For this story to have maximum effect, we have to start from the beginning. That's the 16th of December, the last school day before the Christmas break.
There were sixteen (16) cases lined up for that day, to be recited by sixteen (16) people. I had the last case, entitled Jainal v. Commission on Elections. I wrote my digest of the case, ready and prepared to recite. But since the Christmas spirit was good that day, not everyone was called to recite, yours truly included. Oh happy day.
Then the Christmas break came. Oh happy days.
Of course, no vacation is complete without pestering e-mails from the real world (or the Matrix, as I call it), and there were fifteen (15) new cases assigned to fifteen (15) new students. I thought, "Yes, I won't have to recite on the first day after the break!"
And so I spent the rest of the vacation eating, blogging, reading Twilight, and wallowing in love-related depression.
Fast-forward to the 6th of January, anno domini 2009. I was a bit late when I came to class, but I didn't care, as I thought, "I won't be called to recite anyway."
Then the professor goes, "Okay, we'll discuss Jainal versus COMELEC."
GPA: (thinks to himself) Why does that case sound familiar?
RVG: Who's reciting Jainal?
CLASS PRES. FERNANDEZ: Ma'am, it's Mr. Abrajano.
GPA: (frantically to himself) Oh my god, that's my case!
And the strangest thing about it was, I couldn't remember anything from my case. Nothing at all. All I remembered were the words "disqualification," "election," and a blank white space.
Like I said, this was totally unexpected. It's like being caught by your boss with your pants down. That's the closest feeling I could conjure to what I actually felt. So I had to stall for time, and rather than bluff, I told the truth.
GPA: Ma'am, I forgot the details. Please give me five minutes to review my notes.
You have to give me points for bravery. I haven't met any other student who could say that.
RVG: Five minutes is too long. Okay, go ahead, while you're reading your notes, we'll discuss Breaking Dawn.
There you have it. Our great professor reads Stephenie Meyer. So while she was discussing the fourth book in the Twilight saga, I asked my seatmate for her digest of Jainal (like I said, I wasn't expecting to recite at all, so I didn't have mine). I stared at the digest, but it was someone else's digest, which did nothing to refresh my memory. My mind remained a blank white page. I still couldn't remember the case. I wanted to just join her discussion of Twilight and hope she would let me off the hook for reading Stephenie Meyer.
After some time, Professor Guanzon goes, "O, Mr. Abrajano, what's taking you so long?" And then she starts calling on my other classmates to help me. "Miss X, can you recite Jainal? No? Mister Y? No? Miss Z?" (I don't remember who she called; my mind was totally blank.) Then she turned back to me. "The longer you don't recite, more and more of your classmates will get a grade of 5."
Okay, so that's the pressure right there. Then someone miraculously gave me a copy of the digest that I wrote myself. Finally, familiar writing. And the memories came flooding back.
I recited the case, in straight English, trying to make up with confidence what I lost with non-preparation. And I looked the professor in the eye.
This post also serves as a public apology to those who got a grade of 5 because of me. Like I said, all I saw during those precious seconds was a blank white page. That's all. I totally forgot the case. I don't mind if it's just me, but to drag you into it, I apologize. Anyway, don't feel bad about that grade, because you don't deserve it. I hope that consoles you even just a little bit.
Anyway, the newest law school formula is this:
non-preparation + over-vacation = mental block
To those who got dragged into this, again, I'm truly sorry. But I hope you also feel sorry for me, because I got grilled on the Rowena Guanzon Show.