By ◆ Juppie on Friday, September 3, 2010 @ 5:50 PM

Every afternoon, when school has let out for the day, I walk home, and along the way I try to pay attention to my surroundings. I became somewhat of an expert on the neighborhood - I could tell which house had been for sale (but you could see the house by appointment only), I knew which house had a dog and put up decorations for the holidays, I knew where one of my classmates lived because of I'd seen her go up to a house.

I also recognize some of the people who walk and bike home via the same route that I do. There was one person who caught my attention, a boy who seemed to have an interest in trees. Particularly ones that had parts of them severed off. Once I saw him standing with one foot on a tree stump. At first I thought he was going to tie his shoelaces, but he didn't. He just stood there without saying anything.

And then I saw him again, a few days ago, standing by the fence bordering a house. He had one hand on a round orange shape which I realized was what remained of a tree limb. I somehow got the feeling that it had been painful for the tree. It must have spent a long time growing a nice strong limb and then had it all cut off... It seemed there were traces of some liquid on the place where the limb once was. The blood and tears of the tree.

Friday was the first rally of the school year. It's a gathering of the students of all four grades (or "classes", as they call them. Class of 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014) where we basically make a lot of noise and show our school spirit. The freshman class was unfortunately quite lacking. I must say, I couldn't even tell what the juniors were shouting, on the other side of the gym. (They really made a racket, though. They were really good. Not like us freshmen, though I hear that it's always like this the first time.)

It was really uncomfortable to have to keep standing for so long, in a cramped space, and on a hot day. I was feeling really stifled. It didn't help that it sometimes got so loud that one of my ears would get those rustling, crackling sounds (I start hearing things funny in my ears whenever it's loud...But I thought it would be rude if I covered my ears). I was relieved to get out of there. The sunlight and fresh air were more refreshing than they had been for a long time.

I've realized that I don't really like to be pent up inside. I do like to go to class and learn, but it gets tiring being indoors for too long. (At least in Writing for Publication, a class that I'm taking this year, we got to go outside twice, which was a refreshing change.) I was stressed and unhappy for a while when I was at Yosemite, but now I realize that I at least ought to have better appreciated the fact that I got to go to school outdoors, breathing in fresh air, being able to hold snow in my hands, seeing more stars than I could ever count. I think it'd be nice if I could just move to the middle of nowhere, with a bunch of books, and study by myself in the wilderness. So many "what ifs". They never seem to come true.

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