Sunday, October 31, 2010

All-State Auditions

As many of you know, my All-State tryouts were this weekend. The tryouts were in Tecumseh, which is a good three-hour drive from Enid. For that reason, Ms. Lohmann and I left out on Friday night, so we could get a good night’s rest in preparation for the big day that was before us. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at Alfredo’s Mexican CafĂ© off of I-35 in Moore. For the restaurant being packed, we had exceptionally quick service and good food. After getting a good night’s rest, we got up and made the short drive from Shawnee to Tecumseh. When I got there, Ms. Lohmann told me to go find my tryout room and the warm-up room. She also told me that if I didn’t want to go to the warm-up room, I could use her car for warm-up space. As we got out of the vehicle, we were greeted by the cacophony that is better known as a warm-up room. While walking into the school to find my room, I lost every last shred of calmness I had when we pulled up. It was very much akin to the way I felt playing in front of the band. I knew that the first thing I had to do was to CALM DOWN! My hands were shaking horrendously, and my stomach felt the same way it does when I go on a roller coaster. We found my room easily, and at about the time that we got there, the lady was posting the cuts for the etudes for both prelims and finals and also the major scale that was required. As a note, the prelim tryouts only included cuts from both of the etudes, no scales or sight-reading! I was thrilled about that, and was also confident in the fact that I could make it past the first round. The second round/finals included different cuts from the etudes, sight-reading, the chromatic scale, and the specified major scale, which was Concert Eb…the easiest scale besides the Concert Bb scale for a clarinet! (It only has 1 flat!) I can’t lie, the cuts for the prelims were about as easy as it could’ve gotten, all things considered. The cuts for the finals were a little more difficult, of course, but they were basically what I expected them to be. After knowing all of that, I had a much better feeling about everything. With that in mind, I decided to go give the warm-up room a try.

When walking in there, I was greeted with the usual dissonance that is heard in any warm-up room. Of course, it’s in a gym, so the acoustics really aren’t there. Also, there were many people playing the clarinet etudes that sounded WAY better than I did, or at least could take the etudes at a tempo that I would never dream of. Nevertheless, I sat down, ran through my scales, and cuts of my etudes. I felt like the odd one out, because I was the only one from my school, but I figured that that was the least of my worries. I felt a little bit calmer, but not much more, so I decided to go back to the car. While I was in there, I began to feel much better. I said a silent prayer that I could just calm down and play like I was at lessons. By the time I left the car to go sit and wait, I was much calmer. My hands weren’t shaking at all! I sat outside my room and began the never-ending process of waiting that characterizes these events. Any time that I sit alone in a public place, I love to just watch people, listen to the things they say, and pick up subliminal clues about them. As I sat there, I realized that at this level of competition, there are many people who make this a part of their entire being. There are many people who are much more dedicated than I can ever dream of being. There are many people who make this their life so much that, I would guess, they don’t have much of a life outside of this. I finally got my audition card, and I was contestant number 83. I was in the second room that started with number 43, which meant that there was much more waiting in store. As I sat there, I began talking with three different girls, all of whom were Sophomores. I got the feeling that two of the three were trying to play head games with me, by trying to psyche me out. I have you know that, if they were using that tactic, I did not fall prey to it. When it was finally my turn, about an hour and a half later, I went in as ready as I could be. I felt that I played about as well as I could have played it. When I left the room and was waiting for my green sticker that signified that I went to the next round, a guy who was standing at the door informed me that I played wonderfully. A few seconds later, I got my card back, with a green dot! Then it was on to the next phase of waiting for a chance to play in the final room.

There was a large herd of people waiting for that. I took that particular opportunity to go back to the warm-up room to go over my etudes once again. Ms. Lohmann, who was judging French Horns, came and sat with me to wait once again. We figured out a somewhat strategic placement for my tryout. We immediately decided that I shouldn’t follow the girl who had been first chair at both Small and Large School All-States for the past few years. Also, I didn’t want to follow another guy who sounded amazingly good in the warm-up room. Finally, I decided to just go. I went in and played both scales, and did well on that, only with a minor issue with the highest note on my chromatic scale. My etudes came next, and I honestly felt that that was the best that I had ever played them. I played with as much heart as I could, and I didn’t feel disappointed in the least with that part of my audition. The sight-reading was decent, and it was probably the only thing that I could have done better on, but it is sight-reading, and no one ever gets it perfect, so I was content. When I was done, Ms. Lohmann told me that I sounded great, and that she was pleased with what she could hear of my audition. After that, we left to go eat lunch at the Cracker Barrel in Shawnee. We ended up taking the scenic route back to Tecumseh, and I decided on two things. 1) The town of Shawnee is not very visitor friendly if you get in the residential area, and is very hard to navigate. 2) I have no sudden desire to go to college there, either. (My parents should be happy, since there are only private colleges there.)

After we finally got back to Tecumseh, we went to the results room. It was the moment of truth. Naturally, there was a crowd of people surrounding the results sheet. Ms. Lohmann was slightly in front of me, and I could tell my results by her body language. As she looked upon the sheet, her shoulders dropped, and I knew. I didn’t make it. Of course, I was heartbroken for the moment. Tears came, and Ms. Lohmann gave me a hug and told me that I really did a great job, and there was nothing to be ashamed of by not making it. In fact, they really didn’t take that many clarinets. I was in the top thirty which was still a pretty big accomplishment. After I composed myself a little bit, I called my parents. I also called Mr. Holland. According to him, the judges obviously didn’t know talent when they heard it (You’ve got to love Mr. H!). He also told me that it didn’t take away from any part of my being as a musician, it only added to it. He also told me to keep my head up and to go get first chair at All-Area. On our way home, Ms. Lohmann enlightened me on an interesting fact. Both she and Mr. Holland, two of the best musicians I know of, did NOT make All-State when they were in high school. I thought about it a little more, and there are lots of other people who didn’t make All-State. Lots of people never even tried out. Gina and many of her friends tried out for All-State and didn’t make it, and I still think that they were fantastic musicians, and the fact that they didn’t make it to All-State didn’t take away anything from their being as musicians at the time. And really, at the end of the day, it’s just another honor. In the grand scheme of things, it’s really not that big of a deal. I still wish that I could have made it, but it’s okay.

Today at church, Fr. Joe had a wonderful homily that I felt related to my situation. He talked about a tennis player who, by the age of seventeen, had won Wimbledon. He was the greatest professional tennis player in the world at that time. One would have thought that he would be on top of the world in excitement. In a later interview, he was quoted as saying that although he had the fame, fortune, and the honors, “he had no inner peace.” Here is the greatest tennis player in the world, and even after he had won the title to prove this, he still had no inner peace. Perhaps had I made it, I might be in the same boat. I might have stressed about the music I would have to play, or the chair tryouts that would occur at the Clinic, I might not have been completely satisfied with my chair. (I doubt that, but it could have happened.) I figure that there are many more people out there who deserve the honor much more than I, and I’m okay with that. Perhaps it will help someone receive a scholarship that they really need; there are many possibilities. Nonetheless, I am pleased with the fact that I made it to the second round, and I feel that I am a better player for everything, so it’s okay.

“Give the world the best you have, and it may never be good enough. Give the world the best you have anyway.” --Mother Theresa

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An All-Around Good Day

Today was a good day for me. There were all sorts of random things that happened, none really relating to each other, but they all added up to a wonderful day.

The first thing was the STUCO District 2 meeting, which was held at Kingfisher High School. About 15 area schools were there. It was fun, although I did think that it was slightly rigged to the larger schools that have more active STUCO groups than Pioneer does. After going to this, a part of me wishes that we could do some of the things that the other groups do, particularly going to the state STUCO convention, but it's just not in the cards for us, what with the cost of travel and lodging these days. After we got settled, everyone was randomly split up into small groups comprised of kids from other schools. They had some outdoor games and indoor discussion groups. My group went outside first. There were eight people in my group, and no one was from the same school, which I think helped so that no one immediately cliqued up. I happened to know a girl in my group who was from OBA, which was nice. The outdoor games that my group got to play were pretty lame in my opinion. We only got to do three games out of about ten and they were probably the three most mellow games out there. The games were Electricity (the guy did a bad job of explaining it, and it was very anticlimactic), some sort of partner relay, and a Human Knot. I liked the human knot, though! Our indoor discussion groups were pretty good, and when we had some extra time before we rotated, we played Ninja. Ninja is the new game that people at schools play, a bit like how Hacky Sack used to be. It is interesting, and I enjoy it, even though I'm not that great. (It's hard to explain, but I'm sure that there is something about it on YouTube; it's pretty entertaining to watch, actually)

After we left our groups and joined our school group again, there was a guest speaker named Jamie Scammahorn. She was an OK state teacher of the year finalist, and she is currently the counselor at Piedmont. She was very energetic, even though she was going hoarse. She talked about how she has hope for my generation, despite our negative portrayal by the media. She also talked about the issue of in-school bullying. She pointed out that even though administrators can make all kinds of rules and conduct standards regarding bullying, it will only stop when the students decide to make it stop. It really made me stop and think about a few people at my school who endure the constant stream of negative words hurled towards them with each day. It's sad that just because they don't stoop down to the level of pettiness, or they're not considered to be as "cool" as everyone else, that they are belittled and beat down. I don't feel that anything really separates them from everyone else, in fact, I think that they are much more interesting people to be around as opposed to the "cool kids." I try to always be kind to everyone, especially them, because they might need a friend more than anyone does. I'm not trying to sound preachy, or like a compulsive do-gooder who does all of this just to make myself look better as a person. I just wish that lots of other people would take the time to at least get to know the people before they make fun of them or anything else that hurts the other person.

When I got home, Wyatt and Andrew were here. When I walked in, Wyatt told me that he was happy that I got here before his mommy did, so he would get to spend some time with me. Little things like that really make my day!

I have a Botany ID test tomorrow, about which I am not really excited. I basically have the scientific names down, with the exception of a couple (silly Bur Oak and Western Ragweed). I have three trees in this group that I couldn't exactly remember what their leaves looked like (that's what we have to identify). I planned on looking up the pictures on the Internet at some point this evening, but that didn't happen because of what happened next. I have my plant collection with all of these leaves, but it is at school. Not because I forgot it there, but for circumstances beyond my control that have to do with my absence today. I was in the process of explaining this to my mom, and my dad, who was in the living room watching TV, chimed in and asked what was going on. I explained my predicament to him. After I did so, he said, "Come on, I know where we can find those trees, let's go." So, he and I proceeded to load up in his old white pickup. We drove down the road until we found one of the trees, and he stopped to let me collect a leaf, which I recognized after I saw it. He knew that one of our neighbors had the next tree, so we stopped in, and they let me have a leaf for the road. The only place he knew of that had the last tree was at our church. I figured that we'd try to find one slightly closer, but before I knew it, we were at church, and I got the last leaf I needed. As we were driving along, we talked about random things, mostly about my upcoming All-State audition. It is times like these that help me to realize the immense love my parents have for me. The fact that my dad was willing to just get up and go, all because I needed three measly leaves, just to help me pass a test, when I could've gone and looked them up on the Internet (A fact that my dad actually pointed out during our trip), means a lot to me. Our trip today is something that I will probably never forget. I hope that it will be a story that I can pass on to my children one day. Sometimes my dad is grumpy, but I know that deep down, he means well in everything he does. As a Senior, I treasure this moment, because I know that if I decide to leave to attend college, I won't be able to have as many moments like this with him. It also made me realize how much I take my dad for granted, with his random knowledge of this stuff. In a way, it also made me sad to think about Abbey, Able, and Audra, and many other people who are still experiencing much grief due to the loss of their dads, and the fact that they don't have this opportunity anymore. Poignant moments like this are things that I live for.
On an unrelated note, I am happy to hear that Zane's surgery went well yesterday. I love the fact that everyone is able to be updated almost instantly thanks to the techonologies of today. My thoughts and prayers still go out to Zane and all of his family, as they all enter into the healing phase of this journey.

Finally, my tryouts are incing closer...almost at the 48 hour mark. I have found that I am fine playing in front of my family or Ms. Lohmann, and also in my room by myself; however, when I play for everyone in Band, even just sitting in my normal spot, I panic. My hands were literally shaking. I went from perfectly serene to full-on basketcase in a matter of seconds. My tone was bad, I rushed in places that I have never rushed, I didn't have good breath support, and so on and so forth. I REALLY hope that this doesn't carry over to Saturday morning! That's the absolute last thing I need to have happen to me. Once again, good thoughts/prayers, anything would be great for Saturday morning! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Boys

Right now, I am in the midst of my Fall Break. So far, it has gone quite well, and I have no complaints. I have accomplished a few things from my to-do list, but I have also got to do something much better than that. I spent both yesterday and today, and will also spend tomorrow night, with my nephews.

I have been blessed with four wonderful, handsome, loving nephews. Each of my nephews holds a special place in my heart. Cody is the oldest, at 6 years old. He was born when I was in the 6th grade, and with each day, I find it harder to believe that he is a just doesn't seem possible! But here he is, beginning to build a life all his own, beginning to understand life and everything else just a little bit more with each day. He is learning to read and write, almost able to sound out some words. Cody is the artistic one, I think. I do believe that he is right-brain dominant in most every way. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he became an inventor, because he is always rigging something up with string/rubber bands/any other random thing he finds. My mom and I have come to the conclusion that if we are ever stranded on a deserted island, we want Cody with us, because he could find a way out. He reminds me of Macgyver. He also shares my love of music. He loves to sing and whistle at any chance he gets, which I love.

Wyatt is next at 4 1/2 years old. I was a 7th grader when he was born, and now Wyatt is in Preschool. Wyatt definitely has the most vivid imagination out of the four. He is always trying to recreate scenes from random movies with anyone who will go along with it. His favorite is Monsters, Inc., particularly the scene with the scream extractor, and I'm always Mike, and he is Randall. He is very affectionate most of the time, and generally he won't leave without getting his "lovings" in. He has learned how to spell and write his name, and he loves walking around informing us that "W-Y-A-T-T spells WYATT!!!!!" Not necessarily the hardest name to spell, perhaps, but even so, I love this. Wyatt is getting to the age where he is beginning to converse with people much better. My favorite thing is when he recites his nursery rhymes that he learns from school. He is very enthusiastic about school and learning, which I really love.

Kyle is 3 1/2, almost 4 years old. He was born in the middle of my 8th grade year. Next year, he will begin school, which he is very excited about. He is very inquisitive, always asking "Why?" to everything you tell him, which can be exasperating at times, but I usually try to explain, because he just has a thirst for knowledge is all. It is evident that Kyle is the youngest, because he is Cody's shadow. Everything Cody does, Kyle is two steps behind him. From the moment he was born, he didn't act like a baby; he always thought that he was a big boy. Kyle is a daredevil. He is always up to something that usually ends with a few bumps and bruises. He is not without fear, though. He is afraid of loud noises (particularly fireworks) and cows. For some reason he has it in his mind that the cows will bite him if he gets too close. An odd rationalization, maybe, but a guarantee that he won't go out in the pasture alone, definitely. My favorite thing is that he is very affectionate. He is a lover. When I am with Kyle, at least every 20-30 minutes, he tells me that he loves me, and I know that he means it. He has a caring personality, no doubt. I wish that many people would take lessons from him on how to love and care for others, because he does both like a champ.

Andrew is nearly 15 months old. He was born during the summer following my Sophomore year. He can walk, run, crawl, and do almost any other thing you can imagine. He is little, but he believes that he is just as big as the others. Andrew is my one and only Godson, as of yet. He is very expressive with all of the faces he makes. (My favorite is when he crinkles his nose and smiles) He is beginning to talk, although it is mostly babbles or random syllables. He does understand what you say, but he doesn't say much. Wyatt was like that too, and when he finally decided to talk, he never quit, so I'm still waiting for that day! He loves his mom more than anything, and no one really stands a chance with him when she is in the room. Today we learned that Andrew & I share a love of rain. My favorite thing is when he gives me hugs, which are amazing; he gives wonderful hugs for a little guy.

Each of my nephews are different, but for each difference, they have many similarities. They all love the outdoors, having tickle fights, reading books, and, most importantly, each other. They each have a special place in my heart. At times, they might get into my things, say things they shouldn't, and, sometimes, get on my last nerve, but at the end of the day, I would be lost without them, and the pure, limitless love that lies within their little hearts.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

2 Months: 1st Quarter Down!

Yikes! I think that each monthly update on school will begin with my mental freakout of the fact that my time as a Senior is slowly slipping by. It is crazy to realize that it is already Fall Break, thus meaning that the First Nine Weeks of my Senior year is gone. Only three more nine-week periods, and that's it! Everything is going just as fast as everyone told me that it would. At times it worries me that everything will pass me by in the rush of life, but I find comfort in the fact that I am doing my best to live it up, and have as much fun as possible with all of my amazing friends while I still have the opportunity to do so at my/their convenience. Here's the rundown of my classes!

American National Government:
The class is going well for me, and next Friday will be our 2nd test. (I did quite well on the first one, btw) At the moment, we are discussing the Civil Rights Movement. In about a month I will have to turn in my one and only (thank goodness!) paper. I haven't quite started on it, but I'll get around to that one of these days. I have to write a four to six page, double-spaced argumentative paper on the issue of teen drinking. I'm sure that it will be interesting.

American History to 1865:
I do believe that I have somewhat adjusted to my teacher. I suppose that she isn't as bad as I had originally put her out to be. I have found a better way to take notes for her class, which has helped tremendously. I just had my second test, on which, hopefully, I did well. I turned in my paper over the Battle of Gettysburg, and I am patiently awaiting my results on that, too. My fingers are crossed!

Spoiler Alert!!! There will be a future post dedicated solely to the events of this past week regarding Band! I am finally done, I repeat, DONE, with field marching for the rest of my life! I can't yet say how we did at contest, as I will do so in the aforementioned post to come. (Really though, I think everyone has a general idea, just saying) I am thrilled to start Concert Band next Tuesday! Also, my All-State tryouts are closer than I could imagine...9 days away. Yikes! I feel prepared, but I am getting nervous. It is literally coming down to the wire. Regardless of the outcome, I promise to dedicate a post to that as well. Also, if the thought comes to anyone reading this, I would love it if you could send a few prayers my way on the morning of Saturday, October 30th. I'll need all the help I can get!!! :)

Our collections are up to 58 different plants. Our collecting has slowed down a bit, I'm not entirely sure why, though. I would think that we would be all over that, since many/most species will be withering away in the coming weeks, but I suppose that that isn't my decision.

English IV:
Nothing new really, we did finish a unit on subject-verb agreement not too long ago. Since then, I have become increasingly aware of my sentence structures as I write. Soon I will have to decide on a new 9-Weeks novel. I'm not sure what I will choose, but, hopefully it will be much easier to follow than my previous book.

Library Aide:
Much of what I do in this hour pertains to me being on the yearbook staff. Have I mentioned that I have become the school paparazzi? Yes, that is me. Mrs. Fuxa sends me out on missions of acquiring lovely candid shots of everyday Pi-Hi. It is interesting what people do when a camera is pointed towards them. The Jr. High kids all ham it up and pose with their best buddies and make cheesy gestures. I'd say that the overwhelming majority of HS girls freak out when they so much as see the camera, usually saying, "Oh my gosh, you are NOT taking a picture of me!!!!!!!! I look horrible today!!!!" The guys are almost as bad as the JH kids, because they pose with their buddies, but instead of a cheesy gesture, they strike a tough-guy pose, or sometimes, they (try) to make mildly obscene gestures. True story.. Nonetheless, I have managed to capture some priceless pictures of my compadres.

Very soon, I will begin offseason practice. I will be entering a world of pain, tight muscles, and Icy-Hot.  I am trying to mentally prepare myself for this, but it's always much worse than I can force myself to remember. Each year, I am convinced that this is what it will be like as I age, which makes me dread that process even more, although I believe that the achy joints and pain beats the alternative by a long shot.

Other Highlights:
We recently celebrated Spirit Week, during which I had a load of fun! We had decent days this year: Monday was Redneck Day, which was highly misinterpreted as Western/Hillbilly/Redneck Day. Nonetheless it was good for some laughs. Tuesday was Favorite Team Day, which the Senior Class didn't participate in due to the fact that we were off collecting Carnival prizes. Wednesday was Stoplight Day. The code to the day: Green=Single, Yellow=In between/Talking to someone/It's Complicated, Red=In a Relationship. There were a few people who took it literally, and dressed in the whole Stoplight motif (those were my favorites, FYI). As for me, I totally rocked the Green Light look! Thursday was Halloween Day, another good one. Shea, Tonisha, and I had a cool group theme. Somehow, Shea managed to get ahold of two authentic Garfield County Inmate tops. So, Shea and Tonisha were inmates, and I dressed as a prison warden. Many people said I could've passed for the whole "Walker, Texas Ranger" look, but it was fun, no less. Friday was, of course, Spirit Day! Once again, Shea, Tonisha, and I made group t-shirts that spelled out PHS/Go, Fight, Win. I thought that they were pretty nifty, if I must say so myself.

Also, my class has another achievement to add to our list: We are the only class that has never, EVER, won Carnival. Not once. We usually came close in grade school, but in years past, everyone just had bad morale, and usually our candidates weren't that motivated, either.

Before I know it, it will be three months, and everyone will be in preparation for Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

YAB Weekend

I am coming to the end of a busy, fun-filled weekend. I'm barely hanging on, but I wanted to jot these thoughts down before I got too busy in the buzz of everyday life and put it off, and then never exactly get around to writing about it, because some other cool thing happened (You know how that goes...) I digress...

My weekend was literally kicked off at our Homecoming game on Friday. Spirit Week was fun, and I posted pictures on Facebook, which I think should suffice for that. We played Wellston, and we actually won the game! The final score was 70-49, which I thought was amazing in and of itself. I must say, the game took FOREVER. It wasn't over until about 10:45, which cut the dance short. I was glad that I got in for free (one perk of being a STUCO officer), or else I probably wouldn't have gone. It cost $5 to get into the dance, which I thought was highway robbery. The dance, although short, was loads of fun. I enjoyed some fun times with my friends. After I finally got home, I was out for the count, that's how exhausted I was!

Yesterday (Saturday) was an all-around awesome day! After I got up and around, I headed over to the church to get things set up and ready for me and my fellow YABers. Around 2:00, everyone started showing up. It was exciting because not only would I get to see old friends from last year, but also meet all of the newcomers. After everyone got their things all squared away in the room, we began with some ice breaker-type games to allow everyone to get to know each other better. There were 17 of us, with 5 "veterans" from last year, myself included. Perhaps it's the fact that everyone was getting to know each other all at once, but I honestly feel like this year's group is a much better fit than last year's. Although, my situation was different since I joined in the middle of the year, and everyone already knew and was comfortable with each other. Maybe that had something to do with it, I'm not sure. Anyway, I met so many amazing people this weekend, and made at least 12 new friends. Everyone was so positive and friendly, and I am already looking forward to our next meeting!

Some highlights from YAB:
-We prayed the Stations of the Cross at about 9:15 at night, outside. (For those of you who don't know/forgot, we have outdoor Stations of the Cross, that are illuminated at night.) It was a wonderful, prayerful experience.
-Among the 12 new friends I made, was a girl from St. Mark's in Norman. Last November when I attended the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Kansas city, I was roommates with three girls from St. Mark's. We spent about three days together, but in those three days, we became wonderful friends, as if we had known each other for years. It was sad to say goodbye, because we knew that, from a logistical standpoint, that we wouldn't be able to see each other for probably quite some time, if ever again. Of course, thanks to the Internet, I am able to keep them in my life in a different manner via Facebook. The girl I met this weekend was just as sweet as my roommates were, and I feel that we will be just as good of friends as I was/am with my roomies. Now this is nothing against any of my other friends I met this weekend, but I found it quite interesting that Celeste (my new St. Mark's buddy) is, like me, of Czech heritage! It is such an oddity, and I always am excited when I meet a fellow Czech! You see, these things are just meant to be :)
-Fr. Joe dropped in and gave a nice little talk. While he was there, he gave each of us a medal of Pope Benedict, which was blessed by none other than the Holy Father himself! I attached it to my St. Christopher's medal necklace, which I think is a nice touch.
-I think we had enough food for a small army. The ladies of the church were ever so gracious to provide us with nourishment for the weekend. Everyone ate so much, and there are still gobs of food left over!
-Thanks to me, 16 more people know how to make rosaries! (One guy already knew how to make them.)
-I also got at least five more people interested in making rosaries, and spreading it to others, as well.
-Everyone got to enjoy some relaxation in the "boonies." (LOL)

I really needed this weekend of retreat. I was getting to the point where I was just needing some time to just slow down and take some time for myself, and this weekend was perfect for just that. At the reception for the Marian celebration, (which was wonderful, I might add) I spoke with a wonderful woman. We shared our tales of heartache, for reasons that are different, yet the same. She gave me great insight, and more than anything, a sense of peace. She reminded me to just put it in God's hands, and let His will be done, and it will turn out for the best. Sometimes, one needs someone else to just reinforce what you already know and believe. The thing about the reinforcement though, it helps you to realize that there is truth in your beliefs, and that you are doing the right thing. We shared our stories, smiles, laughter, and a few tears (well, I did). We had a wonderful chat, and I am truly glad that I took the time to visit with her. 

All in all, I believe that it was a wonderful weekend, full of fun, friendship, and faith. It was exactly what I needed to help me regain perspective. Sometimes, in the daily grind of life, one gets so caught up in everything that has to be done, and they become so worn out and burned out that they forget to take the time to truly enjoy the little things that make life worth living. I have another busy week ahead of me, but I think I can do a better job of taking some time out to just enjoy everything a little bit more.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fun with Surveys

As I was perusing Facebook earlier, I happened upon this survey...Nothing too terribly interesting/note-worthy, but something I enjoyed nonetheless :)

Ten Things I Wish I Could Say to Ten Different People:

1. You are the most loving, generous person I know of, and I wish you would do more for yourself; you deserve it!
2. I don't know where I would be if it wasn't for you and all of your wisdom...
3. You are my best friend in the world, and I only want the best for you in the future.
4. I still love you...even if you never truly loved me.
5. Things haven't always been the best with us, but I believe that everything has worked out for the best and I wouldn't trade our friendship for anything in the world!
6. I wish I hadn't even given you the time of day in the first place.
7. You really need to lose the drama in your life.
8. You are such a strong, amazing person, and I hope that I can be like you, one day.
9. I hope I get to see you again...I believe that good things could happen if we got the chance to know each other.
10. I'm glad things didn't work out with someone, so that we could be such good friends :)

Nine things about myself:
1. Ever since I was born, I have lived on a farm.
2. I love random trivia!
3. I absolutely love the color of my eyes, my mom says that they are the exact same color as my great-grandma Hajek's and she's so glad that one of her children got her eye color :)
4. I love the rain, and nighttime.
5. I enjoy running, for some odd reason (Lol)
6. I am Catholic and proud of it!
7. My family is everything to me
8. I love to write!
9. I have a nearly photographic memory. (Notice the nearly I put in there, because I am not without fault)

Eight ways to win my heart:
1. Have a good sense of Humor
2. Share a common love of many things.
3. Be a good listener, but also be able to carry on conversation
4. Be Honest, Loving, Caring, and Polite.
5. Remember the little things
6. Have a positive, cheerful personality
7. Be a little bit of a nerd, like me :)
8. Don't smoke, do drugs, or drink

Seven things that cross my mind a lot lately:
1. Which college I should go to.
2. If I should even consider becoming a teacher or not.
3. Scholarships, and how I feel like I haven't accomplished that much while filling them out
4. Zane's upcoming surgery
5. The uncertainty of life.
6. Random homework assignments
7. Unfortunately, him.

Six things I do before I fall asleep:
1. Put on my pajamas
2. Brush my teeth
3. Take out my contacts
4. Reflect on the past day
5. Pray
6. Daydream about random thoughts as I'm drifting to sleep

Five people who mean a lot to me:
1. My parents
2. My Mimi
3. My sisters
4. Tonisha
5. Shea

Four things you're wearing right now:
1. A Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon" T-shirt
2. My comfy gray track sweats
3. Socks
4. My St. Christopher medal

Three songs that you listen to often:
1. Wonderwall-Oasis
2. When The Stars Go Blue-Tim McGraw
3. Little House-The Fray
Two things you want to do before you die:
1. Travel to a few places in the world.
2. Find my true love, get married, and build a wonderful, happy life, full of people I love.

One confession:
1. I absolutely hate when people assume that because I am a good student, I have no life, and can never be "popular" like they apparently are. No, I don't have a bustling social life, but I AM happy. I believe that high school popularity is no gauge for success in the real world.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fire Alarm Fiasco, and other stuff

I can't complain about my past week at all, well I'm sure I could if I wanted to, but I don't care to think about the negatives right now, so I will refrain from doing so. I ended up getting a 93 on my Government test :) (Go Me!) Last night, I successfully finished my American History paper over the Battle of Gettysburg, citations and all. It only took one evening and a few hours the next afternoon to knock that bad boy out! It is times like those that I am glad that I have a knack for writing, otherwise it may have taken much longer. I do believe that I will let Mrs. Strickland look it over tomorrow to make sure that I don't have any glaring grammatical errors. Last Thursday, my Botany class made it out to the Blakley homestead to collect leaves, although I wasn't sure that we would make it that far.

Interesting story, actually. Before I begin this story there are a few facts that should be known to make it easier to understand:
1) About three/four years ago, the school installed a new fire alarm/security system. At least once a year it goes off unintentionally, and it causes quite the fuss. The alarm makes a very obnoxious noise, and also has a strobe light attached to it. Repairmen are there at least twice a year to work on the system, at which time the alarms go off frequently and we are all told that they are testing the system, not be worried, and to stay put and NOT evacuate the building. We also never use this alarm system when we have a fire drill.
2) When I was an eighth grader, there was a bomb threat. It happened in the middle of band, and we thought that it was a fire drill. Because of that, no one took their coats and it was in the middle of November. Long story short, we were out there for almost two hours and everyone was freezing. (There were many other tidbits, but they don't pertain to my particular story.)

So I got to school on that particular Thursday, a wonderful day, really. A crisp, late September morning that was really quite wonderful. I was about to go on a plant collecting trip that I had been looking forward to since school began, and I also got to bring my lunch. (Yes, I was very excited about that for some odd reason.) Of course, it was Thursday, so I was able to sleep in, and I was very well rested. Great day! I got to school, and went into the Band room. We didn't have to go field march because the Softball girls were at their Regional tournament, and there are enough of them that make it hard to field march when they aren't there. So, we got to spend the morning working on memorization. A pleasant change of pace. We were in the midst of one of our songs, when suddenly, we heard the alarm going off. It was the alarm that no one trusted, so naturally, Ms. Lohmann told us to keep playing. A few short moments later, Mrs. Callicoat came dashing in there, telling us that we needed to evacuate. Ms. Lohmann ever so calmly cut us off, and told us to evacuate in an orderly fashion. I had flashbacks to the aforementioned bomb threat, so I took my jacket. When we got out there, no one knew why we were out there. The events were similar to the day of the bomb threat. The first thing I thought was that if is was a bomb threat, then we weren't going to be able to go collect. But, as it turns out, there actually was a fire. Mr. Norton, who was teaching 7th grade science across the hall, was apparently performing an experiment. Something to do with the burning of Magnesium, I heard. The science rooms are in the new wing of the school, and the rooms have a wonderful air ventilation system, as we were told after it was built. I believe that the ventilation system is also linked up to a smoke alarm system. They have some nice little orange plastic covers for these vents that are to be used specifically for situations when experiments are being performed, so it won't set the alarm off. Mr. Norton, must have forgotten about those, because after we were let back inside, he was standing on a chair putting those on, as we entered his room. That broke the monotony of the daily grind.

Finally, a few more updates: As of Friday (10/1), it was official that YAB is coming to Bison, and they will be able to stay for our Marian celebration! I am excited, and very much looking forward to that weekend, which will be in two weeks!
Yesterday, my Quiz Bowl compadres and myself went to the Skeltur tournament. All in all, it was a successful day! We came out with a 4-3 record, (we lost to Drummond, Kremlin, and Garber) and a 3rd place plaque, which I accepted ever so gleefully. I am almost positive that I made the All-Tournament Team, but I won't be sure until a few weeks from now, so here's hoping! Through the course of the day I answered 46 questions, which is quite a lot, no doubt.
A few random facts that I knew:
Lucille Ball's middle name was Desiree, and Vivian Vance was a costar on two sitcoms she starred in, both bearing her name. (I Love Lucy is one of my all-time favorite TV Shows)

The structure of the ankle bone is somewhat akin to a hard boiled egg, with the shell on.
(A lucky guess on that one, actually)

Miep Hies was the person ultimately responsible for finding Anne Frank's diary from the secret annex, she gave the diary to Anne's father, Otto, who got it published, and Miep also received a Nobel peace prize in the late 90's, I believe. (I have a mild obsession with the WWII era, particularly with Anne Frank's story...I own a copy of the diary, and some other random books regarding the topic, which talk about Miep in some detail)

There were many others, as could be expected, but those were some of my favorites...anyway, the past week was good, and hopefully this week will be just as good, if not better!