Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Feeling You Get as You Wait for School to End

Right now, I'm getting that feeling I get as I wait for school to come to a close. I know, I know, after today, I only have three days of school left and then a few days of finals after that. In my public school days, I would have had about a month left, so perhaps these feelings would be more legitimate. Now it's just pathetic. 
I mean, of course, I'm happy and grateful that I'm getting out so early. I definitely can tough it out for three more days. And yet...
These past few days have been going by so slowly. The clock seems to go by more slowly, as if just to smite me. Homework seems to have become more arduous (this is because it actually has, since all of the teachers are dumping extra homework on us now). 
This feeling is inevitable. I have felt it practically every year. It sets in around the beginning of May and it doesn't let up until school ends and I know with certainty that school is finally over. 
So this is the feeling that most people get as they wait for school to end. It's this weary feeling deep inside. It feels like you need more effort to wake up in the morning and to do schoolwork. Everything inside of you just wants to go on off mode and slack. You lack the energy that you had before. It feels like school should just be OVER already, and your brain, body and soul all scream for it to come to an end. Nothing can motivate you. You have two voices inside your head, the one telling you to keep on working and the other telling you to give up because you don't have much time anyway. 
Sure, this school is definitely better than my other school. Yet this is the weariness of actually having to do work. It's even more difficult because this is even more work than I had when I was at my peak. But I can do this and keep up my work effort too. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Giving Blood

I donated blood today for the first time EVER. Being as I was seventeen, I didn't have to ask parental permission, but I was just able to go ahead and do it. 
I thought it was just going to be like having my blood drawn, but in a greater quantity and with more precautions with it. 
So I walked to the gym of my school (where the blood drive was happening) with my other friend, who was also planning on giving blood. I didn't know what to expect, so I was pretty nervous, but I pretended not to be. 
My friend wasn't able to donate because she didn't weight enough for her height. I certainly didn't have that problem, so I was able to go on to the next step. 
Then my finger was pricked to make sure everything was alright, and I had to show my arms anyway. My iron count was a little low, so I had to be pricked twice. It didn't hurt as much as I thought that it would; there was a sharp twinge and I was fine. 
What followed was an extremely detailed questionnaire about where I've been in the past year, my sex life, etc. This was the stage where people were turned away for extremely stupid reasons, like getting a tattoo or piercing, travelling or being a sexually active gay male. Luckily, I passed that test too. 
So I was able to donate blood after all. There was a table for me to lay down on, which fortunately meant that I didn't have to see the blood fill the bag. The volunteers said I could listen to music, and I did, but my friend tried to distract me as well. 
The phlebotomist disinfected the area she was going to inject me with and then I felt the sensation of the needle entering my skin. Needles are usually more painful in thought rather than in action, but she kind of jammed it up there in a way that really caused a sharp, excruciating pain.
It wasn't all that bad as the blood was being drained. The presence of the needle wasn't painful, but uncomfortable. I wanted to rip it out the whole time, but resisted the urge. I stared at the ceiling and kept gripping the foam ball to help with circulation. 

When I got up, I did feel pretty lightheaded, so I had to lay down on the floor and drink some water. One girl felt so lightheaded she had to drink multiple bottles of water.

I feel pretty good about what I've done, knowing that my blood will help someone (whether directly or indirectly through research). It's a pretty empowering feeling. All in all, it wasn't nearly as dramatic or terrible as I was afraid it might be. 

Blood donation is so important because it impacts the lives of so many people. All sorts of people in all sorts of situations need blood, people who have a variety of different blood types. That's why blood donation is so important. I'm so proud to be able to help with that. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mean People

 Mean people always have to ruin things for everyone. They're miserable, so they have to drag everyone else down with them. And thus, they plague humanity as they have for hundreds of years. Dealing with mean people is a common conundrum that most of us have to face in our lifetime. There's always that person that just won't be nice, who has that sour demeanor that just won't go away. 

It's always a difficult thing to deal with someone who always tries to bring you down. It's difficult to deal with nastiness, sly blows, rude behavior, etc. Logically, it's easy to say that the problem exists with that person, rather than with you. But still, it can get to you, especially they display constant rudeness.

Of course, mean people can include bullies, but sometimes, mean people aren't necessarily bullies. They're just mean. They're rude, grouchy, and will snap at people. They're negative people to be around and you dread being in their presence. There's always that one person

The only thing you can do is lift your head and move on, pretend like it doesn't bother you. Because really these mean people just aren't worth your time or your energy. Yet that's easier said than done. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I Survived my AP Exam

On Wednesday, I took my first AP test. And... I survived. I know this blog post is coming a little (or a lot) late after I took the test, but I've been so busy since then that I haven't had that much to do anything, much less write here. 
It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought that it would be. Granted, all of my issues over the AP and its objectives are still present. But I managed to do just fine. 
As much as I would love to discuss the specific of the test here, I can't do that. I can, however, discuss what the test was like for me. 
I knew that I would do well on the multiple choice test. I had practiced extensively with them and I've done very well on them. I was able to answer the vast majority of answers, and since there isn't a guessing penalty on the AP, I guessed on the rest (but even that wasn't a totally blind guess, as I was usually able to narrow it down). 
What I was really worried about were the essays. I could practice with essays from the past and review different time periods, but, since I didn't know the essays for sure, I went into that test blind. 
The DBQ (an essay prompt with documents you have to use as evidence), fortunately, was totally easy. The documents helped, but I could have done it without the documents. The regular free-response essays were harder, but I think I did okay. I had to write two essays, but I got to choose those two out of four (although one was on the Reaganomics and my class hadn't gotten there). Being forced to write without a break for two hours, my hand was cramping to the point where I feared I had gotten carpal tunnel and my brain was mush, but I was alive. 
If it was just multiple choice, I would get a five, but, with the essays, I think I got a four. I wasn't nearly as ill-prepared for this AP as I was afraid I might be. 
I have no idea what the other APs are like. Hopefully, they'll be even easier than this. Being as I'm taking two other AP tests next year, they should end up just the same. Hopefully, having gone through the ropes already, it will be less scary. Personally, I think the overall class was harder than the test, which made me more prepared for the AP. 
I'm just glad to have made it out alright this time around. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Prepping for the AP Exam

Dun dun dun DUN... At the moment, I feel like my life has the Jaws soundtrack playing in the background. That's because my AP exam is fast approaching, and I feel incredibly nervous about it. I've been studying, but it doesn't feel like nearly enough. AP US is the first AP 

Mainly, I've been going to AP review sessions that my class and I've also been practicing different past essays. I'm not worried about the multiple choice, but the essays scare me. 

How am I supposed to worry about all of the complicated intricacies of different periods of history? It just seems impossible and so frustrating. I'm great with World War I onward, but before that, I'm a little shaky, especially on the colonial era. I've been trying to touch up on that, but my efforts don't seem good enough. I'm worried that my studying is all in vain. 

Perhaps this goes back to the flaw of the AP test, how it is supposed to be this one test to gauge everything that you learned throughout the entire year. Shouldn't my grades in the class speak to that? Apparently not. AP classes are set up to help you take this entire test, which in turn are somehow supposed to set you up for college. Maybe the whole thing is kind of flawed. I feel like there's so much pressure to be in as many APs as possible, and that just makes this even scarier. 

Either way, I'm still taking the test Wednesday whether I like it or not. Ugh.

Friday, May 9, 2014


I've recently learned the incredibly useful skill of knitting. Thanks to a workshop I took at my school, I have become addicted to knitting almost, determined to master the skill. Admittedly, I can only do the most basic knit stitch right now, which means that I can pretty much only do a scarf right now. Still, I'm definitely enjoying knitting.
I know that knitting is associated with a bunch of old cat ladies, but this stereotype is entirely unfounded. People of all demographics enjoy knitting equally. It is actually a lot of fun. 
Knitting has been an interesting skill to learn. Admittedly, it was pretty frustrating at first. Knitting is a skill best learned by sight, example and practice and it's difficult to learn it any other way. I watched the knitting teachers knit over and over again, and for a while, I didn't get it. At first, I didn't understand the basic cast-on through the finger method, but then it just clicked. After that, I was determined to understand the rest, realizing that the rest of knitting was in my reach. 
So far, I have learned how to do the knit stitch and am currently working on a scarf. Before that, I had to learn how to knit, even on the first couple of rows (which are tighter than the resulting rows). I had to get the method just right, and before that, I had messed up (I put the needle from the right side instead of the left side). This required me having to undo a lot of rows and it was frustrating. Even when I did get it, I would drop a lot of stitches and I haven't learned yet how to fix it. But now I've gotten it. The scarf looks really awkward at first, but I have definitely improved. 
My work so far
There are still so many things I want to learn. I want to learn the purl stitch and the combination of rows of knit and purl stitches that can lead to bigger designs. I want to learn how to fix a dropped stitch. I want to learn how to make hats, scarves, mittens, even sweaters. I want to learn how to crochet as well, because I feel like that would be cool too. Knitting has unleashed this determined, obsessive part of me. 
When I was still learning how to knit, I was incredibly frustrated. I couldn't seem to get the hang of it. Yet the more frustrated I became, the more motivated I became as well. The little victories that I had were enough to push me on. 
And so I learn. I'm still learning. Knitting is actually quite relaxing and there's this lovely sense that I'm being productive and getting something done. 
It might be springtime now, but it will be winter soon. Hopefully, I can practice my knitting some more over the summer, so by the time that winter comes, it can serve a purpose. For now, I just have to finish that scarf.