26 May 2017

Life Stories, Year Three




 Photo credits to my friend, Merlin, who took all of the soccer photos!

This is Merlin. Her hair is... well, let's just say that our group of friends didn't make a video about it for nothing.

To those who will worry: I washed my feet before I left school.



Summer vacation is finally here! Yesterday, "What Time Is It" from High School Musical, and (ironically) pouring rain and strong winds greeted everyone as the horde of roughly a thousand students pushed out of the classrooms doors when sun happily said hello the day before. I spent much of my time hugging friends goodbye, including an awkward montage of sprinting and tackling a friend who I wasn't going to see for three months and had taken on the supermarket during our lunch period.

Anyways, now time for one of my favorite posts of the entire year! Newcomers to the blog: this series is where some of the most comedic and memorable "snippets" of my school year get featured-- years one and two can be viewed here and here, respectively. It's a pity they had to get cut down only to my five best ones, when there are four times as much I'd love to share.

Without further ado, I present to you Life Stories, Year Three.


"This is our first meeting as a team, you guys!" The library, occupied only by five inhabitants, seemed eerily strange without the influx of students weaving in and out of it. Our competition coach shuffled the piles of question cards in her hands. "Now, I know all of you have read some of the books for the competition in February, but not all of you know each other. So, let's go around in a circle and introduce ourselves."

Not including one girl, most of us were familiar to one another and it was an advantage that came with participation in the event three years in a row. One of the seniors hardly looked up from her book about politics as she said, "Hi, I'm Anna & I'm a book person with a school problem."
The introduction flew to me next, and I bit the inside of my cheek. If the former introduction was an indicator of how the remaining individuals would introduce themselves... "Hi, I'm Abby--"

"Hi, Abby," the only freshman on our team drawled. I rolled my eyes in an expectant way. His interjections stood renowned amidst the upper right hallways of the school and sixth period Spanish class, where his whistling irked the teacher so much.

I pushed on. "Hi, I'm Abby, and I suffer from a vertically challenged problem." I nodded to the senior next to me. "Jace, go."

He leaned back slightly, and the hood of his red sweater wrinkled into a frivolous ball. "I'm Jace. I suffer a Tolkien obsession." Ah, the Tolkien obsession. He reminded everyone about his orange juice stained copy of The Fellowship of the Ring.

"And I'm Clark, and I have a 'really-annoying-older-brother-that-annoys-me-to the-point-of-day' problem." The two brothers shoved each other at the remarks. The two held little semblance to one another in looks or personality except for the affinity towards the geeky side: Pokémon, Gravity Falls, the usual and like.

Our attention shifted towards the unspoken member, donning a red senior sweater similar to Jared's and brown hair sweeping the course of her back. We all smiled friendly. Just because she hadn't been a member in the competition didn't mean she could integrate into the group. We wanted her to be.

"I'm Bella, and I... can't think of anything."

"Hmm..." I shuffled forward towards the edge of my seat. "You have a 'making up stuff at the last minute' problem?"

"Yeah? Pretty much."

My attention detracted away from the purple wall covered in cat, puns, and Supernatural memorabilia and rendered in towards the conversation before me. Sam and El, a duo I conversed frequently with, murmured to one another about the week’s homework, asking for the area underneath two line segments, a semi-circle, and another triangle. I pulled the paper closer and instantly frowned. “Sam,” I crooned, “you forgot d(x) on your integral.”

Both gave me signs of concern as they retrieved the paper from my grasp and examined the work. “Oh my goodness, Abby,” Sam said in mock annoyance, “it’s just d(x).” Exasperation slurred his words, “dee ex.”

“Still, d(x) is important!”

“Of course it’s important, but who cares?” His arms and shoulders frantically sprung to life, probably fueled by the same energy that powers his motorcycle. “That is d(x)! It is d(x), and no one cares about ‘the ex!’’ The three of us shared befuddled glances at one another. Did… did we just birth another math joke--- no, better, a math pun-- before 7:30 in the morning? A rupture of laughter burst aloud, cold and sad.

Our cackles simmered down. El piped, “Sam?”

“Yeah?”

“Never… never say that ever again.”

A group of fifteen students gathered around the table labeled, “Union.” The Civil War unit commenced twenty minutes prior, and right away, our teacher gave us a limited amount of info to strategize what each side of the war would do to fight and win. The blinds of the classroom were drawn low, but the sun ran its mischievous course, flashing behind and before the biggest mass of clouds in the sky and demanding when it will shine light.

“We’ll cover up any of their naval fleets by blocking the Mississippi. We’re also sending letters to other countries to let them know not to get involved…” One of the people in class, guiding a marker in hand, lettered down everything coming out of our assigned general’s mouth.

“Wait, hold up.” She leans forward and scrunches her nose. “How do you spell ‘Mississippi’?”
Almost on cue, everyone’s heads snapped at the writer at the edge of the table. The sun transcended behind the clouds. The outdoors, our only source of light diminished significantly. Everyone else jarred forward, chanting in sharp and dissonant tones, “M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I.”

The sun trailed out behind the clouds and the writer blinked. “Um… uh, okay.”

“Gosh, guys,” a girl said. She turned the cap from her sticker covered Nalgene bottle. “That was scary. That sounded like we were trying to summon, like, a river spirit or something!”

"Grab a sheet of paper." Everyone groaned. The pile of leaflets dropped on my desk, and I passed them on to the next person.The agenda in fifth hour had been swiped clean the day after our final exam, and once the seniors left, our willingness to do anything dropped below zero. "The game rules are simple. The first person writes a sentence then folds the paper down. Then the next person will read the sentence and try to draw it, then pass it on. The next person will interpret what they think the sentence is from the drawing, and the whole game cycles."

"It's kind of like Telephone, but with drawings," someone on the right side of the classroom cleared up. People on the sides murmured.

"All of you think of a sentence." All eleven of us focused on our own pieces of paper. Chuckles and squeals of annoyance withdrew from others' mouths. My hand balled up a fist of hair. Think, Abby. What's a sentence that's drawable but isn't too easy. The four guys, pushed towards the back left hand corner, kept jostling one another and boasting their sentence was the best. The teacher signaled a couple more seconds before the paper would be passed, so I wrote down the first thing that came to mind: A platypus flounced down the baby aisle at a supermarket.

Our rotations began. Some of the sheets of paper I received made no sense. Pictures of a dinosaur, someone kissing a mushroom, and bad grades came in my direction, but I did my best to respond them them. I etched a person laying down from the wind. "The boy with a baseball and soccer tee kissed a mushroom." "This person gets bad grades... wait, does it say on the book 'self-esteem'?" By the time my paper rotated back to me, I couldn't even glance at how bad the drawing and sentence interpretations pounced to life.

"Okay! Let's read the original sentences." Some of the original sentences and how far off-tangent they arrived drew out a humorous air. "This sentence said, 'Rachel Carson is the mother of Environmental Science,' and then went all the way down to 'Avatar, the Last Airbender,' taken from a person holding all of the 'elements.'" The teacher read them all off one by one.

"Wait, what does this one say?" He took my paper with the original sentence and read it out loud. "I can't read it."

"Um, 'A platypus flounced down the baby aisle at a supermarket.'" He set down the sheet of paper for everyone to see, and they all burst down laughing.

I hadn't read through my paper properly, but the interpretations were awkwardly horrendous! A platypus lost its beak in the etching process, proclaiming it to be a beaver and a baby sitting side by side, then the beaver eating the baby, all the way down to the last line. My mouth dropped as I read the words, in red ink, "We are all animals."

How dark and deep this drawing quickly became.

“What is a noun?”

“Um, a noun is a person, place, or thing,” I responded. Evening time dawned on our town, and out of a small pool of movies to chose from for the weekend played Divergent on the television screen. My brother’s finals drew closer as the weekend’s lifetime edged closer to a near end and his hands covered the yellow notebook he organized for Language Arts.

“You’re forgetting something.” Up on the screen, Tris Prior crept through the streets of Abnegation the day before aptitude testing. My mind became too entrapped in the movie to divert any attention back to my brother.

“Uh… I don’t know what I'm forgetting.”

“It’s a person, place, or thing or a physical object.”

“Okay... but isn’t this your test though? I don't have to be quizzed on this...”

He cataloged through the notebook’s neatly written Roman numerals and letters and dismissed my thought. “Hey, look, it’s Looking for Alaska!” My mind revolved around. The information my family held about John Green limited down to The Fault in Our Stars. Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines-- none of his other novels rang a bell. “Do you know about Looking for Alaska?”

“Yes, I do. I know for a fact it has nothing to do with the state of Alaska. She's a character.” Tris’s brother, Caleb, emerged from one of the Abnegation apartments and greeted his sister. My mom, who emerged from the kitchen, inquired whether “those two” were in another movie together. “Yes, mom."

“Well, I’m going to quote him now. ‘So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.’”

“Wait a second!” The screen towards the sixteen-year-olds gathered in the testing center. “You’re quoting John Green now?”

"Yes. His words have such a way of..." I couldn't handle any more of this and burrowed my forehead in between curled pajama legs. This is going to be another long summer.
Now you tell me a story about something that's happened over the year? Which story was the most hilarious? Have you gotten out of school yet?

I'm still open to doing post collaborations with bloggers! Also, here's another thing: I'll be open to doing blog designs, as well! Just shoot me an request via my Contact page and I'll get back to you shortly!

21 May 2017

I'M A RISING SENIOR AND SCARED + Summer Collaboration


 I've been reading a ton of good books lately, especially ones about World War Two.

DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE BUN. This is hardly holding up by a ton of hairspray and twenty bobby pins.

The beginning of each conversation I have with my freshman English teacher always constitutes him peering his eyes at me in confusion and asking, "Are you a senior?"

I laugh and shake my head. Compared to the rest of the freshman, as the class consisted of students in all four grade levels, some level of maturity elicited this facade of being well-grounded when clearly my actions outsed me as a panicky freshman. The directions of the first paper assigned, a twenty page monologue encompassing Socrates, were misheard and came back finished the following day... when we had two weeks to work on understanding it. "Uh... no."

"Huh." He leans back in his swivel chair. "I thought you were."

Time hop several weeks in advance to two weeks crammed with enough busyness to make one irked by the workload, like what took place these past two weeks. AP tests shoved for their attention, and the afternoons following suit caused collapsation and sleep on my bed immediately after I came home, watching episodes of Glee, Downton Abbey, and Doctor Who.

 Children just bouncing around in their perfect buns are ADORABLE.

Besides Italian and Filipino food, Japanese ties for first.

On Saturday, I spent a wonderful day filled with a choir competition, dance recital, and volunteering at a silent auction in a fancy but (according to our town's urban legend) haunted hotel, all back-to-back. The entire ordeal was rather fun! I assisted children with their makeup, snuck around the local college campus music rooms with our mini ensemble and teachers, where some of the rooms may or may not have been off-limits. Also, we encountered some local birds, as the silent auction was meant to fundraise for a new facility and explored the basement area of the hotel, scented chlorine due to the athletic rooms and vegetarian pizza. Mother's Day passed.

Monday held a whirl of Trouble rounds as all thirty-nine honor marshals waited in the VIP room, bathing in the heat of stage lights and the mingling energy of charade movements, and it wasn't until then that it hit me: my senior year is coming right up. The only words my mind said is,

"What in SHISH KEBABS. I am almost an adult*."

 Funny story about the snowy owl! Almost everyone arrived for the reception and I tidied up the sign in desk. This lady stood for a good hour and a half discussing information about the snowy owl on a mat meant to collect the poop in case the owl decided, "I'm going to defecate right now!" As I was ready to leave into the dining hall, she stepped off the mat to greet her boyfriend, and BAM! The poop fell all over the uncovered floor tiles. She and her boyfriend panicked until he decided to get the welcome sign... and have the stand on top of where the owl did his thing.

I'm not good at Trouble. I almost got in "Trouble" in my first period for screaming when my only piece on the board get sent back home.

*Adult means not really adult since I'll still be underage after graduating and entering my freshman term, but still that means the time when late-blooming coffee lovers become coffee-lovers.

The weight of senior year hanging in balance terrifies me because everyone expects all the seniors to have their life in order when the tendrils of priorities, some beneficial and others a tiny bit detrimental, when in actuality, we don't have everything in check in an Excel sheet sat next to old phone photos. I wish more people would know that we don't need to have everything perfectly planned out or following the traditional set out blueprint of life after high school, because our plans will get altered somehow by numerous aspects and we need to be able to grow and adapt.

Anyways, no need to get sappy. I have one more year! At the same time, I don't want tunnel vision, either. I want to enjoy the people currently in company, and nature. Nature and the mountains is another aspect I'm going to incredibly miss. My family says nature is the same everywhere, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. There was a senior who was literally my twin (!) for being incredibly into writing (!!) and having the same values that I have (!!!) that I was discussing the environment with, since both of us love nature, and she agreed when I said, "By commenting that every tree is the same, you are undermining the tree's individualism, which is not okay!"

Much going to happen over summer... after school gets out in less than three days!

When are you getting out of school? Juniors, what are your thoughts about becoming rising seniors? Have any of you gone to graduation? Seniors, how's life going finishing school?

GUYS I'm looking for people to collaborate over the summer! I really work with bloggers, particularly those who are new to my blog... if you're interested, comment below. I'll also be sending out messages to a couple of you your way...