January – June

I was not able to write my monthly logs this year, so here goes a mid-year recap with diary entries and ink sketches from January ’til June.


I STARTED THE YEAR with an obligatory determination to do better.

The preceding semester was one of my worst — I passed all my classes but my GPA dropped, effectively killing my chances for admission to competitive post-grad programs. Still, I wanted to do better.

Most of my classes this term were electives. There was one on machine learning, another on fault-tolerant systems. If only I were wealthy and smart, I would definitely pursue higher studies in those fields.

The second part of my design class also started this month. My team aced the proposal last term, but during meetings and consultations I could tell that neither the client nor the adviser knew anything about my task. When I asked them for guidance on how to solve the possible lapses in my design, all I got were empty attempts at advice (e.g. “take it one step at a time” or “it’s okay if it doesn’t work as long as you understand why”).

I realized that I was more results-driven than I thought: it mattered to me that I made my design work. I couldn’t get on board with the focus-on-the-process it’s-the-climb mindset — I had a goal and I knew the joy of learning would come only when I achieved that goal.

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Personality test: sino ba ito, sino ba ito, sino ba ako?

Fig 1. Pastime (mula sa XKCD)

Dulot na rin siguro ng kawalang-magawa sa buhay, nagsagot ako ng tatlong personality test kanina.

Ayon sa 16 Personalities Test na hango sa Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Logician o INTP raw ako: Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, at Prospecting. May tendensiya raw ang mga INTP na tumahak ng mga hindi kumbensyunal na landas. “Inventive” at “creative” pero “very private” at madalas ay “condescending.”

Sa lahat ng nakalistang Weaknesses, ito marahil ang pinaka-akma sa akin:

Logician personalities know that…any work they do is second-best to what they could do. Unable to settle for this, Logicians sometimes delay their output indefinitely with constant revisions, sometimes even quitting before they ever begin.

Oo nga, madalas nga akong kumabig. Lagi ko kasing naiisip na hindi ko rin naman mapaninindigan ang isang proyekto o gawain. Bukod pa rito, madalas din akong tinutupok ng realisasyon na hindi naman talaga ako mahusay o magaling.

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Shuffle the Music #4

Today is one of the days when I choose to write something vapid and easy. This is just another Shuffle the Music post, but I am adding a twist based on a Tumblr music survey. The survey rules are simple:

1) set your playlist on shuffle, and
2) write down the songs that come up for each of the given movie scenes.

Nice, ‘di ba? For this survey I will be shuffling my On Repeat playlist on Spotify. I am essentially building my life’s kunwa-kunwaring movie soundtrack, so I might as well use the songs that I currently love.

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Reading terror

I am at a point in which I no longer get easily intimidated by texts that are generally considered to be “too difficult to read.” After decades of reading and re-reading, I think I now have the experience and the grit to power through even the most dense of documents.

Take, for instance, the “Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.” It isn’t the most complex in terms of language, but it also isn’t the kind of text that I usually read. Maybe I was just genuinely curious, or maybe I have indeed matured as a reader that I somehow managed to distill all 60+ pages of the Anti-Terror Bill.

I consulted other sources too and I did my own research before arriving at a conclusion: the Anti-Terror Bill has very dangerous implications, especially for the country’s most vulnerable sectors. I say no too.

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Music is dumb

I just finished reading an essay called “The Music Itself: Glenn Gould’s Contrapuntal Vision,” and one part that stood out to me was writer Edward Said’s assertion that “music is fundamentally dumb.”

The statement reads like a hot take perfect for Twitter, but Said makes a good point: “despite its fertile syntactic and expressive possibilities, music does not encode reference, or ideas, or hypotheses discursively, the way language does.” Interesting, isn’t it?

Said’s explanation reminds me of a similar observation made by another critic A.O. Scott, who posits that “a piece of music makes no obvious argument, tells no literal story, soars above politics and history in an ether where logic and feeling coexist interchangeably.”

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