Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Our last childhood breathe

As the boys argued in the WhatsApp group about what to wear in the graduation ceremony, I suddenly realized.

It is, truly, once and for all, over.

There will be no geography classes ever again. There won't be any uniform. There won't be any 5 hour long multiple choice test. There will be no "good morning" from the 15 incredible and exquisite human beings who survived the last four years with me, and who dealt with my daily drama.

And the boys went on and on, talking about how cool suits are. How they felt good using it, how they should be all dressed up with ties and everything. Again, a new conclusion.

When did I stop paying attention to the passing of time? How did 4 years go by so quickly, and without warning? How come were those boys, who once tried to be the furthest away from ties they could, now defending not only the use of it, but the color coordination too?!

It came like a stroke. Those weren't boys anymore. I was witnessing men defending suits.

On the night of the fourteenth, I saw women walking in their high heels and thanking their teachers. I saw men standing up and applauding the choir. I saw women entering the auditorium in their graduation caps. 

As I stood in line, waiting for my photo to be taken, I couldn't do anything but laugh with a bit of an early nostalgia. The 17 year old man behind me asked the whole room, if anybody knew how to properly arrange a tie. The 17 year old woman in front of me suggested him to check a video on YouTube. He told us he watched three at home, but still couldn't do it. 

His friend helped him, said he had to close all buttons in his shirt, including the one near the Adam's apple, to use the tie. 

And I just stood there, watching the development of the argument about how wrong the choice of shirt in that case was. It was too small, too dark, too so many things.

I thought of my father. My brother. My uncle. My best friend's cousin. All the other students graduating with me. And I looked once more at the man who couldn't tie a tie.

There stood a man right after his metamorphosis, alongside all the other undergraduate adults. 

New born adults, with so, so much to learn.

I saw adults, right after our last childhood breathe.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Free, at last

Free, at last
Is what's on my mind

To graduate
Is to feel as a bird
Which has been caged for years
And now
Suddenly is able to experience a little bit of what it is like to fly

It is to finally reach
That good state of mind
To throw the books in the darkest corner of your room
And never ever reach for them again

It isn't a sudden rush of joy
But an endless peacefulness
in which no application or deadline bothers you anymore
And life feels light

Just like it used to be, in kindergarten times

What a dream.

And to see it come true

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Teenage Miracle

Isn't it awfully good to suddenly understand something about a person and then see him or her in a whole new way?

Amongst those who I've been studying with for at least a third of my life, who bully, and party, and drink, and complain, I realized the existence of something I call 'teenage miracle'.

A teenage miracle is that one moment when you get to experience a glimpse into the soul of a teenager, and the kindness that comes with it. You can almost see the future adult this young man or woman will turn into surfacing from the depths of all teenage character. And that made me see that, actually, teenagers are way more than they seem to be. They aren't 100% cliché and predictable, and, what I find most beautiful about it all, is that adolescents are, sometimes, more human and empathetic than anyone else.

Teenage miracles are the few seconds I feel as amazed as Louis Armstrong and think to myself "what a wonderful world".

To hear "Sophie, you shouldn't worry about the presentation, you already got an A because you are really intelligent, and no bad group can change that" from the cleverest person in class; to have a classmate who you never really talk to hug you when you breakdown, and offer you some water; to see a student who is the complete opposite of yourself lay on your table, just to stop someone from stealing your place in the classroom and say "I refuse to let you sit on Sophie's chair, go get another place"; to start singing the first line of a song and hear the rest of the pupils continuing it, with rhythm and everything; to have a distracted teenager recognize your test because "she's the only one who draws a circle in the counter clockwise way"; to receive a text apologizing for the joke someone shouldn't have told; to see a whole class united to sing happy birthday to a teacher, and bring him a cake; to experience all students (girls and boys) telling the coordinator the advertisement shown in class is sexist, and shouldn't be part of the school's material.

It all made me wonder:

Aren't we incredibly lucky to get to experience teenage miracles?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Senior in High School

A Reflexion/ Brainstorm-ish text in two parts


For every student, the end of the school year is basically hell. Endless projects and exams, thousands of nights without sleep and deep into big books with really small letters. And in some point, as we approach summer holidays, we catch ourselves thinking "I was so much luckier last year, why did I even complain about essays then, they weren't as hard as this year's".

The thing is, senior year is that way, every day.

Senior year is to sleep five hours a night, when you don't have tests the next day. It is to prepare good presentations in record time (Michael Phelps would be jealous) and act like you took forever searching for everything, when you actually procrastinated a lot.

It is to feel the world on your shoulders and to think that nobody has ever been through that in the history of humanity.

It is to have many revision exercises given on one day and to read 30 pages of a thesis written by Foucault.

It is to realize that the person you started calling your friend when high school started actually was never there for you - or never there in the way you needed.

It is to see who really stands by your side when you're stuck with horrible team mates in your group project.

It is to have nervous breakdowns every four days, and to consider not finishing school, because it is too much for you.

It is to feel the world conspiring against you, and to cry alone before falling asleep- so that no one can hear you and your tears.

It is to feel powerless and small and egoistic because you know, it could be worse. You could be a fugitive from Syria, or a victim in a terror attack or have someone dying in your family.

Girl, and you can't even manage to keep up with homework, shame on you.

Senior year is to be the one person trying to hold your friends' group together, and trying to consulate everyone, while looking like the strong person - when, in fact, you're screaming inside. I MEAN WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE AND I WISH I COULD JUST GO BACK IN TIME WHEN THE BIGGEST OF OUR ISSUES WAS TO CHOOSE WHICH TV CHANNEL TO WATCH.

To be a senior is to wake up at 4am before exams to go through the subject.

It is to have almost no weekend at all, and to basically abandon Netflix, because there isn't any time to binge-watch young Leonardo DiCaprio's movies.

It is to have more than 300 videos in your "to watch later" YouTube playlist.

It is to crave for summer on the third lesson of the first day of second semester of senior year, right after winter holidays.

It is to abominate futility, and everyone who doesn't seem to mind about serious issues.

It is to have patience with your computer, and stop yourself from yelling at it after it starts updating and you can't use it/ you lose the whole written essay.

It is to try to do everything you did before, but with almost no free time at all, and to somehow still do well at school.

Remember when you dreamed of prom? It isn't really the biggest of your interests anymore.

Graduation day? Well, you still do dream about it, but it isn't the same thing. It may still be exciting - but it also means the beginning of your future life as an adult. And that, for a senior, is really, really scary.

It means you no longer are a teenager - and you've been able to, in so little time, make yourself comfortable with that 'in-between' limbo that adolescence is. For some of course, that limbo was worse than for others, but even in some little way there's always something you'll miss from these years (even I - the most unteenage of teenagers will).

I used to have a teacher who said that, if you could manage to finish senior year with an average grade of nine - out of ten points - you'd be successful in life.

(Fun fact: only two of the almost 500 seniors in my year managed that. And no, I'm not one of them, but I was able to get pretty close.)

Anyway, it doesn't really give us a nice perspective of what's to come, because, you know, senior year of high school is all the problems in life which somehow manage to emerge and seem worse at seventeen.

Senior year is to, once and for all, try to hug the whole world with your arms, and let go of nothing or no one.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Our eloquent silence

“Silence is the residue of fear. Silence is the Rwanda genocide. Silence is Katrina. It is what you hear, when there aren’t enough body bags left.”

- Clint Smith

To say nothing
And remain quiet
Is a powerful thing.

It may be one’s sentence to death
Or one’s sentence to jail.

Silence is

As eloquent as any good speaker
As loud as any scream.

Silence is

An answer just like any other
A ‘yes’ or a ‘no’
And all the arguments that explain a decision.

Silence is

You in a confrontation
Ignoring those whose voices are muffled
By the influential ones.

To say nothing
Is more
than saying too much.

Silence is

To reduce yourself to nothing
To be afraid to speak up your mind
And to shut yourself from what happens around you.

Silence is

To accept any form of slavery
To maintain the world as it is
And to exterminate words.

All the things we wanted to say

 but never did.

From now on
Let silence only be

The sound of peace at dawn.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Almost feels like dying

You just start doing something for the sake of doing it. You just start. You just wake up someday and someone (or yourself) decides that you’re going to start drawing, or writing or performing.

You do it regularly, as a ritual, sometimes as if it is a mechanical action of your body. As if it is your refuge from the world, from what other people tell you to do or not.

Then almost by accident, you just start looking at situations and objects and people and realize, this or that is linked to that thing you started doing, sometime ago. It soon becomes your hobby.   Then from the moment you wake up you start craving for that magical hour in which you’ll be able to do it, and be free again.

Free from routines, from anything that makes you unhappy, or miserable, or tired.

You just can’t stop thinking about the moment when you’ll be able to do your hobby again.

And, then, it is no longer a hobby. It just keeps coming to your mind, and you can’t see yourself NOT doing it. You start to practise as often as possible, and your dreams are even filled with that marvellous thing you were blessed to be able to do.

It is, now, what you inhale and exhale, what you think about to make yourself happy again after a sad cry. You can only see beauty in it, and just can´t understand how there are people who aren’t interested in it.

It becomes your passion, and it is impossible for you to not be in touch with it.

Oh God, no.

Being apart from it almost feels like dying.