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Anais Vionet May 3
I’m just twirling in the center of my room.
I’ve got way too much to do.
Has that ever happened to you?

I’m assailed, derailed and impaled by indecision.
I can’t find my lucky pencil and I have a final in 90 minutes
I have lab results to qualify and a term paper to finish.
I have two problem-sets due and I must arrange movers.
Despite my burn-out, I should start packing for move-out.
In order to get our reservations and tickets in hand,
we’ve got to finalize our summer plans.
On my theoretical schedule - I’m behind -
oh, and there’s a mountain of laundry to climb.

In finals week everything is ratcheted up.
and there’s the weighty and unavoidable demands of sleep.
I’m just a girl about to pass out in her room, over-caffeineed,
from chugging a large, iced coffee after 3 hours of sleep.
I’ve read that stress can affect valuations.
I think it’s true.
I twirl.

Down In the Seine by The Style Council
I Want You Back by Trijntje Oosterhuis
Make a Rainbow by Benny Sings
Let Her Go Into The Darkness by Johnathan Richman
BLT Merriam Webster word of the day challenge: Assail:  to challenge, overwhelm, attack or confront
Anais Vionet Apr 27
The school year’s ending.  ‘Spring Fling’ is tonight (Saturday) the biggest event (concert) of the year, and next week - final exams. It’s hard to believe that I’ll be a senior in about 2 weeks - when the chips are counted, and junior year is cashed out.

I can remember sitting in my little covid-prison (childhood room), in 11th grade, thinking “If I don’t get out of here (and go to college), I’ll go crazy!” And here we are. My plan - my dreams - actually happened.

“Embrace your potential, celebrate your uniqueness, and explore the infinite possibilities of your future!
That bit of self-affirming encouragement was in an ad for Kosas concealer (makeup) - which, in a clever, psychological twist they call ‘revealer concealer.’ The stresses of finals weeks (2 weeks) can cause dark circles, breakouts, and other skin frustrations. A good concealer hides imperfections, so girls don’t look too human.
What do guys do??

Don’t get me wrong, I love advertising, the world needs advertising - I’m glad someone thought of it. How else could we learn about new things? I know I get excited when I try something new out and it works. If heaven, for instance, turns out to be ‘as advertised’ - I think we’ll all be happy.

Our ancestors navigated their world by
stories of doomed lovers, troubled kings,
love triangles and magical beings.

In story we learned about loyalties,
the gods, mistaken identities and empathy.
In narratives, we labeled absolutes,
the world made sense and we defined truths.

Today, we’re wiser - we rely on advertisers.
We consume whims endlessly, like appetizers.
We’re blessed with consumerism and avarice,
for the new and exciting thing, we’re ravenous.

My school plans have changed. We must be flexible (I’m assured).
My mom’s research (she’s my personal oracle) clearly showed that Med-schools are taking longer to accept students these days.

So, we came up with a plan 'B' last August. The theory is that an MPH (Master of Public Health) program lasts 11 months and would give me something palpable to show (a master’s degree) for my time between Yale and med-school.

What’s another year of school, when the alternatives were laying on a beach in Saint Tropez or enjoying a Mafalda, Latte Macchiato while shopping in Geneva’s City Center? (my bf works for CERN)

Anyway, not thinking it would come to anything, I applied to several schools (last August), and yesterday I found out I’ve been accepted to Harvard’s summer 2025, MPH program. Color me apathetic, for now, I mean, isn't Harvard a step down? (I applied to Johns Hopkins and Emory University (in Atlanta) as we'll.)

I’d have just 3 weeks between graduating here (next year) and starting there. Ugg, how exciting (but is it?).
It’s important to believe, when we make plans, that if we apply ourselves, they'll go ‘as advertised.’
(Summer, beach) songs for this:
Summer Dreaming by Harmony Grass
Girls on the Beach by Carter Cathcart
Please Let Me Wonder by Carter Cathcart
BLT Merriam Webster word of the day challenge: palpable: when something is obvious, tangible and notable.

Harvard, Yale, I know those names are known - almost mythically - but they’re just schools, like any other, where the wi-fi is questionable and there are no pencil sharpeners - anywhere.
Anais Vionet Dec 2023
Fear not, doubt's dark whispers,
embrace the testing ground.

We face the same old existential dreads -
the unexpected twist, the vague essay prompt.

Genial birdsong mocked our anxious morning
and squirrels still scampered unconcerned.

“You’re a beautiful bundle of stress,”
I assured Lisa this morning
as I handed her her water bottle.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: genial = cheerful and pleasant
Anais Vionet Dec 2023
In crowded halls, ivy clad, walk the sleepless zombies - the walking dead.
They’ve come to grapple, the chosen few, in trials by pen and pencil too.

Long ago we quietly agreed to trade studies and stress for a lives of ease.
The fire of competition burns within, a pyre fueled by challenge and adrenaline.

We’ve been grinding from morning’s light to dark midnight, fueled largely by tasty caffeine's bite.
Sleep’s a distant memory, that’s been swapped for all-nighters, notecards and highlighters.

Professors who’ve taught us now plant briar-like, trickster-questions, to fraught us.
Have we synthesized it all - the labs, lectures and quotes, the chapters, quizzes and notes?

The hours we’ve spent, dissecting texts, parsing equations, crafting essays - pay off now.
Or don’t - the clutter of fact, theory, and tensors will separate the scholars from the pretenders.

But fear not, dear reader, for we’re tough, seasoned cowgirls and this is just another rodeo.
True, we chew erasers not tobacco and ride desks or lab stations, not bucking broncos
But some are thrown, bruised and scarred - finding their future careers discarded.

We’re required to hand-write our test essays out, a trap that negates AI with age-old foolscap.
We know the challenge, we’ve studied and crammed, to tackle the hurdle of ‘top-tier’ exams.

Beyond the stress beacons the sweet release - of holiday parties and presents that please.
But perhaps the sweetest possible tease, is the promise of slumber and weeks study free.
(*BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Foolscap = a piece of writing paper*)
Anais Vionet Dec 2023
It’s December and my roommates and I are deeply into Christmas. We’ve got a little 3ft tall Christmas tree with about fifty-thousand little multicolor LED lights on it (LEDs because we ARE saving the planet). We’re in the ‘study period’ right before finals and It’s a lowkey Saturday night.

Lisa and I were pajama’d and gelaxing in our suite’s common room. She was in a tan easy chair and I was slouched on our red corduroy couch, my slippered feet up on a white coffee table. We had a Christmas playlist playing throughout the suite, a ‘Christmas lights of Paris’ Youtube video streaming silently on our TV and cups of Keurig brewed hot-chocolate with little marshmallows.

Leong came out of her room and joined us, taking a seat on the far side of the couch with me. After a moment she stretched-out, putting her head in my lap. I love her jet-black, cornsilk hair and it wasn’t long before I found myself stroking it, a gesture primates have been making since the pleistocene period. When Lisa glanced over at us and smiled, I started making gestures like I was looking for fleas in her hair and eating them - in a silly, momentary comedy lost on Leong.

We got back from November recess a few days ago. After three years together, it was easy, almost automatic, for us to fall back in our rhythms as roommates. On arrival, I glanced through my drawers, ***** clothes and shelves, taking a casual inventory. Everything was as I remembered it but still, everything had the feel of trivial leftovers from some lost civilization.

I got a new M3-iMac, it’s really the best platform for putting docs side by side. The first thing I did was hit ‘restore my setup’ from the cloud. I love futzing with tech - I can remember when that kind of restoration would have taken all day - but fifteen minutes later I could tell from the files on my desktop that everything was restoring nicely.

As I sat back on my office chair watching the restoration, I felt myself relax. THIS was real life, this was how life should be done. No matter what else I’d done or where else I’d gone - this was how my life should be - at school, with friends, facing those challenges. It was a peek-moment.

It was an illusion that my little iMac welcomed me back, like an old friend, as it finished restoring - wasn’t it?
gelaxing = gelling & relaxing
Hey poetry lovers, do you like Christmas music? Are you IN the Holiday mood?
Here’s a website (Free) where you can stream over 33 of MY unique Christmas playlists (there’s a little ‘play’ button under the art for each list).
Enjoy, Merry Christmas!
Anais Vionet Nov 2023
I traveled almost everywhere, growing up. It took years. The landscapes, flora and fauna, the art, music, cuisines and curse words all seem to blend together in my mind.

Mount Fuji, the Rhine, the Himalayas, the Chattahoochee, Shenzhen, Washington DC, the Alps, and Appalachians, Moscow, Beijing, Dublin, Portland, Paris, Atlanta, London, St. Petersburg, Tokyo, Rome, Wuhan, Berlin, the Yangtze, the Mississippi, Saint-Tropez and LA - are all jumbled up in my brain, like old, wrinkled maps in a glove compartment.

My mom has total recall - she can remember every day of her life since her mama handed her a faded yellow and blue rattle when she was 6 months old - God gave me the glove compartment.

Still, some things are unforgettable, like an electrical storm breaking around Mt Everest, the lights of New York City, at night, from a helicopter, glittering on the horizon like a queen’s crown. The Danube, from a riverboat under a too-bright moon and the elegant poverty of Italy.

In some ways, I grew up like an exile because we moved every couple of years and I’d have to start my social life all over again - usually in a different language. Every place we left seemed a lost paradise, and each new place seemed cold and harsh.

Speaking of home to harsh transitions, November recess is over and we’re back in New Haven - with two weeks before final exams. Welcome to exhaustion week (weeks).

This morning I started going through my syllabuses, and after a week of holidaying - they seemed like indecipherable relics from a different world, a world of papers, tests and stingy-fun. I’ve so many things to wrap-up, my brain can’t seem to contain them all, I’m a gadget that’s out of memory.

I used to take my books on vacation, to remain in the ‘game’ mentally and stay ahead of the grind. Not this time. Hey, growing up, I’ve had my moments of ‘developmentally appropriate’ rebellion - in this case - I wanted memories to hoard, like inoculations against the coming work and loneliness cycles.
My parents are both doctors who traveled the world to teach (heart surgery) and treat (for free) the poor who would have otherwise died.
Anais Vionet May 2023
Final exams start Thursday,
and it’s giving us all the feels.

Finals have a gravity of their own.
Are the papers worse than exams? Maybe.
The tension can be relentless and heavy.
“It’s finals week, see you on the other side.”

As for me, I’m almost packed up.
Time is an odd and unpredictable beast.
It’s hard to believe that in two weeks, I'll be a junior.
It’s an unimaginable prospect.

To work, for a long time at something that seemed impossible
- head down in concentration - then suddenly, like a passing,
cotton cloud somehow became a bunny - everything came into focus.

I’m halfway done. I’m going to make it. I got a chill.

I wanted to throw my lattice windows wide open and scream for joy
- but it might’ve been taken wrong. I’ve no time to give mental health advisors.

Next week might be a more plausible time for wooting.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Plausible "workable, appearing worthy of belief."

It has to be said. I’m in love with these songs!!!  
‘Arizona‘ by ‘Ms. White’
‘Blood in the Cut’ by ‘K.Flay’
‘Time Machine’ by ‘Willow’
‘Relax’ by ‘Vacations’
‘Do the motion’ by ‘BoA’
“Tender as a bomb’ by ‘tennis’
ilias Apr 2023
five hours between a hundred strangers, writing for my life.
my finals are starting, my hair is falling out, my self harm worsens and my anxiety is reaching for the stars.
trying to decipher the text in front of me, that is not only black ink but letters and words, even sentences.
I need to calm down.
how do I calm down?
I am burning, crying, screaming.
I am hiding silently in my bed, knowing my body - loving as it is - provides me with enough bacteria to cough. my burning throat matches my inability to talk, to think, to see.
the hours are counted, my life is not ending.
why is it not ending?
do I need it to stop?

please make it stop.
Anais Vionet May 2022
It’s Spring Fling today - an all-day campus concert with some up-and-coming music acts. We’ll be out there, in the rain if we have to, we're determined and somewhat waterproof. We went out earlier, doing a scan for friends to find seats and place stuff to hold our spot.

What, up until now, have been notes of preparation for summer move-out, will become a symphony tomorrow - after my last final - I’ll be a sophomore then, I suppose.

Peter has to check an experiment he’s working on. He hugs me and heads out.
“He’s so hot,” Anna observes, “he makes me think about ***, and you know what - YES!”
“You can have him," I say, he’s too tall - and besides - he’s friending-down, with me.” I admit.
“I like him,” Lisa says, “he doesn’t complain or disapprove of things.”
“He’s the modern man,” Anna says, dreamily.
“And he’s REALLY good at kissing games.” I confide, grinning like a creepy boy, to make them jealous. They all made various noises that piggybacked and incorporated into one coherent gagging sound.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: piggyback: "to function in conjunction or carry on the back of another."
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