Sunday, March 3, 2013

Looming Shadows

I'll be taking the SAT for the first time this March.  Well.  Technically it's the first time, if you don't count my blundering in 7th grade for the Duke TIP program.  Which reminds me, my brother will be stumbling through that next year.  Except in his case, I suppose it won't be a stumble.  My mom has been preparing his math for ages after all.  I'm a bit envious that his life has been so perfectly mapped out as a result of my multiple failures and few successes.  But then again he is my brother and I do want the best for him.  Though it would be nice to be genuinely praised for once.  I used to be the center of my mom's attention, and while I can share, I'm not sure what to make of having all of my previous accomplishments, if that's what they can be called, swallowed up by the brilliance of my baby brother.  A baby brother that's already almost as tall as me.  Great.

I'm sounding really horrendous right now, but I can't seem to care.  Cause I really do enjoy playing with my brother, but sometimes I just can't stand to hear others constantly showering him with praise.  I've been used to being admired all my life, and so suddenly losing it all (or maybe it was a gradual occurrence, that's actually more likely, and I just noticed it now), has rather shaken my world.  I feel dreadfully sorry for myself, but usually it's guilt and self-reproach.

My greatest fear has always been that I'll be left as an unnecessary sidepiece, to be brushed off eventually.  That's probably why I keep shoving the people who care about my away.  It would be much too easy for them to tear my soul if I keep them close.  This applies even to my mother.  I'm terrified of failing her expectations, and yet the one way that my logical eight-year old self decided to prevent this was by lowering all of her expectations of me to a level that I could pretend to excel at.  That's probably also the reason that I'm afraid to try new things, to move on.  With every new development, I'm scared that my lack of skill, lack of tact, lack of value, will shine through and show everyone that they've been fooled by my commonplace self.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Phew, but was today hectic.  And this coming from a girl who's been sleeping around 5 in the morning for a week now.  These past two weeks have all been akin to tightrope walking, but today in particular seemed as though all the gods had gathered to watch me fail.  

Starting this morning, after ending my night at 4:30, I had to arrive at school early for a Skype presentation with my corresponding French  group; their students are right at the end of their school day.  My correspondent was actually within this group too, a huge coincidence.  And what's more, boy did he look good.  And his English, such a smoky accent.  So now I feel totally awful for ignoring his last email for like two months.  Cause though I did mean to respond at certain times, and now I'm feeling awkward cause I want to talk to him but can't figure out how to word the email naturally, apologetically, etc, he won't now any of my thoughts.  To him I'm probably a terrible terrible Asian girl who can write okay in French but doesn't talk loudly or clearly in a heavily accented French.  Gosh.  I really am awful.  

Then right afterwards I leapt into English to prepare for my IOP, or individual oral presentation.  Three people later I was talking about John Cheever and the duality of human nature.  I was confident that my design and layout would stun the class, and that my presentation would be interesting to all, but I wasn't sure if I would be able to reach the required 8 minute mark as I had only practiced my presentation during the early morning, when I was so sleepy that I almost fell asleep before finishing my words.  

Following was physics, one of my favorite classes.  It's also the last class I would ever think of ignoring and doing other homework in.  But that's exactly what happened as I wrote my French Paper II.  So I missed most of our new unit.  And the first day is always the most important as it sets a foundation for understanding the rest of the ideas and also is the single day that we receive the most formulas to familiarize ourselves with. Well too bad.  Cause I spent half the class copying 300 words that I had already written by pen and then the next half trying to put together another paragraph.  I was creating a blog using three sources about discrimination against immigrants.  Though it wasn't as finished as I had hoped, I did churn out enough words to (probably) score decently on the paper.  

Actual French class wasn't too bad.  This was my last day of presenting songs and I was out of ideas.  So last night I had emailed myself two related proverbs to use today.  Of course I forgot about the proverbs until after physics and made myself nearly late to French cause I had to go read them in the IB lab.  But my teacher loved (initially at least) my idea and we got our Friday candy.  The rest of the block was split into reviewing grammar and watching the French movie Au Revoir Les Enfants.  TOK was great as well, we are now close to finishing The Matrix.  I had heard others speak of this movie with great reverence before, but I never imagined that it would be so perfectly enthralling! Red pill/ blue pill, the slowmo Matrix special move, I'm in on all the secrets now ;)

Ahhh, but lunch today was bad.  Mother was feeling poorly yesterday night so she didn't cook dinner.  I was dancing so I didn't even know, much less a position to remedy the situation.  So my papa went to McDonald's (the worst) and bought bags of burgers and chicken nuggets.  I just ate a chicken sandwich and told him to visit Subway next time.  But anyways, mother said she was already feeling better and would make me udon in the morning for my lunch, so I stopped worrying about bread and cooking our special chicken patties.  Of course then in the morning she told me she really was too tired to make food, so for lunch I simply had the hardboiled egg that was supposed to be my breakfast, a miniature Trader Joe's apple, and one Milano cookie courtesy of my friend.  When I got home I returned the $10 my mom had shoved into my hands and, after questioning, told them that I had eat the egg and apple as well as part of my friend's sandwich.  She really has enough to worry about without me giving her such stress everyday.

And finally.  Now.  Now, I am waiting to go and serve for our dance school's performance/auction, Swirling Soiree.  I can't wait for the food and the dances, but I do hate carrying such heavy platters while faking smiles to people who are so carefree and seem like they have no pressing matters to attend or even schedule imbalances to manage.  I should probably get going now.  It's nearing that time.  And while I don't have to leave yet, I have to look good no? I mean, I'll actually know the people there.  And the pointe shoe that I worked so hard to decorate is displayed there as well.  I hope someone buys it.  Buys it and treasures my hand drawn, painstakingly beaded creation.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Of course.  Of course, of course, of course.  For the AllState Orchestra auditions today, I was practically the first person to play.  Seriously.  Auditions started at 9:00 and my time was 9:06.  Out of all the people there, how did I end up with such an early time?

Not that a later time would have helped much though.  I had some time to practice, but there were so many people playing in such an echoy corridor/rotunda thing that I could barely hear my own notes.

Perhaps I would have done better too if I had played the excerpts before the sightreading pieces.  Because really, the sightreading was easy this time.  But I was too nervous for the first lyrical one, and I got the rhythm and notes, but it wasn't very pretty.  The second one had odd slurs in a 9/8 tempo, so I gave up on counting and just played it...Usually I can judge the rhythm well in my head, but afterwards I realized that I should have just subdivided early on.  30 seconds is no time to think over anything.

My excerpts were, and there is no other word to describe them, completely eh.  They were slush.  Started off well, got nervous, pulled it back together, then a big stumble towards the end.  I hope the judges are lenient in the mornings.  Or are they cranky and harsher?

I've never figured out when the best audition times are.  They should all be the same.  But humans can't suppress emotions, so there should theoretically be a difference in, say, auditioning before lunch and auditioning after lunch.  Would they be kinder before because they want to hurry and have pizza or would that lead to the opposite effect? Perhaps after eating pizza their brains would produce endorphin and, feeling happier, attribute it to the music? Psychology really does interest me, but I would spend more time stumping around with hypothetical questions than decoding human thought and intuition.

Well.  At least one thing went better this year than last year.  I learned my lesson well, and went to the restroom ahead of auditioning.  Cheers.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Neville Longbottom

For the past few days my face has been swollen like a chipmunk from my wisdom teeth removal.  Every time I look in the mirror, I feel this great urge to turn to the person next to me and giggle "I look like I'm related to Neville from HP!".  And I do.  Really.  But no one from my family understands the reference, so they all smile indulgently at me and return to whatever they were doing.  No doubt they think I'm going off the walls from my medication or something.  The rest of the time I'm completely normal though, so perhaps they just don't see why this similarity is so amusing to me.  To be truthful,  I don't either.  That doesn't stop me from laughing wildly just at the thought of it though!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Like Pulling Teeth

It turns out that getting wisdom teeth removed really isn't something to stress over.  Barely thirty minutes and poof! my three were out.  It would have been a much more interesting experience if they had simply numbed my mouth without putting me to sleep though.  Not to mention much cheaper.  But then again, I probably would have fainted from shock or something if I realized that there was the slightest chance that I would feel any pain.  I'm just a scaredy cat like.

My trip yesterday was a novel experience though.  After all, it was my first surgery that I can remember.  The funny thing was, I was so anxious that the medication wouldn't work on me-my brother's completely immune-that I almost fell into a natural sleep during the laughing gas phase.  Before they even stuck the IV in! Which, by the way, didn't hurt nearly as much as I thought either.  There was a slight pinch, and it was a long pinch since it stayed in my arm, but the laughing gas simply wrapped me in a haze.  As always. 

Or perhaps it was because I was on my way to sleeping? I only realized, rather belatedly, that I wasn't supposed to be out of it yet when all the nurses and doctors started asking me questions.  Hah.

When I did come back to my senses, it was nothing as jarring as my mother had warned either.  While it wasn't totally strange though, it certainly wasn't normal.  Well, I take my words back.  After thinking on it, it was actually how I usually feel when I wake up.  On a good day.  Unless all my good mornings are simply weird?  That's definitely something to ponder.

Currently, I've been laying around in bed all day.  I felt fine yesterday after the surgery, but perhaps not being able to eat real food since 11 on New Year's night has started affecting me.  I've had pretty much minimal amounts of water and only a teensy bit of swallowable food, like egg soup and a soupy lotus root mixture.  Or maybe I'm slightly dizzy from the medication.  Or even just from staring at my laptop for so long? Then there's also the possibility that it from getting so little sleep recently...

Ahhh, school starting so soon.  What's with the school board? They must understand that we need breaks to recuperate from work.  And the breaks aren't going to achieve that purpose if teachers are insisting on assigning us work over them. Though in all fairness I only have the one history paper that needs to be written.  And that I could have had a good start on if only I had worked harder on it over the last semester.  But at that time I was busy studying for the PSAT and SAT II and whatnot...  Ugh, excuses again.  I still should have focused on it.  School should come first.

Except right now, I'm having a hard time deciding.  Because I also have so so many summer program/internship applications to fill out that I completely confused.  Oh, all those application essays wouldn't be so bad either if only there weren't so many teacher recommendation letters to accompany each of them.  I'll be having the same teachers for the next year and a half! And we aren't even pleading for college recommendation letters yet! I don't need them to hate me now.

Ouch.  My mouth is hurting whenever I close it.  Or open it too widely.  Well actually, it throbs even if I do nothing.  Crazy.