The deadline of submission of the final column has already passed, and I was still squeezing myself to put my vague and mixed feelings into words. Writer’s block, they said. I hate it when it happens at crucial moments.
With this column as the mark of my departure from the Flame and the University of Santo Tomas (UST), I could not help but look back at what transpired during my stay here while simultaneously carrying different roles – friend, student, officer, scholar, writer, and editor. All these have brought some realizations, and I might as well share two of these to you, dear Artlet.
I felt fortunate when I learned that I would enter UST as her scholar, however I had never felt inferior when I first sighted how smart the Thomasians were.
What if I don’t even survive the first semester? What if I don’t make friends whom I can always be with? I don’t even know how to adjust to the standards of the University. How should I interact with my roommates in the dorm? The culture of students here is totally different from what I used to have back in my school in Cavite.
Just like other students, I had a hard time adjusting at many aspects – study habits, priorities, body clock, and even food (sadly). Fears and doubts also started to trouble me. However, my everyday battle with these nuisances comes with strong (maybe not) will to get through all these.
I went on even when I did not know what to expect from my degree AB English Language Studies. Luckily, with the professors that we’ve had in our major subjects, I would be always left packed with knowledge.
As the end of my last school year is nearing, this has also left me asking, “Where would I use all these if I choose not to pursue the field of academe?”
Recently, a minor scenario brought me a significant realization – something that we all probably know yet we usually disregard.
“Last April 24 (Monday), there were several feedbacks from students about the recent implementation of a new elevator policy at the Miguel de Benavides,” read an excerpt of Central Student Council’s (CSC) announcement.
I have seen a number of Facebook posts and tweets expressing how erroneous the word “feedbacks” is, and how the “mistake” made them cringe. We, linguistics majors, know better that it is legit and acceptable in the Philippine context. This is a linguistic issue that ELS majors will be able to explain to enlighten other people.
Other people would not understand if we use concepts like World Englishes and other jargons, so going on the same wavelength of understanding would mean a lot to them.
Similar instances apply to you, Artlets from different majors, who have better understanding of your respective fields. It has become a mistake among us to swank and to bombard them with unfamiliar concepts. Trust me, it’s not helping.
So dear Artlets, do not study just for grades, accolades, and a stable job in the future. Learn for a greater purpose. Study and learn for reasons more than maintaining your scholarship, passing that hellacious subject, and graduating with or without honors.
We help not to brag what we know, but to propagate the wisdom that the University has imparted to us.
We, Artlets, are seekers of truth as said in our very own AB Hymn. I would be always left in awe every time I would see how Artlets bravely protest for the disclosure of truth and assertion of our rights.
Working as a writer and editor in the Flame has greatly exposed me to the issues plaguing the Faculty. Along with my colleagues, I have become an instrument of the publication in seeking the answers and truth that you, Artlets, deserve to know.
Surrounded by a plague of issues, the Faculty has been staying in the dark for a long time. The publication has always been fighting suppression and censorship along with unwavering dauntlessness— the marks of a true Artlet.
Despite some roadblocks to the improvement of the Faculty, there is nothing for me to regret in taking a degree in USTAB, joining an attention-demanding publication, and defying the conventions when needed.
So dear Artlets, please live the essence of AB – we are the liberal arts college. There must be a constant call to the higher ups to encourage the students to exercise what we are once known for – a community who fights suppression and supports the idea of freedom and change for the improvement of the society; a community who continues seeking for the truth.
To the Faculty of Arts and Letters, I thank you for giving me the identity of an Artlet. I will forever cherish the pride of being one and carry the wisdom you have taught me. I had a love-hate relationship with you, but you will forever be in my heart. There is still a lot to be improved and changed, and I hope that time will come that you will be led by people who truly embody the Artlet identity.
Your cries and protests may seem nothing for other people, but do not be daunted as long as you know that what you pursue and fight for is truly right for the society.
Artlets, this is all for now and may you continue igniting your intellectual senses. F