Archive for March, 2009

Fundraising Frenzy

Selling Comedy Show tickets is impossible. Apparently, funds are being overfundraised, and it is now an endangered species.

The American Red Cross attempted to bribe us with donuts, and the PTSA told us to have a “Make-believe Tea Party” where we donate $5 and then have tea and crumpets, which we supply. Along with the table and the chairs and the dolls and the teacups. Of course, if our class donated enough they would throw a pizza party. The ASB held a recycling contest, with $50 cash back for the winners, and Yearbook had a decidedly creative idea of selling deceivingly edible-looking key chains (no steak, unfortunately). SCOC cut out little pieces of felt with a Sharpied happy face and marketed them as “Smiley grams.” The Newspaper had a car wash and is trying to sell tickets to the year-old Transformers movie, and of course there’s the Relay for Life Comedy Show (which you should all go to). Speech and Debate held their annual Speech Follies (it was great). Track & Field had a jog-a-thon. Orchestra sold fruit snacks and sold Stucci T-shirts, speaking of which, I have a little short story.

Volunteering (more like conscription) to help clean up, I had the impression that it would consist of putting tables away and whatnot. I should known otherwise, since we were working three-hour shifts, quite a long time for cleanup. So I ended up folding and sorting more than a hundred assorted (and I mean assorted — they were mixed up and scattered to hell) articles of clothing, and doing various other manual labor tasks. In return, they told us to pick a few shirts. But that would be too good to be true. Instead, we could only choose from medium or small sizes, because we had already put away the larges. Secondly, they were skater clothes. I have no idea why that particular hobby requires its own fashion statement, but I find them quite unappealing. It took me ten minutes to find the least unappealing shirts underneath the meter high mound of shirts.

Anyways, back to the point. Last but not least (with the perpetual snack food fundraisers), we got a letter in the mail asking for $500 per child to prevent teacher layoffs in the district because of the recession. Am I missing anything else? This by the way was all in the month of March. Like a friend said, it’s as if they realized three-quarters through the year that they needed more money. Which is probably the case.

All of these fundraisers are for good causes, but the funds need a break to recover to normal population levels before they go extinct. I thought there were laws against these kinds of things.

Overfundraising: Taking a toll.


March 31, 2009 at 7:27 PM 3 comments

Getting Ever Shorter

Last night, my little brother in eight-grade asked me, “Who did you go to promo with?”

I almost laughed. Even in my year, there was a slight suspicion that you had to “go” with somebody (preferably of the opposite sex) to promo. Imagine my relief when I discovered that you didn’t have to get on your knees and ask a girl after all, and that you could simply go (no quotes this time) and cream everyone else in table soccer with the guys. Then later watch everyone else have fun because you were too “cool” (more like nerdy) let go and dance, freak, break, and any other number of vernacular expression. So it was with a certain amount of old-and-wiseness that I told my brother, “Nobody. You don’t ‘go’ with anyone to promo.”

But his question also brought to mind a certain phenomena that occurs with these year-end parties. In 5th grade, as we prepared to leave the one-room life of elementary school, we had a party called “Promotion,” which consisted filing into the room in organized lines to pick up a worthless and very misplaceable (can you find yours?) certificate of graduation.

In 8th grade, to celebrate our drop from the top of the grade-level food chain back to the bottom, we had a party called “Promo.”

And in our senior year, the will lop off yet another letter from “Promotion,” forming the much anticipated, single-syllable “Prom.” Why did tradition do this? I don’t know, but it seems to emphasize the limited amount of time you have left before entering the big world out there. Of course, its short length belies the big impact it has on our lives, whatnot with the tuxes and the limos and the dinners, and this time around you should “go” with someone.

March 26, 2009 at 7:17 PM 5 comments

Comedy Show

The Cancer Club at my high school is holding a Comedy Show.

The show features professional and semi-professional comedians who are generously contributing their services free of charge. All proceeds will go towards the American Cancer Society through the Relay for Life this June.

The show will be held on Friday, April 3rd in the high school Little Theater, so mark your calendars!

Tickets are $7, and can be purchased from HCCCC members, in F7, or at the door. This is a great way to start the Spring Break with a good laugh.

Comedy Show

March 24, 2009 at 4:35 PM 1 comment

Thanks for Reminding Me

For the past four months, I have been afflicted with a chronic cough.

I’m fine when I wake up, and I’m mostly fine after running the mile for PE first period.

Then, like clockwork, I begin coughing during second period, trying to get rid of some phlegm that won’t be dislodged. For more or less the rest of the day, I would have periodic bouts of coughing.

My dad, the paranoia that he is, has several ever changing theories about my ailment. First it was just a normal cough. Then, after the first month, he started getting ideas about bronchitis and tuberculosis. Next he thinks it might be allergies.

His latest idea was that it was psychological. When I start coughing, he tells me to try think about not coughing.

But there’s the paradox. If I think about not coughing, I am still thinking about the subject of coughing, which sort of leads me to start coughing until I forget about thinking about coughing or not coughing altogether.

And sometimes, even when I’m not coughing, my dad just has to remind me to not cough and then that gets me thinking about coughing, and then I start coughing.

March 17, 2009 at 4:44 PM 3 comments

I Never Learned That!

Because the requirements that our own high school sets for graduation isn’t enough, our governor Arnold Schwarzenegger thought it would be a pretty good idea if he could kill a couple hundred more trees and give us yet another test to use the infamous No.2 pencil on.

So after chewing through some rather dull Language Art questions about black bears, cascarones, and Sacajawea and then writing a narrative about some fictional philanthropist, we got to the questionnaire.

A few of the questions went like this, “Did your homework and/or coursework prepare you for the questions on this exam?”

My answer, “No.” They don’t teach us this wannabe SAT nonsense in English Honors. No. It is better for us to fail the CAHSEE and stick around in high school because it is more important that we annotate obvious things in our copies of Othello and then write essays about author purposes that probably don’t exist.

I’m not quite sure who I was criticizing — the CAHSEE or my English class, but either one works for me.

And the administration had the brilliance to make our testing room the cafeteria. So when the questionnaire asked me if there was any reason I might have done worse than I could have, I was forced to answer, “The testing conditions made it difficult for me to concentrate.” The smell of cookies baking can bring out the Cookie Monster in me.

March 10, 2009 at 9:28 PM 4 comments

71.4285% Dead Weight

Math for me this year comes in two parts: first, a semester of Pre-Calculus, and then a semester of Calculus A.

First semester being over, we swapped our Pre-Calc books for the calculus book. We expected it to be big, but the textbook we received was monstrous. Easily two-inches thick, there are 1192 pages in it, plus another two hundred for the Appendix, odd Answers, and the Index for a grand total of fourteen hundred pages.

There was no way we were going to finish it all in just one semester. In fact, we weren’t even going to try to. We were just going to do the first three chapters out of the fourteen.

Our calculus teacher says the book contains enough for not only calculus A, B, C, and D, but probably E, F, and G as well (but before you get there the classes start being called Analytic Calculus or Math for An Alternate, Fictional Universe or something like that). Which isn’t surprising, considering the problems the book gives us. Sometimes, you look at your assignment sheet and it tells you to do 1-30 odds. You think, 15 problems, no big deal. Then you write down the first problem and realizes it that it as four parts to it, A, B, C, and D. These bad two-for-one deals are what I call rip-off problems. But the calculus book takes it to a whole new level, giving us not only A, B, C, and D, but all the way through J! That’s ten sub-problems! But I digress.

Anyhow, I’ve noticed that our calculus books had been rebound. If the rebinders were a little smarter, they would have taken a butcher’s knife to it and chopped it into several pieces since we’re only doing three chapters. That way, I wouldn’t have to flip 1000 pages (the two chapters are about 300 pages together) to get to the Answers section and carry about three pounds of dead weight.

So if you ever feel a primal urge to mutilate your Louis Leithold Calculus 7 textbook, just make sure your cuts fall between the page intervals of [0,312] and [A-123,A-152). Then we can swap.

Calculus Break-down

By the way, who in the world dedicates a math book of all things to their sons, their son’s sons, and the godfather of the son’s sons? But then most geniuses are crazy.

March 9, 2009 at 7:44 PM 1 comment

CSF Gold > NHS Silver

Part of the requirement for the National Honor Society is leadership.

I have no idea why leadership seems to be so important. Being a leader simply means you’re stupid enough to place upon yourself extra stress, cold-heartedly dictating to others what to do (some call it delegating), and should anything go wrong, take responsibility for the whole of it. Not very healthy.

And yet for want of this self-harming quality, I cannot get into NHS this year.

What stings even more is that I am an ICC Representative for a club, but it only counts for Column B in this “Leadership Matrix”, for which you need two of. As an ICC Rep, we have to attend meetings every Monday to talk about stuff. While positions like the Treasurer are considered Column A, of which you only need one of, even though they do absolutely nothing. Not that either position is exactly one that requires leadership.

So I’ll have to stick with the California Scholarship Federation, where they have none of this nonsense about leadership. Fine, I’d rather have a Gold Seal than a Silver Seal anyways. It had better not be pyrite.


Of course, having both would make my day (or life).

March 7, 2009 at 12:03 PM 2 comments

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