I can't say that I've had the most "normal" of school careers. I started out in a private, two room schoolhouse (yes, and I am only 17 - not 85 like my profile suggests) with 1 classmate in my kindergarten class. We had the most charming teacher named Mrs. Turtles who would make us feel special on our birthday - i distinctly recall getting a cupcake and the whole school sang to me - and who made learning fun. We got to have story time, be creative with things like playdough and also there was a bit of seriousness too when she would do little tests with us to determine how sharp our memory or recognition of things was. I progressed from 1 classmate to two when I graduated to grade 1 and came home to join in with my siblings and be homeschooled. I liked being homeschooled. In fact, I loved it. I got to be home alot of the time and I got to see TONS of my Grandma who I adored (and still do (!) - to both of those things :). I have memories of trying to get a day or two or more ahead in school so I could have long weekends or a day off when I visited my Grandma while Mom was at work (she worked shiftwork). Grandma and I always had more important things to do like play dominos or scrabble or dutch blitz and the like. By the time I was 11 or so, I was starting to get burnt out with school and it was around then that I switched my focus to violin. I became obsessive about it.... I started practicing 2 hours a day....then 3...then 4.....it got worse than that too. I adored violin. At first I think it was more because I was so upset about having to quit ballet and dance which I had done since I was three (I had developed a physical problem that was severely aggravated by ballet) and it was a way of dealing with my frustration and sadness at having to say goodbye to that part of my life but it soon blossomed into something really special when I finally found the right teacher. But point made, I basicly dropped out of school. When I was 15 I decided I should probably figure out some way to complete school, my brother had just graduated after deciding to go back to public school, my sister hadn't ever graduated but somehow she managed to get into university, now it was only me. I signed up for two courses - yes that's right, two. German and English AP. Hmmmm... I took those for the 2004/2005 school year and I fell in love with my English teacher Mr. Lines. He's the most amazing teacher ever to exsist. He's got you in stitches the entire class and at the same time is the most motivating person who makes learning what it should be....interesting, rewarding and fun. This year, I got more adventurous and took up a full courseload. History, Socials, English AP, English Lit and Math. History and English AP were both with Mr. Lines = bliss! I had a blast. English Lit involved a rugby teacher who's sense of humour is subtle but highly entertaining and to look at him you'd think he should be a bouncer at the bar as opposed to teacher highschool English. He was also very fun. My Math teacher was very good, but I don't get or understand math after jumping into a math 11 course when the most recent math schooling was in grade 7 or grade 8. Socials, well the teacher was good. He had good information but he didn't really leave me feeling like I enjoyed the course at all and the class I was in wasn't a particularly enjoyable class either. But alas, I got through a crazy year and here I am! Done! Bon Voyage Pen High!
This is it.... I'm DONE HIGHSCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wrote my last exam this morning. I think it went well. The only thing special I got "extra" for graduation was my hair done and a pair of chandelier earrings. I feel incrediably pretty and tonight should be a blast! :D
Today in preperation for being done school on Thursday I have started to go through my stuff and throw out all my no longer necessary notes and extra papers and practice exams. I was in the process of doing this when I came across my essay topic options for when I wrote my Heart of Darkness essay back in the early spring. At the bottom of the topic options was this funny little cartoon that I thought I would share with you all.
Well last night was fun. The day started off not so fun...nosebleed 20 minutes into my 3 hour provincial exam that you aren't allowed to leave during, but then it got better.
This is my last week of teaching before summer "vacation" begins. As a special treat last night for the music school's string recital I got to hear and play with many of my students and then last on the program was the academy string orchestra in which I was fortunate to be the soloist playing Summer from the four seasons. I didn't get very long to learn the piece, only a few weeks but I managed to pretty much get it down and memorised with my limited practicing due to my hand injury. I'm working on uploading the video to youtube and can see the first mvt performance by clicking here. The one tricky thing is my A had gone pretty much false and my G string had slipped making playing in tune a challenge in addition I had to wait for the 3 hour marathon recital to finally come to an end with me but it was a lot of fun. A really thoughtful touch was my boss arranged it so that one of my students gave me a boquet at the end of my performance. I'll try and add more pictures later but I put some of the ones that were taken with my camera here.
*edit* update - 2nd and 3rd mvts of the Vivaldi can be viewed here.
Tomorrow is my last full day of school before exam period begins and now I'm having mixed feelings. I'm super excited about school being done but now I have to clean out my locker and all the memories of it for the last time. I have to peel everything off the walls of the miniscule metal locker that I have shared with my friend all year. It's time to have my lunch "by the piller" for the last time. The spot that last September my three friends and I from English claimed as "our" spot that only once got invaded by outsiders. My Mom can go to my school and find her graduation picture, I can find her graduation picture. I won't get to go to my school again and find my graduation picture. It's being torn down. Not the entire school but the auditorium that I've posted pictures of before that I so love, and some of the other buildings are already being demolished and my two favorite buildings, Shatford and Ellis are being gutted. *Sigh*
A friend escorted me through the school last week to take some pictures so we could have some visual memories... You can see the pictures by clicking on this highlighted part of my blog entry.
Goodbye Penticton Secondary School. For all the ups and downs (more downs than ups) I will miss you!
5 more days of regular classes and then the exams begin. It's the beginning of the end! Or something like that.... When June 29th comes around I will be incrediably happy. Well even June 26th as that's the last really stressful day of the next couple of weeks. Between June 21st and June 29th I have to write 4 government exams and I have 4 concert gigs that include repertoire like...Summer from the four seasons, the Wieniawski D minor concerto and the Prokofieff Sonata for two violins. To have my life back again will be nice. I will miss my students this summer though but all of them are coming back next year (and some new ones)!
Today we had something called "Grad napping" at school which is an unfortunate tradition where the girls are supposed to kidnap the guys and dress them up like girls. I have to admit some of the guys looked pretty funny, I dare say some looked better in their feminin state than in their regular "masculine" state. If you dare to see a sampling of what I had to witness today at school you may do so here.
I recieved my music yesterday for YAE in Vancouver. I am playing Arensky's D minor piano trio! I adore that trio but don't have a recording of it so I'm going to try and find a recording ASAP. I will be borrowing a couple of recordings to tie me over until I determine which one I really want to purchase.
It's been storming here for days now! It's like living in Vancouver! Constant rain! I love it! :D Other news...I found a couple of nice summery shirts and a skirt today for a very good price. They made me excited! I don't really have any summer clothes that fit aside from a single pair of capris.
You stare at me as if I am a mad man, wandering out here on the snow and ice. How did I get out here you ask? Well, it would only be right if I told you from the very beginning, about the time before I began upon my pursuit out here in this desolate waste land otherwise it will do nothing but fuel your thoughts and affirm your notions of my madness.
Now, the beginning, a time when I was happy and didn't have a care in the world. My family and friends were my joys and focus of my life. I had a very happy childhood with more opportunities than most young boys my age yet I was concerned only by the affairs of my family and my interest in the natural alchemists of the early days. It was at the end of those young and blissful days that my father, as he and his father before had, sent me to get an education at the University of Ingolstadt. When I first left I was incredibly sorrowful about leaving my family, especially my dear cousin Elizabeth but soon my professors had my attention focused on other pursuits and thus the beginning of what has led me here began.
Once I became comfortable at Ingolstadt I threw away the philosophies of the early alchemists from my childhood and focused on the modern natural philosophers and chemists. I became fascinated and consumed with the creation of life out of something inanimate. I resolved that I would work until I discovered how to create life and had succeeded in having it breathe a breath of fresh air. I told no one of my labors to create such a being, resembling that of a human but enormous in size and strength but kept it a secret until this very day. You are probably reeling in shock at the idea of creating such a being. I was reeling too, in ecstasy of my accomplishments until at last it came to life. Oh, if only I had known what would become of my monster I would have never created him and instead retreated back to Geneva and my family...... Elizabeth. *Sigh*
After the monster slaughtered my brother, he left my family and me in grief. He forced me to pursue him. When I met him he told me how it was really him who suffered and for a moment I truly felt that he had been wronged. Reluctantly, I agreed to his demands in hopes that he would leave me and those close to me alone and for a short while I became happy again. I departed for England where I rented a small hut to work. Again in peace and unbeknownst to others I began to work on another hideous beast that my monster had demanded of me. In the last days of my labor I was overcome with the terrible reality of what I was doing and the unknown future it would bring if I gave this new being life. What if it rejected the monster already alive? What if the two began a horrendous rampage together? How could I live with myself if I were to create such an accomplice for my already malice monster? I didn't care about the threats my monster shed on me when he learned of my abandonment of his demands. My only regret was to have not pursued and killed him then but I was too overcome with his fleeing words...... “I shall be with you on your wedding night” ...if only I had known the extent of what he had truly meant perhaps things would have been different.....
Alas... After that encounter which enraged the monster and myself, I deposited all the evidence of my devlish work on the bottom of the sea when I got taken over by a storm. I came to rest in a small Irish village where my creation had struck again this time killing my dear friend from childhood, Henry Clerval and somehow I was the one blamed. Sickened and my health completely gone, I was thrown in jail until proven innocent of the crimes charged against me. Once released from jail my dear father took me home to Geneva... ah to go home at last.... where I was set to marry my cousin Elizabeth as soon as my health warranted. My monsters words haunted me and I resolved to tell Elizabeth what I had done and told her I upon my return that I had a very dark secret to share but would not tell her until after we were married.
Our wedding was not a joyous occasion. Elizabeth was uncomfortable about my secret and my mind was wandering constantly as I tried to spy out my monster and intercept his attempts to harm and kill me. That night when Elizabeth and I went back to the mansion I asked her to give take my leave to the bedroom as I explored the building in search of the hiding menace, his words “I'll be with you on your wedding night” still ringing strong in my ears. Oh the horror! The horror! I heard a scream and I was met with a sudden, sick realization as to what my creation had truly meant back in England.
The monster had killed my wife!
He meant to keep me alive and torment me while destroying that which was closest to me and that I derived all my joy from. The grief that struck me as I realized that my experiment had now, through my allowances, killed three of my closest acquaintances and through the trial of one had killed another was too much to bear. Again I watched in torment as my monster.... as I.... claimed yet another victim. My father. The pain of losing Elizabeth, whom he had raised from a small child, was too much to grasp, he became ill and died. I was left alone. No friends. No family.
The world is a cruel cruel place. If only I could have predicted the unhappiness and torment my creation would cause I would have never thought twice about creating such a being. How could I have been so ignorant? How I ask you! Surely if I had only thought a little more I could have predicted the negative possibilities enough to save my family. Is there nothing I have done right towards fixing this problem? I wish I could go back and fix my mistakes..... how could such a brilliant experiment go so incredibly wrong?
My monster forced me to pursue him.... he controlled my every move, making my life livable but ensuring that every single step was agonizing... I sensed that the monster derived joy in seeing my pain. He wanted to see me suffer. He would leave clues for me so that I could continue my pursuit but never was I able to encompass and destroy him. We went on in this manner for days, for months.... The monster had said that I was his tormentor, now he was mine.
How does my story end? You'll have to wait awhile.... I'm exhausted from my journey and I need to rest. Adieu.
What a day....what a week even but mainly, what a day. It was 12:30 and I was counting the minutes to lunch break at school, when I could satisfy the grumbling in my tummy. The bell goes, yay freedom (!) and I wind my way down through the two big historical buildings of the campus to the main building with a student lounge and microwave. Ah, heat! My homemade shepherd's pie (curtesy of self) just starting to warm up on the outer edges... a yummy scent coming from the little glowing box. *BANG* the whole lounge is illuminated with light from the dark sky outside. The microwave continues to wrrr as the sky gets blacker still and rain (see picture below) begins to pour. *BANG* another crack of thunder and lightening rattle the room, this time the fire alarms go off. The next sound I hear is the groaning of fellow students in the halls.. fire alarms mean you have to leave the building...the outdoors are not particularly appealing (or much safer) in an electrical storm. I grabbed my partially frozen lunch, grabbed my back pack and ran for the nearest exit amidst the rush of people (my school has roughly 1800 students). I found momentary "shelter" under a ledge standing in about 6 inches of water that was rushing past me. This area near my school is known as the smoking pit and as many began to gather and the space became cramped and the tobacco came out, I left.... I found sort of shelter under another area but was still very much exposed to the water pouring out of the sky. So after a long while standing there, getting wet and after fire trucks had come to investigate the alarm, school officials came around and told us we were being evacuated to a nearby middle school. We were told the school was struck by lightning and that someone had seen smoke coming from one of the buildings. So you can imagine 1800 students pile their way up to another, smaller school and then all the kids from a massive track meet nearby also added to the cramped spaces at the school. After wandering around trying to find someone that I knew, I was successful and they had a phone! I tried calling somoene to let them know what was going on and I was unable to reach anyone. Eventually the all clear was given and the storm cleared and the school was ruled safe, so we were able to return and still have the last half of our last block class for the day. What a weird ordeal though! I was squishy and wet for the rest of the day though which was rather uncomfortable.
After all that, I'm home now, dry and relatively happy. I just have a history test tomorrow that I don't want to think about.....
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