Saturday, August 21, 2010

Let's Face It: Physics is F=µN.

If you're done with high school (and I'm willing to bet that 99.9% of you are), then you're familiar, more or less, with the subject of physics. To some, it's that mind-corrupting hour filled with fractions, exponents, and a whole bunch of unheard-of terminologies that are close to meaninglessness. To others, it's an excuse to type in "58008" on their calculators then look at it upside-down. Fortunately for us, we got the pleasure of being taken under the wing of one Miss Arra C. Quitaneg, a young and bubbly professor of NATSC14 (code for "College Physics") at De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB).

She had this special touch, an air about her that made our classes fun and exciting. She usually had some toy or trick prepared to catch everyone's attention in class, as if we were all about 10 years old. She wasn't even afraid of sharing with us her love for singing, which many of us in class, including myself, could relate to as Music Production students. I've yet to have a class as much fun as she had made ours.

And as if to tease, she had assigned us, her students, to prepare a physics-related project based on our respective courses. Music Production, Theater Design, Architecture, and others, all had their own agenda.

Yesterday, our class, Miss Arra included, had the pleasure of witnessing each others' talents. It was astounding, to say the least. Here are a few snapshots, taken by my good friend and classmate, a budding professional musician (and photographer, perhaps?), Mel Roño. I suggest you take note of these people's names; they'll most likely be up in lights someday. You'll notice I'm not here, because the camera hates me. (At this point, I laugh at myself.)

The very beautiful and very talented Ms. Andrea Moredo:

School choir members (left to right):  Tenor: Nico Angeles, and Sopranos: Ronica Mae "RM" Mangahas and Ana Almenario

(Left to right,) Class Clown: Nolan Diosana, Walking Jukebox: Alex Salva, and our resident Snapshot Connoisseur, Mr. Nomel Roño himself:

And finally, not to be shown up by her own students, up on stage here is Ms. Arra herself (with Alex loitering in the background). :P

So, all in all, it was a surprisingly fun time of showing off what we could. So much diversity in a single physics class. Plenty of energy to go around. Pun intended.

 F=µN is the equation of Friction, solved by taking the coefficient of static friction (µ, pronounced as "mew") and multiplying it by the Normal Force (N) applied. It's the very first equation I learned in the class. We all should have seen this coming. Is it any coincidence that a solution would be spelled that way?

Classmates, Friends,
NATSC14 is possibly the funnest class I've attended since entering DLS-CSB. I'd like to thank you all for making it memorable and exciting, and hopefully I'll see you guys in future classes.

Ms. Arra,
Thank you very much for taking an allegedly mind-numbing class and livening it up with your sunshiny personality and patience. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say that we all had a great time with you as our professor.

I hope to keep seeing you all around campus.

Best wishes,
Atom P.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Whatever Doesn't Kill You...

It's true what those people on TV tell you: "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Except of course if the thing that doesn't kill you turns out to be some chemical substance that destroys your ability to function your voluntary muscles and turns you into a vegetable for the rest of your life, but that's beside the point.

Today, my mom returned from the hospital where she had been confined for a week. She was rushed to the hospital due to... meh... I'll call it "severe fatigue" since that's what everybody chooses to call it. Let it be known, though, that tears were shed, cigarettes were lit, voices were raised, patience and patients were tested, lawyers were called, testimonies were written, constitutional acts were read, and eyes turned red.

Legal action... Yeah. I met an actual lawyer for the first time in my life. Or maybe I've met other lawyers in the past but I was too ignorant to realize they were lawyers. Needless to say, my playthroughs of the entire Ace Attorney game series on the NDS sparked my intrigue in the legal system. I enjoyed reading the act on Violence Against Women and Their Children. Awesome stuff in there.

Hospitals are funny places. People get sick or injured, one way or another. That's unavoidable. The beautiful paradox that is the hospital is the one place where all kinds of drama can ensue. Where else is there a more beautiful, albeit depressing moment, than a boy whose existence on the planet was to be cut short due to a terminal cancer, surrounded by his loving family and friends, with him letting them know that his 15 short years of life were the best anybody on the planet could ask for. Where else could you possibly find a more triumphant moment than a child, nearly drowned at the beach, waking up with her family by her side and realizing that it could all have been just a very bad dream.

Or a mom who overcame her self-inflicted, fear-induced, near-death experience, to continue living and keep on keeping on, to experience all that the world has yet to offer: the tears, the laughs, the pains, the reliefs, the weakening times, and the empowering ones. She may see herself as having failed the family, but we hold nothing against her. Although, it's true, she did fail at the last thing she tried to do... and we're glad she did.

Gravity can't keep birds from flying.
Don't let what brings you down, keep you down.

Much love,
Atom P.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Overture of Me.

Today is Thursday, August 12, 2010. It's 10:54pm (according to my laptop clock). This is the first time I've ever made a blog. I'm trying to keep this as candid as possible, so it feels authentic, spontaneous, and free. Anyway, here's me... Enjoy.

Full name: Andrew Thomas Mendoza Portillo
Birth Date: January 4, 1990.
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Country of Origin: Philippines
Height: 5'6"
Blood Type: A
Hobbies: Music, Video Games, Badminton, TV, Singing, Pokémon (kiddish, I know), and loving life.

- Atom P.