Saturday, June 20, 2015

Camp Pt. 3

Today was a decent day of rest, well whatever constitutes as rest for being at camp. I woke up at 6:00 to get campers luggage all packed up and ready to go, then I made name tags for parents for about 3 hours, took a quick brake, and lifeguarded for a couple hours. That was the morning but as for my time off we went to Tyler for a little visit to civilization. I saw Jurassic World- I could write and entire post about that movie, I'm mixed about it but overall thought it was great- and it gave me time to think. Suddenly I wasn't in Texas. I wasn't in my strange home that is a weird camp. I'm sitting right here in the ROC distracted by Jesse blowing an airhorn at 11:00 on a Saturday, it is just weird. But all of a sudden I was taken away. For a short moment I could think about my world, not Sky Ranch. Before coming to camp I needed something to focus on (camp) but now after being separated from the "real world" for a month, escaping the humdrum buzz of camp life is a necessity. In watching the movie I could think about my life. Yes, I'm a teenager, "I thought about life." Seriously, my desire to be a writer explodes in the summer when I have time on my hands and no other school work to worry about. I have ideas that I want to make into a reality, I want to be caught up on my passion of film and television which is impossible at camp. I want to be in shape to play soccer, which is impossible at camp. I want to finish learning the Glazonov Concerto, but it is impossible at camp. I want to watch and write monologues for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon- also impossible at camp.

Clearly you may be wondering why I even accepted the job at camp because all of my posts are about me complaining how distant I feel from the world. That is the key. I feel distant from the world, but I am closer to the Lord and a community of supportive people. That is what I love about Sky; while work is hard and long I am serving the Lord and around an amazing body of people. I'm in this weird situation where I never want to leave but I'm yearning for my personal life. I don't know if any of this makes sense but it's all a mess of strange emotions.

I wish I could have written this when I was at Tyler instead of when I got back to the ROC, the vibes in the ROC aren't as good as my thoughts after seeing Jurassic World. I got to drive my friend's BMW on the way home. Man, I have never driven a car that nice. Accelerating is so smooth, I understand why people in nice cars speed now.

I love being myself and the downside of being at camp as a staff member instead of a camper is that I don't have a counselor to go to and vent about my life instead I have to slowly allow others to figure me out while I too am figuring them out simultaneously. Again, none of this may make sense- it is late, I'm tired, and I need to go to bed. Goodnight folks, that's all for now.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Camp Pt. 2

It's been a great couple of weeks. Not exaggerating or kidding one bit. My poor use of diction and vocabulary is proof that camp is taking a toll on my intellect. The people I'm with on a daily bases are pretty great. It is mentally fatiguing watching the pool all day but that is what I signed up for in the first place, so that front isn't too bad. The hardest thing that I have confronted while being at camp is finding my real place. That is so cliché, everything I'm writing is cliché but I don't know how else to write telling the truth without sounding like a typical "I'm a teenager help me fit in." So, sorry. I don't even care anymore. 

I'm finding my place. It sucks being the youngest; while my lifeguard companions are my age or a little older, the people I get along with best are the counselors and A-Teamers. I HAVE TWO MORE FREAKN' SUMMERS UNTIL I AM EVEN ELIGIBLE TO BE A REAL EMPLOYEEEEEE. LIFEGUARDS ARE FAKE EMPLOYEES. Okay, that's my rant.

I'm not ready to leave but I'm ready to have my normal summer. I love the people around but I'm sick of missing out. FOMO, am I right. Sorry my writing sucks right now- I'm trying to write while in the staff lounge surrounded by screaming coworkers and people playing guitars and throwing balls and yo-yoing. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Camp pt 1

I made it. My last post was a little depressing almost, but it was extremely accurate to what I was feeling. Rereading it there are things that over the past few weeks I have learned to be inaccurate but there were also many truths to my thought process in that post.

I made it to camp. I use to much anaphora in this blog but I don't really care. So the whole communication with the outside world is a lot better than I thought it would be. Working at camp is so much different than being a camper. I love it. I am able to use my phone and electronics during my time off which makes it really nice. I'm not as isolated as I thought I would be, which is a positive. There are so many things I could write about the past few weeks and I'm not entirely sure where to start. I've had so many things stuck in my mind that I was kind of procrastinating with this post. Camp is a world of safety. My job is to keep people safe- I'm a lifeguard- but it is also a place of soulful/moral safety. The world isn't compounding on you to conform to the "dark" places in the world. Cussing isn't a thing. Music is generally Christian. Everyone is respectful. We worship together with a sense of community unmatched by anywhere I have been. Sky Ranch is a very difficult place to describe. Right now you are probably thinking, "oh it's just another one of those church camps." Yes it is a Christian camp with a specific ministry, but it is far different than any other camp I have been to. It isn't a camp for kids from a specific church to just go to. It is almost kind of a rich kid camp. As I greet the cars that come through the gates it is filled with Yukons, Escalades, Audis, and Porches. The facilities are top notch; no crappy outdoor cabins or gross camp food. We have amazing activities, staff, and resources. So is it a typical church camp- no. So now your picture of this camp went from good little boys and girls being sent to church camp to spoiled brats that have parents that send them to camp for a week of fun. Sky Ranch is somewhere in the middle. The kids are all well-off but their families value their religion and the fact that God is undeniably the creator. Sky Ranch is all about instilling this in campers, not in an overbearing way (yes there is Bible study, worship, and talks every day) but in a way where kids are shown there is life, true life, and joy in living for the Lord. A place with this many happy staff members working long days for very minimal pay cannot exist without a love for something bigger than what the world stands for.

I hope that gives you a little better idea of what Sky Ranch is, if it doesn't feel free to check out skyranch.org.

So my job is awesome. Long days in the sun are tiring but I generally don't start lifeguarding until 2:00, and in the morning I help out with other activities, talk to campers, and hangout with other staff members. The experience is great, I try to be helpful in every way possible. When I say "hangout" I just mean work with other people facilitating activities. I love meeting new people particularly at camp because I know the relationships formed here are stronger than nearly anywhere else in my life. Getting to be around people I know and love while meeting new people that I will come to know and love is utterly amazing.

I do miss my friends at home. Like my previous post worried about, it was difficult to leave so abruptly. The fact that I am able to text people and use my digital communication more than I assumed has helped a lot in staying relatively sane. Most of the time I am not focusing on what is back in Ohio but when I go to bed and see the pictures of my friends and family on my wall it is difficult not to reminisce about the past and what revel over what I am missing. My biggest concern at camp is my body. I need to keep up with being an athlete but it is so difficult. I am rarely motivated to get up early and run. I really, really, really need to do it. I am going to try my best to do it EVERY DAY THIS WEEK. Maybe putting it in writing will help keep me accountable. Even 20 minutes a day is better than nothing. I also need to get more touches on the ball. Man I feel like my skills are deteriorating. I know I'm overreacting but things at camp are so different. I feel like I'm losing everything. I can't touch a saxophone, I don't have soccer practice, and nothing is challenging me academically! UGGGHGHGHGHGHG I feel useless when thinking about things like that. I'm trying my best but I think camp is better for me than it is worse because the Lord knew that I needed time away from what I spend most of my time focusing on. Here I only need to focus on my job and Him. Everything else is bonus.

I've been writing for a while now and I'm not sure what else to say. Camp is great, it has it's moments where I think about the real world and panic but for 99% of the time everything is awesome. Session 2 starts today. 4 more weeks of camp until I'm home. Parts of me never want to leave but at the same time minuscule parts of me desperately wishes they were home.

Monday, May 11, 2015

What Am I Doing

"Here I sit, cursing my government, for not using my taxes to fill holes with more cement" - twenty one pilots

Here I sit.

Here I sit in a classroom.

Here I sit in my favorite classroom.

Here I sit in my favorite place I can tangibly get to.

Here I sit listening to the pointless debates over who is going to win the NBA Playoffs.

Here I sit with strange music coming from the classroom next door.

Here I sit in quiet. Nobody talking to me. Nobody bothering me. Just me. Alone.

Here I sit dreaming.

Here I sit fearing.

Here I sit wondering.

I can't contain myself. I don't know what to do. The world is compounding on me. My own Korean father who once told me I never look tired said that I am visibly exhausted. So why am I sitting here? Why am I not going home? Home brings the inevitable, there is more stress. The limitless options of what to do. Here I am limited, but confined. I am in my bubble stuck in purgatory where I don't have to do anything that I don't want to. I can write, like I'm doing now. I can sit and listen. I can think about not thinking. I can reminisce over how phenomenal this year has been but that in 10 days I will never be a student here again.

Why am I sitting here? Because it's my last chance. Never again am I going to be here alone, pondering what I should be doing. Never again will I be around the things I love most. Stress, yes, although it is a detestable feeling it is what drives my success. What am I without at least something that is on the line, something to loose.

I willingly gave it up. My life. I gave up everything in this world for another world. I don't know which is better because I have not experienced the other yet, but right now it is as though I am stuck in the middle. Somewhere where I am leaving but not gone. Somewhere where goodbyes are many but I am stuck in the same place.

I will never forget when I had to leave summer camp last year. I was at camp for three weeks but because I had to be taken to the airport instead of my parents picking me up, it made things complicated. There were a group of boys that were from Arizona and their flight was at 6:00 in the morning, which meant we had to leave at 4:30 in the morning to get to Dallas for their flight. My flight wasn't until later but I had to go with them anyway. I had been at camp for three weeks. I made so many friends with the staff and my counselors, leaving in that way without getting to say goodbye was hard. Really hard. And I was only at camp for three weeks. I've been in Ohio for nearly 4 years, leaving is not going to be easy. Granted some of my best friends I have only been close with in recent months, but it feels like that same experience. I have to go to work in Texas the first day of summer. No grad parties or saying goodbye- immediately I am transferred from this reality to a completely different one. Then when I come back 6 weeks later I have already been forgotten. It's summer, nobody cares about who I was or where I'm going, all they know is I'm gone.

What am I supposed to think about, what am I supposed to do. How can I focus on AP tests, physics, Spanish, English, and band when its sunny outside and these are the last days I have with my friends?

Why am I sitting here? It's my last chance. I'll never be here again. I will never be a student at Westerville Central again. I will never have Mr. Park as my English teacher, only as my fake dad and coach. What am I supposed to do, study for physics? No way in hell.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Fossils

This is a strange title for a blog post, but let me explain.

I feel like a fossil. Everything is compounding over me, pounding my head, crushing my bones, freezing me in a purgatory between time and reality. School is almost over, I can't wait but I'm also devastated. These last few weeks are always extremely stressful as teachers try and wrap up their lessons, AP tests are right around the corner, and projects are being flung into my face at every corner.

Time seems to be nonexistent, I am stuck frozen while the rest of the world is running around me. I am stuck in the middle, perfectly preserved, yet unable to move- I am a fossil. The chaos of friends, awkwardness, boundaries, school, soccer, music, the future, summer camp, life- it is all crashing down on me but I am unable to move out of the way.

I want school to be over so I can be at camp and be home where I belong. Sky Ranch is my home away from home, it is there where I have met my best friends, grown in my faith with the Lord, and learned so much about myself and the world around me. I feel more comfortable there than any place in the world. More comfortable than my own bedroom where I sit typing this. Home is a community, and here I have no community, just a jumbled assortment of people all in different places that are hard to talk to. I work so hard to keep my friends, but I can never find someone who truly is there to listen. But I love them. The random assortment of people in my life are a reflection of who I am. I cannot be pinned into one category, I have relationships with people that is considered odd for a person like myself but that is what makes those bonds more meaningful. I don't want to leave these people but at the same time I know that I need to. Sophomore year has been phenomenal, a bit awkward and annoying at times, but overall it has been phenomenal. I'm so sad to see it go and I'm afraid the relationships and friendships I developed this year will all go away as soon as I move. This is an unfortunate reality that I am still trying to grasp, it is extremely difficult for me to realize that in a year from now my best friends will probably barely even think about me, and I about them.

I have moved before, but this is different. After I leave next year, I will never live at home for real ever again (hopefully). It's so strange to comprehend. I think that is why I feel like a fossil, I can't comprehend the world around me because it is changing so quickly while I am stuck in the past.

I know that I'm rambling, but this has been really difficult for me to think about and it has been eating me alive. I don't know who to talk to because everyone only seems to make the impending future seem worse, and the people I want to talk to are difficult to get a decent amount of time with.

I haven't been praying about this as much as I should be. I think the person that I need to talk to is the Lord, and he has all the time in the world. I'm not alone, He is always there, but on this earth I am only a fossil.

Friday, April 17, 2015

It's Great Being Fake

I had a period of enlightenment today. I walked into school my normal routine, sat down in front of the same blue lockers as I do every day. I pulled out my laptop to look over my class officer speech but overheard a dispute from the other side of the locker. "She can't do that. It's not fair." "Seriously, she can't do that, she wouldn't win anyway."

I'm "running" for class officer at school. Yes, I'm not going to be at Westerville Central next year but I  just want to give a speech that creates a lasting impression. I want it to be me, funny, eccentric, socially unacceptable- me. But instead of getting the laugh I want, I seem to be creating extreme annoyance among my peers. Oh, it's Emma Dyer, of course she would do that. They think that because I'm running it will skew the votes, but even I win then my nomination won't count, it will just go to the person with the next most votes.

I want to say something meaningful, in a way that is witty and memorable, without pissing on administration. I think I will have an anti-campaign, Do Not Vote Emma Dyer. We will see, oh well, I just want a good laugh at the end of the day.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Chica Go Bulls

Another day another school visit- except this time for college.

After applying to prep schools and being engrossed in the world of academic prestige it is fair to say I was skeptical going into my college visit at Columbia College Chicago. Their acceptance rate is insanely high and the name bears nothing compared to New York University, but I liked it. Let me rephrase that: I loved it. This open house visit really gave me a feel for campus; getting to actually meet professors and talk with students in the programs was phenomenal. When I visited NYU it was not at an open house so I cannot directly compare the two yet because I am still ignorant about the details of the film programs offered at Tisch, but at Columbia Chicago, it was phenomenal. The city is a real city, while New Yorkers often overlook Chicago (as I snobbishly had begun to do as well) it is a place with all the benefits of a large city yet is as welcoming as a children's playground.

The highlight of my day was getting to speak with Bruce Sheridan who is the department chair of Cinema Art and Science at ColumChi. I asked him specifically, point blank, why ColumChi has an advantage over film schools of greater magnitude, specifically NYU because it is my first choice school right now. He didn't undermine NYU or say anything negative, in fact he praised NYU as being one of the few established film schools that is doing a good job keeping up, but it's exactly that. Keeping up. ColumChi is trying to be ahead of the curve so that when you graduate, you have real experience that directly translates. The point is to be prepared not to specialize and spend all your time in one area because most likely your first job is not going to be exactly what you expect. I like this philosophy and I also like the intimate relationship between faculty and students that was evident in multiple departments. I am still skeptical considering the school has over a 90% acceptance rate, but from the show they put on it seems like a great fit for me. New York is a high stakes city. Everything is more expensive and on a slightly larger scale (about 30% larger scale). Failing in New York is going to happen, failing in Chicago is going to happen, but picking yourself back up is a hell of a lot easier in Chicago than in New York.

The trip overall was great. My friend Andrea accompanied me on this trip which made it much, much more enjoyable. On Friday we went to the Art Institute, saw the bean, walked on the Pier, and ate at Ed Debevick's in typical Chicago fashion. We walked into a book store for a bit as well- man do I love city book stores. It was extremely fun just being with my friend, something that in my hectic lifestyle I do not get to enjoy as much as I wish I could. We goofed off in the gym at our hotel and then took a late night stroll through Millennium Park after getting some Dunkin' Doughnuts. Saturday was open house day, obviously we visited ColumChi, ending the day with a visit in another bookstore Andrea found while waiting for my dad and I to get done with our tour of the Media Production Center. The only complaints from the trip was that the shower at the Fairmont Hotel was absolutely horrible, it was as if someone was just spitting on you, and my dad was snoring annoyingly loud- but those are extremely petty problems.

College is now starting to haunt me. I feel that now I'm going to Exeter it's as if I need to go to an extremely prestigious university but after visiting ColumChi I'm not sure anymore. I don't want to undermine what a great education I'm getting at Exeter by going to a school I could get in to with my eyes closed. It's hard for me to rationalize only using my education at Exeter as an experience when it is quite possibly my greatest asset on a a college application. I SOUND LIKE SUCH AN ANNOYING RICH PETTY WHITE GIRL. Sorry. I just want to be a screenwriter/producer. I love television and film, I want it to be my career, not just a dream. I need to go to a place that can get me there, which is the main reason I want and am attending Exeter. It's so confusing. I really want to go to an open house at NYU now. I don't even know why I'm really worrying about all of this because I'm a sophomore in high school.


Here are some sweet pictures from the trip, ft. Andrea.