Monday, May 14, 2012

Farewell Readers: My Blogging Experience

Well, I never thought I would see this day come! This is my last blog, my ninetieth blog!!!! At the beginning of the year we were told that we had to have thirty blogs each term, and three terms later, here is my ninetieth blog! Over this year, I have grown to like blogging for the most part, but also despise it in some ways.

It is an outlet for my thoughts. I like blogging because I feel like I can write about anything and everything that interests me. My blog is about my feelings towards people and events. If people don’t care to read my opinion, then they can move on and read the next blog they come across. I have written about a multitude of subjects ranging from topics about death, to winning the National Show Choir championship! I like seeing my blog because it shows me that I can be creative! People always said I could talk about anything and everything, and as I see my blog, that is definitely true!

It can be fun. Sometimes if there is something new that comes into the news, I can write about my thoughts and experiences relating to it. Also, sometimes if I am riding in the car, and a really good blog idea pops into my head, I get excited to write about it! Some topics are very fun to write about and when I have a strong opinion about something it can be fun to express that through writing!

Sometimes it is too much. After ninety blogs, I have absolutely no idea how I came up with ninety topics to write about. Thirty a term is a very high number for each term, and it definitely takes some digging in order to find topics to write about. For me, there shouldn’t be a set number because I know that my blogs are best when I feel inspired to write about something. However, when I don’t have any inspiration, my blogs can be complete crap. The number shouldn’t matter; the quality is what really counts.

For the most part, I am grateful for this blogging experience. I know that next year I will look back on my blog posts, and I will feel very proud. However, the real question is: will I ever blog again if I don’t have to? The answer: probably not. While it was fun while it lasted, I don’t see me plopping down in front of my computer ever again to write another blog. Having a blog pushed me to become more creative and it helped me become a better writer.

I will never forget the year I wrote ninety blogs!
¡Adios for now readers!

How to: Have a GREAT Audition

Every year, multiple times a year, I go through an audition process. When I was younger, I used to get very nervous about how I might do and how I might come across. However, now that I audition so often, it has almost come to be second nature. However, even though I have gotten use to them, I still get nervous. I have found some things though that helps calm my nerves, so I have the best audition possible!

Prepare yourself: The best way to do well in an audition is to feel prepared. I know that when I do not feel prepared, that is when my nerves get to me the most, and then I psych myself out. When I psych myself out, that is when I mess up. For example, when going into a vocal audition, warm up before hand and have your song that you plan on singing as best it can be! You want to feel comfortable with what you are doing because when you feel comfortable, you can also feel confident. I understand that sometimes things pop up spur of the moment, but even then, find time to prepare yourself with as much time as you can. You always do better when you are prepared!

Smile: My favorite thing to do is to smile. When you have a smile on your face, you can do anything, or even master anything! By having a smile on your face, you show the people you are auditioning for that you are confident in what you are doing. Even when you mess up, if you keep a smile on your face it shows that you will pick up and go on. Messing up is okay, you just have to keep yourself composed. If you physically show your distress about messing up or make a crude comment, it shows bad sportsmanship and it shows people that you are afraid to make a mistake. No one is ever going to have a perfect audition. What makes an audition perfect is how they feel about it afterwards, not how they perform while doing it.

Breathe: The most important thing my mom has always told me to do before I go into an audition is to BREATHE. Yes, this might sound like common sense. However, I don’t mean the little breaths that we take constantly throughout our day. I mean the kind of breaths that soothe your nerves and your body. These breaths are deep breaths that calm you inside and out. Yes, you might sound funny while taking three deep breaths in and out, but trust me it actually works! Breathing is the key to doing well. Next time you go to dance in front of someone or sing in front of someone, just remember to take three deep breaths, and you’ll feel a thousand times better!

Some people say they don’t get nervous before they audition. However, I believe that nerves are good. They get your adrenaline going and they really help you do your best. But, before you audition remember to prepare yourself, breathe, and smile! It will always make you feel better and it will allow you to have the best audition possible!

"Take AP"

At Kennedy High School we are pressured all year long to “Take AP.” It is basically our principal’s motto that she lives by. AP stands for Advanced Placement; it is basically a college level course given in high school. At the end of the year you take a final exam that determines whether or not you will get college credit hours. You have to pass the test with a grade of 3, 4, or 5 (out of 5) if you want the credit.  There are some people that take one AP class, and there are some that take up to six. AP classes at our school venture from really easy, to very hard; it is all in the teacher. I have been taking AP classes since freshman year. None of my AP classes have been so hard that I drown in class work, but they have been very stressful.

At our school, we have a variety of AP classes that are offered. We have AP foreign language classes, math classes, science classes, social studies classes, as well as language arts AP classes. This makes it quite easy to take multiple AP classes all at once. I have taken an AP social studies class every year, and one AP language arts class. They are hard, but they are also tedious.

How well you do in AP is basically all on the quality of your teacher. You would think that the teacher must be good if they are going to be teaching AP. This is not always the case though. I have had some AP teachers that really do not teach you at all, and you are left to learn the information all on your own. This is extremely frustrating to me because I believe that if you expect me to know the information, I expect the teacher to teach it to me. I will do a lot of work on my own to better understand the information; essentially, it needs to be at least semi-taught to me first.

The whole year, each student is working to learn the information for the final exam in May. The final exam contains multiple choice questions, a document-based essay question, as well as two free response questions. The exams tests your knowledge of the information covered all year. For me, it is very hard to remember specific details we learned in the fall, and test over them in the spring. A lot of reviewing is involved before the final exam takes place. This review is started many weeks in advance; most of the time it is personal review with some in-class review.

I enjoy taking AP for two reasons: The first reason: it raises my GPA to a five point scale, rather than a four point scale; the second reason: it challenges me and gives me an opportunity to experience college material before I actually get to college. AP classes are nice in high school, and I am very lucky to get to have the chance to take them because not all high schools offer AP. I know that when I get to college I will do better and be more prepared based on the preparation I had in high school. However, the score I get on the exam is all about what was taught to me and how it was taught to me through my personal studies and the teacher.

Money: Saving vs. Spending

Money is a key part to our lives. However, it is all in what we decide to do with it when we get it. As I mentioned in my last blog, I have just gotten my first job. With my first job, also comes a pay check. I always look forward to my paycheck, but it is all in what I do with it.


Saving money is always important. My mom has raised me to save my money, because sometimes when you least expect it, it might come in handy! I have always been very good about putting some of the money I get/make into savings because when I go to college, it will come in handy. Ever year around my birthday and Christmas, I always make sure to put at least half, if not more, of the money I receive into savings. I like knowing that this money I have put in savings is money I have made and saved all on my own. It will make using it more someday in the future more important, but it will also make it harder to spend!


Every girl knows that shopping is more fun when you have the money to spend! I love spending money on new clothing or new accessories. However, I HATE spending money when I go out to lunch with friends, or when I have to get something I need. A lot of these necessities are simple and are usually not very much fun. When I look in my wallet and see that I have $50, and then later look and see that I only have $30, it does not make me very happy. Recently, I went to buy Mother’s Day cards. Mother’s Day is a great holiday, and I enjoy saying thank you for all the women in my life have done for me. However, this was the first year that I had to buy my own cards. My mom use to take me to the card store, and she would pay for the one’s I picked out. However, this year it was not the case. All I can say is, CARDS ARE EXPENSIVE. It is definitely a news flash to me when I realize how much the little things cost in life.

Whenever I receive my pay check(s), I always take some of it to spend, and I put some in my savings account. Saving money right now is probably the most important thing I can do because soon enough, I will be on my own, required to pay for my own things without the support of my family. Spending can be fun, if you are spending it on something new that you’ve been looking forward to getting, however it can also be tedious and bring you down!

Pros and Cons to an Online Class

This term I am taking an online government class through my school. I am required to take government before I graduate and next year I have a full schedule so I will not have the opportunity to take it as an actual class that I attend every day. I have never really been the one to procrastinate, but an online class is completely different and the work schedule is something that is new to me. Part of me is glad I have this experience of taking a class where I have to manage my time efficiently, but also part of me regrets taking it as well.


I am taught time management:  By taking this class, I am forced to monitor my time in an efficient manner. There are no deadlines to when I have to complete each assignment, except for when I have to finish the class which is June 22nd. There are eight units, with multiple sections within each unit, and I am expected to have everything done by the time that date rolls around. This is different for me because I am used to having teachers set due dates for certain assignments; that is why I didn’t have a procrastination problem. Now though, since there are no due dates, it is surreal for me to have to monitor my progress and set personal due dates for myself.

I can do it when I have time: I lead a VERY busy life, so I can do my online class when I have time to myself. This is nice because I can do the class whenever I want, without feeling like I am going to get penalized for turning in an assignment late. If I have immediate homework in my actual classes at school one night, I don’t HAVE to do government that night!


Procrastination will bite me in the butt: Taking this government class is all about monitoring your time. There are some nights where I feel too tired from all of my other class work and I don’t want to work on government. Being a typical teenager, I would rather sleep than fill out worksheets and read. In my other classes, there is always SOMETHING more I could be doing, like reading, blogging, or doing more worksheets in order to get ahead in my classes. However, when I get ahead in other classes, I am really getting behind in my government class. There are eight units, and I am only half way through unit three; I started this government class in March; it is now almost the middle of way. I really need to pick up the pace if I want to get it all done in time!

It is tedious:  This government class is full of readings and worksheets; that is honestly all it is. I personally get very bored doing the same thing over and over. The worksheets contain vocabulary words as well as key points in our government that we are required to learn. On every vocabulary sheet, the “U.S. Constitution” is supposed to be defined. After unit one, I knew what the U.S. Constitution was and what it did, it doesn’t need to be reiterated to me EVERY unit. Motivation is harder to find when it is just tedious work that does nothing for me.
Every day I regret taking the government class because I feel like I am putting too much on my plate at once. I have seven other classes, and this one was just an extra topping that wasn’t really

Having More than One Option

Many people go on multiple college visits before they finally make the decision on which school they would like to attend. However, there are some people that go on one visit and immediately make the decision to attend there. My philosophy is why would you only visit one school when there are so many more out there that you have yet to experience? If you only visit one, how are you going to decide which school is really best for you? In order to find out which school is the best one that fits you and feels like home, you need to visit more than one.

I have gone on five college visits so far. I like going on all of these visits, because it allows me to compare and contrast what I like about one school in comparison to another. However, my mom doesn’t want me to go on too many more because she is afraid that they will all get jumbled up in my mind and I won’t remember as clearly which school was which. In a way, she is right. All of the schools I have gone to visit are four-year private, liberal arts, in the Midwest. Because of this, they all look pretty similar: older buildings and a lot of trees. So far I have found two schools that I really like and that I am interested in applying to. Even though I have these two schools in mind, I would still like to visit more schools so that I have more options if something doesn’t go my way. This is where my mom and I disagree, she wants me to stop, and I want to keep going.

My point of view: I did average on my ACT and I am in the top ten of my class; most people would say that I probably won’t have trouble getting into the school I want to get into. However, I am very superstitious and I am worried that if I only apply to two, I will only get into one, and that will be my only option. When I keep looking, I am expanding my number of schools that I may be interested in, and the schools that are interested in me.  I don’t want to be rejected and then only have one school as my option. I want to have the opportunity to choose, not just be forced to go somewhere. By having more options, I feel like I will be better off.

My mom’s point of view: My mom doesn’t think that I will have any trouble getting into either of the schools. She also thinks that both of my top schools are equally great schools that I would succeed at. She wants me to stop looking because she doesn’t think that I will find anything I like better, and she personally likes both of these schools as well. Like I mentioned before, she believes that if I visit too many more, I will not be able to decide in the end which one I want to go to, and it will lead to a stressful experience. However, my mom was one of those high-schoolers that visited two schools (ever) and only liked one, and relied on that one. Luckily, she got into that school! But, I think she thinks that if it worked for her, it will work for me. And I personally want more than one option.

I know this summer I will continue visiting schools in the Midwest in the hope of finding another/more that I am interested in applying to in the fall. I know that will personally be more comfortable with the college application process if I am not just relying on getting into two schools, ultimately possibly having to rely on one. My philosophy is that it is always better to have more than one option.

Having a Job

I have always thought about the day when I would have an actual job. For many years now I have been a babysitter for about ten different families. I loved babysitting because it wasn’t something I had to do EVERY day or on a certain day each week; I could build my own hours and work when I wanted to work. I live a very busy life, so it just worked out perfectly. However, the thing I did not like about just babysitting was that the money flow was not constant. There would be some months where I would have multiple jobs and the money I was making was GREAT! But there were also some dry months where I did not get called, and I was not making anything. Recently I realized that this was going to be a serious issue. I need to start saving my money for college, and I also needed more money to spend. This is when I knew I wanted a real job!

There is a little ice cream parlor in Cedar Rapids called Parlor City. I have been eating there ever since I was a little girl, and I always thought it would be so much fun to work there! I had/have multiple friends that work there, and they only had good things to say about the place, so I decided to apply. I applied right when they opened at the beginning of the season, so I could be one of the first applications reviewed. Soon after I turned in my application, I went in for an interview, and I was hired right on the spot! It was great knowing that as I left, I was officially employed. That same day, Bailey, one of my best friends’, was also hired!

I was incredibly nervous the first time I worked. There was so much to learn, and I was worried that I was going to embarrass myself in front of many people. However, I held my head up high and I was willing to learn everything I needed to because I knew that that was the only way I would improve. And improve, I did! I can make almost anything on the menu, and I have been able to answer costumer questions myself, rather than having to go to someone else for the answer.

Having a job is surprisingly fun! I have met many new people, and I have made many new friends. It is nice going somewhere where you know you will be making money, pleasing people, and having fun with your friends! I always look forward to the days I get to work. My favorite thing about working is the constant money flow. It is nice knowing that I will have a pay check coming in every other week. I have been able to be more independent now with a job. I no longer have to go to my mom to ask for money for lunch or dinner, because I pay for it myself. I know that my being able to pay for things is also nice for my family, and not just me.

Work can be tiring, but I always get a good night sleep afterwards. This is my first official job, and I couldn’t ask for a better starter experience. I love being a part of a team and helping people. It is nice to know that something you made is going to a good cause, whether it is cheering up a little kid, or making a senior citizen’s day with a good ol’ yogurt cone! Parlor City is definitely the ideal place to work, and the free ice cream is also a plus!