My Life as an (Almost) Athlete

I started my life as an (almost) athlete dancing. And crying. One stemming out of the other, a chain reaction caused by hating the awkward reflection in the mirror, tapping shiny shoes asynchronously to a Nickelodeon TV show theme song montage. My mom always wanted a girly-girl. She got me instead. She got over it.

The last time my parents made me tap dance.

The last time my parents made me tap dance.

After dance, I gave basketball the old pre-K try. My parents were less than enthused as they watched the money they invested in the Parks and Rec program waste away with every cartwheel I turned on the court during practice and games. I got in trouble a couple times for trash-talking the other team. I was compensating for a lack of skill–I’ll admit that now.

photo (1)

Ball is life

Searching for a sport with a potential to improve my hand-eye coordination, my parents signed me up for tennis. I missed numerous practices because the supposedly sports proof sunscreen burned my eyes. Around the same time, I got a beta fish. I named it after my tennis instructor. After the fish died, I got another one and named it after her, too. Crappy sunscreen and two fish named Nikki are all that I remember from that time in my life.

Before the sunscreen

Before the sunscreen

Then there was swimming. At first, we were hopeful. I aced levels 1 and 2 with flying colors. I got 9/10 of the way through level 3 with no problems whatsoever. I could do the backstroke. I could sort of do the crawl. My butterfly was coming along nicely. But then, diving happened. To pass level 3, I would have to get down on one knee, as if proposing to the banners that hung high above the glassy water, and, with arms outstretched, catapult face-first into the freezing deep end. I wasn’t afraid during my first attempt. I sent up a prayer to Poseidon (as felt appropriate) and secured my goggles, not knowing that the next few moments would ruin water for me forever.

As my toes pressed off the edge, my arms led the rest of myself down, deep into the water. Then, they kept leading me in an underwater circle, peeling off right before they crashed back into the concrete side of the pool. My head did that instead. I failed level 3 three times because of that traumatic moment. I still can’t dive, and I’m not interested in trying again.

After I outgrew all of my swimming classmates by at least six inches and two grade levels, I threw my swimsuit in a dark corner of my closet and laced up some soccer cleats. After a few games, I figured out something fantastic: goalies don’t have to run. Upon having this realization, I became a full-time goalie, much to my parents’ dismay. For some reason, they were not fans of sitting in the 103 degree summer sun to watch their daughter stand motionless on the far end of a soccer field clad in gloves and a yellow penny for two hours every Saturday. My soccer career ended soon after.

Next, after a short stint as a competitive cheerleader, I took some time off. Kim Possible was on Disney Channel everyday from 3:30-4 p.m., and sports practices really cut into that special time. Eventually, however, I decided to turn off my TV and embark on another athletic endeavor. My lack of coordination and strength somehow made gymnastics a prime candidate.

The girl in this picture with me is now a cheer captain at our high school.

The girl in this picture with me is now a cheer captain at our high school.

“Well, you outwork everybody. That’s good.”

“Work ethic is more important than results sometimes, right?”

“Hard work beats talent when talent hardly works, I think.”

Despite the encouragement, I knew pretty quickly that gymnastics was not my calling. I got to Level 4, which is the level right before back flips and balance beam cartwheels. When the team would split up to work on events, the girl with Down’s Syndrome and I would go to one part of the gym, and the rest of the group would go elsewhere. A fractured shoulder from a tragic dive roll accident gave me a gracious out, and I decided to try basketball again and leave the coach-assisted back-handsprings behind.

I really did try

I really did try

My second attempt at basketball was about as successful as my first, initially. I started playing year round at the beginning of fourth grade, and I didn’t win a game until second semester of sixth. I would say I learned what it meant to be a good sport,  but really, I just learned to completely ignore the scoreboard at all times to avoid the possibility of crying in public.

In sixth grade, I also tried volleyball, track and cheerleading (again). Two of the three were humbling experiences. I annoyed the older cheerleaders at practice by using it as a daily hour-and-a-half basketball shoot around. As a result, my during game cheering was incredibly sub par. In track, I was a distance runner/shot putter. Not because I was good at either of those things. I just wasn’t good at anything else.

Shot put was an enjoyable, if not embarrassing.

Shot put was an enjoyable, if not embarrassing experience.

I continued to play basketball until tryouts of my junior year of high school. I still remember, with painful clarity, scrolling through the online posting of the Junior Varsity team roster the night after the last day of tryouts. I checked and rechecked the list, searching for the name that wasn’t there. Its absence ended my attempt at athleticism.

I wish writing were a sport.


The Free Press at the most recent KSPA competition. Proof that writing is (almost) a sport.

The Free Press at the most recent KSPA competition. Proof that writing is (almost) a sport.







7 Reasons Social Media Sucks Sometimes

In 2002, when I was six years old, computers were bulky, ugly machines specifically designed for me to play my Barbie Pet Rescue CD-Rom and give my parents some peace and quiet for 45 minutes (15 minutes longer than I was supposedly allowed). In 2003, while high schoolers checked out the new MySpace, I ventured onto websites like to play Kim Possible-themed arcade games. Fast forward to the end of sixth grade, and I remember slightly altering my birth year in order to obtain a hip new Facebook. Fast forward again to the summer after eighth grade, and I entered the Twittersphere so I would have something to do during my downtime while selling shaved ice. I am part of a generation that hardly remembers life before social media.

Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, Vine, SnapChat–I have them all, and most of the time, I’m glad I do. Social media can be informative and hilarious and great for shameless self-promotion (e.g. this blog).  But social media also sucks sometimes, and here’s why:

1. Selfies: Instagram’s #SelfieSunday isn’t innately bad. One or two pictures of oneself every couple of weeks does not mean one has Selfitis–that happens when that number exceeds four or five a day. I don’t know why people think they live in a world where others want to see twenty nearly identical photos of someone’s face taken in a public restroom.

2. Creepers: I’m all for maintaining a respectable follower-following ratio, but I’ve felt the need to block quite a few creepers on all of my social media accounts (except for my Tumblr because I’ve accepted that everyone on that platform is a little creepy from the get-go). The unfortunate aspect of blocking someone is that it doesn’t really protect one from the creeper viewing the profile from a different account or by way of a proxy. Anything posted on the web is public, regardless of private settings.  If someone really wants to read your statuses, watch your vines or peruse your Instagram photos, having a private profile isn’t definitely going to prevent him from doing so, which is sort of a bummer.

3. Obligatory Follow/Friend: “Hey, why don’t you follow me on Twitter?” People have straight up asked me this, usually in a public setting, surrounded by mutual friends. In such a situation, I can’t just explain that I don’t want to read about them having the worst job ever or the best mommy in the whole wide world or three yummy meals a day. Instead, I must force a laugh, smile and say, “Oh, golly! I don’t follow you? What! I swear I did. Crazy.” Then, in front of god and everybody, I must slowly tap the “Follow” button on the person’s profile. Twitter and Facebook both have a form of a mute button that keeps certain people’s tweets or status updates off one’s feed, which leads me to believe I’m not the only one dealing with this issue.

4. TMI: I shouldn’t know every intimate detail of someone’s life simply because he friended me on Facebook or I glanced at his Twitter.  Before I post something, I ask myself, “Will anyone care/Is this important enough to share with the world?” Usually the answer is no. Does that mean I always don’t post the status/tweet/photo/video in question? No, not necessarily, but discretion is cool, and more people should try using it.

5. Fights: Not sure why people feel the need to hash it out where everyone can see. With Facebook Messenger, Twitter’s Direct Messaging, texting and good old-fashioned email, there is absolutely no need to get into it in the comments or mentions, but people do anyway.

6. The “Send All Drafts” Button on Twitter: Why. Why does this exist? I can’t think of anyone who would want to send out 20+ unfinished thoughts to the universe all at once.

7. Trolling: The illusion of anonymity on sites like Whisper and, as well as on more mainstream social medias opens the door for people to say all sorts of things they wouldn’t even mutter under their breath face-to-face. And, the biggest issue with the bathroom wall of the internet is that it isn’t easily painted over.



Junior Year Died

Since I recently concluded my junior year of high school, the cliché “Year in Review” blog post feels natural for this week. At first I thought I would just cover the best happenings of each month, but then I realized I only associate negative occurrences with some months, so I’m covering it all: the good, the bad, the could-have-been-better, the could-have-been-worse, the absolute best and the complete worst.  

August: This Blog: As a brand new Online Editor-in-Chief for the Free Press, I felt as though the paper’s website needed some sprucing up. I wasn’t the only one who felt this way–the Journalism Educators of Metropolitan Kansas City continuously agreed with me in their harsh reviews of the site during the years previous. Incorporating staff blogs seemed like the first step in up-ing our JEMKC rating of “fair” to “good.” I remember typing my first post, worrying about what my mom, my grandma and random Googlers in Russia would think about the stuff that goes on in my head. Nervous, I steered clear of deep personal matters for that post, instead musing about the catastrophe that was my accidental and incestuous gerbil farm.  You can read that post here.

Ian and me after our race. My shirt came off because I am such an athlete.

Ian and me after our race. My shirt came off because I am such an athlete.

September: A Marathon Relay: My mother forced me to participate in a marathon relay with my grandma, my father, one of my little brothers and her. Actually, she will say that she didn’t force me–she “asked if I was interested.” What she won’t mention is that when she asked if I was interested, I said, “No, not interested,” and she signed me up anyway. But I was a good sport, even if I ran the shortest leg of the race and ate more than everybody else at the finish line. Also, it should be noted that nothing compares to that special feeling I have inside knowing that my grandmother could kick my butt in a footrace or a push-up competition or any physically-demanding activity whatsoever.

October: Jonas brother Concert (Almost): One time the Jonas Brothers were going to get back together, and my friends and I were going to relive our childhood on one magical Halloween night concert of the century. After weeks of scraping together ticket money, assigning Disney-themed costumes to members of our group and feeling a general sense of ecstatic anticipation, we were dismayed to discover that because of a “deep rift within the band,” the entire tour had been canceled and there would be no concert.

November: Boston: I went to Boston for the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. My newspaper friends and I roamed around the city, self-touring Harvard, Boston College, Emerson and Boston Harbor, practicing our horrific Bostonian accents all the while. Because of bad weather in other parts of the country, our flights got delayed so we missed an extra day of school, which was fabulous. I also took stealth photos of hot guys that you can check out here.

December: Surprise Birthday Party: After avoiding birthday parties for three years, I reluctantly rejoined the trend of yearly celebrating one’s own existence. I also blogged about it, which you can read here.

January: Student of the Month: My calculus teacher nominated me for Student of the Week in December, probably because I frequented math tutoring with somewhat embarrassing regularity. Eventually, I magically won Student of the Month and got a sweet parking spot for the last 10 days of January. Also, the group responsible for managing Student of the Month announcements forgot to change the Student of the Month board by the office for several months, so my reign as Eleventh Grade Female Student of the Month of January lasted until early April. Ironically, the calc teacher that nominated me for Student of the Week recently rejected me for Link Crew–a group of upperclassmen that welcome freshmen to high school in August. Not sure what that means about our relationship.

February: Forensics: I went to a forensics tournament every Saturday of February at 6 a.m. in my best business casual. I broke to finals exactly zero times, but I learned how to give an informative speech in heels, so it wasn’t all for not. You can read about my experience here.

March: Pygmy Goats: Baby Pygmy goats are the G.O.A.T. My aunt has several kids–human and goat–running around her farm, and I got to hold all of them in one of the cutest days of the year.

April: What Hell Feels Like: April was the most stressful month of my entire life. A couple of my friends were convinced that I had an anxiety disorder–some of them still are–because of my constant emotional state of freaked out. This was also the month when I (unsuccessfully) attempted mediating and drinking weird teas to find my inner zen.

May: Double Take: Double Take is an advice column, co-written by a local psychologist and a high school senior or junior, that appears weekly in the Lawrence Journal World. Each year, a contest is held in late April/early May to find the next high school-aged co-author. Surprisingly, after an incredibly awkward mock TV interview and sub par first essay, I came out on top by such a narrow margin that there was almost a tiebreaker.  I’ll begin imparting weekly teenage “wisdom” in August. It’ll be a lot of writing, but I’m going to give meditation another go, so everything should probably be fine.

Cry Because It Happened

Saturday morning: I’m at Starbucks, hunched over some Doctor Who-themed T.A.R.D.I.S. notebook paper that I’m trying to pass off as nice stationery, stringing together an alarming number of clichés to describe how much I care about my graduating friends and their future endeavors. I’m also tearing up a little. When the college-aged hipster next to me casts a sideways glance from behind his Macbook and Chai latte, I mutter something about allergies and misplaced eyelashes and unsuccessfully attempt to pull myself together.

As I grab a tall java chip frappuccino for my grad party buddy and head out the door to pick him up, I experience more “allergic reactions.” But I’m not emotional because I’m sad, really–just sentimental about all of the good times I’ve had with the class of 2014.

Because I had so many good times with the seniors, I spent 11 hours grad party hopping, congratulating graduates and eating delicious barbecue and candy yesterday. I also went to some grad parties today and Friday, so I’m pretty much an expert. Here are my grad party-goer Do’s and Don’ts:

DO: Get the graduates a gift. It can be as simple as a heartfelt note of encouragement or as extravagant as a desk made of solid gold and wrapped in $100 bills. Since I make minimum wage, I wrote a lot of heartfelt notes of encouragement.

DON’T: Write your notes in a public place, unless you aren’t bothered by the potential of unexpected waterworks damaging your desired emotionless persona.

DO: Have a go-to grad party buddy. Preferably one with lots of friends in common, so you don’t awkwardly end up at several grad parties celebrating the accomplishments of people you weren’t even aware existed.

DON’T: Listen to my last “DO.” Some of the most delicious catering was at the parties for the seniors I’d never met. If anyone looked at me strangely for being there, I just said that I was my grad party buddy’s chauffeur/official taste-tester for the afternoon, and all was forgiven.


We are seven-year-old children trapped in these teenage bodies.

DO: Show up late. After realizing that Facebook invites that say, “the party begins at 2” really mean “the party begins at 2:40,” my grad party buddy and I altered our schedule slightly and set aside an hour to swing and climb on stuff at the park in order to maintain our cool kid status at the rest of the evening’s festivities.

DON’T: Show up too late. A couple of my friends showed up to what I considered one of the best grad parties of the day after the bouncy house had been taken down, most of the food had been eaten and pretty much everybody else had left. I suppose you could make the best of the awkward situation by chatting one-on-one with a grad and expressing genuine interest in his or her plans for the future, but you would have to do so without a bouncy house, which kind of really sucks.

If you show up too late, you might miss out on a photo booth. Do not miss out on a photo booth.

If you show up too late, you might miss out on a photo booth. Do not miss out on a photo booth.

DO: Avoid thinking about the fact that this may be one of the last times you’ll see a friend for a while. Focus on celebrating the good times you’ve had and the exciting uncertainty of the future. As one of my close senior friends so eloquently put it last night at her grad party: “Kyra, I know you hate quotes, but this one totally applies to this situation: ‘Don’t cry because it’s over–cry because it happened.’ No, that wasn’t it. It was something better than that. Dang it.”

Good luck, seniors of 2014. I’d say Free State will be quiet without you, but there are plenty of excessively vocal freshmen moving up to take your place. It’s The Lion King’s circle of life, and it’s sad and beautiful at the same time.

My Kids Will Read This and Laugh

Push it out your you-know-what. Let it suck on your boob. Clean up its excrement. Listen to it cry (and cry and cry and cry and cry).

And that’s just the beginning.

At this point in my life, I am not interested in having my own child, possibly ever. Speaking as an adolescent, I know I would not like to be on the receiving end of some of the terrible things I’ve said and done to my mother. I appreciate her for listening to my tirades, enduring my selfish, bratty behavior–and loving me anyway. But, the truth is, I’m not sure if I could do the same for another human being. I’ve actually thought about it quite a lot, so I made some lists.

Reasons I do not want to have a child now or ten years from now:

1. Kids are expensive. Babies can be really cute, but sometimes they look like potatoes. Regardless of your kid’s appearance, you still must purchase food and clothing for her. Even when your child is being an absolute brat, you can’t stop paying for her needs, unless you want the state to take her away from you. Babies need cribs and toys and mushed-up baby food slop and tiny spoons for the mushed-up baby food slop and blankets and onesies and diapers and more diapers and wipes and changing tables and strollers and bottles and high chairs and car seats and binkies and all sorts of other stuff (like containers for the mushed-up baby food slop). Then, they outgrow these things and require replacements. Children are a black hole in which you dump large sums of money, never to be seen again. And when (or if) they move out, they still might want money for food and somewhere–or someone–to do their laundry.

2. Kids are ungrateful. So as a parent, you pay for your child’s needs and sometimes more than that. You try to get her a good education, fun toys and nice clothes. You organize birthday parties and play dates, go on adventures and class field trips, watch her terrible magic tricks and awful animated movies, but for what? For your child to be upset about the color of sucker in her gift bag or the lack of a specific dessert in the house. Kids are often ungrateful little snots who only say “please” and “thank you” to get what they want.

3. Other people are mean. Among parents, children sometimes seem like a competition–a battle to see whose combination of DNA will be the first to say the ABC’s, make a soccer goal or graduate top of the class. If your kid does something wrong, sometimes other people think there must be something wrong with you. People are judgmental and gross, and kids are just another way for them to let you know.

Reasons why I think people have kids:

1.  They haven’t thought it through. Having a child is not like having a cat. You can’t just dump a lot of Fancy Feast on the floor, close the bedroom doors and leave your kid alone for the weekend when you need to get away. Also, your kid might not be the mini me you always wanted, and she won’t be a cute little baby forever. In fact, puberty will happen, and your kid will probably look and act gross for a couple years. Are you prepared to deal with that?

2. Kids might bring love, emotions and lifelong connection. I mean, yeah, I suppose kids offset some of their negative qualities by doing something sweet every once and a while. They definitely love you when they’re little, and even if they feel distant during the teen years, they could totally swing back around and become lifelong friends. In other news, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that it will cost an estimated $241,080 for a middle-income couple to raise a child born last year for 18 years. 

Right now, I’m not prepared to deal with issues mentioned above and others unmentioned. Knowing my mother has loved me through many of the circumstances that make me averse to the idea of my own personal motherhood just increases my respect for her. On this Mother’s Day, I want to thank my mom for persevering through my potty-training, my unclean room, my unkind words, my junior high drama and my college concerns. Based on precedent, I know that she’ll always be there for me when I need her, and I know that I will always need her. If I ever settle down and decide to have children, I hope I can be half as gracious and loving as my mother is to my brothers and me.

Breaking: high schooler discovers obsession, labels it “passion”

Recently in Humanities, my teacher had the class do word association to demonstrate a point. I forget what that point was, but I did learn something, which I’m sure was one of the teacher’s objectives. When he read the word “spread,” most of my peers wrote “butter” or “hazelnut” or “thin.” As instructed, I wrote down the first words that came to mind: “yearbook, newspaper” (page layouts in yearbook are called “spreads”). Call me crazy, but I think this may indicate an obsession with journalism.

I like to say that my “obsessions” are “passions” because people tend to respect those more, so, to clarify, I am “passionate about” copy-editing, news-writing and interviewing, not “infatuated with.”

I stumbled into the newsroom quite on accident when I was in eighth grade. The English teacher at the small private school I attended at the time decided to start a school newspaper. She invited me on as the “Entertainment Editor.” Basically, she wanted me to write a column about my day-to-day experiences (pretty similar to this blog, actually). I agreed to join, and ended up really appreciating my bimonthly column in lieu of actual reporting. Not much happens in a K-12 school of 150 kids, and if anything does happen, it’s usually the same five kids making it happen, so the news writing gets mundane and repetitive.

Freshman year, I took Beginning Journalism as a prerequisite to joining the Free Press staff at my new, large public high school.  I learned AP Style basics, watched a surprising amount of news-related movies and drew a ton of pictures of sheep in suits with monocles and bow ties.

When I applied to be on staff for my sophomore year, I remember telling my mom that I had no interest in being an editor because editors had to do too much work and I just wanted to write stories. Now, looking back as Editor-in-Chief for the 2014-15 school year, I still agree with half of my 9th grade belief: editors do too much work.

As a sophomore, I realized newspaper was my niche. The required  day-to-day communication with strangers pulled me, the shy private school kid, out of my shell. At semester, I was promoted to Social Media Editor. While I felt like I had a position similar to Dwight Schrute’s role of “Assistant to the Regional Manager” in The Office, I noticed that some people didn’t have a title, even a made-up one, so I still felt a little important.

I still remember the pride I felt during the week second semester sophomore year when the National Scholastic Press Association accidentally included the Free Press in the list of National Pacemaker Finalists. Even though NSPA quickly rescinded the honor, claiming the Free Press was added due to a clerical error, not every school is a National Pacemaker Finalist for a week due to a clerical error, so I still felt a little important.

When I returned to the Free Press in the Fall of my junior year as co-Online Editor-in-Chief, my true passion was awakened. With the ability to make decisions to improve the publication, I found myself disregarding other schoolwork so I could learn HTML and assign stories. I tried revamping the website with online-only content, fancy widgets and staff blogs. While the website still received a “fair” rating at the JEMKC Regional Contest, it was a way better “fair” rating than it got last year, and I’m certain that next year, we will be “good” at least.

As I finish rereading the Humanities-required Machiavelli’s The Prince to prepare for my reign as Supreme Overlord of the Newsroom–I mean Editor-in-Chief–I want to thank my Humanities teacher for another real life application.  The first Free Press issue produced by the 2014-15 staff comes out on Thursday, and I could not be more excited.


Math Words

Late last night, I fell asleep cradling my AP Calculus AB prep book like a small animal or child. I awoke this morning with my calculator in front of my face and notebook paper crumpled at my side. I spent the hours between 9:30 a.m.-12:35 p.m. frantically attempting to re-memorize the Mean Value Theorem and the Intermediate Value Theorem  and the Extreme Value Theorem and all the other trivial nonsense that slipped in one ear and out the other at some point last semester.

This afternoon, I ran–with my calculator and No. 2 pencil in hand–through the pouring rain from my father’s car to the school’s entrance. When one of my classmates finally opened the locked door for me, together we took the long, solemn march to our inevitable doom: a three hour comprehensive final exam.

When I emerged from the school three hours later, the rain had stopped; the sun shone overhead. It was basically a metaphor for the day’s emotions. When I got in the car with my mother, she asked me how it went. Apparently the extended concentration had drained my cognitive abilities because my response was, “Umm, there were a lot of math words. Yeah. Lots and lots of … math words.”

But that exam and its preparation are worth it because, in exactly 10 days, I will never have to look at my stupid calc prep book again. I’ll take one more exam, and then have clearance to forget everything about derivatives I’ve ever learned, ever. I have fantasized all year about what horrible fate will befall my calculus notebook. I can’t decide whether to put the whole thing in my gerbils’ tank for them to slowly chew apart each individual page bit by bit or to fold a thousand origami swans out of it, make a mobile and set the creation afire in the wind.

For the last two years, calculus has been a thorn in my side, digging deeper into my flesh every time I try to position myself more comfortably. As the end of this dreary, math-infested tunnel looms ahead, I’ve decided to put aside my disdain for calculus and try to focus on all the positive experiences I’ve had during its tenure. Here are some quality moments:

1. Vectors. I don’t remember much about vectors from Pre-Calc except that they have “direction and magnitude.”  That doesn’t really seem important unless you’ve seen Despicable Me. When super nerd Victor changes his name to “Vector,” he does some sick pelvic thrusts in his orange track suit and declares that he has, “both direction and magnitude!”.  Shout out to Disney for the quality math pun. Shout out to my Pre-Calc student teacher for showing the clip from the movie in class. Shout out to me for enlightening some of you.

OH, YEAH! Math jokes.

OH, YEAH! Math jokes.

2. Limits. Again, movie references made calculus bearable. As if I didn’t respect Tina Fey enough already, she slipped some real math into Mean Girls.  The limit does not exist.



3. Retakes. I have retaken every test except one this year. Supposedly, no one is allowed to retake calculus exams, but I found a loophole: math tutoring. I spend several hours in the library at calc tutoring after school each week, struggling with the latest concepts and pretending not to cry. Even with extra help, I still perform on a subpar level when it comes time to demonstrate my knowledge on the exam. Ninety percent of the semester grade is based on tests, so subpar doesn’t really work for me. Fortunately, the calc teachers are willing to let students who try hard–and still fail miserably–give it another go (and another and another and another).

4. My table buddy. I’ve sat next to some really smart people who’ve helped me through derivatives and integrals and mental breakdowns. Right now, my genius Vietnamese friend sits in front of me and teaches me everything. He recently started watching Gossip Girl during class, though, so he’s been slightly less of a tutor and slightly more of an entertainer.

Those are the only positive moments I’ve had during my calculus career. For those of you keeping track at home, there are about 18 weeks in a semester, with an average of four class periods each week, and I’ve taken four semesters of calculus-related classes. This adds up to about one positive experience per every 72 classes. Hopefully AP Statistics will be more enjoyable. (That’s how much I hate calculus–I’m actually looking forward to taking Statistics.)