Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The time of our lives

Over the past week my Multiply inbox has been inundated with college graduation photo albums posted by my former students (from ICA batch 2005), some of whom graduated from Ateneo last weekend. They got me waxing nostalgic for my own graduation from Ateneo 8 years ago. It was before the advent of digital cameras, so unlike my students I don't have hundreds of photos to remember that day by, but I don't need pictures to recall the euphoric feeling of accomplishment and bittersweet joy that was doubtlessly shared by every one of my fellow graduates from Batch 2001 as we sang our alma mater hymn together. I don't need photos to remember we were all sweating like pigs under our togas in the sweltering humidity of the Ateneo High School Covered Court (all 4 schools crammed under 1 roof!), but we were all too deliriously happy to mind as we enveloped each other in monster bear hugs. I don't need photos to affirm it was one of the most glorious days of my life, a celebration of academic achievement, school pride, batch solidarity, and above all, friendship-- the kind that lasts beyond all the study sessions and group projects and org activities, the kind that survives break-ups and breakdowns and let-downs, the kind that stands to witness milestones after graduation: birthdays and showers and weddings and childbirth and UAAP championships. The kind of unswerving, unfaltering loyalty and love that are your true guiding lights as you make your way through the so-called real world.

As my second batch of students graduate from college, I don't have to wish them success in their future careers (because I'm confident they'll do well for themselves), but I do hope that they always remember, with or without the help of photographs, the people who helped them get to where they are. Because as is written in The Little Prince:

"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important. Men have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose..."

Congratulations to Batch 2009. And to my friends, my roses, from Batch 2001, here's to all the time we've wasted on each other since, and all the time we have yet to waste together.


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