Junior year is definitely the busiest year. This year I take my SATS, get my drivers license, and start to narrow down colleges. I remembered today after recording something in my Daily Journal for AP English just how important it is to document everything. I want to write about everything, big or small, so I can remember it. Even if it doesn’t seem important at the time, I want to sit there when my hair is grey and my body is old and covered with wrinkles and taste how everything was once upon a time.
So here’s what you have missed future me:
1) Right now you have an 84% in Honors Chem. You’re terrified that it’s going to drop soon. So far you’ve been getting C’s and one D on the tests. You hate Chemistry. Biology was a lot better for you.
2) You’re trying to apply for CFS Club (California Federal Scholarship). It looks good for college, but you’ve got a lot of competition and don’t feel involved enough to get in. You’re friend Amanda has been involved in a million extra curricular activities for years and you regret not starting something sooner. (LEARN from this).
3) You love AP English. Your teacher, Beltran, is the coolest. You don’t write essays in her class. She doesn’t call on people. She wants people to come out of their shell on their own and force themselves to present and be brave enough to break their own hearts. Everyday in class you dance before you start whatever you’re doing (Ted Talk Tuesday, annotating everything, reading little snippets of books you now crave to read like “Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs” and “Tiny Beautiful Things”. That class relaxes you so much. You feel better afterwards and it helps you with getting through Honors Chemistry.
4) You don’t like Math anymore. It was something you were okay at last year (I mean you have been getting A’s but that doesn’t mean you fully understand it). Now its confusing. The teacher you have now is fresh out of college and explains things without following through all the way. Today you took your first group quiz and you and your good friend Emma were practically doing all the work. The boy who was “working” with you (Charlie) is someone you’ve known since Elementary school. He’s grown up into an arrogant egotistical jackass. He’s always flexing and checking out his muscles in class and stretching and bending his head on your desk (sometimes you pull it back and when he gives you a look say, “Oops sorry.” ((but we all know you aren’t)). The other girl Willa means well, but she doesn’t really get it. You and Emma do problem 8 the hard way, twice, when the formula with the shortcut was literally right there all along. You guys come in during lunch and realize you’re mistake and also realize that if your two and been positive instead of negative you would have gotten the right answer instead of remainder 848. Yesterday your math teacher cried during class giving the news that an African American man had been shot by a police officer on unlawful terms. You thought he was faking it at first and almost laughed, but then you felt really bad when you realized he wasn’t acting.
5) On your last race you “technically” got a medal. You came in 28th place in the race out of like a hundred or more schools. You aren’t on Varsity anymore, but that’s okay. The girls on Varsity now are mostly Sophomores who spend their weekends doing Triathlons. In this particular race there was this terrible dusty hill in Morley Field. You actually stuck with Amanda pretty well even though hills are your weakness and you usually catch up with her on the downhill. The top 9 girls got disqualified for accidentally cutting it short since the man who was supposed to be directing them was on his phone. They also mixed up handing out the medals so they took the 20-and beyond medals saying they’d sort it out. You knew that wasn’t going to happen because a lot of girls had already left with the wrong medals. You turned in the 49th place medal you were given anyway. You were kind of really disappointed about it but then you realized it was a just a piece of plastic, who cares?
6) Tomorrow you are going to be wearing a dress. You haven’t worn dresses since kindergarten.
7) You’re favorite song right now is “In My Mind”.
8) You broke your phone last Monday. It was a rainy day. You’re alarm went off at 6:05, you disabled it and when you set it down on the bathroom counter you knocked it over with your hand and the LSD cracked. The screen went dark but your alarm and notifications still worked. The screen wouldn’t work. You told your parents a few days later, swearing that all you did was drop it (which was true) but they were skeptical and thought you must have done something more damaging. For a few days you had no phone, and you actually were okay. Your Mom is pissed at you, but she bought you a new one. Don’t break this one. Also, its your early and only Christmas present. Merry Christmas! (You also scared your friend Scout when she suddenly couldn’t reach you. She got Fernando to investigate you. You didn’t recognize him without his glasses).
9) You used to go to bed at 9:30, but now you go to bed at 11:30. You also used to eat dinner at 6:30, now its 7 or 8.
10) APUSH is totally boring. The lessons are a waste a time and unproductive. Mostly the teacher just asks you about the day and asks a bunch of questions about politics and the modern world and its nothing to do with history. You wish you could just do the three hours of homework from that class in the class. You’ve realized that a lot of old people who are lonely become teachers because they just want someone to talk to. Maybe their kids have all moved out of the house and are too busy with their lives or maybe their spouse died or maybe they have no kids. Maybe thats why they talk so much about opinions and things, so that students are forced to listen to them and hear them. You don’t want to be like that when your old, but maybe its inevitable.
11) Every Friday in AP English you have SAS presentations (Stuff About Stuff). It’s a free topic. You bring something interesting to show the class and present about it for no more than 5 minutes. It could be an article, about anything, as long as its not a waste of time for you or the class. And as long as it interests you. You forced yourself to go last Friday when you presented about a drug that cures fear and implanting false memories into a mouse. You were completely terrified to go. You emailed the teacher the night before (she wants students to send her emails about anything/everything) saying you were hesitant and she replied saying Get into the arena girl! Just do it! You thought you gave a terrible presentation even though you didn’t stumble. You brought a picture of your dog to give people something to look at. Cel, this completely erratic and outgoing friend, told you you did great, which made you feel good. Even Beltran commented saying, “Meghan you did great, Brandon you get a star, and Katherine you seemed nervous but you got one too.” You can sit out the one tomorrow even though you have an idea for the next on (Synesthesia).
12) Also on race days (usually Fridays) your “secret” pal gives you the coolest gifts. You know its Amanda, only she would buy you Starbucks coffee, wrap up the gifts so cutely and give you gatorade with a sticker that says PROPERTY OF A BOSS ASS BITCH and give you a bag of glitter that says 100% ORGANIC UNBLEACHED GRASS FED CAGE FREE UNICORN ESSENCE. Only she would buy you a water bottle that you’ve needed for ever, get you sweet potato chips, and buy you chocolate panda’s (because Panda is the nickname for your current crush. Only you don’t know if you like him or just think he’s cute. You think he likes Meghan. I think you’re right). Amanda tries to act like she isn’t the one who buys these things, but you know its her. She tried to be sneak once by cutting out letters to spell out HAHA I’M SO SNEAKY because you told her you recognized your handwriting. You can tell in her smile and expression that its her when you bring it up. Last time she filled your good luck card with glitter (her signature birthday thing) and you threw it around the air and over your head. When you started your run to the beach you left behind a glitter trail. It took weeks for you to wash it off your hair and get it off your bed, but it was worth it.
13) There’s a heat wave right now. On Monday it was over a hundred degrees which is unusual for where you live. Since it was a “workout” day your Coach had you run to the beach with the impression there would be more running. The whole team rebelled when they got there and swam in the ocean. The water was cold and refreshing. Coach came and made everyone do 8 strides on the wet sand but then you got to swim again afterwards. Then you ran to Jack and the Box with Taylor and got water. Taylor is a tall Sophomore with really pretty blue-green eyes. She has a twin. You guys walked all the way back because it was too hot to run again.
14) Tomorrow is Friday and on the weekend your going to the beach with Sophia. Hopefully she gives you your books back. You miss “Love Letters To The Dead”.
15) You found out today when you were running to the pier with the team that a boy you’ve known since Elementary school raped a girl. He went to Juvie last year and is back in school. The girl that it happened to switched schools, you don’t know her and your friend didn’t say which you respect. You’re disgusted that he’s back in school. He also dated the friend who told you this briefly, thankfully nothing happened to her because she broke up with him but the girl who was raped didn’t tell your friend what had happened until after your friend had broken things off with him. This is the same guy who stole your lunch in 6th grade and was the first person to call you Anorexic.
16) In your Daily Journal you had to write about your favorite childhood memory and here it is:
I was at the playground sitting by the fence watching all the bees. At seven years old the fate of the bees rested on my tiny shoulders, or so I thought. If I didn’t make sure they were still flying around the purple honeysuckles that grew by the fence, they would perish forever in my mind. First the flowers would die, then the trees would go, then all the plants, and eventually the world would slowly starve and crumble apart piece by piece. I used to scratch SAVE THE BEES into the sand with my dirty fingers. As if merely writing the words would protect them. I didn’t spend all of recess doing this. I’d play on the slide with friends or play four square. Sometimes my friends would sit with me and watch the bees too, but they were scared of their venom and I was not. Sometimes I just sat alone, but I was happy to sit there and observe how delicately they crawled into flowers and then flew away. I almost always made a little time for bee patrol before recess ended. One day I was sitting by the fence wearing this stupid green hat that my Nana had sent and my Mom made me wear outside, half-watching the boys playing soccer on the sand and half-watching my little friends, when one of the boys fell. He’d skidded on the sand trying to kick the ball into the net. I jumped up and helped him hobble over to where I’d been sitting. His knees were dark and crusty with blood. I told him to stay there and then sprinted as fast as I could to the girls washroom. I was actually pretty fast back then. I’d once won a little bubble blower for getting the most laps around the field during our yearly Jog-A-Thon (I wanted the water gun, but the best boy runner got it). The school coach had once called my parents telling them I was born to be a runner after I’d beaten my entire class sprinting a lap around the field. I frantically grabbed a handful of dark brown paper towels, wet two of them, then I burst back into the sunlight towards the hurt boy. This particular boy wasn’t a stranger. We were friends. We didn’t play together at lunch (boys had cooties), but in class we’d play Trouble together and I let him make up fake rules just so he could win the game. He was my first real crush. He had curly brown hair and the biggest brown eyes I’d ever seen framed with thick lashes. I like brown eyes; they’re the kindest eyes.Tragically, he was “dating” (in elementary school terms) one of my best friends, so my “love” was a deep dark secret. Though, I sensed that he liked me too. We were both too shy to do anything about it, but he’d always smile at me and laugh at the dumb jokes I told or funny gestures I’d do just to make him laugh. I told him to use the wet paper towels to mop up the blood then press down on his cuts with the dry ones to stop the bleeding. I felt authorized to instruct him since my own mother was a nurse. As we sat side by side at the fence with the bees buzzing around us he turned to me with a clear look in his eyes and suddenly said, “Katherine, you’re really kind, funny, smart, and…. beautiful.” I could feel my cheeks heat up and a smile spread across my face without my permission. I felt warm inside and my heart was fluttering fast. We didn’t say anything after that. (Although in my seven year old mind I was planning a wedding, three kids, and maybe six or seven dogs). We just sat there, in silence, at the fence, next to the purple honeysuckle flowers with the bees buzzing over our heads, lingering for an endless moment before moving on.
You were considering writing about in preschool when you were swinging on the swings in sync with another boy. Your classmates watching and waiting for their turn called it “love swinging”. The boy was looking at you and you were looking at him. You used to close your eyes on swings so you could just feel your body rising up and falling down and being pulled backwards. When you stopped moving your feet, but continued swinging you thought it was God who was pushing your swing. You tried to communicate with him telepathically on the swings. You’d ask: Are you there God? Are you pushing my swing? Is this a sign? But he never responded to you. After the swing thing, the little boy you were loving swinging with gave you a flower and said that you guys had to get married now. You smiled at him and then ran away because commitment is too much for you.