Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's the Little Things.

I was having a... ahem... very crappy day today before first period started. Even before first period. It's the seemingly little things that ruin my day... what do you call it, peevish? Yup. Story of my life.

In first period (Language Arts), we were taking a test. I sit next to two of the most hilarious people at my school, coincidentally. The guy sitting next to me randomly started kinda singing these things to me (not too flattered... he picks a girl to do this to every day and today I was the victim)...

"Baby, look at those freckles..."
"Baby, look at your hair..."
"Baby, you're black and I'm black (he's NOT black)..."
"We gon' have fifteen kids..."
"You're wearing a blue and white ribbon. Just like my heart."
"What's that sound? Oh! It's my heart."
"I make them other white boys look white because I'm black... (I'm telling you, he's seriously not black)"

And my personal least favorite:

"You bring HOPE to me!"

It brightened my day, definitely. It's the little things that make me laugh, and laughter changes everything. Except for this...

"Baby, give me a kiss..."

WHOAAAAA, boy. Too far, LoL.

I seriously think humor is some kind of God-given gift or something. Everyone has it in them, but few choose to use it. This kid used it to brighten my day, and he didn't even know I was having a bad day!

I like to use humor that way, too. I'm that awkward friend that doesn't know what to say when their friend is upset, so I crack as many jokes as possible just to get a laugh out of them (usually I'll start singing a Disney song or something).

Laughter makes the difference, guys...


 

 ...See?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Family Values

I was just looking through current events because, well, current events are cool, right? If I'm gonna major in journalism, I might as well read them. I love that I'm gonna major in that... marketable but fun at the same time! Plus, in Dayton, journalism is working pretty great! It's a great starting place--- we've got the Dayton Daily News, Dayton's News Source, and all this other really great stuff.

I try to avoid controversial articles because I get angry--- VERY EASILY. But I found this very, um, interesting thing on Christian Newswire.

This happened like, four years ago (not too "current", eh?), when same sex marriage was legalized in California. The San Francisco school district sponsored a first grade field trip to a teacher's wedding.

"I doubt the school has ever taken kids on a field trip to a traditional wedding," Schubert, somebody related to the issue, said.

"Prop. 8 protects our children from being taught in public schools that'same-sex marriage' is the same as traditional marriage," said Santa Ana Unified School District board member Rosemarie "Rosie" Avila. "We should not accept a court decision that results in public schools teaching our kids that gay marriage is okay. That is an issue for parents to discuss with their children according to their own values and beliefs. It shouldn't be forced on us against our will," Avila added.

I couldn't agree any more. Even if you DO stand for that (sorry, I know this is the second post in a row talking about this), do you think it is right to force certain opinions onto children? Young children, at that. When I was in first grade, I hardly knew what homosexuality was. Why expose someone that young to something so controversial?

It's bad enough that I have to learn about "The Experience of Gay Americans" in U.S. History this year, and I'm in high school. I believe that schools need to BACK OFF of this topic. Why?

Family values. Christian families, Muslim families, Jewish families, Catholic families, Conservative families, Liberal families. We all have different opinions due to our religions, our upbringing, our community, our friends. So why force one tiny opinion down millions of peoples' throats? It's just going to hurt people.

Just like how I mentioned in my last post how I am constantly misunderstood for my beliefs (I should join a debate team, shouldn't I?). People think I'm like, Hitler or something. But it is what I believe, and I am not willing to change that for the world.

Families need to hold on to what they believe. Parents need to talk to their children about controversial topics and what they believe. The kids don't have to believe what their parents do, but parents need to make it clear what they believe while the children are young.

A great way to do so is through homeschooling. You don't have to homeschool your kids, I don't think I'll even homeschool mine, but it is great to be the one teaching your kids if you have the time. Why? If you're like me, when your mom asks how your day was, you say "good." And when she asked what you learned, you just say "eh, the same as any other day." But if you're the teacher, you KNOW what they're learning. What I would like to see someone do? Get secular curriculum and find what's in there. Then teach your kids your perspective of it. Why?

When I began public school in eighth grade after being homeschooled (not online) my whole life, I was definitely surprised by these kids' backgrounds, upbringings, and views. No, I wasn't CRUSHED by the "real" world. Just surprised. I was like, "Whoa. This is... not like church. At all." I remember being shocked by how many cuss words were coming out of these girls' mouths in the bathroom. Yeah, that's normal to me now. I felt like a little kid in the midst of giants. So not to blame my mom or anything, but parents, do discuss such things with your children. Whatever matters most to you.

Teenagers, don't simply abandon what you believe. Kids, even. Stand up for what you believe. It will make you feel stronger in the end, even if everyone says you're wrong. I stand for Chick-fil-A. I stand for Conservative Christianity, the Assemblies of God and other Pentecostal churches. I stand for the United States. I stand for unborn babies (no matter how high-risk the pregnancy is. Unless a baby is growing in your filopian tubes. That would be bad). I stand for what I believe, and I will defend it until the battle is won.

So, overall, my point is: Family values still matter. This country is slowly becoming more and more... ugh. Society is becoming ugh. Stand up for what you believe guys. Time is running out.

SOURCE
Christian Newswire, "Gay Wedding Field Trip???"

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Look Past the Differences, Kids (and eat more chicken)

I know, I know. Who am I to call you guys kids when I'm just a piece of fresh meat in high school. But don't be offended, I call everybody kids.

Today in school was... tough. I'm really liking freshman year--- all the kids I despised last year are either friends with me now, stopped going to my school, have started to like me, or only have one class with me. Things are a lot better now that I'm done with eighth grade (but don't worry--- Eighth Graders Anonymous won't get deleted!). But every once in awhile, something happens that gets me really upset.

Today was one of those days. Before school, I was chilling with some friends when a friend showed a picture of two men during a proposal for some TV show that leaked the photo. They were all like, "aw! They're gonna have them get married!" and I'm just standing here like
image
^THIS^ and then my gay friend is like, "How do you think the homophobes are gonna respond to this?" and then my other LGBT friend made a face like...

And I'm over here like
image
Yeah.

I think you know what side of the argument I'm on by now, and it's not the popular side at the moment. Because of what I believe, BECAUSE OF WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS, I am:
  1. A hater
  2. A homophobe--- which doesn't even make sense because no one is afraid of homos
  3. Someone who might as well "go to hell"
  4. A hypocrite of a Christian
  5. Not apart of civilized society
  6. Stupid
  7. Plain mean
  8. Did I mention being a hater?
Don't you just hate being the bad guy? Thanks to my upbringing, I am now worse off than the Lizard in Spider-Man, Ursula, Voldemort, The Silence in Doctor Who, the devil himself. Yeah. For society to be all "accepting", all they're doing is condemning anyone who feels slightly different. If they just took the time to hear my side of the story. If they would JUST LISTEN.

After the conversation, me and my non biological twin were walking to our cubbies (I told you last year--- do not make fun of my cubby). Being my twin, she knows when something's wrong. Anyone would know with the above facial expressions that I wanted to slap someone. "I don't see how people are offended by that," she said. In a much nicer way than my other liberal friends would have.

"I'm offended by how people keep calling me a homophobe," I responded. "I'm not afraid of gay people, you heathens. But I thought I made it clear that I didn't stand for that stuff, and I'm sick of people shoving it in my face. I wish they would just accept that we have different opinions on it and move on."

And then, in Language Arts, we were talking about birds. "I really want chicken right now," I said. "Thanks a lot, Hope. Now I'M hungry!" A friend said. "I just want some Chick-Fil-A," I said.
"Noooo you don't."
"Yessss I do."
"Do you know what's going on over there right now?"
"Yup. And I'm still gonna eat there."
"I will never eat there again. Their sandwiches aren't even that good."
WHOA GIRL.... DID YOU JUST DISS THEIR FOOD????

Agree to disagree. Okay. You can call the place a hateful business for their beliefs. But as soon as you bring food into this... it. is. over.

Back to the subject! Sorry, I just really am sensitive about chicken. Chick-fil-A is a Christian organization. The people know that the owner probably does not support gay marriage, so why even... I can't even. Listen up, though.

Imagine a world where we all based what we bought off of the founder's beliefs. Chick-fil-A founder doesn't support gay marriage. So and so don't support our troops. This company supports abortion. As soon as we disagree with someone, we disconnect ourselves from them.

See why that doesn't work? We have different opinions, if you did that you would not have much at all. Why? Because NO ONE believes exactly the same thing you do. One of the pastors at my church doesn't like "The Hunger Games," but I do. A friend supports abortion, I don't. I support our troops (my dad is one), my friend doesn't because of his religion. And I am okay with that.

Another thing I need to squeeze in. In advisory today (girls, you can relate), we had pretty much a free period and these guys say "Hope, stand up and tell me if you can see your toes." I was like, what the heck. But I did it anyway.

"Yeah, I can see my toes." They all started cracking up. I walked over there. "Okay, guys. What did you REALLY mean by that?" Complete silence. Then I got it. They wanted to see if I could see past my boobs.

Now, if you go to my school, then you know that people are constantly teasing me about my body--- my skin tone (I look Latina or Asian), my arms (not very muscular), my chest (obviously). And it's quite bothersome. If I try to tan one more time, I will acquire skin cancer. I already have enough arm muscle from when I was a gymnast (and not all gymnasts end up looking like Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman--- I'm more like Gabby Douglas). And every girl has a different sized chest.

So why can't you understand that we're not all the same? Because that seems to be your argument on pretty much everything. You are just as close-minded as we get called because you don't take the time to listen.

When a friend of mine "came out of the closet," the first thing he said was, "I know you're a homophobe and all..." and that really bothered me. I don't want people to think I hate them because I don't like certain things that they do. After we were done talking, I hugged him, because I don't hate him. I don't like what he's doing. I don't ever want anyone to feel like they can't be around me because of my beliefs. That's like acting as if I'm some bishop or whatever. And even the church itself doesn't hate you. We're supposed to "show the power of Your love", not spread the hate.

So all I'm asking. ALL I'M ASKING is that everyone can just look past their differences and realize what we are. We are ALL the children of God. We are ONE. We all sin. We have different body sizes. We listen to different types of music. We eat our chicken from different places (Chick-fil-A is where you'll find me!). We have different IQs. Different talents. Different personalities.

Stop judging. Because as long as we judge one another, we're just a part of our country's downfall. Our world's downfall.

"We'll stand together. Together, tear our devils down. And they will fall like feathers..."
 
-Deas Vail 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Music for Back-to-School

School starts this week on Thursday (sigh). As much as this summer bored me, I'm gonna miss it and Louisville.

Sorry about my last post by the way. I was using a computer in the Exhibit Hall and my youth group wanted to go somewhere. And as I mentioned, I didn't get a callback (but come on. Was I really even expecting one?). There are hundreds of Pentecostal female vocalists in the United States. I'm so proud of myself and my group for making it up to this level--- going against the best AG talents in the entire USA. Representing Ohio was pretty amazing, and I can't wait to go back to Louisville in three years for a college visit! And I can't wait to go to Orlando next year for Fine Arts again if I make it for my drama, vocal solo, possible string solo based on progress, and human video (but only if I'm forced to do it--- I don't really want to and I want someone else to take my place, but Drew keeps saying "It's ministry, Hope" and it makes me all like, "GAAAAH! What should I do?") and other things.

So, I updated my iPoid for Fine Arts and here's that, plus more of my FAF and school faves!

  1. "Home" by Phillip Phillips was played during the Olympics this year. Perfect end of summer song, I know. I wish I had it when I left for Nationals, but Faith bought it while I was gone. It's time to "make this place your home" and enjoy your last few years in elementary/middle/high school/college!
  2. "Keep Your Eyes Open" by NEEDTOBREATHE. I love that southern voice this band has. Keep your eyes open, guys. Anything can happen here.
  3. "With Everything (Live)" by Hillsong UNITED is great to get you really worshipping on the weekends or to listen to on the way to school for you guys who want to be campus missionaries this year. God can do amazing things in our schools, believe me!
  4. "Moving Mountains." Jeff Deyo is a music teacher at North Central University, a school at which I know a few people that are currently attending and one that graduated from NCU's music program and is now a creative arts pastor. This guy is epic, and you can download this song free for only a limited time here.
  5. "Steady My Heart" by Kari Jobe is a great... I don't know. It answers a lot of things for me.
  6. "We Are" by Kari Jobe can really help if you feel discouraged in this whole campus missionary thing.
  7. "Find You On My Knees" by Kari Jobe. Just take a rest from homework and just worship. It will change your attitude on everything. Try it.
  8. "Love Came Down" by Kari Jobe--- sorry. I'm just really enjoying this free Kari Jobe album I got from the editor-in-chief of ONCOURSE magazine (Amber Weigand-Buckley) at a workshop in Louisville. It felt like a real college experience. The classroom feel, being in a conference theatre, taking notes, everything.
  9. "Begin Again" by Measure. This song has some amazing quotes in it--- no kidding. If you feel bullied or like you just need a second chance, this song will uplift you by a lot. "Begin again. Don't waste your time waiting for someone to tell you when... Morning still comes... Move around your furniture or put it all out on the curb and drive away to something new and watch the skyline sink behind you...  Walking out doors only works if you shut them... Quit looking backwards and know where you have been... Begin again. Don't waste your time, 'cause no one's gonna tell you when."
  10. "I am the Doctor" by Murray Gold. It will mkae you feel epic the second you walk in dat building.
  11. "Superhuman Touch" by Athlete because, well, you can stop the world with "just a wave of your hand" because you're amazing.
  12. School's not back in without "Over My Head" by The Fray. It's just not.
  13. "Wide Awake" by Katy Perry. "I wish I knew then what I know now." Totally describes how I feel about last school year.
  14. "I'll Make a Man Out of You" by Donny Osmond is perfect if you're tkaing gym class this year. You might also need the Gym Class Heroes to save you.
  15. "Anywhere Place" by Katie Costello. It can be hard finding your place in high school... but just know that you will.
  16. "Lay Your Head" by Athlete. Maybe this is a sign that you need to go to bed early?
  17. "Happily Ever After" by He Is We. This is what I think of seventh-grade couples. "We all wanna know how it ends."
  18. "Go to the River" by Yael Naim. Just "go, go, go, go."
  19. "Safe" by Britt Nicole. "You keep trying to get inside my head while I keep trying to lose the words you said. Can't you see I'm hanging by thread...?"
  20. Who is my vision? "You Are My Vision!" Who doesn't love Rend Collective Experiment's version of this hymn?
  21. "World News" by the Local Natives. Perfect for anger management.
  22. "Skyscraper" by Demi Lovato. Don't let people tear you down, because that's fear of man. We're living for fear of God!
  23. "Don't Let it Break Your Heart," guys! However, my heart is breaking about Coldplay not playing in the London closing ceremony.
  24. "Birds" by Deas Vail. "We are all birds stuck inside our cage, covered up with praise, and behind our saints we hide our face."
  25. "Behind the Scenes" by Francesca Battistelli. "Things aren't always what they seem."
  26. "Sixteen" by Deas Vail. Makes me feel so young even though I'm not even sixteen yet!
  27. "Summer Forgets Me" by Deas Vail. Face it. Summer's over.
  28. Jesus, "let my life be the proof, the proof of Your love!" Gotta love For KING & COUNTRY. This song is totally my prayer.
  29. "Cubism Dream' by the Local Natives. Story of my non-existent love life, LoL!
  30. Show everyone that you're "Born Again" this year! "Born Again" by The Newsboys is pretty nice.
  31. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Relient K. Nuff said.
  32. "Build Your Kingdom Here" by Rend Collective Experiment. "Come set our hearts ablaze with hope."
  33. "Christ Has Set Me Free," (Rend Collective) so I want everyone to know, you know?
  34. "Don't You Know You're Beautiful" by Seabird. I have a friend who will only play this song when she has my iPod in her possession. Not Hans Zimmer, not Paramore, not Deas Vail, not Jason Walker, not Athlete. Just this song.
  35. "Echo" by Jason Walker. Hey, you. You ain't alone.
Yeah, this is what I do with my life, guys...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hello from LOUISVILLE 2012!!!!!!

I love you like my own edible babies:) (Inside joke.)

So, I am sorry that I haven't been posting this week. I have like, tow minutes, so let me be brief *(sorry about typos).

I performed my vocal solo and got 33.67 points, which means no callback or Top Ten, but hey, who caresa.

BYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, guys. I gotta go.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Goals Before School Starts

School is in two weeks. I need to finish up summer reading, summer music, summer workouts, and summer reinventions. So, here are my goals for the end of summer:

READING

"Just Listen" by Sarah Dessen. Some person requested it, so now I can't renew it, and it's got to be done before Louisville. And it's the biggest book I'm reading right now. Plus 13 others.

"Seventeenth Summer" by Maureen Daly. I knew this book was old when I realized the author was dead (AND born in 1921). And someone requested it, so this has to be done before Louisville as well, and oh yeah, I haven't even STARTED this one.

MUSIC

I'm currently doing two piano books before I start lessons in the fall. One is "Piano for Dummies." It's like, having a teacher in a book. Then, I have an old book from when my mom started lessons a really long time ago (she doesn't play anymore) which I just use because it has quizzes. Very useful to help prepare for the school year and make sure I don't forget what I've learned.

For violin I'm using the book "Play Violin Today! Level One" and I will use this series until I can find a teacher. It's helping me learn my notes. And, the scales are finally starting to sound like real songs! I also use "Tipbook for Violin and Viola" for info on the violin and keeping it in good shape.

FITNESS

So, I figured since I'm out of gymnastics, when I'm seventeen I'll try to get back in and move from Level 1 (I was higher than that, I was in the competition levels) and try to get higher than I was so I can stop sitting around saying, "Oh, I wish I was still a gymnast." So, in order to still be fit by then, I really need to get into some flexibility, conditioning, and of course, TUMBLING!


My split leaps have always... uh... sucked. LUCKILY! I have a mini-trampoline that I prop up to be a springboard that helps me open my legs more. Once I master that, I'll just do it on the trampoline. Then, after that, to the floor.

I have been studying this GIF all week to find out how Sam Peszek is doing this. Every time I think I have a clue, I find out she's doing something else. To get this skill (simply so I can brag about it), I need to perfect a cartwheel aerial, perfect my round-off that I used to have perfectly, and do push-ups like, every day.

I am just gonna do back walkovers off the couch. I give up on the floor.
I used to be flexible… you wanna know what happens when you quit competitive gymnastics and the only excersise you get is 30 minutes of gym class? It ain’t pretty…
I am soooooo gonna get into yoga and stretching.

I can still do this! But I can't hold it, so I need to work on my balance and stretch out that leg so I can go higher.

REINVENTIONS

So, if you don't like something about yourself and you can change it, change it. So here's what I'm doing:

Handstands to make my arms bigger.
"Supermans" to tone my abs.
Wax eyebrows.
Use hair removal cream instead of a razor (I get really bad razor burn).
Take speech and debate to get out of my shell.
Read more blogs and novels and poetry and song lyrics to inspire me.
I'm currently homeschooling myself for the summer in Science, Algebra I, and just finished Chinese (the book was "Bitter Melon" by Cara Chow--- one of my favorites now).

Those are my goals for the end of summer! Think I can do it?

"Take all of your chances while you can. You'll never know when they'll pass you by."
-Athlete (my favorite British band!)