Sunday, May 30, 2010

More Music Stuff

Well I guess it's a good thing this year is almost over. I'm having a hard time coming up with blog topics every week. I think that the area I have grown in the most this year is music. I've gotten better at piano, I've learned more about how to be a better singer, and I even started learning to play guitar. Playing guitar is my new favorite thing to do. It makes it so much easier to practice singing. When I sing with a guitar, I don't need a minus track because I'm making the background music myself. Also it's harder to get off key when you can hear exactly what key you should be singing in.

Another fun part about playing guitar is that I've started writing my own music. I used to try to do that with the piano, but I wasn't really good enough to write my own accompaniment. With guitar I just find a chord sequence I like, play it for a little while, and then start coming up with a tune that goes along with it. Once I have that, I start writing the words and changing things up so it all works together.

Playing guitar is one of the things I've always wanted to learn how to do, so I feel pretty good knowing that I'm accomplishing one of my goals. Guitar is fun, helps me get better musically, and I think it's making my fingers stronger too. My fingertips are all calloused now. For my term project in choir I played guitar and sang, and it was pretty cool being able to get a whole song done. My one problem is that I have extra small fingers, so for certain kinds of chords I have a hard time getting my fingers to reach them. Overall though, I think I'm learning a lot and I feel like I'm getting it pretty good.

I think that I've also grown a lot in singing this year. There are a lot of different parts to singing, i.e. the pitch, tone quality, breath support, dynamics, vibrato, etc. I feel like this year during my singing lessons and in choir I've learned a lot more about how to use all these different parts to become a better singer. Before this year, I just sang because I liked to, and all I cared about was that I was hitting the right notes. Now, I realize that singing is more than that. You have to use all the different elements to express whatever message you're trying to get across in your song. To emphasize certain parts you could make it louder or softer, or sing it with a different tone. I never realized how much you could express through music before this year.

I think that music is definitely the area I've grown in the most this year. I've learned more about it, and (hopefully) gotten better. I know I've definitely had a lot more experience and opportunities to get better this year. I'm planning on keeping it all going next year in high school in Lace (choir) and the musical. I'm really excited that I'll have more chances to do what I love.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The end is near....

9 MORE DAYS!!!!! Since the end of school is pretty much all I can think about right now, I'll talk about that!

But even though I'm really ready to be done and ready for summer, I'm also a little sad about it. At our school everyone splits after junior high and goes to one of two high schools. So basically I'll still be at high school with some of my friends (luckily my bestest friends), but a lot of my other friends are going somewhere else. With things like this everyone says things like, "We'll still hang out!" and "We'll talk to each other all the time!" but then it doesn't really happen. Everyone moves on, meets new people, and doesn't really keep up with the people they used to know. So I am a little sad that after this year I won't be with some people anymore.

On the other hand, I am so sick of school I can't stand it. Teachers all seem to think, "Oh no, I only have two weeks left! Did I teach them enough?? I must not have! I should give them more to do!" Or, in the case of my science teacher, "Wow, these kids are getting way too excited. I'd better give them 10 more worksheets to do." The last month or so of school is also pretty crazy because all the sudden the students realize, "Oh no, the year's almost over and my grade hasn't raised yet." "I didn't do that?" "What the heck was that assignment?" "Wait that humongous term project is do next week??" And stuff like that. So really, I'm ready to be done with all of that for three months and enjoy summer. :)

What do I like about summer?

  • It is sunny and hot. I am a warm kind of person and I hate being cold. (That's really hard when you live in Utah) I can finally wear my shorts, and I can walk out the door without a coat.
  • My birthday!!! I'm one year older, I can finally start driving, and I get presents!
  • Swimming! My favorite thing to do when it's sunny!
  • FREE TIME! I saw something you could like about this on facebook today: "Oh hey life! I didn't see you there behind all that school!" This couldn't be more true. When you're spending all your time on school stuff you don't have much time to do things you actually want to do. Like spending time with your friends, going to movies, umm... learn to skydive? Stuff you would never have time to do during the year.
  • Vacations!!! Going fun places you would never go during the school year because you just don't have time! And my parents almost never take us places during school because they don't like us to miss anything unless it's a funeral or something.
Pretty much, I just want to try to make this summer one of my best ever! I'm going to do tons of stuff with friends, get some sun while it lasts, and HAVE FUN!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Renaissance Fair

So this weekend my friend and I went to the Renaissance Fair in Clinton together. Even though it sounds like it would be really lame and kind of boring, it was actually really fun. We both dressed up so we could get in a little cheaper. We each wore an old ballet costume and wings so we looked like fairies. :) The fair was in a farming kind of area so everything looked really natural, like I guess how it would have looked in the Renaissance. All the people there had these tent things up, and mostly the people there were just selling things. But the stuff was pretty cool, so it was worth buying. There was this guy who looked Indian or something selling some really cool earrings (my friend got some with dream catchers on them) and necklaces. I got this really cool ring from this lady for only $2. There was this little Celtic shop that had a bunch of Irish stuff, so my friend got a heart-shaped ring with this Celtic symbol in the middle. She has another non-heart shaped one just like it that she got last year. There was also another guy (who was kind of annoying and a little creepy) selling some really cute bags that he said were from like India and other places like that. There were also places selling Renaissance costumes, and chain mail, and swords and knives and stuff like that. We met up with a couple of our other friends there who were both dressed like knights with chain mail and stuff. This little girl told her dad that they were "knights in shining armor". There was a jousting area where there were some guys dressed like knights jousting on horses. We came back later and there was this dance team dancing on top of the horses. I thought that was pretty cool because I don't know if I would have enough balance for that. They were doing tricks and stuff standing on the horses. There were also like belly dancers there. They were kind of weird though. Something I thought was really cool was this lady who was doing fire tricks. She could put it in her mouth, put it on her arms, and she never burned herself. It was pretty cool looking. There was also a guy there dressed like Jack Sparrow. We thought he was cool because he looked, sounded, and acted just like Johnny Depp. We got our picture taken with him for fun. For the food, they were selling these humongous turkey legs you could get, and things like pitas, meat pies, and things like that. It was really fun, but some of the people there were kind of creepy. So if you ever go, just kind of look around for the people you want to stay away from. We had a lot of fun, even if my arms and face got kind of sun burnt, it was actually kind of nice to be burning instead of freezing for once. :P

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Meg Johnson

So at my church we had this special devotional thing on Wednesday. A lot of speakers came and talked to us, and the theme was about remodeling our spirits. My favorite speaker's name was Meg Johnson. She has been in a wheel chair since 2004 because she is paralyzed from the waist down, and both of her hands are paralyzed too. She told us that the reason she is paralyzed is because she was hiking in St. George and she was jumping on rocks when she fell off of a cliff. I think that if that happened to me, I wouldn't have a very good attitude about it. The reason she was so inspirational was because she had an amazing attitude. She always smiled, even when you could tell she felt sad about something she was still smiling. She told us about how she hates when people ask her, "How can you still smile?" when the unspoken question is, "How can you still smile when your life obviously couldn't hold any joy?" She was just so positive about everything. She talks about how when she woke up in a hospital room with tubes all over her, she started looking around and praying that she could feel love for everything in that room. Instead of focusing on all the things in her life she could be unhappy about, she thinks about the things in her life that are good and that she enjoys. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, since her accident Meg has entered in the Ms. Wheelchair USA pageant, and she started and directs the Ms. Wheelchair Utah pageant. She even played wheelchair rugby on the Utah Scorpions team. I just love how she moves on with her life and does as much as she possibly can to make the most of her life. I also thought it was cool that her husband was there with her recording her talking. I think they're both still in their twenties. She told us that he likes to tease her because one of her hands is always in a fist, and the other looks kind of like a fish. So she has a fist hand and a fish hand. Even with her hands like that, she has still learned how to draw, eat, put on makeup, brush her teeth, and do her hair. I like how she didn't let her turn into someone that couldn't do anything for herself. I think mostly she inspired all of us because of how happy she was. Even though she goes through some really hard things she can still enjoy and appreciate life. Her favorite message to share is G.A.P.S. (What you need to fill in the gaps in your life so you don't fall off of a cliff) It stands for Gratitude, Attitude, Prayer, and Service. I think she was a perfect example to share how all of those can help you in your life, and I feel like life has been a little better for me since I heard her talk. If any of you have time you should go to and look at some of her videos and some of the information about her. She was amazing! Here is one of her drawings that she did a couple years after her accident:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Algebra II

Algebra II is pretty much the hardest class I have ever had the misfortune to take in my life. And I love my teacher as a person, but as a teacher I just don't understand anything she tries to teach me. What my friends and I have decided is that she doesn't speak kid, she speaks textbook. The teacher that I had in seventh and eighth grade was great at speaking kid, so I learned all year without feeling like I was learning at all. When we got to end of level tests, I was pretty proud of myself for only missing one question. He was just really laid back, so I actually kind of liked math. A lot of what helped was that most of the time was spent teaching, asking questions, and doing examples on the board, and then we had a small assignment that took about fifteen minutes. This year she just goes over what's in our study notes and then passes out a two-three page assignment that takes you a couple hours. And each assignment is only worth five points, but if you don't turn an assignment in then you stop getting curves on tests. Curves are really good, because when they're really high it's because everyone did bad, which happens a lot. I really wouldn't want to miss out on twenty extra points on a test I completely failed. So that's pretty much what motivates me to get my assignment in somehow. I'm not a very good test taker, especially not on timed tests (which hers all are). The hardest part about her class is that if you're sick for a day, you've just missed eighty minutes of stuff that takes forever to make up. This year math has just been really bad on my self esteem. When you can't seem to get a good score on any tests, you don't understand a word of what she's saying, and you're spending hours on assignments that you totally don't understand, it's kind of hard to feel good about yourself. So hopefully I won't fail this term and have to retake it again... Surprisingly I've actually managed to get all two A's and one A minus in her class so far this year. Mostly because if you are good during her class then she raises your grade up one level at the end of the term. (So like from an A minus to an A, or a B plus to an A minus) Hopefully I can do that again this term, but I have a feeling that I totally failed the test I took last week (I ran out of time). I got maybe two or three full pages done out of five, so I'm really just hoping that everyone else did bad so we have a higher curve. If nothing else, this class has made me challenge myself more and hopefully I'm getting better at math, even though it feels like I'm just getting worse. But I guess I'll just have to keep trying and doing the best I can and hope it works out.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"I've got a frog in my throat!" "iTengo una rana en la garganta!"

Well this week has just been delightful. While practicing for all my upcoming auditions, I noticed that my throat (that has been giving me problems for a few months) was cooperating less and less. Plus my nose was constantly stuffed up. Then I woke up Friday morning and all this was really bugging me, and my eyes were filled with a bunch of "gunk". I told my mom about all of this, so instead of going to school we went to see the doctor. After checking some things and taking a couple tests, he said that I had strep, pink eye, and a sinus infection. Since my choir audition was in three days (it's tomorrow at 8:10 PM) I was freaking out just a little bit. Luckily, the doctor had 4 different things to prescribe to me that he said worked really well. A pill called Amoxicillin for my strep that I have to take morning and night for 10 days, these tiny little red pills called Pseudoephedrine that help de-congest my nose and ears, eye drops for my pink eye that I take 3 times a day, and a nasal spray called Affrin that's really strong that helps extra-de-congest my nose. I made a chart so every morning, afternoon, and night I can remember what I'm supposed to be taking. So all weekend I've mostly just been resting with some tissues and Ricola cough drops nearby. The medicine works really well, because I've only been taking it for 3 days and I feel better than I have since before Christmas. I guess when they say, "If symptoms persist after a week, see your doctor," they mean it...

Anyways, Thursday, the day before I found out I was all sick and stuff, I went to the Foreign Language Fair at BYU. It was really fun, both Spanish classes came. The bus ride was about an hour long. Once we got there and sat through the boring opening ceremonies that no one was really listening to, we all had to do some kind of thing that we got a score on. I said a Spanish poem. I don't really get what it's about. But it's something about growing a white rose and giving it to your good friend and stuff like that. I got an Excellent! on it, so I was pretty proud of myself. Then we went upstairs to "Espańolandia", where we had to talk to all these fake Spanish store people, and we could only talk in Spanish. If we got caught speaking in English then they put us in jail. Honestly I spoke in English most of the time, just not when "la policía" were around. Once I had my "estampilla" in my "pasaporte" from all the people, it was lunch time. Since my sister goes to BYU, I talked to her during the day, and then she came over and had lunch with me. It was really fun since I don't get to see her that often. After she left, me and my friend went to the BYU Creamery there and got some "helado" (ice cream) that was "muy rico" (very delicious). After we went to the closing ceremonies, we got back on the bus. I slept most of the way home.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Partying With The Dinos

So for my term project for my Biology class, we have to go on two field trips. One to places like Farmington Bay, Dinosaur Park, etc, and the other one to somewhere like the zoo, Clark Planetarium, and places like that. So basically you have to go to one really boring place and one sort of fun place. So since you have to have one of them done by tomorrow, my friend and I both went to Dinosaur Park yesterday. Surprisingly, it was actually really fun. First we went through the museum part. My favorite part was the moving dinosaurs that made noises. There were games around that I think were mostly for little kids, but we played them anyways. They had like these touch screen word searches about different dinosaurs and stuff like that. After taking some pictures and getting some of the information we went to the outside part. They have this path thing that you walk on where they try to make you feel like you're in dinosaur time. Considering the fact that the park is meant for little kids, I thought some of it was kind of detailed. Like we walked by this nest with a bunch of little baby dinosaurs, and then about 5 feet away there's a velociraptor or something waiting to eat them! And then there were humongous creepy bugs and rats and stuff sitting around on rocks. I was kind of scared, but maybe little kids are a little braver than me. And I know that we don't really know what color dinosaurs are, but it was still kind of funny when we walked past a bright pink one. There were a ton of different kinds of dinosaurs and there were little things next to them that told you about them. I'd be lying if I said we read them all. But we had a lot of fun and took tons of pictures. At the end of the path thing there's a park for the kids to play in. It's a park, but it still kind of shows them some more types of dinosaurs, and there were even some pretty weird prehistoric frogs that you could climb on. What was really weird is that we think we saw a couple getting their wedding pictures done there. They were posing on the dinosaurs and stuff and they had a professional photographer following them around and taking the pictures. I mean they looked cute, but it was kind of.... well, a weird place to get pictures taken for your wedding. We just assumed that maybe that's where they met, or where they went on their first date or something. Me and my friend took some pictures too and had my little sister be the photographer. So even though going to Dinosaur Park sounded really lame, it turned out to be fun, pretty much because we made it fun. So if you have some spare time, six bucks, and nothing to do, try Dinosaur Park! The dinos really know how to party!