CSPA ’10

March 17, 2010

I spent the day in classrooms and lecture halls at Columbia University, strolling to and from the different courses across the open-air campus. Every chance I got to enjoy the clear skies and early-spring air, I took full advantage of. I chose the place where we dined for lunch based solely on the fact that it had an outdoor seating area, ignoring the prices and the type of food we were eating. Luckily for me, it was a French restaurant, but was a bit pricier than I would have liked. Whatever, I can treat myself every now and then. Even the train ride home, which was taken up by a heated discussion about what changes to make to our paper and how it stacked up to the others that we had seen at the convention, was graced with the yellow warmth of the late afternoon sun. I spent the initial time after the departure staring blankly out the window at the New York/North Jersey skyline, which looked particularly pretty in the afternoon light. When I arrived home, I found my recently-retired father relaxing on the porch, sharing a laugh with our neighbor who was also enjoying the weather from his porch swing. My windows have been wide open all day to let the breeze in, and it’s almost 7 and the sun is still out. Spring is so close! I’m not even worried about all the Huck Finn notes I need to take tomorrow or the AP prep I need to finish or the math that I’m missing, because all that matters is that I’m much more content with life than I have been in months.

And that’s just the weather–Columbia was of course, beautiful and made me want to go there even more than I already did. Even though I got a text message from Milo gushing about UChicago, this university is still top choice. Sigh. I also learned a lot this year. The CSPA always makes me want to dive right into production and do amazing things with the features and layouts, but I attended two lectures on writing and getting published which made me want to work on my writing more than I ever have before. And I still have another whole day of fun tomorrow-I’m doubly excited. I’ve forgotten how much I love Tower/Columbia/This convention. The only problem is, I kind of don’t want to go to class tomorrow. I kind of just want to lay on the grass behind Butler library, sunbathing the whole day through.


Day 1 Of Happiness

December 2, 2009

Even though my topic of happiness for today is the reason I didn’t get to post yesterday, I still love it. Yes, that means you Tower. No matter how stressed I get, or how close I cut it to my deadlines, Tower production always makes me happy. It may seem like a burden to stare at a computer screen for 6 hours, but I often find myself wishing that the sessions could extend longer (like maybe into a sleep over…just sayin’).

My favorite Tower memory will always be the Columbia trip last March, because it stands out in my mind as an exclusively Tower event and also doesn’t mesh together into a clump of memories in my brain, like productions have. This isn’t saying that they’re insignificant-I enjoy recalling as many meals of Tiger Noodles and hours of deliriously cracking jokes with the FeArts editors as possible. I enjoy the feeling of being excitable and jumpy after having an oversized caffeine fix at four in the after noon. I enjoy the satisfaction I get from Lev and Triple-C signing off on Vanguard. And I especially adore the residue of black ink left on my hands after spending a whole break handing out and reading the latest edition.

But what it really boils down to is that I just like spending a lot of time with people whom I appreciate and enjoy the company of, and luckily I enjoy the company of the whole staff. I’m also very excited for this month’s issue, because it looks beautiful-we publish on Thursday!

So basically, I love Tower.


October 28, 2009

jackolantern_christopher_walters_470x353Some of the things standing in the way of me and Halloween include a Crucible paper and intense notes on the first three chapters of the Scarlet Letter. I have one more paragraph to write for the paper, which isn’t due until next Wednesday but still needs a draft in by tomorrow. I don’t want to search the play for evidence though. Also, as for my copy of Scarlet Letter…let’s just say I’m either going to have to do a lot of erasing or the next person who gets my book is going to have it really easy. I also have a buttload of reading to do for AP World and studying for the SATs. And Glee is on tonight. And I’m missing the greatest week for TV ever. My brother is watching Scooby Doo and The Goblin King and invited me to join but, alas, I must first finish all of my work. I despise junior year.

Some good news. Teen PEP had our first workshop the other day and, aside from some particularly unenthusiastic freshmen, I think it went pretty well. I mean, I had a lot of caffeine to keep my energy level up throughout the day and make tumbling on a hardwood floor less difficult (in our introduction I did a short tumbling pass to get the audience’s attention), but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t have done as well without the caffeine. I mean…I hope I haven’t developed an addiction. Ms. Crane warned me about drinking too much coffee last year, I wonder if I should have heeded these words.


Also, after a long, hard and stress-inducing month, Tower will FINALLY be published tomorrow! Susan and I worked for what feels like forever on this issue and it was almost impossible to get laid out because of various complications, but we managed to pull through at the last minute (like we always do) and I must admit that I am quite pleased with the final outcome of this month’s Vanguard. Many thanks to the GSA for helping us out as well as Anna, who was our ever-present tie-breaker. I adore thee.

As for the title of this post…I think I’ve made it obvious that I will have no time to do anything fun tonight, let alone watch the World Series, but I’ll still be rooting for my Phillies. If you say ‘Phillies’ too many times, it begins to sound really strange and not a name suitable enough for a world-class baseball team.

I Have Built A Glee-house

October 21, 2009

Production is underway and I’ve already got a good feeling about it. I mean, I always have a good feeling about it until the last hour of the last day, but it’s whatever. I refuse to be stressed out by this. Today when I entered the lab it was buzzing with energy and writers busy at work, which filled me with a sense of fulfillment and happiness but was ultimately overcome with sorrow because this staff will soon be disbanding and I would like for that to not happen because our staff is all-star. Really though, we’re awesome, and I’m not just saying this. Tomorrow I’ll be slaving for 6 hours  but at least I’ll get something done. Susan and I are trying to have the majority of the layout done by tomorrow so that all we’ll need to do is tweak and run by the advisors. I just hope it all gets done by deadline, and I have hope that it will! (That’s the spirit!)

I feel like the only reason I’m so optimistic and energetic is because I got an extra hour of sleep last night, but there could be other factors that I’m not taking into consideration.

my BFF

my BFF

Even though it barely helped my homecoming experience.

Homecoming was a huge bust. I had no fun and they left one of the lights on and it was 110º inside the old gym. It wasn’t until the dance finished and I made my way to Haven that I started having fun. Oh and burnt the skin off of my tongue as well. I could post all of the juicy gossip that came out of homecoming but there’s too much and it would surely end up being a bore. People don’t need that kind of information infecting their minds.


And yesterday, having finished all of my homework early, I decided to catch up on a show that I have been meaning to watch but really haven’t gotten the chance to because, unlike Grace Rosen, I do not have superior time-traveling skills that allot me the time to watch that much TV. Being swamped with work all the time has no benefits, unless I’m working at Tower. Anyway that show was Glee and I was blown away by it-new obsession? I think so. I’ve downloaded most of the songs and had their rendition of  “Don’t Stop Believing” playing on repeat all day. It made drawing skulls in art much more bearable.

Obviously evil

Obviously evil

Everything about Glee makes it the ideal show for me. It’s close resemblance to a musical but featuring some of the best pop songs in a cappella versions are all plusses. Oh, and a spine-tingling rendition of Queen’s Somebody to Love. And a ridiculous story line with quirky characters who are all extremes of their stereotypes. My friend Grace is really digging Sue Sylvester, but I love all of the intertwining love stories, especially Rachel and Fin. It’s obvious that they’ll get together eventually, but it’s the suspense that keeps me watching. And Will and Emma! When is he going to leave his idiot wife? And a teen pregnancy in the third episode already? This show caters to everything I could ever want from a TV show.

An added plus-Will is adorable

Also, Will is adorable

It’s easy to dismiss Glee as unrealistic and stupid, but really it’s the ridiculousness of it all that makes it such a guilty pleasure. It’s entirely too optimistic, but quite frankly that’s all I need. I mean, do you really think that anything else in show business (musical-wise) is actually believable? Take High School Musical for example. Troy Bolton is perfect and he DOESN’T EXIST. Anywhere. It’s nice to think that there are boys just like him wandering the hallways of suburban high schools, looking for real love and a way to do everything he wants to do in life, but let’s be real. And for another example-Chicago, my all-time favorite. A couple of dames get away with murder (one a double homicide!) and go on to BOTH be superstars. Yeah right! Look, I’ll admit that I believe Roxy needs to get some sense beaten into her, and that her idealistic and naive view of the world is super annoying, but that’s exactly the way I feel. I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. Musicals are feel-good, and so is Glee.

Vanguard ’09!

October 5, 2009

I hate to get my hopes up, but just because I am super motivated right now, I’m going to say that I am SO EXCITED for this month’s Vanguard. I am also writing because of the lack of homework I have right now. Rather, it may be just because I left my history text book at school (damn) but really, I have nothing to do. So I’ve been researching for this month’s topic (LGBT relations and acceptance at PHS) and I have found a plethora of information, quotes and article ideas.

Not only did the round-table discussion go incredibly well, at least considering that I had pretty much set it up for disaster (and is another example of Super Lev to the rescue), but it also left me brimming with excitement. As I walked home from school, my mind was cluttered with ideas and ways to acquire information from different sources. I needed some way to clear my thoughts so when I got home, I made a list of things that must be done for Vanguard. I then immediately contacted NOM to see if I could get a hold of them for an interview. It’s highly unlikely, but they are based in Princeton and I would love to get a view that hits really close to home. And by close to home, I mean three blocks away. I’ll keep you updated daily on wether or not I’ve made any progress.

What I got when I typed NOM into the google image search

What I got when I typed NOM into the google image search

And Adam has this crazy idea that he’s going to make a timeline chronicling gay landmarks in pop culture to happenings at our school, but the only things that I can think of are the founding of the GSA and when an anonymous letter was published in the Tower in 1999 complaining about intolerance and the lack of acceptance in the student body. He’ll have to dig really deep for that information, and I’ll help but I’m not going to write the whole thing for him.

The ideas just keep coming to me! I want an anonymous article on how it feels to be hidden in the closet, really eloquently written and moving. But that could be asking a lot.

I honestly think that they're just setting themselves up for disaster

I honestly think that they're just setting themselves up for disaster