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. šŸ˜€

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 ;).


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blair bear

maple syrup yum

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 visitĀ BenningtonĀ this week. It’s an early Christmas present. I’m obsessed with their Society, Culture and Thought Program.Ā  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.


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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



s l Ā  Ā o Ā  Ā  w Ā  Ā  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.

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