MY BIG FAT GREEK LETTERS

Greek letters in the academe have always been associated with either fraternities or sororities. Those hard to pronounce and weirdly shaped letters have always invoked a feeling of seniority, exclusivity, and prestige in me…especially the popular ones. I didn’t have the heart to join any frat in my college years because of all the “danger” associated with it, and joining a sorority is out of the question, so I had to content myself with an org (don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed being part of two orgs ). But the high regard I hold for most frats and soros never vanished.

So when I got those two letters inviting me to join organizations bearing Greek letters for their names, I was anxious and excited at the same time. They are better than any frat or soro, more exclusive than any society in the campus, and more renowned internationally. They are honor societies.

ID from Pi Gamma Mu and pin from Phi Kappa Phi

I first got invited to Pi Gamma Mu, an honor society for the social sciences (mass comm. is actually part of the social sciences), and then to Phi Kappa Phi, which is open to both the social and natural sciences. From what I gathered, the latter is more prestigious because they only invite a smaller percentage of academically excellent students from the entire graduating class, and the society has a wider range of disciplines to consider. I joined both.

Being part of an honor society is better because the consideration of being a member is solely based on merit and not on harsh initiation rites, influential backers, or sometimes false promises of brotherhood (my brother and father were both part of a frat, they were “brothers” in one). Being a member not only proves your worth as a student but also as a fellow lover of knowledge as every annual fee you pay for membership activation is used to provide scholarship grants and research grants for other members. Not to mention other perks such as discounts with partner corporations (at least for Phi Kappa Phi…).

So for those about to start their college lives, bear this in mind: be part of something you believe in—may it be a frat, soro, or org—but aim to be part of an honor society by your twilight years in college. Why? Because being part of one will definitely open opportunities for you to be part of even something greater in the future…

Or at least that was how the brochures explained the whole shiz to us.

THESIS IS AN ANAGRAM FOR “IS SHET” *

It has been a month since my last post in this blog. It’s not because I had nothing interesting to share, but because I wasn’t able to find the time to write about the stuff that has been happening to me lately. All because of one accursed thing…THESIS (dun dun dun dun…).

It is the primordial monster every college student has been tasked to finish off. The neuron-sucking, nightlife-destroying, and stress-inducing academic endeavor invented to separate the weak from the strong.

I don’t even get why we have to do it. I mean, the concepts we tackle in our theses are actually just rip-offs or recycled shit of previous ideas. Are we actually contributing anything new, or just expounding on the same idea while labeling same concepts with something fancier?

And don’t get me started on the drafts we have to make, questionnaires for surveys we have to produce and other documentary bullshit we have to make to support our thesis. Global warming is real people! Stop killing trees! Stop thesis!

After a year of laboring over it (J199 in the 1st sem and J200 in the 2nd sem), I am finally done with it. After all those shameless harassment of random students to give out survey forms around UP, UST, and Ateneo, those sleepless nights of creating every chapter of the thesis, those frustrating moments of waiting for your drafts to be returned, and that pivotal moment of receiving your last draft with the two words: “for binding”, everything was just so surreal.

April 5, Monday, is the day I will finally pass my bound thesis and be free from its grasp. I have finally conquered it. I have proved that I am among the strong. More importantly…

I will graduate.

*by the way, forgive the title please…I had a hard time thinking about it, having lost incredible amounts of neurons to finish my thesis…

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

I’m not really a huge fan of coffehouse planners. For me that Papemelroti book of days is all I need to plan my year. But when I saw the planner my friend Ana got from Multiply, I knew I just had to have one.

“The-I-was-supposed-to-get-that-coffehouse-planner-but-I-got-fat/broke-on-the-10th-frappe” Planner 2010 is an outstanding planner for the chic yuppie, crazy student, or just plain OC who has had enough of capitalist plots playing on our innermost need of trying to plan and organize our lives.

Besides the usual feature of having dates and days, what makes this planner totally unique and fun to have is its distinct Filipino comedic flavor. Amidst its pages resembling torn pieces of papers placed together, are personal notes ranging from Piolo Pascual’s and Jolina Magdangal’s birthdays to the creators’ own jokes.

A helpful conversion table is conveniently located at the back, with some not-so-helpful info conveniently added. The monthly “month marks” give out the most outrageous suggestions to replace those cliched self-help quotes you always get from traditional planners. “Magpapayat na. Kung di talaga kaya, idaan sa stomach in. Then Photoshop.” now that is what I call a helpful self-help quote!

It has none of those frivolous discount coupons or “Travel Tips” pages or “What I want to accomplish within this lifetime” shit. But it does boast of a hefty serving of scratch papers, complete with Parent’s Signature line at the back. Not to mention a guide scratch for those difficult Chinese characters.

This planner is one planner you would be crazy not to want…or at least like. It breaks the norm by breaking out of the “status” craze that has become associated with the more “in” planners nowadays. It gives you what a good planner must have: dates, days and a couple of comic relief efforts now and then to get you going throughout the year. Not a constant reminder of how you wasted almost a thousand bucks on measly pages binded together by your accumulation of body fat.

Now put a caramel macchiato on that!