Saturday, March 22, 2014

Second Semester and Free Will

The second semester has taken me back to the days of studying in Viga. It reminded me of the salad days in that Elementary school where I also first felt the pressure and importance of studying harder. Although I would say that I didn't give my all in this semester for the heck of me being this lazy and happy-go-lucky fella, I couldn't stop asking myself, "Was it a wake-up call for me?" It rang a bell.

I felt like it was a body call too, that I laid low and became a satisfied mediocre person much as I wished to be. But in the process, I was taken aback of everything I did – not so good for one who knows that he can do better. The sin of omission, they say.

My law prof has been mentioning this in our class that it is not good to choose not to act the way you should have been when you could have done better and you know you are capable doing of. I could not make an excuse because I know I am guilty.

I had three Accounting and two Law subjects this semester, which made it challenging. I swear I studied 401 to the limit, but barely read Labor, 203 and 303. It’s a shame.

To say the least, I am still proud that I fared well, although I hated myself for being so blind of this statement of grumpy Deneil Young, that if I am going to try [something], I might as well aim for the top.

I learned a lot nonetheless during this semester. I got closer to some old friends and acquaintances before and met a few people – friends I could already say. Drawing circles again! Aha.

And aside from the heavy books I carry every day, I added some novels, again, in the cabinet. I read another Grisham and found a new author. It's better to read than not read at all.

One hurrah moment maybe was being able to familiarize myself with teachers and students. But you know, I had a seatmate I never talked to but there are also those whom I built battery with (in baseball, it is when the pitcher is synched with the catcher). I have to thank them for playing a good game.

One simple act of two great professors delighted me so much. I received a Snickers from a prof for being attentive "daw" during her classes when what I only remember was nodding and smiling (just kidding ma'am, I learned a lot from you not just the lessons we have in our book), and a "libre" from a prof who has been teaching in the university for almost 20 years and is just so humble that he can make friends with young people like us. They are very admirable.

My thanks and admiration is also to this professor who shared simple, but BIG words for us students who are in pursuit of a dream. May we reach the end.

I would like to congratulate everybody who did not quit the battle. Our sleepless nights will be rewarded soon. Getting what we deserve will make us really happy, and getting more than what we deserve is another blessing. Yahoo!

Going back to mediocrity, I realized that whatever people may show us, it is still our option to follow our inner voice. Yes. What’s good in life is that until we do not die, we experience these things and then we learn something about them. We realize our actions and we reflect on them.

There is so much for one to hold. There are those we cannot control, those we couldn't live up to. There are also those we already have: ones we deserve and not, ones we ignore while others long for, ones we enjoy, but ones they loathe, and ones we are thankful for but the ones they cannot appreciate.

THIS IS LIFE. What are we supposed to do?

Let's use our free will.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Another day of SP

Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which people, either when falling asleep or wakening, temporarily experience an inability to move (being paralyzed). More formally, it is a transition state between wakefulness and rest characterized by complete muscle atonia (muscle weakness). 

After experiencing this one time, I read articles about it and found out that it usually occurs in two forms. If it occurs while you are falling asleep, it's called hypnagogic or predormital sleep paralysis – the one I just experienced this morning. If it happens as you are waking up, it's called hypnopompic or postdormital sleep paralysis – one I experienced several times in the past. 

Sleep paralysis is believed to be a result of disrupted REM sleep, which is normally characterized by complete muscle atonia that prevents individuals from acting out their dreams. This morning, as I was about to sleep, I suddenly felt that this is about to happen. There is a split second I have to choose whether I would cancel it or not. I chose to experience it rather! And this is the reason why I am writing this article.

On my readings, episodes of SP are accompanied by hallucinations and the sensation of breathlessness. Such hallucinations likely gave rise to the myths of the incubus and the succubus, demons that pin people down in their sleep. That of course is just a myth and I haven't seen them! And maybe because what I experience most of the time are just ISPs. But today is a different story. I sensed a malevolent presence nearby. When I tried to look up, there is an image. Since I am conscious and my body is just in paralysis, I remembered the myth. I focused on the image – I don't know how I did it because I was in the Rapid Eye Movement Stage – and what I saw is someone with a long hair and not scary. 

They said that some sleep paralysis episodes come with feelings of falling, floating or dissociating from the body. [Un]fortunately, I was fixed to my body. I didn't panic. I was analyzing what was happening. When I tried to move my hands, the faster REM I experienced. 

Lately, I was thinking that maybe there is truth to this:

"People with analytical thinking styles were less likely to hold such supernatural beliefs, and were less likely to be distressed after experiencing sleep paralysis. Analytical thinkers may be more likely to seek out and believe naturalistic or scientific explanations for the condition, the researchers wrote, while intuitive thinkers might be drawn to supernatural explanations." Stephanie Pappas, Livescience 2013

I remember how fast my eyes were moving. I also remember how I felt trying to move my hands just to see how fast my eyes could get. It was mind-blogging. Then after some minutes, I noticed that I can move my body already, and then I woke myself out.

Sleep paralysis is ultimately considered harmless. My advice, when you experience the same, just feel the moment and relax. You'll probably get through it. Haha. And pray.