Mar. 18th, 2009 08:08 pm
readingredhead: (Default)
Corinne got into UCLA!

I'm seriously so proud of her and excited for her. She just found out about an hour ago and tells me that she's 99% decided upon going there. Her other options are pretty fantastic, too, but I don't think that anywhere would be as good for her as UCLA, and I'm pretty sure she agrees with me.

It's so strange to watch her grow up and to know that, two years ago, that was me...except she got into her first choice school, and now she's ready to go there. I'm just so happy for her, I had to share!
readingredhead: (Default)
So...getting back in the swing of things here. Everyone just moved in today (as in all of the other people at Berkeley) and classes start Wednesday. That is not enough time for me to do all of the things that I need to do between now and then, of course. It's not a long list but it's rather meaty. Ugh.

Met the other people on my floor today, and as far as I can tell, almost every last one of them is a stereotypical jock. I'm not trying to make assumptions or be critical, but when all of the questions to the RA were about how lax she's going to be about drinking in the dorms, and when they all listed "partying" as one of their major hobbies, I stopped liking them. Well, not all. The student health worker who lives on our floor is a total sweetheart, and there are one or two other girls and guys who I don't know yet but who seem decent at least. The thing that annoys me is that all of the jocks already know each other, and for the most part are living with people they already know, and as a result the floor is going to be cliquey.

In other news, I'm having problems with my laptop touchpad. Yes, that would be the touchpad that I was having problems with before the laptop got sent in to be totally reconditioned. The touchpad that I told them to replace, but that they didn't. I'm hoping I can make things work by just reinstalling the driver, but I've had too many touchpad issues in the past, of the kind that make it impossible for me to use the computer without attaching a mouse, which I don't own.

In other other news, I still don't have pictures of my room. I really have been meaning to take some and get them up, I'm just lazy and it'll probably take me a while. Suffice it to say that it's big enough for all of you to come and visit!

Later I will post an entry that contains pictures as well as an awesome personality test thing that we did as part of my tutor training here that is rather accurate and very interesting, I think. But right now, I'm off to reinstall the driver that will (fingers crossed) solve Fitz's problems.

Oh, I lied: Riders of the Storm (Julie E. Czerneda's newest book) comes out September 2nd!!! I'm so excited I'm using multiple exclamation points, an offense that generally apalls the writer in me!!!
readingredhead: (Default)
I submitted my short story, "Potential Energy," to the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction about a week ago. Imagine my surprise when I found a response from them in my mailbox this afternoon: 

Dear Ms. Cunard:

Thank you for submitting "Potential Energy," but I'm going to pass on it.  This tale didn't grab my interest, I'm afraid.  Good luck to you with this one, and thanks again for sending it our way.


John Joseph Adams
Assistant Editor

The only thing that bugs me about this is that the quick response time, combined with the wording of the response, suggests to me that my story might not even have been read -- that Mr. Adams might have glanced at the cover letter and made his judgment based upon its merits rather than the merits of the individual story.  

But although it's frustrating to think this might have been the case, I'm not particularly upset.  I mean, yeah, rejection stings and all that, but I'm beginning to realize that perhaps I've found the only kind of rejection in life that doesn't set me back or put me down.  I used to think that the only reason I put up with Julie's rejections was because of the kind and thoughtful way she worded them.  Now I know that can't have been it, because I sit here feeling no less determined to continue submitting my stories to different markets, despite the fact that Mr. Adams' rejection was not in any way couched in pleasant language or complements for the story itself.  I'm starting to realize that, maybe, I don't mind having stories rejected.

Granted, it's probably a little early in the game to talk about this.  After all, this is only rejection number three.  I'm sure there will be many more where it came from before this story ever sees print.  But still -- college rejections hurt like hell.  Story rejections don't hurt at all.  In the long run, how I write matters more to me than where I go to college.  So why is it that it's okay for me to be rejected by the one group of people that I feel the greatest need to join?

Probably, I shouldn't ask questions.  I should just be happy with my lot -- I certainly don't want these types of rejections to unhinge me.  I just think that it's strange that they don't.  Maybe college rejections hurt more because they're more final?  I know that my short stories that might not get published by one person might still have a chance in another market, but once a college says no, it means no.  Maybe that's why it's different.  Maybe also because kids my age get into Stanford, but kids my age don't get published in the New Yorker.  Maybe.

I guess I'll just wait and find out.
readingredhead: (Pants)
Things I will probably/hopefully/really ought to do today:

--read Part 4 of Gulliver's travels
--read Chapter 13 for History
--read at least one of the primary source docs for History
--write something, even if it has nothing to do with the creative writing exercise I'm supposed to have done by Sunday
--write in my journal for my language & tech seminar
--finish labeling map for map quiz
--eat a large and unrushed meal
--take a nap
--write more real letters to people

I hope I don't seem too stressed to everyone. Really, I'm doing well. And I don't have more club meetings until...Tuesday, I think. That should be a good thing.

I'll probably post more about my life tomorrow morning before breakfast...they don't start serving on weekends until 10:30! And of course I wake up before that so this gives me something to do.
readingredhead: (Default)
This is (once again) just a quick update to let you know I'm still alive and doing well.  I think this weekend I'll have the time to sit down and relate (in a rather impressionistic way, no doubt) the salient facts regarding my first two weeks of classes.  As it is, I'm so busy with homework, clubs, and now my internship.  (I'm actually missing two club meetings just to type this!)

The basic story is: Rick was here this past weekend, and it was fun to hang out with him, and I miss him now he's gone, bt on the other hand, it's nice to be able to sit back and power through homework without worrying that I should be spending time with him instead.  My classes are going well -- I'm beginning to believe what "they" all tell you about taking a lighter courseload as a first semester freshman.

I had my first day of work this morning and it was pretty normal.  NaNoWriMo got a grant from some Bay Area organization to expand their Young Writers' Program, so I went and looked up schools and libraries in the Bay Area that might want to sponsor/support YWP.

My classes are going very well, and I'm beginning to feel like they all overlap.  I'm reading my history books like novels and my books for English like history texts (which is probably not the best thing, but at least it's giving me fluency in both and the ability to connect art to history).  Same sort of connection between Creative Writing and English.  And then there's this big three-way melding of English, CW, and my Language and Technology seminar.  Basically everything in my schedule entertwines with something else.

I'm slightly sore from Tae Kwon Do, but I'm sure that's natural.  I think I'm the least flexible girl in the class.  There are three guys in the class of thirty, and I'm more flexible than one of them.  I tie the other, but the third guy can do the splits.  Eep!

I really should get going now because I have to find a portion of Gulliver's Travels that I actually like and write a commentary on it for tomorrow.

Oh!  Wait!  A note to people who have been leaving comments/posts that require my response: I really will get there!  I obsessively read my friends page when I have time and comment on anything that seems necessary.  As for comments people have made that I need to respond to, I save them in my inbox and mark them as unread.  So I really will get around to them when I have the time!


Aug. 28th, 2007 07:35 am
readingredhead: (Stars)
I'm sitting here at 7:30 in the morning listening to an Astronomy class podcast (because I didn't go to the class yesterday) while licking peanut butter off a plastic spoon for breakfast.

Yes guys, I'm in college.

(And I'm annoyed that I missed the total lunar eclipse but I REALLY NEEDED TO SLEEP.)

Also, Shannen -- if you're ever bored and want to listen to a very enthusiastic astronomer, go here:  I might not end up taking this course this semester, but the professor sounds really amazing...
readingredhead: (Different)
I haven't updated in a while. (I just realized that.) I've been doing what feels like everything and nothing. I've been hanging out a lot with Rick and with my friends before I leave (in six days!) for Berkeley. If I haven't had a chance to see you recently, call me or email me or something so that I can see you before I go.

I feel oddly numb about this most of the time, but sometimes I realize for a second what I'll be missing and I get this terrible urge to cry, no matter what I'm doing. I'll have to explore that feeling more as I get closer to leaving, but for now I'm just hoping that it'll stay on the backburner long enough for me to enjoy these last few days of summer that count.

I'm realizing, also, that there are so many things I said I'd do this summer that I haven't yet. I'm trying to figure out if it's a bad thing or not.

I think I'm just waiting for the next thing to begin...if I can make it.
readingredhead: (Talk)
Yesterday was my last real day of high school, and I don't know what to do.

Unlike most people, I've never taken  too well to summers.  I mean, I like them because they give me free time to do things I want to do rather than things I have to do.  But they also make me feel undefined.  I've always defined myself to a large extent by school.  I'm a student, I'm a learner, I'm a pupil.  I go to Del Cerro, I go to La Paz, I go to Mission.  But the transitions from one to another aren't always smooth.  I'm reminded of something from Beverly Cleary's book called Ramona Quimby, Age Eight.  The main character didn't liked it when people asked her what grade she was in during the summer months, because she felt like she couldn't give the right answer.  She wasn't in second grade -- she'd already finished with that -- but she wasn't in third grade -- it was still off in her future.

That feeling of gradelessness, of a lack of definition, is what is starting to set in already, and it's one of the things I don't like.

But back to Friday.  The hardest part was without a doubt the fact that I had to leave my teachers.  I'm not worried about leaving my friends.  I have come to understand over the past few years that friendships that are meant to be will last.  This doesn't mean that they won't require time and effort...but if you want it to happen, then you will put the time and effort into it, and it will.  However, the same can't really be said of the teachers I know.  Sure, I'll come back to visit them, but it will be a return as an outsider.  I will never again be their student in truth, though I will always feel like it in my heart.

And it feels like there are things they could have still taught me, things that I need to learn from them, but that I never will, because now I'm gone.  When I see my favorite teachers again, it will be through a new lens, and I'm not sure I'm ready for that.  And it's not just the teachers I've had this year, like Fukuda, Koger, and Krucli -- the realization is there when I thnk of teachers I've had in past years, like the McClures or Vargish or skinny Moore, who will never again be just a few classrooms away.  In the past I've never really left the teachers I've loved.  Now, I have to.

And part of me knows that I have to, part of me understands that it's a part of my personal journey, part of me knows that there really isn't anything else left for them to teach.  On a basic level, I can comprehend that there is something bigger than Mission Viejo High School calling to me, and that it is a call I will need to answer.  The things I have learned along the way will be used to help me through the road of trials that lies ahead.  I know that by holding on to these teachers, and by feeling that there is still something they have to teach me, I am refusing the call.  I know that this must stop if I am to grow up and become my own person.

But I also know that the journey will change me, and I'm worried that once I cross the return threshold and come back to see them in a few months or a year, everything will have changed and they will no longer mean to me what they once did.  I'm afraid that their significance will diminish with distance, and I desperately don't want that to happen, because they have shaped my life so greatly and I don't know how I could continue to be the person that I am if I forgot them.  

So I won't forget them.  

I won't forget Mr. Koger's crazy stories about the time his friends backpacked through Europe, or his guitar skills, or his flattery, or the way it feels to hug him.  

I won't forget Mr. Krucli's ability to let us teach ourselves and to honestly and openly discuss literature with us as though we were his equals in age and knowledge, nor will I forget his smile or his odd anecdotes or his tendency to form personal relationships with his students.  

I won't forgeth Mr. Fukuda's "mkays," or the way he always hassled me about my calculator, or the way that he seemed genuinely proud of everything his students managed to do right.  

I won't forget Mr. Vargish's ability to make history come alive, or his trademark sayings, or his genuine affection for me and that one hug I got from him, or the way he teared up at the end of Casablanca.  

I won't forget Mrs. McClure's unwavering support for all of my English efforts, or the way she's been a part of my life since freshman year, or her uncanny ability to draw me into a conversation that will last much longer than it needs to.  

I won't forget Mr. McClure's laughter, or his recitation of poetry, or his impossible style of teaching that nonetheless brought out the best in all of his students and helped them to never fear English again.  

I won't forget Mr. Mark Moore, for his ridiculous school spirit, or for acting like everyone's best great-uncle, or for being genuinely excited about the math that he taught, even if others didn't see it.  

I can't forget them all, because I am them all.  They are as much a part of me as my friends and my family; to borrow a phrase from Julie E. Czerneda, they too are my heart-kin.  Forgetting them?  Why, that would be impossible.
readingredhead: (Stranger)
Lately, I've been feeling the need to hold on to the things around me. Not all of them -- maybe not even most of them -- but realizing that I'll be leaving this all behind soon has led to another realization, this one being that the things I'm most afraid of losing are things I've never "had" in the first place. Because what I will miss the most is something more than simply tangible -- it's nothing I can hold in my hands and take with me. It's evanescent as experience -- far too fleeting.

I'm mostly going to miss the people. In a way, I already do. I'm going to miss all of my friends, these people I've known and loved for so long that I don't even know where to begin. But in a way, I'm going to miss the "newer" parts of my life more. I will mourn, not for what they are, but for what they could have been, had I been able to stay.

And then there are the teachers I'll miss. I think the thing I'm most afraid about in terms of college is that my professors won't be inspiring. I come from a world where everyone I care about on the faculty is so excited about learning and teaching that it's infectious, you can't not learn. I don't want to ever find out what it's like to have apathetic teachers -- or at least if I must find this out, let me discover it in classes that are not English.

And really, I think that's what it boils down to. My English experience, led by Mrs. and Mr. McClure and now Mr. Krucli, has been more than I ever could have asked for. But now that I'm going to college specifically to study English, I'm afraid it won't live up to this measure of success.

(And for some reason, I'm more sad to be leaving Mr. Krucli than I am to be leaving the McClures, not because I like him better, but because I feel like there are so many more good times I could have with him in the future if it didn't have to be all over so soon. And because I've left the McClures before, but I've never had to leave him for anything yet, and I really like him and I think he might be one of my favorite teachers of all time. I don't even know what it is about him, but if that's who I am in twenty years, I won't be disappointed.)

And I'm also afraid that no history teachers will ever match up to Koger, Vargish, and even Opkins. I don't know if I'll ever find anyone as inspiring or excited about history as the first two. Vargish and Koger are essentially the main reasons for my interest in history -- I guess I'm afraid that interest might dwindle when they're gone.

Mostly, I don't want to go. Or rather, I do...but there are portions of my life I'm not ready to leave behind yet. I'm not ready to leave Mr. Krucli, or Mr. Koger, or maybe even Mr. Fukuda. I'm not ready to leave my favorite Borders, which has been here as long as I've lived here. I'm not ready to leave the Spectrum and Orange County Performing Arts Center.

I'm not ready to let go.

There's a leap I have to take -- at some point, if I want to make a clean break -- and I'll have to let go of all of these things I'm still hanging on to, and swing out into the void and grab ahold of those nebulous replacements that linger out there on the edge of my awareness. I know it's necessary. But at the same time...

I'm reminded oddly of a line from a song in the musical "The Last Five Years." The characters are singing about something completely unrelated to this, but it comes into my head anyway.

There are so many lives I want to share with you
I will never be complete until I do.

There are so many dreams
I need to see with you...

There are so many years
I need to be with you...
I will never be complete
I will never be alive
I will never change the world
Until I do

That's kind of how I feel. Like there is so much left for me here -- so much I still want to share, so many things I still want to see, so many years I want to spend, and all of it here. I understand it's irrational, I understand it's not something that will further my own personal growth...but it's something that matters. It's something I feel. Why am I so detached from this place? I haven't left yet.

I haven't left.

readingredhead: (Pants)
Dammit, college is confusing.  Now that I'm in, you'd think it got easier, but no, there's so many things to learn and understand, and it's maybe just a little overwhelming.

Take, for instance, the act of registering for classes.  I'm not going to be able to go do Berkeley for their student orientation day (at least, I don't think so) so I'm pretty much on my own for a lot of this stuff.  So I try to do the student advising online demo, but it's set up for people who aren't sure what they want to major in yet.  I know for a fact I'm going to major in English, minor in creative writing, and major or minor in history.  I don't need to spend time exploring majors.  Things aren't going to change for me; I want to start right in on getting all my requirements out of the way.

But this isn't like high school where there's only one path you can take for each potential objective you wish to fulfill.  There's a bajillion things I could do.

And that's the problem, because while I've gotten some good advice, I don't know everything, and it seems like some of the enrolling process is stacked against me.  For instance, freshmen seminar and discovery courses aren't online yet for the fall semester.  And the writing course I want to take is application-based, but the application isn't available online -- you have to pick it up in person at Berkeley.  Oh, and it's due by April 19th.  There goes that plan.

Why is this so annoying and difficult?
readingredhead: (Burning)
I've been having trouble concentrating on anything, lately. They tell me this will go away eventually -- here's to hoping. I'm glad Spring Break is coming; I really need it, just to set my thoughts in order.

Who'd've thought college would still be hard once you got accepted? I feel like there are so many things I need to do just to be ready to show up there in September. Housing and course sign-ups are the least of it -- I feel like there's some mental preparation I need but I'm not getting.

I can't let myself quit yet, but boy, is that easier said than done. I need to gear up during break to pull myself through these last few months.

(Not to mention that there are more than just school things piling up around me, and I feel this insistent pressure to get them done, but it's not enough to make me actually do anything.)

But I read this today, and it made me feel a little better about my life.
Pain. )

Passion. )
readingredhead: (Burning)
I'm going to Berkeley. I sent in my Statement of Intent to Register yesterday. I tried to send out e-mails to all of you to let you know I'm all right, and what I've decided, but I'm realizing I don't have all your addresses so I figured I'd post up here, too.

Yesterday sucked, as far as days go, but everything's over and there's no turning back now. I don't think I need condolences or congratulations any more. At least I can talk about it without feeling like crying.

Last night the thought that kept going through my head was, "I worked my ass off for this?" But this morning, it's easier to realize the answer is "Yes, sort of." Because if I hadn't worked this hard, I don't know if I would have even gotten this far. It's one of those cases, I think, where setting high expectations might be more painful, but ultimately it allows for more personal growth. At least, this is what I tell myself.

So really guys, I'm okay.  I hope you all are, too.
readingredhead: (Stranger)
I'm not checking if I got into anywhere until tomorrow at 3:00 PM when Stanford posts their decisions online.  

I realized today at about 2:02 PM that I had the solution to my problems in my hands.  I was busy hating the fact that I find out from Princeton and Harvard first, before Stanford, and then it suddenly hit me -- I don't have to check.  I don't have to know.  I'll be fine spending the day not knowing, and just waiting to get it all over with in one fell swoop tomorrow.  Yes, it's tempting as I sit here with my laptop and my internet -- all I'd have to do is log in to my other e-mail address, probably.  But I don't feel the urge to look, and I know that if I do, it won't help things.

And I'd have to go to school tomorrow and talk to people about where I'm going or where I'm not going and I'd really rather not talk to people about that -- or rather, I'd like to be given the ability to choose who I tell about that, rather than having to tell absolutely every person who asks.

Right now, I think I'm going to relax.  I'm going to listen to some good music while typing up the bibliography for the TOK project, and then I'm going to re-read and analyze A Thousand Words for Stranger, because Julie never ceases to amaze me.  This August is the 10-year anniversary of Stranger's first publication, and when I learned this I realized that I feel proud for her (which is really odd, because she's the published writer and I don't even really know her, but I feel like you're always allowed to have that sort of warm fuzzy feeling inside when things go right for people you like).  Ten years ago, she was writing biology textbooks.  Now, novels -- something (in my opinion) inestimably better.  

I want so many things from this world, but most of all I want them from myself, because I know I'm capable of achieving great things and I intend to live up to my greatness.
readingredhead: (Burning)
Of course, I should have been spending the last two hours studying for the hardest chemistry test of the year.  Instead, I have spent them re-reading a Phantom of the Opera fanfic and creating a new userpic.  Oh, and having a conversation with Rachna about college sweatshirts.
readingredhead: (Earth)
Is is like this
In death's other kindgom,
Waking alone

At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

~From "Hollow Men" by T. S. Eliot, Section III

For some reason these lines of that poem are the ones that always seem to get me. The way they're set out on the paper just makes me stop and think, and I feel this pang inside me -- a false rememberance of all the times I've ever felt like this.

(Because everyone's felt like this sometime: waking up in the middle of the night yearning, not for cheap sex or meaningless communication or blind vanity, but for connection, compassion, "tenderness" reciprocated in whatever way: the sudden and desperate need to not be alone.)

(And "alone" doesn't just mean alone -- sometimes I feel most alone in those moments when I'm surrounded by others...)

(I'm not feeling this now, so you shouldn't worry...but the power of the imagery is not lessened because of it.  If anything it proves stronger, since it is capable of reminding me of what I've escaped.  The memory isn't beautiful, and so it's one I'd forget, but Eliot doesn't let me.)

Waking alone.  It means a lot of things.  To someone, maybe it's the sensation of waking up and finding your lover departed.  For others, maybe it's about waking up and being forced to remember that you went to bed alone, that there is no companionship for you.  To me, it might mean those things sometime in the future.  

But right now, it still means something.  For the longest time, when I woke up in the morning, the rest of the house was already awake, but no one had left yet.  I relished waking up early, because I felt comfortable in my house warmed by human presence.  I would read in my pajamas for an hour before Dad kissed me goodbye and left for work.  This was a signal that I needed to get dressed and go downstairs, where I'd meet my sister and Mom would have breakfast ready for us on the table.  We ate together and watched cartoons for half an hour before brushing our teeth and leaving for school.

Slowly, as school progressed, I had to wake up earlier and earlier.  Middle school was the first time I had to wake up to an alarm; before then, my internal clock was a good enough judge.  High school was the first time I had to wake up before the sun on a regular basis.  And slowly, it became less thrilling to wake up so early.  More and more, I was waking alone.  First I was up before my sister, but still saw Mom and Dad.  Then, Mom began to sleep longer than me, too, and it was just Dad and I at the breakfast table.  And then when this school year began with him at his new job, I truly woke alone.  The feeling isn't a comfortable one.  It's a change so great from my childhood that when I try to think about it directly, I can't fathom it.  But my father and mother still make sure I'm up when my alarm goes up -- without them, most days I wouldn't wake up.  In college, I wonder what it will be like -- waking alone.  Having no choice but to wake alone.

I don't think I can spend a life like that for very long.  I need human comfort; I need camaraderie; I need support, compassion, connection.  I cannot be a Hollow Man -- it would kill me first.
readingredhead: (Stranger)
So I got into Berkeley.  I went up to LA today for the interview for the Regent's/Chancellor's Scholarship and the lady who signed me in shook my hand and said, "I want to be the first person to congratulate you on your acceptance to this school."  Dad was there with me and he was freaking out, because Berkeley's his Alma Mater and I'm sure he'd like to see me go there. 

But (and I feel like an unappreciative freak for saying this) I wasn't freaking out.  In a way, I'd been expecting it.  "So I'm into Berkeley," I've been thinking.  "So what?"  True, I'd like to go there; true, out of the colleges that have accepted me at the moment, it's undoubtedly the one I'm going to (did I mention I also got into Santa Barbara?).  But I'm not excited.  I don't feel happy for myself.  I don't feel any different than I did before I knew for sure that I'd been accepted.  It's not a big deal.

And I think it's because of my expectations.  I've set them so high...when I set them I didn't think they were impossible.  When I fell in love with Stanford, I didn't realize it was the one thing I wanted that I wouldn't get.  But regardless of how well I set my expectations, they're set, and I'm realizing that nothing short of being accepted to Stanford will make me happy.  I know universities other than Stanford will make me happy -- Berkeley's a good example of that -- but the finding out, the "oh my god I got in" moment, will only happen if I get into Stanford.  

.  I hate that word.  It means there's something I don't know.  In a way it's possibilities -- but not just for good.  Bad stuff can happen to an "if," not just good stuff.  "If" might mean anything.  And a lot of "anything" sucks.  

I hate it that I can't feel proud of my own accomplishments.  In a way, though, it's why I'm here.  I'm always trying to do something better, no matter what it is.  When I accomplish one thing, I'm already looking ahead to the next.  That's how I am in writing, certainly -- I have moments where I allow myself to feel excited, but also sometimes I just get right on working with the next project, the next set of characters and turns of phrase.  It's what's gotten me this far: my ability to keep reaching outward and outward, to set my standards higher and higher.  Which is why it feels so shitty when I can't reach them, or I'm not sure if I've reached them, or I should have reached them but someone on the outside says I haven't, except for some stupid reason or another, what they have to say matters more than what I know.  I hate that.

I think, though, once again, that it's too much a part of me to get rid of.  I've always been about impossible dreams.  I see myself most clearly in the third-grader who came home from school one day to tell mommy and daddy that she'd be a published writer when she grew up; in the fifth-grader who began the creation of an entire fantasy world from scratch; in the seventh-grader who picked up those fifth-grade characters and worlds and thought she could resurrect them and turn them into something worthwhile; in the ninth-grader who re-resurrected the same story and decided she would have it written and published before she graduated high school.  I see myself most clearly in these shadow dreams, goals I once had.  In writing, I've been able to compromise with myself -- I've been able to talk myself out of some of my more ridiculous goals, which has made the intermediary milestones seem more important.  But I don't think I've been able to do that with college, because I'm not excited about Berkeley, and I don't think I will be unless (until?) it's the last choice I have left.
readingredhead: (Mother)
I should be doing my math homework, or my chemistry homework. I should be making headway on one of the long-term assignments littering my calendar. I should be reviewing what I read last week in Road to War so that I don't completely fail the quiz we'll have tomorrow. I should, I should, I should.

But I'm not. This seems to happen to me a lot. I sit around thinking about what I should be doing, even when doing those things won't happen (and wouldn't necessarily be helpful if it did). I know my own limits and abilities; I know how much I can get away with. Maybe I should start trusting my own self-knowledge?

I'd really like to sit back with some knitting and watch more West Wing. And I think that might actually be what I do. It's amazing how sometimes you do what you want without thinking about what you should do. That's the feeling you should have for your entire life.

Random Recollection #1: My dreams last night

I had one really consistent dream that went a lot of places. I saved Sadie from a car accident, out-ran Rob for something-or-other, and came face to face with Julie Czerneda. (I think Diane Duane might've been there too, and she and Julie might've been arguing over something?) Anyway, I was talking to my dad about why I didn't want to be published by Random House, because they would market a story of mine as a kid's book when it's obviously not. Dad mentioned something about Random House publishing Eragon (which I don't know if they did, but I wouldn't be surprised, I have an odd memory for these things).  Anyway, Julie walked in on me and Dad when I was explaining this to him, and saying that I'd rather be published by DAW.  For some reason when Julie heard me talking about this she felt like I was being really arrogant (which maybe I was, but only because I only thought Dad could hear me).  And then I don't know what happened.  Take that, Freud.

Random Recollection #2: My phone

I have a new phone as of today.  He's sleek and black and in need of a good name.  Corinne says he's emo and needs an emo name.  For some reason I'm thinking of Tom or Carl (yes, there is a Young Wizards theme to my thoughts).  I'm thinking he needs a literary name, because all of my tech toys end up with them sooner or later.  But he strikes me as belonging to popular literature, not anything classical.  He's pretty nifty, though.  (And I've still got the same number, though nowadays no one loses their numbers when they change phones.)

Random Recollection #3: Berkeley interview?

I showed up a week early.  That's a nice way of putting it.  I think that's the phrase I'll use from now on.

Random Recollection #4: I'd like some politics

They should make more good political dramas -- books, movies, television, real life, I don't care.  I swear it's Rick's fault, but the political scene seems so dramatic to begin with, and in a way it's enticing.  I used to be afraid of the fact that I felt like I could be a politician.  Slowly but surely this fear's going away.

Random Recollection #5: Global warming

Melissa Etheridge's song from An Inconvenient Truth is really cool, and you should all listen to it.  When she performed it at the Oscars it was really neat because they had a screen in the background with all these facts on global warming, how to reduce your carbon emissions, etc.  The last phrase on the screen was "When you pray, move your feet."  I like the call to action -- don't just wish for things, make them happen.  It's always been a motto of mine, and I'm glad to see it reflected.

Random Recollection #6: And the Oscar goes to...

I'd like to win an Oscar, I think.  How this shall be accomplished remains to be seen, but I think it would be great fun. 

...and that's kinda what my life's been like lately.  Yeah.  Well, I have to wake up again tomorrow.  That's kind of annoying, but I know I'll handle it; I always do.
readingredhead: (Default)

Sadly, this is gonna look a lot like a "to do" list -- maybe because it is.

--final draft of essay (due Tues.)
--Cuban Science Fiction (due next Mon.)
--Group IV project
00--lab write-up (Sat.)
00--experiment (Wed.)
00--powerpoint presentation (by next Mon.)
--IB lab write-up
--homework (due Thurs.)
--World Lit formatted (due Tues.)
--Review King Lear
--Internal Assessment first draft (due Fri.)
--Road to War reading (due Mon.)
--homework (due ?)

I've started on the internal assessment for history, and the world lit papers for English.  We're meeting about the Group IV project in Chem today (actually in about an hour) and I've mostly written up my individual lab.  My Spanish esay and the Road to War chapter are the only long-term things on this list that I haven't started yet.  But I'd better get going, especially if I want to go to the movies tonight.

Later remind me to tell the story of my Berkeley interview that's next week and not today.

readingredhead: (Default)
So far this weekend I've actually gotten things done. I had an interview with a Princeton alumna on Friday after school. She was pretty young -- maybe early twenties, definitely just graduated -- and I think it went pretty well. She was excited to hear that Jane Eyre was the most life-changing book of this past year for me, because she liked it, too. I liked her for that. I don't think I looked perfect, but I looked acceptable.

Yesterday...I don't even know what I did. Slept, mostly. Filled out scholarship stuff. Went to lunch and the movies with Rick, got home and did more scholarship stuff, then watched two movies with Corinne, one that made me cry and then one that made me laugh because I didn't want to go to bed crying. Today I did more scholarship stuff (this is becoming a trend) and went to church, then to the Spectrum with my family for lunch and a little shopping. I came home and got to work on my paper for Spanish, about Cuban science fiction, and it's already over the word minimum which is a good thing. I have more things to do, but that's the way it always goes. Overall, the long weekend is starting well -- I'm really glad I'm not at MUN.
readingredhead: (Earth)
My life hasn't been to insanely busy lately, but my thoughts have been. I feel like, even when I'm sitting still, they're all buzzing around, vying for my attention. There are so many things I want to do, even at this particular moment: read, write, talk on the phone, watch a movie, organize my binders, study math. And there are so many things that sometimes it's difficult to decide which of them is most important.

We did a socratic seminar today on Einstein's "Science and Religion," which I really liked. A lot of what he says is stuff I can agree with, especially about the nature of religion. My favorite line, out of the entire piece, is without a doubt

"For a doctrine which is able to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress."

It's what I've always been trying to say about religion -- no matter what you believe in, if your beliefs don't hold up to the light, it's time you question them. If you've never tried to hold them up against that clarity, then start. If people don't realize that faith has to make some sense, we'll keep going on with this whole nonsense of religious wars for ever. Sheesh!

I'm too easily distracted, which is part of my problem. I wanted to read, then I wanted to write, but I always feel like I never have enough time to really read and become absorbed by it, or to write and get to the point where the words flow effortlessly. But should it matter that the words are hard sometimes, if I'm not with them long enough? I should still be able to shape them, or let them shape me.

I want to write a novel. If wishes were novels, I'd be as prolific as McCaffrey, or Asimov! But wishes aren't novels, though novels are the answers to some wishes.

I want to write something that's important to more people than just me. I want to write something that leaves the proverbial sock drawer of my existence. I wonder what Harvard will think of "Fire and Ice" (one of my short stories I sent in as an additional submission with the application). I wonder if they'll like it or not. I wonder if The New Yorker would like it. I wonder why I haven't just submitted it and given it a try already. I wonder why I'm letting the world in on my wonderings. Dammit, I want an audience bigger than this, a stage larger, and this is getting me nowhere closer to it!

But at least I want, and wonder, and wish -- because the real problem is with the absence of desire, the lack of will, that leads to death and obscurity. God, let me never fear that worst of darknesses.


readingredhead: (Default)

March 2013

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