2nd Semester Transcription

Here’s a part 2 to my eclectic agenda keeping! I was a little less consistent this semester, especially towards the end of the year. Nevertheless, I still find these little tidbits rather charming! I hope they will also bring you some amusement, or intrigue, or something,



  • Welcome to Second Semester
    with Julia “Zaslaw more like no law” Borthwick and company
  • My friends are having a party
    without me, because I am gone
  • An end of an era of darkness [written in elvish]
  • Back To School
  • get out of gym
    bust out of hell
  • hungry…   …hungry….   ….hungry [written in elvish]
  • Refill your Breeze card!
    Marta card, Marta art
  • SNOW?!
  • read read read read
    McCurdy is agrumpin’
    read read read read
    lots of time to crunch in
  • my free response grade is a
    I’m one point less of a horrible FAILURE!
  • lithp [written in elvish]
  • OW ow Ow OW ow OW ow OW ow OW ow
  • dadi…. dadi… maaaami
  • Welcome back to EYSO
  • why am I so IMPOTENT
  • Elf Saturday
  • Many deadlines!
  • my nightingale: tinuviel [written in elvish]
  • your narcissism narcitates me
  • no moosic 🙂
  • how can you be this inadequette
  • messed up
    messed up
    messed up
  • word of the day: canoodling
  • Bengali
  • botch
    it’s been botched
  • word of the day: consequent
  • consequent ramifications [written in elvish]
  • “Yay it’s a Friday. and y’all are acting like it.”
  • penenguinenguin, what’s your fenguin? [written in elvish]
  • Viol[a] Recital
  • Stay for review @ beginning of graphics
    or not
    yeah, okay, not
  • You didn’t do any MOLES today 😦
  • Invisible Man Quiz Probably
    nope huzzah
  • Schedule with Lena?!
  • Bruch

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I keep a very eclectic agenda during the school year. I doodle in it rather intensely, and often times address myself directly. In a way, the thoughts I jot down there have made it into a proxy of a journal. I enjoy this, because, when looking back, it gives me a window in to my state of mind as well as my state of affairs.

Below, I have transcribed each extraneous little comment from all of first semester.


  • senior year, bitches
  • viva la suffering
  • It’s always a pleasure to be here [written in elvish]
  • this is where the fun begins…
  • I’m a philosophy major!
  • #raisesenioritisawareness
  • I’m a graphic designer!
  • Lit paper due: finish it!!! god damn!
  • Out Sick – rest rest rest
  • Learn the solo, crush opposition
  • Finish essay
    just two pages
    you can do it
  • Shabbat Shalom! (hey!)
  • period death
  • masquerading as a man with a reason/ my charade is the event of the season
  • It’s going Down
  • find pen find pen find pen
  • you loose @ therapy rip
  • stoptalkingstoptalkingstoptalking
  • you are the worst * the actual worst
  • 14 days til DragonCon!!! 2 weeks!
  • DragonCon is getting…closer…
  • we stand at the end of the longest times/came back to homes we don’t recognize [additional lyrics written in elvish]
  • email Lena, apologize, schedule…. aaaa
  • Jacket expected to arrive?!
  • Quartet…………… I guess……
  • welcome to sickness n depression land
    welcome to college stress hell
  • Nerdy shirt day tomorrow!
  • you need to get it together
  • Lena?
    nope u suck
  • 1 week till DragonCon!
  • we have been damned/we have survived
  • why do I have to endure this [in elvish]

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Surface Tension

AP 4 (CollageFace)

Items included:

  • A page from the notebook my mother kept when taking notes on my early violin lessons. Evidently on April 7th, 2006, I was working on Bach’s Minuet #2 out of Suzuki Book 1.
  • A blank index card
  • A shred of a physics assignment in which I answered everything correctly and Mr. Gcbasche initially awarded me a 79.
  • Part of a CVS sticker label.
  • A British stamp depicting the antiquated European style of illuminating choral music, such as hymns. This was sent to me by my grandfather, who helps me with my stamp collection.
  • Part of a scantron for a chemistry test that I got a 121 on.
  • A fragment of graded chemistry work.
  • Part of an instruction manual for a TI 84 graphing calculator.
  • Part of the receipt for a paycheck from my job as a madricha (assistant teacher) at my synagogue’s Hebrew School. I teach fifth graders, earning $7.50 per hour on that paycheck, $8.25 per hour as of this year.
  • A random map of Ohio that my parents let me cut up. I don’t actually care about Ohio, I’m afraid, but neither do my parents, and my father can be pretty fiercely protective of Things? At least it has Beaver Falls on it, in close proximity, in fact, to Beaver the city itself. Wonders never cease.
  • Part of a sudoku puzzle in a book of 400 Sudoku puzzles gifted to me by grandmother years and years ago. This is an excerpt from one of the puzzles rated “Beware! Very Challenging!”
  • Part of a chemistry progress report from last year. The grades are obscured, but they were actually all very high, which is hilarious to me, because for most of my career in chemistry last year, they were not. I couldn’t find one with lower grades.
  • Part of a picture day order form.
  • An out of date CVS prescription label for 20 mg of fluoxetine
  • Some graph paper for formatting in graphics.
  • The little calendar things that show the months before and after the month depicted in the big calendars in the pages of my agenda.
  • An excerpt of my French dictionary, which I no longer need because I took AP French last year. It was terrible; began to panic at the mere mention of French as a language in my vicinity, because I was sure that someone would ask me to speak it and I would Be Inadequate. I got a 2/5 on the exam.
  • A receipt for some art supplies at Binders.
  • An excerpt from this notebook I kept second semester of ninth grade where every night I’d write down all the things I’d done wrong that day? I’d get an average of nearly a page in every day. It was a really unhealthy thing to do and I just got increasingly mad and verbally violent at myself as the thing progressed? Reading through it again was an odd experience. The excerpt reads as follows:
    • So unproductive in Music Theory
    • showoff
    • So determined to be sick you fucking freak stop wasting everybody’s time
    • Not paying attention
    • Not paying attention
    • Messing with Alex shut up leave her alone
    • Not enthusiastic enough, try harder.
  • A red scrap of magazine for composition purposes, some blue graph paper, another excerpt from a picture day order form.
  • An appointment card for my psychiatrist
  • An excerpt from a course catalog that I got from Washington University in St. Louis, which is currently my top (but restrictive and super expensive) choice for college.
  • Part of a baseball ticket to a game that I attended at nerd camp over the summer. I don’t like baseball, but I do like nerdy friends, so I had a good time.


College Material

I was routing around in my google drive, and discovered this actual assignment that I actually wrote and turned in for my graphics class, in which I was supposed to be researching different branches of the graphic design and printing industry. Some of these I had rewritten in serious paragraphs below, and there were two others unmarred by foolishness. But aside from that:

Commercial printing is important because it prints all the commercials. How else would one advertise? Not. There would be a DERTH in advertisements in our physical realms. Thusly, commercial printing comprises a SIZABLE portion of the printing industry.

Book printing is what happens when a person loves their written narrative very much and the book printers help that writer give a stack of paper a special hug with a bunch of printing machines and then swaddle the product in a book cover. There are a fair amount of jobs in this industry, because books are #radical.

Package printing is the printing of packaging materials with branding and product information. This is the largest part of the printing industry. If you see an Amazon(tm) box that says amazon(tm), you have been DUPED by the package printing industry, into getting advertised at by your packaging. There are tons of jobs: people who run machines, and people who raise cardboard in wholesome cardboard raising foster care program across the nation.

Miraculously, despite this demonstrative genius, I have yet to receive full ride scholarships to Harvard, Princeton, or Yale, but it’s only a matter of time.

Serious talk, though: I love my Graphics class, because it is a relaxing and friendly environment where there are always opportunities to test out my design/production chops, but no shame or pressure when I instead prioritize other work. Graphics class is what made every other school day bearable, and something I am greatly looking foreward to resuming next semester.

10 Things To Tell

I have a vivid memory of scanning articles in my freshman yearbook and coming upon a list of “10 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Freshman Self”, and as a then freshman myself, I found every item extraneous to my own personal experience, and rather condescending. Things like “your grades matter” or “your work freshman year will impact your GPA as a senior” – things I didn’t need to hear. I was a bit rankled, but decided it wouldn’t be fair to critique the list fully until I was a senior myself.

I’ve been waiting three years to produce an adequately informed list of my own, and now here I go! Dear Freshman Julia:


(Disclaimer: your hair doesn’t actually look quite that cool this year)

  1. You are actually, literally depressed. You’re not imagining it. You’re not making things harder for yourself deliberately, or sabotaging your work ethic to feel “special”, or any of those things you think. Major clinical depression. Have some validation, kid.
  2. Things get harder. And then they get better, and right now they’re harder again. The point is; this too shall pass. Things always have the potential to get better, and you are always growing more equipped to combat the darker times.
  3. You have the most generous, supportive, hard working friends on the entire planet. I know you know you’re lucky, but you haven’t had the experiences I’ve had in order to realize just how lucky. Your friends are there for you and will work hard to make sure you are safe.
  4. You owe it to your friends to do everything you can to support and cater to them. Nothing you can do will even approach what you owe them, but it’s important for you to keep trying. Don’t let them go.
  5. Speaking of things to not let go: your grades. I know how hard you work, and I know how harder it’s about to get for you to maintain that same level of performance. You’ve done me a solid all throughout high school so far – honestly I only have beef with earlier-senior-year me. Point being: you are capable, you are intelligent, and you are driven. Your depression does not change that. Trust yourself.
  7. Some actual advice here: keep taking therapy at the beginning of 10th grade, that was Rough. Also, there’s nothing wrong in asking for therapy later just because a) you said you thought you were fine earlier or b) your parents haven’t pointed out to you that you’ve been struggling. You know yourself best. No one thinks you’re making anything up. Shhhhhhh.
  8. Right now you’re of the opinion that you’re too young to really date. And I agree with you! But nonetheless, you’re gonna. I don’t even know what to tell you about that. I won’t say that you shouldn’t date Emma, because that is mostly a fun and good time for you and has ended up as well as it could have. No regrets, I guess. But also. Just. Maybe try to be less of a blundering idiot, yknow?
    But hey, here’s a real tip: there’s nothing wrong with kissing someone before you’re 15. It’s okay.
  9. Justin and Uzuki become good friends. You’re already in love with Uzuki, but Justin will become just as important to you in different ways. Treasure them while you still have them with you, please. I don’t have them with me, anymore, and that has been one of the worst parts of being a senior.
  10. You are really, really, really lucky to have the parents that you do. I know you love them as you are, and you’d never want to fight with them, but you still have a lot to learn about how well off you really have it. That’s going to be an upsetting process for you, but it’s worth it to be able to better help other people. Mom and Dad try so hard to help you. Right now, they have it easy. Please don’t take it personally when it gets harder for all of you to make yourself function.


(This is a writing I found on my computer from a while ago. I thought it was nice enough to share.)

A small child steps onto spongy grass and laughs as wisps of dew paint her bare feet. The laugh is a light cascade that wind snatches and scatters like fragile mist across the lawn. The flowers buffeting in the breeze take no notice, too immersed in their own struggles. The trees are equally unmoved, and remain as stoically apathetic as ever. The child’s laughter goes unnoticed by the world around her, and time moves on without it.

A young girl has learned many things about her voice. She can talk to her friends and talk to herself and talk to even no one at all. The girl is teaching herself how to sing. An abstract, lonely melody twines around her and floats into the trees. The crackling of leaves in a relentless autumn wind smothers her voice before it can reach the sky. The clouds never even knew it was there. The brittle grass pays her no mind. Her song goes unnoticed by the world, and time moves on without it.

A young woman sits hunched against a stone wall, running her fingers compulsively along veins of moss. She is so very tired. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the world. The world blithely forgives her for her discomfort. A bird chirps and the young woman smiles slightly. It is a rare and beautiful sight upon her lips. Smiles are not frequent, when the world has bleached out your laughter and your song. It is all she has left to give, but the world doesn’t bat an eye. The smile goes unnoticed and time leaves it behind.

A woman, not as young, walks briskly down the street and bites her lip as winter nips her cheeks. She doesn’t smile or sing or laugh, just emits a low, anxious hum as she paces, clutching a purse closer to her chest. It would hardly make a difference if she did show signs of beauty, youth, or happiness. The world wouldn’t care. The stars can’t distinguish between fretful humming and joyful tunes, and the stars are so much bigger and more significant in the scheme of things. The woman can see stars peeping out from between clouds, and knows that they can’t see her.

The stars move on and the world moves on and people move on and time leaves the woman behind. The woman is no longer part of the world, and it doesn’t remember that she ever was.

A Troubled Teenager

You clip your briefcase shut with a perfunctory snap – clear-cut, direct, and orderly. The entirety of your adult career could be summarized in that single, routine click of the briefcase clasp. Everything in place, everything succinct. The epitome of a stable lifestyle.

Not everything is as tranquil, you often lament, as the reassuring clack of a briefcase. The insurance workers in the office suite across the floor, for instance – oh, that can get messy. That sort of squabbling, bickering pursuit really isn’t for you, not at all. You stick to your cubicle, with the calendar and the bulletin board and the lap top, the magnets and the pushpins and the sticky notes… Orderly. Beautiful.

You are satisfied; on the continuum of chaos in this life, ranging drastically from insurance to accounting, you are smugly perched in the tier of secretarial realtor work. You live in a world where adventure is the morning spreadsheet, serenity is the air you breathe, and order is inherently woven into the very fabric of your universe. Every sticky note has its reminder, and every coffee cup has its saucer. Even the squeaks and grunts of the elevators making their way to the third floor have a regulated charm to them.

You have always loved working on the third floor. Three, the most stable number, the basis for efficient structural support. It’s easy to forget, sometimes, that there even is a fourth floor.

It’s easy to forget, sometimes, what lurks in office suite 450.

A shiver runs down your spine unprompted, but you shake it off. Briefcase securely latched, held loosely by your side, you nod to your well-groomed coworkers and make your way over to the fogged glass door. Polished black shoes click against the stone floor with every step – further reassurance. The sound is snuffed on the hallway carpet, but even the rustling of high grade suit fabric brushing against itself serves to calm.

The elevator doors open as you step up to them. Out walks a man on his way to the insurance suite. You exchange nods. The lobby button is waiting for you in the elevator. It illuminates with a familiar glow when you press it, a friendly, industrial wink to all the inhabitants of the Mayflower Office Suite Building. 3, 2, L…

The doors open. You take one step, lift your eyes, and –


Oh lord.

It’s a girl, a teenage girl. Dulled brown eyes under an unbrushed swathe of dark hair, shoulders slumped under a low-hanging blue backpack, paint-smeared jeans, ratty tennis shoes with holes and dirt splatters of epoxy coating, earbuds trailing out from a loosely clasped fist…

You could’ve smell the adolescence before you’d taken one look. But you were distracted, and now you’re rooted to the spot. She glances up at you, intelligent eyes clouded with lethargy and exhaustion; she’s waiting for you to leave the elevator, you realize, but you’re frozen rigid. Your eyes flicker to the plaques in the lobby, listing the businesses on each floor – you see it now, all too clearly, what you never should’ve allowed yourself to forget – Lena Franklin, Psychiatry, MD. When you look back at the girl, you sense the Teenage Angst rolling off of her in tangible waves, prickling at your skin and raising the hair on the back of your neck. It’s burning at her, you can see it now, piercing every bone in her body.

The longer you look, the more you see it, the harder it is to look away – you see the angst in her, festering underneath her skin like a mottled bruise permeating her entire underdeveloped existence. You see the smoke behind her eyes, the embers smoldering within her skull. Suddenly, you are inclined to doubt that she’s a girl at all – that she is anything, anything at all beside pure, undiluted adolescent suffering.

Your gut lurches and your throat constricts. Ever last shred of tranquility is snatched forcefully from your fingertips as her gaze traps you. You are suffocated by a merciless, unrelenting question:

Has she lived life?

There is an aged quality to those eyes, to the corners of her mouth. There is a depth there that you couldn’t have anticipated, ragged and murky though it may be. How much validation does her suffering merit? How much must one suffer, must one endure to have lived? Does she even have the capacity to qualify as a Person, underneath all the standardized testing and the procrastination and the screams of her comrades?

You are now beginning to realize that they have always been screaming, they have never stopped screaming, not once even since you left high school yourself has the screaming stopped -you can hear it now, from across the park, and oh god, you can’t escape the wretched shrieks. You had blocked it out for so long, warded it off, but your shields are crumbling. The angst is with you now, as present in your world as you are in hers, and the insatiable vines of pain and confusion creep up your mental battlements and tear them ravenously to pieces, laying waste to the marble walls that for so long have obscured from you huge expanses of Hell…

A Hell that burns not with brimstone and demons and lakes of fire, but a dark room, murkily illuminated by shreds of light filtered under doorways, through windows – a prison, and the walls are constricting, closing in on you, crumbling around you – something is there, something waits for you in this pinnacle of torment, you see it in her eyes, you see it in the void opening up before you, something is there-

And suddenly you are running.