I just read your post on gov school. I have been trying to find someway to express how I feel about GSW. I have thought, and thought and I haven't come up with the words. Then I read " Governor school taught me that high school is like looking through a tiny hole in a fucking wall and that once we walk around the fucking wall there’s just so much more so don’t let the observation from that tiny fucking hole stop you from pursuing something incredible." So thank you for that. --Christian GSW2014
I don’t know what to say, i didn’t really expect anyone to find my post let alone respond. Thank youfor telling me this. I’m glad to know that i’m not the only one who feels this way about governor school (:
it’s raining. I guess that means i really have to give up hope on finding my phone. That’s super fucking depressing since i had 500 photos from governor school on that piece of shit that i’ll never get back. i’m pretty fucking bummed but you know life moves on and there’s bigger things to worry about. Photos are important but so is time.
So after governor school ended i had planned on making this huge gigantic post about how i felt after leaving the place i lived at for 5 weeks. Instead i decided to do something different. I decided to just wait, to just wait and see how i’d feel after a couple of days had passed. well now that a couple of days have passed i’m ready to spill.
so where do i even start. I’m not exactly sure. Governor school was such a huge experience for me. I got to meet people from all over the state. Some with complete different backgrounds from mine like Ted’s military town to Jocelyn’s rich preppy side to all the kid’s from the research triangle. I got to meet extremely talented yet modest and humble people. I got to meet teachers who felt like they genuinely enjoyed teaching and interacting with us students. I got to experience what living in a dorm really meant. I made some fucking rad friends that i know i’ll never forget. I got to be a part of something not everyone could be a part of and honestly i don’t know how to feel about that.
At the end, at convocation, before rodney declared that the gsw 2014 session had ended and before everyone, including rodney, started crying; some student representatives were sent up to ask questions to the audience just like how on the very first day some teachers had gone up to ask questions. One of them, a kid in my art class named Jon White, asked “Why isn’t governor school for everyone?” I don’t know if he meant it in the way i took it but the way i perceived it was that why wasn’t governor school allowed for anyone other than those selected? i understand that governor school is considered a privilege but why? Anyone could’ve gone. It’s not like it takes extremely talented people to talk about their feelings with each other. It’s not like it takes extremely talented people to learn about conceptual topics. Why can’t a program like this be extended to others?
This program taught me so much. Things that are much more important than what regular high school will ever teach me. Like how to consider other’s backgrounds and to check our privilege. It taught me to never just accept things for the way they are but to question everything. It taught me to be considerate, not like the bullshit cliche term that’s always in our minds but to actually consider and think about other’s perspectives and incorporate it into our world. It taught me how to live with another human being instead of parents who we take for granted. It taught me how to be independent and how to live with a set amount of cash (jesus living the broke life was too real). It taught me to never be scared to think about the world, the universe, we live in. It taught me that each and every subject has multiple faces to it and that the one 2D surface that we are taught in high school shouldn’t keep us from pursuing the field. Math is so much more than solid concrete concepts. English goes farther than just fact and fiction. Social Sciences incorporates political and social issues so that everything becomes a factor of it’s spectrum. Art is much more than just a medium and a canvas. Governor school taught me that high school is like looking through a tiny hole in a fucking wall and that once we walk around the fucking wall there’s just so much more so don’t let the observation from that tiny fucking hole stop you from pursuing something incredible. Governor school made me feel things that i never felt before.
Alright, well i just remembered that there are some memories that i don’t want to forget that i never got to type down here so i’m going to type them out before one day i forget:
Our Art class had our final exhibit with one theme and 4 subcategories. Conflict was our theme and the subcategories were: utopia, destruction, construction, and identity. My group was construction and we built a fucking 40ft long carpet thing of fucking trash in four days. If you count the days of when we collected trash it’d be 5 but i don’t count it since the trash was all basically located in concentrated areas. Those four days were one of the most difficult days of governor school. It was extremely pressuring to know that our deadline was coming up fast. We worked all times of the day and each member of the group would switch off through out the day so that at least one person would be working on it. The trash smelled so bad and some pieces still contained liquids in them. At one point we even had to febreeze the shit. I can only imagine how difficult it was for the art made in ‘wasteland’. After 4 days of cutting soda cans and hot gluing random greasy pizza boxes and empty chip bags and weaving loofas and taping plastic bags- we finally finished. But that wasn’t the end of it, on the very last day we had almost 5/6ths of the art kids help install and suspend the entire thing in the fucking air. Sam had installed rows of wires to hang the 40 ft train of trash and boy was it fucking heavy. We had to have 4 ladders and a bunch of easels holding the middle. I worked on the left and sam worked on the right. Even the teachers got involved holding the thing. The instrumental music kids kept walking across it which was unsafe so we had to sanction the entire area off so that only art kids could come into the FAC. It was super busy and difficult but at the same time it was fun for it to be so exclusive for art kids and how everyone was so curious as to what was going on. I guess this is why people call the art kids ‘mysterious’. Anyways on the final art exhibit day, it was fucking great. I remember that when us art kids on strong dorm were getting ready, it was an hour before the gallery was about to open and we had to be there 15 minutes before the opening. All of a sudden the fire alarm went off and i remember all of us, Me, Tea, Corryn, Faith, and Jackie were all pissed and half dressed. We were all waiting outside in the rain for the alarm to stop so that we could rush in and finish getting ready. After the whole fiasco ended, all of us ran to the gallery, only to see that EVERYONE had showed up. Even my family came last minute to see. I was so happy and ecstatic. The gallery opened and each group was allowed to mingle within the crowd. It was interesting to watch people’s faces as they walked underneath our 40ft installation of trash. Some noticed the way light reflected off the plastic water bottles. Some noticed the trash that they contributed. It was fascinating and fulfilling. When it came to around 7:00 (an hour after the gallery opened), our cue came. You see, destruction had multiple artists contribute various amounts of art works to be displayed in the first hour after the opening. These pieces of art weren’t just random doodles since after all the ‘best and brightest’ were the artists and so these were considerably amazing art works. After the first hour, without telling anyone, the pieces were meant to be suddenly torn apart, each and every one. When everyone had gathered to the destruction area, it got silent. For a solid 5 minutes, there were no noise except the clicks and snaps from cameras. There was tension in the air and all around people knew that something great or something big was about to occur. Slowly a teacher named Peter walked up to a piece and torn a piece of it off. Parents gasped, students gawked, the art kids tried every bit in them to suppress their smiles except their eyes gave it away. I was the second person to start tearing. No one else was ripping, so i fought through the crowd to a corner when everyone automatically backed away. I looked at the art, pretended to inspect it, turned around and i slowly looked at every face, smiling. Slowly, with my head still facing the crowd, i took an art work off the wall and quickly ripped it in front of everyone to see. The expression on their faces was priceless. I felt so powerful. I took another one and ripped it and the crowd gasped louder. Quicker and quicker the audience had started to grasp what was happening. All the art kids started yelling “EVERYONE JOIN IN” And soon we saw everyone grab a piece and shred it to pieces. It was incredible to see their reactions. Some felt scared and hesitant to rip pieces of art. Some felt excited and exhilarated like i had. Some felt incredibly shocked and terribly confused. Some cried (keikichi). Some tried to run away with pieces, only to be stopped by art kids who would chop the pieces of art in half right in the runners hands. It was quite a spectacle. It was art. Performance Art. Our first performance art, and it was the best experience i ever had with art. It was interesting to see the reactions we got and when we were questioned with “why? Why would you destroy such beautiful creations?” we just smiled and replied “It’s destruction. Beautiful, horrifying, powerful, and most importantly- conflicting.” I think we got the point across.
I got to sleep on a hammock with Alicia and Andrew and Soomin and i was 4 hrs late for the final preparation for the final art gallery. i also got bit 100000 times by mosquitoes
On the last night, i went to the meridian (a fancy ass expensive seafood restaurant) with Alicia, Soomin, and Shomo. I remember before the restaurant event, Soomin was so pissed at Andrew for not keeping his word and going off somewhere with Curie. Anyways we all got dressed up last minute and met up with Faith and Jon and Cecelia at the restaurant. Walking in high heels on a road made of stone slabs in probably the biggest pain in the ass on earth. Anyways, since i was so fucking broke i had to share a meal with Andrew who first offered to pay for me but then we both realized how ridiculously expensive the restaurant was and settled to split a dish. Goddamn that was some fucking good steak. Shomo was my ‘date’ and he looked extremely handsome with his tux. We drank water in fancy glasses and i was taught how to properly hold a fork and a knife. On our way back we were rushing so that we could make it to the dance.
The dance man, the dance. It was really stupid and really fucking hot but for once you could actually hear the music and everyone was dressed nicely. i remember after the first 10 minutes i searched for ted and found her lovely sun-dressed (yellow) self dancing alone with alana and mia in the brightly lit basketball gym next to the other gym where the dance was being held. They started playing some popular song and ted heard it and her eyes lit up as she grabbed my arms and swung me along with her to the dance floor. After a bit i was looking for a certain boy and i had made a contract with my roommate that i’d go up to him to tell him he was cute by the end of the dance but i couldn’t find him. i wasn’t really upset but Jon walls, my theatre friend who i thought was gay, thought i was. He took my hand and went “we’re going to look for this mother fucker” and went out of his way and walked with my around campus looking for this boy. I laughed so hard while walking with jon that i forgot what we were actually supposed to be doing. He had sweat stains on his knees and his ass so it looked like he peed himself and i almost peed myself from laughing so much. Jesus, we ran into a couple of people like noah and even austin and carol much to my surprise. After the dance ended, everyone migrated to the rat fac for our final meal: breakfast. We ate waffles and eggs and i kept looking for the boy but i couldn’t find him. eventually i wandered into the rat fac bathroom hall and i found ted and carol sitting alone in the dark whispering. I found out that austin tried to get with her but she wouldn’t let him and how all the other boys had planned to get laid that night. this story automatically made me lose interest in the boy i was trying to find. After messing around with daniel in the bathroom, me and ted left the rat fac, and i met up with jonny and we talked and stalked people throughout the night.
Eventually i got tired and changed out of my dress and heels but before that, a really funny story occured. So i told Jon about the story of how all the preps were trying to get laid in secret spots that they planned out and he was pretty excited to catch them. So when we saw a pair walk into the woods, him and a bunch of girls who had overheard my story, pretended to be ninjas and jumped/leaped/rolled behind the white fences. There they peaked through the cracks of the fences to make out figures in the dark, until suddenly a random asian boy with glasses came up behind them. they were so absorbed in peeking that they didn’t even notice the kid behind them. I saw all of this because i was standing a few feet back since i couldn’t crouch with a dress. The asian boy looked in the direction they were looking and even crouched with them to see but after a while i guess he was pretty disappointed because he got up and just walked through jon and company. They were so shocked that it made me laugh till i cried silent tears. I told Jon the story and he died of laughter
Afterwards i changed and when i came downstairs i saw soomin and alicia putting make up on chicken (Andrew). Andrew allowed them to as an apology for not keeping his word and running off with curie. i swear i took one look at him and some what gagged but laughed at the same time. Damn that was pretty fucking funny
random not chronological memory: WE HAD FUCKING KARAOKE NIGHT AND IT WAS FUCKING AWESOME. MY ENTIRE DORM WENT UP IN FRONT OF THE AUDIENCE AND SANG PARTY IN THE USA. EVERY TIME THE CHORUS CAME TED WOULD SCREAM IT INTO THE MIC AND I ALMOST PISSED MYSELF LAUGHING AND TRYING TO hOLD MY DRESS UP FROM FLASHING EVERYONE. Me and alicia and jenna also sang grenade by bruno mars at the end of the night. oh man everything was so funny that day
aLSO BEFORE KARAOKE NIGHT me jocelyn ted and connie had our last dinner together at the italian restaurant and i got mozzerella sticks
We also had the slideshow of the entire gsw14 experience play and it was more funny than sad
i also managed to get people to make kakao’s to keep in touch
after the dance, we came back to our dorms at curfew (2am) and everyone from strong hall 2 went down to mary margaret’s room to eat ice cream and talk. Each person was supposed to write a letter but i had forgotten to so i improved it and went second to last before emma bemma. It was the saddest thing. We were all crying. At first i didn’t think i was going to genuinely cry because i hadn’t cried over something special in a while. the times i’ve cried they’ve been like a tear or two. The other times i’ve cried have been over anger. I’m pretty sure the last time i cried because of a heart ache was when me and jon broke up. But no, i cried, i sobbed hysterically. Unfortunately, i started crying when i was talking because hearing the words forced me to realize that the best experience in my life was going to an end and i’d never be coming back. I looked at everyone in the room and i remember saying “there is nothing like this back at home. The people at home aren’t so nice or caring. They aren’t so compassionate. The world here will no longer exist except in our hearts and memories. When i go back, i will be sleeping alone. I won’t have Jocelyn waking me up. I won’t be running up the stairs to make it to curfew only to see everyone relaxing and playing cards and talking in the hall. We won’t be ordering chinese or pizza every night. We won’t be having those dreadful days with Megan. We won’t be calling Mary Margaret Mom. Thank you so much Mary Margaret for making this place feel like home, thank you everyone for making this dorm feel like family.” Jesus,. After that, we all spent the night awake and writing letters to each other. Carol, Jackie, Nia, Taylor, Tea, Corryn, Hannah, Claire, Alana, Ann, Brittany, Savannah, Emma, Jocelyn, and Ted.. we listened to my gucci mane playlist on ted’s speakers. I cried some more when i talked to my roommate alone. I looked at her, hugged her, and made sure she knew how much i fucking appreciated her. I told her how i was so blessed and thankful to have a roommate who was so caring and i told her of how frightened i was for college. i told her that if it wasn’t for her governor school probably would’ve been like hell to wake up for in the mornings. She was the best roommate i could ask for. I still believe that with all my heart.
In the morning, when it was finally 6 AM, almost everyone came out of their dorms to go collectively watch the sun rise together. It was beautiful. While everyone went to the tennis courts, Ted and I led our dorm to sit on the ledge and watch the sun rise. I had trap music playing as me and ted stood and danced. I’m pretty sure we looked really silly but we didn’t mind. We were enjoying our last moments together. Every now and then i’d hop down and run to the tennis court to be with my other group of Alicia, Andrew and Soomin.
After watching the sunrise, I went back with everyone and we all passed out for 2 hours before going to our area 1’s and convocation. When we went to our area 1’s (mine, art) we got our ‘graduation’ documents stating officially how we’re governor school students. We took pictures and we went to our last family gathering (convocation).
When convocation came around, jesus. It was heart breaking to see rodney cry. Everyone was crying. When the dance performers performed their last dance together, most were sobbing. I could tell because i was sitting in the very front. When the theatre kids stood up they looked calm and composed but i could tell by their eyes that it was a nothing but a facade. The chorus kids got up and they all hugged each other while sobbing all at the same time while trying to sing a key. Everything was so sad. Finally Rodney grasped the mic and declared that “the Governor School Session of 2014 has ended”
Back at the dorm everyone was saying their goodbyes and i was one of the few who couldn’t cry any more tears. I hugged everyone and told them that it wasn’t goodbye but a see you later. We promised to keep in touch. Shomo had told me “Hey jess, Au revior.” “Au revior Shomo”. “You know what that means? It means i’ll see you again. Because this isn’t goodbye.”
The last thing i did at governor school was i met soomin’s mom during my sign up of GSA (alumni) and took a photo with alicia andrew and soomin. On the car ride back home i passed out and by the time we came back to charlotte, i felt like governor school was all a dream. I wondered if this was what it felt like for Chihiro when she came back from the world of spirits. Everything seemed blurry. Everything still feels blurred.
I was too exhausted from yesterday’s field trip to type about my experiences so i will type them out tonight.
So after i had written my last tumblr post i went to bed. I woke up to Jocelyn’s face calmly saying “guys it’s 9:26” and i knew the bus was supposed to leave at 10. Right when she said that Teddy literally rolled over me and started running around, getting ready. My senses snapped back and i took the quickest shower of my life and just everything was a mess. i didn’t have the right shoes so i had to borrow jocelyn’s 9 in sneakers and socks, carol’s sports bag, brittany’s bug spray, teddy’s ball cap and in less than 10 minutes, teddy and i were sprinting with pizza leftovers across the campus to the bus. The pizza sauce got everywhere so teddy gave the leftovers to some random asian kid and we hopped on the bus. Right when we came in, everyone was already there and quiet since it was still the morning but brittany and carol were so kind and saved a row of seats for us. As i was in the process of sitting down, unsurprisingly i hit my head on the roof of the TV thing above our seats and everyone laughed. Man, the ride there was extremely fun, I just get along with Ted really well.
When we got to hanging rock (it was around an hour drive) first thing first me and ted ran around and started to venture. Actually i was more of the follower and she was the leader since i wasn’t exactly in my element (i’m not the most athletic person, meaning i don’t have any stamina so you can assume how much i struggled). A bunch of girls from our hall stayed together like Mia, Jackie, Tea, Brittany, and Carol and we had some random people as well like daniel and ishmael. We ventured into a crevice/ secret area that was a bit off from the main path and we ate our lunches sitting on the giant rocks, while the wind breathed into us. When we came down, everyone else started following our trend and later i found out that if we had stayed a little bit longer we would’ve gotten in a lot of trouble. Anyways, after we ate our lunches, ted ran off into a secret path and daniel seperated as well, so then me and the strong dorm girls continued on the main path and took pictures. We proceeded until we finally got to the ‘hanging rock’ and holy shit let me tell you it took my fucking breath away. the weather was perfect. The sun wasn’t mercilessly beating down, instead there was a slight overcast. The wind howled and danced around the groups of students as they tried to keep their eyes open while taking photos. On the other hand, after a while i gave up on trying to take pretty pictures and instead started to just appreciate the view. I saw on the very ledge, inches away from falling off, and just stared at the beautiful scenery. It was exhilarating. I couldn’t remember the last time i had gone hiking in america. I normally go hiking in korea but this was a first in a long time. It’s so interesting to see the cultural differences. In korea the stairs are made of rocks and there are ropes to keep people from getting lost. In this hiking expedition, there were no ropes, but only wooden stairs. Anyways back to the story, after enjoying the cool temperature and trying to keep my cap on, i convinced a couple of people to come with me to the waterfalls.
Oh man the waterfalls. There were two, one was ‘hidden’ while the other was larger. Actually both were quiet small but it didn’t matter i still enjoyed both of them. When we got to the ‘hidden’ falls, automatically i started to strip into just my bikini and ran in. Why did i do that? well i already saw people there who were extremely conservative and i wanted to set an example for others to just enjoy the refreshing cold water entirely. After the others saw me and after a couple of shocked remarkrs, people started to join and stripped and started to play with the water. I slipped on the rocks a couple of times but it was super fun and tranquil. I sat down after a while and began to take everything in around me. The reflection of the water on the rocks. The soft texture of the moss between my toes. The rhythm of water splashing and falling. The nature around me. Everything. It was too beautiful.
After a while, i moved to the next waterfall which was bit more of a walk. When i arrived, a group was already there and playing with the water. i’m not sure why but instantly an image of fairies playing in ponds flashed across my mind. This waterfall was a bit different from the ‘hidden’ one. There was a giant, massive cave behind this water fall, and people were hanging out inside. the soil in the cave was cold but mushy and soft. Girls were intimidated that the water would wash their make up off. I got past the fear and slowly walked into the center of the waterfall. The cold water made contact with my face and surprisingly my eyes burned and had the taste of salt in my mouth. i didn’t mind though, it reminded me of the ocean. i encouraged the others to do the same and i got a few to join. it was like an outdoor shower, were there was just pleasure and laughter. The sun came through at this moment.
On our way back it was a struggle, oh lord but it was extremely comical. I focused on laughing and making fun of Jon and it took my mind off the walk. I was crying with laughter by the time we got back.
when we got on the bus back to the campus, ted sat next to me again. Apparently when she wandered off, daniel had followed her and later they met up with carol and had gone to the lake. While we exchanged stories, we ended up falling asleep on each others shoulders until we arrived on campus. When we got off, i was the first in the shower and when i tried to walk to dinner my body felt incredibly sore but fresh and exercised. i felt healthy.
Later after dinner, i walked about to my dorm to sleep but fortunately i got on tumblr first. that’s when i found out that there was supposed to be a ‘supermoon’. Without a doubt i knew i had to see it and i couldn’t afford to sleep so i got up, put some fresh clothes, and walked out with my giant camera in hand. I plugged in my earbuds and proceeded to walk to the amphitheater with the mindset that i’d ignore everyone around me and focus on watching the moon. Surprisingly, while i was on my way, ted snuck up behind me and gave me a pat on the head. At that moment, the world seemed to pause in my mind as if it was a game and there were three options i could chose: 1) invite ted to watch the super moon with me 2) tell ted to go look for the super moon and walk off 3) laugh and proceed to walk forward. i didn’t know which one so i originally picked 2 but then i couldn’t stop myself and after i told her about the super moon, immediately following my statement i invited her to come join. Ted being the awesome person she is gladly accepted it and enthusiastically joined me on my hunt to find a good place to gaze at the moon.
when we got to the amphitheater we ended up unsatisfied and wanting to explore other areas to moon watch. We ventured behind the giant roof and stumbled upon evan and hank hammicking, and unintentionally found ourselves in the hot gym where coincidentally jocelyn, claire, and some guys were playing basketball. Fortunately i had my camera with me so i was able to take some shots for the gsw slideshow (publications) and later i was able to sneak a peak at Max (this really super hot kid holy shit). After a while, me and ted were the last ones to leave and on our way to the dorm, we saw the super moon. The image spurred excitement and we quickly started to run around looking for areas once more for moonwatching. we finally came to settle for the stairs behind our dorm. it wasn’t the perfect spot, but it was the best we had. we sat on the stairs and i played my cowboy bebop playlist and we just sat there and gazed and the moon. Every now and then we talked but it wasn’t the normal useless empty small talk. No, i never really had those useless awkward small talks with ted, she just isn’t the type of person to have those with. Instead the feel words that were exchanged had a certain weight to them. I really like her. She’s a fascinating individual that i can have endless conversations with about life and perspectives. I can share with her ideas of reality, my books, music, talent, anything. It was such a strong moment. I know it’s going to be a special memory for me. Any memory with the moon is a special memory for me
afterwards jocelyn ted and i ate ramen and there was some tension between jocelyn and tea but it was some what sorted out today (kind of)
i got jocelyn to make a kakao and ted as well. Shit imma try and get everyone on campus to make a kakao.
that was all yesterday, today i woke up late but managed to squeeze breakfast in. In art, we started working on the mesh net and the wire installation. Afterwards i did laundry, passed out (which was unfortunate since jocelyn’s math presentation was today :( ) and ordered cheese sticks. today was pretty uneventful and tiring but i think it was necessary since i was still physically exhausted from the hiking trip. my butt STILL hurts. Oh and area 3 was kind of boring as well since we were talking about white male priviledge.
i’m having way too much fun here. After the hiking trip, arun called and i was really glad to hear his voice and that he went out of his way to call. It showed that he missed me and cared and i really appreciated that. but at the same time it was a solid reminder that in less than a couple of days, this would all come to an end. That this, my time in governor school west 2014, would be over. It’s a countdown and i hate it. i’m extremely comfortable with my lifestyle here. Going to optional interesting, educational seminars about life. Hanging out with everyone at the Babcock basement, playing pool (being a ‘hustler’) and super smash bros. Exploring and venturing to different corners of the campus. Eating shitty food at the rat fac or ordering pizza. Taking 5 minute showers. Doing laundry and forgetting about it 2 hours later. The people here. I don’t want to go back to living with my family, with rules, with temptations. i’ve been so good here. i’ve met some super awesome, interesting and intellectual individuals. Can i just bring the few people i love back at charlotte here?