It's that time of year again.

You know what's weird? The fact that I'm actually feeling as though this year's Formal was brilliant fun. Enthusiasm rubs off on me, and Monica seems to think hers was awesome. I mean yes, some things never change -- the food was shit, and they played the song from the Huggies ad (the music would've been interesting, I guess!) during the night -- but it sounds a lot more like the 2006 Semi than the 2007 Formal. Sylvie wore her dress with the christmas lights (that's hilariously awesome), Mon-mon's dress (made by her mother!) was amazing, and everyone looked gorgeous. She was telling me about the Post -- the afterparty -- and how they had a massive sleepover where they toasted marshmallows, played guitar hero and hung out the entire night.

"And yes, we behaved," she added. (I think I give off the scary-teacher vibe sometimes!)

I just find it odd. Thinking about the current Year 12s graduating, thinking about how they're going through QCS, how they're going through exams, -- it makes me realise I'm more interested in their experience of it than I was of my own. Does that make sense? Maree and I were talking about it yesterday. Being a Year 11 student watching the Year 12s run through the Guard of Honour, watching them line up for QCS, asking about their Formal and watching them take the lead at the Term One Production was the most exciting experience of my high school life -- and the most inspired I'd been in my three years there. Isn't that weird?

Hearing Monica's account makes me want to look back on my own Formal and rewrite the entire thing in my mind. It makes me feel so hypocritical. For the longest time, I blamed Melina Marchetta and all those authors that made Year 12 sound like the epitome of everything when living through it certainly didn't feel that way. I held the biggest grudge, like my favourite authors had let me down -- but now I'm beginning to think that's just the way it happens, and if it weren't for the idea of Year 12 being so awesome, I don't think I'd have survived.

I'm trying to figure out why. Is it because we invested so much in it, thinking it would be as good as the books promised? Because it was hard to make sense of it while we lived through it -- because it was supposedly 'lifechanging' and hence blinding? Because I really needed an entire year to get over it so I could reflect and enjoy? Am I really just filling in a gap, comparing and contrasting my experiences, justifying my existence in 2007 -- saying it was 'awesome' because of this, 'could've been better' because of that?

To be honest, I hated the Formal at the time -- but after speaking about it with Monica and reminiscing with Tiffany, I'm beginning to think it wasn't all that bad.

Aristotle argued that art didn't just capture life but recreated it, idealised it, produced something 'better' to aspire to, even.

"Art and literature thus complete a process that the natural world leaves incomplete; nature merely presents us with events, phenomena, sensory experiences... while art, by creating an order in which to understand those events and experiences, provides us with their meaning."

(Klages 2006, p.17)

I just have no idea how to explain how I feel right now, feeling insanely ecstatic about something that never happened to me, but did in a way, when I didn't even enjoy it at the time. (Year 11 is another story entirely).

I think we're all just crazy.

... I'd like to know what all the rest of you think, or if you've even really thought about it.

List of References:
Klages M 2006, Literary Theory: A Guide for the Perplexed, London: Continuum.


Queen Anne said...

Personally, I have thought about it, not in relation to other people going through the same things but comparing it to how life has been moving now.
Grade 12 was interesting, mind busting [I'm thinking I actually made that up and I really quite possibly bludged and procrastinated simply thinking about the growing pile of things I had to do... spending more time stressing about study and school than actually studying.] but mostly empty seeming . Looking back and seeing how life is now. I feel wildly content to continue life and savour [damnit, I think this blogger thing uses an american dictionary or something. Savor?] the experiences I've been collecting. Engineering and other engineering students have just so thoroughly out shined any experience from grade 12 that I'm not so interested in reliving grade 12 memories. I don't know how much sense this'll make.
Oh well. So while high school wasn't a painful ordeal, it wasn't exactly anything special. Uni has made me *jump with joy*. Real, authentic jumping. To the extent a beloved bag has been ruined. Jumping for joy with a full bag of uni books never ends well.
Uni people incite the same urges.

jarielle said...

Haha, I agree about the 'mind busting' comment. Year 12 was hard because we made it hard; the content, pfft, was piss easy compared to engineering, and yet...

That makes perfect sense.

Uni has been awesome. Everyone we've met -- gosh, if it weren't for the fact that I had awesomely awesome friends in high school who still pop in every now and then, I wouldn't feel the need to relive anything.

LOL yeah, poor Wendy's bag.

You /were/ doing one of those 'soo happy, I'm haaappy, soo haaappy!' dances when it broke, didn't you? That was funny. Sad, but funny. :P. Aww. You have it back now at least, after Mitch ... tried fixing it. Haha. He tried. And now it hides somewhere behindish your bookshelf (I stalked it and I found it. xP).