Despite the fact that it's a Friday, I found myself having to go off to school anyway in order to meet with Holden for my ISM. It was our first discussion (out of three) and it's pretty much about setting up the foundations for my first paper, which is due next week.
It was actually a pretty interesting discussion, notwithstanding the fact that I pretty much crammed my readings overnight, set aside carefully typed notes and all that - we ended up having quite a good discussion on the definition of terms - speculative fiction, science fiction, and fantastic fiction - and how problematizing the definitions of these genres, based on a number of critical readings that I've managed to dig up, can apply to contemporary Philippine literature, where speculative fiction is just coming up into its own.
What I find extremely interesting is the common ground which all of these criticisms are coming from: the emphasis on the liminality of the genre itself, and how that becomes the strength and weakness, and how SF is primarily a genre that lends itself to symbolism and the symbolic narrative without necessarily pandering to simplistic binaries or an equative standard (ie. black = bad, white = good) and while I know I have a week to put my stuff together, the entire question of SF as a literary art also comes into play. Basically, what's at stake here is really the question of whether or not SF has a legitimate claim on literature and literary art, and what kind of space it occupies within the contemporary literary circles in the Philippines. Of course, a lot of this will be observations and anecdotes and all that, but Holden's okay with not being altogether academic.
I'm actually excited with this entire thing - not only am I dealing with a topic that I want to know more about and I want to explore, with the hopes that this is actually contributing to a greater body of scholarship in Philippine speculative fiction, but I also like working with my supervisor: he's open to a lot of things I want to do, but at the same time he's disciplined enough to remind me where I'm kind of over-extending my boundaries and pulling me back into the parameters of the discussion. And the fact that we're both enthusiastic about the subjects I'm working with is a nice little cherry on top of a really lovely cake.
Met up with Shailaja afterwards, and we headed on down to Munchie Monkey for a delayed lunch/early dinner and chatted up a storm with everything and nothing at the same time, and then we headed on down to Vivo City to celebrate the end of another week. ^_^ In a sudden stroke of universal genius, a bit of cash came in from my RA job, and so we ended up at Marks & Spencer, where a sale was going on, and I came away significantly poorer but with two new bras - and you have no idea how long it's been since I wanted to get new, NICE underwear. It's almost like heaven. ^_^ I also realized that I went down a cup size, and while I have an inkling of what that means, it also feels almost sad. I like my puppies the way they are.
Also bought a pair of pink swirly ballet flats from Bata, a local shoe emporium, just so I don't have to wear sneakers all the time but not necessarily resort to open-toed sandals or flip-flops. Yay! I was also planning to get that lovely black top from Giordano that Atsi Tin and I saw earlier this week, but they sold out already. Ah well. That might be the universe telling me to hold my horses and stop being so free with my cash. But still, as Shailaja said, there's nothing like a good round of retail therapy to make a girl feel good.