(I started this on March 12. Thus the looking forward to California…)
(I started this on March 12. Thus the looking forward to California…)
(I started this on March 12. Thus the looking forward to California…)
A lot went down during the month of May. I ran in the Run For Your Lives event, got pneumonia, reacted pretty violently to the medication I was prescribed, was in the hospital for a little while, missed all of my final exams, missed my AP exam, made up all said exams, and semi-finished school. My dad also went to Colombia for three weeks, and he will be home in a few days. So. Yes.
This summer I am actually going to be pretty busy. It’s not like last summer when I was always going away places, but I have a lot I have to accomplish this summer.
Different note: when I was a sophomore, I created a private blog for myself to document my college search, admission, and decision processes. I just found that blog again, and reading it was so funny. At that point, I still had absolutely no idea what I was going to study, or what kind of college I wanted to go to. I was kind of just closing my eyes, holding my breath, spinning, pointing and saying “Yeah! That sounds good!” I made a sidebar list of possible major/minors and they are…amusing. Some of the ones that I found most interesting are Yoga, Genetics, Forestry, Geology, and Fuck This. Haha…I really did not want to think about college at that point.
Now, I am pretty sure of my chosen …genre of study, if you will. I know that I will have some combination of degrees in Psychology, Linguistics, and foreign languages, which will most likely include one or more of the following: Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Russian. Honestly, the only thing preventing me from getting a quad major Psyc/Ling/Ital/Span is the fact that I want to study abroad. Otherwise, I could totally do it, but because I can’t rely on my chosen locations having courses that I need, I have to leave enough wiggle room to ensure that I will get all of my planned degrees.
The University of Minnesota has this awesome tool called Graduation Planner, and you basically map out your entire academic career class-by-class and see how things fit together to get the most from your education. Next semester, I will most likely be taking Intro to Linguistics; Intro to Measurement and Data Analysis in Psychology; Exploring the Universe; Italian Culture, History, and Society Through Film; and History of Media Communication. It’s only 5 classes, but because they are nearly all 4-credit courses, it’s works out to be 19 credits. Although, because I left so much room near the end of my 4-year plan, if my advisor thinks I should drop one class for my first semester, I’ll drop the Italian course. It’s the most inconvenient for my schedule, and it’s not necessary to take an elective for my major this early on.
I officially have 3 more high school classes left. We are doing absolutely nothing in English right now- just watching movies.
It’s funny…well, not funny really…actually it’s a little pathetic, but I feel so numb about leaving high school. And going to college. Like it’s not the kind of numb when you just know that at any second, something will wake you and all of a sudden you will FEEL whatever it is that you are suppressing. I genuinely think I am indifferent to this transition in my life. It wouldn’t seem so funny (or just, odd) to me if I weren’t reading all those Facebook statuses about “I’m going to miss everyone!” and “These past four years have been amazing!” and “I will never forget you!” I am not going to miss anyone, these past four years have not been amazing, and I will forget you. However, I experienced all of these feelings when I moved to NY. I missed everyone (I still miss a few…), those two years were amazing, and I will never forget some of the people I met there. I suppose I’m just numb because I have nothing to leave behind. I am used to changing things, and to leaving and explaining and being lost wherever I am. Being in a new place is not exactly exciting to me, but it’s most certainly not terrifying either. I officially suck at making new friends, so I guess I will just have to work on that next year. But I’m not nervous about it at all. I know that I suck at it. I have the small-talk skills of a spoon, but whatever. So I’ll be alone. I’ll not be lonely. There’s such a difference between those two.
My point is- this is much less of a big deal to me than it is to many. I don’t know how much I like that, but I don’t care. It will be good to have the same experiences as my peers, and to not have to explain myself. Yay.
I have had the same schedule for 3.5 months, and I still forget that every Tuesday I get an hour and a half between my Marist classes. I swear…every single Tuesday it comes to me as a pleasant surprise. In this case, my forgetfulness is wonderful. This morning I had a psychology test and I met with my calc tutor last night, so all night I wanted to write a post and watch the new How I Met Your Mother (which I heard Sam watching downstairs…so I had to put in my earphones because I am THAT easily distracted) but I had to go over the problems from Calculus and study for my psyc test. BUT NOW that I have 2 hours (I finished the psyc test early) I can write a post and do some Christmas shopping! (online, of course.)
My Secret Santa is so hard to shop for….ugh. I have looked at so many thing that this person would like but I just can’t decide. I think I’ll go to the mall after microeconomics and hopefully I will be inspired to buy something. I got one thing last night, but I need to buy more. Many companies’ standard shipping policies are 7-14 days, and 14 days from today is December 20! We are exchanging our Secret Santa gifts on Christmas Eve because that’s when we see my mother’s family, so that only gives me 3 more days to find the present if I am ordering it online. Grr…oh well. I’ll find something.
My psychology test was pretty easy. The only questions I was unsure of were what the function of Freud’s ego is (apparently the answer was link to reality…yeah I put emotion or something…woops) and whether something was “external” or “extrinsic.” I put extrinsic, and apparently it was external. Oh well.
In English we are reading “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett. I kind of like it…it reminds me of some conversations with my friends. Anyway, apparently it’s a “satire of the human condition,” and it seemed to me like the reactions and responses my English teacher was looking for were similar to those that Ms. Raines was after. The difference is, that Ms. Raines wasn’t looking for any specific answers, and she loved it when we brought up points that she’s never noticed before. Even if she thought we were wrong, she was just happy that we were forming our own opinions and thinking for ourselves, which I loved. I loved knowing that I could just let things kind of brew in my head for a little while and then share some weird little revelation and draw connections and that we were supposed to be doing that. She encouraged us to think for ourselves, and then confessed that once she’d successfully created her English monsters, she knew she’d have to deal with us arguing and thinking for the rest of the year, but she loved it because she’d accomplished making us into students who could successfully analyze literature and support our arguments.
My current English teacher just seems to be looking for specific answers. Like, he will ask what we think, but he will only be happy once someone has said what he was thinking. I am not saying that is wrong in any way, I mean he is an AP English teacher so he probably knows his stuff. It’s just not the kind of environment I enjoy learning in. I know this is tacky but I do genuinely enjoy learning when it’s about something I have interest in and I really do like talking about classic lit and reading it and thinking about it and writing about it, but I just wish my English teacher would kind of form the class around how we saw things, rather than how he saw them. Then again, I have to remember that this is a freaking AP class. I hate the AP system to much…this is not learning. This is standardizing. This is not truly comprehending and learning how to create, but simply learning a formula and how to plug in the variables. I do not like learning formulas, because I think there are an infinite number of solutions (the fact that I just saw my calc homework problem from last night with the answer of infinity flash before my eyes is indicative of some damn good studying). I really do hate AP…the purpose is to learn the formula, crank it out for the exam, and get out. There’s no real growth there….just the understanding of the formula. Nothing that will be of any significant benefit to us in the future, other than how to do what is expected of us.
This is why I need to go to a good school…one where students do not just “get by.” Therefore, I must not be one who just gets by…I have to go above and beyond because I WANT TO. Because those are the kinds of professors I want, and the kinds of students I want to be surrounded by. Those who appreciate learning for learning’s sake, for the sake of growth and progress and understanding.
On a completely different note, did you know that gold car holders get free refills of brewed coffee and tea at Starbucks? How freaking amazing is that? I can get the Christmas blend! SCORE. I am at Starbucks by the way…I also decided to embrace the fact that we are already 1/6 of the way through December and I bought a gingerbread biscotti. It’s actually supposed to be biscotto, because there’s only one, but I’m a bitch like that. Oh well.
Also, I found the perfect homework song. I read what kind of music was best for studying, and some sources said classical, others said opera, but one that I found very interesting just said music that you know very well, because you won’t be thinking about it. I thought about that and it totally made sense…so I used to listen to Gavin Degraw and James Taylor because I can pretty much write out every single lyric on their albums. James Taylor, however, evoked too many memories for me. There’s a lot of nice imagery in his lyrics (“and the berkshires seemed dreamlike on account of that frostin”…oh berkshires….) and I don’t know…I think because I have listened to that so much ever since I was a baby, I associate too much with the song. So that didn’t work, but then Gavin Degraw didn’t work because I listened to his album when we were at the Château de L’Isle-Marie and all I can think of is lying in my bed in the freaking coolest life-size French dollhouse-esque room, smelling that weird April must, and thinking about those things that 15 year olds think about (well, some of them…) (okay so maybe just me…) and I would get a little emotional. So Gavin Degraw failed, too.
THEN, I rediscovered Be My Honeypie by The Weepies. I first saw the video a while ago, and I recently rediscovered it fell in love with the video all over again. Then I downloaded the CD, and I fell in love with the song. I downloaded it on December 2, and I have listened to it 121 times so far. The lyrics are super simple, I have no associations with the song, it isn’t super deep or emotional, and the music is so simple. Thus I can listen to this thing for hours and it provides enough of a dose of happy to prevent a little study-angst while still being simple enough to not distract me. I swear…it’s the perfect homework song. I am listening to it now, because it’s awesome. And it’s raining outside, and I need some happy honeypie if I don’t have any sunshine.
Back to WFGodot… the two concepts we (well…he) talked about from the book today are:
1 Basically, the caption of my blog title. The more we know, the less we know that we know. So like…the more we learn, the more we are aware that we really don’t know anything. Learning to become aware of the fact that we don’t know jack shit. Basically.
2 Although the slave Lucky is initially perceived as unlucky, he is supposed to be perceived as the lucky one because he does not have to make any decisions. So, kind of like because Lucky does not know anything, he has no problem making decisions because he thinks he knows everything PLUS the fact that he does not have to make any decisions equals his not having to deal with the anxiety of making decisions and judgement calls like Vladimir and Estrogon (not estrogen…estrogon. although I feel like there was some intent there…in making Vladimir a Russian name and Estrogon similar to estrogen…so we have a Russian and a woman. later we also have a crazy man (named “Pozzo,” which I would pronounce as poh–zoh, but my teacher says as pah-tso, which is how the Italian word for “crazy” is pronounced. hmmm…), and then there is a slave. So we have a Russian, a woman’s name, a crazy man, and a slave, and a boy who remains nameless. Idk…seems like the names are important. But my teacher does not think so. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, they are not of importance.). In case I lost you, I was talking about the second concept we were “introduced” to today which is basically that Lucky is lucky because he does not have to make his own decisions and because he does not know enough to doubt himself. There you go. Bam.
I have two problems with the manner in which we learned about these (of course I do. When do I ever not have a problem with anything.). The first is that my teacher talks about these as some sort of incredible revelations that Beckett made by which we should be completely impressed and in awe of this understanding (whether it’s Beckett’s, my teacher’s, or our understanding that should impress us, I do not know). I do not mean to employ the hipster/pseudo-hipster (debatable) mantra of “I knew/did/heard/saw/ate/smoked/used/wore that before it was cool,” but it’s not like we are a bunch of children who could not have come up with that on our own, and I in fact named my blog after one of those concepts. I’m just saying…I chose my blog caption for a reason. I realized that the more I learned and grew, the more I doubted the truth of what I actually knew and the more I developed a desire for knowing and learning and experiencing. It isn’t that I want to feel smug or awesome or that my ego needs any more inflating (pshh…yeah right), it’s just that I wish people wouldn’t assume us to be these two-dimensional kids who need to have everything fed to them. I love the fact that I do not go to high school for the majority of my day, but this morning’s class reminded me of why I left Lourdes and why it is that I have to work my ass off in college to make sure that I don’t have to surround myself by people who assume my incapability…I don’t know. I just don’t know.
(I just got another coffee for 0.54. Gold Card FTW.)
The second problem I have was with how my teacher also assumed us all to think like him in the sense that “we enjoy being like Lucky…it is easier to move with the bell and be told exactly when we have to pick up our backpacks and go to the next class and be told exactly how to dress and what to say than to make decisions on our own, because as we learn, the uncertainties we develop will only cause more doubt in our decision making and therefore just cause more anxiety.” Basically the point we were supposed to get is that having expectations and a specific purpose is more important/valuable than freedom, which Lucky does not have. I’m so sorry if I am not explaining this well…I can wrap my head around it but not really get it out in one piece. My huge problem with this is that he assumed it to be true for all of us…and kept saying things like “we” and “you.” I don’t know whether I am just getting caught up on a technicality and he was just generalizing because it was faster and easier, or if he genuinely meant to refer to all of “us,” but I really don’t like that. I don’t know if I am being a sensitive bitch about this or if I am right, but I just wish people would stop assuming that we all think the same way, because we most certainly do not.
I left the bells and backpacks because I NEEDED freedom to be happy with myself. I need to be the one making decisions for myself, or else I will just become a mess. I am fully aware that there is an incredible amount of doubt and uncertainty behind all of my decisions, but you don’t let that stop you from MAKING them! Come on, guys. Yes, of course it’s generally easier to be told what to do and what you are expected to do, but that’s just to shut everyone up. Okay fine, tell me exactly how clean you want my room so I can do that and you will shut up. Tell me exactly how long this paper should be so I can do it and you will shut up. Tell me exactly what is considered a crime so I can avoid it and you will shut up. Tell me exactly how much eyeliner is too much for you so I can do that and you will shut up. But as far as what you do with your own time and your own life…of course freedom is better. Your own ethics will stop you from doing the things you know are wrong, and they will help you be the person you want to be, but to understand the law and avoid conflicts between your own subjective morality and the law’s definition of a crime is important so I can just obey it and everyone will just shut up about it. I do not like being told to do things (Obviously…and this is a big problem for my parents. Sorry, guys. Love you.) because what sense is there in living if you do so by everyone else’s standards and not your own? Will you really be happy then? Yes you will have shut everyone up so you can live peacefully, but how much personal satisfaction will you have with your own life if none of your decisions were your own, but just the product of fulfilling expectations and leaving with the bell? I don’t know…this is too long and I have to to go microeconomics. I just don’t know.
Updated play count: 146
I have made some great decisions recently. Like, I have been doing things that make me super happy. They aren’t life-shatteringly important decisions, but they are things that once I have made them and I am dealing with the [positive] consequences, I think so myself, “Wow. I could not have done this any better. I am so happy I decided to do this.”
The Bridge Program is one such decision. Over the summer, someone mentioned OLL to me and I realized that I had not thought about it ONCE since I left. Not once…not one thought of, “Oh, I kind of wish I was going to Lourdes” went through my mind. Coming from the person who spent months (years?) wishing to return to my now old-old school, this is pretty impressive. I have mastered the art of not being where I want to be, and being a place that I don’t want to be. But, I definitely do NOT want to be at Lourdes. During the year I kind of tried to trick myself into thinking, “Oh no! I am FINE! My life is amazing. I am so lucky. Lourdes isn’t so bad! It’s all fine! Everything is fine!” You see, typically, pretending to be what you are supposed to be helps a lot. But when you say that through with a red-eyed, tear-stained face, it kind of doesn’t make any sense. So, I was clearly unhappy. And now, the feelings that I am reminded of when I see my brother in his OLL uniform or think of sitting during my so called “free” period (which was anything but), are those of relief. I know I will never have to do anything like that EVER again. I will be in control of my own life. Today in psychology, we learned that three components to a healthy psyche are commitment, control, and challenge.
I had no control, and I hated it. Now, I have all three of those. I am committed to making this a year of growth, a year of learning, and a year of preparation for myself so I can be fully prepared for flying the coop next year. I have complete control- I do everything on my own terms. I go where I want to, when I want to. See- here’s where it gets un po’ tricky. I WANT to go to class. I actually, genuinely ENJOY all of my classes but one, and I don’t mind going to that one. Yes, it’s as boring as limbo (see previous posts), but it’s not torture. Today, I sat on the dock on the Hudson River between my classes and did my English homework. I am typing this in Starbucks, because I have no more assignments and I have some time to kill before I can leave (no car = padre must pick me up). Now that I am in control, I feel like I am more motivated to do well. I feel like no one is staring over my shoulder, making sure I do everything correctly. I start to freak out in that case, and I get the urge to punch said over-looker. I was being treated like a child, and I didn’t want that. Yeah, I’m not an adult, but I deserve more than a little kid. I do not need to be monitored…I am perfectly capable to get something as simple as adequate studying done without someone critiquing me. Okay, I will stop rambling about this. My computer is about to die. Oh no!
And I ran out of my iced coffee! Double oh no!
And, challenge. I wouldn’t say that this is anymore challenging than Lourdes, but I am actually interested in what I am learning for the most part. What I can say, though, is that no one is holding my hand (or, you know, strapping me to a stretcher and pushing me around), so some might say that is more challenging. Honestly, for me, it helps. Maybe it is more challenging, but I operate much more efficiently that way. When I am fed information, I kind of just accept it and move on. When I am forced (encouraged?) to think for myself, I tend to take an interest in things more easily, thus I am more engaged and more inclined to give a damn about what I am learning. Also, I feel the need to prove that I CAN do something for myself, without being pushed in the right direction, and succeed. Otherwise, you know…they did most of the work. It wasn’t really me who did it. But now that it IS me, I feel the need to prove myself capable. And that is why the “challenge” of being independent is vital for my success.
This was just supposed to be a “OMGHHKP I AM SO HAPPY TO BE OUT OF LOURDES” post, but it evolved. As does everything I do. Oh God. Hur we go.
But yes. I had my moment today at about 12:30pm- sitting on the dock with The Things They Carried, music playing, the sun shining just strongly enough to be pleasantly warm, a beautiful River breeze, in a tshirt, jeans, and riding boots; with a grande iced coffee with two pumps of sugar-free caramel and skim milk. I thought about the poor souls at Lourdes…trapped behind the concrete walls. No sunshine, no breeze. No jeans and riding boots, no music. No freedom, no independence. Maybe that truly works best for some individuals, but certainly not for me. I need to be in the sunshine and the breeze, with the freedom to be successful on my own terms.
Sooo yep. My awesome computer is going to stop being awesome in approximately 3 minutes, so I will wrap this up. I can’t post a link right now, but I suggest checking out I Was Married by Tegan & Sara. I like it. It was one of my dock songs.
I will never have to study physics again. And I think it’s safe to say that it’s pretty unlikely I will ever need to know what the Wilmont Proviso is.
THIS IS AWESOME.
My two least favorite subjects of all time are now DONE. Physics and U.S. History binders are now in the garbage can. I cannot have that kind of toxic waste in my bedroom any longer.
I just recently discovered the wonderful world of Pandora radio, and I’m not quite sure what I did without it. Kind of like cell phones. How did people survive without being able to reach one another 24/7?!
Ooookay. My room kind of looks like a bomb went off in my closet, so I have to work on that, then erging, and SWIMMING, and that I must go to the boys Court of Honour tonight, but Maria and Sarah will be there. Not too bad, right?! Right.
I only have 3 more exams, and they’re the easy ones. thank God.