This following is the funniest excerpt from True Prep by Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd. It’s sentiment is pretty much the same point my mum has been trying to make to my sister and me for years.
TO THE PRODUCERS OF GOSSIP GIRL: IF YOU’RE SERIOUS, WE’RE HERE TO HELP.
Oh, Gossip Girl, what can we do with you? We watch you filming among the hordes of teen girls, we stare, arms crossed, thinking only, “Really?” Your show, meant to depict our lives as seniors in the elite private schools in Manhattan , is a travesty. We decided that instead of just bashing your faux preppiness, we would offer our help to your production staff, to bring a little pink and green authenticity to TV. We can get credit for it.
To Whom It May Concern:
After much viewing of your television show, we would like to offer some constructive criticism to make Gossip Girl, well more genuine. It seems that no true preps work on your show. You just need a little guidance, and that’s where we come in.
BLAIRE WALDORF: Our preppy wannabe. Blair, wearing a strand of pearls and a headband does not make a you a preppy. You also tote you maid Dorota around like a purse. Let Dorota liver her life… in the kitchen, where she’s supposed to be.
SERENA VAN DER WOODSEN: God gave you a three-part last name for a reason! And we will not let you throw away a great name for nothing. So take off your faux-bohemian thigh-high boots and sequenced dresses and put on a tweed skirt a nd a simple cable-knit sweater. And I am concerned about the martini glass that seems to be glued to your hand; you are partying every night of the week. You have SAT’s to study for, and you must talk to your grandfather about helping you score a place at Yale. Now go clean up.
NATE ARCHIBALD: We like you-ish. You have a few plot lines, but you have a good family name on your shoulders. Your dad got indicted, and you slept with an older women. You go to Columbia. How about studying?
Let us conclude with the worst case of preppy fraud, CHUCK BASS. Chuckie, the only people who take stretch limousines to school are pedophiles offering your children candy and a puppy to get inside. A regular Lincoln Town Car would be quite acceptable. And the ascot you have been seen sporting has got wait for another 40-50 years, if at all. (Do you want to be a George Hamilton when you grow up?) Your commitment issues with Blaire are boring. Didn’t you know that your parents pick out the girl you are going to marry when you are an infant? Then, Chuckles, you snubbed Skull and Bones on your visit to Yale, Is it not one of the most important unspoken rules of Prepdom that if a secret society at Yale asks you to join, it is impossible to say no? This is an actionable offense.
Gang, one last piece of advice; cut out the PDA. The sex on your show is gross. We would never actually allow a camera crew to cross that line. So please, all of you, keep the corduroys on, the cameras out of the bedroom, and think of England.
I have been rowing since I was a sophomore in high school. It completely changed me. I became more organized, confident and the team dynamic was amazing. I ended up going to University with a scholarship for it. However once I got to school, an off and on injury that had gone undiagnosed in high school started to take a turn for the worse. My trainers and doctors pulled me from competition and eventually practice as well.
After a series of uncomfortable tests and exhaustive doctors visits it was discovered I had a rare condition known as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. In short TOS is a condition where your arteries, nerves and veins in your thoracic outlet (a small space in between your clavicle and first rib) are being compressed by either an extra cervical rib or your first rib and sometimes your muscles. This causes severe cramping, aching, tingling and numbness in the arm of the side you have the problem.
In my case I had it on both. The right side however was significantly worse. The doctors decided my best chance at having a normal life and possibly rowing again was to have surgery to remove my right first rib. ….My first rib was to be removed?!?! This idea completely shocked me and made me extremely nervous. But I knew I couldn’t keep living this way. So I went home and had the surgery. When I woke up the doctors told me the situation was a lot more serious than they had anticipated. My brachial plexus (the nerves in your thoracic outlet) had been wrapped around my first rib, making it extremely difficult for the doctors to remove my rib with out damaging anything.
I was very lucky because my doctors at the Brigham were brilliant and nothing was permanently damaged. However I did experience temporary nerve damage and had to re-learn how to use my right arm. This was very traumatic for me and I was terrified I wouldn’t gain full function of my hand back. It is six months later and while I still face some residual side effects, my right arm is more normal than it has been in years.
After my surgery I started to row again. My right arm was responding really well and everything looked very promising. But then not 3 months back into rowing I started to experience more severe symptoms of TOS on my left side. I talked with my doctors and coaches and it was agreed that since we knew how bad this would get based on the experience I had with my right side, it just made sense to go ahead and remove the left first rib. This was just 4 weeks ago.
The surgery was a huge success. It went twenty times better than the first surgery. Just four days after surgery I had full range of motion in my left arm. Its only been four weeks since the surgery but I am really anxious to get back to my sport. My doctors, coaches and trainers all seem really optimistic about my return to rowing and I am hoping that with all this support it goes accordingly.
I am kind of nervous though. It’s been almost two years since I’ve actually done serious rowing. It takes a lot of time and training to be that good. I was once very good and I know that putting in the time will get me there, I just don’t know how ready I am to put in the time and see very little results for an extended amount of time. The idea of starting from scratch scares me a little bit. I am also scared to go back to rowing and still struggle with my TOS. I know my right side will always plague me and I am going to have to be diligent about my physical therapy for the rest of my life. I am just hoping it will be enough so that I can be an even better athlete that I was before.
I have known my baby sister since I was two years old. This year she is graduating high school and next year, she will be at University. Actually, she will be at University with me! I am so excited because the past year and half we’ve missed each other immensely, as I am out here in the mid west, and she is back home on the east coast. What is going to make this even more exciting is, she is one of the newest editions to the Crew team. We are going to be teammates again! (we rowed together when I was in high school.) My baby sister and I weren’t always best friends. We went through a phase around middle school where we hated each other. Emphasis on the word hate. But she started rowing and it brought us together again. The next two years I spend at University are going to be better than my first two because I get to share them with my sister.
i saw the box they put his dust into. plain. plastic. like tupperware for left overs. i guess it was fitting, as it stored what, was left over… when i was asked if i wanted to save some of the dust a small laugh escaped my lips. what would i do with them? keep them in my pocket? sit them at the table while i ate? i watched as they took a spoon and shoveled him into sandwich bags, dividing his body. it was selfish i thought. but i just waited to return what was left, to the dirt.
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
I attend a big State University. It is a good school and respected BUT it is not a school people are impressed by. I come from a place where the goal is to impress, especially when it comes to education. I am proud to be a New Englander, but the stigma surrounding schools seems foolish to me and I have to say going west was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I needed to get away from home and gain my independence. I needed to experience something new and different; and Boy! is it different here.
At home the roads are brimming with irate drivers, swearing and honking their horns; here, drivers are docile and are familiar with the term driving etiquette. When I walk the streets of Boston if I were to look up and smile at the stranger walking past me, in return I would get look that clearly meant F*** off. However while on the streets around campus, if I smile to the stranger walking past I almost always get a smile in return and sometimes even a “hello”. It is amazing what a difference a few thousand miles will make.
Its funny though, at first when I arrived to University I was so taken aback by peoples friendly dispositions and I did not know what to do. I was so used to the mutual hostility emitting from every New England being that I crossed paths with, that the carefree and pleasant people inhabiting the University and it’s surrounding town threw me off guard. I must say, I think it is probably good for me to experience some humanity before I return permanently to the East Coast.
However there are times even now when the jovial mid-western people are still too much and I feel a strong urge to go back to Boston for a quick dose of neighborly disdain. After all…I am a true east coast girl at heart.
I was the stove you left on, then forgot about. My temperament spreads like fire across my skin; and my resentment wraps itself around your ankles like a child who won’t let go. But you kicked me until I had no choice but to relinquish my fervent grip. My thoughts are the only thing guiding me as I make my way down this uncertain road. I try and see where the route ends, but I peer too far forward and spill my limbs across wet cement. My mind lays blank. Like a crisp new piece of paper. Unmoving and unthinking. And I wait for the cool, heavy, sludge to smother the heat pumping through my body.
She wonders how this fire grew so fast, as i snuff the trembling match between her fingers. Still, she stands there, her voice low asking me “how?” The taste of iron slowly coats my tongue as i force myself not to answer. I want to say, “you knew gasoline had spilled here” I want to ask her why she lit the match. But I know her answer will launch itself at me in attack. So instead I swallow my thoughts because they do not matter.