Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Summer Job

For the first time since my first college day, I took on a summer job. The job title is that of a legal researcher. (Is there an illegal researcher?). The job involves, among other things, going to different government agencies, asking for forms and procedures for the transactions handled by said offices. My boss described the tasks involved as the "practical side of the law", at least on these matters. She could not be more correct.

Classroom education teaches the student the "legal" side of things; substantive and procedural law. But the student is left on his or her own as to the translation of these so-called substantive and procedural law into the reality and actuality of their application. Let's take the case of a birth certificate. Not all law students have applied with the National Statistics Office (NSO) of an authenticated certified copy of his or her birth certificate, but every law student who have finished their first semester of law schooling knows of the birth certificate and its indispensability in proving certain legal matters. I myself has applied for and obtained a authenticated certified copy of my birth certificate from the NSO. School will teach the relevance of the birth certificate but it will not teach the student that he or she must be either very early (at least at the NSO located at East Avenue, QC) or, as was my style, almost at closing time at the NSO to avoid the very long queue; and that is only to get the appropriate application form. After filling that up, the applicant still has to fall in line again just to have his or her form submitted, pay, and, if lucky, fall in line again on the same day to receive the said copy of the birth certificate. The unlucky ones has to go back on another day to fall in line again to get his or her copy of the birth certificate. Did I mention that all these have to be done in an unairconditioned open walled structured heated up by the unforgiving rays of the sun coupled with the combined body heat and the accompanying sweaty smell of all the hundreds of people inside?

The job may be tiring but it sure is exciting.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Merriam-Webster online dictionary ( defines "discernment" as "the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure". In the spiritual sense, "discernment" can be loosely defined as the gift of the Holy Spirit which gives one the "ability" of making known to one's self at a certain degree of certainty the will of God regarding a certain matter. It is a gift that is used whenever one is to make a decision. One of its basic principles is that "discernment" involves a choice between two good things, never between one which is good and one which is bad. This summer I face another decision which needs discernment.

I am in the summer of my third year in law school. I have not applied for any summer internship program or a summer job that requires reporting at regular hours because of an important event which will most probably be jeopardized by such. However, boredom and years of being used to having a set of required task to do each day, together with the fact that my financial resources are dwindling and that nagging sense of unproductiveness prompted me to accept an invitation of a classmate to a legal researcher job that does not require regular work hours. I was accepted to the job. I found the details of the job exciting, and as my future student internship program director told us, and has a high pedagogical value as far as I am concerned. The work may prove to be challenging but the pay is just enough to pay the rent for the month. Such was expected but I hoped that the job would be more financially rewarding.

Here is the catch. There is a possibility that a job would be available that has a considerably higher remuneration (higher, meaning that two weeks worth would amount to fifty percent more than what the other job offers) and that I am very familiar with. The possibility is really very high. One might say that the subject is moot, as I have accepted the job and my sense of honor (yes I have one) would not permit me to renege.

The discernment was required before making such decision, and for this choice time was not on my side. Looking back, I knew what made me choose the job of a legal researcher. I need the money but I believe that I need the experience and knowledge that my chosen job will give. I am embarking on a new profession that I have to train for. This choice made me realize that I have to let go of the familiar and embrace the unfamiliar so that I may be better prepared for the new path that is ahead of me. The choice I made will lead me to unfamiliar territory but I know that when I emerge on the other side of this territory, I will come out a stronger and better person. The choice I made may have been a lost opportunity cost monetary wise but I think that it will be profitable in the long run. I think, that's what counts.

Friday, April 07, 2006

"It's all your fault"

I believe that the one who is most busy pointing fingers at everybody is most probably the cause of the wrong. For one reason or another, admitting that oneself is at fault is a virtue that is most scarce. Maybe the fact that it happened at the beginning of time may be a contributing factor.

Eve ate of the forbidden fruit. When confronted, she did not admit fault but blamed the serpent for it. It is enough of a mistake to disobey God, but to compound it with not admitting that she was at fault in disobeying God was sheer folly. Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, and did the same as Eve. Instead of admitting his fault, he blamed Adam. We can only speculate as what could have happened had only Adam and Eve admitted their fault, asked for forgiveness, and asked for God's mercy right there and then. Had Adam and Eve humbled themselves before the Lord, maybe we're still in Eden.

Our country is in a perceived political, social and economic turmoil. It is my perception as well. The administration is blaming everyone else for these perceived (and in my opinion actual) turmoil. It doesn't attribute to itself any fault. We can only speculate as to what our condition may be now had the administration owed up to it's shortcomings, asked for forgiveness, and humbly asked for true and genuine support. We can only speculate as to what our condition now had the head of such administration admitted her fault, truly and genuinely asked for forgiveness, and asked for the peoples mercy and support. We can only speculate as to how we would be right now had she admitted to her fault and promptly and humbly stepped down

Wanting a Camera

For some time now, I have been craving for a digital SLR camera.
Yes, craving. The feeling is much akin to wanting a particular type of food at a particular time.
This time, I crave to take pictures again.

I have a film SLR camera. Sadly, the cost of taking many pictures with a film SLR necessarily means having to spend a considerable amount of money for film and developing costs. I don't have such a considerable amount.

I am neither a professional photographer nor an gifted amateur. My fair self-assessment is that of the about 1000 pictures I took in my lifetime, I could say not more than ten are at the most passable. But what the heck, I would like to still take pictures and maybe, as I take snapshots of what's around me, I get to learn how to appreciate God's beauty.

"Why SLR?" someone might ask. Digital point-and-shoot films are not fast enough. Many times, what you want to capture cannot be asked to pose for you, and that split second might spell the difference. My hope is that with a decent enough digital SLR camera, I could capture most of life's candid moments.

I hope that this dream comes into fulfillment soon for moments cannot be asked to rewind and be recaptured.