Sunday, August 29, 2010

I'm Back!!! (To school, that is) :)

I do realize that it has been quite some time since my last post. No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth, and all is well in my world. I have just completed my first full week of school. As most everyone knows, that first week back to school is a bit hectic. Although nothing too extreme has happened, this past week has been mildly stressful. I believe that I have re-established my routine and everything is running much more smoothly!

I will start off by saying that, unlike some of my classmates, I am thrilled with my Senior schedule. To give you an idea, I will outline my schedule for your reading pleasure.

1st Hour-Concurrent
I am taking an American Government class at NOC. I already know my professor, because I had him for a Geography class I took this summer. I like his style of teaching, and he is perfect for a Government teacher. I don’t feel that he tries to bias our opinions by forcing his upon us, unlike some history teachers have done in the past.

2nd Hour-Concurrent
I am also taking an Early American History class at NOC. I was essentially forced to take this class. Not that that is a bad thing, it’s just that it wasn’t possible for me to take a US History class at Pioneer (scheduling conflicts). This also happens to be a class that the state of Oklahoma requires all HS graduates to take. There is also a required EOI (End of Instruction exam) for this course. The up side of this situation is that I get both HS & College credit for this class, so it’s a bit of a win-win situation for me! My professor can best be described as eccentric. She is very nice, don’t get me wrong, but she is much different than I am used to, I guess. It’s not a bad thing, by any means; she is a wonderful teacher, it’s just that I was unaware that one could be that enthusiastic about History. Once again, NOT A BAD THING! because I’m sure that others could (and probably would) say that about me if I got on some topics.

3rd Hour-Band
After I make the short drive from Enid back to Pi-Hi, I go right to Band. I thoroughly enjoy band. After all, I have been in that class since the 5th grade, and it is the best part of the whole class to go through senior year. The year started out with a bit of sadness, as good old Mr. Holland decided to move on. I believe that Ms. Lohmann will do a wonderful job, it’s just if everyone else will step up and do the same. We hit the ground running, learning our field show. This year is the Spanish field show. It has the hardest music, by far, but I’ve also heard that it is the coolest field show to watch. Personally, I LOVE the music, it is exciting (with the exception of one song) and a bit challenging, which I also enjoy!

4th Hour-Botany/Zoology
I’m not going to lie; Science never really has been my favorite class. However, I have been lucky to have good Science teachers from 8th grade to the present. Last year I took a Biology II class, which featured a semester of Forensic Science. I really enjoyed that class, because it was very hands-on and I found the topic interesting. After last year, I started to enjoy Science a little more, so I was able to approach it with more enthusiasm this year. For the Botany portion, each person is required to make a plant collection. I should note that the vast majority of the work for the collection will be done during class, and also, our teacher (Mr. Norton) is more than willing to help us with almost every part of our collection. (As in identifying the plants outside, and basically just by giving us adequate class time to work on our collections.) For those reasons, I’m not really sure why everyone else is dreading it so much. I’m excited about the “field trips” we will get to make to go plant collecting! One upside, of many, of our “field trips” is that the off-campus places that we are going to collect plants are right down the road from my house. This means that I am very familiar with the territory. The places include, but are not limited to: the cemetery by Mr. Blakley’s house, and also Mr. Blakley’s house. So yes, Debra, my class will be paying you a visit soon! Another upside: Our class is right before lunch, and it has already been cleared by the higher-ups that we can take our lunches when we go to the off-campus sites, so we can stay through lunch time, thus giving us more time to collect, and perhaps a more leisurely lunch experience. Final upside: Having grown up on a farm, I am familiar with the majority of the plants on our list, which makes this much easier for me!

5th Hour-English IV
I have never really minded English. It comes easy to me (most of the time) and it involves three things I really like: Vocabulary, Writing, and Reading. I don’t particularly care for grammar, but I would take that as opposed to learning more about Trigonometric Identities. (Not fun at all!!) Mrs. Strickland is a wonderful English teacher; she is one of my favorite teachers, actually. We also have to read one novel each nine weeks. I considered reading books off of the HS Sequoyah list, since that is an option. But, I am a very fast reader, particularly if I am the slightest bit interested in the book, and we have to have our books for a minimum of two weeks, and I want a bit of a challenge, so I’m considering reading some of the classic novels off of our provided list. Perhaps “Gone with the Wind”; I’m also open to any suggestions (most pieces of classic Literature are on our list-Pride & Prejudice, etc.)

6th Hour-Library Aide
I love being an aide. I really do. Being a library aide is as enjoyable as I imagined it to be. I also get to help with the yearbook, since Mrs. Fuxa (the librarian) is the yearbook sponsor. I like that, as well. I also enjoy the occasional Internet access, when necessary, to print off things for my college classes, or to look up things for homework. No, there isn’t Facebook access, but I think I can survive (Ha-ha!) Besides, I’m not completely addicted to it.

7th Hour-Work Permit/Athletics
For anyone who is interested, to follow up on a previous mention, I took the football manager position, and on this past Monday, I quit. I just didn’t have the time, and I decided it was for the best. Moving on…since I only participate in Track, which is in the spring, it was decided that I was eligible for Work Permit. Apparently, one doesn’t even have to technically be employed to get WP. It is a privilege reserved solely for seniors, basically to let them NOT be at school. Also, it beats sitting in the hot gym waiting for 3:30 to come. Technically, I had the option to be an Office Aide, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to leave school early, so here we are!

Anyway, that is the basic overview of my school day. Oh yes, one fact about my Concurrent classes: They are only on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday, which means that on Tuesday & Thursday mornings, I can (and usually do) sleep in, and I don’t have to be at school until about 10:20…Yes, that is the best part of my schedule!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Starry-Eyed Surprise

I have always had a fascination with the nighttime sky. There is nothing I love more than sitting outside on summer nights just admiring the moon and the stars. It is serene and I feel like I am at peace with the world. Most of the time I just slip out the back door of my house and go watch the stars in solitude. My mom always jokes that I’m part werewolf, because I like watching the moon so much. Sometimes when I can’t sleep at night, if the moon is out, I open up my window and just admire the sky in all of its beauty. I have found that I’m sitting out watching the sky, it is a very opportune time for deep thinking. Conversations under the moonlight are usually of a philosophical nature; talking about deep thoughts, ponderings, dreams for the future, etc. It is hard for me to be upset when I’m outside.

Anyway, with all of that in mind, it would be easy for one to imagine why I was so excited last summer when my neighbor Debra invited my family & me to go watch the Perseid’s meteor shower in the cemetery by our houses. I was thrilled to go, and, of course, I had a fantastic time! Now to fast-forward to this year. I was looking forward to the meteor watching party so, so much. After what seemed like a long time of waiting for my mom to head over to Debra’s house, we finally went over there. When we got there, everyone was already in the backyard on blankets and lawn chairs, just watching and waiting for “the big one”. My mom and I were greeted by Debra and Brendan, who was pretty thrilled just to be out there in general (it was entirely past his bed time, apparently). The first little while we were out there, Brendan was talking to my mom & me, in his animated 3-year-old fashion. It was quite lovely, indeed. He even serenaded us with a rousing rendition of the Alphabet Song (too cute!) We had bells to ring whenever we saw a meteor; however, for a while we were also ringing for satellites and airplanes because of the lack of meteors. Everyone settled in, and we began talking about anything and everything. It was a very peaceful evening, or so we thought it would be. I’ll admit for a while it was so peaceful that I happened to nod off for a few moments. There was a slight breeze, enough to make it comfortably cool outside. Crickets could be heard chirping in the distance. Every so often, you could hear the relaxing sound of the creek flowing. There was also a soft rustling in some greenery. But what could have been making that rustling noise? Everyone figured that it was the cat. Until one of the other girls that was there (her name escapes me at the moment) commented that she was holding the cat. So that meant...(cue the dramatic music)…it was an ARMADILLO! As I have mentioned before, I’m not much of an animal person, especially such a feral creature as an armadillo. I was unnerved to say the least. We then left the armadillo to its own devices, assuming that it would go back to rooting around. Suddenly, we heard another noise, and turned our flashlights back on just to see the armadillo, ever so stealthily approaching my side of the blanket. I got up. I may or may not have let off a blood-curdling shriek that could’ve possibly woken up everyone in the tri-county area. I also may have stepped on my mom’s foot in the process. Everyone was overcome with laughter at my sudden panic, and also with a sudden invigoration. (It was around 12:30 in the morning, after all) Our peaceful evening suddenly turned into a bit of chaos. Debra, ever so diplomatically, declared that we should go inside. She didn’t have to tell me twice. While everyone was folding their blankets, there was recurring laughter about the scene I inadvertently caused, also the phantom armadillo sighting. I felt bad. I really did. Especially when the girl who was holding the cat, was upset by having to go inside “all because of an armadillo”. Debra offered me some homemade vanilla ice cream to assuage the situation. I can never say no to ice cream, especially homemade…it just doesn’t get much better than that! We all decided that this story would go down in history, and would be told at every future meteor-watching party. I’ll admit, I can (and do) laugh about it now. And I also apologize for causing a disturbance to the peace.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

10 Things

The other night when I was babysitting Cody & Kyle, we watched the movie “Because of Winn-Dixie”. The movie is actually based on the book of the same name by Kate DiCamillo. (Yes, the book is better, as always) I fondly remember this book from the Sequoyah reading list from the 4th grade. It was one of my favorites; my mom even purchased the book for me, and I intend to share this book with my nephews when they are old enough. There is a part of the movie where the main character, India Opal, wants to know about her mom, who left Opal & her father when she was little. She wanted to know 10 facts about her mom. This made me think about what I would want others to know about me if they wanted to know a few facts that really, truly summed me up. Not like “She was tall; She was intelligent; She talked a lot” Nothing of that sort. Things that one would only know by digging a little deeper than just the superficial.

*Note* The following list is not all-encompassing, nor is it in order of any significance, just facts as they come into my mind, and it may tend to ramble...Enjoy!

1. I lack the ability to be concise. Any time I tell a story, I am one of those people that include as many details as possible. I feel that the details are what make a story important. I fear I am also a “rambler” as may be evident in some (read: most/all) of my blog posts. I can easily talk on the phone for a couple of hours and not think anything of it. A short visit with friends/relatives usually turns into a pleasant afternoon/evening chatting the day away.

2. I love all genres of music. It depends on the day as to what my favorite song is. I do have one song that is my absolute favorite (“Drops of Jupiter”-Train), but I can turn on the radio and hear a song and drop everything I’m doing just to turn it up so I can sing along with the chorus & any verses I know. (Yes, I sing quite unashamedly, and I don’t care what others might say… “He who sings, prays twice”-St. Augustine) I listen to almost anything, with the exception of most heavy metal..It just doesn’t suit me as well.

3. I am a very loving person by nature. Anything bad that happens to someone I remotely care about tears me up. Anything good that happens brightens my world. When I love someone, anyone, I love them deeply, irrevocably, without any second thought. Anyone who is an important part of my life, anyone who has helped me to become who I am today, anyone who is just there for me, whether it be in person or in spirit; those are the people I love the most.

4. I have a VERY strong fear of birds. I’m not really sure why, but that’s just the way it is. They unnerve me to no end. I absolutely despise birds, especially chickens. (I have no problems eating chicken, though..Ha-ha J) One day, maybe, I’ll try to conquer my fear, but we’ll just have to see about that. Actually, I’m not much of an animal person, in general. I’ll visit the zoo, and that’s enough for me. On the contrary, I do like dogs, cats, cattle, fish, earthworms, ladybugs, fireflies, butterflies, and frogs.

5. I don’t like being looked down upon, especially by people who are only a little bit older than me. I also don’t like being underestimated, stereotyped, or lied to. I dislike it when people try to make themselves feel better by putting others down. It’s unhealthy, and just plain rude, and I don’t like it at all.

6. I am a Catholic. I have very strong convictions of my faith. I believe what I believe, and there isn’t much that can change that fact. However, I don’t feel the necessity to shove my beliefs down anyone’s throat at any given moment just because I don’t agree with their decisions. If I am asked about my beliefs, I will unabashedly tell you what I think, but only when I’m asked. I feel very strongly about my beliefs, but I also respect the fact that others feel the same as I do about their beliefs, and in that spirit, I will refrain from making a point of argument about the fact. I will stand up for my faith, but I won’t do so out of spite, or just to make a scene.

7. I have extreme OCD. I am a big fan of organization and order. I once watched an episode of Monk, and I felt as if the title character (Adrian Monk played by Tony Shaloub) was one of my kind. It bothers me to no end to see things off-kilter, out of place, etc. At my church there is a rug behind the altar. It is nearly invisible to anyone sitting in the congregation, but, as an altar server, I see it every single time I am serving. Somehow, it always manages to be a bit off-kilter with the altar. One side is about an inch away, and the other side is about two inches away. It seems horrible to say this, but when it is like this, I often spend the majority of Mass mentally straightening the rug. Also, I am the person who alerts others when their necklace clasp happens to make its way down by the pendant. Yes, I am the person who fixes shirtsleeves that happen to be slightly folded at the edges. I also pick stray hairs off of others. I hate doing that, as I feel like I am invading people’s personal bubble, but for my personal sanity, I usually do so anyway. Although most of the time, I do tell said person of the “issue”.

8. I take pleasure in the little things. I love the irony that lies in everyday life. Random things can make my day, for example, things my nephews say out of the innocence of their little hearts; turning on the radio to hear a favorite song; watching the stars in the nighttime sky; hearing a pun that makes me laugh; reading a good book; watching fireworks; and I could go on and on…

9. I’ll admit that I am a bit of a nerd. I am not ashamed of this whatsoever. I am in Quiz Bowl, which I thoroughly enjoy. I can answer most questions of random trivia in about 10 seconds (how convenient for QB, I know) I love Math, and I AM able to work some tricky math problems in the allotted time J As a 6-year-old, I fondly recall naming states & capitals on a bus ride home, as per everyone’s request. I try to know a little bit about everything that I possibly can. I truly love learning new things. Up until about a year or so ago, I used to try to hide my intelligence. I would deny it, and I held back more than what I truly should have. I wouldn’t say I regret any of this, but I do wish I had given myself more of a chance than what I did. I am also in band. But I don’t feel that being in band makes someone a nerd. Besides, at Pioneer, our band is awesome, and hopefully *fingers crossed*, in a few months, I can say that I am an All-Stater!

10. My family means everything to me. Yes, of course, there are times that I may be a bit irritated with them, but at the end of the day, I would be lost without them. I truly love my parents, and every last little thing that they have done for me. Every sacrifice, every little thing that they have given up just so my sisters and I would have good lives, means more than anything. My sisters are definitely my best friends out of everyone in the entire world. Nothing against my friends, but blood is thicker than water. I am very confident in the fact that my sisters know just about everything there is to know about me…they probably know things about me that I don’t even know about me! (Ha-ha) If I am having a bad day, they are literally the two people I can call up at night and cry to them, and they can always make me feel better, if nothing else, they can make me laugh, which is always a good thing. Anyone who is rude to my family is rude to me. They are all at the heart of nearly everything I do.

Wisdom Teeth Woes

Last Friday I underwent surgery. (My first surgery, I might add.) I got all four of my wisdom teeth extracted. Going in to this procedure, I was feeling very unsettled about the whole ordeal. I think I may have inherited the “worry gene” from my mom’s side of the family, because all I could think of were the “what ifs” of the situation. And the constant fear of dry sockets, although that is fairly easy to avoid, I had a lingering fear of developing that particular malady. In all honesty, I thought that everything was going to be a bit off in my procedure from the get-go. When it began, I came home from volunteering at the hospital on a Thursday afternoon, and my dad informed me that I would be getting my wisdom teeth taken out, and I had the choice between the following Monday (July 19th) and August 6th. Anyone who is remotely close to my family knows that there are some bad vibes about having surgery on July 19th. Anyhow, I decided to take the August 6th appointment. When I called the doctor’s office the following morning to inform them that I would, in fact, be taking the August 6th appt, the receptionist vaguely mentioned the time of my surgery, or any other factor I wanted to know about regarding my surgery, just a website that we could go to to pre-register for my procedure. I wouldn’t say that I am a technophobe by any means, but I am slightly against filling out any sort of important paperwork on the Internet. I prefer the security of having the documents in my hands right where I can see them and personally give them to whomever they should go to. (Also because both of my parents are employed by the Postal Service, and it helps finance their jobs, retirement, etc.) My mom basically disregarded this information, because she had the same sentiments as I did regarding the matter. Tuesday of last week, we finally broke down and filled out the paperwork online. They had a nice little PDF form that, in all reality, was much easier to fill out on the computer than by hand. We were also able to print it out (My mom liked that part, especially) My mom & I still were unsure about everything because it was about 1:30 PM on the day before my surgery, and we had yet to hear from their office. In our experience, most doctors’ offices call usually by noon. We were starting to get bad vibes indeed. Finally around 3 or so, we got a call. They mentioned the standard information (8 hrs. fasting, loose-fitting short-sleeved shirt, someone to take you home, etc.) We got to the office around 7:15, as we were directed. It took a while for signing papers, etc. When the nurse came to escort me to the back, I was feeling very apprehensive. I may or may not have cried a little. (Yes, of course, I did) I was escorted back to a room, which looked quite similar to any other dental examination room. I watched an informational video, which was actually a bit humorous. (Not intentionally, but in those situations any laughter is better than none, I suppose) Soon enough, I was whisked away to the surgery suite, where I was provided with the standard laughing gas sedative. They also played some relaxing music, too. All I know is that one minute I was giggly and grooving to the tunes of Jack Johnson (his music really is soothing), and then the next thing I know I was shivering away in a recovery room, and my tongue felt like it was an inch thick. I also had an ice pack wrapped around my head, which I’ll admit, looks quite comical on me. My mom got me a chocolate shake from Braum’s, and before I knew it, we were home. It seems odd to me that I’m not supposed to bend, lift, or strain for the next week. I’m very independent, as you might know. I also have to take multiple medications to prevent swelling, pain, etc., which is also odd, because I never really take medicine unless I’m sick, and I can’t say I feel sick. Anyway, it is fair to say that I am doing well, and I am having a pleasant recovery.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Beginning of Blogging

So, after much thought & consideration, I have decided to start a blog. My sister Emily has decided to start a blog as well, and, after some encouragement on her part, I decided to join her in the venture. I have always kind of liked to write, so here goes nothing..or something, rather. I hope this goes well!

A little bit about what has been going on in my life…

Yesterday, I went to go get my annual sports physical done at the school, when out of nowhere one of the football coaches asked me to be the team manager. I have mixed emotions about the fact, because I’m not sure about how much time I’ll have, but on the other hand, it always has been something I’ve wanted to do, so I don’t know..And my parents have basically said that it’s up to me, so that doesn’t make my decision that much easier ( I’m known for being horrifically indecisive) I have until tomorrow night to make my official decision, so I guess we’ll see!

Today I believe the high temperature was about 105-107 degrees, very hot and uncomfortable weather that is best for relaxing indoors, or perhaps swimming or enjoying a Sno-cone, if one has the resources. Days like today are the days that one is ever so thankful for the invention of Air Conditioning. So today was a fairly normal day, nothing too eventful, aside from the fact that my mom & I were babysitting two of my nephews, Cody & Kyle (Emily’s boys). My parents had left to go run an errand, and right before they got home, I noticed that my house was gradually getting warmer & warmer. When I went to look at the thermostat, I was alarmed at the fact that the temperature of the house was about 83 degrees (It normally is around 75) I turned the switch down, in hopes of cooling my house, but there was no such luck. That was about the time that my parents got home, and I told them about our predicament. My dad took a look at our unit, and after about 10 minutes of examining & swearing, my dad decided to call a professional. A friend from church is a heat & air guy, so my dad called him up. Turns out he was vacationing in Colorado, & thankfully, we have a neighbor who is also a heat & air guy, as well, so he was summoned over. After a while of looking, he came to the conclusion that the compressor had gone out. I’m not really sure what all that entails, but I know that it isn’t good at all. The guy ever so comically pointed out that when the compressor went out, it more than likely sounded a bit like a jet engine taking off. With any luck, our house will be pleasantly cool by Thursday, so here’s hoping!

Oh yeah, it’s not all bad, both of my sisters ever so graciously are letting my parents and I stay with them! A last little note, I am getting all four of my wisdom teeth removed this Friday, so I’m not entirely looking forward to that, but hopefully it goes better than I’m expecting.

I believe I’ll end it here, I’ve rambled long enough.