All Work and No Pay

My school decided early on that all incoming Grade 10-11 students must undergo an internship with a minimum of 80 hours as a requirement for graduation. To be frank, I wasn’t excited at all for “a chance to experience working in a field of science”. A job with no pay? Really???

I did a 3-week internship in the Aquatic Biology Research Lab at U.P. Diliman Institute of Biology. The personnel were really helpful and kind, and I managed to learn new things from them. My intern-mates were also really fun to be with as I found out. I managed to be friends with one batch-mate and two students from Mindanao. We all shared more interests than I thought possible and we helped each other out when needed. At the final day of the internship, all four interns including me were given a sample of benthic macroinvertebrates (I’ll explain later) from different families. Overall, it was nice and chill, and I’d recommend it to anyone else who’s interested in aquatic Biology.

I actually didn’t manage to show up on two days of the internship. I couldn’t attend the first day because of an overlap with a vacation, and the third day because of a passport renewal appointment, and a loose bracket. (The vacation’s a future post in the works. Stay tuned.)

The second day was when everything started for me. Mom accompanied me going to the building, but it was a little complicated because the main road to the building was closed. It took Google Maps to show a long but scenic route. (I found out 2 weeks in my internship that there was a shorter one that would have saved my legs and feet.) Once we got to the building, I saw the lab and all the people inside. I was left alone by Mom after she told the supervisor I had ADHD.

I was given an orientation about benthic macroinvertebrates. There’s Google for all you readers, but I’ll give the gist on what they are. They’re a diverse group of sedentary invertebrates that are bottom-dwellers, and their presence and/or absence is used to monitor the quality of water. I was tasked to sort out all the benthic macroinvertebrates from their samples. If you guys know those Hidden Objects games, then you already have a grasp on what I was doing throughout the first week. That went on until lunch, where I managed to talk to the other interns. The afternoon was fine. The personnel managed to point out certain animals I mistook for debris like leeches. My batch mate was kind enough to let me ride with them going to SM North EDSA to get on the train going home.

The following days until the end were honestly very repetitive. Commute, work, lunch, work, commute, then repeat all over again. The commute going to the building was quite long. A train ride, a jeepney ride, and a walk altogether took 1 hour and 30 minutes. Also, peak hours inside a train are no joke. You can get squeezed to the point where you have to fight to get in or out. Woe behold the people in the middle section who have to get off, because not getting out in time is a fear all the riders have. Lunch was the only thing that was different every day. We explored as many cafeterias near us as possible and ate as much food was possible. I had two lunches per day, which Mum was quite happy about with me.

Also, I was introduced to the process of elutriation during the first week. Basically, it shrinks the sample size by removing as much debris as possible to make sorting easier. Imagine rinsing out a piece of clothing and removing all bits and pieces of dirt from it, and then doing it for 4 cycles. My arms were aching by the time I did all sample bottles.

The work I was doing differed per week. The first week was dubbed “Where’s Waldo”. The second week got the name “Who’s Waldo”. The third week was a mix.

The second week was spent identifying the animals that we sorted out from the week before. We started identifying to order-level via dichotomous keys. I wasn’t so bad there. When it got to identifying up to family level, I realized I was the worst out of all the interns. Woohoo, right????? Thankfully, the personnel simply told us the features to look for to identify certain families and didn’t judge us so much.

The third week was a mix, honestly. The first day was a continuation of last week. The second day was spent wrapping centrifuge tubes full of samples with parafilm to preserve the ethanol and the animals submerged inside. The third day was the main event: fieldwork. The personnel simulated what they did when they collected samples from different water sources. They evaluate the site and check if it meets the criteria for an optimal reference site. Then they use physical and chemical measurements to analyze the site. Lastly, they start collecting the samples using either leaf packs or a D-net. The last step was honestly tiring. The afternoon was spent learning to use a software program used in Statistics. The next day was spent answering an exam and preparing a presentation for the final day of the internship. And the last day of the internship was spent mostly on the culminating activity. Lots of labs had students from different regions of the Philippines, and everyone’s presentation was nice. We all got certificates and remembrances from our lab.

It was the little things during the internship that I remember fondly. The playground near a building, the time everyone gathered around a laptop to watch an anime on the cells of the human body, the card games played during break, and all the confessions that happened over lunch tables. I also liked the times when someone had a birthday and everyone was invited for food.

This was definitely quite an experience. I really hope I can put this in my future CV.


Looking back…


Once this post is uploaded, either it’s 2018 already or we’re really close to it. There are two ways we can go. Either we look back at what 2017 has been for us, or we look forward to what 2018 has in store for us.

2017’s quite a ride for me, but it cut me some slack in terms of emotions. I have more control over how I feel, and I can easily not give a damn about stuff I hate that affects me. (Not sure if it’s a good thing or not, but it’s either that or I care too much). When it comes to academics, well, I might need better work ethics to pull some grades up, but I’m working on it. Also, I did things I didn’t expect I would. I ran after a dog owner to ask about the dog. (The dog’s name is Fritz and he’s a Pointer). I tried being a bit of a thrill-seeker by choosing really scary rides. (It was fun, but man, my vocal cords need to rest). I raised my hand to audition for a role in a school play. (It was really fun.) I also managed to have awesome conversations with some lower year students too. It was quite a relief to know that they were just as weird and brilliant as my batch, too.

2017 also brought new challenges too. More tests, subjects, teachers, make-up classes, responsibilities, and social etiquette developed or discovered. (I have gotten myself in sticky situations because of this. ) Also, I had to learn to keep my mouth shut and not snark at teachers when they say something ignorant. (Not worth the trouble, believe me.)

I also discovered new interests (and friends!!!) in 2017. I found shows and books worth binging until the early morning. I found people who share the same interests with me (and introduce me to their own). I’m quite excited about what could happen next with my old and new friends in the upcoming years.

Speaking of 2018, I’m not exactly sure what’s coming. Well, I do know what’s on my school calendar. And on other people’s calendars too. But, with a supportive network of friends and family, well, let’s see what happens this 2018!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Gifts: A Stress to Give, A Joy to Receive

Ah, the holidays. Full of happiness, traffic, parties, and stress. Can we even say Christmas is near if don’t get stuck in traffic on the road or in the mall? Can we even convince ourselves that we have the Christmas spirit in us if we don’t suffer from cashier/ gift wrapping lines as long as NLEX? I don’t think so.

While I do agree that the holidays are quite merry, people do tend to glamorise it so much that we forget the stress involved. The stress of gifts, traffic jams, parties, nosy relatives, and financial issues are quite a formidable force of nature. I’m glad to say though that most of us have developed our own ways of dealing with them over time. Time (and money) management, good music, and epic comebacks are some of the ways people have found to be effective.

Now, you know well as a student that you have to be a bit of a penny-pincher if you even want to think about giving gifts to friends. (I’m assuming you are not rich. If you are, you can actually focus on giving your friends the gifts they like.) What I would suggest is to give every gift a personal touch. Without it, you’d just be giving special giveaways. (Especially if you get them all the same thing!)
It really depends on your strengths. Since I got notebooks from Papemelroti for my close friends, I decided to write a personal letter inside each one. Everyone liked the letters, but one decided to write one back as a gesture of appreciation. I still read that letter up to this day.

On that note about gifts, I didn’t know there were some rules on gift-giving. Well, apparently, the general rules are: you’re not supposed to expect to get a gift back from the person you’re giving a gift to; but if you’re the one being given a gift, it’s usually polite to give one back. I suppose that’s why we re-gift unused gifts, too. Not only because we don’t like the gifts, but also because we can convince ourselves that we’re a good person by giving someone a gift we think they’ll enjoy.

One of my best friend’s friends decided to start the tradition of writing letters on every birthday gift, so I thought, “What if I write letters on gifts for Christmas?”. So I did. Personally, there’s just something really cool about getting a letter from a special friend, and I wanted to share that with people this Christmas season. Also, when someone gives you a letter as a friend, it’s like they’re willing to share a piece of themselves with you on paper for you to treasure. I know I do. (So does my name-sake in Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks, but the letters were not read by the intended person, anyways. Whoops, that might have been a spoiler.)

There are some shops that are often visited by people with a low Christmas budget. One of them is Papemelroti, while another one is Miniso (depending on whether your local mall has one of its branches.) Both of them offer nice stuff for generally low prices. Think of Papemelroti as the anthropomorphic representation of the hipster side of Tumblr, and Miniso as the Japanese version of Divisoria. Papemelroti is generally well-known for its locally-sourced notebooks and jewelry, while Miniso is known for having almost everything at affordable prices.

While we can’t really say much on what to give people for Christmas, we do know when to draw the line when it comes to acceptable gifts. People follow different rules, and you might just have to find out on your own what yours are. Yes, you will find out by trial-and error sometimes. But, even if you give the wrong gift, at least your feelings won’t be hurt (much). We all have went to acting school at some point because of horrible gifts. (Because we all say thank you for the fact that the person thought of us enough to give us a gift, right?)

I’m either old or broke enough to know that Christmas can’t be defined by giving gifts. It can neither be defined by family gatherings nor the birth of Jesus Christ on its own. (Even if I’m a Christian, some non-believers do celebrate Christmas.) What I do know is that everyone may have their own reasons why they celebrate Christmas, but it doesn’t matter anyway, because everyone is focused on one thing that unites us: spreading joy. That’s what the holidays are all about.

The Polarity of Sibling Relationships

As you all know, I have a younger sister who I love and hate at the same time. If you don’t understand how people can feel like singing songs with someone and throwing eggs at them simultaneously, you might be an only child. My sister can annoy me and love me at the same time. The polarity between our moods whenever we’re together is quite insane. One moment, we’ll find ourselves kicking and screaming just to get her up to eat, and the next thing you know, she’s telling me the latest stories about her well-off classmates as we laugh.

My school calendar was a bit later than hers, so she was teasing me the whole time I still had school and she was enjoying summer, and then the tables turned. I had fun rubbing in the fact that she couldn’t watch TV while I could. She had fun reminding me that I had to help her with Kumon worksheets because Mom said so.

Do we agree with each other? Often. We do like watching cooking shows together. Do we fight with each other? Most of the time. I won’t even start on what makes us fight with each other because the list will go on until Hogwarts stops changing Defense Against the Dark Arts professors.  Do we introduce new stuff to each other? Of course. I introduced her to Miraculous Ladybug. She introduced me to Minecraft. We show each other new YouTubers to enjoy.

I teach her stuff she’ll need in life. That’s what an older sibling does. Therefore, I teach her what school glosses over, like dealing with different types of friends, different types of teachers, and later on, how to flirt with people, and how to ace a job interview.

I suppose the hardest lesson I’ll learn later on is that my sister will grow up, and make decisions for herself that I cannot interfere with. I can’t hope that my sister will stay the same to me, because we’ll grow up, and eventually distance ourselves from each other. It sounds sad, but that’s the truth. She can’t always be the young, naive sister that I know right now. All I wish is to know that we still have each other’s backs when we need it, no matter how old both of us are.

Dear Andrew

I see so many posts about best friends. They all seemed cheesy to me, honestly. Like, yes, we get it, your best friend brings you food everyday, and he/she makes you smile, we get it. It’s not that I don’t believe in best friends. In fact, I do have one. It’s just that, well, I can’t seem to write a post about my best friend and express all I want to say about him without sounding cheesy. Oh well. That doesn’t qualify as an excuse for not trying, so I’ll give it my best shot.


Dear Joel Andrew Mallari,


First of all, thank you for being my best friend. Well, damn, it’s cheesy, what should I say? I need help telling you how much you mean to me, and how great you’ve impacted my life for the better, because to me, it’s like a mass noun. Well, what am I saying, of course it’s a mass noun, I can’t measure your kindness, your selflessness, and all your good qualities that you sadly fail to see. Thanks a lot.


What do I want to say to you? I’m not repeating all the things I’ve said on Messenger when you opened up to me about your feelings of self-hatred. Even if I keep on thanking you for being there when I had depression, it just doesn’t feel enough. What should I do, Andrew? What can I say to you here that will express all I’ve wanted to say to you?


Embarrassingly, I keep on having fantasies where either you or I am about to die, and that’s where I get to tell you all I’ve been meaning to tell you. We don’t need to go there, do we? What is it with the knowledge that death is coming soon that encourages people to tell all they’ve felt about a certain person to that person? Is it that when they die, that person will doubt forever about how much they meant to that dying person?


I’ve always wondered if it was possible to love someone not related to you without romantic feelings, just deep-seated love, admiration, and caring for that person. After being with you for a whole school year, I can definitely say yes. It was confusing at first, because I first thought that if you loved someone, you had to be interested in them and have romantic feelings for them. Maybe that’s why I’ve simply dismissed my feelings for you as something that will pass. But as time passed, I realized that maybe I actually loved you. More time passed before I realized that this love has been present ever since opening day. It has just developed over time. Of course, I’ve always let you tease me about my crush. Maybe those were only feelings of lust. You know our hormones. Always raging at the speed of light, but that doesn’t mean it’s gotta be tonight.


I like to think of myself as realistic. So when I had those realizations, I knew I couldn’t say it to you without sounding like I want to do the nasty to you. Yes, I’ve confessed it to you as well that I thought of doing the nasty to you, but that was me simply exploring whether it would work or not. Now that I’m sitting here, typing this, I am laughing at myself for entertaining those thoughts. So, don’t worry, I’m not interested in doing the nasty with you.


Now that I’m reading my thoughts, I realize what type of love I have for you. You’re like the brother I’ve never had. So, I guess it’s brotherly love. Bromance? Hmmm, will think about that later.


Oh well. That’s all I have to say to you (for now).


Thank you for being the eldest brother I’ve never had (I know, I’m older than you, but TBH, IDC.)



A. Garrett Lubag

Short story: Caleb’s OTPs(?)

Caleb thought about school in his bed. Wait, scratch that, he thought about his OTPs (One True Pairing). Before you dismiss him as irresponsible, take note that he has pulled an all-nighter for the sake of studying for exams. Let’s continue.

Caleb sighed. As much as he wanted the ship to happen, Leo/Rita just wasn’t going to be a thing. Yes, Leo liked Rita, but there was absolutely no sign from Rita saying that she liked Leo. All Caleb saw was a sermon given by Rita to Leo for not being cooperative with the play. In fangirl terms, this was canon. Leo/Rose had more hope, but for some reason, Leo still denied the possibility of being friends with Rose. Plus, when they weren’t on good terms, they cursed at each other in Spanish and Italian, respectively. Humph, next!

Jerry/Cam? Oh hell no! Just by appearance and by behaviour, it was obvious it would never work out! Cam was petite, but very bitchy sometimes (especially during rehearsals for the play, but he understood), and Jerry was like the perverted version of the BFG. This was obviously not his OTP. Next!

Caleb/Mae? Nah, he already got over Mae because he found out she was “pabebe”, and anyway, his eyes seemed to be more attracted to Fianza (who is a boy, but he was ok with that). Caleb/Fianza? He wasn’t sure. He kept on telling Fianza he was handsome, cute, and other positive adjectives, but Fianza didn’t seem to listen. Plus, Fianza denied Caleb’s brownie (which was so good because Jerry’s mom baked it). As much as it hurt, he knew it wouldn’t work. Next!

Axel/Clarisse? Now this had a lot of hope. The two were the main characters in the play ran by the section itself, and they were supposed to act as lovers who tragically found out they were siblings. Plus, Axel posted pictures of his conversation with Clarisse. Fluff overload, he thought dreamily. Hmm, need to think about more later. Next!

Porkie/Narcissus? Ok, he was biased here, but he didn’t want this to happen. Narcissus was his annoying classmate that’s disruptive AF during class, and his personality screams “babaero”. Porkie was a cute sweet shy girl that likes Facebook and needs to control her laughter during recitation in Math. She certainly didn’t deserve Narcissus! Next!

Oh wait, that’s all. Oh well, I need to sleep anyway, Caleb sighed as he entered the world of dreams.


Depression and ADHD

Hey guys. Sorry if I haven’t updated my blog for some time, what with PSHS being so demanding with requirements. I’ve been diagnosed with depression, and it isn’t a walk in the park, but i think I’m getting a bit better. It’s been vicious, and my friends and my parents know that too well. Self-harm, purging, crying spells, and, well, you get the idea. I was (or maybe I still am?) self-destructive. I’ve gotten over the self-harm, and purging, but my crying spells and suicidal thoughts come often still.

Being a student diagnosed with ADHD and depression is twice as hard as being a normal student. It takes a lot of effort to start on requirements, and finish them, as you will not see the point in finishing it because you will still fail. You don’t really care about your personal appearance. Your friends may also be annoyed with your behaviour, and call you “emo”. (Yes, I’ve been called that by my best friend). You feel ashamed for all the negative thoughts in your mind because they’re like a painful truth, even if it doesn’t seem like it to others. (“Oh Garrett, why are you still entertaining these thoughts?”, said one dormer). You absolutely cannot stand noise and need to be in a quiet place, which will never be granted because that damn disruptive classmate of yours just won’t shut up. You listen to emotional music every time you need a pick-me-up, which means belting out “Bring Me To Life” in the bathroom. Negative criticism about you hurts more than it should.

There are nights where you feel the need to cry into your pillow. Every time you take your anti-depressants, you feel numb. You don’t get excited over stuff that you love to do. Your poker face becomes a mask; it hides your sadness. Your grades are slowly dropping, yet you can’t find the will to even care about them anymore. Sometimes, you wonder if you have bipolar disorder because sometimes, your ADHD makes you hyperactive and make you look like you’re bouncing off the walls, but then depression strikes, and you suddenly become lethargic and quiet.This is how it feels like to be depressed and have ADHD as a student.

I’ve been diagnosed with it in the late 2015, and so far, my coping method is sleeping. The first one was cutting, then crying. I’ve also had body image issues.

My best friend, Andrew Mallari, was my rock. He supported me during the good times, and the bad times. He also got mad at me sometimes, yes, but he always apologized because he felt the consequences (which was me having another crying spell in the bathroom, and suicidal thoughts for being a bad friend). During the times I didn’t eat lunch, he nagged me to eat lunch. Now, he keeps waking me up every time I sleep in school.

It isn’t anyone’s fault for my depression. I have to remind myself that over and over. Sometimes, though, I fantasize about everyone rejoicing over my death. I know it’s wrong, and that no one will ever be happy if I killed myself, but I get blinded by twisted fantasies of me jumping over the bridge, shooting myself with a revolver, drowning, then it all disappears and I’m back to normal. That was how it usually happened.

I always get reminded by people though how much they mean to me. One time, I chatted with Andrew a way to die without hurting anyone and he said that wouldn’t work. He also said he would demand Hades to let me go. Mom always reminds me of how much I mean to her.

Everyday, I’m one day closer to dying. Sometimes, I use that knowledge to wait for that day, other days, it’s an encouragement to get up and do something. I just hope I use it more often as the latter.

Short story continuation

Caleb couldn’t remember exactly why he cut himself with scissors that Monday night 2 weeks ago. 10 marks on his left arm that disappeared after 2 weeks. All he knew was that everyone had a sympathetic/worried reaction, with him promising he wouldn’t do it again.

All he could remember was him thinking about all the negative comments about him said by TJ that seemed to be on repeat every night. Mom got so worried. Maybe that was why she gave him The Science of Happiness. Why she made sure to ask how was he feeling. She wouldn’t like it if she found out what was happening in school.

It started with Caleb having to take Concerta again this week. TJ knew already, because Caleb’s mom texted him about his situation. Maybe he had hopes that his talking would be under control that weren’t met. That could explain why he said offhand, “Why doesn’t his Concerta seem to work?” Ouch. That hurt. It works. You just don’t see it, because I’m alone.  Then you’ve got Leo asking, “Why you’ve got to be so depressed and sh*t like that?” I’m sorry. It’s my medicine. And I’m not depressed, thank you very much..  Plus the fact that he couldn’t be with mom on her birthday. Ouch. All those things could explain why his feet rushed him inside the bathroom. Why he felt relief after hitting his head on the wall. Why, for some reason, the pain on his head calmed him down. That was during the morning. Leo found out that moment when Caleb confessed what he did. He really couldn’t keep anything a secret, could he? He appreciated Leo’s efforts in cheering him up. This was one of the only things in school that make him happy.

Lunchtime. He did the same thing, except he yelled to himself all his thoughts. Too loud, in fact, that TJ overheard what he said. He confronted Caleb later, telling him, “Stop being depressed!”

He wished he could easily; stop hitting yourself on the head and smile a lot. But he couldn’t. At least, not the easy way. Hitting his head on the bathroom walls was how he coped with the pain. Not physical pain, more of emotional. Like a safety valve.

On Wednesday, Caleb went through the bathroom ordeal again, except that:

  1. Leo caught him during the morning. Caleb’s reason was because he cursed himself for forgetting that the people who failed their long test in Math already had a failing tentative grade, and were lamenting about it.
  2. TJ and Callie caught him during lunchtime. Caleb felt lonely and couldn’t reason with his heart that at least 16 people cared about him.

Leo was totally convinced Caleb was depressed. He forced him to go to the guidance counsellor.

“You’re depressed!”

“I am not depressed, Leo!”

“Yeah right. Then what’s with the head-banging on the walls?”

“It’s how I cope with the pain of feeling lonely and isolated.”

“I’ve got more reasons on why I’m a social outcast.”

“Then why not you go to the guidance counsellor?”

“Mine’s just petty, yours is worse, depression and sh*t like that.”

“I’m not depressed. It’s the medicine. Although I did do the cutting before I took it.”

“So you mean that the medicine amplified your feelings of sadness?”

“I guess so.”

“Ok, you really need to go to the guidance counsellor.”

“Ugh, fine.”

And to the guidance counsellor they went, with the guidance counsellor listening to the whole story and trying to give alternatives to hitting his head on the wall, like writing, because what Caleb did is self-harm, and not only he will get hurt, his loved ones too will.

As he went back to the classroom, Caleb decided to write what happened, as suggested. He did need to update his blog, after all. While listening to Leo explain all the instances that serve as proof that people hate him, knowing that the truth was, not everyone hated him. He was living proof.

The best moments this day, though, was when he heard Leo sing. It was very rare, because he never sung in public. He didn’t interrupt, for fear of the song stopping mid-way.

On Thursday, what made him stop the habit was seeing Leo look depressed. He rushed to the bathroom after trying to get Ishi’s attention about their music practicals and failing to do so.  Caleb followed to be sure. He saw him inside the locked stall, just inside. He stayed for a while and asked, “Leo? Are you in there?” Leo opened the door, and Caleb saw his sad face for the first time. Let’s just say, it broke him.

It turns out he had enough of being ignored by friends. Caleb listened to him, ignoring TJ’s advice of talking to everyone. Besides, he didn’t talk to Leo. The whole day, he was always with Leo, making sure he didn’t feel ignored. Maybe that was why he told me he was a social outcast. He listened to all the things he said, ignoring the heaviness in his heart when he said, “I don’t think that I’m better out of the picture. I am already out of the picture.”

“But you always talk to other classmates.”

“Only about jokes and brain teasers. Other than that, I’m always ignored by everyone.”

“Really? What about me?”

“Except you, of course. I mean other people.”

“Leo, not everyone ignores you. You have people who care about you, even if you don’t see them.”

“Give me 20 people that care about me. Aside from you and my relatives.”



Their conversation wasn’t always sad, though. Sometimes, they would talk about happy stuff, like their fandoms, jokes in school, and brain teasers. Leo even helped Caleb review for ValEd.

That night, when Mom called, Caleb told her everything. Mom said, “You should stick with Leo. You have lots in common, and plus, I think he needs you.”

The rest of the call was a blur. All Caleb could remember were two things:

  1. Mom said Leo needed him.
  2. The holiday was moved to Sept. 25, their Scholar’s Night.

That night too, Camelot told TJ and Caleb everything he researched about depression. Leo wasn’t the only one totally convinced about Caleb being depressed.

On Friday, Leo and Caleb talked about what happened yesterday. Caleb asked, “I’m not sure whether I need you, or you need me, and- “

“That’s true.”

“Do you still think I’m depressed?”


“Is it because I’m more quiet than usual?”


They were interrupted when they saw their teacher coming. They rushed to their classroom in time.

English was fun, ComSci was like the Oracle prophesizing the scariest news: the periodic examination. During their Integrated Science Period that turned into free time, Caleb typed what happened so far. He was pleasantly surprised when he learnt that Tiger wrote a fanfic before.

Lunch was a disaster. TJ made Tiger lose her appetite by making her focus on the earthworm under the bench. At first, Caleb was alone. Then, Tiger joined, then TJ, lastly Sonic. The four discussed about the irony of Caleb’s ADHD.

Math was ok. Students who didn’t recite that much were forced to discuss their answers in the quiz in front of the class. Narcissus replaced Porky, seeing that she was struggling with words.

The Filipino Long Test was not as hard as Caleb expected. The only hard part was the songs of the pre-colonial Filipinos.

The weekdays officially ended with Caleb and his parents sleeping in dad’s condominium for the visit to the psychologist the next day.

Short story for fun (my friends know what this really means)

Caleb was pissed. He was so excited for the club’s next meeting, and yet it was postponed. He was at least with his best friend, Leo. They were both obsessed over Percy Jackson, and his laptop was full of PJO fan art and head canons from Instagram, so they had fun staring at them and laughing. Caleb had enough.

“Come on! The guidance counsellor said this meeting was important!” whined Caleb.

“Well, his business is more ‘important’ than this important meeting.”, replied Leo.

“We’ve seen all the fan art and head canons, right?”

“Yeah. Oh god, my stomach hurts.”

“Well, let’s go outside.”

And out they went. The cafeteria was there, and it was often their class’s favourite hangout, so there were his classmates playing truth or dare. Maris was the most active player in the game. As the two passed by, Maris yelled “Hey Caleb!”

Caleb asked “Why?” You never knew with Maris. Maris was the best in Math, but today, Caleb and Leo were the Top 1 in the class’s superlong seat work; 45 out of 53. Other than that, she was the Math guidance counsellor. 

Maris said, “This is just a dare, ok? Mae, tell him already.” What is she going to say?     Mae said three numbers, “1-4-3”. She seemed embarrassed about it. Caleb didn’t get why, but Leo did. He pulled Caleb. “Ok, we gotta go now. Bye!”

When the duo was far away, Leo explained the three numbers. “Caleb, she said I love you.”


“I don’t know, it’s just like that.” Caleb felt a bit sad and wistful about what she said. You see, she was Caleb’s crush. Not a severe case, ok maybe, but she was who Caleb thought of as the prettiest girl in class. She was just, well, simple and natural. Her simple and graceful manners, and her face, which was just so pretty, and attractive, and her long flowing hair bouncing about while she walks. The best part? He’s the only one fawning over her. Which meant no enemies. The bad part? Some of his friends knew already about it. (Darn you truth or dare.)

Caleb was smart. He knew she was forced to say that. That made him sad. What made him wistful was what if she really meant it. He still wishes he could ask her out to Starbucks. 

Leo knew already. He was also in that truth or dare game that revealed it all. (Again, darn you truth or dare.) Caleb decided to tell his thoughts to Leo. Leo simply nodded in agreement, while trying not to think about Caleb and Mae kissing in the rain. Just like the scene in The Notebook. 

Caleb, on the other hand, was on a fangirling outbreak after telling his thoughts. He wasn’t always obsessed about her. Sometimes he was obsessed over his favourite book series. And, yes, he was also obsessed with his favourite characters doing mushy gushy stuff. (Thank you    

Dismissal time came and Caleb and Leo went their own separate ways. Leo goes home daily; Caleb stays in the dorm. Time flitted by while he did the usual routine; give his ID, dump his bag on the floor beside his bunk bed, get his clothes from his luggage, change into clean clothes, and rest on the bed. Then, he talked to his friends, TJ and Einstein, about major events in school, homework and quizzes, and etc.

TJ told Caleb, “You know, I really think you should try to lower your volume when you talk to Leo.”

Caleb winced. He knew this was coming. It had been going on for weeks. Caleb liked to talk to Leo (a lot) about PJO, school stuff, fanfics, and etc. 

“Oh. Is it too loud again?”

“Yeah. So many of our classmates are starting to complain about you.”

“Oh no. Maybe I should take Concerta again.” My ADHD’s getting worse! It can’t be like in Grade 4! 

“What’s Concerta?”

“Well, Concerta is a stimulant I used to take before. That one made me more focused, and quiet, but it had side effects; I couldn’t sleep well, I start to lose weight, I get depressed, and I stopped after three years.”

“Maybe you should take it again.”

“I don’t know, whenever I tell mom, she’s like, Oh you shouldn’t say that, I thought you can control your ADHD.”

“Have you noticed Ron is getting stressed lately?”

“Kind of. Last time, in ComSci, he sounded really stressed about the reporting.”

“He failed the long test in Math. You know, Caleb, he’s the guy who can’t stand losing.”

“Oh, so he tries to show that he contributed to the winners?”

“Yep. Remember during English during the skits when you and Einstein got the Best Actor Award?”


“He tried to day, ‘Oh, I was the one who helped him act, with the emotions.’”


“Oh, um, TJ, why were you so sad when you failed the math long test?”

“It was the first time I failed in Math!”

“Oh. Nah, I’m used to it.”

“My Math Tentative Grade is going to go down.”

“Maybe mine, too.”

 “Let’s eat dinner.”


They got their wallets and water bottles and went down to the mess hall. Dinner was meh. The only good part in dinner was when Ewell came over. She’s a friend of Caleb and everyone. They chatted for a long time, then went back to their dorm room to get ready for Study Period, aka “Give your phones to us, you need to study”, usually starting and ending w/ a bell. TJ, Caleb, Albert, and Chris talked to each other before Study Period.

Study Period started. First, dormers surrendered their phones. Second, they submitted their request forms to use the laptop signed by teachers to the Dorm Manager or Assistant (if they have any. It’s for those who have to use their laptops.) Then, those who need to use their laptops should go to the mess hall to study, while those who don’t have a choice to go down or stay up.

Caleb went down with his laptop bag into the mess hall. He took out his Macbook Air and got so many comments about him being RK (Rich Kid), much to his dismay. He inserted his USB, clicked on the PowerPoints, and rad them. One by one. He didn’t really take notes; he already wrote them down during class. He does this for some time, then decides to close his laptop, and go up to finish his written assignments., together with his dorm mates. He really doesn’t like crowds that much. They’re too noisy. That narcissistic classmate who tries to flirt with girls with his corny pickup lines, study groups that are not the same section as him, guys and gals drawing anime, nope. Yep, his introvert side is popping up. He’s too talkative to be an introvert, though.

Study time was over. People rushed to get their phones back and get called by their parents. Caleb gets his phone, goes up to his dorm room, prepares his stuff for tomorrow, then crashes on his bed. The end of another day, he thought, making a mental note to wake up to his alarm tomorrow.

Love is in the (P)air

Back in school, me and my classmates used to create couples. Yes, we shipped them. No, I don’t remember mixing their names together. (To ship two people means to fantasize about them going out together, btw, but the Grade 6 did mix the names of their couples. You’ve got AirBag (Gab and Ria) and S&R (Sean and Ria), to name a few.) My otp (one true pairing, meaning your favorite ship) was Ketiara (Karl and Tiara, don’t kill me on social media).

I’m not an adult, but I’m guessing the shipping still continues. Not just with women, but also with men. Really, guys, I know you’re thinking of friends who you suspect will tie the knot with their significant other. With women, they love chatting with each other about the latest gossip about celebrities.

I’m about to enter my teenage years, and I’m guessing that the shipping is going to get more interesting and intense. I know friendship issues are going to get more serious, because I have experienced some, and at this point I can’t answer this question confidently: Who are you going to be when you grow up? People start out like that, but not everyone gets the job they want.

Face it, at some point in school you chanted this: (insert name) and (insert name) sitting on a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G! It drove the couple insane with embarrassment. What if adults did that to their attached friends? Would that be okay? Maybe not.

Love is in the air, not just for adults and teens, but for kids too. Everyone had a crush at some point. I won’t lie to you when I say that I tried to kiss a girl in Grade 1. In Grade 4, Eli proposed to Rose. (I’ve clipped their names for less embarrassment). However, if you’re too young to think about your special someone, then let your love show to your parents. Who says they can’t be your special someone?