Saturday, January 24, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Push Comes to Shove

I gotta say, I’m not one for constantly checking announcements on notice boards so it wasn’t surprising that when I finally became aware of the posted bulletin about the CS Web Team needing Creative Writers, it’s been months since it was put up. My interest was definitely sparked. I should also mention that I am somewhat a writer, myself, and that “creative” was the very first word out of my mouth some twenty-odd years ago. Now, couple that with an impressive set of pictures of people in the adjacent bulletin board wearing even more impressive looking jackets that had the Web Team logo in them, my interest was now a fully-fledged arsonist’s workings. I wanted that jacket. Big time.

The thing was, I had doubts if I could actually maintain a position that required responsibility I had no idea how heavy at the time. Even when my classmates were relentlessly hearing me voice out my desire to join the Team, I admit to lacking initiative about these things. Call it being lazy or procrastinating, but I had my reasons. Let’s just say, I’ve had previous experiences with committing to something and being unable (slash unwilling) to meet my end of the bargain. It was a situation that turned into something nasty in the end, something I most certainly do not want to relive. Add to that my senseless intimidation of Ma’am Bermudez, one of the Web Team’s moderators, and I was practically solved on chickening out. Coward.

A fortnight or so ago, a couple of my professors, Ma’am Daligdig and Ma’am Garcia, and I were talking about random stuff and I kind of mentioned that I had wanted to join the Web Team as a writer but that the notice was put up, like, way back in June so I didn’t reckon there’d be anymore slots to fill. I dared not tell them about my other reasons for not joining. They asked me if I was more a writer or a programmer and it got me thinking – but only for a second. My reply: “Writer. Definitely a writer.”

I never meant for that conversation to get me where I’m at now, but right the next day Ma’am Daligdig was saying I was to go to the Department because Ma’am Bermudez was expecting me. Dear God, what have I done? I probably made a fool of myself while I talked to Ma’am Bermudez, eating my words trying to be coherent. I was jittery in a job interview kind of way. She wanted me to submit some of my written material for assessment and I told myself, “Self, no matter what you do, you have got to impress this woman.”

Since I haven’t done some recent writing and anything decent I did that wasn’t on a school paper, I did on the internet, I scoured my blog. I came across an article from 2006 about an incident in my ITF class taught by Ma’am Bermudez and I decided to include it as a material. It had a funny outlook that might grab her attention, to put it mildly. I knew it was a tad douche baggy, not to mention she could be offended with what I wrote and how I wrote it (and I obsessed about it the weekend after I submitted my material on a Friday evening and she told me to come back on Monday), but I took the risk. I could’ve made a few edits and make it unobtrusive but I wanted to show her how I truly write.

Monday, I entered the Department, resigned to whatever Ma’am Bermudez’s reaction would be. And what do you know, she was smiling. Cool.

I guess I have two professors I am indebted to. Because I realized that, push comes to shove, I am a writer. And about my newly acquired post in the Web Team, I’d like to say that it was the writer in me that had me finally diving in, but no, it was all the jackets. Yatta.

Monday, January 12, 2009


“If you haven’t made your first million by 30, you will never make one.” The first time I heard that this statement was actually a scientific study of sorts, it made me make a quick assessment of my life. I’m 22, on my third year of undergraduate studies, and with hopes of graduating on time. Which all gives me roughly six years to make or break it. Shoot. I guess what coursed through me after that realization was tantamount to the panic you felt when your rival team is up by 3 points and the time on the clock says 5 seconds. And it’s their ball. Why, oh, why did I spend so much time (bumming around) in college, I ask myself.

My SAD professor recently made us interview a Systems Analyst to get an idea of what the industry would be like for us future professionals. I contacted somebody I knew who was a Senior Software Consultant to interview, and, my, was I blown away. She had worked for two software companies, (three including the current), held positions like Software Developer and Technical Support Specialist, had her Master’s Degree, was sent to the United States twice for projects and seminars, is presently racking up a range of 40 – 120 grand a month, has her own car, and has her Skills section in her resume start with “ADO.NET, ASP.NET, MS SQL Server, C#, ASP.NET Security, XML…” And I’m willing to bet that if she hasn’t made her first million yet (which I’m doubtful of), she’s definitely on her way. She’s 28.

The million, they say, need not be in bonds – it could be in any form of property that is the fruit of your sweat and blood over the course of graduation to the big 30. Inasmuch as that is consoling, it doesn’t make the feat any easier, especially for me. But determination, as I’ve found out in my years of college, can bring you to a goal as high as you dare set.

Before I submitted the interview transcript, I made a copy of my interviewee’s resume and tacked it up on my wall. Something to keep me “wanting” in times when my drive wavers. Yes, I want that million. I may not meet the crucial deadline, but I may just prove false the first sentence of this article.