Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Confessions Of A Student Who Can No Longer Give A Shit

The downside of your Robotics teacher being gone three class periods in a row is you can't get back the rough sketch you turned in, thus you can't actually proceed further on the project you're already behind on. My counselor is also supposed to call me out this period, but if history's shown me anything, I'm gonna actually be given time to finish this blog post (Now that I think about it, I was too lazy to email her and I merely filled out a slip at the office. I'll tell her at lunch, then, should I see her). Now, music, anyone?

So, my issues as of late? My grades are dying due to my lack of motivation to do any work whatsoever, due in turn by an emotional breakdown I had Thursday of last week. The breakdown didn't have anything to do with my dad. I merely visualized all the homework I had to do (and that's the stuff I'm not behind on) after vowing to finish it all, then broke down and tried not to cry, instead seeking distraction from my pain due to electronic devices. I've brought up that Louis C.K. video in the past, where he talks about how kids can't cope with the pain of everyday life, and so have to go on a texting spree where they might end up killing people due to them currently driving.

Anyways, I tried to blog about said breakdown last week and failed horribly, because I couldn't rationalize it. Sometimes when I write, I need to wait, I need to face my pain and understand it before I can write about it. What I did on that draft post was mere venting to relieve the stress I was facing. The music in my ears pulling me away from the post instead of dragging me further in as usual. I was still within the midst of a sea of pain, and I had to swim to shore before I wondered why the hell my ship sank. (hint, I'm going to need a bigger boat)

In the background, you can see my grades, about to devour me and drag me down into the depths of McCallum.
Mainly it was due to physics. The intense workload, with the take home tests our teacher qualifies as homework for some reason, drove me further from my initial enthusiasm for physics and the AP exam than video games and TV shows ever could. The public school system tends to behave like a vampire, draining the students' enthusiasm for it's own nourishment. In the end, the kids are stressed out, lost, and don't know anything about themselves. How are they supposed to know the real world if they don't know who they are? I know so much about myself, and looking back I can't see how I would ever know these things were I one of those kids who works on homework 24/7. You can be incredibly nearsighted, seeing only those things right in front of you, but you can also be insanely farsighted, seeing only that which lies far off in the distance. All these other kids at my school are worried about college, and here I am worrying about getting over my anxiety, pushing myself out there as a writer, and even finding out what or who I want to be. I end up knowing more about the kids stressed out every moment of every day for colleges and SATs than they do themselves.

I say physics is my main problem, and it is, for the short term. Physics was the last straw that broke my back, whacking a rock already shattered from the stress of the previous school year. However, the effect of physics (i.e., my lack of enthusiasm for anything), is only augmented by the killer amounts of homework the other classes give. Individually, the homework loads make sense, and I understand why the teachers would do that, but put together, such a massive amount of homework only makes sense in an actual college, where one actually can take as many classes a day as they want, not a college-prep school, where one has a very strict requirement of 8 classes total. I'm only one kid, but they judge me as though I'm already sure of myself, as though I already have my life together, as if I have all the time I need to complete the homework. I do, but only at the sacrifice of my personal time, my time to eat, sleep, shower, relax. I need that time, as much as the teachers do. The teachers are expected to teach and give as much homework as they like, but if they actually had to do that homework, along with the homework for all the other classes, with only a certain amount of time to do said homework, I think they'd agree with me.

In my entire life, I've never been stressed out to death by romance or drama or anything like that. Even bullies I've faced, unafraid, with no remorse as I summoned the school counselors to beat them away. It's always been my schoolwork, and it's stressed me out because it consumes me, drawing from my essence of humanity that I'm expected to possess, yet never given time to develop. The teachers say they want us to become human beings, and yet the stress drives us to become zombies. The zombie apocalypse has been strong at LASA, good thing there's a club dedicated to surviving it.

The only thing I disagree with about this pic is that even when they're on their phones, they have emotion, are generally sure of themselves, and care enough about their images to shower and dress well. 
I've done so much learning over the last semester, and yet my grades are terrible. I've learned how to cope with certain types of stress, such as that of my parents' divorce, I've learned how to write and characterize elements in an established storylines (still working on non-established storylines), I've learned how to survive a breakdown brought on by emotional turmoil and desperation. Am I being graded on that? No, even though I'm one of the most rational and philosophical teenagers ever met according to some, I'm not being graded on my ability to find myself.

I ought to be, though, because just by asking myself the questions of who I want to be and who I am and where I want to be, I've already made a decent grade. As for making a perfect 100, however, who ever gets that grade for this subject?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sometimes I Hate The Fact I Swore Never To Kill Myself, But Life Goes On....

Alright, I really did promise I wasn't going to write in robotics. However, since there's no teacher to turn in my paper assignment to or get back my design after being graded, I don't think the sub's gonna mind. At least I'm not in an entirely empty room.

Finally, the new grading period has taken hold, and finally I'm not gonna be burdened by all the massive amounts of homework I'm behind on from last six weeks. That last grading period was hell, and I'm glad for the refresher.

Even so, I've felt something I can't exactly place. My mom's been busier with stress lately, and although I've portrayed her as less capable in some of my previous blog posts, she's actually pretty strong and kicking. My previous description of her was, so I believe, the result of my mom exposing the broken side of her to me that needed to be fixed at the time, and that weakness she needed me to heal with my comfort tarnished my view of her as the shield-maiden of Rohan in RotK to that of her in TTT. My sister, if she ever reads this, is not gonna know what the hell I'm talking about. Serves her right for not liking Lord Of The Rings.

"No living man am I! You look upon a woman! Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. Begone if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him!"See, I have no idea why my sister wouldn't enjoy this kind of shit.
My weekend with my dad was alright, and even though it wasn't hell, I might be mistaken. I had been banned from the Wifi, banned from the TV, and of course not even provided with a charger for my Chromebook, so I couldn't even work on the internet homework I had. Needless to say, I still wasn't able to concentrate on the normal homework, with my room lacking something of a desk in it's 30+ square feet of empty space (sure, my dad and his girlfriend were in the middle of moving, but my sister got her TV set up in her own room!). My dad told me why I couldn't have such luxuries, as I've steadfastly refused to take down that blog post I wrote about him, and his response is to just punish me forever, since I technically have chosen to be punished. I understood what he was talking about, and I had the foresight and value for my health to not disagree, but I still couldn't help but feel his approach to getting me to take down the post was a bit religious, if anyone gets my meaning.

maybe "predictable" is a better word than "predetermined"
Yes, I promised myself, and possibly my mother, not to talk about my dad in my blog posts due to the repercussions, but honestly, I had gone to my dad's hoping for a confrontation, hoping to give him a piece of my mind, but instead my words stuck in my throat, too afraid of his anger/Jehovah-ness to even offer a comeback. The best one can do with one who uses punishment to instill his word across the land is simply not believe in him and not pay him any mind, but as for my dad, I stopped believing in him a long time ago.

Fast forward to 4.5 hours later, I feel pissed, but not about my dad. My bus, for the entirety of the whole year, has stopped right in front of my house to drop me off. I asked the bus driver to do this since he drives right past my house to get to the next stop and he might as well just slow down so I can hop off (metaphorically speaking). For the past two weeks, my normal bus driver is nowhere to be found, therefore I have to guide the substitutes into not taking the long way around so they can drop me off. The problem is, there have been two subs, and both of them sticklers. It's only natural, considering how they're subs and they don't exactly wanna be rule-breakers from the beginning or some other bullshit reason like that. No matter what the reason, I haven't exactly been able to get dropped off at my stop easily, if at all. The first sub, thank god, was just a little reluctant and dropped me off in front of my house anyway, but this latest sub? Yesterday she didn't even go near my street, and made it clear she was legally obligated to stop only at the places on the sheet of paper.

Today, I decided to be dropped off at the stop closest to my house, which isn't that much better. I've apparently been expected to be dropped off there for the whole year. If that's the case, like it was today, I don't believe AISD has the right to demand a P.E. credit from me, if you get what I'm saying. I'd negotiated with some maternal aid (okay...it was my mom, mostly) with a woman high up in the ranks who could help me get a stop closer to my house. She did, and I didn't think much of it during lunch. However, my substitute wasn't able to drop me off there, and told me such changes took 3 to 4 days to take effect.

Given I've talked nothing about anything philosophical so far, you can guess this is the most pissed off I've been in a long while. I've encountered some anger with my dad, but this isn't the same. The anger I had on the long (and hot) walk home today was the kind of anger I got because I felt severely undervalued by my district. AISD values all their students, right? Apparently not, since they tell us all "make sure to get plenty of sleep" in order to prevent ourselves from getting sick, then putting us on buses in the middle of Texas that have absolutely no air conditioning. I've been severely tempted to let myself die of heat stroke on one of those mobile greenhouses, just so AISD might do something about it (they probably won't).

Ah yes, so I've got my anger out about the 'transportation' at AISD's fingertips, so how to end on a profound note....? I really do try not to make just a whole page of emotional angst and instead include something philosophical you can read from and learn from, and I haven't done much of it this time. In truth, philosophy is like how love is like a fart. If you have to force it, it's probably shit. Profound thinking like the kind I put forth for others to take in is the kind of thinking that I am passionate about. Passion is what really drives us all, passion for our future, passion for others, passion for who we are. Without passion, we are truly dead. This statement has nothing to do with passion, but I've started reading this in Tim Minchin's voice, so there.

My passion for philosophy allows me to find the profound in the most ordinary emotions, because where else can we find philosophy but our own psyche? My anger gives me inside information about who I am, my passions, my depressions. I've felt extraordinarily depressed the past day or so due to my English teacher's summary of "Catcher In The Rye", which I still need to actually read for the essay on Thursday. I've had to face what makes me depressed, I've had to delve into that dark pit that threatens to devour me so I can see what's in there. In order to be strong, one must know their weaknesses.

And that's all I got for today. I hope you find some profoundness in the former half of this, because with my exhausted body and tired mind which I'm somehow going to do homework with, I couldn't.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Stress Can Get To You, And Sometimes It's Too Much

Well, here I am again in Robotics, writing away my stress. It's the only class I ever really have time to blog, now that we're actually doing stuff in Theatre (not serious stuff, but pressing enough stuff that there's no time to blog) and also since we're doing work on our project, and you all know how much I love to work on projects. Enjoy the music, because I feel this describes how I am emotionally right now.

As I've let on before, I've completely lost interest in physics, and due to my disinterest, I'm currently failing that class as well as English. English is mainly a result of laziness on one major grade, but Physics is nothing but AP prep. We're required to come in either during lunch or after school to work on the practice AP, and for those who aren't taking the AP, their final exam grade will be their grade on the AP. Naturally, I regard this as bullshit, and laugh at the people who say they're several homeworks behind in physics, since I'm not even close to being as ahead as they are. I love the teacher, and I think he's a swell guy, but he gives us tons of homework in the form of test/review packets, at the same time saying that he's gonna ease up on the normal homework for the time being. English is mainly just because I've neglected to read the books, being busy with other homework, and thus I fail the essays and quizzes then try to convince myself I don't care.

Anyways, yesterday my mom and I were talking at the table when the subject got around to this, and she attempted to push me into getting my work done, and I pushed back, telling her that it was insufferable in that class, and I had none of the basic enthusiasm I'd normally have for such a class. It escalated, with both of us pushing harder until I, frustrated, immediately retreated to my room, despite being in the middle of an episode of Buffy on my closed laptop in the living room. Despite my phone being easy access and in no danger of being taken away by a pissed-off parent, all I could do was lie face-down on my bed, pushing the pillow over my ears as I could easily overhear my sister rushing to my defense back at the table. Even when we've been to the point where we've hated each other's very existence, my sister and I have always had this unspoken mutual agreement, this contract between us where if one of us is attacked, the other one forgoes their hatred of the attacked one in order to defend them, and hits back if possible. My sister defended me, and I struggled to control my breathing as I tried to muffle the sound of it, my headphones also still remaining in the living room with my laptop.

It wasn't until my mom came in to apologize and put her arms around me that I cried for the first time in over two years. It's true, I haven't cried in a long time. Partially because I have a condition with my eyes, partially because nothing has ever been strong enough to affect me to the point where my eye condition's prevention of my released sorrow is negligible. I'm glad for it, I really like crying because it's just like writing, you release all the shit that's been at your heels since forever and just cry. You don't even have to acknowledge the person who's holding you in an attempt to comfort you, you just cry.

The phrase "I don't want to go..." fits later on in the blog post. Keep reading.
There's a reason why I was able to cry, and it's not because the allergies weren't that bad yesterday, but because my mother forced me to confront the reality of the situation I'm in. Physics is a mess, English I'll be able to fix next six weeks, I'm seriously behind in my Latin homework (I'm guessing my teacher knows about my situation and sympathizes, because he hasn't called on me when we go over it for the past few class periods) and Robotics I'll most likely not finish due to the inability to concentrate, due in turn to the issues with my dad. My mother grabbed me by the chin and forced me to look at the hideous thing in my life that I've been refusing to look in the direction of. Sometimes we need that, whether or not it spurs us into action, sometimes we need someone to challenge our perception of reality, because reality changes and we fail to notice. When you live your life a certain way for a while, you're barely able to notice the gradual change in your lifestyle. It's only when someone points out how it was at the beginning and how it is now that you realize that the sea level has risen several inches over the past decade, but I digress.

The tears flowed naturally, and I cried for a good long while until my mother let me go and asked if I wanted to skip for today, to which I naturally refused, since today is a B day and none of my stressful classes are today. I would've missed a daily grade in AVP, a practice AP multiple choice section in English, and apparently we're getting assigned roles in theatre today, which I've actually been looking forward to. Fact is, even if my mother had asked me if I wanted to skip tomorrow, I'd refuse. Again, I have two justifications: not only would not going to school not save me from the assigned homework that's my main problem, but I also don't necessarily wanna walk away from my problems.

I go to LASA high school (which I can never resist saying is the #8 high school in the goddamn nation), and this is a school anyone in the school district can go to, regardless of their default school. My default school, Bowie high school, is now the school I would go to if I chose not to go to LASA. LASA is a stressful school, it's meant to prepare us for college by making itself even harder than college (which has actually turned me off college for the time being). One needs to keep their grades above a certain level to stay there, hence why my mother was getting on my case about it, since my grades in physics and english aren't doing so well (it's now that I'll mention that our school district, AISD, switched from Gradespeed to a system called Teams last year, which many people complained about to no avail. Funny thing is, the place where you check your grades on Teams is blocked on the school wifi, go figure).

My mom's repeatedly said that if I find LASA too hard, she can pull me out, but I've always said no, because no matter how hard it's been, no matter how far it's driven me toward suicidal thoughts and tendencies, I love it here. LASA, naturally, is a school full of nerds, and that culture of nerds is exactly what I want to be surrounded by. The former assistant principal once told a story to us as incoming freshmen about two students in the halls arguing vehemently about the answer to a physics equation. Normal schools, it's boy/girl drama, social stress, or some other normal high school reason to get into a fight. Here? It's physics.

Alright, I'll stop with the David Tennant pictures now
LASA high school is the place any smart person would want to be, because so many other smart nerds come here, and they're free to be nerds, and I'm free to let loose with my nerdy witticisms and philosophical musings about life. In normal high schools, I would be pushed by the jocks to fit into a box, people would insult me for no reason, people would push me down because it makes them feel better. Sure, I can easily say "Fuck you" right back at them and stay fixed in my seat where I am, unable to be pushed off, but that's not the point. In a school like Bowie, I would have to be mentally ready to defend myself, constantly alert in order to keep my reputation intact. In middle school, I got right into this mindset, and I'm still forcing myself to shed it since then, having no need to care about defending myself and nothing to fight against.

This is the kind of school I go to, and I'm still fighting, not against the social pecking order, but against the vigorous curriculums and stressful teachers. It makes me sad that I'll (ideally) be going to college in less than a year and a half, because I love it here. No matter how nerdy the college is, there's still never going to be one anything like LASA. However, I wouldn't commit seppuku should I fail out, and I would, with a heavy heart, trudge to Bowie and as I mentioned before, redeem myself by taking over the drug trade there. I may dig my heels in and hold my own for as long as I can, but when I have no other alternative, I'll yield.

It doesn't matter if I do fail out of LASA, because even if I can't, I will still live the rest of my life having found myself. It doesn't matter what you lose, you still have something you've gained from it.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

I Can't Actually Think Of A Random Title, Which Makes This Title Even More Random

Alright, so despite writing on my weekly progress report (in notecard form, as specified) that I was going to get on task and refrain from stress-writing in class, here I am with music to fit the occasion.

I've always been completely honest with my notecards, explaining that, yes, it's been three weeks and haven't made any progress on the project whatsoever, and even though my teacher isn't expected to care enough to actually read them, he probably does, and knows about my situation from the notecard reports. Tuesday I met with my counselor and we talked about what shit was going on in my life (you can guess what shit it was), and I'm unaware how, but our conversation somehow drifted towards me, and what I was doing in response to domestic stress. She told me that I was a great writer, and I had tons of friends, and I felt pretty proud of myself. I left her office with a little spring in my step, especially since she took a note off the "compliment board" outside her office (there are written compliments pinned to it, and the idea is you take one and give it to someone who you think needs it) and handed it to me, a note that read, "you are a force for good".

The rest of the day was spent finishing off the latest chapter of my fanfic with relish, then in theatre playing Cards Against Humanity with some dear friends. Tuesday was great, and then on Wednesday I managed to be productive in all my classes. Of course, it was made even greater by the news that my mom received a potential job opportunity by the mother of one of my friends. I have no idea if said friend told his mother about our situation, having known about it from my blog posts, but even so, thanks Hunter.

Now, can I be your third wheel for an entire summer?
Today was a late start, and the shortened period in AVP meant we didn't have time to film (either that or the lack of microphones). English we did a practice AP multiple choice, which I managed to get a good grade on, and then in Robotics I wrote a notecard and told my teacher through my writing that I've been lazy for the past six weeks, but next week I'm gonna get something done, since my experience with my parents' divorce has encountered a spotlight through the clouds. That's when it hit me: life is good.

When I bitch about the things going on in my life, naturally due to my ability to write you assume it's greater than it is, since I can make someone feel the hurt that I feel currently with my words. Then again, one's pain measures the stress of a situation, so whatever (I'm trying to be profound, don't judge). Life's been pretty tough lately, having to put my arm around my own mother at times. Not only that, but my sister and I have also grown closer as a result of these events, having to cling to each other for comfort. It's almost as if we're more of a family than we were before the divorce, even to the point where we're slowly dragging my mom's boyfriend into it with no hope of escape. Sorry, Andy.

There are times when we're so lost in the shit that oppresses us that we can't imagine not being oppressed at all. It's like stockholm syndrome, when a person takes so much shit through their life, they expect you to be mad at them for things that aren't even worth getting mad about. It's not their fault, it's just that they're dealing with people who don't really love them. Sometimes people leave us, and sometimes it hurts, but all you really need to do is learn to cope, to find some reason to justify their leaving. One of my friends constantly blames herself for everything, even for the group of 'friends' that told her to get lost. I love her so much as a friend and am always there for her, and yet she can't see that she is not the victimizer in this situation. Her so-called friends said, "hey, we don't want you around anymore" via text. The worst part is how she can't see how callous these so-called friends are. They're a bunch of bitches, and she shouldn't blame herself for not being liked. I'm well known, and I've encountered a lot of people, and it's absolutely impossible that I'll find a way to be liked and loved by everyone. The important thing is to love yourself and move on.

Aesop's Fables. Read them, people! They're better than the bible!
Life sucks at times, but it doesn't matter how much it sucks. People say, "if life is so bad, then why is it worth it?" I'll tell you why: because of the good in between. Gilbert and Sullivan, in their operetta "Patience", write in a noble who joined the military, who explains his reasoning by simplifying it down to simply Toffee. "Everyone loves Toffee, right? Now imagine, toffee for breakfast, toffee for lunch, toffee for dinner every day! Why, one would be disgusted at the very mentioning of the word toffee!" The simple lessons in Gilbert and Sullivan are what resonate culturally with me, and I think one of the most certain things I've learned from it is that if you're not a background character, your love life is either going to go very good or very bad, in which case I will quote War Games in that "the only winning move is not to play"

But still, keep an eye on the game, because it might get interesting, and it will, for you and everyone else.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

"That's The Thing About Pain, It Demands To Be Felt", So Feel It!

So things have happened, my sister and I aren't going to my dad's due to matters I shall not discuss, except maybe in private if you ask nicely. Now, for the music.

Today started off weird. I thought it was a late start when it wasn't, leading to me being late to school. Luckily, it's a B day and we weren't doing anything that class period anyway. In English, all we did was read a couple chapters of "catcher in the rye", and then I colored on graph paper for the rest of the period. Now, in Robotics, I'm awaiting my counselor's calling of me to talk in her office, a talk I feel I sorely need, and she isn't. Either she's sick again, or she's forgotten and I'm going to have to miss theatre, where we're doing dry runs of our scripts for the first time. Even worse, I won't get the "Hoard Of The Dragon Queen" D&D adventure from my friend Cole, which I have to read before Monday.

I'm going to be one of the characters in this picture on monday. I still don't know which...
I've been getting a lot of richly deserved sympathy lately, due to suffering that's so evident they wouldn't notice otherwise. This subtextual pain I've been experiencing has been robbing me from my schoolwork, setting me behind for an entire six week period. To avoid fanning the flames, I'm not going to go into detail, although you probably don't need it to know what it is. In Robotics and English I'm screwed, due to projects I normally would do crap on, but now I simply don't bother, being too emotional to even concentrate.

Despite this crap, I feel good today. I got up late, thinking school would start late (Imagine my frustration with myself when I found out I was the late one), and my eyes aren't bothered at all, I'm much happier, having gotten a chance to wish my sister a good day at school, and I can bullshit something arbitrary to end this sequence as a tricolon. As a writer, this pleases me.

I've often mentioned on this blog that I like to transcend my daily pain and spit in it's eye. I turn everything around so that the bad stuff isn't that bad. I love pain, but not in a masochistic way, where I take a knife to my arm simply because I love to do it. Everyone faces pain, no matter who they are or what their social status is, they face it, they feel it, they're forced to endure it, no matter how long they push it away. I take it head on, sometimes pushing it away out of habit, but I always let myself be overcome by it sooner or later.

Yesterday we had an assembly, specifically placed to precede prom night, about drugs and alcohol. A couple people went up, talked about how they conquered their addictions and fight the urge to rebound every day. I might've tuned it out a bit, even though I admired what they went through and how they got out of it, but I understood the concept. I know what drugs and alcohol are (cutting actually fits into this category as well), and they don't make anything better. Drugs, alcohol, and cutting are all ways to escape the pain, which I despise.

I will never need to do drugs or alcohol, I will never need to cut, I will never try to escape the existential angst that will haunt you so much as you're a critical thinker. Pain is not something to be escaped, but to be enjoyed. If you're living your life day to day, half of you left at home every day, you might as well be dead. If you grit your teeth because something hurts you, it means you're alive.

I'm never going to grow up, I'm just gonna get bigger.
My familial issues aren't as bad, my anger at my 'dad''s behavior has once more drifted away. I'm once more innocent and carefree. I could call up in a moment, however, if I feel dreary or like my eyes are glazed over, so I can wake up and experience my life that I momentarily chose to ignore.

Don't escape, don't go somewhere else while you trudge along in your day. Wake yourself up with the pain, because you can't see the good in front of you if you can't push your way through the bad so that it's behind you.