Monday, January 31, 2011

Second Semester Update

Yesterday I came to the realization that I haven't updated on my classes for a while. There is no earth-shattering news in any of my classes, but for personal reasons I will update on them anyway. I can't believe that I only have about 3 1/2 months left of high school! Sheesh! Before I know it, I will be walking across the stage on May 14. I am excited, but nervous at the same time. I am definitely at a crossroads in my life, and if I am not right now, I am on the verge of being there. Everything that I have come to know is slowly changing, and before I know it, my life will be different in many ways. Without further ado, here are the updates!

Concurrent-English Composition I
Where do I begin? I love this class!!! My teacher is an awesome lady. She is very with-it, and she isn't like the stereotypical fussy English teacher. She knows what she is talking about, but she knows how to explain things in a way that everything doesn't go over our heads. She is understanding, and best of all, she is lots of fun! Today we were given our first assignment, which was to write a two-page classification/definition essay over any topic of our choice. That's another thing I like about her--she lets us pick our topic for all of our major assignments, just so it'll be that much easier for us. I think that it will be a great semester for me in that class!

2nd Hour...
I don't really have a 2nd hour this semester. I chose to do it this way for a few reasons. Many times when there are school activities, we'll leave around 9:00, which gives me plenty of time to get back to school from NOC...(Ms. McCoy lets us out around 8:45 on most days, which allows for 15 minutes, and is how long it takes to get to the school by driving the speed limit) Also, on the days that I don't have class, I am still able to sleep in and get ready in a leisurely manner! On the days I have class, it can be a minor hassle at times, but on the days I don't, it is awesome!

3rd Hour-Band
Right now we are in the midst of preparation for District Contest. We have picked out our contest numbers, and are working quite hard to perfect them. The first song is "Children of the Shrine" by James Swearingen, or as we more commonly refer to it, "Children of the Corn". The other song is "Joy Revisited" by Frank Ticheli. I love that song so much! Other than that, there isn't much else going on in Band.

4th Hour-Zoology
We are no longer studying plants, and have moved on to animals in Zoology. So far we have covered the phylums of Porifera and Cnidarians, which include sponges and jellyfish/hydras, respectively. This week we are talking about flatworms (I can't remember its phylum because it is a long word that I can barely pronounce, much less remember or spell). It is a different structure, but I still like the class almost as much as Botany.

5th Hour-English
Now that we have begun our 2nd semester, we have switched gears from Grammar to British Literature. We are in the midst of reading Macbeth. I get to read the part of Lady Macbeth, who is a vile, machiavellian character. I didn't see that one coming, but it's okay. It's a good story, after you get past the Elizabethan English.

6th Hour-Library Aide
Still, not much here...

7th Hour-Athletics
I am currently in the process of getting back into running shape, and it is going quite well, all things considered. Some days it is hard and I don't like it, but most of the time, it is fine. It makes it worthwhile because my best friends are in there with me, so it is okay.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wyatt's Birthday Weekend

This weekend we celebrated Wyatt's 5th birthday. He actually got two parties yesterday, which was how I spent the bulk of my day. Before I get much farther, I'll go back to Thursday (the 27th), his actual birthday. On Wednesday night, Wyatt fell asleep on his way home from his babysitter's house. He hadn't napped all day, so he was pretty exhausted. Needless to say, when he fell asleep at about 6:00, he was out. (As a side note, Wyatt is a heavy sleeper.) Try as she might, Gina couldn't get him to wake up once they were home. Like I said, he was OUT. Because he fell asleep so early, Wyatt had absolutely no problem waking up early. By early, I mean 3:45 AM. Yikes! To skip over minor details I'm not sure of, I'll suffice it to say that when we went over to their house at 8:15 PM, although he took a small nap on the way home, Wyatt was wound up. He was very excited about his birthday and the fact that he got a new bicycle. That was Thursday.

On Saturday, his first party was at the Burger King Playplace with all of his Pre-K buddies. When I got there, all of the kids present were ready for fun! At his request, Wyatt's party was Batman-themed. He had a really good turnout for his party. All of the boys and one girl from his class came, his cousin Zoey was there, and also, Cody and Kyle. Everyone just loved it! I got lots of good pictures that I would post if my computer was capable of doing so. All of the kids played well together, and they were very well-behaved. After we got done with his first party, my mom and I ran a couple of errands, and, for once I was the aunt who was really with it, and I printed off the pictures of Wyatt's classmates for Gina to give to their parents. I was proud of myself!

Wyatt's other party was later in the evening, mainly for all of the family. It was more of a low-key event, but it was still fun! Gina made an awesome cake with a Batman logo made of fondant. (It was Gina's first time to work with fondant, and I think it turned out quite well!) Wyatt got all kinds of Batman action figures, Batmobiles, t-shirts, etc. I was the non-traditional aunt who got Wyatt Chutes and Ladders and a can of Silly String. Silly String is my signature gift, because it is inexpensive, lots of fun, and the boys all love it! It is a great outdoor activity for the boys. Even though the silly string gets everywhere, it cleans up easily and if it gets left on the floor/carpet/clothes it will dry up, and can be swept away! Gotta love it! Wyatt ended up getting a bigger can than usual only for the fact that there were only big cans at Wal-Mart, but its okay!

Before Wyatt's evening party, I got to go pick up my Mimi! I love it when I am able to do that, because I get to spend a little bit of uninterrupted time with Mimi, and we can talk about anything. I usually talk about school, and she usually tells me little tidbits of things that have happened since we last spoke. I cherish this time so much. This time we talked about college, possible career paths for me, my great-aunt's back surgery, and a few other things. My mom joined us when I took Mimi home. After we got back to her house, she told my mom and I about where she kept a few things in the event that...well, you know. It's a thought that I think about occasionally, although I really don't want to. I fear for the day that my Mimi is gone, because I love her so, so much, and I don't want to lose her, but I know that it is a part of life. That is why I cherish all of the time that I spend with my Mimi.

Before I go much further, and get myself into a bad state of mind, I should explain the other reason why the "bad stuff" is on my mind. My best friend Tonisha's grandpa suddenly died in a tragic accident on Friday night. My heart hurts for her and her family during this difficult time. I know that Tonisha and her family are all strong of faith and will eventually regain a sense of peace in their lives, but for now I can only imagine the immense grief that they are experiencing. With that in mind, and then having Mimi tell my mom and me about where her things are, it made me think about the worst, but I will try to refrain from going there any more.

Before this once happy post becomes morose, I should add some happy news. I am finished with my application to UCO, and, as soon as I can get one of my parents to sit down with me and go over a few other things, I will be ready to submit my application! I soldiered through the drudgery that is better known as the scholarship application. I also created my first resume, which wasn't as big of a deal as I thought it would be. After working almost tirelessly for abouth three nights, I finally finished the scholarship application, and I feel so relieved! In the next two days, I will probably have it submitted! Hooray!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Most Depressing Day of the Year?

According to a few sources, today, January 24, 2011, was supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. The sources claim that on this day, the majority of people who made New Year's Resolutions realized that they have not followed through or made sizeable progress on their plans for the year. Apparently, the sudden realization that yet another year will probably pass that they won't lose those stubborn 15 pounds or learn to salsa dance or go on an African Safari. Add bitterly cold temperatures and dreary weather to the equation, and this just pushes some people over the edge. And it just magically happens on January 24, so the sources say. I take it with a grain of salt, personally, because I have never really been the kind of person to make resolutions, but I am only 17-going-on-18, and maybe one day I will be in that position. Who knows?!


Anyway...
After hearing this news on the radio while I was driving to class, I decided to just see how the day actually turned out, and whether or not I would be in extreme emotional turmoil by the time I got home. So my day began with my Comp class. We are currently discussing classification essays, and today we read an example essay in class. The essay was entitled "No Wonder They Call Me A Bitch". You can't make this stuff up. No lie, that's what the essay was called. The essay was written by the food editor for Spy Magazine, which is no longer in publication. She wrote about her adventure of taste-testing various brands of dog food. She was very explicit in her descriptions of the appearance, content, and TASTE of these types of dog food. I'll spare you the gory details, because it honestly makes my stomach turn to think about it. The author obviously did her research, and she also wrote about the things that dog food is made of. That, in itself, is a deeply disturbing thought, although no worse than considering the content of, oh, say, bologna? It was not the best reading material for 8:00 on a Monday morning, but I survived. (Somehow, I feel like I'm overdramaticizing this a little, but it was gross.) After we read the essay, Ms. McCoy (my teacher) began to discuss this essay with my class. We had quite the conversation, and commented on various elements of the essay. As we were discussing advertising techniques that dog food companies use to entice consumers, Ms. McCoy brought out a box of dog treats. She told us that she wanted to know how they tasted and if the advertising was accurate. She asked if anyone in the class would be willing to try them. Finally, one brave soul ventured to the front of the room, and said that he would try a dog treat on the condition that she would too. They both took a bite, and the look on the guy's face was one of utter disgust. To see this unfold, it was one of the most hilarious things I have seen in a while. I was laughing so hard from his comments about the dog treats, that I was almost crying! On that note, our class was dismissed! After leaving the class, I had the comfort of knowing that if my day was to suddenly fall to shambles, at least I had one hilarious moment from the day to keep in my back pocket.

Eventually, I got back to Pioneer, and continued on in what I was thinking would be a normal day of school. After lunch, I headed to Mrs. Strickland's Class, and waited patiently to begin our typical Monday vocabulary assignment. Mrs. Golay was standing in the doorway to the room, talking to a few people, and suddenly the lights began to flicker a little bit. Mrs. Golay was right next to the light switch, so I figured that she accidentally bumped the switch with her elbow. That's about when I realized that the lights were also off in the next classroom, and that the lights weren't coming back on. This meant one thing: BLACKOUT!!!!! (As a side note, there was another blackout during my 8th grade year that included a food fight and having to practice basketball in the dark gym.) It was just what we needed to break up the monotony of the school day! With the sudden darkness, two things happened: 1) Everyone pulled out their cell phones or other light-generating objects, at the request of Mrs. Strickland. 2) The majority of my class reverted to a childlike state (more so than usual, actually) It definitely brought some humor to our day. After sitting around for a while, all classes were moved to the gym, since virtually none of the classrooms have windows and were pitch black. The time spent in the gym was great, because everyone got to hang out with their friends and just talk for about 1 1/2 hours. My friends and I had all kinds of profound discussions..well they weren't really that profound, because they were mostly about prom. We were sorely disappointed that school wasn't let out for the occasion (We are such seniors!) When we finally made a venture to the bathroom, the lights magically returned. Everyone was disappointed that the power returned, but life goes on. As it turned out, there was a squirrel that bit into a wire at the Waukomis power station, that caused a small fire and much chaos in the greater Waukomis area. This will be a memory that I will hang on to for quite some time. I'm sure that this will be brought up at my ten-year reunion, and any other subsequent reunions. I'm also sure that, provided I have children in the first place, I will pass this story on to them, looking back with a sense of nostalgia.

So the most depressing day of the year, eh? My day was not horifically traumatic by any means. It was actually one of my favorite days of the year, so far. (Yes, there isn't much to compare this with, but even so...) I honestly think that January is much too early to have the most depressing day; the year just began! February or March would seem more plausible, perhaps, but I don't find March to be depressing at all, because it contains Spring Break and my Birthday! Also, spring begins, and warmer weather slowly creeps our way.

No matter the case, I hope that everyone managed to hang in there for the day, and embrace the joy found in the little things in life!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

This & That

Today I am feeling random, so here are some stories of things that have happened during my week, Enjoy!

I loved the snow that we got this week, but we still have yet to get a snow day at school. I'm pretty bummed about this, because it is the best part of Winter, in my opinion. We only got to start an hour late on Thursday, which really wasn't a big deal to me, since I get to school during 3rd Hour. I also loved the fact that the roads were pretty much clear by yesterday, and the dirts roads really aren't muddy at all! It made my trip to class much easier than I anticipated. The only thing I didn't like about the snow? Yesterday, as I was leaving my NOC class and walking to my pickup, I happened to slip on a patch of ice that was nicely concealed by some snow and I fell on my butt. Yes, there were a lot of people who saw the spectacle, and they probably got their laugh for the day; at least I was able to bring joy to someone's life yesterday. As quickly as possible, I picked myself up and kept trucking. I did incur some minor bruising, mostly of my pride, but it's okay!

Emily and I decided to teach 2nd Grade Sunday School this year. It is challenging, but ultimately rewarding. I feel bad because I have abandoned Emily a few times this year, but I know that after I turn 18, she will probably return the favor. I digress...Last Sunday, we decided to do a lesson over Moses. None of the things were in the book, so we basically free-lanced it, but I think that it was very successful. I actually learned things in the process, so that made it even better! Emily told the story about the ten plagues in Egypt, and the kids really ate it up. The look on their faces when she talked about all of the plagues, particularly the frogs and the water that turned to blood, was priceless. As I said, we were successful!


Today is my best friend Tonisha's 18th birthday! She had to work today, so I decided that I would give her her present yesterday at school. Tonisha loves to read, and we have very similar taste in books, so I decided that I'd get her a book. She, like me, is a connoisseur of a good love story. As I have mentioned previously, I finished reading "The Time Traveler's Wife", and Tonisha said that she would like to read it at some point. With that in mind, right after I finished the book, I went out and bought it for her! When she opened it, she was pretty excited, so I think I did a good job picking out her present! Here's hoping that she had a great day!

Evidence that my Senior Year is almost over is piling up around me. Earlier today, it was literally piling up. Yesterday, my class got information about the famous Senior Video. I have been looking forward to this for years, especially after seeing Gina & Emily's videos. I already had a few pictures that I like set aside, just waiting for this occasion. This afternoon, for lack of willpower and ideas of better things to do, I decided to sit down and look through our vast collection of pictures to find a few to choose from. I found all kinds of pictures from my childhood, some that I forgot we had. I literally went through hundreds of pictures trying to find ones that I really like. After about an hour of looking, I found more than enough pictures. I know that I won't use all of them, but I found a starting point. Besides, I still need the input of my parents and sisters! I came to a few realizations while looking at pictures of myself in my younger years.
  1.) It is oh-so obvious that I was the little sister who wanted to be a part of EVERYTHING my sisters did, or that I followed my sisters constantly, because there are so many pictures that are of my doing something, with me in the immediate background, or right at the front with the action. Wherever they were, I was right there, too. No wonder they would get irritated with me sometimes!
  2.) I was a bit of a drama queen when I was younger...(Emily, I know exactly what you're thinking right now, and no I'm not!) There were a lot of pictures of me making these weird faces, thinking that I was being cute, but actually, I wasn't. Yikes!
  3.) I dislike most of the pictures of me from 5th grade to the end of 7th grade, because I was horrifically awkward in almost every way. (I was the girl who was at least 6 inches taller than the guys in my class until 8th grade) Back then, I thought that I was the coolest kid on the planet, and, honestly, I wasn't. Oh well, life goes on.
  4.) I was a cute little kid (as in ages 3-6). I can't believe that I'm saying this, because it seems conceited, and I'm not that kind of person, but everyone is entitled to one conceited thought every once in a while (that's my theory). I was definitely a lively, bouncy cheerful little kid, or at least the pictures make it seem as such. But also, I know that I was a total brat at times. Yes, it happens to the best of us. Both things make me hopeful and fearful for the day that I have children of my own, God willing!

This morning, Emily and Scotty invited me and Gina (her kiddos included) over for breakfast. As we were standing and drinking coffee, Cody was playing with one of his Nerf dart guns. He happened to shoot one that barely missed my coffee cup, and it scared me a little bit. This was the point when Cody looked at me and said, "Aunt Amanda, that 's why they call it a Nerf dart, because it'll make you nervous!" I don't know where he gets these things, but he always has something funny to say!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Epiphany!!!

Earlier this evening I was going through some papers for my college applications, and I was feeling quite frazzled. Quite honestly, I was in a horrible state of mind to be going through those particular papers. Although I have finished the NOC & St. Greg's applications (well, actually I'll probably add an essay to that one), I was looking through the remainder of my USAO application.

I started looking at the extent of the scholarship application and all of the ridiculous questions it was asking, and all of the "stuff" that they wanted to know, and, honestly, I didn't want to fill it out. It wasn't because I was trying to procrastinate, or because I wasn't willing to think, or just being lazy in general. I felt this sudden nagging feeling inside of me telling me that I shouldn't fill out that application. Although I have seen a lot of good things about USAO and Chickasha in general, it's just on paper, and people can make anything look good on paper if they are trying to sell something. I don't really know anyone who went there or currently goes there, and I have never been to Chickasha in my life. I began to feel very ill at ease about even filling out the remainder of the application. As Debra would say, it was a "nudge", telling me that I really shouldn't go there.

Almost as soon as I came to this realization, I also happened to recall some advice from my dad, two of my aunts, various teachers, and a few friends of mine. I also remembered a thought that I had had back in October. They all added up: I should really consider UCO. And there it was...my epiphany! When I had considered it back in October, everything seemed like a really good idea, and I felt very content with the idea. I happened to mention it to my parents and sisters. They all seemed pretty receptive to my idea, particularly my dad. He had a former co-worker who has a daughter who is going there, and he had nothing but good things to say about it. I have heard lots of people say positive things about UCO, and I think that it is worth a shot. I honestly feel really good about UCO, and I believe that I will be arranging a college day there in the near future.

For the first time in a long time, I feel like I have regained my peace of mind about my college situation, and I am feeling much, much better. In the next week, I will complete the online application, and go from there! Here's hoping that everything will work out well!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ten on Tuesday!

1. Last weekend, after my All-Area concert, I was lucky enough to get to spend some much-needed quality time with my sisters! Gina needed to run a few errands in town, and Emily needed to be dropped off at her in-law's house (in Enid), and I decided to tag along! Actually, it wasn't just us girls, because Andrew was with us also, but he, too, was good company! I do believe that last Saturday was the most I have laughed in a long while, so hooray for the good times!

2. While I was with Gina and Emily, we made a stop at Wal-Mart, and I made yet another purchase off of my gift card. (I had more left on it than I originally thought that I would) I ended up getting another CD. I got the "new" (it's been out for at least a year) CD by The Fray, which happens to be one of my favorite bands. I really wanted to get this CD in the first place, but Wal-Mart didn't have it in stock at the time...but they did on Saturday! I love it just as much as I thought I would!

3. Today I completed a little bit more work on my college apps, and I got my official transcripts from high school. (Still need the NOC transcript, but I'm working on that one). I think I'm also going to apply to UCO (in Edmond) just because it's worth a shot, and it is a good teaching college. (That's what I think I want to do for the moment, at least.)

4. Monday was my first college class of the semester. I am taking English Comp I, and, although I will elaborate more later, I LOVE the class already. My teacher is awesome, and she has a true passion for teaching, so I think that it will be a good semester!

5. I loved the snow that we got this weekend/last night, but I am slightly disappointed that school didn't get cancelled! Actually, I'm okay with school not getting cancelled, because that makes it that much sooner that I get to graduate. Anyway, I was a little bit nervous about having to drive into Enid yesterday, with the roads being a bit treacherous and all, so my mommy was nice enough to drive me into town for class! Hooray for moms, too!

6. What is it with Junior High kids these days?! Although there are a few exceptions, I swear that they become more and more clueless with each year! It seems like most of my class was never that clueless when we were back there (I could be biased in that opinion), but even if we were clueless to an extent, we weren't as bad as the current JH kids! Yesterday, I was planning on riding the bus home (I didn't drive to school, remember), and I didn't know what time the bus left, so I went and asked the group of JH kids waiting in the old gym. When I asked them, they all looked at me as if I was speaking Chinese. When one of them finally answered my question, they really didn't answer it, because they told me that they had no idea what time the bus came. Sheesh...Thankfully my dad picked me up, and I didn't have to worry about catching the bus. Perhaps I should be more patient, but there is only so much I can handle.

7. On a happier note, I happened to get a new pair of snow boots yesterday morning! While my mom and I were in town, my dad asked her to get him a new pair of coveralls, because he was having issues of some sort with his current pair. When we stopped to get his coveralls, I happened to notice a cute looking pair of snow boots. My mom told me that I could try them on, and if they fit me that I could get them! I was excited because I didn't have any snow boots at that point, and I usually resorted to swiping my mom's to trek outside in the snow, which left my mom without snow boots and irritated with me. With all of that in mind, my mom figured that I could benefit from having my own snow boots. I love them! They are fleece-lined, which is great because my feet are ALWAYS cold, so now my feet are toasty and dry!

8. Saturday is my Area Quiz Bowl tournament. It will be in Hobart, which is a good 3-hour drive from here. It will definitely be an early morning and a long day, but I hope that we will be successful enough that our trip won't be a total waste! The Area tournament is the only thing standing between my team and State. It would be so great if we could make State, but I also understand that it might not work out that way. I will update on that after Saturday!

9. On a related note, I happen to have a chance at making All-State in Quiz Bowl. How cool is that?! Mrs. Grant has told me that I have a decent shot at making it, but most of it will ride on how I do scoring-wise this weekend. I would love to be able to make All-State in something, since I didn't make it in Band, but I guess I'll have to wait and see!

10. My final happy thought for the week: Last Thursday, Emily and her boys came over for a while, and I had a great visit with them. The whole time they were over, Kyle had a little teddy bear rigged up where it would stay in his hat. Right before they left, I told Kyle about how I liked his teddy bear, and he told me that I could keep it! I told him that it was fine, and he should keep his teddy bear since it was his. He proceeded to tell me that I needed to keep it so I could think of him when I looked at it, and he wanted me to keep it by my bed. It was one of the cutest things that I have heard, and, after he said that, I knew that I should probably keep it. I told him that if he wanted it back, that he could have it, but he insisted that I keep it. Gotta love it!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quiz Bowl, All-Area, and Other "Stuff"

After a day of recuperation, I am finally ready to get back on the blogging wagon! The past three days have been long and draining. Anyway, it all started on Thursday, at the NOC Quiz Bowl meet at Tonkawa. We had a great day at the tournament! I enjoyed going to this tournament because it is set up in a different format than regular quiz bowl is, so it was a definite change of pace. The regular format for quiz bowl is 20 toss-ups, speed rounds (for both teams), 20 more toss-ups, and one more set of speed rounds. The format at this meet consisted of two-twelve question halves. Also, if your team answered a question correctly, you were given four bonus questions for your team only. It was harder to get in a groove with that format, but it was a good change of pace. Personally, I had a good day, by means of how I did answering questions. My favorite questions that I answered were actually in two sets of bonus questions. One set of bonus questions was about the rules of Blackjack, which is one of my favorite card games that I play often on a game on my computer. The other was about random hand tools, including Vice-Grips and a crowbar; I think I can attribute most of that one to living on a farm and having to familiarize myself with various handtools while fetching them for my dad on occasion.

We went 4-2 for the day. Our first loss was bogus, if you ask me, because our moderator didn't do a very good job. She misread some things that gave the advantage to the other team, and she also didn't abide by some basic quiz bowl rules. Also, did I mention that during the aforementioned round that the temperature of the room we were in was at least 85 degrees? Yes. It was like stepping into an incinerator. Apparently, the entire heat/air system for that building was ran off of a single unit, and the thermostat in the room itself was merely decoration, because it didn't help the situation in the slightest. After we left that room, things started looking up. We did well in the next three rounds, despite the fact that two of the three rounds were in the hot room, consecutively. After those rounds, Mrs. Grant (our coach) told us that all of our faces were red from the heat. The next round, we were down 125-0 at the end of the first half. However, we managed to get 110 points in the next few questions. It all came down to the last two questions. As it turned out, we didn't win, and were consequently eliminated. We ended up in 4th place, and had we made it one more round, we would have gotten a team plaque, but that's sometimes the way things go. Besides, we did get a token of good news. I happened to make the NOC All-Tournament Team, as one of the top scorers for the day! I ended up with a decent sized plaque of my own, that now hangs on my wall!

Friday was All-Area Honor Band. I love going to this, and I felt a little bit sentimental at the end, because I realized that it was the last time that I would ever get the chance to participate in something like that. The whole clinic was an overall success. Our clinician was Mr. Parham, who was familiar with the area because he used to teach at Garber and Hennessey. I thought it was interesting, because he gave both Gina and Emily private lessons during his tenure at Hennessey, and here he was, over ten years later, directing the honor band for my Senior year! I liked the songs that we played, although one of the songs consisted of me playing a pattern of four quarter notes, on the same note, for a total of 65 measures. Although those measures weren't consecutive, it was very monotonous by the end of the song. I liked my stand partner; we were also stand partners last year, so we got along just fine. She is a senior like I am, and we both expressed our frustration with the fact that the girl in first chair was a sophomore. My stand partner and I were 6th and 5th chair, respectively. Every year I somehow manage to forget how cerebral playing your horn for six hours can be, because I was completely exhausted on Friday night. It's the same every year, but I somehow managed to overlook the fact. The concert went well, and I will miss this next year.

Today, I guess one could say that I made progress, of sorts. I finally decided to make time to fill out college "stuff". I completed the bulk of my St. Gregory's & USAO applications, and also a scholarship form. I have a few things that I can't quite answer on my own, so I will be taking those to school tomorrow to ask Mrs. Golay. Also, I will have to get at least three notarized copies of my transcript, so I'm sure that Mrs. Dees will just love me. Along with my high school transcripts, I will have to get three college transcripts from NOC. I am hoping that it won't be as much of a hassle as I am anticipating it to be. I also hope that I will be able to send in all of my college applications by the end of this week, or the end of next week, at the absolute latest.
 
Tomorrow will be my first day of my English Comp class, and I hope that it will go well for me. I have rambled long enough, so I'll end it here. I hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Peace of Mind

For the past couple of weeks, I have felt troubled for some reason. I felt like everything was swirling around me, out of my control, and like I had no grip on things. My mind has been bogged down with thoughts about the past, the present, and more than usual, the future. Sometimes I am prone to getting myself in a "slump" like this; I don't like it, but sometimes it happens. I become preoccupied with all of the what-ifs of my life. Like What if I can't decide where I should go to college? What if I get to college to realize that I should have gone somewhere else? What if I am stuck with excessive debt from college for the rest of my life? What if after I get out of college I can't find a job? What if something bad happens that prevents me from living a successful life? What if I'm not successful? Like I said, sometimes my thoughts can spiral out of control, leaving me feeling mentally weighed down, and I tend to be a worrier about some things, which definitely doesn't help matters.

I don't like feeling like this at all; I like being the happy, bubbly optimistic person that I know I am capable of being. Sometimes, if it were possible, I'd love it if I could just be temporarily suspended from reality, and just live in my own little world, where I had nothing to worry about in the least. But, like I said, that isn't possible, so I managed to find a more plausible solution. I have discovered that when I am in this state of mind, I need silence to still my mind. So, with that in mind, here is what I do: First of all, it has to be at a time of day when I know that I can be alone with my thoughts, so it is usually right before I go to sleep. Then I light a candle, because I have also discovered that candlelight can be relaxing, as well. The next thing is to shut off the lights. Finally, I put in a pair of earplugs. Yes, earplugs. (When I say silence, I mean silence!) What happens next is that I usually just sit in bed, and I talk to God. I have a heart-to-heart with Him, and I tell him what's troubling me, or just what's on my mind, in a free-flowing prayer that goes wherever I want it to. It's not necessarily prayer in the traditional thought of it, but I have found recently that prayer is more than saying the same thing every day, or being formal, or thinking that there are certain things that can't be said. After I usually sit for about thirty minutes or so, or until I get tired, I go to sleep (after blowing out the candle, of course; a house fire is not exactly conducive to a peaceful mind) with a feeling of absolute serenity. I feel like all is right in my world, and that I can rest easy knowing that everything is in God's hands. Perhaps that is how I get in that frame of mind in the first place. I think that I have to know all of the answers to everything, and that I have to have everything figured out at that exact moment, when, in reality, It isn't possible! God is always there to lighten the burden; it is merely a matter of humbling yourself enough to realize that you can't do it alone, and that you need His help. It is a fact that the average person is strong enough mentally to handle many of the problems that are usually encountered in life. The other fact that many overlook is that when it all becomes too much for even the strongest person to handle, God is always there for you.

I know that I am a spiritual person, and that I have a love for God that is immense. The thing I have a problem with is putting my exact thoughts about God, and other spiritual matters into words. My words cannot accurately convey what it is exactly that I feel in my heart. It is amazing that the one thing that can truly render me speechless, is the one thing that is truly greater than me or anything I can ever be.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

I remembered this time!!!

1. For the most part, the last half of my Christmas Break was fairly uneventful and quiet. Although the uneventfulness got a bit monotonous towards the end, it was probably for the best so I could rest up and find some peace before the whirlwind of events in this semester.

2. Yesterday, my mom and I decided to venture into Enid to stop by NOC to buy my English Comp book. Yesterday was the first day the bookstore was open for this semester. Technically, I could've gone any time this week during the morning when I didn't have to be at school, but I was afraid of having to wait and ending up late to school. It always surprises me how much college books cost, as my one book cost $81.58 with tax included. I think it's all a moneymaking scam for the colleges, personally.

3. After we finished up at NOC, we headed over to Hobby Lobby so I could get the pillow forms for my new throw pillows. I could've got the batting, but I figured that since they had the nice little pillow forms that were percfectly (and evenly) stuffed, I would take advantage of that. Minus some hand sewing that I will probably do tonight, I have two beautiful throw pillows that coordinate with my room!

4. After Hobby Lobby, my mom needed a couple of things from Wal-Mart, so we headed out there for our last stop. As we got to the stoplight to turn to go there, my mom noticed that there was a lady behind us who looked an awful lot like Emily, and as it turned out, it was Emily! It was quite the coincedence that we happened to run into each other like we did , but I thought it was pretty cool!

5. While we were in Wal-Mart I remembered that I happened to have a gift card for there. At the fear of forgetting it and losing most of the money on it (you know how that goes), I decided to try to find something to buy with it. Although I am a practical person who usually doesn't buy unnecessary things on a whim, I decided that I should go against my usual nature and get something that I actually want, not need. More or less, something that is fun that I wouldn't usually buy for myself. After much deliberation, I decided to buy a Goo Goo Dolls CD that had almost all of my favorite songs on it. I have recently fallen in love with the Goo Goo Dolls...I know, they're not exactly new or anything, but I realized that I love quite a few of their songs, so I was happy with my purchase!

6. Much of my time during the last half of Christmas Break was spent with my nose buried in a book. I managed to finish three books during last week. Although I am a fast reader, no, I didn't start all three books last week. The first book was "Homecoming" by Cynthia Voight; I had been reading on this book for the past couple of months. It was a slow read, but good, nonetheless. The second book I finished was "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger. I borrowed the book from Debra, and I have to say that it was one of my favorite books I have read thus far. Of course, I am a lover of tasteful love stories, so I had an easy time getting into it. The only thing about that book that took me a while is the fact that it was 534 pages long, and it was a book that you had to read piece by piece, and just let it settle for a while. The final book I read only took about 1 1/2 days to read. It was "The Lucky One" by Nicholas Sparks. Tonisha & I both love Nicholas Sparks books, and we both decided that it was one of our absolute favorites of all of his books. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is in need of just a good love story with a hint of suspense.

7. Today was my first day back to school. I really didn't want to go back. Well, I did, because I could see Tonisha, Shea, and Tevis, and all the rest of my friends, but I didn't because it was nice to be away from the constant stream of drama that surrounds school. Hearing about all of that constantly is annoying, and just reminds me of how happy I am to almost be done with high school. I do believe that I am beginning to show signs of Senioritis...hopefully I can make it to May!

8. Not that I necessarily forgot, but I kind of forgot how much I love being around all of my friends at school after having been separated from them for the past two weeks. When I am around them, I become almost animated, and I have a constant stream of chatter and laughter. They bring life to me, and are some of my only motivation for going to school every day.

9. We have a four-day week this week, and I have somehow managed to be able to miss out on two of those days! On Thursday, Quiz Bowl is going to a tournament at NOC in Tonkawa, which will last essentially all day, and I am pretty excited about getting to spend the day with my quiz bowl buddies! Friday is the clinic for the All-Area Honor Band, and I am fairly excited about it. It will be a bit sentimental for me on Saturday (the concert) because I will have participated for the past six years, and this will be my last performance in the band. Hopefully, I will be able to see some of my band buddies from other schools, but I'm not certain. I have a twinge of apprehension about it, for a few reasons, but I think that everything will be just fine.

10. Finally, to end on a happy note, last night Gina and Wyatt dropped in to pick up a few things from my house. Wyatt was very lively last night, but he was lots of fun, too. He informed me that it is now "two-thousand eleven" and that its his birthday. He is thrilled about his birthday, because he has the only January birthday out of his class, so his name is the only name on the birthday list. We counted the days until his birthday (24, well now it's 23, if you were wondering), which is on the 27th. He then told me that he can count to 24, and then he did; he was very proud of that, as was I. He also told me about how they learned about letter E. We talked about lots of other things, as is usual with Wyatt. He tends to jump from thought to thought, and is quite imaginative. He really brightened my day, and I just love all of the time I get to spend with all four of my nephews!

Here's to a good first full week of 2011!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010, Part 2

As promised, I have returned to regale the highlights of my life in 2010! Now I will pick it up with...

July
July began on a high note, as I completed the finals for both of my summer classes. Two days later my family celebrated our traditional holiday of July 3rd. It is my absolute favorite day of the year for many reasons, but I'll save those for another time. This year's celebration was literally dampened by some rain showers throughout the day, but otherwise, everything was fantastic! The following day, my family headed down to the lake for a nice evening of peaceful recreation. July was full of time spent with my family. We ended the month by celebrating little Andrew's first birthday on the 29th. His party was so much fun!

August
August was a big month for me; it was the month that I decided to begin blogging! Most of my adventures have been chronicled, but I'll run through some highlights anyway. The month began with the A/C unit in my house going out. Shortly thereafter, I got my wisdom teeth extracted, and then I began my Senior year of High School! I adjusted to my new schedule and classes, and began a great year of school.

September
September ranked right up there with June. It wasn't a good month. Right after Labor Day, I came back to school and found out that Mr. Blakley died unexpectedly. It was only the beginning of a tough week. That night, Adam and I broke up. Although it was a long time coming, it still hurt. Not much else really happened in September.

October
In contrast, October was much better than September! I began to devote more time to hanging out with my friends and just having fun. The day of the Tri-State field marching contest was the first of my excursions with friends. I had lots of fun during Spirit Week for the football homecoming! The next day was my first YAB meeting of the year. I had the pleasure of hosting the first meeting, and what a great weekend it was! October was also the month when I tried out for Small School All-State Band. Although I was unsuccessful in my attempt, it was still a good experience.

November
November was also great! We celebrated Senior Night for all of the Football, Softball, Band, & Cheerleading Seniors. The night was good, although we lost the game. The dance afterwards was much better, though. We took panel pictures, and I had more time with my friends! I went on my first date with Tevis, and had a great evening! Regional Quiz Bowl was a great day for me, as well. I celebrated another great Thanksgiving with my family. Finally, I finished the infamous argumentative paper for my college government class!!!

December
The last month of 2010 was a great end to a pretty good year! I went to another YAB meeting, which was just as great as the first one. I also survived yet another round of college finals! During December, Tonisha, Mary, and I all debuted the #15 Fanclub for our favorite PHS Basketball player, who was none other than our other best friend, Shea! It was a great surprise for Shea's birthday, which coincided with Homecoming! The Basketball homecoming dance wasn't as good as the football dance was, but it was okay. I was exempt from semester testing, so my Christmas Break began three days early! Christmas was wonderful for me for many reasons! Finally, New Year's Eve was just great! I went over to Gina's house and we had all kinds of fun.

2010 had its ups and downs, but all in all, I think it was a good year for me. I learned more about myself, and I learned to be more open to new opportunities. I learned that things don't always go as planned, but there is a reason for it in the grand scheme of things. Finally, I learned that there is no replacement for the love and happiness that friends and family can bring to life.

Here's to the lessons learned from 2010, and the hope that 2011 is just as good, if not better!