My Diploma

I have this recurring dream that I’m back in college and running to a class that I’m late for, haven’t been to in weeks, and have only a vague idea where it was. I could feel anxiety slowly building as I’m running from room to room, seeing if this class or that class looked familiar, and the panic only stops once I wake up. If I had to venture a guess, I seem to be suffering trauma over some unfinished business – after five, unnecessarily long years in Diliman, when commencement time came I couldn’t be bothered to participate in a formal graduation, and I never figured my college diploma to be more than a piece of paper. Either that, or the diploma I have hidden somewhere is actually a fake.
God, I hope I’m awake.

The Dutch integration exams I passed several weeks ago apparently came with a certificate, which I recently found out required extra-special treatment. Not only did I have to pick up the certificate in person (certified mail not good enough?), it had to be picked up on a Thursday (have no idea why), and get this, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. There was no way around it so, incredibly, I had to take time off just to pick it up. There was no ceremony to speak of but the diploma did come in this fancy-schmancy, embossed folder along with a greeting of ‘Congratulations!’ from the clerk. Similar to my college diploma, I’ve yet to figure the value of this thing, so along with my other bureaucratic possessions, it’s going to its rightful place – in an unlocked drawer.

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