“Smiling, Smiling” Over Sweet Brown, Awards, and Essays

I graduate next week. I graduate next week. I graduate NEXT WEEK.
Don’t mind me, guys. I’m just testing out the theory that if I say that enough, it might seem real.
I’m sitting here in the library, and I’m supposed to  be working on my paper so I can send a longer version to my professor. Sorry if you’re reading this and disappointed in me, Dr. Simpson. I’m going to send it after I write this, I promise. I’ve been in the library like four days in the past week and a half. It’s like my brain thinks that if I just go to the library, my paper is going to somehow write itself. Instead, I’m looking at hilarious Sweet Brown shirts:
sweet brown cinderella
Sweet Brown is from Oklahoma, so be jealous. That clip is from one of my local news stations.
I’m also currently being distracted because there’s a girl in a giant fur trapper hat trying to do math (currently her problem is about yogurt) on a chalkboard, and she’s talking out loud. It’s pretty funny, she sounds like she enjoys math about as much as I do (which is NOT AT ALL). It’s also apparently National Siblings Day according to Facebook, so I was also distracted finding the perfect picture to post of myself and my big sister, Rachel. It was a toss-up between these two:
rae and I balloons

rae and I little
The latter one came out the victor, if you’re interested.
But honestly, I’ve been procrastinating this paper more than is normal, even for me. I always leave stuff to the last minute, but once I start on it, I always finish it very rapidly. But this paper… ah, it’s more than just Camus  being difficult, and I know it. I think I’m scared to write it. This is my last essay assignment. Ever. And I am so upset.
Most people would be like, uh, what is wrong with you? That’s something to celebrate! Heck, most people would probably just think I’m crazy for being an English major in the first place because of the amount of writing that it entails. And I’ll admit, essays are not my favorite thing to do.
But they have been vital to the development of my very character.
I’ve always been a really good student. My mom is a teacher, so education and reading were hugely important in my family. We also are a middle class family, so we don’t have a lot of extra money. It was always stressed that I needed to make good grades in order to get a scholarship to college, and that’s something I’ve taken very seriously. However, there’s always been some things I was better at, and some things I was worse at (cough MATH cough). When I got to middle school and high school and began writing more and more essays, that is where I began to realize that maybe I had a bit of a talent with words. Writing just came so easily to me that I’d never thought about it, but when teachers began to compliment me and I consistently did well on writing tests and essays, English kind of became my thing. Now, whenever people ask me what my major is and I say English, they always reply “Oh, of course!” and laugh, as if it was silly they asked. Writing is just who I am, and essays have helped to make me that way. When I think back on the sheer volume of essays I’ve written in school, I’m amazed, but I’m also incredibly grateful. No one, myself included, likes to think that talent is really achieved by enormous amounts of practice, but it really is generally true. And as unglamorous as it sounds, I can look back and recognize that any real talent I might have had was developed by all the seemingly endless amounts of random stuff I had to write for school. And now, that has come to an end. And I’m feeling lost.
I think the reason it’s so hard for me to write this essay is because it’s that idea that if I put it off, I can ignore the truth. If I don’t write this essay, that means I’m not finishing one for the last time. I’m also not going into my last finals week, and I’m definitely not going to graduate next Friday. I also can’t possibly be about to have to find a job and start my life. Yesterday was kind of bewildering, because my school held its annual scholarly award banquet. I received three awards, all related to being a graduating senior and it was so surreal. I’ve been to this banquet before, and watched other people who were graduating receive those awards. It seemed so wrong this it was now me getting them. I’m going to be a little braggy and post some pictures from the banquet:
senior awards
graduation awards
senior awards with rae
It seems like I literally just posted my first post on this blog, slightly amazed by the fact I was in my last semester of college, but thinking I still had four months– I still had plenty of time. And now, next week I end my entire school career. I was telling my family yesterday that I can remember, with crystal clarity, sitting at my desk in my kindergarten class. At my elementary school, my kindergarten classroom was next door to my first grade classroom. I can recall perfectly looking at that door and thinking, wow, next year I’ll be through there and in FIRST GRADE. Now I’m looking at the door, but I have no idea what’s beyond it. Next Friday I’ll walk through the last doorway of my educational journey, and come out of a world of structure into one of uncertainty. Who knows where the doors will be once I’m done with school, or if they’ll be open, or if I’ll even recognize them? I’ll probably never know for sure what’s beyond them. For me, it’s like this last essay is the big potted fern I shoved in front of that last door, and I can’t stand to move it because I don’t want to look.
But the whole time I’ve been writing this, the girl in the trapper hat has been working through her math problems, steadily, doing some things right and doing some things wrong, and she just now announced, triumphantly, “I did it right! Yeeeeah!” Then she erased the board and started over again on another problem. I think I need to take a page from her book and go about life a little more like that. You tackle whatever problem comes your way, and you do some things right and some things wrong, until you figure out whatever the solution is. Then you erase the board and start again. Next Friday, I will graduate Summa Cum Laude and with an expected GPA of 4.0. I’ll walk across the stage, receive my diploma, and then I’ll shout, “I did it right!!” And then I’m going to erase the board and write down a brand new problem.
But before I can finish the current problem, I have to finish my essay. So I’ll bid you adieu for now, because Camus awaits.

Güle güle,
Sara

PS I chose Turkish tonight because someone from Turkey totally looked at my blog this week. Supposedly this phrase means, “Good bye” or, literally “Smiling, smiling.” I like that a lot.

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2 comments on ““Smiling, Smiling” Over Sweet Brown, Awards, and Essays

  1. D says:

    I just wanted to remind you that your life has already started… a long time ago. That thought brings me peace quite often. Congratulations on all of your awards!!

    • saralove11 says:

      Thanks D :) that’s something I’m trying very hard to keep in mind going into graduation, that no matter what I do it’s all part of my life and my experience!

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