A Stream of Conciousness This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

December 25, 2012
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The metal seat of my chair is still ice-cold, even though we’ve been in class for 15 minutes already. “Why won’t she turn on the heat,” I mutter to Emily, pulling my coat tighter around my shoulders. Emily doesn’t respond. She probably didn’t understand me. I think I tend to mumble unintelligibly half the time, which makes me self-conscious. Even more self-conscious than sitting in the cafeteria during grade meeting wearing a Cornell sweatshirt, while the teachers yell at us for ignoring the dress code.

I’m never in uniform anymore. It’s just way too inconvenient. Those Lands End sweaters are too starchy, stiff, clinging, constricting, and a whole lot of other claustrophobic adjectives I could spew out, but I’m too lazy to do that too. Too lazy to wear the uniform, and too lazy to really articulate why I don’t like the uniform, I guess.

I’m not even sure why we wear a uniform. It seems to me like just one other convention that we follow because it’s there and we don’t feel like asking why. But maybe I’m being a little too theoretical and dramatic. (I tend to do that a lot.) Maybe a better example would be that short story we read in 6th grade titled The Lottery, which tells the story of a bunch of villagers who congregate once a year to pick one person in their town to stone to death. The state of the human experience seems to be so plagued by useless, hopeless traditions that cause us to destroy each other. How can humanity progress, both spiritually and intellectually, if we make no effort to challenge the institutions that bind us-

I kick the metal leg of the table in frustration. Ping! Ms. Edwards glances at me oddly and then continues lamenting the ill-fated Irish struggle for independence. Oops. Maybe I should stop philosophizing so much, but my most profound revelations always seem to occur in the middle of class.

But I don’t feel too guilty, because I do listen in class…most of the time, at least. I haven’t even fallen asleep in class since spring break. I smile smugly. I think it’s the most impressive feat I’ve accomplished all year, which is saying something, because I consider myself to be a pretty productive human being!

I wonder if I have too much an ego. I mean, I don’t think I do. Then again, I also don’t think that I’m a messy person, but the floor of my room is coated with such a thick layer of sheet music, practice SATs, and pointe shoes that you can’t see the carpet beneath. I guess I tend to be in denial about a bunch of things.

Just like how I tell myself every day that I’m going to buckle down and study for my SAT subject tests, but I usually go to late hot yoga classes instead. And then in the middle of yoga, when the room is at its hottest – 115 degrees the other day, which is truly insanity – I ask myself, What was I thinking coming here at 8:45 on a school night?!

I wonder if I’m overthinking my actions. (It’s part of the whole self-conscious thing.) But that must be better that not thinking about them at all…which brings me back to my frustration with not questioning my school’s uniform policy. Because this skirt sure is itchy.

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This article has 13 comments. Post your own now!

upsidaisies said...
Jan. 3, 2015 at 2:11 pm
This is so relatable. Great piece of work!
Jane3 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 29, 2014 at 11:23 pm
Love this! I can totally relate to a lot of it, and it is beautifully written.  P.S. Keep doing that yoga if it make you happy, because at the end of the day hapiness is really all that matters :)
Lainah said...
Nov. 12, 2014 at 10:58 am
It was really good :)
emmawritesthings said...
Nov. 6, 2014 at 9:55 pm
Excellent :)
Deamer_ said...
Jan. 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm
That was awesome :) Sounds alot like what goes on in my head.
srodeo replied...
Jan. 10, 2013 at 10:45 pm
Thank you so much for the read and for your compliments - i really appreciate it
TheAwkwardWriter said...
Jan. 9, 2013 at 1:07 am
I loved this! Clever, witty, and well-written. Everything you could ask of from a piece like this (and I love your use of parentheses - I'm quite fond of them as well).
srodeo replied...
Jan. 9, 2013 at 10:01 am
Thank you so so much for reading. you're very kind, i really appreciate it
I8Grass This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 5, 2013 at 7:20 pm
My streams of conciousness are never this articulate. They usually contain a bunch of half-baked ideas and unintelligable phrases, then they end with me cusing myself out. But kudos to you, this is fantastic!
srodeo replied...
Jan. 5, 2013 at 10:59 pm
that is so nice of you; thank you so much for your compliments and for reading this
ClaireBearH said...
Jan. 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm
wow this was really incredible! keep writing, you are amazing
srodeo replied...
Jan. 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm
thank you so much, you are so kind!!
Nestor replied...
Jan. 9, 2013 at 12:51 pm
Really nice work.
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