195: Who We Are (Crazy Gradient) [written Friday 13 May 2016]
She thinks of who we are. We are fifteen-, sixteen-, seventeen-year-old girls in our second last year of high school. We have our heads bent down, crunching numbers, algebra bashing, plucking fancy words from thesauruses to accentuate our essays, to push them over the line between a band 5 and a band 6. We spend our days in the library now, occasionally in the sunlight if we seek the banterous company of our mates. Our youth is not immortal, and yet here we are. Here we are with our heavy books, loud music and our empty questions. Here we are, some of us with lifelong dreams, others with binoculars to see into their future, others with no dreams as of yet.
She thinks of who we are. What we want to do when we leave this bubble, this prime stage of our lives. What we want, even though we have no one’s permission. What we secretly desire, things which would make us outcasts. What we hate, all these things make up who we are, as individuals in a cohort of girls. The experimental grade, the guinea pigs of our state government’s education system. Let’s bring in the NAPLAN and get rid of the Basic Skills Test when they enter third grade. Let’s make a new online science test for them when they finish eighth grade. Let’s give them an online science exam worth 40% of their yearly grade when they end tenth grade. Let’s tease them with a potential promise of abolishing the area of study when their HSC rolls around. And so on and so forth. Yet as a cohort we have persevered, survived the tests thrown at us by those who are not on our level.
She thinks of who we are. Our unique attributes, our varied handwritings, our different voices, our different hair colours, our different tastes, hobbies, music, passions, lives. Everything. She thinks of all of them.
Who we are now, these images, memories, feelings, they are all so important to her, yet she is so detached from them all. These are her perceptions and memories. Why? She doesn’t know. The human experience? She doesn’t hope to unlock any of the secrets. For now, she quietly observes, thinks, reflects, wonders, dreams. These people, part of her life now, but what about in a few years’ time? Everyone will go their separate ways, released from chains that shackle them to academia, pursuing dreams now made chaseable (omg it’s not a word!?!?).Who is she, what is her role in all of this? The observer becomes the observee, becomes the one, part of all the action. She will either succeed or she will fail. She tries not to think of either outcome, there are a few more days, weeks, months…until there won’t be anymore. She thinks of how much she will change. What she will find that will become one of the many major turning points in her short life. Who she will meet. Who might be able to soothe and warm her emotionally detached, empty heart. Who might be able to make a significant impact on her. Who might be able to direct her onto her righteous path all along…
She thinks of who we are, who we were, and who we will be when we part ways and meet again years down the path.
In brackets is Crazy Gradient because I started writing with a new grip and slant, which has either slowed me down or sped me up a few times over the last day. I’m still not sure if I should write like this. I will upload a picture soon…