Hello, there. I'm Matisse. I like math and philosophy and CTY and asparagus. Sometimes I get existential after reading short stories. Sometimes problem-solving fills me with joy. I'd love to talk to you if you like math or philosophy or CTY. Or asparagus, for that matter.
I was one of the four founding members of The Unpause 14.1. I was also the kid with the "SMILING IS SIN" sign and the handmade Queen of Hearts dress (that is, the dress on which about six hundred cards were handsewn that I wore on Halloween and lent to Nico Vallone for Second Saturday).
I was a potential five year freak, a nevermore, and/or a two year tragedy. Read: I was eligible for five years of CTY and didn't come the first year, so I was a 13 year old squirrel the summer before my freshman year. I loved CTY so much that I double-sessioned the next year, in full knowledge that I was a nevermore because I wanted to go to math camp. It's sort of silly, actually--I didn't want to outgrow CTY. I obsessed over CTY all through my freshman year; I didn't want it to ever get old. That's essentially why I left: so that I can call myself ā forevermore. It was a good decision, in the end; LAN.14.1 was figuratively a perfect session, and there's no need to try to top it.
Addendum: it's a few weeks before 16.1, and I want to record that I chose right. I'm sitting here now about to return to math camp; I'll be heading to college in the autumn. While I'm technically still eligible for another year of CTY, I don't want it. I'm able to say that with love and no trace of bitterness in my heart precisely because I was a nevermore. Sometimes, you have just got to move on. I'm still emotionally invested in CTY; I talk to CTYers, will send a care package, and might even visit Lancaster this summer. I miss CTY -- but in a healthy way, and I'm so grateful for it. So, to potential five year freaks and those who have made odd choices with their educations: it's okay to leave if you need to leave. Feel free to reach out to me if you're ever worried. <3
Addendum pt. 2, from May 2018--I really have nothing more to say, except that I can't quite believe that I'm back on this page almost four years after my last session of CTY. The actual summers have mostly faded in importance, now, but there are bits and pieces that stay. There always are: little things stick. Sometimes they come from classes--once an effective altruist was trying to evangelize me, and I finished his recitation of Peter Singer's Drowning Child Argument for him, straight out of Logic B in 2013. But often it's something else. Memories about conversations from 14.1 on potatoes or presidents or planets will sometimes just bubble up to the surface of my consciousness, and I smile softly, almost in spite of myself. Whenever I see an 8 spade card, I repeat the Unpause Clause, just quietly: there are some associations you can't shake. I still call a boy I met at LAN 2013 twice a year--we're perhaps friendlier now than we were at actual CTY. One of my closest friends is a girl I met first at LAN 13.2; our friendship has been five years of living states and states apart, and it's one of the most meaningful I have. I still miss a friend from LAN 14.1 with my whole heart and hope dearly that we'll meet again some day.
It's nice to be at college. I have friends, close friends, friends I /talk/ with. People come to me to have conversations--something that high-school Matisse would have had a difficult time imagining. I don't need memories from CTY to remind me that that kind of sunny happiness is possible; my current life situation is even better than CTY was, albeit with somewhat more stress. I do, however, get to hold onto those memories, to keep little-Matisse in mind, to see and hold her in my heart. CTY was important to me as a fourteen year old, but it is dear to me now.
Facebook: you can find me pretty easily, as there aren't an awful lot of CTY-going Matisses running about. Feel free to message me there; I do check message requests.
Email: [from the moon, knowledge -- but not in english][last two digits of my high school graduation year + 1][location signal][7th-pigeon][the end of the phrase "the bomb ___ ___"]
Do come talk to me if you're interested in CTY history or tradition, interesting mathematics, or philosophy -- or if you'd like to tell anecdotes or groan-worthy puns.
Come find me at Splash! I go to MIT now (oh my!) so I'll be there.
MATISSE! Oh wow, I miss you so much. You're such a wonderful person and such an awesome CTYer and I really wish I could've been at First Session and Second Session to see the Unpause/Watermelon/fun stuff unfold. Your smile is gorgeous and so is your personality. <3 ~ Sharon
HI MATISSE! I hope you read this. My name is Roshni from Lancaster 14.1. I loved your "Queen of Hearts" dress and it looked fantastic on Nico as well. I didn't really understand the whole Unpasue cult thing, but it was cool. I remember you being so nice and I miss you! ~Roshni
hi matisse. <3 -Ariel