Okay. It's been a while, and a lot's happened. I'll go chronologically.
So, Saturday morning we all piled onto the buses to go home for a week. I brought a friend back with me, and she stayed until Tuesday - which included Passover, a phenomenon she'd never before witnessed. It was the least organized seder I'd ever been to, and my mother's friends got drunk on Maniscewitz and asked my friend things like "you're not a Mormon, are you?" We had fun.
So, remember how I was accepted to that Chinese language programme? Well. Last Monday, the woman from the Chinese school organizing the trip called me up and told me no dice. Apparently, NSLI-Y wouldn't supply her school with the grant for me for the same reason they wouldn't send me to Tajikistan - I'd gotten a scholarship from them last year, and for the summer programmes, they give priority to those who haven't studied abroad. They want repeaters to go for longer. I a) didn't know that, and b) couldn't miss school for that anyway. I couldn't graduate. So. I'm not going to China. I cried a lot, but I'm done now and trying to find something else to do. There are a few people I'm thinking of visiting, and I'll probably find some work and start learning to drive. But I didn't want to speak English this summer... As a consolation prize-type thing, the Chinese school offered me a scholarship to three weeks of language classes. I'll probably take it, to get a head start on Chinese classes next year at school.
The week improved on Wednesday, when my mother and I got up at something like 5:30 am to drive to Portland. We stopped for breakfast at some little diner, where I had what must have been the best doughnut in the history of fried things - it was still warm, so crispy, not too sweet or oily or heavy... it was my friend - and cranberry-walnut pancakes I'm still dreaming of a week later. Then it was onward to Portland, where we generally dance in the streets singing "civilization, darling, we're home!" This time we were in a hurry, so we just did a little shopping. Or intended to. We ended up doing rather a lot of shopping, actually, and now I have some really fun summer dresses, shorts, etc. There was no time for Trader Joe's, which is the only thing I regret about the whole day, because I had a lunch date to make it to. I guess it was technically an interview, with a good friend of my Senator who's also the former chief of staff of her husband, who was the Governor who set up my school. Anyway, the interview concerned my application to the Page Program in Washington. We had a lovely time, and lovely eggs benedict, and though I haven't yet heard back from the Senator's office, I'm hopeful about being accepted.
After all that, my mother and I drove back home, stopping en route at John's Ice Cream for dinner. John's Ice Cream is the best ice cream on the face of the planet, it's a tiny roadside shop run by a hilarious, tiny Italian guy, and whenever I have the chance I consume as much of his dazzling product as I can stand to. He has an astounding range of flavours - chocolate orange or lemon peel and strawberry rhubarb, the best ginger and pistachio, chocolate that tastes like frozen mousse. We shared a milkshake and two scoops of heaven, and didn't regret it for a minute. I fell asleep in the car, and was happy.
And now I'm back at school. I hurt my back on Sunday and haven't been feeling phenomenal, so I stayed in bed today. Real life will start again tomorrow, but there's only a month left of it! Granted, I don't know what I'm doing with my summer, but I will never, ever again study chemistry after a few weeks, and that alone makes them worth fighting through. I'm actually sort of excited about my final paper for AP Composition - it's about globalization - and the rest I can gasp through.
I found my old art class portfolio from last year. God, so much has changed... here's my favourite piece from it.