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Photo from http://www.gheblawi.com/nostalgia.jpg

*Please see update below… waaaay below. =)

Just a few hours ago, I turned in my last-ever requirement for the sem. It was a photo-essay plate on my joyride adventure to Old Manila aboard the Pasig River Ferry boat (which can also be found here). I had mixed feelings, even though it went by as quickly as I imagined it would. Holding the piece of delicate paper on my hand, I trudged the halls of Masscomm one last time, feeling the feeling of the floor on my feet, the dirty walls, the brightly-lit corridors… but beneath all the physical traits that will make me miss CMC sorely, I believe I’ll miss the CMC people more than the actual place.

I walked up the stairs, and the place was very quiet. It felt like Wednesday when half of the university doesn’t have classes. Masscomm is unusually silent, like somebody just turned the mute button on. It was eerie. Masscomm is never this silent. Good thing great friends IA and Elsie (along with her boyfriend Frank) greeted me as I reached the stairs’ landing, lest I cry of too much sentiments and memories of that god-forsaken place.

I opened the department’s door and the usual quiet Ate Racquel greeted me with her usual stillness and impeccable silence. I rushed to the pigeon hole and dropped my plate off as quickly as I could. There. It has ended. It felt nothing. At first. Like it’s just usual. Ordinary. Normal.

Maybe I forgot how it felt being free. Because right now, I feel like screaming… I’M FREE! SHET!! I’M REALLY REALLY FREE! I think I’m having a Cristina moment right now. I’m free. Damnit! Damnit! Oh, take this off! Get this off! I can’t breathe!

This sem has definitely been far from comfortable. Indeed, it felt like being a bird in a cage without much room to fly about. Sure, there are moments of highs but the lows definitely outweigh it all. 21 units is no joke, especially if you’re in U.P. I believe there’s a word for this kind of situation… ah, yes! Overkill. It’s definitely an overkill.

This sem I had to juggle 7 subjects plus a CWTS course and a PE class to boot. Things definitely weren’t easy but I’m glad I managed to make it through. It was a very tough sem, what with all the decision-making (Will I attend this class? Should I just skip so I can do my homework? Can I just sleep this off?) and time management (Can I do my J121 paper during Comm140? What if I just do this one later, coz I’m uber sleepy? I’ll make my J121 paper tomorrow! Promise!) I had to do. In the end, as they say, All’s Well That Ends Well.

This sem, I’ve learned the art of multitasking. Deadlines are on top of each other and there’s no point scheduling each task because they tend to overlap anyway. I ended up doing homeworks in school just so I could study for an exam. These trying times prove the importance of having my own laptop, so to all the relatives reading this post, *wink wink*, you know what to do! Haha.

Furthermore, this sem has also been one of the most multimedia-ic, if there’s such a word. What I’m saying is that we’ve used the computer far more often than how frequent we’ve used it our whole lives. People can always be seen poring over their laptop screens in CMC doing the paper they need to submit an hour after. Presentations over presentations over presentations. Publication designs, photography plates, advertising portfolios and whatnots! It’s crrrrazy! I need my own freaking laptop, for crying out loud!

And since this sem has been full of multimedia visuals and whatnots, let’s spruce up this post with all the works I’ve done for this sem, along with assessments for each subject. Let’s get going!

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Physics10 – Physics for Pedestrians

Pa-slide-slide lang, my dear friend Elsie usually says when a task is as easy as cheese. Although concepts in Physics are very hard to understand, Physics10 presents it in a way that even the normal passerby can understand each phenomenon in this world. Dr. Juanico was always prepared with slides and videos and all, which makes the class a bit less boring and a lot more interesting, especially since it’s scheduled at 2:30pm at the remotest building in UP, the NIP. Overall this subject is highly recommended but the lectures part were quite disappointing. The final long exam was tough as hell, here’s to hoping I even get a 2.0 out of that mediocre performance!

Comm120 – Media Law

I’m no lawyer so don’t expect me to be one. This is one of the hardest subjects I’ve taken so far, and not because the professor makes it hard for all the students, but because studying Media Law, or Law for that matter, isn’t really my cup of tea. I cringe at the sight of 1-sentence paragraphs punctuated with dozens of semicolons, dashes, commas and conjunctions, and I get lost at the first simple sentence at once. The law is quite hard to understand for me because I easily get lost. I operate on brief, coherent sentences and so absorbing a whole paragraph of jabberwocky makes me dizzy as hell.

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For our Final Report, I discussed this law (very briefly), among other Implementing Rules and Regulations for the Print Industry

In any case, Media Law is an important course to take because we need to be guided on our tasks as future media practitioners of this country. Even if the class usually passes out at half past the three-hour class, I still managed to learn quite a lot about how my profession operates on rules.

J123 – Photojournalism

If there is a pa-slide-slide course in Masscomm, J123 is the epitome of it all. Our prof is a very prominent photojournalist (fondly called Tata Gil Nartea by his colleagues) but not a very good teacher. Because he’s a practicing photographer, he’d cancel class most of the time. Yes, he knows the craft but he doesn’t handle the class quite well. We did only two plates which barely exceeded nor even reached my expectations. I expected more, more! More camwhoring and stuff! But no… not today, dear, not this sem. Sigh… oh well. If you want an easy uno, this is the course to take! Haha.

Here’s my first plate, a 40-shot plate on the Oblation Statue:

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And here’s my final plate, the photo-essay on Pasig River.

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Comm140 – Communication Theories

“Makulay, ang buhay, sa sinabawang… utak!” That’s our little clique’s theme song for this class. Every class day is a boring class day, what with all the theories that conjure nosebleeds among all of us. Nevertheless this is a very fun class because this is where I’m classmates with two of my closest friends this sem, IA and Elsie. Even though Sir Deza is boring and we barely understand the reporters with all the theories they’re discussing, we make it a point to make every class day a fun day with all our hirits and kabangagans.

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We reported on the Frankfurt School of Thought for this class. Funny because our group comprised of members who are of the entirely opposite end of the sociopolitical spectrum as our report, what with all the Marxist and Critical theorists we had to tackle. We were the least Marxist people I know, haha. Or at least that’s what we’d like to believe.

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It’s my first time to use MS Powerpoint 2007 for a report and good thing I got a hang of it at once. And I loved toying with the SmartArt Graphics! Haha.

No, this class is not worth taking at all, but they say it’s gonna help us with our thesis. Well, I hope so.

CWTS EnggCS – CWTS Computer Science Department

To be very frank about it, this subject has been the pain in my huge arse this sem. Okay, so yeah, it’s entirely my fault for taking a CWTS that’s not in my department but come to think of it, it was quite hard for a CWTS course. We had to produce different courseware every week which we will eventually use as teaching materials for next semester’s CWTS2.

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These are just two sample slides we did for the semester

In any case, sans all the stress and pressure from doing all those work for a non-academic subject, it was quite fun while it lasted. Sure I took it for granted but when we finally got a brief stint at teaching kids at a nearby elementary school, everything had just paid off.

J151 – Advertising

Advertising under Ma’am Tessa feels like it’s a pa-slide-slide lang na course but it actually isn’t. We get to learn the ins and outs of the advertising industry and the hard part is, we had to apply them and measure up to Ma’am Tessa’s standards.

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Our first requirement for the semester: doing our very own business card

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We were also tasked to invent a product and do a print-ad for it

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For our midterm exam, we were tasked to put up an ad agency and do a marketing plan for a future service. We decided on doing a health hub named “Herby’s,” which we planned to place along Katipunan Avenue (and yes, we thought of getting Marc Nelson and Sarah Meier as endorsers as well).

Good thing we didn’t push through with the product bidding for the Final requirement, lest I die of overwork because of too many requirements. But the substitute final exam wasn’t quite easy, good thing our team of Dio, Melo, Ange, Dyan and Kumi pulled it all off.

J117 – Online Journalism

This is one of my favorite courses this sem, what with all its relation to new media and blogging. The highlight of the sem was the Inquirer.net field trip, which soon turned out to be the dream job I’ve been thinking all along.

We were tasked to create two websites, one a web story feature on anything related to online journalism, and another a primer-of-sorts about any topic we’d like. Click on the thumbnails below to proceed to the websites we did.

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For our individual web feature story, I did a news article and layout of the website about the Malu Fernandez controversy. It was the talk of the town then, so I found it apt to do a story on the issue.

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For our final project, we did a primer-website on Statement Shirts

J121 – The Newsroom

UPDATE as of 10/21/07 – The grades have been put up and I can’t believe it!  I was apprehensive to open the file at first but then it took me by surprise when I saw my grade!  I got a whopping 1.5!!  Yesss!!!  I got a 1.5 for the hardest subject of this sem!!!  Oh god oh god oh god thank you!!!

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Aaaahhh, I never thought I’d come this far. Surely I saved the best (and the worst) for last. Heartbreaker is an understatement for this class. What’s a more fitting word, then? Try demeaning, discouraging, demoralizing, or even torturous. We had a theme song every Monday at 1pm, and it goes a little something like this:

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We were suicidal, alright. Haha. Ma’am Yvonne Chua took us to heights we’ve never been to before. She plunged us to the lowest of our lows, where we felt all alone. It was like journalism boot camp. Ma’am was the wolf in sheep’s clothing, gentle and mild on the outside but actually strict and fierce on the inside.

In the end, you gotta give it to Ma’am Chua. She taught us practically half of the things we know about journalism right now. It definitely was a torturous sem having her as a prof, but I can definitely say that it was the most inspiring sem ever, that it kinda sealed my fate as a future media practitioner. Bow ako kay Ma’am Chua, super!

Here’s the product of a sem-long of torture, pain, blood, sweat, and buckets and buckets of tears: our very own 4-page publication.

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The fourth page, you ask? Sorry I left the file at the Beltran Newsroom. LOLz.

Sure, Ma’am Chua leaves much to be desired, and the other J121 classes really are to be envied about, but I really have no regrets that I took Chua this sem. Oh yeah, not until I get lower than 2.0 will I regret EVERYTHING! Haha. So Ma’am, please be generous, hmmmkay? =)  I got a 1.5!!!

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I was browsing my archives a while ago and I chanced upon this post where I was thinking real hard of shifting out from journ.

From “Freshmen Days are almost over” 01/30/2006

Oh and by the way, I’m considering shifting to another course. It’s a matter I haven’t been able to discuss in the dinner table (or with my parents, for that matter). I don’t know how they’d react when I tell them I’m having thoughts of shifting; I can’t wait to see their I-told-you-so expression thinking that I’m the rebellious teenager last year who bullied them into taking Journalism as his major and now he’s considering shifting?! Oh my heck… I don’t know how to break it to them.

I’m most probably shifting to AB Psych, but I’m not yet entirely sure. I just don’t think I’m fit for Journalism. Sure, many people say I write (legibly) articulately but I guess my style of writing isn’t for the papers. Plus, I take into consideration what a friend told me about studying liberal arts, that when we study our craft we lose its essence within us. I think he’s right; writing isn’t something you can put inside a box with all the technicalities if you’re born with it (modesty aside). I think those who should take courses on Liberal Arts are those who want to know further about the craft, otherwise they’d just be hearing echoes of what they already know.

So there. I don’t know if Psych is the right course, but I’m getting an inkling to it; I don’t know, I’m just really interested in knowing how people think and how their thinking affects other people’s thinking as well. Sigh… I thought this’ll be easy; it’s way harder than I thought. I hope you’d all help me out on this… I want to here your comments on these life-changing matter I’m currently in. Thanks!

That was more than a year ago. I told myself I’d give journ two years, then I’ll make a decision. Well, it’s been two and a half years and I’m still in Journ, so I guess I’m staying here for good. =)

To sum it all up, I’d say this is my most heartbreaking semester ever. I’ve been challenged so many times, failed so many times, been beaten down so many times. I did a lot of things, encountered a lot of people, talks about a lot of matters.

But I guess the most important part of this sem is the fact that I’ve been able to further strengthen my bond with Masscomm, especially with my batchmates. Sure, this is also the sem when many backs were turned on me because of my political beliefs (kind of immature, don’t you think?) but this is also the sem where I found my true friends–people who stuck by me no matter what the odds, no matter what the consequences, and even if we had differing opinions.

And for the first time again in years, I found myself going out of the walls I built around myself and mingling more with people that matter to me the most. And that’s just enough to make this heartbreaking sem worth all the heartbreak! =)


56 Responses to “[UPDATED] A Bittersweet Heartbreak (aka the Sembreaker post)”
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