Thursday, 31 May 2007

I am the birthday girl

This is a photo of the first birthday card I received, exactly two weeks before the actual date, from my mother's friend. But, bless her, this year she remembered I was turning 17 (in yr 10 she thought I was turning 14 - I was turning 15).

I have been spoiled rotten by my friends and family. Thanks to everyone for the cards, the packages, the gifts, the texts, the calls, the emails, the hugs, the shouts across the room, and, of course, the singing.

Thanks especially to the people who aren't here but were thinking of me.

I won't go through my presents one by one, but the highlights were:

Which is not to say all my other presents weren't equally gorgeous; they were. I love them all.

A thought occurred to me today that I didn't necessary turn 17 at 12:01 last night (if I wanted to be pedantic about it). I actually turned 17 at 9.28 this morning. But my point remains the same.

Recieved an email today detailing my age in various units and my characteristics according to my birthday:

Age in years: 17.00
Age in months: 204
Age in days: 6,206
Age in hours: 148,933
Age in minutes: 8,935,969
Age in seconds: 536,158,162
Age in milliseconds: 53,615,816,235
Age in weeks: 43,439
You born on: Thursday*

*How cool is that? I was actually born 17 years ago today.

Apparently I am:
* Stubborn and hard-hearted >> well, stubborn, yes
* Strong-willed and highly motivated >> pretty much!
* Sharp thoughts >> little random, but I guess so...
* Easily angered >> sometimes
* Attracts others and loves attention >> who doesn't love attention? and can I help it if I'm charismatic? (though that's arguable)
* Deep feelings >> again, random...
* Beautiful physically and mentally >> can't argue with that!! but mentally...?!
* Firm standpoint >> on what?
* Easily influenced >> by chocolate, yes...
* Needs no motivation >> generally speaking
* Easily consoled >> most of the time
* Systematic (left brain) >> what, my left brain is systematic?
* Loves to dream >> it's true
* Strong clairvoyance >> ok, so NOT true!!
* Understanding >> I try...
* Sickness usually in the ear and neck >> that's just weird
* Good imagination >> yep; that's why I like writing poetry, stories etc
* Good debating skills >> so true!! that's why I debate and coach middle school debating...and argue so much!!
* Good physical >> yeah, I try to keep fit
* Weak breathing >> that's plain wrong. who wrote this?
* Loves literature and the arts >> yep, dead on!
* Loves traveling >> absolutely. so whoever wrote gets it very right, or very wrong!!
* High spirited >> erm...not sure...depends how much chocolate I've had
* Spendthrift >> I can be...

And in other funny news: heard this comment at breakfast from a boy to a girl as he was walking past: "hey, long time no bitch!" I think it's so hilarious - especially coming from a boy.

And in academic news: I have finished my Extended Essay! All 4000 words - finally! Except that I've realised I didn't correct something on the first page and have to print it again. It's such a relief. More about that when I've washed my hands of it completely tomorrow morning after I hand it in.

Still finding it hard to believe I'm 17. 17 has all those connotations - it's sexier than 16, more cosmopolitan; 17 is like the epitome of teenage femininity - it (to me) embodies grace, style, knowledge, confidence and that border between the innocence and naivety of 16 and the self-important maturity of 18.

See why it's hard to believe - am I really any of those things?

Plus, I'm still "sweet 17, never been kissed."

B'day wish - amend the above with certain crush!

Just a girl

POOF! You are now 17...

It seems really odd that with a turn over of the minutes, I am now 17. Hard to believe another year has passed in a matter of days...Have been working (EE, and now Spanish) and happened to glance up at the clock at 12. I looked again...12:01. And just like that, I'm 17. Strange how so much time passes in order for us to age, and yet the time it takes to add another year to our lives - to say "I am no longer 16 but 17" is short - only a matter of minutes.

17 could take some getting used to. I am now longer "16 going on 17" but "17 going on 18." The latter seems so much older! 17 seems so sophisticated...16's all "sweet 16," innocent and naive. 17 implies experience (and closer to all those good things in life that come with 18!)

I like it.

More in the light of day (not the dark wee hours...)

Just a girl

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Save Darfur

I wrote another letter to the editor today as part of the Save Darfur campaign to act against the genocide in Darfur. I sent it to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and USA Today. Here it is:

The genocide that is currently taking place under President al-Bashir and has killed 400,000 Darfurians and displaced 2.5 million more can and must be stopped by the governments of our leading countries.
The US has taken a step forward in seeking freedom for Darfurians in implementing Plan B, and this is wonderful progress, but we cannot rest our efforts now. These sanctions will only be strengthened if matched by strong multilateral sanctions as well, which can only advance in the UN Secretary Council if ensured a passage by President Bush and Secretary Rice. These sanctions much include sanctions for individuals complicit in the genocide; the authorization of a no-fly zone over Darfur and international economic sanctions such as Plan B.
The time has come for Americans to stand up for democracy and liberty, and fight for the basic rights of those who are denied them. We can help - visit and sign petitions today to encourage our leaders to help the people of Durfar - before it's too late.

Just a girl

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Message from the White House!

Guess who received an email from the White House?

No kidding! Here it is in full:

"On behalf of President Bush, thank you for your correspondence.
We appreciate hearing your views and welcome your suggestions.
Due to the large volume of e-mail received, the White House cannot respond to every message.
Thank you again for taking the time to write."

I couldn't believe it! When I first received it, my reaction was "what is this for?" I sign quite a few petitions and letters to send to Congress and senators with One and Environmental Defense
and NRDC, but this was in response to a petition I signed calling on President Bush and the UN Secretary-General to stop the genocide in Darfur.

Obviously this is an auto-generated response, but pretty cool nonetheless.

After all, it's not everyone who receives mail from the White House. Have you?


Monday, 28 May 2007

The Rest of My Life

SAT scores were released the other night. I must admit, my expectations were fairly high - it was my second time doing the test, and I felt confident in my ability. The results were a bit of a shock/let down:

Critical reading: 670
Math: 600
Writing: 630

My parents keep telling me they're not that bad, but when they found out what my scores from last year were (CR: 690, M: 570, W: 670 >> though I am pleased with my math improvement, it's not my strong point) well, they couldn't disguise their surprise. But as my gorgeous friend (who got 2 scores in the 700s and got a total of 2080) put it, I scored in the 85 percentile which means I'm in (approximately) the top 15%! Which is kinda cool when you think about it. Combined, my best score is 1960 - good enough to get me into Yale, Columbia or Boston Uni? I hope so! At least as an international student my scores don't count as much...though my ENTER will...and my extra curriculars, but I do heaps of them anyway because I'm nerdy like that :-)

That aside, I love thinking about the future, and the possibilities it holds! Call it fantasising, call it dreaming, call it what you will - I just love thinking about the opportunities the rest of my life holds - university, work, travel, marriage...It's a little hard to's a hopeful, optimistic feeling of knowing I've got the whole world in front of me, I'm young, I can do what I want, and achieve my dreams (that's the hopeful part). I could spend hours just thinking about what could be...reality is a rude disturber of such dreams.

On another exciting note, I'm going out for dinner and movies this Friday with a bunch of girls to celebrate my birthday (Thursday)! We're going to see Pirates 3. I'm very excited about it all - especially Thursday. Even though Extened Essay is due in on Friday...

And to conclude on an extrememly nerdy (but funny) note from my IB co-ordinator (a little sad, I know, but it makes me laugh):


Just a girl

My married age is...

Most forwards/quizes I receive I am inclined to delete immediately. This one, however, intrigued me enough to do it...

How old are you going to be when you get married? Put an X in every box that applies to you

[x] You know how to make a pot of coffee

[x] You keep track of dates using a calendar

[] You own more than one credit card >> I don't own any credit cards!

[] You know how to change the oil in a car >> Pfft! That's what men are for...

[x] You've done your own laundry >> I go to boarding school. Enough said.

[] You vote in every election >> I'm not old enough to vote yet...not for another year (and 4 days)

[x] You can cook for yourself

[] You think politics are exciting


[x] You show up for school/college/work early every day >> Yes, how nerdy of me

[x] You always carry a pen in your bag/purse

[x] You've never gotten a detention >> Yes I know...I'm a goody two shoes.

[] You have forgotten your own birthday at least once >> Who does that? Other people's birthdays, yes...

[x] You like to take walks by yourself

[x] You've watched talk shows

[x] You know what 'credibility' means without looking it up

[] You drink coffee at least once a week


[x] You know how to do the dishes

[x] You can count to 10 in another language >> Japanese, Spanish, Indonesian

[x] When you say you're going to do something you do it every time (nearlly every time)

[x] Your parents trust you

[] You can mow the lawn

[x] You can make adults laugh without being stupid

[x] You remember to water the plants

[x] You study when you have to >> Again, how nerdy of me

[x] You pay attention at school/college/work >> How incredibly nerdy of me!

[x] You remember to feed your pets >> Esp. when I have a cute, black kitty


[x] You can spell 'experience' without looking it up >> Can't everyone?

[x] You work out on a regular basis >> That would be compulsary sport

[x] you clean up your own mess >> generally speaking..

[] the people at Starbucks know you by name

[] Your favorite kind of food is take out

[x] You have gained weight since middle/high school >> Well of course I've gained weight since middle school - what normal person doesn't?

[] The first thing you do when you wake up is get caffeine

[x] You can go to the store without getting something you don't need >> Most of the time...

[] You understand political jokes the first time they are said

[x] You can type quickly


[x] You prefer cool weather to warm weather >> Hmm, close call...

[] Your only friends are from your place of employment/school

[] You have been to a tupperware party

[] You have realized that no one will take you seriously unless you are over the age of 25 and have a job

[] You have more bills than you can pay >> Not yet!

[x] Most of all your friends are older than you are

[x] You can say no to staying out all night >> But I'm usually not invited to anyway, so that's not hard

[x] you use the internet every day

[] You are not single at the moment >> I wish!

[] You can't read a book and finish it >> More like I can't read a book and not finish it



Therefore, my married age is...29! How interesting...let's see how true that will be? Though I wouldn't mind getting married then...Probably late 20s/early 30s is my preference, but it's not a deadline or a rule I'm going to stick to! Whenever (hopefully) I find the right person...

Just a girl

Friday, 25 May 2007

This bitch is back

Haven't blogged in a while - exeat was last weekend, and the weeks before were a bit hectic. And I've been a bit slack (can't colour the truth.)

Tonight I've been sending this letter to editors around the US (and I'm Australian...ha ha) via One. I'm personally quite proud of it, though chunks of it were copied from the original One letter (the facts - can you tell?) This is it:

The One Campaign

What is the power of one? The power of one vote? The power of one letter? The power of one call?

Combined, every ONE vote, every ONE letter, every ONE call makes a difference. Together, ONE campaigners have urged our leaders to introduce measures against poverty, such as the U.S. Commitment to Global Child Survival Act, which was introduced in the House and Senate. This bill promotes the use of effective, affordable preventative measures such as immunization, antibiotics, clean drinking water and vitamin supplements, which would save the lives of almost 30,000 children that are currently dying every day from preventable, treatable diseases such as diarrhea, pneumonia and measles.

Furthermore, the Education for All Act is being introduced, which would expand access to education by training teachers, building infrastructure, promoting life skills training as well as supporting initiatives that reach the most disadvantaged populations, where almost 77 million children worldwide lack access to basic education up to the sixth grade.

The ONE campaign is about saving lives, one vote, one letter, one call at a time. Because we believe that every child deserves to live and every child deserves an education.

The power of one is the power of one person to raise their voice on behalf of those who cannot be heard. The power of one is to become ONE: to visit, to vote, to write, to call and to encourage our leaders to change the world.

I sent it to the Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the New York Times. Will it be published? I can only hope...(though realistically, my chances are slim. Will they increase if I send it more than once, or will that just piss the editors off?)

And would you look at that? Blogger just auto saved my draft. Finally, after all my lost drafts...

Just a girl

[EDIT: I've also sent my letter to the New York Daily News, New York Post and the Wall Street Journal. Have I increased my chances of getting published? *snort* I doubt it! But it's worth a try...]

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

For My Friend

Thursday May 3rd was Miss SC's birthday. Because I didn't have a present for her, I wrote her a poem. It was a commemoration of our friendship since yr 9 - a collection of the memories, the highlights, the not-so-highlights. And as I was writing it I was thinking about how so many of my friends have left since I've met and known them - Miss GB after yr 9, Miss KA and Miss AW last year. So I thanked Miss SC for being there at a time - term 2 last year - when I was losing everyone else.

Nothing like dramatic irony, is there?

On Sunday, I get to emailing Miss SC and she comes over. She gives me a poem. I think it's a response to the one I gave her, which it is...the foreboding 3 lines..."Your friendship means the whole world to me,/And sadly, soon from the other side of the world, I'll be." I think she's referring to her going on gap year next year. But then the fourth lines; "There is no easy way to say this, to a friend as dear as you/But this term will be my last here, I'm moving to England, my family too." By then it's hit me and I start to cry.

It's hard to describe how I felt. I cried for a while, but then I just felt this empty pain.
I can't believe she's moving. I'm going to miss her so much. She's a gorgeous person, and she's in all of my classes bar one (she moved down to math studies - last year, for a semester, we shared all 7 classes). She was in my unit. I just can't believe another one of my friends is leaving. And I understand why she needs to go...but it still hurts.

Here's to you, Miss SC. May we live long, talk often, and laugh together.

Gorgeous beyond compare
When I need someone you’re always there
With a smile and a wave
And a hug to help me make it through the day

Always words of cheer
Always heartening to hear
You know what makes me laugh
And you’ve been there from the start

I remember those [t/t] days
When we hiked that mountain maze
Walking til our feet were sore
Singing songs til we were hoarse

Running up those steep hills
Running down, taking spills
All those meals, all those jobs,
All those classes, all those logs

All those fights, all those tears,
All those hopes, all those fears,
All those naughty things we did,
And all the other stuff we hid

I met you when you were blonde
And – as now – were just as fond
Of Harry Potter and of beads,
And when you often tripped over your own feet

I remember us in year 10
(Though we had few classes together then)
All the times I stayed with you
The fun we had, the things we’d do.

Year 11, to no dismay,
Classes together every day.
Int Dinner – me running late
And all that fuss about a date

And in term 2 I was so scared
I thought I’d lost all those who cared
But in shining maroon, you stood true
And you helped me out when I was blue

Debating together, with [a girl we knew]
Somehow it was always me and you
Debating together, side by side
Sometimes we won, others, well, we tried.

There was exeat you spent with me
My brother and I fighting constantly
You got to see the small town [where I live]
To share my home and my family

Then there was the Aths Day
[Charity] Stall, disarray,
I remember the year before
You beat [this bitch] by a metre or more

And then this year – 2007
(We always knew it wasn’t going to be heaven)
It’s more like hell, if you ask me,
What with TOK, IA, CAS and EE.

But you’ve been strong and helped me through
The tough times and the good ones too
And I know we’ll make it to the end
Because, you see, we’re best of friends.

NB: [] marks editing for anonymity

Yours always, chica;

Just a girl

Miss Julie: the Misogynist's Bitch

Miss Julie is a play written by August Strindberg, published in the 1880s in Scandinavia. I studied it last year and have been looking at it again this year as part of our WL component. Reading it over again has given me a slightly different perspective. And tonight I stumbled upon a line that simply made me laugh.

I am analysing a passage for my WL 2 essay. It occurs towards the end of the play, where Miss Julie has what I call a "psychological breakdown" when Jean kills her finch and responds furiously. After insulting him left and right, and stating that "the Count's long line will have come to an end," she concludes with:

"But the footman's line will continue in an orphanage, win laurels in the gutter and end up in prison."

Uproariously bitchy, no?

Just a girl

Friday, 4 May 2007

I Must Not Cry

Though it's a bit late for that when I've been sobbing for the last 15 minutes.
It's not even that big a deal.
I just went to dinner with my brother. We used to go running together and we'd talk but now he doesn't want to anymore. I thought dinner would be nice so we could just talk, but apparently he doesn't feel the same. He acts all embarrassed when we eat together, and is always rushing me out of the dining hall so his boarding house buddies don't see him with me. He actually told me that he prefers to eat with the guys in his boarding house. And I was insulted enough that he's been acting like that, but when he said it, it just made me start to cry (not in front of him, fortunately I held off til the boarding house). It's that he's embarrassed to be around me is so...insulting. I mean he's my brother and I love him and we fight all the time, but I didn't think it was that bad.

Just a girl

Medea: Greek Bitch

In celebration of last night's fantastic production of Medea (entitled Beloved), here's an excerpt from one of my favourite monoglogues in Medea.

"Of all Earth's creatures that live and breathe,
Are we women not the wretchedest?
We scratch and save a dowry to buy a man --
And then he lords it over us: we're his,
Our lives depend on how his lordship feels
For better for worse: we can't divorce him.
However he turns out, he's ours and ours he stays.
Women's cunning? We need all of it.
Set down with strangers, with ways and laws
She never knew at home, a wife must learn
Every trick she can to please the man
Whose bed she shares. If he's satisfied,
If he lives content, rides not against the yoke --
Congratulations! If not we're better dead.
A husband, tired of domesticity,
Goes out, see friends, enjoys himself --
but we must always look to him alone.
Our reward? A quiet life they promise us.
They'll grab the spears. They'll take the strain.
I'd three times sooner go to war
Than suffer childbirth once."

Medea, the B.C. bitch, feminist before her time. Love her! And I love the irony -- that she was written by a man!

Just a girl

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Bio at Sunset

I was working in the bio labs this afternoon on my prac (yes, I know I'm nerdy) around 5 o'clock as the sun was starting to do down, and I snapped this:

I think it's rather nice...I like the window frame, and the sun through the trees...just gave me a different (more beautiful) perspective of the view from the bio labs!

Just a girl

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Not a Laughing Matter

Actually, it is. This whole day has been one long laugh. I can't remember feeling this happy for a while. Today started out early, to say the least - I got up at 6.30 (ungodly, I know) to finish Spanish papers that weren't even due (that makes me sound bitter - I'm not). The day improved - in math, I got talking to a good friend who I sort of haven't seen/spoken to really in a while...we've gone different ways (despite being in the same boarding house). But tonight we had this great email conversation that made me laugh so hard. The day got even better when I started getting results in my biology prac (it's nerdy to be happy about something like that, but I haven't been getting results in this prac for ages) and I had an 'aha!' moment about my TOK oral (v. sad indeed...). Handed in an IA (history) draft and talked over my TOK oral (cleared up a few things). All in all, a fairly satisfactory and not too depressing academic day. Played netball this afternoon which was great, love playing netball, it's such a rush. I played WD, which is something I don't often (if ever) play, but it was just fun against a yr 10 team. Then I had dinner with a good friend who told me some funny's kind of hard to explain, but it's just been one of those smiley days...oh god, that sounds sappy. OK, it was optimistic and enjoyable.

On another note, tonight I heard an event which I will call Bitch Fest #1: World Vision. The girls were sitting around watching Neighbours on TV when a World Vision advertisement came on. The girls started discussing how cute the boy looked, and it came up that one girl had commented that "they look cuter when their poor." There was some general agreement. Then in reaction to one image, one girl said "he's cute" while another said "I don't like his eyebrows."
Ah, girls; we're such a fickle, judgemental bunch.

Just a girl


The new product coming to shelves soon - iBitch!

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Just a girl