Tom’s Recap (Nov. 2009)

There’s so much I should tell you guys, that I’m intimidated by the very idea of writing a blog post that aims to recollect everything that hasn’t been said. But here goes (no way this is going to cover everything).

Let’s start where I left off. The last post I wrote that was about what I’ve been doing (“Optimism in a Nutshell” was simply an excerpt from my Positive Psychology report, which has been one of my great academic endeavors this year) was a podcast about how the summer of freshman year, before sophomore year, had come to a close. I distinctly remember that I made that podcast on the Sunday before the first day of school, a few minutes after I had finished my summer assignment that’d been assigned *cough* two months before then (it came out very well, though – no joke!).

Well, sophomore year has been … interesting. Initially, I didn’t know what to think of it. But it didn’t take long to see that this was the turning point year. Ever since freshman year summer was about halfway through, and I began to reflect on freshman year, I saw that it had gone so well, and that I’d passed it with such high-flying colors (in terms of grades and in general), that as a result, I remembered very little and I paid attention to very little. Quite honestly, I enjoyed and let it flow by like a long gust of wind. It was a great year, but it was a passive year that came and went. Kinda like the ice cream man.

Sophomore year, by contrast, has been one where I’ve constantly stopped to think about the state of things. About my friends, about what I’ve been studying in class, about the massive amount of projects/clubs I’m embarking upon/participating in (respectively). It sounds like that’d be a bad thing, but it’s not. Sometimes, it can cause you to over-analyze things, but for the most part, it helps, because by stopping to think about the little things, you’re actually doing a much better job of making and preserving memories.

For me though, sophomore year didn’t start the first week of school. Realistically, it did, but my mind didn’t take notice until the weekend of that first week of school. It did that on Saturday morning, in fact:  when I parted ways with my significant other since middle school. We were best friends, but for reasons not fit to mention here, we went our separate ways, and now, we mutually agree that it was for the best. It seems cliché – for a teenager, how earth-shattering and momentous the effect of breaking up with a two-year girlfriend, right? – but she was my best friend, the one who was there always. Amongst the bliss comfort of freshman year, she was there, and in a sense, I think she was part of the pillow I rested on during freshman year. That’s why that morning meant what it did. It was like removing the training wheels from your kid’s bike. “You can do it now. Just keep pedaling.”

Indeed, that’s what I did. That very Saturday night, one of my good friends that I’d met the former freshman year was having her quinces – for those of you not in the know here, it’s customary for a girl turning fifteen to have a lavish party and dance, much like it is for an American girl to do the same when she turns sixteen – and that night was the night of nights. It was the defining moment for the start of sophomore year, for reasons I’m still trying to find and understand. One of them however, was because I began to develop an affinity towards another friend that I’d been talking to lots over the summer and that I’d also met the former freshman year. Not only that, she’d also been one of the ones there for me when Tomás at Large Online became an official project.

She – or rather, the concept of me with her – isn’t going well, but that’s a whole ‘nother story for a whole ‘nother day (or blog post, for that matter). But by the fact that I’m mentioning it in a separate paragraph – you can judge (correctly, I might add) that she means a lot to me, but that meaning is being forced right now. “Think of it like a business investment – if it’s not profitable, don’t invest in it”. That’s the crude theory of how one should react in such a situation, but with love and with human beings in general, it’s unfairly hard to follow.

In terms of academics this year – over the summer, I’d been told that I wouldn’t be able to take the elective I wanted to (TV yes, but no AP European History). At first, I was helplessly furious (largely cause I’d already hassled my parents to buy the summer reading book for that class) but the class I got instead – Psychology 1 and 2 (they’re semester courses) – couldn’t have been a better replacement. That class has opened my eyes to the world, it’s increased my appreciation of the human mind and what people think and how they behave. Let that be my personal homage to Ms. Pino’s 4th period, 3rd floor Psychology course.

Tomás at Large Online, as you know was, very unfortunately canceled a few months ago. But on the flip side, Offbeat News with Tomás Monzón, on the SMSH newscast, has been going great! I truly enjoy making the segment, and it’s extremely fulfilling to be able to continue the exact same thing I did in middle school, here in high school.

Right now, in TV, we’ve been assigned to make a music video, just like last year. Only last year, our amateurism swam miles across my group’s video. Nonetheless, shooting it was a great experience – a learning one at that – and moreover, it reminds me of when I used to carry – on a daily basis, I might add – a miniature messenger bag filled with cables to school, in addition to my bookbag. Another memory to put on the unfinished scrapbook that is “The Memories of Freshman Year at SMSH”.

For the music video, I’ll personally be shooting a music video of Toto’s hit, Hold the Line, in a one-man style (i.e. I’ll be playing all the instruments). I’m so excited about it! I have a bunch of ideas, and best of all, the main lyric is awesome!

♫ “Hold the line! Love isn’t always on time!” ♫
There’s lots more I can tell ya, and I will. Spurred by an upcoming autobiography project for Psychology, but more importantly, by my devotion to this blog, I’ll tell ya what I’ve been up to this year, little by little.

See you guys again soon.

P.S. The last picture is me with a few good friends, from when we went together to celebrate the little guy’s birthday. Fun day.


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