personal, time capsule

*Junior Reflections!

What a year! I haven’t been blogging lately because I was crushed under a mountain’s worth of homework and activities. Now that AP exams are over, it’s time to dissect this year, one piece at a time. An overarching buzzword to describe this past school year: fatigue. I have thoroughly enjoyed everything that I have done, from AcDec to UIL science to schoolwork (yes, I enjoy school), but there is such a thing as too much. I constantly felt the burden deep down within my heart of overloading myself. Maybe six AP courses were too much to bear in one year! However, I can’t imagine myself in a different lifestyle in terms of my academic load; I can’t stand being bored in class, filling in inane worksheets and completing using bubble maps or outlines or annotations. Perhaps I would have toned down my involvements outside of school–only through the agony of junior year have I figured out the ineffable, inherent beauty behind reading endless articles on

An overarching buzzword to describe this past school year: fatigue. I have thoroughly enjoyed everything that I have done, from AcDec to UIL science to schoolwork (yes, I enjoy school), but there is such a thing as too much. I constantly felt the burden deep down within my heart of overloading myself. Maybe six AP courses were too much to bear in one year! However, I can’t imagine myself in a different lifestyle in terms of my academic load; I can’t stand being bored in class, filling in inane worksheets and completing using bubble maps or outlines or annotations. But perhaps I would have toned down my involvements outside of school–only through the agony of junior year have I figured out the ineffable, inherent beauty behind reading endless articles on The New York Times, drinking a cup of tea on the balcony, munching on a five-dollar picnic on a breezy lawn, or stargazing on the high school track. The beauty of life lies in its simplicity.

I’ve met some truly wonderful people this year. AcDec has proved to be even more rewarding that I would have thought. The ironclad bonds that I have formed with my teammates and coaches will last a lifetime; in the deepest of despondencies, I found laughter, joy, and hope through our various shenanigans. For this, I missed Area C (a local classics competition) and prom, but AcDec was definitely worth it. There’s something about a week-long “hotel arrest” that creates friendships and memories any other activity will never even begin to attempt. Within school hours, I sought refuge in the Davenportian cove on a daily basis. Those dim lamplights harbor me from my worst anxieties and fears, my problems and conflicts on the outside world. Inside lies a comforting, motherly warmth, stocked with wit, sarcasm, and empathy. I’ve been shaken to my core time and time again from the conversations, some more profound than others, that took place in WC105. Nothing else has made more of an impact on my transition into adulthood.

Friendships: some wither, and some grow. It was only natural that I strike up new camaraderie with completely new peers and lose the kinder that lighted my past few years. I not only kept up but also strengthened my relationships with most of my peers, and this provided solace for the torturous path of high school. One remarkable shift is my detachment from the drama of my peers; this change has improved my mental health and my outlook on the future. Fewer love triangles and catfights mean less myopia obscuring my vision of the world around me.

Some lingerings of apprehension about the summer ahead haunt me: I’m doing a lot. Research daily for 8 weeks, once-a-week hospital volunteering, Camp CAMP… I am not afraid to let some of these commitments grow in order to more passionately pursue a few interests. There need not be a sampling plate of amuse-bouches, but rather a hearty steak to dine on. Regardless of what I manage to do, I remain optimistic about where I am heading.

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Reblog: “Canto on the Statistical Improbability of Happiness”

Good morning! Last night, as I was looking through the Internet for famous poems and speeches, I happened to stumble upon this poem written by a user, Peter Benoit, on the website allpoetry.com

I’d just like to share this poem, as it deftly weaves through the realities of the multifaceted gem we call happiness.

Enjoy!

“It’s far from evenly distributed
This cherished thing I’ve come here to describe
And if my research has contributed

One little bit to insight in your tribe
I’ll have improved the little life of man
So take a moment, if you will, subscribe

To what I tell you and my master plan:
The thing that we’ll henceforth call happiness
Is rare indeed and in the finite span

Of life is felt perhaps ten times or less ―
And maybe most of them in younger years.
It does not understand the numberless

And suffocating presence of the fears
That come to choke our crippled conscious hours.
This wondrous thing, a rarity, appears

In newborn baby’s cry, and nuptial flowers,
When we are recognized for what we do
And love the best, but just as soon it sours

And disappears, and it is only through
The miracle of memory and dreams
We take our starveling world and fill it new.

When we examine closer still it seems
That happiness is merely an oasis,
Or like the little bubbles on a stream

Where breathless minnows come to press their faces,
Because a breathless thing must pant and live
Before it swims away to other places.

Why would a loving Providence not give
A greater quota of this precious thing?
Or better yet, why not let it outlive

The much more common daily scorns and stings?
Instead, it comes unheralded and swells
The breast of life itself, but only clings

The barest second. It must live in wells
That we redrill because they have run dry;
It seems so long between the rainy spells.

A practiced statistician might apply
The apt analogy of Benford’s law
And I will not, as one of them, deny

There is some truth in it, but there’s a flaw:
Although the greater measure’s laid in youth
Before we find that we must strive and claw

Our way sometimes, when we are long in tooth
It still may like some hooded cobra rise
From depths whence it is piped and charmed, and sooth,

Thrust out its tongue and hiss with ancient eyes
That pierce the very pillar of our soul
Before it disappears again and dies

And yet these ten encounters make us whole.
So I conclude that happiness is rare
And yet at that it plays a vital role

In which more common sadness has its share.
We bottle not, but drink it from a stream.
And though we’re thirsty it is everywhere.

Why we can even find it in a dream
But it is gone before we’re woken up.
Sometimes it’s there for us to drink it seems
But fools we are forget to bring a cup.”

full link: https://allpoetry.com/poem/12200728–Canto-on-the-Statistical-Improbability-of-Happiness–by-peterbenoit1