2003-06-10 : 2:30 p.m.
Graduation and the Reflection Crap


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AHHHH!!!! After 3 days, I finally can post! Here's is something I wrote sunday night...

So here goes nothing.

Graduation is upon us. 4 days and counting until I get my diploma and am finished forever. I really don�t know how to react to it. Here I am, dying to get finished with it all, to look ahead and put high school in the past were it belongs, so that I can allow the experience to collect dust such that it will have more appeal when I reflect back on it, yet I�m not ready to say goodbye. I hated high school. I was miserable at times. I dreaded getting up in the mornings most of the days. I complained each and every morning. I would lie in bed at night and wish that I would not have in the next day. I despised the work, I despised the people, I despised the clich�s, I despised the stereotypes, I despised the teachers, I despised the attitudes, I despised not being a part, I despised being a part, I hated so much, I shed far to many tears, I would never in my life repeat high school, yet I want anything but the end to come. What is wrong with that picture? Why is it that I don�t want to leave the one place that I hate so much? It�s probably because the one thing I hate more than anything (whether it be high school, Glenn, Bush, pain, death�) is change. I don�t do change. I would like it if everything stayed exactly as it was, forever. But alas, 13 years of school in the Radnor Township School District including Ithan Elementary School, Radnor Middle School, and Radnor High School, are coming to an end. The conclusion of my high school years also lead to the goodbyes I have to say to my home of 18 years. Nothing is harder than that. Nothing hurts like that. Nothing compares to that. So alas I reflect.

My elementary school years were anything but typical. Hey, how many people are forced to cope with pain, loss, illness, and death in the second grade. Thankfully, not many. My teachers were typical teachers: Mrs. Gord, bless her heart, Mrs. Fine, she left us for her baby, Mrs. Jarman, she was so kind to me, Mrs. Maron, she also left for the health of her unborn baby, Ms. Allison, she took over for Mrs. Maron and caused me to hate school more than I ever thought possible, the tears I shed that year� and finally, Miss Winters, she was a doll. That all said, I don�t look back fondly at elementary school. I can�t help it, I don�t.

Then came middle school. Middle school is supposed to be the weakest link, the worst part of school, a horrible time, yet some of my fondest memories are from middle school. Middle school led me to my friends, some of which I still have, some I don�t, middle school brought me tears and laughs and trauma and drama and everything else imaginable. It gave me a sister for six months and a couple friends who will last a lifetime. It taught me to see the best and the worst in people. I learned so much. Not really in the academic sense but rather in the psychological sense. I owe so much to the weakest link know as middle school. I wouldn�t be who I am today if it weren�t for middle school. Yes, I hated some of the teachers (Mrs. Doyle, Mrs. King, Mrs. O�Mally, Mrs. Jorme (or whoever she was), Mrs. Harrington from sixth grade English and math, Mrs. Lord even though she gave me an awesome grade of my NASA paper, Mrs. Stitchberry for hating me, and most of all Mrs. Labriola for making me feel as if I wasn�t worthy of anything at all), I loved others (Mrs. Constable until she turned on us for making me laugh with her stories of rolling port-a-potties, Mr. Springer for being supportive, Mr. Weeks for being Mr. Weeks, and Mrs. Sloan for being amazing), and other I just didn�t care about for (Mr. Lord, Mrs. Harden�). But the teachers weren�t what mattered. The friends were. I cried tears with them, I laughed, I fought, I forgave, I hated, and I loved. Yumi was my sister and best friend, Susan was my best friend and constant source of smiles, Megan was always there, Iti caused more trials than triumphs, Eunice was always being blamed, and Miyako was an inspiration. Even though we are not all close anymore, what they taught me and gave to me, helped to make me who I am. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. The memories that stand out that include everything from SOUNDINGS, to stalking Bun-Bun (what the hell?), to the bus strike and Great Harvast, to the Paisley Shop and freaky Anthony, to Sandy Hill, to Yumi�s Goodbye Party, to orchestra and Mrs. Sloan�s room when we needed to get away from it all. I don�t know who I�d be without those times.

So where does that bring me. Towards the end of eighth grade, we said we�d write letters. While it really never happened as a whole, Yumi and I still exchanged the letters, as did Susan and I. Those letters were not to be opened to the year 2003. It seemed so far away yet here we are. But those will come into play later on.

High school brought on a whole hell of a lot of changes. Montreal and Quebec with Michelle and then Miss Gillman, McKenna�s English class with Megan and Kirsten, orchestra and Mrs. Gal, Mr. Wood and Mr. McKenna becoming the first people ever to tell me that I could write. Honestly, I don�t know if I�d be looking towards a future in writing without their encouragement. Ninth grade was hell at times and awesome at others. From Toronto with orchestra and band to swimming to fights to Mrs. Doerr�s math class� Looking back, I don�t know what to think. Being a lowly little freshman sure beat sophomore year. Mrs. King�err� then Miss Gillman�s engagement� hahaha. That was fun. There was also Cherilyn.

Sophomore year I hated. I think overall I just had a really hard time with it. I did well with English but little else was good. I just can�t pick anything great out. I think I�ve blocked it out as best as I could. The whole orchestra fiasco, the personal hell, it was an awful year. Drew and Mr. King�s class� I really like Mr. King but the class was hell. Of course the French skits were rather interesting� Susan becoming a tattoo artist and me a ventriloquist� That was fun.

Junior year I think I just coped better with. I don�t have too many fond memories� French was hell, cried too many tears over that class, but other things like H.M.S. Pinafore were great. Lynam hating my writing hurt, as did Digregio�s math class� But I think I dealt better with 11th grade. Nonetheless, you couldn�t pay me enough to repeat that grade� chemistry. Ahhhhhh.

Senior year was probably the best year, just very overrated. I worked my butt off when I should have been slacking. I spent hours in the art room slaving over work that I cared little about. What�s wrong with that picture? Art History had its ups and downs. Math was the scariest experience in my life, but damn! That class was amusing. Have I mentioned that I loved my growing table? It started off with Sware (don�t have a clue what his first name is) and I then came Andrew (I think that his name), and finally new kid (Devon?). Yes I was the only girl, but it was a fun table with us blind people, all unable to see the overhead from our back corner. Patty was another story though�. Thank you god that she was at a different table. I hated math, but as I said, I laughed far too much in that class. Then there was the art room, but second home, though the same could also be said for the writing center. Thank you Mrs. Evans for letting me complain and never failing to say a kind word or two. The prom was amazing and by far one of the greatest bits about high school. Yes, we had nothing in common but it was ok. I had fun. And thank god for Eunice. Eunice got me through this year. Then there was Into the Woods and Dr. Glenny (oh no!) and Emily and Meisters. Man, those were the times.

Somewhere along the way my life suddenly started to evolve around horses. I�m not sure when though. In 8th grade I painted a horse, but I don�t remember being obsessed. Yet 1998 and 1999 where the years of Victory Gallop and Skip Away so maybe I was obsessed at that point. I owe my life�s passion, horse racing and horses, to Johnny D. and Trudy McCaffery for giving me that trip to the Preakness 2 years ago. Nothing has been the same since. I�ve have 2 Belmonts, another Preakness, BREEDERS� CUP, the Kentucky Derby� I met friends (Amelia, Tasha, Nikki, Jackie�the list goes on) and horses (Pompeii� rest in peace� Magic Weisner, Came Home� Monarchos, Percy Hope rest in peace� Congaree, and so many more) and gained press passes and experience and knowledge and fun and tears and laughs and losses that I wish could have not happened� I don�t know who I�d be without the horses. Or even the riding. Thank you Barb and Mike for making me laugh over the time I�ve known you even though it hasn�t always been fun. I could go on forever but I�m not going to.

Why all the nostalgia? I really don�t know. It�s just in the air. I guess this is graduation air.

It really hit me after tonight, after baccalaureate. It was this strange, surreal feeling that came over me. I feel like it�s not happening to me, that instead it�s happening someone else and I�m just along for the ride (*NOTE* Typing with only the fingers on one�s left hand is HARD). I am ready for it to end, but I�m not ready to move on. Baccalaureate itself was very surreal though I think it confirmed that none of this has sunken in yet. Actually, I know that now. People sang, people spoke, people read. It was straight from the movies. It was really quite perfect, just what you�d want a baccalaureate in a public school to be like yet it didn�t feel real. Kelly started the night off by playing a selection of songs on the piano; the one that almost moved me to tears was Tori Amos�s �Winter�. It was so perfect. The singing of �Landslide� fit too as did �Don�t You Forget About Me� and even our �Gloria� and �Nora�s Dove� especially fit very well. Singing with distaffs after several years� wow.

Winter

snow can wait I forgot my mittens

wipe my nose get my new boots on

I get a little warm in my heart when I think of winter

I put my hand in my father's glove

I run off where the drifts get deeper

sleeping beauty trips me with a frown

I hear a voice ' you must learn to stand up for yourself cause I can't always be around '

he says when you gonna make up your mind

when you gonna love you as much as I do

when you gonna make up your mind

cause things are gonna change so fast

all the white horses are still in bed

I tell you that I'll always want you near

you say that things change my dear

boys get discovered as winter melts

flowers competing for the sun

years go by and I'm here still waiting

withering where some snow man was

mirror mirror where's the crystal palace

but I only can see myself

skating around the truth who I am

but I know dad the ice is getting thin

when you gonna make up your mind

when you gonna love you as much as I do

when you gonna make up your mind

cause things are gonna change so fast

all the white horses are still in bed

I tell you that I'll always want you near

you say that things change my dear

hair is grey and the fires are burning

so many dreams on the shelf

you say I wanted you to be proud of me

I always wanted that myself

when you gonna make up your mind

when you gonna love you as much as I do

when you gonna make up your mind

cause things are gonna change so fast

all the white horses have gone ahead

I tell you that I'll always want you near

you say that things change my dear

Landslide

I took my love, I took it down

Climbed a mountain and I turned around

I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills

'Till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky

What is love

Can the child within my heart rise above

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides

Can I handle the seasons of my life

Well, I've been afraid of changing

'Cause I've built my life around you

But time makes you get bolder

Even children get older

And I'm getting older too

Oh, take my love, take it down

Climb a mountain and turn around

If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills

Well the landslide will bring it down

If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills

Well the landslide will bring it down

Don't You (Forget About Me)

Hey, hey, hey ,hey

Ohhh...

Won't you come see about me?

I'll be alone, dancing you know it baby

Tell me your troubles and doubts

Giving me everything inside and out and

Love's strange so real in the dark

Think of the tender things that we were working on

Slow change may pull us apart

When the light gets into your heart, baby

Don't You Forget About Me

Don't Don't Don't Don't

Don't You Forget About Me

Will you stand above me?

Look my way, never love me

Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling

Down, down, down

Will you recognise me?

Call my name or walk on by

Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling

Down, down, down, down

Hey, hey, hey, hey

Ohhhh.....

Don't you try to pretend

It's my feeling we'll win in the end

I won't harm you or touch your defenses

Vanity and security

Don't you forget about me

I'll be alone, dancing you know it baby

Going to take you apart

I'll put us back together at heart, baby

Don't You Forget About Me

Don't Don't Don't Don't

Don't You Forget About Me

As you walk on by

Will you call my name?

As you walk on by

Will you call my name?

When you walk away

Or will you walk away?

Will you walk on by?

Come on - call my name

Will you all my name?

But what got to me most of all had to have been the reading of Dr. Seuss�s �Oh, The Places You�ll Go.� Man, Dr. Seuss was such a smart man. Why can�t more people be that smart?

Congratulations!

Today is your day.

You're off to Great Places!

You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes

You can steer yourself

any direction you choose.

You're on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.

About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,

you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any

you'll want to go down.

In that case, of course,

you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there

in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen

and frequently do

to people as brainy

and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,

don't worry. Don't stew.

Just go right along.

You'll start happening too.

OH!

THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!

You'll be on your way up!

You'll be seeing great sights!

You'll join the high fliers

who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.

You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.

Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.

Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don' t

Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so

but, sadly, it's true

and Hang-ups

can happen to you.

You can get all hung up

in a prickle-ly perch.

And your gang will fly on.

You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch

with an unpleasant bump.

And the chances are, then,

that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,

you're not in for much fun.

Un-slumping yourself

is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.

Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.

A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!

Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?

How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...

or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?

Or go around back and sneak in from behind?

Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,

for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused

that you'll start in to race

down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace

and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,

headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go

or a bus to come, or a plane to go

or the mail to come, or the rain to go

or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow

or waiting around for a Yes or a No

or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite

or waiting for wind to fly a kite

or waiting around for Friday night

or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake

or a pot to boil, or a Better Break

or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants

or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting.

NO!

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape

all that waiting and staying.

You'll find the bright places

where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,

once more you'll ride high!

Ready for anything under the sky.

Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!

There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.

And the magical things you can do with that ball

will make you the winning-est winner of all.

Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be,

with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.

Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times

you'll play lonely games too.

Games you can't win

'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!

Whether you like it or not,

Alone will be something

you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance

you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.

There are some, down the road between hither and yon,

that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go

though the weather be foul

On you will go

though your enemies prowl

On you will go

though the Hakken-Kraks howl

Onward up many

a frightening creek,

though your arms may get sore

and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike

and I know you'll hike far

and face up to your problems

whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,

as you already know.

You'll get mixed up

with many strange birds as you go.

So be sure when you step.

Step with care and great tact

and remember that Life's

a Great Balancing Act.

Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.

And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So...

be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray

or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,

you're off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So...get on your way!

---Dr. Seuss

John�s speech was also good�

Oh yeah, back to the letters. After 4 years, I felt that tonight was the right time to open them up. Why is it that I have forgotten so much? My cinnamon scented letters have reminded me about the alleged murder of Humpty Dumpty by Susan, Yumi and my trip to Cape May but most of all the friends that I have who I love so much. I wouldn�t be who I am without them. So thank you guys. Here�s to the memories as they make us who we are. We would have no future without the past so I am grateful for what you have given me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And the duck stuff started on Halloween some year. I don�t remember the details. Isn�t that said? I should remember out history, yet I don�t. Have I failed friendship 101? Maybe, but this really struck a chord with me: �How did we survive being best friends and not killing each other?� Now how did we survive friendship? More power to us all.

So there we go. I was going to write more, but I�m not sure I can, at least not now. I just don�t know what else to say. Happy Graduation, happy future, and I love you guys with all my heart. Thank you for the memories. Now, let�s GRADUATE!





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