The Struggle Is So. Real. (CRR)



So this lovely photograph that you’re gawking at is a good representation of what my focus looked like last year. We messed around, messed with the freshmen (until they realized that we’re not actually cool and they could mess with us), and did all we could to make Mrs. Drendel stroll on over and ask the classic, “Are we being academically productive over here? … Juniors?”

Based on my performance from last year… I’m going to be honest in saying that it may be a big challenge to finish out strong… and by big challenge I mean the struggle of just getting out of bed day after day after day. I will be getting up knowing that my clock is ticking and this is the last year I will see 90% of my class until we have a reunion. I know that, and I know I need to do well in school to succeed in life. But for some odd, incomprehensible reason, I STILL don’t make it to school sometimes until lunch. Ponder me that one, friends. 

In classes like math and science, I have become super duper awesome at making it seem like I’m there and doing all of my work and doing it well. Who knows how, but I consider it a strength. That being said, I do what I can to pass and to learn what my brain will comprehend. The struggle here is that my brain stopped liking those classes when I was 12. Such a bummer!

English will always be a favorite of mine. Writing is something I love to do! I love to read and write and expand my knowledge in both of those areas. My strengths definitely lie in writing and reading.

Another strength of mine is my attitude towards school. Despite my attendance records from last year or whatever Ms. Redinger may say, I feel like I generally have a good attitude towards assignments that are purposeful and truly help me to grow as a human being. If I do not believe that it will help me grow as a person or a student, I will try to look at it from the perspective of the teacher, because obviously they have a purpose and reason for this assignment. If I STILL don’t see it’s purpose in my learning career, THEN I will ask why I need to be doing this. But overall, I enjoy my schoolwork and will get it done before it’s due. Like… RIGHT before it’s due. Like I’m-The-Worst-Procrastinator-Ever get it done before it’s due.

My biggest weakness this year (as mentioned above) will definitely be senioritis. That diseased mindset has been around for so long that it’s hard to believe there’s no “cure”, so to speak. Being present with my body AND my mind is my goal for this year. Making the most of my hours in the classroom will give me more free time out of school. That’s the lovely thought I have before EVERY school year, but then Ms. Chatty McChatter Bug Erin pops out of me at the worst possible times and by George, that one never stops talking. Especially if Azriel’s around…

So I’m planning on making the most of senior year – academically and otherwise. Because once the clock stops ticking here, who knows where I’ll end up. 


She Can’t Stop, But She Should

Lololol agreed

Michaela's Blog

So, here it is. Being given some freedom in what we’re allowed to post on our blogs, I really should inform my classmates on something important, or relevant to my life. However, after enduring the 6 minute, 23 seconds of monstrosities that made up Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance, I just HAD to share my feedback, which I’m sure everyone is just dying to hear.

Okay first off, what on earth is with all the dancing teddy bears? For those of you who are lucky enough to not have watched it (keep it this way), her performance begins with a massive bear wearing glowing glasses, that opens up to expose a 20 year old popstar gone completely wrong. She was clothed in a grey leotard (made to look like some sort of bear or mouse), with bright red lipstick. Her choppy, blonde hair was tied into two buns on the top…

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Never Look A Dead Opossum In The Eye… (FC)

D-Crew: Erin B., Michaela G., Alissa C. and Anna M.
Mouse House: The home of Erin Bell
G-Unit (on this particular night): Nick B., Colton P., Dominic F., Jess K., and Casey T.

It had been quite a long time since the D-Crew gathered together. A few months I’d say. After cheering at the Shiner/All-Star game or working or visiting with friends on Saturday, July 13th, the D-Crew FINALLY gathered at the Mouse House. When we all got showed up, the four of us sat down and caught up with one another. Granted, we’re pretty much in constant communication via text, but there are some things that can’t be said over text and it was just delightful to be with my girls having a good time.

A typical D-Crew sleepover becomes uncomfortable. It becomes uncomfortable in the sense that conversational topics get very tense because we all feel passionately about a lot of things. That being said, we were avoiding our classic awkward by trying to think of something to do. Like girls do, we were texting, and Anna suddenly gets a call from Jess. The G-Unit was chillin’ over at Krahn’s house! They wanted us to come over and chill with them. Awesome! We have something to do! Unfortunately, I had to politely decline because it was 1am and a guy-gal chill sesh at 1am is frowned upon by the general public… and some of our boyfriends who weren’t with the G-Unit. Like Brian #2. Everyone was a little miffed about it at first, but then the D-Crew had a collective stroke of pure genius: Prank them.

Most people have taken part in pranking another person or group at one point in time; there are good pranks, bad pranks, prank fails, prank successes… and then there are the pranks that make you think, “Why on God’s green earth would that come to mind as an acceptable idea..?!” Be prepared to think that.

So picture this: The D-crew hopped into Michaela’s car with a medium-sized TV and a long extension cord. We drove to WinCo Foods, because who else is open at 1:30am? When we arrived, we ran inside, and purchased some mini doughnuts and 20 tall garbage bags. Looking at our ingredients, do you have any idea of what comes next? As we go to purchase these items, Anna decided that we need some outside help, so she asks the cashier, “Hello, have you seen any dead road kill lately?” With a confused look and caught-off-guard tone, he responded, “Um, well, I think I saw some out on 117th over there… Why do you ask?” To which we responded, “It’s for a prank. Don’t worry about it.” And we left him, confused and tired.

We began driving, thinking that we were so clever and funny. As we’re driving away from WinCo, we begin to hunt for road kill. To get a better view, my head ended up out the window singing, “Oh where are you roooaaaddd killlll….” and finally, we breezed by two opossums. And this is what happened.

“Ew guys are we seriously doing this..? I kinda thought we were kidding.”
“EW no! That’s gross…”
*Erin and Anna swing open the doors and hop out of the car with the roll of garbage bags.*
“Erin, you touch it.”
“No, Anna, you! I hope it’s actually dead. Poke it.”
“Kick it. There is so much blood…”
“Alright, just lay the bag down… okay now take another bag and I’ll roll it in – EW OH MY GOSH!”

We get back to the car and Michaela is gagging, vomit crawling up her throat. She made me hold the bag out the window because, “That thing better not be in the car…” We proceeded to drive to the high school, put about six more bags around this opossum, and drove to the Krahn’s house (We hit ANOTHER opossum on the way there…). Alissa and Michaela stopped a bit away from Krahn’s, and Anna and I got out with the TV and opossum. We trekked to their house and managed to set up the TV while Michaela and Alissa found discreet parking and brought the extension cord. We tied to opossum to the basketball hoop and turned the TV (which is literally in the middle of the yard) to a static screen… and waited.

As we hid behind the bush waiting for them to notice, we called Jess’s home phone and breathed. Just breathed. It’s 2:30am and finally the boys come outside and see our creation. The G-Unit was impressed with the TV, and then they saw the bag. Their thoughts? “Maybe the girls came by and left us food!” “Oh, it kinda feels like they pooped in this bag and left it. And it smells real bad.”

*Bag gets ripped open. Blood spills on the ground.*

Profanities are FLYING. The G-Unit was in hysterics because there was a dead animal hanging in a bag outside of Jess’s house. We were hysterically laughing behind a bush. The boys scurried inside and locked up the house, leaving the animal and the TV there.

To get their attention back, we split up and started banging on the windows. It just so happened that the window I banged on was their “watch window” and I basically smacked Casey in the face. Once the banging started, the lights flicked on, the boys all popped up (in nothing but boxers, of course) and all I hear is, “GRAB THE GUN!”

To sum it up, we ended up revealing ourselves and then as an act of apology, we gave them mini doughnuts and said sorry for being so darn scary. We had a delightful half of an hour together and the D-Crew retreated back to the Mouse House.

I felt impressive for sure.

My Bad, Yo. Summer Reading Assignment… (CRR)

Soooo I’ve been real busy this summer… and I’ve actually been out of town at Young Life camp with no cell service, internet service, or down time this last month, prior to that, I was out of town for two week with camps and trips and what not (also with no down time) so I’m ashamed and embarrassed to inform all of you that I did not read any books from that lit list. 

Don’t hate me, Ms. Allyn! The only reason I feel okay saying this is because it’s the honest truth. Going along with this honesty thing, I may as well add that I almost almost almost spark noted a few books and their themes, but decided honesty was the best policy even if it’s not my proudest moment.

Because the assignment is to post about the themes of the books we’ve read to prep for AP lit, at least I can do half of that and post about the themes of books I’ve read. I hope it’s okay for me to post about biblical books because that’s what my nose has been in for the last month. 

So 1 Peter is a book in the New Testament of  the Bible. 1 Peter was written by the apostle Saint Peter. The biggest theme I found within this book was Peter describing Christian persecution, and how to handle it. He warns us of suffering we may endure for being followers of Christ. Peter was also adamant about ideas of love and serving in a Christ-like way, regardless of the social suffering. This was a helpful book to be reading while I was serving at Young Life camp because these themes are very helpful. Oh, side note, I’m sorry if some of my posts seem too churchy for some people. This is who I am and how I am but I’m sorry if you don’t like it. Don’t feel obligated to read it. Anyways, 1 Peter 4:8 is one of my favorite bible verses, “Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.” and I find it beautiful because in the end, love wins, and that’s one thing that peter makes clear throughout this book. 

Another book I read was Wicked… kind of… I haven’t completed that one yet… but I’m getting through it and a theme that is fairly developed so far is the idea of good and bad being in everything and everyone; good and evil are a huge gray area. So far, it seems as though neither will win in the end, which is a fun twist. Generally, predictable books end with “good” coming out on top, and really good books end with “evil” coming out on top. With Wicked, it seems like neither will have a distinct win in the resolution. 

I feel bad that I didn’t read any of the books I was supposed to have read by now, but I’ll try to read one before school starts because technically it’s still summer… it just so happened that this particular blog post was due before I did the summer reading… whoops! Still can’t wait to see y’all. Oh and Ms. Allyn… text me. Hehehe

#SeniorAPSwag #APLitGoalSwag #YOLO (CRR)

What are AP Lit? How does one goal in AP Lit? What is goals in English?

Just kidding, the summer hasn’t been that horrible to me; I can still pretend that I know how to speak proper english, with correct grammar and without verbal hashtags. That being said, I still have many things that I’d like to improve about my skills as a reader, writer, and speaker in AP Lit and Comp.

Going into junior year, I was ecstatic to be taking AP Language and Composition because I love love love to write. It has come much easier to me than most things in my life, so knowing that I was in for a year filled with Language and Composition at a challenging level was like Michael Phelps walking up to the pool at the Olympics – this is his thing and he’s about to rock the world… literally. Coming into senior year knowing that I’m about to be taking AP LITERATURE and Composition scares me a little bit more. Imagine the Seahawks walking into the Super Bowl – they don’t know how or why they got there, half of them asking themselves, “What are football?” and they’re praying that they can maybe pull it together out on the field. That’s the best description I have for how I feel about reading for English class. While I actually know how to read and even enjoy it most of the time, I’ve never felt like reading was a strength of mine. I know, it sounds silly because obviously I can read and comprehend things… kind of. I’ve never been stellar at comprehensive quizzes or SAT-like questions on comprehension of a passage. I am looking to really improve my overall reading skills this year.

I’m also looking forward to broadening my literature interests. Realizing that there are so many books that I haven’t given so much as a cover inspection is very sad. I hate to be the first to admit it, but I judge books by their cover all of the time. I realize that this is an unhealthy habit and really rude to those books that were just printed ugly. I guess sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that it’s not their fault. Books basically all look the same on the inside – white pages with black print. But the covers… they’re so vastly different and are the only form of initial judgement I can have. But that doesn’t make it okay by any means. So I’d like to formally apologize to every single ugly book that I missed out on reading because, well, it was ugly. I’m looking forward to possibly reading you this year. 🙂

Another goal I have is to grow as a reader with my fellow classmates. I’m stoked to hear the insight that you all have on everything we read. I’m stoked to be surrounded by smart people who want to share their smarticles with me. 😉 All joking aside, I’m hoping to gain more discussion skills and small group discussion skills. Discussion can be powerful, if we allow it to be. I’m hoping that we can grow together as peers and honestly just get deep about books. I tried to host a book club during our sophomore year, but due to lack of interest from my peers, it wasn’t extremely successful. But now, you’re FORCED to have deep thoughts on books AND discuss them with me!! Muahaha.

I also want to pass this AP test with a higher score than my last AP English test… but that’s just a side goal. I’m looking forward to seeing who all of my classmates are this fall; I miss you all dearly. Especially Ms. Allyn, my super awesome NHS advisor who knows I’m not a flake. 😀 See you all in 16 days!

How I Engage with Books (CRR)

When I was a young girl, hearing my daddy tell me a bedtime story was the highlight of any evening. My daddy would read any story I asked him to, even if it was the same story he’d read me every single night for a month straight. I could hear him read me “Where the Wild Things Are” every single night, eventually have it memorized, and still never ever find it dull or routine. Eventually I’d find a new book for him to read, but mostly because he got tired of the story – I could tell.

I believe this was an early sign of my identity as a reader. Once I began to read books on my own, I began to realize that I loved to read. I especially loved to read books that I was comfortable with and had read many times before. For me, rereading a book is hardly rereading at all; it’s a different message every single time. I learned that I love to read to gain perspective. I read to challenge my personal belief system and the core of my morals. I read to grow.

Reading fiction literature was my forte for a long time in my life, probably up until I was a freshmen. I loved to immerse myself into the lives of these characters, and feeling like I was their best friend. It intrigued me to read stories of what the future may be like or fantasy ideas about “what if.” Reading about the unknown and pretending I was a part of it as reality was fascinating. Examples of this in my life are the fad series like The Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games Trilogy, and the ever-famous Harry Potter Series. While reading these, I would truly engage with the characters, and feel like I became one myself. It would challenge how I thought about the world and people around me. I have read each of those series at least 3 times and would read them again if I allowed myself the time; I love to engage with those characters and rereading them is like reconnecting with an old friend.

Throughout the last few years, my reading interests have shifted to non-fiction, often times memoirs or various theological theories. I enjoy learning about other’s lives and hearing their stories. It’s interesting to attempt to understand someone’s life, and learn lessons from the lessons they’ve learned. These books challenge me in a way that I enjoy because they challenge my perspective and my beliefs. Some of my all-time favorite examples of these books are Love Wins by Rob Bell, or Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller (both great reads, if you feel so inclined! 😉 ).

I find it very important to read with a purpose and to know what that purpose is. If I ever feel like there is no point in reading something, then you can bet I won’t be reading it. I read to enjoy, learn, and grow. If I am not enjoying what I am reading, learning from it, or growing in some way, then it is a waste of my time, which is very valuable to me. In fact, this has always been true. When I was a young girl and my daddy would read to me, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was always gaining new insight from reading and rereading anything; this is the truth in my identity as a reader today.

P.S. Jodi Picolt is my favorite author, because her books cut down to core moral issues, and display all sides of it. Her books are exactly what I love; that stirred-up feeling of mixed emotions and internal conflict. Mmm, tasty!