Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Reality is Boring"

Exaggeration: to magnify beyond the limit of truth; overstate; represent disproportionally; to increase or enlarge abnormally. (www.dictionary.com)

For me, this definition says it all. We ALL exaggerate. Some do it more than others (like myself), but we all do it. Why do we do it? It makes the truth sound better than it actually is. It is the point where fact suddenly becomes fiction.
I know I exaggerate because it makes what really happened appear to be more exciting. I tend to exaggerate over little things. For instance, if my mom were just “raising her voice” at me, I would tell people that she “yelled” at me, in order to make it sound more alarming. This sometimes gets me in trouble with the person I am exaggerating about. But every time I exaggerate, I use my genes as in excuse! I say, “What can I say? It runs in the family!” It’s the truth…well…maybe just a little exaggerated!
I also tend to exaggerate when it comes to my blogs. If you scroll down, you will find some blogs about my over-sea travels. I have mentioned my mom in those and her struggles in letting me “leave the nest.” She thinks I exaggerate her response and don’t fully understand her point of view. Because of my exaggeration, she wants to start her OWN blog in response to my blogs in order to express her feeling toward the subject without my exaggeration getting in the way.
My dad on the other hand, exaggerates just as much or even more than I do. Talking to him on the phone as I write this, he says to me, “I am the greatest proofreader in the world. I am almost like a superhero.” All I can say back to him is, “Really Dad? Really?” When I say exaggerating runs in my family, I really mean, I get it from my dad. When I asked him WHY he chooses to exaggerate he says, “I exaggerate because it makes for a more entertaining conversation. And most people’s conversations are boring, so they would benefit from an exaggerated sentence here and there! Reality is boring.”
The act of exaggerating makes life appear to be more exciting than it really is. It gives you an opportunity to be creative and innovative with your stories. For me exaggerating is more than just “stretching the truth,” it is allowing people to have a good laugh.

"Big Head"

This past week I sent in an application for the National Honor Society. It is an organization for high school juniors that show strength in areas of community service, leadership and academic excellence. We were required to write a 250 word essay saying why we should be chosen to be in the National Honor Society. I am a very talkative person when it comes to most topics, but especially when I am talking about myself. My first draft was 700 words, and I knew I had to cut it down significantly. So here is my 300 word essay on why I think I would be a good-fit for National Honor Society:

Ever since freshmen year, I was determined make the most of my high school experience. In order to do this, I am involved in many activities, including show choir, choir, drama, and speech. These are all things I love to do; plus, I have been able to make many friends along the way. I am a friendly person and I am very outgoing. I love reaching out and making people feel welcome. I appreciate when people do the same thing for me; therefore I take the initiative to make others feel included.

Being involved in so many activities makes my schedule very busy, but I am determined not to let my grades reflect how busy I am. I work hard to keep my high grade point average. My grades have always been important to me. Most people say that they keep their grades up to please their parents. However, I keep my grades up to please myself. I know that I can achieve my personal best on anything I do, and therefore I try my hardest to always go above and beyond. 

I am very thankful for the life I have and I like to give back to others who are not as fortunate. I have had opportunities through my church to help out in my community. One example is that I have been mentor for underprivileged kids, helping them improve their reading skills. Forming a bond with the kids gives me the satisfaction that I have done something influential and worthwhile.

Grades are very important to me, but putting myself out there, helping others, and being involved is equally if not more important. Everyone should feel like they have a place where they belong and I want to help make that happen. I am always one to reach out and assist people, no matter what.

As my friend put it, she doesn’t like to “toot her own horn!” But for me, it was nice being able to strictly talk about something I knew VERY well, myself. I know more about myself than anyone else does, so it wasn’t that difficult for me to write. I know that may sound like I have an exceedingly large head, but I really don’t. I just like to talk about things I know best. Even if I don’t get accepted into National Honor Society, I know I can be proud of the person I am today.


What are some of the first things they teach you when you are starting school for the first time? Well let’s see… the alphabet, (that’s a big one!), how to spell your first AND last name, (that was extremely hard for me, considering it is 9 letters long; I even had to come up with a song for me to sing to remember how to spell it!) and how to count to ten (little did we know, we would have to count A LOT higher than that in the future). Looking back, that all seems pretty easy. Yes, we do have our mix-ups here and there, but we get the gist and can fix our mistakes easily because our teachers did such a great job teaching us! However, one area I really wish we would have focused on more would have to be punctuation. We learned it, but do we REALLY understand it?

Picture it: Seven people sitting in a circle. We are all starring at each other with blank expressions on our faces. We are all embarrassed to be here. We don’t want anyone else to know that we have to be here or that we have this problem. Then, one by one we stand up. “Hi. My name is Kylie, and I am a Comma-Holic.”

We were taught punctuation from day one. We were basically just taught the basics like, exclamation points (!), question marks (?), and of course, the period (.). Later, we were taught more complicated forms such as colons and semi colons, and the killer: the comma. To this day, I do not understand when and when NOT to use a comma. Sometimes I think “Oh yeah, there definitely needs to be a comma here.” But then, when my mom or a peer is checking my paper, they will say to me, “Kylie! Why are you using a comma here?!” I am starting to think I have a serious problem. I don’t know where to put them or when the right time to use them is, therefore I over-use them.

I use to think you should use a comma when there is a break in something you are saying. But now, I realize that that isn’t always the case. I have been trying to talk to my APLANG teacher about re-teaching the usage of commas, but I feel stupid asking this question, since it was something we were supposed to have learned ten years ago!

Recently in my APLANG class we have been doing a writer’s workshop. (I would like to make note that when I originally typed this, I had a comma after “class,” why?! I don’t know! I am telling you, I have a problem!) The writer’s workshop is where we select a topic and write a paper over it. Then, we go through five drafts and have our peers revise and edit them. I have gotten a lot of feedback on mine such as, “Great job! Watch the use of your commas.” Then, when I am correcting others’ papers, I add commas where I THINK they should go, but in reality, they shouldn’t be there. This makes me feel like I am not doing my job as a good editor, because I don’t know where they really should go. I feel like I am failing them by giving my peers the wrong answer.

Since I am struggling with this so much, my APLANG teacher has been giving me tips on when to use commas. This is semi-helping, but I have asked her to re-teach the proper usage of commas. Through this writer’s workshop, I am realizing that I am not the only one who has this “comma-addiction.” It is actually pretty common (oops – I almost typed comma instead of common). Knowing this gives me strength and will power to help FIGHT my obsession so I can overcome it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Tweety" Bird

When exactly did this new phenomena of Twitter first come about? Well, I don’t know, but it has quickly become an Internet sensation. I have conformed to this Internet sensation of Twitter. I tweet every other day or so. However, I am careful with what I tweet about. Some things should be left between two people, and shouldn’t be spread into the Twitter world for everyone to see.

There are some people out there who feel the need to tweet every couple hours, or even every hour. To me, that seems ridiculous! I agree that some things are funny and are worth sharing, but things like, “Wow, I hate my life.” Or “I am so drunk right now; I don’t even know what is going on!” are a little too much information. I am a very caring person, but I don’t feel the need to know EVERY little thing that is happening in other people’s lives.

A lot of drama is caused over Twitter as well. I am aware of many “Twitter-Fights.” In my opinion, if you have a problem with someone, TEXT them privately, CALL them, or even talk to them IN PERSON. Don’t make your problems clear to the whole world. Twitter is a nice way to let out frustration, but if you know someone is going to see it, and you don’t want them to, then you shouldn’t tweet it. If it isn’t something you would say to their face or to them DIRECTLY, then you shouldn’t post it for the whole world to see. Tweeting about it just makes people want more information which leads to more drama.

I like Twitter in the sense that you can share information for people to see. If I am doing something fun with my friends, or there is something fun going on, I can tweet about it and let other people know too!  I have been known to tweet funny events or conversations that have occurred with my friends, such as:  “Madison, what is your cat’s name? ….Chip; as in Chocolate Chip.” This was a funny thing, and I wanted to share it with other people. Yes, it may seem stupid but it was fun! Most of the things being tweeted can only be experienced if you are right there with them, laughing about it too!

Twitter is a new way of saying, “look at me!” I think you are trying to see how many peoples’ attention you can get by saying this is what I am doing; this is how I feel; this is where I am! It is short (140 characters) but it isn’t always sweet. So next time you plan on tweeting, just think: “Is this something everyone needs to see? Would I want this certain person to see it and possibly get upset?” If the answer is no, then don’t tweet it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Act of Blogging

This year in my Advanced Placement Language and Composition class, we are required to write blogs. We are on a term schedule at my high school, and we are required to have thirty blogs by the end of the term. My first response to this number was, “THIRTY BLOGS?! Is that a joke?!” Thirty seemed like a very high number, when in reality, it isn’t that high. My main worry was/still is coming up with enough ideas to blog about. A lot of the time I come up with an excellent idea when I am driving, but I can’t write it down right then, and I forget! Blogging started off as a chore, but now it is actually becoming quite fun.

My classmates would beg to differ. Only about six of us out of twenty-one enjoy blogging. For me, it is a way to express my feelings toward certain topics. It is a way for me to voice my opinion for people who are actually interested in hearing/reading it. Here are some of the things my classmates have to say about blogging:

Bailey: “I don’t really like it. I mean, once I find a good topic, I like doing it. However, I am so busy that I don’t have time to do it and therefore it becomes more like a chore.”

Maddy: “I don’t mind blogging, but I just wish we didn’t have a certain number we had to reach in order to get a good grade.”

Rachel: “I don’t like having to be forced to write something. When we have essays due, that is okay because it is once a week. But with blogs, we have to do so many of them and they aren’t very significant topics; therefore I am not very interested in them and it is hard to write a lot about them.”

Allie: “I like it because it is a way for me to put all of my thoughts in writing, and have a place to express my opinions that people would otherwise not hear.”

Diamond: “I like blogging because this class is not a creative writing course and therefore we can write about whatever we want in our blogs.”

Many people don’t like blogging because of the set number that is needed by the end of the term. I took another poll in my class and asked my peers if they would enjoy blogging more if the number was lower, or if we had a set number per week (like two or so a week). Many people said that they would prefer this to the set number we have by the end of the term. Not checking up on us regularly leaves us to procrastinate. I also asked my peers if they would blog at all if we didn’t have a set number of blogs we had to accomplish. Ninety percent of them said, NO.

Blogging can be a good way for us to feel like we have an outlet for our opinions. However, when there is too much pressure on us to reach the maximum number, we get stressed and it causes us to become frustrated. I can honestly say that I am not sure I would blog if there weren’t a set number we had to have. But the more and more I blog, the more I find it to be fun. I know it is a place I can be myself; somewhere I know I can share my opinion freely. If people don’t like what I have to say, they can just move right on to the next blog. Blogging doesn’t have to feel like a chore as long as you find something worth sharing.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Kitchen

A man’s definition of the perfect woman: She stays home to take care of the children while he goes to “bring home the bacon.” He comes home to a freshly cooked meal, and a perfectly clean house and a smooth-running life.
A woman’s definition of the perfect man: He cooks and cleans occasionally. He takes care of “housely” duties without being asked. He is always willing to help wherever need be.
A man’s definition of the perfect man: He goes and makes the money in order to provide for his family. He does “manly” work such as fixing the car or yard work. He allows his wife to cater to his needs.
A woman’s definition of the perfect woman: She never backs down to a challenge. She is independent and is willing to go out and make her own money. She wants to have someone there to love and support her, but he has to put just as much into the relationship as she does.

Today, while in my United States History class, my teacher and I got into a heated discussion about women’s rights. He is one to make many sexist jokes, always bashing women’s rights, eventually leading to the idea of male superiority. An example of one of his jokes is:
Student: “Are we ever going to be able to meet your wife?”
Teacher: “Only if you come to my kitchen.”     
In the past, I have been one to laugh this off, giving him a little glare to know that this bothers me. But lately, he has been making extra sexist jokes, just to set me off. I am extra sensitive to these jokes because I was raised by a mother who is a strong feminist. (She was enrolled in one of the first Women’s Studies classes offered at her college in the mid 1980’s and had been referring to herself as Ms. rather than Miss since she was a young girl. She still uses her maiden name even though she is married to my stepdad.) She believes in women’s rights one hundred and ten percent. She has always been one to go out into the world and make a living. She likes to be in charge of her life, and she won’t ever let a man take advantage of her. Her feelings toward feminism have rubbed off on me. I feel like women NEED to have the same rights as men. What does it matter WHO makes dinner or WHO cleans the house, as long as it gets done? So, when my teacher makes these remarks, I have trouble just sitting there listening.
Today, the heat between my teacher and I was extremely high. We spent the whole class period going back and forth about the rights of women compared to men. Readers, please keep in mind that my class ratio of boys to girls is about 5-3. I am not afraid to say how I feel, so I just went off on him. However, little did I know that my teachers would be so good at come-backs and he would make some “woman” remark every time I would stick up for myself. Before I knew it, he was calling me “Betty Crocker” and asking me if I needed a cookbook in order to find my answer. And what angered me even more was the fact that every time he would slam the women, he would raise his fist and all of the guys would say in unison, “MEN!!!!!!!!!!!”
Haven’t we gotten past the point in America where “men run the world”? Throughout history, we have been through the ups and downs of discussing women’s rights. And now, women are finally being recognized throughout the country as being more equal in getting an education, holding any type of job they want and to having equal access in most areas. I know we can’t change the way people think, but women have just as many rights as men do. Women make a living and can support ourselves. Yes, men are nice to have but we don’t need them running our lives and we certainly don’t need to run our lives around them. We women need to stick up for what we believe in, just like I did in class today. One thing I have learned from this experience is to always stand up for what I believe in, but I need to show (on the outside at least) that it doesn’t affect me as much as my teacher thinks it does. When I show weakness, I know I am labeled as a target for more comments. Instead of letting it knock me down, I need to keep my head up and keep sticking up for what I believe is right and what is wrong.

For the record: My teacher and I cleared the air and he is going to let me lead some of the women’s rights discussions we will have in the future. He is not a bad person; he just likes to poke fun. He has told us many times that he respects his wife and his two daughters.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


What do you instantly think when someone mentions the continent: Africa? Most people think: political unrest; war; slavery; desert; or something along those lines. But, for me? I think: MY DREAM. I have many dreams in life, but one of my biggest ones is to travel to Africa.

Why Africa? There are so many opportunities for someone to help and give aid in Africa. I want to travel over there and do mission work; I want to make a difference in someone’s life. Yes, I know I can do that in America. However, we have so many things here that they don’t have there. I want to show them that people are kind and that they are willing to help. I want to help bring some of the love we have here, over to them, over there.

This dream of mine first started in 2007, when I was twelve. My dad had recently gotten a job for a organization named CARE and within three months of working there, he was already taking an international trip to help bring relief to the poverty-stricken country of Mali. He told me that Mali was one of the safest African countries. (I am not sure if he really meant that, or if he was just saying that to ease my worries!) Yes, I had been aware of all of the unrest that existed in Africa, which made me extremely worried, especially since he left on my birthday! He was gone for two weeks, and when he came back he was full of stories. Two things he came back realizing and appreciating were:

1)      Getting to experience the incredible history of mankind. He was in West Africa, and there was so much history in the land and in the people.

2)     Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, with some of the worst living conditions imaginable. Even with all of this, the people were some of the happiest and joyous people he had ever met and been around.

He brought back beautiful gifts for me and my sister that are irreplaceable. They were hand-made, and they were one of a kind. No one else had the exact same one. He brought back a leather wallet with little engravings on it for me, which I still have today.

There are many things that can be done to help the people in Africa. Some things I would like to get the chance to do are to help build schools and to help make villages more welcoming. I am so fortunate with my school and my house/town and I would like to help improve theirs. My church does mission trips to Swaziland and they have helped to build a school there for the children. Seeing this makes me want to go even more and help! The hard part is going to be getting my mom to let me go!

I would like to make a difference. I KNOW I can make a difference. I hope for the chance to be able to make that difference. I want to help people everywhere, but especially in Africa. It is the most devastated continent. There are so many people there that need our help, and I want to give my help to them.

Mali today: Mali has had some unrest in the past, but lately the country has been pretty stable. However, in Northern Mali (where there are no real cities; inside the Sahara) on the border of Algeria, has had some problems recently. The terrorist organization, Al-Qaida has set up terrorist training camps and the people of Mali are now struggling to get them out of their land.

Special thanks to my dad, for contributing to the information in this blog.

Cell Phones: Part Two

“I don’t know!!”
 “I don’t know…..”
There are so many ways a text or post can be interpreted.  And a lot of the time, texts and postings ARE misinterpreted. The example of I DON’T KNOW is a very popular one that is often not perceived the way it was meant to be. How would you interpret these three types of “idk”? Well I know that in many situations, I would perceive these all differently. The use of punctuation can mean a lot when texting as well. This is something to pay attention to when reading a text or a post. However, it can also be very deceiving.  
I love texting and posting, but it also gets in the way sometimes. Depending on my “mood of the day” I will interpret texts differently depending on the type of punctuation being used. Someone might mean it in a nice way, but I might interpret them as being rude, or standoffish. I don’t know why I do this, but I think it is something in the brain that causes you to make it sound differently than it is really intended. I know there are many fights that occur because of a misinterpreted text message or post.
Because texting and posting have become so popular these days, it takes away a lot of direct communicating. This can be very detrimental because as future generations keep getting more and more improvements in the world of technology, we might lose direct communication all together. Hopefully, that is a far-fetched idea, but it is something we have to keep in the back of our minds.
Because the world of technology has transformed so much, talking on the phone has become a rarity. My mom likes to tell me the story about the time she first got her own phone. And when I say phone, I mean the type of phone that was plugged into the wall (into a phone cable) and the type that you used when no one else was using the other line. She was twelve, and recently moved into her new house, in a neighborhood where she could no longer ride her bike to easily see her friends. She was promised her own phone extension in her room which helped her to be okay with moving. But now, most of the world has their OWN line, which they can keep in their POCKET. Home land lines are dwindling down and so are phones that actually hook onto the wall. Yes, my family still has a home phone, but we got rid of our wall phone a couple of years ago. But now instead of using our home phones or cell phones to actually CALL someone, we can just whip out our little touch screen and text someone. Texting can be a faster and an easier way to communicate, but you don’t always get the point across that you initially intended. This can cause major issues and can involve unneeded explanation to something that is not a big deal.
Cell phones are quickly taking over the world, and everything around them. However, we don’t have to let them control our lives.  So next time, avoid unnecessary conflict and make sure your point is CLEARLY expressed. Remember not to take anything too personally too, because you aren’t always there when the message is sent; therefore you don’t know the exact tone it was intended in. Everyone needs to remember that texting and posting is not forever going to be a sufficient means of conversation, so we shouldn’t get too hooked on it now.

Cell Phones: Part One

“Where are you?”
“What’s up?”
“How much longer?”
I wish I could remember what the days were like before I got a cell phone, but I can’t. This is exceptionally sad because I only got it three and a half years ago. Ridiculous… I know. But how did we communicate with each other before the phenomenon of having a cell phone hit? From what I remember, we just took chances, and waited. We did a lot of waiting. We waited for people to get back to us. (This could have taken a whole day or even longer!) We waited for people to arrive, without being able to send the “Where are you?” text. Cell phones have taken over our world, person by person.
My grandma likes to tell me that I was “more fun” before I got a cell phone. I would definitely disagree! Yes, I am in regular contact with people, but that doesn’t take away my fun-factor. She however cannot relate because she does not have a cell phone (or a computer) so she doesn’t quite understand the temptation of having one. Because of all of the push back she gives me while I am around her, I tend to try to keep my phone hidden. Even for that little amount of time though, it is hard to not respond the moment your phone buzzes.
I have a regular phone with Verizon. No special perks. I do not have internet and I do not have games or Apps. I have unlimited texting and calling, and that is about it. Now though, Smart-Phones are becoming more and more popular and it is becoming a rarity to have just a regular phone that is only used to text and call people. In some ways, I am glad I don’t have to constant temptation to be checking Facebook or Twitter. But then again, I sort of wish I did have access to that constantly. But for now, I think I will stick to my texting-calling plan only before I add an extra $30 to my bill each month!
Looking back, watching the re-runs of Saved by the Bell, and seeing that ENORMOUS cell phone being used by Zach it makes me laugh. It is amazing to see how far the world of technology has come in only about fifteen years. It makes you wonder what the next big hit will in the technology world. I have no doubt that it will be something amazing!

Friday, October 14, 2011


There are many vegetarians out there in the world today. Some choose to be vegetarians or they have to be because of their religion. The first vegetarians were some dinosaurs; they only ate plants. Now, vegetarians have become so popular and it is an up and coming fashion.
I have always wondered what it would be like to be a vegetarian. Would I make it? Would I give into the temptation of meat? Well, who knows? I haven’t tried it, so I wouldn’t know. Yes, I will admit I feel bad for the animal suffering, but a lot of the time I just push it pass me and I keep on eating.
Recently, I have been exposed to vegetarians more than ever.  Some of my best friends are vegetarians! My friend became a vegetarian after her mission trip to South Dakota and her trip to France. She didn’t like seeing how the animals were being treated and therefore decided she was going to put an end to contributing to the cruelness. Soon after, her mom also became a vegetarian. However, her dad is not a vegetarian, making meal ideas a little more difficult.
My two other friends who are vegetarians are brother and sister. I do not know the exact reason why they became vegetarians, but I know that they have been vegetarians for a long time. Their mom is also a vegetarian; well, more like ¾ of the time vegetarian. She sometimes eats meat (like fish and such) but not regularly. However, their dad is also not a vegetarian making meals also more difficult for them as well.
Given that these three are some of my best friends, I spend a lot of time with them. When I do spend time with them, we eat vegetarian-like! It is fun, even though it isn’t always that different from my regular meals. I have gotten the chance to try new foods and new types of food. Once I had Zucchini Parmesan, vegetarian Sloppy-Joes, and even some delicious homemade pizza with pesto, tomatoes and cheese! Being around these people so much makes me feel like a vegetarian. And a lot of the time I am outnumbered! It is funny in that sense, because normally it is the other way around!
Some days, I think of myself as a vegetarian. I know it wouldn’t be impossible, but it would definitely be a challenge.  When I think about changing my lifestyle into becoming a vegetarian, I think about the impact it would have on my health and on my family meals! I don’t see my mom and stepdad becoming vegetarians anytime soon. When I really think about it… I think about how much I would miss the taste of steak and burgers!  So even though sometimes I think it would be fun to be a vegetarian, I am not sure I am ready to make that commitment!
Click here to read one of friend’s blog about being a vegetarian for more information:

Traveling Abroad

I have already mentioned my two week trip to Spain in a previous blog, but in this entry I want to emphasize the importance of traveling abroad while young.

I have always been one to be adventurous. Maybe, it hasn’t always been present on the surface… but I have always wanted to get out and explore the world. I have been traveling since I was of a very young age, and I would rather be away during the summer time than I would be at home! And that is not because I have a bad home life, because I don’t! I just like to meet new people and explore new things. This is why I was so quick to jump on the opportunity to travel abroad while in high school.

From the day I found out they were taking a trip to Spain, in June of 2011, I started picking up the paperwork and pestering my mom about it. Of course, being my mother, she pushed back. She was not ready to let her little girl go to a foreign country, across the VERY large Atlantic Ocean, in a place where she had absolutely no way to keep me safe. However, with a little encouragement from my stepdad and grandparents, she reluctantly agreed. I was so excited, even though I was scared.

This was going to be a completely new experience for me. Every time I had traveled previously, my mom or some family member had been there with me. For this trip, this was not the case. I was going to be alone. (Well not alone, but with people I didn’t know very well, people who weren’t my family members.) This aspect was always present in my mind, but it was being covered up by all of my excitement. It didn’t really occur to me that I wouldn’t be able to communicate with my mom and family everyday like I was use to, for two weeks! It sunk in when I was on my way to the airport, after saying my goodbyes.

As soon as I arrived in Spain, it was like I was in a completely different world. It is a different world over there. They speak a different language; there are different and unfamiliar people; things aren’t as developed over there. The thing I liked most about being in Spain, was that I was in my own bubble for two weeks. I didn’t have to worry about anyone else but myself. I didn’t have to worry about what my family was doing, or what my friends were doing back home. I just had to worry about myself.

Being sixteen, in a foreign country, where they speak a different language is definitely a change. However, it really opened my eyes. I realized that people aren’t as fortunate over there as we are here, in the United States. The culture was completely different as well. They did things differently; they said things differently. Things we would think were CRAZY or OBSCURE over here, they think are completely normal. This took some getting used to, but I adjusted well. I learned what was appropriate to say and what was not.

I learned a lot about myself on this trip. I learned that if I set my mind to something, I can accomplish it. Yes, I had many fears about going away for that length of time, but as soon as I got there, I put away all of my fears and let myself have a great time! I am so thankful I did this, because I made long lasting friendships, gained experiences that few people get to experience, and most importantly, I grew up. Going on this trip at such a young age, really opened my eyes and made me a stronger person. I am so grateful to all of the people who made this trip possible. THANK YOU.

Where I Belong

Just picture it: shinning lights, a big crowd, fun costumes, with great people. This is what I live for. Like many others out there, I am a performer. I have been a performer for many years. I started performing in front of crowds when I was three. Let me tell you, it was not always pleasant, but it sure was fun! When I was three, I started taking dance lessons and by the age of five, I was singing in my church choir. Then as soon as I got to middle school I was on stage performing in musicals, plays, and in show choir. To this day, I am still involved in musicals, plays and show choir. It is what I love to do; it is what I live for.

Middle school is where I first really got a chance to explore the stage. I remember the first musical I was in: Aladdin. I was in sixth grade, so therefore I was only in the chorus. Even just being in the chorus, I took my role seriously. They always say, you have to start low in order to grow big- and that is exactly what happened. When I got to seventh grade, I had an actual speaking part! I was one of the grandma’s in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Yes, it wasn’t huge, but it was a part; it was also a step up from the chorus. I knew my time was coming! Then, when I was in eighth grade, I got a lead part in Into the Woods, Jr. and then again later that year in FOOLS. I was also involved in show choir in seventh grade and again in eighth grade. I loved performing, and I was good at it! The stage was where I felt most comfortable!

My love for the stage continued onward into high school. I made the freshmen show choir, and I was involved in the children’s theatre production of A Year with Frog and Toad. I was also a part of our award winning speech team, and our spring musical, Sweeney Todd. Once again, I had to start off at the lower end, but I knew it would turn around. Then, for my sophomore year I was a part of the children’s theatre production again, I was on speech team, and I had a role in the spring musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum! This was my first step in getting larger parts. It was a 19 member cast, and I (a sophomore) got a part! It was so much fun being on stage and performing in front of all of those people! Yes, it was a little nerve wracking, considering the part I had. (I was Tintinabula, the belly dancer courtesan!) Also, during my sophomore year I was a part of our JV Show Choir! It was an amazing experience! I loved being on stage and performing to the best of my abilities!

This year is my junior year. I made the fall musical, Seussical and I plan on auditioning for the children’s theatre production again this year. I made our varsity show choir this year as well. The school year just began, but I know it is going to be one filled with shinning lights, big crowds, fun costumes, and great people. Being on stage has brought me so many great friends. When you are involved in something so time consuming, you make long lasting friendships. You get to know people better than you would have gotten to if they were just in your math or science class. You form an unspoken bond that no one else can experience unless, they too are on stage alongside you. The feeling of being on stage is like no other. I feel at home. It is where I belong; where I fit. It is somewhere I can go, where it is just me. I tune out everything around me, and perform to the best of my abilities. I constantly get compliments on my facial presence while on stage. (Usually I have a big smile). This keeps me going, and helps prove to myself that this IS something I love to do. I know it isn’t always realistic, but being on stage is definitely something I would love to spend my life doing. I know that if I ever lose track of myself, (which I sure hope doesn’t happen) I know I can just get on that stage, and I will be right back where I belong.