Within and Without: March, April, & a Sprinkle of May


I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life. 
- f. scott fitzgerald, the great gatsby
I have been meaning to post a recap of my March and April for the longest time now. I wrote "draft post" in my agenda for days, until migrating tasks over slowly became disappearing under the stacks of exams and study guides. It's nearly the end of May. While I look towards the summer, I still wanted to upload my bimonthly (well, now almost trimonthly) recap, even if belated, to review and reflect, and share some updates about what I've been doing during my latest online hiatus.

Lately, I have rekindled my love of Fitzgerald's quotes; somehow, I can find a way to relate his words to my actions. "Within and without" describes my past three months. I have endured within club activities, back-to-back exams, triumphs and tribulations, outside challenges, and wondering what is to come next; I have endured without a break.

I am so excited for this summer to pursue my own passion projects: this blog, writing, reading, playing piano, making videos, taking pictures, and making collages. I want to create my own fun and allow the warm weather, rest, and projects to refresh me before next school year-- my senior year of high school.

what i read

Unfortunately, unless you count Barron's exam prep books, class textbooks, and SAT practice tests, I only read two books in the time elapsed since my last recap (pitiful, I know). I'm now 27 books behind schedule. Summer, bring it on. A book a day, here I come.

  • Everless: I expected to enjoy this book more than I did. The love triangle detracted from the plot, and the narrator frustrated me at times.
  • The Case for Jamie: Still not sure how I felt about the ending, but I am glad that I finished the series. The first book, A Study in Charlotte, remains my favorite. 

noteworthy on clairefy

me, elsewhere

  • I had the opportunity to speak at my school's walkout recognizing the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and attend my local March for Our Lives. I was amazed to see so many of my peers advocate for what they believe in. 
  • Reviewing my experience on musical production team feels like so long ago, since show week fell in early March. Tech Day went well: our phone calls secured eighty pizzas for cast and crew members. Late nights, phone calls, and dedicated volunteers, student and adult, ensured that the community senior show, along with our regular shows and Saturday night dinner theater also went smoothly. This year's production was not without its bumps, but contributing to something so big was an experience I will remember. 
  • My best friend and I competed at state debate for public forum! We had a lot of fun and it's definitely something I want to try again next year.
  • I endured track season. I wasn't happy with my performance this year, but I finished. I hope my senior cross country season (!!) will be better.
  • In biology, two of my classmates and I have raised flies for almost two months now. It sounds crazy, but the aim of the project is to predict the traits of the grandchildren of three crosses of fruit flies. We typically check on our flies multiple times a day, and have even brought them home over some weekends to release some at 2 AM (so that we can cross the ones that emerge during school hours). 
  • I went to prom, and it was more fun than I expected.
  • In chorus, I am singing in a trio, performing "Tears in Heaven" for an evaluation, and in two other small groups, performing pieces for a concert. I am especially excited for the latter because we are performing songs my friends composed themselves.
  • I've started playing piano again lately, in between studying breaks. I missed it a lot. I've been replaying a lot of old classical songs from my middle school recitals. 
  • I took two SATs and three AP exams. I have four finals to go.
  • Oh, and I turned 17. 
so tell me: what are you most looking forward to in the summer? what's the best book you read in march, april or may?


  1. Looks like you had a very successful few months, Claire! Good for you for making a change in your community especially with the March for Our Lives campaign. Also, happy belated birthday!

  2. Happy belated birthday !!

    ahh I wish I had a summer free back, but alas.. xD I hope you enjoy and read as much as you can with NO SLUMP ! xx
    Oooh that's actually so cool, raising fruit flies !! I love biology, or anyway, loved it when I was in school hahah

    Happy you enjoyed your prom !

  3. Omg Claire, you're doing so much!!

    (Also, I forgot how gorgeous your blog is!!)

    Glad to see you participated in March for our Lives, and the experience you had with your musical production! That sounds so fun.

    I've heard iffy things about Everless so I stayed away from it. Omg, I really enjoyed A Study in Charlotte but it sounds like the series gets progressively worse? Rip.

    - Aila @ One Way Or An Author

  4. This is such a late comment, but it sounds like you've been busy! Some tips on senior year: it is much easier than junior year other than senioritis (which is definitely real), colleges don't care as much about SAT scores as they do grades and extracurriculars, and make sure you get all of the college application stuff done as early as possible.