The beginning of the end.

I know these extra, irrelevant, random posts are just a form of procrastination from catching up on my ToDo List Posts, but I feel this one is necessary.It just occurred to me that tomorrow is my last first day of school. Well, that is, until college when I will have more important things to worry about: getting to know my roommate, getting used to the food, figuring out where my classes are, meeting new people, living in a new home away from my parents. I will never feel the same, simultaneous nervousness/excitement waking up at 6 a.m. after a three-month vacation with a new tan and a new wardrobe and new expectations. I already know most everyone I will see tomorrow, because they’re mostly the same people I’ve seen for the past four years, whereas in college, I will know little to no one and have to make all new friends. To be honest, I don’t know what gets everyone so riled up about the first day of school. Now that I’ve seen 12 first days, I know that there really isn’t anything to be excited about anymore. I already know all my teachers, where my classes are, and probably who I’ll sit with.

I guess it’s the fact that my mom won’t be watching me walk to the bus stop this year, or dropping me off at school. I’ll be driving myself to school in my own car and parking in the forbidden Senior Parking Lot. That might be what’s giving me the hebegebies. Maybe I’m just worried about starting this school year off on the right foot. Last year I actually made a mental note to step into the building with my right foot (for good juju, karma, etc.) but after exploring the possibilities of switching feet mid-step and falling flat on my face and then getting nervous about that, I ended up forgetting to do it all together. I suppose this year I could try again, because seniors are much more poised and confident and mature… yea right. I might feel a little different with each passing year, but whatever is changing it’s definitely not my maturity. I know I will eternally be a kid: heart, mind, and soul.

It used to worry me that my friends and I seem to be growing up so quickly, but I think it’s just our time. I don’t have regrets, I don’t wish I would have done anything differently (except maybe studying for a few tests to avoid some Cs in Earth Science, Chemistry, and Pre-Calculus), but I do wish I could have had more time. I suppose it never seems fair when it’s over. Otherwise Jim Croce wouldn’t have written a song that goes, “There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them.” I am a little scared that with all my activities (being an SCA officer, school newspaper, volleyball, French Honor Society, a middle school leadership workshop, PLUS being in IB) my senior year will fly by and I’ll be graduating before I know it. I just hope that this year will be one to remember. I’ve found what I want to do and I hope that one year is enough time to do it.

Well, I don’t want to get into the deep sentimentality pertaining to my big day tomorrow because it will make me even more anxious. So goodnight to all of you school-bound or not tomorrow morning.

To those of you who are starting a new school year tomorrow, no matter what grade, start it off on the right foot.

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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.

yellow dahlia

yellow dahlia