GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO!!!
Alright, so, a multitude of things happened about RIGHT AFTER I sent my last blog.
In the middle of our final dress rehearsal for Nunsense, my favorite Filipino Director of Public Relations came back stage with tears in her eyes whispering, ‘I GOT INTO NYU! I GOT IN, I GOT IN!’ Frantic, I whispered ‘EEP! CONGRATULATIONS!’ and gave her a hug right before my cue sounded and I had to dance on stage. She whispered after me, “You have to check yours!” I avoided thinking about my NYU admissions decision until I finished the first act.
I was so happy for Andrea because it was her first choice, and not for nothing, but she’s worked really hard and deserves it. When we got a ten minute break for a mock intermission, I ran to the bleachers of the gym, where Andie had her laptop open. She let me log on.
On behalf of the admissions committee, it is my honor and privilege to share with you that you have been admitted to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Congratulations! I could not be more excited to welcome you to NYU.
I yelped. I cried. Andrea and I jumped up and down and around and laughed – overflowing with joy.
I received so many congratulations that night. My Principal even called home. I cried every time I spoke to someone about it, because I was – AM – so happy. One of my mentors, Mrs. Michalski, said it the best way, “All those other schools…Those weren’t rejections. They were signs saying ‘wrong way’.” I guess I was meant to go to NYU, Tisch this whole time =)
I’m still smiling, bursting out in fits of giggles at irregular intervals. I called my grandmother to talk and cry with her. I cried with Liz on the phone (Broad way vet, my long time teacher and mentor, and soon, colleague!). I told Leslie (My awesome vocal coach and a graduate of Tisch). When my mom walked in the door I practically smacked her in the face with the news and we hugged and hopped. When I told my dad his face lit up, “That’s great! Congratulations!” and he started calling his entire contacts list. The next day, at school, I basically ran into the arms of my English teacher, Mrs. Medina, and we laughed and yelped together too. Everyone had had faith in me except for me. Amazing, isn’t it?
It’s a Small World After All
Now I’m talking to my long lost childhood friend, Gisela, about possibly rooming together. I realized that my friend Yeena, from Korea, who I met at a summer workshop at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts is also going to study at Tisch in the fall, as well as fellow servicemen and artist Keigo from Illinois who I met in Ohio last year. My cousin is also considering attending NYU, and my fellow actor and friend Patrick is trying to decide between NYU and Fordham. My brain is going to explode. I cannot comprehend the awesome of the rest of my life, from this moment on.
I was only sad that I could not share my joy with my best friend, Cin, who will not be attending Tisch with me in the fall.
Our consolation is that we are all going to go where we are meant to go, no matter what. It just so happens that some of us fervently want our paths, like I wanted Tisch, and some of us do not. Wack, but true.
It happens every year. We are frantic and crazy and suddenly, BAM, the show goes on, and everybody loves it. Everybody comes to see it. Everybody is proud. And this time, everybody cries, because the founders of the current BA Theater department have done their final show. I can’t tell you how surreal it was, sitting backstage with Cinthya, my ethereal and magical soul mate of a friend, looking her in the eyes, and realizing, in any moment of quiet, that this was our last high school performance. We sure went out with a bang.
The Jefferson Awards
Speaking of the Musical, on closing night we awarded two of our show’s awesome people with the monthly Jefferson Award for public service. See, Benedictine Academy is a Jefferson Awards school. What that means is that we are part of the student branch of the Nobel Prize for Public Service, founded by Sam Beard, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr. This Nobel Prize serves to recognize people all over the nation who do outstanding service. The student branch, called Students In Action, is meant to give the youth incentive and support to continue in their good works. Are you still with me? =) I’ve got to explain this so you understand the punch line.
So every year, there are regional competitions. Each Students In Action school has to submit a written report on that year’s amount of activity and service in the community, and then formally present their piece creatively and comprehensively in front of the other schools in their region as well as a select panel of judges. There is a point system. Schools can win a bronze, silver, or gold metal prize in their region.
The school in the region with the most points wins a trip to Washington D.C. for the annual Jefferson Awards Nobel Prize for Public Service weekend and ceremony. If that school has also completed the ‘Seven Directives’ of Students In Action (SIA), they qualify for a national award as well. The ‘Seven Directives’ are given to schools when they first enroll in the Students In Action program and are usually explained in a workshop by the regional director (New Jersey’s is the lovely Karen Hatcher). These are goals set for the schools’ SIA clubs to help them reach their maximum service capabilities. For example, one of the goals is to ‘Expand Financial Capacity,’ which means that the SIA team needs to find a way to have a consistent reserve fund to help interested students jump start service projects.
Still there?? Good. Not much longer, I promise.
So, despite being in ‘competition’ (quotes because, come on guys, it’s about service) with both North and South New Jersey, and being a very small Catholic all girls’ school from Elizabeth, this is our second year in a row winning the regional gold metal. We are going to Washington DC again this June; everything promises to be different, as it is the 40th anniversary of the Jefferson Awards. Andrea and I are really excited because we get to reunite with all of the cool people we met last year, and, as far as we know, we don’t have to prepare a workshop again. Heh. Though that ended up being lots of fun too ^^
Oh yeah, and this time, we actually have a shot at the National since we completed all seven directives. Last year we completed six of seven, and were awarded ‘Best New School,’ which was really awesome. I can’t say how proud we were of our school for stepping up in the realm of service. Our girls are really committed to the projects they’re passionate about. Gotta love that.
SOOOOOOO. Cassidy Deegan and Liz McConahay Wanfried were awarded this month’s in school award. We have this thing where we honor ‘Un-Sung Heroes’ through SIA to show our school that we are paying attention. Besides being in our Theater Department’s rendition of Dan Goggin’s Nunsense, Cassidy, a sweet, talented freshmen, works in a theater outside of school helping youths with autism. Liz, a spectacular woman, intelligent artist, and now mother among a billion other things, has donated so much of her time to BA over the past four years that it would be criminal not to acknowledge the endless amount of service she’s provided us with.
And then we all cried some more
Tonight, at seven pm, I will be boarding a flight to London with some of the coolest people I know. Aside from seeing all of the traditional and non-traditional-traditional tourist sights, we are also going to see the Warner Bros Studios that just opened up March 31st for the Harry Potter movies. I watched the grand opening live on the internet. I am obsessed. Also blessed. And very happy.
If I am not sleeping on that flight, I’ll probably be thinking about Karen Hatcher and my summer job in the city. I’ll probably be thinking about Dave and Sheila’s awesomeness. I’ll probably be thinking about Liz and Gavin and how much I love them, and then about how much Liz loves Chris xD. I’ll probably be thinking about Mrs. Michalski and Sister DJ and all of their blessings and love and support, and how Mr. Jennings gave up coffee in my name in prayer so that I would get into NYU.
I’ll probably be thinking about how happy I am to know that I’ll be going to Tisch in the fall. I’ll probably be thinking about meeting Nick Jonas before I graduate in June, and therefore completing my high school bucket list. I’ll probably be thinking about running into One Direction by accident on tour, because life is so great as of last week that I don’t see why that is not possible.
I’ll probably be reading some Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince to get working on my film to fiction paper. I’ll probably think of the fact that I only have 18 academic days of school left…That I’m spending my 18th birthday in Paris…I’ll probably wonder how my brothers are doing without me…All of that and more…Again, lest I fall asleep from exhaustion. Or I’ll be google-ing how to get rid of jet lag. There probably won’t be any internet up there though….
Let’s see if I can get free wifi across the pond. If I can, I will blog!
My best to all =)
Who would have thought this blogger would get a happy ending after all?
To be continued….