It’s pretty late and I’m listening to a Spanish song my friend Herbert showed me on Facebook and eating Perry’s Caramel Cup Craze Ice Cream. The last doesn’t sound too healthy… heh. 😛
Anyway, now for the true purpose of this post. Before finals week, I decided that the day right after finals, the first day of summer vacation, I would make a Summer To-Do list. That might help me feel like I’m planning out my time and using it wisely! Unfortunately, I think I was excitedly overreacting about how great it is that I can wake up at 10 and no one would care. So… I forgot about my list.
I remembered my idea just now. And what a happy coincidence! I have a blog now – I can blog my Summer To-Do List! Gee, I love the internet.
Without further delay, I will begin writing my list:
1. Write so much that my fingers fall off. Just kidding, I need them for violin. 😉 But really, I am working on filling up my entire green 5 Subject notebook by the end of summer vacation (that doesn’t include what I write on the computer!). Actually, that’s not really fair. I filled in two subjects already in the past few weeks. I’ll get more notebooks then! That will be number two.
2. Buy more notebooks.
3. I’d love to learn photography this summer. I’ll need to somehow earn enough money to buy a camera more decent than the one I have at the moment. Then I’ll beg my parents for money to enroll in a photography course. If that doesn’t work, I’ll fake cry. If that doesn’t work, I’ll really cry. If that doesn’t work, maybe I could Google some online photography articles. THAT has to work.
4. Paint. Last semester in Studio Art 2, I painted for the first time. Before that, I was confined to drawing in charcoal or rubbing pastels. I heard one art teacher say that pastel lays the foundation for painting. Painting to me was a whole step above my level and I was satisfied of staying with my pastel friends. Then, for my art project, I could choose at least four different mediums. I could paint! With the freedom to choose came a spark of interest. During the project, despite frustrating moments, I fell in love with paints. Last week, I went to Michael’s and bought six tubes of paint and a Walter Foster book on Acrylic Painting. Then, as a gift for Father’s Day, I (attempted to) copy Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night and gave it to my Dad. The painting was a real failure (and Mr. van Gogh is crying in death) but I think my Dad was proud of me. And I learned so much from trying to recreate a masterpiece (emphasis on trying). It was like having a master class… almost. 🙂
5. I need to read more books! During the school year, I had been so busy I barely read anything outside of schoolwork. I sloppily piled some books on the carpet floor of my study as a summer reading list. Here are some of the books: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, and The Graceful Lie by Michael Petracca. Hopefully I’ll be able to get through them this summer! I also finished the first book on my reading list a few days ago: The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang.
6. I’m going to volunteer with some friends to tutor some elementary school kids. If you live in my area and are interested, ask me and I’ll give you the information!
7. I mentioned earlier in this post that I love the internet. I do, but receiving a handwritten letter feels better than seeing “You’ve Got Mail!” on your computer monitor. I’m sure you’ve heard a variation of that before – that technology is taking over our lives; phone conversations are a lost art, buried by texting. I’m going to skip the preaching and just tell you my plan for the summer. During my free time (ha, free time in summer), I will write some letters and snailmail them! Feel free to ask me if you’d like one (and if you don’t want to give me your address, that’s a problem)!
8. With more free time, I’d like to watch some more movies. I’d like to see more just for the fun and love of them because really, movies are pieces of art. I forget that sometimes. It would be nice to boost my Movie IQ too – memorize lines by heart and participate in movie discussions without feeling like a hermit – but I’m really looking to enjoy the movies. After all, it is summer vacation! Any good recommendations?
9. Play violin more. A few years ago I really hated violin. I would only practice the day before a violin lesson and cram a few days before All-County or the NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) auditions. I only began enjoying violin after I was able to play higher notes. Perhaps it was because my former violin teacher who was far from encouraging told me that at my level of playing, it would take years to be able to play in 7th or 8th position (in layman’s terms, really high on the fingerboard). Those words made violin dull for me. Getting better at music was a paradise I could not attain. Slowly and with two years of dreadful violin lessons, I got it! Two years. Not five or six. Not years like my teacher said. I still don’t know if my teacher only said that as a (failed) effort to get me practicing. Nevertheless, I became much more confident with my playing. With my newfound confidence, I enjoyed violin more and gave attention to it. Soon, I was able to find beauty behind the sore neck and fingers. This summer, I wish to find more beauty with my violin.
10. Practice tennis. Pre-season begins in two months! I’ll be getting ready at a Cornell University tennis camp (I heard they serve really good food! :D) for four days and in a local Junior USTA tennis team. As for the latter, the more the merrier/hairier/scarier (I wanted to avoid using a clichéd idiom. Now, it just looks stupid…). If anyone is interested (and knows me and lives in my area, of course), please don’t hesitate to let me know and I will give you contact information. It’ll be fun if you join (unless you prey on teenage tennis players)!
That’s it! Of course, I’ll be doing much more with my summer (like eat and breathe), but those are ten things I will definitely keep in mind. Actually, it’s more like nine… number two isn’t that important. I didn’t even elaborate on it.
What are some of your to-dos for the summer?
I’d like to end this entry with a thank you for reading and a brilliant quote (that is distantly related to my post) by Mahatma Gandhi:
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”