The Joy of Editing

Tonight, I looked at my planner and I realized that I only had a take-home Calculus exam. So, after a good hour of relaxing (I used the time to catch up on last week’s 30 Rock and to call my Senator regarding Fair Elections Now Act) I shuffled to my computer to write my Common Application essay – edit number 9. Though most applications are not due until January 1st or January 15th, I am applying to a school Single Choice Early Action, so all my materials need to be in by November 1st.

I think, for me, what helps the most in editing and rewriting is physically, handwriting the entire paper again, with the changes. That way, I see the flow and am more concious of word choice. I’ve probably already spent 16 hours on ONE essay. I’m determined to make it the best I can. I have been so aggravated – I literally yelled at my parents in an editing session last weekend (not a smart move).

But after editing today, I had such an amazing satisfaction finishing the most recent draft. Knowing that I have crafted each sentence and analyzed its structure really gives a satisfaction that doesn’t come from writing a forty minute DBQ. And now come all the supplementals (as well as about four more edits of this draft…)

Senior year – more privileges and more work

To an extent… I’m finally a senior, and I’m terribly excited about college next year. I’m so ready to start. I took a course at a college this summer, stayed in the dorms, lived a “college lifestyle.” I LOVED it so much! Anyway, I guess this is the time that everyone stresses out about – applying to colleges. Right now, I have ten definite colleges I’m applying to on the common app, and the state flagship (not on common app). What, you say? Ten colleges? Well, most of them are “reaches” or “likelies,” but their acceptance rates are pretty low, so I want to maximize my chances. If I’m lucky, I’ll be accepted at a couple of my top choices. I’m plogging through my applications, and making sure that I’m applying to the right places. Some days, I’m on top of the world. I think I’ll be accepted to at least half. Then, on other days, I look at my list and think “I’m going to be rejected EVERYWHERE!”

I wish we learned sooner. I mean, I’m going to turn my applications in in November, but I won’t learn (except for StateU) until MARCH or APRIL! I’ve been placating my nervousness with work – I figure I need to make my app essays the best possible. I found two sites that have great reviews of colleges Unigo and this blog.

To stray away from college applications, I am a senior in high school and my schedule rocks! I have Ind. Study, AP English, AP Art History, and AP Calculus this semester. I love Calculus, because it’s easy and fun to solve the problems. Art History is the most work, surprisingly, but it’s fascinating to see how man’s point of view changed throughout history. How we changed from composite to optical views, and how perceptions of what art is changed (art is NOT everything). I also have senior lunch, so I come home everyday.

Oh, and I love the tv show The West Wing. I’m sad that it’s over, but I have a ton of episodes to watch. I also have begun to read my Dad’s subscription to The Economist, and I love that it’s a smart magazine without photos on every page, like Time and Newsweek.

Swirly cookies

Okay, I just discovered the most delicious cookie ever. I’m making trout, broccoli, and potatoes for dinner tonight. I found a recipe for lemon potatoes. I knew we had them in the freezer, so I wanted to dethaw one to see if I liked it. So, I put a jar in the microwave for 30 seconds. Except it wasn’t full of potatoes. No, it had cookie dough.

So, I have this melty, mushy, chocolate chip cookie dough. Ruined, I figured. The chocolate was so melty that it merged into the dough. Oh, well, might as well bake them in the toaster oven. So I put ten in the oven, left for ten minutes and came back. Turns out, toaster ovens don’t cook very evenly. Six of them were black and the other four were half baked. That’s alright, though, because the chocolate had deliciously melted into the dough, and visa versa. There were still some yummy chips left, and the cookies were half baked, so there was dough on the inside. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to replicate this cookies again. 😦

The Explosionist

This book is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I had been trying to get ahold of this book for a long time – I had heard the buzz when it was released. But I just read it this week, and honestly, I’m glad I waited. Because if I had read it when it was released, the wait for the sequel would terrible.

The description from Amazon, which doesn’t do The Explosionist any justice:

A series of mysteries.

An explosion of truths.

The Explosionist: Someone sets off a bomb outside fifteen-year-old Sophie’s boarding school, but no one can figure out who.

The Medium: Soothsayers and séance leaders are regular guests at her great-aunt’s house in Scotland, but only one delivers a terrifying prophecy, directed at Sophie herself.

The Murder: When the medium is found dead, Sophie and her friend Mikael know they must get to the bottom of these three mysteries in order to save themselves—even as the fate of all Europe hangs in the balance.

Set in a time of subversive politics, homegrown terrorism, and rapidly changing alliances, The Explosionist is an extraordinarily accomplished debut novel for teens that delivers a glimpse of the world as it might have been—had one moment in history been altered.

Alarmingly similar to modern day technology and politics, the setting of the The Explosionist will haunt you. Honestly, I did not have time to read this book. I’m leaving for three weeks, and I should have been packing. But just like Interface, this book can’t be stopped half way through. I need the sequel NOW, and since it comes out around my birthday, it will be number one on my wishlist. I highly recommend The Explosionist. If you read nothing else this summer, just read this one book.

A Jam Packed Summer

This summer has been downright crazy, but I love it. I went to Girls State, a meditation retreat, Old Sturbridge Village, and FDR’s home. I’m just about to leave to take a course at a college. In between trips, I have been doing my summer work: read art history textbook, do summer packet. Read Hamlet, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, The Awakening, Wuthering Heights, do reading logs. Self study anatomy.

And then comes college essays! The common app and supplements don’t go online until August 1st. However, the prompts for the common app stay the same most years and Harvard sent me the 2010-2011 version of the Common App. So, I’ve started on essays and I’ve completed my list of colleges that I’m applying to. I’m applying to three ivies, four top LACs, four mid level LACs, and a public state flagship. Twelve colleges, twelve supplements.

And I’ve done some of my own summer reading. Currently, I’m reading The Explosionist.

I’ll blog more soon!

Interface by Neal Stephenson

I read this a long time ago, over Christmas holiday. Though I should have been working, once I started this book, I could not stop. Neal Stephenson writes massive, complicated novels. I’m currently reading Quicksilver, and I have been reading it since late April. The System of the World series is 3000+ pages. Interface, disimilarly, goes much faster. Continue reading “Interface by Neal Stephenson”