Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Awkward Moment When You Are Outsmarted By an Elementary School Student

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    It’s ironic. You wait all of your elementary and middle-school life to become a teenager and be “cool” and then the moment you get to high school, you realize that you’re back to the beginning again.
            I didn’t really know that I would be volunteering at the elementary school fun fair this Saturday. But my mother did, and that is how I ended up sitting at the cakewalk station, playing and pausing “Domino,” calling out the names of animals, and handing children (who dressed better than me) some random cakes.
            But there was this one kid who had a lot of tickets but really didn’t want to spend them.
            “Hi,” he said to me in the middle of one round.
            “Hi, can I help you?”
            “Yeah, you can.”
            “Alright then. Name it, kid.”
            “I want a cake.”
            “Well, if you want one guaranteed for four bucks, there’s a bake sale in the gym, but if you want a 1 in 10 chance of winning one for four tickets, I suggest you play this game.”
            “What if I just want one for free?”
            “Maybe your mother can get you one. I’m just the cake walk music player.”
            The boy seemed to ponder that for a little bit, and slump against the wall next to me, as if pouting. He stayed like this for about five rounds and watched each time as the same kids seemed to win. Don’t ask me why, but this girl in a plaid shirt always seemed to be on the right animal card at the right time.
            “Why does she always win?” he snapped after the plaid-shirt girl won her fifth cake.
            “I’m not sure, it’s not like I rig the cards or anything.”
            “Well then, let me pick the next card.”
            “Feel free.”
            So he picked the card. And it was the same card that plaid-shirt girl was on.
            At this point, he was totally convinced that the girl had the rigged the cards.
            “She shouldn’t be allowed to play this game,” he finally said.
            “Sorry, this isn’t Vegas. I can’t kick her out because she’s crazy lucky a lot.”
            After about an hour, the kid was long gone, I was running low on cakes, partly because plaid-shirt girl had won about half of them, so I put the game on hold and went to go get some more cakes.
            I came back literally 2 minutes later and I was missing two cakes. I didn’t really think much of it, and continued running the game.
            Thirty minutes later, my shift was done and I started walking towards the exit.
            And who do I see sitting at the door, eating the two cakes that had gone missing?
            The kid.
            I was just outsmarted by a child.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Awkward Moment When You Spend More Time Researching “How To Write an Essay” Than Actually Writing It

Photo Cred to

      I have never been a natural writer. When I write, Shakespeare weeps, as if thinking, “How can I have the same birthday as this pathetic young lad?” Of course, he’d say that sentence in his confusing way, but ask me to translate that for you—it’d be a disaster.
            Because of this handicap, I usually end up taking longer than everybody else to write simple paragraphs.
            For example, a week ago, an essay was due for my English class. It was a pain and I actually was up until 1 am editing to make sure there was absolutely nothing that my teacher could take off points from.
            And then it hit me. 
            We were supposed to write an expository essay.
            And I actually had no idea what an expository essay was.
            Yes, this is what happens when you are up at 1 am proofreading your essay that is due in 6 hours.
            So I researched what an expository essay was and realized that I had written my essay… in the form of a narrative.
            Really, Sarah Cruz? A narrative? Come on, you could have made it a little bit easier, but no, you had to put your voice in the writing as well as some pointless anecdotes that your English teacher has no intentions of giving you points for.
            At this point in time, it was about 1:45 am and I was blindly looking for a 5-hour energy in my kitchen, only to realize that this was a house with four children and that the closest thing I would find to 5-hour energy was some tea in the cabinet.
            Total let down, but I took what I could get. I chugged down 2 mug-fulls of green tea and the burning of the hot water definitely woke me up.
            And I wrote that expository essay.
            In fact, I wrote 4 drafts in one hour, and had never felt so utterly accomplished. At 3 am, I did a final check-over, printed all 4 drafts and the final draft, stapled them together and passed out on my desk.
            At 6:45 am, my alarm clock rang and after muttering some nonsense and about 6 of the 7 swear words in one breath, I got up and went to school.
            I turned my essay in that day.
            My English teacher told me to rip off all the other drafts I had made. She only wanted the final draft.
            I have never wanted to yell at a teacher as much as I did at that moment. I should said something super dramatic like, “I put my sweat and tears… and blood… and chugged two hot mugs of tea at 2 in the morning for those four drafts and you only want my final draft?!”
            But I didn’t. Because I consider myself someone with a little bit of common sense.
            Lesson learned: Don’t bother proofreading your essays at 1 am. Just turn the one you have in.
            And that’s the story of my horrible writing day. I’m still waiting on that essay to be graded. I’m going for maybe… a C? Tops, definitely a C.
            Sometimes I really wonder why I joined the newspaper at my school.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Awkward Moment When You Try To Make Friends

Photo Creds to
          Every Saturday I go to the Music Institute of Chicago to wait for my little sister to finish with her violin lessons. And every Saturday it seems like the same kid sits next to me in the waiting room, opens a green binder labeled “Pre-Calculus,” stares at a page of notes for exactly two minutes, active reads half of a book (yes, it’s different each time), and then takes out his music and hums quietly to himself. Yes, all of this occurs in approximately 45 minutes while he waits for his teacher to call for him.
            If you were curious, this week’s literary work was Hamlet.
            Considering that I see this kid every Saturday, I decided to make a friend and break the awkward ice that always occurs since we always end up sitting next to each other every single Saturday.
            “Hi, I’m Sarah. I noticed you come here—”
            “Yeah, I have a lesson.”
            Enter a good 10 minutes of silence. Why am I so awkward? I’d like to know that, too.
            So I took out my assignment notebook and was busy crossing out my English homework pretending to be productive when the kid looks at the cover of my notebook and asks, “You’re from Glenbrook North?”
            Extremely happy that he decided to break the silence, I took the opportunity to respond with, “Yeah, I am. Which school are you from?”
            “New Trier. But I’m actually a transfer student from Spain.”
            “Oh, wow, you don’t have an accent!”
            Why do I always say the wrong things at the wrong time?
            Trying to not sound completely stupid, I added, “I mean, like, you know, for, uh…”
            That definitely helped.
            Luckily, his teacher decided to come just at the right moment and call for him.
            He reached for a handshake with his left hand.
            I reached for a handshake with my right.
            Seeing that the handshake wouldn’t work out, he simply said, “Well, it was nice talking to you, Sarah. Also, your pencil case is spilling right now.”
            “Oh, well, yeah, thanks…”
            I cleaned up my pencil case and swore I’d never try to make small talk with people who open green binders labeled “Pre-Calculus,” stare at notes for two minutes, active read crazy hard books, and hum their violin music to themselves again.
            But I mean, chances are, I’ll end up talking to the kid again.
            Because who doesn’t want a friend from Spain? 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Awkward Moment When Small Children Get More Valentines Than You Do

Photo Credits to

          “Sarah, I’m home.”
          “Oh, hi Kate, what’s the box for?”
          “It’s my Valentine’s Day box. Everyone in my class got valentines and then we put them in these boxes. Where’s your Valentine’s Day box?”
          “Uh… it’s… in my room.”
          Reality bites. My third grade sister receiving love letters from boys before me? That’s just cruel.
          Naturally, I didn’t really think about Valentine’s Day that morning, so it’s not like I got dressed in a red dress or anything. But I really miss the whole give-everyone-a-gift day in February.
          Sometimes I feel like high school takes away fun activities and turns them into exclusive privileges.
          Take sports teams or “clubs” for example. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of having a few kids in a group who get really close and do stuff together, but sometimes I feel like teams and clubs kind of become a cult. And it’s almost as if people can’t join that cult if they weren’t there from the start.
          But maybe I’m just ranting to try to get around the fact that my sister got more valentines than I did.
          Please excuse me while I go wallow in my sorrows with a classic Disney movie and some pretzel M&Ms that my mother bought me.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Awkward Moment When You Realize That You've Been Living In A Dump For The Past Few Weeks

Photo Creds to:

The past two weeks have been one of the few times in my life where I literally become a hermit. I huddle in my room like I’m allergic to the light and surround myself with textbooks, graph paper, and a box of Ritz crackers.
Oh, how I love finals.
Not only do I love how it transforms me into an antisocial mess, but I love how it also transforms my room into an antisocial mess. As in, no one wants to step into my room, because they know that if they do, they will either 1) get yelled or 2) step on a textbook and then get yelled at or 3) trip over a basket of dirty laundry.
So I took my finals this week and I felt good about all of them except one, which would be Chemistry. And that’s kind of ironic since this whole blog is for chemistry. I believe that even though I studied my butt off for that class all weekend long, because it was my first final, I froze up and suddenly the words and numbers were dancing around the page mocking me.
Anyways, the rest of the finals went pretty smoothly if anyone was wondering. Which probably no one is. And that’s just fine, don’t worry about it.
On Thursday, I came home from my friend’s house and almost died of embarrassment when I stepped into my room because, yes, I did trip on my laundry mountain and I also did a hop-skip over my laptop and landed on my food supply from the past weeks (the crackers). Not only was the floor a mess, my trash can was overflowing with Starbucks and Caribou Coffee cups, and although I guess I didn’t realize it while sleeping before, my bed had textbooks lined up on the foot of it.
My Lord, I’d been living in a dump.
I seriously need to rethink my life.
After I finish cleaning this room.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Awkward Moment When You Have To See Long-Lost Family Members

              Today, I had the pleasure of spending an entire day at my aunt’s house in California for a family reunion. The weather was nice and the beach twenty steps outside the backyard looked enticing. In other words, it was a perfect day in the making.
                Except for the family part of the reunion.
                After not living in/visiting California for a while now, seeing family was just kind of… uncomfortable to be honest. I mean, what in the world are you supposed to talk about? You always end up talking about two things: school and relationships (as the above picture describes quite precisely). Conversations usually go something like this:
                “So, Sarah, how’s school?”
                “It’s not bad. Can’t complain that much.”
                “Are you doing well?”
                “Are you in clubs?”
                “Yes, orchestra and After School All-Stars to name a few.”
                “That’s good. Are you studying for your SATs or ACTs now?”
                “So. Boyfriend?”
                “That’s okay.”
                “Is it bad that I don’t have one?”
                “ ‘Course not…”
                “Alright then. Um… erm… I think I hear my mom calling. It was nice talking with you Auntie…”

                Yes, I am a socially awkward person. It’s okay. Luckily, family cannot judge you because they realize that if they judge you, they’re basically judging themselves since you’re part of their bloodline and let’s be honest, they came before you, so who’s to blame? I’m not really sure if that sentence made sense; partly because it was an extreme run on. My English teacher that ignores me would tack off five points with a smile.
                Maybe I should work on some social skills before I attend the next family reunion; talk to a mirror for five minutes, then have some already prepared answers for the questions I know will be coming so people won’t be disappointed. Sure, I’m stretching the truth a bit, but it makes conversations with family less awkward, I don’t think anyone will be complaining. Maybe conversations will go like this:
                “So, Sarah, how’s school?”
                “Fantastic! I’m on the honor roll and a perfect 5.0 GPA!”
                “Wow! That’s impressive! Are you in clubs?”
                “Yes, I am the captain of the math team and I am the first chair in my orchestra!” (both of these are complete lies)
                “Not bad. Studying for your ACT/SAT?”
                “Of course I am- I take classes every Saturday and will be taking the ACT in January.” (um, have I mentioned that I have no intentions of studying that hard for these tests?)
                “Do you have a boyfriend?”
                “Obviously. He’s 6 foot 3, smart, athletic, and super nice, don’t you approve?” (well isn’t this a joke…)
                “Of course I do!”

That conversation will never happen… but let’s get over it.
Family reunions will always be awkward.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Awkward Moment When You Stare At Someone While Daydreaming

I love orchestra. Who doesn’t like playing instruments that damage your back and twist your left arm around awkward instruments that are shaped like, well, you get the point. Today, we had a test, yes, a test in an elective that’s supposed to be a blow-off class. Every year, the band and orchestra and choir collaborate together to piece together the song “White Christmas,” and every year, the band and the choir take up the stage, and the orchestra is forced to play on the wings of the stage, having the song memorize. And today, the conductor was testing all of the orchestra players to see if they had memorized their parts.
           As one could probably predict, I did not memorize the piece. The reason for this is half because I expected my doctor’s appointment to end much later than it did (I had been pulled out of school and hadn’t expected to get back until the class after orchestra) and half because the last time I picked up my violin to practice, one of the strings snapped in my face and it wasn’t a pleasant experience.
            The conductor said that we could have twenty minutes to rehearse before he tested us, and many of the students resorted to practicing like good Asians should (sorry, but about 90% of the orchestra is Asian). However, I really didn’t want to crack open the violin case that sat at my feet, so I propped my feet up on the case, leaned back , and thought about my health test that I was to take tomorrow that was on STDs.
            Of course, while I was thinking about this, I didn’t really think about where I was looking, because sometimes when I daydream, my eyes are open, but I’m not really seeing what’s in front of me.
            Oh, the poor cello player who probably thought I was mad at him.
            When I finally snapped back into reality, the kid who I was subconsciously staring at gave a wounded look, like he was afraid of me. Luckily, he wasn’t shy and came up to me and asked what I was so upset about, because apparently, I had been glaring at him and I hadn’t even noticed it.
            I’m real passionate about that health test tomorrow, that’s why I was glaring. I was in full concentration mode.
            Just kidding. Studying for health class is like pulling out teeth. It’s painful and to get it done, someone would probably have to put me on some kind of drug for me to go through with it (Note: I am not advocating for taking drugs while studying).
            I guess I’m lucky that people in the orchestra aren’t really shy with each other and are able to go up to each other and ask why they were glaring at them. Sadly, I am not as lucky to have those kinds of people in the other classes in which I daydream about random things (such as pancakes, like the guy in the picture). So, I’m sure that about half my social studies class thinks that I’m mad at them since I’m always daydreaming in that class.
            Perhaps one day someone will tell me every time I stare at someone, because that would be very helpful, and would perhaps avoid that awkward moment when the person you are staring at and you both lock eyes.
            Well, that’s all I shall write tonight.
            By the way. I passed the orchestra test. Standing in the back and being short has its advantages.