Birthday Entertainment

It's Harry Potter Book Club day, but nobody's posted. Christie's trying to manage two jobs and an almost-three-year-old, and Masha's trying to keep a particularly bitter Maine winter out of her yurt. Life happens. And when it does, I don't have anything to respond to. Sometimes, as you may have noticed two weeks ago, I even go silent myself.

Besides, it's my birthday. I'm 36. Mozart is 258. High five, Wolfgang Amadé.

Lou and I are going out to dinner tonight, and I'm going to wear a new dress I got thrifting; I'm very excited about that. Till then, I am celebrating by:

1. Registering to take the SAT.

I'm now officially twice the age of the usual college entrant. Whether that thought will be helpful or hinderful when my number two pencils and I are pitted against a series of lettered orbs in a roomful of teenagers, I'm not sure.*

What I do know is that I desperately need to give myself a refresher course on algebra. I shut my Advanced Math book on my seventeenth birthday with the same fervent glee Anne Shirley displayed in thumping Euclid into a trunk before she got married. I am not, however, willing to be like Peter:

Some of these never get old.
Registering for the SAT might be harder than the actual test, especially for people who were homeschooled eighteen years ago. I had to click "I do not wish to answer" on "What's your GPA?", not because I got bad grades, but because I have never had a GPA. "Not Applicable" was not an option, and neither was not answering the question. But now I'm afraid that universities are going to think I'm trying to hide something.

2. Taking the Firefly personality quiz.

I KNEW IT. Now, if only I could use my wealth and intelligence
to correct some quizmakers' grammatical ambiguity.

3. Working on A.D.'s story.

Writer's holiday: working on the novel that's not under contract.

4. Signing up to take six piano lessons. (Thanks, Lou and Mom and Dad S.!)

Because I am willing to be like Tony.

Someday you and I will rule the world, Tony.
Or—well, we would if we wanted to.
Ruling the world is a tough job for shy, hypersensitive artistic types.

And if I can get a job that will allow me to afford school and take lessons, that will be awesome.

5. Listening to Mozart.

Here's a Mozart piece I loved before I knew I loved Mozart.

And now I'm off, because I really do need to go study for the SAT. Wish me luck. I got very good grades on my GED.... in 1996. I am currently scared spitless.

* I'll try not to give in to the temptation to put rings on the little orbs so they look like Saturn. Wait. The SAT is still taken on paper, with dots to fill in, right? I'm assuming that's the reason for the number two pencils I was ordered in no uncertain terms to bring along.


  1. Math is of the devil. I would've gotten a 33 or so on my ACT before college except for Math. I can still remember my scores on the individual breakdown. History 99, English 99, Science 98, Math 9. That 9 really brings down your average.

    But enough about my hatred of Math (C.S. Lewis hated it too.)... Good luck on the SAT!! And happy birthday again!!

    1. HAHA. Stupid law of averages; it's a math thing, of COURSE it's out to get you. I can do okay with it if I study, but I'm not brilliant, and I would much rather be playing with words.... kinda like Jack, not that I'm as brilliant as he was, either. ;)

    2. "...can do okay with math" Need to watch my antecedents if I'm going to be scolding people for grammatical ambiguity. :P

    3. heh. When I first took the SAT, I got 99th in English or whatever and 5th in math.

      Math's not so bad, though, it turns out. Your newly acquired grown-up powers will help you study and learn with a clear head!

    4. If Math had had its way, C.S. Lewis never would've been admitted to Oxford. He kept failing the math qualifier. He only got in because of an exemption for his war service.

  2. Happy Birthday!!!! Sorry I celebrated by NOT posting on Harry..:( I meant too..but..yeah, bitter winter, cold, misery, wood-splitting, etc.. I am ashamed.

    I'll be posting on Harry TO-MORROW. No excuses..at all. And I want to see pictures of your dress!!! AND Oh My Goodness College!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck on the SAT..I only took the ACT, and I can't remember my score..I only remember that I did the awkward "yeah, I might take it again.." and only AFTER offending half my Spanish Class realized I did pretty well, and sounded like a snot. ;p But since you don't have to deal with rooms full of bitter high-schoolers - you can gloat as much as you want when you get your scores back! :)

    1. Thanks! And no worries. I didn't want to write up a whole Potter post on my birthday. :P

      HAHAHA! I'll have to be careful about sounding like a snot when I get my scores back. :P I HOPE they're good. I'm certainly going to try! The SAT and ACT were both offered, but I missed the deadline for the next ACT, so I get the SAT... hopefully it doesn't matter much which I take.

      Dress pictures coming Friday! Lou took a couple of shots. :) Now, if I can only figure out why my computer bluescreens every time I feed it the camera card!

  3. Happy, happy day!!

    I know you're feeling kind of old and all, and I did too at your age, thinking "gah!" I'm middle aged." Now I think, wow, how young that is. Middle age these days seems to start around 45-50, I think. Of course I say this as probably a certified member of the "old people" brigade.

    Anyway, I encourage you to stop thinking of how old you are and start appreciating how young you are. And, if possible, to take some of your classes on campus to mix with other students and enjoy discussion in class.

    And yes, math is of the devil. It took me three tries to get through algebra, although I enjoyed geometry. It seems if people like one, they hate the other.

    Again, happy day, and I look forward to seeing your dress!


    1. Ha, yeah. The older I get, the younger Earlier Me seems. :)

      I used to bribe myself to do my math work by allowing myself to read a chapter in a novel after every ten problems. It was pretty effective.

      If I get lucky and get into the school I want right now, I'd love to take classes on campus, but it'll be hard, because it's not in Washington... or anywhere close. I DO intend to at least visit the campus at some point, however.

  4. Happy birthday, Jenna!!!! Have a great dinner / evening and don't worry too much about the GPA thing yet; it's probably just for statistical purposes.

    Don't think of math as a force out to get you -- math is utterly without malice. Math wants to be your friend and help you understand the world from a new perspective. Think of math as a highly advanced android with a complex artificial intelligence but no way to simulate emotions, like Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Math is a basically good guy who needs patient and caring human friends to help him communicate more effectively with other humans. His poetry is terrible and his violin playing will always be a little "technical" but he's a good friend once you figure out how to speak the same language.

    Peter's approach is also ok :)

    1. Aw, Data. I like Data.

      Once I get the language figured out, I'll be Math's very good friend indeed. Right now, I feel like he's talking and talking, but I'm only getting about a third of the words. The study site I'm using told me I got 84%, give or take 6%, on the first practice set, so that's not bad considering how long it's been since I cracked a book. But then, I haven't started on the algebra section yet. O_o


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