I just realised something. I've had really good luck of late. Firstly, I entered the Voice of Democracy essay competition with something I wrote at 11 PM the day before it was due, and which I recorded during lunch at school the next day. I certainly wasn't happy with it, and did not think I was going to win first place, but when I handed it in, I found out that I was the only person who entered the competition at my school. So, I won $250 by default. And the program sponsor as well as the local VFW headperson said that even if 20 kids had entered, I probably still would have gotten first place. Also, there were only 4 schools in the region with entrants, so I have at least a 25% chance of going onto the state competition. And the national winner last year was from New Hampshire. That would be some loverly scholarship money. But considering the quality of my essay, I highly doubt I'll get that far. But still. $250 was an utterly sweet surprise. Talk about lucky. Secondly, I took my SATs in November as I'm applying for an early entrance program at USC (I'm a Junior). I was horribly stressed as I felt I performed awfully on the PSATs in October and my practice test scores were less than what I was aiming for, significantly so in Math (with my final practice test, I got 790 on Verbal and 580 on Math... ), so I was worried that I wouldn't meet the mininum requirements of a 1400 for the early entrance program, and I certainly didn't think that I'd reach the average score of accepted students (1473). However...I surpassed it with a score of 1490. 700 on Math, 790 on Verbal...could have done better, granted, but an extremely pleasant surprise nonetheless. Thirdly, I was very worried about the All-State Music Festival this year. Last year I hardly practiced at all, and completely bombed my audition, garnering a score that would have been utterly pathetic if not for the points I salvaged by having good tone and air support, mainly. This year I practiced a bit more, but still not to the degree I should have. In fact, I felt I played worse in my audition than in any of my practice sessions. I butchered the e minor scale beyond belief. I walked out of my audition assuring myself that I hadn't made it. Then came the greatest surprise of all - not only had I made it into All-State, but my score was an 85.5...even higher than the other person who auditioned from my school, who had practiced far more often than I had. We both made it into All-State, but I definitely had a great hand of luck on my side. Although...in my experience, there's no such thing as luck. The real question is: what's next? I won't get my PSAT scores until late December, but I'm certainly not optimistic about my chances of making the National Merit scholarship thingy. In fact, I'm very pessimistic about my chances of getting into USC next year. I haven't even completed my application yet...partly due to my own proscratination and perpetual fatigue, and partly due to the ineptness of my school's guidance department. However...I've made it this far in this game, so let's hope my luck doesn't run out before the last week.