Posted by Nikki Tabibian
Eat, Pray, Stress.
The past few months have driven me mashooganah and left me with this golden motto, for with each AP, SAT and in class essay I’ve fallen victim to, the cycle of: EAT for STRESS, PRAY for STESS to stop, and STRESS for everything…
The trouble began with the completion of my first SAT II, as I signed up for the exam at UNDISCLOSED High School in hopes of completing my final standardized test and forever freeing myself from the oppressive yolk of the Collegeboard like the Israelites flee from Egypt.
The night before the exam I treated myself to a private YouTube session of meditative Yoga in my living room, and seeing as my Yoga was a little rusty (the last memory I had of, “physical activity” was a reminiscence of Sophomore year) most of my downward dogs turned into mourning turtles.
Before retiring to my chamber, I had the brilliant idea of reenacting a recent brain study I had read about by listening to the French Rosetta Stone in my sleep. If anything, hearing the recording could only better my French subject test score, I thought. Oh how young and naïve I was…
And then, just as naturally as my circadian rhythm, I fell into the cycle of stress.
I EAT: A cookie, a raison, some matzah ball soup, a cake (an entire cake), some Boba, a salad, a cookie, a raison ,a cake, a donut…
I PRAYED: to Adonai, Jesus, Moses, Muhammad (my former SAT tutor who moved to Canada), Allah, Allie, the almighty Buddah and, most importantly, the lost soul of Einstein for the swift success of my future exam.
And I STRESSED…
The day of the exam, I entered the classroom equipped with my battle gear and ready to conquer that concours. I strategically planted myself near the front of the classroom to ensue immediate access to the test.
As the proctor, who sounded like a allergy ridded Sophia Vergara, began reading the instructions, an explosive cry came from my left.
And before I could relocate, the test had begun. Sneezy kept the allergy grenades coming until about mid exam when I was faced with a new obstacle.
As I bent forward in to answer question 34 on the scantron, an illustrious odor came from the student on my right, followed by a series of high sonatas, only to be harmonize by the lethargic tapping my Seniõr smelly’s pencil.
By the end of the test one student had fallen into a fit of tears, one student had passed our, and one (my infamous neighbor) had stumbled to the bathroom.
And me? Well my readers, I left the war zone with a smile. I laughed at all those cakes I ate, all those prayers I had, and all the stress and anticipation Seniõr smelly and I underwent to perfect this day.
Because nothing is perfect and all that has passed has passed. The only power I have now is to bid farewell to the past time, and welcome the coming days with a new cycle of laughter, laughter and laughter.
So with that I’d lke to say, Le’chaim to eating, praying and stressing, Le’chaim to laughter, have you laughed today?
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November 16, 2012 | 4:59 pm
Posted by Nikki Tabibian
Mother dearest’s best friends second cousins father in laws step daughters ex-boyfriend’s father who almost graduated from Harvard in the 60’s once mentioned, “If you wish for your child to get accepted to Harvard, thy shall play an unusual instrument”.
And the next day when I got home, mother dearest introduced me to the banjo. And not just any Banjo, but an ancient mystical Banjo from the time of the Great Cyrus (God Bless His soul)and derived from ancient Zoroastrian traditions.
I looked at it the instrument astonished by its mystical shape and disposition. It looked like a large wooden spoon with strings. Three strings. I wondered how such an instrument could make music. And the mystical instrument was called the Banjo Setar (pronunciation, Seeeee-h tarrrr), not to be mistaken with its Indian cousin, the Banjo- Sitar.
The Banjoe was accompanied by a ancient Banjo Master. During our first encounter, he introduced himself, “Hello, I am Mister Ostad-e-Mohem , great great grandson of the esteemed Ostad-e-Saba, the greatest Banjo Setar player that the world has ever known.”
The man resembled the great Dumbeldore himself, except with a Persian accent.
At this point in the lesson, Mister Ostad began strumming the Banjoe-Setar and producing a noise from himself that sounded like a wailing donkey. Apparently he was singing. Suddenly, all the glass windows in my house started shaking. At the end of his number Mister Ostad said,” If you work hard enough and practice six hours daily, one day you can play Banjo-Setar like me and maybe even sing like me!” I told him I was looking forward to it.
During the second lesson, I finally mustered up the courage to ask Mister Ostad why the Banjo-Setar only had three strings. Mister Ostad was so utterly offended of my ignorance of the Banjo-Setar that he asked that I beg forgiveness from the departed spirits of the Banjo-Setar creators. After I finished, it took him the entire remainder of the lesson to explain the importance of the Banjo-Setars THREE strings; not four, not two, but three.
For the next couple of weeks, directly after swim practice, I had a two hour session with Mister Ostad and after that, school work. As my graders slowly descended, so did my Banjo-Setar skills. And at the end of the third week of Banjo training, Ostad announced that his great grandfather ,Ostad-e-Saba world renounced Banjo-Setar playing genius, traveled all the way from a cemetery in Iran into his dreams last night and told him that my soul was not pure enough to unlock the wonders of the Banjo-Setar. And he quit.
But mother dearest didn’t quit on Harvard, for the next day Mister Ostad was back at our house, and my brother Noble was holding the Banjo-Setar. And with that I’d like to say, Le’chaim to Banjo’s, Santa Monica College and piano lessons; Le’chaim to laughter, have you laughed today?