I know Ben had one of these after the soccer tryout, so I guess I’m following the tradition of failure.
There are many reasons why I enjoy watching sports. I guess one of them is that it is one of the few places outside of fiction where you can find happy endings. Sports have many rules, and analysts can pore over complex statistics for months. But ultimately, sports are quite simple. You know what the objective is, you know who your opponent is, and if you score more points than the other team, you win. It doesn’t matter who was favored to win beforehand, it doesn’t matter if the world hates you. There are no politics involved. There is no one to impress. You put the ball in the net, or across the line, or over the wall, and you win. That’s it.
The great thing is that these aren’t movies. These people actually work hard, actually win these games, and sometimes, it results in a great story.
Life is not like that. Yes, sports are more real than a scripted movie, but they are still light years away from how real life works. The concrete rules that must be obeyed. The ability of anyone to succeed, regardless of background and connections. The team that loyally fights alongside you on the journey. The clear cut goals: you win this game, you win the championship. There is nothing of the sort in real life.
Over the last week or so, it seems like there have been an increasing amount of people inquiring about where I want to go to college. First off, maybe it’s just me, but it seems uncessarily nosy and an invasion of privacy. Maybe for adults, its just their best attempt to make small talk, but for other AHS students…yeah. We all know that beneath the surface, we are all competing with each other, and trying to find out what we can about each other. Part curiousity, maybe, but also just finding any way to get a clearer glimpse at the college picture.
The other problem, is that they usually don’t just ask where I want to go, and walk away when I say I don’t really know. The question usually goes something like this (Imagine in obnoxious tones):
“Where do you want to go to college? Harvard? Stanford? … No, of course you’ll be able to get in with your SAT score!”
No. Fuck that. Fuck Stanford. Fuck Harvard. Fuck the SAT.
This is either the result of a lack of understanding of how the college app process works, or, more likely, a form of the subtle kind of insulting while complimenting someone that happens so often in Arcadia. Hard to explain, but I think you guys know what I’m talking about. Unless I’m just crazy.
What is also annoying is that it reminds me of the reality that I won’t be going to those schools. It looks like most likely, I’ll be attending one of the boring, Asian-infested UC schools. Hopefully, a better, more interesting out-of-state college, but who knows the chances on that. Like I said, the system of winning is only clear in sports.
Ok, so I went 529 words without actually getting to what this post is because of, which is me finding out that I didn’t make the first cut of Gov Team tryouts. I’m normally a pessimistic person, but I actually thought I would make this. I already had visions of how fun it would be next year, and how it could mean I would actually enjoy senior year, the only one of my high school years to have that distinction. At the very least, I thought I would make the first cut. But all those optimistic views of senior year are gone pretty fast. And that also brings to reality those other foolish optimistic visions for senior year, like being social, getting with the girl I like, and getting an acceptance letter from a school I really want to go to.
As I was just telling Ben on IM, I am not mad at Mr. Fox or the Gov Team people. I had Mr. Fox as a teacher, and he, to my knowledge, is both intelligent and fair. I don’t know for sure why I didn’t make it, and people seemingly less qualified did. My dad wants me to ask Mr. Fox, maybe I will, I don’t know. Well, I knew beforehand that thinking fast live was not a strength of mine. Public speaking and having a good image for sure were weaknesses. Maybe I was too confident in my arguements, which weren’t particularly good. Maybe my teachers have very unfavorable opinions of me. Who knows.
But the point is that I was not qualified for something I actually thought I had a chance in. I thought that I was more knowledgable in politics than most other students. I thought that my arguments were fairly solid after having to develop my skills in debates with my dad. I thought that I had somehow put up a pretty good performance despite being fairly bad at the whole speaking thing. It looks like I was wrong.
Back to the whole sports thing, life is a chaotic mess. You don’t know what you need to do to “score points” or “beat the other team” or “win the game” . Sometimes what you think is right is wrong. Sometimes you can screw up, and end up benefiting somehow. And sometimes, no matter what you do, there is no way to win.
I don’t know what exactly the case is, and I don’t know what I should do next, or exactly how much this incident means for my future, both immediate and long-term. But in navigating the vicious storm of life, this is another indication of how unsuccessful I have been so far.