Hello, my old friend

Old dorm disarray.
As may be noted from the title at the top using the plural “their,” implying multiple persons, this blog was initially the joint venture of multiple individuals.

Somewhere along the way, between the awkward, enthusiastic teenage-selves who had just completed GCSEs, and our graduated, university-bound present, I drifted away from this space. I won’t make extended apologies (I still have no reason to believe otherwise than that the internet doesn’t care I exist).

I left home for a school whose nature still fails to be penned down to my satisfaction. Trying to write one sentence about it inadvertently turns into several and it is not long before I am waxing rhapsodic about the meaning of life and incidents that shape who we are, so I will spare you that for the moment. Let it suffice to say that the last two years at a UWC were and remain incredibly important to me, so my regrets about not spending more time with the 32 Different Snapchats That Get You In The Morning or watching Video Of Hilarious Animal Sneezes are few to none (on another note, please look UWC and share it with 15-17 year-olds - it might be pointless and they won’t care, but it could be just what a good few of them are looking for at that moment, as for me).

I originally decided to keep a blog on motivation from Rookie and the associated community, which I liked and could relate to far more than that which had me suffering from a serious case of suburban-teenage-wasteland-blues. Although what I needed at the time, it came to carry a lot of the angsty sentiments I poured into it. This, when revisited, just took me back to not-a-good-place which I would rather avoid and is partly explanatory for my absence.

Another sore-point was being a bit mhhh about the somewhat self-centred feeling of sharing things you write/photograph/eat/think/see/everything on the internet as it seems to suggest conviction that you have something to say that the world wants to hear. (See the ironic-not-ironic-ironic article by Hazel Cills below,
Ultimately, someone is always going to care about what you're doing — and they'll want to read about it on the internet. It might not be the 'I'll always be here for you in your darkest hour' kind of caring — maybe more the 'retweet' kind of caring. But whether you're volunteering at your neighborhood soup kitchen or shopping at Ikea for weird office furniture, someone will be following you online. Trust me, I know, because I'm pretty sure everyone really, really, really cares about me. - Hazel Cills on digital narcissism, Oyster).
And, while I am quite happy to go along with the world's indifference because it is more about the process/routine/self-articulation than ATTENTION à la digital witness, it still tends to be seen as fairly self-absorbed, which is not my intention whatsoever. I could keep this private, but the potential of real human beings seeing it is effective effectively in forcing me to minimise the bad practice of treating grammar as optional and writing in just one very long sentence.1 Plus, the community aspect or ~communication~ with cool internet people who lead cool internet lives. I have opted for the highly healthy coping mechanism of just not dwelling on this too much for now.

Now, between my towering stack of old National Geographic magazines scavenged from the closing library, current obsession with The New Yorker and determination not to while away my summer by lying in bed and lamenting the retirement of Sandy Toksvig from The News Quiz, I remain interested in writing or journalism, as well as merely sharing and chronicling experiences - feeling ~connected~ to people you may not even know and live in New Zealand or something. I would very much like to continue writing here as an all-time-consuming island of secondary school is now being replaced by the time-benevolent metropolis of university (ha, but still, they say that, comparatively, you have a lot of free time - we’ll see). The wallowing-in-angstiness disincentive to my writing here has been overcome by either deleting all of my previous posts or reverting them to draft status. As I am almost inevitably cripplingly embarrassed, in alternation, by anything I wrote more than two months ago/not for a school assignment/more than two weeks ago/anything I wrote, ever, this is not too harsh a consequence to pay for escaping my previous angsty self.

So, yeah, after two strange and intense the-opposite-of-loneliness years, I have completed the International Baccalaureate and am on track to study International Relations and History at the LSE this September, whilst still harbouring mild resentment that I can’t also be studying Literature. I intend to be here more, as well as reading about all of your wonderful antics and working out why exactly I get such joy every time I see that picture of Mao we decided to use as our background.2

‘Till soon.

1My sentences are still way too long and, unfortunately, I am no Dickens. It is a work in progress.

2Indulge a history student with a particular penchant for those weird incidents which seem both like something that must be made up and simply can’t be made up: 1958, Mao launches the Great Leap Forward, a plan to develop China based on very questionable science (“the corn will grow higher the more you desire”) which results in tens of thousands of deaths and his stepping back in the communist party to let others lead more. 1966, Mao decides he wants his power back so launches a carefully orchestrated propaganda event where his 72 year-old self is seen swimming in the Yangtze river for a couple of hours to demonstrate his Youth and Vitality. This event heralds in the Cultural Revolution, “by all accounts one of the most bizarre events in history” according to some historian I cannot remember, as thousands of youths follow Mao’s proclamations that “to rebel is justified,” smash up centuries-old Chinese antiquities and are sent to the countryside to learn revolution from the peasants. (Obviously this is a somewhat humorous simplification - my coping mechanism for most things that make me want to bash my head into my desk - as vast numbers of people suffered horribly).


Let's go down to the tennis courts

"Beautiful girls at high school wouldn't even look at you if you didn't have a car and an allowance of twenty bucks to spend on 'em" - From 'Miss Temptation' by Kurt Vonnegut

"All through high school, people like you would look at me as if they wished I'd drop dead. They'd never dance with me, they'd never talk to me, they'd never even smile back. They'd just go slinking around like small-town cops. They'd look at me the way you did - like I'd just done something terrible" - From 'Miss Temptation' by Kurt Vonnegut

All photos of Fleur taken by me


Queen of Peace

I have written here in over month and for that I sincerely apologise. Obviously during exams I had a legitimate excuse, but they finished on the 18th of June and I don't really have a reason to explain by absence other than apathy.

Leaving school and exams ending have left in a weird place. Although year 13 itself was 12 months of weird. Everything became very real, very quickly, but by the time I felt I was beginning to get the hang of things it all ended.

So much of my identity has been built around school, which is why I guess I feel like I'm drifting in some vacuum and a bit out of touch with who I thought I was. School has just always been something I could do. Not just lessons, but the other stuff. I was always that girl on the student council, or in house drama, or being picked for this or that. Actual life, on the other hand, is a system that's not so easy to play. Who am I kidding? I've only been out of school two weeks. This hardly counts as real life. But when your oldest friend is getting engaged and being offered jobs based in Swindon, it can be hard to remember.

I'm not really sure what it is that I'm feeling. Cha, adolescence summed up in ten words. It doesn't help that any emotional responses feel rather delayed. It takes a good few days before I will feel pissed off at whoever for doing what they did, or happy for someone's achievement, or to enjoy whatever book I've been reading. I could just be tired. I turns out doing nothing is very tiring.


 Photos taking by me during a walk at the Epsom Racecourse