Module 1: Pacing and Taping

Module 1: Pacing and Taping

A Chapter by Oran


          There is a simple process on how to get the horizontal distance between two points without using any measuring instruments. All you have to do is find your pace factor by getting the ratio between the number of paces you took and the exact measurement of the distance you’ve paced. Once you get your pace factor, you can walk around like some goddamn retard trying to count the probability of a meteorite hitting the earth in the exact same spot where he’s standing, and then multiply the number of paces by your pace factor.


            The reason why this principle is going through my mind is... I don’t know. Maybe because it’s boring here in the seventh floor lobby of the building where there’s no one else around except me. It’s already 6 A.M. and the sun still refuses to shine. I guess the sun is too much of a dere-dere because Winter Solstice-senpai is just around the corner. You see what I did there? It is written proof that I am inexplicably a weaboo, which is exactly why I will never grow up to deserve my engineering licence if I ever get one.


            Being a second year in a private university with many students and undergrads, I can fairly understand that there is no future for someone like me. Not only is my high school diploma incompetent in every state that passes up the K-12 system, but I can also understand that being a Filipino is a curse in and of itself. For example, this mono-block chair I’m sitting on costs thrice as much as it was bought when it reflects on my tuition fee. It’s also apparent that this damn desk I’m laying down on is a hand-me-down from another university in an Asian country if you look at the unreadable scribbles all over it.


            “Why am I doing this?” I’ve been asking myself more often for every semester in this tri-sem curriculum that rolls by.


            Such an unproductive school-year it is has been ever since I started this damn program. People often ask why the f*ck I took up Civil Engineering in a university situated in the middle of the urban jungle known as Manila. Maybe it’s because I’m a masochist in the inside? I haven’t really awakened to anything like that but it’s a possibility. It takes two agonizing hours to get here from Novaliches and three more hours to get back home. The student body is made-up by transferees who failed in the most highly rated universities, making this place a trash bin for fallen scholars and dropped-out-smart-a*s delinquents who accidentally passed the entrance test.


            I love the way they use a one-term scholarship as bait. They’ll let you take the entrance exam and if you get more than ninety-five percent of correct answers, they’ll give you a scholarship that lasts for a single term. After that, to get a new scholarship, you’ll have to work your butt off to get a G.P.A. of more than eighty-nine percent.


            No matter how I look at this, everything about this school is made from the blood, sweat, and tears of big-a*s business men trying to give false hope for a future that’s already dead for losers like me. That being said, once you enter this place, you’re automatically a mindless slave that exists to be trained to obey. The instructors and professors claim that their purpose is to educate, but that’s the biggest lie I’ve ever believed in since I got out of high school. They’re called ‘instructors’ and ‘professors’, not ‘teachers’, because they are NOT educators. They are trainers that make us obey, or else they’ll deny us of the bright future ahead of us... as if it even exists.


            Damn, I could write all these crappy thoughts in my Philosophy class someday.


            The elevator door opens and a bunch of students walked by, some of them had skirts and some of them had slacks. Our school has an affinity for green for some reason, but I don’t give a damn about the uniform design. As long as I can study as meaninglessly as possible, I’ll study.


            I lay my head back down on my bag on the lobby desk without looking up. The classrooms aren’t open yet, but I guess people come earlier when the semester has just started. I’m not one of those people. I just want to get to the classroom before anyone else and pretend I’m asleep so I don’t have to greet them.


            Luckily, the guard came up to the classroom door with the key, so I go in with him and put my stuff in one of the front seats in the middle. He takes out a remote control and switches on the air conditioning. I thanked him before he left as I put the bag on the arm of the chair so I can go back to pretending to go to sleep.


            The first subject of the day is Higher Surveying and we have a quiz on the Principle of the Stadia and Tacheometry, but I’d rather not start cramming and stress myself. It’s just basic application on trigonometry so I can probably do well on it.


            Before I knew it, it was already 7 A.M. and the instructor was already in. There were no absentees today so the quiz will probably begin without a hitch. Armed with a 0.5 Unipin pen and a Casio es991 calculator, I prepare myself for the first of many battles. This counts as another step before I can finalize the theoretical distance I’ve gone through in life using my pace factor.




            It turns out there was no quiz in the first place. This is a classic example of I.P.S. (Instructor Paranoia Syndrome) where students mistake an announcement made by the professor as something that will drastically affect their grades, regardless of what he said. Mistakes are exactly what we’re trying to avoid or at least minimize in Civil Engineering, and when we get overcome by our fear, errors start to occur, resulting in a greater blunder than anticipated.


            It’s similar when you’re a small-time construction surveyor and you start to do some corrections on your taping. The tape will either shorten or elongate depending if it’s error due to temperature changing, pulling, or sloping distances. Aside from that, there’s also error on the tape itself. My tape is too short because, well... I don’t really keep anyone close, and my only basis for precision is what I see and hear from people.


            Since there’s no homework for my next class, I head downstairs without waiting for anyone and make my way to the cafeteria. I have an hour and twenty minutes to spend mulling over the Higher Surveying quiz on Tuesday aside from eating.


            After a couple of flight of steps I find the food stalls lined-up in front of the seats and a sign saying:


            “In order to show courtesy to our benefactors, please refrain from bringing outside food.”


            This is only one of thousands of enforced ethics that is culturally ignored in the Philippines. If my countrymen won’t do it, then neither will I.


            I take a seat at the farthest corner where I’m out of everyone’s line of sight and start deep-throating half a kilogram of rice and three pieces of sausages from my lunchbox. It’s very unhealthy for someone to finish his lunch in less than three minutes without drinking anything, but it’s become a bad habit ever since I got late for class during elementary school because I was eating too slow.


            Once I finish eating like a ferocious wolf, I pack up my lunch and check the time. I have an hour, fifteen minutes, and thirty-four seconds left before my next class so I open my bag and check to see what kind of class it is.


            Inside I find three sheets of blank bond papers neatly covered by a grey folder. I don’t know why, but it was calling me. It was telling me something. It says it wants me to try drawing that old character design I did for a Light Novel I was writing during my freshmen years. I’ve come to realize that the dream of becoming a writer, much less a Light Novel author, is a dream that’s gonna lead me to kill myself once I start dropping on my grades. Be that as it may, I took one sheet, a number 2 pencil, and half of a rubber eraser.


            I’ve lost so much because of writing instead of gaining anything. I never made friends because my eyes were stuck on a binder notebook while I wrote the fourth chapter of my now deceased Light Novel. I was so caught up in it that I lost my...


            This couple in front of me is really pissing me off. Look at them, sitting there, acting like they’re so happy... Like they have nothing to worry about for their future. It’s not irritating because I am envious of their relationship; I’d be depressed if I ever saw something as pure as that. What I’m really angry about is that the girl doesn’t mind that the guy has his arm around her and his hand is groping her breast.


            It’s the regular combination of a rapist-Senpai and an airhead-Kouhai.


            It’s fun to talk about dirty things like that, but when I see it in real life, I start to doubt my own words. Furthermore, it shows just how disgusting today’s generation is.


            Love doesn’t exist in college.


            That’s what I always think. Relationships come in quickly and they go just as fast. Everyone is wearing a mask, and pure honesty is something you’ll never find here. College is a training ground on how to let corruption slide. It teaches you how to deceive people while you’re being coaxed into spending money on unnecessary professions that lead to dead-end jobs.


            I wanted to prove these things wrong, but I can’t do it when I can see the truth in front of me.


            Without even noticing, the anger drove me to draw. I look down and analyse what I just made.


            This character was supposedly named Harana, which means serenade. She was going to be the main heroine of the story so I gave her black hair tied to a side ponytail. It was a whole body, front view illustration with a simple pose where she was wearing her high school uniform. The draw style was a mix of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) and Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai (The World God Only Knows).


            It turned out to be as nice as it was when I was drawing in the past. Looks like my hands haven’t forgotten how to draw Anime characters. I’d even go as far as appreciating what I’ve done.


            I felt refreshed to see I haven’t lost this skill for a moment, but I feel like there’s something breathing down my neck. Turning my head, I happened to glance at a girl who was focused on Harana.


            I flinched and made a surprised look, seeing as how close she was. At close inspection, I can say that she has very beautiful eyes and a cute nose. Her lips are a little thick and she has an irregular birth-mark on her left temple, but aside from those, this girl is very attractive. She has her hair in some sort of apple-cut with a clip above her right eye. I think this girl is... not really my type.


            There are two things wrong with this phenomenon: Firstly, somebody who is attractive is actually interested at something I did. And secondly, I don’t recall taking any hallucinogens ever since I was born.


            “Ilyas”, she says with eyes fixated on the illustration. How the hell does she know my name?


            “...Yes, that’s my name... Do I know you?”


            “You don’t remember me?”, she says, facing my way.


            I wouldn’t be asking if I did, would I!


            “I’m sorry”, I reply in an apologetic tone. “I really don’t recall who you are.”


            “We were the only ones who didn’t cheat in the Mid-term exam for Trigonometry, remember?”


            Trigonometry? That was in the first semester of my freshman year. I think I remember a cute girl with a ponytail beside me saying that everyone else was using their cell phones when the instructor wasn’t looking. The test questions came from the web so my classmates could easily find the solution that way.


            “Valentino?” I replied with a blind answer.


            “That’s right! It’s Clarisse Valentino”, she says, smiling like it was a big deal.


            “It’s good to see you again”, I state the common pleasantries. “If you’ll excuse me, I have to-“


            “Hey, Ilyas”, she interrupts before I leave.




            “Are you interested in drawing?”


            “Yes, I am..?” What the hell kind of question is that?


            “Then would you mind drawing some things for me!” She asked me with her eyes gleaming with avarice.


            I vaguely remember anything about this girl and she starts asking me for a favour. In life, there are people who come when they need something from you, then leave you and pretend they never even knew your name. She looks like one of those people so she’ll probably stop bothering me and act like I never existed if I do this for her. Based on how I see her, it’s best to accept her request.


            “I’ll do it.”


            Whenever you measure a distance, whether through pacing or taping, there will always be a mistake and an error, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the way I measured her is the most accurate measurement I’ve ever done in my life.


            But I forgot to apply the correction due to sag.


© 2015 Oran

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Isn't Instructor, a synonym for Teacher?
me kill myself = forgot the 'To'
I think this is girl is = Need less "Is", especially after the This

Posted 5 Years Ago

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Added on December 21, 2015
Last Updated on December 31, 2015



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