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.












Sunday, April 5, 2015

Spring Break

My mind has been freed. After having so much compounding stress, this week was a necessary relief. Light day went well (I will have a more in depth post later), I'm still annoyed with physics, but overall this week was extremely calming. I had time to think, which we all know can either be a good thing or an absolutely terrible thing in the world of Emma but in this case it was a good thing.
I started out break by getting a chance to visit Exeter for "Experience Exeter" day where I got to shadow a student around campus all day. In my mind it is the kind of "before and after" kind of experience, meaning, going back to school tomorrow I will not be able to look at Westerville Central the same way I did before break. There are only 6 more weeks of school left. 6 more weeks of school in Ohio. 6 more weeks of school with my parents around. 6 more weeks of school with my friends. 6 more weeks of being a kid in Ohio.
It is daunting- but it is necessary. Exeter is phenomenal and by visiting I am now in complete comfort with my future. It is not unknown and slowly it is becoming my home. There are people that at the moment I can't imagine not being around- not my parents- my friends and mentors. My teachers that blur the lines between teacher and life counselor and friend. My friends who are there for me, and those that I am there for them. It's hard. I feel bad reminiscing when I still have 6 weeks, but those 6 weeks might as well be 6 minutes.

On a happier note, Exeter was great!

I visited my dad's best friend who is like my uncle and lives 20 minutes away from Exeter. He is going to be the closest thing to family in the area while I'm at Exeter. I also got to see my real uncle Winthrop while we were in Boston. At least I know what he looks like now. 

The highlight of Boston was getting to taste The Tonight Dough ice cream from Ben & Jerry's at an actual Ben & Jerry's. The worst part of the trip was the drive there. A little backstory: originally my parents said we would get to stay in New York City for at least a night but then changed their minds saying I didn't need to go because I just went. I'm not denying any of that, I was just there a few months ago, but I just like the heads up next time you change plans the day before we leave. The ironic part was that on the way to Boston my dad took the wrong exit and we ended up going right through NYC. We could have stayed the night right then and there. Thanks, Dad, for killing my soul. 

The drive back was also horrible- I hate sitting in one place for 14 hours it kills. But once we were home was when break really set in. Catching up on homework, taking care of mundane tasks, and not worrying about school (at least too much) was phenomenal. I even got to start on my short film I've been planning for the past couple weeks. Don't worry my short film will get its own post in the future as well. 

Today I have spent most of my day looking over the George Mason University Journalism and Media Conference I am attending in July. I signed up on a whim because it looked really cool and you get college credit and its about journalism... yada yada yada basically it's phenomenal. But I kind of lost sight of it for a while because I was engrossed in getting into the NYU precollege program. I did get accepted to the program, but the financial investment was too much for my family. My plan was that I wouldn't go to the George Mason event because I got into NYU precollege, but now things have changed and I am going. Anyway, long story short, I received the itinerary, required reading, and additional information on the conference today and it is getting me really excited. As part of the program, to earn your college credit you have to schedule a meeting with a Senator or Representative from your state, which is AWESOME! So hopefully I will get to have a long chat with Sherrod Brown, which I'm actually looking forward to. There aren't very many people who come from Mansfield, Ohio and end up going to Yale undergraduate and I'd love to talk to him about issues my generation will have to face, particularly how the evolving standoffish atmosphere in Congress will effect the future. It's going to be really cool, plus the books on the reading list (yes there is a GIANT list of reading and it is required to read 2-3 books from it as well as news articles and columns) are extremely interesting. Because the whole conference is about journalism and media, there will definitely be many posts from the conference this summer. 

School is tomorrow. I am so excited. Finally to be focused again. While I love having a more freeing schedule I still love the practicality of an explicitly defined schedule. Also I just want to see my teachers and do real work. Hopefully we will have a couple timed writes in AP Lang this week- wish me luck.

For everyone out there I want to wish you a happy Easter, for today is the day the Lord is risen. I will always love my Lord and remember the death he faced for me to be with him. While it makes me sad that my family no longer attends church together I take comfort in knowing that my relationship with the Lord is personal and as long as I have my Bible, His Word, by my side I will always be with Him. 

I understand my religious tangents may alienate people from reading my blog, but this is a place of transparency in my life and it would not be complete without my religious beliefs. I want to make sure and let you know that just because my beliefs are different than yours I am not one to judge or be annoying. What is personal is personal. We are all human beings with the natural right to be who we want to be- it's not my place to change who you are, just make you think a little.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

What's Up Home Slice

Aside from stressing out and getting into boarding school, I have been doing some fun things lately.

It is finally SPRING, sort of, which means it is time for shorts. I am a person that really does not like the winter purely because I love wearing shorts. It was 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit this week so I broke out the shorts. Yes, those Patagonia shorts served me well. I was criticized of course but I turned it into a movement. Why are boys allowed to wear shorts but I'm not? It's not like I'm wearing two-inch booty shorts, I was wearing longer shorts. So #freethelegs was born. Our motto: "Sky's out, thighs out." The movement continues tomorrow.

With the coming of Spring also means the beginning of a new soccer season! Having practice every day and conditioning makes me smile just thinking about it. I'm not being sarcastic, I truly love it so much. We have our first tournament in Cincinnati next weekend. I'm a little bummed that it falls on the same weekend as the ODP Showcase, but I don't really care a whole lot because I know I won't make it to the state team. Not even some of my really talented friends have made it mainly because of the coach politics that influence what players go. I would say half of the kids are from the club Ohio Premier strictly because they are the only ECNL team in the Columbus area. Whatever. Spring also means being outside in general, which I love. Next year when I go to Exeter I really want to play basketball in the winter so I have been trying to keep up my skills. Basketball is such a great sport because it is so easy to just go out and play. You don't need a goalie or someone to throw for you, it's all you- just go out and shoot. Now obviously to get better at the game itself it's imperative to play with a team, but honing in on pure shot accuracy is as easy as going outside and picking up a ball- that's what I love about it. I've been doing that every day for the past couple weeks and want to continue for as long as I can just to get the feel for it again.

Another interesting thing I have been partaking in this year is Science Olympiad. It has been a bittersweet experience; I love the science and my event (Protein Modeling) but it has been extremely difficult participating without a coach or someone who actually knows what they are doing. I have had to figure everything out on my own, which I'm not complaining about the workload- I can handle that, but it makes it very difficult to improve. The protein modeling event in particular needs people who understand how to make a great pre-build model (the model you bring to the competition and prepare before hand). In addition, our "organizer" (I use this term sparingly because she is very disorganized and did not help us at all) only was able to get us in to one competition before regionals and only two competitions total. Other teams had 5-8 competitions under their belt before going to regionals which means more feedback and experience to then improve upon. After my second competition I felt a lot more prepared and ready but it was already over. My model struggled with the detail of layers, which I still don't understand, but there was nobody to tell me what that meant! It is devastatingly frustrating when you know what is wrong but don't have the resources to fix it. Anyway here is a picture of my model so you can get a feel for what I had to do. In addition to building this model at the competition you have to use the computer program jmol to use as a guide to build an on-site protein model and then you have to take a written test in conjunction with building the model all in 50 minutes. It's super fun and if I was given a couple more competitions I definitely could have placed or done exponentially better. Shoulda, woulda, coulda though, it's not worth thinking about.




Other things I've been doing? Well GE Light Day is coming up soon which is the activism project I've been working on for my AP Lang class. I will have a full post about that later but it's turning out to be pretty cool. Saxophone has obviously continued to engross my life. And, yes, I am still basic; I never miss a night of The Tonight Show, keep up with The Walking Dead, and I'm in season 3 of House of Cards. Not much else other than the routine weekly things that you don't care about. Volunteering is still going great and I somehow manage to keep up with friends. It's a good life, I'm blessed to have it. I thank my God for it every day. The day I take it for granted is the day my faith and certainty of my life has been lost. Congratulations if you read to the bottom of this, you rock. 

I'm a Dingus

I have misused my power. As Peter Parker said, "With great power, comes great responsibility," I have failed on my part. I have a friend that I am extremely lucky to call my friend; I'm lucky to call them my friend not just because of how much they mean to me but also because this friendship is an unusual one. Stereotypical boundaries have been crossed for me to call this person my friend but with that comes a greater responsibility to be smart and not blow it. I almost blew it.

I think this is a little like the swimming situation from a really long time ago that I wrote about in that I am freaking out more than I should, but I need to get it out of my system, so here I am writing about it.

It's so hard for me to write about this because I don't know how to even talk about it without sounding bad or invoking some other negative effect if my friend reads this, which they probably won't, but still. So I'll be specifically vague about what happened. Communication in the 21st century is complicated. There are many mediums of communication such as calling, emailing, and texting, all viable sources of communication but all with their own set of rules. I broke one of the social standards of communication by using an inappropriate medium. I DON'T KNOW WHY THIS IS BOTHERING ME, BUT IT IS. I think writing this down is helping me realize how blown out of proportion I am making this, but I'll continue. So, I violated this social standard, they didn't reply, I haven't gotten to talk to them, I feel like I have violated their life, and I am an idiot. I just wanted to tell them something about my acceptance letter to Exeter but it was the wrong place and wrong time. Now I feel awkward and annoyed and like an idiot. I now know I will never, ever, ever use that medium of communication unless 500% necessary because otherwise it is very awkward. And I hate awkwardness.

End of story. That was boringly pointless wasn't it?