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

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      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

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          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

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          “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

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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.