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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Illo Friday: Captain

O Captain, My Captain..

Papers flying overhead crawled up as a ball or folded as an airplane. A scream came from the front-seated girls as they giggle and talk about their summer puppy loves and silly boys from the school next to ours. A girl showing off a new gadget her dad from abroad just sent, while on-lookers awed with admiration. Another girl ran after somebody who was laughing and skipping across the room, apparently she took something from her. And I, sitting by the back row doodling on the back page of my newly bought notebook, grinned. An abrupt pause almost numbed my ears, being used to the chaos of the room, I raised my head wondering why everyone went quiet.

“I wish I could stand on my desk and look at you all,” a modulated low voiced man in a Hawaiian shirt came walking in the classroom. “Good morning class. I am professor Villegas and this is Economics. If this subject won’t change your life, I will. Dead poet’s honor.” These were the first words my Eco prof said back in junior year. He was a new teacher and that was a pretty brave dare on the first day of classes to the labeled “notorious section”.


I remember he laughed after he said he will change our lives, and the class laughed with him, in a sarcastic way. As the students were laughing I was able to jot down his last phrase, not knowing what he meant back then. I also remember that the first class activity was not about economics. Instead, we watched a movie, and the title, he didn’t disclose until we actually watched and read the screen. It was Dead Poet’s Society.

It probably had different effects on each student as some “fell inlove” with Ethan Hawke and some, the other actors. In my case, I fell inlove with the film and the character John Keating – A professor that inspired his students to a love of poetry and to seize the day. This film has influenced me in ways that I never realized until after some years after. Aside from my being fond of “men older than me”, (hehehe) I was also inclined to reading classic literature and poetry.

“Carpe Diem” was the popular expression of our class then and even after that school year, we call Prof. Villegas “Captain” and joked with him on the lines “O Captain, O Captain”. Although the tagged “notorious class” was not removed, I later learned that we were the only class where he showed that movie. Our only regret was that we can’t literally stand on our desks and tear out the pages of our school textbooks. Ha! Those who have seen the film will know why.

I guess the petty meanings were the things that sufficed while growing up having that as one of the hundreds, thousands… of experiences piled at the back of my mind. But looking back now, I must agree that a great part of my personality was somehow influenced by that past. And thinking of our brains as a puzzle, missing one piece will literally won’t make it complete.

Now, I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way. O captain, my captain… thank you.



"looking inside a dreamer's dream"
900 x 600 (orig.)
MS Paint + Picassa



O Captain My Captain
by: Walt Whitman
O Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.


-----
drop notes:
- poetry by: [Walt Whitman"]
- Dead Poet's society [info]

*.*

22 Park your thoughts here:

Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

oh well dunno if somebody would actually read this long post. anyway, click the image for a better view and tell me what do you see?

20/8/07 7:02 AM  
Blogger HARDWAX whispered...

Great poetry, beautiful movie, and I envy you your Econ prof.
I see stromg unforgiving faces; of human beings and birds, and lions, all carved in wood with shards of light. Fantastic!

20/8/07 1:08 PM  
Blogger Aravis whispered...

I loved that movie, and for the same reasons you did. Oh, I fell a little in love with Sean Patrick Leonard, but that was incidental. That movie really moved me, and I have a copy of it.

Your illo seems celestial to me, in the colors and its luminosity.

21/8/07 12:38 AM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

hardwax.. nice interpretation! i saw different things tho.. but then again art is in the eyes of the beholder..

aravis.. yeah one of the movies i treasure.. too bad i dont have a DVD remastered copy.. only an old VHS tape (which i guess wont work anymore) haha.. oh well..

21/8/07 1:36 AM  
Blogger AndyDoodler whispered...

Beautiful image and post! I wish my economics prof was like yours too. What a genius Whitman was- he's a biig piece of the biiig puzzle- maybe all is confluent- and all the pieces in our brains are needed to equal the whole. The image reminds me of a holy relic- maybe like the Shroud of Turin.

21/8/07 8:30 AM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

thank you andydoodler.. guess i was lucky to have such a prof and background.. btw i actually looked for Shroud of Turin.. ha! nice interpretation!

22/8/07 5:52 PM  
Anonymous james whispered...

It's nice of you to share this story. Although, where is the captain in the painting?

22/8/07 8:09 PM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

sometimes we need to look closer to see what we want to see..

22/8/07 8:22 PM  
Blogger Andrew Thornton whispered...

Even though your post was on the longer side, I was totally caught up in your remembering of your professor. You're right that the film is deeply moving. I happened to mention it the other day to a friend, but unfortunately she had never heard of it. I always think it's strange how something so wrought with meaning and purpose could, for all intensive purposes, not exist for another person.

It's kind of like your piece and how you said that sometimes you have to look closer to see what you want to see. The abstract nature of your piece somehow makes it less about formalistic renderings or instant gratification, but about association, nostalgia, and looking deeper than just the surface.

Nicely done.

23/8/07 11:54 AM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

and thank you for sharing your thoughts in this subject as well. i believe that conformity is not the only way we must all follow. its one's personality and how one views things in a different way that makes one's existence more meaningful..

23/8/07 4:14 PM  
Blogger Anonymous whispered...

O Captain , My Captain...

23/8/07 4:40 PM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

Ahrrg!

};-}

24/8/07 12:34 AM  
Blogger Anonymous whispered...

MY Captain ... };-}

24/8/07 6:42 PM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

haha! but where is the captain of the hellcats?

27/8/07 10:11 AM  
Anonymous deity whispered...

my english teacher back in sophomore year in highschool made us memorize this poem. and to this date, i still can recite some stanzas. haha. i guess this is one of those things that get stuck in our head even after graduating from school eons of years ago.

so where did you post the tag? i don't see it anywhere:)

20/10/07 2:55 AM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

oh! to be honest i haven't even posted it yet. and gee how my last post have felt like decades ago as well.. my time is just too congested nowadays.. can't wait to get my one week vacation from my job..

21/10/07 7:08 AM  
Blogger Dennis whispered...

Thank you for remembering me..looking back, I'm amazed at how long ago that was. And you still remember my favorite shirt! :)

15/11/07 11:38 AM  
Blogger dodong flores whispered...

I read this entry. That's quite a story. I'm proud to be a friend of your former professor. He's my idol, too!

15/11/07 7:02 PM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

Mr. Villegas! OMG! OMG! it is you!!! hahaha... *blush* frankly i get silly smiles like a little kid now! and hmm.. have you guessed who i am? i dunno if you'd remember me from all the students you have had. but its so nice to see you over the blogsphere..

16/11/07 10:48 AM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

dodong its so great to have bumped into his blog.. gee i cant imagine not being influenced by him.. but eh.. all i can say is he IS a great man! and im so proud to have been one of his students!

16/11/07 10:51 AM  
Blogger dodong flores whispered...

I'm so proud to be Dennis Villegas' friend, too! :)

16/11/07 7:10 PM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

*cheers*

17/11/07 4:50 AM  

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