December 12, 2011

I'm approaching my first finals here at AIS. I suppose this should be a time to reflect on my first semester, though I suspect I'll have an easier time doing so after said finals are over.

Some initial thoughts, though:

  • I didn't have a good handle coming in on where I stood in relation to the rest of AIS's population (this is the problem with comparing myself to frosh from RSI and my dorm). If I put in a quantity of work less than or equal to the amount of work I put in during high school, I emerge with passing grades. That said, if I actually were to work--if I actually put in the effort--I am fully capable of doing quite well. I'll approach next semester with this attitude from the start, instead of realizing it near the end, when it's already too late (alternately, will work harder when grades actually count).
  • I spend a lot of time with Jason. Steadily more time as the semester has progressed, and particularly more time now that we hauled a second bed into his room and sleeping there is actually comfy. I'm not sure if this (the time spending, I mean, not the bed. The bed is great) is a good thing. On the one hand, being with him makes me happy, and I think he's a good influence--he encourages me to let loose a little more than I otherwise would, and he presses me to work harder. On the other hand, is spending so much time with him making me miss out on the whole college experience? I don't know, but then, how could I know about what I don't have?
I'm happy, though, like I said. So, so happy.

The boy in question, though, is rather annoyed with me at the moment. We played in a live-action role playing game last night that was 1920s themed. I was a flapper, he was a jazz musician. He was madly in love with me, I was a lesbian involved in a sordid affair with the wife of Hollywood's biggest star. Needless to say, I didn't pay much attention to him until I realized I desperately needed money, but then it turned out he needed money too, so I got him to assist me in murdering the woman he owed money to (she had killed my father long, long ago). Then I went shrieking off to the rest of the party, framing him in the process. It was, overall, quite awful of me. It worked, though, and I accomplished two of my objectives--I got Jason's character to stop following me around, and I avenged my father's death (well, suspected murder--I wasn't able to get enough money together to fund a full-on investigation. He ended up shooting me as he was dragged out of the club (one of my former whores had shown up and framed poor Jason for killing a mob boss), and I died quite tragically. It was really awesome, in my opinion, but he was rather annoyed.

December 2, 2011

The 18.02 tests are getting harder--this one took me 25 minutes instead of 15. Someone else finished at the same time I did (or finished sooner and checked their work) and came down to hand it in. The proctor blinked at him confusedly and said "you're done!?!" Sound carries pretty well in the room, and for some reason people thought it was hilariously funny that someone could finish so fast (at least, that's the impression I've gotten). I'm beginning to lose faith in my peers. About five minutes later, someone else got up, handed his test over and said "That's it! It really is! I'm calling my father today and dropping the hell out of this school." He then chucked his writing utensils into the door and stormed out amid mild chuckling (we are apparently not the most sympathetic sort). It was, overall, quite dramatic. I handed mine in a couple of minutes later. The proctor blinked at me, too (I, erm, may have arrived slightly late) but, wisely, chose not to comment.

Quality stuff, that.

In other news, I failed my first test two days ago (it was, of course, not in 18.02). I'm pretty sure it gave me the kick in the ass I needed to snap out of my complacency, at least as far as 3.091 goes. I've been working on chem round the clock, and I've gotten through nearly a month of material in two days. I haven't started the practice tests yet (I get to take a makeup exam on Monday). And I have to write an 8 page paper for Tuesday (I've started the research phase, and I have a general idea of what I want to write, but that's it). And a physics pset for Tuesday, which I also haven't made progress in.

But it's okay. Life is good. Math is fun, physics is interesting, and next semester I'm taking nothing but math, physics, and an extremely non-intensive HASS class.

I look forward to it. The fact that the physics classes are likely to be quite difficult is irrelevant.

November 29, 2011

Things I have done today:

I successfully woke up in time for my chem recitation. Well, kind of. I set an alarm for 9:15, took my medication, considered showering, then ended up going back to sleep for half an hour. But I was actually on time, so all is well.

I worked out what grades I need to get on my finals...I should stop doing work. I should stop doing work now. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm actually capable of ceasing to work entirely, but I really ought to get my UROP app out.

I finished my calculus pset. I wrote a small quantity of equations on my review sheet for my chem test tomorrow, but I'm intending to get done as much of it as I can in 20 minutes, then go listen to Stephen Chu. Because, well, Stephen Chu. Also,  free frozen yogurt in 27 minutes, and free dinner in 56. I love not having to find my own food. I also had free lunch today, so, for realsies, life is good.


November 13, 2011

I'm sitting in a hallway in my dorm and waiting for the bleach to set in my hair. I'm dyeing a chunk of it in the bottom some mix of blue and purple; hopefully it'll end up turning cool colors.

Now Victor is photographing my very much whitened hair, although the guys are going to leave to go play DDR. Anyways, Maya is a wonderful human being who is very kind to me and others like me.

Yup. In other news, the lack of a physics pset has resulted in me not doing particularly much work. There's a cat sniffing my legs. For some reason I trust Maya's cat much more than I trust those on Jason's floor.

My phone rang literally right as I was typing Jason (it was, of course, Jason). Anyways, he might end up coming over and dyeing a bit of his own hair, though I suspect we'll just end up eating. Enrique is chasing Maya's cat, which has triggered an allergic reaction in my arm, which is unfortunate.

Where did Maya go, I should rinse my bleach out. Panicpanicpanicpanic.

I will now resist the urge to insert emoticons into my blog.

November 8, 2011

Inappropriate Musings of the Kitchen

Lionel: But semen is a non-newtonian fluid!
Roger: Know what else is a non-newtonian fluid? Ketchup. Would you like some ketchup with your semen?

Roger's list of his five least favorite substances:

1) fake maple syrup
2) vaseline
3) congealed menstrual blood
4) nutella
5) cottage cheese

Lionel: I agree with exactly one of those.

November 7, 2011

I'm writing a paper.
No you're not, Tea, you're writing a blog post.
Am not.
Are too.
Am not.
Are too.
Am not.
Are too.
This sounds like the sort of argument I have with my boyfriend.
Your boyfriend sounds like an idiot.
He's not.
Are you sure?
Yes, he's just occasionally somewhat dense.
I don't think you're writing a paper right now.
That's because I'm not.
Aren't you?
Well, I should be. I just don't seem to care enough about why we got into the Iraq war.
But it's important!
But I'd rather do math! Also, Archie just called me. Apparently he's really dissatisfied with the social scene at his college of choice and is going to try to transfer here. I wished him luck, but, well--transfers here don't really work.
I guess this is what comes of trying to play the admissions game.
Don't be mean.
Why not?

October 22, 2011

The weirdest thing about sleeping until noon is that it makes the day feel really, really short.

Basically, all I've done today is play Environmental Oversight. I probably shouldn't have done this--for one thing, I have a mountain of work that I should be doing, and I'm still sick (planning on trying to go to a capella tomorrow, but when I was singing nerdy songs on the roofdeck last night, I only got through three songs before I literally couldn't sing anymore, but that was after a good deal of shrieking (can I help it if I react loudly to tickling?), so maybe things will go better), so running around for long quantities of time was even more difficult than it usually is.

But, it was extremely fun. I need to get better at switching weapons, and at not freezing up...and the endurance thing is kind of an issue, to the point where I felt like more of a liability than a help, though we were down enough people in comparison to the other teams that I was probably more use alive than not present. The world unfortunately did end up blowing up, and nobody escaped, but the red team put up a damn good fight.

Now I'm about to dig into planning my presentation for this Wednesday. Well, I'd been planning to do that, but now I'm thinking I want to head over to EC, especially since I have to get up at noon to get to rehearsal at 1. I really should practice piano, but I just don't feel like it. I'll pack a thing of post-it notes for tomorrow, then stick them wherever I can't keep up during rehearsal, then grind those spots out...

No, I need more practice. The presentation will have to wait.

October 19, 2011

I've been trying to avoid selling all of my soul to ESP, because, really, I would like to have some of it left, and I'd really like to have at least a little bit of free time in my life. Especially given that I'm supposed to be playing for a musical the weekend of Splash.

And yet, I let Olive talk me into co-directing morning registration with her. Why am I insane? The world may never know.

In other news, I've got a god-awful cold, and Jason has the same godawful cold, and it is generally rather unfortunate. I also finally caved and bought myself ice cream (bring on the weight gain), but I'm claiming that's just because I have a sore throat and it makes me feel better (actually, it was more a matter of "my computer fucking died again, and my boyfriend has too much homework to distract me. Ice cream!"). I've still been considerably healthier than I was during RSI, though, so I suppose that's something.

My physics class did an extremely awesome demo on conductivity yesterday. I seriously don't understand how the physics demos are so much more impressive than the chemistry ones (I mean, what chemistry ones?) when both classes are (at the moment, anyways) covering the same material from slightly different angles. Wire not conducting enough? Cool it down with liquid nitrogen (LN2 is always applicable). Glass not conducting electricity? Melt it with a blowtorch.

James's joke about this was "How many physicists does it take to light a lightbulb?" "One, but he needs a blowtorch to do it."

All of the awesome is mine.

Further questions include whether I'm capable of singing well enough to go to a capella tonight, which remains to be seen.

October 14, 2011

I'm with Leila in her room. We just visited her beloved Starbucks and had a generally wonderful time.

I'm not really sure what else to write about. Rube and I talked on facebook last night--it was totally innocuous, but actually rather nice. I guess this is kind of obvious, since I was friends with him for a number of years, but I really enjoy talking to him.

October 6, 2011

I will not fail my physics test, I will not fail my physics test, I will not fail my physics test. Somehow the repetition isn't making me feel any more confident in my abilities.

Imagine a sphere of charge Q. It's big. It's really big. Find things about it. Find all the things. Yes, I mean all of them. What do you mean you don't know what a gradient is?

Math is confusing. Taking physics with bonus math before actually taking the material covered in bonus math was probably not the brightest idea I've had. But if I manage to pass this test, I'll have actually learned things. Well, regardless of whether I pass I've learned an awful lot, it's just a question of whether "an awful lot" is sufficient.

On the plus side, I think I passed the chem test today.

Okay, I'm going to go search for productivity now. Also, worry about the fact that my throat hurts.

October 4, 2011

I'm down in the basement of the library. I forgot to bring a charger with me, so my laptop is going to die some time in the near future. I should be doing practice tests for physics, but I'm really confused and need my notes. I could be doing practice tests for chem, but I'm really lazy.

I could have worked this afternoon, but I skipped my calc class and went over to Jason's dorm for an hour. Being totally unproductive is a lot more fun than working. As it turns out, many things are a lot more fun than working.

But mostly studying. I don't mind psetting all that much, but I really don't like studying. I also really dislike writing essays, which I had to do last week, and preparing for presentations, which I should be doing now.

Actually, I'm going to go find a computer with Inkscape on it and do some vector image editing.

Happy birthday, James.
If I can just make it through Thursday, everything will be fine. If I can just manage to stay focused, and actually study for my tests and actually do my pset properly and learn the goddamn material and be prepared, everything will turn out okay.

I think 3.091 will be easy, if I make a sufficiently detailed formula sheet. I think that 17.40 will not be easy but that I don't have time to prepare for it. I think that 8.022 will be hard as fuck.

I think that I am too lazy to keep AIS's alias from getting out, but that's really a-okay.

James left at some point. I'm not sure where he went. Victor is still here. The froshlings are making a piñata for this weekend, because our floor is having a party and, for whatever reason, parties necessitate piñatas, and, for whatever reason, the froshlings are in charge.

I wonder how long I'll actually end up staying at said party, and how late my a capella group will end up making me.

In other news, physics is really difficult. Also, I've been dropping f-bombs left and right in my speech, and it makes it really difficult to type like a relatively appropriate person.

I'm stressed as hell, yet I keep forgetting to be stressed. I'm at AIS, where a mistake never to be lived down is that James mistakenly said that the sun rotates around the Earth. I'm at AIS, where there are fucked up people (I'm looking at your sexist comments, Linguini). I love it here, though. Life is glorious.

October 3, 2011

If James ruled the world, all numbers would be prime. If I ruled the world, I wouldn't have a test on Wednesday and then two more exams and a pset due on Thursday. Because that is cruel and unusual and entirely problematic.

In other news, I got up too early today (I had my alarm set for 9, and Alan called at 8:59 and woke me up). This is entirely separate from waking up at 7 because I forgot to draw the blinds and my brain was like "look! there is light! It's time to wake up!"

Draw. This reminds me of Jason last night, gchatting me at some point to tell me that a suggestion for his hall photo was the lot of them pressed together along a staircase with a centipede "drawn across their hands." Forgive me for thinking they meant a literal centipede atop the hands, because that would be how I'd use "draw" in that context, but good god was that disgusting. Then he went and asked if I'd seen some godawful movie about human centipedes, and then I went from creepy-crawly-shudder to literally wanting to throw up. His method of apology was to say that centipedes made him think of me.

Not really helping the case, there.

September 29, 2011

Rememory

I was looking through old drafts of blog posts, and I found this one. Apparently I never posted it, or, if I did, I went to edit it later and never put it back up. An essay from my junior year of high school.

I am in their house, his house, but the doors are twice my height. My sisters wear large pink dresses, layers of tulle bursting around their legs. They wobble about, unable to support their heavy crowns. Although I must stand on tiptoes to see over the couch, the dresses are too small. I leave the other girls and go upstairs, looking for him. I find him using the computer in the kitchen. I sit next to him, on the same chair but barely touching, and he shows me how to fight with animated soldiers.

He races up the hill in my backyard and I chase him, trying to release the competitive spirit that he has been coaxing from me all night. He trips over a tree root and slows, I slam into him, we tumble down. He catches himself on his elbows before landing above me, but his leg still comes down on mine and I groan. I look down, trying to disentangle, and I see his pale, pale arms, glowing in the barely-there moonlight.

The moon is above us, and we are silhouetted in its light. I dance down the middle of the street, ignoring the glass shards in my hand, forgetting that I’m leaving tomorrow. I dangle the spicy mint he wants so badly in front of his face before snatching it away as he lunges and I twirl down the street, singing “mine, mine, mine.” He gives up, returning to the sidewalk, but I continue to twirl and joy under the dull moon. Then he is beside me, grabbing me, pulling me over and a car runs by so fast I can barely see it, so close I can almost touch it. He saves me. Our mothers say that now we have to get married, like the rescued damsels in distress do in all the stories, and our blushes are hidden by the dangerous darkness. I still do not give him the mint.

We are back, before it all, in Iona, where the beach is close and the tide closer. My sister hit him earlier, and he didn’t hit her back, because he never hurt anyone, not back then. He has taught me to fight the way I could, has taught me not to flinch from pain by hurling ping-pong ball after ping-pong ball right at me, but would never hit a girl, would never hurt a soul, would always save my life. I trust his goodness. Our families are on the couches, spread out and close together, and we play a card game that is more laughing than thinking. I am wet for the first time. I notice, but I don’t know what it means. When I go to the bathroom later, there is a bloody spot on the inside of his basketball shorts, the ones I wear because my luggage is lost. My mother gives me Motrin and a bulky pad and cleans the shorts and tells me that I am a woman now, and I wear her sweatpants to bed and think but I am still twelve, and I am confused by all this growing up when all I really want is to play another round of cards.

I lie in bed that night in a room with my sisters but in my own bed because now I am special, now I am old. I realize, as the last bit of wakefulness leaves me, that my body has just told me that it is ready for sex, for love, for children. I try to picture it, but I don’t know how. The next day, I examine the books in the house until I find one with vivid sex scenes, perfectly specific, and I read until I can see it in my head and have to put the book down because the image disgusts me.

I am fifteen now and he is naked, above me around me within me, sweating, panting, shaking arms dark and glowing in the dim lamplight. I toss and turn, the visual plaguing me even though it has not happened and is based entirely on imaginings, but it makes my insides warm in a way that no other dreams do, and I decide not to chase it away.

It is snowing, and he is at my house, and we chase and run with a flock of children, throwing snowballs, and I see him break a window but he doesn’t know I saw. When the window is found later, no one ever knows that it was him. He wrestles his sister who is less than half his size after she calls him weak and emasculated and worthless. He is pushing her, tugging her, pinning her down with the arms that hold him over above within me. She claws at him, writhes, but cannot escape, and he tries to smother her with a pillow. I scream.

I can never marry him, never be with him, says my mother, because he is angry and only knows how to hit. That’s what comes of having a father like his.

I am sprawled across a couch in my basement, the gangling limbs that I’ve finally come to control and love and cherish stretching all the way from armrest to armrest. He is seated on the other couch, joystick in his hands, voice calm, steering an animated car around and around an animated track, destroying competitor after competitor as he tells me that he and his girlfriend broke up because he got angry and didn’t know what to do, that it just comes out, that, that now he’s not allowed to drive because his mother saw him hit his sister. “I don’t know why it happens,” he tells me, looking only at the television. “I can’t control it, can’t see it coming, I just get angry, sometimes.”

He breaks things.

We stand in the lights of the subway car, close together although it is late and the car is empty, falling into each other with each bump and curve and turn and stop. His eyes go transparent, the pale green-blue washed out by the bright bright lights, and I can see through him and into him and he is mine and I love him and I want him but I know he is not safe.

I bike down roads less than a mile from home but they are foreign now. I go faster and faster, imagining monsters on my tail, fighting to get away, fighting the urge to go to his house and throw rocks at his window and cry that I want him and need him and beg him to hold me. I cannot go there, cannot do that, cannot let him know because even if he loves me, even if he wants me, I cannot have him. I pedal, and I cry, and I pray, seriously for the first time in my life, that this hurt can go away, that this love can run its course and leave me because I am too feeble to fight him and to weak to let go. I must not love a boy who is dangerous.
I feel like a hand-height section of my torso around the vicinity of my bellybutton has been filled with knives. I know I'd been saying for the past few days that I'd rather have the cramps than the soreness that precedes it, but at this point I'd go back in an instant.

At the very least, now I'm working on my math pset instead of going to a physics recitation. Which kind of counts as being productive. But, mostly, I just hurt.

That was written a while ago. Now it's much, much later, and I'm back at the dorm, and I'm pretending that it's still the 28th because it isn't 6 am yet. Being silly on Bonfire is a heck of a lot of fun. James continues to be highly ticklish, and Ruby is continuing her efforts to learn what girls James thinks are cute (so far--there is at least one computer science girl at AIS who I also know who is attractive. Also, James doesn't want a trophy wife when he grows up).

In other news, Victor's hair is incredibly fluffy, I babble about things I shouldn't when I get tired, and Nicole squees about gay boys and cats. I squee about astronomy, though (not, as Nicole thought, astrology. Good god...), so it kind of works out.

Now, I really should sleep. Even if sleep is for the weak.

Someone said that in 13 Days, which we watched for my foreign policy class. "Sleep is for the weak." So the statement could not have originated with Becton.

September 27, 2011

Too Many Things


Ken finally decided to ask for my student evaluations from this summer. This means that I have to finish writing them (I have three left at this point), which is kind of a problem, because it interferes with what time I have to goof off and be thoroughly unproductive (which is actually a surprising quantity. Well, that or I've gotten very use to taking advantage of what little empty times I can eke out during the day).

I'm with my physics study group right now. People suddenly started saying "derp derp derp" and it sounded like rain.

Now I'm still being unproductive. I have to do a "library assignment" for chem (Can we use the internet to search for journals? Yes we can!), and finish a two page essay for my foreign policy class tomorrow (and by "finish" I also mean "start."). And then there's the math pset due on Thursday that I probably won't start until Wednesday night.

In other news, I'm waiting for the day that I go to call Jason and accidentally contact Ken. Because they're alphabetically next to each other on my phone, and I'm really not that observant of an individual.

Now, I should probably go and be productive. Because that would probably be a good idea.

I'm really really hungry right now. 19:30 is a very long way away. But eating now would be stupid, because I have gym class at 14:00, which isn't very long from now. I think I'm veering into the level of "things no one actually cares to read about," but I can't think of any actually good stories.

September 21, 2011

Lowlight of 8th Grade English

I found, also, the poem I wrote describing my depressive episode during the winter of that year.

Down


You feel down,
Down so low it feels like there isn't any up.
It feels like the hurt
Of all 6 billion people in the world
Has been dropped
On your shoulders,
And it's weighing you down,
Even though you don't know what it is.
You cry and cry,
For no reason, no reason at all, it seems.
You stand on the wall and look down.
You are sad, but somehow can't feel a think.
A voice in your head says jump,
Fall from this wall that you stand on so high
Above a world that can't understand you;
Fall from the people who never even try to listen.
You run from the voice,
But running from yourself you can't get very far,
And it follows you,
Taunting that you are too stubborn to ignore it,
And you are scared,
'Cause even though it says jump you don't want to,
But you wonder,
If you listened,
How long would it be before someone realized you were gone
And that you were never coming back?
You look down at the water,
And your heart says walk until you are gone,
And the voice says let go of everything,
But a little tiny piece of you,
The piece that is the real, lasting you,
Says stay,
Stay in the world that hurts you so much,
Because it's all that you have.
So you sit on the wall,
And cry until it feels like you've cried forever,
Like you've cried out your brain and your heart and everything that is you,
And you turn around and leave.
Go back to your room,
Pretend nothing happened for a little while,
Because you are smart,
And your brain is good,
And nothing can be wrong with you.
So you hide it,
Until you can turn around and cry again,
Because you are scared of yourself,
And you think,
What if I took that razor over there and dragged it across my wrist?
Would I feel better, then?
What if I pushed this hammock so hard that I fell and cracked my head into a
Million tiny pieces?
What about then?
And all those thoughts,
of ending it now,
Freak you out so bad that you can barely think,
But you can somehow still feel the weight of 6 billion frowns on your shoulders.
And you bite your hand,
So hard that your teeth hurt,
And the mark lasts for days,
Because it makes it all go away.
The real pain, the kind you can feel, makes the hurt stop inside,
And you can breath again.
You're still down,
But somehow
It's better now.
It hurts later, but what else can you do?
'Cause the pain makes it better,
So you can stand back up,
And go on until your next down,
When you need to get back up again.
And who knows what will happen then?
Who can say how far you will go,
And how much you will be able to hold back,
Next time?
Next time,
What if it really is
The End?



This was the poem that got me temporarily kicked out of school for being a danger to myself and others.

I wrote, to accompany the poem (and so as to avoid the mess that occurred the last time it was seen), a letter to my English teacher.

The letter is as follows:

This poem is a part of my past. I am no longer afraid of the downs mention in it. I did some therapy and all that, and I am better now. I am no longer a threat to myself. However, the down part of my life is as much a part of me as the good times with my friends and the embarrassing moments in and out of school. It is something I must look back on, not fondly, but as a lesson. That's why I chose to write a poem about it. It seemed like an event that needed telling. Because of the experience, I am more afraid of things (blood, height, and deep water) but it also makes me more aware of myself. The poem is me, but it is not me. I am not "Girl with a Problem," I am myself, I am my life, and "my problem" is no longer even mine. I now handle downs the normal way, with chocolate and a friend (which, by the way, works much better!). Don't worry. I've already been signed off (twice!) as a normal teenager (assuming you don't count my genius, gorgeosity, and sheer superiority*). I hope that you will not judge me for what I used to be. I am the same person you have known all year. Thank you for understanding.


Sincerely,
Tea


*I hope you understand that was sarcasm. I was demonstrating the typical teenage belief of the world revolving around me. Plus, I couldn't resist being so self-congratulatory. Sorry.

September 20, 2011

Highlights of 8th Grade English

One of the fun parts of packing for college is that I've been going through every thing I own. This includes schoolwork, straight back through 8th grade, when I first started saving things. I guess I get sentimental about anything I pour that much time into, which, in my opinion, certainly makes sense.

I found a brief graphic memoir from that year. The scanner isn't exactly functional at the moment, so y'all are going to have to cope with me transcribing the visuals as well.

Frame 1: "MOON" [image of a crescent moon, identical to the one in Starry Night, which was above my desk even then], "By Tessa"


Frame 2: "Gym class: it's some people's favorite time of day, but for others, it's a NIGHTMARE! "(Nightmare is written in squiggly, scary looking letters)

Frame 3: "I am a member of the second group"

Frame 4: [Figure labeled 'me' is in a push up position, with lots of wobbly lines around her arms. A male figure is next to me, also in the pushup position, with no squiggly lines. A teacher stands nearby, labeled "too fit teacher"]. The teacher is saying "Down! Up! One!" I'm thinking "But I can't get up!" and the other student is thinking "this is FUN"

Frame 5: "You'd think I'd at least have friends to complain with, but no! All I had was Barbie!" [I'm sitting with my knees drawn up to my chest while a ponytailed girl, presumably Barbie stands angrily next to me, arms folded. Two other girls are standing nearby with their arms around each other's shoulders]. "Oh my god! Did you see Tessa's shorts? Eww!" says the speech bubble for one of the friends. Barbie is saying "Gosh, Tessa! You only ran 5.8 miles! You were supposed to run 5.86. I'll have to tell Mrs. M!" "The teacher's pet was my new BFF," reads the caption at the bottom.

Frame 6: "I asked the guidance counselors to switch my class." [Three heads, in imitation of the gifted students's counselor, the general 8th grade counselor, and the one counselor I was actually comfortable talking to, were interspersed with the following text] "no no no no no no NO no no NO!"
"I was stuck." (the last is in a nested frame at the bottom right).

Frame 7: "So one day in March" [Mrs. M stands with a basketball under her arm]. Her speech bubble reads "Run around the really big field!"

Frame 8: [An aerial view of the field is shown. One fast person is out front, indicated by a circle with a bunch of lines trailing behind it. The rest of the class is in a large pack. Barbie and Me are both labeled near the end]. Barbie's thought bubble snakes out behind her and reads "Gosh, Tessa, I <3 Mrs. M. Do you think she'll give me an A+?" My thought bubble reads "AHH!"

Frame 9: [I've caught up to the rest of the group. My thought bubble reads "Yes! I lost her." There's a trio of boys immediately in front of me surrounded by the words "Do it!", "Dude!", "Yeah!", "Dude!". In front of them, the pair of mean girls from before are surrounded by "giggle!" and "hahaha."]

Frame 10: "Then, the guy in front of me moons me! (and everyone else behind him)." [the three boys have turned to two. One of them has the waistband of his gym shorts below a behind that has been censored by a black starburst]

Frame 11: "My poor eyes!" [An eye is illustrate]. "That was something I NEVER wanted them to see!"

Frame 12: My face turned bright red [a blushing girl with shoulder length hair (the same me I'd drawn the rest of the time) is shown]

Frame 13: I jog past the two boys. My thought bubble reads "Maybe if I run fast enough they won't notice me." The friend of the mooner, though, has the speech bubble "Man! Did you see her FACE?" Nested in the bottom right of the frame is "Oh well."

Frame 14: "I got back first. Mrs. M hadn't even seen. Not that I said anything--I was too embarrassed."

Frame 15: "The image had been seared into my brain. I was scarred forever." [a thought bubble of the butt, still censored]

Frame 16: "I told the kids on my bus after school." [My younger sister, my friend, and our neighbor with his emo haircut sit listening to me. I look despondent.] My speech bubble reads "And then...he mooned me."

Frame 17: "The thought it was FUNNY!" [Five giggling heads are scattered around the frame in various directions, including Mr. Emohair. They are surrounded by a very large number of "Ha"s]. "They were rolling on the floor."

Frame 18: "No one understands my traumatic experience." [I stare out the window of the bus, grumpily]

Frame 19: A small image of a crescent moon on a dark background.

September 18, 2011

Visits with the Universe

I greatly enjoyed my time with Priya last night. She's fun--more friend than child, I think.

I'm trying to work out the Trader Joe's shuttle schedule. Well, trying to find it on the internet. Supposedly, if I'm outside of my dorm at noon, it should magically appear, but that looks like the spring's schedule, and I don't know that it continues to be true.

As it turns out, I have too much work to take time out to go grocery shopping. I'm pretty sure that I have too much work to go to the free tango class that Jason wanted to go to tonight. I've been reading my chem textbook since Priya left this morning, and that was more than three hours ago.

In other news, I'm doing laundry again. I really need to buy more underwear so I can do laundry less often, because I still have plenty of clothing left.

I actually spent a good chunk of time yesterday talking to a group that was entirely female--Sydney, Priya,  Nicole, Ruby, and Chelly. It was kind of surprising, and the fact that it's surprising is, on the whole, rather strange. I guess my social life has shifted more from high school than I'd noticed up until now.

September 3, 2011

Fun Times

I'm really liking this "college" thing. I stayed up until god knows how late last night (interestingly, I also know how late. It was 4:45) doing vaguely crazy things in the wee hours of the morning. I spent my evening first at my dorm eating liquid nitrogen ice cream, then dinner, then doing a couple of math problems (/sitting on the couch and giggling like a madwoman while a number of my male dorm mates did math problems).

I'm trying to tell this in a reverse chronology, which would be confusing enough without taking into account that fact that I am running on a very small quantity of sleep and can't quite think straight.

I ran into Jason again before the water war--he was at my dorm (which will now and forever be known as Incidental) helping to fill water balloons. One girl was directing everyone about, and, in an attempt to improve my usefulness, she and Jason decided to attempt to teach me to tie water balloons.

Okay, it's 10:47, which means that friendly toast is supposedly going to be served on Incidental's first floor. I'll be back.

September 2, 2011

Collegecollegecollegecollegecollege

My darling blogosphere,

For some reason, I have been too busy having fun to write you messages glorifying the events of a given day. Also, so much happens in any given day that it becomes very difficult to compress it down in a manner that doesn't involve me spending hours writing it down.

We had a volunteering day today, so I prepared and served food at a women's shelter. I feel a bit guilty about the fact that I have little to no interest in continuing to perform community service, but at the same time, I do have reasons. Shelters are, in my mind, like bandages. They're really important, and, if one gets hurt, they're extremely helpful and necessary and important--but they don't actually heal anything. The root cause, the injury, isn't being dealt with. This is basically the entirety of the reason that I'd rather get involved in political activism than in community service. Yes, politics sucks, but I do think that sorting out issues within our government, and working at macroscale approaches to solving crises, is a better option than turning away as many women as you can feed every morning.

If that makes any sense at all.

But this argument only holds if I actually get myself involved in doing something. And, for whatever reason, there don't seem to be any student groups devoted to causes. I suspect I'm going to have to look off-campus for this sort of thing, because, as a freshman, I am not yet ready to gallivant about and actually start things, interesting as that could possibly be.

The activities expo, though? Lots of stuff. Should have been tons of fun, but having so many people hawk things to me makes me uncomfortable. Particularly when I accidentally made eye contact with a guy manning the pro-life booth. And then he started talking to me and tried to get me to come to a picnic and shook my hand before I realized that he wanted to take away my rights. It made me very, very uncomfortable. Which probably means that I'm prejudiced against anti-choicers, but you know what? I have every right to hate a man who thinks he and his unproven deity deserve to have control over my body and those of all other women.


August 28, 2011

Sketchy Bowls of Coffee


I have officially arrived at AIS. And it is, to say the least, completely and utterly awesome. My dorm is really, really awesome. The people are really varied. Some of them, at first, were somewhat intimidatingly strange, but I'm already adjusting to thinking of the oddballs as "normal," and I think it wouldn't take very long for me to start thinking of them as friends.

Anyways, I'm trapped here for the day due to the whole hurricane beeswax. I was sitting lazily in the lounge right outside my room. Then I wandered into someone else's room, where she talked about her lab job and what things are available for painting. Then Yuma showed up, and I briefly communicated with him, then left him and Victor sitting in the lounge when I went up a floor to an even that is being called "Physics and Coffee."

I haven't seen any coffee yet, but there are donuts, and there appears to be some sort of donut-shaped cake. Hopefully Yuma is managing himself alright. I suspect he's capable of that sort of thing.

There are a couple of girls here who got temped in other dorms but have pretty much been spending all of their time at my dorm. For some reason, I find them bothersome, but I think that's just because over-earnestness annoys me. At least, I think that's the problem.

Hopefully the physics starts soon, or I have the opportunity to start eating the donuts.

There is an upright piano in the lounge. An international student whose name I've forgotten is doing math on the board. Something about number theory and bose distributions...COFFEE TIME

August 20, 2011

Every Day, It's a Gettin Closer


Movie night last night. We watched The Prestige, which was completely amazing.

My arms are sore, particularly the insides of my forearms. I think it's from doing pull-ups on the diving board yesterday, but regardless of what it's from, it makes typing incredibly uncomfortable.

I miss Julie and Cammie, but at least Julie will be back soon. Snuggling with her with would have been a good antidote to the moie-night-induced "last time I did this I had a cuddle buddy" issue, but it is what it is, and I'm fine.

I'm through the roof excited for AIS. Just like before I left for RSI this summer, I'm spending so much energy being excited that I'm not bothering to savor what I have. But, then, there's not all that much to savor beyond solitude, and I've certainly been savoring plenty of that. Well, there's Nyx, who is currently at her second to last day of work, but I'm probably going to sleep over at her house tonight, and I'll be bothering the heck out of her these coming days, so I'm not missing anything right this second. Julie is in Michigan visiting Timothy, and Cammie is already at college, and Kathrya is long gone, so no dice there. Yuma is around, but I'll see him in a week anyways. There are a few other people, but no one that I'm desperate to see, no one I'm going to be striving to keep up with in the coming years.

Just my family, really, but I spent two weeks ensconced with them, and, well, they're my family. I'll keep in touch with them, and, really, I'll always make time to see them.

I'm ready to go, and I'm excited, and, unlike last time, I'm not going to feel like I'm missing out on anything at home. So this time, I think, all is well.

August 19, 2011

New and Old and In-Between


I had never been to Dairy Queen prior to last night. For some reason, it strikes me as a midwestern kind of thing, but I honestly don't know why.

A good crowd came bouldering last night: me (duh), Cammie, Nyx, Argon, Nimue, Kerry, Yuma, and Annika. Granted, I personally didn't do all that much in the way of actual bouldering--it should be clear by now that athletic activity is not my strongsuit--but I did make an attempt, and I did succeed in hauling myself up a few of the V-naught level walls and falling gracelessly down onto the mats.

I ended up sitting for probably more than an hour in a powwow circle with Yuma, Argon, and Nimue. It had been quite some time since I'd talked to Argon and Nimue, so that was certainly nice. It was strange to hear about high school again, because it feels like graduation was a lifetime ago. The senior summer flew by, but, at the same time, it feels like this is the only existence I've ever known, if that makes even the slightest bit of sense.

I'm crossing my fingers for Argon getting into AIS. He deserves it if anybody does (though he is on my mental list of "people who might end up ditching us for that other, extremely geographically proximate school. That boy really ought to actually join science bowl, because I think his help is going to be desperately needed.

In other news, both he and Nimue are taking bucketfuls of AP classes and working on college apps and pretty much sitting right where I was a year ago (well, slightly different--Argon has a more rigorous schedule than I did, Nimue's is less so). It feels so distant, though. I'm a bit worried about getting to college and diving into schoolwork again. I'm worried my mind has forgotten how to be fully intellectually engaged.

Think how bad it would be if I'd taken the fellowship and waited two years. That no doubt would have been a nightmare.

After both bouldering and DQing, Cammie went back to her house to pack up the car and, in the morning, leave.

She's our first departure. Well, technically our second, but no one had thought that Kathrya wouldn't be coming back. I hadn't even had sufficient time to get used to the haircut, but I suppose that's what skype is for. Even so, I already miss Cammie and her silliness--but I know that once I get to AIS, home will be the last thing on my mind.

Besides, it's going to be good to be somewhere new (well, maybe not 'new', but at least not here). I'd gotten way too used to having someone's arm around me on these outings, and I'm not sure now is the time to be thinking about--well, I'm sure you all know.

Ah, well. It is what it is, as always. I think I'm going to try to find a watch and some goggles and swim some laps. It'd be good for me.

August 18, 2011

Stuffity Stuff Stuff Stuffs

Finally came up with a name for college of choice: the  Academic Institute of Schooliness, abbreviated to AIS.

I'm currently helping Cammie pack for school. Well, I'm using my computer and laughing at occasional funniness. Annika is rooting through all of Cammie's drawers and digging out everything worth packing. Now Annika has given up on that and is rooting through Cammie's drawers looking for things to take.

I'm going to attempt to go bouldering tonight. I strongly suspect that I am far to weak and pathetic to succeed at this sort of activity, but I'm still going to spend $7 trying. It's also another chance to bond with my wonderful high school buddies, and I'll get to see Nyx, which is a particularly wonderful perk.

I'm going to get off of the computer, now.

August 17, 2011

Visitation with Rickling


Gunnar came to visit today. I've been, of late, focusing on (in Gunnar's words) firming my social ties, or something along the lines of that, with my high school friends. This means that Gunnar got hauled over to Cammie's house (he declared that Cammie is "interesting," and it sounded like he meant "in a good way" and not "ummm") to watch her pack. Cammie, after all, is leaving town to go to college on Friday, which is, as you might be aware, very, very soon.

The three of us eventually became hungry, and as Cammie is not in the possession of particularly much food (this is a side effect of getting home from Europe less than three days ago), we decided to go out for lunch. This was my first (and, in all likelihood, last) visit to the Shake Shack. Not that there's anything wrong with the place--the food was delicious, and there was an absolutely perfect quantity of it--but I don't go out to eat much, and I'm not going to be here for very many more days anyways. But I did eat a relatively guilt-free meal (I seem to have dropped half of what I gained this summer, which means that most of it was medication-induced bloat, which makes me extremely happy).

Gunnar's family also showed up at the Shake Shack, so I got to see his adorable younger brother again. As we were leaving, we also saw Lucas and Tamir. Cammie stopped to talk to them for a while--well, mostly to talk to Lucas. Gunnar and I stood awkwardly behind Cammie for a minute, uncertain of how the whole 'conversation' thing ought to proceed. Though Tamir's conversation was also limited, I believe that he's less cognizant of a need to avoid social situations in which one is unwanted, so he more or less ignored the awkwardness. Anyways, I said I wanted to call Yuma, so Gunnar and I went outside. I sat on the ledge of the truck's bed and he stood nearby while I scrolled through my phone.

Although I wasn't in possession of Yuma's phone number (Yuma, as it turns out, is not in possession of a phone), we decided to crash his house anyways, despite the fact that none of us, least of all Gunnar, knew its precise location. We drove around Paperclip on our way there, and Gunnar, funnily enough, was extremely impressed by the amount of lab space and the number of AP courses offered--despite the fact that I've always been very jealous of the kids I know who attended magnet schools. I think perhaps the moral of that is that high school sucks for everyone, so the grass is always greener...or something like that.

Anyways, then Cammie and I spent a good amount of time trying to explain to Gunnar what it's like to go to school with stupid people. One of his most significant questions was "how many of them are there?" to which we more or less said "normal distribution." We then started relating the antics of Umber's younger sisters and various other misdeeds. When I apologized to Gunnar later for dragging him along on these trips, he said he was glad to meet my friends because they "showed [him] what going to school with stupid people is like."

"Are you implying my friends are stupid?" I asked.

"No, but Cammie had lots of good stories."

I ended up driving to the approximate location where I used to let Yuma out of the car, then we went to the nearest house and rang the doorbell. No one answered, so Gunnar suggested I take out my laptop and try to get onto someone's wifi and start gchatting Yuma, which I did, but then Yuma came walking up the street with his dog.

As it turns out, Yuma's house is located rather farther back. We sat around there for a while, chattering about randomness--it was good to see Yuma after two months, and it's fun to talk about college with someone who is actually going to be at college with me.

We'd been there for about ten minutes when Yuma mentioned that Peter was supposed to be picking him up to take him to Brian's house in five minutes. I more or less flipped out--this would poke a huge hole in the "avoid Peter" plan of action--and Yuma ended up canceling on Brian to chill with the rest of us (apparently after an entire summer of Brian and Peter time, a change was appreciated), which meant that I drove over to Cammie's house sitting four-across in my pickup truck (le gasp). Julie arrived soon thereafter, and not to long after that I had to bring Gunnar over to Lucas's house and head home for dinner.

All in all, it was a fun day, and it was definitely good to see Gunnar. Now, one more day with Cammie, then a few days of hanging out, then packing while hanging out, and then...college. Holy shiznit.

August 16, 2011

Arrival


We got home yesterday afternoon, and then I lazed about (/wiped my hard drive and reinstalled my operating system because one of the changes I'd made left it extremely sluggish) for the evening. I'm almost halfway through Winter's Heart. Weirdly, all I want to do is go clothes shopping, which probably just means that I'm stressed out and desire retail therapy (not exactly news).

My freshman advising folder came out. It included what seminar I'm taking (Conversations You Can't Have on Campus--should be awesome) as well as my AP scores (no news there). It also had a downloadable copy of my college application that was meant for my advisor. I, of course, downloaded and read over it. It's funny to look back at it now. I'm not sure I'd do much differently, though I'd probably have written about energy studies instead of electrical engineering as far as what interests me goes, but, as you can see from the fact that I got in, it didn't really matter.

It did remind me, though (well, that coupled with all the college-app-related status messages among my senior friends) that there are a lot of people working on college apps right now, poor things. I should probably do what I did with the RSI app and generate something resembling advice, though maybe not--there's certainly a lot more existing college app advice out there than there is RSI app advice. Plus I'm lazy. I suppose we shall see.

But now--time for breakfast!

August 15, 2011

I'm more of a romantic than I like to think I am


So I've discovered that I have a relative who is a renowned nuclear physicist and an old friend of my research mentor from last summer. Granted, this is not a blood relative (I haven't found any blood relatives with scientific inclinations), but it's family nonetheless.

I had totally prepared myself in case he started asking me about nuclear stuff, but he didn't, not at all. Instead, he talked about how he made his college decisions. First Yale because he had family in New Haven. Then Harvard for graduate school. MIT "just wasn't for [him]," and he wanted to be in Boston because he wanted to marry his wife, who was at Simmons College. So they got married right away, when they were both 20 (she was two years behind him in school, though), and, he said, they weren't prepared for it, not at all. "Could you imagine that?" he kept saying. "Married. At twenty!"

Times have changed, I guess, because it seems like people haven't. Yet they're still together--she's a wonderful woman, and there was something lovely in the way she looked at him that just made me smile inside.

August 14, 2011

Tired Complaints

Gedit doesn't work with this version of OS X. Spaces—pretty much my favorite feature of my desktop—doesn't work with this version of OS X. If my sister's computer didn't come with an install disk, I'm going to attempt to get this baby to revert back to whatever the four-year-old version of OS X is called, because this is infuriating. I don't fucking care about intuitive operating systems—my laptop is not an iphone. I do not want my laptop to be an iphone, I want my laptop to be a laptop. I like some of the funcitonality—being able to do all those multitouch gestures with the trackpad is nice—but from what I've seen so far, even getting ubuntu to run on this machine is going to be a trial.

Shelby's being annoying again. She lost her ipod ages ago, refuses to pay to get a new one, and is bugging me to use mine. Well, would be bugging me—I gave her a very curt “no”, and she fortunately decided not to pursue the subject, so I get to continue to be angry here.

Greg's probably going to text me immediately telling me to switch to Windows. I'm going to install it—just need to decide how big to make the partition. I have 750 GB to work with, just need to figure out the proper allocations. This is going to turn into a triple booted machine, I think. This fucking Lion thing is just annoying me too much. Although maybe I'll cave and pay the $20 for the downgraded version...all I know is that I want more customization than exists here. I want to be able to pull up an easily navigable display of all my windows with a key stroke, not the godawful application stacks I'm currently getting. I also want Spaces back. If I use four virtual desktops on my computer at home—which is at least twice the size of this one—than I bloody well need that many on a screen that is a quarter of the size. Currently, all my windows are piling up, and I've only even got four open.

I'm used to being able to have full control over my computer. Maybe that's just the familiarity with an operating system that I've gained over four years of use—maybe given sufficient time, I'd become familiar with Lion, and be able to do all those fancy schmancy tricks for desktop utilization. But right now, I don't have the internet access to search (fucking planes, charging for internet...although this one actually doesn't have wifi. Shelby keeps going on about how I'm “sooooo attached” to my laptop, but that's not accurate. I'm attached to the internet...one of these days I'm going to have to buy a droid, just to complete the image).

Ridiculous, isn't it. I decide to buy the Macbook Pro because I'm so sick of Windows that I want OS X (summerbook editing can do that to a girl), then I get OS X and decide it's not to my liking, so I'm likely going to end up on Linux anyways. Ah, well. I like linux quite a bit, and I'm going to like being able to have something a little more malleable to work with. Plus the macbook is still shiny, and the keyboard is backlit and the touchpad is a bit nicer (I think) than I would have gotten with the toshiba. Not to mention the warranty and whatnot, though I'm not sure how helpful that is if I start messing around with my operating system.

It is what it is, I guess. Not much to be done about it, not really, not much can be done beyond complaining. I love the feel of the Mac, I just really, really dislike the new operating system. I really need to get my hands on the previous one, or I need to find someone who knows how to make this one act like the previous one...or I'll install some linux distro that behaves like the previous one. That's probably the most likely.

I'll just go on complaining, though. It's not like anyone really minds. Well, if anyone really does mind, it's not like I'm forcing them to read...seriously, I kept writing this baby even when I thought no one was reading it, and then I have four people tell me they have been. If that doesn't make a girl feel loved, I really don't know what would.

August 13, 2011

Sheer Idiocy


Crazy people are crazy. I really wish I remembered what the one in the bathroom was going on about. She walked in, smiled at me, and then started going on about how desperately she'd needed to wash her hands. I ignored her and went into a stall. While I was there, another woman walked in, and Crazy started babbling on about how she was the devotee of some book. This book had taught her to go outside her body, and she'd been all over the universe, to the stars. It was awesome, and she just wanted to tell us about it. I can't remember the name of the author or the book, now, but Crazy kept repeating it.

It was utterly bizarre--at least it seemed that way to me, but I'm not accustomed to crazy people. My general idea of a crazy person is any Republican presidential candidate.

I'm flying away from Hawaii tomorrow. Getting home Monday evening. I really wish we'd just gone for the two marathon flights--I want to be done.

August 12, 2011

Heebie Jeebies


We left the hotel we'd been staying at this morning and drove to Volcano National Park. The weather was cold and rainy--it's apparently like that all the time there. The volcano was pretty neat, particularly after dark when we could see it glowing, but I'd really like to be there with someone who actually knows what they're talking about as far as the geology goes. As it is right now, it's rather like watching a movie that happens to be right in front of you--there's not interaction, and beyond the whole improved visibility thing (which barely exists in my case, as rain + glasses != improved visibility). I'd like to make the trip with a geology geek and be able to listen to them spout off all the exciting facts about the place.

Later, we drove around more of the island to the bed and breakfast we're staying at for the next two nights. I'd copied down directions from google maps before we left the hotel. The directions mentioned that we would be using "condition restricted roads," but I'm from New England, and when I see "condition restricted roads" I think "snow." And it's summer, so there's no snow, so it wouldn't be a problem (the fact that we're in Hawaii and there is never any snow didn't occur to me). As it turns out, they weren't closed due to these restrictions--but we were sent down winding backroad after winding backroad, including a four mile stretch of dirt road where the turn at the end--to a different, unmarked dirt road--was identified solely by the fact that our car's mile marker had changed by the amount that it should have. Then, about a mile later, the dirt path changed abruptly to a paved single-lane road, and a small sign pointed the way to the inn.

When we arrived, there was a well-lit "Welcome" sign that had our names underneath the names of the rooms we had booked (each room had the last name of the resident written in expo marker underneath). We were still somewhat confused, though--after all, what kind of hotel wouldn't require you to check in?--so we walked around looking for someone to check in with. We managed to end up in the kitchen of the people who run the place; we said "oh, we wanted to check in," and they looked at us like we were completely insane.

"Didn't you see the Welcome Board?" they asked.

"Yes, we did," but the board didn't say anything about going directly to ones' room.

The keys had been left in the doors for us, and we were apparently just supposed to go right in and make ourselves at home, information be damned. When we got to the building we were actually staying in--called the Pagoda, or something like that--there was a sign directing us to take off our shoes before entering, and a considerable number of shoes were already outside.

It was completely nuts. Sure, this is in the middle of nowhere, but people just leaving their stuff around (there's no safe in the room, naturally), and leaving the rooms unlocked, and just dropping one's shoes with no compunction for whether or not the other guests decide they look like fair game--maybe I've spent too much time compulsively locking my bike up, or just too much time in Boston and not enough in Hicksville--but it just seems crazy to me. I have no idea what I'm going to do with my laptop tomorrow (probably bury it in my suitcase so it's unobtrusive (did I mention that there aren't enough shelves to actually unpack?)), but I'm way to paranoid for this place. I keep expecting them to break out into new age "feel the healing power of the waterfall" stuff (they haven't yet, thank goodness, but one never knows). It gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Speaking of creepiness, Cammie posted a fun zombie apocalypse chain thingy. As far as I go, my sidekick is Nyx (though I strongly suspect that, in actuality, she would be the one doing the ass-kicking and I'd be the one standing on the sidelines and flipping out). Vanessa will be providing the heavy weapons (I'm pretty sure she wouldn't actually do that, but it'd be pretty fucking awesome if she did (or "ducking awesome", as my phone would say)). Gopika is the idiot who survives (ironic, given that I count her among the most intelligent people I know). Hyunmi is the sniper (yeah, I can't really see that happening...). Jared is the one who loses it (yeah, gotta say I could see him in any of the "kill the zombies!" roles much more than I see him in this one). Zsa is the brains (valid) and Zorah is the first to die ( =( ). Quite the learning experience, wasn't this?

August 11, 2011

Obnoxiously Large Cats


I'm still not used to the new OS. I suspect that I'll eventually become so accustomed to it that switching to the old one will be a hassle--maybe I'll even install Lion on my desktop, though I strongly suspect that I'm too much of a cheapskate--but right now the transition is frustrating. I don't want a more intuitive OS, I want the one that I'm used to. Honestly, ubuntu would probably have less of a learning curve for me right now, but this is what I've got, and I'm not sure I want to mess up another computer's hard drive with failed partitions. Maybe I'll try to get James to help me partition it when we get to school...although I think he's not used to Macs. There goes my tech help...well, there goes my already known tech help. This is [college]. If I can't find someone to help me with my computer, I am definitely doing something wrong.

Okay, I need to pack now. These posts have been lame, but at least I'm writing something. Well, I'll just keep telling myself that. Maybe eventually it'll turn true.

August 9, 2011

Zippadeedooda


We flew from Maui to the big island (The Big Island?) today, which was a flight only slightly longer than the one I took from LA to Santa Barbara a week ago. There's a lot of volcanic rock here. At least, I think that's what it is. I can't imagine what else could cover everything the eye can see (except the ocean) in crumbling darkness.

Shelby's in the shower, but we're supposed to go to dinner at 6:45. This is inconvenient, especially considering I just exercised (be impressed) and am vaguely sweaty (okay, maybe I could have done with a little bit more on the exercise front, but at least it's better than nothing).

I can't get over how easy this keyboard types. I mean, in theory, the keyboard on my desktop should be the same, but this just feels so much smoother. Maybe I just got too used to the keyboards in the Athena clusters--but I'll be back in those soon enough, so I suppose it all works out.

I really need to figure out how to get ahold of the next Wheel of Time book while I'm still here, because I really don't want to think about getting through the six hour plane ride to San Francisco without one. We're stuck in some far-off corner of resortyness, though, and I'm not sure what the major booksellers are our here anyways. I'm going to have to come up with some more creative googling. Just because there's not Barnes and Nobles doesn't mean there's no anything...right?

August 7, 2011

Another Banal Update


Dad's pronunciation of all the hawaiian words is atrocious. He gets the first letter---sometimes even the first syllable---correct, and the last vowel, typically, but then all the letters in between turn into some sort of monkeyish jabbering. It's hilarious, and it drives Genie beserkers.

We drove the Hana (Hanna? Hannah?) Highway today, which meant that we went all the way around Maui in our rented minivan. We visited a lot of waterfalls, spent a lot of time in the car, swam in some pools and drove down the twistiest, most beautiful road I've ever seen while singing whatever songs my sisters and I could remember the words to. It was wonderful.

Now I'm back at our condo, sleeping on the couch (well, I will be sleeping, once I get off of the computer and wash up and crawl into bed, which I expect won't be for a while since Shelby is currently in the shower). There's not really anyone online to talk to--the time difference takes care of that. I started A Crown of Swords today, which is wonderful but a bit depressing, since it's currently focusing on Perrin and Faile, and I keep thinking about the awful mess that they're going to end up embroiled in, which makes me sad, not to mention how many books it is before Rand's craziness issue is going to be improved upon. I'm not sure if the books get darker, or if it's just that the plot lines developing now hadn't been resolved at the point where I last stopped reading, but the darkness of the story is suddenly bothering me a lot more.

I need to decide whether to go back to frisbee club when I get home. On the one hand, I need the exercise, I've missed playing, I had a lot of fun with it this spring, and it will make it 100% clear to Peter that I'm not avoiding him without me having to actually spend any time sorting things out with just him. On the other hand, I really would prefer not to have to deal with seeing Peter, because I strongly suspect that however over it I am now, seeing him is going to destroy that resolve (I mean, seeing Dawson did that to a certain extent in April, and that was a smaller involvement and a greater time lag...but it's hard to say). I also feel like if he wants to see me, that should be up to him. I'm more or less letting my pride lead me at this point, which is probably not a good thing, as I'll more likely than not end up embarrassed (oh, the number of times I spelled that wrong while writing up things for the summerbook....) about something that wouldn't bother me otherwise. I just don't want to let on to him that I'm still affected--that I was ever affected at all--because he's the one who ended things. Frisbee isn't about seeking him out, but I'm worried it'll seem that way to him, and I don't want him to think that, so I'll end up embarrassed and awkward, and then it'll really seem like I'm seeking him out. If I avoid any place he might be, though, that could be a problem. That I won't do. I want to avoid him, but I won't, because that would be both obvious and rude.

This is ridiculous. I shouldn't care. I don't care, not really, but I still worry.

August 5, 2011

Nyan nyan nyan


Right before I woke up this morning, I dreamt that I was leaving for college. But, for some reason, the place I was leaving looked exactly like MIT (minus the fact that the dorm was more 'generic dorm' than 'Simmons hall'). I was looking for Cammie and Kathrya and Nyx to say goodbye to them, and Dad was waiting for me. I'd already said goodbye to Julie, as well as some random small child who was somehow someone else I was going to miss. Jared, for whatever reason, was walking with me the entire time, and I knew I wasn't going to actually say goodbye to him until Dad and I pulled away in the car.

Then I woke up. Other than the obvious--i.e. I'm going to be leaving behind my own childhood--I'm not sure there's anything deeply symbolic, but I did remember the damn thing.

In other news, I can list off the top of my head everything I've eaten since waking. I'm not sure whether that worries me, but I'm fairly certain that it should. I swam in the waves, today; they're a lot bigger than the ones at home. I had some fun attempts at body surfing and a generally good time. I also finished Lord of Chaos, which means that I'll probably be starting in on book seven tonight. Isam would be proud.

August 4, 2011

Three Cheers for Overanalysis!


I have no idea how to lose weight. I'm pretty good at gaining it (oreos. Lots of oreos. Also, chocolate and ice cream). I know how to keep it steady (live at home and give no thought to what I'm eating. Avoid spending too much time in Cammie's kitchen). But losing it? I have a general idea of where to begin--consume less total calories while burning more of them--but little idea of how to actually manage it.

Currently, I'm working off of "three meals a day, all snacks are fruit." Before, it was no snacks, but I decided that was a terrible idea. Also, I've already bent the snack rule to have some snap pea crisps and pistachios, which were yummy. Plus, the snap peas were green and therefore healthy (I know I'm deluding myself. Please don't ruin it for me). I also spent half an hour swimming laps, and I intend to repeat that. The issue is that I don't know how much balances out how much. Like, am I actually eating less? Or am I just eating healthier? Does it matter? Will excercise alone be enough if it does? Also, how long is this going to take? Am I going to manage to eat in a remotely healthy fashion when I get to school, because I really don't want to turn into more of a lard-ass than I already am.

The biggest issue, I think, is going to be in the Fall. Also, developing enough self-control, and figuring out how best to manipulate myself to achieve these ends. I'm not sure that "be healthy!" is sufficient (i.e. it's not sufficient, not at all). I'm wary of making it into an issue of self-control, though I suspect that's going to be what finally works. Right now, I feel relatively in control of the direction my life has taken; I made my own decision about where I'd be come September, and I'm comfortable with that decision and don't feel an excessive need to micromanage my life. The weight gain thing feels like an issue of self-control, which worries me. At the same time, when I get to college, I'm going to be introducing a lot of new stressors into my life. I'm worried that if the academics get tough, or if the social scene is confusing, I'm going to start feeling out of control in more ways---and that if I think of dieting/exercise a means of adding control into my life, I'm going to end up going overboard. I think, if I'm careful, it shouldn't be a problem (also, I am a loooong way from being anywhere near worrying), but I'm still paranoid.

August 3, 2011

Vacation, Take One

Hawaii as a state seems lovely. The geography rather absurd--many changes over very small distances--but pretty darn cool. I need to figure out if the RSI 2010 Rickoid whose nickname I forget (I don't dare attempt to open googledocs and access my spreadsheet on the tenuous thread that is my current internet connection). I miss my Ricklings, though. I'm a bit surprised at the volume of my post-RSI depression---for some reason I'd thought it wouldn't be as bad this year. I'd talked with Jared about it, and we'd both agreed that this year we weren't as emotionally involved and would hardly be upset at all.

The amount of crying I did the last day definitely belied that statement, as did the fact that I was too depressed to sleep the following night (so many empty rooms...).

My internet connection is shit. This is incredibly frustrating. I always forget how dependent I am on high-speed wifi until I no longer have it.

That said, my new macbook pro is phenomenally shiny, as I demonstrated for everyone in a recent bedcheck by holding it and its built-in webcam up to a mirror. So much shiny. Lots and lots of shiny. I really need to get it a hard shell to protect it from scratches. And maybe a plastic sheet for the screen, and definitely a keyboard cover. If this baby is going to get me through the next four years, I need to be nice to it from day one.

In other news, I'm too lazy to unpack and my clothing is accumulating. Snorkeling was fun and I saw a shark. I continue to believe that snorkeling should be spelled snorkling. I'm really hungry (this whole 'dieting' thing doesn't agree with me, but I'm pretty sure that just plain 'eating healthy' is not going to make me drop the 10 lbs I picked up, and I really don't want to continue to have the weird gut I currently have going). The Wheel of Time is awesome. Hawaii is pretty. I want dinner. Life is good.

July 30, 2011

Ends

The kids are all leaving. I've cried a couple of times. It's really, truly heart-wrenching every now and then, though it's also sometimes just "eh."

I'm not getting the MIT blogger application done. I quite simply don't have time, unless I just dig up an old story and mail that. Maybe tomorrow, but I doubt it. I'm busy--very, very busy--so it's looking like it's going to be me, you, and some more Semioverachieving for the next four years.

The stupid dryer didn't work, so all of my damp clothes are scattered around my room. Every surface has some sort of drying object on it. I really need to get Jared to come back and yell at me until there isn't anything left on my floors.

Love always,
Tea.

Just like I signed all of the summerbooks.

July 25, 2011

Quotes of Win

Obtained from a late night of summerbook editing.

Beatrice: Exploding chest hair is a big no-no



Beatrice: I just know I spout stupid crap all the time. It's like a talent. Being stupid!



Tea: Where did Jared go?

Beatrice: He died.

Tea: What?

Beatrice: He is dead. We must push on.

*Beatrice returns to editing*


Olive: I had this waking dream that I was the stack of papers that had to be returned. That my body was made out of papers. This was after the dream I had that the entire C-tower was blown up, and everyone died except for me, Greg's group, and Tea's group. And I wanted to know--would we still make them turn in their papers?


Beatrice: What the fuck am I doing? Tea, did you just transcribe that? Why would you do that?



Tea: I'm going to the bathroom.

Beatrice: No, you're not allowed to pee! Just kidding, Tea, you can pee as much as the hell you want.


Tea: AH!! It's Monday! I MISSED GETTING PAID AGAIN!

Jared: It's Sunday.

Tea: Oh, okay, I'll go tomorrow.

5 minutes later

Tea: What day of the week is it?

Beatrice: Sunday

Tea: Really?



Jared: Erasmus. Erasmus. I like saying his name and I like saying Aquafina's name. Coincidentally, they're also both very annoying...Erasmus needs a quote. Do you want to make one up for him? Sorry, I was sleeping? Sorry, I was late? Oh, I was confused...

-------

Beatrice: Are you still transcribing?

Tea: I was going to, but then I realized it would be inappropriate.



Beatrice: Take it up with Jared, he has a stick.

Beatrice: Most embarrassing experience: showing up to a week's worth of lectures on time.



Jared: Notepad is a wonderful program

Beatrice: Did you just say "no pants are wonderful!"

Jared: No! Notepad is wonderful! It opens instantly. UNLIKE OTHER THINGS.



Olive just attempted to toss Jared (who was 5 feet away) a flash drive. It hurtled into the arm of the couch next to me (I was further away than Jared) and Jared began to laugh hysterically.





June 25, 2011

Stuffy Stuffs


So I'm having this issue where a number of my Ricklings read this blog. This means that I can't really write about them without it feeling, to me at least, somewhat gossipy. Thus, all I really have to write about are things that don't involve them, but I have a feeling that Olive would strangle me if I started giving explicit details of my romantic life (erm, not that I get involved in anything that could be termed explicit), I am left with my to-do lists.

From Friday:
  • Finish section 1A of 18.02 (did not complete)
  • Eat breakfast (done)
  • Compile list of 10 Cambridge eateries (did not complete)
  • Start account at MITCFU (did do)
  • Bike to TJs and buy groceries (did not do, as wallet was lost between dorm and grocery store)
  • Obtain a "learn to cook" book (done)
  • Eat (healthy) lunch (done, but only kind of healthy)
  • Print and fill out Moody's form (done)
  • Research 1st scientist on energy list (not done)
  • Authorize Dad as payer for college (done)
  • Cook dinner (did not due, as wallet was missing and could not buy ingredients)
For today:
  • Interview (great success)
  • Respond to email (i.e. accept job offer---will do shortly)
  • Send sweet text to boy (done)
  • Police report (done---the MIT police are soooo nice)
  • Clean room (lolz)
  • Make graffiti nametag
  • Look into license replacement
  • Login to MIT Police website and report lost item
Yay, things to do!

June 16, 2011

Worrisome Items

I leave for RSI tomorrow, so I've been packing furiously. So far, I have filled and sealed three bags, packaged my desktop up in the box that came with it (I can't handle not being able to check my email first thing in the morning), and hauled out my sleeping bag and laundry bin.

I filled my silver rolling bag first. This is a silly bag to bring somewhere that doesn't involve airports, but I'm flying off on a family vacation right after RSI so I need to have it with me. In this bag, I have:
  • 16 t-shirts
  • 11 tank tops
  • 5 skirts
  • 2 flannel shirts
  • 8 pairs of socks
  • 3 sweaters
  • 9 pairs of underwear
This makes up a considerable portion of my wardrobe.

I then packed the red duffle bag, which contains:
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 5 pairs of shorts
  • 2 cargo capris
  • 6 dresses
  • 1 pair of leggings
  • 1 pair of capri-length sweats
  • 6 shirts
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 6 pairs of shoes
  • 1 raincoat
  • 2 lightweight jackets
  • 7 sweaters/sweatshirts
  • 1 pair of flannel PJ pants that I probably won't wear
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 belt
  • 4 bags of various types
  • 1 bathrobe
  • 1 bath mat
  • 2 bath towels
  • 1 face towel
Yeah, the red duffle is really, really big.

Next, I packed the aqua duffle, which is smaller and holds only:
  • Many hose and tights
  • Wrinkled white blouse
  • 3 sets of sheets
  • 5 bras
  • All remaining swimsuits (I wouldn't bring this many, but I'm going to hawaii afterwards and I'll want them then)
  • Purple cami
  • "This is what a feminist looks like" t-shirt
  • Assorted mismatched socks
  • Leggings
  • Black hoody
  • Lightweight PJ pants
  • 5 PJ shirts, including RSI shirts
I'm now working my way through the purple duffle, which so far contains:
  • Soft blanket
  • Blankey <3
  • Throw blanket
  • Computer power strip
  • Feminine hygiene products (lol)
  • Paperclip High frisbee
  • Umbrellas (2, both small)
  • TI-89
  • 2 regular bras
  • 2 sport bras
  • 2 formal shirts, both currently dirty
It should be noted that I don't advocate bringing this much stuff. It's just that I have a double to myself, so a ton of space to store it, and I'm hoping to leave it up in Boston so I can just bring it all to school in the fall. Also, I was the heaviest packer last year by a longshot---I think I might still be bringing the most stuff, despite the fact that I am bringing neither my keyboard nor my guitar. But whatever---I love my clothes.

On a more troublesome note, however, I've discovered that I'm missing approximately a laundry (need to stop trying to spell that as laundrey...) load worth of clothing. I've been writing down everything I can't find, so here's that list, just to be thorough.
  • Purple northface tee (tree)
  • New Ann Taylor tanks
  • New Ann Taylor cargos
  • Bleached blue cargos
  • Knee-length dark cargos
  • MIT shorts
  • full-length black sweats
  • Baggy dark purple "Dream" Gap shirt
  • flipflops
  • strappy Clarks
  • MIT sweatshirt
  • bleachy blue sweatshirt
  • bed roll
  • fan
  • D.E. Shaw shirt
I find this disturbing. There goes the garage door---hopefully it's Mom coming back to help me search.

June 12, 2011

Zee Prom

The actual prom was strange. That's the best word I can think of for it. It's funny, because by the next morning I was, shall we say, very comfortable with Peter (I mean that literal sense, not in the hanky-panky sense), but at the start of things I really wasn't.

The party bus was bizarre. We weren't allowed to drink anything, even water, while we were on it. It fortunately not a model that included a stripper pole, but terrible music was blasted, and it was so loud we could hardly talk at all, and the liqueur cabinet (which I think was actually just full of empty bottles and what looked very similar to the jugs of bleach we have at lab) kept swinging open, so Peter and I spent half of our time yelling at the cabinet door and the other half attempting to kick it shut. For some reason, this was considered fun. He also did that terribly awkward "Here I am yawning and oh, look, now my arm is around you!" thing. I leaned into him reflexively when he did, even while half of my brain was asking the other half why I was encouraging him when I'd already decided that he was boring (answer: I was cold. Also, it only just occurred to me that this was why he would not stop asking me if I was cold, despite my vehement denials. Would have been a better excuse than an awkward yawn. I feel somewhat pathetic for not realizing this sooner).

The eating bit was fine. The gang of however many of us there are got a table together, and we made cheerful conversation about things like someone's---it was Cammie or Kathrya---propensity for spilling drinks. Then music started, and there was dancing, and that was the point at which I got really uncomfortable.

I'm still not totally clear on why I felt so out of it. I think part of it was the sheer number of people around me, all of them darkened, and large, and just too much---I've never been good with crowds. And then there was Peter, who kept wanting to touch me---not anywhere inappropriate, mind, just my hands, and then my waist, but he's so much taller than me that all I could see was his chest, and his face was completely obscured, so I just kept swaying with the music, even as I wanted to shrink into nothingness and retract my sweaty palms and run off to somewhere, anywhere, just not right there right then. I danced because I didn't know what else to do, but it felt perfunctory even to me, this half motion, but he was moving less and I couldn't figure out why he kept resisting my attempts to stop (the touching, I know now. And now that I'm more comfortable with touching him I'd quite happily go back and run the whole thing again, but right then I was miserable). It's funny, because I understand what those sexual assault videos were saying, even as I recognize that I wasn't in a bad situation at all; even when I wanted to leave, even when all I wanted in the world was to be gone, I stayed there and I danced his dance, because he was big and it was dark and there were so many people and I didn't know how to explain that I desperately wanted to leave in a way that didn't make it sound like I desperately wanted to leave him, because I didn't. I like him, and I could remember that I didn't want him to think that I didn't want to be there, but it felt like I couldn't remember why.

I'm not sure this makes any sense at all. It's everywhere-writing, the stuff I got halfway decent at last year, but I'm not sure it works here. I just remember the everywhere emotion.

I still don't understand, though, why I got so scared. No, that's not right---I know why I got scared. I just can't for the life of me understand why I suddenly stopped.

I fell asleep on Peter during the ride home. He gave he his jacket so I wouldn't freeze, and Vincent was sitting across from me, who I hadn't seen since his strange visit to math team just to say goodbye to me. There were couples everywhere, and his girlfriend kept touching him and he kept looking at me, so I closed my eyes. I vaguely recall Peter tucking me into him and sliding closer, because he was warm, and then next thing I can remember was the bus arriving at Cammie's house and then getting annoyed with Yuma for photographing my sleep.

The actual prom was very, very strange.

June 7, 2011

The Before (Kind of)


The experience of prom was substantially more fun than I thought it would be. Granted, I thought it was just going to be a giant puddle of awkward (which, notably, it stopped being---well, to the extent that Mr. Tall and Awkward is capable of being not awkward). The picture taking was fine, and I can't remember talking to my date's mother at all. I talked to my mother, and she threatened me with certain doom if I didn't go and pay some attention to said date (I had slipped out to watch her to Ginny's makeup), and I was perfectly civil and we were not altogether pathetic on the whole.

That paragraph makes no sense. I can tell that it makes no sense, but I am uncertain as to how to resolve the problem.

My dress was, I think, shorter than I'd previously realized. Everyone else looked gorgeous. I still think Cammie looked like a Grecian goddess of awesomeness.

I'm having trouble remembering little details and conversations. I can clearly remember Yuma bringing onion rings and mozzarella sticks for Ginny. I'm thinking that the gap between pre-prom and the time I got some solid sleep is long enough that I can't remember preprom.

Okay, I'll cover the regular prom later....yup. Lab today was fun. I got made fun of for skipping out before happy hour last week. Good stuff.

June 5, 2011

The Afternoon After

There are more posts---one about how I've only just realized that I'm leaving, at least one about prom---but I'm exhausted, so, for now, all you get is a transcription of the latest weird dream. This one occurred during my accidental three hour nap. Corrections to my atrociously written post-wakeup writing in italics.

I was at a hotel with Nyx, Cammie, and others (actually, I believe it was our prom group + Genie + Peter's mother and brother (who was named Reggie and does not, to my knowledge, actually exist)). I do not (written in journal as "donot") remember all of the mechanics of things. I know the three of us had been up to no good (I think there was swimming involved) and were covered in slimy blue stuff. Cammie was in the shower. The hotel was fancy. Nyx, who was in the midst of lecturing me about my need to be more spontaneous, declared that she was going skinny dipping.

"Where?" I asked, but she had already climbed out the window.

I stripped off and ran after her, clad only in Peter's tux jacket (which was long enough to make me perfectly decent, somehow) and carrying an orange towel. I rushed after Nyx, and she continued to iterate all of my flaws and all of the changes I should be making.

The road we were walking down turned into my street, and the hotel transformed into my house. We went in the direction of the culdesac. I saw Brian and asked where Nyx had went, but he didn't seem to know.  I rushed on. When I was nearing the end of the street, Peter showed up in front of me.

"You are not going to do this." Coincidentally, at that moment a police helicopter swooped over us. "See, it's illegal!" he finished, though we both knew that he didn't think the copter was at all related to me.

"No," I said. "I need to be more spontaneous, I need to be more spontaneous."

He tried to get me to put on more clothes, but I just kept saying no. He slid his arm over my shoulders and walked me around the neighbor's garden party, continuing to repeat that he wouldn't let me. We both ate food. I think he had me convinced. Then my mother woke me up.

June 2, 2011

Fantabulosity


Today started with getting to sleep in, so it really seemed good from the beginning. Unfortunately, my beloved youngest sister got into a screaming fight with my mom at the time my alarm would have gone off anyways, so my attempts at rest were thwarted.

On the plus side, I then spent many hours lolling about the house and being generally unproductive (and by unproductive, I mean "covered two more mini-units of vector review," obviously). Then I drove all the way to somewhat-far-off-town, successfully using the car's built-in GPS to locate the photography studio. It was easily identified by the nerdy looking kid wearing khakis and a blue shirt, just as ordered.

I derived a surprising amount of enjoyment from the photo-taking. I realize that the people there are supposed to go on and on about how beautiful the photograph-ee looks, but that doesn't mean that a mountain of compliments isn't fun. Posing with Rodney was probably more fun on the whole, though. We got lumped together after the photographer+assistants asked if we knew each other---not if we liked each other, mind you, just if we knew each other. This meant that as they posed us in various relations to each other, we got to make jokes at their expense, which more or just meant calling them crazy and then laughing a lot (you'd laugh to, if you were uncomfortable). There are also some photos of us making James Bond poses that I'd love to get ahold of at some point in the future.

Also, I met this cute guy from Tennessee who rides Tennessee walking horses (or something like that) professionally and wants to be a large animal vet when he grows up. I kind of really wanted to attempt to set him up with Kathrya, but then I found out that he is only a junior. Well, that and I remembered that Kathrya has a boyfriend, but these are minor details.

Later this evening, I went to movie night. It was a painful decision between settling down with a new way of thinking about projection vectors and going to watch A Fish Named Wanda, but I think I made the right decision. The movie was hilarious. Also, I got to meet Timothy, at long last. He is every bit as adorably nerdy as expected. I already want to be his friend, and he totally fits right into the group, which is lovely on the whole. He and Julie are colossally cute (I actually said to Yuma "they're like you and Ginny. It's adorable!", so I'm now officially on record on finding Yuma and Ginny cute rather than nauseating).

The evening ended with eight of us sitting hunched over in the back of Josh's car, eating ice cream out of the carton and discussing internet browsers in great detail. It was amazing. Nerdiness to the point of perfection.

The best terrible pun I can remember (I love puns so, so much) was Josh saying that Julie was covered in mud and therefore "so dirty." So much pun. So much wonderful.

Nyx also said, at one point, "this is so much more fun than getting drunk."

"Agreed," I replied.

"I really wouldn't know," said Brian.

It was then realized that none of us actually knew, but we nonetheless agreed that this sort of activity is in every way superior.

I love my friends.

May 30, 2011

Eeenteresting

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this, but I absolutely love babysitting elementary-school aged children. There are few things as wonderful as being paid to watch TV or do my homework after they've gone to bed. And even before the kids crash, they generally make perfectly good conversation. Aside from that, making $90 on a Saturday night is totally worth missing a night out with friends.

I saw that nasty substitute teacher who I saw on a flight to Florida at the deli near my house. This was the second time I'd done so. Let me just say that I will never, ever be happy to see her. Never never never.

I'm trying to work out the order of dorms for my housing lottery form. I have a paper to read for internship that I really need to actually read. I have some free time on my hands and very little to fill it with.

I have a lot.

The actual Thiel Fellows got announced a few days ago.  I suspect that they were going to have 25, and I wasn't replaced, but perhaps not. 24 is a nice round number in its own way. I don't feel that I regret the decision I made---I wasn't ready, and I recognize that. Unlike some people (I kind of want to make a comment about Jeff here), I've been trying not to let all of this go to my head, though I'm uncertain as to whether I've succeeded. I suppose if I'd actually taken the Fellowship, and I'd spent recent days giving interviews and whatnot, I'd probably be even worse in the arrogance department than I am now.

I'm trying to figure out how many pegs college will knock me down. I know it'll be hard, but how hard? Hard enough that I should take regular-level multivariable calc? I've been looking at the psets, though, and they're manageable. I'm thinking I might not work during the days this summer. I won't make that much money in comparison to what I already have, and there are too many productive things I want to do.

I want to make those black box cost estimates I was told would be a good idea. I also want to use the online resources to teach myself the difference between this year's multivariable calculus and 18.02 (yeah, the school anonymity thing is totally not working out), because I'd like to try to ASE out. I think that, given the fact that I only have a month, those are sufficient goals. One is less structured, one is much more regimented, but I like it, and I like the idea of spending my days learning. And the fact that my parents are buying me a laptop saves me the equivalent sum of money to what I would have spent buying one.

So, on the whole, I think it's a good idea, and I think the productivity will mean more to me in the long run than the extra cash (my savings have been doing pretty well after this year, despite the rather large crash-related hit).

These are my plans. They may not be grand, but I think they'll be just as good.

May 26, 2011

A Wonderful Feeling


Today, my grandparents got back from their winter in Florida, so, of course, they had to come over for dinner. Mom made something yummy, and Grandma found a way to make a dessert that Mom wouldn't object to.

My grandparents, having been in Florida, naturally had not yet seen my prom ensemble. So I left when we were about halfway through washing up to zip myself in and slide (or, erm, wrestle) on my shoes. I love the way the dress feels when I put it on---just the right weight, just enough give in all the right places, the perfect shade of purple. And it's soft on me, and light, unlike the layers I've been piling on for lab every day.

I went into the kitchen and did my best imitation of a model's strut. I stood still and twirled while they preened, Papa being his typically skeevy self and Grandma being nothing but kind. It was nice to be preened over, nice to be the center of attention. When I was, at length, dismissed, I went upstairs rather than back to my room---the closest full-length mirror to my room (discounting my younger sister's, which is small enough that I can't see my entire person in it) is in the exercise room upstairs.

I clacked up the stairs, and I stood on the rubberized mats, and I looked at myself, and I was beautiful. That's how I looked to me, anyways. The right balance between legs and curves, the perfect dress, the perfect shoes, the somewhat glowy smile---perhaps I wasn't wearing glasses, so I couldn't see the flaws, but, in that mirror, I was as sexy as sexy could be. I looked at myself and I saw that ugly duckling daydream, of the great nerd---who is really only nerdy because of her glasses and involuntary participation in some variant of Quiz Bowl---showing up at prom and being suddenly beautiful, suddenly breathtaking, and leaving them all in awe. It's ridiculous, I know, but I felt like I could be Taylor Swift at the end of that cheesy, cheesy music video.

And I didn't care. Seriously. I was more excited about getting into Harvard than I was about this---which is saying something, since the only reason I was even glad I got in was that it meant that Bryant hadn't fared any better than me. I looked at myself, and I could see the dream existing, that little thought in the back of my nerdy mind that I was the belle of some imaginary ball, and I didn't care.

I liked the way I looked, sure. I hopefully will still like it once I get through the actual event (with any luck, it'll be enough to allow me to survive prolonged contact with Peter's mother). But it paled in comparison to my academic accomplishments. RSI, MIT, April 30th, Thiel, even last night's High Honors dinner, was worth more to me than the discovery that someone pretty lurked underneath my cargo shorts. What matters to me is exactly what I have.

It's a triumphant feeling, somehow. I'm not at all certain that I'm expressing it properly, though maybe it doesn't matter. I feel, to use something Meg Cabot liked to have Mia worry about in those Princess Diaries books (the books, mind, not the movies), self-actualized. I'm not sure Mia ever realized what it was---or maybe she did, and I wasn't old enough to appreciate it, so I've forgotten whatever life lesson she picked up---but it was something about knowing who one is and being excited about it. And being an adult, or mature. But I think it was understanding of oneself and satisfaction in that understanding. And right now, I feel like I get it.

It's a wonderful feeling.