I think I forgot a citation!

Hi, this post is hot off the desk of a stressed-out student tonight as I am in the process of what seems to be a never-ending battle with IB. Yes, my Extended Essay, possibly the most time-consuming requirement of the IB Diploma, is due in approximately 55 hours. With my deadline approaching quickly, I’m sad to say that I, similar to my counterpart, Harry Haller of Steppenwolf, have progressed “disappointingly little in proportion to [my] great effort” (Casebeer 246). First, let me explain the nature of the Extended Essay and it’s significance to the IB student through Urban Dictionary, which has proven to be useful and accurate in the past.

The Extended Essay. You’re welcome to follow this link to the Urban Dictionary definition; however, I’ll also provide you with my own interpretation of the Extended Essay. Some necessary background information on my current circumstances include: It is midnight. I started working on this thing at 10 this morning. I only just now broke 1000 words.

The assignment from Hell, commonly known as the Extended Essay, is a mini-dissertation/research paper on any subject of a student’s choice ranging from Psychology to Math to History. The maximum word count is 4000, which means the minimum at roughly 10% less is 3600. It’s kind of a big deal. Like a Doctorate candidate prepares his/her dissertation with mentors who also grade it, the IB Diploma candidate has a mentor who grades his/her Extended Essay before sending it off to some scholar in Mauritius, an island West of Madagascar and just above the Tropic of Capricorn, who then ruthlessly tears the aforementioned essay paragraph from paragraph in effort to give the student the most objective (debatable) grade possible, which decides the outcome of that student’s entire life. If the literary works of Hermann Hesse happen to be the only pet peeve of the scholar in Mauritius and you receive a D, your only hope is that your combined grade on the TOK Essay and Presentation is an A so that you receive a measly 2 points toward your Diploma. (I’d also like to point out that no one would even know about Mauritius if not for the fact that it is home to some, most-likely bitter, person who decides the fate of some incredibly unlucky IB student.) I realize talk of the grading system and points and such is very confusing to the un-IB student, so I’ll put it into simpler terms. The Extended Essay determines my entire life hereto forward. Basically if I get a low-grade on my Extended Essay I can kiss all hopes of having a college education and, thus, a career goodbye. In the future, without financial stability I’ll have to resort to collecting Social Security at 25, but because Social Security is about to run out I might as well kill myself now before I have to stab my husband and only child so that I can eat the last package of Ramen Noodles.

I mean… the Extended Essay is a pretty big deal, but I think I might have exaggerated a little. Even if, by some chance, I don’t do well on my Extended Essay, or any of my IB exams for that matter, and don’t get the IB diploma, I’ll still be able to go to Virginia Tech because they’ll have already accepted me by the time I find out I didn’t even come close to getting the extra diploma. Realistically, the IB Program is only useful in the first three years of highschool. It shows colleges that I’m taking the most rigorous courses offered to a highschool student and that I’m serious about my education. They don’t have to know that I’m a failure until I’m making my bed in my new dorm room. At that point, what can they do? Nothing.

Honestly, I lied. I’m not stressed-out. Come Wednesday when I turn in this essay-on-steroids, I won’t be worried.

So, to all you IB kids working on your Extended Essay tonight. And to those of you who, like me, will be using every means necessary to stay awake Tuesday night (although I don’t endorse the use of caffeine). Let me remind you that the paper due Wednesday is only a rough draft. PLEASE chill out. You don’t want gray hair by the time your 19 or have a heart attack at 20.

Put things into perspective. It’s really not that big of a deal at all.


#54, 58, 60, & 64

The week before Governor’s School was jam-packed with funtivities, including a birthday party for one of my really good friends, Kelsey. She’s one of those typical highschool girls; she likes Harry Potter, going to concerts, putting feathers in her hair, going to the beach, and (most importantly) tie dying things. At her party, after having a water balloon/hose fight and soaking in the hot tub, we piled inside to play Just Dance and tie dye t-shirts in the garage. I’d never actually tie dyed successfully before and I have to say it was quite the experience. I got a professional “Tie dying for dummies” lesson with Kelsey and then I just went at it. The die didn’t always make it to the t-shirts, as evident by the colorful splash and drip marks all over the floor and table the next day. The next day I washed my t-shirt and it turned out beautifully, so I crossed #54 off the list. However, here is the confusing part. I followed all the directions I found on the internet for the crucial “first wash,” but still I was afraid to put it in the washing machine with other clothes (and for good reason it seems). I’ve hand-washed it an additional two times after the initial wash and still dye runs off the shirt. Am I missing something? Suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


The successful first wearing of my tie dye shirt. I'm so proud!

I have a lot of friends in theater at my school amd others so I’ve been dubbed “honorary theater kid.” For the past two summers I’ve been in a camp called Spotlight Productions where, after two weeks of rehearsal, we put on a full broadway musical at Virginia Wesleyan College. Last year it was Bye Bye Birdie. Clearly, although it’s not my forte, I love the theater, whether I’m a part of it or just an audience member. The first play I saw this year was back in March at First Colonial High School where a few of my friends were in a production of Seussical the Musical. Based off the real Dr. Seuss story Horton Hears a Who, it was most likely the cutest musical I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending. I smiled throughout the entire show (except during the sad parts of course). I knew #58 would be easy because I never miss any of my friends’ shows. I love to see them perform because it’s obvious they are so passionate for what they do.

#60 has by far been my favorite item on the whole listand I am proud to say that I have done it. A group of my friends love Cheeseburger in Paradise, the Jimmy Buffett themed restaurant, and we’ve made a habit out of going there whenever we have dinner together. One day we decided it was time to try something crazy, so we ordered a meal backward. Thank goodness our waitress was kind and understanding; she actually thought it was hilarious. I explained to her when she came to take our drink orders that we would be ordering a little differently and she smiled. We ordered a huge plate of chocolate nachos, huge triangular tortilla chips with powdered sugar, chocolate syrup, and sprinkles on top served with vanilla icecream on the side, for desert (the first course). It was probably the worst thing we could have done because we saved barely any room for dinner and appetizers after that. After forcing ourselves to stop, we all ordered the main course (which was difficult to force down after the chocolate nachos). Then, if I’m remembering it correctly, we got creesefries or onion strings for an appetized. By this time we were all full to the point of nausea. I ate hardly any of the appetizer, which was good because I probably would have had to loose all that lovely food the same way it had been condumed (if you know what I mean). I don’t reccommend this reverse of order. It benefits neither the customer’s stomach nor wallet and it causes all sorts of confusion for the poor waitress. Believe me, after all she had to put up with, I tipped that waitress incredibly well.

Mother’s Day weekend came along and still I had no idea what to get my lovely mom. I suggested that Friday her and I drive to Williamsburg (about an our outside town) and spend the day there having mother-daughter time. I don’t know why she said yes, but she did and so we went. Neither I nor my mother had been shopping at the outlet mall, but everyone seems to make a big deal of the low prices so it was nice to check that out; however, I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. There were only two/three real outlet stores, only one of which we actually went into. It wasn’t worth it money wise, but at least it was a beautiful day and I got to spend time with my mom, which we never really get to do. I really enjoyed Williamsburg and so did my mom. We saw stables with horses for riding, which brought up some neat stories from my mother’s childhood. Wahile we were there we also visited the the College of William and Mary, which was beautiful and provoled some conversations about my upcoming college years and where I want to go, how my parents will survive without me, etc. It was fun and it lasted the entire day from 10am to 6pm; thus, #64 was crossed off the list.

I lied.

Okay so I lied about my blog not having a purpose. I led you (my zero followers) to think that this blog is pointless, and well, it’s not. I apologize. I guess I’m not off to a very honest start here.

The point of this blog from the beginning is to share my list with friends… and I suppose strangers too (It’s bound to happen) because it’s important that this list is finished by the end of 2011. Why, you ask? Let me tell you. :]

Every year on the 31st of December, I’m sure you’re all well aware, there is a big celebration with boozing, and loud music, and a countdown and such; it’s pretty much a big deal. Since I was about ten and was able to actually understand the concept of a “new year,” in those last few hours before the ball drops I’ve wondered what the last year had accomplished. I ask myself things like, “What makes this year so important,” “Am I going to remember this year separately, specially from all the other years,” “What did I do this year that was special?” I come up with either really lousy answers or no answers at all and it makes me kind of sad. Not that I don’t have an awesome life, not that I don’t have a fun adventure every day, not that I don’t spend enough time with my friends and family (Although, I’d like to see my extended family more), that’s not it at all. It’s that I want to have something to make me feel like I haven’t wasted a year. I want something that I’ll be able to remember when they’re counting down 6…5…4… and be reassured that I accomplished something, that the year was special.

This year, I’m making that something public by putting a list on Facebook and this blog. The list is of things I’ve done and things I’ve always wanted to do. Some things are super simple and silly.. but the point is to make memories no matter what they are. This year I don’t want to be counting down to another year I won’t be able to differentiate from any other year. I want to count down to something meaningful.

This list is more like a scavenger hunt for fun, if anything. I hope that whoever’s reading this will believe in what I’m doing, whether it sounds completely pointless or not. All I want is to remember the good times. And as my years in highschool go by faster and faster, it’s nice to have these things, this list. It’ll be nice to know that wherever I end up next, how I got there, wasn’t all about the grades, it was about the fun I had too. People in programs like IB forget that sometimes, but that’s a story for another day.

I’ll be keeping track of my list right here on this blog, crossing off every item as I go. Maybe I’ll even post something about the tough or exciting ones. Maybe no one even cares, (I hope that’s not the case) but I’m doing this as documentation that I’m not wasting my time, my life isn’t dedicated completely to school or to my future. And I think everyone needs a list.

My ToDo List 2011

So i messed up big time this year. At the end of 2009 I made a list called “TO DO LIST 2010” and well, it was scarcely completed, it’s pathetic really. So this year, I’ve revised the list and I’m posting it on Facebook hoping that it will be completely finished this year. I’m really sad that I didn’t get to do a lot of these things this year so I’m starting over. Everything on the list I’ve done will be re-done and I’m going to need all you kids to help. This is going to be a really fun year- I mean obviously, just look at this list under the “ToDO List 2011” page! Some of this is stuff I’ve already done, silly, fun, simple things, but some of it is more difficult so I really need my friends. I picked a few people to help get me started that I tagged in a Facebook note because they are all well aware of what a huuge dork I am. Congratulations to them. But forreal, I’m going to take a serious whack at it this year to make up for my pathetic attempt last year. The legit goal is to completely finish everything on the list by 11:59 p.m. December 31, 2011. The ultimate goal is to have fun though. Thanks a whole bunch, I love all my friends for their help. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

yellow dahlia

yellow dahlia