Wildcard

“And baby you’re my wild card
My perfect little twist of fate
You’re my first spark, shot in the dark
Favorite part of everything
And baby you’re a sweet surprise
Lucky like a shooting star
You’re a strong, free, just what I need, wild card”

-“Wildcard”by Hunter Hayes

 

Before the start of spring break, we were assigned partner projects in English class. My class has an odd number of students; I got permission to do it on my own. So, I completed the assignment- make a Prezi about a poem (mine was on “The Garden” by Ezra Pound, the first one I saw listed in the book). Thinking it needed a little something extra, I added music. Being the person that I am, I added traditional Irish bouzouki music (which is especially wonderfully when dueting with a banjo, I might add). I asked the teacher to check my project and make sure it was the way he wanted it to be. He asked if he could use it for another class. I forgot to mention the bouzouki music.

I thought we wouldn’t be presenting until next week, but when I walked into class on Tuesday, the teacher smiled at me and said, “You’re on today!” I went through my oral presentation awkwardly, accompanied by the Irish background music (which actually helped calm my nerves 🙂 ). I finished it with the only hitch being the music’s volume (my teacher had to  turn it down halfway through my presentation).

And that’s basically everything you need to know about my school career.

These past few weeks, I also received an application for National Honor Society. Whoop whoop! I’m currently in the process of filling it out. When I began, I thought to myself,“You’ll never get in anyway; you haven’t had any school involvement or anything noteworthy to write down.” But as I continued, I realized I was wrong; I was so,so wrong. I filled in the appropriate spaces on the application:  Interact Club, Literature Clubs, lead role in school play, Handchime Choir… It definitely gets weirder as it goes on. Laughing to myself, I realized my application would stand out as a smorgasbord of all that I’ve collected during my journey through three different high schools. I smiled, remembering Hunter Hayes’s new song “Wildcard.”

I’ve mentioned before how I find Hunter’s lyrics totally relatable and his music totally spectacular ( I believe my exact words were Hunter Hayes basically writes my life 🙂 ), right? Well, with his new album’s release date FINALLY set, I was super-excited to hear his newest song. And of course, I found it to be… perfect. My second-favorite lines come from the second verse: “I’m an unexpected dreamer/Just watching through my every day/You don’t follow any leader/You make your mark, and make a change…” They remind me that it’s okay to be… not average. It’s okay not to feel like you have to fit a certain stereotype. It’s okay to wear Vans instead of boat shoes. It’s okay to listen to  Big Time Rush and not One Direction. It’s okay to read when otherwise you’d be sitting in awkward silence.  It’s okay to like random Irish music. It’s okay to be a wildcard.

 

‘It’s funny when you tell me you don’t think you’re all that interesting
I beg to differ, with you I’m out here on the edge of my seat
And every minute guessing, holding my breath and fueling that fire…”

It’s those of us who dance to the beat of our own drum that are able to fuel change in this world. In the wise words of another blue-eyed, blonde country singer, this one a few feet taller and a few Grammies more famous than dear Hunter, “If you’re lucky enough to be different, don’t ever change.”

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

 

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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

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

I Knew You Were Trouble

“Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground
Oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble”

-“I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift

Had I written that song for these past few weeks, I would change the line to “Now I’m sitting in a cold hard chair.” Because THAT is how cold these classrooms are. And the mornings have been pretty cold, too, like, 60 degrees (Yes, I know that 90% of the country would be so grateful for 60 degree weather right now, but compared to the usual 80, it is COLD!).

So, trouble… Something I do my best to stay out of. But, as we all know, it has its own way of finding me. Last Tuesday it haunted me all day long. Most of my classes were in trouble. The geometry class freshman finally danced on the teacher’s last nerve. Trouble 1. In English, we had a sub who was supposed to take us to the computer lab after lunch to write our essays. On the way, my class decided to be so loud and boisterous that another teacher came out of her classroom. Trouble 2. Then, the sub decided we weren’t responsible enough to go to the lab and made us go back to the classroom and hand-write our essays. Trouble 3, 4, 5…. (And may I add, I was not the one who deserved any of it AND my essay is quite excell ent, in my opinion). The rest of last week is all a blur.

And then came the weekend. Moving into a new house isn’t the quickest task, so my weekend left me little time to study for the two tests I had today. Honestly, I think I did the best I could on my guitar test. I told myself, Strive for a B. All I want is a B. Barre chords are hard!! The geometry test the next period was, thankfully, rather easy, though looong.

And now I have another meteor hurtling towards my earth: pre-arranged absence forms. I’m going out of town this week for Christmas (can’t wait to see you, Mammy!! :D), and so I have to get the form signed by my parents at home and then ALL my teachers tomorrow morning after taking it to the office to be signed…. Good thing I won’t have to lug around Earl.

But back to speaking of my move, that meant my sister and I rode a new bus this morning. The stop is, thankfully, a lot closer to our house than the previous bus stop was. However, my memory often fails me, and to prevent myself from riding back to my old house this afternoon, I’ve got my bus number written on my hand like one of my mom’s second graders. 🙂 I’m so not missing the bus.

So, yes, I hope the rest of this week goes well, and there is no more trouble than necessary. But I can handle it, right?

And if all else fails: Nine more days til Christmas.

I knew the weeks preceding Christmas break were trouble when they walked in.

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

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