The Other Side Of the Door

“It’s been a really, really messed up week,

Seven days of torture, seven days of bitter…”

-“Tonight Tonight” by Hot Chelle Rae

 

First week of second semester has just been splendid (I’ve heard that sarcasm is related to intelligence, right?). Well. I am so glad it’s Friday.

Monday really was splendid. We had it off for MLK Day, AND there was an all day “Big Time Rush” marathon on TV. I was a happy girl. But then came Tuesday. Tuesday, Doomsday…. Because Tuesday was the first day of the semester and our last day before exams had been a B Day, I assumed it was A Day. I brought all my books and stupid, stupid Earl (my guitar towards which my feelings are ambivalent). The one day the “A Day/B Day” sign in the Commons is actually correct, I’m wrong. I was frantically calling my mom, smartly hidden in a bathroom stall (sometimes life calls for us to bend the rules- forgive me), and I gave an exact description of the books my sister and I needed and their locations. Being the absolutely incredible, amazing, loving mother that she is, she brought our books in exchange for Earl, whom I had left in the office. My mother was the hero of my Tuesday, and I could not have been more grateful for her bailing me out. 🙂

Wednesday is a blur, lost in translation. Yesterday, Thursday, I learned that I am strong. In all the craziness and hardships of this past year, I have had my best friend beside me through all of it. My twin sister and I vowed to never leave each other alone in the uncharted waters of public high school. But life sometimes overrides even the best intentions, and she was sick yesterday, leaving me to go it alone for the first time. It was lonely, but okay. I do have other friends, and they are kind and gracious and willing to keep me from being a loner. Also, I had time to read The Scorpio Races (and I am sooo close to being finished that I want to skip last period today and read!!). And I got to teach my geometry class that, contrary to popular belief, twins do not get sick at the same time.

That brings us to today. Friday. Today. Ewe. I don’t want to be here. I want to be home. I want to finish my book. I want to be done for today. First period was not nice to me. We had a surprise playing test (it’s guitar class), and on top of other things, I’m done. At least second period was a free period, so I drowned my sorrows in a jar of Nutella. Today is an A Day, so I have B lunch, and since I have no friends in B lunch, I am here, a-bloggin’.  Yay for today.

But it’s Friday, and as soon as that bell rings at 2:55, I am closing the door on this week. I will forget it. I will wash my hands and be done. And it will be good, because on the other side of the door is promise. I’ll be able to finish that book, and learn alongside Puck Connolly that life gets better once you get past what makes it hard, and to keep pressing forward ( I love this character, by the way 🙂 ). I’ll have time to practice my major chords and do better on the next playing test. I can look forward to my stellar report card coming out next week. I still have some Nutella left in that jar. And, best of all, ABC Family KNEW I would be in dire need of a Harry Potter weekend. 🙂

It all awaits me on the other side of the door.

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

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Halfway There

“So we take what comes, and we keep on going,
Leaning on each other’s shoulders
Then we turn around
And see we’ve come so far somehow

We’re halfway there
We’re looking good now
Nothing’s gonna get in the way

We’re halfway there
And looking back now
Never thought that I’d ever say
We’re Halfway there!”

-“Halfway There” by Big Time Rush

When the bell rings a one o’clock today, I will have officially completed my first semester of public high school. I will have made it out, alive, in one piece, all four limbs intact, smiling in my victory.

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I have, at this point in my life, survived midterms. May the scores by with you, I told myself and my fellow exam takers in my head, anyway). Guitar was the hardest ( a completely  written test for an instrument. really?!); Spanish was the easiest. I checked my grades, and I’ve done pretty well so far. I’m quite happy with my grades, actually. Considering my week began with a terrible nightmare concerning the guitar exam, I have done fairly well. I just took my last, and most boring, exam- World Music, a class that sounds fun but is in reality the exact opposite. I now wipe my hands of the exams. No more will I mention them.

The past semester has brought a monumental amount of change into my life. My world has been rocked and shaken, but now, in the end, it’s all come together for good. It is, in fact, good. I’m happy with my life and the way it’s going, and I have only good things to look forward to in the spring semester. Halfway there, halfway to go. It’s all up from here.

“Oooh we’re halfway there, oohh livin on a prayer!”

-Bon Jovi

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Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

Not Afraid To Fall

I accidentally wished my bus driver a happy Thanksgivingukkah.

That really happened.

This is why I’ve been asked twice if I’m Jewish.

I’m not.

I’m just…. culturally aware?

So, yeah, it’s been quite the day, as you can tell. Guess what I did in school????!!!

Squat.

First period, we had a party in Spanish class because we’d just finished a unit about food. It was nice; I didn’t have to think. Next was geometry. I’m usually prepared for class, but today of all days, I’d left my workbook at home. Panic seized my heart. But good fortune had my back. The 98% freshman and sophomores class had planned a “surprise party” and brought food. The teacher magically agreed to an impromptu party rather than the seventy problems she was about to assign. I breathed a sigh of relief. I got up to get food, sacrificing my leftover polvorones from Spanish to the party spread. The rest of the class decided that the oldest students would go first, so, as the only juniors, my sister and I were at the front of the line. I ate well this morning.

My morning at school was so much better than my morning before. It was fine, actually, until I walked out of the house. I was just heading down the driveway, bag of cookies in hand, when I slipped on some mud and the opening of”Sweeter Than Fiction” popped into my head: “Hit the ground, hit the ground, hit the ground, oh oh/ Only sound, only sound that you hear is ‘No’/You never saw it coming/Slipped when you started running/And now you’ve come undone and I, I, I, I/Seen you fall, seen you crawl on your knees, eh eh….” Because that’s what I did. I slipped and fell on my knees (But no worries! I made a quick move that enabled me to save the cookies!).

The afternoon went blessedly quickly. We had a sub in chemistry and were left to our devices to work independently. I finished my assignment relatively easily, but I needed to google a few terms. I used my assigned laptop to finish, but then I was left with empty time. So, naturally, I passed it in the most logical way: I fanfictioned 🙂 I’m almost done with the story now.

During my last period interning, I filed. I had like 20 folders spread out in the back of the classroom and a huge stack of papers in front of me. Now, you must understand, as someone who’s philosophy is “Life’s too short to be organized,” sorting and organizing isn’t exactly my idea of a good time. But I spiced up the menial task with some T.Swizzle (thank you, earbuds!). It wasn’t that bad, actually.

I spent the last few minutes of the day in a media center chair, chipping away at Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver. It’s not as good as The Raven Boys, but her writing style is just so… how I wish I could write!

Finally, the day was over. After locating our bus (it was at the end of the line today and no one had bothered to announce it), my sister and I were on our way home.

And now it’s Fall Break (or as we called it, “Thanksgivingukkah Break”)! And it’s already as beautiful as they say school vacation is. Heffron Drive put out a new song, so my day’s been made!! It’s the little things in life, I guess 🙂

Happy Fall Break/Thanksgivingukkah!

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

Just Another Manic Monday

Guess what?! I can read!

Yeah. I already knew that, too. I was called to the office multiple times last week. One of them was because the results of the reading test I had to take (after two weeks of “tutoring”) had come in. I got a five, the highest level. I passed a reading test. Who would’ve guessed?

Last Monday I was called to the office to be notified of the authorization of my pre-excused absence for that Tuesday. I think they mispronounce my name 80% of the time over the intercom. That is, unless there is a “Christian” somewhere in my school with the same last name and schedule… Anyways, the absence was to attend a Veteran’s Day luncheon with my dad. And it couldn’t have come at a more convenient time! I got out of taking the ASVAB test (yet another standardized test!). I didn’t have that much work to make up, either.

I think that last week, my teachers all got together and decided to plan to give tests all at the same time. I had two difficult English tests, a geometry test, AND an unannounced chemistry test. It was not a good week to be Kristen. I have two more tests this week, too. Seriously, it has been so stressful. I had a hard time sleeping due to nightmares all weekend. That generally happens when I’m stressed. And then I stay awake trying to figure out what they meant, and that just makes it worse…. Yeah, not fun!

But today was much better. I didn’t want to wake up, though, because it forced me out of a dreamworld where I was not only going to a Heffron Drive concert every night for a week, but I was friends with the band and wandered between the front row and backstage at my leisure. It was much preferable to a Monday with chemistry class any day! At least I didn’t have any of those tests today. It was actually a relatively easy day. We had a really cool demonstration in chemistry where the teacher burned different elements in the Bunsen burner, and they gave off different colored flames, like fireworks. And we’ll get to try it for ourselves in the spring for our lab final (identifying elements in unmarked testubes). Yay…

     Hey, my favorite part of today: it’s almost TUESDAY NOVEMBER 19!! That, my friends, is the day I have been counting down to for over two months: the release of the book Staying Strong by Demi Lovato. I’m excited; can you tell? 🙂 I’m the person who tends to get really excited over things like CD or book releases. What can I say? I like to make countdowns.

But speaking of books, I fell in love and then had my heart broken last week. I read this completely amazing book called The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater over that weekend. The author’s exquisite writing style pulled me in, and her unique storyline and memorable characters kept me there. I was literally hanging on to every word until the final page. So, I got myself through the weekend by promising myself I’d go and get the sequel from the school library on Monday. I got through the day and to the library- no sequel. Feeling let down, I Christmas-listed both the books.

Now I’m reading a rather odd book about a girl who’s half dragon. I still have a good chunk of it left. Homework’s done, so I better get to reading. A hot cup of peppermint tea is calling my name…

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

Sweeter Than Fiction

“There you’ll stand, ten feet tall,

I’ll say I knew it all along.

Your eyes are wider than distance,

This life is sweeter than fiction.”

– “Sweeter Than Fiction” by Taylor Swift

     I may have noted before the deep affinity I have for reading. So, you can imagine how the thought of life being considered “sweeter than fiction” would appeal to me. It’s a phrase that’s been on my mind since yesterday morning when I downloaded the new Taylor Swift song by the same name (And let me tell you, it was quite a good way to start off my week 🙂 ). One of my favorite lines says, “Now in this perfect weather, it’s like we don’t remember the rain we thought would last forever and ever.” I smile when I hear that line, because I love the realization that the “rain” doesn’t last forever, and life is always brighter after the storm. That’s when the rainbows come out, right?

      I think that I’ve seen a lot more rainbows this year. Not just because it rains more in this region of the country, but because I’m so happy. If you had asked me back in August, I would have only been able to tell you that I was terrified about starting all over again (again!) at a brand-new school. But now, I’m happy to say I know I made the right choice. 🙂

     Today is the last day of the nine weeks, meaning grades will come out and I have survived my first quarter of public high school! <insert applause here> Wow….

     So, what can I say? It’s good. Other than being pre-distracted by the fact that my favorite band Heffron Drive is FINALLY going on an American tour and tickets are on sale and really really wanting to go (to the point where I accidentally threw papers at my geometry teacher! 🙂 ), I’m doing well. When my sister and I received our quarter grades of 100 in geometry yesterday, several of our classmates chorused astonishment, like we had done the impossible (just mentioning, we had Algebra II last year, which I think is making geometry easier since we went over the basics, and our Algebra I class was really good about the constructions and graphing!!). I’ve finished reading my library book, and so I’ll get a new one sometime tomorrow (ahh, the things that excite us nerds!). And, to top it all off, I actually did well on my guitar proficiency today!

     Speaking of guitar class, have I mentioned before that I’m basically the resident pick-dealer? Whenever someone needs to borrow a pick, they come to me, for I own a plethora of guitar picks for some odd reason. So, like usual, I’d lent out a few today, and I had one non-decorative pick left. Well, I lost it. And, right as I realized that I had lost it, the teacher asks the class, “Does anyone have a pick I can borrow?” All eyes turned to me. My name was said. I hesitantly selected what I hoped would be the least strange pick to lend him, choosing a Taylor Swift pick with the RED album cover art on it. (Hey, it was either that or one of my Big Time Rush two, and nobody touches my Kendall Schmidt pick! 🙂 ). I brought it up to him, apologizing for the kind of pick it was. He only thanked me. And then, literally right after he returned my Taylor pick, I found the Fender one I’d lost. That’s the trouble with Swifties…

  

     So, in a nutshell, as these first nine weeks wind down,  I am “happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way” (another T. Swift quote, from “22”). But, yeah, it’s good. I think I like where I’m at in life, and where I’m headed. It can only go up from here. And one day…

“There you’ll stand, next to me,

All at once, the rest is history.

Your eyes, wider than distance,

This life is sweeter than fiction!”

– “Sweeter Than Fiction” by Taylor Swift

    And with a life sweeter than fiction, any lemons it throws my way will be turned into some pretty tasty lemonade 🙂

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

 

 

Who You Are

     Over the past week, I have been asked if I was a twin, telepathic, and Jewish. Only one of these, of course, is true for me (As for the other two, it was a twin-telephatic joke, and I was the only person in my Spanish class who knew the word for “bar mitzvah”.). Things like that have got me thinking- “who are you, really?” 

      To some, such as the security guards in the cafeteria, I am the girl who brings a jar of Nutella everyday for lunch. To others, I’m the person who spends way too much time in the library (what can I say? I have a very bad book habit 🙂 ). In my guitar class, I’m the girl who loves Taylor Swift and always has an extra pick you can borrow. I’ve been, “WOAH! Are you twins?!” quite a lot this year. In English class, I have to try not to be Hermione Granger ( if you don’t get it- a literary figure who “knew it all” and was constantly raising her hand to answer every question the teacher asked).

     There are things I strive to be, like a straight-A student and finished with all the standardized tests they make me take. There are also things I don’t want to be, like late for class or the bus, or hacked on Twitter, like yesterday 😛 Then, there are the things I’d like to be, like a  National Merit scholar, that probably won’t happen. For now, I’m just glad to be done with the PSATs for, like, ever!

     During my time in the library today, I decided to get a head start on something interesting- a contest to win a Kindle Fire tablet, which would do wonders for my book habit! All I have to do is read ten of the sixteen “teen read” books and take the AR tests on them, by spring. Ten books in six or seven months? Easy! So, I chose my first book today. The Latte Rebellion is a story about identity and standing up for who you are. I’m barely into it yet, but I have a feeling it is going to be good 🙂

     High school is generally where you do a lot of “discovering who you are.” You try new things, meet different people, decide what you want to do with your life… I’m far from having it all figured out, but, so far, I think I like what I’m finding. 

     I believe that staying true to who you are is one of the most important things you can do. 

“I am a flamingo in a flock of pigeons”

     -Confessions of A Teenage Drama Queen

     I don’t know about you, but I’d rather stay the flamingo than try to be a pigeon any day.

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

All Over Again

     Phew… What  a crazy, crazy week last week was! Now, it’s Monday morning, and time to do it all over again…

     Last week was Homecoming Week, like Spirit Week, but without the crazy games and competitions I experienced during private school Spirit Weeks. Ah, memories… Anyways, it was a week of dress-up days leading up to the Homecoming Game on Friday. Monday was Camo Day, and Tuesday was Sports Day. Wednesday, students wore pink and faculty wore black. I spent the day wondering how many people actually caught the reference to the quote from the movie “Mean Girls”: “On Wednesdays, we wear pink!”

     Thursday was Hippie Day. My sister had researched hippies online to make sure our costumes looked “authentic”. We had tie dye shirts and vests and leather jewelry and head wraps… The whole nine yards. Not too many people dressed up for Hippie Day, but it was still fun!! During our wait at the bus stop, I listened to Big Time Rush’s covers of several Beatles songs (recorded for a movie) with my iPod to get me in a ’60s mood.

     Friday was Spirit Day. I, unfortunately, own no dragons gear. So, I wore green, one of the school colors. The only green shirt I have is an old camp tshirt. I’ve sure got school spirit!

     Friday was probably the craziest day in a while! First period, I dragged stupid Earl (my guitar, not a person!) all the way to the band room at the end of the school, only to be told we didn’t need our guitars that day and to be handed a hall pass directing me to the computer lab on the opposite end of school (classic). I groaned, knowing instantly it was for a stupid computer practice test again. I went and got it over with. We did nothing the rest of the period. Second period was the Homecoming Parade! My personal favorite float depicted a dragon (our mascot) making an eagle (the team we played against) into KFC. There were also floats depicted an eagle roast and eagle noodle soup. 🙂

     The pep rally was last period. It was nuts! Each grade level had a class skit. Two of four involved guys dressed as girls and twerking (in case you don’t know what that means, it’s a very stupid kind of dancing). In three of four of the periods I was in Friday, people twerked, often for no reason. I just find it very strange and… awkward.

     But Friday ended on a high note when we fried the eagles and won our Homecoming Game! It was awesome, considering we rarely win and only scored twice (our school’s better at swimming and soccer!). It was definitely a game worth going to!

     Yet Friday was nothing compared to Wednesday. Afterschool, our church was starting up a youth Bible study. They were sending the bus to pick up kids from the Christian middle school downtown and from the middle and high school in the middle school parking lot. My sister and I had no idea where that was, so we kept following people we were sure were headed there. We ended up somewhere in the middle of town. We planned to go to the Christian school to see if we could still catch the bus. Thankfully, we saw the bus and were able to flag it down. They’d been looking for us 🙂

     We made it to Bible study in one picee. I was exhausted, considering I’d lugged Earl halfway through town! Hopefully, we can make it to the right place this week!

     I’m about to do the crazy week thing all over again. This time it isn’t Homecoming Week, but it promises to be a super busy week! My family and I are trying out karate classes this week, and we have a 4H meeting tomorrow, and Bible study tonight and Wednesday…. And a geometry test today and two English tests and a guitar test tomorrow… Maybe I can breathe on Friday!

     Well, here’s to Monday! Wish me luck as I do this crazy thing called the school week all over again!

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen