September 20

The Apple Core Complex

So, I’ve accumulated so many decorative pillows that it takes actual strategy to figure out their transport arrangements to and from my bed. Does anyone else seem to have this problem? I bear a likeness to Godzilla knocking over buildings as I try to get under the covers each night. Getting home after work today, I was so exhausted that even this task seemed far too daunting, and thus I sat, at the foot of my bed, staring down my plush and tasseled adversaries right in their bladders. (So, pillows have bladders. I actually Googled “pillow jargon”).

And why was my hoarder’s nest of pillows so detrimental to me on this particular night? My lack of energy came courtesy of the common cold: the only modern-day institution in whose dealings I wish some racism still endured, and yet it remains cruelly indiscriminating. It strikes when one least expects it, and the only thing to be done is slap on a cold compress, drink some tea, and try to imagine a world in which sounding like Donald Duck is cause for celebration. Which is also commonly referred to as, “the past five days of my life;” I was so dazed at work today that I walked by the same busbin six times before I remembered that I was looking for it! Forget about taking a “mental health” day; I need a day for “mental retardation”.

 

And now, we’ve finally arrived at the story behind the my The Big Bang Theory-esque title. (“We’re” not sure why “we’re” talking like the villain in a melodrama, but I guess we’ll just ride this one out.)

Only 11 students chose to take advanced English this year, so the class was relocated to the office boardroom- as if to tell us, “You higher minds are indeed as superior as you feel.” My fabulous teacher Mrs. Joyce is thusly persuaded to bring all of her teaching materials down from her classroom each morning like a sherpa, while teachers with more popular courses settle into her space until lunch.

There are two students who can be relied upon to be first into the boardroom each morning: me, and the guy who I have been particularly frantic and impish around lately (which is NOT AT ALL relevant to the story! … ;) ). I suppose that Mrs. Joyce has picked up on our habitual keenness, because on this particular morning, she stood waiting for the two of us to enter, circa-together, at her usual spot in front of the white board.

“I have a mission for you.” she said in her usual offbeat, wry aplomb.

“Shoot.” *Ohmygoshishelookingatmetellmehe’snotlooking* answered.

“You know where my classroom is, right? Well, I need you to get there before the teacher who uses it first block. When you open the door, on your right you’ll see… well, whaddya call it… You know, those screens they use for the projectors… well, on the string that you use to pull it down, you will find an apple core. I need you to cut the string just before the core, and bring the core back to me, no questions asked. Maybe someday I’ll explain.” She handed us the key without another word.

And, sure enough, when we arrived at her upstairs classroom, we discovered the rotting apple core hanging, as-promised, from the string of the projector screen. In one swift motion, I lunged for the scissors on her desk while Dreamboat fumbled to hold out the cord. The mission went without a hitch except for one bewildered freshman, who after witnessing the whole thing could scarcely utter, “…Did that just happen?”

The looks on our classmates’ faces as we burst into the boardroom waving a piece of stale fruit most likely matched our initial confusion at hearing her request. But fortunately for my (and your) curiosity, Mrs. Joyce immediately dropped the act of secrecy; she explained how, upon returning to her classroom after lunch the day before, she had spotted an apple core on her desk. Knowing immediately that the man who had left it has her classroom for 2nd and 4th period, she decided to send him a message. Using enough masking tape to dress a fatal wound, she fixed the apple core to the string of her projector screen, and stuck a fork in it. It was only the next morning that she remembered the apple core, and determined that it “wouldn’t be fair” to the first-year teacher using the classroom for her homeroom to discover an apple core hanging at the front of the classroom with a giant fork in it.

I cannot wait to see if every English class will be this exciting! I get enough heart palpitations sitting next to *smileandlaugh,waitnotsohardhethinksyou’rechoking*; that class is slowly giving me angina.

For the moment, all I have left to do is bludgeon my way through the small village of throw pillows separating me from my bed.

Goodnight for now!

Avery

 

-419

September 6

First Day of School!

As the new school year begins, I am gratefully reminded of the sanity of my fellow high school students. Remember when one’s school status was determined exclusively by the words that rhymed with their name? Some parents legitimately set their children up for failure from day 1. Remember Maddy? Me either. “Fatty” rings a bell, though. How about good ol’ Cooper the Pooper Scooper? Hairy Harry? God forbid any of you went to school with a boy named “Dick.”

As for my experience, elementary-level word association extended so far as to christen me “Avery Slavery.” Now, none of the other kids seemed to mind that “slavery” is many parts more a concept than a specific noun, or even an action verb. This truth resonated with no-one, it seemed, as they shouted “slavery on Avery!” inviting every 1st grader within a 100-ft radius to pile on top of me. Nor did it stop my ascension to the top of the list of beneficiaries from her fellow pupils unloading their colouring books and glue sticks onto her for transport between classes. If kindergarten had superlatives, I definitely would have made “Class Slave.”

For the first time since my mother left her teaching job to stay at home with my brother and me, both of my parents were working on the first day of school. This meant that the event received no greater accentuation than any other day in the calendar year; we had left over butter chicken in the fridge and extra hamburger buns on the counter, and from this we hastily crafted what my dad now refers to as “Sloppy Raheeds.” We did go for a family walk after dinner, but turned back before we had gone half a mile in order to finish up homework and teaching prep before it got dark. At least, it gave us a chance to share about our days.

My highlight was the Catholic School Welcome Assembly. I was seated next to a young man who was stoned out of his mind. It’s actually hilarious, the disparity between the strict religious kids and the “wild” partygoers at my school. It’s binary. Sort of like apartheid, with a lot less social tension. The pot-smokers hang out in certain hallways, take certain classes, and the more studious youth group-goers stick to their own parts of the school. Having friends in both circles, I almost have to inconspicuously flip on a beanie to go from one to the other. I think that the problem is the occasional radical in both groups; the guy that comes to math with red eyes and dilating pupils, and the girl who asked me just yesterday, “What’s your favourite secular band?” I sometimes wonder what would happen if two such people were stuck on a desert island together. It would probably explode.

What was it like at your high school? Any culture-shock experiences similar to mine at the welcome assembly, or were you the one who was doing the shocking? ;)

Bye for now,

Avery

 

-416

August 27

Noodle Boy

Poor Peter had the worst day today! And I totally blew it; he looked like a holocaust victim when I walked into Science class, but I didn’t ask what was wrong because this obsequious and nasally kid Jimmy asks me that every day and it pisses me off. I just didn’t want to make him uncomfortable. Unsurprisingly, Jimmy carried out his same routine on Peter. Only, Peter gratefully obliged and gushed about what a horrible day he was having, and left me completely exasperated.

Peter had woken up sick, but his parents accused him of faking and angrily drove him to school after he missed the bus. This meant that he had a raging headache for his Math unit final and was not exempt from fitness testing in gym. Not to mention, our school musical choreographer has recently been calling him “Noodle Boy” (a reference to his lanky and rather unresponsive arms) and hollering at him to be louder in front of the entire cast. To make things worse I accidentally poked fun at him about the “Noodle Boy” thing, when what I meant to say was “You are SO not a noodle boy.” This is a new record for me; I have befuddled what I was trying to say in the past, but never before has something spewed out as its antithesis! That was a regretful bus ride…

It’s funny, even though I am now equipped with a car and a driver’s license, I still prefer to take the bus on mornings when I don’t have to stay after school. I guess I like having time to reflect on things other than “that semi truck is about to crush my car.” And with proper Ginger Gravol sedation, finishing homework on the bus is not such a fanciful task! Unless, of course, it’s homework from Religious Studies. No amount of sedation can prepare anyone for the breed of subjective “personal reflection” essays that litter the syllabus like gum on the streets of New York.

On that note, I received a perfect grade on my Religious Studies project! Mrs. Guise was impressed with my allusion to Saint Mary in my anti-abortion video; she even asked me how I thought of the idea! (Obviously I didn’t tell her that I brainstormed “things that would please the most radical Catholic on the planet…”) I jest, but I am rather proud of the video. Like, “Pick on someone your own size?” That stuff is genius. Also, my mid-semester report from my Science teacher Mr. Coltaire ended off with “If I only had an army of Averys, life would be so great!” I am not sure if I should be thrilled, or on the lookout for anyone coming at my scalp with tweezers… Mr. Coltaire is a phenomenal teacher- one of my all-time favourites! He gives us two weeks to hand in any assignment, just in case we cannot find time in 332 hours to do a 20-minute lab. pfft! What does he think I do outside of school? Sports?

Speaking of which, our Gym class floor hockey unit is in full swing, and, against all genetic odds, I played well today! Considering I have the hand-eye coordination of the world’s first computer, this development made me rather (way too) excited. But Butch-Of-The-Year nominations are still too far off, so I cannot say anything for sure…

I was definitely joking about our school’s celebration of masculinity, but I suppose that, in some ways, “butch” is a fairly accurate description of me. For instance, I used to wish that I wasn’t a girl just so I could show off my pecs. (And, they are actually pretty massive. They probably account for 60% of my boobs.) I have my childhood weirdness to thank for this; between grades 1 and 4, every Saturday morning would see me up early and completing 300 push-ups in sets of 20, to pump-up music courtesy of “WOW Hits 2002″. (I would also run for 20 minutes on the treadmill; I think what finally brought the tradition to an end was one morning when I thought it would be a good idea to run with my eyes closed, tripped, and slammed into a wall.)  But, alas, “feel my pecs” and “feel my boobs” have two very different implications for two very different genders…

 

What about you guys? Did you ever wish to belong to the opposite sex? And why?

Bye for now,

Avery

 

 

-421

July 12

“Angery” Hanaden

It is nearly October, and first-semester is in full swing; the website which allows students from my school to view their grades online has officially usurped Facebook as my preferred social network. I have a Religious Studies project and a Science paper both due on tuesday (but the former could be accomplished by glueing devil horns to the tip of a condom- Catholic school is rather opinionated.) School does funny things to my brain. I woke up from a weird dream, and my first thought was, “What insight(s) into human nature does this provide?” Well-played, English AP. Well-played.

For science class, my teacher satisfies his urge to “save the planet” by deferring to us the daunting task of printing off  our 80-page notes package. A moment of silence for the trees that lost their lives today serving their country’s education system. May they rest in sheets. But, all witticisms aside, I am loving my new school! The teachers are invested in their students’ well-being, the facility is clean, and they offer rugby, cross country, track, and musical programs- all while boasting a weight room with a sock sweat smell so impressive that I have seen my brother’s hockey bag go green with envy. Or, at least, I hope that that’s why it’s green…

I have been eating “healthy” all week (-For me, this still means gobbling down a meal portion equivalent to that of 6 Siberian men. I am, as of yet, too fearful to calculate exactly what percentage of the grocery bill contributes to my teenage gluttony, but by my family’s estimation it is somewhere close to 60%. My dad calls me “pigpen.”-) and I have also been exercising every day, except for today. Unless a mall venture to Victoria’s Secret counts as a workout! Which reminds me… Change that image of what I look like in your head from a 34 B to a 34 C! You could say that I am… movin’ on cup! Or, you could pretend that I never wrote that. Yes, let’s go with the latter.

My plans for tomorrow are largely dominated by an 8-hour shift at a breakfast restaurant, where I have been working at for over three years. (My old boss was an ex-army captain, so she likes to “hire ‘em young and mould ‘em how she wants”… more than a little disturbing, in retrospect!) When I moved here from Canada, I took a position with the same restaurant chain. My job mostly involves chatting up old people and young families, so it’s not a bad gig! That being said, a man last week came up to the counter to pay, and proceeded to drool all over the cash before placing it in my hands. We exchanged a mutually horrified look before he bolted from the restaurant, leaving his server (but not me) with an incredibly generous tip.

Another (rather one-sided) conversation I had with a customer last Saturday was-

“It’s Avery, huh? Avery… you don’t look ang…ery! *guffaws* Oh, man, oh… That was funny! But I’m sure you hear that all the time.”

No. Never. Not ever.

Despite my current employer’s lack of hardening military experience, I preferred my old boss. Ever since I began working here, it has felt far more hostile than in the laid-back western plains of Alberta. My new supervisor threatened to cancel my month-old cheques. How can I cash them immediately? I do not have a car, or a chauffeur, and bank hours are all but flexible. Not to mention my odd distrust of (and inability to cope with) technology. For someone with their own blog, I bear a surprising likeness to a hermit born in 1937. What happened to burying all of your money in a coffee can out back? Or, but a jump to the left, simply wiring the money into your employees’ bank accounts?

Yikes, having a good rant really takes it out of you! I should really hit the sack; a heavy summons lies like lead upon me. (Got me again, English AP!)

Bye for now,

Avery

 

 

 

 

-467

July 10

Hot Pink, and Sparkly

Avery

I have never been the type to keep a journal; in fact, my brain rejects this “pansy” activity with every fibre of its being. Attempting to write a gushy diary entry whilst not imploding from sheer self-disdain has, regrettably, proven too difficult to maintain over the long-term. As a result, several one-page entries detailing trite homework assignments and new crushes dot the vast landscape of my young life.

Now, it is unfortunate that according to my mother, whose indisputable correctness combined with her (lovingly) iron-fisted grip on the happenings in my life would rival those of a brain surgeon and a totalitarian dictator respectively, keeping a journal is “good for your mental health”. The whole idea of adolescent depression has become such a buzzword concept that, against my better judgement, I find myself committing to these near-daily entries in a journal that is, undoubtedly, sure to affirm and rectify everything that I “feel” during these next three years of high school, if it does not single-handedly eliminate my problems altogether.

My silent act of rebellion can be spotted only in my choice of notebook; a tacky, shiny and (best of all) hot pink little number whose spine is fraying and whose corners are peeling. I am sure that if my mother thought long and hard about it, it would be an emotional victory for me. As it happens, the notebook had been previously intended for a 10 year-old version of myself to record the lyrics to self-composed love ballads. It turns out that the prepubescent, pop star me had the notebook upside-down. Thank goodness! It doesn’t take much to spoil a gaudy, hot pink and sparkly notebook, but having the first few pages occupied with such poetic gems as “for all I care/ I could be up in the air”  definitely would have done it. My inclination to write my name in the top left-hand corner of the page is evidence of my calendorical state- my “Septemberisms” all suggest that I’m in too deep to avoid such non-summery behaviour as sprawling my first name atop the page like the nerdy “alpha male” claiming his territory. Why he would want to claim such a pink and shiny document is another issue altogether…

This semester has been quite the adjustment. I am taking Sciences, History, Spanish, and Physical Education/ Religious Studies. While this may not be everyone’s first year of high school, it is mine; I moved here from Hicktown, Alberta last year because of my dad’s work (that’s Canada, for those who didn’t know), and Albertans start high school in grade 10.  But more on that later.

So far, I have gone  to provincials for cross country, signed up for rugby, regretted signing up for rugby, and got a callback for a lead in the school musical.However, I only made the chorus. We are doing a little-known Broadway musical mystery comedy called “Murder for Two”. I currently weigh around 145 lbs, and am 5’4″. Truthfully, I would like to lose about 25 lbs.

I can also bench 120 lbs, which hardly gives me justification to write about myself and expect other people to read it, but is still sort of impressive (and that’s a plateau; estrogen’s a bitch!) Impressive enough, anyway, to validate starting a new paragraph. I still doodle stars all over my homework assignments, and draw the occasional sun in the corner of the page. Right now, my interests are singing, swing dancing, skiing, running, dirt biking, and learning a new language. Oh, and how could I forget about Judy Garland?

Allow me to first explain that I did not intend for this to happen; the whole thing was deeply underway before anyone could think to stop it, and by then it was far too late. My infatuation with the 1930’s child star began last year when, for drama class, each student was made to write and perform a monologue as a famous person who had passed away. While researching famous people from decades past, I came across an actress by the name of Judy Garland, and like most people, asked “Who is this seemingly irrelevant person?” Well, by the time I got up to perform my monologue a few weeks later, her irrelevance had become my reverence, and I have been fangirling over a dead person ever since.

I do not have many friends at the moment, but still sit with a group of other new students that I met at orientation, a habit that has proven very hard to break. So there is Maraiah, Emmy, Faith, Matt, Tyler, and Andrew. There is a distinctive ghetto mentality about sitting with these fellow newbies, however, that I do not really care to indulge much longer. Our conversations are almost all about memories from the orientation weekend, and we tend to victimize ourselves by not reaching out to new people. I also talk to a few people in my Science class; Peter is very smart, built, handsome, athletic, on a triathlon team, in the musical, plays the guitar and the fiddle, has a black belt in Ju Jitsu, likes Spanish music, and is super nice. As indicated by the previous statements, I may be slightly smitten…

There is also Hannah; Hannah is a singer who seems insecure, likely due to (2012-Facebook-history-confirmed) past weight issues. She has latched onto Peter, and is quite possessive. (Think back to Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls comparing the world of high school to the animal kingdom!) I expect that the two of us will maintain a cordial, unspoken “frenemies” status that will only make life all the more exciting.

That is really all my wrist can handle for the moment, so I’ll have to stop now in the hopes that I do not develop arthritis (hopefully, all this journaling will improve my pencil stamina!)

Bye for now,

Avery

-475