The Spiders Rise pt. 2

Parts of the following blog are fictional accounts.

Tuesday
I’m always the first one back from breakfast, so the dorms are quiet and still. Halfway down the hallway, a drawing of a cartoon spider flutters to my feet from it’s position on the wall. It was an omen, I swear it was. There was a spider in the dorm’s cutlery drawer when I was looking for spoon to make hot chocolate with.

The girls went to bed that night feeling weary but quite hopeless. We all knew that the relentless torture would not ease up yet. “Third time’s the charm,” they say.

3am and the all-too familiar sound fills the dorm. I laid awake in bed for 20 seconds or so, contemplating just staying in my room and facing the consequences.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with that thought, as I was the first person out of the dorm. The other humans took their time coming out because they knew that there was no fire and no danger.

We’re all tired. We’re all bickering.

Wednesday

No sign of our 8-legged friends anywhere, so I felt internally relieved. The other girls felt hopelessly exhausted and didn’t have as much knowledge as I do.

All was quiet that night. Not a peep, not a ring, not a twitch.

Thursday
6:40am and I’m brushing my teeth, eyes still closed and dozing off in the silence. A friend screams and points to the wall – a large brown recluse, crouching and staring at me from the mirror. I bring him outside and try to calm my beating heart, now definitely awake.

There’s the cartoon spider at my feet again. I had stuck it back onto the wall on Tuesday, and today… Well, there it is.

9pm Thursday. I’m prepared for their final attack.

Friday
5am and I was woken by the smell of smoke. It was faint enough that the fire alarms didn’t go off.

There were about (aw heck no) a dozen spiders on my floor.

They all ran under the crack of my door and I followed them out into the hallway and out of the dorm. It was hot outside. Like, fiery hot. Actually, there was a huuuge fire outside the dorm that singed the edges of my tie-dye shirt and curled the ends of my braided hair.

The fire alarm finally went off but the dorm didn’t jump like it usually did.

Everyone was sick of the fire alarm. Every single one of them stayed in their beds and covered their ears and groaned. Nobody was awake enough to smell the smoke or to even bother to check the hallways, where smoke was coating the ceilings.

The dorm dogs ran outside silently, followed by a cat and several hundred more insects of all shapes and sizes.

I thought I was dreaming, which is why I only laughed and waved at the dorm.

Bye.

Photo credit ifiberone.com

Goodbye.

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Drama, Drama, Drama

As you would expect of a dorm filled with girls, there is a lot of drama here at OVS, and probably more than usual because of the small size of the student body. We’re all friends in the girls dorm. Sure, you get the couple of girls who absolutely hate each other, or the few that don’t bother to speak to the rest. But I think I speak for everyone when I say we’re all here for each other.

That being said, I don’t understand how we can be so awful to one another. It begins with the infamous Freshman drama, which I am ashamed to say I played a part in last year. But looking back now, I see that we argued over the most pointless things we could possibly have thought of. And this years Freshman class is doing the exact same thing.

After the Freshman drama comes the realization of who your real friends are. I imagined this as being a mental process you think about inside your head, and don’t necessarily talk about to other people. After all, talking smack about others is the root of pretty much all the problems.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. I thought the cattiness would end after last year, but it’s far from it. I sit on my bed and watch a stream of girls come into my room to talk to my roommate, either about their drama or hers. I honestly can’t keep up with it all.

We all live together. We go to school together. We eat together, sleep in the same building, use the same showers. We know each other so well, and if we tried we could all be as close as sisters. We just all have to learn to get along. I understand that it isn’t easy when you throw a bunch of hormonal teenage girls into the same radius. But instead of tearing each other apart, we need to learn to live together and start letting things go.

Finny Tales

Those of you who attend the Ojai Valley School may have heard of, or perhaps even been lucky enough to encounter, the dog Fin. Fin is no ordinary dog. He belongs to the head of the girls dorm, Ms. Megan, and it is perhaps from her that he has acquired his original qualities.

My first encounter with Fin took place the first week of school, during a dorm meeting. Ms. Megan’s sister was recalling a cautionary tale of how, one day, she was bending down in order to give him a loving cuddle, and was snapped at in the close proximity of her face. It was at this point I decided I would avoid Fin at all costs.

For those of you who don’t know, and I’m guessing the majority of you don’t, I am a dog lover. In fact, I love all animals (except insects and snakes, but let’s face it, not very many people like them either). However, the thought of being bit in the face, even if the dog is toothless, is not particularly pleasing to me.

Unfortunately, my plan to avoid what I thought was a dangerous dog did not exactly follow through. One night, which was an especially terrible night, the fire alarm in the girls dorm decided to go off an amazing three times. Now imagine the fire alarm from your high school, the nightmarish one that never stops. Then imagine yourself sleeping peacefully, only to be startled awake and pulled from your cozy bed for a fire drill. We were not happy.

The first time the alarm went off that night, there was chaos as all the girls attempted to go through two doors at once. Ms. Megan was standing off to the side in one of the hallways, ushering us along. For some reason, probably just because I was the closest one to her, she thrust Fin’s leash into my hands and told me to take him outside.

Deciding to put on a brave face, I held Fin at arms length and escorted him to the outside. Instead of ruthlessly attacking me, as I foolishly expected, Fin huddled against my legs and looked up at me with the sweetest puppy dog eyes one will ever see. Besides my two dogs back home, because well, no one can beat them. Not even Fin.

At that precise moment my resolve to avoid Fin dissolved, and I instead decided that he would be my best friend. Of course, surrounded by amazing people at school and in classes, that did not exactly happen. However, whenever I do see the wonderful dog Fin, he brightens my day.

Without even meaning to, I have become that annoying person who uses the baby voice when around animals. I promise I only do it with Fin. I won’t lie, there are a few exceptions. I also bend down and scratch his head.

When he’ll let me that is.

But the lesson contained within the ramble of this story is not that Fin is a nice dog, even though he is. The lesson is that you should make decisions about whether or not you want to be around someone based on your own experiences, not someone else’s.

Tribute

Here it is. June 3rd.
Just five more days until I walk across that stage and receive my diploma.

Who knew high school went by as fast as they said it did?

My five year journey here at Ojai Valley School has been unforgettable.

I started out in 8th grade at the Lower Campus. Although it was a great change from a large school of over 2,000 students, the warm and inviting faculty and friends I met made the adjustment easy.

I had a great year learning how to camp, do my own laundry, and take on the responsibilities of living in a dorm. Not the mention, the close bonds I made with the girls I lived with. It was a different kind of bond than the most of the ones I made in public school. Having lived with these girls, I felt almost as if I was amongst sisters.

So, after graduating, the decision was easy. I knew I wanted to go to Upper for high school.

My freshman year, I roomed with my best friend from Lower, Wendy Lin.

Now let me say something about her. I have been my most vulnerable with Wendy. I opened up to her about things I never really shared with anybody else, and she did the same. So when we roomed together, it was like I was with family. We both knew each other enough not to argue. So when I say, although we had our ups and downs, I am generally talking about the ups when it comes to Wendy. When I think of my freshman year, she is among one of the first people that pop into my mind.

Then there is Lucy Kim. Ah, she is so dear to me. Not only did we click because of our similar humor, she lifted me up when I was down and always was there for me when I needed prayer requests. She also listened to me when I needed her and let me realize that  She even got us transportation to go to church on Sundays so that we could keep our faith, after I told her how hard it was not to go to church.

Cooper, Jeremy, Oussou and Parker. Boy, were they funny people. Of course, when you are that young, seniors seem so much older than they actually are, and these were the people I looked up to. They had close, lasting bonds that were connected by years of laughter. Although they probably had no idea, my senior year was affected so much by the optimism and attitude they brought to the school.

The first half of my sophomore year was spent at Beverly Hills High School. That semester was definitely a learning experience for me. The big public school experience was new to me, having been in a private boarding school of just over 100 students. Regardless, I returned to OVS with a newfound appreciation.

Junior year..was tough. It was full of all nighters and instant food. I was swamped with the workload of 4 AP’s and struggled with balancing time between my studies and my boyfriend of two years. But this is the year that I grew close to Jo Chen and Maddie, two of my best friends today! However, it was also the year that Jo, Maddie, Lucy, and my boyfriend had graduated so the graduation was marked with strong emotions.

This year, graduation means something completely different.

It means five years of going to school in Ojai is coming to a close. It means growth. It means Reika, Sungjin, and Anni. It means Mr. Alvarez’s words of encouragement and Mr. Cooper’s long speeches on integrity. It means Mr. Weidlich running with the lacrosse team and Mrs. Colborn’s team comp announcements. It means Chico’s waffles every Wednesday morning. It means Mrs. Allen’s bake sales and the IOU’s that follow. It means Haldy’s jokes and Eddy’s motorcycle videos and Mr. and Mrs. Boyd’s wonderful singing and camping trips with Mrs. Davis. It is so much.

It kind of makes me want to stay a little longer.

That’s how much I love this place.

Thank you everybody for making this experience what it was. It has been a fabulous 5 years. I loved every minute of it.

A Time for Change.

Change is healthy.

Today, before I left the dorms for the Ojai Farmer’s Market, I made a spur of the moment decision to change my room around. My bed has been rearranged. My dresser once cluttered with various cosmetics and toiletries is now bare, my small pink and white refrigerator brandishing those same perfumes and toothbrushes.

It feels good.

I spent a large part of my day cleaning and reorganizing and reopening and removing. I usually feel a need for this sort of change at the end of the school year in the dormitories.

Today was different though.

As I am beginning to sum up my five years at Ojai Valley School, writing the last pages of my high school days, priming for the next chapter of my life, I am slowly growing more anxious, scared, and unsure.

What is undeniable is my insatiable desire to graduate. 

I don’t know what it is. A part of me does not want to leave, knowing how much I will miss this place, a part has been growing since September. I guess I am scared to leave this small hill that blessed me with so many happy, great memories but, I think I am too scared to leave the people I love so much behind.

But time is surely passing by faster this year…

I only wish that I make sure this year is great. I am happier than I ever was with my friends and the people I surround myself with. And I want to leave feeling elated and proud.

COLLEGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now that is what I cannot get off my mind. Where will I GO!? I find out the results of my Early Evaluation application to Wellesley College. But after that, I have another dreaded MONTH of waiting for results. Goodness gracious. The college process is absolutely dreadful. Hopefully, great news will unfold in the upcoming weeks!!

Wish Me Luck.

 

Chocolate Chip Pancakes with a Side of kirbyfullyloaded.

So my wish came true!

I was able to go to the beach with an amazing friend of mine, Emmy (kirbyfullyloaded).

It was nice being able to be away from the dorms.It felt like the first time in a long time since I had been away from school related things.

Emmy’s mom is amazing. She made us breakfast everyday. In fact, this morning she made us chocolate chip pancakes and we ate them watching the high tide with the early sun.

Chocolate. Sun. Sand. Ocean. What else could a girl ask for??

Anyways, after breakfast, we both changed from our pajamas into our bathing suits (although it probably wasn’t the best idea considering my massive food baby) and ran to tan on the deck of her house. We listened to Maroon 5 together and made plans for our next weekend date! Hopefully we will be able to surf and bake a bunch of fattening goodies.

Weekends like this really let me value my friends and realize importance of spending time with good people.
Being able to stay up late with Emmy, snacking on random cookies, seaweed, and digestive wheat crackers (trust me, they taste absolutely amazing), just to keep us awake while we talked all night until the early hours of the morning was great.
Painting our nails for hours, singing along to music, critiquing singers for foibles in their voices, and not being able to wake up from staying up so late…priceless.

It lets me step back and realize how blessed I am with my friends.

Thank you Emmy for letting me stay at your house this weekend.

You are an amazing girl. Never change.

Roommates.

When I first went to OVS I had no idea how I would live with another person in the same room as me. The last time I did that was when I was eight and shared a room with my big brother. It was almost a year and a half ago when I met roommate. I walked into the room, number 207, with no idea of who would be in there or how I would react to them: that was when I met Polina.

She was relatively quiet at first, and I only really heard her talk when she was on her phone at night, speaking rapid Russian to her mother. But we slowly grew closer to one another, starting our conversations about music and then leading them on into the unknown. She became one of my closest friends.

When we had separated from each other at the end of our freshman year, her going to Russia and me staying in southern California, I didn’t know the effect it would have on me. I would be talking to my friends about school and instead of calling Polina, “my roommate,” I called her, “my Russian.” (I later found out that she refers to me as “my Aria” when she’s home in Russia)

This year, I was very grateful to have Polina as a roommate again. We already knew each others likes and dislikes, we never had an argument, and we practically knew what the other one was thinking. We had already been through and gotten over the awkward faze of living with a new person, and I never thought I’d be able to get on so well with someone so different than me.

I don’t know how I would have been able to make it through the long years at OVS without my roommate to help me through them.

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