the remaining three-quarters

One email disrupted the peace in the happiness bubble I’ve been enjoying. A possibility of a stipend. I’ll take it. It will not be enough to cover even half the transport expenses but it will help.

This November’s conference  a big expense and a great risk BUT it is definitely worth pursuing. A trip to another continent that I’d be paying for in the next two years to present a research I personally funded in a conference that I’d also be personally paying for (errr… most of it. Well, all of it at first and then a very small possibility of some reimbursements) but will be reflected in the university records.

See, getting the research paper accepted (inclusive of the actual conduct of the data gathering to completion of research manuscript) is only a quarter of the battle. The remaining three-quarters is for generating funds to get one to the conference venue and dealing with travel grant requirements – which would be on a reimbursement basis.

Basically, you spend your own money first and wait a lifetime until the reimbursement gets processed. Hopefully, you get your reimbursement before you retire. In the meantime, go crazy on filing for loans from your social insurance contributions and secure personal loans from relatives.

Here’s to enjoying two years of loans – plus interest.


post thesis blues

This, I did not expect.

That sense of uneasiness one gets from having things too quiet or too relaxed or from having too much free time.

Last April, I managed to complete my manuscript – nothing fancy or intellectual but enough to make me get that masters degree. April until July passed by so fast I couldn’t remember much of what happened. I just knew they were more eventful than the normal.

Came August and things are staring to normalize. And this is when I have to face this uneasiness that’s been hovering over like a clump of dark clouds. You’d notice how dark and heavy they’re becoming yet the rain never drops. It’s like it’s waiting for the worst moment to rain on one’s day. I have more time to worry about it.

I like the idea that I have more free time and that I’m being paid more. It’s just not what I’m used to. My greatest fear is that I’d adjust to this seemingly great setup only to realize it’s just on passing. It’s just too good to be true. So I find myself growing anxious waiting  for that moment when I be saying Oh, here comes the work. I knew it was too good to last. Until I get to that moment, the anxiety grows. There’s the fear that I may have lost my momentum at work and the capacity to deal with a lot of things.

Overthinking things, I cannot help that.

I may have gotten used to the disappointment of the thesis backlog among other things that I find it odd when I have managed to complete it. In April and May, I celebrated and rewarded myself for completing the thing. Don’t get me wrong, I never want to return in that situation.

Have I gotten lax or lazy? Am I just so used with disappointment that I’m having trouble now that I have way less of it? Do I really deserve all these?

I’m having difficulty in accepting and adjusting to this. But I want to. I believe that enjoying this time is something I deserve. There’s just something a bit off. It’s like worrying that I’m enjoying this too much. Although, I see no problem in that. What I know I deserve differs from I  feel I deserve and not knowing the difference is what’s bothering me. I know I worked hard for everything but somehow I feel that I got more than what I deserve – although I couldn’t identify what I feel I deserved to have given what I’ve worked for.

A part of me dismisses these as my means of coping. I’m so used to anxiety that I end up worrying over such petty things. It’s easier to worry about something else rather than not to worry at all.

manuscript submitted

IMG_1599Managed to make the final submission of the research manuscript.

I loved that walk of relief from the Graduate School back to the office. I didn’t even mind the rain of cotton that hindered comfortable breathing. I passed by the graduation grounds and I felt no more dread. I am actually looking forward to enduring hours under the summer heat a four Saturdays from now.

There’s still a lot of things to do. When is there not? I’ll deal with them. For now, I want to look back at how this output has scanned years of my stay here in the university. They are all part of the day’s submission.

I’m glad this part’s over. I know there’s a lot of things to improve in the manuscript. A LOT. It’s not an output I’d be highly proud of but it isn’t something I think of as a source of embarrassment. Tama lang. It will do for an masters academic requirement 😀

In hindsight, there’s that guilt that I didn’t seem to suffer as much as other masters students during the conduct and write up of the masters research. I’ve always dreaded this phase of the masters study. The thesis was something major and surviving it was something of a test of sanity. Then again, that guilt lessens when I remember the times when it felt like I was near the breaking point, staring blankly at my coding sheets with the brain too numb to process anything or when I became sick of corn (See, my research topic is about biotech corn) or when I’ve started discussing my research in my dreams. So I guess, I did suffer. That should deal with the guilt.

The masters thesis is the product of two month’s cramming; years of dread, hurried fast food meals and comfort food consumption, and troubled sleep; and and about two boxes of paper wasted. Not to mention the financial expense, which thankfully I have settled during the first quarter.

I can sleep better tonight. This would be the first time I earn the right for a no-alarm sleep this month.

passed :D


I can sleep tonight!

That was the only thing I could remember as I packed my things to exit the exam room. I still have a LOT of revisions for the research manuscript. Still, I’m a step closer to earning the right to wear sablay this April.


The cake arrived before the graduate committee formally declared that I passed the thesis defense. I didn’t even hear the chair of the committee utter the words. I just knew I passed because the three members were relaxed and were smiling. I had to confirm I really passed the exam – just to be sure. The family members have been asking for regular updates since last week.

As of now, it’s not yet certain if I’ll be able to join the UPLB Class of 2013. There’s still a lot of things that can go wrong from today to having my name in the Graduate School’s list of students to complete their masters.

The next days will remain to be challenging. There will be fees to pay, documents to deal with, and a research manuscript to finalize. And then there would be the work backlog that has piled over the week’s focus on the defense and the manuscript revisions.

Roamed the halls of the college to share the cake. A good way to de-stress. It was on the way home that I realized I wasn’t able to eat at all.




“____ & _____ i avail mon jul 16 at 2pm for ur oral compre exam.”

I was delighted to receive the text with a suggested date for the exam. And then I realized it’s on Monday. Four days from now Monday.  I’m dead. That’s the day after we return from our research trip. I’m so dead. I haven’t reviewed a note from my graduate courses. What have I been doing?!

It can happen. The exam to take place on Monday. Hopefully, something else will happen. Injury? Hospital admission? Death?

I have a feeling that sleep won’t come easily tonight.

Worse, it won’t.

I bet it’s the latter.