THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: TWO DAYS TO GO

I almost didn’t write this post.

Many more people allowed me to take photographs of them today. I now have just about 58 minutes of footage that I will have to condense into a video no longer than three minutes. Lovely.

I had many of my “lasts” today. My last Dramatic Arts lesson, my last Physical Science lesson – and in all this, we, as the matrics, were exhausted. We were too tired to register that the regular alternate Wednesdays that we’d become so accustomed to would stop existing when tomorrow comes around. We don’t think things end but they do and here we are.

We think we’re invincible. I read this post about teenagers and our attitudes towards death  and growing old, and I recommend it 100%. It talks about how we think we’re “too young to die”. On that note, listen to this Panic!At The Disco song – it’s called Far Too Young To Die and it’s perfect.

When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die.

-John Green, Looking for Alaska

Today I felt as though I became aware that I will not be a teenager for much longer. I will not be a high schooler (?) for much longer. I will not be invincible for much longer.

Today, awards were given out based on favour rather than merit, and service, passion, and dedication of five years worth were disregarded and condensed into an A4 piece of card that may well have read, “Thanks for coming.”.

Today, I realised that there isn’t nearly enough time left to fix the wrongs we, as a class, have been faced with; to change things to the degree that they need to be changed; to leave lasting marks on walls and trophies and hearts, or to simply be.

We have always thought that we are invincible. Soon, we will learn the truth.

Love and light,
shalom

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: 3 DAYS LEFT

I’m exhausted today.

I’m almost as exhausted as I was in the second week of this school year. I remember working so hard and SO INTENSELY that at one stage, my body was like, “Bro. Bro.  Are you serious? You really gonna do me like that?” It only lasted three months though, the hard work. I’m still exhausted.

So. Yes.

In any case, and because I am Buzzfeed TRASH, here’s a better written post than this will be: A Hundred Wise Words For Seniors Leaving For College. If you’re in matric and you read that sentence, it’s you. YOU are leaving for university soon.  As if you had to be reminded. As if the impending disaster that will be finals is not enough.

That’s it. That’s all I have today. I have tips for tertiary education and maths problems to cry about. You know which ones. The circle geometry ones. You know which ones.

Love and light
shalom x

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: 4 DAYS LEFT

I KEEP GETTING HIT BY PANIC WAVES AND I DO NOT APPRECIATE IT

I walked around school with my camera today, and I recorded little pieces of footage that I’d like to remember. It seemed strange to a lot of the girls – after all, I was taking 20 second videos of once shiny black school shoes shuffling to class after a meeting that DID NOT NEED TO TAKE UP MY ENTIRE BREAK. Yes.

The video footage aside, I had conversations with some of the most radical ladies I have ever had the privilege of meeting and talking to. We talked, yelled, debated, and laughed about drunk adventures, whitewashing in our school, the plight of the black woman in the world that we live in, ridiculous hair regulations, and why some boys are So. Thirsty. It was brilliant, and despite the 32°C temperature (that’s 90°F?) we managed to disturb the peace and have a phenomenal time.

I got emotional and nostalgic. As expected.

It pained me to think that whether I like it or not, this week may well be the last time I get to have these conversations with these people. I think it’s a shared matric sentiment: the thought that the people who you’ve loved and lived with for more than a quarter of your life will soon go on and create new lives, often without you, is nerve wrecking. And sad. Mostly sad.

This week, if not this entire year, has made me cherish the people in my grade more than I have in a long time. The class of 2015, the ‘black badges’ – we’ve never been favourites. We’ve probably seen the most high school dropouts and caused the most trouble for all of our respective schools. 1997 (for the most part) must have been a crazy year. Just saying.

In any case, high school as a whole has provided me with a lot – bruises, failures and heartbreak, as well as conversations I’ll miss and points of view that I’ll treasure. I’m going to keep recording this week, and hopefully fewer and fewer people will shy from my lens.
Eugh. Lasts and goodbyes are hard to navigate. I’m going to pretend to study, like the rest of us.

Love and light,
shalom


featured image from http://projectgrad2015.vpweb.com/Announcements.html

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: 5 DAYS TO GO

This is a brief lil’ post-a-day series for the next week or so regarding my last days at high school. That sounded way, way more intense than I initially intended.


So, I’m finishing high school in five days. Well, not really, but technically. See, I won’t be a student anymore -my valediction is on Thursday- but I’ll still have to come back to write my final exams for four weeks, I think. I’m not sure. All the shit is terrifying.

I keep thinking about how I’m going to deal once school is over. See, I hate school, but it’s also pretty much the only constant I have in my life. If I didn’t go school, I wouldn’t see my friends, eat, or exercise because lord knows, those stairs and my thighs have had an appointment. Also, I’m a little stressed out at the fact that nothing is concrete for me at present? Like, the majority of the students in my year have plans: Finish school. 2 month break. Get results. University. I’m kind of in between every single one of these phases, like: Finish School. Retake SAT. Find job. Work. Get results. Send results to McGill. Find out if accepted into McGill. ET CETERA.

To cut a long and particularly haphazard story short, I’m tired and terrified. I don’t know how I’m going to take this week, or why I’m not studying for finals, or what I’m going to be doing at school tomorrow. I don’t know.

Essentially, I’m just really tired, and I want cuddles and a high speed internet connection.

In a word: Ugh.

Love and light,
shalom

Helen Martins – AKA my Senior Year History Task

Hello friends! Today I’d like to (as a part of my History assignment) share some things about Helen Martins with you.urBriefly: Helen Martins was a crazy, glass-crushing-glass-eating-glass-sculpting-outsider-artist-with-no-baby-toes from Nieu Bethesda is South Africa AND SHE WAS WONDERFUL.

Miss Helen herself.

In more detail:

Between the years of 1941 and 1945, Helen Martins began the intense decorative project that consumed her until her gruesome caustic soda induced suicide in 1976. She began to “express the brightness around [her]” by using the materials at her disposal – cement, wire and coloured glass- to transform her dull and limited reality into a world that she saw fit to live in. Helen created the now famous Owl House and camel yard of Nieu Bethesda in from a desire to create a world defined by light, colour and symbolism. She created her own world.

The Owl House today.

(feel free to drop me an email if you’d like to read my project!)

 All in all, the essence of the project is to create a monument, or memorial of some sorts. In South Africa recently we have had much debate about what monuments are important, who should be commemorated, where these monumenets should be and whether they are still relevant. It seems as though statues are losing their place in our society. I decided to create (or conceptualise, rather) a bridge, for these reasons:

Bridges usually serve the purpose of connecting two places, and in my opinion Helen Martins was the bridge between the fantastic, magical world that she created, and the reality in which the rest of us live. Hence, my belief that a bridge would be an appropriate way to remember her.

Part of the Camel Yard

The bridge is located in a fairly busy area and provides a moment of seclusion, similar to those that Helen so enjoyed. It is fenced in on all but one side, to emphasise the trapping nature of solitude, but also the soothing and gentle products of some “alone time” in a world as busy as ours.

I think that the bridge, being interactive, is (1) more accessible to the wider public [like history should be] and (2) really able to be appreciated more. As an act of sculpture (of sorts) to remember a scultptor, and because of the intentions and purposes of the bridge, I honestly love to create something like this one day.

I invite you to look up Helen Martins – do your research on the finest creator of Outsider Art that South Africa had the pleasure to play home to. Again, please send me an email if you’d like some information on her or the full progression of my project!

In essence, this project was a joy to do – I got the chance to dabble in the late 1800s and early 1900s and I guess it’s just things like that that tickle my history nerd fancy.

Today, I leave you with a quote from Miss Helen herself:

 “…we must live our lives passionately and to the full…life with its happenings flashes past my eyes so quickly”

Love and light,
shalom

On Being a Mediocre (but not really) High School Student & Person

<<prompted by Jessica Craven’s post here>>

I used to be clever.

Screw clever: I was brilliant. I started talking at 3 months of age, and I could read when I was two. I was sent to several educational psychologists because at the age of five, I was ready for grade two. I had an impeccable memory, I didn’t forget anything. When I was eight, my teachers would give me extra books to read and then would send me to the other teachers for more, because I would finish 30 page books in 10 minutes.

My point? “WAS”.

I think that people don’t realise how difficult it is to feel like you’ve gotten less intelligent. Granted, it’s believed that losing intelligence can’t actually happen, but it’s easy to feel that way. Using myself as an example for the tonnes of other students like me, let’s carefully look at where thing went wrong:

Everything was fine, kind of, until grade six: I was quiet, got into competitions, beat myself up when I wasn’t first, absolutely adored my title of “Smartest Girl In The School” and was constantly looking for ways to be better than my main competition: a boy named Slade. Granted, my unusual sadness scared me a little from grade five, but it was okay – I was still clever.

Grade seven came, and I started to feel the effects of depression. I felt lethargy at its worst, and felt the most lonely I ever had, up until then. I got my first detention. I tried to cut my hair (DIDN’T WORK). I tried to accept that I wasn’t pretty so there was no need for me to talk to anyone. Then I tried to talk to everyone. I tried to be friends with the pretty girls (DIDN’T WORK) and I tried to be friends with everyone (DIDN’T WORK). I tried so hard to be popular and became the confidant of many, the carer of most, but the friend of none. NOT. ONE.

My grades started slipping. I remember a meeting with my head of year, because I wasn’t in the top ten in the grade. I was 13th. From 2nd to 13th after 3 months of hardly eating, trying to become less less less, utter loneliness and extreme confusion. I was told my slacking was unacceptable and that it didn’t look good. I was externally apathetic, but internally sobbing- I just wanted to be enough. I was sad because I wasn’t as special anymore.I was just at school, not even mattering. But I was still smart enough to laugh it off,I was still brilliant.

Most people have the people that they leave primary school and go to high school with, or the friends they’ve had since they were tiny. I never had that. I never had anyone who was my friend; I just knew everybody because I talked a lot.

High school came about and I tried to create a new name for myself – Shalom became Scoot – and went to a completely different school than my brother and sister. I tried desperately to re-invent myself.  I coasted through grade eight and nine and was a B student, shocking all of my primary school teachers. I studied for subjects I enjoyed. I laughed at the ones I didn’t. I was still put into the ‘smart classes’. But then, I noticed something: I wasn’t as smart as they were. 

I started thinking, “what if I studied? Would I be as smart as Nina? Or Jessica or Sarah or Tamsyn or Slade, all who managed to stay smart?”

I found myself in trouble: I had never studied before. I felt no need. All of these people had spent their time working hard, and I hadn’t. I had been great, or at least alright, without the work they had to do.

Then, grade ten. Read: the first year I failed a subject (kinda).

I got really bad at maths despite my new attempts to work hard. People laughed at me and my efforts because I got moved into a weak  maths class. I studied ridiculously hard and only just managed Ds when I would get a B+ without any effort just a year prior. The people I sat with? All super intelligent. All taking AP classes, while I barely managed to stay in school. All swimming, while I choked – despite my flippers and floaties.

I’m in grade twelve now, and I’m still sad that feel that I’m not as brilliant as I used to be. Simply because I used to think that I could move mountains with my mind, because I was told so. I was told I would change the world because I would have the potential to do so. And all of a sudden, my mind switched off. I don’t know how or why, but I wasn’t smart anymore, and people tried to make it better by assuring me that I was smart, just not at school. That didn’t help at all, because I SHOULD be smart at school – I used to be.

I should still have the potential for brilliance.

This year, I’m trying to do well at school, because it does matter to me. I’m trying to get better at eating, because I value my health. I’m trying to have a positive outlook because I want to manage my depression better. I actually care, people! So many people think that I just waltz around, looking into people’s faces, giving sound advice, saying “wow! Cool! Lovely, wow!”  and pass through.

Learn this: I AM NOT JUST THAT.

Last week, a foolish boy called me a shallow character. I stopped, and looked him dead in the eye and said,

“I am not a character. I am not shallow. I am a hurricane with more brilliance inside of me than you will ever dare to find, and I am stronger than you will ever know.”

Dramatic? Yes, God yes. But true. I felt so powerful, and so plainly honest, that it couldn’t have been anything but the truth.

I tell people this:

Another person’s beauty is not the absence of your own.

I’ve decided that it applies to brilliance too.

I’m still brilliant, and that’s all I’ve been trying to get across. I refuse to treat myself as less, and I refuse to be treated as less.

apologies: this may have been a load of utter, utter crap.

love and light
s

On Why University Students Know More Than They Think They Know

HANDS UP FOR THE LONGEST TITLE EVER
(alternately titled: it doesn’t matter)

Today (tonight?) I stopped by my old school.

I’m not entirely certain that stopped by is the correct term, seeing that I was there for roughly five hours. In any case, I came to a couple of realisations, conclusions and utter WHAT-THE-HECKLING-tions today. Allow me to fill you in, friends.

1. People are more viscious than you think they can be.

Granted, we all love a skandal, but the amount of shade-throwing and utter hate that goes on in high schools is fairly ridiculous. Is there a reason for this? Possibly. Am I aware of it? [insert obviously not meme]

2. There are so many people in the world to love.

Ugh. I feel like a sappy, and hungry (but mostly hungry) wreck. Most of the people I saw tonight -even the almost accidental run in with some twins- made my metaphorical teenage girl heart swell. Sometimes, it was a swell of sadness. The most of it was an “I’M SO FREAKING EXCITED TO SEE YOU AND YOUR LOVELINESS” swell. In any case, my heart is so full, but there are still so many people to see. Hence, title of paragraph,

3. University students are quite flippen’ rad.

I had the pleasure (PLEASURE LET ME TELL YOU!) of sitting in front of four students in second year, all studying accounting majors. They were the greatest. Apart from chats about the Sims with Kyra, Sim murder wth Kyra and Chen, rapid fire talk with Bradley and an utterly, utterly beautiful Daniella, they made me fully (mostly) grasp something that’d been swimming around in my brain for a while:

It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you had a full colours blazer in high school. It doesn’t matter if you were the nerdiest of nerds and landed up studying accounting, because you’re freaking great at it. It doesn’t matter if you hated high school. You’ll still love  the annual crappy-but-exceptionally-talent-filled showcase. You’ll come every year that you can. It doesn’t matter if someone told you you weren’t cool in high school because you were a chess champion. Know why? YOU ARE STILL A CHESS CHAMPION. Nothing of that sort matters because the right people and energy really make the sun (moon) (artificial light that’s also beautiful) shine out of your face, and in this case, you both look and are lovely.

 

From left: Chen(Lillian), Kyra, Daniella, Bradley. Also known as "the cool uni kids I've dubbed my cool friends without asking".

From left:
Chen(Lillian), Kyra, Daniella, Bradley.
Also known as “the cool uni kids I’ve dubbed my cool friends without asking”.

Granted, being relatively ambushed by an aspiring teenage blogger who had too much coffee with her medication this morning is something that should matter. Tonight, however, it was all marvellous and wonderful and everything good I could have hoped for.

I have masses of History homework. Hell, I have masses of all homework, and it’s 00:32.It’s already Friday. Intentions to complete said homework exists. Making these intentions into actions into reality? Debatable.

Have a beautiful Friday, darlings.
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

S-a-t-u-r-d-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-y

Aloha, Scootonerinos!

That, friends, was a Louise SprinkleOfGlitter referenece. I think I’m starting a Youtuber greetings pattern here.

I’ve been really busy, and it’s quite ridiculous seeing that the things I’m busy with are little things that should not take too long to complete. Except if there are exactly 43 million of those little things that follow you everywhere. I’m not kidding, this grade eleven thing follows me into the shower  (don’t forget your physics assignment), into the bathtub (did you really think that your essay was due tomorrow?), under the blankets (oh, yeah, that rehearsal is today), and even in my tea. My schoolwork is working its way into my tea, and I can’t drink a hot beverage without thinking about the fact that I have an anthology due in two weeks.

On the topic of the anthology:

How it  works: You’re given free range on topics and you have to choose one that (a) you enjoy, (b) you can relate to, and (c) you pray you’ll finish. The project is assigned in January and is due in August. You have to write a preface of  1000 words, compile 3 songs, poems, fiction extracts and non fiction extracts, and write your own original poem, all related to your topic. The reading takes a while. The writing takes longer.

How it works for me: I only have to do one of each category, seeing that I joined the school about one and a half months ago. It’s a pleasure to do – my title is Life, Interrupted. It’s about fully functioning in a ‘functional’ society while living with mental illness. IT’S EXCITING. It’s also due on September 15th, the same day as a speech for Drama, and the week after my history project is due.

ABOUT HISTORY AT THIS SCHOOL

I’ve never failed a test. Okay, that’s a lie. I’ve failed math tests before, but that’s because I’m usually horribly useless at the numbers game, except if it’s the maths used to create the graphs John Green made use of in the novel, An Abundance of Katherines. You can read about it here. I failed a history test at my new school, and I’m not blaming it on adjustment issues or whatever. The thing is: I don’t fail history. EVER. I failed thoroughly though, not a half-assed fail. 19/50.  38%. THIRTY EIGHT.

After a discussion with my teacher (generally knows what’s in the textbook and doesn’t know much other than that) and the head of department (knows stuff and seems to love history a lot) they concluded the following:

  1. I haven’t been taught to think in the correct way
  2. I have a limited vocabulary
  3. My old school must have had a low standard of teaching

Problems I have with their observations:

  1. what?
  2. what?!?!????
  3. oh hell no – what??

Yeah, that happened on Thursday and I’ve never been so angry in my life. I don’t think I have – I even cried (?) so I think that that’s an experience that I’m forever going to hold with me. Hopefully, my resentful sentiments change with time – like 20 years of it.

In other news: I HAVE 15 MOTHS LEFT OF HIGH SCHOOL!

Today is also day 100 of my #100happydays challenge. I’m having very mixed emotions about it. It’s also also my smallest little sister’s 13th birthday today! That’ll take some of the attention off and I’m truly grateful for that. This is her on the day I got Getrude (laptop). Selfie game level 43 000: taking the first pictures on a new computer that isn’t yours.

picture015

 

I’m tired, people (and anything else reading this – there is a Dog with a Blog so we can’t be discriminating here). It’s 1:18 in the morning and I fixed the printer and have a planner for September (?). Here we go!
Screenshot (68)

 

Later/whatever/other teenagerism

-Scoot xx

 

Scoot on ~ why inadequacy is nothing

Strangers, I saw a video. If you are not a stranger, and know me personally, well, I still saw a video.

SHOUT OUT TO TRISTAN ELLIOT FOR SHARING THIS VIDEO ON FACEBOOK AND FOR BEING AWESOME IN GENERAL AND CARING FOR ME DURING DARK DAYS,  LOVE YOU GIRL  ❤

It was a spoken word video that I’m gonna link right here about why exams shouldn’t mean as much to us as they do. I watched it a couple of days ago so I can’t really remember much of it, but what I do remember is that it made me think about how inadequacy is defined in our society. Look, I don’t agree with all of it, but it made sense to me and I’d like to share it.

Firstly:

society
səˈsʌɪɪti/
noun
1.
the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.
“drugs, crime, and other dangers to society”
2.
an organization or club formed for a particular purpose or activity.
“the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds”
Secondly:
inadequacy
ɪnˈadɪkwəsi/
noun
1.
the state or quality of being inadequate; lack of the quantity or quality required.
“the inadequacy of available resources”
2.
inability to deal with a situation or with life.
“her feelings of personal inadequacy”

Now, let me prepare you for a whole lot of opinion, mainly based on sudden exam realisations and a lack of desire to study a useless subject:
Inadequacy is usually defined by the lack of something in a situation, but in the world of schooling,it is too often defined by the extra opinions, judgments, or decisions of people who will never be directly affected by their words or actions.
Inadequacy is being in the top class and rejoicing at your 50% for maths, or having friends who know what they want to do in life and still being confused, or having your ex boyfriend’s brother proclaim your lack of “good enough-ness” to the entire grade. Inadequacy is too much, I think.
You know when you write a test and only remember everything five minutes after you are supposed to stop writing? Is that inadequacy? Does that mean that five minutes define whether you’re enough or not? That you’re unable to deal with life’s situations because you couldn’t remember that FDR’s middle name was Delano?
Chop and change Muhammad Ali’s famous quote, and you have something that makes just as much sense:
“Inadequate is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given, than to explore the power they have to change it. Inadequate is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Inadequate is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Inadequacy is potential. Inadequacy is temporary. Inadequacy is nothing.”

 

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

-Scoot xx