What a Day

January 29, 2009

Today I was shadowing at the school I will go to next school year. It was nerve wracking thinking about it, even though I was only going to follow a girl around her school all day. I had to be awake by six thirty this morning to make it on time. School starts at 7:10 for them, which sucks for me. The school is in the downtown area which is about a twenty minute drive.

I arrived at the school building feeling panicky, my mouth kept twitching with anxiety. (What a wuss!) I had to go through the metal detectors, then into the office where I waited for a girl named Rose. I stood there with my little bag which held a couple pens, a notebook, my lunch, and a book (“Burned” by Ellen Hopkins to be exact). When Rose arrived my mother signed a slip and left. She turned and looked at me, smiled, and spoke, “Your lip just twitched.” then gave me a half hug. Rose and I were then asked to the guidance counselor’s office to be asked questions about the shadowing. It took a couple minutes, but was taken care of with a phone call to my mother.

While I was in a few of her classes I had time to make a couple journal entries. My first was in her French class, first period.

Journal entry #1

There isn’t one boy in the classroom. I looked around the room several times to see all girls populating the classroom. The class was interesting. When they spoke in French it sounded intriguing, minus the fact I hadn’t a clue what they were saying. The words that were flowing off their tongues sounded so… hmmm… interesting, though that isn’t the right word. Oh well. The teacher seemed nice I suppose, though I haven’t known her long enough. Challenging for sure, at least from my perspective. Maybe this is a class I might want to think about taking up, it is just the comprehending part I’m worried about. The students were reading from their books, as the teacher would call out names to read sentences (some girls were obviously unsure about what they were reading). Then we had to listen to an audio tape and identify what they were saying. To end class, they played a game where the teacher would call out a word in French and the first person to write out the word in English, correctly, would earn their team a point.

 SCHEDULE 7:10 -2:10

– French

– Health

– ??

– Band

– Lunch

– Latin

– Geography

– English

A couple hours passed and I didn’t write a thing, but I did read. Health was scary. The kids were crazy, loud, rude, creepy, disrespectful. The whole deal. I just sat there staring at the pages I was easily reading. Afraid to look up, feeling like a million pairs of eyes would be staring at me. I recognized a kid who used to go to my school. Only because of his neon, lime green Converse, I saw. Then I looked up to see his long brunette hair that I remembered. Finally the bell (buzzer really) rang and I was saved.

The name of the next class was unknown to me and I never found out. I felt more comfortable in this room. As I read more of my book. I held a uni-ball pen in my hand for no reason really, just something to hold onto to boost my comfort zone (like wearing jackets ALL the time). A girl Rose was friends with talked to me. Mainly about books. She said had read “Burned” and told me it was amazing. I then noticed she was carrying “Thirteen Reasons Why” around and we both agreed it was pretty good. 

Band was next. Rose didn’t really stop back at her locker so we kept on walking  (rushing) down to the band room. In that room I recognized another boy from my school, his name is Austen. He is quite mischievous, he looked the same in the face, maybe a little more mature. Medium brown skin with a vague red tint. Whatever. Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to read during band. Though the class did not play their instruments, instead they filled a work packet while the teacher handed me one to look over.

LUNCH. Whooo!! Eating lunch was easy. Talked with a couple more of Rose’s friends. One who I thought was awful, the other liked the same kind of music as me. In fact we both said we loved Brendon Urie from Panic At The Disco, and I told her I saw them in June of last year. She was in shock that they even came here and then it turned to fake sadness. I ate most of my lunch, while still being asked, “Are you new here?” (which got rather annoying). Yet, I still felt like the odd one out. After lunch we shimmied back up the steps to Latin.

Journal entry #2

Latin. It’s interesting so far. Though I am yet to hear someone speak the language. I was handed a quiz paper and a book, even though the teacher was told I was shadowing. He told the class all of the questions to the test can be answered on page 175 in the book. I thought, What the heck, might as well fill it out. Not knowing the timer would go off I took my sweet time writing down the answers. I think I wrote down at least six, complete sentence, answers when the timer went off. With that I think I’ll just recycle the paper, besides I won’t be back here until next school year. The teacher started asking the questions from the test, which lead in to other discussion. The teacher seems nice, humorous, or at least trying. Though I haven’t seen him mad so I can’t label too soon.

Geography made me freak out. I didn’t like it, but I don’t really like school at all so…. I was in the front row, yet I still had trouble reading what was on the board.  They were taking a pop quiz and when I didn’t answer the question I felt (and heard) kids getting mad at me. I felt like the teacher was staring me down, maybe I was just paranoid. My next journal entry.

Journal entry #3

Okay so I know I want to come here next year. It is definitely challenging. The only things I’m afraid of are the early mornings (gotta be up by six and there by seven), the students, a couple teachers, and the hallways in between classes. Hopefully I’ll have a few friends to face it with me. Right now I’m going to try and relax before the time comes at the end of August. (And during the last week of summer break that I’ll have to “prep” for those wonderful (note sarcasm) early mornings.)

English was okay. I wish they had a better teacher, but I didn’t see the students “in action” either. My last journal entry.

Journal entry #4

So this is Rose’s last class, English. She told me about her “bipolar” teacher, I guess could agree. Things are pretty simple at the moment. The class is tame (which is again, mainly populated by girls). They are correcting and finishing their papers, while I read some more. I’ve gotten some great reading in today. Though not much writing time because I’m afraid kids will read my notes. Back to the book – My mom picked up a copy of “Burned” by Ellen Hopkins for me yesterday night and I’ve already devoured 350 pages. YAAYYYY!!

Once the bell rang I grabbed my things out of Rose’s locker and waited for her to show me back down to the office. I walked into the office to find my mother waiting for me.

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Hello Alone (Home Is a Far Away Place)

December 5, 2008

“Hello Alone” is a song written and performed by Anberlin. Yes, that is all I wish for right now, to be ALONE, yet not lonely. I feel stressed, upset, angry, and annoyed. Why? You ask. Well, my family of six has taken in another family, of three girls ages 13 and 8 and I’m not quite sure how old their mother is. Let’s call them Abby, Layla, and Lacey.

My father works with their mother Abby. It is selfish of me to want them out of my personal space, but I’m not the kind of person who shares easily, especially when it comes to sharing my home. I’ve been keeping myself locked up in a little office down in our basement. No one is to dare to bother me. Taming my addiction to the internet by answering emails, blogging, reading, and listening to music. Sharing a room with a thirteen year old sure is a hassle. I love the quiet except for when it comes to music. To not feel the need to speak to others when I don’t feel the need to. All the thirteen year old, Layla does is talk.  About, boys, how gay people are “butt pirates”, and sex. All of which freaks me out, nauseates me. It annoys me that she is so homophobic *mutters under breath*. I answer her with mostly “uh-huh”s, “hmm”s, “yeah”s. One thing is for sure, she is friggen’ boy crazy. I’ve never had a boyfriend and I honestly don’t care to. Besides kids at this age are effing morons, UGH! Layla keeps me up late at night when all I want to do is escape to the comfort of my own room.

Oh man, and her younger sister Lacey *sigh*. Whenever Layla comes near her she squeals and whines. Layla of course tells her to shut up and then hits her for no reason! I get mad at my siblings, but I don’t torture them all the time. Their mother is disgusting. She farts and makes disturbing jokes, she also likes one of our neighbors, we’ll call him Stan. Stan works with my dad too, my father was kind enough to help him find a place to stay. “Conveniently” a couple houses down from ours (har har). My parents gave my siblings and I the choice to help our visitors out, and my mom didn’t seem to keen on the idea, yet my dad seemed excited. I reluctantly said yes not knowing how big of a mistake I had made. I should have known. Though as I’ve told you I really dislike school, well I’m more fond of it now. It seems to be my escape. I don’t care if kids mess with me or if a teacher is mean, those people do not live with me. My fear is coming back home to a house full of people.

Last night I asked if my mother could run me to Barnes and Nobel because I had babysitting money leftover. I took my youngest sister Eleanor, our “babysitter”, and my aunt Sherry. I was looking for “Watchmen”, which I sadly couldn’t find. Spending most of my time in the young adult books I found “Glass” by Ellen Hopkins and “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini. Eleanor saw her friend Lily with her mothers at Barnes and Noble which was nice because they are some of the nicest people. Once I had decided on which books I was purchasing I went down to the second floor and looked for a new issue of an Alternative Press magazine which I couldn’t find. Instead I grabbed a Teen magazine because Robert Pattinson was the main picture on the front cover, SQUEE!! Getting coffee and reading books is a good combination. I shared a mocha frappuccino with my mother and six year old sister Eleanor along with a peanut butter cookie, YUM! Barnes and Noble is my other escape place. Books, music, coffee, magazines the whole deal. I’d love to sit there for hours just browsing the store *sigh*, if only it were that simple. I feel guilty for having these feeling towards the family and venting to those who honestly do not give a care, yet I’ve been told my feelings are still valid. I sulk while my mother is driving us back home. My aunt Sherry and I tell Eleanor that if anyone asks you say, “Um… we went to Target and somewhere else I forgot.” If Eleanor wanted to tell anyone she could call our aunt Sherry.

I stuck the Teen magazine in the back of my shirt, the book “Glass” under my armpit the  inside of my shirt and “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” hidden inside my mom’s purse. I zipped to my room and unloaded my shirt as my mother snuck in handing me the book. I set the book on my book shelf so they didn’t look new. Eleanor crawled back to my room “Um, Phoen-” “Okay I’ll be there in a minute.” I said. She strode into the bathroom waiting. Aunt Sherry talked to her for about three minutes and until Eleanor ended the conversation.

Yesterday I had a half day at school, getting home at about 12:30 or so. The first thing I do is change from my school uniform. I listen to a song or two on one of my Taking Back Sunday albums and my mom left to go back to work and I took off down the steps. I’m in the nice cold basement opening the office door, I am already at the computer. Checking and replying to emails as usual. I had swiped one of my new books to read (“It’s Kind Of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini to exact). I spent two hours on the computer and one whole hour reading. Yes it was delightful until my younger brother and sister barged into the room (which I thought I locked) with toy guns. “GET OUT!!” I screamed impatiently, clenching my jaw. I came upstairs at about three thirty, skipping off to my room to read some more. Paranoid, I kept hearing car doors slam, is it them? Until finally my “babysitter” told me they had arrived. I let out a dramatic sigh. Layla dragged her things back into MY room. “Hello,” said Layla, “Mm, hi.” I grunted. She was talking to me about school as I just nodded then she took a nap. I straightened up my room and left hearing the kids messing with Polly Pocket, our English bulldog mix. She had nipped at Eleanor because Lacey and my brother Hal wouldn’t leave her alone. I’m not quite sure why I was so mad, though smoke was fuming from the head. I wanted to punch something, someone, to scream in their face and throw a fit. Instead I locked myself back in the basement office. I stayed there until it was dinner time, stomping up the stairs to smell a disgusting mess of food which Abby had prepared. Two words. Ugh, spaghetti. I shuffled over to my father asking, “Do I have to eat?” I was expecting a “Yes, you do.” Instead to my surprise he replied, “No, you don’t have to if you don’t want to.” An easy battle, eh?

I’ll soon have more stories for you all, just wait *wink*.