readingredhead: (Light)
I want to go to Berkeley for grad school. Not just because in the new US News & World Report rankings they are the best English grad school in the country. Not just because, according to the same rankings, they are the 2nd best in the nation for 17th-20th century British literature, my general area of concentration. But because I love Berkeley. I love walking down Bancroft in the morning and seeing the Golden Gate Bridge arise out of a misty bay, the sunlight hitting it just right. I love the silence of Doe Library right before finals. I love the faux-Greco-Roman facade of Wheeler Hall, all columns and flourishes and pristine whiteness. I love the scattered coffee shops, the late winter rains, the late summer sunshine, the way that on a good day just walking onto campus makes me feel like part of something bigger, better, and more beautiful than any one person could be.

But I'm afraid. Because the last time I wanted something this much, I didn't get it. And although I'm glad I didn't, I can't bring myself to imagine that I'd be glad not getting this. This is not like Stanford. This is something that I've lived long enough to know that I want. And people think I'm silly for thinking about this so early but I'm just trying to do everything I can to get from where I am to where I want to be.
readingredhead: (Stranger)
Last night...was good. When I got home around 11:30 I was tempted to turn on the computer and write up a journal entry right then, so that I could capture it in all its glory. But then I realized that nothing would do it justice. Really, as much as we may try to preserve things with photographs or with writing or with video, in the end these only serve as tools to jog the memory, so that only someone who lived through the experience can fully comprehend its wonder. That's kind of what yesterday was like. While it was being experienced, it was great. just feels odd, knowing that that was the last Humanities field trip of my life, and nothing like that will ever happen quite like that again.

It was good, but in retrospect it loses its color and life. As much as the past might be beautiful, in the end we have to continue to live in the present.

I don't know why I'm thinking about this so much. I don't need to. But maybe I do...yesterday was an odd day for me. There were moments when I felt like I belonged, and moments where I felt estranged, and most of these happened without me having a clue as to why.

Before we left for the field trip yesterday, Krucli was talking to us about the hero's journey. He gave examples from Star Wars, but those weren't the ones that stuck with me. What stuck was his use of us going off to college. And the stages of that journey corresponded perfectly with all that I know I've been through or will go through. And I admit that it scares me. It scares me to be leaving behind the kind of life I've always known. I want to continue having happiness I'm used to, even if life may only improve through change...

I don't know. I've been in a philosophical mood lately. I started this entry intending to describe what happened yesterday on the field trip. But looking back on it, I realize that the things I'd like to write about, the things I'd like to share with others, are those things I can't quite find words for. I'm trying, but I feel like someone fumbling for the light switch in the darkness.

I need to do something that will make me feel more myself. I need to write. After all, script frenzy started yesterday. I need to get the feel of the keys beneath my fingers again, and let that soothe me...

How do I feel right now?  I think that this works best:

"...growing up is all about getting hurt.  And then getting over it.  You hurt.  You recover.  You move on.  Odds are pretty good you're just going to get hurt again.  But each time, you learn something.

Each time, you come out of it a little stronger, and at some point you realize there are more flavors of pain than coffee.  There's the little empty pain of leaving something behind--graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown.  There's the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectatinos.  There's the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn't give you what you thought they would.  There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up.  The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn.  There's the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens.

And if you're very, very lucky, there are a few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realize that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last--and yet will remain with you for life."

~From White Knight by Jim Butcher

I know I've posted this before, but it just seems such a good descriptor of how I feel.  These are the pains I've been feeling--and some of them hurt more than others.  The "big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations" is what I felt when I didn't get into Stanford.  I've mercifully been spared the "sharp little pains of failure," but lately I've become mired in "the more obscure aches of successes that didn't give you what you thought they would."  Of course, the pain of loving others balances this out on some days, but it makes it worse on others--after all, empathy is a "steady pain" that's hard to ignore.

The final paragraph of that quote describes perfectly what I'd call the pain of impermanence.  It's one of the most beautiful, but also one of the hardest for me to reconcile myself to right now.  But I'm working on it--I don't see any other way.
readingredhead: (Default)
Well, the Powers that Be have decided that I won't be giving a speech at graduation. Oh well. It just means I won't be paying attention.

However, these Powers do seem to have some good things planned for my life, because I got my housing assignment for Berkeley and it turns out that I've been given my first choice for housing! I'll be staying on the Clark Kerr campus in a double room in a suite. Not only does this mean that I only have to share a bathroom with three other people, and we get a lounge space and rather large rooms, but the campus itself is gorgeous. Mission-style architecture in some places, really green. And there's a pool and tennis courts (!) and a gourmet dining hall right on-campus. 

Pictures )

Gorgeous, huh?  It doesn't look like it belongs in Berkeley.  The thing I didn't like about Berkeley the first time I saw it was that it wasn't exactly the prettiest campus.  That's partially what drew me to Stanford -- there's no denying that it's absolutely gorgeous.  But Clark Kerr is starting to look like my Stanford at Berkeley.  And I think it's a good thing.

In other news: prom today!  I'm excited, mostly because I get to wear a gorgeous dress.

Oh -- and, on the subject of gorgeous dresses, I have officially found my wedding dress.  This one designer was asked by Disney to design a series of wedding gowns based on six of the original Disney princesses, and the Belle gown is basically to die for.  I want to get married in this.

View all the dresses here:

See you all at prom!
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: (Talk)
Finally, I can update the list of books I've read so far this year.

1. Beauty by Robin McKinley
2. The Coelura by Anne McCaffrey
3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
4. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
5. An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aidan
6. Duty and Desire by Pamela Aidan
7. These Three Remain by Pamela Aidan
8. A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane
9. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
10. Cameo Diner by Matt Miller

I feel like I cheated, because the most recent one's a book of poetry that's taken me maybe an hour to read...but it was good, and some of the other books on this list are long, so it makes up for it. Also, a book is a book is a book. I shouldn't discriminate against it for being a book of poetry.

Besides, there were some really good poems in it.

by Matt Miller

I've hoisted gods on my shoulders before
and so you've probably seen them dancing
above the crowd, effortlessly gliding over
the human sea like sweaty kids dumb-faced at
a July parade. I'm big and tall though so it's
really no effort and really gods are actually
quite light, much lighter tha you'd think, bones
like birds I guess, and I apologize if I ever confused
anyone or caused a cult or worse a religion, it's just
that as tall as I am I hoped to see a little further
but male or female, dog or cat, savior or trickster
or whatever combination thereof it was all
a waste of effort since once sprung forth or
pulled out from my squinting brow
and thrown up onto my back, they all turned out
to be blind, every last one of them.

The Mute
by Matt Miller

And he to me: These miserable ways
The forlorn spirits endure of those who spent
Life without infamy and without praise

They are mingled with that caitiff regiment
Of the angels, who rebelled not, yet avowed
To God no loyalty, on themselves intent.

--from The Inferno, Canto III

There are no boots marching, no steel
toes knocking at my door, no black coats
coming to arrest me, and yet I have stopped
in the middle of the song, turned quiet
at my turn. The scopes on the roofs are
not on me, they are not even my roofs,
and still nothing, no rhythm hung lyrics,
not even humming or whistling
against evening graveyards. Why am I
unbound yet so silent? Why, not yet tied
by bars or knives, with mud or dung
beetles, not soiled in search lights and
rusty puddles, am I so mute, so dumb?
So uncensored, why do I wither all
my untethered hours lying in the sand
by the summer sea? Horseflies chew
the salt from my skin, and I do nothing.

I got the book last summer from my teacher at Stanford, because it's his. It was so odd reading through the poetry and realizing that I had met the person who wrote it, especially because some of it, like the poems above and a couple others, seemed so important. I'm not used to knowing people who're important. And Matt never seemed that important, I mean he did but not in the crazily poetic way. So it was odd reading this and in my head hearing him saying it. But it was also really, really great.

On one of the last days at Stanford, my class did a poetry reading in the common room at Terra. Matt came by, and so did the Creative Writing program director, and we shared poems we had written while sitting on chairs and piano benches and the floor in a circle. At first no one really wanted to read what they had, but slowly we got off to a start, and we read around the circle, and some of the poems were powerful like this. And we all told Matt he had to read something of his, so he deferred that he didn't have anything on hand, but I had his book with me (because he'd given us copies a day or so before) so I handed it to him and told him to read, and he did. And when the book finally came back to me it was signed: "For Candace. I'll be watching for your work in all the mags and journals. 'I greet you at the beginning of a wonderful journey.' (I misquoted Emerson for you.) Best, Matt EPGY 2006"

I miss Matt, and Terra, and a lot of the people I met there. I miss Stanford: all of it. But I mostly miss who I was there. I miss being that girl. I know I can't go back in time, and I don't want to, but those three weeks made me feel so much myself, and I don't think I could possibly forget them.
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: (Stranger)
I love books. Just thought I'd mention that. They're so unbelievably earth-changing. My sister and I had a good conversation last night about books that make us cry (she'd just finished A Tale of Two Cities). And today in TOK I'm probably writing an essay about why literature can tell the truth better than other arts or areas of knowledge. Other areas of knowledge I can understand, but it's other arts I'm going to have problems with.

I randomly decided to look up the anthology that I could've gotten published in on Amazon. I felt a little better about myself because there are only 10 stories in the entire book. Of those ten only two thirds are student work. Seven stories picked from writers around the globe -- because also, apparently, this was really an international competition, and not just something on a smaller scale. Apparently, there were thousands of entries? Maybe? To boost my ego?

And apparently, I'm being listed in the book as a runner up. Really, that's pretty cool. It's pretty damn amazing. I feel better about myself and the world today, because of that, and because I just realized that I can put this on my Stanford application supplement. What new awards have you received? An honorable mention in a published anthology. Only thing more kickass would have been getting Julie to write me a letter of rec. That'd show 'em. Except Matt knowd me better, and since I only get one optional letter, I think I made a good choice.

But to start this where I began: books are glorious. Sometime later I'll have to make up a list of the bestest books ever. And I'll have to figure out whether or not I'm doing the "read 52 books in 52 weeks" thing. Because I wanted to do it, but I haven't been keeping up with it? Oh well. Life has so much in store for me.
readingredhead: (Earth)
1. What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before?
Took IB tests, lived away from my parents for a prolonged period of time, almost got published (this should really read "got my first rejection"), applied to college

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I never seem to keep them, but I keep making them. The two I remember from last year are to stop biting my nails and to memorize "Ode," a poem by Arthur O'Shaughnessy. Still a nail-biter, but I did memorize "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," which is longer and (in the scheme of things) more important than "Ode," anyway.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
this is one of the rare years where the answer to this question is "none"

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
time to be an artist

7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched on your memory, and why?
July 15 -- when I got my first real rejection letter
November 28 -- the first Humanities field trip, and my first real brush with a different kind of world and a new sort of freedom
June 25-July 14 -- EPGY Summer Institutes Creative Writing; "The Terra Era"
December 21 -- when I hugged Mr. Vargish and Mr. Fukuda, and gave scarves to Mr. Koger and Mr. Krucli
November 7 -- the first election year I've spent politically active

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
surviving junior year

9. What was your biggest failure?
a stubborn determination not to acknolwedge the reality of certain situations

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
the usual allergy related stuff, but nothing serious and definitely nothing that required hospitalization

11. What was the best thing you bought?
my new laptop

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
I don't know...

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
It's a rather long list, and it makes me appalled and depressed, so I'm not going to go into it.

14. Where did most of your money go?
books, Stanford, MUN

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Humanities, especially the English portion; writing my senior thesis; Stanford and EPGY; being done with junior year

16. What song will always remind you of 2006?
I'm not much of a music-oriented person, to be honest; I'm not likely to remember this year in terms of a song. But off the top of my head, I think of "Vienna," "King of the World," "The Minstrel's Prayer," and "Running Alone" (it should say something that I think only one of those actually came out during 2006).

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? happier
thinner or fatter? I don't know, probably about the same
richer or poorer? richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
writing, thinking, loving, living

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
worrying, crying, sighing, wishing without acting, hating

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
with friends and family, as always

21. Did you fall in love in 2006?
Was already there, but it deepened.

22. How many one-night stands?

23. What was your favourite TV program?
Prison Break, Project Runway, West Wing, X-Files

24. Are you angry at anyone now that you weren't angry at this time last year?

25. What were the best books you read?
Regeneration by Julie E. Czerneda
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
Howl by Alan Ginsberg

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
As I said above, I'm not music-oriented. But I did "discover" that I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to music, and that I can take recommendations from almost anyone.

27. What did you want and get?
good scores on my APs and IBs, recognition from my peers, support in my writing endeavors

28. What did you want and not get?

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
The Prestige or Happy Feet

30. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I turned 17 and spent the day taking an IB Psych test.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
getting published by Julie

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
nonexistent, unless "dress how you feel" is a fashion concept

33. What kept you sane?
literature (as it always has), good friends, good teachers, hugs, peppermint, caramel, pretzels, warm milk

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Norbert Leo Butz

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
All of them; I count 2006 as my first year as a politically active citizen, and I wasted no time forming opinions about everything.

36. Who did you miss?
Katherine Simpson, Katherine Fosso, Luke, Paula, Steph J

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Katherine, Luke, Paula -- EPGY FOREVER!

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learnt in 2006?
Do not let the actions, reactions, decisions, or judgments of others shape who you are: be truly yourself, and great things will fall into place for you.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Though you can see when you're wrong, you know
You can't always see when you're right. You're right.
You've got your passion, you've got your pride
but don't you know that only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don't imagine they'll all come true.
readingredhead: (Default)
From the Stanford website:

Single-Choice Early Action Decision Notification
A Message from the Office of Admission

Applicants who applied for freshman admission through Stanford's Single-Choice Early Action program will receive an email after 3pm (Pacific Time) on Friday, December 15, explaining how they will be able to access their admission decision on-line, via a secure, password-protected website. Hard copy decisions will also be mailed to all Single-Choice Early Action applicants on Friday, December 15. Decisions will not be released in person or over the phone.

Because they couldn't possibly have taken any longer about it!!! My god, I think I'll seriously die before I hear back. I'm so not functional right now. And to top it off, after school on Friday I have to get a shot -- HPV vaccination, in case anyone cared -- and the tenser your muscles are when they give you a shot, the more it hurts. Think I'm going to be just the teensiest bit tense?

Only person who has it worse than me is Luke, who has to wait all the way until 6:00. Killer time differences suck. (Well, for Luke they do. For my west coast friends applying to east coast schools, they're rather nice.)

Permission to go die now?
readingredhead: (Talk)
I had an all right time of things this week. I mean, they felt bad when I was busy slogging through them but on the other side nothing seems quite so bad. Even college. I'm still worried about the Stanford app and the fact that I hear back from them in less than a week, but I had a nice long talk with Rachna during MUN on Friday that made me put things in perspective a little better. Now I think I've got my priorities a little straighter.

And I get to write a critical paper connecting my favorite part of literature to my favorite part of history, so life can't be all bad.

I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn...
readingredhead: (Azuria)
I feel so unbelievably stupid right now, it's not even funny.

So I got in all of my stuff to Stanford way earlier than I needed to, right? Because I wanted to be sure that I met the deadlines. And then, all of a sudden, the day that early decision apps are due, everything's falling apart. I went to the admissions website to make sure that I'd submitted everything -- and it turns out I haven't? Apparently you're supposed to submit a CSS profile? I didn't even know about this until today, and it wasn't on the application anywhere -- it was hidden in the back of the deadlines FAQ on the admission website! It really pisses me off!

And then, I realized that I probably have to send in a score report to Stanford, but what I'd heard from the admissions director when I was there over the summer made it sound like they would request our score report from college board or whatever? But then I read to the bottom and it said to make sure that you get your score reports send in on time!

I'm staying home from Mock Trial tonight to see if I can get this all done. Thankfully, Stanford's west coast -- if it was East coast, I'd have three less hours to "officially" get it all in on time.

But still...I spent so much damn time getting ready and making sure that I wouldn't have to stress the day of...all for this? Am I the only one who finds it all just a little absurd? Thankfully, homework for tonight isn't that bad -- in fact, it's practically nonexistent.

I just hate it that I had a wonderful day, and now here it is all going to pieces. Why do things like this happen?!

And yes, I'm worried to hell and back about my application to Stanford. It's the one place that I really want to go. It used to be my first choice only by a hair, but now it's without a doubt the school. And I'm worried that somehow, all of this shit will keep me from getting in -- not because I don't deserve it, but on the issue of freaking technicalities! What's up with that?

All of this stuff is so bullshit. I swear, it's a ploy to make you not get into college.

This is all so effed up. It would be really great if I could kill things right now -- preferably Stanford Admissions directors.

EDIT 7:21 PM

So it turns out that, after all this shit, I didn't actually have to do the profile after all! WTF?! Apparently they want info from our 2006 tax returns, which don't get filed until January. And when I checked Princeton's app, they have a specific notice stating that early action applicants don't have to complete the CSS profile because the information needed to complete it is not available by November 1.

Like I may have said in a comment below, it feel shittier to have not needed to do this. If it'd been necessary and vital, I wouldn't have minded that it wasted my entire day. But it wasn't. I spent several hours worrying about something that didn't matter at all. I missed Mock Trial for it, I didn't do homework or focus on anything -- and for what?

I still would like to attack some admissions officers...but now for different reasons. I don't even feel relieved that I don't have to get the form in -- all I feel is stupid.
readingredhead: (Talk)
It's interesting to think how a single moment can change your life. We might not recognize that moment when it comes -- it might be an involuntary action that decides the shift for us.

But it might also be voluntary. We might stand there and see the gap before us, and know that the only option we have left is to jump. To fly into the face of that change, whatever it may be.

This is one of those. The push of a button, and my application to Stanford is submitted. The push of a button, and there's nothing more I can do about it. The push of a button, and it's out of my hands and into the hands of Fate and admissions directors.

All of this with the push of a button.


“I don’t know how you could be interested in history,” Holly said. “The future has always been more intriguing to me than the past.”

“But without a past, we wouldn’t be where we are in the present, and without the present, we can have no future.” Holly still wasn’t convinced, so Jasen continued. “Think of it as a story—except the main character isn’t just one person, it’s many. In fact, it’s a group of people, or even humanity as a whole, depending on the level you study it at. Yeah, it’s a bit plot driven, but every now and then a character comes to the forefront who is so thrilling that you just have to follow their story through to the end, see where they’re going. And then you dip into that same society years after that character’s death, to see if they really mattered, had some sort of lasting impact.”

Holly suppressed a laugh at the hopeful look on Jasen’s face, the way his eyes were glazed over slightly in thought. “Do you intend on being one of those characters? The ones who stand out and dare to make a difference?”

Jasen shrugged. “I guess it would be nice. But it would be hard, too. You can’t change the world without changing yourself, and you never know beforehand if you’re going to like that change or not. You just have to jump into the wind and see where it takes you. Sometimes it helps you soar. Sometimes it blows so strongly you can’t make it off of the ground. But either way, it’s the decision to make that leap that really matters. After that, anything can happen, and you’d better be ready for it.”

Holly did laugh when Jasen finished, but it was a chuckle of concession rather than amusement. “You really have put a lot of thought into this.”

“It’s life. Who hasn’t?”

“You’d be surprised.”

~from the portion of Azuria which I've written so far


"Too late for second-guessing,
Too late to go back to sleep.
It's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes...
...and leap!"

~"Defying Gravity"


"I stand on a precipice
I struggle to keep my balance..."

~"Goodbye Until Tomorrow"


"There were oceans to cross
There were mountains to conquer
And I stood on the shore
And I stood on the cliff
And the second before I jumped,
I knew where I needed to be!"

~"I'd Give it All For You"


Is this where I need to be?

I guess I'll push the button and find out.
readingredhead: (Red Pen)
So it took almost an hour, but one of my four essays for Stanford is now within the requested character count (another one probably is, but I haven't checked). It's crazy how difficult it is to do something that seems so simple...and it's funny, because with things like NaNoWriMo, my problem was adding words, not taking them away! The essay actually changed a great deal (at least I think it did) but I hadn't really liked it much to begin with (though dad says it's wonderful). Once I've decided to like it, I might post it here for others to look over, but I've been doing that with a few other essays and everyone else seems too busy to comment...not that I don't understand; heaven knows how much we're expected to do between now and December.

The next essay I'm tackling is the one I wrote about National Novel Writing Month. After I've got that down, I think I'm going off to study more chemistry for the insane test that starts tomorrow. Unfortunately, a bunch of the things I don't remember (such as conversions) are in the first chapter. Who needs to know how many micrograms are in a teragram, anyway?

(And Luke, if you're interested -- I got it under 1600 without deleting spaces! But it's not the MUN one, since that one just isn't very good and I think I'm rewriting it completely.)

EDIT: I got the NaNo one under the limit too! Again, took out lots of things I was sure were necessary...but I think I'm learning to be a better writer because of this.
readingredhead: (Different)
--Humanities skit
--memorize polyatomic ions for AP Chem
--study for AP Chem test
--complete Stanford application
--write Stanford essays
--copy transcript (x3)
--give counselor forms to guidance office (Stanford, Harvard, Princeton)
--ask Dad if midyear school report forms are given to guidance now or later
--write Princeton essays
--write Harvard essays (aka copy & paste appropriate Stanford & Princeton essays)
--apply for scholarships
--apply for financial aid
--ask Dad how to apply for financial aid
--sign up for driver's training

Well, the list is a lot shorter now that I've finished my topic synopsis--at least, it seems a lot shorter, and that's a good thing. I've been working on the synopsis for the majority of the morning, since 9:30 maybe, which means that it took me all of three hours to do. I like the topic of peacekeeping reform--it's only really been an issue for the last ten years, so I didn't have to do insane historical research like you usually have to do for topics like that.

Now I can spend the rest of today working on chemistry, Stanford essays, and getting together Steph B.'s birthday present. Really, that doesn't sound too bad.
readingredhead: (Stranger)
--Chem hw
--Humanities skit
--study for AP Calc
--memorize polyatomic ions for AP Chem
--write topic synopsis for MUN
--complete Stanford application
--write Stanford essays
--copy transcript (x3)
--give Mrs. McClure & Mr. Moore letter of rec forms (Stanford, Harvard, Princeton)
--give counselor forms to guidance office (Stanford, Harvard, Princeton)
--ask Dad if midyear school report forms are given to guidance now or later
--write Princeton essays
--write Harvard essays (aka copy & paste appropriate Stanford & Princeton essays)
--apply for scholarships
--apply for financial aid
--ask Dad how to apply for financial aid
--sign up for driver's training

Well, it's a little smaller now...and some of the things that remain have been sort of worked on since the last posting. Unfortunately, this is really all that I have time to say, since I'm now going to work on the letters of rec packets I'm giving Mr. Moore & Mrs. McClure tomorrow.


Sep. 13th, 2006 07:29 pm
readingredhead: (Default)
I sat down 45 minutes ago to do my Spanish homework. As you can possibly tell, it's not gotten done. Ah, the problems of having a laptop that I can quickly turn on & off, as opposed to my PC's slower boot-up time.

So to make this entry useful, an extensive to-do list.

--Spanish homework (historia questions)
--sketchbook pages for Art
--Chem hw
--Humanities skit
--study for AP Calc
--memorize polyatomic ions for AP Chem
--write topic synopsis for MUN
--fill out & return computer rebate forms
--complete Stanford application
--write Stanford essays
--copy transcript (x3)
--mail Matt letter of rec forms (Stanford)
--give Mrs. McClure & Mr. Moore letter of rec forms (Stanford, Harvard, Princeton)
--give counselor forms to guidance office (Stanford, Harvard, Princeton)
--ask Dad if midyear school report forms are given to guidance now or later
--write Princeton essays
--write Harvard essays (aka copy & paste appropriate Stanford & Princeton essays)
--apply for scholarships
--apply for financial aid
--ask Dad how to apply for financial aid
--sign up for driver's training

The list scares me. I'm done now.
readingredhead: (Stranger)
I'm hungry, but I don't want to go down and get something to eat, because if I do, then I'd have to pass mom and dad, and they're both angry at me, again. And all because I lost a stupid USB drive.

All I wanted was their help. All I wanted was for them to not worry about it, so that I wouldn't have to worry about it. All I wanted was for them to think of a spot where it might have been that I wouldn't have checked yet.

Instead, mom went psycho and practically tore apart my room looking for it. I mean, she looked in places where I knew the drive wasn't, and I told her so. But she just kept looking. (Ironically enough, when we told dad, he started looking through the laptop case which we'd already searched twice {mom not having trusted me to do the first search correctly} and she got mad at him for searching somewhere she told him not to.)

So finally I told her I didn't want her help, because all she was doing was ragging on me for having lost it in the first place. I mean, how is that helpful? It's already hurting me enough that I can't find it. That drive had on it all of the things I wrote while I was up at Stanford. I'd never had the time to sit down and transfer it all onto my computer at home, so if I can't find the drive, a lot of stuff if lost. Do my parents think that calling me stupid can hurt me anywhere as much as losing all of that information will? I'm frantic enough as it is, dammit! They don't need to make it worse!

What I hate the most about this is that it's just another example of how my parents just aren't measuring up to my old standards. And I hate it. They used to be perfect, and they aren't anymore -- but I still want them to be. It's not that I can't do things on my own, or without them. But can't I be independent and still believe in my parents' ability to do things right? I didn't think you had to lose faith in your parents in order to grow up.

Mom and dad fight more now. It used to be I knew whose side to be on. Now? I think they're both wrong. They both do stupid things, miscommunicate, come down too hard.


They didn't used to.
readingredhead: (Stranger)
The subject says it all: I'm not feeling well, and it sucks. I'm kinda congested, my head's bugging me, and my stomach isn't liking me too much at the moment.

I don't really have much to say.

Oh, and I'm also missing my USB drive that has on it all the stuff I did at Stanford this summer. I'm secretly worried I might have lost it in the MUN room somehow, because I've been using it for summer sessions and stuff. It would be a really bad thing if I lost it. And so that's hanging over my head.

I just don't feel too good, and I hate it. So I'm going to write a few essays for scholarships and colleges and see if that doesn't make me feel any better.
readingredhead: (Stranger)
Grrrrrr...summer is slowly winding down. Before I forget, a list of things I have to do before school starts:

--Spanish Homework
--driver's training/learning how to drive
--work more on Stanford application
--fill out more scholarship forms
--get MUN issues ironed out

Yeah...all of that is really bugging me, because I don't want to do anything and yet it's all slowly catching up with me. I really need to do that Spanish homework. Has anyone started yet? *hopes she's not the only one behind*

But, in better news, my new laptop arrived today! In fact, I'm typing this on it, while sitting on my couch. I'd always been planning on getting a laptop before I went off to college, and it just seemed like one would be useful this I used some of my "college money" (not really, it's complicated) and bought one. It's an HP dv1000t, if that means anything to anyone. Smaller, lightweight, with a couple cool add-ons like a built-in webcam and a DVD burner. Muahahaha.

So, what have I been doing with my summer? Well, I'm not completely sure. Hanging out with Rick a lot, which has been wonderful. Yesterday I tie-dyed shirts, and I think they turned out rather well -- at least, mine did. (Luke, I'll post a picture later if I find time.) Corinne doesn't like hers as much, but I think they're okay.

I've been helping out at my church nursery every Sunday for community service hours. Been doing that for the past three weeks, and it's kinda nice.

Um...not much to say. There's some MUN drama going on (when isn't there?) but I'm working toward a solution. I hope that it all ends well...

I think I'm a little stressed in the "the end of summer is near" sort of way. I'm just really out of it, I feel kinda I the only one?

I dunno. I'm gonna stop with the rambling and go do something productive for a change.
readingredhead: (Pants)

I have stood inside of this fountain, though not when it looked so pretty -- not when it was working.  Luke chased a published writer through this fountain -- of course, he would.  Paula picked up coins from the bottom of this fountain and showed them off for the camera.  Katherine and I sipped tea while walking past this fountain.  Luke, Paula, and I ate Katherine's lollipops in this fountain, in an act of remembrance for the one member of our party who wasn't there on our excursion but should have been.

Maybe a picture isn't worth a thousand words...but the moment in time that it captures certainly is.


readingredhead: (Default)

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