Hello OVS!

As you may know or recognize, this is Emma from last years graduating class and I’ve stopped by to say hello! It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve read this blog so I’ve spent the last half hour or so catching up on you journalists. I must say that half of you write better than I did before taking the course and there’s still half a year left for you all to improve! But seriously, enjoy that class while you can. It was definitely one of my favorite classes of all time while at OVS. Maddie and I have been working on a video, which we actually started months ago but never seem to find time for, that should be uploaded and posted sometime before Christmas. You’ll hear from us soon enough.

P.s. Give my regards to Mrs. Whipple and Terry Wilson. I miss them dearly!

P.s. 2 I miss your parking Mr. A

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Bright Star

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.

John Keats

I love poetry. There’s nothing more in this world that could make me feel as much emotion and imagine so much as it. It’s simply magical. It’s creation and writing at it’s finest. And there’s one poet who inspires me more than any other.

John Keats.

Every single one of his poems is written so articulately and beautifully that I could re-read it a thousand times over and still find it fascinating. It’s a true gift to be able to create works such magnitude as he did. It’s no wonder why the created a movie about him.

Bright Star is a film based loosely on the romance between Keats and Fanny Brawne. Even though story line is probably far from accurate, it’s an insanely beautiful movie. (Not to mention the casting is fitting and absolutely stunning.)

From start to finish your world becomes there’s and you find yourself immersed in 19th century England and into the lives and two young, ill-fated lovers. It’s captivating, and it my face, I couldn’t take a break while watching it. Every single detail is so accurate and the characters are so lovable that you wish that the movie would never end. Even the actor who plays John Keats, Ben Whishaw, has won numerous British acting awards, and in my opinion, irresistible in this movie.

It’s available on Netflix on demand. I would definitely recommend watching it.

Threads

For my blog post for this week  I thought that I’d post my favorite poem at the moment.

This poem, by Gabriel Gadfly, is not only beautifully written, but also describes how I feel at this point in life. You can relate it to leaving high school. You can relate it to leaving friends behind. You can relate it to leaving past lovers behind. In my case, I relate it to all of those things.

Threads 

From time to time,
when you have wandered
away from a person,
you wander a little further
and feel the slightest tug
at your ankle.

Looking down, you find
a thread, red or maybe
blue, barely seen,
barely there, tied
gently and trailing
as far back as you
can see and you know,
instinctively, where
it leads.

It brings you to a choice:
to take one more step,
snap the thread and
leave it where it lay,
or return from whence
you came.

Sometimes, the one’s
the best choice;
sometimes, it’s the other.

Is it not wonderful? Maybe I’m just a complete weirdo that likes poetry, but I can’t help but share it. No others words could possibly describe the way that I feel at this point in life. No matter how much I whine about wanting to leave and am counting down the days, I’m incredibly sad to leave.

I can’t imagine not seeing the few people that I care about every day. I don’t want to leave those who are staying behind and I don’t want to watch the other walk away and never look back. It’s a terrible feeling knowing that things are coming to an end, and you can only sit back and watch.

Well as Dr. Seuss said “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

I

Cattle-ranching Trip

Not very many people can claim that they’ve been on a real cow roundup, but I can!

Last Sunday, a group of three seniors, including myself, OVS art teacher Ms. Smith, and lower’s Australian riding instructor, Andy, loaded two horses and made the six hour trip up to Independence, California to stay at the Smith Ranch.

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Without knowing what a cattle roundup is to the fullest extent, I imagined massive herds of cattle running in each and every direction as the riders each struggle to keep them in a group and headed towards the pens.

Without knowing what ‘putting cattle through a shoot’ is, I imagined the branding to be a horrid sight, and the castration to be something that my weak stomach wouldn’t be able to handle, and the tagging to be intolerable.

I was completely wrong in every sense.

The first day of herding cattle was as easy as one could possibly imagine. The cattle didn’t even bother to defy the natural order of things and simply moved as soon as a horse came near them.

I was also lucky enough to ride one of the most incredible horses that I’ve ever encountered. Elizabeth and I were given to rented horses from a pack station down the road whose names we weren’t told. I was given a lovely strawberry roan quarter horse who was not only calm and collected but willing to go whenever asked to grab a stray calf. We named him Barry for his color and the large “B” branded on his left flank. We were also given an older gentleman of a horse who never ceased to have his tongue hanging out of his mouth and his head regally held above all of the others. Not to mention he was easily over twenty and was covered in random patches of abnormally long hair. He was named Thor, which was followed by more jokes that I could ever keep track of.

Throughout the whole time our faces were stuffed with the most amazing food, and minus the brief stomach flu that we all experienced, it was definitely one of the best weeks of my life. If any riders are considering going next year, they definitely should. It’s absolutely wonderful!

The End

You never realize how much you miss someone
until your heart sinks to the floor with grief
A soundless crash that mirrors
After months of forgetting how they mirrored asphalt after rain.

And how days seem to creak on by
When you’re in no rush to take a breath.

And how cigarettes taste youthful
a tremor of nostalgia; a secret childhood kiss
a breath of forgotten lust.

And how, with your legs propped up against the bench; our minds tightly shut
; the breeze spilled into the cracks of our words

And how my heart seemed to bleed through my lips
Your mind finally made up.

My inspiration.

Avi Buffalo

I’ve been to about 30 concerts in my life. From seeing the Rhianna to Michael Franti, I’ve made my way around the different genres and different venues. This last Saturday I was lucky enough to see Avi Buffalo at the Getty Museum.

I had never been to the Getty before and didn’t have much of an idea of what to expect. I’ve always driven down the 405 and wondered what that white tram led to and what wonders were inside the museum itself. All that I can say is that it’s magnificent. Every single molecule in that museum is beautiful.

From to the different exhibits, to the perfectly mowed lawns, to the magnificent water gardens, and to the city views, it’s simply the most beautiful place that I have ever been to. I plan on returning there as soon as possible to spend my day exploring all the parts that I didn’t even have time to see. But that wasn’t even the best part of my day.

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My friends and I were walking to use the restroom when Charlie (pictures above) stopped dead in her tracks and said “That’s him!”[The lead singer of Avi Buffalo] We followed him down in order to get a picture or two with him and watched him walk through the crowd without being noticed. It’s so strange to watch someone so talented and known not be recognized by the mass majority of a crowd. Though after the show he was a lot more popular.

It’s also needless to say that the show was amazing. The band only has one album out, but on set they played several songs that hadn’t been heard yet and many that the crowd was yearning to hear. We were all in the front row and we couldn’t have been happier. The energy feeding off the stage mixed with the flashing colored lights, sounds of the crowd, and the smell of inscents made the prefect mixture that was blissful.

If you haven’t heard of them, please go look them up now. You can download their album here for free, and believe me, it’s well worth it. But if you can, do try to support them! They aren’t too big yet, so they could always use the money from music sales. I hope that you like them! Oh and go visit the Getty if you haven’t already as well. You won’t regret it!

Beirut

I’ve been here at the Ojai Valley School for five years now. During those four years spent at the upper campus, there have been countless moments that have been so deeply engrained into my fondest of memories. From exclusive dances on the girls dorm lawn to laying under the stars with good friends, debating the purpose of our existence, this school has grown to shape the person that I am today more than any other single influence. And throughout my time here, there has been one artist that has done the same.

Beirut is the extended band of Zach Condon from New Mexico. Zach plays the ukulele, trumpet, euphonium, mandolin, accordion, various keyboard instruments, and a modified conch shell and the rest of his band plays instruments from the cello to the glockenspiel. It’s needless to say that they create a unique sound.

How can you not enjoy his voice? It’s so beautiful. This man, this band has stayed in my top favorite artists for four years now. All of their songs are timeless. They’re what inspired me to play ukulele, and I can not boast that I know every ukulele song of theirs by heart. I actually just took an hour break off writing this to practice their songs and attempt to sing, and the singing honestly did not go well.

Every time I hear Postcards From Italy, I think of former OVS student Tony Lim and Jeung Soo trying to sing me it over the phone on an early Sunday morning and every time I hear Elephant Gun I think of Andrew Town and Austin Jacobson performing it live at our festival of talent. Every single moment connected with their songs is wonderful in its own way, and couldn’t ever be overplayed or irritating to me.

If you haven’t downloaded any of their music, you seriously should consider it. Not only are they amazing tracks, but the live recording are even more spectacular. It’s rare to find an artist so universal. Here’s a link to download one of their albums for free.

Or if you don’t wish to download it, at least watch the street performance above. It will wash you away like this: