Hasta la vista, High School!

Can you hear that?

Can you hear me jumping for joy? That sigh of relief?

Because I. Am. DONE.

Done. Done. Done. Done! The Regents are over and I feel a like a 5 ton weight has just been lifted from my shoulders. It’s been about a week since the exams. Last Thursday marked the beginning of my over-do summer vacation, and I’ve just been enjoying it. I spent most of the time either practicing piano, recipe hunting, developing my characters or writing. I have the next two and a half months before I start college, and I plan on using it to the full. But first, some things need to be said.

When my entire extended family was here last week to celebrate my graduation, I almost made a speech. Despite being a writer, I am awful at giving public speeches and when put on the spot like that, I feel like my brain shuts down and every word of my vocabulary goes out the door. Of course, the extremity of that depends on the who and what of the crowd I’m speaking in front of, but for the most part, that’s what happens.

So while at the graduation dinner, my dad informed me that I had to say something. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but after he said a few words, everyone looked at me. I think they were but hope they weren’t expecting a nice, thought-out speech about my journey through education and my future. Because that’s not what came out.

Here is my speech, what I wish I’d said when the opportunity presented itself. 

High school. I have mixed feelings about it, really. I am more than happy to see it go and fade into my past, but it has taught me valuable lessons. Although the physical building of my high school was my bedroom and my teachers were myself and lesson guides, I learned a lot, besides the actual academics. I learned who I was.

High school has taught me how to learn. It has taught me how I learn. It taught me the true meaning of procrastination, the consequences and the ways to avoid it. I learned self-motivation and willpower and determination. It taught me patience, self-discipline, real boredom, and real interest. I wouldn’t be graduating at sixteen without any of these things. 

High school has shed a little light on what it’s going to be like in the real world. A little. I am still a firm believer that high school should focus more on the necessities of adulting, like paying taxes, and focus less on parabolas (I’ll bet that the adults reading this have never had to use parabolas in their daily lives, with the exception of math and science professors). But for the most part, I think high school has given me some preparation for the real world and how to deal with it. Like I said, I learned patience while dealing with the people who work at the American School institution. That patience will come back into play when I have to deal with an employer and coworkers, and in general life. The time I spent studying for impending exams taught me the stress of deadlines and showed me healthy ways to respond to and reduce it. That’s one of the most important life skills, in my opinion.

High school has also taught me what I really enjoy, what my real priorities are. I’ve learned how to fulfill those priorities, but also how they fit in with the priorities of others. For example, my priorities have almost always been writing (specifically my novel), reading and cooking. In the past, I never had a job that would limit my time spent doing those three things. High school, although not a job, has taught me how to balance my personal interests with the priorities of the real world. What’s most important to me isn’t always the most important thing to the world. That was a crucial lesson for me to learn. Otherwise, I would’ve spent all my time writing/reading/cooking and I wouldn’t be a graduate now or anytime soon.

Now, I’m better equipped to balance my time between my personal priorities, the priorities set by my parents (which foreshadow those of my future employer and my own future family), and any other obligations I may have in the times to come.

So I’m ready to say goodbye to high school. I’ve been wanting to say goodbye to it since the day I first said hello. I’m ready to close the cover on this chapter of my life and move on to the next. And I really enjoy using that writing analogy.

To my family and friends, I want to say thank you. Thank you for supporting me in the life decisions I’ve made so far, and for supporting me in my future ones. I love you.

And now I think it’s time to say what I’ve really been wanting to say this entire time. Since I was homeschooled, I never knew what real high school was like. All I know is singing and dancing in the classrooms, hallways and cafeterias (although I do actually know that real high schoolers don’t randomly break into rehearsed song and choreographed dance mid-lunch). But I’m going to say it anyway.

Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.
Thank you.

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Right Now – June 2017

Holy TARDIS of Gallifrey- where have the months gone?! I emerged from my little studying rock to see what’s happening in the outside world and I realized…I haven’t written a Right Now post since March! And the first week of June is already over! My Regents exams are creeping up fast, but I think I’m ready.

Anyway. It’s rather unnecessary to say that I’m busy. It’s obvious, from my lack of writing. And if you know me well, you know that writing is like my version of phone charger. A lack of writing leads to a drained battery. Simply writing this post recharges me enough to get through this up-coming weekend. But I’ll get to that in second. I have to back up to April.

April 1st, the formal dance party thrown by my homeschool group, was an absolute blast! It was so much fun to dress up and dance the night away. My feet and legs hated me the next morning, but I loved it. And it gave me an excuse to stay inside and read, which is always a bonus. I got through Gone With The Wind, and I really liked it. Of course, the ending was not satisfying enough, but I have the two sequels (by different authors; one about Scarlett’s side of the story, the other about Rhett’s) waiting patiently on my shelf. I polished off one of the Mary Higgins Clark books (Pretend You Don’t See Her), and now I’ve picked up The Help and I can’t seem to put it down. And no, I have not forgotten about my book review for the Book Thief– I’m getting to it. At the moment, my favorite book is still Fahrenheit 451, with the Book Thief second.

The month of May saw the first of many graduation parties, and the second of formal parties. That was fun, and marked the beginning of summer and extroverting. Yay! 😒 No really, all these parties are fun. I met some new friends that helped to get me out of my shell a litte bit (they even managed to get me to admit summer’s not all that bad), but I remind them that I like my shell and I’ll still carry it everywhere, like a turtle. The animal of the introvert.

Speaking of turtles, we found a hatchling in our yard a few months back and kept him as a pet. His name is Mercury and he is the cutest little thing I’ve seen since Max was a puppy. He’s named Mercury because not only is he little, but he is the fastest turtle we’ve ever had. Put him down on the floor and he takes off. If you hold him by the edges of his shell between your fingers, he kicks his legs like he’s swimming. For non-nerds, Mercury is the smallest and fastest moving planet in our solar system. And it just so happens to start with an M, perfectly continuing our pattern of M names. I don’t think we could’ve came up with a better name for the newest addition to our zoo.
The rest of May was boring, just me and my textbooks. We spent a long weekend at Great Wolf Lodge, but I lugged my study materials with me. No vacation when there’s impending Regents exams.

I started another show, which maybe wasn’t such a good idea. But I was getting bored. Doctor Who season 10 isn’t avaliable yet on Amazon Prime (and we’ve already discussed Netflix’s rude behavior), and I’m waiting for my sister to catch up on Sherlock before I watch season 4 again with her (which has recently been made available on Netflix, so I forgive him. (Yes, Netflix is a guy)). The show I started is Downton Abbey. I knew I was going to regret it, since I already knew what happened to a certain Crawley, and after watching the first episode, I had to spoil the rest for myself because I just couldn’t handle it. So I know about the terrible fates of two certain Crawleys, and the rest of Downton’s residents. I love it. Favorite character? Tom Branson, hands down. I admire the way his sticks up for himself, and even though he marries into a rich family (although not really accepted by the family), he doesn’t let them change who he is at heart. And he’s Irish. I also love Violet Crawely. I laugh out loud at almost every single thing she says. Least favorite character? Isobel Crawley. UGHHHHH Harriet Jones just needs to stop. Just stop. I’m begging you.

Now to June. Last week, I went to my first swing dance at a brewery in Newburg. I went with my friends and sister. It was a lot of fun. I love dancing, and swing is my favorite type. A while ago I saw ‘Swing Kids’ for the first time and since then, I’ve had an obsession with the dancing and music. ‘Swing Kids’ is one of my favorite movies. Three days later was the semi-formal graduation party for one of the friends I went to swing with. Hers was the second of 5 graduation parties this year. Class of ’17, homeschool style. My graduation is coming so soon and I’ve can’t stop saying how much I can’t wait for it. Let’s just move onto music before I freak out about the Regents.

Still waiting on that album, tøp. Fall Out Boy released a new single, ‘Young and Menace’, and I really like it. Imagine Dragons’ two new singles ‘Believer’ and ‘Whatever It Takes’ are amazing too. All three are on my starred playlist on Spotify. But I’m still waiting on twenty øne piløts’ album ☺️🖤

This past week we had friends from Texas visit. I made chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with chocolate chip cookie dough frosting. It think the chocolate variation made my favorite desserts list. So good! The frosting is great for anything really, anything that will go with chocolate chip cookies (and what doesn’t?). It’ll be posting the recipe soon, but it’s basically a cookie recipe, without the eggs. Yeah, there’s flour in the frosting, but that’s why it would hold up so well in the summer heat. Perfect for a backyard BBQ! 

And finally, this weekend. Since I’m graduating, all my family is coming this week to celebrate. Both sides, mom’s and dad’s. We don’t have a huge family, but it’s over twenty people and that is a lot. We’re doing a family photoshoot and dinner on Saturday. My Regents are on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Again, I can’t wait until they’re over!!

So that’s it really. I thought there would be more. I guess not. Unless you want to hear all about my studies and all the nonsense NY state requires one to know. I have other posts lined up for the next weeks; I just have to get around to writing them. Look for new recipes, hopefully a book review and a Writing 101 post!

Until next time!