A photoblog of my life, with notes.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Day Before

I realized today that I am walking some of the Conserve School trails for the last time ever, and that there is not a relaxed moment that I will have until probably tomorrow night.

However, I will be able to have Swedish Pancakes (You may know them by another name, they're basically crepes) tomorrow morning, made by my grandmother.

Also I learned today that I have Arabic ancestors way way way back (like 800 or 900 CE), which is pretty cool. Apparently some of the people near Persia moved up to Sweden and became reindeer salesmen. I'm also related to Eric the Red, who was a viking, and Leif Ericsson, who was an early discoverer of America.

Aaaanyway, Today (technically, since it's like 12:30 in the morning), is my high school graduation. Yeah. Wow. It's slowly getting to me, like some sort of five-gigabyte download over dialup, that this is my last night at Conserve. I may return as an alumni, but we'll see.

The leaves are just amazing here. Last year around graduation, there was only a light fuzz on the trees, and I was dissapointed. This year, however, I asked the trees really nicely if they would have leaves for me by the time I left, and they did. Some pictures from this Thursday:

Amazing. Greta and I went for a walk in the woods to hang a sign in a special spot which I will tell you about once I have my diploma safely in hand, and to take some pictures of the leaves.

And some newer plants are pushing themselves up, too:

Good depth of field, yes? I like macro shots of things like this. One day, perhaps, I will own a lens that will allow me to do really really close up shots of things. Maybe I'll put some of my graduation money toward that.

There were a lot of alumni on campus this weekend, which has led to some very wild running around. Most of them are used to the freedom of college (or a year off) and so coming back here, where girls aren't allowed in guys dorms, etc., is kind of strange to them. Mischief is planned, which I of course know nothing about...

This crazy man is on campus, and I managed to grab a good shot of him on top of the swing set.

He, in return, took this amazing motion shot of me from that same vantage point on the swingset.

This past Thursday night was also the end of school dance. Some pictures:

I'll post pictures from graduation tomorrow, hopefully. Also, I have a new G1 Google Phone with Android! Woo! Thanks Uncle Steve and Aunt Barbara!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Notes and Pictures From the Front, Complete with Code Words

If you're friendly with the Conserve School administration or the trustees, I would like to remind you that the first amendment protects this blog post. Also I'm not lying.

Today my friends and I here at Conserve School planned and executed an amazing party code named "Otterhouse". I came up with the name while I was walking around, and it sounded cool, so I used it. There were secret messages and code words, meetings and conspiracies. This wasn't to exclude anyone, no. Instead, we were simply trying to avoid the prying eyes of our headmaster, Stefan. (whenever I refer to him henceforth, pretend I'm saying "he" or "him" with a tint of derision, please. Thanks.) He reads our email(I have 99% proof of it anyway), he somehow always knows what we're up to. He personally has created a terrible atmosphere of tension and surveillance here that more than anything has put a dampener on our last weeks here. I know for a fact that there are a lot of people who would rather we had a different headmaster who wasn't constantly watching, listening, and perusing our personal messages, thank you very much.

Oh, so anyway we planned Operation Otterhouse in secret, right? Nobody told him where this thing was, or sent it by email. We sent the time and date, the people and the details, but the party's location was kept to verbal communication only. So what does he do? He shows up. At our secret woods party. He shows up and claims to be "clearing brush" along the trail that leads to the peninsula. The only possible explanations I have for this are:

  1. He overheard someone say the location(very unlikely, as we're all paranoid).
  2. He was watching us from across the lake through some sort of binoculars or telescope.
  3. He was patrolling the woods in his car, listening for party sounds.
  4. Somebody accidentally sent the location by email (very unlikely, as we're all paranoid).
We partiers went to the main building for dinner, and when we came back, he's gone. In his defense, the trail had in fact been cleared, but what are the odds that he happens to be maintaing that exact trail on that exact day at that exact time? We hang out and play cards for a while (BS, mostly). We chat for a while. Then he shows up AGAIN, and asks us, "If I served root beer floats at 9:00 tonight in the commons would you guys like them?" Then he leaves. We said yes, though. They were pretty tasty, but everyone knows he's just trying to win us over after he kicked everyone out.

I understand completely his need to keep tabs on students. Unfortunately, I believe very strongly that although he has the right to read our emails and even listen in through our computer microphones (which I have yet to dis-believe), this does not mean that he should unless something is wrong. This is a man who has too much time on his hands (and too much money, I hear he's getting a raise after destroying our school do to 'economic woes', although this is unconfirmed rumor-stuff right now) if he sits in his office reading students' emails and watching our every move through the cameras on campus.

I wouldn't put it past him to have the entire campus bugged. I'm not even the one who came up with that. The atmosphere here is one of fear and division. I love what Conserve was. I love it no longer.

I still think a lot of the kids here are pulling thin strings of fun through our headmaster's steel grate of containment. Operation Otterhouse, the party, was still a blast. Some pictures:

otterhouse picture

Brendan in a tree.

otterhouse picture

Opal was a little cold. It was about 80 degrees but REALLY WINDY.

otterhouse picture

Hobbes reacts to... I don't remember. It's still a good picture though.

otterhouse picture

Lena, who has been featured before on this blog.

Finally a strange picture that I took of Dimitri's goosebumped skin. I thought it was a cool texture that I might be able to use in some strange way, like reference for a drawing. I also just thought it was a strange enough picture to share.

otterhouse picture

Weiiiird. Anyway.

We're holding out, but I know a lot of people will be happy to be out from under Stefan's rule this Sunday.

--Erty, codename "SeƱor Awesome"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Six Sweet Sunrises, then Say Goodbye

greta 1

Hello everyone. I must say that I've surprised myself by updating this often throughout my senior year of High School. Although there was quite a lull in the middle (I was distracted by such things as NaNoWriMo and various scholarly escapades), I would call this quite a successful web-log of my year, as it were. The above picture is Greta, at a peninsula that is hard to get to and fun to be at. If there were a picture where I did a good job of focusing on the eyes, it would be this one.


That sentence made no sense. Moving on.

greta 2

Here's Greta again, looking down. We're all kind of weirded out here - if you haven't been in contact with Conserve School, we're in a kind of conundrum where the administration is a bunch of bums and decided to revamp our school. I wouldn't mind, except that they pulled off the transition horribly, leaving everyone except the seniors with no school anymore. Most of the juniors are facing a life decision of going to college a year early without getting a high school degree, returning to the shell of a school they once loved, or being first-year-seniors at strange high schools that are often too close or too far from home.

But I digress. That's a battle to be fought in other fora.

Below is a series of pictures that I took at an epic "tea-and-loud-music" party the other night.


It was pretty awesome. Below, pictures that I took of the "Painting Rock" on campus, emblazoned with my own logo design. Someone (who, I wonder!?) painted it on the rock on a brave, chivalrous, and amazing display of awesomeness that is... ahem. I mean, who painted it?


Six days until I graduate high school. Currently I am surviving finals. There will probably be pictures of graduation posted here soon.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Coming Up on the End

Greta and I went for a walk the other day. I was going down to the lake to take a picture of some leaves that I thought would make a good color scheme. None of the pictures of the leaves came out particularly well, but I now have a really cool color scheme that I want to use somewhere.

Color Scheme

Not a photograph, per say, but I'm fond of it.


This picture I took of some birch trees that were white against the sky. Normally the brightness of the sky makes them dark, but both the trees and the sky exposed nicely in this one. The picture itself is a little busy, but that's beside the point.


I saw this bird on this log, and tried to get a lot closer. It flew away right before I was able to get my camera up, so all I have is this detail of a shot from a lot farther away. This picture was taken from the causeway, if you know where that is.


This flower was right outside the LAB the other day. The sun was just about to come out from behind the clouds, which then caused a huge lens flare.




Greta and I stuck this to a tree in the forest here. If you find it, please don't take it down.


In lieu of a bland and white image, you get this super-short-depth-of-field image that Greta took. This was out by the climbing tree.


This squirrel was in a tree, and I somehow managed to get a shot of it. I would regale you with a longer story, but instead I think I'll just finish this up so I can go do my homework.


As I mentioned, I'm short on time, so I'll leave you with this picture of poor Lena about to get assassinated. Or perhaps assassafrassinated?


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