Sunday, February 21, 2010

Be Loved

I have been working on a critique since Wednesday. Usually I can churn out my ideas within a couple of days--mostly because during any given week, the only time I even have free is the weekend. So I surprised even myself when I started mapping out this paper practically a week before its due date.

Now there are less than twelve hours until I must surrender these perfectly-printed pages to the God of all English teachers, and as things currently stand, my offering for him is looking to be weak indeed. If my classmates and I were farmers and our papers were crop yields, I would be the shamed grower whose entire surplus fell victim to a plague of angry, voracious locusts.

How can a book that I find so fascinating and engrossing, that I have practically tabbed to death, be so incredibly difficult to comment upon?

Perfection, it seems, is best left well alone.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I refuse to let these pages go.

"Definitions belong to the definers---not the defined."


Friday, February 19, 2010


The hour and a half I spent at the church this morning were by far the happiest I have felt all vacation. And it was the best form of happiness--that inner calm and contentedness that comes from having no worries and existing solely within the moment and existing only for others and not having to think or make decisions for yourself.

I admit I am slightly selfish in my decision to return tomorrow morning.
I am excited to help again, but more than anything I crave that total disconnection from my body.

The man who winked at me made my day.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tomorrow morning I am working at the food pantry for NHS but I'm ridiculously excited anyway because I've always wanted to volunteer at a food pantry before. Afterward Katie Collins and I are going out to brunch! I love brunch. And I don't have Comp rehearsal again until Sunday, which makes me happy. I have work both days this weekend, though, and as much as I love my job I'm going to admit that I'm not looking forward to either is one of those things where I absolutely dread it until right after I finish, and then I look back and I think, That wasn't so bad. I know everyone feels like this sometimes, but I just wish it didn't come to me after work.

This entire post is just me rambling and I hate the way that the words I've typed echo back at me. They sound ugly and clumsy together and I think I'll just cut myself off now since I clearly have nothing to say.

It's one of those days.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Fluffy wet cotton balls accumulate outside the windows of my house. Rehearsal has been cancelled, and the joy of sitting here at ten o'clock still in my pajamas, when the alternative would be to slump in an auditorium chair shivering for four hours, cannot go unmentioned.

Now I sit on the red couch in my family room, prepared to face the massive amounts of homework I have to conquer. Over the last three days I spent a solid three hours just creating the physical component of my Heart of Darkness presentation. I don't think I've ever been so meticulous with a project before. The only thing that's stilting the pride I feel when I look at the finished product is the fact that I don't think there's a section on the rubric for "time and effort involving Styrofoam poster board."

No matter. Shrug it off, move forward.
More cotton balls glide and drift into light piles.
Let me track my progress with their own.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I nodded.

Now everything is different.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Adderall has worn off.

This new-post screen has stared at me for a good ten minutes, its subtle, gray periwinkle light casting a glow on my tired face in the darkness. I honestly have nothing thoughtful or poetic to contribute tonight, and on the subject of confessions I really should be studying for an AP Gov test. But I'm not. My laptop, practically a veteran of its class at the ripe old age of four years, has somehow managed to combust its fan, which now whirs with an elegant brnnnnn for periodic sentences of fifteen or so minutes. The humming will then stop, and the room fills with the echoes of absence; sure enough, however, the fan once again resurrects its bumbly tune. The clicking of these black plastic keys does little to overpower the noise, but in many ways, what otherwise might be viewed as a distraction has become a sort of companion--granted, an electronic, non-physical one, but a companion nonetheless: almost like robotic background music.

At the same time, the brief moments of pure silence always bathe me in temporary tranquility, almost as if, when the accompaniment stops, so too does my stream of thoughts. I suppose I like both constant gray noise and momentary quiet. One lets me think without interruption or distraction; the other is my escape from everything including myself.

01. I am actually capable of perfect time management! It just requires double-late entry. My mum would tell me that punctuality is achievable under any circumstance. I know she's right, I just haven't figured out how to attain it yet.
02. Physics might just be--in fact I'm almost positive that it is--the first class that I cannot teach myself. All the studying in the world cannot seem to impound these concepts into my head. Part of me encourages total surrender--in other words, why study if it doesn't help? The other part of me smacks me upside the head and somehow always wins.
03. A boy bought a carnation at lunch today and, bored, I stole a peek at the message he wrote. Scribbled out in messy black ink were the words, "You're the reason I still take the bus. By the way, I forgive you." I hope the recipient of his note appreciates it as much as I did.
04. I am losing one of my best friends but don't know how to tell her, partly, I suppose, because I don't know how the space between us even got there.
05. I am trying to single-handedly prevent something from happening that I already know won't happen anyway. There's no logic behind this. I know there isn't. But I still feel the need to stop it in its immobile tracks.
06. Too many of the sentences I write start with the word "I." I sincerely hope this does not reflect some sort of self-obsession contained in my pysche.
07. My New Year's resolution was to floss every single day. For the first time in my life, I have not only successfully upheld a resolution but have also made it second-nature. The next time I go to CVS I have to buy floss. I've never bought floss before. Weird.
08. I miss scrapbooking. I used to do it all the time but schoolwork has piled up with the years and now I'm dozens of months behind. Facebook albums just aren't the same and I hope that anyone who says so one day discovers the magic hidden in the concrete preservation of photo albums.
09. I don't trust myself.
10. "Kindle" is trying to replace books. This makes me unbelievably sad. Part of what makes reading so joyful is the weight of the book; the feel of the page, smooth or rough with aging; the gloss of soft paper covers or the waxy sturdiness of hard linings; the ability to hold words in your hand and know that months from now they'll be in the same place, on the same page, as they were the last time you looked. Electronics are the future. But reading has a tradition of requiring two hands, and I'd hate to see that tradition fall to the wayside.
11. Cody makes me feel beautiful in a way that no other person has.
12. I love my family immensely and even when I seem indifferent or uninvolved, I hope they know that I care for them deeply and will bawl my eyes out the day I leave for college.

The laptop has once again resumed its cheerful tune, and the other internet tab labeled "AP REVIEW QUESTIONS" has been glaring at me for some time.

Diligence need only last through April 1st, or so I tell myself.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rankin & Bass

At comp rehearsal this afternoon Sean and I were sitting on the polished wood couch, the one with the goldenrod cushions, discussing the enormous losses that come with every departing senior class, and the subsequent gains with every freshman class. Perched on the stool next to us sat Haley, who up until then had been quietly absorbing our comments, surely part of the conversation but moreso in presence than in words.

All of a sudden, her voice, with the diction that has won her praise from everyone with a decent ear, and with words, each one distinct and perfectly-formed, piped up.

"I admire you so much Sam. I really do."

No one has ever told me that before, and I don't think it could have come from a sweeter, kinder soul. As we age we are constantly reminded of our status as "role models" for our younger counterparts, but so rarely are we actively challenged and motivated to set venerable examples. It takes certain people, I think, to really encourage us to strive to be some sort of living paradigm.

Haley's that person for me.
I hope that she continues to find something within me admirable.
The reason, I realize, is because I admire her.
Everything in life, then, is a two-way street.

Friday, February 5, 2010

CSS Profile

"DEADLINE: 2/1."
I'm trying to remember if this date has come and gone.
February is 2, right?

If the point
is to encourage
and the chasing
of academic
would the
deadline be
hidden in size 8
Times New Roman
on page 325
of the 2010
College Guide?

The only thing
than waiting
to find out
if the package
is fat
or practically
is knowing
ahead of
that weight
won't be an

I'd almost
rather not go
at all.

11:56 AM - 2/4/10

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I'm sitting in the Media Center

and Laura's occupying the computer to my left. She's reading an article about Michelle Obama although moments ago she quipped to me about a self-help article promising to "better your couple's communication." Self-help articles confuse me. Only words comprise them, words that perhaps constitute ideas but are so vague that heeding the advice they present would be like downing six Tylenols upon development of a paper cut. I'm in pain, therefore I need painkillers. Sometimes, yes, but ibuprofen isn't going to solve everything, and I think it's the same with "self-help" books. We're not robots and following typed instructions on how to better ourselves is not as straight-forward and condensed as rewiring a circuit or changing the batteries in a remote control.

Of course we help others because we want them to succeed.
But I think there's greater motive, at least sometimes.
Helping others betters ourselves.
We help others, therefore we are.

We help others, to know that we are good people, good people who care about people other than ourselves.
Maybe indirectly we crave the positive light that inevitably reflects upon us once committing the valiant act.
Maybe it boils down to an inherent need to convince ourselves that we aren't completely self-concerned.

Does it?

I think silence helps sometimes.
We find comfort in physical touch that reaches deeper into our souls than any manner of oral assuaging possibly can.
Words are words are words.
We use them all the time.

This blog is just words, typed out by a machine, the only human touch the pads of my fingers. There's barely a human quality here. In this way, I am most likely a hypocrite. But I'm not great at giving advice. I find it difficult to relate to people when their problems so outnumber or overshadow mine, not because I don't care but because I don't know what to say that could possibly remedy a situation I've never intimately experienced.

I am good at listening. I think everyone is, and those who aren't would be equally capable of it if they wanted to be.
I find comfort in just spilling out everything I feel, often in incoherent sentences and fragments that only make sense when I finish emptying my overloaded head. Sometimes having someone else absorb everything you feel is the best manner of self-help there is.

What if self-help books just listened?
The pages would be blank and maybe made of sponge.
And we all could relate to what they offer.

I'm probably just crazy.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Groundhog's Day (A Reflection)

I don't have much to say. I wrote two poems in school today, one during AP Gov and the other in Tarmey's class. I'm happy with both but I'm not sure how I feel about sharing them just yet. Also Alex and I had a really meaningful conversation tonight and in a few minutes I'll be closing my eyes with an even greater appreciation for him.

This is really basic and "here's-what-I-did-today"-ish but it was my day, or the parts I care to remember, and that seems good enough to me right now.