Chinese Economy Project and The Mile I Will Beat

Right now I’m in that awkward limbo of waiting until dinner is done so I can start on my homework again… I’m so unproductive when I’m hungry. I’m gonna be so boned if we ever go into a famine. 

Lately I’ve been reading about China’s economy and the issues it faces for an economics project. One of the problems is that the population is going to be old as butt in the middle of this century, which is a problem because it means that younger workers have to start carrying the elderly’s weight within the economical system. It’s funny, the kind of dilemma this presents: if we have less children, we help out in keeping the population stable but risk the population’s transformation into an older demographic, but if we have a lot more children to counterbalance this, then we have the problem of providing for more people on this planet. So somehow, China has to provide a way for keeping older people in the work force, according to my research. 

Well, good luck with that China. I have no idea how you’re going to do that. I believe though.

In other news, I have decided that I will beat my 8th grade mile PR before I graduate this year. It is a worthy goal… it’s been a while since I’ve consistently ran 5:40 miles. But 5:39, that’s the number to beat. 5:30 is a nice round number to aim for. I’ll have to get pretty conditioned for it. I plan on strengthening my legs with lifting weights and uphill running. Leg strength I’ve noticed, is really important, particularly in the last leg of a race. It’s crazy. I’ll also have to practice running strategy as well. Currently I’ve been working out during lunch, with a warm-up mile and then a workout mile. I just added another lap to the main workout meal today… so after another week I’ll probably throw in another lap. I’m also going to mix it up with some sprints. 

This is going to be fun. 🙂

Day 13: Someone I Wish Could Forgive Me

This prompt is interesting to me. Since my elementary school days, I haven’t had a fight with any one of my friends. My most recent conflict was probably in the seventh grade, and that was with people who I thought were my friends and wasn’t even a fight, really.

I shall explain.

In the middle of the sixth grade, I transferred into a different middle school. I liked the place far better than the previous one. It seemed like it had everything I wanted. I was right, and I clicked with the school. The general populace was pleasant, but of course, there was the one group that I felt like I had to be a part of. They were kind to me in the sixth grade, but time changed them, made them more nasty, more elitist.

I can’t remember if the day I decided to walk out on them was later in the seventh grade or earlier in the eighth, but here’s what happened: a couple of the more dickish of the group asked me to start dancing around, due to my reputation back then for dancing and not caring about what other people thought. So I did. Next thing I knew, a football was thrown into my ass.

Normally I would have accepted such horseplay; I’m the kind of guy who can take a joke. This time it didn’t feel right though. Their laughs and comments had different tones. It was mostly Kolby though, who I always thought to be a dick ever since he transferred into the same school during the seventh grade and easily inserted himself into that same group, who gave me what felt like a message of, “We don’t really want you here.”

After my pride took a good licking, I decided to go. It was only right. In retrospect, there was never a time when I thought to myself, “These are my kind of people,” while I was hanging out with them. Those “cool kids” later on ended up amounting to a bunch of potheads and further stratified themselves, staying loyal and accepting only to themselves. So do I hate them for what they’ve done? Not at all. Maybe it really was a joke. On the other hand, nobody told me, “Chill out man, we didn’t mean it like that.” But I’ve let it go.

Sometimes I do wonder if they thought I was cool though. Sometimes I wonder if they ever think about why they don’t really hear from me anymore. If they have, I hope they know the answers to both of those questions. If they haven’t, well, it doesn’t really matter when they’re finding solutions to world hunger of discovering secrets to the universe while they’re getting high off their hookahs now, does it?

Mistaken Identity

I’ve always felt like I was different. Glances my way never really had a vibe that made me feel safe. Silences had an unprecedented, underlying hostility that I could never understand. I’ve wondered why that was. I have some people that are close to me that don’t have those bad vibrations. I’m glad for those people. But why everyone else? Why couldn’t they have left me alone? I got to find out one day.

One of my close friends, I saw every day during school. I’d be excused during class and I walked up to his office. It was always precise and orderly, with the picture of his family facing towards him next to his computer and all of his files in neat stacks. During all of our sessions, he never told me to do anything except to talk about myself. It was nice. I’d just talk about how I was feeling that day. And then that one day.

During that one day, I felt queasy so I asked to see my friend early and I got to go. Walking out of my history class, the weakness in my stomach grew and started reaching everywhere else. My head started to hurt badly. I walked with a wobble in my legs towards my friend’s office and he had a look of surprise and asked me what was wrong. I sat down and said I felt kind’ve sick. Really, I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt myself slipping, slipping into dark-

“The hell did you say to me?”

“Wh-what?”

“I’m not to be trifled with, how dare you! I absolutely despise you and everyone else! I could really care less about what you think!”

“Calm down, let’s have a seat and talk this over. Is there something bothering you today?”

“Yeah, there is something bothering me today! It’s the fact that your desk is so clean and that picture frame is there and you’re so content right now, so eager to listen to what I have to say! Well I say, fuck that!”

A crash. Papers flew in all sorts of directions.

“We don’t have to resort to any of those actions here. I believe we can work something out.”

“Work something out? Work something out? W-w-work some-some-so-thing… s-s…”

A thump and a silence.

-ness. After I came to, I was surrounded by my family and my friend and a doctor. I was in a hospital bed. The bed was comfortable enough, but the scent of the room was unsettlingly clean. “Seems like you had a rough day yesterday, son,” the doctor said, “Do you remember anything?” I looked around and really studied the place. What in the world could have happened? “No, not at all,” I said. The doctor looked at my parents. Then back to me. A pause. He was gathering strength to drop the bombshell. “It seems like you have dissociative identity disorder, son,” the doctor said. He looked down for a second, shifted his glasses up the bridge of his pointed nose and looked up again. “What it means is that there’s another you in that head of yours, in a way.”

My mom quickly walked out and my dad followed her. “Have you been aware of this problem, son?”

“No, not at all. I’ve always wondered why people have treated me differently. Is this why?”

“It could be the case. Sometimes when people have this disorder they forget and almost become a totally different person. A lot of things about them change. In your case, your other you I guess you could say, is completely hostile towards people. This other you might not have been recognized at first because it might only show up for a few seconds at a time. This time, it showed up for at least twenty seconds.”

“So it’s getting worse? Am I going to get treatment?”

“You will get treatment… as for its effectiveness, it’s hard to say. The human mind can be a cruel place for those who dwell in it.” He stood there and I simply stared at him. He let out a sigh. “I’m really sorry, but there’s still a lot we don’t know about this. I’ll let you rest now. Let me know if you need anything.” He walked out.

I laid there in my bed. It suddenly got less comfortable and the sheets seemed to have a creeping intensity to them, like they wanted to blanket me under the hate of the world. People hated me because my other personality hated them, I realized. I began to forgive all of those glances, all of those hostile silences. It all made sense now.

“I just wish people hated me for me and not some part of me that I didn’t even know about till now,” I told myself. If I didn’t even know of it for this long, how could I possibly consider it as a part of me? Others considered it a part of me though because they could only see the vessel that contained the struggling minds. They could not understand that there was a conflict within. They only thought, “Wow, what a fake asshole.”

I noticed a window that was letting all of this light in. It was too bright, I had to close it off. People could see me, but they couldn’t understand me. They couldn’t understand that there was more to me than they could ever imagine. There was thus no point. I walked up to the window and closed the curtains shut. It was a lot darker. “Good, good luck finding me now,” I teased to no one. Only the air listened.

“Good, I like it like that,” I said. I retreated to my bed and covered myself up. The darkness that the closed curtains and the blankets brought ensured that I would be hidden and protected. No one else will have to know, no one else will have to try to understand, no one, no one no one noone noonenoonenonenoone none.

End of the School Year Feels

I’ve been wanting to write another short story, but this emotional shitstorm that the end of this school year is bringing is making it unnecessarily difficult. Some of the people leaving for college are my closest friends… it will be weird and strangely empty without them. However, one girl’s speech did make me realize something: I will now have the opportunity to get to know more people. In her speech, she said that she was glad in retrospect that the seniors of her generation were leaving for that exact reason.

I actually really enjoy the idea of this upside. Meeting new people will prevent my stagnation. It’s just that sometimes there’s a cost to meeting new people. Sometimes you never see the oldies ever again, even if they happened to be your BFF at one point.

And people change over time; it’s tragic to think that a future you five years from now wouldn’t be able to relate at all with a BFF five years from now after a separation.

Fun Times With College Board and School in General

Today, my brain was effectively wrung dry and I approached a lobotomized state near the third quarter of the test. Yes, this was the day I lost my SAT virginity. “Never again,” I thought to myself, “Except I will have to.” Indeed, I did not come to the test prepared. I came in to see what it was like and decided to establish my expectations from then onwards. Jesus, I’ve done a three hour test before, but more than four hours of my life passed by due to a handful of formalities in the beginning and the breaks that we received periodically. Four hours of my life that I won’t get back, not even used in a serious attempt to make myself marketable to colleges.

That’s right, I said “marketable.” College Board is a monopoly my friend, and students are the main goods. College Board thirsts for your information, sometimes excessively. They requested for my social security number, for instance. What? What in the world would they want that for? They claim that they’re a not-for-profit organization, so, ummmm…. I don’t think they’ll exactly benefit from my Social Security number. Also, pretty much any kind of test that’s administered and accepted by colleges comes from the CB. It’s ridonkulous. Now, of course, we get the benefits of having colleges being able to recruit students that they want more easily, but I feel like there’s a whole conspiracy to make secondary education a lucrative business.

CB isn’t really making any monetary gains apparently, but information is nowadays the main commodity that businesses care about. Think Google: in exchange for all of their convenient and free products, you sell off most of your privacy in the form of your browser history. With all of this information in their hands, CB is indisputably one of the most powerful corporations out there when you consider how many students go through their system each year. Besides, there’s also the issue of for-profit summer experiences that are supposedly good things to put on your resume.

I’ll explain. I got an offer a while back from the National Student Leadership Conference that offered a fair amount of opportunities to explore different careers and even a seal to spice up my diploma if I participated in their little adventures. It sounded good and they even flattered me by saying I was among a “select” group of students. The catch? A big, big price tag. I asked one of the people who actually went to one of these “conferences” and he said that they were fair enough. If you had money to blow.

A couple of clicks and whirs went on in my brain as I processed those words: “money to blow.” See, that’s exactly what colleges want. They want money, no doubt about it. I then realized the true purpose of that diploma seal, the “recommendation” that the NLSC offered: “Hey look, a student with money! You want a student with money? Go get ’em!” Honestly, coming up with this link scares me and I would like somebody to tell me I’m just another conspiracy theorist who has nothing better to do. I could also be an unreliable author when it comes to this topic, as I have admitted earlier that my brain went down in the dumps since the SAT. Oh well, just throwing it out there.

I’ll continue to tango with CB a little more on this Monday and Friday with AP testing. Though I disapprove of their Big Brother-like tendencies, I applaud the CB for offering AP classes, since I wholeheartedly agree with providing students opportunities to test themselves with rigorous classes in subjects of their interest. I know that an AP exam isn’t as tough as an SAT, now that I’ve experienced both, so it won’t be too bad I hope. The only thing that irks me is the area of where we’re testing in: the Little Theatre, our affectionately named area within our art building. Too bad for our poor bastard selves: apparently it was called that for a reason, possibly as a sick joke for the AP test takers in our school. See, we have chairs within the theatre, but on the armrests lay a little side table that you can flip out if you wish to write. This little table is probably the width of one and a half worth’s of my hands and just a little longer than one of them. I could be exaggerating the dimensions, but I’m not exaggerating as to how much it sucks to write on them.

It wouldn’t be so bad if the exams I am going to take only demanded for multiple choice bubbles, but they also demand some writing as well. This is what enrages me beyond my wildest dreams. And apparently, my school thought it was a funny idea to put the AP English Language exam in the Little Theatre instead of the library, which is where they put the AP Chemistry exam people. WHAT. THE. FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

-DGE. Lucky-ass science bastards. It’s not like they have to write three essays in an hour and a half. The catering to the crowds whom are adept in math and science is a whole ‘nother topic though. My brain’s not really into going for that path right now. For now, I’ll just be contemplating the experience of getting my ass handed to me by a teensy-weensy test that wanted to take over my walnut of a brain. My mental prowess requires further enhancement if I’m going to stand a chance in secondary education, so I’ll rest now.