Oh, Valentines, what do I feel about thee?

Nothing, apparently. I spent my entire Valentine’s day of 2012 cramming for class, rejoicing a free cut, having individual consultations with members, answering silly and not-so-silly questions with four other crazy people, and cramming some more. The madness has even spilled to the next day, and it shows no signs of stopping.

For others, February 14 is the day they get a physical affirmation of another’s love for them. For some, it serves as another reminder how alone in the world they are. For me, it was another ordinary and busy day. While the world sort of halted in its tracks to accomodate the day of love (and the prices of flowers everywhere skyrocketed to the high heavens), my day continued as typically as it could be.

Sometimes, I feel I lead such a boring life. Yesterday (well, technically yesterday was just a few hours ago) was no exception. Yet I revel in this ordinariness. While a small part of me wants a break in the monotony, a large part is also thankful that there’s no drama nor an emotional roller coaster. It’s peaceful. And I like that peace.

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I promised to blog last year, but only got around to doing it now. Well, better late than never, eh? And I have picked the most imaginably perfect time to post again: midterms week.

When I was in college, midterms weren’t really a big deal, at least for me. Sure, they were a bit more hectic than the usual hell weeks, but they were always still par for the course for hell semesters. Midterms came, midterms went. They’re just a little bump in the road on the way to the infinitely more hellish finals weeks.

Not in law school. My first ever semester, I did not see the point (nor the importance of midterms). Everybody seemed so serious¬†about midterms, and I couldn’t understand the hype. That bit me in the ass. I failed all of my midterms exams that semester, and I had to scramble to get decent grades in finals and recits in order to pass. Thankfully, I did. After that experience though, I’ve never questioned the importance of midterms in a law school student’s life.

Here I am tucked in a nook at my favorite coffee shop in the city, poring over books and reviewers–trying oh so very desperately to understand Tax. It seems like numbers and math do not want to let go of me just yet (but that’ll make another post entirely). I’m with three other friends and we’re all in our own little worlds, trying to cram as many information as possible in our saturated and coffee-addled brains. God, the stress. It doesn’t help that second semesters are brutally short, so finals week will just be around the corner.

I’m taking the time to have a break. One can only read and highlight/underline/understand so much. As much as I want this post to be insightful or enlightening, I’m afraid it’s here only to serve one purpose–to help me rest a bit before I delve back into my books and readings.

You see, sometimes, a little break is all we need to keep us going.

So I need an outlet. Thus, I’ve decided to start blogging regularly (or as regularly as I can) again.

One of the main reasons why I’ve left this blog dormant is the lack of ideas brimming inside my head. I just don’t know what to talk about. This blog started out as my political ranting/philosophical/news dissecting blog, and, well, throughout the years, it’s been harder and harder to write about those. It just seems as if I have no more material to work with.

And then, duh, it hit me. I have a LOT to write about: specifically about law school. At first, I didn’t want to turn this into a law school blog. However, seeing as I need an outlet and most of my life revolves around law school right now, I see no other feasible option.

Who knows, maybe it’ll lead me to write more and more?

If there’s a genre I love with all my heart, then it’s the detective-mystery genre. Books, movies, TV series — I lap them all up. I grew up wanting to be Nancy Drew and to meet my own Hardy Boy. If Harry Potter wasn’t so spectacular, Sherlock Holmes would be my number 1 fictional series.

Scooby Doo and Gang

Out of all of the detective mystery stories I’ve read and watched, however, nothing holds a soft spot in my heart more than Scooby Doo and his ragtag group of friends. I remember catching a random episode and pining for my mother to install cable so I could watch it. Alas, she refused and my heart broke. I think the internet wasn’t so commercial then so I couldn’t just go online, search, and download. I contented myself with catching random episodes.

When Studio 23 started airing episodes, I made sure to watch every single episode I could. By then, I was in my teens. That’s just how much I love this adorable bunch. Scooby Doo has had a lot of incarnations (the most recent one being the¬†Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated series), but for me, the heart of this show will forever be the bond between Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby.

Classic Scooby Gang

Classic Scooby Gang vs. ....

the "updated" Scooby Gang

... the "updated" Scooby Gang

It’s a simple show with a pretty simple plot and straightforward execution. The Scooby gang (not to be confused with Buffy’s Scooby gang) lands in the middle of a suspenseful, ghost-filled mystery, which they try to solve — Fred using his traps, Velma using her brains, Daphne using her gut, and Scooby and Shaggy using their inordinate timing — before ultimately catching the bad guy and proving that he was a real person imitating a ghost or a monster.

Daphne

Daphne

I think the simplicity made it work. And it’s a big part of why I love the series. It’s a classic cartoon. Daphne has always been my favorite, because even if she’s a damsel in distress, she tries her hardest not to be one. I think my love of the color purple somehow stemmed from her.

They’ve made a reincarnation recently, and I’ve found out (through Googling) that they’ve changed a lot of stuff from the original, from the characters to the storyline. They changed the look to be more retro and cartoon-y. It doesn’t evoke the nostalgia of cartoons from the past, but has been stylized to look a bit more like modern cartoons. They’ve even updated the cast’s wardrobe (somewhat). Maybe it’s a small thing to change their eye shapes or eye colors, but to me who grew up watching these characters, it’s a pretty big change. It’s as if these are whole new people, and I’m trying to find in them the characters I grew to love. Also, they’re trying to incorporate a bigger, season-arc mystery in the story as well as focusing on character growth and real-life relationships. That’s a good thing — if this was a teen melodrama.

Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated

The New Series: Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated

But it’s not. It’s a cartoon, and they’re changing what made it a classic in the first place. I find that their (producers’) actions in attempting to make it more relevant to today’s target audience (by adding drama, drama, drama) is just destroying my Scooby Doo. They’re trying to add misplaced gravitas when what made Scooby a hit in the first place was because it was so fun and easy to watch. Sure, it became a routine — but one which was enjoyable to follow.

I’d rather watch a Scooby Doo trying to string a few words and mumble them with his rolling R’s than one who’s able to form complete sentences and communicate well. That first one is my Scooby Doo — the bumbling Great Dane with his equally bumbling friends.

To those curious about the new series, here’s a clip of Mystery Incorporated‘s preview:

It’s just not the same, isn’t it?

And to all those who feel like me, here’s a throwback to the Scooby Doo we all love:

I like to believe I was born a writer. For the first 18 years of my life (and I’m barely 21 so that’s not saying much), I knew no other way but to write. It was where I found my home, and it was where I grew. I’ve always found comfort in words – both in the abstract and the concrete. I draw particular pleasure in being able to sound out the right words for the right sentences. I think the best writers are made, trained to master the pen (or in these times, the keyboard) with a might that can slice through glass gracefully like only a diamond can. But I’d like to think that most writers just know they are made to write. And an egoistic part of me likes to believe I’m just like that.

Naturally, the only path for me was to pursue journalism. I never even took a second glance at creative writing. My words were never flowery or imaginative. They were always clear, simple, and direct to the point – just like a news article. I joined the school paper when I was 12; I was the only 6th grader in a paper run by high schoolers. I eventually became editor-in-chief, and that just cemented my view that I was to be a journalist. Up until my first semester of senior year in college, I clung trepidly to the dream. My yearbook write-up, which a good friend (herself a very good writer) kindly wrote for me ends with a prediction that I will be a journalist.

Clearly, something seismic happened in the world and my world shifted. Law school has kept me on my toes (and dare I say, entertained) so I’ve forgotten all about my childhood dream. Until I read today’s Inquirer in the library (the only place I can get newspapers now), and saw a story inside its pages.

It was about a 16-year-old girl, who was running for valedictorian in her class. She was also the Sangguniang Kabataan president of her barangay. While in a town meeting, a former barangay captain barged in and started to methodically shoot every person in the room. She texted her father, a farmer, “Father, help.”

Her father ran 1.5 kilometers from their house to the barangay hall. Underneath a table, enveloped in a pool of blood, was his daughter, with a bullet hole between her eyes.

It’s the story that can break hearts. But what caught really caught my eye wasn’t the story, but the picture that accompanined it. In a 2×2 inset, the girl, all made-up, smiled at me.

I don’t get the need to put up that picture. I don’t know whether practices have changed since I was a journalism student, but I remember our professors always ground on us the importance of going after the story – not the sensationalism. Sure, the picture of a 16-year-old girl may not be as sensational as, say, the Maguindanao massacre pictures, but she’s still a minor. A little discretion would have been nice. Usually, the names of minors who have transgressed the law are never printed in stories. But victims like these, they are always posted. Yes, it’s a way to let the story reach the reader. More often than not, however, they become ploys to catch attention.

The story itself was enough. It didn’t need the picture to catch attention. I felt that it was unnecessary — and all things unnecessary must be struck out in a news article.

Now, I find myself asking this question: if I were on the other side, if I were the writer or the editor, would I have included the picture?

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