Application Process

My name is Katie.
I’m not on the varsity soccer team, I have yet to land the lead in the winter musical, and I haven’t logged any community service hours throughout all of high school. I probably look astonishingly similar to the bulk of your other applicants.

I have received above average grades in honors and AP classes and my SAT scores are at the minimum for your university. All things considered, I know for a fact that I probably don’t stand out. But last night, in the process of writing my application essay, I was visited by my former self.

Freshman Katie stands next to my bed, two feet shorter, seventy pounds heavier, wearing a sweatshirt in June, and her skin is three shades paler. She avoids signing up for any and every club, she avoids her three siblings, she even avoids herself. Her curtains are always drawn. Lying in her top drawer is a Swiss army knife that no one knows she uses on a regular basis; no one will ever find out. There is a stack of books in the corner of her room that is taller than she is, but she will never get around to reading them.

So I may not look incredibly impressive on paper, and I won’t be able to write you an extraordinary essay about the animal hospital that I work at on the weekends and what I’ve learned from my experiences there, but I have made a hell of a lot of progress during my four years. I have cut and cried, argued and fought, stayed up until 3am to finish homework and still woke up at 6am to get to school on time until I became the person I am today. I’ve learned why a bullet shot from a gun will hit the ground at the same time as an identical bullet dropped from the same height, but I’ve also learned that sometimes you’ll have to throw away your Swiss army knife for yourself because no one else will. I learned that being your own hero is your best and safest option. I learned that you can work your ass off and smile through every day and still have the lowest class rank out of all of your fellow honors and AP friends. I learned that no matter what the letters of recommendation say, nothing you will see on the other side of this is going to tell you who any of us are. We are all so much more than our GPAs. I am not an SAT score.

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I Know I Am Dispicable

I haven’t been updating lately, and I know that when I do upload, it’s just totally inadequate. I’m sorry, really. Here are some reasons you shouldn’t be mad at me:

1) This is actually the second time I’m writing this post and I’m getting really frustrated with it.

2) Finals are this week and I haven’t had time to do anything but school.

3) In the small bit of spare time I’ve had, I’ve been preparing for an audition.

4) The above is basically causing multiple mental breakdowns a day for me because it’s really my dream role and I’m putting it before everything else in my life.

5) I am preparing for school next year which is the year with the hardest teachers and also the one that counts the most. People are telling me that since I’m taking all honors classes I will, like, die.

6) I’ve been in a creative lull lately. I figure, I’d rather produce no content at all instead of producing crappy content twice a week.

7) I only have one week left of school and I had a goal to have a script ready by the time school ended, I’m barely 2/10ths of the way there. Hence: PRESSURE.

The point is, I’d like to apologize for those of you who happen upon one of my better or more-sophisticated posts and follow, only to be disappointed. I don’t want to make any false promises at the moment, but I’m definitely going to be filming the little project that I’m scripting for, and I’ll keep you guys updated. I’ll put it on youtube and link it on this blog just so you know I’m not making it up.

UPDATE: I DIDN’T LOSE THE POST. IT IS SAVED IN MY DRAFTS AND I’M REALLY ANGRY THAT I DIDN’T SEE IT WHEN I FIRST CHECKED THERE BECAUSE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I JUST WROTE OUT THE ENTIRE POST ALL OVER AGAIN AND NOW THERE’S A POINTLESS POST IN MY DRAFTS. I’M DONE WITH THIS.

The Change

For a moment, we were all there. Listening to and laughing at the same jokes. The whole universe taking a second to feel something good, breathing at the same moment, smiling at the same moment. The stars themselves seemed to approve of the time together, for they shined twice as bright that night. A moment of happiness, for everyone. An evanescent second where nothing was wrong. Everyone was on the same side. Everyone was right and wrong, but no one was conceited and no one was ashamed. Nobody was scared because there was no reason to be. For a fraction of a second, our worlds were perfect.

As quickly as it had come, it left. Surely enough, we began looking in the same direction, and seeing different things. Standing in the same light while running different speeds. Always with mixed feelings. Nothing was plain, nothing was black nor white. Suddenly nothing was good enough, simple enough, inspirational enough, painful enough, important enough, and it was for this reason that no one cared enough. Not one person realized the difference, the change. All anyone noticed was how much they missed that one breath, that one laugh where everyone was together, without resistance and without question.

From that moment on, it was only walking. Always walking. Never stopping. Forward motion, don’t stop. It didn’t matter where, directions were thrown to the wind. As long as you were walking, you were okay. Some tripped and fell, some were faster than the others. When it rained, you toughed it out. When it got windy, snowy, stormy, you kept going. The footfalls marking one era after another, and they never slowed.

Some wished they slowed, sometimes wishing they would just stop altogether. Sometimes it seemed like things would only get worse if you continued walking, but you had no choice. Everyone was a slave to the world, and no one could escape. A number of generations have passed since that single laugh, smile, and breath. The children of the children of the children of the people who were there to watch it happen spend their days walking, and waiting for it all to happen again, but as the distance from the day it had happened and the modern day grows, it seems less and less likely. As long as they keep walking and keep waiting, hope will never be lost.

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I know this isn’t what you have all come to expect from me, but I do happen to have a deeper side, so I hope you like it. If not, then don’t worry, I’ll be back to normal next week . . . probably. I don’t know if I should just consider this writing or poetry, it just started coming to me in history class, and I thought I would write it down and share it with you.

Ignorance IS NOT Bliss

I actually did more things with my life this weekend. I know, it’s unusual . . . well . . . for me, at least. My school was hosting all-state auditions this year and I promised my choir director that I would help with whatever duties he needed me with. Apparently, this meant selling concessions.

We were stocked up in the cafeteria, where they gave us a cart, two bags of bagels (however, we had nothing to put ON the bagels, or any means of toasting them so we sold none), some baked goods (about ten bags of cookies), soda, and pretzels (the soft ones). It was then that we had to hunt down the janitor and ask him for the elevator key to bring the cart up to the main floor, and around to the front of the school. Of course, my partner in crime decided to give the key back to him as soon as we were parked in our spot, not thinking about the fact that we had to get back to the cafeteria somehow (I’ll tell you more about that later). Don’t worry, though. Everything involving the cart moving between floors was her problem since I’m terrified of being in elevators.

From there, we spent the next four hours sitting in front of the main entrance being asked one of three main questions continuously. They were either “Where are the bathrooms?”, “Where is the registration room?”, or “Where is the warm-up room?”. The last one really got annoying because our ‘concessions stand’ was right in front of the auditorium. Now, I’m talking one entrance door was on our right, and the other was on our left. Both doors were propped open and you could easily, not only see the other auditionees, but hear them singing. I was asked the warm-up room question at least 70 times, and I was really frustrated with the lack of common sense.

Another FAQ didn’t start until later, and it was “Where is the cafeteria?”. This one was excusable because our cafeteria is hard to find if you don’t go here. It’s at the point where we felt really guilty just pointing people in the right direction because they are so likely to make a wrong turn and get lost that we just eventually started getting up and walking them there.

(I’m going to put this in perspective for you. From where we were sitting, here are accurate directions to get to the cafeteria “Go down this hallway and make a right. Now the hallway bends, but it’s still technically just one hallway, so even though you’re going ‘straight down the hallway,’ you’re really going to have to make another right and then a left. The hallway dead-ends at the music room, so before that happens, make a right onto the mini-staircase and then almost immediately another right to the actual staircase and go downstairs. Now just go straight out of that staircase, don’t use the back exit, and directly to your right should be the cafeteria.” You can see how we thought it would just be easier to walk them there ourselves.)

About half-way through the day, we were expecting people who came up to ask for directions, not food. Needless to say, when three guys came up to us, it wasn’t stupid of me to ask “Do you know where you’re going?” Well, they did know, and I felt stupid.They wanted waters. Then, apparently they started flirting with me. I say apparently because I don’t realize when people flirt with me. I mean, who would, have you seen my face? I only know this because the girl running the stand with me said “AAAWWWW Katie, growing up, guys flirting with you.” To which, I said “Wait, they were flirting?!”

Later on the guys came back and guess who got to escort them to the cafeteria? You guessed it, ME. Well the poor souls would have gotten lost otherwise.

Anyway, at the end of the day when we were packing up, our friend who had auditioned (a guy), helped us lug the cart down a flight of stairs and then down a few more stairs and then up a bit to the cafeteria, all the while dropping drinks everywhere. Don’t worry though, we spent the rest of the time helping out in the cafeteria (by that I obviously  mean we ate half of the food and gave two people hotdogs).

Trust Me. . . You Don’t Want to Know

Really, you don’t. But I’m going to tell you anyway because that’s the whole premise of blogging, so strap in!

Yesterday was my Dad’s first day at a new job, and he. . . well. . . he came home to an argument when we really intended for him to come home to a nice, home-cooked meal. That didn’t really go as planned.

Katie, what was this argument about, you ask? Oh, you know. The usual, ALIENS.

There’s really no doubt in my family that aliens exist in some form, somewhere.The way we look at it is: we hardly know enough about our own solar system; and there are so many more solar systems, so many galaxies, so many stars in this universe, and we don’t even know if it ends with this universe, so with all of that matter and all of those planets and stars, who are we to say that earth is the only planet to harbor life?

Right, so aliens exist, end of story. That’s not the argument. The argument is, let’s say they discover life on earth (assuming they’re more than just a single-celled organism floating on a rock, of course) before we discover life on the planet they’re from (although I find this highly unlikely, but hypothetically), what would they do?

My brother says they would ‘observe’ our planet long enough to conclude that we are violent people (by intercepting things like holocaust documentaries and other documentaries on war and things of the sort) and then they would attack us.

I disagree. I think it would go a little more like this (remember, throughout this argument, he was yelling and me and I was yelling right back at him, we get that heated): they would discover life on earth. I would assume that they were doing it for all the same reasons we are looking for life in the universe; curiosity, research, maybe resources. If they tried to ‘observe’ our planet, they would first have to get close enough, and I’m not sure if they would be able to do that without our realizing it. My mom made the point that everything we broadcast is out in space; but if they had radio technology, which they should to be taking on space travel, we would know they’re there just as well as they would know about us. Knowing world leaders and anti-war activists today, you would assume the world leaders would team up and probably want to go about this with peace. I mean, nobody wants a full-on war until there is no other option.

If it did, in the end, come to a war, I have no doubt that aliens would kill us. I mean, they had the advances in technology enough to get them to our planet and discover our planet’s life. It might not occur to them to put weapons on their ship, as I don’t think it occurred to us when we went to the moon; we were too busy with the issue of actually getting to the moon. The same with the Mars curiosity rover. However, if it did occur to them, we would be done for.

Alright , that’s all I’ve got for today, but I’d really like to know what you think in the comments, so go ahead with that. I’d really like to hear what other people are thinking, aliens are by far my favorite topic.

Not Going Back

I was never an extraordinary person. I don’t really mind. That’s what I was expecting throughout my life. That chubby kid who sat in the back in elementary school. That girl who got really tall a little to early. That ordinary girl with the ordinary straight, brown hair and the awkwardly pale skin.

I wasn’t expecting much when I went to school everyday. I wasn’t expecting people to come up to me, wanting to be my friends. I was completely content with the group of friends I had, my five close friends and a number of people who would occasionally chat with me when there was no better option.

I never wore make-up. At least, not regularly. It was a type of rebellion for me. Not teenage rebellion, raging out against overbearing parents who expected too much or not enough. I was too perfect of a daughter for that, with grades that were too perfect and interests that were far too mature for my age. It was a rebellion against a sibling. A sister to be exact.

I was constantly asked by my friends “Why do you hate her so much?” after saying something akin to “Can I come over today? My sister is watching us and I don’t want to be around her.” I could never bring myself to fully explain.

She was a bully, to put it bluntly. There were no physical punches, but my self-esteem definitely suffered from a few low blows. Too many comments about her disapproval of the clothes I wore or the way I laughed, not that she heard that very often. Sounds of joy rarely escaped me around her.

She was an older sister. She didn’t notice what effect she was having. She was expecting a lot. Not the sister who wore hand-me-down sweatshirts and t-shirts. Not the little sister that didn’t look like a barbie doll all the time. The little sister who had the perfect skin and the perfect body, the perfect hair and the perfect face; she wanted her little sister to have all of the things that she, herself, could not have. That was what she was expecting. There was no way that only I could be good enough. Nose in a book, simplistic, low maintenance;  never good enough.

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So she poked and she prodded, trying to encourage further beauty when, actually, just forcing me deeper into my shell, into my perfect little corner of the world where nothing hurt because nothing was there. There was no encouragement, there was only her forcing me further down into this exceedingly dark place until I found myself in my own, personal hell.

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Then, I kept hidden. Who could blame me? Every time I stepped out of my room I was criticized, sneered at, given some form of a disapproving look, and I couldn’t handle it. This wouldn’t do for my sister. No, no. Her little sister had to be sociable, she had to be surrounded by her coolest peers and she had to have the boys all over her, even if it meant not maintaining one shred of dignity or self-respect.

So why is she so unbearable? Why do I swear on my own life that as soon as it’s completely up to me, I’ll never let myself see her again? Isn’t it obvious that it’s a little hard for me to talk about. It’s even hard to write about it.

The past is full of extremely shameful things, but the past is over now, that’s why it’s called the past.

That was last year, when I wore one hoodie and a different t-shirt every day as a way to silently say “go ahead, you can say what you want. I won’t give you the satisfaction of changing me in any way.” Every day, I looked in the mirror and pointed out every flaw in my head. ‘You’re eye is a little lazy (it hardly is), you have a blemish on your forehead, you need to fix your hair, you need to lose weight.’ It was as if she had infested my brain and laid tiny little eggs so that the seeds of her would torment my subconscious when she wasn’t around to do it.

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I held off on the makeover until she left for college. She wouldn’t be able to credit herself in any way, not if I had anything to say about it.

She was gone, and I still had my brothers, and my friends, and things were finally looking up because there was one person eliminated from my life, if even for a little while. It was then that I began realizing that I was treating myself terribly. Being in such a dark place, it’s really hard to see any hint of light. It’s hard to go to school and let everyone see what is going on inside, so I put on a mask. The girl who was always smiling, everyone knew that. I never had much to be happy about, not the most popular or the prettiest, but I found a reason and pretended that nothing got to me.

This all stopped when she was gone. Shaking myself, I straightened myself out, I started treating myself better. I began losing weight and I started actually smiling again, and not because anyone was watching, but because I was genuinely happy. I began wearing small amounts of makeup, I got more clothes, took the pair of scissors out of my room, began eating well and more regularly, and I swore to myself that I was never going back. I guess the rest is an open ending.

From The Other Category to you, take care of yourself because life sucks. . . a lot, but I know you’re strong enough, and it’ll be over before you know it. Keep looking up. 🙂

In Fear of Yourself

It isn’t an original topic here at this blog, but this is something that must be revisited. Don’t worry, the same information that has already been spewed at you won’t just be regurgitated, and I will do my best to make this post worth your while.

Everyone is scared, and everyone is scared that others will judge them or not like them. There is a girl at my school that left the school because nobody liked her, but she was expecting everyone to like her whilst she didn’t even attempt to tolerate anybody. She was terrified because she wasn’t being accepted by everybody.

Isn’t this everyone’s fear? Isn’t this why we talk to people we’ve just met for the first time in a totally different manner than we talk to our best friends or people we’ve known all our lives? So that we have time to gauge what is acceptable to say in their eyes so that they won’t judge you and so that you won’t be rejected.

I understand, I am the same way. However, I am not afraid of telling the truth when it comes to things on a personal level. If people ask, I answer, end of story. I have nothing to be ashamed of and I’m not going to let anyone believe that I do. I’m not going to live my life in fear of myself.

Needless to say, it upsets me when people do live life in fear of themselves. For example, a guy who is a closeted gay, locked away in fear that society will turn on him because he starts wearing clothes that match. No one should be ashamed of who they are, you’re supposed to make yourself someone that you are proud of, it’s not supposed to matter what everyone else thinks.

No, I’m not always happy with my appearance and no, I’m not particularly fond of the way I laugh or smile or sound when I talk, but I am damn proud of the person I’ve become and I’m not going to let my self-consciousness stop that. You don’t have to love yourself, you just have to be happy with yourself.

To put it simply, don’t let any little insignificant detail about you get you down. Don’t be ashamed, because I think, just because I know that right now you’ve read through this blog and are currently reading it because at some point in time you clicked “TheOtherCategory,” that you’re a pretty awesome person.

Sometimes, we all get down on ourselves, and believe me, I know what that’s like, but you can’t let that control your life. I know what it’s like to want to hide in your room all the time so that you don’t have to face people. I’ve hit rock bottom, and I’m the only person who knows it. I’m better now, and I think everyone should know what it’s like to be someone that they’re happy to be.