On the Slide

I lay my back down on the slide

And turn my face up to the sky

The clouds are sailing past the trees

The branches sway and stir their leaves

 

The wind brushes against my legs

It moves the hairs upon my head

I feel it up and down my arms

The day is nice. The breeze is warm

 

My glasses rest upon my nose

They’re smudged. I clean them with my clothes

When I take them off my face

I feel the breeze on a new place

 

I had not known what I had missed

But now I feel I’ve wanted this

A feather touch, forehead to chin

My eyelids blink against the wind

 

I look again to see the sky

But clouds and light blur in my eyes

The tree above has lost its leaves

Replaced by fuzzy canopy

 

What a pity! Cannot I

Experience both the wind and sky?

To make me choose my eyes or skin

My eyesight does not let me win

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Dread

I walk to class with a orchestra of nervous violins screeching just behind my eyes. My neck is tense, and the skin of my temples stretches as my ears strain backwards. Will he give me another chance to present my performance assignment? I slept through the last class session. Now I’m cursing my choice of an 8:30am class. I need to pull my grade up in this class, and what do I do? Sleep right through it. Well done, idiot.

The weight in my stomach drags me back against each step I take, but my nervous energy propels me forwards more quickly, and I make it to class earlier than I normally would. The professor is not yet at his podium, as per usual–he has previously preferred to be no more than thirty seconds early, and he does not presently break pattern.

I sit and wait for his arrival.

 

Unselfconscious

I saw the Moon. Did the Moon see me?

Near the edge of where the Earth bit off the Sun’s light, she had a crater.

It was grey and large, a faded scar. Nearby were speckles of darker black, deeper pits in her surface. She shone only brightly around her blemishes.

I stopped on my path and stared. It was quite rude.

Did she see me stare? Or was the night a cover for my gaze?

Perhaps she was blushing; the moonlight was radiant in the night, sanding away the lines and points of the world. As her light soaked the clouds in her face, she revealed their transparency.

2016: The Media’s Election

Think fast–where do you get your news?

Personally, I have news apps from Quartz, Tech Today, AJ English, NYTimes, BBC News, Mybridge, NBC News, and Buzzfeed News.

A list of reporters who attended an off-the-record dinner with the Clinton campaign includes key reporters from: ABC, Bloomberg, CBS, CNN, Daily Beast, GPG, Huffington Post, MORE, MSNBC, NBC, New Yorker, NYT, PEOPLE, POLITICO, VICE, and VOX.

Out of my particular news apps, NBC and NYTimes definitely attended this dinner, and Buzzfeed might or might not have. That’s three out of eight, and of the remaining, AJ English doesn’t cover the US presidential election much, while Tech Today and Mybridge don’t touch it practically at all. This leaves BBC News and Quartz. Now, the Quartz app pulls from a couple of different news sources, but even accounting for that, maybe 30-60% of my news sources covering the upcoming election attended this unofficial dinner.

A memo by the Clinton campaign lays out the dinner’s main objectives, and it sounds like an unofficial news conference. This is shady on a few levels. Firstly, the room where the information is disseminated is closed, and we the people hear it only second hand. Second, the tone of the memo is disturbing in its expectations that the reporters will meekly swallow what they given. Reporters poke, pry, and discomfit campaigns in their search for the unvarnished truth–this is how journalistic pride and journalistic integrity are created and preserved. But the campaign seems to glibly anticipate no such interrogation from the invited reporters. In fact, a quote from the memo reads as follows:

“We have [had] a very good relationship with Maggie Haberman of Politico over the last year. We have had her tee up stories for us before and have never been disappointed…for this we think we can achieve our objective and do the most shaping by going to Maggie.”

This is not an endorsement of Trump. Just because we should all look a little more closely at Clinton does not mean that we should let up on Trump. Unfortunately, this is what the media has been doing this election: scrutinizing Trump and glossing over Hillary.

Trump’s misdeeds are glaring, numerous, and generally speak for themselves. Instead of writing editorials on exactly how bad Trump’s mistakes are–instead of outlining the exact extent of moral outrage that we should feel–perhaps we should devote a little more time to Clinton’s crimes, moral or otherwise.

The College Experience: I Didn’t Get In

College applications are pretty important.

The first eighteen years of life in the US educational system are a gradient. What you do in first grade affects the rest of your life less than what you do in second grade, and so on. If you’re not careful, you end up like the frog in the slowly heating pot: the water boiled so slowly, it never jumped out and saved itself. Maybe once you graduate from middle school to high school, the gravity of the situation impresses itself on you. Colleges look at high school transcripts, after all. But that level of awareness is hard to maintain for four years, so perhaps around sophomore year, the bigger picture gets little fuzzy.

All this meandering to say by the time I hit senior year in high school, I was too laid back to pull my act together for college applications. I had plenty of stuff to put on them–in a lazy way, all through high school, I’d been saying, “Oh, yeah, I’ll join that club. It’ll be good for my college resume.” I just lacked the motivation and study habits to sit down and work on my college essays.

So it happened that on December 31, minutes before the deadline, I was frantically typing out the first draft of an application essay to Williams College.

Williams College, for those who don’t know, is the best private college in the United States of America. It’s topped Forbes’ list for years, sitting up there like a shining college on the hill. Graduates leave with top-tier educations and bright futures. People work on their applications for this school for months, discounting the years of stellar high school performance needed to even consider filling out an application.

why-didnt-you-do-it-when-the-teacher-assigned-it-because-im-a-piece-of-shit

I got on the waiting list. I didn’t deserve even that.

I’m happy where I am now; by a fortuitous turn of events that I do not deserve, everything turned out very well for me. But I know I could have done better, and I know I will never get a second chance.

Of course I could always attempt a transfer, but it’s too late for me now; I’ve fallen in love with where I am, I actually landed a great location with many opportunities, and my financial aid here is not likely to be topped elsewhere. The point is, guys, your college application essays are so, so important. It’s terrifying to think something you do in your senior year of high school can so greatly and directly impact the rest of your entire life. Instead of hiding, fight! Write the best damn essays you’ll ever write because these essays are a direct investment in your future. If you think you’ll be cursing yourself out five years down the line, you need to put some more work in.

Karen

Karen stepped outside the front door of his apartment after fast-forwarding through three hours of footage from the security camera mounted outside his door. He did not look through the peephole installed in the door, which was progress. Once he was safely settled in his car–he’d checked that the backseat was empty and there were no bombs underneath, and then he locked the doors–he made a note of it on his phone. Tell Harman I did not check peephole on Monday morning. He set it to Do Not Disturb so that it couldn’t startle him while driving  and carefully set it in the passenger seat.

When he looked up, he saw a couple of the neighborhood kids waiting for the bus. They stared at him. Karen looked away.

The gate at the entrance to his community opened as slowly as ever, and he drummed his fingers on the wheel, trying not to turn around and drive back home. Mondays were the worst. Those or Fridays. Going to work after a weekend of high-security solitude was terrible, but so was the last day of the work week, when his nerves had been scraping horror movie music for five days in a row. Fridays, he was exhausted, too tired to be terrified, which in a way was worse because he became resigned to–to–well, to the worst happening, and when he got home alive and unharmed, the relief sometimes brought him to his knees.

Mondays, though, he was refreshed and able to fear more intensely. Karen hated Mondays.