Feb. 23, 2020

23 Feb - Rowana; school

Today was the last day of break - and to some extent, it was really the only day of break where I actually took a break from schoolwork. After knocking out the rest of the geometry notes & going over the most recent reading for history, I didn't think much of school. It was still productive - some piano practice, though very little bass clarinet. Also started a catalog for everything I've written. A little over ninety pieces and arrangements - not including everything I've deleted. Wow. A little over four years of work is there. And I now know which pieces I need to edit / rework / finish; along with which ones I did finish.

I'm still waiting to hear back on my most recent auditions. It'd be nice if more people reject auditions, instead of just 'not accepting' them. Seriously. Knowing I didn't make something is much better than waiting to find out if I made it (only to finally look back and find out that someone else made it). I don't have high hopes for many of them. And then the one that I did get accepted on a few days ago . . . already had a composer. So I'm only needed if that person cannot get a thing done. I'm backup. Like, it could have been noted in the audition description that they already had a primary composer and were just looking for more. I'd have liked to have that information beforehand.

Rowana. I know he'll ask about it sometime this week - though he won't. That's not how he does things. But I didn't make as much progress as I'd have liked to, or even as I should have. I mean, I made progress, yes, but I don't feel like it was enough. If it was enough progress, I'd have an idea of exactly what I was doing and what to do next and how to fill that fifty year gap. Instead, I have a Pavlov-esque serial killer at one point and random stuff that I could elaborate on but don't know how to elaborate on. It's a leisure-oriented society. What else can happen. I don't know anything about sports - and that's not what I'm about to go research.

Oh, and then there's that problem of industrialization. How exactly do they build weapons in the late 17th / early 18th century on an island without many other resources? I'm not even sure where to start with that research.

I guess having him read it will help me to clear up what else I should do / expand upon / etc. That's the best part about other readers. They make you take a step back and help you write a better piece. I hope this eventually goes somewhere beyond sitting on my computer. Traditional publishing would be the best thing, to some extent, but it might look too much like a House of Leaves knockoff. And while it was inspired by that, it's so much more. I don't think I could stand to self-publish this without trying traditional publishing first. But that's a whole 'nother can of worms that I don't need to worry about yet. Need to finish writing the thing first.

School tomorrow. Yay! (I know. That's uncharacteristic of teenagers; I've never been a normal one) While I'm not really looking forward to getting some of the grades back, it will be nice to have that schedule and work that needs to be done. And I'm looking forward to the upcoming discussion on The Tunnel. The other girl will have had to have finished it by then; we'll be able to have an actual discussion this time. There's a lot to talk about - like the narrator's anti-semitism; ideas / sympathy towards the Nazis; him as a teacher; the symbolism of the tunnel; life in a chair; his wife. I'm not sure we'll actually have much to say about his wife, but I am curious as to why he dislikes her so much. Maybe it'll be explained; maybe it won't. With all the disappointment trailed throughout the book (trailed? it's blasted!), it wouldn't surprise me if he left loose threads. There's only a little over a hundred pages left, so I can probably (hopefully) finish tomorrow and then just reflect / skim for the rest of the week. Eep. That's coming soon.

Hope is a weird thing; I'm not sure why I even bother with it anymore. It comes and goes; fleeting about like a butterfly. And it's so warm. Comforting. I hope that I can (insert thing here). So that hope gets me to work for whatever it was that I wanted; and yet, it ends up being a hopeless task. The hard work I put in didn't pay off. I feel miserable. But then another butterfly of hope comes by and I snatch it up - and the cycle repeats itself.

But that's what life is. A pile of cycles and schedules that end up repeating themselves; variations that start to become the same.

Eh. Enough writing 'deep' stuff.

I went back through my old essays to actually compare what he wrote on them, instead of keeping on thinking that following his advice produced worse grades and that makes a teacher a hypocrite. Part of it is certainly my intro. They need work; they'll always need work; I'm not sure why I bother. The problem is just that I can't come up with enough things in the limited time and never can figure out what I'm going to write. I'm me; I need to start writing to figure out what I'm writing about. But that doesn't matter. Maybe put enough in the intro that I know I'll write about? Who knows. I'll make sure to do a practice essay this week; it'll be good for studying for the MC test. Whenever that's going to be.

I don't always connect back to the thesis. That's something I can remedy, at least - just have to remember to do it. But that's much more doable than fixing how I think I write essays.

Oh, and then there's settling for generalized statements over facts. I think part of that could be remedied with writing practice essays in an untimed manner. So telling myself that I have to write one essay each week - maybe just for the rest of March. That way I can be more comfortable with what I should be putting in the essays. Then I can spend the rest of time - probably each weekend - doing a practice essay. I really do need to do a DBQ before the Unit 6 essay. It's highly likely to have a DBQ as one of the upcoming essays.

Best keep up with reviewing content from earlier in the year to help with this plan. It's a lot to do - but I think it'll actually pay off. It's been a fact that studying like this - more practice and active recall and such - does help. And if that's what it takes to improve my grades, it's something that I'm capable of doing. Probably. I'm pretty sure that I have enough time.

Oh, and put the same sort of strategy towards other classes. Much less intensive, of course, but active recall and practice might be what brings the A- to an A; or the A to an A+. A+ is overrated, kind of - and they're in a way that it's not that valuable. A 97 or higher is pretty easy for most classes. Heck, Microeconomics has just been one big GPA boost since everybody has an hundred. (Or at least, the average grade for each assignment is an hundred, with the lowest and highest grade being an hundred). Yep. So much for Honors being hard. It'll be weird when all of the seniors leave in May. It'll be what - myself, and the other two sophomores left in that class? And neither of them like me; nor me them. Hmmm. At least the teacher has a good personality.

Written by ash

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