Saturday, June 21, 2008

Reality kicks in

"The Board of Regents, at its 1233rd meeting held today, approved the appointment of Prof. Theodore O. Te as Vice President for Legal Affairs effective 23 June 2008 to serve at the pleasure of the President."

It is now official.

So, I "officially" went to the Office of Legal Services (OLS), its current name until it can be changed to Office of the Vice President for Legal Affairs (OVPLA) at the third floor of U.P. Diliman's Quezon Hall yesterday for a send off for MVFL, now dean of the law school, and a welcome for me. Flying in from an overnight trip to Cebu with barely 3 hours of sleep, attending an execom meeting at the College, teaching my evidence class and driving over to OVPLA for the reception, I was in no condition tor respond as graciously as I wanted to the kind treatment they gave me. I'm not even sure my response was comprehensible, I hope I made sense and I hope they didn't mind too much even if I didn't.

On the 100th year of UP, I became one of its Vice Presidents--something I never thought would ever happen.

One thing kept running through my mind yesterday, for reality, this is really surreal.

Friday, June 06, 2008

it is finished... term as OLA director, that is.

I took over in December 2005 and officially turned the directorship over to my replacement earlier today. I had been in denial for some time that this day would come but I am no longer in denial--as the reality of moving out of room 105 is slowly sinking in, with each box of documents and personal stuff being transferred out of room 105 and to my faculty room in the second floor. No, I'm no longer in denial, but I'm officially in withdrawal.

I know I will miss being in this office especially the view from the small window behind my chair of the sunken garden where people playing football bring me back to a much simpler time; I know I will miss the interns who, semester after semester, enter OLA totally terrified and unaware of one end of the pleading from another and somehow emerge from the experience having learned a bit more than what they had bargained for; I know I will miss the four-member staff who, despite very little pay, choose to slug it out at OLA; I know I will miss correcting pleadings, scrawling my comments in green all over the freshly printed page; I know I will miss the case cons--at that nice long, newly varnished table outside the Director's office where little by little, the law becomes less and less a mystery to the interns.

I had a nice dinner (though my steak wasn't rare and there was no blood at all on the steak; it was still all good) with the last group of interns that I will officially handle, Team 4-SIP; though not all were able to join, it was still a nice way to end the summer and my term--just talking (not shop talk), laughing, and enjoying the company of people who had started the summer virtually strangers but had come out of the summer experience all the richer in friendship. Maraming salamat Migs, Bridget, Kate, Kai, Toff, Janette, Jess, Cathe (and Vince) and Tere for the great summer.

I will move to the center of UP soon, Quezon Hall, to a 3rd floor office which gives me a peculiar view of the auditorium behind Quezon Hall and where, if I walk along the corridor, I get to see Oble in a totally different light. Perhaps, that is where I am being led to and that is why I am being led here-- to see Quezon Hall peculiarly and to see Oble in a totally different light. I know that the God who has led me here will faithfully finish His work through me and I can only pray that I prove equal to the task and to the service.

In the meantime, I will enjoy my withdrawal--before reality sinks in.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"i don't know what" in french

Hadn't heard this in some time but was surprised to hear this the other day in casual conversation -- "je ne sais quoi" (it sounds phonetically to the un-french like "june se kwa"). I had to stop and ask the person I was talking to, "are you french?" to which he answered, "no, but I picked that up in a book I read."

When pressed if he knew what it meant, he said (correctly, although I don't know if he knew he was correct), "I don't know." Whether or not he knew it, that was the correct meaning of the phrase. I just smiled and didn't press the issue.

It means "I don't know what" or an undefinable not necessarily absent something; in a phrase that is more familiar, it's like an "x-factor." To use a trite example, "that person has a certain je ne sais quoi." (Sounds like something the writers of "pit and pab" , hosted by Tere, could pick up and work into their spiels, he he he)

It just struck me that we use so many words and cliches that we don't really know the meaning to but by oral tradition, we've become so used to them. Law students are no exception; they love to toss around huge and profound sounding terms that don't necessarily mean huge and profound things. Many times really, simple is just better.

In the meantime, could you, as a prefatory matter, indulge me by passing the certiorari to alleviate the conundrum that I am in?

things you can toss around in casual conversation to