School has been canceled for tomorrow and Friday, due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Isabel. I know Megan must be ecstatic. She’s only been wishing since Monday that we’d get Friday off, and now we get tomorrow as well. I need to squeeze in my Adkins outline (eek!) and my RP paper (double eek!) before the power inevitably goes out. My neighborhood loses power when it’s windy. One time it was sunny — but it turned out a transformer blew. It’s always boring, and my family migrates downstairs because it’s cooler, thereby invading “my” space. I hate that.

Ms. O’Neal finally came back today. She said she had a reaction to antibiotics that put her in the hospital, and she came back even though she’s not quite better yet. I hope she takes these next few days to rest. RP was almost empty. They gave a diagnostic PSAT this morning, and all Pacesetter students had to take it. (Pacesetter is the one-period version of AP Lit for AP-caliber students that couldn’t fit double-period AP in their schedules.) Geology was its usual near-boringness.

Adkins test numero dos today. No essay this time, chapters seven and eight, including the Ben Franklin video. I spent about an hour and a half studying last night, talking out loud as I read through discussion points. I got two US History questions right on Jeopardy last night, though I might have known them sans Adkins. Anyway, I think that’s the most I’ve studied for a test, ever. I feel pretty good about the test. My grade, if I calculated correctly, is 87, but I’ll know for sure… next week. I want so much to make the Promised Land (meaning that I got an A), but I know that’ll take work. Maybe more work than I’m willing to put in.

Speaking of educational stress, many thanks to Rajni (I thought it was you, but I wasn’t sure), Andra (we seem to click more and more as time passes), and Greg for their encouraging messages. I know you all care about me, and that love means so much to me. Thank you all. I’m not through stressing, and I won’t be until… May (when the admissions acceptance replies go in), but thank you for everything so far.

I don’t want to sympathize with Ms. Sim. I understand that it’s taxing on her to cover two classes at once, but giving us the same assignments makes it easier, right? As for the worksheets, I think they’re 90% inane and 10% insightful. Some of the questions are thought-provoking, and some could be changed around to be more thought-provoking, but the rest are… silly. I would almost prefer ten or twenty in-depth questions to a hundred nonsense ones. I understand why we’re “still on summer reading.” It’s not just summer reading. Does anyone remember that Mrs. Anderson spent time covering A Gathering of Old Men last year? She wanted us to analyze the style, which was the bulk of what we did in that class. Ms. Sim is spending time covering P&P and LotF because they’re “AP caliber” works. If we know the books well enough, it can help us with the third essay on the exam. At least they’re not dry.

Andrew is out sick, reminiscent of last year, so he may not show up on Saturday. That means Ian will play as our third member. Greg has seniority over me, I suppose, so he might be captain if Andrew doesn’t show. I have faith in us, though. As long as we don’t freeze and we think, we should be fine. We might even win, in which case we’ll play again in late February or March. Today’s practice wasn’t exceptional, but it’s just practice. The tv questions will be different, and we’ll have actual competition. It’s a whole other game.

Some kind of bug bit the back of my hand this morning, and left a nickel-sized itchy patch. And Greg and I were accused of being “too lovey” today, mostly because he was feeding me Goldfish crackers. That is all.

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