Tag Archive | SAT

Still Alive *let the world rejoice*

msray2008.com

msray2008.com

It’s always hard to come back after a long absence. This much has been demonstrated by the string of ill-fated train-wrecks released by Psy since Gangnam Style rocked the world. I don’t know if I can keep writing with the gusto I did a year ago, and I’m quite worried that I’ll let you guys down. Heck, I don’t even know if anyone will read this, I have been told that if one stops blogging regularly, one loses a great deal of readership. People of the ultimate achievement of Spiderman (get it? the Web. oh dear, what am I saying), I don’t want to end up like Psy, which is why I intend to make my return to the world of blogging as triumphantly as possible. There’s only one problem: when I try to be triumphant, I usually end up doing something stupid and causing the severe embarrassment of everyone around me, while I stare at the results of my so-called triumph and wonder where the fudge I went wrong. So this time, instead of proudly prancing around before tripping and falling down the stairs (which, um, never happened *gag*), I’m going to triumph by slowly easing back into The Mostly Confused Teenager, hopefully as easily as Rory Williams comes back to life every time he dies.

For the past few months, I have been a nerdy, anti-social recluse. Now this has been caused partly by the great deal of exams I have had to take and partly by the power of procrastination, which lately has been taking the form of Game of Thrones episodes. I had finals in April, the SAT in June and the first part of my baccalaureate strangling me from behind until a few days ago. Over this period of time I became a pale, weak version of an apricot, who’s sad life consisted of getting up having slept an average of 5 hours, struggling through the morning, working at lunch, looking like a zombie in the afternoon and going straight to the library after classes until it closed. I thank the great cookie in the sky that I was too busy to blog, otherwise The Mostly Confused Teenager would have been replete with inspiring statements to be read in overly melodramatic voices such as:
“The wind and rain are howling and lashing inside my soul”
“My one comfort is knowing that the world will still have cookies once I’m gone” or even
“I will only be happy again once the Mets have won the World Series”
Depressing huh? It was a dark time for good old CT, and when I got to the point where I was relying on a completely hopeless team for happiness I realized that I needed to snap out of it.

So, ladies, gentlemen, both, neither and aliens, here I am; on vacation and back to my old if slightly more wrinkled self. And as I age with as much grace and wisdom as Yoda (shh. no comment. let me live out my dream); return to blogging I will.

Live long and prosper \V/
Sincerely,
The Mostly Confused Teenager.

PS: Happy 4th of July to all you ‘Muricans out there. May you overdrink, overeat and overspend in peace and freedom.

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A New Hope

2013MERRY CHRISTMAS! Oh wait, that’s past isn’t it. Hum… well, what comes after Christmas? The New Year, right. Ohmygosh 2013 is over already? How time does fly *takes southern accent and shakes head slowly like an old and wise pomegranate peel*

I spent the last evening of 2013 playing Scrabble. This is unbelievably unbelievable for me as 1) I suck at it, and 2) I don’t like it. Upon second reflection my dislike of the game may have something to do with my ability to play it. Anyway, I guess that it’s rather fitting, I’m seeing the year out the same as it’s been for the past 365 days: awful. Because of this I feel totally uninspired when it comes to talking about the past year, which is why I’m going to move right on to my hopes for the year to come. And that’s 2014, in case any of you have been stuck in a cave for a (very long) while.

Firstly, I hope that I’ll find it in me to write 2014 on my school papers. Every year it’s the same old deal: a student’s mind not having registered that a new year of scholastic failure is upon it, it tells the hand to write the year that came before. In my case I stopped registering the new year in 2010, so I still find myself having to angrily turn the 0 into some other number, so that it ends up looking like a potato that has felt the hard times and decided to suicide under the first backhoe that should come along.

Secondly, I would like to get my learner’s permit and be able to drive. My mom told me that on the day of her 16th birthday, the first thing she did was race (get it? no? let’s blame it on the New Year’s alcohol then.) down and register for driving lessons. On my 16th birthday I stuffed my face with cake and cookies until I was about to explode. I want to be able to go to my friends’ when I have homework to do, go shopping and spend all my money on things  I don’t need and finally be in a badass car chase that, while it will undoubtedly end with my licence getting taken away, will have been worth it. Hold your ridiculously cool sunglasses Blues Brothers, CT is coming to town.

2014 will see the start of my last year of high school, my SAT scores and my college applications. Dear Great Cookie in the sky, please make the scores stellar and the universities that I apply to accepting! (get it again? still no? damned alcohol I tell you) Otherwise I might be forced to disown you as my favorite deity. Now now, don’t be that way, you know that I could never actually do that. Still, 800s would be nice, and a get into Vassar and Tufts free card would be just peachy. Just… peachy.

Thirdly, I would awfully like my sports teams to be successful. For the Patriots, that starts right at the beginning of the year with the playoffs. I know that we’re not first seed and have an extremely small chance of winning it all, but let’s give ’em a run for their money anyway, whaddya say? Let’s knock Peyton Manning off his high horse. I’m now getting so worked up that I almost just took out my giant alligator named- uh, you don’t need to know. And also, let’s go Mets! 2014 is our year! Sort of, not really, hardly at all. Oh well, let’s go anyway *voice slowly descends ’til it reaches a barely audible whisper*

Finally, I have decided that 2014 would be a prime year to grow up. I need to become serious, lose the childish gullibleledniss (I just couldn’t end 2013 without making up one last word), the constant laughing. I’m going to walk around with a briefcase and be all business-like and no fun at all. If you fell for one word of that growing up nonsense, I highly suggest that you not allow yourself any cookies until next year. See what I did there? I feel so proud 🙂 No, I think I’ll continue being immature, making awful jokes, keeping a blog that is a great helper when it comes to procrastinating and enjoying every second I spend in the kind, funny world of the Internet (see Mom? nothing to worry about here) and making new friends in the most ridiculous ways possible.

Frankly, I don’t know who will read this. The holidays are a time when not many people find time to consecrate to their favorite pastimes, myself included. However to anyone out there who might be reading a silly 16 year old girl’s blog, I wish you all the best for the year to come, and I do so hope that you’ll keep checking in on old CT from time to time. If she doesn’t die from a chocolate overdose. She has been eating a lot of chocolate lately. In that case, checking in on her might be futile.

So HAPPY NEW YEAR, and for the last time in 2013:

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.

PS: And if you were looking for resolutions, I have decided that since I will without a doubt  abandon them in a dumpster where all the drunks end up tomorrow morning; it is not worth is to take the time to write them all down. Except for one really: eat cookies. The one New Year’s resolution I know I can achieve.

PPS: These are wishes, not resolutions. This basically means that when I look back at the end of 2014 I won’t feel so bad that I didn’t accomplish, um, well we’ll just have to see shan’t we? As a certain Doctor Who character would say… spoilers 😉

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.

Spelling it out

Oh the irony...

Oh the irony!

As a little American girl growing up in a foreign country, my parents were practically neurotic about teaching me the language that they had grown up with: English. Now I never had any issues speaking English, I have a bona fide American accent, but spelling and grammar were more difficult, because I was learning two languages at the same time. See French and English are two very different languages with different sets of rules, yet some words, such as marriage (in French; mariage) are annoyingly similar.

So I was brought up in the cult of good spelling, and I suppose reading a lot of Calvin and Hobbes helped somewhat (you’d be surprised what a six year old and his stuffed tiger can teach you about life). Everything was going perfectly according to my parents quiet scheme until 6th grade. With 6th grade came great responsibility. Sort of. In the form of a giant Nokia brick that I loved with all my might. All it could do was call, text and let me play snake, but it was enough for me. I discovered the wonderful world/time sink that is technology.

I started texting with my friends in an abbrieviated language form. “Ne t’inquiète pas” (don’t stress your pumpkin juice don’t worry) became “tkt”. In English, “see you at four” was transformed into “c u @ 4″. At first, I freakin’ loved it. I felt cool and hip. My very smart parents, seeing what was happening, yelled at/alerted me that my french spelling grades were slipping fast and threatened to cut off my cookie supply if I didn’t fix things. This being, of course, unacceptable, I started writing the full words in my text messages. Some people thought is was lame, but looking back, I couldn’t be happier that I started writing correctly again, because seeing how some of our world is spelling today, I’m rather scared for generations to come.

I’m not saying that I’m perfect, on the contrary, I make mistakes like everybody else, but seeing my baby (um… 14 year old) brother asking a girl out by proposing ‘wana go sea a movi?” on Facebook makes me sad, worried and angry all at the same time.

Am I taking this too far and over-dramatizing the situation?

Dear readers, thank you for listening to my rant. It means a lot. In other news, I got A* on my IGCSE (international GCSE) so I’m really proud right now! Next year, SAT. Ugh.

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.