January 30, 2011

I want to be well.

This past week has been great.

I got to wish a happy birthday to both my brother and my mom. I feel my body tightening as I get back into shape. I am completing all the school work I must do in a timely manner. (Yeah, it's unreal. Does this mean I'm growing up?) I've talked extensively to the one person I always love talking to. I got to see and take pictures of my school's student directed production of Doubt: A Parable, fo' free. (It was fantastic.) I finished reading It's Kind of a Funny Story, which has been on my to-read list for a while. I have also continued to read The Great Gatsby and enjoy it tremendously. (Well, for me it's more so Fitzgerald's writing style than the story.) My mom and I completed season four of Ugly Betty on DVD and we're all caught up with our other shows. (i.e. Royal Pains, The Mentalist, and Top Chef: All-Stars) I personally still have Community to watch, but I think I should save it when I'm in a crappy mood and need an injection of awesomeness.

I appreciate all the congratulations I got on my making varsity tennis. Matches start February 8th and I can hardly wait.

If you're looking for some good music, I recommend this and this.

That is all.

January 25, 2011

Love is like a sunset.

I've lost two followers recently. I've always found it strange that on blogger, we have "followers." It's like we're cult leaders and don't even know it. I'm sure this is not a novel thought, yet might I suggest it be changed to "readers" instead? That way I won't feel somehow less powerful if I lose any.

In other news, I made Varsity girls tennis! I can't wait to play matches, have fun and get in shape, all at the same time. Seriously, it isn't translating well, but I'm deliriously excited. I'm so euphoric I don't even care if that was redundant!

In other, other news, I'm slowly getting my voice back. Thank you for all the well wishes. I still sound like a pubescent boy. And have to blow my noise quite frequently. I am getting better, though.

In English class we're going to start reading The Great Gatsby, the quintessential American novel. Today, as a introduction to it, we discussed the American Dream. We were asked to define it and to determine whether or not it has changed over the years. Now I want to pose the same question to you all. What is the American Dream and has it changed over the years? If so, how? I'm also interested to hear non-Americans' take on this. That means you, Ruth, dear!

January 23, 2011

Cherry blossoms and a cherry soda.

As predicted, this week was absolutely insane.

Thankfully, Monday was tolerable. The voluntary tennis practice was canceled due to thunderstorms and overall it was just a lazy day.

Tuesday, on the other hand, was spent telling 8th graders how to conduct a lab. Generally just imagine hitting you head against a wall. Repeatedly. We lit Bunsen burners and the whole shebang. Of course, some kids put their hands near --or in one case, through -- the flame. My fellow lab assistants and I had our work cut out for us. We didn't mind, though, since it meant getting to miss classes.

After school I had my first tennis practice of the season. This is the first time I've played a sport for the high school. I thought about trying out for soccer freshmen year until I realized the coach was also my vindictive career research teacher. And last year I was mildly interested in volleyball, but had somehow resolved not to try out for a sport.

Anyway, practice went pretty well. I think playing almost everyday this summer paid off because I was put in what I'll call the intermediate group. Not as good as those who have played for the team in the past, yet not as bad as those who have never hit the ball over the net. We learn if we've made Varisty on Monday. Towards the end, we started interval running and then I was coming home and within ten minutes, out the door to go judge a science fair. I would contest that it was the longest day of my life so far.

Wednesday was basically a repeat of Tuesday, minus the science fair. Instead I had homework and make-up work piled up from the past two days. I went online to check grades and was horrified at my physics average. An F was not going to fly. I turned off my laptop and stowed it away in my parent's room as self-punishment. It stayed there up until this afternoon when I had completed most of my homework.

Thursday was a fairly miserable day. I had no voice. Literally. I didn't even have a "sexy frog voice". I can't recall ever losing my ability to talk before. As my luck would have it, that evening was the beginning session of the Model Student Senate and I had to make a speech. Fortunately, my sponsor read it for me, and the lady in charge of the event tweaked other things so I didn't have to speak as much. I had a chorus of well wishes from friends and I tried to heed their advice by drinking tea.

Friday was the second session of Model Student Senate and my voice was better. Still not all there, but better. I spent most of the day writing down what I wanted to say which was a pain. I went through a lot of paper. Regardless, I had a nice conversation with a guy, Trey, and girl, Alex. I would go into more details of the actual event if I thought it really mattered. I'd like to just say that the Trevor (Majority Leader) and Colton (Majority Whip) were sweet to me and it's shame they're graduating and not going to do it next year.

There was no better end to an already awesome day than to go to Panera Bread with Puja and Patricia and do calculus while drinking frozen mango and eating soup.

Yesterday I took the SAT from eight in the morning until one and then babysat four kids from six until eleven.

Really, it's a miracle I'm not dead.

January 16, 2011

This is The Swamp.

My AICE Biology class took a field trip the University of Florida (UF) this past Wednesday. We were invited to do two labs that otherwise would've never be possible due to minimal funding at the high school level.

We left at the crack of dawn. The bus ride was long and most of my classmates took this opportunity to turn on their iPods and catch up on some zzz's. I just did the former, listening to this song several times and then almost this entire album. We passed some really pretty scenery that made me regret not bringing a video camera and of course drove through Orlando and got glimpses of the theme parks. As it grew lighter and we drew closer to our destination, my friends and I played inane word games.
Since I seem to have Heroes constantly on the brain, my first thought upon seeing this sculpture was "Pinehearst!" Alas, it was only part of the lobby to the Genetics and Cancer Research Complex at UF. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was somewhat disappointed.
Joy, Puja and Patricia inside The Swamp, UF's famous football stadium.
Kyle with his Bieber hair.
Reflection of campus. Sort of.
These plush microbes hung from the ceiling in the lab we were in. This one, Mono, was especially cute. There was also Anthrax, Flu, Mad Cow Disease and Aids among others.
Because who doesn't want a centrifuge with the solar system on it?
Puja and I pretending to pipette.
My view of the lab as seen through the electrophoresis gel.

____

This next week is going to be absolutely insane. I start tennis practice after school every day. I have Model Student Senate Thursday and Friday. I'm helping supervise labs for 8th graders visiting the school Tuesday and Wednesday. Plus, somewhere in between all this chaos, I'm studying for tests, continuing to read Their Eyes Were Watching God and doing last minute prep for the SAT that I'll take this Saturday. I realize I could sum up this entire paragraph into one word: STRESS.

January 14, 2011

Riptide.

i think i take the ocean for granted.
i forget that while i live so close, others have never even witnessed it. i forget that not everyone has felt the salty mist on their cheeks and the scorching sand between their toes. i forget that not everyone has seen the Disney cruise ships coming in and out of port. i forget that not everyone has built a sand castle, only to have it erased from the Earth by the tides. i forget that not everyone has gone collecting sea shells along the shore. and, most of all, i forget that not everyone has felt the strong pull that attempts to swallow them under, trying to strand them


out at sea.

January 07, 2011

I believed in you so you'd believe in me.

For the remainder of my break I watched the end of House, M.D. season six, caught up on season two of Parenthood and finished Heroes season two. My family and I have since started Heroes season three. The show is so addicting, I swear! I love both shows, even if these particular seasons marked a decline in their ratings. Haters gonna hate. Throughout this past week my family and I have also completed season four of 30 Rock. Who said television was a bad thing?

My first week back at school was fairly uneventful, but lucky me had Monday off due to a teacher in-service. Mondays off always make going to school on Tuesday weird, though, because then for the rest of the week you think it's one day earlier than it really is. And when Friday comes sooner, you're insanely grateful, as if the short week was harder than a long one. It's an interesting phenomenon.

Tuesday I had very little homework, which was bound to happen when everyone was just settling into the swing of things again. They cancelled chess club after school (we play in the ROTC building, our sponsor is the Major) and only notified me as I arrived at the door after school. I knew my mom would not let me get a ride home from Kyle, so I sat a good half an hour and waited. Most shocking of all, when I did I eventually get home, I went straight to work on my homework albeit a very little amount. It felt invigorating.

Wednesday is seemingly lost in my mind. I knew I shouldn't have watched Inception again over break! Nothing notable happened, I'm sure. Thursday I started volunteering again with my middle school's Science Bowl. The questions I ask them range in topic, and it's very encouraging when they can answer the majority of the questions. We might of a prayer of getting to Nationals. Might. Yesterday I had a math test. Yeah, I aced it. Thanks for asking.

In English class, we've started reading Their Eyes Were Watching God. If you've ever picked up the book before and skimmed through it, you probably noticed the copious amount of dialect. The audio narration is sometimes amusing for it.

Speaking of audio narration, on pure free will, I wrote up a short commentary on The Awakening. I plan on narrating my commentary for a video soon 'cause I've been inspired.

I'm off to go play Sims, work on some history booknotes, and then hit the library with Puja for some hardcore SAT prep.

Catch you on the flipside.

January 01, 2011

It's a new year.

I faked the time stamp on my last entry to look like I wrote it at 11:00 at night when in reality, it was 2 am and I may or may not have been a zombie.

Tonight is no different, though, I suppose I have an excuse: I watched the ball drop in NYC on NBC, but it was NBD*. As much as I secretly yearned to be at some wild party amidst friends and acquaintances, not going meant I would not have to suffer the humility of being denied a new year kiss. And I wouldn't want by some trick of fate to be stuck lip-locking with some random guy. I want my first kiss to be better than that.

In other news, I got my hair cut and dyed a darker brown. This is closer to my natural hair color and I don't miss the highlights of blond. I'd been getting them put in since I was in 7th grade; it was time for a change.
In addition**, I received a lovely package from Aren recently. She's the best. If you're reading this dear, know that my package will be on its way soon. Unfortunately it won't be immediate since I decided to go ahead and make a few more mix CDs. I hope you don't mind.

For this entry, I wanted to try to be nostalgic like I was last year around this time, but remembering things is a lot of work. I also wanted to try to be prospective and tell you what I expect this new year, but that would require a lot of work, too.

Thus, all I can truly say is: Bring it, 2011.

*I like acronyms. Can you tell?
**I feel like I'm writing a five paragraph essay.