Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Eighth Grade: Drama, Friends, and Class

You’ve been through drama, right? You’ve made and lost your share of friends, too? And of course you’ve had to take classes you thought you’d hate, but then loved? I’ve done all of these things, and they’ve made my eighth grade year.

You almost always see Jr. High associated with drama, there’s just no getting around it. I’ve had what feels like more than my fair share of drama this year. What’s my current drama? I hate my best friend’s boyfriend, and I’m pretty confident that he hates me as well. Hate is a strong emotion, I know, but my feelings do not go unjustified. First off, he’s not loyal. He went out with her, and then proceeded to break up with her and immediately started dating our other friend. Then, when she broke up with him, he started going out with my best friend again. Secondly, he’s possessive and gets jealous very easily. If I try to put my arm around her or hold her hand, sometimes even just touching her, he gets mad and yells at me about how ‘he’s her boyfriend!’ and ‘only he can touch her!’ until I roll my eyes and walk away. I don’t like seeing my friend dealing with this.

Another part of expected Junior High life would have to deal with losing and gaining friends. I’ve had to deal with this since I started grade school. This year seems especially difficult though. I can’t keep track of the people who are my friends and those who aren’t. There’ve been quite a few people who I’ve gotten to know better this year, even though I’ve known them several years. Some I’ve known as far back as first grade. I’m glad that I was able to re-connect with all of those people. It definitely helped make classes like P.E. more interesting and fun than they ever have been. I’ve also stopped being friends with quite a few people, but it wasn’t so hard because we sort of drifted apart slowly, making it easier. I think that the people who are my friends now are good ones. For example, Ana and Dessa. We hung out in sixth grade but lost touch in seventh because we had no classes together. This year, we've talked a lot more and I've found that we have a lot more in common that I thought and I get along better with them than I do with say, Kat or Erin. I believe that they are all good influences on me and will help me if I ask them.

Before the end of the year, you check a few boxes on a sheet of paper and then turn it into the counselor so you can pick your electives for the next year. I wasn’t quite sure what my electives would be this year, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled when I found out. This year, I would be taking Keyboarding with Computer Applications and Introduction to Art for eighth grade. The first day I walked into Keyboarding, I knew this class would be a total drag. We spent every day typing simple letters or words and since I thought I already knew everything about typing (which I didn’t) I was bored out of my mind. Eventually though, I grew to love the class as we moved through more complicated and fun things. I made friends and often got to do other things when I finished early and the teacher was funny and nice (if a bit eccentric). I’d also thought I was going to hate art because of my horrendous drawing skills. But I’ve found that I enjoy it greatly as well. Art isn’t only about drawing. We did macramé, which is to put it simply, tying knots. We’ve also weaved baskets and made paper mache. I especially liked the weaving. It was something I had always wanted to try but had never had the chance. Paper mache is more difficult and not as much fun because I don't like getting sticky from all the glue. There is a lot of drawing involved as well, but I’ve gotten much better at it. I suppose the point is, don’t give up on a class right away; you just might like it.

I dealt with drama, I lost and gained friends, and I endured classes that seemed like torture but were really pleasant. But hey, that’s what eighth grade is about isn’t it? So be sure to make the most of it, because before you know it, it’s already gone.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

May Essay (Beloved Things) Arianna Katherine Palmer

Ari's the one doing the chicken dance.
Do you have a niece? Someone who you think is the most adorable thing you have ever seen? Someone who you always want to give whatever they want? I have someone who qualifies for all of those things in my mind, and her name is Arianna Katherine Palmer and she’s the most amazing baby girl. This essay is all about her.
Arianna has a sense of humor already; at only a year and a half.(TS) We are always playing ridiculous games.(R) She loves peek-a-boo, especially when you throw a blanket over her face and pretend she isn’t there.(CM) We have played peek-a-boo for sometimes an hour straight and I don’t get bored because she laughs so much that it’s worth it.(CM2) She absolutely loves “bling”.(D) If you’ve got anything even remotely sparkly or shiny, it’s not yours anymore; now it’s hers.(CM) I’ve lost several rings to her, but luckily they were only plastic, cheap ones. (CM2)At the father/daughter ball this year, we bought her a light-up ring and she still carries it around, two months later.(CM3) I’m amazed she hasn’t lost it.(CM4) One game that she will only play with me (because I’m the only one that will do it willingly) is horse.(X) I put her on my hip and gallop down the hall or wherever we are going. (CM)I also say “ba-bump ba-bump ba-bump” as we go along.(CM2) Now though, Ari makes the sounds while I gallop.(CM3) I’m not allowed to stop though, because if I do, she claps her hands and yells, “Again! Again!” until we start running once more.(CM4)
I always feel special when I’m with Arianna because she loves her auntie Gracie. Most of the time, when she sees me coming, she screams very loudly and then claps hers hands together and grins. I’ve been told by my sister, Bekah, that when I’m not there, she always asks for me, and wants to see me. Sometimes, when I’ll be talking to them on the phone, you can hear Ari in the background screaming, “Gracie! Gracie!” She also really likes to eat my food. Sometimes, when we can’t get her to eat her dinner or lunch, Bekah will tell her that it’s my food and then she’ll happily finish it. Most of the time though, she drinks my milk. There is no other way to get her to drink it, not unless you tell her that it’s mine.
I love Arianna to pieces; she’s an amazing baby girl. She loves to be with me, you can see that when she runs to me. She doesn’t like strangers at all so when I’m holding her, if someone comes up that she doesn’t know, she will hide in my shoulder and not let go of me. Also, when she gets sleepy, sometimes she will just sit on my lap and fall asleep. When she was only a few months old, Bekah used to call me when Ari wouldn’t go to sleep because she used to fall asleep on me every time I held her. The running joke was that I’m too boring. You can’t help but laugh with Arianna, her laugh is infectious. No matter what she’s laughing at, even if she just slapped you in the face (which happens to me quite often, I’m her punching bag, apparently) you just have to giggle too. I think the main reason for that is because when you see her face light up with that baby laughter, there’s no way to hold in yours as well.
Arianna is an amazing baby and I’m so glad I get to share her life. She’s already got a beautiful sense of humor. I love her so much and she’s outstanding. Being with her and knowing she cares for me as well makes me feel special and glad to be her aunt. No matter what, you always need to stay close to your family and make sure you care for them and make them happy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March Writing Contest Essay

Period 1
March Writing Contest Essay

Have you ever had a favorite band? Has something happened to you that only music could you get through? Did you ever think that a certain band was your absolute favorite above all? I can say yes to all of those and the one band that changed my life is My Chemical Romance.
My love for My Chemical Romance started just the same way as any other teeny-bopper craze. The only difference was that at that time, they were the heaviest music and by the far the darkest I had ever listened to. All my family disapproved of my listening to their “dangerous music”, except my parents. As soon as my mom allowed, I went on iTunes and throughout the course of about a month, I bought every song available from them. I joined their fansites and talked with other people who loved them just as much (and sometimes more) as me. I watched and read interviews. I paid attention to everything about them. When I heard about a new album coming out, I marked my mental calendar and giggled and groaned waiting for it to come out. I giggled like a giddy fool, and groaned like a tired old man. The giggling started when I saw the video for their new single, Welcome to the Black Parade and then groaning started when I realized that I still had just over a month until the official album release date. The very day it came out, I bought it. I had no idea that one song on that album would change my life forever.
While I listened to My Chemical Romance just like all the other “emo kids”, I considered myself apart from them. I didn’t just think they were hot like most of the girls I met who “oh my gosh totally loved them”. I felt not only understanding from them, but a sense that I was not alone in what I was going through. My point of view on the female fans was that more than half of them only liked the band for the attractiveness of its members. For me, it was about the actual music they played, I listened for their talent. Not many people pay attention to the lyrics people sing or what they mean, but I wanted to know what they said and what it meant. I listened to the lyrics and listened to the interviews so that I would know how the song was intended to sound and to be listened to.
After March of 2007, my love for My Chemical Romance and music in general took on a whole new meaning. It would continue to be changed today. On March 29, 2007 I went through the hardest day of my life thus far. I have had hard days since but none as difficult as this. I was picked up early from school and taken to Harbor View hospital to find out my mother was there. She almost died that day and it made me think of what I would’ve done without her. Listening to My Chemical Romance’s new album, The Black Parade really helped me because it made me feel as though I had someone who understood when my family was too preoccupied with my little brother. Afterwards, my mom started listening to them as well, and we were able to find a new connection that brought us even closer together. Both of us were able to get a better understanding of the other one from them. During that entire time, and even now, I used their music as an escape. It was somewhere for me to go and hide. After that, listening to them was as necessary as breathing air.
My Chemical Romance is the most important band to me. My life has been turned upside down, right side up, and sideways, and I have been okay thanks to them. Never underestimate the power music can have over a person, it can change someone’s thinking or it can change their mood. No matter what, music is an important part of life. For some, it’s as important as eating or sleeping, maybe even more.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Best Times Essay

The best time in my life is not so much one memory, but a collection of memories about one person. I only vaguely remember them, but I know them enough to know they are most definitely the happiest time in my life.
What I have of him is so precious to me. I haven't seen him in almost ten years, and all I have are vague, shadowed memories. Every time I see a box of Fruity Pebbles, I can't deny the urge to grin as wide as my lips will allow. In that moment, I am no longer in the store. Instead, I am back in time, to when I was only about four. I'm with my mother, at Chris' apartment. He was the first father figure I ever had. I remember him going to the cupboard in his cramped living space and bringing to me a box of cereal. I had never before eaten Fruity Pebbles and after that first bowl, I would forever love them. They still hold a sense of comfort for me. I recall him always playfully complaining that I ate them all but I don't think he ever really minded.
I also remember another specific moment when my mom, Chris, and I went to his parent's house to build a cat-house for my grandma's cat Lucy. After the house was finished, there was extra wood and nails and being the toddler I was, I wanted to make something all by myself. And, as expected, it turned out horribly deformed and looking like nothing useful but I was proud nonetheless. After it was dark and we were still there, it was close to my bedtime so my mother took me downstairsand I layed down on the couch. My mom covered me up and I can remember falling asleep staring at a painting of wolves on the wall, and listening to the sound of my mother's voice as she sang my lullaby.
There were many more experiences, I'm positive but unfortunately I can remember but one more. There was a computer in Chris' apartment and he had a Sesame Street coloring game. I loved that game, but everything I painted had to be either black or purple. I'm not sure why black, but it had to be purple because that was my favorite color when I was little. One last thing to thank him for is that now, ten years later, I can't brush my teeth without first putting water on my toothbrush.
I've found that the happiest times of our lives often come from the childish ignorance we are blessed to have when so little. Everything is new to you and you can hardly find a fault in the world. Your family is the best thing you have and everyone you meet can be a new friend. I've also found that you never know how much time you have and you need to always cherish your loved ones.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Writing Territories 2

Moonstone Beach Motel (Top and Bottom)

The beach is a beautiful place. Lucky for me, my grandparents take me and my cousin on Spring Break every year. In April, we drive down to Ocean Shores with our dog, Ali, and stay at the Moonstone Beach Motel. Thinking about it brings back the memories of freezing waves, grass as high as your shoulder, and sand wet from the tides. Every year is a torturous wait until we return.

The whole drive down to the beach, Brenda and I manage to keep up an endless chatter about the sights we see every time we go. What’s new, what’s still there, and what’s gone. While the chatter does sometimes turn to bickering, neither of us can deny our excitement to finally get there. We’ve been waiting since we left last year to come back again. In some ways, the beach is more a home to us than our real one. We always stay in the same cabin in our favorite motel. I can only remember two times when we haven’t stayed at Moonstone Beach Motel. Once when we stayed in my grandparent’s RV and the other time when we stayed at Moclips Motel.

As soon as the Durango is parked, Brenda and I dash out and open the hatch to let Ali out and start unpacking. First comes out the luggage, then food, and our electronics or toys last. Brenda and I share the smaller bedroom and my grandpa plugs in the small TV so that we can watch movies when we’re bored or can’t go outside. The minute everything is inside, Brenda and I start to beg to go on the beach. But, like every year, Grammy and Grandpa say they’re too tired from the drive, and we’ll go first thing in the morning after breakfast.

Anxious for morning, both of us stay up late talking in our bed about what we’re going to do first in the morning. It takes several hours until we’re tired enough to sleep, but we manage. As soon as we wake up, both of us grab our clothes from the dresser and race to the bathroom. Winner gets to change first. When we both have our clothes and swimsuits on, we eat breakfast as fast as we can and wait for our grandparents to get ready and take the dog. At last, we leave for the waves and sand. We run screaming and laughing onto the beach and then throw ourselves onto the sand. This is what we’ve been waiting for.

For the next three days, we play in the sand, hide behind enormous driftwood logs, attempt to catch hypothermia in the water, and creep around in the grass behind our motel. Of course, Grammy worries about us every minute unless we’re a foot in front of her, but she trusts us. Exhausted after three days of non-stop play, we sluggishly pack up the Durango and get ready to leave. Before we get in the car, we wave goodbye to the motel until next year and take one last whiff of salty ocean air.

Waiting an entire year to visit my favorite place again seems like the worst possible torture I could imagine. But for the three days that I am there; it’s pure bliss. There’s nothing better than spending time with loved ones in a familiar place. And I never want it to end.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Book Talk for Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Title: Twilight

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Favorite Quote: "So did you stab Edward Cullen with a pencil or what?" (Mike Newton)

About the author: Stephenie Meyer has written four other books, three of which are in the Twilight series. Her fourth book, The Host, was a seperate project, and is science fiction.

Twilight is the story of clumsy teenager Bella Swan. The story follows her as she moves from Phoenix, Arizona to Forks, Washington. Upon arriving, Bella meets the Cullen family. The Cullens are given a wide berth in the town but there is no doubt that every single one of them is painfully beautiful. The rumor is that all of the Cullen children were adopted by Dr. Cullen and his wife. Though, as Bella finds out by associating herself with Edward, that isn't the real story. She soon gets tangled up in the story of the Cullens and the secrets they must hide. Soon, trouble arrives in the form of three travelers much like the Cullens. All of them must do what they can to protect Bella from the approaching danger. Will they save her in time?


T&T: Reading Twilight reminded me of the book Got Fangs? by Katie Maxwell. Both books are about clumsy girls who find themselves falling for vampires.

T&S: Bella Swan reminds me of myself. We are a lot alike. My mother even jokes around that I am Bella. I definitely have the same talent for injuring myself that Bella does, and we both think alike.

T&W: Reading Twilight shows what it's like for people when they move and how hard it can be for teenagers to move to a new school during their high school years.


The theme of Twilight was true love really does conquer all. This is the theme because when Bella is life-threatening danger, Edward rushes to save her life because he can't imagine what it would be like to live without her.

Recommendation: I would recommend Twilight as a 9. While it may not be the best book I've ever read, it is definitely on the list. I think that almost everyone can find a way to connect with the book, even if you aren't in high school. It's a very sweet love story and the characters are all very unique.