Friday, November 26, 2004

Well, I got my hair cut today...It's short-er. That's for sure. It's not even shoulder length anymore. :( And to think I've worked all these months to have long hair (not that it was that long...but it was beyond my shoulders...not that it matters, it just goes back into a ponytail all the time...the tragedy of being a dancer/athlete) Anyway, the lady straightened for the first time in years I have straight hair. It's amazing. I can't even describe how it looks, or how nice it feels not to have hair that is full of body and curly...bleh. I have noticed that my hair changes considerably during the year. In the summer is slowly approaches a blondish tone/highlight, while now, it is back to its original reddish, blah color. And, yes, I am not fond of my hair. I do like it right now because it is oh-so straight. And, for the first time is forever, it seems, I have that indescribable joy of being able to constantly tuck my hair behind my ears, which I am doing a lot of right now.

In honor of Turkey Day, I am going to post a list of things I am thankful for, though it will be obviously could I ever list all my blessings, as they are so abundant???!!!!
-the ever-present, housing, clothing, etc
-my school and all the accompanying lovely aspects
-my family and friends
-the youth program at my church which has (to say the least) changed my life
-the rain b/c it makes me much more appreciative of the sunshine
-Jesus (need I say more???? *grin*)
-and so much more. It all just sounds so well...odd: Like, I'm thankful for all the suffering and pain I experience b/c it makes me grow and because the good times are not taken for granted

In other news, my youth leader, Carlye (bottom picture on left...) is pregnant with her first child, a boy!!! How cool is that?!?! I guess, Riley (the two year old seen in the right hand picture on the above link--she's being led by some youth off to the right, and her parents are pictured with the stroller) can't name the baby Lulu like she wanted to. Oh well.

I'm looking for a dance or gymnastics school to take classes at. So far score: Me: 0. My frustration: 1000000. I just wanna dance. Anyways.

Cultural fair is coming up this friday. Mica and I are doing a booth on Chile!!! Wooo. GO CHILE. Oh yeah, I'm going back this year!!!! YAY! I can't wait. I'm on their website here. (move your mouse over the picture of the dog, and I appear.) The dog in the picture with me is my newfound friend Perrita (or puppy, in English). She and I made friends on the beach one day, and I taught her (in Spanish) to sit, shake, stay, and come. A great accomplishment for a stray!!!! She must be really smart (or maybe it was the treats!!! hehe). I can't wait to go back! And this is my testimonial about my wonderful experience there~

Monday, November 22, 2004

Well, I have to tell you all about my wonderful D.C. trip! It was splendid! I went to school Thursday and had an absolutely wonderful Environmental Club meeting! I didn't sleep at all that night because I was too excited. I left my house at about 5:20am to head to RCHS to board the bus. (by this time I had been up for 22 hours). I gratefully sat in the adult-ish section. Basically there were 3 teachers (Ms. Greenwalt, Ms. Klein and Mrs. Tranquillo) and three parent chaperones. The first two rows on either side were taken and Ms. Greenwalt ended up sitting across the aisle from me. She said, "You know you're in the adult section right? You don't have to move, but I just wanted you to know." Yes, I told her, I was aware of that. "It's better up here-- quieter." I told her, laughingly. It took us until roughly ten thirty to get to D.C., all the while Ms. Greenwalt was rustling her N&O, and I was desperately trying to sleep to no avail. I had interesting discussions with Courtney and Emily, and Ms. Greenwalt switched seats with me because the speakers for the movie were on her side, so that way I could hear.
We went to the OAS (Organization of American States) and I got a little pocket consitution of the OAS in Spanish. And ya know what?!?!? I could understand 90% of it! YAY! Oh yeah, and we took a bathroom break right as we got to the OAS. And while i was in the bathroom, Jason called and said his White House tour had ended early and he wanted to know if he could join us! How cool is that????
Then we had lunch, which we had all packed. After that, we walked a few blocks passed the new WWII memorial and onto the Holocaust Museum. This is one of the most eye-opening, and heart-wrenching places dealing with WWII other than visiting the actual Auschwitz and Bgurkenau themselves. Imagine you see this. The wall itself is about 20 or 25 feet high and another 25 feet long, and all over it are names of Holocaust victims. It's very powerful when the victims suddenly are not just a mass grouped together, and they start to take on personas. They are no longer just the 6.5 million victims of the Holocaust, but now they have names.
These things were intriguing as well. Imagine sleeping on that with thirty to forty other people. That is why pneumonia and typhus were so rampant.
Things like this and the room full of shoes of victims were what brought me to tears. How could human beings be so cruel and hateful? (actually, cruel and hateful don't even scratch the surface of the horrors that went on in the work and death camps.) This room is like 50 feet high and a fairly wide room, filled floor to ceiling with pictures of victims. The room with the shoes is about the same width as the other room, and there is a small bridge that stretches across its length. All around the bridge are shoes from victims. On the wall it says something to the effect of "Because we were made of leather and not of flesh and bone, we survived." I cried the longest there. When I finished my tour through the museum, Ms. Greenwalt and I had a chance to talk which was nice because I was feeling very...lost. I asked her what made Hitler up and decide to do this. I asked her why his S.S. guards followed so freely, and felt nothing when lining people up and shooting them. I asked her why the rest of the world let this go on, thinking that waging war would solve the problems. I asked her why the people of the towns, when prisoners were on death marches, could not spare even a piece of bread. We had to read an independent reading book for 20th Century Topics. I read All But My Life, by Gerda Weissman Klein. One quote from that book is "All hearts are dead." There's more to it, but that should give you a pretty good overview of the sentiment at the time. I'll write more later.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Today, I got to see Mrs. Koch's 1 month old baby, Noah. He is sooooo precious. He's pinkish, and little, and just adorable. :)
You know, its when I see babies (like Noah, and Hannah[Grunden]) that I wonder how parents like Andrea Yates can kill their children, for whatever reason. Though she drowned her children, the more common harm done to children is shaken baby syndrome, where a young child is shaken (usually out of sheer frustration) and the best metaphor I can come up with is that it's like an egg in a small jar. The egg is the brain/skull of the child. How terrible. The other night I was babysitting for a four-year-old and a one-year-old, who is not weaned yet. She cried for nearly four hours before she finally fell asleep, because she was hungry, tired and unable to tell me what she needed. I tried everything, bottles, diaper changes, rocking, cuddling, walking outside/inside, playing, reading, etc, etc etc, but she would not be consoled. Her shriek was deafening, and I was counting back from ten every few minutes. Not because I wanted to hurt her, but because I was so confused. I couldn't help her, and she was suffering (and my ears were too.) She eventually cried herself to sleep, but that incident sheds more light on how a full-time mom could easily be pushed over the edge. Of course, that doesn't make it right, but it's clearer to me. But how you could look in the eyes of a helpless child and hurt them, frustrated or not, is still unimaginable. Sorry for the morbidity.

D.C. trip is on Friday! YAY. I'm excited.

Yard Sale Saturday morning.

And sooner or later we're gonna paint my room. I vote yellow or orange. :)

I still need to post about current events, but at the moment, I'm swamped with work, and trying to watch Law and Order SVU!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Nothing much has happened in life recently. Lately, as in about one a week or every other week, I get a new ear infection, the latest occurrence having happened tonight. It switches ears each time, which sounds really weird, but it's true. The point of this drawn out ramble is that I finally got referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist b/c my doctor couldn't help me anymore. The ENT looked in my ears, and then used that suction thing like they have at the dentist, to ... well suction out my ear-insides. It was quite painful, but quite astounding to see how far medical technology has come. The point of this procedure was to remove any foreign object (bug, cotton, etc) from inside my ear that could have been causing infections.

Nothing much is happening, other than that. I did get tickets to see Clay Aiken's Christmas Concert with the Symphony! <---which I am very excited about.
I am thoroughly engrossed in a lovely research paper that is due in March for APUSH. Mrs. Newmark suggested the topic of Civil Rights Supreme Court Cases...should be interesting. I will have another similar paper due around the same time for 20th Century Topics, but it will be a different topic.

Other than that? I am going to D.C. on Friday with a group from school, to tour the Holocaust Museum and other such tourist sites. It'll be a long but fun day, I imagine.

When it is not 11:18 at night, I will comment on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, the lecture hosted at RCHS on the topic, and the recent death of Yassar Arafat. More later.

PS-If anyone who reads this knows of someone who would be a good Environmental Club speaker, let me know. I am trying to schedule after-school or lunchtime speakers from outside RCHS, seeing that I am now in charge of the club... So if you, or someone you know, would be interested in speaking at RCHS, give me your (or their) contact info. Thanks