31 March 2011

we speak

March has finally come to an end. March is in fact my least favorite of the months because we are all so sick of winter yet it keeps droning on. April brings a new hope. I spent the final day of March at school for 13 hours. I went to school then I stayed after until 6 for Cirque auditions, then I stayed longer to help out with the National Foreign Language Honors Society Induction ceremony. It' a rather big fanfare. We have some really great orchestra students play during it, and everyone gets all dolled up to receive their certificate, badge, and carnation flower (?). Anyways, then we had to help clean up and such, and here I am. By the way, if you open a soda bottle for the first time, you better run away right after you open it because sometimes they spontaneously spurt soda all over the place, including on your pants and your sweater. And then no one helps you clean up. It's wicked fun. I also downloaded a new app, probably a surprise to you, and it's called "Show of Hands". It has a bunch of different polls on different subjects and you answer them and it breaks it down for you. So one of them was "Are you happy?" Naturally I am inclined to click on it. The answers are based on state. Each state has a general vote, based on majority. The whole country voted for happy. Everyone was happy. Broken down more, 80% reported happiness. More specifically, Republicans were happier than Democrats and Independents, males slightly happier than females. People over 40 were happier than the 21-40 age range, who were happier than the youngsters under 21. And yes, those who were richer were more happy. It's the way we often work. The happiest state, with 100% of the votes saying they were happy, is Vermont! Go New England! It's followed by the unprecedented North Dakota at 92% (who knew?) and the lowest rating of 62%, still a majority, is South Dakota. Ironic. I just found that really interesting. Our whole country is very happy. That warms my heart. Which is why we have to give back. We were given happiness and opportunities, so that is why we must give those opportunities to others. That is why I created a campaign through the United States branch of WFP (World Food Programme - part of the UN). It took a couple emails and a few phone calls, but it's finally up and running, ready for your donations! I know all we ever here is "could you please donate some money to this?" or "can you just donate some canned food?" But really, a dollar goes a long way in fighting world hunger. I urge you to visit the campaign by clicking here. It's also set up right here on this blog. Also, since it's the last day of March, I am going to go through the month's posts. But I won't go into detail, I'll just tell you their names if you want to flush out your negative thoughts and come into my world of wisdom: home sweet home ~ the very first family game night ~ you better consult your gelotologist about that ~ #prayforjapan ~ an endless hope ~ conformity and mother teresa ~ the guide(s) to happiness [parts 1 and 2] ~ laugh a little Those are the good ones with really intellectual thoughts. Some of the other ones are just fluff. Let's have a great April!

30 March 2011

hello, how may I help you?

Hello my friends. Yet another anguishing and mentally exhausting day. And thus, my blog will be short. I hope that during spring break I will be able to deliver more exciting things that you actually want to read. I actually just found an article - you know me and articles - and it was called the 10 Happiest Careers in America. People in these jobs said that their work made them happy because it was interesting and engaging to them, and that they had good relationships with their boss and coworkers. But also, they often had control over what they could do, keeping their options open. The 10th career on the list is biotechnology, which I think is really cool. Biotechnicians (?) say that their coworkers are really important to their job. Next is customer service. I was weary of this one, because who really wants to sit there and say, "Hello, Office of Blah Blah Blah, this is Megan, how may I help you?" forty thousand times a day? Nonetheless, the monotonous phone-answerers say that they like to help people and that they have control over their work. The comes education. We never give educators enough credit. They do a lot of work and they get underpaid. It's not a good system. But anyway, they love their jobs, especially since they're teaching young people - perhaps even old people - about a subject they love. They said that they loved that they work with people - especially children. After are clerical workers. You know, the people who are the assistants to the other people in offices? Apparently they love their jobs. Last was "purchasing procurement", whatever that is. Some more: accounting (kill me with a pitchfork), finance (even worse), non-profit social services, healthcare, and law. But to me, I think the best job would be something unconventional, like outside, where you get to travel and help people. And incorporate art. But some days I want to be a scientist, other days a humanitarian worker, and sometimes a circus performer. So really, if you are happy with your job, even if you're a garbage man, it's ok. Do what you like. Like what you do. That's a Life is Good quote.

29 March 2011

the fantasmic ridiculously awesome post

My 90th post! Only 10 days until the Big Kahuna! And unfortunately this milestone doesn't go out with a bang. It's really late actually, and I have been studying extra hard for anatomy because I never took chemistry and half of the unit is chemistry. So I have to learn that (diagrams help a lot) and I couldn't serve my faithful readers who sit with bated breath to hear my words of wisdom. I have no lessons of life for you today. I have no real words of wisdom. All I know is that I want to get a good grade on my anatomy test, and I know that if you work hard, you will do well. And if we want to do well, we have to work hard. So that's precisely what I will do. Also, I would like to publicly announce that I will be going abroad this June to Costa Rica - hooray! - to volunteer at a village school as well as discover the environment. It's going to be more than epic. When I travel abroad, I have a blog called Adventures of a Curious Traveler. I can't blog on both accounts, because that's ridiculous. I can, however, blog my other one and copy/paste it to this blog. It will be the same blogs on both for the days I am there. Don't worry - only 10 days. Those days will be filled with rich, meaningful, and deep thoughts, so brace yourself. It's gonna be good. This post is somewhat paradoxical because I announced my abroad adventure, which is certainly fantasmic, but also it's sarcastic because this post is very vapid. By the way, vapid is my favorite word.

28 March 2011

laugh a little

Howdy my friends! Glad to see you all here reading this fine blog here. I think a common source of unhappiness is stress. Let's face it - we aren't at our best when we're stressed (yay rhymes!). And I think that most people are stressed to certain degrees - some all the time, some not so much. What I saw after swim team made me laugh. Actually, I didn't see it; my mom did. It was on a sign at a church. Here's the first part: If you don't have the bread of life, and the second part: then you're toast. What a cute little paraprosdoikian! I have to say that because I'm really pathetic. But it was just a carefree and fun way to make the world seem fun. It lightened the mood. And what was even funnier was that these two people were making out at the gas station while my mom was getting gas. Fun times . . We all need a little laugh. We all need a reason to smile. We all break down and cry when things get tough. But we have to remember to pull ourselves out of the hole and remember what is good about life. We can't always be stoical and straightforward. If no one was silly or ridiculous sometimes, life would be boring. Have a joke or two and don't forget that there is more to life than finishing all your homework.

27 March 2011

kindergarten smiles

Last night after I wrote that post I read through all of my old Oxford blogs. A lot of them made me laugh and most of them made me smile. I'm so glad I kept such a close record of my adventures because now I won't ever forget a detail. I just downloaded Pandora for iPad today because I had been hearing great things about it the whole time. And it was free, so why not. So I was testing if music would still play when you quit the app, so I went on my CNN app. And I read this article about Japan. But it wasn't about the death toll or the number of people missing. It was about the people of a certain town who were uplifted by some kindergartners. In this town, there was a class of kindergarten students who just graduated, even though the whole country was destroyed by multiple disasters. And the people at the graduation said that when they sang their song about holding the country together, it made them cry. People said that they felt happy seeing their smiles and that they felt better. Could one group of little kids do that if we were in such a calamity? Could we be uplifted by the simplest of things? If ever a thing like that would happen, I hope we could have the same dignity and tranquility that they have. I want to believe we can become one under times of stress.

26 March 2011

raining on prom night

Right now it's raining really hard and the whole city just lit up with lightning even though it's dark. I don't like thunderstorms.
Today my dad's aunt and uncle came to visit us when they came to visit their son who is my second cousin. He lives here now. So they unfortunately came on a gross day because it was raining and what not and usually it's wicked nice.
But we went to the country club and I got this great quesadilla. Except the waiter probably thought I was a freak because my order went like this: "Can I have the grilled chicken quesadilla without caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, chipotle sauce, or scallions? and can you bring the chips and salsa on the side? Thanks!" What a freak I am sometimes.
But it was really good and after that we came home and did nothing for a while. I felt really lame because today is the day of our prom and I was doing nothing except for sitting in my house playing on my iPad.
But then we went out to one of my favorite restaurants and after that one of my favorite stores - Target! I got a brand new electronic sudoku! Eeep! It's so much fun and it only cost $18.29 without tax. Hours of fun only costs $18.29.
The funny thing is that it's raining on prom night because it's just like the song from Grease. And I felt super lame because I wasn't doing anything, but really I did. I went to Targ (that's my new abbreviation for Target - do you think it'll catch on?), I saw my family, and I went out to eat - twice! I think sometimes we expect too much from days like prom. It's just another way to make a fuss over a certain day. Then we end up expecting too much because it's such a big deal. Some of the best days are the laid-back ones. So make every moment count, and don't get too caught up in the details.
It might rain on prom night, but don't let it rain on your parade.

25 March 2011

thank you and come again

We're almost at the big triple digit blog! I've got some fun planned for that one (I really don't.)!
Today was a milestone, a monumental and life-changing day. And this is why: first, we had a math packet that didn't have any numbers on it. It was a packet of simple words and questions like "write an unbiased question for this survey." Was it a dream?
And then this is where the craziness occurs - in AP lang, my teacher read my essay out loud - the whole entire thing - to the class. The whole thing. The whole class. Woah. The pride in that room was ridiculous. I even used fancy words like abysmal and horrendous. And when he read it I was like I wrote this? Woah. It was some epic surrealness.
I really needed that confidence booster and I was pretty happy when he said "Wow, that's some nice anaphora and parallel structure there." And then at the end he said "This girl really knows a lot of things about a lot of topics." I was overflowing with glee.
And then when he said that I wrote it, everyone was like "Oh my God." It was absolutely the most epic moment of this year. Thus far.
It feels good to be appreciated. So make sure you appreciate other people and let them know. Because it can really hit home with us sentimentals.
And I finished off the night with round 2 of Hairspray at my school. It's even better the second time.

24 March 2011

ha ha

Oh, man. My sides still hurt from laughing so much. You see, my mom ordered some pictures from Shutterfly and they just came. And she didn't just order the posey-posey ones where we all looked modelesque - I got a great sampling of how ridiculous I can look all the time.
There were some ones when I looked pretty great, like when I was about to leave for Oxford and I was in the airport looking tan and what not. But then there was the one when I looked sort of fat at the swim team party and my hair was wet so I looked like I was bald - nothing that deviates from the norm. Then there was one where we are in the pumpkin patch and I wanted to be all creative with our Christmas card so I told my parents to take pictures while we were jumping in the air on a log. And I looked really ridiculous in the one where I was in the air and when I was getting ready to jump and the timing was off. Man, I laughed so hard that I couldn't even breathe and then I had to stop because I was going to barf.
Apparently laughing evolved from panting. So really we are just panting for fun, I guess. But laughing is so much fun. Who doesn't enjoy belting out random vocal spasming noises uncontrollably? I know I do.
Those pictures made me laugh so hard. And sometimes when you have a bad day - not that I had a bad day - laughing is really one of the only ways to feel better. What I find ironic is that the witty and intellectual jokes we hear are really the least funny of all - sometimes we laugh at them sarcastically because they are so stupid. Like, [chuckle giggle snort], who tells jokes like that? And the things that are the funniest - at least for me - are the stupid, mindless, pointless videos people put on YouTube ("Friday", hint hint), pictures of myself looking ridiculous, and making up inside jokes with friends. I also forgot quoting stpid shows. That's always a knee-slapper.
Why are they funny?
They just are. And laughing is good for you because it releases happy chemicals to your brain. So live well, love much, and laugh every time you aren't breathing.

23 March 2011


I just witnessed one of the finest things ever.
I really have.
Tonight I went to my school's musical, Hairspray (arguably the best production ever), and it was absolutely completely indescribable. It was about 70 times better than Grease last year, and I thought that was great. But this was even better.
It helps that I am about the biggest fan ever of Hairspray. I have seen the movie about 7 million times and I know almost every line - well, the funny ones. And so this made my day. But this was live and the people singing and dancing were not professionals. They were kids from my classes. And their voices were not autotuned or perfected in a sound booth. It was live.
From beginning to end there was pure talent oozing out of every corner of the stage. If you're eyes happened to wander across the stage, you would see that everything was in perfect condition. Props glided smoothly across the stage during scene changes and the costume changes were ridiculously fast. It was believable, lively, and fun.
There were no technical problems. No one forgot a line. Every verse to every song was belted out so melodiously that I got shivers in my legs. Was this not Broadway?
How much work went into this? Well, just calculate 4 hours after school, Monday through Friday and Staurdays (sometimes Sundays) for two months, and then more 2 weeks until opening night. That is a lot of Hairspray.
When we go to these shows, we often don't realize how much work goes into them. I know because I have been in a few plays (nothing to this level) and I also have friends who were in it tonight, but some other people just came for entertainment. Tehy might not have noticed that everything was perfect or that the lights and music came completely on cue, and that there were two students, whose names we don't know, who sat tirelessly next to the computers and sound boxes to make sure that each second of the production ran smoothly.
We can't forget the hard work and rehearsals that go into these things. We can't forget the hard work of the light and music operators and the choreographers. We can't forget the "techies" who do all the backstage work. In short, we have to give credit where it is due.

22 March 2011

dear math, i have vanquished you

Happy World Water Day! Have you appreciated the water you have? We probably don't because it comes out of the faucets without a problem and we see it when it rains and when we shower. I see it even more because I swim. But imagine having to sit by a small pipe, waiting for a few drops to come out. Water is precious and we can't forget it.
This whole week we're having GHSGT, which is a stupid acronym for Georgia High School Graduation Test. Basically, Georgia got bored, and they thought that we love being tested on stupid things, so they made a test for it. And it's a whole week long. It's not like we also have to take the SATs, SAT subject tests, the ACT (perhaps with writing), EOCTs, AP tests, and other various tests and quizzes for our classes. No big deal.
Yesterday was the English section, and if you could read English and comprehend basic English language conventions, you were good. But today was different.
It was the math section.
Math is my worst friend ever. I'm bad at math. I hate math. Math should be abolished. But nevertheless, it was on the GHSGT, and I had to know it. Unless I wanted to be here for more than 4 years.
I was freaking out. That's a lot of pressure. It's like saying to a mildly-dyslexic person, "you have to write a really good essay right now or you won't pass this grade."
But I was prepared. I wore this necklace that is supposed to reduce stress - and clearly it worked - and my test proctor is a math teacher, so I felt like I was in good hands. That's always a good sign.
And the test wasn't event that hard. Half of the questions were common knowledge/sense and any normal, functioning human could answer them. It was great! No panic attack or anything! I even laughed at some of the questions. But silent, in-my-head laughing, because if I uttered any sounds my test would probably be invalidated and the whole room would be shut down and we would all be tried for cheating.
People always assume of the worst - of others, of themselves, of events. And I always walk into a math test saying "I'll probably fail." And that's not the attitude to have. I mean, if you have a math test and you didn't study or you don't even know what the test is about, I would not count on an A. But that's just me.
Don't doubt yourself all the time. Remember that you are good at a lot of things, and even though you might be intimidated, don't let that show.

21 March 2011

the guide to happiness, part 2

Welcome back to my 2-part special, appropriately titled "the Guide to Happiness". It is basically comprehensive.
I'm going to focus on a great little article I found from ehow.com in the health section. It's a how-to article about becoming happy - instantly. Here is what they had to say.

Your facial happy-tude
The first thing people see is your looks, not what you are thinking. So if you look sad, people will notice. But sometimes, when we are happy, we will even look cold and aloof. Train yourself to portray something more warm and inviting on your face - and people will be willing to talk to you.

Take that down
Every once in a while, when you feel a strong emotion - good or bad - write that down and try to reflect on why you feel that way. If you are sad, think of things you like that can bust your negative feeling. If you are happy, remember it and appreciate the good time.

Laugh it up
This is some of the best advice ever. I absolutely love to laugh all the time and make the most absurd, ridiculous and stupidly-funny jokes ever. Me and my sister have tons of them. And that's why people perceive me as happy a lot of the time. And sometimes I even go overboard and look like a freak in public. But I'd rather die laughing than stoic. Bu that's just me.
I actually talked ot someone today that said laughing is really bad for you because you can get bad wrinkles from it. Then this other kid said, "where'd you see that, Spongebob?" which just further induced laughing. because there's this episode when Squidward told Spongebob that laughing was bad and that you could break your laugh box and never laugh again just so Spongebob would stop laughing.
But really, when I have a bad day, I will take my iPod and watch something funny and I'll just laugh my butt off. Or I'll go on YouTube and watch stupid videos and it always makes things better. Like the Friday Parody. That's gold.
Also, listening to inspirational music is very soothing and happy too. Sometimes listening to music makes everything better, and I don't know why. But I love it.

Here's another thing that goes with the first thing I said: often, you see yourself in one way, and others see you differently. Try asking people what they first thought of you when they met you. It will be interesting to see what they say. In ninth grade one of my friends said she thought I was a preppy kid and that I was a cheerleader. Two things that would never happen.
But it's funny to see what people think.

So here is the end of the two part series. Perhaps a surprise 3rd part will come tomorrow. But you never know. In the meantime, be happy!

20 March 2011

the guide to happiness, part 1

I often write about sources of happiness - what the characteristics of happy people are, why Scandinavia is the Land of Happy, and how you can achieve happiness. But today I'm going to share with you some sources of unhappiness.
Sometimes I have days when I am really not happy, and I wonder why. I have so much, so I wonder why I get down on myself. But here are some of the most common sources of unhappiness:

The green monster (and we're not talking about some sort of eco-propaganda or the Red Sox guy that comes out after the 7th inning stretch).
We're talking about that wonderful emotion you feel when your best friend just bought an Italian villa overlooking the Mediterranean - and you didn't. Jealousy has broken friendships, hearts, and the road to happiness. When we are jealous, we feel bad for ourselves because 1, we don't have whatever the person we are jealous of has, and 2, we feel bad that we are jealous. If you are jealous of a friend, wallow in their success too - even if it is something that you wanted. At least you know someone great got the promotion, job, etc. Because not only will you feel bad if you are jealous, but your friend will too. And if the person you hate most in the world got whatever you wanted, that's rough - but really, that just means that your nemesis has the power to not only steal what you wanted, but make you feel really envious. If you really practice, you can overcome envy and become the bigger person.

It's not my fault!
We're all guilty of this one - I "can't find" my homework even though I really just forgot about it, or I had too much to do and I couldn't turn in my project today. Blaming other people might make you feel better for a little while - but after that, it makes you seem immature and incompetent, and you won't get very far like that. This also goes for failure - don't blame it on someone - instead, own up to your wrongdoing and then remember what you did wrong, so you can make it right.

Wait - it's not perfect yet.
I am the ultimate perfectionist. I will erase "respiratory system" 7 times until it looks pristine. One time I even took out my pencil before I took out my pen so I could practice writing the title for my notes. People even write about it in my yearbook.
But I am always really dpressed because if I made a comic for Julius Caesar and I don't make one for Macbeth the world is over. And if I don't get a 100 on my anatomy test but I planned to, I cry for hours. It's incredibly ridiculous.
But we have to learn to desensitize myself. Perfection does not exist. Let me repeat: perfection does not exist. But a lot of ridiculous individuals like myself are under this strange delusion that perfection is attainable. So we are just sadly walking through life feeling like loser even though we actually do a lot more than what is expected.
Also, we humans tend to think about things too much. Like if someone was holding up all five hand appendages and asked us how many fingers there were, some of us would say 4 becase the thumb is "not technically a finger" and some even argue that the pinky is not a finger either.
The answer is five.
We will overthink 5+2. Does it equal 7? I'm not sure . . This often leads to a ridiculous amount of trivial calculations about nothing, and we are often left stranded, drowning in our own stifling thoughts.

Everything in the world is sad and awful. There is nothing good about humanity.
This is an anti-my blog statement. We are too focused on the bad. Yes, our world needs improvement. But just think of the good and you will forget the bad. Let the good times roll. Just go read givesmehope.com and you will understand that good exists.

I'm really bad at everything and I can't do anything of merit.
Yes you can. Everyone is good at something, even if it's small. Just because you aren't an Olympian doesn't mean you can't play sports well. You don't have to graduate from Harvard to be smart. Recognize the good things you can do and practice them so you can become even better.

My life is completely meaningless. An empty jar.
There isn't going to be a random osbcure man waiting to give you the biggest opportunity for fame and fortune. You need to pilot your own life. Become who you want to be. Take the initiative, as my dad loves to say. He also likes to say "study for the SATs".
If you were born, clearly you were born for a reason. And remember, you can't have it all - looks, athletic ability, artistic ability, musical abilitiy, social ability, and kindness, compassion, faith, optimisim - the list goes on. Find something you are good at. Even if you aren't good at something - find somehting you want to be good at, and practice.
If some random street-goer gives you $50, what are you going to do wth it? You can do nothing (the equivalent of living a meaningless life), you can invest it (practice your skills), or you can spend it (go with your intuition and spontaneously try something new).
The first option is not one of the steps on the road to success.

I'll never be as ___ as him/her.
You might not. But why bother? That sounds a little harsh. But it's true. If you keep comparing yourself to someone else, you won't be spending enough time trying to become yourself. And plus, it would be boring if everyone was a beautiful as the most attractive movie stars, or if everyone was as smart as Galileo, Einstein, Newton, and the others. Be yourself. That is the best cliche I have ever heard.

So here is a little comprehensive guide to unhappiness. Now that we know what causes that, we can find out how to find
h a p p i n e s s.

19 March 2011

the little stone

I would like to start off with not a quote, but a poem:

How happy is the little Stone
That rambles in the Road alone,
And doesn't care about Careers
Amd Exigences never fears --
Whose Coat of elemental Brown
A passing Universe put on,
And independent as the Sun
Associates or glows alone,
Fulfilling absolute Decree
In casual Simplicity --

This, as you may or may not know, is an Emily Dickinson poem. And sometimes, though we may not know it, the simplest days are the best. Sometimes it seems like the jam-packed ones are the best, and on a shallow level they are. But there is deeper meaning in simplicity. And we get a more fulfilling satisfaction with simplicity.
So in the theme of simplicity, I will end this post short. Peace and love to all.

18 March 2011

a happy volta

It's Friday! Friday! Gotta get down on Friday!
(partyin', partyin' [yeah!])

Ok, now that I've had my fun . .
The most craziest thing happened. I had to say 'most craziest' because it is incredibly crazy. It is the middle of March. But it's not cold, oh no. It's 81 degrees! Shorts and t-shirt all the way! Woo!
I decided today was going to be a fabulous day because I was wearing shorts and the weather was great and I had this great bottle of Arizona iced tea. With lemon flavor.
But then math happened. And it was a fiasco. I got to school late, I couldn't ask my math teacher a question, and I don't like math anyways. So I didn't do anything right on the quiz and I was so depressed. I was late because we had stayed up late because my mom had to take my grandpa to the hospital because of this big giant gash he got on his eye and they had to wait forever in line and it was ridiculous. And my brother got sick this morning, which was a great way to start the day.
Then we read a boring article in AP lang, and in anatomy I didn't get a 100 on a quiz I studied hard for. I also forgot the form that I needed for class registration for next year, so I couldn't even graduate to the next grade. Life might as well have been over.
And then I didn't have a fork in my lunchbox to eat my lunch, so I had to go to the cafeteria to get one, which is far away from my classroom where I eat my lunch. But since the lady was a little mean, I had to show her my pass from my teacher that said "Pass to the cafeteria to get a fork." She thought that was pretty comical. I'm going to save it for a scrapbook or something.

By fifth period I knew the day was already over. And usually that is a pretty draining class. But today it wasn't. It was actually a lot of fun. We were working on the conditional in the past and we had to write down French sentences about animals (??). They were hypothetical questions like "if ants were 3m high, how would our lives change?" and "if we used cows for transportation, how would life be different?"
It was pretty funny because some of the questions were really good. And then we started talking about animals and their personalities, and we all went around saying what animal we would be and why. It was really cool.
And before that, during lunch, I went to the art room with my friend and we worked on prints for her printmaking class. I took that class two years ago, but it was so much fun. And we got to hang out the with laid-back art kids. Gnarly.
And then we went to history which is always usually interesting, and my dad even came to school to sign my form for registration. Then the day was beautiful and we had a great dinner and everything was happy. Except my brother is still sick :(
I decided to early that the day was over. But then I relaxed and let things happen, and the day got better. And it was great. Sometimes when one bad thing happens, it ignites a whole cascade of things that normally wouldn't make us feel so down. Like my anatomy quiz. I got a 93 and I almost was reduced to tears in class. And I got the highest grade in my group. Some things seem so bad, but they really aren't.
And not everything is about seriousness of tests and getting things done. That was the focus of today. But once I saw past that, I realized that there are so many other things that determine happiness besides numbers and scores.
By the way - a volta is a change of tone in a literary piece, like a poem. I like poems.

17 March 2011

conformity and mother teresa

Happy Thursday! It's almost Friday (Friday!) [I bet Rebecca Black is excited].
Today was a really great day because we had to write essays in AP lang and mine was killer awesome. Like frame worthy. It was on a topic I love and know all too well . . .
What is better than spending 40 minutes writing about conformity? Nothing! That's what! So it was about this quote on whether or not people conform instead of listening to the facts, like when Galileo presented his ideas that were correct according to science. But society didn't want to believe it. That kind of stuff. So I had some great examples - 4 - and it was so great. A literary, 2 historical, and a current event. If my teacher doesn't love me after this one I'm going to cry. I probably will.

After I did that, we went to anatomy which is just always a great time, and then in French I was complimented for my creative and ostentatious sentence when we presented them. I even got a mini ovation. Talk about a win.
But aside from that, my grandparents, avid readers of this ongoing web novel, came to visit! And we had lasagna for dinner. The world cannot get any better!
But instead of going on about how wonderful my life is right now, I'll share with you this great quote my mom emailed me. I love quotes. They're great. So here goes:
"If you judge people you have no time to love them."
~ Mother Teresa
What a person. What a quote.
Judging people is something we naturally do. Even when we aren't thinking about it. When we walk down the street and see people, our minds are subconsciously making little notes about these people - how they walk, what their hair looks like, what their face says, what they are wearing. And we fit them into categories. This is not necessarily bad, until it inhibits our talking to them because we feel we cannot be friends with them for a certain reason that may or may not be true.
Or, we will see the actions of someone as a weakness. Like if they didn't do their homework or they never seem to show up to school, we will judge them and wonder why. And we never know the circumstances.
This is something I try not to do. It's something that is ingrained in our minds to do, but we never really think about.
So there is your Thursday wisdom for the day. May Mother Teresa's wisdom empower you to be a better version of yourself.

16 March 2011

an ode to big mac

Hello everyone. Today I will dedicate a post to one of my good friends, Big Mac.
He's a tree from my backyard. That sounds like the corniest thing I've ever said, but I will miss that tree.
The Paul Bunyans came to take him away because he was dead and it was hazardous to people walking around back there because if he fell, people could get crushed and die, and if it was someone who wasn't us, that would be a little bit of a liability problem, and law suits would probably follow. So the dying tree had to go.
My mom told me this a year ago, and I don't think I had ever cried harder in my entire life. It was so bad that my eyes were bloodshot and the skin around my eyes was all wrinkled. But I'm over that now.
Today was the actually death of Big Mac. I don't know why we called him that, we just did. My sister made it up. And it's not because we are affiliated with or enjoy McDonalds. At all. Especially me.
Watching those men butcher the tree that brought so many memories and so many happy days was really the most depressing thing ever. It was almost like losing a pet.
We would go outside on that tree when we had a swing on it and we would train on it, make up routines, and stay out there for hours playing on it. Big Mac brought us more joy than we could have ever had by ourselves. And plus it brought us closer to nature, which is great because first, nature's cool, and second, because that's what a Transcendentalist would say.
So the moral here is that things don't stick around for a while. So enjoy them while they are there. Like flowers. And warm weather. And the circus. Go smell those flowers, enjoy that warm weather, and go see that circus.
Au revoir, Big Mac. You will be missed.
By the way, when I was typing "you will be missed", it reminded me of something my math teacher would say when the bell rang: "you will be missed, never dissed, and now you are, dismissed."

15 March 2011

mommy love

Happy Tuesday, my friends. I hope everyone has had a great day and has made it up to their full potential.
Tomorrow is game day, because we are presenting our history projects. Which makes me seem like more of a nerd than I was before. But the thing is, these two guys in my class compete over whose is better, and so now that one of them is on my team, the other is on my friends' team, it's all out war. And I think we've nailed it. And since one or more of them may be reading this, I can't post any of our plans for tomorrow. Until tomorrow. If you care by then.
So this afternoon my kid brother had a recorder concert at his school, and the show choir was performing as well. It was really quite good. Except my brother was hidden and we couldn't see him at all. We had to walk all the way across the cafeteria to see him, and by then it was almost over. But I liked the last song, and they even did some choreography too. Show choir did some good jazz ones, and they did Lean on Me, which was really nice especially in this time of crisis in Japan. Which they had probably rehearsed before this even happened; it worked well with the circumstances.
Anyway, so I was coming home from swim team and my mom had the radio on. It was on the station with Delilah, and she was taking calls from people. Usually they are very nice people who like to tell long stories that are sometimes touching, sometimes boring. One person was on there for about 10 minutes talking about how she puts up a Christmas tree for Christmas and that they light candles and make cookies. Lady, we all do that. Just sayin'.
But tonight, instead of an adult coming on the phone, it was a 16 year old girl. Delilah said, "Hi, Girl, (I forget the girl's name), what can I do for you?"
And the girl said nothing more than, "I just want to brag about my mom."
And Delilah was pleasantly surprised, as was I. Most 16 year olds are angsty, to say the least to their moms. And we don't mean to be. Some people at school say they don't even talk to their moms. And that's really sad.
The girl went on. She just raved about how great her mom was and that they have the greatest relationship and that they talk together, and go shopping and do other fun things.
And at the very end, she said, "my mom is like my best friend."
And not "like" as in "sort of", I mean "like" as in, "we're teenagers who say "like" and "um" all the time.
If that didn't make you well up with tears and want to go hug your mom to death, I don't know what will. But that just made me so happy. Someone cares so much about their mom that they would call up a radio station and "brag" about her. For everyone to hear. Not only does she love her mom; she tells the world.
We could use a little love. And that girl brought it. That made my day. Actually, the day is over, so it made me happy to start tomorrow.
This would have been a GREAT mother's day post. Oh well. Have to think of new ideas for that one.

14 March 2011

an endless hope

Some see a hopeless end, while others see an endless hope.
Author Unknown

The author of this quote was a real genius. It's a very clever quote. And sometimes when I want to be philosophical I start with one. And this is one of the best ones I've seen.
I just recently posted about Japan. But every day, every hour, we have new information. New alarming figures to let our minds try and understand. I read them and they don't seem real. Villages completely gone. Thousands of people found dead. Radiation, threats of another quake, and another tsunami.
When you think about it, could you even imagine if your whole town was gone? Not even a road was left? Or a fence standing? Entire towns and the people who lived there - gone?
It's so baffling that we can't even fathom it. 5 years ago the Louisiana coast was lacerated by Hurricane Katrina, and we are still trying to restore it to what it was before the hurricane.
This is a hundred times worse. How long will it take to recover? Will it?
These are scary questions.
We can see it as a hopeless end. After what I've told you and after what you've read and watched, it seems that way.
but we can't think that way. We cannot think that this is the end. It has destroyed more than we can fathom. But we can't let this be the end.
We must see this as an endless hope.
I was reading another article about how the quake shifted the earth. Our days are now 1.6 microseconds shorter, Japan is now 13 feet closer to the United States, and it is now 2 feet lower than before. Meteorological-ly speaking, that is incredible (not really in a good way). It's hard to think that something like that can be that powerful. It was probably even visible from outer space.
But then I went to the comments. Most of the time when people leave comments on articles, they are critical, cutting, and mean, even when it can be about a disaster like this. They will blame global warming and politicians and even the victims.
But this time was different.
The only comments I saw were kind and caring and thoughtful. These are not quoted, just so I don't plagiarize.
One said, if you can't donate money, pray. If you don't pray, then just remember the Japanese.
Another: we will be at your side during this hardship.
And another: Jamaica is here to support our Japanese "family".
One said: Let God "richly bless" all of you.
There are thousands more comments just like this, and these are not even the most heartfelt.
Some of the people commenting were people from Japan who could access computers. They were thanking everyone for their kind words about their people and their country.
The people of the world are taking this as an opportunity not to mourn, but to lift the spirits of those who need it most. Not only that, but thousands of people are donating money and goods to help the cause.
On the side of the page, I have put up a link which will send you to the American Red Cross website so you can find out more information and find out ways to help.
Let's turn this hopeless end into an endless hope.


13 March 2011

exercising my green thumb

Another wonderful weather day today in the south! And right now is the perfect time to plant flowers and work on landscaping. So that's exactly what we did.
Except for the latter. Our yard is sort of ruined because of some pipe problems, and I'm no landscaper, but it's nothing short of a mess. So we are trying to make it look nice, so last night we went to one of my favorite stores - Home Depot. I especially like the garden section and the paint section. But we went shopping for plants and I got inspired to start growing a garden. Which works perfectly well in a yard that is full of dead grass.
I picked out some summer squash seeds and I am hoping to grow them when our yard is fixed. Expect me to blog about squash in approximately 55 days.
But anyway, this morning we worked on planting the nice little plants we bought in our flower pots. We combined different plants and they actually looked a lot better than I thought. And it was a lot of fun, too, which makes me even more excited to start growing squash. I got so inspired that I even went on my iBooks app and bought some books about gardening.
And I looked up an article about the benefits of gardening, other than being able to eat and/or sell the food you grow.
It says that gardening helps people stay stronger in the core, have a greater range of motion, and build strong back muscles.
Researchers also say that gardening can help people recover faster. In a study, patients who had a view of a grassy area with trees recovered faster and felt better than those who stared at a brick wall.
Gardening can also make people feel a sense of accomplishment when they see something grow and thrive over a long period of time. And people tend to feel closer to nature when they garden, which, as we know from our Transcendentalist friend Walt Whitman, is a very good thing.
Gardeners also form tight bonds with one another as they plant together, share equipment and seeds, and support each other. It's a little nature circle of love.
People also say kids can benefit from gardening too. It can give them a sense of accomplishment as well as patience as they wait for their green giant to grow.
Whatever way you think of it, gardening is great. And I can't wait to go and start mine. I think that I might want to be a farmer some day in the afternoon of my life.
Until then, I'll be growing flowers on my flower garden app. Yes, there's an app for that.

12 March 2011

on the prairie

After a week of cold, we got back the wonderful warm weather from before. It was great. Shorts and tank top. That's the life.

And it's really great because it's a real nice area where I live and there are lots of horses, big fields, and trees. It's a wonderful picture. So I went on a bike ride today with my dad. It was the best bike ride I have ever been on. It wasn't too hot and it wasn't very busy on the roads. And I brought my camera so I could take pictures of this really nice place we went to.

It was so serene and beautiful that I wished it lived there. And technically, I did. Even though it wasn't my house, it was a few hundred feet from my house. And that's pretty great to have something that nice so close to your house.
When you think about it, Japan is so destructed and demolished by the disasters from Friday and I have something so pristine right here that I often don't even notice.
Remember to include Japan in your prayers.
You see, this post was supposed to be amazing because I had some great pictures to show you but the website won't let me upload them, which ruins everything.

11 March 2011


I would like to dedicate my 72nd blog post to the entire country of Japan and the surrounding areas. To those who have lost their lives already. To those who are saved but have lost everything. To those who live in the agonizing thoughts of not knowing where family members are. To those who are watching their home fall apart in less than a day.
CNN says that this earthquake was an 8.9. In 1960 there was an earthquake in Chile ranking 9.5 on the Richter scale. That was the only earthquake larger than this one in recorded history. Because the quake was so close to the surface - 24.5 km below the earth's crust - it created unfathomable seismic waves that would inevitably destroy anything in its path. And since the earthquake altered the ocean floor, a tsunami was created as gravity tried to level out the current.
And now, as the country tries to rescue the hapless victims, we all sit and wait. We are waiting for more news. Because something about humanity is that we will all band together when the times are tough.
When I got home from school today, I went on my iPad to check my email and my Tweets. When I went on Twitter, it exploded with tweets and retweets about condolences to Japan and prayers sent to the people of Japan. And in the Trending Topics section, instead of something about a Britney Spears single or a Lady Gaga fashion ensemble, I saw a hashtag. It said: #prayforjapan.
And, in case you don't tweet or "do Twitter", here is my crash course on Twitter: retweeting is when you quote something that someone said by just pressing the retweet button. A hashtag is something people put in front of TTs, which are trending topics, or things that people are generally tweeting about. Like during the Oscars, it said #oscars. Get it?
There were more, too, like "Text REDCROSS" and "#tsunami". Even "Hurricane Katrina" was trending.
I saw all the tweets for #prayforjapan, and every second hundreds more were being added. And this is where I got the number to text the Red Cross (text REDCROSS to 90999 and immediately donate $10 to the Red Cross to help Japan). On the CNN app, comments on the articles in Breaking News said, "we pray for you" and "we stand with you" and "you're not alone. May God bless and protect you." On my BrainPop app, with educational videos, they did one on the dangers of tsunamis.
We don't know them. Many of us have never been to Japan. Yet we extend our hands to them and offer our love. And I love that amidst the horrible things we have done and are doing, we stop in a time of complete and utter calamity and pray for our brothers and sisters around the globe.
It's not happy that this happened. What's happy is that so many of us are so compassionate and caring. There's a song called "Where is the Love" by the Black Eyed Peas. And the answer is, right here. Here is the love.
Humanity. Pass it on.

10 March 2011

good days warrant celebrations

Less than 30 posts away from the Big Kahuna (100th post), as my history teacher says about the day of the dreaded AP exam in May. That would be funny if there were 2 Big Kahunas on 1 day. But there won't be.
For some reason, every morning, I only ever hear when my mother wakes me up at 7:20. She does it earlier than that, but I never hear it. Maybe I'm still in REM. Perhaps. Or maybe I do hear her but I have no recollection of it. So then I drift in and out of consciousness until 7:40, which is bad because school starts at 8:30. And I have to eat breakfast and stuff and it take time to drive to school. 15 minutes is the new get-ready-for-school regiment.
But this morning I was really mad. I guess I just didn't want to be at school really late, I had wanted to be there early. But I didn't have enough time because I woke up really late. It seemed like the end of everything. Now that I think about it, it really doesn't matter. I got to school on time, but I was really mad. Sometimes we get really made about stuff for no real good reason, and we yell and cry and act like babies. When I think about it now, it sounds so insignificant. But yeah. I flipped out for nothing. And sometimes I do that. I actually do that a lot.
But today was actually a good day. I decided that I don't like math, which was already established, and that I do like poems. I didn't used to like them, but now I do. Yay for poems! And I decided I am tired of anatomy, but I'm not tired of history. It's complicated.
But in anatomy I got a special moment of fame when my teacher asked us if a pencil in a cup of water was bent. It wasn't. The light was traveling at a high speed when it went into the cup, and it refracted when it changed media. So my teacher commended me on my job well done, and he said no one else said that. I just won myself some more points with my anatomy teacher. Win!
The my history teacher nominated me for a special summer program for special people who want to learn about the government and simulate a government experience as a senator. Double win! Talk about chalking up some points on the self-esteem scale. It made me feel super happy. So I started thinking about going because it's also free, but I'm not sure. It conflicts with the date of the Habitat for Humanity Senegal trip. Me and my dad might potentially, but probably not, go.
Either way, it was a great day. Most people dwell on the bad days of their lives, often prolonging their misery into another day. And the good days often go by too fast. Instead, cherish the good days, and forget about the bad ones.
Time for some random tidbits to conclude:
I think Cherish would make a good name for a girl. I might name my kid Cherish. But the problem is I'm not having kids.
Antidisestablishmentarianism, a 12 syllable word that is very long, means, quoted from dictionary.com, opposition to the withdrawal of state support or recognition from an established church, especially the Anglican Church in 19th-century England.
I bet you'll be saying that every day now.

09 March 2011

you better consult your gelotologist about that

I am utterly tired of everything in my life.
Every morning I wake up and I eat the same thing for breakfast - 2 pieces of toast, lightly margarined, cinnamon-suagr on top. I go upstairs and I put on the same clothes. I brush my teeth with the same brush and I pack my backpack with the same things I always put in there. Then I grab my things and I go to the same classes I go to everyday at the same school I've gone to for 3 years.
Then at school I see the same people I always see, nothing but idle conversation transpires, and I continue the say in a monotonous way, living out my duties to society. Then when the merry day is complete, I march to the same bus and ride the same route all the way back to the house I came from that same morning.
It sounds a little selfish, but I am pretty bored. And on top of boredom, alienation, and stress that comes with the daily lives of us schoolfolk, we are choosing classes for next year, and I am utterly torn between taking AP European History or AP Art History. It's rough because I want to take both of them, and I would love both of them a lot.
I guess my AP lang teacher is right: "everyone is a victim of society."
And plus I have a big group project in history (and you and I know that group projects are almost as bad, if not worse, than math itself). And I'm working with some other Type A control freaks, so it's going to be a catastrophe. Looking forward to it.
I'm not being very efficient in school because I'm bored and tired and everything is just a disaster.
And there are few things that can cure a hopelessness engrained in our hearts. And that's geloto.
You don't know what that is unless you are a gelotologist or you are a freak.
It's laughter.
I think laughing is really great because it is one of the only things that can make people feel happy after being sad. The other one is music. Those two thigns are the best things in the world. And the best part is that laughter doesn't have to make sense. It just is. You just laugh and the world seems at peace.
One time I was upset about failing a quiz. So during fourth period, when we have nothing to do because it's yearbook, we go on the computers and we just tell stories and laugh. We laugh so hard that it hurts, and you know that you're having a good time when that happens.
So find something really hysterically funny and I guaruntee you will feel better. I'm going to go find something funny avant de me coucher. Remember: those are the gelotologist's orders!

08 March 2011

easy there, tiger

Happy Tuesday. Too tired to do exciting punctuation. As this kid from swim team says every Tuesday, "it's Slow Tuesday." I don't know why it's slow Tuesday, but I guess it just is. I was lagging a little at practice today, so I guess I fit the bill. Anyways, since it's sort of a lazy day, I decided to share a little wisdom of mine. Actually it's one of my good friends Ralph Waldo Emerson. What a great philosopher.
My mom signed up for emails from Real Simple, and they always post a nice quote. She forwards me the good ones. And yesterday was a great one. It goes like this: “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
How utterly inspirational. But I think it's a great way to say, "well, even thought you're angry now, look at what you are gaining from it: nothing. You're losing from being angry."
But the point is, you might be feeling really mad, but you're whole day doesn't have to be. And I'm guilty of giving my days sometimes to anger, sadness, and hate.
But if we can commit to not getting fired up (in a bad way) about something a couple times a week, we will be able to control ourselves more. And did you know that you can make the bets decisions when you have a full bladder? It's a new study, so I'm skeptical. But that sounds cool. If you're going to buy a house, just don't go to the bathroom, and you'll be happy with your decision.
Anyways..moving on. So the goal that I will have is to not get really angry about stuff. Being spirited and opinionated is good. But sometimes we get a little bit too riled up about things, and it gets a little rowdy.
But when you're sad, mad, depressed, and nervous, you aren't happy. That's a no-brainer. But if you try to be more tolerant (and I know I will have a hard time with this..there are m-a-n-y things that irk me. A lot.) than we can all enjoy some happiness.
Now that I think of it, today's Mardi Gras. Comme les français disent, Joyeux Mardi Gras!

07 March 2011

confessions of a sleep-deprived AP student

Dear college admissions director,
I know I should have a more impressive application. Sorry for its lacking quality. I know I should have taken 15 APs in high school, not my scant 10. And I know I should have been president of at least 2 clubs, not vice president of 1. And I should have been a member of at least 5 clubs, not 2. I tried to go out for sports too, but I had to drop it to keep up with my school work. I tried to join honors societies, but I didn't have enough time for the volunteer hours. I would do a summer volunteer program abroad, but the cost broke the bank. I wanted to do so much more, but I couldn't. In other words, I tried.
a tired, estranged, and harried applicant.

This is typical of most AP students. As I say, AP isn't a class type - it's a lifestyle. It's a life choice. And it has an influence of everything. Us AP geeks tend to go in over our heads, and we try to be everywhere, leading everything, making progress in the world, being better than everyone else. It can get a little cutthroat, and we're not even in college yet.
Who told us to take 6 APs each semester? Who said you have to be president of 5 clubs? Who said you have to be a star athlete and award winning actress, as well as a musical and artistic prodigy? Who said you have to make every decision, including whether or not to go to school with a flu, based on if it will affect college?
The answer: are you ready for it?
No one.
Well, we are getting some tense vibes from growing-ly competitive colleges, but we don't have to be everything. I mean, who are we trying to impress here? Will colleges take us seriously if we commit to everything but not even to ourselves? Let's get real. Will they really be that strict?
I think not.
I mean, it's our goal to have the left column of our transcripts be neatly branded with "AP", the stamp of success. But that doesn't mean we have to give 1000% all the time.
Technically, we are still kids. Under the law we have no legal rights. Kids shouldn't have to be working as hard as their parents. I'm not discouraging AP, but I think that sometimes we breathe in too much AP and we catch the AP fever. We go out of control and become addicted to taking all APs. Then we forget that inside of us is a person who wants to love, grow, and be happy. And we can't when we stifle our happiness.
Don't overdo it. Live a little. And this applies to other things as well. When you over commit to everything, you have no more to commit to yourself. That's sad.
Remember yourself. Listen to yourself. Listen to your heart. Sometimes us APs need to listen to that instead of our heads. Happiness can come in the form of 5s on an AP test - but is it really worth it when your own happiness and well-being is at stake?
s long as you are confident in who you are, you'll go far.

06 March 2011

pullin' a teddy roosevelt

Oh Sunday night. The midnight frenzy to get things done, when just two days ago we were waving our hands, shooing away responsibility. "I've got time." Now look at what time has done to us. It has come. It has snuck up on us. On me.
And now I'm in for a roller coaster of math test corrections (...), poster projects, bloggage, and finishing reading to page 50 in Their Eyes Were Watching God. Perfect. No math corrections done, poster is almost done, bloggage - in the making, and only on page 13. Going to be a fun night.
But I'm excited because tomorrow is AP night, where they talk about AP classes for next year. And you get to see all of your AP nerd friends and talk about how great AP This sounds and how awful AP That seems. I really don't know why I am this excited about it, but I really am. It's just a rollickin' good time.
And I also have this sense of hope, as I sit here and neglect my school work. I feel like I will finish the book (well, to page 50 at least) and the poster as well. I finished my Google design, which I am mighty proud of. But I can't post a picture until after the contest closes. You know, just in case. People are wacky sometimes. But I feel like since I finished the drawing, I can finish these things. I just have a feeling I can.
The reason I named the post after TR is because he is fresh in my mind (our topic in history was on him, Taft, and Wilson). Our poster project is on Progressive Presidents, and so I did a Taft-Roosevelt combo. It turned out lovely. But anyway, tonight I will just have to pull a Teddy. Because when he saw injustice or he wanted a change, it happened. Just like that. He made so many things happen that it's hard to keep track - laws, acts, organizations, pop culture items. So tonight I will make something happen - my stuff will get done.
Thank you TR, for pulling me through. Or at least motivating me to pull through.

05 March 2011

a healthy dose of thoreau

This can now officially be called a senior blog in that I have now blogged over 65 times! Which, bloggoforically speaking, means I am in retirement. Oh the irony.
I will dedicate this post to one of my fellow Transcendentalists, Henry David Thoreau. Enjoy.
My first post of the year was about a calender that I made and how wonderful the lady at Staples was. So I was looking at my calendar today, and I was reading a Thoreau quote. I have 12 quotes from him in each page. To boost morale and such.
So the quotes were intended to give me something to ponder each month. But I never did. So I will now.
January: "A man is rich in proportion to the things he can afford to let alone."
This quote needed some rereading. I never got it the first time. Or the second. not sure if I even got it. But when reading Walden, one of his main ideas is that you become more enslaved to your things if you acquire more. Like a house, a family, etc. So I am guessing that it means you are a more valuable person if you can learn to live without certain things. Which I think is true. Some of the most compassionate people came from nothing. They are worth more because their character is all they have.
February: "As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude with not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness."
This is a great one. Not to put on a motivational quote app, but good for pondering. There are so many facets to it, like a stone. It is so true. Imagine if we all did what Thoreau did, and we went out into the forest and cut all ties with society. There would be no laws of the universe other than gravity and the supernatural. There would be no solitude because you would be alone (that sounds paradoxical, perhaps even just stupid, but really if there is no one else, there can be no such thing as anti-solitude. So solitude becomes normality and there is no other option). Poverty would not exist because everyone would be equal and we would not have to fight with each other. And weakness would not exist because then we would have to be competing with others, and others do not exist in the solitary world. It sounds like a great world.
March: "Be true to your work, your word, and your friend."
Not necessarily in that order. I like this one because it's short and easy to remember. Be true to your work. This is always nice, but sometimes it is hard to do, because we will often try to get ahead and compromise work with our morals and cheat and do other bad things. Be true to your word. I live this one. I actually meant to write I love this one, but I said live instead. And I think I actually do live it for the most part. being honest is really the easiest way to live life in an untangled way. And if you are pressured to lie about something, change what you are doing. Be true to your friend. So true. Your friends are in a weird way something of yourself. Part of you is in each of your friends. And so if you are not true to them, you are hurting not only them, but yourself. I like that if you think about it, these three components all fit together.
I hope Thoreau will help you through your day. I know he always does. Always there with a great word to make you say "wow". Remember: a Thoreau quote a day keeps sadness at bay.

04 March 2011

the very first family game night

You know when you go through the cabinet of board games, blow a sheet of dust off the top, and look on the back of the box, you see a family playing the game. Fake smiles branded on their faces, their eyes filled with glee as they play. You've got Sister with an ostentatious bow in her hair, and Brother, whose hair is perfectly quaffed in the ever-stylish bowl cut. Then Dad is somewhere on the periphery, completely engaged in the game, and then Mom is usually placing her perfectly manicured hand on either Brother or Sister's shoulder. Sometimes even Grandma plays. And each one dons a different fluorescent colored jersey-type shirt. You know. It's the typical family.
And then in the corner is the little post-it note with a flyaway edge that says, "Plan a Family Game Night!"
Now doesn't that sound lovely. Amidst three sports, a handful of AP classes, and a bunch of other fluff in between, it seems we could have more than enough time for that.
You may not believe it, but we don't have family game nights. Nor do we really have family nights. A lot of times we split up into groups and go to different activities, but rarely do we do something completely together. Until tonight.
We actually did a lot of fun things we don't normally do. First we went to dinner at Alpine Bakery, which to me sounded like a Panera Bread. As my history teacher says about Abe Lincoln being a "country bumpkin", "far from it". This was nothing like what I thought. It was beyond the realms of fancy. The name and the location are deceiving. It was a sit down restaurant, and they actually created the pasta in there. It wasn't Barrilla from a box from Publix. This was the real stuff. And boy does the real stuff taste spectacular.
And since it's a bakery, there was a gourmet glass-window style display of cakes, eclairs, croissants, canolis, and every type of cake you could imagine. I could feel pounds of fat just being added to my body as I stared with ravenous eyes at the beauties in front of me. It was an experience, to say the least. Absolutely 5 stars. If we were in France, this would top le Guide Michelen.
So after that, we went home and we decided to go ice skating. I haven't been skating in at least three years. I used to play hockey too, and so the rink was a normal place for me. But it was going to be so great to get back there. And my sister plays, as you know, and she was eager to teach my younger brother how to skate.
And my parents came too. We all skated. And it felt like we were this really great, happy family just like the cheesy ones on the back of board games. But we are a real family, and we aren't wearing ridiculous bows, monochromatic, oversized jerseys, and "show smiles".
We were finally doing something all together that we all enjoyed. And my brother is getting a lot betting at skating.
We may not have had a family game night. Instead we had a family bakery/restaurant and skating night. And that's a lot better than a family game night. For sure.

03 March 2011


Sometimes I wish I was incredibly average and boring, much like the Unknown Citizen. But I'm not. So of course this will cost me 16 points on a test that I should have completely aced.
Even though my teacher won't give us points back for questions we missed, he lets us argue them. So I argued a point. And of course I answered the theme that I thought was right. But the only reason his was "right" is because he thinks it's right. And why would one question a doctor?
Well I did because I don't think his answer made any sense. He just said that most scholars believe that this is the correct theme, and so does he, so it must be the correct theme. And any thought I have must be invalid. Because I don't have a doctorial degree.
He said the goal of this class is to create informed citizens. But I think that this is making us into unknown citizens. Informed citizens formulate their own thougths. They don't take other people's thoughts and regurgiate them like robots. I'm the informed citizen here.
But he doen't see my point and of course we moved on and I sat in angst. That's my favorite part about school. It's a cookie cutter. And maybe I have more dough than can fit. So all the good dough spills out of the cookie cutter and goes unnoticed.
School is just a way of making us into little identical cogs in a machine. They don't care for our individuality or our thoughts. When I grown up and become a politician, which will probably never happen, I will reform this corrupt sysem.
Now that I have finished my rant, I'll begin.
That made me mad. I knew that I knew many great things about all of those poems and I had makde my own ideas about them. But his test didn't let me show them. And now it looks like I never studied. My friend didn't even read the poems and she got a higher grade than me.
I decided I needed to escape this ridculous world for a little while, so I did. I took this wonderfully warm bath and I made a chocolate milkshake (arguable the best drink ever) to have while I lounged. But best of all was the Italian symphony music I had playing the background. It's like opera music without the singing. It's from my Elegant Italy Lifescapes CD. It's really just the best. I just sat there, half floating in the water, as my brain muscles relaxed. It was the most peacful and wonderful way to end a day.
I read an article about 20 things moms should not be ashamed of doing. They were all things that would be special things for herself, like getting a manicure or a massage, or taking a nap. We should never feel like we are pressured to do everything all the time. Sometimes you have to just sit and take a load off. Sometimes you have to indulge. And for me that was rihgt now. And now I think I'll indulge in a little sleep. Good night, my friends.

02 March 2011

don't rain, the parade hasn't started yet.

Normally I think of the title of my posts during the middle or sometime after I finish. But I came up with this one first, before I wrote anything else.
And that's because I had a revelation. So yesterday I signed my life away when I took the cardiovascular test - 9 pages of pure you know what, with no multiple choice. Just short answer, fill in the blank, and essays. And when you don't remember the word hemolysis, or you might have forgotten what happens to a baby with hemolytic disease of the newborn, or maybe you just put one of the nodes out of order for the intrinsic conduction system, there is no mercy. No 'all of the above', no time to skip it and come back to it later.
But the best part is that we grade our own tests during class the next day. It's like living through your own death for 50 whole minutes. But since this test is so long, it spans 2 whole days. Like a terrible carnival circus.
So now we will all be sleep deprived, sitting in complete torture not knowing our grades until tomorrow. And tomorrow we go over the essays. Which was the biggest zit on my test. My handwriting was so abysmal that not even I can tell what it says.
My plan was to skip 3rd period today and then just come back all the other periods, but my father denied my request. So I had to go. It was my civic duty to go.
So we started correcting the test. The whole time everyone in the room is in a half-hopeful, half-I-don't-even-care-anymore mood. I was sort of on the half-hopeful side. But then your dreams are crushed when he tells you that your answer is wrong and there is no chance of half credit. And then you sigh this long, dramatic, heaving sigh, and the process repeats.
I kept on drawing Xs, subtracting points, and the outlook was dismal. I was a little bit sad.
We have this ritual in that class on grading days. If we know we did badly, we get out our calculators so we can add all the points. We will always say, "Is it a calculator day?" And yes, today was one of those days. So I grabbed mine and added the points. It was almost like cutting off your limbs and watching yourself shrivel up and die. But since the test was out of 200 points, and I only missed 30 points, I had an 85.
And I was expecting to fail.
The whole day I was expecting that I had failed. We haven't finished grading, but the lowest I could get, if I didn't write anything for either essay, is barely failing. So since I know I got the first essay completely right (we'll see on that second one..), I know that grade is out of the question.
I woke up this morning with the mindset that I was going to fail. It was a given and I would need to accept it. But instead, I was pleasantly surprised.
But I limited myself to being pessimistic and I didn't let myself think of anything but failure. I mean, I don't have to be all "Even though I didn't study, I'll pretend I did really good!", but opening your mind to the possibilities can change your day. And since I thought this would be a bad day, I thought I would have nothing happy to write about. But instead, I got to see our school put on the play Eurydice during French and we did a fun activity in history.
You can't rain on the parade if it hasn't started yet. At least wait for the vintage cars and the marching bands to play before you decide to rain on it.
Si vous ouvrez votre esprit, vous verrez chaque possibilité, et vous changerez vos pensées.
If you are not French or do not know French, I have two words for you: Google Translate.
Two random thoughts: (1) This post has a record-breaking number of spelling errors [which I corrected, I hope], and (2) I hate when I'm typing a contraction like shouldn't and won't, and I accidentally press ; so the word would be don;t instead of don't. They should consider changing the keyboards.

01 March 2011

home sweet home

Happy March! Only 14 more days until the most terrible day of them all..perhaps I will stumble upon a soothsayer.
March really came in with a bang, appropriate since March is often associated with March Madness. We had a thunderstorm with hail and tons of rain and wind. It was pretty bad. The power went out for some people, the tornado siren was going off in other parts of town, and a lot of things were canceled, like my sister's band concert.
But something horrific happened in this time that I just found out about this morning. In my friend's neighborhood, which is close to school, one of the family's houses burned down. I don't know how bad, but I heard it was to the ground. I don't want to change the story, so that's all I'll say. My sister knows the girl; she came to school today.
Imagine if that happened to you. I can't even think of what that would be like. All of your furniture, appliances, photographs, school work, and memories - gone. Memories that spanned over generations and hundreds of years - gone in minutes.
The fact that something can be that destructive is really scary. But I bet it's scarier for the family.
I have to admit today was not a fabulous day, because I had two tests and I know I didn't do very well on them. But imagine if what happened to them happened to us and I still had to take the tests. It makes me seem very selfish and greedy to want so much and not appreciate what I have.
If someone said to you, be lucky you have a house, you may think, well, everyone had a house, so I don't have it much better than many others. In 2010, 3.5 million people in our country went to sleep not under a roof and in a bed, but under just the sky and on the ground, in a car, or in a store.
And America is one of the best countries in the world. And we have homelessness problems. Everyday when we come home from school or work, we have a house. We have shelter. And shelter is one of the 3 basic survival needs. Yet 3.5 million go without.
I know it's important to remember the small things, but don't forget the big things that we often overlook. I bet most of us wake up in the morning and eat some breakfast. We don't have to go farther than the fridge or the pantry to get it. Some people wait in lines for it. And food isn't a human right, it's a survival need.
All of my prayers go out to this family. Let God guide you through this difficult time.