Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ain't No Party

PA, COME QUICK! EM DONE DARE CAUGHT THE BLACK PLAGUE! (Translations: Get up off your lazy ass, your daughter is dying.) Gonna be honest, writing this blog post is not the first thing I want to be doing right now on account of the little elves swinging their pick-axes at my innards and the tiny crocodile using my brain as a punching bag. (If tiny chickens can cause the common cold, then who's to say that elves and crocodiles aren't responsible for stomach flu?) Today, I woke up to two glorious things: (1) my sister blow drying her hair at 6 in the morning and (2) that feeling in your gut that can only make you think one thing: oh s---. I've gotta heave. So as it turns out, my parents and I have all caught my sister's stomach flu that she had a few weeks ago. And there ain't no party like a stomach flu party cause a stomach flu party is HORRIBLE. So forgive this post's grouchiness and length, but I know I would've felt infinitely worse (if that's even possible) if I had sat on the couch as the clock turned to midnight on Saturday without my having written a post this week. I mean really, it's only January. Sorry if this depresses you. If you're feeling kind of low, you should watch this Pep Talk from Kid Preident. He's a pretty cool guy.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stop Studying Strife

Here's where I have to apologize, blog. I apologize because unfortunately, my life did not come equipped with a prepackaged Venter. No, I don't mean a venter as in one who vents or even one who repairs vents. I mean a Venter as in someone who will pretend to listen to me as I roll around the couch in a fit of spasms, complaining like the incessant preschooler that I am that school is too hard and my teachers are out to get me and that John F. stole my juice box during snack time. So, when times (and juice rations) are tough, I turn to you. Because unlike my parents or my friends or the stranger waiting at the bus stop, you have to listen to me. And for that, you have my deepest apologies.

Prepare yourselves, now. Because here comes the venting.

I hate school. I hate it. And when I say I hate school, I don't mean that I hate learning. If I hated learning, I wouldn't be subscribed to such amazing educational channels on YouTube like CrashCourse, SciShow, CGPGrey, and TheBrainScoop. If I hated learning, I wouldn't go near beautiful classics like Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye and The Adventures of Hunkleberry--ehem. I mean... Huckleberry Finn. If I hated learning, I'd invest more of my time watching marathons of the Jersey Shore. No, I hate school.

I hate the way it's forced down students' throats and the way adults overemphasize its importance.
You want to get into a Good College? Better do well in high school.
You want to get a job? Better do well in high school.
You want to overthrow the Chinese emperor? Better do well in high school.
You want to grow up to be Kim Possible? Better do well in high school.
You want to live a good, long life, surrounded by loving friends, and eventually come to find true happiness and self-fulfillment? BETTERDOWELLINHIGHSCHOOLTROLOLOLOL.

This week, I've experienced first hand the pressure to do well in school, and the toll it takes--emotionally, mentally, and physically. I've never struggled too much with school up until this year, my junior year. I was a good student: never turned assignments in late, did well on exams, never, never slipped below a 90. But you see, if sophomore year is the equivalent of someone punching you in the face, then junior year is like someone punching you in the face, kicking you in the groin, attacking you with a weed whacker and then blocking tumblr on your computer (because that would be the toughest blow of all).

You have to understand that it's a teenager's job to be a student just like it's that adult's job to be a lawyer or waiter or to scoop elephant dung. While it's not technically the focus of their life, you HAVE to be good at it otherwise you're considered a failure. One bad grade and a student's world is thrown into turmoil. Please consider, for example, this true to life reenactment:
Regular student, Sally S. Normal, sat in her Algebra II class on a weekday like any other. Little did she know the danger that lurked under the stack of tests that rested on her teacher's desk. Her teacher picked up the stack and moved menacingly down the aisle, slamming test after test in front of Sally's classmates. Some let out excited squeals or sighs of relief, while others hung their head in silence, soaking in the shame and misery brought on by their own inadequacy. Sally's test loomed face-down on her desk. Did she dare turn it over? Nightmares of the disappointed looks on her parents' faces, weeks without the internet or her cellphone, and worst of all: hours of extra credit work all rushed into her imagination. With a trembling hand, Sally turned the papers over, praying for an A or even a B+. Her insides twisted violently as she stared at the D that lay before her. Sally's fists grasped at the air as she looked up, cursing the heavens, and let out the long, tired plea of misery and frustration well-known among high-schoolers everywhere. "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"

Rather like Sally, I had to deal with an earth-shattering bad test grade recently. If you've ever shared in Sally's and my struggle, you know how awful it feels. You feel inadequate and just not good enough in general. Unlovable, a disappointment, a waste of time and space--it's so easy to call yourself these things after a failure. We get caught up in the enormity that school is at this point in our lives. But in reality, one bad test grade, or even failing a class, isn't as big a deal as we think it is. So what if you forgot what the Emancipation Proclamation is or how to graph quadratic equations? I'm not saying that these things aren't important, and it is true that knowing them would benefit you in some way or another (even if it isn't clear how while you're shlepping your way through 3 chapters of Chemistry). But don't destroy yourself over school. And no matter how cheesy it sounds, the important thing is trying hard. And here's the thing: doing well and trying hard are not the same thing. If you have one especially troubling subject (*cough*mathisofthedevil*cough*), or if you just can't learn as easily as everyone else, that's fine, but you giving up isn't doing yourself any good. Stick it out for a couple more years, because the times are coming when you won't have to worry about grades or report cards or tests (at least not the kind you're used to now).

Have I just transitioned this rant into some kind of It Gets Better advert? Dear goodness. Why must I be so incapable of sustained fury? I'm just gonna go listen to some Hank Green rage songs.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Alternate Realities

I'm staying home from school today. No, it's not because I caught the black plague or hacked up a lung. I'm in full control of all my bodily functions. I'm taking a mental health day which is probably for the best considering the somewhat breakdown I experienced last night over the 11 lessons of math homework that I neglected over break. I'm fine now.

My school only meets twice a week, which makes sick days a very rare thing for me. In the past 14 years I've been attending this co-op, I've only missed about 3 days. I stayed home to get work done, but I can't stop looking at the clock and thinking about what I'd be doing if I were at school right now.

9:55 AM
Should: Be in the car with my mother on our way to school.
Am: Waking up from a dream in which the entire town I live in is a hallway.

10:30 AM
Should: Be in Algebra II/Trig, sitting next to my friend/perfect human male specimen Jake.
Am: Debating whether or not I should get out of bed and disturb the sleeping feline at my feet. (I got up.)

11:20 AM
Should: Be talking with my best friend outside her history class about whatever ridiculous thing her history teacher did last week.
Am: Making myself chicken strips for breakfast.

12:00 PM
Should: Be sitting in study hall, reading whatever book I've chosen to tear my heart out that week. (This week it's To Kill a Mockingbird.)
Am: Scrolling my subscription feed for The Artist Formerly Known As Disneykid1's video.

12:30 PM
Should: Be eating lunch outside with my friends, fooling ourselves into believing it's summer despite the precipitation levels.
Am: Writing a blog post and watching Scrubs.

I should probably get started on that math homework so this cycle doesn't repeat. (I saw Looper. I know how this crap ends.) But right now, I can't help but think about Emily in another timeline where she actually did her school during break instead of drooling over Zachary Quinto in Heroes. (Yeah, Syler is hot. There. I said it.) That Emily, who is probably eating a peanut butter sandwich and discussing the previous night's Pretty Little Liars episode with her friends right now. Lucky bitch.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


COME, MY STALLIONS! MOUNT THE SHIP OF YOUR DREAMS AND BEAT ON, BORNE BACK CEASELESSLY INTO THE PAST FUTURE. (Sorry, folks. Who are we, Jay Gatsby? We don't need no stinkin' green light.)

I'm actually giddy with excitement about all the things I want to do with this year. Yes, you heard me correctly: giddy. I am Kevin McCallister, in his little red sweater, emerging from his front door into the snow-covered banks of his front yard, telling the world, "Did you hear that? I'M NOT AFRAID ANYMORE." And like Kevin, I have a plan.


  1. Read 90 books. I took on the 50 book challenge in 2012 and ended up finishing the year with a total 70  books read. In 2013, Mama's ready for the big dogs. In that 90 books, I want at least 15 to be classics, so I'm not gorging myself on YA fiction. (I've added a tab where you can keep up with my progress on the 90 Book Challenge.) 
  2. Blog on a weekly basis. (Also, I want to do this blog-every-day-for-a-month thing again. I'm thinking BEDA?) I kept a journal last year that I tried to write in as much as possible, but it didn't help me hone my writing skills, because I knew no one would ever see it--it was for my eyes only. If my work is published on the internet, with the possibility of anyone seeing it, there's a lesser chance of pieces like, "Today was good. Dad brought home donuts and since none of my siblings were home, I got three." I honestly wish I could say I made that up right now and didn't just copy it out of my journal. Alas: a maple bar and two regular glazed. 
  3. Finish writing/editing my novel. NaNoWriMo winners receive a special code, allowing them 5 free copies from CreateSpace and it's only good until sometime around June, so I've gotta get on that.
  4. Start a YouTube channel. YouTube is an outlet that I've been passionate about for a little over two years now, and I've never had the courage to take the plunge and make my own content. This year, no excuses. I want to start making videos about books--reviews, TBRs/Wrap-ups, tags, that sort of thing. BOOKTUBIA WILL BE MY KINGDOM. (I probably won't start this one until school ends due to time restrictions.)
  5. Try hard in everything I do. I don't want to have the "just get it done" mindset. If I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it well, dammit. 
These are not New Year's Resolutions. This is a plan--a map, a layout. One I plan to follow if I want to make it to my destination. What are some things you hope to accomplish this year?