Tag Archive | Homework

Summer Delights

I love summer. It’s my second favorite season, just after winter (why? because in winter it’s harder to sweat profusely when talking to someone you reeeeally like). And there are certain things that make summer freakin’ awesome in this humble teenager’s opinion. So here goes; what makes summer so special to me.

#1 : Vacation

I think most teenagers will agree with me on this one. Summer vacation is the time to kick back, catch up on some sleep, lose sleep because of Star Wars marathons, and relax. No homework or teachers that smell like coffee and cigarettes: awesomeness!  The only down side is that it’s awfully rough not seeing your friends for two months. For some it may be a hard bridge to cross in the relationship area, but because I am single (AND HAPPY) I have no sympathy for those people. Sorry.

#2 : Warmth and Sun

I live in Normandy during the summer months, and to those of you who don’t know the area, let me clear it up for you:

Guess where I live on the map?

Guess where I am on the map?

But in the summertime, we mostly/sometimes/only kind of sort of get sunny days! And warmth means showing some skin (Don’t fret Mom, I’m not a slut. Far from it. Not that I’m a prude. Oh shut up Confused Teen you’re just ridiculing yourself) and getting a tan. Of course I have to put obscene amounts of sun screen on because I burn to a brighter red than Rudolph the Reindeer’s nose. And you know, the tan disappears as soon as autumn arrives, but in the moment that you’re lying outside, wrapped in a cocoon of warmth, it’s all worth it.

#3 : Drinks

Once again Mom, don’t get ahead of yourself. I’m not talking about alcohol here. There’s something about summer beverages that make them different from any other old drinks. Iced tea, lemonade and smoothies during the day make my taste buds go YAAAAAY (that’s figurative –> I’d freak out if my taste buds could talk.) and after dinner a sprig of mint from the garden and dollop of honey made from our bees dunked in some boiling water make an intoxicating (in a good way, again Mom, no alcohol) cup of mint tea.

#4 : Ice Cream

Actually forget it, I eat ice cream no matter what time of the year it is.

#5 : Nostril Flaring

Because of the smells. The freshly cut grass being turned into half a tonne hay bales that I have tried rather unsuccessfully to roll around, the scented candles that we put out to ward the bugs away, the salt when we come back from the beach, barbecuing steaks and then roasting marshmallows… Isn’t that an odd word, barbecuing? If you say barbecue in French it means bearded butt. Just thought that I should put that out there.

#6: Baseball Every Single Day

Awesome right? Of course being in France I don’t have the opportunity to watch many of the games, much less go to them, but I love waking up each morning wondering if the Mets won or lost the night before (our record speaks for itself) and eagerly checking the score.  And every afternoon we all grab our gloves and go play catch out on a part of the lawn that is called “the football field” and where no trees will ever be planted, for fear of assaulting them with a baseball bat. Not that that should happen. Intentionally.

#7 : Starry Nights

I have a strange fascination with the stars up above. Being claustrophobic means that I can’t be an astronaut, but I’d sure like to go up there some day. When the night is clear, I wrap myself in a blanket and tiptoe out to the hammock, where I can lie for hours, staring up at the sparkling arm of the Milky Way sweeping across the sky. I find the different constellations, the planets and spy the satellites and shooting stars. I can only describe it as magical.

#8 : Enjoying Yourself by Doing Nothing

Ah, to wake up in the late morning/early afternoon… and knowing that apart from a few necessary chores, you have nothing planned out for the day. Summer is my time for reading sappy romance novels and wishing that I wasn’t alone. It’s my time to watch videos of hot guys made by awesome friends. And it’s also my time to discover new tv series, such as Awkward. Awkward was recommended to me by the only two friends who I told about my blog, and I’ve become addicted. In a week I’ve watched all the episodes. Should I have taken my time? Yes. Do I regret that I’m done? Yes. If I went back, would I do again? Without a doubt.

#9 : My Birthday 🙂

People of the Internet, I shall turn 16 on September 5th. And yes, that’s still summer.

So good citizens of the planet known as Apricot Land, that’s about it. What about you guys? What do you love about summer?

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.

PS: my mom does not know that I have a blog.

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The French and School: a Match made in Hell

School is school. Now you might be thinking ‘geez, this one has a knack for stating the obvious’, but as the awesome Attempting Reality demonstrated, school can be very different depending on which country you’re in. And while Attempting Reality (who I love, check out her blog!) presented a more elogious description of her school, mine will be a bit more, let’s say, ranty.

There is one master key to French schools; and that is academics. Yes yes I know, academics are the key to most (I won’t say all, who knows, I might be wrong, though I find this to be unlikely) education systems, but the French, as they do with a lot of things, go over the top with it. On average, we have class from 8:30 to 4:30, although in my old junior high we went from 8 to 6. It was rough. I mean it doesn’t give you much time to enjoy life, and that’s what our teenage years are all about right? Like, YOLO people! Oh dear God, I may have just rendered my whole argument invalid by saying YOLO. And of course now I have the Lonely Island song stuck in my head. Anyway, back on topic. A study showed that we spend around 847 hours per year in school, as opposed to the 774  hours that constitute the European average. And yet our education system ranks far lower? Um, hello people? Wake up? Please, copy Finland, I beg of you.

Oh homework, I hate you so. There’s so much of you I can’t even keep up anymore. We’re supposed to spend a minimum of 4 hours a day on homework, and if you get out at 5, it gets difficult. Over the last school year (sophomore year) I pulled around 20 all-nighters, and on most nights didn’t go to bed until 2 am. It’s not healthy! Jobs after school are unheard of. And you can forget about extracurriculars, who has the time? We squeeze them in as bet as we can, after all there’s no getting into American college without ’em, but they’re a blow to the homework designated time. I should point out that none of these extracurricular activities are school operated, we have no football or baseball teams, no Friday night games, no Spring musicals. As far as french thinking goes, school is for intellectual studies only. This also means that there are no social gatherings like Homecoming or Winter Formal, much to this teenager’s sorrow (yeah, I’ve seen movies and read books. Everything happens at the dances). Quite basically, we’ve got no school spirit.

Now since we’re so focused on becoming corporate lawyers and Wall Street bankers, everything is fiercely competitive. We are ranked, cataloged, and watched closely for the duration of our scolarity, from the age of 6 ’til we’re done. And then comes the stupid part. At age 16, at the end of sophomore year, we are forced to make a life changing decision, one that will follow us for the rest of our careers. And really, once the choice is made, there’s no turning back. We have to choose in between 3 (I know, not a lot of choices) programs: S (scientific), ES (economic & social) and L (literature). They didn’t want to let me into S because I don’t have the grades in math, but I fought back hard. I want to study biology, not math! You can’t make me study economics when I’m going to become a doctor! The system is rigid and blind to individual needs, and that’s what makes it difficult to succeed. Apart from college counseling, which is particular to the EABJM, we get no guidance. You either shine or you fail. And you have to get your claws out (isn’t that a weird turn of phrase?) to get where you want.

Concerning the actual school system, we have only 3 years of high school that culminate in the grueling and infamous baccalaureate, or BAC for short. And contrarily to the american system, we don’t get to choose our classes. We have a core curriculum that we are given, so there’s no AP junk, mixing grades or anything. We move from classroom to classroom as a unit, never truly separated from each other. Since I go to an  international school, I’ll be taking the BAC OIB (with international option). Also, my school likes to torture its students by forcing a lot of tests on us: last year, the british IGCSE, next/this (oh gosh, it’s that time of year already!) year the american SAT and in ‘terminale’ the french BAC. We’re being prepared for ‘prepa’, which is a 2 year ordeal wherein you have no social life whatsoever, thus no development. All I can say is; college is the easy, more expensive way out for me, and it is going to be a breeze!

Now as much as I hate the french school system with all my might, I do love some aspects of my everyday school life. I love the exhiliarating feeling of flying towards the subway station in the morning, knowing that if I miss the next one I’ll be late. I love seeing my friends when I enter the classroom. I love grabbing some takeout chinese food and rushing to my friend’s house to watch an episode of How I Met Your Mother before classes begin for the afternoon. I love guessing what tie my Physics teacher will be wearing (Snoopy? M&M’s?). I love spending all of my money on Starbucks (seriously, 5 bucks for a Chai Tea? Come on Seattle, get your sh*t together) when the day is done. I love accompagnying my friends to their subway stop even though I then have a longer trip back. I love homewor- oh wait no I don’t, I’ve gone too far 😉

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.

The woes of a procrastinator

I am, without a doubt, a very adept procrastinator. I’m constantly saying “oh, I’ll do this later”. Later, I either forget or put it off until the next day. It’s really quite a vicious circle. The fact is, I have a very hard time getting things done, and for a high schooler with a busy enough life, this is dangerous.

My biggests problems are social media (Facebook) and TV shows. As soon as I get home after school I turn on my computer. I plant the excuse that I’m doing so so I can start my homework,  as much of it requires research and typing papers, but my asshole of a subconscious knows full well why I’m clicking on the Firefox icon. I can spend hours watching reruns of Friends and How I Met Your Mother, scrolling through Facebook and looking at cute clothes online that I clearly can’t afford.

As a result, I often find myself going to bed at 2 or 3 am, if at all. There have been times when I’ve bipassed my mom and stayed up all night furiously trying to write a paper for English class that was assigned 3 weeks ago. I sometimes skip lunch to work on homework that hasn’t been done yet, only to find that the teacher is absent (man, I really hate when that happens). It’s gotten rough. And from what the school announced about the always increasing homework load for next year, it’s only going to get worse.

But for now, it’s summer vacation, so I can blog and read and watch and scroll as much as I want. My parents are always telling me that I have horrible time management issues. Yeah, well I blame them! At least I’m not procrastinating in the food domain. Nope, I’d do anything for the sweet, rich, gooey taste of a chocolate chip cookie in my mouth. That’s not at all weird right?

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.