Thursday, February 7, 2013

I Swear to God, This Happens

English Teacher: Alright guys, let’s call to order our weekly Make Camille Miserable Meeting. Before we get started, I just want to commend Geography Teacher for the work he’s been doing with that research project. Truly incredible stuff.

(Geography teacher nods modestly)

English Teacher: Okay. Let’s get everyone’s report for the upcoming week. Math Teacher, why don’t you start?

Math Teacher: I scheduled a test for next Tuesday. I know it doesn’t sound like much but I made sure to announce it while she was in the bathroom. She has no idea.

Biology Teacher: Very nice. This week I assigned lab partners. I made sure Camille got one who doesn’t pay attention in class, is almost impossible to contact, and has a peculiar odor.

Geography Teacher: Bravo. Personally, I was thinking about two projects and an essay.

Parents: Okay. Can we run something by you? Do you think it would work if we offered to let her go out all night, then call at ten and demand she comes home for no reason?

English Teacher: Hmm. Sounds good. What about an uncalled for lecture on responsibility?

Math Teacher: Or a breathalyzer test.

Parents: Wow. Perfect. We’re clearly amateurs here. Thanks guys.

Coach: I’ve organized sprint workouts every day next week.

Weather: It’s going to be warm every morning, to give false hope. Then, once she’s wearing shorts and flip-flops, BAM! Below freezing.

City Coordinator: I’m talking all red lights, all the time.

English Teacher: Wow. All that on top of the entire book of reading I’m going to design. I think we can be assured that Camille will be nice and miserable in the upcoming days. Check in next week for the ultimate Valentine’s Day disaster.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Valentine's Day

I like Valentine’s Day. As a young, single woman, I feel a slight obligation to cry under a desk, stifling my tears with chocolate that I sent to myself, and snapping at anyone cheerful or in pink. Other than that, I usually enjoy myself.
Now that we no longer attend kindergarten, some of my friends seem to think it’s acceptable to not give out valentines. But who doesn’t want some candy and a reminder that not everyone hates them? For this reason I tend to demand valentines from anyone who wants to call herself my friend. And from a couple people who don’t want to call themselves my friends.
I love giving valentines. Mine tend to go one of three ways: extremely creepy, lame jokes, or overwhelmingly sincere.
For the first category, I once got my friend a plastic vase that grew into a flower when you pressed a button and finally bloomed to display the message “I love your body.” It may be the best gift I’ve ever gotten anyone, other than the customized pillow of my face.
As for the lame jokes, every year I write at least five cards filled with personal jokes signed by ‘a secret admirer.’ I’ve been using that one since seventh grade and I still think it’s hilarious. My friends don’t.
Then, there are the genuine valentines. I’ve never quite understood that a Valentine’s Day card is really not the place to pour your heart out to someone. For one, your typical valentine is small, because most people content themselves with a Happy V-Day (which, to me, sounds too much like D-Day).  My handwriting sucks generally, but when I’m trying to squeeze a long-winded account of the true meaning of friendship onto a doily, it gets even worse. Also, Hallmark does not make cards that go well with the sharing of large, important secrets.
Despite my obvious issues with boundaries, I like reminding people I care about them. And I love getting those reminders in turn, even though I tend to evaluate my self worth for the day based on how many I get.
Still, Valentine’s Day has its flaws and disappointments. Romantic comedies have gotten to my brain and, every year, I expect people to line up to confess their love. I have yet to receive anonymous roses, nor has anyone ever tried to give me an enormous teddy bear, a la Taylors Swift & Lautner in the rip-off of a RomCom Valentines Day. These are the disappointments I deal with every February 15th. And this is just when I’m single. Don’t even get me started on my expectations during relationships.
Overall though, I love the holiday. I like seeing people with bouquets on the metro. I like people who wear those obnoxious headbands with hearts attached to springs. I like hearing stories from my friends in disgustingly beautiful relationships. And I like the idea of having a day dedicated to loving the people around you. Which sounds gross but, as anyone who has ever read one of my valentines (a lot can be found at knows, under my extremely cool and poised exterior, I am a gushy mess of emotion.

Monday, February 4, 2013

I Want to Start Sending Passive Aggressive Candygrams

            Dear Obnoxious,
It sucks that we’re not talking. I’m sorry you’re a total witch with a ‘b’- it must make things difficult. Miss ya!

            Dear Date-Stealer,
Hey, I know you hooked up with my Winter Formal date. I hope you don’t have any STDs. Happy Valentines Day!

            Dear Teacher,
Thanks for that Geography test! You were right- the third essay question was necessary.

            Dear Friend,
Remember that time we were supposed to go see the new Twilight movie but you ditched me for that girl who you really hate now? We should totally watch it now that it’s out on DVD!

            Dear Administrator,
After reflecting during my detention, I’ve decided it’s totally reasonable that leggings are against the dress code but yoga pants aren’t. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

ILMUNC- Day 2: The Saga Continues

2 PM: I go to committee in a much better mood than yesterday after a morning of eating, walking, bookstores, and an exhibit on the Prohibition. Equipped with a coloring book and a cheesesteak, I feel prepared to get through the next three hours.

2:05: I left my cell phone in the room. Crap.

2: 07: I feel so lost. I try to text TallGirl about this feeling, then remember that I can't. Desolating isolation fills me.

2:11: What if someone is trying to call me? What if I get an email?

2:15: A guest speaker comes to talk to us about minority cultures. He's actually really interesting. I color idly while I listen.

3:15: The speaker finishes. I go get my phone.

3:17: I sigh in relief as I reunite with my baby.

4: I send TallGirl pictures of my coloring book masterpieces.

5:30: Dinner break. We walk through snow to eat sushi.

7: Back to committee. I succeed in being noticed and get to speak. My point comes out a little more bitter than I intended.

10: I climb 16 flights of stairs to my room and collapse on the bed

11: The 'Delegate Fest' begins. We wait twenty- five minutes for an elevator before taking the stairs. In a dark ballroom, a band all the way from New York City is played an instrumental version of Stacy's Mom. We stuff sodas in our pockets and make our escape

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Live blogging ILMUNC- Day One

Every year I go on a trip to Philadelphia with my school's model UN club. This year, I became one of the presidents as my reward for sticking it out for four years. After minimal effort on my part, we set off for the trip on the morning of the 24th.
This conference, called ILMUNC, is hilarious. Take the nerdiest kids from schools all over the country, the kids who want to skip school for two days, and a handful of international students with minimal English skills, then have them live close together in a hotel for three days and debate current events, and you have this conference. There are something like two thousand students (or 'delegates') in a hotel with 30 stories and 5 elevators. Basically it's every educator's nightmare.
So this year I decided to live blog it and make my readers (hi mom and dad) experience it along with me.

Thursday, January 24th

7 AM: I wake up to find snow. Not much, maybe an inch, but snow. Which means that the 27 model UN delegates will be walking the mile to the metro with our luggage in the snow.

8 AM: We put our suitcases in HeadChaperones classroom. People are upset about the snow. They want to bus to the metro. HeadChaperone shuts this idea down. Talk of mutiny occurs.

11 AM: We congregate, exchange cell phone numbers, quell the rising coup and set off on our snowy trek.

11:02 AM: I slip and fall on the sidewalk. I resist the urge to top it off with a bow.

11:10 AM: Because we're an all girls school, we severely overpacked. We make our slow way through the ice.

11:20 AM: This may be the longest journey ever undertaken by anyone ever. There might not be hope. The school might have to send out dogs to uncover our frozen bodies.

11:30 AM: The metro looms in the distance, bringing with it a promise of warmth and safety. We buy tickets, get on a train, get off a train, and make our way through the crowds at Union Station

12 PM: "I love traveling in big groups!" said no one ever.

12:30 PM It takes fifteen minutes to load our luggage onto the train. It takes twenty for people to stop complaining about not being able to go to Jamba Juice.

3 PM: We arrive in the lobby of an enormous hotel packed with kids in blazers.

4: We get our room key and, because we're devious and old hats, climb 2 flights of stairs, catch an elevator down, smirk at the people in the lobby when the doors open to reveal a full elevator, then hit the button for the 16th flight.

5: Having donned our western business attire, I use the map on my phone to lead us to an Indian restaurant.

5:15: I realize I've been leading us the wrong way. It's freezing and we're wearing skirts and heels. I manage to dodge the attempts of my so-called best friends to push me into traffic.

7: Full of curry and naan, we arrive at opening ceremonies. A university a Capella group attempts an unfortunate rendition of a dubstep song.

7:30: The keynote speaker promises to keep it brief.

8: My fellow senior role models are playing 'Llama or Duck' on their phones.

8:15: The speaker finishes. We treat him to a nice, slow clap.

8:30: The first committee session. People walk around shoving their hands in each other faces and introducing themselves by country. I'm tired. My feet hurt. I just ate a shit ton of Indian food. Screw these self satisfied socialites, I'm sitting down.

9: The chair seems confused about proper procedure.

9:45: I check my watch. We have almost two hours left.

10:15: TallGirl and I have the following text exchange:
TG: We just got attacked by an over zealous India
Me: The people next to me are passing notes like Planned Parenthood gives out condoms. Should I murder them?
TG: People are idiots. Especially Peru.
Me: I hate everything.
TG: It's 11:11. I wished to be home
Me: After this I'm going back to the room and rocking back and forth in the shower like an abuse victim.

10:30: The chair ignores my placard for the seventh time

10:45: Some kid gets up and shouts in an accent. People cheer. I am not amused.

11:30: Freedom has never tasted so sweet.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Coffee, A Love Letter

I’ve fallen in love. And not the kind of love that Taylor Swift practices, but the kind of love that looks me in the eyes and lets me know it will be here forever. The kind that plays the role of older brother, best friend, crush, lover, and fellow adventurer.
            I’d like to write you a love letter. Something flowery and perfect, filled with metaphors and similes, that the Bronte sisters wouldn’t hesitate to claim. And I’ve written you those letters, in the moments before I fall asleep, but those are swirlings of emotion, rather than logical words.
            You are hot and steamy, but if I leave you too long you turn cold and won’t talk to me. You can be icy and sharp and biting, or you can be warm and chocolaty, and your many moods only intrigue me more.
            You make my heart go fast and my insides warm but my toes and fingers cold. You keep me up all night then wake me up in the morning. You coax me to get work done and encourage me when I want to hide away. You inspire me. When I go out with friends at night, you get me pumped up and excited.
            You come in so many varieties and no matter how far I go, I see you. You’re good enough to have every day, any hour. You smell good and you make me nervous sometimes, like a middle school kid at a dance. You can be strong and you can be weak and I love you both ways. You’re always game for anything; a sophisticated brunch or watching TV in a Snuggie. No matter how good something is- reading the newspaper, taking a walk, eating breakfast- you always make it better.
            I feel like a fool sometimes, because you were always there. I thought about you, or more like the idea of you, but you just never seemed right for me. And then, when things got hard, there you were. Suddenly you went from having nothing to do with me to being my everything. It started out as an occasional flirtation, when I was stressed or tired or didn’t have anything else to do. But as time went on, I started seeing you everywhere. I woke up in the morning and thought about you before anything else.
            Sometimes at night, lying awake into the morning, I’ve regretted the things I’ve done with you. I’ve tried to quit you. I told myself I hated feeling so weird and wondering if it was from spending too much time with you or not enough. I spent hours dreaming about your scent and watching for you on the street. I fell in love.
And now, here we are. Me and coffee. Coffee and me. I can put you in a cup and carry you around with me and always have a friend on my side. On a Sunday afternoon, on any day at any time, all I need is you by my side, because you make me strong.
I give to you all of my jittery, caffeinated love.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Medical Study of High School Senioritis

Patient: Kellogg, Camille
Sex: F
Symptoms: A glazed look about the eyes, a slackness of the mouth, inability to pay attention, weather inappropriate dress, increased frustration, rebellious outbursts, frequent absence from class, broken curfews
Diagnosis: Senioritis
Degree: Severe
History: Patient claims to have felt symptoms for several years now, increasing rapidly in the last couple of months, starting with Summer. The infliction became unbearable upon return to school after winter vacation.
Suggested Prescription: 
-A leave of absence from school until June
-A relaxing tropical vacation
-Liberal curfew regulations
-Limited discipline
Realistic Prescription:
-Increased homework load
-Regular shouting matches with parents about 'attitude'
-Multiple pointless tests and projects
-A falling Grade Point Average