Posts Tagged 'High School'

Be True to Your School

Me, Ash, and Cait at Graduation; June 15, 2007.

“Be true to your school / just like you would to your girl or guy / be true to your school / and let your colors fly / be true to your school.” ~ The Beach Boys in Be True to Your School.

I had a brief discussion with one of my managers today about high school.  He said he hated his high school, for various reasons.  It made me sad, because I loved my high school.  It was (and for the most part, still is) a really fantastic school.  I don’t know whether I just had a fantastic graduating class, or if my love of learning overwhelmed the crappiness of high-school-ness.  One way or the other, I really had no response to give to him about my opinion.  Why was my high school so awesome?  … Because… it… was?

I think maybe I was fortunate.  I had loyal friends.  I had good teachers, interesting classes.  Even gym class wasn’t all that bad.  Granted, it was at the time, but it was an every other day class for a few short weeks.  And health?  Only a couple months of torture.  I really can’t think about much bad to say about my school that was actually the fault of my school.  I had fall outs with friends, fights, certainly, but nothing directly caused by school.  Just individual things from specific people.

I must be lucky.

There are a lot of people I know who hate their schools.  Most of them, it’s a general hatred of school.  A lot of people don’t like being forced to learn things they’re not particularly interested in.  And many of the remaining people dislike the people they go to school with.  I had a great graduating class and I had some amazing teachers.

To those out there who don’t like their schools; try to take the most out of your education.  If you have to be somewhere, you might as well take advantage of it.  Learn as much as you can, have as much fun as you can cram into your schedule.  Don’t spend time wishing you were somewhere else, because if you do, you’ll lose all the time and the opportunities to grow as a person.

(Un)Pleasingly Plump

06-15-2007:  Caitlyn and I at Project Grad, waiting in line.

“The devil has put a penalty on all things we enjoy in life. Either we suffer in health or we suffer in soul or we get fat.” ~ Albert Einstein.

I’m desperate.  It took me a month to take off five pounds.  It took me less than a week (gah!  Ice cream!) to put it back on.

I haven’t eaten a thing today.  And I just used LiveStrong.com to figure out the dinner I will be eating tonight.  I intend to have a hamburger on a bun with one slice of American Cheese, a squirt of mustard, and a handful of nachos.  Plain, nothing on them nachos.  This is one meal.  In order to lose a measly 2 pounds a week, I can have no more than 1039 calories excess a day.  I can eat as much as I want, as long as I exercise it back down to 1039 calories.  This single meal?  669 calories.  I haven’t exercised much today.  When I say exercise, I mean some form of physical activity.  Today, worth mentioning, I played (at least) two hours of  Rock Band 2 (singing) and I showered twice and I worked on my colored pencil drawing for about half an hour.  That burned off 356 calories.  Yuck.  One meal is half my daily allotted amount!  And unless I have time for strenuous exercise… I really don’t exercise anything off.  I hate being fat.

145 pounds? “Psh!” say some “That’s not fat at all!”  Only for me, it is.  All my life, I’ve never ever been above 130 pounds.  Suddenly I don’t fit in any of my jeans, and my prettiest skirts are too small, and when I try to fall asleep at night, I can feel my rolls of skin press against each other, and it grosses me out.  So yeah, it may not be fat to some people, but I feel gargantuan.  I don’t want to have to put out a lot of money on new pants ($40 each is intense.  It’s like… robbery.  Because we all know that they don’t cost that much to make.  The companies make something like a 1200% profit).

And at the same time, I’m incredibly lazy and I have a sweet tooth.  Meat?  Bread?  Psh-aw.  I could go without it.  But cookies, cookies, yum, yum yum!  I love my ice cream and cake and cookies.  And chocolate.  For a little while, I was genuinely concerned that I was a chocoholic because I’d get edgy if I didn’t have chocolate everyday.  Earning $20/week at Houghton pretty much remedied that.  As for the laziness, I just feel like I waste my time when I exercise.  It’s not fun, and I get bored.  I spend the entire time thinking of all the other things I could be doing.  It takes me an hour to do 200 calories on the treadmill, and at the same time, if I typed and did all my writing consistently for two hours, I would burn off the same amount of calories.  It inspires me to not want to exercise.

I feel like the Cookie Monster is a lie.  How can he om, nom, nom so much goodness and not gain weight?  It gives the wrong impression to children.  Huff puff.

I’ve tried being bulimic.  Throwing up food doesn’t work for me.  And bulimics tend to gain weight, because of the binge eating.  I don’t want to gain weight.  I have been, in the past, an accidental anorexic.  How can you be an accidental anorexic?  Actually, it’s pretty easy.  My senior year of high school, I stage managed a play.  I didn’t drive, so I just stayed at the school until play rehearsal at six.  I didn’t eat breakfast, and at the time I was absolutely in love with fried bagels, so I ate them every day.  They cost $1.75 with cream cheese and my allotted daily lunch money was $2.00, so that was all I could eat.  I didn’t have any extra money, so I never ate dinner. A bagel a day, five days a week, for nearly two months.  That’s not enough food to live on.  By the end of my senior year of high school, I was down from 130 pounds to 110 pounds and I loved it.  And the best part?  I didn’t even notice it.  It took until after the show when my best friend’s step-mother commented that I had lost a lot of weight that I even noticed.

It didn’t take me a long time to trace back the cause to my lack of time to eat during my only high school excursion into drama club.  I didn’t intentionally not eat more, but I just wasn’t hungry.  As I went into college, sometimes, I just forgot to eat.  We were in the middle of nowhere and couldn’t randomly go out and buy snacks, so snacks were rationed to last.  The caf was only open three times a day and as usual, I regularly slept through breakfast.  I clearly recall coming out from chapel and crossing back to my dorm room somewhere around exam time and having someone ask me “are you coming to lunch?”  I responded with my usual, “No, I have a bunch to do.” Their response was “When was the last time you ate?” And I thought about it and laughed and said “Probably not a couple days.  I’ll be at dinner, I promise.”

I never gained the Freshman Fifteen, and I was so, so excited.  By the end of my sophomore year, though (I tranferred colleges) I gained ten pounds.  I was at 120 pounds.  Okay.  I could handle that.  Then this year, I made the error of getting a meal plan.  I have gained 25 pounds since September.  I’m getting rid of the meal plan next year so that doesn’t happen again (and because I want the extra thousand dollars.  And because I’ll only be on campus three days).  School food, I’ve decided, is incredibly bad for me.  And the stuff that is healthy looks like a dog threw it up, so it’s not appetizing.  In the end?  Bad choices are made.

I don’t know what to do, though.  As a result of allowing myself to eat more, I have a bigger appetite.  My metabolism is shrinking by the day.  When I’m bored, I eat.  It’s a huge self-control thing not to eat.  I know I read somewhere once that most the time that people eat, they’re not hungry, they’re thirsty.  And I know that I don’t drink as much water as I should (I average probably four glasses a day).  So I try to drink when I’m “hungry” instead.  But it still took a month to lose 5 pounds that I put back on in the time of a few days.  I just don’t know what to do that’s healthy.

Well, no.  That’s not true.  I know I should exercise and eat more salad.  But that won’t make me happy, not to mention I don’t have a lot of time for exercise.  Is there any way to lose weight and be healthy and be happy?  And not stress myself out and not hate everything I eat and not starve myself and not spend money?  Since I live in a very small house with the other three members of my family and a landlord, do not presently buy my own groceries (no space or money).  I’m going to start calorie counting more passionately.

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Weather ReportWeather Report: It was supposed to thunderstorm all day, but it looks like we all lucked out!  My brother will be pleased- he has a huge even tonight that is also a huge grade for one of his classes.  Right now, the sun is still out and shining bright, and his event starts in half an hour.  Here’s hoping the rain stays away!

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Health ReportHealth Report: See this entire entry.  In other news, I almost just caved and asked Bryan to bring me ice cream.  But he said he thinks he was going to head home.  This is good.  First of all, it is good because I will add no ice cream calories.  Second, Bryan is standing up for himself and not letting me take advantage of his heart.  Go him!

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Financi-SmashFinanci-Smash: I have $11.  That’s it. … Okay.  I have like $100 in my savings, but we are pretending that isn’t there.  I spent nearly $75 dollars at Borders last week, and I bought (finally!) my Prismacolor colored pencil set that I’ve wanted for five years… which cost me $130.  But it would’ve cost $210 if I didn’t have a 40% off coupon.  That’s no excuse, though.  $11 is lousy.  No more money spending!  Except, I’ve decided, on school expenses.  These will be my parking permit (goal buy time, two weeks.  It’s $125) and books.

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Schoolhouse RockSchoolhouse Rock: I picked up one of my reading lists yesterday for my 400-level class next semester.  There are a lot of books on it.  At least 12 books.  I didn’t count.  The good news?  They’re all around twenty dollars.  The bad news?  There are twelve of them.  That’s $240.  I mean, I guess they’ll be cheaper used and all, but nonetheless, that’s frustrating.  I had a 40% off coupon, so I ordered the most expensive one so I could start reading, but the earliest ship time is 2 weeks, and it may be as late as 4 weeks.  As soon as I have over $200 again, I’ve going to order a cheaper one that isn’t on back order.  I am happy that one of the books I’ve already read, so I can skim it.

“Nobody Here But Us Trees.”

Middle School lunch with Jon and Andy

“Always the innocent are the first victims…. So it has been for ages past, so it is now.” ~ J.K. Rowling in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could hide away from the world, and have it dismiss you?  Have it say, “oh, that’s okay, I guess you’re really not here.”  The title of the blog entry comes from the movie Bunny Picnic.  Another Jim Henson masterpiece, I grew up on that movie.  It was mine and my brother’s Easter movie (though we were firmly reminded that Easter had nothing to do with bunnies, that was the Roman’s bright idea).  Bunny picnic is about a colony of rabbits preparing for the biggest holiday of their year.  You follow the character Bean, a ragamuffin brown rabbit who is always breaking things.  Purposefully, the other rabbits keep sending him somewhere else- they don’t want his help, he’ll break something!  Eventually what ends up happening, is a dog ends up at the Bunny Picnic!  Everyone is terrified of the dog, and they’re all hiding, and he’s going to not only ruin their holiday, but eat them all!  Om, nom, nom!  They need to make the dog go away, so a lot of the rabbits hide in the trees, and when the dog asks if there are rabbits there, Bean and the other tree-ridden rabbits respond “Nobody here but us trees.” and the silly dog believes them.  Wouldn’t it be nice if life was just that simple?

Only the sad fact is, life isn’t that simple.  Everybody wants something of us.  One of my managers usually spends Sunday running around complaining that everyone she talks to wants something from her.  I can’t really argue with her- it’s absolutely true.  We really don’t have our own lives.  It’s funny, the idea of independence is incredibly ironic, because in order to become independent from our families and go out into the world on our own, we have to heap on a bunch of responsibility.  Suddenly we have rent to pay, car payments, insurance payments, groceries, utilities, things like that.  Those are financial commitments, and by the time that we’re done paying off things, we have measly pennies left to ourselves.  And what of time commitments?  Working forty hours a week, if you’re lucky.  If you’re like most people, you have a second job because the first doesn’t pay enough or the hours are inconsistent.  Usually you work between forty and sixty hours a week between the two jobs, just trying to make ends meet.  When you get home, you’re too exhausted for anything.  Or, if you’re like me, you try to pursue your passions in the little free time you have.  Maybe you’re part of community theatre.  Maybe you volunteer somewhere.  One way or the other, your calendar is full.  It’s to the point where spending time with friends is just another time commitment, and there’s no end in sight.  Whatever happened to recess?  Summer vacation?

Childhood is where it’s at.  It was an age of innocence and joy.  Mum and dad fed you and clothed you, and the worst thing you had to worry about was bullies.  Your world was the playground.  When you were on those swings, you pumped as hard as you could until you reached the top and you felt your swing bounce just a little and you knew if you went much higher, you’d flip over and get hurt.  But it was the rush of the wind that made it all worthwhile.  You go through your school work because there was the promise of recess, of weekend, of summer vacation on the other side.  That made it worthwhile.  Elementary and middle school were dream worlds.  Oh yes, I said middle school.

Middle school is what you make of it.  It could be the awkward pimply hormonal stage of life, or it can be magnificent.  You wouldn’t have to pay me to go back and relive my middle school years.  I loved them.

Sixth grade I ended up with what I anticipated was going to be the worst teacher ever, and ended up to be one of my favourite teachers ever.  I ended up with none of my friends in that class, but I was at an age when I had no issues making new friends, and I ended up with Caitlyn, who to this day (goose, ten years later) is still very dear to me.  From her, I gained Jon and Andy.  And others.  In sixth grade, we were the most popular people in school.  I can’t even begin to describe all the memories.  Shutting Jon’s finger in the window (oops, teehee), listening to Andy sing the Beach Boys all the time (he’ll deny that now), signing things to Caitlyn in class one letter at a time (to this day, I still don’t know anything more than letters in Sign Language).  That’s just the tip of the ice berg.  I could honestly keep going forever, and just about sixth grade.

Seventh grade was just as good.  Some crazy person put all of us in the same homeroom (thanks Ms. Cass and Mrs. Gitchell!!!!) and I couldn’t’ve been happier.  There were always the lonely moments (I still have a grudge against my parents for letting me go to neither Nature’s Classroom nor Sergeant Camp, but I understand now that we really just couldn’t afford it).  But there was also yard-stick battles before school started, and Groovy!  The Musical, and all the little moments.  Superrally was fun, even with our vagabond group of friends.  In seventh grade I went to see the Attack of the Clones primere at 2am, and went to school for testing the next day (I’m stubborn).  I remember walking into the classroom and Jon looking up from his test and mouthing “how was it?”.  Teehee.  And of course the marriage project.  Oh, that may have been eighth grade.  Either way, it was funny.

In eighth grade someone remedied our sixth grade teachers’ kindness and put the four of us in different homerooms.  There was orienteering, which is probably the highlight of eighth grade for me.  The looming prospect of high school.  High school changes the innocent things.  I’d still rather redo high school than be in college, but nonetheless… it made everything separate.  Everyone put up walls.  We didn’t like each other- we tolerated each other.  It could have been the beginning of the end.  If we let it.  I think that I let it.

One of the rules of high school is that you start over.  It’s a bad rule.  It should be changed.  Friends in high school are sewn together by deceit and desperation.  In middle school and high school, it’s because of commonalities and genuine interest.  After you graduate high school, you laugh and reminisce about your middle school friends, but you kindly avoid and secretly dislike your high school friends.  At least, that was the case with me.  Of the few friends I made in high school, I tolerate them.  I don’t dislike all of them, but they all feel awkward.  Like a shirt that’s just a little bit too tight.  I’m much more inclined to want to reconnect with my middle school friends.

Then again, I’ve always been one to hold on to the past.  I like my concept of innocence.  I like freedom of mind and heart.  If I could get it back, I would, but the funny thing about innocence is that it’s exclusive to children.  I can be silly all I want, watch Disney movies, hang out with people younger than me.  Those things are fun and I enjoy doing them, but they won’t give me innocence back.


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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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