The Institution

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

I didn't realize that being on my own for two weeks would be such a big deal.

Submitted: August 24, 2018

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Submitted: August 08, 2018



The Institution


I fucking hate being bored. I really do. I mean, I hear for like an entire year during school how much kids can’t wait to have three months off during summer. Sure, on paper it sounds good. You’re supposed to do a bunch of work at your school, and then, assuming you pass, you get to do whatever you want for 2190 hours. ( I looked that up so it’s legit.) Here’s the thing with me. I cannot just sit there and do nothing for a long period of time like that. I either have to be sleeping, ( Which in that case my subconscious will decide to fuck me over and give me absolutely everything to think about and no room for rest.) or doing something. I don’t care if it’s playing games, writing, reading, doing chores, hanging with friends or family. Anything, I’ll even watch porn if I have to. Yeah I’ll go that far. So I had to choose some kind of activity that would get me out of my house. Sure, I did do some writing at my house, but I wanted more than that. Something that ideally would fit with my literature love, and make it worth the while and at the same time be fun. First thing I chose was a one week camp at an animal park only about a half hour away from my neighborhood.


I figured, why not? I do indeed love animals. I got two doggos at my home. A terrier and poodle. God I love my terrier Fuzzy. Fuzzy was always the member of us who got his ass hurt running around like a damn maniac in the backyard. He was great. And, Anzy, our poodle. The smallest damn thing I’ve ever seen in my life. No really, take almost any book you could find in a public library and put it up next to her. I guarantee you she’ll be smaller. Anzy is pretty afraid of everything because of her puny size. But we love her anyway. So, with this, I thought that learning about more of these furry creatures wouldn’t be such a bad idea. And perhaps I’d even get a special someone if you know what I mean. I mean, all the kids around me have one, and I don’t. I’m not trying to say I feel left out or anything, course not. That stuff doesn’t matter to me much.  But then again, watching too much anime makes you think of that kind of thing. Regardless, I gave it a shot. I won’t linger on it too long, but it was… eh, okay. My favorite was the tigers. BOY were they cool! We even got this neat little story about two adopted cubs the park took in. That story affected me more than I thought it would. I bought a freaking plush tiger after that day. He’s still on my couch, cute little Mocca. The rest of the animals were fine, not much to say. But then came about three weeks later, when the real part of my summer would begin.


A writing institution! A two week overnight course where I could learn from professionals about good storytelling and improve my craft! It sounded like a dream, the exact thing I had been wanting but couldn’t find before. I remember my mom had first mentioned it to me, I think after the zoo was done with. Or maybe it was before, I dunno. Anyway, I had just left my local library. A failed attempt at getting a part time job, or something. I really don’t even know what it was for, just something my mom wouldn’t shut up about so I did it just to please her. All we did was watch Black Panther and that was it. Wow, what a great job. So I stopped that, and my mom and I were driving home one afternoon.

“ So, Alex. You still need something to do this summer.” She told me.

“ Yes, I know.” I said.
“ Do you have anything else you wanna do?”
“ No, not really.”
“ Alex.”
“ What? I don’t know!”
“ You need something.”
“ I know! You don’t have to tell me that all the time!”
“ Are you back sassing me?”
“ Oh my…”
“ I will take away all your damn games if you keep this up.”
“ Mom, I barely play games anymore.”
“ Don’t lie to me.” So we sit in silence for about five minutes. We pass my old elementary school, turning on to our neighborhood street. “ Do you know what UCLA is?” My mom asks out of nowhere.
“ UC what?” I ask.

“ In Los Angeles. UCLA, an institute where you could learn more about writing.”

“ Los Angeles…” All I could think of was this girl I knew online who lived in LA. “ Uh… no?”

“ It’s an overnight course where you’d learn more about how to write good stories. You’ll also have the chance to experience what life is like without us.” I thought about it. Never before had I been without my parents, unless it was for a short period of time. But two weeks on my own, and I could learn something I’m actually interested in?

“ Hm, I could try that sure.” I decided in the car, as we pulled into our home.


I had no idea how agonizing the preparation process would be. My mom and I had the fun task of getting my stuff into large suitcases. And my dad just chilled out in the living room. Because of course he did.

“ First we do the important stuff.” My mom told me.

“ Which is what?” I asked.

“ Guess Alex.”
“ Writing supplies and entertainment?”
“ No. Clothing, bathroom supplies, and then those things.”

“ Oh.” So we did my clothes and pjs first. Everytime I’d put something into the suitcase, my mother had to make a lovely comment on it.

“ Are you sure you want to wear that one? Not this one? But that’s too long on you! Oh, I’m sure that won’t fit. Take off all your clothes and put that on right now so I can see. Don’t argue with me I’m doing this for you.” I swear she was some kind of clothing critic or something. Eventually we did get all of my stuff in.


Honestly the ride there was just okay. We stopped at some restaurant to eat and stretch our legs. I spent most of the time going in and out of sleep. Sometimes my parents were discussing something peacefully. Other times my mom was screaming at my dad, acting like she’d take control of the wheel and kill us all. It was a long trip. Finally, we made it to UCLA. Now I had no idea of what I was supposed to do. I managed to get into my dorm room. They made us use this key card thing. It was bright yellow, so you know that only an asshole would keep something like that. They always wear the flashy stuff. Anyway, I originally thought I was gonna have one roommate, but then a third came in from out of nowhere. So I had three. I got the bottom bunk, and they got the top. Worst about this setup, was that I couldn’t masturbate. Yes I am serious. Go ahead, I don’t care, I’m fucking serious. Every other night, one of my mates, Anthony, would flash his Iphone light right into my goddamn face.

“ Dude, the hell are you doing?” I’d ask him, my hand over my eyes.

“ Oh nothin’.” Then he’d go back to watching more Overwatch videos. I swear this kid watched more Overwatch than he did actually writing. How are you gonna pay to come all this way and then NOT do what you are here to do? I don’t get people sometimes. The other kid was okay. He had a huge afro and didn’t say much. Neither of them did.


The main reason I came to UCLA was of course the class. We had three periods of it. With breakfast, lunch and dinner in between. Had some free time, which I spent all of in my dorm of course. You might blame it on my introvertedness that I don’t have a girlfriend, but I legit don’t care. I’m not busting my ass doing some shitty work out just to have a chance at getting a relationship that may or may not work. So about the class itself. It was… weird. The teacher himself was fine. He said things that made sense for writing. But there was one specific thing that made me wanna jump off Mount Everest. Mr.Tami had this philosophy that there was ONE good way to write and, any other, was just okay or flat out bad. That was what I got anyway. The other kids liked him, so that’s good for them. Even after the first week was done, I still felt like my money had been wasted. So, I had two options. One, I leave, or two, I switch to a new teacher who was coming that sunday for the next week’s course. I decided on the second, since that could eliminate my only issue with this place. That, and the laundry. God laundry was annoying. It was always crowded with six or more chinese people that didn’t know what keeping your voice down was. Anyway, I switched classes. That was the best decision I’d made all summer.


The big factor to this, was the woman herself. Ms. Cara. She knew what creative writing was all about. No limits, and only acceptance into what the author themselves are trying to make. Not being strict about what to write. That was what I appreciated. I could do the things I wanted, and get help, and not get shut down. Good, I had what I wanted. She also had this very open personality that I liked a lot. I felt like I could approach and talk to her at almost any time and get something out of the response. Out of all the people in the world that don’t give me that, it was nice to see. I’d gotten more out of adults than I had other kids. But anyway the class itself was going fine now. But then, we had an excursion. Basically a fancy word for “ Let’s force all the kids in the whole course to go out to the Santa Monica pier for six hours!” It was more fun than it sounds.


To be honest, there was such a high chance of something going wrong that I was surprised that all the kids got back safely. Trust me when I say some of these people had some screws loose. But they all stayed safe, so that’s good. I went with Anthony and another kid named Tim. We went around and did the usual stuff. Shopped, ate, played on the beach. I realized too late that I’d forgotten my backpack, and I was forced to buy a new one so I didn’t have to carry around my new bought figurines. I also realized too late that the backpack I’d paid for was sixty fucking dollars. I knew I wouldn’t hear the end of it from my dad. Who actually let me off fairly easily, with only a warning. God that was embarrassing. I didn’t have to buy it, all I had to do was not forget my damn backpack. But of course not. Alex Jr. ( My subconscious) told me it was okay not to bring a backpack, that I wouldn’t want to buy anything anyway. As usual it was wrong.


My writing class also went to an art museum, that was fun. Well it was kinda boring actually. I stuck with this random group of middle schoolers that were there. They were alright, I mean I’d seen much worse. The place itself really just had a bunch of odd looking things that some of it I felt like shouldn’t have been art. Like how does a green chair looking through a small hole count as art. I feel like people’s expectations of modern art isn’t where it should be. But who am I to judge.


Overall, UCLA, was a unique experience. I mean it was my first time off on my own. I hated it and then I really enjoyed it. Didn’t expect that to happen. Oh well, perhaps my first teacher could be a lesson in dealing with people you don’t like. I’m sure I’ll have to use that some day.

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