Memory log from September 13:
This isn’t exactly a random memory. I’ve been holding this grudge for over 10 years now, 13 to be exact. For those who’ve known me only recently, I’m actually a reformed nail-biter. Back in second grade, when my nails were still at a relatively normal length (what is normal?), Allie, my best friend then (and still super close pal now) kept nibbling at her nails. She told me it was cool and that it was a good habit to have. She sat across my seatmate, who, I believe was either Bernardo “Prila the Gorilla” Prila or Joel Rontas, they were both my seatmates in Grade 2. Me, being young and impressionable, proceeded to chomp on my then beautiful tips (starting with my left hand, middle finger). I loved my “cute” stubby little nails of my then fat fingers. The ripple-wave effect–from that point on, I chomped on my nails, sometimes until they bleed and throb. Last October though, Jason caught me biting away–by that time, biting has become a reflex and I did it unconsciously. He told me off and showed me his nice, long nails, carefully buffed on his long girlish fingers. A boyfriend with hands girlier than mine? I haven’t bitten my nails since. I still don’t grow my nails because I find they get in the way of work, but it’s nice to have outgrown Frodo’s patented fingers.
Memory log from early today:
Kindergarten 1-Red. At this age, boys and girls strictly played with their own kind. Any interaction with the opposite sex was nothing short of treason. Back then, and I think this carried over til Kindergarten 2, the boys had a game wherein they’d fall in line, hold on to each other’s shoulders then mobilize. The person in front would dictate whether they’d run or walk and whoever breaks the chain is out. The girls had their own version–they’d hold on to each other’s skirts instead. (Do you see why most of us wore shorts under our uniforms until the grand invention of the culottes?) One day, the boys’ and girls’ line were snaking through our little area, minding each other’s business, when BAM! Teodoro Pontillas (I think he was Red too) ran into me and I slammed cheek-first into the pavement. After the crying subsided, he told me he was sorry and I replied with a… THANK YOU. Yes, I believe at that point, Mme Salazar (Kinder 1 Red adviser) hadn’t taught us what comes after apologies.
Now, let me tell you the story of Riza Milante.
I’ve known Riza was coming even before her first day at St. Joseph School. My sister and I saw Mme Dy and Mme Gorobat the summer before my sophomore year and they told us about the new people. It’s a rarity for people to transfer to our school in the middle of high school–they usually do that during freshman year. So anyway, on the first day of school, Allie, Lauren and I were standing outside near the white St. Joseph statue when these three oriental-looking girls came up to us, asking for the principal’s office. One of them was Riza. Hahaha, already lost on the first day of school.
But the confusion ended there. On that very first day, she already gave us a preview of her genius. Aside from being one of the few transferees assigned to the honors section on their first year, she felt that no time was better than now to shine academically. When Cons Lao Shi reviewed us on the previous year’s conversational phrases, he asked “What’s the price?” and Riza answered “多少錢 (I’m not gonna write it in pin yin coz I suck at that).” In math, she answered “pi” when Mme Malene asked for a non-repeating number. After that first day, everyone wanted to sit next her.
Faye Levina, I’ve just confirmed that you were Kinder 2-Gladiola! Den-Den was Gladiola and I remember you made her cry and Mme Salazar (Gladiola adviser) called me to calm her down!