wish entrance! No one knows what they're asking until they get it full in the face, and it forces its acid froth on the blood of their soft, inexperienced lips.
Tomorrow, a breakfast I look forward to will be served.
Before that, later today, I'll trek with my classmates under the guidance of three eminent historians, Q-, V-, and M-. We'll study historical places in Cavite and Tagaytay. I'm particularly interested in President Bonifacio's sites. The views on the where, how, and why of his death remain unsettled to this day. I desire illumination. Or at least an earful of relevant eavesdropping. Profess professors!
Much later, on the 27th, Arnold Azurin will give a lecture against three strains of 'ultranativism' - Tadhana, the history supposedly written by Marcos, Tasaday, the hoax, and Pantayong Pananaw, the Salazarian view of Kasaysayan. Proponents of these lines of thinking will come. Q- set it up just right and ripe for fireworks. A true rouser, he now has me expecting the presence of Zeus Salazar himself. I hope another one of his plans pushes through too. If so, I'll hear Walden Bello in a debate.
Meanwhile, I immerse myself in reading along the three aforementioned lines to prepare for the meeting of minds. Some of the ghost writers for Tadhana, I gather, remain truly proud they were part of the project. Jean Baudrillard, I read in his 'America', took to the Tasaday fabrication hook, line, and sinker. Three years or so back, I remember, UP took back the master's degree of an instructor from the Pantayong Pananaw view because she plagiarized. Well, that shouldn't discredit the academic merits of the school of thought. It must be mentioned though because this is my journal, she was my instructor, I hated her guts, and I'm glad they kicked her out. I accept, however, that there are dimensions of that case that remain vague to me, to this day. I also accept that this digression ran too long, and now I'm pressed for time.
At the moment, I must move. I set up the meeting at six. The clock ticks against me.