Saturday, June 17, 2017

Test Anxiety & Mental Exhaustion - Quartz Gazette April & May 2017

Quartz Gazette April and May 2017

Remember when I said I'd post recaps regularly... haha yeah, that was a good joke.... I didn't mean to forget about these gazette posts, it's just, I've had a lot on my plate the last few months. May was the last month of 9th grade for me, which meant lots and lots of finals to worry about, and of course, my first AP test (just thinking about it makes my stomach churn).

I kinda had a nervous breakdown a couple days before the big test day.


I just, it was so much pressure, I'd put so much weight on that one, two-hour test. And on top of all that, the College Board hadn't replied to my accommodation request yet (I'd fractured my right wrist a month or two before) and at that point, I thought I'd have to do the writing portion with my non-dominant hand, and that just freaked me out. I remember trying to do a practice FRQ (Free Response Question) with my left hand, and I just couldn't. My hand was so tired after just one, and there's three of them on the test, I just couldn't do it.

I remember crying for the first time in many years. The anxiety, the pressure, it just all finally got to me.


In the end, crying helped. It just felt so good to release all of that pent up fear and worry and see that my parents understood what I was feeling and wouldn't hold it against me if I didn't do well on the test.

Human Geography was my strongest class last year, and well, I was that kid.


You know that one, the annoying one who's always raising their hand. I genuinely found Human Geography interesting, it intrigued me and I loved how it tied in with what's happening in the world today. The material was easy for me and because of that, everyone, my friends, my peers, my teacher, thought I was going to pass the AP test easily, even when I brought up my worries about my hand (jokingly of course, cause that's how all sensible people deal with their anxieties), many of them brushed it off, said that I had nothing to worry about. I know they meant well, but honestly, that only made things worse.

I'm sorry if that sounded arrogant or stuck up, I just really needed to get that off my chest, and I didn't know how else to address it. Luckily, two days before the test, the College Board responded, and I did end up getting accommodations.

The day of the test felt so surreal, I'd known it was coming since the beginning of the year, but it just felt so improbable, so far off, like it'd never truly arrive.


The days that led up to the test were so dreadfully stressful and nerve-wracking for me, but when the long awaited day finally came, I was eerily calm. Deep inside me there was a tight ball of apprehension, but it was buried under layers and layers of numbness. I still don't know how I did, and honestly I don't even want to think of it. I don't want to build up my expectations, only to fall horribly short, and I don't want to drown in the endless what ifs. I just don't want to think.

I didn't mean for that to be so long... sorry it just all came out.


Thank you so much for sitting through all that, I haven't discussed this with anyone in real life, or really anyone at all, so finally expressing these bottled emotions has helped me let go. Thank you again.

Books Read in January & February

(click on the titles to read the complete reviews)


Read in April and May: Maud, The Roanoke Girls, An Ember in the Ashes, Noteworthy, and Animal Farm

Maud (Preview) // (Preview) I don't quite remember where or when I first stumbled across Anne of Green Gables, though, if I am to guess, I'd say I'd found it tucked between the likes of Huckleberry Finn and Pollyanna, sitting on the classics shelf in my [...]

The Roanoke Girls // This is definitely one of the harder reviews I've written of late, and it's also probably gonna turn out to be one of my shorter one too. I just don't know what to say... It's not that I didn't like the book per say, it's more like it made me [...]

An Ember in the Ashes // I have mixed feelings about An Ember in the Ashes... It was a fun and enjoyable read, but at the same time, I don't feel particularly inclined to read the sequel at the moment. My favorite character was definitely Elias, though Laia [...]

Noteworthy // (Preview) To say I loved Noteworthy is an understatement, it's more accurate to say I'm obsessed with it. Basically, Noteworthy is about a girl named Jordan who disguises herself as a boy so she can join the Sharpshooters [...]

Animal Farm // I've heard a lot about Orwell's work, so when I was offered the chance to read his Animal Farm for English I immediately jumped on the chance. I would've read it through in one sitting, but because we were taking chapter quizzes on [...]

Read in April and May: The Best Kind of Magic, Death and Night, Avatar: The Last Airbender (North and South, #3), and Love and First Sight

The Best Kind of Magic // Magical Realism has been getting lots of love from the YA community recently, and for good reason too. It's the perfect balance, normal life with a dash of mythical. The Best Kind of Magic is without a doubt magical realism, it's set [...]

Death & Night // Chokski's writing continues to be the most luscious and beautiful thing I've ever read (haha, by this point I'm pretty much a broken record...). Death and Night was too short, I wanted to see even more of Death and Night's relationship [...]

Avatar: The Last Airbender (North & South, #3) // *sigh* These comics always make me so nostalgic for the show... I believe this is the final Avatar comic (I pray that it isn't) and it was an okayish conclusion. Honestly, I don't think I could ever really [...]

Love & First Sight // Love and First Sight is about Will Porter, a boy who was born blind, getting the chance to "see". There's nothing particularly game changing about this book's writing, but it offers up a unique storyline I haven't seen in YA before. While I [...]

Shows & Movies Watched in April & May

(click on the titles to read the complete reviews or see the trailers)


Watched in April and May: Kimi no Na wa, Sherlock, Steven Universe, and Yuri on Ice

Kimi no Na Wa or Your Name // I don't know how I'm suppose to do this film justice with this review... (I mean, I just can't...). My thoughts are currently such a churning mess that I'm not sure where to begin, but Kimi no Na wa (which is also known by the English [...]

Sherlock (Season #1-2) // Sherlock's genius combined with Watson's heart makes for one hell of a duo (I may or may not ship them just the tiniest bit). I really enjoyed Season 1, and by it's end, I'd thought I'd found a new favorite show, but while watching A Scandal in Belgravia, the first episode in the second season, I started losing interest. My main issue with the show is how it treats its female characters, and with the first season, I was able to kinda ignore that, but Belgravia pushed said issues to the very front of my mind, and that made it really hard to enjoy the episode. I'm not sure if I plan on continuing, I might if the mood strikes me, but who knows....

Steven Universe (Season #5) // Oh god, these recent episodes have really shook me up, but like in the good way. If you're a Steven Universe fan these episodes are a must see, they're some of the best I've seen from this show so far and they're incredibly heart-wrenching and heartwarming at the same time. I can't say much else without spoiling everyone, so just, go watch it!

Yuri!!! on ICE (Season #1) // Ahaha, I think I might have a problem.... So I'm not sure if any of you've noticed, but I recently redid all the post graphics for the second time (yep, I'm crazy. My hands and computer officially hate me) because I've changed my graphic style again, anyway, guess what I did while remaking like 143 graphics, yep, I re-watched the entirety of Yuri on Ice's first season in one sitting, because, yeah I'm crazy (we've already established this fact). Nothings changed, I still adore this show to pieces, and yes, everyone, and I mean everyone, should watch it.

Watched in April and May: Voltron: Legendary Defender, Haikyuu, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Quan Zhi Gao Shou

Voltron: Legendary Defender (Season #1-2) // *screeches* Sooo I'm not sure if you've heard, butttt somehow a teaser trailer for Season 3 got leaked or something, and oh geeeee (season 3 spoilers)KEITH IS GONNA PILOT THE BLACK LION AND LANCE WILL PILOT RED!!!! *dreams of all the possible bonding moments*. Also, also, the release date was also revealed, we'll be getting the next season on August 4th (which is honestly kinda mean, cause I'll be back in school then...). Oops, totally forgot to talk about the episodes I actually re-watched, oh well...

Haikyuu!! // I haven't mention it here yet, but Haikyuu is one of my favorite shows (just take a look at my Twitter banner). I discovered it while waiting for the next episode of Yuri on Ice and all the characters just stole my heart. Sugawara, the gray haired one, is my personal favorite cause he's such a mom, but I love the rest of my bird children too. A couple months ago I watched all 24 hours worth of Haikyuu's 60 episodes in one week (it was a school week mind you, and yes, my homework was horribly neglected...) a fact that I'm simultaneously proud of and terribly ashamed of. God, I still can't believe I spend 1/7th of that week watching anime....

Avatar: The Last Airbender // I saw this show for the first time last year (I know, late to the party as usual), and I fully agree that Avatar is one of the best, if not the best animated show of the 21st century (too bad the movie is absolute horse sh*t). I haven't gotten too far into my re-watch so far, just a couple episodes into the first season, but I've already cried a couple times. Oh one-year-old nostalgia....

Quan Zhi Gao Shou or The King's Avatar (Season #1) // Quan Zhi Gao Shou's a Chinese anime that has gained a lot of attention recently for having impressive animation, and the animation is really pretty (well, except for the creepy CGI background characters that is *shudders*). This show follows Xiu Ye, a former professional gamer who was forced to retire. The plot's not really that special, and I'm not really a gamer, so I was kinda lost in the beginning, but the show's enjoyable enough to keep me watching. Honestly, I only started King's Avatar because I wanted to polish up my Chinese, and so far, things have been going great on that front. It's so awesome to hear my second language in a TV show again.

Bookstagrams of April & May

(photos link to my instagram: @quartzfeathers)


Bookstagrams from April and May

Words Discovered in April & May

(some fantastically long and whimsically obscure words to know)


  • Insouciant adjective - showing a casual lack of concern; indifferent.
  • Beatific adjective - blissfully happy.
  • Filigree noun - ornamental work of fine (typically gold or silver) wire formed into delicate tracery.
  • Bister noun - a brownish-yellowish pigment made from the soot of burned wood.
  • Irascible adjective - having or showing a tendency to be easily angered.
  • Pontificate verb - express one's opinions in a way considered annoyingly pompous and dogmatic.

Cover Reveals of April & May

(ten new covers that are too pretty for my mere mortal eyes)




Interesting Links from Around the Web

(posts, youtube videos, and other random, stuff I thought was cool)


  • Coco Trailer (Pixar)
    Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin [...]
  • How to Acquire ARCS (Bec)
    It’s a truth universally acknowledged that ARCs are needed to become a Big Blogger. Every successful bookworm sleeps on a pile of the hottest ARCs, sent especially to them from publishers. Little [...]
  • Does YA Hate F/F Romance? (Tasha)
    I guess you could consider this a sort of controversial topic but this has been on my mind for a couple years. So, here’s my question: Does YA hate f/f romance? I personally feel this is the case [...]
  • Star Vs. The Forces Of Evil Season 3 Intro (Disney) Star Vs. returns next month, and I'm so excited, this intro has me so hyped!!! Some idiot leaked it a while back even though Daron Nefcy specifically asked people not to, the entire fandom was pissed at them, and rightfully so.

How were your last two months? Did you have any tests to worry about? Also do you like the new cover feature I added? *wink wink*