In Which Ella Refers to the Morning as Yesterday

Today has been one of those days where so many things have happened that I become confused and begin to refer to the morning as yesterday.

There is just no way that only seventeen hours ago I was standing in the shower trying very hard not to fall asleep and hit my head on the tile wall again.

I took the SAT, finally figured out how to cast spells on pottermore, drove to Connecticut, went to the Laini Taylor event, ate pork so tender that I fell in love, visited Cecelia, ate ice cream, walked around Yale, and drove home. And I only slept for five hours last night.

These things just don’t happen in Ella world. The most I ever seem to do is go to the book or grocery store and visit doctors’ offices.

I’d love to be able to write something interesting and properly describe all of the events, but there is only so much I can write while typing on an iPhone in the dark car. But I’ll tell you this: Laini Taylor is one of my favorite adults and authors ever, Cecelia is the coolest, and I would very happily live off of pork, mangos, and ice cream for the rest of my life.

Also, thanks for driving me everywhere today, Mom and Dad. Six hour long roadtrips aren’t most people’s cups of tea, and you didn’t even complain once.

And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at http://emleng93.tumblr.com/, if you’re into that kind of thing.

In Which Ella Has to Take the SAT

Guess what’s happening tomorrow.

I’m taking the SAT.

Guess how happy this makes me.

Not at all.

On the upside, I’m going to a book signing tomorrow evening for Laini Taylor and her new book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which I reviewed here.

And now I’m off to do some more panicking.

And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at http://emleng93.tumblr.com/, if you’re into that kind of thing.

In Which Ella Uses Her Head As A Battering Ram

I spent a good portion of today studying math for the SAT.

As I’ve said before, here and here and here, I am not exceptionally good at math, though it has never been for lack of interest or trying. (I’m that kid that does really well in the honors level class because she studies her butt off and memorizes things for the test, only to promptly forget them a day later.) It’s not that I struggle spatially, I’m quite good with navigation, I just get distracted incredibly easily and frequently end up working too quickly for my own good.

I have to admit that I am rarely able to read something entirely in order; I usually read the first sentence of a paragraph, skip to the middle, read the last sentence or two, and then go back and fill in the remaining details unless I’ve become incredibly immersed in the subject. This is not, of course, to say that I am incapable of reading–I read constantly and with a lot of ease, and I do very well in English class–I just do it very strangely.

The same sort of thing happens when I’m trying to accomplish most other tasks. I try to do it all at once. It works fine if I’m doing something simple like putting on socks or buttoning something–I’ve long since mastered the art of doing the buttoning one handed with one hand starting at the top of the garment and the other starting at the bottom and the two of them meeting in the middle, and I can put on both of my socks at the exact same time (one of my childhood “parlor tricks”)–but it does not bode well for math.

Unless I’m doing some sort of math that requires racing and thinking quickly, I begin to get really, really fidgety and my mind begins to wander as I do the problem. I usually begin to become so obsessively focussed on focussing that I’m suddenly not paying full attention to the problem I’m trying to solve. This usually leads to me doing things like declaring that one and one sum to eleven or just forgetting about some part of the equation in its entirety. And it’s mortifying.

I also really struggle to pay attention during math class. I love taking notes, but the moment I decide to look back over what I’ve written, it’s just a neat set of numbers and equations without words connecting any of it, and I can’t make heads or tails of what just happened. I’ve tried everything: I write on special paper, I have a color-coded system, and I’ve done tutoring. Nothing has helped except banging my head against the wall and dramatically moaning “WHY ME? WHY ME?”

And it makes me so incredibly anxious not be good at something the moment I try it. I’m competitive; I have this insatiable urge to be the best (which is a problem for another day). I’m used to being in the upper tier and that just doesn’t happen when it comes to math. I get A’s, but I don’t really deserve them. I just always do my homework and classwork and memorize. I very rarely understand what I’m actually doing.

But back to this afternoon’s studying. I am a HUGE fan of prep books. I’ve taken tests for classes that I haven’t taken before and done well because I studied the book. So when I opened up one of my SAT prep books to the math section, I thought that it would be pretty smooth sailing. It, however, was not. I quickly discovered that I knew next to nothing, and that the detailed descriptions in the book of how to solve the problems just didn’t make any sense.

So here I am, nine hours later, switching between problem sets in the book and videos on Khan Academy still trying to figure it out, feeling as though I am trying to ram through a castle’s walls using my head as the battering ram. I’ll let y’all know if I ever even make a dent in the stone without causing permanent damage to my brain.

And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at http://emleng93.tumblr.com/, if you’re into that kind of thing.