Roman and Emilio

Despite their names, neither of these freshman are Italian, or even remotely European. Nonetheless they are interesting chaps, bringing their own quirks squirrely tendencies to the table. I have no doubt that they will fill the shoes left behind by those who are leaving this summer.

Emanuel, E-Man, Emilio, Eugene- The lad dons all of those names, many being used for specific situations. On the soccer field he is E-Man, as it is the quickest way to yell at him from across the field to look out for the 6’2″ midfielder charging at him from behind. Emilio is his casual name, as he is a Casanova between classes, his olive skin and dark Mediterranean features attracting all of the female eyes as he walks by. For some reason I call him Eugene when I need him for crossword help. Don’t ask why. I have no clue. But he is great at crosswords, and that is a common bond that forged our Rocky-Mickey Goldmill-like relationship.

Roman, on the other hand, is the Dolph Lundgren to my Rocky. It takes extreme self control for me not smash his kneecaps whenever I see him. But fret not, it would be an act of love. He was great to work with during the musical and I have a sneaking suspicion that he will pick up some of the leads in the coming years. In cross country, I was personally motivated by his actions, as he had a determination like no other. Even as I move on to college, I will laugh every time I see a weed-whacker because it reminds me of Roman.

As much as the stereotype of annoying freshman is true, there are always a few exceptions, and these two are those exceptions. I have faith that they will there to carry the school forward as the years progress.

Kai Tai and Siyu Lai

My two favorites. Despite being different in many ways, their camaraderie is unparalleled, and it spreads to those around them as well. I am baffled by how they never run out of things to talk about.

I cannot think about present day Siyu without his smaller sixth grade self. That first year of middle school, he unknowingly started a cult based around him. I of course was one of his most loyal devotees. You know that accent that you hear sometimes when Tyler or myself or Adam are talking? That’s because of Siyu. I will admit that Siyu is a strange boy. But that is in the best way possible. His love for volcanoes and mumble rap are endearing, and he always has a moist handshake for those who extend their hand, even if it isn’t to him.

Carter is a bit newer, but it feels like he has been at OVS for much longer. Carter is one of the kindest people I have ever met. He always has something positive to say, and I rarely see him without a grin. One thing that I will miss in college is the arguments that we have in the hallway of who is more handsome; I of course religiously assert that HE is the handsomest of all, yet he insists that it is me. (Carter if you are reading this, you are the most handsome and you have it here in writing).

I will miss this duo quite a bit, but I am nonetheless excited for them as they move on in life. Their brains and personality will get them far, and I know that they will do great things for this planet.

The Boys

There is something beautiful about the congregation of adolescent males. Sure, most of the time something gets broken, the noise level goes through the roof and no one, not even the participants, understand what’s going on. But the camaraderie and jocular affection displayed among teenage boys is an experience worth having.

As I end my time here at OVS, I want to pay tribute to some of The Boys. The next blog posts will each describe one or two individuals who have been important in my time during high school. Some have been great mates in the musical, others on the field, and some by helping me with crosswords. But each lad in one way or another has made the last four years of my life better, so this is my way of saying thank you.

birds in the sycamore tree

“It started a year ago. I lost all awareness of time and the space around me. All I could see was his trembling body aching for help. It was my brother’s fifth seizure, a battle that he was in the midst of conquering for years. The control I took at that moment was beyond my personal relationship with him and the pain coursing through my heart, the control was my ache to heal. Since that day, I have had the ambition to heal, heal the broken, and heal people in dire need. ”

I wrote this a month ago for a scholarship essay. Even though it has become “normal” for my family, it’s not easy for me to talk about.

Three days ago was mothers day. Three days ago was also an anniversary.

May 10th was easily one of the harder days that I faced in my short lifetime despite the loss that I have experienced.

Death was introduced to me at a young age and has been one of the more consistent concepts in my life: my grandmothers, my grandfather, my aunt, a friend.

But this was worse. Grieving loss is one thing but the anxiety that is paired with the potential and fear of death is a much larger burden to bear.

Over the past 6 years, I have internalized many emotions and fears that I have for his life: Once I speak of my fears do they come true? Is his safety my responsibility? When does care cross into obsessive anxiety?

Eventually, I found acceptance. But it wasn’t easy.

Three days ago, we celebrated mother’s day with … peace and gratitude. I held my tongue as we sat under the sycamore trees while the birds sang above us and simply enjoyed what God had given us.

photo credit: fineartamerica.com

Evening Runs

Sundays are long runs.

I usually end up doing them in the evening much later than I should. I tell myself I’m being strategical and avoiding the heat, but if that was true I would run in the morning (that RARELY happens). In reality, my procrastination and dread for long runs are the reason why my long runs happen in the evening.

Yesterday though, my run was pleasant. I never thought I’d say these words, but it was almost enjoyable.

Around 7:55 I told myself, “Bella, get up, you’re running.” I grabbed my headphones, running watch, a headlamp, and started to run.

It was cool weather.

My music was good.

It was dark to the point where I could see my shoes and three feet ahead of me, but nothing else.

I had no light to see my watch screen, so I just ran. I didn’t constantly check to see my mileage or pace, or how much time I had left: I simply just ran.

And then there were the shadows.

What I’m going to say next will sound like some philosophical bs but while I was running it totally made sense, if you’re a runner, you know that the mind starts to lose sanity after about five miles.

The newly set sun and distant street lights served as an invitation for three shadows to join me. One ran about four feet behind me, one right by my side, and one ran far in front of me.

I stared at the three shadows for a good twenty minuets because, like I said, running is a tedious thing that causes a bit of insanity, and I started to think.

I thought about my progress with running, the struggles I’ve faced with it, where I am, and where I want to be.

The shadow behind me represented where I started: my first time running without someone forcing me to do it, the first time I competed in a race, and all of the first steps I took in my running journey.

The middle shadow right next to me represented where I am now: I am not in as great of shape as I was at my peak, but I’m in better shape that when I started. I am working to improve my skills.

The shadow in front of me represents where I want to be: my goals, the times I want to achieve, races I want to compete in, and mental toughness that I want to acquire with my running.

On my evening long run, in my philosophical state, I stared ahead and placed one foot in front of the other, in a rhythmical pattern, as I chased down my running goals and the shadow that ran ahead of me.

Photo via runningmagazine.ca

the wind gives me faith.

they keep saying that as time passes, it gets harder. but for me, it had become easier, simpler, more tangible.  

I sat in my backyard yesterday at two o’clock in the afternoon while the wind was still and the sky was baby blue. 

I sunk my feet into the damp grass, satisfying to my callused feet.

a chai tea in hand; I slowly, with a green straw, stirred my drink with the ice that acted like it was one figure. 

content. 

but then the wind came, unexpected, abrupt. 

It stirred the scorched leaves from the early summer sun and had rested in the dirt.

the pink peppercorns and the pine needles fell from the trees. 

on the outside, it looked like the wind disturbed the plants, the grass, and bright orange marigolds that sit in the corner of the garden. 

but I stared longer at each aspect of my backyard, the wind melded everything together. 

the trees swayed together and the tall strands of grass danced with it. 

harmony.

It was hard for me to cope with a life that seemed stagnant at the time,

still like the wind that was not present when I sipped my chai tea. 

but I find joy in the little things like the birds chirping as I rise from my bed in the morning or the luck that I have after winning my fifth cribbage game. 

of course, I still wear a backpack of burdens that I impose on myself but that’s what it means to be human. 

serenity. 

photo credit: designlovefest.com

Persistence

Persistence is key to being successful. It’s hard to find someone who became successful with the inconsistent mindset. Especially during this period, where people have zero motivation to do something productive. It is crucial to maintain your persistence despite the situation unless on special occasions. 

Frankly, I’ve been not doing a good job of being persistent, but I always try to be more optimistic despite the harsh environment that we are in right now. 

I’ve been trying to set up a daily schedule to be more productive and persistent, once you started to get lazy, it is extremely hard to get back on track.

So I recommend getting out of bed and do anything you can to have the motivation to do other works. Once you get used to that routine, being persistent will be easier. I am also trying to maintain a lifestyle that is not lavish, and I hope this mindset will not change throughout time.

Stay safe and wash your hands.

PC: Steemit.com

Staying Active

Since this global pandemic situation, I can say that I’ve been pretty inactive. I have no motivation to be active at this point. It is not a good time to go out and have fun with friends, and I can see my flaps on the belly clearly, so I decided to start home workouts. I do not have a lot of experience in this field, so I had to look up some videos on Youtube, and as I expected there were millions of videos of workouts that you can do by yourself. I decided to do 100 pushups every day and some cardio.

I do not know If I can keep up with this routine for months, but I will try my best to get in shape, so I don’t have to struggle when I go back to school.

I believe it is worth time, so I suggest you guys do it too. Exercises vitalize your body and mind.

I truly hope everyone is safe, and this situation will get better soon.

PC: sunnyskyz.com

Changes

Because of this global pandemic situation, all the standardized tests including APs and SATs are modified. Currently, all the SATs before are canceled and the college board announced that if this global pandemic situation continues they might change the policy and make students take SAT online. Cancellation of SAT on March was devastating for me, first of all the school announced that SAT testing is not happening the day before testing date, and March SAT was the test that I was looking forward to getting the score that I wanted since I’ve been studying a lot for it. 

AP testings are also modified in a way, where they allow students to take it at home and most of the AP testings contain 2 FRQs, and the college board announced that they will still grade those APs on 5 point scale.

These modified testings upset me frankly, but it is a situation that I have to deal with. I will try my best to get a good score on those testings. 

Again I hope this situation gets better soon.

PC: VHTSP.com

a feminist paper: presented through a playlist

The fembots. An early sign of the objectification and sexualization of the woman in pop culture. 

Ironically, “FEMBOTS” is the title of her strictly female artist playlist on Spotify. It’s still an early adaptation of a playlist that has the potential to go down in user oliviarosebrown5’s history as the best of her creation. 

pc: pinteres.com

Once a month, I find myself grazing over the 20 playlists that each have their own emotions: pain, reminisce, serenity, pure joy. 

My feminist playlist was something that came to me over the years. Artists and songs that represented what it meant to be a strong woman were scattered over my several playlists. 

I found Eryn Allen Kane with Leon Bridges, 

Janet and Whitney with Michael, 

And Maggie in a junk drawer of alternative music. 

Each of them deserved to have their voices heard with clairity and without that pressure of male artists. 

Enter “Fembots.” 

“Fembots” is filled with female artists that taught me what it meant to love music the way I do. And not only that, they taught me about… life. 

The eerie yet poetic nature of Chloe and Halle as they ponder human impatience. 

Amber recreating a masterpiece with a new perspective while still preaching love’s power. 

Janet understanding that we don’t understand what we have until its gone. 

The confidence in being lost and letting ourselves be free from conformity is from Sabrina. 

Jamila offers “A Psalm Of Self-Love.”

The female artist that I have loved since I was a little girl dancing in her underwear has taught me more than what is reflected here but that’s for me to keep in my back pocket. 

Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me. 

Psalm 23:6