I've gotta write in this thing just for the sake of chronicling my life. I've written a few posts that I just haven't published, but nothing about what is generally happening in my life.
This post has taken me a long time to put up because my life has a lot of sad right now that I don't know what to do with. I don't want to share it with people I know. Part of me doesn't even want to post this on here because I don't want to be viewed as insecure, depressing, or unstable. But maybe I just am those things right now. Its not that I'm sad all the time, but a good portion of it, and sometimes it starts to leak out in real life and I hate that. I think I feel much more neurotic right now than I've ever felt in my entire life. I just looked up the word neurotic to be sure, and its the exact description of what I feel...just anxious and obsessed and compulsive about a lot of stupid things.
I'm white-knuckling it through the rest of school. I started out the first half of calculus turning in all my homework, I got a 99 on the first test, a 90 on the second test. No grade lower than a B+ on quizzes, and only for stupid stuff like forgetting a negative sign or not completing the chain rule. I was on top of everything and actually feeling like school was something I could do well again.
Unfortunately, I've now fallen back into some old habits and attitudes towards my education. I got a 74 on my last test because I didn't complete all the homework or do enough studying. I was busy getting ready and being excited to go to Portland and Seattle, (awesome trip, by the way) and I was just generally sick of doing math homework. Now I've got one more test to go before the final, and way too much to catch up on. I may have to find a tutor for a few hours someday soon. (Anyone out there a pro with integrals?) Its so hard to feel motivated about that class again though, especially after the 74 on the last test. My mind has already moved into the summer.
All of my other classes are going well except for statistics. Statistics has throughout this semester been my step-child class. When I put in time for homework, I work on Calculus. I didn't even want to take stats this semester, but I had to load it on in order to have enough credits for a student loan.
The recent drop in academic performance doesn't necessarily mean that I haven't kept busy. I'm always overwhelmed with how much I want to get done, and I'm always working on something, I just have a hard time prioritizing sometimes. Some days it feels like school should be the most important thing, and other days I feel I should just quit school for a couple of years and focus all my attention on learning to play the guitar or sing or act. Most of the time I get caught up doing something I feel is important, but which doesn't work out with my schedule for school...like writing my congressman, or reading the BFG to my nieces, or helping my sister or parents out with cleaning or a project. The problem here is mostly that I want to do everything, and so it's hard to follow through completely with anything. I wish school could just run on my schedule.
Other things going on in my life:
Bus driving: I'm headed to Alaska for a summer job again, this time to drive buses in the small port town of Skagway. In order to do this, I had to put in about 15 to 20 hours every week in training classes, driving sessions and small other things like getting first aid and CPR certified. I now have my CDL and I'm certified to drive large vehicles with an endorsement that allows me to carry lots of passengers.
I have mixed feeling about going to Alaska. I want to see Skagway. It looks beautiful and there's lots of hiking to be done there and its far from Utah and I can make a lot of money and I need to just carry through with something that I set out to do right now and I always feel like running away anyways.
On the other hand, I have a wonderful boyfriend down here who I'm going to miss a lot. Tons. Maybe an unhealthy amount. There's also a lot of really great stuff going on here that I wish I could be involved in, like several plays, races and roadtrips and some opportunities to help people that I care about.
I guess I'd better not flake on this though. I leave on the 30th of this month.
Tutoring Jonny: I've grown to love this kid and his mom this school year. Jonny is hilarious, compassionate, very aware of the feelings of people around him (sympathetic?), and even hardworking.
His mom is anxiously engaged in everything. There's no other way to put it really. Always anxious and always engaged. She's also incredibly generous with her talents and any resources she has to offer. She's truly one of the most giving people I know. I love and admire her a ton.
Progress with Jon is painstakingly, make-you-want-to-bang-your-head-against-a-brick-wall slow, but pretty rewarding when he gets the hang of something. We started math tutoring in September and we're just about to start borrowing in subtraction.
I guess it sounds a little cliche to say that there's so much I have to learn from a kid with down-syndrome, but its true. I actually relate to Jonny on a lot of levels, and his success in life has been somewhat linked to mine lately. I have to believe that he can do anything, so that I can believe that I can do anything. I cling to that idea. There's a lot that I feel I'm lacking in many departments of life; mentally, socially, physically, etc, but I have to believe that I can do just as well as anyone else if I try. And now I have math lessons to make or break that perception of the world daily. Mostly he makes it :) Jonny is a constant reminder to me of a lot of things, and as stressful as it might seem to tutor a kid with down-syndrome, he actually keeps me from losing my mind pretty regularly.
I just need to learn to quit saying "retarded" all the time...
Choir Stuff: Robbie and I somehow managed to get into the top choir at school this year, and last week we went "on tour" to Temple Square and the public library and several high schools. We'll be performing at the Covey Arts Center with the Utah Valley Symphony in a couple of weeks, and then at our school.
Robbie is a tenor and I'm a baritone/bass. I didn't even know what baritone meant when they first told me I was a baritone. I had no musical ability other than to generally be able to mimic the sounds I heard coming out of other people or machines. When we first auditioned for the choir, there was a part of the audition where we were divided into quartets... which means I had to sing the bass part with no one else around singing the same part. I started off maybe the first three notes trying to sing my own part, but sure enough I ended up singing along with what I could hear the most...which was this loud soprano girl. The choir conductor, Dyanne, stopped the audition a third of the way through (in front of the whole class, mind you) and asked me specifically why I was singing the soprano line. I got red, shrugged like an idiot and told her I always just sing what I can hear. I was about to say "F**k this, choir is for douche-bags," and storm off, but Dyanne just smiled and asked another bass to come sing next to me, and from then on I hit every note spot on. And that's how I got into a choir.
This last semester, I did the quartet audition all on my own. I even volunteered to do it twice when one group was missing a bass to sing with them. I now have a better ear for the piano, and a better understanding of how the notes go up and down and what all the lines and connectors mean and how the timing on songs works. I can even plunk out notes on the piano sometimes. Not to say that I'm amazing or don't still need A LOT of work, and its still comfortable to stand next to someone who is singing my part, but I feel a little bit more better about myself in there, and I plan on auditioning again next year.
Roadtrip: I went up to Seattle and Portland recently to visit friends and see Wicked. We did a lot and it was all excellent, but the highlights were two-fold: First of all, there was Jessica. The reason she was one of the highlights is sort of a long story, but I'll just summarize: Jessica drove to Seattle from Portland, flew from Seattle to Salt Lake, and then dressed up as a hitchiker so that I would pick her up and she could come on the roadtrip with us back to where she lives. I love that girl with every fiber of my being.
The second highlight of the trip was the musical, Wicked. Now, I expected it to be a good show. I had heard most of the music from it and thought it was all really clever. But I had no idea how brilliant that musical would be, and how intensely I would relate to it. Its about these two very different friends who grow to love and respect each other, but just can't bring themselves to line up on moral grounds. I'm glad I watched that thing with Robbie.
I almost wanted to buy one of those black "Wicked" t-shirts, like the kind you see nerd girls wearing on the bus...the kind of girl with thick glasses whose faces are hidden behind books about dragons and wizard mages...the kind that are mean when you try to talk to them because they've probably been emotionally scarred many times in their life....I wanted to look like one of them. Thats how sold I was on that show.
I'm Elfiba and Robbie is Glinda. I can't believe I just said that.
More recently (Easter Weekend) I also made a trip down to Capitol Reef National Park with some new and old friends.
I've now been to all the national parks in Utah. Robbie postulated that perhaps that is the key to being free of this state. Even if its not, I love visiting all those parks, and I've got a nice first sunburn for the year now. :)
My mood is actually getting better as I write this blog post, so maybe I'd better quit while I'm ahead and go do real things like study math. I probably haven't written everything I meant to write, but this is a start. Catch ya later, blogworld.