Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Eris Platito

Fun and Frustrations of a Freshman by Eris Platito

I first encountered BJ's name in a tarpaulin hanging in front of the faculty center. It was my first day in the university and I was about to go to my Kas1 class when I saw the tarpaulin congratulating him for winning in a debate competition. I was really impressed and that's when my interest in joining DebSoc began. I was a high school debater and there's nothing wrong if I continue debating in college, besides if ever I get to join DebSoc I will not just be any debater...I will be a UP debater. When I first saw BJ on the orientation, I can't believe that it was his name on the tarpaulin. I imagined him as a geeky guy who always has to speak about intellectual matters but he is actually the wacky but very concerned and helpful Vice President for MAC of DebSoc. I felt really intimidated to him at the start, well I was intimidated by all the members. I thought that he would be snobish and won't talk to any applicants at all. As my tambay days went on, I get to talk to BJ often and that's my intimidation to him and to almost all members disappeared. Even if I get to talk to BJ a lot, I never realized how great his concern for the applicants. One time he suddenly talked to me and my partner about our performance. My partner and I confessed how much we're having a hard time in the application period. When we have finished, he gave us advice on what to do and he suddenly called for a debate. He told us that he wants to adjudicate us to see how we are doing with our debates. After the debate, he even trained us on how to organize our speech and how we could substantiate our arguments and so on and so forth. I remember that we finished late from that training but BJ never cared at all, he's contented that he had done his part. I am really thankful to BJ for being always there for the apps. Even if we know that Levi and Paolo are his favorites, he still care enough for all of us. I am not afraid to tell BJ everything that I feel about DebSoc. I'm confident enough that he does not judge but actually understands our situation.

Besides BJ, I am also thankful to the MAC members. They are the ones that we always see around. They are the ones who always try to help us with the application period. Whether they are just warm to the applicants because it is their job or it is innate to them, I am still very thankful. Their constant checking on us make the application period a lot easier. As I ponder on this MAC requirement, I realized that it is mostly MAC members that I became very close to. Their presence really made my application period fun and really interesting.

My application period was such an adventure. At the start I thought that debating in college was as simple as it was in my high school debating days. I realized that there is a world of difference between the two. I always felt that my debates were awful. In most of my debates, I got 4th. The adjudicator always has the most to say about my speech...lack of substantiation, farfetched arguments, rehash, wrong definition and so much more. The only thing they always appreciate in my speech is my manner. It gave me the impression that I am good enough in acting out a good delivery of my speech but dumb enough to think of valuable arguments. It made me feel that whenever I stand in front of the adjudicators, they are thinking that I am the dumbest applicant of DebSoc ever. Along with my frustrations on my debate, I also have my acads. Most of the time, I am so tired when I get home that I don't finish all my readings in SS2 and Eng12 anymore. I am so stressed whenever I have to study on my test in one of my classes and also have to matterload for the coming graded debate. Sometimes, I am wondering if I gave myself so much to worry knowing that I am only a freshie but at the end of the day, I would just dismiss that thought. Even if the application period really stressed me, I don't take it against anybody. I don't take it even to myself. I know that whenever I want something, I have to work hard for it. In joining DebSoc, I have to experience this all.

Even if all my debates were awful and I felt that my classes are already affected, I did not defer. Even if I was only an inch away from defering, I did not defer. Simply because whenever I look back on the application period, whenever I look back on everything that I've done, I just cannot give up at once. I am not the kind of person who just gives up. Besides, I always have a great time whenever I am with my co-applicants. I became really close to most of them and I will surely miss so much fun if I defer. I love going to Econ Caf and chat with members and applicants. I also enjoyed learning a lot from debating. Besides learning the basic debating, I also learned a lot of new style of speaking. It makes me laugh whenever I think that I cannot finish my speech without saying, “ladies and gentlemen”, “at the end of the day”, “we question” and so many phrases that I get used to when I became a DebSoc applicant.

I know that I did not give such a wonderful performance on the application period but it was the most that I can give. I am happy enough that I have given my best, the rest now lies on the hands of DebSoc. Still, the application period was the most fun and also most frustrating days of my freshman year.

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