It is a picture of my batch when I was a (second time) postulant. For the record, this has been the greatest batch I ever had (To date, I have about four or five, and I hope to stop counting) in fact, I have three best buddies in this group.
One of these guys is Br. Rusty (second from right, front row). Let me say something about him since he celebrates his birthday today.
Such a long and winding intro!
Br. Rusty and I did not belong to the same batch. But since I extended my postulancy and he was promoted into the stage (he's also a late vocation), we became classmates.
One thing I like about him is his critical thinking skills. Modesty aside, we would heat up the SEPP sessions with our arguments. He armed himself debating skills and I equipped myself with my ultra thick Oxford American English Dictionary and a worthy ally in Jun (now, also a brother).
I'm not sure if we entertained (or annoyed) our companions with our ideas but both of us only wanted a quality seminary formation. And we know that formation begins in each of us.
When I did a video documentary on the seminary life, I tapped him to help me out with the editing. I think I can rely on my eyes in discerning a good composition of scene, but I editing is more of a science. It needs a systematic and elaborate technique which I don't have a skill in. It is in this field that he excels at.
Despite these similarities, both of us agree that we're not in good terms for the greater part of our postulancy year. Although we shared one roof, we belonged to different worlds.
I was an English teacher, he taught Math. I was in the company of good guys, while he liked it to be with the like of Angel and Mik (the naughty ones!). I was the serious type, and he was the comedian. And after some disagreements on issues that affected the batch, we found ourselves giving a cold shoulder treatment to each other.
Things became better when he entered the novitiate and I went out of the seminary. I wouldn't say that the novitiate helped him see the light; my seminary respite also transformed me to see things in a better perspective.
I realized of late that we would share not only critical information about people we know (in the seminary parlance "grumbling"), but also personal things. This made me know and understand and love him more. I just don't know if he feels the same.
I hope he perseveres. The congregation needs individuals of his ilk.