A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Fountain

I was on a date (yes, a date) with that guy Vance. Don’t get any funny ideas, we were just hanging out. He was telling me stories about college and how he ended up moving back to San and working in Tech. (Ha, Tech-as. Get it? Texas?)

Anyhoo, seeing each other has been really great. I feel much more prepared to take this next step in my life. He’s outlined some things that he would do differently if he could go back to college, which no one else I know has done.

First, he said:

  • Do the cheesy shit. Because in ten years, when you’ve grown out of thinking things are cheesy, you will really regret not going for it. This means flash mobs, choruses, jam sessions and any kind of open mic.
  • DO OPEN MICS. He said that if he’s learned one thing loud and clear since college, its that every single job requires certain commonalities. Success requires people to share themselves without shame. An open mic, and really any kind of performance, is an opportunity to do just that.
  • Don’t get married. Unless you know so deep in your bones and on every level-spiritual, mental, physical, emotional, EVERYTHING- that it is a GREAT decision. (honestly I think he was projecting here because I would never get married so young.)
  • Professors are people. Don’t be scared of them. They can be your friends, you can not like some of them, and its fine. It’s normal. Appreciate them as being genuine human beings and focus on what you can learn. “People before personalities.”
  • Study abroad. It’s a great chance to travel before the next phase of life in one grows a business and might not have the funds or the time to wander along European side streets and party with questionable strangers.
  • Keep your dreams in site every day. Big ones. They’re coming. Get used to being magnificent.

Smart guy, right? Maybe if he writes back to my snail-mail letters while I’m away, I’ll come back for a cuddle over Christmas break.

In other news, we just got one of those reverse osmosis water filters and I am AMPED. I’ve been wanting one for years. Why my parents had to wait til I was on the verge of moving out, I don’t know. But at least it will help me get healthy and loose a bit of baby fat before college. I’m thinking of asking if we can install one in my dorm when I get to school, but maybe the water in Vermont is perfect anyway.

Things with Josh are good, but busy. I haven’t seen him much these days, which I have mixed feelings about. I can tell that he’s happy, which is a blessing, because it hurts me to see him all angsty and shit. But I also wish we could keep our closeness. I could make more of an effort.

You know what? I WILL! I’m going to see what he’s doing right now and see if we can’t do something siblingy, like catch a movie or go to the pet store and play with a puppy.

 

I GOT ACCEPTED

Oh. My. God.

Grab your copy of Goldfinch because I WAS ACCEPTED TO BENNIGTON. Yep. Already. I’m going to graduate early and then move to Vermont.

How did this happen? Well, some guy on Uncle Vance’s carpet cleaning service apparently went there! I have to admit, part of me was a little put off. But I know-check your privilege. Every job is important, and just because someone is working with their hands to make an environment beautiful doesn’t mean they are any less brilliant or creative as someone who sits at a desk writing. Well, that’s what this guy, Victor, actually does. He’s the PR/ Graphic Design/ Social Media guy for Done Right, and according to Uncle Vance he is really talented.

Victor overheard Vance bragging to someone that I was looking at colleges already, and when he heard that it was his Alma Mater, he got excited. He asked Vance for my number.

Not surprisingly, Vance almost didn’t give it to him. I mean this guy is just too old to be talking to me and just too young. I think he’s like thirty, which is almost double my age. My uncle is really conservative, but he let him get my email.

Vance emailed me this:

“Hello, young lady! I hear you’re interested in BC. I commend you. Your nose has lead you in the right direction. My years there were golden, and the people I met still reach out. Why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself and where you’re going in this glorious life. Maybe I can be of some help to you.”

The young lady thing was funny. Pretty old-fashioned, but nice. I wrote to him back about how I’m editor of the newspaper and I am a great archer and love to read. I also told him about my dreams. I want to publish books. I want to learn violin. I want to learn to read Greek. Mostly, I want to be around people who are smarter than I am so that I can grow in the ways I can’t even think of now.

I guess what I said made a good impression on him. He wrote a letter recommending me, and just like that, they did. They said yes, I mean.

I should probably end the post here in case anyone in my family ever sees this (seriously mom if you’re reading, don’t tell you’re brother in law) but I Facebook stalked Vance and he is REALLLLLYYYY CYUUUTTTEEE. i just got so girly. I just have to say, thirty sounds really old but his face looked young. Like he could be a teenager or something.

And- I can’t believe I’m admitting to this online but I just have to get it off my chest- I friended him.

And he friended me.

And we chatted.

Andwe’regonnameetupforlunchnextweekendaHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Breathe. I’m sure he would never think of me as anything but a kid. And I don’t know what I would even say, since when I went to a college party with my cousin Mariah I felt like such a kid. Vance and I though, we really had a rapor going in Facebook chat. He loves Donna Tartt, too. He heard her talk at the school for a commencement. (SHouldn’t that word mean “beginning,” not graduation? I don’t get it.

Unless….. the “commencement” is referring to life. Not school. That actually makes a lot of sense).

So, I think it’s gonna be good. I know it is.

Back from Tour

Bennington was UH-MAY-ZING.

I am going there. I don’t care what happens. I may apply to twenty five other schools, but I am going there.

*

It was this magical feeling when I walked on campus. It reminded me of when I was a young girl and I would go to one of those preserved mansions, where you walk along red-roped hallways and poke your head into rooms that haven’t been changed for a hundred years. Like the Biltmore, in North Carolina with my cousins, before they moved to Texas. That was one I went to more recently, in middle school. I can’t remember the names of the other ones. But I remember walking in and just KNOWING in my heart that I had BEEN THERE BEFORE.

Haters will say its just cultural memory. Like with the Titanic, or Salem witch trials. These are all events that stirred memories for me when I learned about them in school. Cynics say, its just your imagination. But if every cup of water has at least one molecule that passed though Napoleon Bonaparte’s body, then why wouldn’t intense, world-altering events remain in out emotional memory?

Anyway, I knew I belonged there. The dappled light, the cozy library, the rolling hills. The focused students, the gentle and energetic professors. Every nerve in my body said YES YES YES.

I’m so happy. 😀

Did I mention I’m here in Texas? Yep. Of all places. We’re celebrating new years with the Marks. Jen’s away doing a semester abroad in PARIS! So the house it pretty quiet. Uncle Vance’s carpet cleaning business is going really well, though, so there a really good feeling in the air. I went with him to the office and it smelled so nice. We really need to get our carpets cleaned back home, because I felt such a sense of calm in a spic and span environment like that. Mom is a great housekeeper, on top of her main career, but I think she should give in and hire a pro now and then. If only so she can relax a bit. Maybe I’ll even surprise her and pay for it. Get Josh to go halvsies ;).

Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

blair bear

maple syrup yum
SOMEDAY ALL THIS WILL BE MINE

Just got done with my SAT tutor. I have to say, its actually pretty fun. They’ve been teaching to the test for so many years, I am a machine at this point. It feels good to know the answers. Like I have this formula in my blood that figures things out automatically, so that I barely have to think about it.

I don’t know how useful it is on the surface, but I know better than to dismiss my education as factory farming as Josh does.

Yes, I know that most schools are structured to prepare people for the kind of jobs that don’t allow for freedom and creativity and following natural impulses. The forty hours a week for forty years plan is definitely not for me. There are so many opportunities for entrepreneurs online that is kinda makes me sick. In a good way. Sick and excited. There is endless possibility, and that entails responsibility and commitment. From what I’ve read about entrepreneurs, they don’t just decide they want to be successful and wake up millionaires the very next day.

You know what teaches responsibility and commitment? The shitload of AP classes I’m taking now, and the decision that I WILL get a perfect score on the SAT. Why? Because I get that its a puzzle, and that certain opportunities in life require solving puzzles to get in the door. The puzzle itself isn’t the point.

Anyway, I’m super excited because we’re going to visit Bennington this week. It’s an early Christmas present. I’m obsessed with their Society, Culture and Thought Program. http://www.bennington.edu/Academics/AreasStudy/SocietyCultureThought.  It sounds like a program that will really help me think, and since I’m definitely going to going to get a masters after college, I don’t see why I need to rush into specializing.

Why I want to go to Bennington:

  1. Maple syrup
  2. “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt. Read it, guys. It’s my favorite novel, and it’s based on Bennington. Read it even you weren’t crazy about “The Goldfinch.” I wasn’t, either… This is springier.
  3. Small class sizes.
  4. Maple Syrup.

I’m going to go enjoy my precious free time read some Amy Poehler to try and lighten up from these ambitious thoughts.

Ciao.

Pre-Christmas Rant

Josh here. Welcome back to Codeshelvers. Blair is slacking on the updating here; apparently exams are more important. That’s whatever. Anyway, I wanted to discuss something thats been on my mind.

Christmas is around the corner. My family has all kinds of christmas traditions, like i’m sure yours does. Every year since I can remember, literally since I was a baby, my parents, sister and I have gone to my grandparents’ house for a Christmas eve party. This sounds pretty normal, but trust me, it’s not. Not when you see how they all treat each other.

so we live in North Carolina, which is pretty convenient since people are coming from Connecticut, Upstate New York, Tennessee and out in New Mexico. We all get together and catch up. A lot of my cousins I only really see around christmas. I’m glad I get to see them, and we have a good time, but its also kind of forced. I don’t know how exactly to explain it, but ya know, everyone is dressed up, they all start arriving at Gram and Gramps and we have to scream with delight and smile these huge smiles and big each other like we’re long lost best friends. And these are people I’ve seen literally 16 times. Ever. Ok maybe like 20 or so, if you include weddings and funerals.

They all get super drunk and smile a lot, and I know there are genuine moments of love and connection. But it also kind of feels like we’re putting on an act, and I do my best to ignore the passive-agressive comments the adults make to each other. Which is easy to do, for the most part, since I’ve always been at the kids table.

Then dad and mom and Blooper and I head back home with leftovers and have our own party. Thats the best part. Usually some friends will come over, kids and also our parents’ friends, and we sing carols at the piano and watch stupid christmas movies on abc family or something.

So far so good, right?

Well the weird stuff comes christmas day.

We pile into the car with presents and go BACK to g-squareds house.

(I always thought this was normal, until I realized that most families just stay home on christmas morning, relax… mom and dad get to have- you know- mom and dad time while the kids play in the snow and watch cartoons and wait to open up presents… basically, christmas and chill.

instead, we go to my grandparents and open up presents really

really

really

s l    o     w     ly .

Like, hours. And my grandparents wrap five dollar bills in separate boxes with separate bows.

I really don’t mean to come across as ungrateful, because i know a lot of people don’t have grandparents and don’t get and money at all. its weird to open all these little boxes, because we’ve been trained to act super excited after each one.

i just want to be authentic. i want my gratitude this holiday season to be real, not some show. who are we putting on the act for?

so i want to try being authentic this christmas. I don’t want to be rude to my elders, but i also don’t want to play along with fake shit.

we’ll see how it goes.

thanks for reading.