dravin

Everyone has that one person who propels you forward, who supports you when times get tough and it seems like you are drowning. To me, that person is Dravin. She has been my life preserve, my oxygen mask. I do not think she knows how much she has changed my life, how much she means to me.

Dravin helped me when no one did. She helped that young 10-year-old who thought life was not worth it and made it her mission to make sure it was. She helped that twelve-year-old girl who almost let the bullies win. She helped that fourteen-year-old who moved away because she knew it was best for herself. She helped that sixteen-year-old try and gather the pieces of a broken relationship. She helped that almost eighteen-year-old with her first breakup and told her that life will go on even if it does not feel like it right now.

From the beginning, she was the most understanding soul. She would give me paint and crayons and tell me to “create masterpieces for me,” so that my mind was at ease. She knew how hard it was for me to express my feelings, so she distracted me. She created this safe space for me. A place where I could speak freely without any judgment. A place where I could have a shoulder to cry on. Even when she was with her family, she would take my calls and help me with my breathing.

Dravin saved me. I owe my life to her, but I know that she would just say that she is doing her job.

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pc: me

Reading Journal on Dr. Faustus i was kinda proud of

Beginning in the 1500s when Dr. Faustus was written and spanning to the modern era, the human race has pushed the boundaries of what is natural and tried to become gods. We invented the astrolabe, conquered the seven seas, built nations on the destruction of entire peoples, and constructed skyscrapers which seem to defy every idea of what is possible. Our health has improved, we’ve made life convenient beyond belief, but despite all this achievement we, like Marlowe’s arrogant celebutante “yet art thou still but Faustus, and a man.” 

For the past few hundred years mankind has become increasingly involved with the same internal struggle as Faustus. Each new level of knowledge we acquire we become more careless and ignorant. Everytime some new process or physic principle is discovered we slip deeper into the Faustian bargain we call progress. This rat race for discovery becomes paired with this nonsensical notion that we are the only important thing on the planet and that we deserve everything which we can fathom and more. This is the mindset which sent Faustus to eternal damnation, and this is the mindset which plagues the modern world. Regardless of all the power we may accumulate over the natural world we still are humans, flawed forever by stagnant ideas and held to earth by the unrelenting and unstoppable march towards death. 

 As private school educated students from generally wealthy families, fiscally or situationally, it is easy for us to fall into the Faustian mindset. I’ve been at fault of this, my friends, my family, and classmates––all at some point have looked at the world and thought “I deserve more”. This mindset ruins the last humanity which wisps gently between us, we become stale, ignorant, and spoiled, unable to understand that there are other people around, and even more so, other things. We all too easily divulge in the trap that we can do what we want to the world without consequence. 

Just as Faustus enjoyed his twenty four years of power which ended in a no bit unexpected end, mankind is still enjoying its twenty four years marching towards an end we can all see and yet choose to believe is not real. Like Faustus, humans are just people who happen to be in situations of extraordinary power. 

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Thoughts on Starting a New School

Friends, family, neighbors, and peers often ask me how my new school is going. Again and again, I tell them: “It’s a big transition.”

Coming in as a junior is challenging because everyone is already familiar with the teachers and classes. I finally feel I’ve adjusted to the academic side, but it took at least a quarter of the school year.

Socially, it’s also been difficult, as everyone already has friend groups that have formed over the length of two years. It’s not that I don’t have friends at school – I have people to talk to in class, people to sit with at lunch – but outside of OVS, I tend to see people from my old school.

I miss them so much. I miss sitting next to Ula in every class and laughing with Siya in the lunch line. I miss my favorite teacher, Marie, and our advisories out on the soccer field. I miss hugging Danielle and Estrella each morning, working with Tomoki on math homework, and all the other mundane activities that, in reality, meant so much to me.

I spend every weekend catching up with these incredible people, but for the other five days of the week, it feels like a piece of my life or even of myself, is missing. “It will take time to adjust,” I tell people. Eventually, I will find a balance between these two parts of my life. But for now, I’m trapped in the space between.

PC: https://www.archpaper.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/S8C_OVS-Buildings-twilight-Aug-2021_01.jpg

^^ Our beautiful campus here at OVS.

Crush

I hate the word crush because it feels so naive. A child should have a crush, maybe a 6th grader. But, the more you think about it, the more the purity spills out of it. For a long time, I forgot what it was like to have a crush on someone. The definition of a crush does change as you grow, but the feeling that comes with it stays the same. There is a very specific feeling associated with the word crush. The feeling of your stomach spinning like a washing machine, whirring and flipping at a borderline alarming speed. When my entire face glows with a deep pink with just the mention of their two-syllable name. When you have a crush on someone, you think about them all the time, especially because you barely get to see them. I think that makes it more exciting, to be honest. The phone calls at 10 pm go on till 3:15 am. The inability to hang up because time moves so fast that I feel like I could never hear his voice enough. They make you laugh at the dumbest things that really shouldn’t be funny, but coming from him it is. Driving home from the beach after dark with my hands and body rising out of the sunroof. A smile was constantly plastered on my face. It makes me wonder a lot of things about myself, did I find the person that makes me laugh on my off days? Why are my walls falling so fast? Why can’t I be away from him for more than a day without pacing around the closing walls of my room? We can sit in the most comfortable silence studying each other’s faces, running and filtering through a million thoughts that could be filling their head at that moment. In reality, we are both thinking the same thing. I like you so much. I wondered why I was able to be so comfortable, but I realized that it is because my inner child is at peace. I have the same crush on him that I had on a boy in 7th grade, so innocent and pure. Like a string of light bringing two people together, encasing the two of you together and tightening until you feel as though you have merged into that person’s body. And suddenly, that feeling is born and fills your entire body and soul. I didn’t know I could smile for the entirety of a four-hour phone call.

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my baby kitty

the beauty in an off day

Today, I am having an off day. I know it when I wake up because I start my day with a sigh rather than a smile. I don’t bother to make myself feel good by putting on some mascara and emphasizing the pink on my cheeks, I let my eye bags express the weight falling on my head. I put on my Uggs, and I always wear Uggs on my off days. they remind me of my childhood and the ability to cheer myself up simply by the embrace of my mother. It takes more now, a walk or a bath won’t fix it. It sits deep within the structure of my body. It sheathes across all of my nerve endings, running through every square inch of me. It is not sad, nor is it happy, it just is. The feeling of simply not feeling it strangely comforting to me. It is not dark or sad, it is normal. It is okay to sit and let your mind drift into space. It is okay to sit on the floor of the shower and let the water trickle down your face and across your lips. It is okay to put on a show and not pay attention. It is okay to go for a walk and find yourself sitting on the icy pavement within 5 minutes. It’s okay to keep your headphones in all day and let your world be surrounded by something that you chose. I don’t know who needs to hear it, but it is okay. I often forget that this is not being lazy, unmotivated, or worthless. It is normal. Everyone has days where the air seems a little thicker and the light feels a little dim. Whether you choose to admit it or not is a choice, I do, because I want people to know that despite my sarcastic sense of humor and plastered smile, I too have off days. It’s really hard to see the bright side sometimes because maybe there just isn’t one. I mean sure, someone always has it worse, and hey, at least I’m alive. Believe me, I’m grateful, but for the love of god let me feel something. Anything.

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go outside and try to feel something.

Tom Lehrer Is A Genius

There is a very niche genre of songs my Dad loves.

They’re a blend of weird slapstick-parody comedy. Think Weird Al but more archaic.

Artists like Dr. Demento and Allan Sherman (Camp Granada guy) produce music in this genre. My Dad’s favorite, Tom Lehrer, however, stands out to me.

Like the rest of these creators, he is really smart. In fact, he graduated from Harvard. When I was a kid, I remember watching his song “New Math.” Besides being really catchy, it is overloaded with subtle jokes like the rest of his songs. Anyway, he’s a really clever guy and is one of my favorite satiric songwriters.

I feel like I need to write more so I’ll talk about Weird Al, I guess. I have first introduced to him a really long time ago one night while I was eating dinner. Someone thought I ate too slowly so she started playing “eat it.” I thought it was really funny. Anyway, he’s a cool guy too like Tom Lehrer, really smart. And guess what, he went to Calpoly. Like what’s the deal with all these comedian-songwriters and their impressive educational backgrounds.

PC: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4d/Tom_Lehrer_-_Southern_Campus_1960.jpg

Running

This is not just to make Mr. Alvarez happy. I am beyond angry that I got covid, not because of the amount of late work I’m doing this fine Sunday night and not because of the stress I currently face around college, but because it likely destroyed my shot of finishing my last cross country season successfully. For three years i have struggled, fought, and cried over my times in cross country and each year i’ve gotten a little but better. This year, before I even had covid it felt like I had reached a plateau in my running yet every day that passes that I sit in my room I get more and more hopeless about running in the 18s this season. Cross Country is very strange, as far as running in total goes my times are dismal and downright bad but the amount of effort and work I’ve put in makes me proud of them, in the end though it’s futile because I will never go anywhere with running i’ll just finish this season and likely never run in the same sense again yet still I have this need and desire to keep trying my best and keep pushing beyond what I’m capable of. This stretch of covid has just made the fight so much harder and it’s difficult to keep going especially with a positive attitude that’s necessary for captainship.

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CIF runners post-race last year, pc: Ms Wachter

carolina

I’m choosing to write about my best friend this week. Most of my friends know who she is because she’s a pretty common topic of conversation for me. Carol is 17, she was born on May 31st, 2005. She is 5’5 and has long dark hair. Her eyes are the color of molasses and her cheeks are always pink. I’ve never loved someone outside of my mom, dad, or brother as much as I love Carol. Vaughn and Carol are good friends, she’s always nice to him even though he’s younger. She helped me see him as more of a friend than a sibling and I will always be grateful for that. My mom and dad love her, they always say that she’s the best friend I’ve ever had and if she ever needs somewhere to stay they will have her with open arms. Carol sleeps at my house every Friday after school and we haven’t missed more than two weekends for an entire year. We like to eat with my family and watch movies and play with my kitten. She never brings clothes and keeps a toothbrush in the cabinet. She smells like peaches. She makes me laugh harder than anyone I’ve ever met in my life. It often hurts because of how hard she makes me laugh. Her smile makes me want to cry because I know that she doesn’t always see how beautiful she is. I tell her, I just hope she listens. She makes me feel better about myself and showed me self-respect. She will always be honest even if she knows it will hurt your feelings and I wouldn’t trade that about her for anything. I can always count on her to defend me in the case that I need defending. We share a closet and go to Starbucks almost every Saturday. Carol will give you her whole heart, and it takes a lot for her to take it back. She always gives me second chances even when I feel like I don’t deserve them. She is amazing at volleyball and going to her games every Tuesday makes me so so proud. She is passionate and smart and kind-hearted. Carol is the strongest person I know and I often stay up at night wondering how she does it. I love her and I would give my life so that she could live hers. Nobody makes me feel as loved as Carolina.

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scraping

There is one word to describe the feeling that I’ve had all day. Scraping. my soul has been aching to claw its way out of me. I know what it wants, it wants to rip my chest open and thrust its way through the bars. My mind is filled with serrated lines shooting across the interior of my skull. I shake because I am so trapped in here. When I look in the mirror I can feel my eyes fall back into my head as they drown in the screams that shatter throughout my brain. I can not see myself. Why can’t I see myself? No matter how hard I glare at myself in the reflection I’ve trained to stay still, I can see my face morph and melt into the person I try so desperately to hide. I like to imagine my hands pulling my face as they slide across my skin, dissolving the only thing that is truly there with me at the end of each night. My skin tingles all the time, it radiates through me like small bursts of electricity stopping the beat of my heart with each one. It was supposed to be easy, “crying doesn’t make things better” I was trained for this. I was trained for this straight face and beautiful smile. Why can’t I see myself? “No one will feel sorry for you with that look on your face” I’m sorry, the tears burn their way through the gloss that shields my emotionless face. They leave scars you know, the tears, they ruin the smile. I was taught to cry only in front of a mirror, that way I can watch them disintegrate my complexion, I force myself to watch as I express the most basic human emotion and torture myself at the very same time. This is how I was taught to feel so excruciatingly uncomfortable in my very own skin.

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pc: me

School Bus Blues

I’ve always hated the school bus, my lack of power and choice of where it goes and when it arrives, it’s never the right temperature in a school bus. You sit there with a sweaty back sticking to the faux leather seats (why do they try so poorly to imitate leather, nobody expects a bus to be a Chariot of luxury) which somehow are always a little too upright. The smell of a bus can never be replicated, like a quiet locker room with some freeway pollution. Your knees press against the seat in front of you desperately trying to get comfortable, that’s an uphill battle— nobody has ever left the school bus feeling refreshed and ready to go. The moment I could finally get my license arrived after freshman year, never again would I be tainted by the horrendous thing they called a vehicle. Never again would I wait hours for it to arrive at the upper campus, and never again would I be forced into that place that’s never big enough, warm enough, or cold enough. Or so I thought since I’m writing this as I make the arduous journey to LA in such a school bus, it’s one of the last times I’ll ride one and there is something so reminiscent of a time I’d long forgotten. This is the new bus though, I never rode it freshman year, still, I’m sitting in the very back and every bump seems to fly us into the air. Still, I’m sweating more than I will in the cross-country race I’m about to run. And still, I think we likely will be late as we travel a whopping fifty-five miles per hour through Woodland Hills. There is something beautiful about a school bus though. The way it groans and struggles to move. Each mile, each foot it travels another desperate journey that it somehow completes without complaint. I like the sounds the bus makes. Every jolt leads to a new one, a hiss of air releasing from the suspension, the squeak of the seats jumping up and down, the sounds of students talking, and the ambiguous notes of music from someone’s AirPods turned up too loud. I like that I have no control over where I’m going or when I’ll be there, perhaps the most relaxing thing I’ll ever do is ride a school bus. The school bus doesn’t care about who you are or what you want, it doesn’t care if you’re working hard enough or if you need to take some time for yourself, it just keeps on struggling one more foot, one more mile, one more groan, hiss, and squeak. 

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pc: Me