And we're back (in school!)

Manila, 21 September—And just like that, I’m back in the classroom.

This afternoon, I went back to class for the first time in three years. If anybody still remembers that brief MBA stint I began in 2012—well, we’re still on that, apparently. My professor—a SEAGames gold medalist who is keen to use sports as a fantastic metaphor for management—assured me that she’s had lots of returning grad students in the past. One of them had even gone back after forty years.

I found that comforting; something I needed to hear. I observed myself in class today—I’d expected myself to be exhausted, especially since I’d just come from teaching an early Millenniors session in Muntinlupa—but curiously, I wasn’t. I was also unusually social—I introduced myself to classmates who were there a bit early like me (I had rushed from Muntinlupa, thereby arriving half an hour early to start time) but I guess that’s because I had a bit of buwelo with my group of lovely seniors from earlier that day. (May halo na rin sigurong dasal, since we held that morning’s Millenniors session in church grounds)

Three years ago was another story entirely. My class was on a weeknight, and as I was in the throes of a massive burnout, it was also wrapped in dread. I was in a truly bad place—I despised everything, I wasn’t sleeping well, and, as part of my passive suicide ideation at the time, I found that school was the first thing I crossed off my list of to-do’s when I posed the hypothetical question, “If I were to die tomorrow, what things would I like to do today?” (I crossed off work second. There was only one thing I liked to do: Sleep.)

It broke my already broken heart to have to write my professor and his assistant at the time to signify my intention to drop out of the course before class dropping deadline. In the terms that followed, I saw my classmates graduate one after the other.

There was a bit of resignation on my part that perhaps that part of my life is over, and that I’m moving on just fine, carrying with me all the things I’ve learned anyway. I moved jobs, which reduced the number of people I had to manage from six to zero—a totally welcome development. Besides, I could argue that I’d been able to use the knowledge I learned well enough during my time in my previous management position. Sulit na rin, in a manner of speaking.

Earlier this year, one of my favorite professors asked me to come back and finish what I started. Her class was the class I enjoyed the most out of my entire stay, and I felt like I owed it to her to at least try.

And now, here I am. I’m not quite sure what I’m doing (Story of My MBA Life, 2012-present), but somehow, things have their way of sorting themselves out in the end. I say this as someone who encountered several roadblocks during this enrolment period, enough times to make me pose the question, Is this a sign to stop?

Anyway. It rained for most of the week, and early this morning, as we were on our way to Sucat from Makati, it rained so hard while we were on Skyway, we could barely see the road.

But when I got to school, the sun was already shining. The grass was so green from the rain, and it was turning out to be a windy afternoon. University cats roamed the halls, fat and slow and uncaring. One of them stopped right in front of my classroom’s door and took her time to scratch herself against the door jamb. I had to wait until she was done because I did not have the heart to interrupt her languorous romp.

When I got out of class it was almost sunset. The hour was golden against the buildings.

I have a good feeling about this.

Have a good weekend,