Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rate, Describe Yourself

A couple of days ago, during our thesis class’ first session, Rica Bolipata-Santos asked each of us to rate our writing ability on the 1-10 scale (10 being the highest).

I thought for a while about how I was going to play this: (1) the humble card; (2) jokingly arrogant; (3) plain honesty.

I had the luxury of being the last name on the class list (thank you, family name), so I was able to see how the others would handle the question.

One guy, whose name eludes me (might’ve shifted into the course late), gave himself a 10. His quiet, self-confident demeanor didn’t make his self-rating surprising.

It was the fact that he was willing to say it in front of 11 others who have been around each other’s work for three years that made it surprising.

We all know where we’re at in terms of writing. He’s the newcomer. I commend the confidence, but he’s setting himself up.

Drew, Cindy, and Misha—three of our better writers—all gave ratings of less than 7. Everyone else, save for another confident 8, gave themselves ratings under 6, including co-fellow Khaye who gave herself a 3.

I don’t remember everyone being so humble.

As my name was approaching, I figured I’d play it safe at 7. But before I could say anything, a chorus of scoffing and muffled mentions of an award broke my front.

“Oh, so are you the award winner?” asked Rica.

“Opo. Ata.” (Pa-humble pa yung gago!)

“So 10?”

“Di naman. 9 siguro.” (Sabay pa-cute smile. Fucking sell-out! Kill me now!)

Oh well. It was all for laughs. (Tumawa rin si ma’am.)

Days before, Gella asked me to help her with an assignment for her features writing class under Ruey De Vera. The task: five sentences that best describes yourself.

Jokingly, I gave her a version of a line Sir Sawi Aquino dropped on Justine: “The color of my outfit matches the invisible glint in my heart.”

Note: it was a joke. But I think Gella might’ve used it.

Yesterday, Gella approached me again. “Mart, I have a perfect line to describe myself.”


“I’m young, and I’m beautiful (WHAT?!) yadayadayada…” Sorry. I forgot the rest.

“Gella, you lost me after the first clause.”

She laughs.


Blogger rica said...

Hello! This is Ma'am Rica. You know when I'm depressed I google myself. It's a great way of knowing I really do exist. I think you know what I mean : )

I hadn't intended to ask the question and until you guys asked me, I had no idea it was difficult to answer. The other guy saying he was 10 made it doubly harder. I mean very few people understand the philosophy of teaching and so his enunciation of his grade was something that made me wonder what I could possibly give to him. Hmmmm....

I was interested in what you guys thought of yourselves. After all, we are our hardest critics and our most useless fans : ) There are apparently 32 blog sites that mention me and 10 pages of website material that chronicle my life. Sad to say, that doesn't make the monsters go away.

I like this saying most of all:
When you've found Buddha, kill him. (Or something like that...)

See you Tuesday! Most works have just come in so I'm drowning underneath all the material...thanks for thinking of my welfare!

6:11 PM  
Blogger M.V. said...


I can't get myself to google my own name....

So I just have people do for me (buffer, diba?).


See you Tuesday, Ma'am.

10:24 PM  

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