Saturday, November 23, 2013

To Overcome Static Friction

Status Report: I turned in my UC apps this morning. I still have five apps left, two of which are due in a matter of weeks. For those two schools I have all my drafts in place, but I may want to refine them some more. (These two schools are also the ones that have offered me fee waivers, so yay.) For the schools due on January 1, I still have a few more essays to write.

Tomorrow I'm going to a robotics competition, a first for both me and the team. I plan on getting nothing else done that day.

Lately I've been feeling as though senioritis is creeping up on me. I passed up a chance to get ahead in stats; after getting back from a fire drill in chem I didn't immediately start working on stuff; I'm not yet done reading Frankenstein, the book we're reading for Lit. I need to remind myself, again and again: fear complacency.

But I don't have as much work to do as I did a month ago. How can I prevent myself from wasting lots of time?

The most obvious answer: read more.

I haven't been doing a good job of feeding my brain this semester, and as the workload begins to ease as I pass deadlines, I should get back on that wagon. Once I finish college apps, I'm going to use my first period as an enforced reading period.

Read short stories by Bradbury and other authors. Reread His Dark Materials. Read all Brian Greene books. Read all science books, period. I want to learn all sorts of stuff, and if college app season has been good for anything it's by forcing me to take a look at my list of accomplishments and realize just how much time I've wasted, if this is all I have to show for it.

Or maybe I should use my free first as a writing period. I'm working on the second-to-last chapter of Orsolya, which is full of action and magic and fights, and I'm enjoying it immensely. I might--might--be able to finish the book by the end of the year (knocks on wood even though superstition is a bad habit to encourage in myself). So, while for me it's a bad idea to set up my next project while Orsolya is still occupying a big part of my mental space, there's nothing wrong with throwing around ideas.

I haven't written any poetry in months. I want to try writing more structural poems--sonnets and villanelles with unconventional topics (so: not love or other people or salvation). There are (arrogance ahead) vast regions of my potential that have not been mapped, and as my band director delights in saying, "Potential is what you lose with."

Potential is also voltage is also electrical height. Objects naturally want to fall to state with lower potential. So my natural inclination should be (hey look, I'm abusing science metaphors again) to use up my potential and engage my brain by learning or making stuff. I've been stagnant lately, rehashing my accomplishments of the past few years and not delving deep into anything concurrently.

A fast-moving river is cleaner than a still pond. I need to get to work, so that my last six months of high school are more productive than the previous three years. All I must do is overcome the static friction: then, off we go.

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