This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I has seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our Death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.
– T.S. Eliot, Journey of the Magi
It saddens me that the last entry I made was on the 29th of September and it was not even in text. There was a haiku on the 29th of August which I guess can work as a text entry in this blog. Still, it is a shame. Four months of laboring through law studies without any outlet for creativity is too cruel. The thought to write in the middle of the semester was not totally absent from my mind though. There were times when the “itch” came – that splash of inspiration coupled with a slight tingling of the fingers as your mind pictures them running along the keyboard. There were times when that happened, but schoolwork usually gobbles up all those blogs-to-be. Now it is December and here is one entry just to remind myself that this blog is actually alive (somewhat).
School ended almost seven days ago on the 17th. Even as I submitted my last exam and drove home and walked back to my bed and woke up to a day without even setting my alarm, the fact that I was on break had not yet set in. It was almost as if the mind goes ahead of the body in these things. You could tell yourself and tweet about how school was over but you would still crave for some coffee – one cup in the morning and one cup after dinner. It was only after three days did I slow down and comprehend that school was over. And good riddance.
Looking back, it was a hard and bitter semester. The freshman haze of vanity and euphoria had already been lifted, or at least mitigated, and we began to see things and people for what and who they really are. It was by all means neither a quick nor a pleasant process. In the block, cliques were rearranged and consolidated. There were some people who were celebrated and some who were ostracized. There were some who pressed their advantage and others who were taken advantage of. Friendships were forged and some broken. Some enmities as well were reconciled and some intensified. However, there still remains a faint veneer of civility and pleasantries around the block though which can readily and succinctly be summed up by the phrase”a nice environment” which hardly means anything at all but which works perfectly fine.
In some rare moment, my imagination had the chance to flare out. There was one time when I thought about The Cask of Amontillado and thought that maybe that would be a good idea, or I would have that monologue in Tell Tale Heart. Maybe Poe is a more fitting figure in Malcolm Hall than all those highfalutin words of honor and justice. Honor and justice – who are we kidding. Is that required to pass the Bar?
The Bar: another interesting subject. Since when did every professor have a plug that goes “In case they ask in the Bar…” or “During the Bar…” or “For Bar purposes…” where they plug in the answer a student should make? Seriously. Might as well just give a bar reviewer to study for the semester and just give a final exam at the end: that might churn out some “topnotchers” and maybe even give us time to watch a movie. To top things off, there is a departmental MCQ with the most random number of items that just defies comprehension: 55, 68, 61, 71. And if the Supreme Court phases out MCQs from the Bar exams, what now? Time to react again, I guess. Just stop.
At this point, I wonder what idea I had to unite this whole blog. What appeared to be a reflection on T.S. Eliot’s “Journey of the Magi” turned out to be my very own random, rough (to say the least), hectic, and dull journey through the first semester of sophomore year. “A cold coming we had of it” I suppose. If there could be any semblance of coherence here, I guess it would probably be that the whole entry is one big, fat rant. Maybe it would just be more entertaining if it were in verse – a Lamentation maybe. Perhaps at another time. But for now in any case, the words could not be any sweeter: Christmas is here and school’s out.