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Silence is Golden
Topic Started: May 1 2015, 08:15 AM (1,906 Views)
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[Georgia Lee Day, starting pregame]

A lot of people underestimated the importance of Junior year. People thought that as long as you kept your head above water academically, you'd be fine. Some considered it a "social year". At least once a week, people with new accounts and inconsistent punctuation would ask on Georgia Lee's Ivy League Entrance Prep forums how to get things together, Senior year, after not taking things seriously the year prior. These queries would be met by a chorus of regretful voices informing the querents that for them it was, realistically, too late. Georgia Lee was one of those voices. She had been a member of those forums since she was a freshman, and she was taking Junior year extremely seriously.

Georgia Lee was a serious girl.

Junior year represented the last complete year's-worth of grades that would go before the admissions board. This was a crucial opportunity to distinguish herself academically. It represented the last full year of classes before letters of recommendation were written, and was a crucial opportunity to establish relationships with teachers, too. Many students left building an extracurricular portfolio until Senior year, but admissions boards saw right through this. Georgia Lee's extracurricular portfolio was already extensive. Finally, this was also the year to prepare for SATs and SAT subject tests, and the importance of these was perhaps the most crucial of all.

She hadn't been blessed with the intelligence or the athleticism of some of her classmates, Georgia Lee knew. She wasn't one of those people to whom life came easy, though she'd ceased to mind that a long time ago. Working hard suited her just fine.

Natural intelligence was a gift, but hard work was an income. Intelligence would only get you so far, and no further. Other students put in half the work she did and got the same grades, but they'd hit a point, perhaps Senior year, perhaps college, where suddenly their natural intelligence wasn't enough to keep up. Where they'd need to work, and they'd never worked. Georgia Lee did nothing but work, and hard work never ceased to be rewarding. Junior year was a year of absolutely critical importance, and Georgia Lee was determined to make it a successful year. She didn't mind that others didn't see how important it was. They would be distracted and be irresponsible and be lazy, and they would sputter out while she would shine.

Other students' laxity didn't bother Georgia Lee, then. Their failing was not her failing, and what success they should find would not diminish her own. All her forums agreed that the key to maintaining academic consistency was to be focusing on your own learning, not on anyone else's, and this was something that Georgia Lee tried very hard at.

That focus though, was currently being tested. Other students' laxity was bothering her. The Beale Library was a quiet study space, as was very clearly designated on a number of posters around the room, many of which she'd helped put up. Not that group work wasn't a legitimate study technique, but what she could hear was a personal conversation. A distracting one. Study conversations, generally speaking, were conducted without the participants pawing at one another. They were breaking her concentration, and in doing, making their failing her failing. This really wouldn't do.

Georgia Lee pushed her chair back and stood, then pushed the chair back under the table. She, at least, would be considerate of her fellow students.

"Excuse me!"

Her voice was quiet, yet perky. There was no need not to be friendly, after all. Just one pupil reminding some others about some basic library etiquette. She gave a little wave as she crossed the distance that separated their two tables. More than enough distance that they could have been having their little talk without disturbing her study.

Her gaze settled on Bernadette.

"I'm sorry, I don't mean to be rude, but this is a study space, and some of us here are actually trying to study. If you'd maybe want to talk with your boyfriend outside, or even just be a little quieter about it... I guess we'd all really appreciate that."

She felt she was being pretty reasonable. Admonishing her peers wasn't the best way to endear herself to them, Georgia Lee knew, but what choice did she have? It was, after all, a very important year.
Edited by frogue, May 22 2015, 06:35 AM.

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There was a saying about stick, stones, names and bones, and Georgia Lee despised it. Names would hurt you. Of course they would, that was the whole point of them. There was nothing to be gained by simply being numb to them, or trying to close yourself off from other people's opinions.

Once, Georgia Lee had thought it possible to make herself immune to insults. She'd believed, had genuinely believed, that she could perfect herself to the point where no one would be able to insult her: there'd simply be nothing to insult. Looking back it seemed naive, but at the time it'd been a huge source of motivation for her. She was grateful for that, she supposed.

Not all criticism was constructive though, that was a lesson she'd learned. No matter what you did, how hard you worked or how much you improved, there would be people who'd find words to tear you down. People insulting you was a manifestation of their own insecurity, she'd read, and it certainly seemed that way to Georgia Lee. The better she did, at school and after it, the more names she'd hear. Not to her face, not often, but a few desks behind her in class, or across some lockers in the changing room, or down the hall from her.

"Bitch" was common. She didn't mind bitch. "A woman who asserts herself" was what bitch boiled down to, so it couldn't be said to be inaccurate. She was happy being a bitch. "Try hard" was another: hardly even an insult, really. It was like calling someone "read good" or "run fast". This one she liked less, simply because of its sheer laziness. If someone were going to insult her, they should at least put in some effort, she felt.

"Hypocrite" though, was a new one. Hypocrite hurt.

Georgia Lee knew she wasn't a hypocrite. There was no divide, no distinction between what she said and how she acted. She'd not been disturbing other people's study in the library, and she wouldn't disturb others' study in the library, either. Not ever. She respected the environment of learning.

Simply pointing out that their carryings-on were interfering with other people's learning made her a villain, somehow? She was prepared for mild annoyance, or perhaps some sass. Even being dismissed out of hand. The look in Ty's eyes though had been murder. It shook her.

She knew Ty Yazzie, of course. He was a hard sight to miss, with his mohawk and his tattoos and his capsicum skin. Fiyori too, the she-giant of Cochise. Did they think themselves anonymous, that their little party could just swear at her, insult her in the library in front of everyone?

She wasn't a hypocrite.

Georgia Lee felt like chasing them down, grabbing the boy by the arm and shaking him. Explaining what a hypocrite was, what it meant, how it didn't apply to her situation. How it wasn't her. Did the ox simply not know what the word meant?

And why did she care so much?

This shouldn't be bothering her, not as much as it was. He'd be gone by the end of the year, and her by the end of the next one. Any favour she might curry, any opinion that any of her peers might have of her would be worthless come graduation day. All that would matter then were her results, and she couldn't be letting people like that jeapordize them.

No. No excuses. People couldn't be blamed for distracting her, no more than weather could. Boys like Ty Yazzie would always be loud, always be angry and disruptive. It wasn't their job to get her into Columbia, and they weren't likely to change their natures any time soon. This was on her. It was her distraction, her failing, and now it was her standing here, obsessing over something that should be inconsequential

Fiyori asked her name. Was her tone mocking? Annoyed? Amused? The strange girl's face gave away nothing, and the question troubled Georgia Lee. She needed some air.

"Just some junior"

Her voice came out harsh, though she hadn't meant it like that. She didn't stay to correct the impression, though. Georgia Lee gathered her things, and left the library. She tried not to look like she was hurrying.

[Georgia Lee Day, continuing in Puddles]
Edited by frogue, Jun 1 2015, 06:10 AM.

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