01 May 2020

Good things come in threes! Is life imitating art and living out The Rule of Threes? Look at that, I also got accepted at Santa Clara University for their LLM in Intellectual Property! And I was named a Silicon Valley Law Fellow too and awarded a $1,500 scholarship.

SCU Law is also named as one of the top law schools for intellectual property (along with UNH Franklin Pierce), especially because it is located at Silicon Valley, the heart of tech and innovation. Worthy of note is that like Loyola Law, SCU is also a Jesuit-run university. Interestingly enough, the last few weeks I have been doing mostly Ateneo-related work for our firm. Is this a sign? Hmm.

Since I've talked about synchronicities in my previous post, I think it's worth mentioning that my name was supposed to be Clara / Klara. My mom prayed to St. Claire  before her pregnancy (yes, the saint women pray and dance to at Obando, Bulacan) and also loved the lead character from the Nutcracker ballet, Clara. Ultimately she went with Karla instead (partly because I would have been teased endlessly if I was a "Maria Clara"), but I've always felt an affinity towards her, especially because in recent years I've grown to appreciate her friendship with St. Francis. Maybe it's the universe poking fun at me again - "Thought I was over with all the coincidences? Just you wait!"

To be honest, I'm still feeling pretty overwhelmed about all this. I applied for LLM at the start of the year out of a desire to learn more about IP, yes, but also I just wanted to try something different, to do something out of the ordinary. Consider it a post-New Year dare to myself. I had zero expectations of getting admitted to any of these schools, let alone be granted scholarships. Based on my conversations with some friends in the profession, international schools usually prefer lawyers working in the Government. I went ahead and tried just to see if I had a chance; if I didn't get accepted then maybe it isn't for me yet (or maybe I really did have to resign and work for a Government office, haha). But to have gotten such a remarkable response - and three times, at that - is truly quite mind-boggling. Loyola, UNH, and now SCU. Wild.

Now, I still have not decided where I will end up going. (I'm still weighing many factors, including costs.) In fact, I'm seriously considering deferring my enrollment to the next school year, given the pandemic situation. I don't think things will get settled in time for me to fully arrange my visa, look for housing, and prepare for other considerations when things are still very much uncertain, both here and in the US. But it's a relief to know that there really is something to look forward to after all this. The scholarships will not be forfeited despite deferral so the metaphorical doors are not being closed on me.

It's hard to wrestle with the idea of celebrating at a time like this. Instead of leaving this August, I have to put my plans on hold until next year. But as always, I need to remind myself that detours are not without purpose. This whole pandemic has brought out some of my worst fears about the government. Amazingly, it has shown us the resilience, compassion, and kindness of a lot of our citizens too. And it's beyond inspiring. All these dreams of studying abroad are just that - wanting to experience an education in another country. Never for a second did I imagine myself leaving this place for good, even and especially now. We need voices of dissent to be amplified - to ring louder and braver each day. These voices - including my own - may get tired, but we have to continuously find ways to keep going, to continue being of service. To give back. To seek the light at the end of the tunnel.

It's there.

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