On Complaints by Sophia Mazoschek

Last week in Creative Writing we started the process of making zines (replacements for our beloved but occasionally overambitious literary journal, Umlaut). We were broken up into groups of four and tasked with coming up with an original idea for a zine. I tried to look contemplative and scribbled a few notes on my paper, but my mind was elsewhere; On the huge stack of English work I had waiting for me at home, the fact that I was scheduled to babysit for the entire weekend, and a hundred other minor problems that somehow felt like the most reprehensible injustices the world had ever seen.

Recently I have been complaining to anyone who’ll listen. I realize that this isn’t exactly an endearing characteristic, but I can’t shut it off. My relatively normal life has suddenly and inexplicably become a source of constant frustration. I’m out of it all the time and feel stuck on autopilot, as if my daily life is just a boring short film on a never-ending loop. Obviously this is a normal thing for a 16-year-old to be going through, and people tolerate it to a point, but after, say, a week, you’re expected to suck it up and feel better.

What usually gets me out a funk like this is doing something productive or focused on self-improvement, like exercise. But this time around I haven’t been able to redirect my feelings into the sort of productive energy that might help solve my problems. Attempts to sweat them out always end in sore muscles and frustration, and trying to write about them yields at most a half-page of repetitive whining. And without an outlet, the negativity festers until I feel compelled to unload it on my friends again. It’s a vicious cycle.

After brainstorming aimlessly for a while, one of our group members (I want to say it was me but I honestly can’t remember) came up with an ingenious idea: Complaints. Our zine will be a compilation of multimedia grievances from students all over the school. We’ll be accepting anything from angry anarcho-punk playlists to letters to the editor to straight up bellyaching. After all, doesn’t everyone need to vent about something?

As a junior, I’m the head of my zine group, and I’ll be the first to admit that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing- submission guidelines, deadlines and design ideas are all up in the air. God knows if our zine will come together or not. But I’m excited to get started; Whether it ends up being a hit or a miss, at least I’ll finally be channeling that negativity into something productive.

Sophia Mazoschek, 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]: Tuesday

by Sophie (’17)

IsaacCreative Writing is the last class of the day which means that by the time we get here many of us are exhausted and want nothing more than to sleep for a few hours. Sadly, that’s not possible because we still have an incredible amount of work to do for our upcoming show. Today we started things off with a pep talk slash lecture which seamlessly meshed reassurances about our capabilities as C-Dubs with the fact that we need to go deeper with our theme. It can’t just be the funny story of aliens on a cruise ship— it must be the meaningful funny story of aliens on a cruise ship. As Heather and Rachel said, the best humor is the kind that reflects the truth.

After this Heather took it upon herself to energize and inspire us by jumping around and impersonating various animals on the carpet (see the sotacw Instagram) while challenging us not to laugh, which to her credit seemed to bring stress levels way down. We also fretted about what decorations are absolutely necessary for the show (not to give away too much, but, portholes).

For the second half of CW we worked on tightening up our skits, which are admittedly all over the place in a fabulous sort of way. We developed characters, reviewed dialogue, and tried to bring a deeper meaning into the show. I don’t know about everyone else, but I think my group has definitely got the scriptwriting thing down to a science. Write something down, laugh about it for a while, then realize it’s the best we can come up with and move on.

We wrapped up the day by celebrating Giorgia’s birthday (apparently I was too early with the cupcake/cronut thing yesterday) in a suitably CW-ish manner, involving the rapid consumption of chocolate cake and lemonade.

In conclusion, if you aren’t already planning to attend this year’s Creative Writing show, I have one word for you. C’mon! CW ’13: Insane Alien Cruise Ship Skits With Deeper Universal Meaning is really not something you want to miss.