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.

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#GottheDot

After much painful and protracted deliberation, I have decided to attend Gettysburg College.

In the end, the University of Rochester was just too far away, in too wintery of a location, and too large. Additionally, I felt a lot better when I went to visit Gettysburg’s campus-it had that special feel about it, like I could imagine myself spending my college years there.  Rochester didn’t give me the feel. Though I will be giving up immense diversity (because let’s be honest, Gettysburg College is mostly a bunch of white kids) and specialization early in my college experience (Rochester had Molecular Genetics as a major and is a research institute), I am quite pleased with my choice.

After doing some research I discovered a variety of Biology and BMB students who are currently studying at great universities for grad school, including at Johns Hopkins University (which is where I would like to  go for grad school). Because Gettysburg is so small (the incoming class last year was about 700 students, I think), I’ll have that small community feel I love. I’ll also form tight relationships with faculty, which will lead to research opportunities. And even though the location is not a lively city like Rochester, it’s a beautiful landscape rich in history only two and a half hours from my hometown, versus the five and half hour drive to Rochester.

Ultimately, college is what you make of it, and I intend to do A LOT. I’m going to major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, with a definite minor in German and possible minors in English, Writing, or Neuroscience. Because there are so many subjects I want to delve into, I’ll probably end up taking five (versus four) classes in at least two, if not more semesters. I plan to study abroad, perform research with faculty, get some internships and experience in there, and do all kinds of college type things!

After making this decision, so much weight has been lifted off of me, and I feel a lot better. I do have moments of doubt, thinking perhaps I made the wrong decision…that’s just my nature at this time in my life. But talking to people from the college (and of course stalking their Facebook pages), I’m really excited to embark on this new chapter of my life.

Here’s to making the last few weeks of high school count and salmon colored pants! (Which reminds me…I gotta get some Gettysburg gear!)

My Inspiration

Lately I’ve been struggling a lot. I’ve had no confidence in myself and have begun to really hate myself because I feel quite incapable as a human being. Furthermore, I see so much more evil in the world and have unfortunately turned pessimistic. In fact, the song “My Eyes” from Dr. Horrble’s Sing-Along Blog has become my mantra.

 

Last night, however, I saw a rare ray of light shining through my television set in the form of Malala Yousafzai. I was watching the Daily Show, and she appeared for an interview with Jon Stewart. This girl is simply amazing, and her beautiful comment about what she would do if  Taliban came to kill her was reminiscent of what one could expect from peace leaders like Ghandi or Martin Luther King, Jr.

Malala showed me there is certainly good left in the world. Like, i want to personally write her a letter conveying how she has helped me. Whenever I am feeling hopelessness, I will try to remember how simply beautiful this young girl is, and how she represents all the goodness of humanity-a goodness I wish to brandish in my own life.

I also listened to some RENT songs that also served as some supplemental inspiration to Malala’s insightful comments. The title song “Rent” is how I’ve been feeling a lot too-how can I leave the past behind when it keeps finding ways to get to my heart? How can I connect in an age where strangers, landlords, lovers, your own blood cells betray? Granted, I am blessed beyond belief, so I don’t know if I deserve to sing this song.

However, they say at the end, “When they act tough you call their bluff”.

I like that idea.

Finally, the song “Another Day”, but specifically Mimi’s part, discusses living in the moment. Leaving regrets behind to find love.  “Give in to love or live in fear”.  Not much else to say other than listen to it.

I am really tired of wasting my life being miserable. Everything feels overwhelming right now, but I’m going to do my best to figure things out.

Obligatory Last First Day of High School Post

So today was my very last first day of high school. Essentially, my first day of senior year.

Driving to school was pretty cool, though when I walked out into the parking lot after school there were so many cars and people that it was a little overwhelming. It’s fun blasting music with my sister in the morning though.

All my classes are amazing, with the exception of gym, which is average at the worst.

My best friend is in my lunch, study hall, and three of my four classes. My other best friend has one class and then lunch with me. Me and my boyfriend don’t have any classes together, though we do have lunch and study hall together. He’s probably going to be lab teching, which i was also considering doing. Essentially as a lab tech you do menial labor for the science teachers, but I figured it would look good on a college app since I’m planning on going into biology.

My teachers are all fantastic. My Anatomy and Physiology teacher is hilarious, and my gym teacher is the nicer of the senior gym teachers. My AP English teacher was my English teacher last year, and though she demands a lot of us, she is phenomenal. AP English, the class I’ve been looking forward to since freshman year, is made better with her presence. My AP Chem teacher is really chill.

I felt like I was actually close to people too. I’ve had issues with loneliness, but I felt pretty much at home strolling through the crowded hallways. I visited and had conversations with old teachers and friends I hadn’t seen over the summer, and it was really nice.

So I’m very optimistic for this year. There’s a lot to do, but I’m going to work my hardest and make the most of the single year I have left in high school. It’s starting to sink in that I’m a senior (finally).

Alright, I better go start that 2 hour homework assignment our AP English teacher already gave us…we are supposed to expect this every night, which is really going to suck while I still have soccer. I really wanted to do this blog post though.

Good luck to everyone else starting school, and especially to my fellow seniors and freshman like my little sister.

If I seemingly disappear, blame AP English!

My Little Note-A Poem

Authors Note: For some people dealing with serious issues such as depression, suicidal thoughts, or self-harm, this poem may be “triggering”, so some caution is advised. 

I asked the rabbit on the lawn

why don’t you find shelter

instead of standing in the rain?

“To wash away the pain”.

 

I asked my mother on the porch

why’d you start smoking again?

“To make all the stress and pain,

all of it, fade away”.

 

I asked my boyfriend on the couch

why he used the screwdriver

in his own special way?

“To bleed out the pain”.

 

So if they wonder when I’m gone

what went through my mind,

I’ll leave a little note that will simply say

“To kill all the pain”.

Chapter 5 of The Stranger by Albert Camus

Spoilers are presumably abundant below. 

I haven’t been keeping up with doing these blogs posts about my summer reading book (because it does help me go over the chapter, and I’ll have them to refer back to later), and because Chapter 6 is such a massive, important chapter I’ve decided to do that one on its own and do chapter 5 in a separate post.

Meursault, Meursault, Meursault, what am I to do with you? His passivity kills me sometimes. His conversation with his boss, after his boss conveys he believes life in Paris would allure Meursault, is worth re-writing.

“I said yes but that really it was all the same to me. Then he asked me if I wasn’t interested in a change of life. I said that people never change their lives, that in any case one life was as good as another and that I wasn’t dissatisfied with mine here at all” (Camus 41).

I disagree that people never change their lives; however, it demonstrates existentialism, that people do not really control their lives. As far as one life being as good as another, that is very debatable, and I’m not quite sure what to think of that statement yet.

“…I couldn’t see any reason to change my life. Looking back on it, I wasn’t unhappy. When I was a student, I had lots of ambitions like that. But when I had to give up my studies I learned very quickly that none of it really mattered” (Camus 41).

I believe the key phrase here is when he says “I wasn’t unhappy”, not “I was happy”. Similar to his passive nature, Meursault displays a contentment and “okay” attitude toward life. It might not be great or even good, but it’s not bad. The scary thing is that this sounds exactly like my one friend, and this type of attitude makes me sad.

He and Meursault are quite alike. He is very non-feeling about a lot of things. I hold happiness in the highest esteem, greater than achieving any goals of greatness, and I’m always afraid he’ll never be truly happy. I know most people aren’t truly happy, but they at least have something that makes them joyful on a regular basis-family parties, friends, hobbies, vacations, etc-and he doesn’t seem to have a lot of those. Well, that might be a lie, he does thoroughly enjoy quite a few activities. It’s just that he’s so I-don’t-care-about-myself and I-don’t-want-to-be-a-burden that I feel he’ll never pursue what he loves, which is what I think life is all about.

I’ve found lots of people have lost ambitions and dreams from their youth, and though this also makes me quite depressed, I understand it’s a part of life. Notwithstanding this, many individuals attempt to strive for the best in what they have, and my friend and Meursault are also alike in the way that they do not endeavor in this way.

Marie makes me laugh. But now I’m wondering if I’m like her in a way…

AH scary thought. No I don’t think I’d marry someone who flat out said he probably doesn’t love me. I don’t mind passivity, because I can deal with it and want to be there for my friend, but in matters of the heart, passivity is a no-no. And I don’t think my friend is like that.

Oh yes, so marriage isn’t a very big deal apparently. Didn’t these two just start hanging out?

And uh, what’s with the little old lady and Meursault following her? Stalker much? Just like, you seem someone peculiar, and your first thought is to follow them around for a bit?

More of Salamano and his sad dog story. I was squeaking throughout Meursaults life story.

Another thing that makes me sad is when people marry people and then realize they don’t really love them and end up not happy. I want so desperately to avoid this. As they say in Rent, “I’d be happy to die for a taste of what Angel had-someone to live for, unafraid to say I love you” (Larson). Yanno, hopefully death can be avoided, but I really don’t want to end up in one of those marriages.

I really wonder if Meursault truly feels guilt for having to put Maman in a home. I mean, like he states, it’s the reasonable and proper thing to do, and I completely understand that. But to me it sounds like a situation similar to having to put your dog down-you know it’s what you have to do, but you really don’t want to do it and feel sad about it. I mean, considering his personality, I doubt he does, but I like to ponder.

And now, to end the chapter with one of the saddest quotes ever,

“He [Salamano] gave a little smile, and before he left he said, ‘I hope the dogs don’t bark tonight. I always think it’s mine'” (Camus 46).

Insert doggy sadness here. Any thoughts about the book or any of the quotes or whatever is always welcomed.