First Quarter Is Done!

Today is April 3rd of 2017 and I am in my usual spot at the library–second floor, by the cube that is the last one by the windows facing the quad. It is the most perfect spot because there is almost no traffic here, and I have the area all to myself for majority of the time I spend there. I’ve mostly been using the tables at the lounge at Storey Hall which is really great for having natural light from the great bay windows (also facing the quad) but because it serves as the faculty building and the students’ locker hall as well as the way to the back and to the parking garage across Hillcrest, traffic was definitely busier. I did not mind it, in fact it would have been perfect if not for the professors that have started to recognize me for camping out there for hours and hours at a time. One of them remarked last week that I’ve ‘moved in’.

So I thought I’d better lay low and come back to my roots–where students should be when they are ‘studying’.

Now I am doing my reading for Contracts for Wednesday (and outlining of course), and reading for Professional Responsibility later at 8PM. This is one of my long days in school. Which I actually don’t mind because even with the things I distract myself with –drinking so much coffee/water/tea that drives me to the restrooms every hour, the internet and researching something that just popped in my head that has got nothing whatsoever with my school reading–I still get a lot more done here than I do at home. Much more. Like I said, I have huge problems in concentration and focus that I had been trying to fix by even more distractions because that entails interminable searches online. LOL.

Today is April and the weather is again, perfect! The sky is bright and the breeze is light, and all that usual symphonies one writes about a nice day. It’s a pity I have to be indoors for most of the times that Texas weather is actually kind to its citizens. Every time I get off the shuttle at Bishop and have to cross the green in front of Dallas Hall, I get this urge to just plop down on the grass, sun myself and listen to Yiruma the whole afternoon while watching students walk by. It is so perfect! I wish it would always be this way.

But we all know, at least those who know Texas climes, that it will not be so. Come May, the heat will be too bad to actually enjoy being outdoors.

I have less than a month to prepare my outlines for finals. I have 4 JD classes this semester, and 2 of them are upper year classes. Two are 3 credit 1Ls (Contracts and Property). I expect to have a devil of a time preparing because I barely have a week for my reading time before the finals week hit me in the face in earnest. Also, a huge part of my hardship will be owed to the fact that unlike last semester, I cut out studying during the weekends this time. I tried in January when the semester commenced, but I stopped altogether as the weeks went by. There was no use feeling deprived and overworked when I only have 5 classes.

I have applied to the JD program for this fall term, and I expect to hear back by July at the latest. I also plan to submit an application to take the Bar Exam in February 2018, and the application period doesn’t open until June 30 this year. I plan on getting on top of that as soon as it opens. Evaluations of a foreign applicant’s educational requirements are a devil to do, and probably takes much longer than American JD applicants’. It seems weird that I am mostly spending time with 1Ls and yet by February next year, I will be taking the Bar exam–IF the Texas BLE deems me a fit candidate to sit for their 3 day exam.

I am also considering two bar prep classes–Kaplan and Bar Bri because I have gotten some conflicting feedback regarding these two bar prep orgs. I will have to get more information about these two.

IN the meantime, I will have to finish 17 pages of Contracts for Wednesday, and 30 pages for Professional Responsibility by 7:30PM today. Ta!

Chore Man

So those games between husbands and wives (ex. whoever first picks up his/her phone while eating or watching a movie loses) where the loser has to clean the toilets for a month or load the dishwasher or fold laundry, or mow the lawn, etc.?

It’s absolutely ineffectual because Brice actually LIKES doing those things. Which means it won’t even matter if he loses. It would, however matter if I lost, because he can tell me to mow the lawn (which I don’t like doing) or bury the compost. Isn’t it obvious that anything that’s got to do with doing stuff outside is punishment to me?

 

 

Mawalang galang na po MOCHA, kilala mo ako simula pa noong nagkatrabaho tayo sa TV5. Hindi ko matanggap na sabihin mong BASURA ang pinaghirapan naming episode ng IPAGLABAN MO. Kung mayroon kang reklamo ukol dito, dumaan tayo sa tamang proseso. May due process sa mga reklamo sa MTRCB – at bilang Board Member, mas maganda kung pag-uusapan ito nang maayos, hindi yung nanlilibak at nagwawala ka na sa social media blog mo. Mabuti pa ang MTRCB Chairman ninyo na may itinakdang pagpupulong tungkol dito bukas at hindi yung nag-iingay ka na agad. At sa huli’t huli, itataya ko ang munti kong pangalan sa industriyang ito na mas maayos naman ang episode namin sa IPAGLABAN MO kaysa sa mga pelikula mong BUTAS 2 (2012) at SEKSING MASAHISTA (2011). Please konting RESPETO naman sa mga artistang Pilipino at oo, RESPETO rin sa tamang proseso bilang concerned na mamamayang Pilipinong nasa poder ngayon. #Respeto #HindiBasuraAngGinawaKo #UmayosKaMocha

A post shared by EA Guzman (@ea_guzman) on Feb 20, 2017 at 3:25am PST

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js“>Instagram account.

Technically speaking, Ipaglaban Mo is is not child friendly. It is a show that dramatizes real life court cases that has social impact and moral overtones . It also gives ordinary citizens a glimpse into the legal system of the country.

You would not normally offer this type of show to minors.  That said, we all know we can’t always be there to monitor what our kids watch. I myself saw the show in its original run back in the 90s when I was in grade school, and it was fascinating to me. We can’t always shield our children from all of life’s nasty details, but I’m sure parents will want to. And we do the best we can, starting by policing the programs we watch when we are with our kids. No matter that they probably get all the wordly information outside, from their worldier classmates and friends, or from the dreaded internet. What I am saying is, parents have a responsibility to their kids but they can only do so much before the rest of the world rears its influence. We cannot therefore, lay all the blame at the TV network’s door.

Mocha’s campaign to make primetime TV shows as clean as possible for the children is laudable. But her terrorist like methods of garnering support from the public seems a tad too much for me. She announced that she will resign if the changes she was gunning for do not get implemented. That is not how you work change in government. As an official of a governing board of a state organization, you do not give ultimatums to your fellow board members in order to get your way. I  have never been a board member of MTRCB myself, but I’m pretty sure there is a process to everything. You state your case, support it with facts and figures, and request that your fellow board members to support your position.

I think that the proper (if not the best) way to achieve your advocacy (whatever they may be), is to work within the system. Grassroots (more like mob really) support should be an alternative, such as when you don’t succeed through the proper and conventional channels. I have never heard of a councillor in a local legislature go to the streets and proclaim to his constituents: “If I don’t get my way, I will resign” and call it as gathering public pressure. Have you? It seems very heavy handed to me.

Mocha is in equal footing with her fellow board members. She has a voting power and she should use it. Censorship has parameters; it cannot be so overbearing as to severely limit artistic expression. As someone who has invoked the freedom of speech and expression once before, I think she will benefit greatly from an examination of the metes and bounds of that right. It is a very interesting topic, promise. You won’t get bored with it.

I personally think that the concept for Ipaglaban Mo is excellent as it affords the lay person more than a vague knowledge of the law. I’m not sure if it still does the same today, but it used to be that the hosts explain the ruling that the court reached, and enumerate the elements and factors that led the court to reach it. The show is educational, and it’s a great way to kind of lecture the citizenry on the consequences of crime and other wrongdoing.

New TV Show I’m Bingeing

Thanks to Amazon Prime, I’m only now getting to see The Good Wife, and it is far and away much better than How To Get Away With Murder–which, let’s face it, is basically a child of Sidney Sheldon and John Grisham on speed and LSD, and too much diet on melodrama and crime TV. Yeah, even with the great Viola Davis, I still didn’t like HTGAWM. #sorrynotsorry

Gratitude Post #2

I am thankful for my husband because he loves taking care of our house. He literally loves it. Nothing makes him happier, feel more fulfilled than ticking off to do lists that’s got to do with house stuff. Right now, he is renovating our laundry room and he has been knocking off phase after phase of the job since December. He started with knocking down the old dry wall and ripping out old insulation (from the 60s), then cutting out and meticulously measuring new insulation and rewiring the whole room–which involved crawling around the attic.

When I was little, my grandmother always told me that a good husband is someone who spends his time at home, repairing things that needed to be repaired and just basically being all around maintenance guy instead of going out with friends drinking or whatever (which was exactly how my father was).

And I think I got just the husband my gran prescribed for me 🙂

When You Hate Your Best friend’s Boyfriend

I’m torn between being happy for a friend, supporting her life choices and being honest about how I felt about her boyfriend.

Her boyfriend who had cheated on her, lied to her, and whose girl on the side has continually put her through an emotional wringer for months on end. Granted, my friend also participated by haplessly following the girl’s Instagram account–which, true to the fashion of a neurotic bit-on-the-side, has been purposely left public for my friend’s benefit. But when you are a woman with some ounce of integrity and a sprinkling of compassion, you wouldn’t purposely taunt your boyfriend’s girlfriend, would you?

I am in the position of a best friend who believes that the guy she is with is an a$$hole. That she should dump him for good and move on with her life, who fervently believes she will eventually find someone great and amazing, so amazing that she will ask herself–“What the hell was I thinking?!”

Honesty, or diplomacy?

She already knows I hate his guts. All the more because I had been there before. I had been in a relationship with another worthless piece of human being and I guess I am kind of living vicariously through her–willing her to dump the guy as I had taken too long to do with my own stupid mistake.

The problem is we have our own paths to travel. I cannot dictate to her where she should go, how fast she should travel, or with whom she should do it with.

I am in no position to tell her to let the guy loose.

This is my own problem. I will never like the guy. And because it is likely that they will get married (and eventually move her to the US), I will have to figure out a way to be okay with it. Because my loathing for the man is not my friend’s problem. She has to think of her own happiness and her kid’s need for a complete family before she can think of my comfort. I get that.

I have tried the bigger person tack–just try and support my friend through her life’s journey and whatever decisions she may make, whether good or bad in my opinion, my job is to be there the whole time, supporting and encouraging. No one needs a party pooper. No one needs to be told their life sucks or the people in it do. I’m sure she has plenty of her own negative self-talk to contend with without me adding myself in the noise.

I just hope I find a way to get past my prejudice and start to slowly forgive the guy for putting my friend through hell. I don’t think I ever will, but I am willing to try.

Miss Universe 2016-2017

miss-france

Miss France wins! Image from NBC New York.

 

The titas and I got together for Miss Universe coronation night Sunday evening. Bizzaro thing is it was 8PM in Manila, Philippines where the pageant was being held this year. We ordered pizza, made some pancit canton, and settled in.

There definitely were a lot of Steve Harvey jokes, including one where Queen Pia handed Steve a pair of huge reading glasses as he was preparing to read the cue cards to announce the winner.

My personal favorites were Canada, Kenya, Haiti and Colombia. Kenya had this sort of innate sweetness as did Colombia–they had this unschooled sincerity in whatever they’re saying. Very believable even as you realize most of whatever they say during the pageant is probably just what they and their handlers think the public and the judges would want to hear. But these sweethearts won me over nevertheless. Canada came out with this brash, refreshing, forward charm, outspoken, and unabashedly intelligent. I loved that she was comfortable with who she is, and that she is taking up law. Points for that from me! 😉 She was having fun, not in a pageanty way, she has more personality than all the other girls in the top 13 (barring Miss USA of course). I was sorry that she didn’t make it to the top 9. Haiti had me with her final answer, when asked about what mistakes she has made in her life and how she overcame them. She said that she was a victim of the big Haiti earthquake 7 years ago, and was despondent, feeling like a failure that she wasn’t living her dream. But that she used her dream, to motivate herself to rise up. Or words to that effect. it resonated with me, it’s something all of us had gone through in one way or another. I thought her answer was heartfelt and genuine. In contrast, Colombia’s and France’s, were kind of all over the place. It sounded like they were trying to fit their prepped answers and buzz words into the context of the final question.

I personally didn’t have any high hopes for Philippines and was actually surprised that she went so far as top 6. Her interviews pre-pageant weren’t remarkable, and albeit bring very pretty, I didn’t think she had an extra sparkle that made her stand out from the pack of very pretty women. And many of these women were really raring to win. They were there to win, especially Thailand. Thailand was very high fashion–she carried her clothes and herself well, and was stunning. She would be a great model.

Philippines’ answer baffled me and the titas, and even my husband. We thought she was using the interpreter and I was actually glad she (or her handlers) decided to use one, but when she started speaking purely in English in a meandering way, we knew she was out of the running.

Q: What is the most significant change you’ve seen in the world, in the last ten years?
A: The last ten years of being here in the world is that I saw all the people bringing…in one…event like this… in Ms. Universe.. and it’s something (big to us? unintelligible to me) We are one– as one nation we are all together, thank you. Salamat po.

It was a sweet sentiment, and I’m sure the MUO was appreciative of the gesture but as an answer to the question it carried about as much weight as a feather. It was not responsive and it belied a shallow appreciation of current events and culture. As soon as the pageant concluded, I began seeing “suggested answers” on my Facebook feed.

LOL!

It was a fun evening overall, not as fun as last year’s with Pia’s win, but still fun. Tomorrow we go back to the grind. Ta!

Add-Drop Weekend

I spent the whole of this weekend (beginning Thursday evening really) swapping classes. I was able to go to Property 2 with Dean Camp and Real Estate Transactions and I got out of them feeling a little stupid and lost. I had a mini crisis of faith in myself, and a legal identity crisis combined. To put it bluntly, I hated the 2 classes.

I took Property 2 with Dean Camp because I heard he is extra considerate with LLMs, and Real Estate because apparently it’s the happening field of practice right now and for the foreseeable future especially right here in big ol’ Dallas. Kind of a stupid way to pick classes that would round out my LLM year right? I agree. I thought, I want to be in the field that makes the big bucks. That never ends well, especially for those who do not even like real estate related stuff.

Dean Camp was a great professor, but his syllabus started way way after Tate left off in Property 1. In hindsight, it was probably not a good idea to switch professors mid-year for the same course because they used different textbooks and Tate did not cover a lot of the preliminaries that would have been necessary to catch up with Dean’s class. Tate has reserved the more in-depth real estate topics for the second semester. The most sensible thing to do, if I were taking the second half of Property, was to take his class instead of a whole new one. So that one was a lapse of common sense on my part.

Real Estate was taught by a tandem and I read through the syllabus and the work for the whole semester and I knew this to be true–they are dull, dry topics that would bore me to death and I’d probably have to drag my bored butt to studying for the class. Which means I’d suck at it. And I cannot afford anymore suckage in my grades this semester. I’ve received 4 out of 6 grades from last semester and so far I am a B student. So very average! I cannot afford to drag my GPA further down because I thought I’d jump into an area I wasn’t even interested in just because I thought it would bring in the big bucks.

Tonight, after many minutes of ruminating about it all, I finally took the plunge and swapped Real Estate Transactions with Texas Matrimonial Property. I feel like I made the right decision as the course offers a seamless segue from last semester’s Family Law but at the same time, I feel a little guilty for dropping a class after only attending once. I’ve never done that before by the way, at least not capriciously and not in law school. I thought that dropping is for when the schedule is just not feasible or you’re about to fail the class. But here I am dropping it because I just was not too enamored with it. I really hope this works!

 

Detox January

Yesterday was my annual Well Woman exam so I had to wake up super early (vacation day early) to make my appointment. They had to take some blood samples (oh joy) to make sure my hormones aren’t going haywire because I complained of random hot flashes and double periods on the same month. It was more probable that all that weirdness was caused by the pill I am on, but my doctor wanted to rule out everything else of course. Also she wanted to test for anemia as my blood pressure was a bit on the low side albeit being within the normal range. The nurse called me today to say that everything came back normal on the blood tests but that they will call me back for the pap and pelvic exams because the results weren’t in yet.

After my harrowing day at the OB-Gyn, I went straight to the mall and to Ulta to treat my PTSD. I hate having to go do the annual but it’s something that must be done. I’m glad it only takes place once a year. I am loathe even at my age, to disrobe in front of strangers. I did not grow up in a naked house and I do not like seeing other people’s bits either. I used to hate those yearly annuals that we were required to subject ourselves into to make sure we were fit for work. I don’t mind the breast exams save for the horrible tickling (I am the most ticklish person in the planet). But the rectal exams–no way. I always signed off on that. I’d rather have 4 blood drawings in a day than lay there while a stranger pokes around my butt. I can’t imagine how other people who regularly go to have their bushes trimmed endure that ordeal. I guess I’m just old-fashioned.

Anyway, my Ulta trip resulted in two purchases– a bottle of Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation No.2 and a tube of BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Gel in Tan 07 shade. I’m into the whole medicated, sunscreened, “natural”, “barely there” make up thing these days because I go to school and find it ridiculous to have to put on a full face everyday when I only bury my face in books the entire time anyway but still do not wish to look like a sun-starved cadaver. I also care about minimizing my blemishes’ appearance without looking like I caked on product. The Perricone MD was a bit on the pricey side at $60 (less tax) but the Hydrating gel was just right at $30 and I really liked how it looked on my face! It went on smooth and super sheer, but still gave some degree of coverage which is what I’ve been looking for in face products this year. I want products with sunscreen, hydration and skin tone correction with a barely there finish. It’s great for everyday.

I also ordered Serumtologie vitamin C serum and a new moisturizer that I will write about later. I am getting to that age where I feel I should pay attention to anti-aging properties of the products I use rather than colors or shades or purely aesthetic considerations. I am a firm believer in great skin care regimens as opposed to covering up with make up. No foundation is sufficient to camouflage bad skin. I’ve seen some women pile on the stuff to hide pimples, pimple scars, sun spots, dry skin, wrinkles. Bad idea. I am not averse to aging, everyone grows old and wrinkly eventually, but if it is in my power to delay Father Time’s effects, I will do the best I can without resorting to silliness (cosmetic surgery and painful dermatological procedures).

Today I did the laundry and went to get my books at the university bookshop. I spent $823 on textbooks alone. My goodness! I better pass the bar and get a decent job soon! Tomorrow classes starts and I’ve been trying to make sense of the first day reading assignment but I’m just not in a studying mood tonight.

 

2017

Learning the art of being happy despite setbacks, disappointments and personal hurts is a difficult journey and there are no shortcuts. It took me most of my young adult life.

At this point masasabi ko madami pa ako matutunan at pagdaanan to learn all of life’s sweet and painful lessons. I’m not perfect and I really don’t intend to be. I think it’s a waste of time and my one shot at living.

I’ve always been interested in getting to know myself better. I spent more time looking inward that when I was younger, my voice was the only one I heard in my head. I often didn’t see past my own pride and ego and that cost me a few friendships along the way. My inner life was so much richer than my real life and I kind of neglected cultivating my real life relationships. Heck, I think I’m still doing that to this day.

At 32, I am far from being the person I want to be–whoever that is– but I welcome the challenge of self discovery with all its aches, pains, and discomforts. I’ve discovered that it is what I look forward to most in life. Sure I get sidetracked by the petty little trifles– tao lang tayo. But I am true and committed to my personal goal of rising above myself. I have lots more to learn about patience, humility, tolerance. 

All throughout my teenage years and even well into my 20s, I’ve had a nagging feeling that I didn’t completely grow up. I realize now that I’m probably not the only one who didn’t have the time and space to come of age but that growth is a continual process that does not stop until we die. We are constantly evolving and changing as people. I think that is beautiful. I think that is something to look forward to, like an unfolding movie where you are the one behind the camera, directing the scenes and writing the lines.

But because of this, this feeling of being incompletely formed, I felt that I wasn’t fully equipped to handle all of life’s curve balls. Like I definitely mishandled a lot of things. It’s sounding a lot like regret, and they say we shouldn’t regret anything that ever happened in our lives, pero if I were to be honest, I’d like to undo some of the mistakes I made in the past. If I could, I would make better decisions and choose the right path always. But then if you’re good all the time, not daring to make any missteps–you probably don’t learn much.

I still don’t know whether the collateral damages I’ve sustained are all worth what I learned in the process. But I’m waiting to find out.

Here’s to another exciting year!