#54, 58, 60, & 64

The week before Governor’s School was jam-packed with funtivities, including a birthday party for one of my really good friends, Kelsey. She’s one of those typical highschool girls; she likes Harry Potter, going to concerts, putting feathers in her hair, going to the beach, and (most importantly) tie dying things. At her party, after having a water balloon/hose fight and soaking in the hot tub, we piled inside to play Just Dance and tie dye t-shirts in the garage. I’d never actually tie dyed successfully before and I have to say it was quite the experience. I got a professional “Tie dying for dummies” lesson with Kelsey and then I just went at it. The die didn’t always make it to the t-shirts, as evident by the colorful splash and drip marks all over the floor and table the next day. The next day I washed my t-shirt and it turned out beautifully, so I crossed #54 off the list. However, here is the confusing part. I followed all the directions I found on the internet for the crucial “first wash,” but still I was afraid to put it in the washing machine with other clothes (and for good reason it seems). I’ve hand-washed it an additional two times after the initial wash and still dye runs off the shirt. Am I missing something? Suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

 

The successful first wearing of my tie dye shirt. I'm so proud!

I have a lot of friends in theater at my school amd others so I’ve been dubbed “honorary theater kid.” For the past two summers I’ve been in a camp called Spotlight Productions where, after two weeks of rehearsal, we put on a full broadway musical at Virginia Wesleyan College. Last year it was Bye Bye Birdie. Clearly, although it’s not my forte, I love the theater, whether I’m a part of it or just an audience member. The first play I saw this year was back in March at First Colonial High School where a few of my friends were in a production of Seussical the Musical. Based off the real Dr. Seuss story Horton Hears a Who, it was most likely the cutest musical I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending. I smiled throughout the entire show (except during the sad parts of course). I knew #58 would be easy because I never miss any of my friends’ shows. I love to see them perform because it’s obvious they are so passionate for what they do.

#60 has by far been my favorite item on the whole listand I am proud to say that I have done it. A group of my friends love Cheeseburger in Paradise, the Jimmy Buffett themed restaurant, and we’ve made a habit out of going there whenever we have dinner together. One day we decided it was time to try something crazy, so we ordered a meal backward. Thank goodness our waitress was kind and understanding; she actually thought it was hilarious. I explained to her when she came to take our drink orders that we would be ordering a little differently and she smiled. We ordered a huge plate of chocolate nachos, huge triangular tortilla chips with powdered sugar, chocolate syrup, and sprinkles on top served with vanilla icecream on the side, for desert (the first course). It was probably the worst thing we could have done because we saved barely any room for dinner and appetizers after that. After forcing ourselves to stop, we all ordered the main course (which was difficult to force down after the chocolate nachos). Then, if I’m remembering it correctly, we got creesefries or onion strings for an appetized. By this time we were all full to the point of nausea. I ate hardly any of the appetizer, which was good because I probably would have had to loose all that lovely food the same way it had been condumed (if you know what I mean). I don’t reccommend this reverse of order. It benefits neither the customer’s stomach nor wallet and it causes all sorts of confusion for the poor waitress. Believe me, after all she had to put up with, I tipped that waitress incredibly well.

Mother’s Day weekend came along and still I had no idea what to get my lovely mom. I suggested that Friday her and I drive to Williamsburg (about an our outside town) and spend the day there having mother-daughter time. I don’t know why she said yes, but she did and so we went. Neither I nor my mother had been shopping at the outlet mall, but everyone seems to make a big deal of the low prices so it was nice to check that out; however, I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. There were only two/three real outlet stores, only one of which we actually went into. It wasn’t worth it money wise, but at least it was a beautiful day and I got to spend time with my mom, which we never really get to do. I really enjoyed Williamsburg and so did my mom. We saw stables with horses for riding, which brought up some neat stories from my mother’s childhood. Wahile we were there we also visited the the College of William and Mary, which was beautiful and provoled some conversations about my upcoming college years and where I want to go, how my parents will survive without me, etc. It was fun and it lasted the entire day from 10am to 6pm; thus, #64 was crossed off the list.

I Saw the Sign

Friday was probably the best day of my life or, at least, the happiest. Literally, I don’t think my wedding day could make me that happy. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but wait until you read about all the fun things that happened Friday. It was definitely one of those day I never wanted to end.

First, I got to see an actual scary movie with my friend for my Cinema of Horror class and I thought it was really good. If you’ve ever seen A Haunting, especially if you’re of an older generation, please let me know what you thought of it when you saw it. I thought the scary parts were actually scary and the plot was actually very interesting. Aside from the slow parts in the middle when I couldn’t help but to dose a little, I thought it was, overall, an excellent scary movie. As always, open mic night was fun, but it was even better because some of my friends were in it and they did so well. I love the atmosphere at open mic nights here because everyone in the audience it extremely supportive of their fellow students. It takes a lot of courage to stand on stage and display your talent, leaving yourself vulnerable to criticism. It’s very reassuring to know people can appreciate that bravery and encourage it. After open mic night a counselor had gotten on stage to make a few announcements. He built up so much suspense before the one announcement we’d been waiting to hear for two weeks. We couldn’t tell if it would be bad news or good news because he made it sound like both. Finally he told us that we’re going with Governor’s School to see the last Harry Potter movie on Tuesday! Everyone screamed and cried and hugged each other! I hugged someone I didn’t even know, while my friend cried tears of happiness. It was clearly a really exciting time!  In addition to all of the awesomeness I’ve already mentioned, we also had a 90s dance. I realize you must be very confused as to how such a theme could be successfully pulled off; however, it was by far the best dance I’ve ever been to. I’ll admit, I was even skeptical at first. I didn’t know what a 90s outfit would entail. How could I put an outfit together for a decade so indistinct from the decades surrounding it. Boy was I wrong. My friends and I put together the best 90s grunge, Spice Girls, MC Hammer, Fresh Prince, Full House, warm-up, jean jacket, flannel outfits. Check it out!

The reason this dance was the best dance I’ve ever been to was, by far, the music. I’m a 90s kid so I can appreciate those songs; they remind me of my childhood, listening to Christina Aguilera, the Backstreet Boys, the Baha Men, etc. In honor of the greatest idea ever (a 90s themed dance), I’ve created a playlist of all essential songs of that decade. I hope I haven’t left any out. I strongly encourage you, if you’re ever in the need for a theme, to use the 90s, it’s a very misunderstood and underappreciated decade.

Ultimate 90s music playlist:

No Rain- Blind Melon
All the Small Things- Blink 182 
Mr. Jones- Counting Crows 
I want Candy- Aaron Carter 
Under the Bridge- Red Hot Chili Peppers 
Wannabe- Spice Girls 
Smells Like Teen Spirit- Nirvana 
All I Wanna Do- Sheryl Crow 
Baby One More Time- Brittany Spears 
Allstar- Smash Mouth 
Jump Around- House of Pain 
Dirty Pop- 'N SYNC 
Linger- Cranberries 
1979- Smashing Pumpkins 
Macarena- Los Del Rio 
No Scrubs- TLC 
Can't Touch This- MC Hammer 
Baby Got Back- Sir Mix-a-lot
Milkshake- Kelis
Waterfalls- TLC 
Everybody- Backstreet Boys 
C'mon N Ride It (The Train) - Quad City DJs 
This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan 
Killing Me Softly- Fugees 
Counting Blue Cars- Dishwalla 
Gettin' Jiggy Wit It - Will Smith 
Every Morning- Sugar Ray 
Mamma Said Knock You Out- LL Cool J 
Wonderwall- Oasis 
What is Love?- Haddaway 
Bye Bye Bye- 'N SYNC A
ll That She Wants- Ace of Base 
Who Let the Dogs Out?- Baha Men 
Tubthumping- Chumbawumba 
Black or White- Michael Jackson 
Mo Money, Mo Problems - Notorious BIG feat. Puff Daddy & Ma$e 
Blue (Da ba dee)- Eiffel 65 
Genie in a Bottle- Christina Aguilera 
Viva' La Vida Loca - Ricky Martin 
Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of...) Lou Bega 
Motownphilly- Boyz II Men 
How Bizarre - OMC 
Call Me - Le Click feat. Kayo 
The Sign- Ace of Base 
Crazy- Brittany Spears

Mischief Managed.

I was in the middle of writing a very emotional tribute to the Harry Potter series and it being the end of an era… blah blah blah, when I stumbled upon a note my friend has just posted on Facebook for all to see. No one has been more upset about missing the midnight premier than this girl, Lexie. Let me explain. Because we are at Governor’s School, not only are we not allowed to go to the midnight premier, we aren’t seeing the movie at all for the duration of our stay. There’s one thing you cannot mess with and that is a school of 400 nerds and their opportunity to see the last Harry Potter movie. It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. It almost makes me want to pack my bags and head home right now. Anyways, enough whining. I think I should post my friend’s farewell to Harry Potter because it means a lot to her.

“Harry Potter isn’t just a book. It’s not just a series, and it most CERTAINLY is not just a movie. It’s an era…. a universe…. a world, and it is one of the reasons that I am who I am today.
To some people, it’s entertaining. To me…. I don’t even know how to describe it. The books are probably as important to me as the Bible is to some Christians. I’ll preach it to you too…. just diss it and I will cite verses from the pen of J.K. Rowling and jinx you with my pretend-wand ’till you’re convinced I’m crazy. I’m fiercely protective of it and I seriously get more worked up about it than most people. I was one of those people who waited for the books like a kid who just drank 3 gallons of water waits for the bathroom. When I got them, I would read non-stop until I finished and then I would re-read them all again, and then again. And then again when I was bored. My mom will still say to me “stop reading the same thing over and over again! Don’t you ever get tired of it?” I don’t. It’s like a different journey every time and I get to learn more about the characters and imagine more about the world that Rowling created every time. I fantasize so much about riding on a real broomstick and playing quidditch (I would most def be a chaser) and so I settle for just playing muggle quidditch with all my favorite muggles. I have a real broomstick too. When I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I cried inside just seeing the ‘life size’ Hogwarts and then cried again inside when I remembered that none of it was actually real. But like… it is real. And no matter how many cynical people tell me I’m cray-cray for thinking it’s real, look around you. Rowling freakin’ created a universe. (“Of course this is happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”)
I know I can seem like a little bit of a ‘snitch’ sometime when people are all psyched about the movies when they haven’t read the books or something, but it’s only because I feel sorry for them for not being able to experience the true magic of the world you get to imagine and see for yourself. If I could, I would so go back and just Obliviate myself (Mariela) so that I could completely relive the whole thing. I can imagine my face as I crack open the new spine of the first book for the first time and being embraced by the magic within and become enlightened once more. I look forward to when my little sister is old enough to engage in discussions with me about it, and I want to meet J.K. Rowling so badly it’s not even funny. And no, I’m not obsessed. You may be like “LOL SHE”S SO OBSESSED” but like… I’m seriously not. I don’t think Harry is “hot” like Twilight fans think of Edward, I don’t run around with a wand (ALL of the time) and try to find horcruxes…. But I do play quidditch. And I do dress up. And I do freakin’ PREACH IT. Because it’s all part of the fun. It’s all part of the magic. THIS IS REAL MAGIC AT WORK. I love being a part of it. I’ve been looking forward to going to the midnight premiere of the LAST installation of the LAST possible thing of Harry Potter for forever, and I’m not able to go because I’m having the time of my life at Gov School with other kids who feel just as strongly and just as disappointed…..For those of you who have not read the books who are fortunate enough to attend the midnight premiere….. I strongly encourage you to go pick up the books and read them. Everybody could use a little more magic in their lives. ♥ –O-O–
Sorry if this was kind of dramatic/rambley, but it seriously needed to be said. And trust me, there is a whole lot more to be said….. 🙂 I love you.
PS. I was gonna put a really good quote from a book at the end here, but there are just WAYYYYYY too many…. :)”
 

The girl who wrote this is a grammar Nazi to the extreme. By her spelling errors, most of which I have corrected, and her horrid grammar, some of which is still there, it is clear how much emotion she put into this note. She cried today and for a good reason. I hope all of you who are going to see the midnight premier, dressed in your finest Hogwarts robes and carrying magic wands, realize how lucky you are. I also hope you all say “Mischief managed” at the end of this film. (Check out the Facebook Event “I Solemnly Swear that I am Up to No Good”). Not every Harry Potter fan will be going to the midnight premier, starting in a mere 24 hours, and it breaks my heart, especially because these fans are my friends.

My friends and I dressed up at Radford on the day of the Harry Potter premier. Celebrating the event even though we couldn't go.

“Religion is the opiate of the people” -Karl Marx

Beware: Serious topic ahead. Not for the faint-hearted.

A lot of people are, let’s call it, conservative and uncomfortable in letting public school teach anything about religion. These people are the ones who fight to censor things that need not be censored. I heard somewhere that one lady tried to have the Harry Potter series removed from public libraries in her area because it encourages witchcraft… uhh, find something else to do with your time, lady. There are many things I’ve learned in school which are centered around controversial topics such as religion, cloning, and evolution. Our Biology teacher decided to teach a huge unit on evolution this year and we also covered cloning. In tenth grade, one of our homework assignments was to read some story from the bible and we discussed it in class. The quote in the title? That was the topic of a timed writing assignment my freshman year in English class, we had to decide whether we agreed or disagreed. To tell you the truth I wish I knew where that paper was and what I said. I wonder if it has changed over the years.

Coming from a family with a Jewish mother and Baptist father, I haven’t been exposed to much in the realm of religion in effort to keep me unbiased. To an extent, I know almost nothing about religion, except those few things I’ve been taught in school by teachers or classmates. I mean, I’ve celebrated Hanukkah for several years, lighting the menorah and saying the Baruch ata adonai blessing. I’ve also celebrated Christmas and all other christian holidays since I was born. I was baptised and I’m Jewish; Jesus was the same way. You could say I’m bi-curious in a religious sense. Now that I’m arriving in that crossroads of my life when I decide what college I want to go to, what I want to study, what I want to be and do, and what I want to believe, it’s approaching the time when I choose an absolute religion. It hasn’t made me a bad person by being part of two religions and it hasn’t made me question who I am at all, I just hate this wishy washy business. When people ask if I’m Christian or Jewish I want to be able to answer with yes or no, not “Well, technically I’m… but…” I want to spare myself the ten minute explanation and the questions thereafter and just pick a side already.

It’s not that I don’t know who I am because I don’t know what I believe, I’m a lost soul, “God help me,” and what not. I just would like to be sure of myself by picking something and sticking to it. I’m definitely a Google junkie, I turn to the internet for every problem and question, most times even after asking my parents or other people. It sounds like I’m internet dependent for all of life’s problems, but I like to think of it as looking up every possibility and finding every piece of information I can so I can make an informed decision. So of course, I’ve researched both, but I don’t think research can help me this time. And maybe I don’t need a religion after all. Maybe I can just be content with believing in something, even if I’m not quite sure what it is. Religion is, in fact the opiate of the people. “Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences
it cannot understand.” I’ll keep you posted. Maybe I’ll decide, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll decide to be buddhist. Who knows? God only knows. Goodnight.

Sticking it to the Man

There are those teachers whose lessons follow us for our entire lives, touching the very core of our existence, changing the way we think. Then, there are those teachers who make us ask, “Who let this person teach children?” It is these teachers whom, while entertaining in their carelessness and ignorance, infuriate me to the highest degree. That is, until their ignorance affects my life for the better.

There were two AP Government teachers at my highschool (who will remain nameless except for Ms. W and Mr. R). Ms. W is the type of teacher who encompassed the entertaining aspects of relaxed teachers while still managing to teach and inspire her students. Mr. R is the epitome of a lazy teacher. I was blessed to have Ms. W as a teacher; however, my friend was not so lucky, but this brings me to my story and my inspiration for a new addition to my blog, which is still under construction. Every Ap Government student is assigned a textbook for which they are responsible throughout the school year. For some reason I’m not quite sure, this friend had gained possession of a second textbook, with the approval of Mr. R and was not asked to return that second textbook at the end of the year. Now, these textbooks are expensive and run anywhere from $50-100 or more, so I can assure you, Mr. R would have wanted that back. But by some slip of the mind, or the grace of God, if you will, this book has fallen into the hands of one of my friends. What would she want with a textbook for a class she’s already taken, you might ask. I, myself, asked this questioned. She could have sold it for money, given it to some other student who has yet to take the class, (or the ethically acceptable route) given it back to the teacher who had made the mistake. She did none of these things. She’s one of those people who has to make everything they do be amazing and unique, whether it’s intentional or not. I’ll admit right now, what she decided to do with this used AP Government textbook is probably the most useful thing I’ve ever done with a textbook in my life. It has now become her personal art collection book, with every page slowly becoming a beautiful watercolor painting, or inspirational writing, or mind-blowing pattern. It’s even better because of what’s underneath the paintings: the description and explanation of our government. She’s sticking it to the man.

I think it’s the most incredible idea ever and I’m so happy she’s letting me be a part of it as I have done a few paintings in the book as well. Although I’m not an incredibly talented artist like some of my other friends, I do love painting and watercolors and expressing myself and sticking it to the man. Until now, textbooks were always a thing we cared for as if it were a child, loving it, keeping it safe from rain and snow, cleaning it after dinner, keeping an eye on it at all times for fear of loosing it or, God forbid, someone taking it, and turning the pages ever so gently so as not to tear one. The fact that she has decided to turn it into something so aberrant has changed my way of thinking. Her creativity is inspirational; in fact, that’s why I have decided to create a page devoted to sticking it to the man. I’ve always been one to believe in questioning authority, and this is a perfect opportunity to do just that. I’m not sure what exactly I’ll put on this page yet. Maybe it will show some artwork from the book, or some of my personal philosophy about authority, or some of my experiences with authority which my readers and friends can read for themselves and develop their own philosophies about the Man. I’m not usually one to preach my values; you can have your own. I, however, believe in Benjamin Franklin’s words, “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”

#30 & 35

At my friend’s spring break party, mentioned in the previous post, we played manhunt in her neighborhood and so #30 was crossed off the list. Now, if you don’t know about manhunt, you shouldn’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to learn. Basically, it’s tag and hide-and-seek wrapped into one incredibly fun game of wonderfulness (it’s especially wonderful because it’s generally played at night).The scariest part is always waiting to be found because, well, it’s dark and usually you hide alone. Since I didn’t know my friend’s neighborhood very well, we hid in pairs so nothing bad could happen (getting kidnapped, raped, murdered, all of the above). The danger of the situation definitely added to my excitement! This game in particular was very special. That night, one kid was found after an hour of searching in the best hiding place I’ve ever seen. He was in a tree; it had to have been at least twelve feet off the ground! However awesome his hiding place was, it isn’t something I recommend because I was afraid he would get hurt getting down. Plus, he was tagged before he made it back to base anyways, so it’s not a hiding place conducive to escape. Keep that in mind.

I got to cross off #35 at Summer Residential Governor’s School one day last week! A group of my friends were hanging out in the shade, playing cards and reading (not at the same time), so I decided to take one girl’s camera and photograph everything in sight. I’m sure it well surpassed 100 pictures. The subjects ranged from flip-flops to foliage to water bottles to trash cans. There was even a series of impressive creeper shots of people I don’t know, and some people I do know. The girl to whom the camera belonged would not have been happy with me if not for this list. I know she had tons of fun deleting all those pictures. I got a lot of laughs from my subjects and other witnesses. Even the owner of the camera was laughing. She decided she wouldn’t take it away from me because “[I look] so happy!” I’ll definitely do that again with someone else’s camera as a joke, because it was really fun! I learned that there aren’t that many things to take random pictures of in an open field at a college, except trees and garbage. This was a valuable lesson indeed.

#39, 42, & 51

A friend of mine had a party over spring break with no alcohol or drugs or any of those crazy things we teenagers do these days. Can you imagine? A high school party where friends gather to have a G-rated good time! Aside from throwing plastic Easter eggs at each other, experimenting with how many people we could fit on the porch swing before it broke, and playing cute kid games like manhunt and “Never have I ever,” there was quite a bit of dancing to a popular radio station that plays mainstream music (mostly hip-hop, pop, rap, etc.). I, being a white, oldies-loving kid, was unfamiliar with most of the music; however, I do love to dance. At some point in all the jumping and loud, off-key singing one girl decided to imitate the movement I was doing, almost in disbelief that I might actually consider it a dance move. To my surprise, it actually caught on among other partygoers. Yes, the dance move, later to be described as someone flossing their crotch with a towel, was a hit. This was mostly because of the move’s effect of making anyone who attempts it look like a dork; any kind of attention is good attention, right? In fact, this one awkward dance movement has enjoyed well over the usual 15 minutes of fame and has landed me, it seems, eternal glory. Now, at every event at which there is some sort of dancing, my friends will break out the move (which we’ll call the “crotch floss” for convenience). It has been known to spread like fire on such occasions, infecting other friends and nearby dancers with awkwardness. And with #39 checked off, I’ve discovered what true fame feels like; it can’t feel much better than this.

One of my favorite places to go in the whole world is my best friend’s roof. I love that it’s above most streetlights because light pollution ruins starry nights, no one on the ground can see you making it a private, relaxing, quiet place, it’s exciting in the danger of the steep slant and the small size of the window through which we crawl. It’s one of the few places I can be alone with myself and be content, rather than my usual constant need for company. My friend and I visit her roof often, but my favorite time is at night when the world is asleep and the streets are quiet allowing thoughts to be audible. However, the first time this year we hung out on her roof was during the day, which is still calming and wonderful. Other than the fact that dark shingles absorb sunlight and are, therefore, extremely hot, its nice to lay with nothing in your way of the sun except the occasional cloud. No bugs dare venture that high, no trees, no buildings, nothing exists but yourself and the sky. We goofed around up there (after putting down a blanket of course to avoid shingle burn) and took pictures and talked. Times spent on the roof with my best friend are memories that will last a lifetime; it’s where we have some of our best talks and can truly be ourselves. No matter how many times I have done #42, I will always love being on that roof.

Two weeks ago, before I left for Governor’s school, I spent most everyday at the beach with friends and every time was a new adventure. I don’t know what you consider a sandcastle, but I meant for it to mean “any type of sand creation.” Out of a heap of sand piled over my feet I sculpted a turtle. It ended up being fairly large, and longer than my arms could reach, so my friend stepped in for assistance. It was the cutest sand turtle I had ever seen; although, the legs on one side were never quite symmetrical with the legs on the other and I was being extremely OCD about the squares on the shell, having to redo them countless times before the creation was officially completed. Later, after I removed my feet, destroying our sand-pet, we went on to make a sun by the water with a wall surrounding it, blocking it from the waves. Artistic differences presented a problem with this sand creation as I wanted the sun to have long, thin, wavy rays while my friend wanted triangular rays (very unrealistic if you ask me). We ended up going in her direction with the triangular rays and it turned out to be the cutest sand sun I’ve ever seen. I would say #51 was a success, considering we didn’t bring the proper equipment for a more common sandcastle (buckets, shovels, etc.).

#5, 11, 13, & 17

If you’ve been checking my ToDo List, then you are probably aware of the fact that I have not posted about many of  the things I’ve been crossing off. In fact, there are so many items I’ve crossed off, there is no possible way I could talk about all of them in just  one post. To solve this I’ve split it up into three separate posts, possibly four, – the first of which is this one. Let’s start with #5, one of the less difficult items on my list. As an IB student (International Baccalaureate Program.. look it up and cry for me), I spend many nights with Coca-Cola and jellybeans, massaging my foot, splashing cold water in my face, using every means necessary to stay awake until my work is finished. Trust me when I say I can cross #5 off the list myriad times (only from this school year). Mind you, each time I stayed up all night, I’ve needed to use methods for artificial energy in the morning. Please, this is coming from experience, do not fall into the cycle of dependence on energy drinks or shots. Caffeine addiction is a nasty one. Energy drinks suck every good nutrient out of your body and it is ridiculous that people voluntarily harm their bodies this way. I’ve done it and I’m certainly not proud of it. I’ve talked enough about this…

Now #11 is a fun one! Personally, I think tattoos (when encompassing a meaningful message or for a worthy cause) are neither reckless
 nor the mark of a hooligan. In the Jewish religion, tattoos are forbidden from those wishing to be buried in Jewish cemeteries, which is why I am not allowed to have one. I doubt I’ll want to be buried in a Jewish cemetery and, technically, it’s my decision whether I get a tattoo or not, but both of my parents made it clear they would rather I not get one. (Yes, I’m Jewish and no, I will not tell you what tattoo I want to get. That’s a story for another time). In an effort to give my mother a panic attack, I planned to get a henna tattoo (temporary) on the boardwalk after spending the day with my friends at the sand soccer tournament. I decided it would be funny (funny in its ignorance) to get the crescent moon and star symbolic of Islam and the Muslim community. I got one at a sketchy booth and it wore off after a few days, but it was exciting while it lasted. My mom knew it wasn’t real and told me I was dumb to waste money, but I got her to admit that if it had looked real, it would have been hilarious!

I absolutely love doing things like #13. A couple good friends and I walked to the top of Mt. Trashmore (a hill made from an old landfill turned
into a public park… I suppose it’s pretty interesting) and screamed as loud as we could. Of course, there were a lot of people around who thought we were crazy ruffians I’m sure, but that’s the best part for me. Although my friend wore a skirt on that windy day to climb a hill and we had to hold a blanket around her while she walked, it was a really fun day! I honestly would not mind doing that again; it was an awesome outlet for my stress.

Almost done, I promise. You know me; I’m Wordy McGee. One important thing to know is that I believe concerts are the greatest “fun-tivity” ever
created. Obviously, I really enjoyed #17. My friend and I went to our first concert of the year at Naval Station Norfolk. Third Eye Blind, one of our
 favorite bands (there are a lot) played a free concert there, open to the public, so we had to go. It was a spontaneous sort of thing because the concert was not publicized very well. I recall the conversation going something like “Hey I heard Third Eye Blind is playing tonight!!” “No way!” “Yea! Want to go?!” “Okay let me ask my mom!” I love those sorts of plans, don’t you? They keep life exciting! It was an awesome concert, although we got lost on the way in a bad area. Since then, I went to see the Beach Boys (I guess it would be more accurate to say Beach Boy et.al.) at the beach and it was awesome; I especially loved watching all the drunk, old people trying to boogie oogie oogie. Really though, I love the Beach Boys and I’m so happy I went!

The Heart of Life is Good

So I’ve been in Radford, Virginia for the past week and a half. Why? Because I was accepted to Summer Residential Governor’s School for Humanities, which means I’ll be here for three more weeks. I say that like it’s a bad thing, but it’s not for so many reasons, but for one in particular about which I would like to spread the word.

Last Tuesday a group of people, including a professor of psychology at Virginia Tech, visited the Governor’s School students to relay a very important and true message: The world would be a much lovelier place if we were all nice to each other. In fact, I have held this very same philosophy throughout my life and find it to be a very frustrating concept. I was  taught from a very early age by my mother that when dealing with someone you wouldn’t necessarily like to waste energy trying to be friends with (a euphemism for someone who is not nice), it is best to “kill them with kindness.” This technique has brought me very far in life and I live by these words every day. Anyways, these people who came to visit us are with an organization called Actively Caring for People who’s mission “aims to establish a more compassionate, interdependent, and empathic culture within schools, businesses, organizations, and throughout entire communities.” It involves a large-scale movement in which green wristbands with numbers are used to thank people for “any behavior going above and beyond the call of duty for others.” This movement encourages actively caring for friends, family, teachers, strangers, and anyone else one might come into contact with by using the see, act, pass, and share method shown below.

See? It's so easy!

This shows the first three steps.

1. Observing the act of kindness.

2. Recognizing the act of kindness and thanking that person for actively caring.

3. Passing the wristband to that person and telling them to “Pass it on” too!

But there is one more very important step, which is the sharing part.

4. Share your actively caring stories on the organization’s website along with the number of the wristband so you can track wristbands you’ve given to people and they can track wristbands they’ve received.

So far I have both given and received a wristband and posted the stories to the actively caring website (click the link above). I really recommend you get involved in this movement. To me, there is nothing more desirable than a world in which everyone actively cares for one another.

yellow dahlia

yellow dahlia