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The Egg

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

LAW SCHOOL AND GOD

Going to law school can make believers out of heretics.

I think back to the rest of my life and I canít think of a time when I prayed as hard as I do now.

I pray every day that I am in school.

Ten minutes before class, I start praying that the teacher will be late. I donít wish accidents or any unfortunate circumstances. I just pray that, for some not so tragic reason, the teacher is prevented from coming to class on time. The teacher may be late for even five minutes but that is enough to make me happy. Five minutes takes on a different meaning when you start thinking of it in terms of your dignity. It takes less than 30 seconds for the professor to cut you down to the minutest version of yourself. The extra five minutes means that your perception of yourself is at least ten times bigger.

When the teacher comes in, I pray that something interesting has happened to him and that he would be unable to help himself and start telling us the whole story. And by the whole story, I mean even the tiniest detail. Law professors are great storytellers. Itís really fascinating how even a harmless walk in the park will be able to hold your attention when the fear of being caught unprepared for the lesson starts to consume you.

If the teacher decides not to tell a story, the first thing he does is to reach for the yellow cards. In my school, each of us is made to sign a yellow card at the start of the semester. This will be the teachersí favorite tool of torture for the next three months. She can, and will, make or break your fortune with each shuffle of the cards.

After shuffling the cards a few times, the teacher picks up a card. This is my cue to start praying. I ask God for the forgiveness of my sins and I ask Him to "please, oh please, let it be not my card."

If I am not called, I breathe a silent prayer of thanks and start praying again. This time, I pray that the teacher decide to make my hapless classmate recite for the whole period. Donít get me wrong. It isnít that I hate my classmate and I wish for something bad to happen to him. Itís nothing personal, but itís better him than me.

If I am called, I stand up immediately. Itís a mortal sin to keep the teacher waiting. I may not be as ready as I would have wanted but thereís no reason why I should let the teacher know that.

Recitations are tricky situations. These are the times when you get to hone your multi-tasking skillsóyou pray, think, listen to the teacher, and look through your papers for the answeróall at the same time.

The most important thing is to think and listen to the teacher. Thereís no use knowing the answer if you didnít get the question right. Dexterity in shuffling your cases and notes can also help a lot. And through all of these, never stop praying that, "please God, please make the teacher see the brilliance of my answers and make him call on another one."

When I am asked to take my sit, I sigh for a bit and then commence praying once more. I ask God to please make sure that the teacher does not pick my card again for the rest of the period.

The only time you stop praying is when the teacher gets up to leave the room. As long as the teacher is inside the classroom, you must not be complacent enough to cease your supplication. After all, mush more than your grade, it is your dignity and reputation that is at stake. And in law school, reputation is everything.

Iíve just finished my first year in law school so this means that Iíve been praying for almost a year now. If thereís one thing Iíve learned from all the praying Iíve done, itís that you canít ever stop praying. Even if you want to stop, you canít.

The fear wins everytime.



Saturday, January 05, 2002

Wherein I'll discuss everything I love and hate about Manila.


Cecille writes and edits for food. She would really love it if you give her a job.

Happiness is a learned condition - Tom Robbins

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