Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Senior Year Resolutions

The school year has started out slowly: I've been going to classes for a week but nothing big has happened...yet. I definitely feel less thrown into the deep end than I expected, which is not good because complacency in the form of senioritis is my constant enemy, and a relaxed schedule (see this post on my other blog for more) bodes ill.

Or it would, if I let it. But I thought I'd take the opportunity now, in the beginning of the school year while I still have lots of free time, to codify what I want to do with my senior year.

Warning: self-centered post ahead.

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I will remain healthy. I will prioritize my physical, mental, and emotional health by getting off the computer before 2300 (to get enough sleep), exercising in the morning before going to school (I have a free first period, why not?), taking breaks when I need them, focusing while I'm doing something to get it done as fast as it needs to get done, writing my blood clean regularly, and minimizing time spent with people who make me upset.

I will organize myself. I will work on college applications every weekend, make everything easy for the teachers who are writing me letters of rec, spend my free seventh period efficiently, keep on top of schoolwork, and finish essays before deadlines (school essays - at least one day; college essays - at least two weeks; preferably months).

I will keep up my end of bargains. I have a manageable number of extracurrics - band is most important, then math club, robotics, fencing, and volunteering. Whatever my role in any of these functions, I will do my part. As a safeguard against burnout, which I can predict might happen in October when robotics build seasons and raffle ticket sales for band coincide, I give myself a by on reading and blogging - so in October, if things get crazy, I may just post poetry here. You have been warned.

I will tutor people. I need 15 hours of STEM tutoring for AP Chem, hours I would ideally fill with paid tutoring...but if not, then I can always be a library tutor. Note to self: advertise in calc teacher's classroom and tell underclassman band friends.

I will mentor band people. I've been thinking lately about what it was like for me in band in the past three years, and I realized that every year the seniors are the ones setting the tone - which of course sounds obvious when stated. So, I'm a senior now. What to do?

Toward the freshmen: There was one senior girl, my sophomore year, who seemed to want to be a mother hen. I definitely don't want that, but nor do I want the indifferent seniors of my freshman year. So I'll probably just compliment them when they do things right and give advice when they do things wrong.

Toward the underclassmen on band staff: give them responsibilities. I'm trying to groom my co-captain to be band president, since he'd be awesome at it. My squire is now assistant drum major and so has passed to the drum major's responsibility, primarily, but I adore her so I'll of course continue to help her out.

I will feed my brain. I have a free first period, as I've mentioned, and I would like to emulate Danny Saunders from Chaim Potok's book The Chosen and spend my free time reading, first broadly on any topic that happens to catch my fancy, and then deeply. The Italian verb approfondire is one of my favorites, and means to study in depth, to master a topic. That's what I want. I have the time built in to expand the dimensions of my brain - why should I not do so?

I have a huge list of authors into whose work I should like to delve. On the nonfic side, it's mostly scientists - Freeman Dyson, Richard Dawkins, Feynman (I think I've read all the Feynman books at my library, though), Brian Greene, etc. I also have a list of fiction authors of whose work I have read one or two books that has whetted my appetite. Goal: read all the Ray Bradbury short stories ever.

I will abide by the principles of the 20-mile march. That is, I will make consistent sustainable progress toward my goals, starting early and letting my efforts compound.

I will go out in a blaze of glory. It's my last year. Why shouldn't I shoot for the ledger lines?

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I meant that literally.


Irish Tune from County Derry - Percy Aldridge Grainger

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