Goodbye

May 4, 2012

This morning when I woke up, I rolled over and turned off my alarm and began to close my eyes again. I usually go back to sleep for ten minutes before my rude alarm sounds off again to tell me to get up for school (for real this time). But I didn’t. I just lay there, feeling the cool breeze leak in from my window, and appreciating the comfiness of my bed. Then it hit me. I’m not ready to graduate.

It’s the first time I’ve felt this way all year, and I don’t know what to think about it. This April, everything just came together. My class is borderline unable to stand each other any longer, yet at the same time we manage to set aside our differences to have great nights outside of school. As a whole, I think we share the conflicting feelings of love and hate. For many of us, the irritable personalities of some have reached a breaking point after many years of mutual classes. Yet the sheer fact that this group spent six years together, through thick and thin, causes the cohesion outside of school that has been present senior year.

This is the final push. Every student makes one last effort to get on top of their schoolwork in time for exams before taking on summer with a bad taste in their mouths. But for seniors, there is no final crunch. Our last year of high school ends better than ever, and at this point in our year, teachers are throwing us more bones than we know what to do with. After AP exams, people will complain that there isn’t even a reason to be in school anymore. But I like it. I’m experiencing what school is like without the outside work involved, and it’s as good as my sixth grade dreams suggested it to be.

This is my final post in this blog, which will remain stuck in time on May 4th as its author moves on. All in all, I can’t wait for college. Yet I wouldn’t mind if I somehow got stuck in the threshold of adulthood either. In another reality, I like to think that I’ll still be here, endlessly updating you guys on the next big thing to cross my mind that I’ll (never have to) miss. In a way I feel similar to Holden Caulfield right about now. But our situations are not the same. He’s the lucky one. Holden is forever preserved in literature, forever sitting on that train ride home from boarding school. I’ve spent 12 great years in the Mariemont school system, but in the real world, time moves on. It’s time I move on with it.

 

Thanks for reading & goodbye.

 

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Blog update!

April 12, 2012

As of my last post, my blog SharingSounds had been up and running for almost two weeks, and was at around 350 views. Since then, I made some big changes. I redesigned it to make it look more professional, and with the help of my mom (a graphic designer), I made a new logo. I also figured out the whole Menu thing, and have a menu now on the left-hand side. I just broke 40 posts today, and am sitting at around 1,400 views. I also bought out a custom domain to make it SharingSounds.com.

People have asked me what I plan to do with the blog, but it’s pretty complicated and I usually just make a quick joke instead of sitting down and explaining it. So I figured if I wrote my plan out on this blog, maybe I can just refer people to this post instead of poorly explaining it individually.

My first step is just to build a reliable site. I post 1-2 times per day, and I’m just trying to rack up the views and followers at this point. In about 2-3 months, I plan on submitting the blog to The Hype Machine. The Hype Machine is a site that indexes about 900 music blogs, and takes their RSS feeds to show to hundreds of thousands of daily viewers. It’s tough to get accepted, and more get rejected than not. But I’m hoping to have built a good enough blog by then. Browsing through the other blogs on the site, some look to be a step up from mine and some look to be on equal footing. It seems like a toss-up once I submit SharingSounds. If I am lucky enough to become part of THM, it will raise my page views to around 1k views per day. All my inside info on THM is from the guy who first showed me it, a dude from Finland who has a blog featured there. From there, the sky would be the limit, including upwards of 100 dollars monthly in WordPress ads. The guy I have been talking to made around 300-400 USD monthly before he stopped ads (he thought they looked ugly on his blog). His site is here.

Does all this sound unrealistic? That’s because it probably is. It seems to me to be a little too good to be true. Let’s just wait and see what happens though.

Thinking about college

March 22, 2012

I would like to start out with saying that I like this blog, and I appreciate everything it has taught me. With that said, I hate it.

I used to be college crazed, and way too excited to talk to talk to anyone I could about it. But over the last few weeks, I’ve realized how much of a chore writing a new post in this blog has become. I still can’t wait for college, but I don’t feel the desire to talk about it anymore. It all just seems so unnecessary and overkill. This blog has turned from something I enjoy writing about to something that I need to work to think of new material for.

I still love this blog for what it taught me, however. It’s the first blog I have ever had, and led me to start a new one. The new blog, SharingSounds, is one that I started a little over a week ago and update almost daily. It features new (and often unknown) hip/hop music that I have come across. I used the experiences I have had with this blog to create that one, which has a custom made header, a picture on the side, and even a caegories menu on the top right. I feel that my mistakes made with this blog have allowed me to make one 2x better. I am thankful for this, and although I wish I had made my music blog first for the guaranteed hits, I don’t think it would have been possible for me to make it without a test blog to learn from.

It's a weird feeling being excited to graduate MHS, but at the same time knowing I'll miss this place as soon as I leave.

My first three years in high school, I couldn’t stop thinking about how great it would be senior year. But now that I’m there,  I’ve spent pretty much my entire senior year thinking about freshman year in college. In my mind, college is pretty much going to be the greatest thing that could ever happen in the history of the world. And I know there is no way it will be as awesome as I make it out to me.

It’s sort of scary to think about. I’ve realized this year that every single year of my life, I’ve been looking forward to the next big thing. But college is known by some as the glory years. The peak of many people’s lives. A few years from now, how will I feel to know that possibly the best four years of my life have already happened?

That’s why next year, I’ll actually miss thinking about college. I’ll be living it, which I’m sure will be fun, but it will be slightly disappointing at the same time. I won’t have that holy grail to be looking forward to. Right now, college seems too good to be true. So when it comes true, it can’t help but be a let down. That’s why I’ll actually miss the unbearable excitement that comes from fantasizing about college.

The teachers

February 23, 2012

As I have progressed through high school, I have gradually come to the realization that I legitimately enjoy all my teachers. It’s not that I am starting to like them more as educators. Mariemont generally has top notch teachers, and I’ve always appreciated their abilities. It’s that I like them more as people. I enjoy every single teacher I have in my schedule this year, from Mr. Wiseman to Mrs Baas.

There is something about having students on the brink of adulthood that brings out the humanity in educators.  Throughout the four year period I’ve been here, the personal side of each teacher has really come out. In junior high, we were treated like children, and rightfully so. I was averaging about one DT per week from Mr. Koehne, and for the most unnecessary reasons (on my part). One detention that sticks out in my mind was when I called a girl a “whore”. Why did I do this? Because I, like most of rest of the junior high, was a snot-nosed brat.

But the changes that my grade has undergone, the maturity we have gained, allows teachers to treat us like adults. All of a sudden we hear stories from teachers about their home lives, or what they did with their significant other over the weekend. This is a feature of school that both sides can enjoy, and something that students couldn’t and wouldn’t appreciate in junior high.

On the peak of graduation, I find myself looking back on teachers and wishing I could have them again. I loved having Mr. Hanley my freshman year, although I was still too childish to appreciate most of my time there. He actually kicked me out of class at one point, telling me to “go back to Dale Park,” because I “obviously (wasn’t) mature enough to handle being in high school”. I ended up feeling too awkward for roaming the halls to kill time for a whole 40 minutes, and went home ‘sick’. That experience sticks in my mind vividly even now, and is one of my best experiences ever in school. Although he may not recall it, the incident shaped who I am today, and is a big reason why I have gotten better at thinking before speaking.  Sometimes I wish I had gotten him again my junior year, to prove to myself I have transformed enough to get along with him better the next time around. But then again I’m glad I didn’t, because this would have meant I wouldn’t have had Mrs. Leatherwood, an equally hilarious and personable teacher.

Growing up also allows me to notice things I never would have before. Freshman Nick was too absorbed in himself to notice that the History pod, along with Mrs. Trybus and an occasional Mr. Ferry, likes to group together in between bells to gossip about who-knows-what. Teachers were students once just like us, and this year I’ve noticed that we really aren’t very different.

This is also the year that I have come to wish I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to be taught by certain people, something I never thought I would do. This is the reason I took Law and Criminal Justice this semester: I wanted to have Mr. Vanags at least once before I left. But there are some teachers I flat out missed out on. For instance, I see Mr. Becksfort quite often in the halls, and each time I think about how he would have been a good teacher and  friend. I went three and a half years without even speaking a word to him. About a month ago, he came up to me in the library and shook my hand, introducing himself.

“I’ve seen you in the halls,” he said, “and it’s good to finally meet you, Nick.”

This sums up the relationships that maturity allows students to have with teachers. It’s one that transcends an educational boundary. I know my classmate Ben Gorman has recently been exchanging CD’s with Mr. Litton, trading music back and forth. This is a luxury that the comfort of Mariemont allows us to have, and something I no longer take for granted.

Miami University is proud to remind me in every brochure that they have a top 3 faculty staff nationally. I’ve heard good things about the teachers at MU, and I look forward to getting close to a few of them. But at Miami there is no way that I can recreate the closeness of a 500 person school, and I won’t try to. So as I close out my final semester here, I can truly say that I will miss the relationships and connections I made with the people that teach here at Mariemont. After all, they shaped me into who I am today.

My Car

February 3, 2012

When listing off things that one would miss at college, a car would be expected near the top. Most students have two years with their license before heading off to their university, and quitting driving cold turkey could be a difficult task. That’s why I find it humorous that I actually can’t wait to be rid of mine.

No, I don’t have some old beat up vehicle from the early 90’s. My Passat runs well, and has never given me any issues. But I am financially responsible for the car, and for this sole reason I am convinced that it will fall apart at any given moment. I’m afraid that the engine will overheat, burning a hole in my pocket. Or maybe a tire will go flat, and I’ll be out a hundred bucks. However it happens, I know my car will let me down eventually.

Making it to college with an intact car would be a victory. I would then turn the Passat over to my dad, and start a fresh life without any major financial liability. As inconvenient as it could be at times, not having a car in college seems like the thing to do. I would really only need it when I plan on going home for breaks, and my parents could just pick me up in that case.

Other than that, my days will be spent contained and content inside the Oxford bubble, using my feet as the preferred mode of transportation. They say campus takes only twenty minutes to walk across anyways, so car would just hold me back. So as backwards as it sounds, a car is something a won’t miss next year.

Whether it’s good or bad, no Mariemont student disagrees with the fact that in our school, everyone knows everyone. According to most, this is a terrible thing, leading to gossip that spreads like wild fire. But in my opinion, people are a little too negative about the situation. Sure it means less privacy, which can be a huge pain at times. But there are also positives in living in a small school. For example, you know what you’re getting in someone when you become good friends with them. The fact that you probably already knew their friends, or even their friends friends, means that this new person can’t hide too many secrets. If anything, you at least know that this new guy you’ve been hanging out with a lot lately isn’t some axe murderer.

Obviously the upside to knowing everyone in my school doesn’t only apply to weeding out the axe murderers. Think of it from the point of view of a college freshman next year. At Miami, I will be one of around 14,000 undergrads. When I meet someone new, I will know absolutely nothing about them. They could be a pathological liar, or even a thief, and I won’t find out until knowing them for some time. But at the same time, going to a big school means there is a chance to start fresh. For the first time since first grade, the people that surround me won’t know anything about me. So, while all the people I meet over the next couple years may be axe murderers, I’ll take my chances and say I won’t miss knowing everyone in my school.