Perennially distracted

October 9, 2008. I can’t seem to fulfill my plan to isolate myself and become a law school monk. Every once in a while I can’t help but turn the TV on and watch some entertainment or some shows off CNN. I would sigh at how pathetic some news commentators, short of sounding like capitalist paid hacks, spin the news of the global capitalist crisis into something barely positive. Every morsel of positive detail is being used to salvage the perception of capitalism’s inevitable collapse. It’s like everyone’s in denial. This was bound to happen because of this system’s inherent characteristic. France, Iceland, Singapore, Japan, even the USA is on recession. Those who speak of free market policies have suddenly now shut up and allowed state intervention to bail out greedy private financial institutions. What happened? Okay. So even if I turn the TV off and go back to studying, I still end up losing my focus. Every half an hour or so I would get up from my study table and walk around the house trying to do something else. More often that not, I’d end up just playing with Tisay and watching cartoons with her.

A few days ago, in one of my frequent breaks from studying, I randomly picked an unread book from my book shelf and ended up reading the entire thing for the rest of the day. I wasn’t able to get back to my study schedule. The book was a biography of Edgar Jopson, one of the more prominent activist student leaders during the Marcos years who was assassinated a few months before Ninoy Aquino. Little did I know that this Atenean who became President of the National Union of Students in the Philippines (NUSP) also went through the UP College of Law–but only for two years. A paragraph in the book read:

Edjop [Edgar Jopson] tried law school at the University of the Philippines, but he eventually grew disillusioned. One afternoon, he came form from the Diliman campus fuming. Heading straight for his sister Marie’s room, he slammed the door shut and angrily hurled his thick law books at the bed. “The Laws that we work so hard to study and understand are laws for the rich, not for ordinary people. Mga batas lang ng mayayaman!” he said. Edjop quit law school after two years.

What a motivation, eh. Indeed a few weeks ago I was trying to start memorizing some provisions of the 1987 Constitution, a task we were told to do for our oral exams in Constitutional Law 1. And I was having a hard time concentrating because the thought that our politicians will try to change the goddamn charter by hook or by crook always made me ask myself what’s the use of studying all this? By the time I’d be taking the Bar, I doubt that this would still be the constitution.

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