Shirley Strickland, Sun Care and Sleepovers

16th February 2004

I am feeling HEAPS better today. Yesterday was so shit. For some reason, when I get my period, it really hurts. Sometimes, I can’t even move. I was pretty lucky to last so long during my shift without folding over in pain. But it wasn’t easy. I’ve already stashed an emergency pack of pads in my work bag just in case it ever happens again.

As for today? Well, it was pretty bad.

Dad was watching the morning news, and they announced that Shirley Strickland had passed away. She actually died on the 11th, but it must’ve not been released to the media until today. I know that I never knew her, but I remember seeing her on the TV when we were watching the 2000 Sydney Olympics and dad telling me that she won gold in the 80m Hurdles a long time ago. I think I paid attention to that random fact because of when I used to do Little Athletics. Hurdles was one of my favourite events. I used to clean up the competition. Lol. So yeah, I was little upset when I got to school, knowing that she had died.

The rest of my morning didn’t get any better. You know that Physics test that I had last week? Yeah, well… I failed.

I got the lowest in the WHOLE class.

Now, I understand why people hate Mondays.

Mr Houghton held me back after class and told me that I needed to do more study, and gave me some extra homework to do. Great. MORE homework. Like, I was, and I still am, a bit sad that I failed, but like, it’s only worth 5% of my grade and it was a surprise test. I told my friends about it at recess and they all agreed it was totally unfair.

I wanted to talk to Taj about it, but… he wasn’t at school today. He sent me a text msg just as recess was over. He said that his hay fever was playing up and he needs to ‘destuff’ himself… whatever that means. I don’t get hay fever, so like, I don’t really understand how people get so affected by it. I was a little annoyed because I thought it was a cop out, but at the same time, I was a little worried about him.

I had Chemistry after recess…

I hate it.

Like, I’m finding it even harder than Physics. I know it’s only the 3rd week of school, but I’m just not getting the concepts. We have a test this Thursday. We have to do an experiment and do a write up, along with some theory questions. So, I pretty much have to study my ass off, otherwise I’m going to fail.

It’s the same with English Literature. Like, we have our first assessment on Friday, and I’m not sure how well I’m going to go. Like, I keep getting the contexts and conventions mixed up. And I’ve barely been able to contribute in class either. It doesn’t help that all the smart people are in my class too. I was glad when lunch came around; I needed to get out of there and see my friends.

Amy was happily telling us that her birthday is coming up next week, so we have to keep next Saturday free. She wants to go out on her dad’s boat and have some fun on the Swan river. Jenny, Lauren and I were pretty excited about it, but Britt and Mercy weren’t happy at all. Mercy said that she’s afraid of jellyfish and Britt had to remind Amy that she doesn’t know how to swim.


Amy shut them both down pretty quickly; she told them that they can stay on the boat and get a tan. Britt felt a bit better about that idea, but Mercy freaked out and said that she if she goes out in the sun, she will only get darker.

She is hell paranoid about getting darker; she evens puts sunscreen on at school! I know, it’s weird, but it’s true. The girls don’t really get it. But I do. I think it’s similar in most Asian countries though; the darker you are, the poorer you are. It’s a bit sad really. Fair skin is prized over there. Like, if you are lighter, you obviously don’t work outside in the rice fields, or whatever. And like, if you’re fair, people pretty much assume that you are educated because you have a cushy office job or something, or are rich and don’t need to work hard for your money. Maybe Mercy plans to go back to the Philippines one day. I’m not sure. But being sun smart isn’t a bad thing at all. And I kind of wish that Amy saw it that way.

After school, I caught up with Adrian on the school special bus. He said that Sam came over on the weekend and they hung out and went in the pool. From the sounds of it, they had a really good time. Adrian is even thinking about asking Sam to sleepover! He normally doesn’t like those, so it’s a BIG deal that he suddenly wants to have one. He’s not entirely sure how his parents will take it though. They barely know Sam. But he reckons he can talk them into it. I hope he does! I’d really like to meet Sam!

I watched Passions (seriously, who would want to eat a tomato soup cake), and then I went on the net. I wanted to see if Taj was on… but he wasn’t. I texted him to ask if he would be on later, but he said that he wasn’t in the mood to sit in front of a computer with tissues stuffed up his nose.

Eww. I did not need to know that.

So, I played a couple of games on Newgrounds and then I got off once dad came home with Grace. I played with her until dinner was ready (steak and veggies… again) and then I went to my room to do my homework and study for Chem and English Lit.

Sometimes, I wish that I was a super nerd that didn’t have to study for anything.


Amber A.


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