The Baer Necessities

A List For a Thought

Unlike the other three columnists, I have one more year at Los Altos and therefore I cannot write an account of my experiences at the school, since more are bound to happen to me in the next year. So while the seniors prepare to graduate, I make myself busy by writing lists.

Although I may not be a compulsive list-maker (like Kristen Lee), I do enjoy writing them. Lately, I’ve been procrastinating on my homework because list-making has consumed all of my time and energy. Ideas keep popping up in my head hoping to become part of my future plans.

Unfortunately, my memory doesn’t serve me well, so I have to write them down right away. Once one idea is written down, another turns on the light bulb and then another and another until my writing callus gets too sore.

For instance, I went out to dinner with my brother and my dad last week where I found myself bombarded with countless books I wanted to read this summer. Luckily, I had a pen, but because of a lack of paper, I had to grab a drink napkin on which I could scribble away. I don’t even remember what started the storm of ideas (I didn’t write it down), but they wouldn’t stop coming. Soon after a Steinbeck and then a Shakespeare, Orwell and Woolf, I had copied more than 15 books for a mere 10-week reading period. And although my light bulb was almost burnt out, I even ended up thinking of a few for my brother and my dad.

Before you jump to the conclusion that I am a mad psychopath who has nothing better to do than write stupid lists, let me tell you this:

I never accomplish anything on my lists, but I still write them because the incentives they give me keep me going. The ideas on my lists are hopes, hopes that sometimes are unattainable. Even though I may not always be able to achieve my goals, hoping for them is what really matters. I believe that the best way to live is by challenging oneself even in the face of inevitable failure.

In life, things don’t come easy. You have to make an effort in order to make progress and possibly achieve your goals. In my case, this involves making lists.

Now, I’d like to tell you that I know exactly what to do during summer, but I don’t. I’d like to tell you that I know where I’d like to go to college, but I don’t. I’d like to tell you that I know exactly what I want to do with my life, but I don’t. There are too many ideas in my head and too many things I want to do. The only way I know how to organize all of my thoughts is by writing lists. I don’t know how I could manage without them. As far as I know, the day I stop writing lists will be the day I die.