Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Are We There Yet?

Back in January, my school's choir banded together with other choirs across the state to perform in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. It's right across from this shopping center called City Creek. We had a break between the rehearsal and performance, so everyone wandered over there for dinner and window shopping.
I walked across the street with my friend Maya. Before we could reach the food court, she said, "Let's go to the Disney store." I'd planned to stop by anyway, so I followed her. We looked around, but I already have a Mulan doll and I couldn't fit into any of the dresses, so we left.Maya and I parted ways once we reached the food court. I got my pizza, found four friends leaving the Chik Fil A line, and joined their table. Three of them had kids meals.Once we finished eating, I wandered around with that group, which added and lost a few members along the way. We had enough time to stop at one store before heading back to the tabernacle. What did they want? "Let's go to the Disney store!"
There's nothing wrong with loving childish things. If you've read through my other blog, you know I'm an ardent Disney fan. But it is perfectly normal and right to like mature things as well. My inner fifteen year old is screaming at me as I type this, but...I'm ready to move on. I want to grow up. I'm ready to go to parties where people don't play the same "go around the circle and name one thing in this category" games we played when we were twelve. I'm ready to have a movie night that wasn't brought to me by Walt Disney Studios. I'm ready to be around mature people.Graduation, here I come.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Graduation is Like Paris

When I was thirteen, my mom took me to England to visit one of her old college roommates. France was right next door, so we thought, hey, why not pay a visit? We were only there for thirty six hours, long enough to get ripped off at restaurants and hit the stock tourist sites. One of these was the Eiffel Tower.

So there we were, standing under the Eiffel Tower, the Frenchiest French building in all of France, and my mom turned to me and said, "Can you believe we're in France?"
I don't remember if I when into a rant or just chopped off the conversation with a "duh, Mom." But I understood what she was getting at. It's one thing to hear France exists, in books and movies and articles. It's another to actually stand there and discover the country's thicker than a map or postcard.
My middle school was an architectural nightmare. Cramped, dimly lit hallways, few windows, no air conditioning, and I won't even get started on the wall carpet. The high school building is younger than I am. I remember one day walking around the second floor sometime sophomore year with its balcony, wide halls, cheery purple lockers, when it hit me. I'm in high school.
I can still remember the day Kaelyn Hyde of Fifth Period Algebra announced to our class, "It's the second semester of eighth grade already! That means we're halfway through our middle school careers!" Now Kaelyn's a senior, which means I'm a senior. Shouldn't I still be looking forward to ninth grade?
As if the pre-nostalgia weren't enough, I've got to deal with Josten's, the company that has a monopoly in graduation junk. They set up their merchandise table on the landing outside the auditorium where my friends and I eat lunch. Hordes of seniors step over our food to throw money at them and pick up graduation mugs with the names of seven hundred people they never really new. Because of them, I've got all my friends walking around in Senior 2015 sweatshirts so I can never forget the end is near.  It's just chronological tourist junk-instead of a place we'll never revisit, it's a time we'll never see again. Like the little gold Eiffel Tower keychain tucked away in the bottom drawer of my desk, a reminder that, yes, I did go to France, and Paris is real. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


First of all, I'd like you to take a detour over to librarian Mindy McGinnis' blog, where she has a lovely post about the immaturity of teens these days. And now, back to me, because I matter.

I want your attention. And I don't believe I'm alone. When was the last time you met someone who wanted something else? Companies just want attention. The end goal is to get people into their stores, but for the first step, they just want people to look at their ads. Valentine's Day is coming up. Billions of dollars in chocolate and roses and paper hearts just to make lovers pay attention to each other. Activists just want attention. They want people to come to their rallies, raise fists, shout slogans, and they want some of those people to be journalists, who just want attention as well. Attention is reading their articles. As a blogger, I want something very similar: attention in the form of pageviews.
"I think, therefore I am," Descartes said. Well, maybe that's enough for him. But I need other people to look at me, talk to me, step out of the way when I walk down a hall. Then I'll know I exist.
I've been accused of faking migraines for the attention. I'm by no means alone in this. Teenagers, especially teenage girls, are hard pressed to claim their status as bully and rape victims. Rule of thumb: If we claim a problem, it never happened, and we want attention. But if we cause a problem-beating up other kids or tagging a wall-then we're doing that for the attention too.
I've been able to find a sliver of sympathy for adults who tout this tried and tired phrase. Perhaps it's a coping method. They've heard rumors that the world has fangs and teeth, that every problem from rape to headaches is real, that problems can hit close to home instead of just striking long ago and far away. And not only can they affect people in their lives, but those half-people, children, they're susceptible too. Children, the ones they're burdened to protect.
Keep up the good work, girls. Win scholarships, make discoveries, start a Twitter fight-whatever you can do to make someone look at you. They've figured out that we exist. If we can get a little more attention, they might realize we matter too.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Symptoms of Seniorities

Brigham Young University does this week long summer program called EFY-especially for youth. It involves dances, devotionals, and dorm living. Basically, high schoolers pretend to be college students for a week, minus the classes.
Another important part of EFY is finding your COW. I had no idea what it stood for my first year. Finally, on Friday, a girl explained that it stands for Crush of the Week. Pick a boy, fall madly in love for five days, and then say goodbye and only talk on Facebook for the rest of your life.
Since I didn't know about COWs until the last minute, I felt like I'd missed out on some vital component of EFY. That's how I am with senioritis. I've heard people toss around the term for years, but until about a week ago, I didn't know what it actually meant. 
Most students use it as a synonym for laziness, and to be honest, that's the end of it with some people. You were a lazy second grader, lazy seventh grader, and you're not going anywhere after graduation, so don't bother jumping any hurdles. But for everyone else, it's payoff time.
I was cleaning out my room today when I found some graffiti under some books in my nightstand cubby, circa ninth grade. 
Displaying IMG_0790.JPG
"There has to be more to life
than getting good grades to get
into good colleges so you can
get more good grades."

When I was a sophomore year, Jordan, one of my three senior friends, was moaning about his life. "I stayed up till three a.m. playing xbox. I have senioritis so bad." I shot back a long list of all the legitimate homework I'd been doing until the wee hours of morning. That colored my understanding of senioritis for the next two years. 
Now I finally get it. Senioritis isn't all about lethargy. It's part mid-youth crisis. You've spent your entire high school career just getting by. Now you need to go on dates and watch basketball games and join clubs before it's too late. It's part bittersweet. You float around in this pre-nostalgic haze. I'll be walking down a hallway or joining my friends for lunch and all of a sudden it hits me. I'm a senior. There are only so many of these days left. Sure, I can track down my individual friends and come back to the building for a stroll down memory lane, but it's not the same. It's the whole I'll miss, not the pieces. 
And, yeah, it's part lethargy.
Senioritis Symptoms
  • Your graduation year is '15, so Josten makes makes clever little Seniorit15 shirts to spell out the name of your condition.
  • You leave for the last half hour of orchestra to hang out with your friends in choir next door.
  • You drop that math class you weren't required to take anyway for an internship that will actually give you a leg up in your future career. 
  • You light a bowl of pudding on fire to relieve stress after submitting a gigantic scholarship application. Also, you've always wondered if pudding will burn.
  • You stop saving school papers for your annual homework bonfire, even though it's been a tradition since eighth grade, which is when you discovered jello doesn't burn either. It sizzles.
  • When people ask for your hobbies and you're in a candid mood, you say, "Taking buzzfeed quizzes" instead of "Sleep." 
If you or a loved one is suffering from senioritis, please following these steps:
You're earned it.