Ermenegildo “Er” Ejercito is known for two things: his rather archaic name and his being grade conscious. During LPEP, his Chinese blockmates immediately noticed his nickname, and told him “Er” translates to the number two in Mandarin. Er felt embarrassed, as if his blockmates knew that his nickname was a testament to him being second place all the time, both in school and at home. He wished that he had an Italian blockmate who could point out how Ermenegildo was a respected name and luxury brand in Italy, Ermenegildo Zegna. Thus, Er set out to change his trend of being second. This is his story.
Week 1: At the Learning Commons
Pedro: Hey bro! Why are you lugging all those books? Do we need to read or submit anything for INTFILO?
Er: No, not at all! I just wanted to start ahead of time. Queuing in the photocopy stations is a waste of time, you know? Plus, I love maximizing the 30 book limit here in the library! Reading makes me feel energized!
Pedro (sarcastically): Gee, enjoy reading!
Week 2: In the condo
Ana: Hello? Is this Er on the line?
Er: Yes, but I am too busy to talk right now. Can I just call back later?
Ana: Excuse me, Er, but this is your girlfriend Ana. I have been trying to contact you for the longest time, only for you to reject my texts and calls at multiple times. We have not seen each other for a month now! Can we please meet up or something? I miss you so much!
Er: I’m really sorry, Ana, but I cannot afford to take you out right now. I want to save up for the iPhone 6!
Ana: Well, if that is the case, I’ll help you save by bringing some food to your condo!
Er: No need! My Yaya Maya cooks everything for me. Do you have anything else to say? I need to go back to studying.
Ana: Fine, we can just go out when you’re not busy anymore.
Week 7: Midterms week
Yaya Maya: Anuvayan, Er! Linisin mo yang table mo!
Er: But yaya, that’s your job! Midterms week ngayon, you know!
Ana: If you can resist not seeing me for two months, then it seems that you can resist not seeing me forever. I’m breaking up with you.
Er: WHAT?!? WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?!?
(Phone line goes dead).
Week 10: Drinking
Blockmates: Pare! Before we all lose our social lives in the next few weeks due to papers, exams and final videos, let’s go to this awesome party in Tondo! It is gonna be really crazy and wild!
Er: No, I can’t, sorry. I have to do my papers. I have to do outlines for the executive summaries of my papers. Once I have a clear grasp of what I have to do, I have to do the outlines of my papers. Then I will revise them ad infinitum. Although, I don’t know how I’ll fit all these into one page since that’s the maximum requirement of my prof.
Blockmates: Oh, okay. How about we get a quick drink now?
ER: Oh sorry, I can’t. I just drank five red bulls this morning and two cups of coffee from Coffee Bean. Now all the money that I have left is for a Cobra and a Sting. Sorry.
Blockmates: Good luck sleeping tonight.
Week 13: Sleep troubles
ER: Yaya! I need you to sleep in the hallway first. I need absolute silence as I write tons of papers. I need as much silence as possible, since, like ninjas, I can hear a needle drop in the other room, which reminds me I have to research for my bonus paper which would give me +.5 in my recitation.
Yaya: Bebeh Er naman. Hijo, that will be too hard for me.
Er: If you don’t wanna sleep outside then just tiptoe around the condo so as to prevent any noise.
Yaya: Oh I was a professional akyat bahay before hijo so that won’t be a problem!
Week 14: A visit to the clinic
Er: Nurse, I’m having a tough time breathing. My heart is palpitating so fast. I think I’m about to die, but I hope not! I have to submit final videos to my professor. My group mates aren’t any good.
Nurse: What have you been drinking, hijo?
Er: Not much. Ever since I finished that case of Red Bull the other day so I could stay up, I had to make do with espresso shots periodically. By periodically I mean every 3 hours.
Nurse: My goodness, hijo, why are you not fainting yet?
Er: Mind over matter. I’ve trained myself to hear a needle drop in the room beside my condo. I’ve learned that we can be more productive by reducing our sleep to only 15 minutes per day. I am a master in persistence…. (faints)
Week 16: Not perfect
Er: Mom, what day is it?
Mom: Oh my dear Ermenegildo! Prayers do move mountains! Thank God you woke up! It’s been almost two weeks since you were in a comatose.
Er: But what about finals week? How about my papers?!?
Mom: Don’t worry anak. Yaya Maya did all of them while you were unconscious. Grades are already out and your GPA is just .0001 short of a perfect 4. But that’s okay anak! You can always do better next term.