It Is What It Is – Academic Awards Edition

Shalom Obisie-Orlu. Scroll.

Tonight at the academic awards evening at my school, that was what was called out before I walked onto stage and received my certificate. A scroll for academic achievement. Sounds good, right? Wrong. Let me fill you in on what has been going on in the swell of tears and banging in my brain for the past hour since the event ended:

(also, hello!)

At the school I was at from 2012-June 2014, academic awards can be achieved in grade ten, eleven and twelve, under half colours or full colours. With the report I achieved last year, I would have qualified for half colours. I’m confident I would have also managed to get full colours for netball, and been a councillor, or senior leader.

Does it matter? No.

In June/July of 2014 I made a decision to transfer schools in an attempt to save myself. As dramatic as it sounds, it’s the truth. I didn’t, contrary to popular belief, get bored and move to a school where I would have (a) nothing to my name, (b) no academic reputation in the most important year of high school, and (c) an extremely tough time fitting in to school in the middle of the year.

Nobody does that because they’re bored. Nobody uproots his or her life for attention. Nobody goes through extremely depressive cycles and ridiculous application processes just for fun.

It’s NOT fun.

Today, I was presented with a scroll. A scroll is the most basic academic achievement award presentable at my new school. It’s the award that anyone can get. You get a scroll for your first year of doing well.

It’s not my first year.

I’m not smart at school but I try really hard. I used to be brilliant. It was all I had. I worked so, so hard in the most difficult school year I have ever had to endure and then, this.

I meet the criteria for half colours. I meet the criteria at two schools, for goodness’s sake! I just so happened to make a decision and I now don’t get the award I deserve in every manner of speaking,because I haven’t been at the school long enough.

Look, tonight I’ve managed to offend one of my closest friends, almost swear at my mother, cry so hard my eyes are struggling to open, held back so many outbursts, fake smiled at so many people and said so many “thank you”s that I honestly wish I meant.

Grow up, Shalom. Get a hold of yourself. You got an award! Some people didn’t get anything. Be grateful. High school isn’t everything. You’ll be done with this in ten months.

I’ve been trying to get myself to understand these things, but how can I when they so clearly contradict everything I’ve been told?

  • this is the most important most important year of your life
  • matric stays with you forever
  • you get what you work for

Not the case here. I’m also really, really angry at myself; at the fact that I can’t be 100 per cent hapy for my lovely friends who did so well. About the fact that I snapped about not getting a good enough award when my lovely friend didn’t get an award at all.

I sound like an arrogant, unsatisfied brat. I know. And I hate it when people are like this. But these are my feelings and I would never act on them for fear of hurting another person (sorry Chy). I just needed somewhere to put them.

That’s all I have o say for now. That’s all the stupid, overprivelleged, arrogant and annoying ranting you’ll have to tolerate for today. I’m terribly sorry.

 

In truth, well done to all of the award winners tonight. You deserve it. (no cynicism intended)

with love,
shalom

Matric: senior year, grade twelve, hell.

The third day of matric and I’m already exhausted.

For those of you reading from a place that isn’t South Africa, matric is the last year of high school in South Africa – grade 12.It’s the year before everyone goes off to university/home/travelling / who the frick knows. It’s the seemingly shiny senior year and it’s full of expectaitons. I don’t think I like it.

Scratch that, I most definitely don’t like it. I’ve only been back at school for three days and I want to swear at everything. EVERYTHING. It’s as if a curse word generator has been planted in my brain was set to begin work on January 14th, 2015.  I’m overwhelmed, and have more crap to do that HAS TO GET DONE than I ever have before. I’m also running  out of sticky notes.

I’m too tired to write. I’m working really hard and doing my homework (!!!) and revising (read: learning for the first time because I wasn’t paying attention when it was taught) because I have a maths test on TUESDAY. I hate maths, remember?

I got moved up in my math and Afrikaans classes because I SOMEHOW managed to do acceptably well enough to be in the same class with people who get As for these subjects. Afrikaans? Understandable. Maths? *curse word generator fires up again*

The girls in my group of friends are ALL DIETING for the Matric Dance in May (Prom?) and it’s driving me nuts – I almost force-fed Mouse some chocolate –her birthday present– during a strange break.

Inappropriate puns have taken over my brain. My list of books to read has grown SO much and I’m extremely disappointed in myself because I’m already so busy, and there is no way I’m going to get to read them all when I want to.

I got yelled at for having an afro at school, because my natural hair –I REPEAT, NATURAL HAIR– doesn’t comply with school regulations because it isn’t flat. The biggest amount of — *CURSE WORDS EXTRAVAGANZA*

There is not enough time. Barely a week in, and bam- burnout.

On the plus side, we are studying my favourite  novel in English (The Great Gatsby) and we did the Charleston at the end of the day to get usinto the spirit of the 20s. It was fricken’ rad.


This year may well kill me.

2015, you ridiculous, rude, burdensome, distracting, lying, hopeful, promising bastard of a year.

love and sheer, sheer exhaustion,
shalom

positiviTUESDAY

Aloha friends! I’m up bright and early (read: I didn’t go to bed) and I’m feeling very happy.

Today is Tuesday, January 6th 2015. Some observations:

  1.  We’ve made it this far!
  2. It’s the year from Back To The Future!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Before I get into anything and possibly make you lose interest, please listen to THIS beautiful playlist! It’s today’s soundtrack. That’s all.

I went up to the rooftop of my house today, at 5AM to take some pictures of the sky. While I was up there, I had a little exchange with the universe. I let go of so much general crappiness I was carrying and left it. I looked at the sky and danced alone on a roof and was astounded at how much of the world there is, and how easy it is to completely detach from it.

I also got a little sentimental when I realised just how beautiful a Johannesburg sunrise is, because all my life I’ve just wanted to get away from it.

And you know what I’ve realised? That’s okay. You wanna chase the sun across the earth until your 85? Do it. Wanna become a stay at home dad and upholster couches in your spare time? Do it. Have no idea what you want to do or where you’re going? It’s alright. Just don’t stop.

In South Africa, the high school class of 2014 will get their results today. People will cry. People will be overjoyed. People will feel freedom like never before. In a year’s time, I will be those people. I will panic like they are, and I will pray like they are praying. And you know what?

That’s okay.

In the song, Light It Up by Eliza and the Bear, some lyrics kinda grab me by the everything and put things into perspective:

“I lost myself in the cold, but I’m still here. I found myself growing old, but I’m still here.”

We’re all still here . And damnit, we’ll be okay.

Have a beautiful day, lovely people!

Love and light,
shalom x

there are so many things a new year can possibly bring.

that being said, a new minute can also bring hope; a new day inspiration, a new week depression. new years are supposed to bring joy, prosperity, and excitedness.

friends, i am excited.

there is so much of this world, so much in it, too. this year, i’ll be throwing so much out into the world. at least 40 pages of applications to universities (11 so far) will go out across the world – to the uk, the usa, and south africa. everything that you write your name on is a piece of you, you know.

i’m going to be in my final year of high school. well, i am. i am in my final year and i’m going to have to work harder than i ever have before. i’m going to do a lot of head shaking and nay saying. i’m going to have to look out for myself.

on that note, without further ado:

shalom’s points for 2015, vol. one

+ drink more water. just do it.
+ laugh genuinely.
+ work for yourself.
+ remember that the world is still yours.

+ slow down.
+meditate.
+run. just run and when you’re tired, come home. but run if you need to run.
+ be self sufficient.
+ save R1000. without any help.
+keep lib balm on call.
+light candles whenever.
+remember to put on lotion!
+take care of your hair.
+do your  maths homework.
+ask for help.
+ take your medication when you need to.
+talk to people before you get bad again.
+talk to people because they’re lovely.
+  do your part to make your dreams reality.
+remain hopeful.
+wear more arm candy.
+stop apologising for your existence and preferences.
+be lovely and kind.
+

thank you for a beautiful blogging year of 2014. i can’t wait to see what this year brings, and i’m sending lots of nice things your way. *super brain transfer*

So speak of all the love we lost, and what it cost us,
Left us beg our breath to stop but we kept on and
We were strong. We stayed bright as lightning,
we sang loud as thunder, we moved ever forward.
We are not our failures. We are love.

The Castle Builders, La Dispute

love and light,
shalom