Greetings from a Tired Junior by Emma Bernstein

These days, I have more homework than I know what to do with and, as college applications inch closer by the day, my stress has become something tangible in my throat. This is not unusual or unexpected. I am, after all, a junior in high school and I was told innumerable times before this year began that it was going to be a tough one.

While late-night essays, last-minute hallway study sessions, SAT prep books, and lists of the 380 best colleges in North America are certainly exhausting, the hardest part of this year, for me, has been the decrease in time available to work on my writing. I find myself finishing homework late at night nearly every night, and by the time I’ve finished it usually takes a serious effort to sit down and pump out a short story instead of crawling into bed and falling asleep. Now, obviously, it would be ridiculous for me to try to write a short story every night under any circumstances, but watching both my free time and writing time evaporate as junior year progresses is frustrating to say the least, especially since I am always aware that every story I write now is a building block for the greater, more complete work I will do later. I resent losing building block after building block to the stress and sleeplessness that this year has offered.

I do not know what the right answer is here. I have to do my homework. I have to think about college. I have to write. I suppose the only solution is to keep moving, keep working, and keep writing, even if I lose some sleep in the process.

Emma Bernstein, class of 2017

Rehearsal Week by Emma Bernstein

We’re in the SOTA theater, sprawled out over the seats with the house-lights on. Somebody reads their piece on stage. Heather and Isaiah give feedback. I fidget, stare up at the blinding overhead lights. Tuck my hair behind my ear. Untuck it. Wiggle my toes and refocus my attention on the stage. Someone (anyone) is reading and I’ve heard their piece enough times already that I know what they’re going to say a second before they say it. I think about my own piece, look down at the crumpled paper in my lap, at the words that have begun to lose meaning with all the times I’ve said them. 

This is rehearsal week. It’s long, mundane, and exhausting no matter how much coffee I drink, but I am aware, even as I drift off and am jolted awake again by a crash backstage, of how precious this time is to me. I will remember this rehearsal week as I remember all others before it, as the kind of anxious monotony that is enjoyable only when it’s over, and when Friday rolls around and we go on stage to share our work with friends and family, I know I will be excited as I was my Freshman year of high school. 

Emma Berenstein, class of 2017

On Personal Narratives by Emma Bernstein

For the past two weeks, the Creative Writing department has been working on personal narratives with Margo Perrin. I came into this unit knowing one thing, and that was that I was bad at personal narratives. In fact I hated personal narratives. When asked why, my answer has always been that I am just bad at telling the truth. This is partially accurate. I do find it difficult to write about true events without filling in blanks, altering facts for convenience, and upping the tension by exaggerating the story. In the past two weeks, however, I’ve learned that these are generally accepted methods of writing memoire and personal narratives since no one can remember every detail of their life perfectly and the goal of a writer is to make our work enjoyable and entertaining to read. 

Despite this discovery, I am still uncomfortable with the process of writing personal narratives. When trying to think of why writing about myself and people I know makes me uncomfortable, I think of something Margo has said many times over the course of this unit: “Your stories deserve to be told.” 

I think it’s just hard for me, and probably others, to think of their own life as a series of fascinating stories that people might want to read. It’s even harder to think of people that we know as characters when we understand that they have so many more dimensions than we could ever put on a page. From this sense of inadequacy comes guilt, a feeling that we are giving our own stories too much time and effort and that we are not properly representing the situation no matter how many times we try. The trick to writing personal narrative, one I’m still trying to master, is to tell yourself again and again, “your stories deserve to be told.” Maybe someday you’ll even believe it. 

Emma Bernstein, class of 2017

Rehearsal Week!

Yes, that exclamation point in the title is totally warranted, even if the permalink doesn’t think so.

Voyager is off to a great start— we’ve got our whole cast and crew here: Heather, Tony, Rachel, Carol, Isaiah, Maia… Plus the brilliant tech crew we can’t do without (as Beyoncé once said, “Who run the world? [Tech]!”). For the first time since my four-year-memory (the average lifespan of a high schooler), we’ve got all our Skits-I-Mean-Interludes finalized and roughly staged in the first day of theater rehearsals. We’re also aiming high this year, in that every CDub will have their pieces memorized for the show. I expect to just cruise (badum–CHING!) along this week, until Friday, our big show.

In the mean time, here are some pictures to keep y’all entertained:

Melodica-Alien and Jules Justus-Alien Hula/Macarena (?) girls Audience

[DR]: The Fall Show Legacy

by Emma B. (’17)

Today in CW we watched Bohemian Rhapsody and The Nature of Offense, fall shows of past years, and then talked a little about our own show, which is coming up soon now. As I watched The Nature of Offense, I couldnʼt help but notice how young everyone looked only a year ago! As a freshman, there were many unfamiliar faces in Bohemian Rhapsody and a few in The Nature of Offense. It was funny to watch the upperclassmen shout out when they saw one of their now-graduated friends, although I donʼt personally know them. I think weʼre all very excited to plan our show, especially the seniors.