Tuesday, November 28, 2006

On Examinations and Other Forms of Torture

Back again in the Reading Room. M is studying for Thursday's exam - I am taking a break (internal monologue: "Yeah RIGHT!") because my head hurts and my left eye is throbbing. This is either a result of too much reading, or because I consumed approximately two large tumblers of coffee during the course of the day.

I don't think I'm ready for the exams, but I'm also not as worried about it as I should be. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I've given up already, or generally because I've learned that the best way to deal with exams is to simply go through the notes and remember how each story progressed. I'm pretty confident about the note-taking part, since I do take copious notes, but the fact that I skipped two novels out of seven (and I have absolutely no plans of reading Robinson Crusoe in my entire life) might not be such a good thing. Am supplementing it with secondary readings instead, which helps bolster my sponge-like way of dealing with information. But I find that I cannot hold on to things for a long time nowadays; I am too impatient, too enthusiastic to get things over and done with. And besides, I don't get why Lit students have to have exams - with the wealth of external materials out there, and the burden of intertextuality, surely the system must understand that we are not computers with the weight of the world on our hands. It's insane. Someone has to come up with a better system of grading us. I've never had to sit through a Literature exam since high school. O_o

Yesterday, I started buying gifts for people already. Not much, of course: the bulk of my Christmas shopping will have to be done in Manila, since things are cheaper there and Sayuman has already extended an invitation to take me around the warrens of Divisoria, but gifts for people in Singapore have already been procured. (Yay shopping yay!) I think part of reason why I'm not as concerned with exams is the immediacy of going home - I can almost taste the word in my mouth, sticky-sweet with memories and nostalgia, and with every day that goes by, the date comes closer and closer. I've been having more and more trouble sleeping at night; it becomes a chore to slouch through the days, waiting and waiting for that fabled date to come...


At any rate, it's funny to find myself at this point already, with a definite eye towards the future instead of the past. I want to see myself teaching already, standing in front of a class, compiling papers or reading short stories. I want to start writing again (but then, don't I always say that?), writing that COUNTS, that makes my fingers fly across the keyboard and my mind pulse and throb with a continous flow of images and dialogue. I miss playing around with stories: I don't like taking them too seriously. But then, this degree also allows me an alternative way to view literature, to poke and prod it with a finger and see how it wobbles. It's a taxing and tiring way of looking at it - but then hey, it might just be the I-wanna-go-home-now-and-rest mentality that's overriding every single pore of my body.

___ more days. Can't wait. ^^

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