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Friday, May 20, 2011

Days 4 and 5

On Thursday, I kept thinking all day that it was Friday. It started with a couple free periods of me desperately trying to avoid studying for an anatomy test I had last period. In fact, it seemed that those notes were following me everywhere on Thursday, but I had this strange insistence on not learning the material. I found myself saying hi to more people than usual in the halls, but I also think my self-esteem was a little lower that day.
I feel obligated to mention yearbooks. I have been wavering back and forth between enjoying exchanging the yearbooks and being annoyed. I'm always willing to leave a message and sign if someone asks me, and I appreciate the messages people leave me, but sometimes I think it's too much pressure to sum up a four-year relationship in one corner of a page, or even on an entire page. Does the amount of writing reflect the magnitude of our relationship? When did it become an insult to simply leave a signature? Also, those books are a little too heavy for me to lug around all day. I hope that twenty years from now I won't regret my lack of enthusiasm for book-signing. After all, the tradition's lasted for a while, so it has to be good for something, right?
Thursday night, I slept through my first dance class, so I only went from 7-9, and I left really frustrated because my injured feet are really giving me a hard time. Of course, this isn't a matter of life and death, but I was pretty quick to project my issue into future college studies. I think a lot of stress I'm dealing with right now is just coming from the hope that I have a good college experience. After dance, I fell asleep before finishing my English project and set my alarm early, but it didn't go off Friday morning, so that still has yet to be finished. I also forgot the notes for a death and dying test, but that information was successfully crammed in during the two free periods before the test.
In reflection, I definitely could have and should have gathered information more thoroughly and documented more often - this would have aided me in noticing general behavior patterns. This in itself, however, is a testament to the nature of this week. My original intention was to blog every night before I went to bed, but I instead ended up blogging in the middle of the following day, by which time I had forgotten a lot. We seem to be caught between two  desires: to finish high school strongly, and to just be finished with high school! Hopefully, at graduation, most of us will have realized both.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 3

Wednesday morning I, once again, woke up late. It was an early dismissal day, and yet the school day seemed to be just as long as usual, if not longer. I am now finding boredom in every single class, unless I'm laughing. How can humor be rising at the same time as frustration? I must include, however, that there was an extra variable. I reinjured my foot in class Tuesday night, and I'm in a constant struggle to keep dancing, so I really didn't appreciate that kind of setback. I think it was on my mind all day. The only part of class that I truly enjoyed was when I went to a "fiesta festa" at the Italian class next to mine, to which someone had brought a quesadilla maker. After that, I sat in the parking lot for about half an hour (my Sophomore friend was particularly slow getting out to the car), then got home and called my friend. We were going to go biking, but Emily didn't want to get wet, so we watched Harry Potter instead (it had just come in on Netflix). Why were we so quick to forfeit to the couch? We don't even like Harry Potter that much.
As far as disposition goes, I'm still both easily distracted and quick to argue back, which is taking a bit of a toll on my conversations with my parents. For some reason, it took about five reminders for me to take the recycling out, and after each reminder, my mom received a nice eye roll and big sigh from yours truly. I did, however, still have the common decency to try to make amends after supper. Then a friend came over for an Anatomy study party that lasted about two hours, ten minutes of which we actually spent on studying. It was interesting how we were both so willing to kind of spill our guts about our pasts and our insecurities, even though we haven't really hung out that much outside of school before. This, I believe, is another example of people no longer paying attention to future social consequences, because we're about to enter a completely new environment anyways. I fell asleep talking to my sister about astrology, in which she has recently taken a great interest. We looked up birthday-based descriptions of all of our friends. I was suddenly curious about people about whom a few months ago I really didn't care.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 2

Tuesday: I wake up about 20 minutes late, and feel particularly tired. Eat a big bowl of cereal. I'm pretty taciturn with my Dad for no apparent reason. When I get to school, I really don't feel like leaving my friends in the lobby to tutor someone in French, but I do it anyways. I notice that fewer kids are in the lobby than usual - I guess we're caring less and less about punctuality. I didn't pay attention in my first three classes, then went to free in the lounge, where I had to break up a couple verbal spats among my friends. After my last class, I got to leave an hour and a half early, deposited my pay check, and went home and slept for an hour and a half. Then I ate dinner, walked my dog, and went to dance for four hours (I usually only stay for two). I went home cranky because it seems I reinjured my foot, showered, and watched TV until 11:30.
It really seemed that my motivation is picking up in some areas but dropping in other areas (particularly high school). Although I still laugh easily, and I love being with my friends, I and the people around me seem less concerned about socializing and any sort of social appearance, because we know that soon we won't be around these people anymore anyways. Less effort is put into being cheery - if we're tired, or in a bad mood, we don't care who knows it. Also, normally I would not have forced myself to stay awake for TV, because I knew I was exhausted, but consequences really aren't pondered much these days. I still have English homework to be doing, and plenty of free time during the day to do it, but I'd much rather just talk with my friends. Everyone, to sum up, is being very honest with themselves, because there's no reason to be fake.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 1

I have intentionally left this quarter's blogging assignment for the last week of school. I have decided to document this week in detail, particularly focusing on the behavior of kids my age - studying habits, eating habits, exercise, temperament, sleeping patterns (obviously self-documentation will be easiest and probably most prominent). Yesterday was Monday. I got a little over six hours of sleep, had a bowl of cereal, packed my lunch, didn't do my hair, and was out the door. I showed up just in time for homeroom. My first two periods were free, and surprisingly, rather filled with schoolwork. I spent some time on the wiki assignment due that night, then watched my two friends basically memorize Tuesdays with Morrie for a small Death and Dying quiz; I, however, decided not to participate in the study session ("too tired"). I think I passed...? More free periods, lots of kids doing homework that was already due. Another surprise - none of my friends wanted to go outside, even though it wasn't raining. I was really hoping for some frisbee. People were not particularly bubbly. Probably just a case of the Mondays, but also I'm suspecting a little doubt in some people that we're actually going to graduate. This may be a long week.
After school, I forced myself to go to the gym, but only finished a little over three miles on the elliptical before I was done. I took a quick shower, shoveled in some dinner, and gave my dog a pretty pathetic excuse for a walk so I could bike to work and make it before 5. It was busy for a Monday evening, because it's the last week of classes at UD as well, so lots of students are hunkering down in their rooms and ordering from Wings to Go/Freddy's. Some of my coworkers are about to graduate college, and they were incredibly antsy during the slow periods - even more than me, and I'm basically dancing around behind the counter whenever I can get the chance. Possibly the highlight of my day was convincing my friend, Emily, who is home from college, to come order a late dinner and walk me home at 9. I find, oddly enough, that she, now a sophomore in college, is currently feeling the same kind of boredom and almost-anxiety that I am. This is because she's home, and already bored. She wants to feel the productivity that she was feeling a week ago. In my case, I haven't felt truly productive in months. So I got home, put some finishing touches on an assignment due at midnight, forgot to blog, gave my dog another gypped walk, did some pilates, and went to bed sometime after 11.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Self-Assessment

My pageviews increased significantly at the beginning of the third quarter. This was when I started offering the link to my blog on facebook, adding labels to my posts, and telling my friends and family about it. Other than that, my blog remained fairly constant - I did not change my subject matter, or the frequency of my posting, nor did I add social media very often. And yet, in the month of January, my views jumped by about 150. They have since dropped back down to below 100 - this is possibly because the facebook statuses are losing effectiveness, or maybe the graph is not accounting for the fact that the month of March is not yet over.

My most popular post by far was about religion. I think that this is because it incorporated several cultures and religions under one idea, which made it appealing to many. This is also the post with which I probably still agree the most upon re-reading. Facebook, Blogspot, and Google are by far the most common traffic sources (in that order), which means that about 4 out of every 5 of my readers have been a personal acquaintance, and about 1 out of 5 readers has been primarily interested in the subject matter. If my posts were more consistent, or perhaps thorough, I think that this ratio might be a little different.

My readers are not yet invested enough in my blog to recognize the label "scooter-pootin" as a point of interest. I am still mostly receiving new readers who stumble upon (no pun intended) my blog and read it out of curiosity, not attachment or necessity.

It seems that, for the most part, theoretical posts that could apply to a large number of people are what receive the most views. With some exceptions, the posts that focused on my personal situation, or even that of my high school, got fewer hits. This makes sense to me, because as a class, we were talking about the effectiveness of keeping a constant theme on one's blog - it keeps people coming back for more when they can rely on the subject matter. I, however, have no theme, and was not lacking readers by any means. This is because, although some of my posts went rather unnoticed, the ones that were appreciated were appreciated by a rather large, indiscriminate group of people.

Remaining uncertainties include how to "follow" other bloggers, as well as how to keep blog advertising from losing its effectiveness. Facebook statuses and labels worked well in attracting readers. Word-of-mouth was less effective, because it's not documented on the internet. It's said once, then forgotten. I would give myself a B minus, because I although I take pride in not compromising any aspects of my blog for more readers, I could have gone a little further in the advertising side of it.

I have learned that blogging audiences are different than audiences of literature, films, or any other type of fictional media in that they are much more concerned with the information to be obtained that with the style with which it is presented. Eloquence, although it helps, does not draw in readers, because one cannot search for a particular writing style or level of skill via internet. I have also learned that what may seem like mundane thoughts to me might actually seem interesting and different to other people. In the future, I will try to take advantage of my unique brain and opinions when writing, instead of trying to conform to what people might want to hear. This has proven to me that I do indeed have something to say, even if and when I don't know it.
Lately I've been questioning the true value of determination. It's a characteristic held in high regard all over the world, especially in the West. Now, far be it from me to try to undermine the opinions of all those who have preceded me, but lately I've been noticing some serious negatives. Determination requires great focus and attention. Since we are imperfect beings, we cannot give our attention to many things at once - and we can only give our "undivided" attention to one thing at a time (hence the term). And yet, it is common knowledge that the most successful, or at least the happiest, people are well-rounded. Does not true determination contradict with just that sentiment? For example, the determination to finish a research paper often requires that one disregard the human need for sleep, which could also impair not only performance in other classes and athletic activities, but also one's relationships. Most people become pretty irritable when sleep-deprived, and may resort to saying hurtful things in their frustration. And all for one paper? Another example: "work-a-holics" (a term that does not follow the rules of word endings at all, but nonetheless has been established as a recognizable word) who fail to spend enough time with their families, and prioritize their carrers and salaries over their sanity. I am sure that there is a happy medium between exclusive determination towards one thing and the inability to apply oneself at all, but can we still call that medium determination? Is it perhaps more along the lines of anticipating consequences?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring Fever

Today I felt particularly energized. I was not expecting this - we all lost an hour of sleep last night. Some might argue that it's because I gave up coffee for Lent, but I drank some this morning because it's a Sunday. But I didn't even finish the whole cup, and my usual Sunday is very depressing no matter how much coffee I drink, because I know that the next day is Monday. So why today? I think I was infected with that wonderful disease of Spring Fever. The sun was so high in the sky this afternoon! I haven't enjoyed walking my dog that much in a long time. It didn't bother me that I'm currently breaking a personal record for most homework enforced in one weekend. I think I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm sprinting to the finish (sorry to combine two unrelated metaphors). Now, some might argue that this is dangerous - we haven't even finished the third quarter, and my grades have seen better days. I also still have the majority of my research paper to write. But I would disagree. I think I can turn this fever into a motivation, rather than an obstacle. If I'm almost done, then I have no reason to fear. I can't burn out, because time is on my side.
So for at least the third quarter, I'm going to use my ailment to push the limits. No guarantees for fourth quarter - by then, it's much too warm out for school.