(Brief Update)

Hello! I don’t want to make a big deal out of Returning, since I can’t guarantee that I’m Back(TM); I just have a couple things I feel inclined to start articulating! I’ve drafted some posts between January and now, but I never refined any of them to the point where they were ready to publish. Now that I’m free for the summer and re-inspired by a couple topics, perhaps I’ll get back into more of a rhythm?

In any case, here are some general life updates from the past four-ish months!

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  • The biggest and most recent news: I graduated high school this past Thursday, which probably deserves to be its own post? Perhaps more reflections to come. It is the summer now, and I am ready to actually go to the pool for the first time in like three years.
  • I got into some colleges and not into some others (the latter including my top choice, which caused me to dissociate for a solid two hours and lmao that was Wild), but in the end I am going to Emory!
  • Emory is exciting because: I get to stay in town with my family, which for me is a good thing! And I’m going to be nearby my UGA pals. Also, thanks to the courtesy scholarship, this is the cheapest option I could have gone with, so I get to not lose all my money! Hooray! I get to keep my gay musical happy synagogue, and the high paying teaching job I’m about to get there. Also my therapist. So everything is exciting!
  • Something self destructive and bad happened in January, but other than that my mental health has improved a lot since the fall! There are occasional little lapses under duress, but nothing catastrophic.
  • I had some exciting chemistry with a girl at the very beginning of the semester, but she has a boyfriend and I am Still Single.
  • I LEARNED THE BRUCH VIOLIN CONCERTO THATS A BIG DEAL. By “learned” I mean I performed the first movement and I’ve basically got the second movement down? And we’re just… not gonna talk about the third movement, yikes. I played the Vorspiel for my last group violin recital ever, which was both pretty emotional and really badass.
  • I performed at Carnegie Hall! We did the orchestra trip, we went to New York, we saw Kinky Boots (which was Amazing and Great) and performed and had a little photoshoot in the park and I didn’t trip on stage.
  • That’s…all I can think of? Thanks for sticking around!

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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Everyone seems to be in despair about the early dismissal tomorrow and the cancellation of weekend and potentially Monday activities, for a myriad of valid reasons and conflicts, but I’m as happy as I’ve ever been!

I realized last week that this was my Last Chance to pray for snowfall to come through and completely shut down the city for a day or more. Being such a cornerstone of my winter experience, it hadn’t occurred to me before that I mightn’t spend further days crossing my fingers in delightful anticipation of a 1 inch blizzard. Only one inch because this is Atlanta, and one inch is all it takes for every activity in which I partake to grind to a grudging halt.

The potency of my hope correlates with the potency of the Theoretical Event – all my wishing has to squeeze out of the universe is a measly twinkling of snow to achieve my aim.

I don’t mean to be bragging about how happy I am to avoid things – there are certainly exceptions to that avoidance, fore one – but I can’t pass up any way of relishing this final stand of a snow day’s delight. Even if I stay in Atlanta for college, as I just as well might, I imagine that things will be more important and more enjoyable to attend than anything I’ve slogged through in high school, and thus a snow day might bring me more regret and anxiety than relief, an effect it is already having on my friends.

I made myself write this out and post it, no matter how droll, because my brain has gone dull and bemused tonight, and I’d quite like to joggle it into a focused, productive state, if not a happy one. Cheers.


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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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.

Sleep Is Important

One might think that this isn’t an argument that requires making, merely supporting with additional scientific discovery, at this point. But apparently, one would be wrong.

This is a response to a certain art teacher, who says certain unhelpful things such as “find the time, find the money, stay up late”, “stay up late, get it done”, and “as they say in college: when you are partying or sleeping, someone else is working.”

I have several issues with this.

  1. Factually, this sort of advice/chastisement is drearily off the mark. Sleep is a basic and essential human need for survival. Sleep is a priority. If you can sleep and still have your other essential needs – food and shelter – the next morning, you need to sleep.
  2. Ideologically, I find this even more grating. If sleep is beneficial, and it is, then no one should be trying to idealize the deprivation of sleep. Point blank, you cannot and should not shame people for looking after themselves. Taking care of yourself is good. Knowing what you need and letting yourself have that is good. Supporting your brain in its need to function is good.
  3. Practically, this is completely ludicrous. Losing sleep is not going to make you a better student, in high school or in college. By staying up to finish one project, you sacrifice much of your cognitive ability, physical and emotional wellness, and energy to address classes and additional work for the following day. Even if you’re trying to prioritize your academic performance over your own health, this is not an effective way to go about it.
  4. Logically, this is the wrong argument to be making. Yes, we high school students do tend to stay up late to finish our work. Situations can vary, and occasionally we do in fact have to. But oftentimes, in the case of my fellow art students and me, we only have to stay up late because our time management skills are abysmal. If you are trying to coach us into being more effective students, you should be targeting our methods of managing our workloads.

A lot of my personal anger at how frequently he delivers such harmful remarks comes from my experience with sleep and sleep deprivation in combination with a major clinical depression. I have learned, through a long journey of self examination, that I Need To Sleep. This is not unusual. Everyone needs to sleep. Everyone feels better and performs better when they are well slept. For me, though, I have learned that the less I sleep, the less I am able to perform basic daily functions such as getting out of bed, performing facial expressions, and sometimes even moving. Not that I have ever been immobile for an entire day just because I didn’t get enough sleep, but exhaustion exacerbates my depression, and my depression likes to give me brief episodes of fairly severe executive dysfunction when it’s provoked.

I know, that for my success in addition to my safety, I need to put sleeping well before anything else I could possibly do. I know that I need a full night of sleep, or else I risk spiraling into a cycle of failure to complete important tasks, consequent self loathing and decreased motivation, and an increased compulsion towards self destructive behaviors. That is my personal experience, but to varying degrees these sorts of consequences are present for all humans. Humans need sleep. Some neurotypical people such as yourself, Mr. Brandhorst, might be able to lose sleep, suffer, and shrug it off, but that’s not necessarily the case for everyone else. Even if it were:




It’s honestly such a misuse of your authority as a teacher and adult to encourage and enable the devaluing of sleep by teenagers and society as a whole, which is already a huge problem. Teenagers don’t get enough sleep. Teenagers need to get more sleep. Our brains are not fully developed. Even if they were, sleep deprivation causes minor but permanent degrees of brain damage. Furthermore, losing sleep isn’t helpful in any sort of long run. Senior student Emma provides testimony that “literally almost all of my day to day troubles arise from or connect with not sleeping.” The message you spread is detrimental to health, self image, and academic performance as a whole. You cannot pass this one off to society or “just the way it is,” when you bring it up so frequently.

And you say this not as a warning, not as a helpful tip, not in conjunction with any actual advice about managing your time or surviving societal demands, but as simple brute intimidation to a class of overworked, anxious, neurodiverse individuals. I find this unacceptable.

I’m trying to speak logically and objectively, but to be quite honest, this makes me so furious that I could just as easily (and certainly as willingly) fill this long a post with cursing and vitriol. I’ve restrained myself thus far, and yet I will allow myself to conclude this post with the following.


Shut the fuck up.

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.