June 17, 2012

"Let's go to Marbleslab, guys!"

I come to you today having now COMPLETELY finished high school.  That's right, almost an entire month after I walked across the stage, I finally have no more AICE exams!  Unfortunately, I won't receive my results until August, but I am reasonably certain I at least passed three, which is what I needed to earn my AICE diploma.  I honestly couldn't tell you if I did well enough on Physics or not.  And as they're graded on a threshold, sometimes you just have to hope you suck less than others also taking it.  Like for English Literature, you just hope that non-native English speakers don't use "good English" (as directed on the exam itself; I can't make this stuff up) and you can stumble your way into a mediocre essay.  This past Friday, when I took my final exam, there was a person who only wrote two pages for two essays.  For comparison, I wrote eight total.

Alas, and as weird as it is to think this, it doesn't really matter now.  I have gotten my diploma (not just the case for it) and my final report card of all A's.  I'm incredibly proud I didn't let senioritis hurt me, and I seriously hope this work ethic I've had, and plan to maintain, will be noticeable to my college professors and, after that, future employers.  As I think Gillian Michaels has said,  "you don't get to finish the line and stop -- you keep going."  (Yes, she would say this during an intense 20-minute workout, but that's neither here nor there.)

Now it's onto the next phase of my life: college.

I recently devoured the book The Disenchantments and it had me thinking about pursuing dreams and doing what you want to do versus what is expected.  Without spoiling too much, the protagonist is planning a big trip to Europe instead of heading to a college and something about that really appealed to me.  Why not spend time traveling to Amsterdam and experiencing another culture?  It's a different kind of education, sure, as is just staying at a community college, or going to an in-state school.  We choose different paths and we choose different ways to traverse them.  Nothing's right, nothing's wrong.

As I begin to make my course selection for the fall and fill out my student employment application, I am becoming increasingly anxious.  Most of my friends already know what dorm they'll be living in, who their roommate is, and will be attending Orientation in the next thirty days.  I have none of that yet; the earliest of any it will be available in July, and it almost seems unfair, given I applied early decision and everything.  But then again I am very lucky to be going where I'm going and to be overwhelmed by the number of interesting courses available to me.  I can't think I regret my choice to move nearly 1,000 miles away from home because I don't, my future at the moment just feels less realized than the majority of my peers and I'm envious.

This past Thursday I attended a retirement party for my former middle school science teacher.  She has had an incredible impact on my life and the lives of my brothers.  We are forever grateful so I was glad I could express my gratitude by being there.  Unsurprisingly, I was the only person under 18 in attendance and I didn't recognize most of the other attendees, or if I did, they were too many years my senior and thus I wasn't comfortable striking up conversation.  I stayed near my brother most of the time, but did end up chatting up a particular parent who grew up in Duluth, Minnesota and was excited to hear I was headed to the Twin Cities for college.  I mean, when I first said Macalester College I saw the glazed look in her eye, (the one most people get, frankly) yet after she asked "where's that?" and I answered St. Paul, she was eager to tell me about pastries and bike trails I should try.  Then she suggested I should cross-country ski, and I hope it wasn't too obvious that I was thinking "yeah, right. Who do you think I am?"

Awkward small talk and other politicking aside, towards the end, speakers got up to say a few words about the guest of honor.  Mrs. S's older son couldn't be there so he wrote a letter that someone else read aloud.  And what he said was moving.  He said he learned to invest in people from his mother and it has been his greatest asset in life.

I think I must agree.  My investments into the friendships and relationships I have are what make my life so enjoyable, so prosperous.  Without it, I'm not sure I would even be blogging or planning the summer adventures I am.  It's an integral part of my success.

Speaking of friends, Aniesa gave me this awesomely arranged grad gift.  It may be hard to see in the picture, but she gave me five gifts.  Sunscreen was wrapped in a package labeled "for here," a scarf  "for there," the oreos "for now," the pens "for later" and a picture frame with a collection of group pictures "forever."  It was perfect and I absolutely love it!!

Regina gave me a lovely gift as well which I intend to frame and take for my dorm room.

Yesterday morning my biffles (as I refer to them on occasion) and I tried to go bowling.  I say tried because after driving thirty minutes to get there -- and Puja and I waiting about twenty to meet up with the others -- we learned it was closed to non-league bowlers.  Whoops.  Luckily right across the street was a delicious pizza buffet place.  We satisfied our stomachs with numerous slices and the divine cinnamon rolls as we discussed having a movie marathon.  I busted out my sharpie and borrowed a napkin for the impromptu list.  Yes, number four on the list was entirely intentional, but then it put more pressure on us to come up with three others.

Afterwards we decided to go to Aniesa's house to go ahead and watch Tangled.  If you can believe it, I had never seen that movie.  I'm discounting the two days in Spanish class this spring where our teacher played it in Spanish...with Spanish subtitles while we were supposed to be working on other assignments.  I thought it was a very cute movie even if I laughed during the more serious bits.  I have issues, I'm told.

Okay, I think this post is long enough.  I applaud you if you made it all the way to the end.

Oh, I almost forgot: Happy Father's Day!

I hope you are well.


  1. I can't believe your exams have lasted so long, but congratulations on finally being done with everything! Such an amazing feeling.

    I would love being able to travel around Europe, hopefully during the summer one of these years in college. Filling out housing applications and trying to figure out my schedule is overwhelming in a way, but of course so exciting. And don't worry, there's at least one person who has an orientation later than you! Mine isn't until the week before school actually starts, August 28th. No one seems to have heard of Vassar outside of New York, either, or else they think it's still an all girls school, but whatever. That's part of the liberal arts school curse I guess, haha.

    That graduation gift is so adorable! I love the idea. And the 'friends' one. One of my best friends made photo frames of the four of us for all of us (sorry this sentence sucks) too. :)

  2. I'm sure you did wonderful on all of your exams!

    Traveling around Europe sounds wonderful. So wonderful. I think that's one of the many upsides to joining the military for me. I'll get paid to travel for work :)

    ALSO, your friend's grad gift to you is positively GENIUS!

  3. best of luck on all of those exam results!

    traveling is something i've always wanted to be able to do. i have a lot of wanderlust in me.

  4. I've never seen Tangled either! My parents aren't really into the whole watching-Disney-movies-as-a-teenager thing. Pfft, they just don't recognize quality entertainment.

    Those are really lovely gifts!

    Congratulations on being done with high school 4rlz and all that. I definitely wanna go to Paris and other parts of Europe in college--though probably over the summer :P

    I probably will sleep and read the remainder of the summer, at least until my birthday, after which I'll be hanging out with Zack every chance I get--I'll be able to tell my parents he's my boyfriend!

    I think the best part about going on the roof is telling people that you've been on the roof--especially freshmen.

    Have a lovely summer!

  5. That graduation gift is awesome. Dorm rooms can feel so hostile and not cozy, but can seriously be doctored up with art and Christmas lights. I was lucky enough to have the ONLY painted dorm in my whole building (which had 12 floors and over 50 rooms on each floor!), which definitely helped.

    Congrats to you on being done with high school. I hope college is as excellent as you hope it'll be :)

  6. congrats for being finished with exmas and stuff! yay.
    Wonderful presents!
    Come and visit me!! :D
    I miss you Lizzie! Keep having mega lots of awesome adventures.

  7. Alas, I haven't seen Brave yet (nor Tangled, for that matter), but I will very soon! I guess Braveheart will have to tide me over for now, hehe. (Wait a second; do I detect a similarity?)

    Woo, now I can express my huge CONGRATS to you for finishing exams and high school!

    I loooved living away from home at university. Can't recommend it enough! It's a great start for independence, and an experience you'll always remember. And for me, it was always interesting to see how other peoples' decorated dorm rooms showed their personality.

    Hope you find some great courses for your first year!