Summer Goals

I essentially have three goals for this summer.

1) Learn “Let It Go” and other songs in German. I was torn when making class decisions for college on whether to take a) Shakespeare’s Sisters, an English seminar that I really did not need but would enjoy, or  b) German 201. If I enrolled in the latter  it would prevent the loss of any of my German skills by waiting to enroll in the class at another time.

I was really close to going with the English seminar, which I had my eyes on from the first time I looked at Gettysburg’s courses, but I ended up making the more rational decision and choosing German 201, which I believe I will love. I plan on taking an English course to fulfill one of the liberal arts curriculum goals, and using Introduction to Creative Writing as my arts requirement. My schedule at the moment, other than German 201, includes Math 111 (Calc 1), Bio 113 (the fall companion to an application-only research based course in the spring, Bio 114 Phage Genomics), and Chem 107 (Chemical Structure and Bonding). The schedule is pretty busy. Math 111 meets Monday thru Thursday; other than lectures, I have labs for both Bio and Chem and a German conversation/discussion once a week. However, I am very excited about all my classes.

2) Come up with at least one question to ask my Biology professor. He sent all of us (from the Bio 113 class) an email concerning general Gettysburg advising on housing, buying books, etc. He also discussed our homework over the summer, which was good, because I completely forgot about summer homework and would not have even thought to ask my other professors (which I will do now).

Finally, he said we are free to ask him whatever questions we want, whether it’s about college, our courses, or general science questions. I want to look at all the information he has sent us and ask a really good question; I’ve had issues with asking questions/asking for help in the past so I want to break that habit as soon as possible. A fresh start for college, yanno?

3) I want to speed walk as fast as my paint crew supervisor. I don’t think I have mentioned this before, but I did get the same summer job as last year, painting for the school district. He has decided to wait to name managers to see who can handle it all best, so I am not sure if I will procure this position. I am not a very take-charge type of person, which is why I am dubious of my chances. Besides, I don’t think I really want to be a manager anyway (grr stupid lacking ambition when it involves something new or taking charge).

Anyway, you do not understand this man’s speed. He does not even pump his arms-he just goes. You literally run to keep up with him or else he will turn a corner and you will not know where he went. The only way you know he is coming before he gets to you is the keys he keeps on his belt all the time jingle and jangle obnoxiously loud. You can hear him from down a hallway, which gives you just enough time to turn off any inappropriate music you may have been playing. Last year my friend’s IPod was magical. We had it set on the musicals station, and when the supervisor was not around it would play Avenue Q and Spamalot, but just before he would walk by it would play Aladdin or the Little Mermaid.

I digress. It’s good to have goals, right?

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Busiest Week of My Life

This week I had no time to blog; as much as I feel bad about not posting anything for a long time, there were occasions and to-do’s that I could not ignore.

Monday was my only semi-fee day, though I had an orthodontist appointment right after school. I spent tonight finishing an application for a special first-year “virus hunting” research course at Gettysburg as well as finishing a variety of other assignments I would not have time for later in the week.

Tuesday was a half day in school, but I attended a paint crew meeting after school. Last year I was hired, along with some of my peers, to be a part of our school’s paint crew, which (you might’ve guessed) paint the parking lots, hallways, etc. of all of the schools in the district; I will be doing the same thing again this summer. This meeting took almost three hours, but I can’t complain because we were all getting paid. We have not been told who will be the paint team managers, and I am torn between wanting to make more money by ascending to a leadership position and not wanting to have to assert myself to be in charge of a group.

After this meeting I went home and got ready for a scholarship reception dinner. I won a scholarship through my father’s union, and we were invited to attend a fancy dinner. I had a slight headache by this time, due to high temperatures that, after a cold winter, I am not quite used to yet. The food was good, the conversation, which I managed to interject into a few times, was excellent, and it was absolutely phenomenal to see all these students who had contributed so much to their community.

Wednesday after school was our Science League party. I had previously been very excited to attend, because Science League has been one of my favorite parts of high school over the past two years, and I love everyone in that club. However, we did a competition bowl, and I did not answer a single question though I knew a lot of the answers. Not only that, I was jealous of one of my peers who is incredibly intelligent and began to hate myself and feel very angry. When I came home I essentially gave up on doing anything and succumbed to sadness.

Thursday I was supposed to take a AP Chemistry test, but even if he put a 64 in the grade books (the lowest grade you can get on a test in AP Chem because of a lenient curve), I would still get a 94 overall. When given the option to skip the test, I took it. I was supposed to have an appointment with my therapist but did not have a car to drive, so we had a very short phone conference before I went to my friend’s house so she could paint my nails for prom. After that we sojourned together to Senior Awards night, where I was very happy (not jealous for once) to see everyone winning small monetary prizes for excellence in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and community service. I received $50 as an academic award and $50 for Science League.

And…Friday was my senior prom! Half the fun was preparing for it. We had a half day of school and I went to the salon and got my hair (in the style of Elsa’s coronation from Frozen) and makeup done. We went to my friend’s house and stopped at school to get inexpensive professional pictures taken. We did not participate in Promenade, so we went back to my friend’s house and spent some time eating and watching RuPaul’s Drag Race in our prom dresses.

Then our parents all came over and we took a ton of pictures. My parents drove us to and from prom for fear of reckless and/or drunk drivers. The first hour or so was awkward picture-taking with friends. Two girls from my AP Chem class essentially attacked me when they saw me, telling me I looked beautiful and they hardly recognized me (yanno, because I never wear makeup in school and wear glasses, whereas tonight I was all dolled up and wearing contacts). The one girl actually came up to hug me and told me I could easily be the most beautiful girl there. Not to be conceited by writing about this, but I was very grateful for the compliment, which really helped my self-esteem.

I may be biased, but my friends and I were the most beautiful people there. Both of them looked like absolute goddesses. After eating we all got up to dance for two and a half hours straight; my feet did not hurt until the last half an hour of the prom, a huge accomplishment considering I wore my (albeit comfy) wedges the whole time. It was great dancing with my two best friends as well as a lot of my other friends in school. My friends and I reflected a little, on the ride home, how we were already a bit nostalgic because this was our senior prom, which would never happen again. But it was a fantastic time, and I would not have traded my prom experience for anything.

Now that this memorable week is over, I am both proud I have survived and am looking forward to whatever challenges await this week.

Summer Job Dilemma

The summer job-an important aspect of one’s adolescence which provides experience for future jobs, another activity to report on college applications, and of course, a way to earn a little extra cash for the school year (in my case, college). However, in preparing for my summer job this year I’ve been presented with a dilemma that confounds me.

Last year I worked for my school district’s paint crew, which was a really sweet gig-the teacher running it wasn’t ridiculously strict, I got a chance to hang out with my friends, and was paid a little over minimum wage. Additionally, if I were to work there again this year, I would get paid more for being a second-year painter, and even more if I were a paint crew leader (in charge of a small group, sort of like an assistant manager).

Withal, I may have screwed up that “sweet gig” last year. At the end of summer, I was struggling immensely with my depression (I hadn’t yet talked to my parents about it, so I was not seeing a therapist). The last three days of paint crew, I was depressed because I had to tell the manager I would not be able to go to paint crew anymore because soccer was starting (I thought I had not given him enough forewarning, and was anxious and stressing out about it), so I just stayed home. I literally texted the manager that I could not go, giving no explanation as to why, and never showed up again.

I feel this might have some effect on if I’m hired again this year. He actually called me a week later to ask if I was okay, to “check up on me” (did he suspect something was wrong?) and tell me my check for the previous week would be available at the Board of Education office. 

I feel like I might be able to acquire another job, but I really have no clue. I have no clue where I could work, and am painstakingly awkward and don’t know how to go about asking for a job application and interview. I understand how difficult it is to find a job, especially as a teenager in tough economic conditions.

Another opportunity for a summer job was presented through my aunt, who told me her aunt’s friend is looking for a babysitter during the summer. This would only be three days out of the week, so it might be difficult for me to find another job considering I would have to inform them I am unavailable three days out of the week. I do not know how to be a babysitter, and am nervous to accept the job.

I really don’t know if I should wait to see if I can get into the paint crew, but by then the babysitter job will probably be filled by another person. I have mused the idea of emailing the paint crew manager to a) explain why I was absent those last few days, because I was struggling with depression, b) ask about my chances in getting on paint crew and if paint crew will even run again (so far I haven’t heard anything, but I don’t remember when I applied last year), or both. Though now that I think about it, perhaps discussing my depression is too personal and would offset my chances for employment even more.

Perhaps a pros and cons list will help me make a decision?

Ugh. I hate dilemma’s so much. They are not very good for someone as indecisive as me, and it always seems no matter what I do I end up looking back on my decision with some form of regret. If anyone has any advice for me, it would be appreciated a lot!

Chapter 3 and 4 of the Stranger by Albert Camus

In completely unrelated news…yesterday I got my first paycheck from paint crew-$156.80! It honestly felt pretty good.

There is definitely a likelihood of spoilers below. 

First I have to say that today on Bloom’s Literary Reference Center, the author of the day was Chinua Achebe, and I had to spaz a little.

I’m still waiting for the senseless murder. Where is it!?! I want it now.

I actually took some initiative and read over the weekend…on my own…in my house. Usually I’m an avid reader, but when I get assigned books it turns to blech.

Chapter 3

Is there significance in the towels, which Meursault doesn’t like in the afternoon because it is soggy? Is life like a big soggy mess that every now and then gets changed out so it can be clean again, only to become moist once more?

Probably not. But you know the drill (I do not condone swearing, this is just how the picture goes):

english teachers

Though I am a fan of reading WAY too much into a book. I do think that this is one of those novels where you don’t read it for the plot line but for the message or theme behind the story. I do like those kinds of books a lot too.

And uh I hope it’s not a typo in my book, that would be awkward, but it says the sky is green. Does that mean something about the surrounding landscape, that it was lush and green and merged into the sky? That’s what I’m assuming.

The whole dog thing made me whimper, because I love my doggy (if you’ve been here before you might have seen his pictures in a previous post). Meursault and his passivity. “Celeste is always saying, ‘It’s pitiful,’ but really, who’s to say?” (Camus 27).

Meursault is so passive it’s silly. I suppose it’s to make a point about one’s place in the universe; perhaps it’s trying to point out that truly we are all passive in the order of things. That could be a good essay topic, come to think of it. Hmm…

Anyway, anyone else notice the juxtaposition of Salamano’s dog and Raymond’s mistress? At least in this chapter. To me it demonstrates the position of women, though I don’t know if that has much to do with what the author was trying to convey.

Chapter 4

This woman is silly for thinking that just because her and Meursault slept together he loved her. Silly silly Marie. Again, more of Meursault passivity when he doesn’t want to get cops because he said he doesn’t like cops, but then again, in that situation, I’m sure a lot of people would be anxious about being the one to summon the police. Funny how everyone just sort of stands there listening to the chick getting beaten.

Probably my favorite quote from the book so far.

“Raymond asked, ‘is that legal, calling a man a pimp like that?'” (Camus 36). I was in work when I was reading this and I burst out laughing.

“He thought so too, and he pointed out that the cop could do anything he wanted, it wouldn’t change the fact that she’d gotten her beating” (Camus 37). This is one of my unsolvable problems with the world. It’s like I’m helpless sometimes. I thought this was a really meaningful quote.

Aw, and then old Salamano really loves his dog. I awed in the middle of lunch break and puckered my lips like a lil puppy dog at this. So sad and cute but really mostly sad. I should read on to find out if he gets the dog back (if it’s mentioned at all again), because I really want him to get his old scabby dog back!

MOM Day 28-First 3 Days Of Work

This summer I got a job at my school doing paint crew. With my first job, I’ve already learned new things.

1) If you have a job, you will not lose track of what day it is because you will forever be wishing for Friday.

2) Gossip is gossip is gossip. It never ends. I don’t participate, but I listen, which is pretty bad in itself.

3) Even if a supervisor is rushing you, take your time and do the work right the first time. Then they’ll be more pissed later on if you have to go back and touch up all the spots you or other people missed.

4) Don’t carry wet brushes through the hallway, even if you think they’re clean. Just don’t.

5) Music is your friend. The clock isn’t. If you keep checking the time, it’ll only go by slower.

6) People you’ve never talked to before or thought you could never be friends with can be pleasant to work with. Subsequently, it can be hell to work with someone who puts you down, whether directly or indirectly. You can’t let them get to you. If they’re advice is reasonable, use it to get better and prove them wrong. If not, move on.

7) When someone is teaching you something new, PAY ATTENTION.

8) Never be afraid to ask for help or direction.

9) Water. Enough said.

10) It sucks to be a girl when the head supervisor is a sexist gym teacher.

11) It’s awesome to  be a girl because the sexist gym teacher never makes the girls work outside while paying them the same amount.

12) Doing a good job pays off. Literally.

I could rant and rant and rant, but this pretty much sums up my first three days. It’s finally Friday, which is awesome; however, I won’t be one of the people sleeping in, I’ll be getting up early (ish) to workout. My workouts lately have been cut short by afternoon/evening thunderstorms, and I really need to work on my skills (such as sprints and footwork) that can only be done outside.

I’ve been having trouble at some things, because I’ve never technically done this type of paint work before, but I have to remember:

“All things are difficult before they are easy” (Thomas Fuller). 

MOM Day 24-First Day of Summer

Yes, my bass-awkwards school set up the calendar so that our last day is on a Monday. So I went in school until 9:20 to take an exam then came home.

And, unfortunately, I wasted the entire day on electronics-old DS games, computer, ipod, television-and of course eating. I didn’t work out like I wanted to (though it started thunderstorming like crazy so I was sort of glad I didn’t go outside), and have been in a terrible mood. I hate making decisions but one is running like a freight train toward me, so I can’t run away.

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier” (Roy E. Disney).

This is unfortunately what I have to do. I just don’t know if I can actually do it.

On a good note, I got a 100 on my AP Bio final, and a 94 on my English final, which means my grade for English is a 96 for the year. WOOHOO. I should probably make a list of my goals for the summer, but I honestly don’t feel like it right now (maybe later today). However, I plan to make it worthwhile.

A major thing I want to accomplish is to get ready for soccer and to do that, I’m going to need a lot of motivation and to understand that I can move on from mistakes (such as not working out one day) and improve on them the next day.

I also plan on preparing for my AP classes next year, visiting some colleges and narrowing down my college list, preparing for college applications, participating in scholarships, and, of course, hanging out with my friends. Looks like I have a sort-of list already.

I’ll also be working-first job WOOHOO. I’ll be doing paint crew for my school district, which means painting all summer. Can’t be too bad, it pays pretty good, is only for the summer, won’t conflict with soccer, and I have a few friends/acquaintances who are also doing it. The awesome part is, my parents allowed me to inherit my dad’s old car so I can drive to and from the job. My mom got a new truck, dad got the old truck, and I got the new car.

Hope everyone has a great start to summer!