If I were the "typical" student, the ones that work hard enough to just get by, then I wouldn't be at home typing away at the computer. Instead, I would be at a friend's place, partying late into the night, brandishing fake IDs to get smashed, driving at twice the speed limit, and scheming to rob the local bank. My days would be aimless, my nights equally lost, my past forgotten, and my future haphazard like a matchstick house. Fortunately, my foundations are not built with plywood but metal mined in school hallways and forged by volunteerism.

Isn’t it odd how anyone with a working mind tends to learn information absent from his or her textbooks? I distinctly remember my pages being devoid of social rules and methods to develop discipline, critical thought, and personal confidence, yet I know these lessons as well as I know the alphabet. From kindergarten I learned that being courteous reaps benefits greater than gold behavior stars, just as sympathy and sensitivity develop after the death of childish gender wars in the sandbox. Who knew that monkey-bar etiquette would be the solution to successful leadership in high school, where I took charge of numerous group projects and became president of the local Asian Pacific Club?

To dismiss the past four years of study as an exercise in “everything I need to know I learned in preschool” would be inaccurate to say the least. Preschool does not prepare you for the nights of studying and hundreds of pages read weekly for all of your AP level classes. Preschool fails to explain how Hemingway abuses his Christ symbolism in much of his writing and glosses over practical applications of Newton’s Method. Nor do they mention the benefits of coffee, but I doubt parents would let their kids drink java before puberty. No--I learned from my first almost B that insomnia, not procrastination, is the path of the valedictorian, but it is a welcome burden to the perpetually curious mind. Why else would anyone write an extra-curricular essay well past midnight?

Passion would be the appropriate answer. Passion and intrinsic drive. My “wasteful” interest in the visual arts, as my parents so gently named it, prompted my enrollment at one of Clark County’s top magnet schools where both academic and artistic curriculum require hours of additional work outside of the seven hour school day. Oil paint and essays seem to share reluctance for completion in a timely manner. In turn exhilarating and often exhausting, my intensive studies in both intellectual and emotional fields provide a well-rounded viewpoint of the world and its people. Naturally, I would want to share as much of my gifts with the community. Another kindergarten moral that won’t go away.

Let’s face it: half of the people doing community service are buffering their college and scholarship applications. Even when I worked with Catholic Charities during my pre-Confirmation years, the lessons of the gospel they tried to instill in me were glossed over. Instead, I created my own rules and lessons from the time I spent volunteering: First, don’t help people to get that nice sense of well being; that’s patronizing. Second, spend your time helping a cause you are sure will benefit others; giving a man a Big Mac is often more helpful than a benefit where 90% of the proceeds pay for costs. Lastly--unless you are agreeable--benefit your own neighborhood, not another’s; preps in the ghetto will not sympathize with those seeking help, and vice versa. However, don’t let my sarcastic tone betray the lessons I did learn from my hours of creating gift-baskets; without that experience I would not have the appreciation for the things that I possess.

Well grounded, appreciative, and never lacking in wit, my foundations are now waiting to be built upon. Anticipate a skyscraper sometime in the near future.

. . . . . posted:||12:58 PM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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I figured that it's been far too long since I last updated this. And for all the people (the few of you out there) who still read this...

Hi. I'm alive. And as well as can be expected.

College admissions were, in the end, completely unworthy of the amount of stress and lost sleep I invested in them. Grrr. In fact, just got a call from CCA today saying that they got my packet and are processing it so... yay.

No word from MICA though. And I'm starting to get anxious about going to an art/graphic design school. Graaah.

You were right. Money should never be an issue... 'course, you have 400K, so you really shouldn't be talking. Even if you'll get it when you're 25.

My meager 50K for college was spent while the family was trying to move... But, those times are past and I have to make do with what I have.

New stressor: scholarship applications. Only this time it's my parents who're pressuring me to act upon them. Argh. I'll do practically anything to get that Powerbook they're dangling infront of me though.

New Music: Elefant, Peaches, Suicide Girls, Coheed and Cambria, Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine.

New Addition to the Perfect Movie Hall of Fame: Lost In Translation.

New Philosophy: existentialism... although it's not really something to live by, just something which points out why my procrastination is leading me to an early death. Oi.

New Goal: re-lose all those pounds I've packed on since winter. I'm really rather disgusted with my lack of discipline... which is why I'm finding a nearby dojo as soon as I get out of this town and establish a steadier supply of income.

Speaking of, damn this essay! Why can't anyone have a nice scholarship based on short stories or ability to use scathing sarcasm? Or, in the very least, come up with a more original essay topic besides: "Write about how school and community service has benefitted you."

It's hard to be pedantic when the masses want something maudlin.

I need to stop looking forward to weekends. They never seem to be as exhilarating as expected...

Just when I get over the rather bad month which is quickly coming to a close (THANK GOD), I start noticing all the tension between myself and friendly associates... and the whole thing between my friends.

Giving up gluttony for Lent this year. I'm serious... well, not religiously, but misery loves company (which is why all my art teachers work out together). Besides, it's fun to dangle a nice, juicy steak infront of the actually catholic family during those no-meat fridays.

Trying to learn lithography, but it's a bit hard to do when you have no finances (especially after developing $80 worth of slide film... jenny christy) and none of the art stores in town have what you need to do it. Yargh. At least Kelly's letting me use some of her gum arabic from her ol' college days. Bless her heart... even if he did steal my name, the bastard.

The laptop is muchly needed; it's difficult to type out this essay without getting distracted by the 'rents, sis' numerous opinion questions, the TV shows, and even the music I'm playing to drown out the other sounds.


. . . . . posted:||10:19 PM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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College admissions are killing me. Why do they have to put all the deadlines on the same week that I have successive nervous breakdowns?


Tried to get them done during the AP review session (and also broke into the art room where I thought I left my teacher recommendation letters... ha), but halfway I realized that even if I get my application in... by the time it gets to the schools it'll be a bit late.

Realizing this, I passed out in the hallway. And landed on my nuts (ouch!).

So, just when this day/week seemed like it was getting good... shite.

Sorry. I'll try to be more positive from now on.

. . . . . posted:||12:46 PM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Another birthday, another year gone by, another year of attempted greatness, another year of attempted self-reconstruction.

Another birthday, another quiet, stressful day of slow-cooking rage.

Tried being happy all day, but since two years ago (sophomore year) birthdays have lost their initial excitement. I'd be a bit depressed about it (and am), but I've resigned myself to putting any birthday celebrations in the same category as: family holiday parties (Christmas, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Debutante Ball). All of the above are examples of dying traditions.

I'm happy that some people remembered my birthday. Nothing gaudy like gigantic floaty balloons or people singing "happy birthday" down the hallway. Plus, no one outside of mi familia has baked me a cake for it, so Karen's gift is uber-heart felt.

Yep, today was my birthday. Kiss sweet-sixteen good-bye, I'm seventeen and I don't feel much better different.

This year I'm playing it low-key since I'm saving up my energies for next year's 18th Birthday party. Four words, mis amigos: Thunder From Down Under. We are so watching that show!

From last year's birthday. Yeah, not trying to hide it anymore. I'm feeling the blues with Janis Joplin.

For February 3: You might not feel as upbeat or physically strong first thing today. Don't push yourself - and don't push others, either. If an unresolved matter continues to drape over you like a shroud, you're advised to discuss your thoughts with an objective, trusted outsider. You're too close to an issue to see things as clearly as you need to. A close friend or loved one may have done something that offends you. This person's actions may be clumsy and rude, but were probably not intended to upset you. You can carry angry worry around in your heart for a very long time and make yourself sick, or you can turn the page and restart your engine. No matter how annoyed you feel early today, late afternoon and evening have very rewarding things in store.

That cheers me up somewhat.

So, I'm happy that few people remember to check this site for updates. Livejournal = editing posts to communicate, whereas Blogger = keeping notes on myself for myself.

... Photographs make me sad. I need to stop taking so many. Well, photos of myself anyway.

Shoot me, I'm dying anyway. (You've been dying since the day you were born)

I need need need need need to get my ass to a dojo and reteach myself discipline. Remembering when martial arts played a huge part in my mental development (sensei was completely disappointed when I stopped coming to classes since he wanted to see me reach my blackbelt test), and now I've lost many of its lessons.

... and I give up. It'll never happen. He told me so in the subtlest of words (and I thank you for that, really I do)... but it still doesn't make me feel any better about it.

I can take your pain away... You don't need one word to talk to me...

Tonight is randomly quote something night.

. . . . . posted:||1:01 AM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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