I’m tired. I took the PSAT on Wednesday, and I’m tired. What will happen to me if I didn’t do well enough to get a National Merit Scholarship?
I’m taking the SAT in December. I hope I’ll only need to take it once. My brother and sister only took theirs once; I don’t want to disappoint anyone.
I wish I had taken more AP classes this year; I’m only taking two now. I’ll have to take three–probably four–next year: AP Physics 2 (or C, I forget which–I’m taking 1 now), AP English, Calculus, and APUSH. Perhaps also AP Psychology, so I can earn that extra 5.0. I would like to take Accounting II, which would count as both a CATE class and an elective credit; and Computer Programming II, which is the same. I’ll be exhausted next year, I know this. But being tired is good for you. How else would you get used to the crippling exhaustion that will plague you for the rest of your adult life?
The exhaustion will be worth it if I can get into a good college. I don’t want to burden my parents; I want to get into college and graduate and find a job and support myself. The creepy guy that I stopped talking to thought this was strange; he told me as much. He said I had to be more social. That’s part of the reason I started to hate being around him; he kept telling me I “should” and “have to”. I said I didn’t want him to walk me home; he said I would “just have to get used to it,” like I was the one who had to change because he wanted to do something. I don’t like people who tell me to do things when they care even less about school and their future than I do. I don’t like people who talk to me when I clearly don’t want to talk. I don’t like people who don’t know to leave me alone when I clearly want to be alone.
Also, his ex-girlfriend–and his friends–are bizarre. The first time I met his ex, I think she was trying to deliberately creep me out by asking me these bizarre questions and doing weird stuff. She asked if I had a dirty mind (wouldn’t you like to know); if I knew what furries were (I’m not stupid); told me that she was a cat (all the time or sometimes); also told me that she was a fox when she wasn’t a cat (that’s interesting, I love foxes); said that she’s “not like other Asians” (do you mean the ‘cool’ Asians who dye their hair and hang out in groups and listen to K-pop, or the ‘school’ Asians who are good at math and have no social life); said that she was the weirdest person ever (I’ve seen weirder.) She told the creep that I seemed really calm. She seemed surprised when I wasn’t fazed by her. I don’t get fazed by strange or odd people; the weirder they are, the more capable I am of being stable and calm. Anyway, they asked me if I wanted to join their little “game” of taking stuff from each other and doing that thing–you know, where you throw it from person to person and refuse to give it back. I’ve had that done to me before–multiple times–and I hate people who do that, with a passion, because I feel like it’s disrespectful. I told them as much, and they all stopped and stared at me like they had never heard anything so stupid in their lives.
Long story short–I started to despise everything about that stalker-like guy, from the way he talked to the things he talked about to the way he talked to me to the way he followed me to the way he had no sense of time to the way he had no sense of responsibility when it came to organizing things to his friends–who, incidentally, all had the habit of staring at me in this strange way whenever I talked to the stalker-dude.
That’s school. I know plenty of nice people, and I also know a ton of people who are just as mean as the people I used to know. That’s life, I guess; you move from one place to another, searching for somewhere better, and you always end up realizing that, apparently, it doesn’t matter where you move, you’ll always find the exact same people.
I’m listening to For Sale? (Interlude) by Kendrick Lamar. I’m stressing about Monday, when my mom will have to come to the office with me to clear an absence (which one of my teachers marked me as–absent–on Friday, for some unfathomable reason, because I clearly went to all of my classes. I’m not an idiot. Why would I skip class if I wasn’t a fucking idiot? I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid.)
And I’m tired. I was going to write poetry on Figment.com but I’m too tired. I know I don’t write badly, but I don’t think anyone wants to read my poetry. I could show it to my English teacher (who is awesome and who I should write a Teacher Appreciation Post about later) but I’m still not brave enough to do that. I cringe when I think about what he thinks about my writing abilities after reading my last timed writing, which was complete shit. I got a 100 on my AP Multiple-Choice practice the other day–24/24–and I’m proud of myself for that, because to make a 3 or above on the AP exam, you only need to get half of the questions right. But I did terribly on the timed writing, which is a daily grade that’s weighted twice, and that makes me cringe, because I got an A on the first one, and a dramatic drop in points is just embarrassing.
Also, I desperately want to do well in English. I want to prove to myself that I’m not stupid. All these years later and I still think about what my eighth-grade physics teacher said to me one day after I failed a quiz: “English is all you’re good at.” It hurt like hell then, and it still stings now. When I was in China, I felt ashamed for getting good scores on English tests, but then I also felt ashamed for not always getting perfect scores because I made stupid mistakes. Sometimes my classmates would say that all I was good at was English, that I only got good rankings because I was good at English, and I would feel like a hideous fake, because English was my mother tongue, and that was all I was good at, and I couldn’t even be perfect at it.
And then I came here, and I became terrified of what other people might think if my English wasn’t good–if I wasn’t good at English, if I had an accent, if I had terrible writing abilities. I felt the shame before anything even happened. And I felt a horrible irrational pride when people told me that I speak good English, that they couldn’t tell that I lived in another country for so long. It was like a stupid relief, a stupid reassurance.
I want to prove that I did not forget. I did not forget this American tongue. I didn’t let myself forget.
Plenty of people here write terrible papers, have awful spelling abilities, have bad handwriting. It makes me shamefully relieved, to know that I’m not the worst. I’m not even that bad. And then I feel ashamed for not being the best, when I want so badly to be the best at something. It’s a horrible paradox, hating yourself for only being good at something because you’ve learned it since you were born, and hating yourself for not being the best at something that you’ve learned since you were born.
English. That’s what that class does to me. I love it so much that it stresses me out.
I have two tests, a lab, a quiz, a paper to turn in, and two group projects to present on Monday.
I have another project due on Friday.
I have two meetings to attend on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
I have to go to the library this week; I forgot to go this Friday.
I have a catapult that I still haven’t built because I’m awfully good at procrastinating and I know I have the crafting skills of a handicapped sea lion.
I am so tired. Not sad–I know I sound sad in this post–but I’m not, I’m just tired. I’m actually very happy with my life right now. I have some friends, I have my mom and sister here, I get moderately good grades, I have good music to listen to, my teachers are kind, autumn is here. I’m happy, I think. I’m just very, very tired.