Monday, September 30, 2013


I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY EVERY APARTMENT BUILDING HAS HIRED SOMEONE TO BLOW THE LEAVES OFF THEIR LAWNS LIKE WHY?? It's fall! LEaves! LEAVES! LEAVES! Everywhere! All over for me to stomp in and kick around and make crunchy sounds that make the walk to school a little less glum.

And the chill! The chill in the air! I don't get sweaty walking home from school anymore! No, because now I can wear my jacket and be a bold splash of orange in the sea of gray and brown and black sweaters I see every day. BEHOLD MY ORANGE COAT AND BLUE SCARF, THEY ARE MARVELOUS! FALL IS HERE! HOORAY!

ANd even better is that tomorrow it is OCTOBER! YAY! October is obviously the best month out of all the months, because it's seriously like everyone's birthday AND thanksgiving AND halloween AND as autumn as it gets in Canada. The chill is here but the snow is not, the wasps are dead but you don't quite need mittens yet (unless you're me and you're always cold).

AND GRAY DAYS. SO MANY. IT'S WONDERFUL. Everyone knows gray days are the best excuse for a cup of hot chocolate. And sweaters, big wooly ones with zippers and buttons or maybe none at all.

And the smell! The trees all smell so lovely and when I'm not breathing in cigarette smoke from passing smokers, I can smell the trees! And when it rains, you can smell the leaves! THE LEAVES, LET ME TELL YOU. They are yellow and yellow-green and orange-brown and they almost scatter everywhere and make glorious crunchy noises and glorious crisp smells and

SHIT THE CUTE BOY FROM THE APARTMENT BELOW JUST KNOCKED and then he opened the door which my roommate left unlocked (because she left apparently) and said "hello?" and I was like "wat" (not out loud of course) and then I said "hello?" but he'd already closed the door so I scurried out and opened it and he was in the hallway and asked if I knew where my roommate was and I said no I thought she was sleeping and he just said she still had his ruler so I let him in to get it and then I held the door open and he TOOK OFF HIS FUCKING SHOES before he went to her room which was literally like 5 steps away and then put them back on and JESUS he smelled better than the leaves outside, I swear to god.
Fuck this isn't even a crush. This is just sad. Very, very sad.

Anyway. Autumn. AUTUMN. I love autumn more than anything else in the whole entire world. And every time I am outside I smile because LEAVEs and SMELLS and just ahhhh, autumn.
Also I get to start wearing scarves now so I am a happy egg.

AND AND AND this morning, my alarm went off at like 7:15. I turned it off, opened my eyes ten minutes later, and like WHOA the sky was on fire with red! Holy sunrise, batman! A few minutes later, and it was orange, and then pink, and finally it just faded into the gray of the day (which was awesome, because as I mentioned before, I love gray days). It was just so... vibrant this morning. Maybe because the clouds were there to catch the light? I don't know what it was but it was amazing either way and I love my east-facing window. In fact I think that's now something I want to look for in a house or apartment or whatever. An east-facing window. Sunrises are the shit, yo, and don't let anyone tell you any different. Especially now that they get later so I can actually catch them as they happen.

yer pal,
swegan (I give up. Whatever. The past is the past and this is my thing now. The end).

Friday, September 27, 2013

I still have my shoes on

That is a testament to the epic procrastination I have been... doing? for the last 2 hours. My chem lecture finished at 2. I told dad I was going to go home and "study" which I haven't actually done at all (despite the fact that I have a shit-ton of chem reading and bio review to do, not to mention an english essay to write and probably chem pre-lab stuff. Oh, and math practice, because math suddenly stopped making sense today and infinite limits don't make any sense. How is it that if I sub infinity into something it becomes 0? Isn't infinity like the opposite of 0? Ugh now I actually have to use my math textbook) and SHIT my new math assignment is due next friday wtf usually we get two weeks to do assignments what is this

Well fuck my weekend just went down the toilet.

I keep trying to go skating on sundays but I'm always too busy freaking out about schoolwork to bother to leave my apartment, walk over to the university, and skate for a couple hours. Maybe I should actually do some work. I'm supposed to go out to dinner with my dad tonight, too... well I guess maybe watching the new episode of glee instead of doing my homework WASN'T such a good idea after all, hahahaha....

I was going to say I feel really organized but I don't and then I do this and just WHY AM I NOT LEARNING GOOD STUDY HABITS ARUGH.

I guess I should do some chem reading now or something. Get it out of the way. As for math problems I have to have time to focus on those, so that should be done tomorrow, and I should get started on that assignment and see how far I can get on my own. My essay also requires a couple of hours to sit and focus, so that should be done tomorrow as well. I could read the rest of othello tonight too, and look through the hacker readings to see if there's anything I need to focus on. The practice set I could probs get done quickly, but I do have to go out this evening with my dad (he flew up to see me/for a medical meeting conference thinger) for supper and I don't want to be stressed during that. I could also do the bio notes tonight, that won't take long, and half of it is just highlighting words I need to know and writing them on the back (I do that to keep track of terms. Also reviewing terms is a shortened way to do studying really fast if I only have a couple minutes to study before heading off to another class). Chem PS shouldn't take long, apparently it's all high school review and it's not due or anything so that takes some pressure off.

Wait is that it? Well okay and the latin roots of words we've been learning in bio I ought to write down somewhere I guess.

Okay so maybe I do have good study habits. Last year when I had a bunch of stuff to do I'd freak out and cry before I organized myself like that and that was just a waste of time. Besides, if I were at this point last year, I'd probably have a couple of chem labs coming up (well actually I have to do the chem pre-lab too, fuck I forgot that), and I dunno, I can't even remember. I just know I would have had the EE and IA in the background, stressing me out. And probably some little assignments from history and chem, but never from English because our English teacher tried to keep us as stress-free as possible by just giving us tests and large assignments (a lot like university, come to think of it) rather than little assignments all over the place. And then come november, NaNo would come up (I'm doing that this year- PLS JOIN ME IT WILL BE SO FUN especially once I come up with an idea, hahaha...) and I'd be dealing with my practice TOK essay and that godforsaken TOK project. My TOK project sucked so badly. Actually no, wait, let's go look at it again. I still have it somewhere..
Oh this is actually a semi-intelligent debate over an interesting subject concerning research and ethics in the gaining of new knowledge. Damn. Why was I so smart then? (Although I think I might have plagiarized. Tsk, tsk, past me). Even the title slide is a totally bitchin' work of art. This might just be the best powerpoint presentation I've ever made. I don't even remember what my grade was. AND THEN I PULLED THAT PRACTICE TOK ESSAY OUT OF MY BUTT, DIDN'T EVEN FINISH WRITING THE CONCLUSION I LITERALLY STOPPED IN THE MIDDLE OF A SENTENCE AND I GOT 38/40 SOMEHOW HOW THE FUCK DID I DO THAT WHAT THE HELL??!?

When I say TOK confused me, I'm not just talking subject matter, guys.

ANYWAY IT'S TIME TO HIT THE BOOKS. With my head. Ha, I'm just kidding. With my eyeballs. But not literally.

yer pal,

Wednesday, September 25, 2013



Speaking of chem, I may or may not have bawled like a two year old when I realized I forgot my ID today and thought I wouldn't be able to write my chem exam. Thank goodness for that old high school ID card in my backpack. Thank goodness for that girl who stopped me and suggested I ask the prof if I could use it. Thank goodness for my father who assured me that my response was based on emotions I was feeling at the time and was entirely valid and just THANK GOODNESS.

The exam itself wasn't too bad. Studying definitely paid off. I think I did well.

Of course now I have this dangblasted philosophy exam tomorrow and I'm not exactly sure how to feel about it. We don't get any practice questions. We don't get any practice exams. Our textbook is just readings. All I have to go on are those readings and my notes. I made notes on all the readings because my parents suggested it and I was like "gee duh why did I not think of that before" even though my notes on the readings may or may not have missed important bits... but I guess that's what my in-class notes are for, since I started taking them so as not to fall asleep/forget things. Anyway... I hate to say it and I hate to even think of doing it but if worst comes to worst (I'm 90% sure it's not "worse comes to worse") I can withdraw. If it turns out philosophy is crazy hard and I am worried about passing the final I'm guessing that a W on my transcript would look a hell of a lot better than an F. But I won't have to do that. I don't want to have to do that. I just want to pass the goddamned class and get the credits and not have to make them up later.

Also! Went to Careers fair today and HOLY BUTTS ENGINEERS HAVE GOT IT FUCKIN' MADE. Pretty much 70% of the booths there were looking for engineers- chemical, mechanical, it didn't matter. There were a couple for geophysicists. Some for people in chemistry. Some for people in physics. A few arts degree ones. And I think I saw maybe two for biology. The only conclusion I can come to is that a Biology degree is like the Fine Arts degree of the Science world: YOU HAVE TO FUCKING LOOK HARD FOR JOBS.
But of course I'm not going to go into chemistry or physics (unless I discover a genuine interest in them, and that does not seem likely right now) because I would just slog through it and hate everything and what's the point of doing that with my life? Ugh. No.
I suppose one way to get up on the engineers' level is if I went into medicine. That's something I could do with a biosci degree (and a shit ton of volunteering hours, an insane GPA, reference letters... med school looks hard you guys and besides I'm not super interested in medicine so...). But aside from that I really feel like I'm getting the useless science degree, that there's no jobs for science majors unless you're majoring in chem/physics/not biology.

This is reminiscent of what dad told me when I complained that the bio people had a building from the 70s while the astrophysicists and regular physicists get this nice shiny new building. "Nobody wants to give the biology people new labs to cut up their worms." The bio building isn't actually that bad (although it is very oddly designed and hard to get around in b/c ARCHITECT FIGHT); maybe that's just because I ACTUALLY LIKE BIOLOGY and thus the building does not seem sinister and depressing like the chem building (thank god my chem lab has windows. The windowless labs look like the place where happiness goes to die) (I shit you not I cannot stand the chem building everything is bricks) (It is unpleasant) (I HAD TO WALK THROUGH THE CHEM BUILDING AT NIGHT AND I SWEAR TO GOD THERE WERE MURDERERS IN THE SHADOWS OKAY I DO NOT LIKE THE CHEM BUILDING). The bio building seems welcoming and homey to me, like "ahh yes, this is where I belong." So does my bio lab. I guess the fact that I actually like my TA helps with that. Not that I dislike my chem TA, but... chemistry. *shudders* just, no.

WELL ANYWAY I need sleep b/c 8 AM bio lab that is all confusing and about necklaces...? yeah I should probably get some sleep.

yer pal,

Monday, September 23, 2013


I would apologize for the fact that these posts keep swinging back and forth but really I'm not because that's how things are at the moment.

I FEEL TOO ORGANIZED. Feeling this way always makes me suspicious. Like there's something I should be doing that I'm just forgetting about. But I finished my math assignment (100% ON TWO ASSIGNMENTS IN A ROW HOT DOG YOU GUYS THIS IS GREAT), I finished my bio pre-lab assignment a week early because I thought it was due last week, I'm done my chem pre-lab for tomorrow, I've read Othello for English and read the essay on Othello twice, I've updated my bio notes as far as they can go, made plans to do my chem practice exam tomorrow (maybe I should just do that tonight. Sit down, 40 minutes, crank it out and see how I do and go over my mistakes), reviewed my chem notes, I reviewed philosophy yesterday (probs should do that again)... I just feel like I don't have enough to do WHICH I KNOW IS A DANGEROUS THING TO SAY BECAUSE NOW TOMORROW I WILL HAVE 5 MILLION THINGS TO DO AND THAT IS NO FUN but just I feel like it's wrong that my last semester of high school was harder than this.

I am so confused. I totally thought university was going to be super hard. I mean the rules are strict and the classes are larger and the content is more challenging but jesus christ IB has made all of this a breeze. NOTE TO STUDENTS OUT THERE DEBATING DOING IB: You are going to cry and work hard and be stressed out, but if you are planning on post secondary it will make the transition a thousand times easier. Plus in IB you have to learn to organize your work so you don't forget anything and you have to start studying in advance. We started studying for World Exams at the beginning of April, and our world exams were in May.


Last year whenever I had nothing to do I was suspicious, and sure enough, if I thought hard enough I usually found something that I still had to do and had just forgotten. I mean I have math questions from the book and I really should be practicing limits but it's really hard to motivate myself to do that. This is the problem. When there is lots to do, you buckle down and do it. When there is a little bit to do, you don't want to do anything. I'm sure things will change come finals and in October, once midterms roll around (although a few of my profs do like two exams throughout the term- my chem prof does that, and so does my philosophy prof, and I think my bio prof too) (and in English we just have some in-class essays (OH GOD THAT JUST STRESSED ME OUT NOOOO) (I need time to think of essay things!) and then a big paper at the end of the term- ooh, 1500 words, I'm shaking in my boots) (Oooh, we have to come up with the thesis ahead of time... gee, that doesn't sound like History 20IB all over again) (Oooh, we have to peer review, because I've never done that before) (I'm sorry but I can't help it). But I've gone through the process of having multiple exams over a short period of time before. I wrote 4 exams in one day. I HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED TO THE CONCEPT OF EXAMS.

I only have 7 of them. That's not even a bunch, and 3 of them will be done before exam week even starts. That leaves what, four? Come on.
Of course the scary thing is now that the information is difficult, but I will deal with that.

Still suspicious though. I feel much too prepared.

yer pal,

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Not sure if I've touched on this before, but suicide is a big fucking thing and I need to say this

No, I've never been suicidal, but I did have a friend who was, earlier this year. We're friends more because our parents are friends, considering she lived an 8-hour drive away, but for some reason earlier this year she chose to confide in me. I have no idea why. It was in the midst of final EE writing- I was pretty stressed out- and she just started texting me, telling me about her life and all these things she was going through.

It was a lot of shit. Friends should be nice to each other, kay? If people aren't being nice to you, they aren't your friends. That is always true. Always.

She sent me some poetry once, and that was when she first mentioned suicide at all. That worried me, but I figured she was okay, that that had been in the past and she'd made it through- she wasn't quite okay now, but she was a bit better.

And we kept texting. I think it only went on for 5 days or so, but when I look back on it it feels like it lasted for weeks. In between trying to console her (she had sworn me to secrecy and I was very torn about what to do; it ate me up inside for weeks) and trying to deal with the barrage of IB work I had, I was pretty stressed out and miserable.

I finally snapped on a Tuesday. We had a couple of chem labs that week, some bio stuff, I'm sure lots of other stuff- likely two history readings due with an in-class essay on Thursday- and I was in Spanish class. It was second period, I'd just had chem, and I was feeling a bit stressed, trying to console myself and listing the things I had to do because that always helps me realize there's not that much to do. Our teacher started the class by saying we were going to have a quiz on Friday, and I just lost it. I turned away from the class, embarrassed that I was crying, and someone noticed, and Omnia took me out into the hallway.

She asked what was wrong, and I explained all the school stuff, and she gave me a hug, and tried to console me, and I ended up blurting out that I'd been texting one of my friends and I was really worried she was going to kill herself.

I guess I have Omnia to thank; she was the one who suggested I tell my advisor about it. He worked in the counselling office, so he I guess had some experience with it, and either way I'd be in the counselling office when it happened. (Omnia also admitted she was glad to get out of Spanish class, and that lightened the mood. I know she wasn't taking advantage of my sadness- it was just an unexpected bonus. I liked Spanish, but getting out of any class is fine with me).

During advisor period I did talk to my advisor- at first, in the main area of the counselling offices, with all the couches and students. I started crying in the middle of it, so he pulled me into his office and closed the door and I explained everything to him. He offered suggestions and we eventually worked out that he could call the guidance counselor at her school and tell that counselor that this student was having problems. We looked her up on facebook- thankfully, she had listed what high school she went to. He made sure I was okay, sent me on my way, and called the counselor.

I guess that friend- the one I was so worried about- thought that whoever told the guidance counselor had greatly exaggerated the situation. She texted me to ask if it was me later that day, and I eventually told her it was. She wasn't mad at me, and eventually I think she thanked me. I hope she realized that I did it because I'd finally decided that her life was worth more than our friendship, however big or small that friendship was.

It took me a few days to tell my parents about it. My dad later got mad at me, saying I should have said something sooner and it was stupid to leave it for so long, that if I had been texting her these things, he would have wanted her to tell her parents (who are friends with my parents), that things could have been much worse. That didn't help the situation- I already felt bad enough about that, and dwelling on something I couldn't change was useless. I'd been on the fence about it for days, even looking up on the internet what to do if a friend was considering suicide. The message I got was the same across the board- TELL SOMEONE. Every website said the same thing. Tell someone you trust, tell anyone, but do not keep it a secret. That was hard for me to get past. I'd never felt so conflicted about something in my entire life. I contemplated calling the Kids Help Phone line, but never did get around to it.

So I'd like to add mine to the list of messages that say tell someone. Really. Honest to god. Fucking go and tell someone right now. It's not going to get any better. Unless you're an experienced counselor, you're not going to help them by just trying to be there for them. Being there for them is important, yes, but it might not be enough, and aren't their lives worth more than that?
That was a key realization for me. Her life is worth more than our relationship. I realized I would rather have her live and hate me bitterly than die thinking I was such a good friend. That's the message nobody told me and that needs to be told.

I know the whole thing wasn't about me, and it still really isn't, but it threw me into a colossal funk for the next couple of weeks. I would get so sad for no reason that I would just cry. It almost felt sobering, like up to that point in my life I'd been giddy and almost drunk in my disposition, I had been too smiling, too bubbly, too happy, not serious enough. IB made it hard to get out, but time heals everything and eventually I got back to normal, even if normal was a new and different normal. I'm not the same person I was, but then no one ever is.

From what I've heard from her now, she's doing better, she's gotten into sports again and that's helped. I'm just glad she has people around her now that can support her and help her out and that it's not this big fucking secret anymore.

One thing I do have to say that doesn't sound pretty: what she did wasn't fair. I realize that yes, she was in a dark place, she was going through trouble, things weren't all peachy-and-sunny. But for her to ask me to keep a secret like this when I was already going through the stress of something like IB was really not fair. To her credit, she didn't know how stressful IB was, but still. I'm not saying she did this on purpose to be unfair, but more so that it was what I did- expected myself to go along with her wish that it be kept secret- that was unfair. That wasn't fair to me. I shouldn't have tried to hold so much on my shoulders. It's not fair to have to keep adding stresses to yourself. Don't do that. Please. It's not worth it. Life is short and you can't do everything right, so don't wear yourself out trying to. Please.

I guess that's all I have to say about that. Some secrets are not meant to be secrets and I mean that with every bit of my heart.

I know this is the part of these entries where people usually refer numbers, but I have none to give. All I can say is that if you know someone keeping a secret like this and you haven't told someone (by someone I mean someone trustworthy), do it right now. Forget your homework, your sports practice, all those things you have to get done. Do it now. Right. Fucking. Now.

yer pal,

I chew a lot of gum

This is an appreciation post for that.

Actually technically I am supposed to be looking up a summary of Othello to make sure I'm understanding it correctly (Iago's going behind everyone's backs and fucking shit up but making it look like other people did it so that everyone will call him "honest" and "noble" forever, the fat little turd. I think he's doing it because he's jealous?), but I read a sparknotes post called "How to Stay Awake in Class" instead. And they didn't mention chewing gum, which is lame because that is all that's getting me through philosophy and chem right now.

I have both classes about an hour or two post-lunch, which is prime nap time. Plus, philosophy's one of those classes where the prof just rambles on and on quietly about things and I don't quite understand all of them but I make myself take copious notes (I'm sure the girl two seats over who never takes any thinks I'm either a) a keener, b) really stupid, or c) just a nerdy loser), which is a strategy my mom suggested. And I chew gum. I have a whole box of spearmint gum and I just chew it. All the time.

Not even just to stay awake, either. Bored and want a snack but don't really need one because I'm not really hungry but just like food? Gum. Delicious, spearmint gum. Hungry but there's only like half an hour until dinner so I should wait but I really just want to stuff myself with delicious crispy minis? Gum. Want food even though I've already brushed my teeth and am totally not getting up to do it again? Gum.

Actually I think I just chew gum to avoid snacking a lot of the time. I mean I'm not anorexic- I'm not chewing gum as a replacement for food- but I chew gum when I want to eat even though I'm not really hungry and the food I want to eat is shitty food. It gives me something to chew and it's fucking delicious and it makes my breath smell nice, plus I end up eating more healthy food (ie the meals from downstairs) and less snacky food (and I am a university student living away from my parents now so you can bet that I am taking advantage of not having them being all "well we don't really need that dear" over my shoulder hahahaha) and that's good for my health and my skin and bla bla bla.

I mean I feel like as a girl if I start getting concerned about my weight, people are going to be like "oh she's one of those girls" which kind of makes me want to punch those people in the arm but seriously, I don't want to be one of those girls. I don't. I'm not someone whose weight controls her entire life. I'm just trying to eat food that's good for me- like vegetables. I am probably eating more of those here than I did at home so that's good. Plus the mealtimes are set, so I have to eat at very regular intervals which keeps me on track.

And gum keeps me awake. It gives me something else to focus on so my mind doesn't wander. I keep doing that in philosophy, I'll be sitting there and the prof will finish saying something and I'll realize I have no idea what he just said and panic a little bit. But not with chewing gum.

Chewing gum: it's magical, yo. Take advantage of it. Only if you're like me and you get cavities just thinking about sugar, pls chew sugarfree gum. (Although if you are like me, I found long ago that not drinking carbonated beverages meant no more cavities and that made me verrrrrry happy) (Also carbonation is gross and makes my throat feel weird and just ugh no. Only in Europe will I drink carbonated beverages, which is a very odd thing to say).

yer pal,

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Okay but I have a serious question for you guys

Let's pretend we're 12 again.

I mean I know that's not the funnest thing for some of us to do, and there's probably some people out there who, at 12, were slightly more rational than most. I was not one of those people. 12 year old me, as I've said many times, was a gigantic idiot who ended up messing up her life quite a few times. 12 year old me was ridiculed and embarrassed more than I'd like to admit. 12 year old me had it rough at school. I am assuming that is because 12 year old me looked like a 7 year old, and all the other girls looked like, well, 14 year olds, and because I was smart and had a big mouth and could never keep it shut. (I'd like to say 13 year old me learned from these mistakes. On some level perhaps she did, but she was still very stupid. 14 year old me got quite an education when I switched schools and learned how to be a regular person who was capable of expressing things in a normal way and did not have crushes on assholes who ruined her life) (I mean okay on some level Nerd is a bit of an asshole, to the point where I don't like talking to him much... but compared to the assholes I had to deal with in middle school, he's a saint).

For some reason, I go back to being 12 a lot. And lately- well, less so since I moved far far away and started a new life far away from everything I knew, which, though it means cutting out a lot of good, familiar things, also means getting away from poisonous memories- I have been doing it more and more.

And it's always because of my stupid nickname.
My friends all use it now... well, some of them do. Just today when I said goodbye to Lucy, she called me by my nickname. I use it. I use it on a lot of sites because "swegan" is an unusual nickname and it is not usually taken by anyone else. I like this nickname on some level. It's realistic- a cool spin on my actual name. But it was thought up and popularized by a bunch of assholes who made my life miserable in middle school, and for some reason I just never got rid of it and now I'm kind of realizing that that's confusing me.

I mean, just... I can never change where this nickname got its origins from. I can't, it will always be from him, that poisonous boy who broke my heart. It will always be from that time, when I was stupid and naive and unwittingly got myself into a whole mess of trouble. I can't change the way it comes from a tainted beginning. I can't change any of that.
But then I think, well, by continuing to use it, am I not totally defying those origins? I'm sure that nickname was born out of hate or something, some desire on his part to embarrass me and make me sad. All of my other middle school nicknames (smeagol, gollum (ever so briefly), melchy) were. But then maybe it wasn't. Thinking back, I'm pretty sure I got that nickname before things got bad. He was just annoying me. I was fun to tease at that point. I've always been fun to tease and it's something I hate about myself. But they could get a reaction out of me, so they did, and it amused them to no end, and of course 12 year old me loved the attention because I was a nerdy loser. Later, when he found out, things got nasty. And not a lot of things happened, I can tell you that. There were maybe 8 incidents over two years, but it was so clear during that whole time that the hate those incidents were born out of never went away. It was like background noise.

But if it was a nickname intended to be a weapon, then am I defying those origins by continuing to use it? By saying "well, you know what, I actually like this nickname so I'm going to keep it and you can't do anything about it" am I giving him a giant middle finger? I really don't think so.

What I think is that I'm hanging on to middle school for some reason. It was horrible, it was. But for some reason none of that mattered after middle school to everyone else. On some level I'm convinced that I shouldn't be so affected by this. Why don't I just forget about it and move on? All my tormentors clearly have. Nobody else seems to think about the bullies from their past as often as I do. And my bullying wasn't even that bad. I mean, sure, it was sick and twisted because I liked him and I can't for the life of me remember why since nothing about him is in any way likable. But why am I still not over this? Why is it this that I can't get past? For christ's sake, I had my heart broken last year by a boy who was actually a decent person and I got over that just fine. We're even friends... sort of. Well, at any rate we're decent to each other, which is really great.
I feel stupid for even thinking about middle school. I should just forget all of the bad times, pretend like they never happened. I mean, well, maybe not that. But I should be able to say "what's in the past is what's in the past and I can't change it", but I can't do that and I'm driving myself up the wall trying to figure out why. I just want to be done with it. All of it.

Sometimes I think it's because maybe people admire people more who have come from adversity and made something of themselves. Maybe I latch onto it for that. Maybe I like to pretend I, too, was a victim of bullying, when in reality it was just made all the worse by a stupid crush. I don't really have any right to claim that this has scarred me and I don't feel like it has, but then there's always the matter of my nickname to come back to.

I've considered dropping it. I've considered asking people to stop calling me swegan, to sign my blog posts something else even though I can never change my nickname, and then I think of all the other internet sites I have a membership to with this nickname, and I realize it's impossible to get it out of my life. But I feel like by using it I'm just dragging a useless past into my future and I need to stop doing that and the only way I can think of is to just stop using it actively. Come up with new nicknames for sites. Christ, though, I signed up for my math homework site with this nickname. It's just so fucking convenient.

But I can't discern for myself whether taking this nickname and using it to describe myself is a good idea or not. I know I should be able to decide that for myself but clearly I can't.

I know it sounds really stupid. I know I need to get over this, stop acting like middle school was some horrible thing that happened to me when really it wasn't all bad, stop acting like it's affected my development because it hasn't. I graduated high school with a provincial diploma and an IB diploma. I've written research papers galore. I've done tons of piano exams. I managed to make a new circle of friends with great people who are really nice to me and treat me like a human being worthy of respect and love and I love them to death for doing that. I'm in university already- and a great one at that, doing well. I've written about 6 novels, though only 4 of them are marginally readable, and only 1 is one I feel like I could edit into something great. I have this whole future ahead of me. Not to mention my self esteem is fine- no eating disorders, no mental disorders, nothing. I've never harmed myself. I've learned to love myself and have confidence and try to be kind to others and help them if I can. I volunteered throughout my last two years of high school and have grown up to be very principled. So why the actual fuck am I still wasting brain space thinking about a time when I was none of that at all? When I was just a kid having a slightly rough time because of slightly stupid choices? Why do I even care that I kept a nickname from middle school?

Well if I've learned anything through this big-ass ramble it's that I don't even fucking know and I don't think I ever will and even though it makes me feel like I'm 12 all over again I'll never quite get over middle school, which sounds really, really stupid, but then so did 80% of the things I said when I was 12.

But the question is... do I keep the nickname? Aside from how impossible it is to remove, I know I could theoretically move forward and never use that nickname again, eradicate it from my life as much as I possibly can, leave it in the past like the rest of my past. I mean I'd have to find a new nickname, but I'm sure I'd manage.

Just thought I'd put that out there, because I know that this blog is getting hits and so people must be reading the stuff I write at least some of the time, yes? Also because last time I checked I knew about 5 friends that know about this blog but I am guessing it became a bit too boring for them to check every day or something- which I understand, and as I've said before, the point of this whole thing isn't to get comments, it's just to write shit and have it be publicly viewable even if none of the public is viewing it. The idea that people could read it is enough for me, and so is that question.

Nickname: Yes or No?

yer pal,


I watched a lot of quality shows, yo. And quite a few were Canadian. I later learned that apparently Canada actually has a reputation for making kids' shows.

Actually wow, I ended up watching a lot of Canadian kids' TV shows:
-Big Comfy Couch
-Little Bear
-Berenstein Bears
-George Shrinks (okay this wasn't entirely Canadian but still)
-Bear in the Big Blue House
-Zoboomafoo (don't quote me on that)
-Max and Ruby
-Crazy Quilt
-Tansy and Roseabelle
-Jacob Two-two

And then the non-Canadian ones:
-Blues Clues (this one still holds a special spot in my heart. I loved this show)
-Spongebob Squarepants (THIS SHOW WAS GREAT for like four seasons)
-Timothy goes to school
-Lamp Chop's Play Along
-Seven Little Monsters (is this one Canadian? I can't tell)
-Rolie Polie Olie

And then I got a little older and I remember watching others.
-Martin Mystery (FUN FACT: The girl who voices Diana also voices Barbie in most of the Barbie movies).
-Mystery Hunters (I got so scared of this so often that mom actually forbade me to watch it until I was 10)
-Totally Spies (this show was THE SHIT)
-6teen (I think I just watched it b/c one of my friends did)
-Life with Derek (this was Canadian, too!)
-The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
-Hannah Montana (Freckles made me watch it)
-Zoey 101
-Atomic Betty (not very often, though, I barely remember this one)
-I was a teenage robot (not often either)

Okay holy shit, I just had a thought. When mom forbade me to watch Mystery Hunters (THE EPISODE ABOUT THE GIANT BIRD MAN STILL HAUNTS ME TO THIS DAY) until I was 10... well, when I was 10, how i met your mother was just starting its first season, which confuses me. how i met your mother is a show I associate with being a teenager. Mystery Hunters is a show I associate very much with being a child.

Also can I say something about the theme songs? Because some of those kids shows had great theme songs. Franklin, Bear in the Big Blue House, Blues Clues, Berenstein Bears, Babar... there's lots of not-popular-music-music in there. Like actually all the music for Blues Clues is pretty much my favourite soundtrack for any TV show ever.

I think I need to watch some more of that show to put me to sleep. I'm all nostalgic now. And confused about Little Bear, because all I remember of that show is the one movie they made where they found another bear and had to help him get home?

And now I'm remembering books. I remember that one about the farmyard animal friends who went on a bike ride, and Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type and The Kissing Hand and all those Franklin/Berenstein bear books Freckles and I used to have read to us each night. We had a huge box of Franklin books and Berenstein Bear books all over the place. I remember going to chapters once when I was 13, and seeing "The Berenstein Bears go to Church" and feeling extremely disappointed. The Berenstein Bears always had adventures, but religion was never part of it. They were just living. Seeing that kind of made me feel like my childhood had ended.

And Junie B. Jones. JUNIE B. JONES. I am not kidding when I say those books probably influenced my writing more than you'd think. I still remember the first one I read. It was "Junie B. Jones is a Party Animal" and it was like my favourite book of all time. I think I ended up reading every single book in the series. So while everyone else was reading Harry Potter, that's what I was doing. Reading Junie B. Jones. So I guess that makes Barbara Park the author of my childhood. Actually I think those books probably influenced me as a person. I related to those books. I loved them. I gobbled them up. I read them all. I related immensely to Junie B. Jones. Shit, man. Those books mean something to me.

Okay. I seriously need to go to bed. Like, now. I feel all nostalgic and looking up at my calendar just reminds me I'm not a kid anymore and I'm supposed to like all these grown up shows and do grown up things like university and just UGH NOPE I WANT TO BE 7 AGAIN PLS. Although that means I'd have to go through middle school again. Let's just say I would rather never repeat middle school again. For anything. I am being perfectly serious when I say there is no amount of money you could pay me to go through middle school again.


yer pal,
swegan :)

Friday, September 20, 2013



Sad sad realization when I realize that the way the relationship was written between those two characters who are 18 was better written than the time I tried to write a relationship between two characters who were 18. HOW DO YOU 18 I DO NOT KNOW.

Ugh. Anyway. So I bought a book yesterday and it was pretty good but it smelled really funny and just... there was something about it I didn't like (besides the fact that I was all snuggled up reading last night and then what should happen but the characters start doing things and I was like AGGRESSIVE NORMAL FACE THERE IS NOTHING HAPPENING AT ALL HAHAHAHAHA. And then later when I gave up on the book and went to bed I heard the voices of the people who live in the apartment below me drifting up into my window and I don't know, I thought it was cool. Plus the guy I like even though I have like literally 0 chance with him lives in that apartment so I'm like 500% sure one of the voices was his. He's quiet, that guy. When I do see him at dinner and stuff he'll interject into the conversation maybe once to say he thought he heard something else or that he just had a random thought, which makes me think perhaps he is a crazy weirdo. Something he said once reminded me of something I said when I was 10 and at a summer day camp and trying to break the ice and talk to Celery and his little brother b/c Freckles certainly wasn't going to do it and it was a really weird thing to say like I don't know why I was thinking about a floating clown okay I just was but hey it worked and people started talking to points for me for making conversation via sharing my thought of what if there was a floating clown that farted every time he bumped into something THAT WAS LITERALLY WHAT I OPENED WITH I KID YOU NOT. To this day I cannot forget that. Anyway the thought cute guy shared was not quite as embarrassing as that but was equally stupid and it was kind of endearing.

I have been doing no work and there is a club meeting tonight for a club I joined IN THE OBSERVATORY DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS I GET TO GO SEE THE OBSERVATORY I AM SO EXCITED YES and that is the highlight of my day. Oh and my roommate gets back tonight.

Also I'd like to say I have no idea how I lucked out and got a bunch of great profs, but I did.

UPDATE: It is now late at night. I tried to buy a kit kat from the vending machine and all I had was a 20 so it gave me change in loonies and quarters and my wallet was stuffed. On the bright side I now have more change with which to do laundry. I plan to do some loads tomorrow morning. I already have 3 loads- sheets, towels and underwear, and then just clothes. Also at the ISSET meeting I went to, there was only one other girl and she didn't show up until right before the meeting so it was just me and a room of 80% engineers and the other 20% was science majors AND I FELT SO SHORT AND FEMALE. Most of their stuff is wayyyy too technical-physics-y for me- I'd need to learn a lot of new things and I'm just not very interested. I figured maybe I could help out more with internal stuff, like HR or maybe PR. I do recall getting a lot of management jobs suggested on that one aptitude test I did. Maybe I could be good at that. It seems like they just need a lot of people for everything everywhere and they're horribly understaffed so we'll see how things go.

On my way back to the bus stop, I decided to go through buildings instead of walking outside, and the chem building, which is usually just depressing during the day, was hella creepy. It used to be two buildings, but now they're one, but the hallway down the middle was dark and lit only from the fancy science building behind me and another academic building ahead. I ran down it, feet slapping the floor, wind rushing in my ears. It was terrifying and wonderful and dear god I really just hate the chem building. I know I shouldn't say things like that but I do. I like the biosci building, old as it is. It's cozy. But the chem building depresses me. It looks like the place where happiness goes to die.
When dad and I looked around campus before moving me in, I remember being shocked at how old the biosci building was compared to the brand-new science building which is mainly for physics/astrophysics people. It's like stepping back in time 40 years, I kid you not. Dad's response was "well, they don't want to give the biology people a new building to cut up their worms" which I thought was fairly hilarious.

Anyway I really need a shower now but I'm far too lazy to have one. All I want to do is sit and eat but I really should stop eating so many snacks. Maybe I should write. I don't know. It's one of those days where I just don't know what I want. I have a busy weekend, ahead, too, and then two quizzes next week and my chem labs start, too, and we have to read Shakespeare on our own. Ugh. No.

yer pal,

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I like jazz

Jazz is something that should always be played in the background of any gathering. Any. Gathering. It adds a touch of class to anything. Even Christmas. Christmas jazz is the best. Harry Connick Jr. and Nat King Cole all the way, man.
Jazz is also something that should be played at formal meals, in my opinion. It just makes everything cozier. It makes everything nicer. It makes everything fancier.

In case you couldn't tell, I am my parents' daughter. I have grown up on jazz music. I mean I can't stand 40s jazz on long car rides like they can, and don't get me wrong, I definitely love pop music, but I like jazz now. If I ever have a dinner party I will play jazz in the background. Someone played a little bit of it on the piano in the dining room the other night at dinner and it made everything perfect for a little bit. Jazz music. It is just wonderful.
Plus you haven't lived until you've heard Christmas jazz music. It is the soundtrack to every Christmas in my house. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Every meal, every lazy bit of the day, every waking moment (aside from opening presents) has jazz music in the background.

And sometimes at the cabin, my parents put jazz music on. They like to do this at dinner, or when they're making dinner, or just while they're out there enjoying themselves. Of course when Freckles and I wash the dishes we go full out guilty-pleasure songs (which means NICKI MINAJ DANCE PARTY WHAT UP) because it makes chores more fun. But usually, the music on there is jazz. It is our family's default setting. And at the cabin this summer, this one jazz song came on, but it was different from other jazz I'd heard. So I looked up the song title and I found this:

I don't know why this particular piece of music has come to me. I feel like it has, through the magical power of TuneIn radio and however they select their songs. I just... I love it. It feels like a great adventure and yet a cozy day at the cabin all rolled up into one. It's perfect. Everything about it. There is very little instrumental jazz I will tolerate on its own not as background music. This might actually be the only instrumental jazz music I tolerate. It is that good.
Seriously. Just listen to it.

In other music words, I also still love Cayucas, the beachy hipster band I randomly found on youtube. I found one of their whole albums on youtube, too, which is awesome because SONGS I HAVEN'T HEARD BEFORE *excited eyeballs* and I don't understand how one band consistently makes songs I like and none I don't. It's weird.

Although... a few months ago, East Coast Girl was one of my favourite songs. Actually, it was my favourite. Now I listen and the magic is gone and it makes me very sad. Thankfully, the magic of the band is still very much alive and they have many great songs. I guess ECG was just one of those songs where you play it over and over and over and wear it out because how can you not play it over and over and over when it's four AM and you just got home from Ireland and are being irresponsible no that wasn't me, what are you talking about?

yer pal,
swegan :)

P.S. Oh in case you were curious, which I know you weren't, here's the album:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

You know what bothers me though

Is when people are like "yeah 'cause swegan's so tiny, she has to go eat supper so she doesn't wither away" and "what are you talking about, swegan, you're so little" and just in general I get complimented on how tiny I am, or it is commented on a lot, and it really doesn't sit well with me.

For one, there is more to me than the fact that I am tiny and I would appreciate it if we could accept that. I am thin because this is how I am and also my mother was a dietician so I ate a lot of things like whole grains and fruits and vegetables and have been taught good eating habits (although in the same breath my mother also engages in a lot of fat-shaming and even slut-shaming with my sister a little bit (she constantly tells Freckles that "you can't wear that stuff honey, it's too short" like so what if it's too short mom fuck you you let me wear it why won't you let my sister wear it she can't help that she was born tall jesus fuck) (I have had this conversation with mom many many times)). I also come from a strong family which gives me love and support and that's helped with my self esteem so I haven't turned to damaging eating behaviours. End of story. I can't help any of that.

Secondly, the fact that people comment on this all the time and tell me how much of a good thing it is leads me to have this constantly nagging fear of gaining weight. I fear that I will suddenly start gaining weight like there's no tomorrow no matter how well I'm eating or how much I exercise, and people will stop complimenting me on my appearance. I feel guilty for having days where I eat a lot of ice cream. My mother doesn't help with this either. She always reminds me that I'm good at the size I am, and she implies that for me to get any bigger would be a sin. I fear that I won't be able to wear stylish clothes anymore- my mother tells me that too, saying "you won't be able to dress like this if you gain any weight" and things along that line. I have been told before that I'm lucky because everything fits me and I can wear anything, to which I reply actually no because I have that "this shirt would fit if I had boobs" problem all the time. I'm a person. Not everything fits me. The end.

Thirdly, this causes me to pride myself on my tiny-ness. I am proud of the fact that I am skinny- this is half of what I mean by being happy with my body. On one hand, I appreciate good things to appreciate. I like my hair. I have a nice face. I have really big eyes (apparently). I have small feet, I like that. I have long legs. I like these things about myself. But then it's also that I like that I am small. That I am skinny. And I shouldn't like myself because of that. Because that is a dangerous slippery slope of doom I don't want to go down.

More and more I've started to think I should confront my mother on these things, but I know it won't work out the way it does in TV and Movies. My parents are the kind of parents who are kind of set in their ways, who think they know everything and have evidence to back themselves up. It's really hard to argue with them, which is why I'm lucky I agree with them a lot. Just the idea of telling my mother "hey, you know, it's really none of your business how much I weigh or if I have hair in my armpits or how I choose to dress" makes my insides turn to jello. Seriously. Writing this post makes me feel like jell-o. But that's how I know I'm doing something right but dangerous, that feeling of jell-o. When I stood up to my mom that time she made my sister cry when she misunderstood why my sister was on the phone and thought she wasn't doing homework (let it be known that anyone who messes with my sister incurs the wrath of me. Ain't nobody makes my little sister cry). Whenever I stood up to nerd's sexist jokes at lunch. Whenever I made a comment in general at lunch that something wasn't funny. When I argued with mom that it didn't actually fucking matter if I shaved my legs or not. I felt like jell-o everytime, mostly because I know some people in that group would be quick to turn on me for pointing out someone's wrong.
So maybe I should have that discussion with mom.

Well, there is homework to do still. I just thought it was important to make this post.

yer pal,
swegan :)


Hahaha jokes it's still two weeks to my birthday but I am living somewhat on my own now. Also my roommate went on a trip with the program she's in, so she's gone for the next few days and I have to tell you, I have really let myself go.

I mean not really but I just sort of came home and then went to safeway to buy some stuff I don't need and it's like what Vince put on fb the other day, you can eat literally whatever you want whenever. I also have the benefit of healthy meals being made for me downstairs- the meal plan here works so that you pay everything before hand, and then just come down and get your food, or make a lunch to go, or get leftovers put in the fridge for you for supper. It's great. And all the meals are usually well-balanced- grains, vegetables, and meat. I haven't been drinking as much milk as I should be b/c they only have 2% and there's a juice machine that sometimes has lemonade... and I like lemonade. Sadly all there is right now is OJ and apple juice but whatever. The point is, the food is good, and not just that, it's good for me. I have to keep asking for less, too; they're really eager to have kids eat here. Just this morning one of the chefs- she's always so friendly and happy to see me and it's really nice- said that my parents would say "What have you been feeding our daughter, she's so skinny!" because I only asked for two chocolate chip pancakes (with saskatoon berry sauce I AM LIVING THE GOOD LIFE YOU GUYS OMG) and a few pieces of bacon. The first few days here they just heaped on the food so I had to learn to ask for less, because whatever I don't eat gets thrown out and that just feels like such a waste. And they have apples and bananas to take whenever, which is great because I have a long-lasting love affair with apples. They're delicious and full of fibre and SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS I REALLY FUCKING LOVE APPLES OKAY.

So I have been snacking, but that's because I have weird lunch hours MWF b/c my bio lecture starts at noon and then I have class until 2 but after 2 is too late to eat lunch and so I have to eat at like 11:30 and then I'm starving when I get home and so I snack. On things like popcorn and crispy minis, though (I am under the impression that crispy minis are slightly less unhealthy, plus they taste like 10x more delicious so why wouldn't I buy them), although crispy minis come in such a small package that if you just sit there with the bag (instead of getting a bowl like me), you can easily eat the whole bag. Seriously, even when I have a bowl it turns out to be like half the bag. It's unfortunate but they're less than $3 at safeway so it's not like I'm overstepping my budget.

I have also tried to make one of those, except I didn't know how much to budget per month so I just guessed and then divided that up into four categories, with food being the largest even though most days the only food I'll eat outside of what they already make for me is like a granola bar or some popcorn. Oh, and hot chocolate, especially now that it's cold out. I left the building this morning and the first thing I thought was "I SHOULD HAVE WORN MY REAL JACKET AND ALSO SOME GLOVES AND MAYBE A SCARF" so I will keep that in mind for tomorrow. My problem is that I don't have a "it's just slightly cool out so like your thin sweater won't be enough but it's gonna be hot later so you don't want a big jacket to lug around" jacket... it's cold in the mornings and then when I walk home it's like 25 degrees and I'm sweating to death and then I have to come back and climb four flights of stairs because I am making myself climb the stairs except when I am having a bad day and don't feel like it/carrying many heavy, expensive textbooks and have been doing so for 6 blocks in the hot sun.

Thankfully the weather is getting more consistent- as in taking a jacket probably won't be a problem soon. Either way I have an 8 AM lab tomorrow and that's like not even an hour after the sun has risen (sunrises have gotten dramatically later... when I first got here, I'd wake up to them at 6:30, and now the sun doesn't come in my room until like 7:15 (so it's harder to get up, ugh), so I won't look that ridiculous for wearing a jacket.

Also I have gotten home and done absolutely sfa since I did so. I was like this all the time last year and it was a terrible habit but I can't seem to break it. I get all my work done, anyway. The strategy I've worked out thus far is that on Mondays I stress and do five million things and then on Tuesdays I do more like three million and then the rest of the week is just a little easier b/c I did so much stuff on Monday. Also I have like 0 homework time on tuesdays so having 5 million things to do isn't really an option.

I don't know, what do I even have to do? A chem question that will take literally like 2 minutes. Some chem reading, which is gradually starting to make more sense (especially now that I've figure out that chewing gum in class helps keep me awake... it's not that the teacher is boring, honestly, it's that THERE'S A REASON I'M NOT A CHEMISTRY MAJOR AND IT'S THAT CHEMISTRY REALLY DOESN'T INTEREST ME) (Seriously, I like math better than chem this year) (I bet you never thought you'd hear me say that). Some bio reading, which is all review of high school stuff and I actually do understand it. Updating some bio notes, which should take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Reviewing some philosophy notes I took on readings. English reading stuff (ugh, we have to read Othello. By ourselves. I DON'T KNOW HOW TO SHAKESPEARE YOU GUYS HELP), but all the writing mechanics of that is stuff I already did...

Geez, I sound like one of those kids who's all "yeah, I already did that, it's pretty easy, really" and everyone hates them b/c they're such a show off but JESUS FUCKING CHRIST I WROTE A 4000 RESEARCH PAPER LAST YEAR OKAY I ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT sort of. It's nice because it helps make English a little easier. We went over thesis statements. "You can actually revise your thesis statement" says my English teacher. "God, don't remind me, I had to revise my thesis for my EE a zillion times last year before I could even write the thing," I think. I think I have like 3 different rough drafts of that again, starting over each time in a slightly different way before things worked. And then I had to edit the final draft. I think the final word count was 3919. And it's still very, very imperfect but honestly the deadline was there and it was mostly done and I got a C (which my supervisor later commented was "because of some formative assumptions" yeah you know what fuck you and your rainbow ideas of weapons (I cannot take credit for the rainbow ideas of weapons description of that teacher, btw) you asshole) which wasn't great but OH WELL THINGS ARE IN THE PAST NOW AND MY SUPERVISOR LIVES 6 HOURS AWAY AND I DON'T HAVE TO CHOOSE TO HAVE ANY SORT OF RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM ANYMORE BECAUSE HE MADE ME FEEL GUILTY FOR MONTHS *skips away humming happily into field of clover*

Anyway yeah, my point was that I have been introduced to the idea of big scary papers. I am by no means an expert but I am at least already a novice.

I dunno. So I guess there isn't that much to do. And it's weird. I'm waiting for labs to heap on a ton of work, but honestly it doesn't look unbearable or anything. I'll manage. I managed last year, dammit, I can do it again.

Ooh, also, who wants to hear some excellent news? I was working on my math assignment today and managed to get 77% or something ALL BY MYSELF WITH NO HELP THAT IS A SOLID C+ RIGHT THERE FUCK YES so this is good b/c that assignment isn't even due until next friday. And I still have countless resources at my disposal, and I am using all of them. The math help room. Lucy, who is also taking the course & so has the same homework. Nice people who sit behind me in math, including Guy That Went To The Other High School In My City Whose Name I Don't Think I Ever Learned But He Seems Cool and That Guy Who Introduced Himself To Me On The First Day Whose Name I Can't Remember and Guy Who Was Sitting Next To Guy Who Introduced Himself On The First Day Who Also Introduced Himself And Whose Name I Can't Remember. The internet*3. My old notes which will be here next weekend (dad is coming up for some medical meeting thing YAY so what I miss my parents and maybe I skype them every night whatever my parents are cool man shut up).

Okay I should seriously go about other grownup things like eating dinner and doing homework.


yer pal,
swegan :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A weak attempt at making my thoughts into poetry

It's very very peculiar to me,
my roommate's sense of normalcy.

Surely it must be exhausting, all right,
to go out and party on each non-school night?

And, how, I must wonder
does she work so fast,
when I have less,
yet my work lasts?

I don't understand how she does it each morning,
putting on makeup and hairspray, still yawning.

And I don't know what is the deal with her friend,
Is there something there, and when did it end?

I like him, you see, a whole awful lot,
and it really puts me in a terrible spot.

Go talk to your roommate,
and ask her opinion.
Surely she's normal,
and will know how to win him.

And tonight I will sit,
alone, on my computer.
She'll probably go out,
"My roommate? leave without her."

And her friend, the beautiful one that I like-
he goes and parties with them every night.

And I'm seventeen so I sit back at home,
watching movies and reading, alone.

Unable to drink and unable to party
Though it doesn't sound terribly good to me, anyway.

yer pal,

Just had a thought

It's stupid. Actually it would work better on something like tumblr, but I don't actually have tumblr, so I can't put it there.

My thought was maybe the reason university is so hard is because we go from taking 30-level courses in high school to 100 level courses in university and that's like a jump of 70 so maybe that's why it's so hard?

I mean obviously this has no basis in fact but it makes sense, doesn't it?

Alright, back to my essay! It's coming along better now. I think I have a process for writing anything:

1) Read work. Think about it. Panic because ideas don't come to me instantly.
2) Start rambling. Just write down literally everything I think about the work until some idea comes out of there.
3) Highlight important stuff.
4) Attempt to organize important stuff into thesis & 3 arguments.
5) Realize my idea is shit and refine it just a little bit.
6) Highlight and organize again.
7) Realize that that idea is shit just before I start to write the paper.
8) Pace room, mutter to self about ideas.
9) Feel on verge of the right thing to write about, and know that what I had fits into it somehow.
10) Have sudden epiphany of how it all fits together, or how most of it does.
11) BS whatever I can't figure out so that it looks legit.
12) Write down the plan I just figured out.
13) Write essay.
14) Leave essay for something else.
15) Come back and edit essay. Check word count/wording/spelling/grammar.

The end! Step 10 is the iffy step, though... usually this process goes on over a couple of days but step 10 can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 hours. It happened with my TOK presentation. The night before, I realized it was shit, realized what I had could only be one little example, and whipped up a shitty-ass presentation from scratch after spending 2 hours walking around my bedroom, finding the perfect idea and then losing it because I didn't write it down, trying to find it again by making voice notes on my phone, finding something that wasn't quite as good but was good enough, and then throwing together a quick little powerpoint which paled in comparison to everyone else's presentations. If I'd had more time, I could have made it better, but I didn't. Whatever. I still got my IB diploma. And it was comforting to know that come hell or high water that presentation would have to be done by the next day. And then it was done and all was well.


yer pal,
swegan :)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Writing tag thinger

I am taking a break from writing an essay that I am freaking out about even though it is worth literally 1.4% of my total grade at the end and essays are graded on a pass/fail basis (why do I find this comforting, you ask? Well, because I know I can at least pass assignments. It's doing well on them that stresses me out). I do have an idea, but it's just a really weak one and our teacher was all "be insightful, not obvious" and I'm worried it's obvious, which I guess it kind of is, but I figure at this point the best thing to do is wait until I get it back to look it over and see how to improve. We had to write a diagnostic essay, too- mine's crappy only because the essay has to be about 500 words, and as any person who has had experience writing anything of value knows, 500 words is way too fucking short for an essay. I suppose if I had to grade goodness knows how many essays a week, though, I'd make the word limit 500 too.

ANYWHOO I decided to look at the very small number of blogs I actually follow (I am not good at finding new ones) and found a "writing tag" thing on a writing blog (which I was not allowed to join b/c I am an ATHEIST, capital letters included) so I decided a good way to take a break would be to answer it.

  1. What was your first ever piece of writing? God, don't even ask. I've been writing since I could make sentences. Probably some weird story where odd things happen. If we're talking my first piece of finished writing... well, I wrote a lot of "Sarah stories" as a kid- stories starring my heroine, Sarah, and frequently a cast of other characters (including her sister, Ashley; an annoying boy whose name was always Jimmy, sometimes burglars (I actually had to look that word up to spell it and now it looks all funny), and once, Buffalo Jones. Do not ask about Buffalo Jones. He is in the same league as Sir Duke of Washingheld: bad-characters-I-tried-to-make-laughably-bad-but-in-reality-they-were-laughably-bad-because-I-sometimes-suck-at-writing.
    If we're talking first finished novel, then Camp Lame-o. Of course. No, wait, not even. It was Black Magic, one of the worst things I have ever written.
  2. How old were you when you first began writing? Probably something like 4 or 5. I don't remember. I've just always liked writing stories, ever since I could.
  3. Name two writing goals (one short-term and one long-term). Gee, I don't know... short term, I'd like to finish something again, or win NaNo again (especially since I quit last year). Long-term, I'd like to get published eventually. I might end up doing that myself.
  4. Do you write fiction or non-fiction? I only write non-fiction for school. Fiction is where the fun is at. You can make everything up- no time-consuming research involved!
  5. What's your favourite genre to write in? I have no idea. I thought it was YA (young adult), and I guess it is, but I realized the other day that Camp Lame-o is actually YA supernatural (ironic considering all the times I've expressed dislike for the genre in general). I did write one YA novel, which I think is the best thing I've ever written. I just like YA stuff. Fantasy and sci-fi can be fun too- as long as they're YA fantasy and sci-fi.
  6. One writing lesson you've learned since 2013 began. Use it or lose it. Seriously, since quitting NaNo last year, my will to write has severely diminished, and that really makes me sad. I hope I can get back into the habit again. Right now writing feels like something that takes too much effort, and I hate that. Writing should be fun and the fun is gone now and I am scrambling to get it back.
  7. Favourite author, off the top of your head! It's a tie. Three ways. Between Kenneth Oppel, Jeanne DuPrau, and Beth Revis. The three of them have books all vying for top spot as my favourite, so that's probably why.
  8. Three current favourite books. Oh, perfect! This Dark Endeavour, by Kenneth Oppel; The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrau, and Shades of Earth by Beth Revis. They're all so good. I think Diamond is sitting at the top at the moment, though. I read it recently and it kept me up late, shaking the book in excitement as I watched Doon and Lina continue to be awesome and Torren and Lizzie continue to be frustrating.
  9. Biggest influence on your writing (person). Uhhh... I don't know. I guess I'd have to say my grades 1-3 teacher, because she always let me read out my Sarah stories to the class. I remember sitting in the hamburger-and-popcorn chair and starting. "Once upon a time, there was a little girl, and her name was..." and the class would say "Sarah" and I was famous for a little while. Those Sarah stories were what I was known for. Damn. Famous at 7. Look at that.
  10. What's your go-to writing music? Um... I used to write to music a lot but now I just find it distracting. Usually whatever music that, at the time, is popular and that I also happen to enjoy. This is why certain songs that have nothing to do with my books remind me of them- because I was listening to them while writing. Like "Deer in the Headlights" by Owl City reminds me of a something even though they are totally unrelated, just like "Starships" by Nicki Minaj reminds me of that one shitty novel I wrote for Camp NaNo at the end of grade 11. Wow, was that that long ago? I remember spending time with Ellie and Jeff like it was yesterday.
  11. List three to five writing quirks of yours! (Little habits, must-haves as you write, etc) I don't know if I have any. For one, I have to be done everything else. I don't like having guilt hang over me. I can't eat as I write, but I sure do drink a shit-ton of water, the least distracting beverage in the world. I guess sometimes I snack, but that's usually detrimental to progress. And I have to be absolutely comfy- my back can't hurt, I have to have somewhere to rest my head, my laptop must be comfortably situated, my hair can't be in my face- it has to be up, always-, my feet can't be cold, I can't be too hot or too cold in general, etc. Without absolute comfort- if any one of those things is off balance- I can't focus. It's horrible. And I have to be alone. I can't write around other people because I am forever afraid they are reading over my shoulder. 
  12. What, in three sentences or less, does your writing mean to you? It is a source of my identity, and one of which I am proud, as everyone should be proud of their talents. It is a way for me to escape reality, even when I'm not writing- I can still think of the plot and the characters and things that happened. And it makes me feel less lonely- the bond I share with my characters is one of the things I treasure the most in the world, even if they are fictional people; my characters are like children to me and they never fail to keep me interested and entertained.

That was fun. And also I forgot totally about my essay. So now when I go back, I'll have a better perspective.

yer pal,
swegan :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Feminist moods

Sometimes I get into them.

I mean that makes it sound like feminism is something that only affects me temporarily, when in reality it's pretty much always in the background at this point. I thought about it today when I was sitting outside the lecture hall for bio, eating my lunch and doing a sudoku puzzle (how do you spell that? Goshdarnit) in the paper from Wednesday, this couple in front of me were talking to each other, and then they said "see you later", gave each other a quick kiss (at least that's what I thought I saw, and definitely what it sounded like) and then they walked their separate ways. And no one pitched a fit or said anything and actually I don't think anyone really cared any more than they would have if it had been a heterosexual couple. But it wasn't. It was two girls. AND I WAS SO FUCKING HAPPY BECAUSE THE ONE GIRL WAS SMILING AS SHE WALKED AWAY and I just thought, what a time to be alive. What a country to live in. People can be openly gay and no one gives a shit, and I walked around in short-shorts with my unshaven legs very clearly visible, and no one treated me any differently.

This is what I usually talk about when I talk about cultural differences between the US and Canada. I've heard stories from the US, and they are horrifying. Not only the idea that gay marriage still isn't legal (like, it's legal up here and I don't think anyone really thinks it's that crazy of an idea. Up here the feeling I get is that if people want to get married, they should get married. The end.
I'm not going to say Canada's a world leader in women's rights- I still think it could be doing a bit better in terms of representation. But compared the US, a country which presents itself as a land of true freedom and opportunity, Canada seems a lot freer to me. I'm not saying it's perfect in every respect- I definitely wish we had better rules for elections because I'm not sure if Harper could actually run for office and continue winning indefinitely and also I think we abolished the long-gun registry, which I always thought was a good thing because look at how fucking violent it is in the states where getting a gun is a lot easier and everyone seems to have one. So Canada's not perfect but I think it's got a few things right. The lack of any legislature on abortion... personally I think that's the only way to go. People are going to get angry no matter which way you try to legislate that- I'm totally cool with the idea of them leaving it alone.

But I just... my mother worried that cute guys would judge me because of my leg hair, and it turns out that nobody even notices because you know what this is Canada and until it is proven to me otherwise I am going to continue to believe that the place I am going to school is fairly liberal and open-minded. It's certainly very international- I see a lot of students from a wide variety of backgrounds in the halls, and there's a lot of students from Asian countries as well (like the girl next to me in English who just moved from Beijing 3 weeks ago... actually I think a lot of kids in my class who are Asian have just moved here recently. I can't imagine how difficult that must be). But the idea that it's totally fine to be gay or queer or bisexual or whatever on campus warms my heart. I like the fact that nobody said anything today when a couple kissed goodbye in the halls. It made me happy.

Then I was thinking back to halloween and when I and three other girls dressed up as our favourite avengers- Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and Hawkeye (obviously that was me). We looked badass and awesome and took so many cool group shots and there was even a girl dressed as Loki who we took photos with as well, and I supposed the idea that I got confused as Katniss is something I can take as a compliment EVEN IF IT WAS FRUSTRATING BECAUSE I WAS DRESSED AS SOMEONE ELSE LIKE AUGH. It was just... something about dressing up like a male character, and seeing other girls dressed up as male characters, was cool. There's not a lot of female superheroes and I like that we didn't give a shit. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I just know that I felt fucking powerful in those boots I borrowed from mom. Seriously, I need to get me a pair of tough, kick-ass black boots. Like black ones, with thick soles. I would love to have a pair of ass-kicking boots. Actually a pair of boots at all, considering winter is coming up soon and I don't have any since my old leather ones (which were pretty kick-ass) started smelling funny. Probably has to do with the time I spilled milk on them...

Anyway. I probably should get some stuff done. It's just that typing doesn't aggravate my current case of tendonitis (that's the most likely diagnosis, anyway, according to dad and he actually went to medical school so there) so I like doing it. Not that that means I want to write my response paper for English or anything...

yer pal,
swegan :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

When people say things like this

"Don't stop [working out] until you're proud"

HAHAHahahahAHahAHa you have just given me a reason NOT to work out because you can bet your sorry ass that I am hella proud of this body I have already so thx I will stop and maybe read a book b/c too much working out is ugh.

This goes right along with that stupid thing about anorexia that's mean to glorify it- the poster that says things like "do you want hipbones or pizza? candy or a collarbone?" and i was like "i wasn't aware that eating certain foods could cause my bones to disappear like last time i checked they're there but you can't see them because they're UNDErneATH MY sKIN WHeRE thEY ShouLD BE wTf" with all the mixed up capitals and lowercase. People don't need to see my hipbones protruding through my skin to know that they're there.

I just... I love my self the way I am and i do it aggressively. i am arrogant about how great i think i look, and i think i look fantastic and on some level, i mean it. i mean obviously i'm not the kind of person to parade around saying "look at me and how gorgeous i am", but inside my head that is how i think.

and you want to know a thing? today i walked around in a skirt with my unshaven legs clearly visible and NOBODY FUCKING NOTICED OR CARED so haha mom, you were totes wrong b/c you have some seriously fucked up notions of how people should look. if guys are allowed to look like hairy apes with hair literally everywhere, then why can't i? we're all just people, people. shave if you want. don't shave. i don't really care as long as you try your best and try to be a decent person both to yourself and others. that's really all that matters.

also I had philosophy class and it was confusing and as usual every answer someone volunteered was not what the prof wanted. it just makes me want to scream WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM US but i don't think he'd appreciate that. also he seems a little nervous so it might freak him out.
also how do i essay in 500 words? i can't properly express thoughts on anything in 500 words! ugh!

yer pal,
swegan :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

but then this happened


That's right ladies and gentleman- because a girl can't be someone of character and dignity if she wants to post "sexy selfies", and in order to be around the men of this family who are eerily close (seriously, my parents and I are close and yet they still don't look over my social media sites with me- they actually, y'know, trust me to do stuff on the internet by myself), you have to keep your clothes on!

Jesus fucking christ lady get your shit together. The type of clothes a girl is wearing have absolutely no bearing on her level of character or dignity, and if you are teaching your boys the opposite you are doing them- and society as a whole- a humongous disservice. Girls are people worthy of respect and can have character, dignity, and "real beauty", no matter what they wear. Anyone who fails to see this, in my opinion, lives in a sad sexist world where people are not allowed to be themselves, and that just sounds awful.

That's pretty much all I have to say about that.

yer pal,


Fantastic advice from one of my favourite bloggers.... if only it were to come true. sigh.
actually that's not even true. i'd settle for going out for coffee with the guy and having a real conversation with him and stuff and being able to playfully shove him on the shoulder when we are joking around. Crushes are truly wonderful, horrible things.

anyway, i have many homeworks.
yer pal,
swegan :)


no you know what i'm allowed to be mad about things i can't control. on some level, i have accepted that i have to write a deferred final exam in january (or at least this is my guess) because two of my finals are on the same day at the same goddammned fucking time. but you know what i was kind of looking forward to my first christmas off in three years but guess who gets to wait until summer again to have a real break.

i dunno i just feel like these things keep happening and i keep reacting emotionally to all of them. some are good- the bio textbooks came in early so i can start catching up now. some are bad, like this exam kerfuffle. some are just sort of not that great- like one of my english books, the one on all the technical aspects of writing, is all sold out at the bookstore. some are slightly okay- like my chem prof being a reasonable person and saying "well obviously some questions on this problem set you can't do until we've covered it in class". some help level out the stress- like all the resources i have to help me with my math assignments now, and the fact that our second math assignment looks more like stuff we've covered in class and so i think i'll be able to do more of it on my own, and the fact that i got a couple more questions right today on that assignment so that my grade is now about 63% or so. i haven't completed the assignment, i have 21/33 questions correct... but still, i've passed and the mark can only increase from here.

some are also mildly okay- the girl who sits next to me in bio (i have a feeling she will soon need a nickname) and i chatted a bit today when our prof tried to load a video on internet explorer and it didn't work and it took the tech guy like 10 minutes to fix the problem (imo the problem was internet explorer- he had other browsers there. i don't understand why he didn't just use firefox or chrome... sometimes adults just really don't know anything about the internet, i guess). she seems pretty cool and she's easy to talk to and we sit together every class- both because we have a class right after we have to get to. mine's in a nearby science building, but hers is all the way across campus in humanities.

and then there's all these opportunities everywhere- at the start of big lectures someone will come in and talk to us about this work opportunity or this chance to travel abroad and some of them seem pretty cool but not cool enough to tempt me out of a summer at home. i mean i can work during the summer, my parents are hoping i get a lab job since those seem flexible.. if they aren't, i will be hella pissed. i-just like every other human being on the planet- need some time off, and i am determined to get that. i am prioritizing it. i have four months in summer instead of just two now, though, so that's nice- i could go for a lazy summer at home. from what my parents tell me, they'd be glad to have me back for a while.

i suppose the only work i really MUST do tonight is philosophy, since that's the only class i actually have tomorrow. actually i think wednesdays this semester will be light immediate-homework-loads, with only a bio lab and philosophy to prepare for. and then i guess i'll have to be doing english essays ahead of time all the time. ugh. i know i've done plenty of essays before, but every time any teacher tells me i have to do more, i just want to sit and cry. when will i be done writing essays? from what my dad tells me, it sounds like not for at least a few more years. ugh. i'm just so fucking done with essays. i think i have been since all those history ones we had to write by hand this year. i'm sick of thesis statements and body paragraphs and finding a specific point to defend and then looking for evidence in support of it. i'm tired of writing conclusions. i'm tired of separating things into groups of three arguments. i'm just sick of it all. do essays even serve a purpose in the real world, anyway? all essays i've ever read that have been published somewhere never ever stick to the intro-3body-conclusion format. they're just writing about something and touching on different aspects of it. it doesn't even have to be something serious or some theme from literature. look, don't get me wrong, i like literature, and i like discussing it and thinking about it and reading it again. but i do not like taking pieces of literature apart and stuffing them into the essay mould based on themes and ideas. that, to me, seems almost sacreligious. besides, i seriously don't see any real-world application to having this particular skill.

i should go down and eat dinner but i don't want to. i don't want to be around people. i just want to... shit, i don't even know. i'd like to not have to study over christmas break, but it's not like there's anything i can actually do about that. i'd like to have less homework, but that's just lazy and it's not like i don't have plenty of free time now to do my homework. i'd love to have my friends here, but i know that 99% of them are all away studying at schools they think are right for them and that makes me happy.

i just feel like over the past few days it seems like more and more and more, things make me want to cry. i was going to say things want to make me cry, which is technically incorrect, but now that i think about it that actually is how everything feels sometimes at the moment. i know it's only been a week. but hey, there's only 13 or 14 or 15 weeks in a semester and if i just keep getting more stuff to do i feel like i'm going to explode and collapse and just start bawling in the middle of a crowd of people. i've been holding it in very well the past few days, determined not to cry and embarrass myself in public, and then at home, determined not to let the stress get to me like it did last year so many times. the only thing right now that's preventing this semester from being like last semester is my lack of crying, and i guess a lack of understanding sometimes. although the severe lack of times i actually feel in control of everything and like i can accomplish what i set out to is basically the same. or maybe it isn't, i don't know. i don't even remember why i cried last year. i think sometimes i was tired, sometimes i didn't care, sometimes i didn't understand and something was due right away.

ugh. just everything this week feels like a lot. i mean obviously i'll still keep going and keep doing things and taking breaks and plunging right back in to do more things but i already feel mentally exhausted and my emotions are quickly catching up. phyiscally i managed to get a decent amount of sleep last night which was really nice. i'm just really sick of things happening. i just want to be settled in assignments, volunteer commitments, and security, and some kind of routine. i lack structure right now and it just sucks. i'm not one of those people who likes things to be all over the place. i need structure and for things to be a certain way so that i can stick to it. that's why i like mondays, wednesdays, and fridays so much- the structure is there. i have things that cannot be avoided at a specific time that's early but not too early and i can get things done and then relax later. that's what i like. i like doing classes in the morning. i hate night classes, as i have had to learn the hard way. speaking of which i should probably hurry up and see if i can take women's studies at another time next semester.

yer pal,
swegan :(

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

k but my philosophy prof though

he is... he's just so eccentric. (btw i've given up on the shift key, excepting brackets).

he shows up to class on time, like all my other profs, but he only ever brings a little clipboard. at the start of every class he pulls out this watch face- it's brown with gold on the edges where the wrist band is supposed to go- and sets it down on the desk, looking at it to confirm the time. he sets up his notes, and begins.

his voice is all quiet and fidgety at first- he sounds nervous and unsure of himself. he gets a bit louder as class goes on, but he still stumbles over words and sentences, talking in a voice that is loud enough to hear at the front and hopefully at the back. he's constantly doing things with his hands- folding them together, stroking his moustache and that weird little soul-patch thing under his lip as he considers what we're saying. every time one of us gets off track, he reels it back in, trying to smile and make it an agreeable thing. his glasses are very round, like he's from the 60s. all in all, he looks like a combination of a monk and a pirate and the entirety of the middle ages. that's the best way i can think of to describe him. if you think of what a philosophy prof ought to look and act like, he fits the bill. he is a quintessential philosophy prof.

today at the end of class, he said we were done and we'd go on tomorrow- i looked down for one second to close my clipboard after tucking my pens in the crease. when i look back up, he's gone- no sign that he was even there in the first place aside from the fact that he left the projector on, evidently too nervous about teaching the class to remember to turn it off.

i walked a specific path once i left the building where my class was. i had been walking maybe two minutes when i came upon him later on the path, smoking a cigarette in a jacket i didn't see him bring in. the only thing i could think was, how the hell did he get here so fast? he left a minute before i did and walked the same path. it didn't make any sense.

tonight in english, we listened to a story from a book i can't seem to remember the name of, something about maladies... i really enjoyed the story, i think it was called "A Temporary Affliction" and even though it sort of got your hopes up and then brutally crushed them, it was really good. i found i liked listening to it, getting lost in the story and the words and putting myself in the shoes of the characters, and it just really made me feel like writing, and then today i was so confused by my philosophy prof and his odd behaviour (he's a good prof, don't get me wrong, but i was just flummoxed that he darted out so quickly and he seems incredibly nervous all the time and he just looks like such a philosophy prof, which is odd) so i decided to write about it.
i'm glad i took philosophy, though. from what i hear psychology is another huge lecture class, and lucy's in economics and it just looks so horrible. i am determined to avoid economics and physics at all costs (i mean, aside from astrophysics... because i already signed up for that and i'm now really worried about it) because those are just not my thing and i am not interested in either of them.

anyway, i should get to bed- it's been a long, exhausting, stressful day. tomorrow will be better, i hope.

yer pal,
swegan :S

Then there's those days that just don't end

My shift key is broken on the left side, which of course is the side I normally use. Forgive me any errors, I have to get used to using the other shift key now. Ugh. As if this day wasn't long enough.

I am done going to campus just to study- unless I am already on campus and have something else to do on campus in two hours or less, I AM GOING TO STAY AT HOME. I have already walked to campus and back twice today and I am thoroughly exhausted and the last thing I want to do is go to English for THREE FUCKING HOURS WHY THE HELL DID I TAKE A NIGHT CLASS.

I don't even have labs until next Thursday... I just wanted to go to the libary to study because it's so much easier to study there. So I got there about 8:30 and studied until 10:30 (I actually did get a lot of stuff done though so it was sort of worth it) and then there was supposed to be this skating drop-in at 11, so I headed over to the rink. As it turns out, it was a "stick and skate" thing where people can practice shooting and whatnot, but they let me skate anyways. Besides the supervisors, I was the only one there, and for a whole hour I just forgot about everything, all my stress and exhaustion, and I just skated. My skates desperately need sharpening, which of course is another trip to somewhere not within walking distance that I need to make, but they still work just fine. Dad said today that we could just get them sharpened when I came home, which sounds like a better idea to me.

Ugh, I have to have a shower now so I can eat and then make my way over to campus YET AGAIN after having accomplished NOTHING that I needed to, like chem readings or more of that goddamned math assignment that is absolutely nothing like what we've been doing in class.

This is way too exhausting. It's just like IB. IB Tuesdays, that's what we'll call them. The longest fucking day of the week. I mean I have an 8 AM lab on Thursday, too, but then I just have philosophy and I'm DONE.

yer pal,
swegan :(

Monday, September 9, 2013

Okay let's talk about chemical weapons (Don't even try to argue with me. I have credible sources. WHICH I WILL SHARE WITH YOU IF YOU WANT).

Note: I am aware that this is probably not why you are here, but I can totes recommend some sources on this subject to you if you need them. Skip down to the bottom!
They're horrible, I agree. But, when you think about it... aren't all weapons pretty horrible? Don't bombs also cause plenty of civilian casualties? I agree that chemical weapons are far more difficult to control, and as thus, end up killing more people who are not fighting the war. BUT everyone seems to cry in outrage every time they are used, while if people use guns, tanks, bombs, and grenades in war, that's all totally fine and dandy.
??? I don't get it and I'm sick and tired of people acting like chemical weapons are SO MUCH FUCKING WORSE THAN REGULAR WEAPONS when they do the exact same thing: kill (and injure). Weapons are weapons.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't support the use of chemical weapons. I don't support the use of weapons at all. I'm a huge pacifist, I think. I just... I don't like violence, and I don't like war, and I don't like people getting hurt, but I am aware that it happens and I have to deal with that. I can't stop all wars in the world singlehandedly.

Let me tell you another thing about chemical weapons: logically, they make more sense to use in war than other traditional weapons (don't even try to question my knowledge of this- I spent 9 months writing a 4000 word paper on whether treaties were an effective means of control of chemical weapons from 1899-1930. I. have done. my fucking. research) because they cause fewer deaths and casualties- not to mention they cause much less damage to property, like buildings and roads, etc. I'll admit they probably have a not-so-terrific environmental impact, but hey, all those buried shells from WWI probably don't, either... same thing goes for all the resources used to MAKE weapons in the first place.

I just... I am very passionate about this, especially after my EE supervisor called this position "morally repugnant" last year. I'm sorry, what makes other weapons less morally repugnant? What makes these weapons worse than other weapons? (Because of this I am now of the mindset that said EE supervisor is a bit... idealistic, and also that he never really read my paper, if you know what I mean). I mean, there is quite a bit of evidence of psychological damage- things like "gas fright" and the whole gas-masks-in-WWI-were-super-shitty thing (apparently some soldiers had so much trouble breathing through them that they would tear them off, unwilling to suffocate under the mask but willing to face the poisoned air)... but again, let's spin it back around to other weapons. Wouldn't getting shot at for days on end cause some psychological damage? Having bombs drop near/on you? Having grenades thrown at you? Having limbs blown off? Yeah, nice try, but other weapons cause just as much psychological damage, and for some reason, they're all morally acceptable in war.

I found a good quote last year in my research that really illustrates my point- I'm going to try to find it again. Actually, I have a couple of good ones. This one is long, but I think it's worth reading.

"The general impression that gas is an inhumane weapon is derived partly from the German breach of faith in using it contrary to the Hague Convention, and partly from the nature and number of casualties in the earliest cloud attacks which were made against unprotected troops. Under the stress of a long war the individual is apt to forget the physical and mental sufferings it involves, unless he is daily in contact with them, but a dramatic occurrence such as that of the first gas attack forces on the imagination the brutal significance of war—the struggle for victory by killing—and the new weapon is judged as inhumane, like gunpowder in the fifteenth century. If we accept war as a possibility, the most humane weapon is that which leads to a decision with the smallest amount of human suffering and death. Judged from this standpoint, gas compares favourably with other weapons during the period when both sides were fully equipped for offence and defence. The death-rate among gas casualties was much lower than that among casualties from other causes, and not only was the death-rate lower, but a much smaller proportion of the injured suffered any permanent disability. There is no comparison between the permanent damage caused by gas, and the suffering caused to those who were maimed and blinded by shell and rifle fire. It is now generally admitted that in the later stages of the war many military objects could be attained with less suffering by using gas than by any other means. (Lefebure, Victor. The Riddle of the Rhine: Chemical Strategy in Peace and War. New York: The Chemical Foundation, Inc., 1923. (Chapter 11- It was an online source; a such, I have no page numbers)).

"The reader may feel that gas warfare is horrible and inhumane. No form of warfare is humane, for war is the negation of humanity. New gases may cause a larger proportion of deaths and perhaps more suffering than those used in 1918, but it is unlikely that any chemical weapon will cause more terrible effects than the weapons already accepted by civilized man in war." (Waitt, Alden H. Gas Warfare: The Chemical Weapon, Its Use, and Protection Against it. New York: Duell, Sloane, and Pierce, revised edition 1944. Pages 5-6)).


yer pal,
swegan :)

P.S. For anyone else who is curious/researching the subject, I can recommend the rest of my resources to you! I found online links to The Hague Convention (1899) (well it might just be the specific bit about chemical weapons, I am not sure), The Treaty of Versailles (from 1919; it is crazy long), and The Geneva convention (1925). I also have a few online books I was using- the second source I cited is actually available online- as well as real books that might be handy in researching this topic, or just chemical weapons in general (around the time they were first used en masse). I had to work so hard to find friggin' sources on this stuff, and even had to get a couple of interlibrary loans, and I would love if I could help someone else out. So if you need any links/book recommendations, let me know! (I also might recall the names of some of the online databases I used while looking for ebooks).