I’m finding more and more time to stress and less and less time to bless
(i.e. spiritually, mentally, physically, friendly-ly etc)
My life is the definition of insanity right now. Since at least 8th grade, I have had people warn me about junior year. Actually, it was always “the odd years are the hardest”—which is, in one sense, quite true. Freshman year was harder than sophomore year in the terms that I was becoming acclimated and assimilated to the idea of school, first of all and high school, secondly. My class courses were fairly simple; however, mentally and emotionally I had to work hard (not to mention the fact that my mom had to encourage me to—literally—not work so hard, as I would spend way too much time on little nearly insignificant assignments…which, in the broad scheme of things, really hasn’t changed much). Tenth grade was the greatest year of high school, and possibly my life thus far. It wasn’t that it was easy; it wasn’t. There were times when I was stressed up to my eyeballs (figuratively speaking); but the good times greatly outweighed those previously mentioned, and the stress never left me to make seemingly life-altering decisions or to breakdown in the shower.
And then came junior year. And I cried. And I made the “I Miss Tenth Grade CD”. Because I did. Genuinely. I regretted ever complaining about any amount of work we had to do last year, because it cannot even compare to this year. I heard the sophomores complaining the other day about Mrs. Sylvia assigning them “50 pages of reading in one night” (I’m assuming this was a hyperbolic statement on their parts). And I could do was laugh (and scoff inside of myself). For, as AP Lang juniors, we are considered blessed if all we have to do is read 50 pages in one night. Generally the numbers are more like 60 or 70, and the reading is dense for the most part (Current Issues and Enduring Questions). For the past week or so, we have actually been relieved of this terrible pattern, but it has since been replaced with the constant lurk of this HUGE (I mean, massive, guys) research paper that’s due a week from this upcoming Monday. And I have yet to even realize exactly what must be done in order to complete it. All I know is that it deals with politics—“ISM”s, as Mrs. Tusek affectionately calls them—which I care almost nothing about. Sure, I love to write. I had an absolute blast writing my research paper on John Donne last year, and the source notebook, book collection and paper itself will contest to that. However, that was then. This is now.
And I’m still freaking out.
AP classes aside (which, I must say, cannot be labeled as being a mistake; I happen to greatly enjoy APUSH…much more so than AP Lang. And this idea—of liking history more than English—officially freaks me out and has me falling on my knees in submission and confusion), there is so much other stuff going on in my life I don’t even know where to begin the explanation. Lists are always handy.
- Dance: 3 days a week; 2-3 hours each day
- Anchor Club: President Elect; consists of spontaneous and random meetings; lots of responsibility falls on me since I’m the only officer (besides Nash) that’s actually in class with the official sponsor (i.e. “Leslie, will you deliver this to all the officers…Leslie, will you see what we can do about this?...Leslie, I don’t see any of the others, so will you *blank*?”); will pick up even more once clubs officially begin
- Chemistry: a non AP class that rips my heart out, confuses the life out of me, and greatly damages my previously 4.0 GPA (I still have yet to get above a C on a test)
- Algebra 2: so simple and easy for me, however, the teacher sucks and does stupid things and therefore, I cannot seem to get above a B on her tests because of her weird quirks, habits and inconsistent decisions (not to mention wording of questions)
- Youth Sunday Dance Leader: consists of choreographing, teaching, organizing, designing (etc) a dance for/to a group of girls who have never danced a day in their lives (save for 1 or 2 of them); collecting costumes for these girls from presently unknown sources; all in the space of…oh, 5 weeks? CRAP!
- Youth Sunday School Discussion Leader: forced to comply with this request when my youth leader called me and personally asked if I would take over the Sunday School discussions for the next 5 weeks; involves planning and preparing for the lesson each week, figuring out a way to get the discussion going, and trying to get my fellow youth (many who are older than me) to receive what I have to say and to also speak themselves (perhaps one of the most complicated, stressful, and frustrating experiences of my life).
- The Unofficial Editor of the Sophomores’ English Papers (among other things): of course, done of my own free will, though stressful all the same; something I highly enjoy doing (as it prepares me for my own future career…) and have a terribly hard time saying no to (especially if its someone I love dearly, i.e. Lauren and Kelly); results in me often neglecting to edit my own paper. Oops.
- Familial Responsibilities: Cleaning the rabbit cage (which sounds incredibly stupid, but it’s a responsibility that falls on me every weekend which no one else is willing to help out with, so it will not get cleaned until I have a spare moment to do so or until my mom yells at me and thus forces me into submission); babysitting for the little boys (well, it hasn’t been very bad this year, but it’s ridiculous that it’s an issue at all. I mean, seriously. They’re 9 almost 10 and 11 almost 12. Spencer and I have been staying at home by ourselves since we were 7 and 8 at least. The worse thing that would happen is they would play PS2 the whole time. But, they’ll get over that); setting the table/clearing the table/cleaning up the kitchen on heavy homework nights (Need I say more? Dad: “I cooked. You clean.” :snorts:)
- Providence Post Guest Columnist: Well, this hasn’t stressed me out yet, because they haven’t asked me to do anything. However, it is a commitment I made; and although it’s currently on the “DL,” I’m sure it will be peeping its head into my life sometime in the very near future.
- Colleges/SATs/etc/etc/etc: Yeah. All of that. You know what I mean. And I’m sure Seniors are thinking that I don’t even know…it only gets worse. Which, I’m not doubting. However, it is yet another added to my stress list, another thing that I have to worry about/stress over/think upon during late restless nights when I can do nothing but think about all I have to do the next day. I still have yet to actually register for the SATs, though I have been planning on doing so for quite some time now. PSATs are in October, I think, which will be good for me. The first year I will be taking it more than seriously, I should hope. I would like to take the real SATs in December, if I ever get around to registering. And there are so many schools I need to visit. Hopefully we will go up to NC/SC in November (we have the 10th and 11th off) so I can see Elon, Wake Forest, and others. Yeah. Stressful. Scary. Sigh.
- Group Projects: Always a problem. Granted, teachers should feel more free to assign them when we’re juniors and seniors, considering (nearly) everyone can drive. And it certainly isn’t their fault that I live 45 minutes away from the school and (nearly) everyone else that encompasses that category. But, it’s still something highly stressful for me, because either I have to drive over there at some point—therefore wrecking anyone else in my family’s schedules (because I don’t, yet, have a car)—or, we have to find some day after school during which we are all available for a significant amount of time, and even in this scenario, I have to coordinate drivers since, again, I do not, yet, have a car.
- Massively huge research papers that are simply insignificant to me and uninteresting: Enough said.
- Finding time to call/text/email/talk to in person friends, and by that I mean more than “what time is practice today?” I mean, really email. I’ve been trying to find time for a month now to really email my friend who lives Austria who is on vacation in America (lucky her), but it simply requires too much time that I simply do not have! And this is a terribly sad and depressing fact. Not having enough real time with friends makes me feel like crying. I never called my New Jersey friend Joan on her birthday, even though I’ve called her every year for the past 4 years that we’ve known each other on her birthday. Or at least within a day or two. And this year I didn’t even call her. At all. I thought about it…but there was never a free moment. My other New Jersey friend Elyssa called me the other night during Powder Puff practice, and because she too suffers from overscheduling, we still haven’t spoken. Though I called her, then she called me, and I have called her since then. Though we haven’t actually spoken to each other unless you count the answering machine. Except that hers only says her phone number. So, I get the crappy end of the deal.
- I think I’ve reached the end of my list (for now), but I feel compelled to say something further: I’m sure you are all wondering how the heck I have the time to sit down and write all of this down if I don’t have time to think about it in the first place. The answer, simply put, is that I don’t have time. I haven’t even really made time. By writing this blog entry, I am simultaneously putting off both the APUSH and the Chemistry homework that I should be doing. There are just times (that, as juniors, we should all relish in) when we must give ourselves freedom to soar, vent, speak and breathe. Though this wasn’t a very refreshing breath, as it seems to only be making me more stressed, it was a brief step away from reality. Just because that’s what writing is for me. What is writing but an escape from the world? Why do you people think I stop, randomly, in the middle of the day, and write? Alas, I need to breathe sometimes—even if breathing means realizing all the time I have to not breathe.
Thanks for reading. If you did, that is. Since I’m done now, you should all go listen to David Crowder. He’s the greatest example of “escapade writing”. Clearly. There’s no escape like my God.
Pictures will be around in later posts…after this week is over. I’ve been trying hard to take pictures of each day (Tacky, Pajama, Powder puff…) and I’m sure you will all appreciate the random shots I’ve gotten. I have some fabulous little candid(s). Oh goody.