Wednesday, April 25, 2018

I'm back!

Hi everyone!

Wow... it's been about year since I last posted. Things have been pretty crazy. The beginning of this school year definitely wasn't the best time of my life, if I'm being honest here. I was having a lot of trouble keeping my grades up and staying focused, and my memory wasn't really doing it's job. It was in the beginning of December that we figured out why: I've developed epilepsy. Whenever I was "zoning out", I was actually having a seizure. We're pretty sure that I'm having absent seizures, which is why I couldn't focus and process information very well. I'm taking meds to help, though, and I'm doing much better! I went from nearly failing several classes to having all A's, which was pretty miraculous in my opinion.

I've also been pretty stressed (but excited!) about school. It's getting pretty close to graduation (only 21 more school days!!! AAHHHH!!), and I'm thrilled about the idea of going off to college. At the same time, applying for scholarships and all that fun stuff is stressing me out. The fact that I'm a major procrastinator does not help. But hey, I've applied to Kennesaw State University, the University of North Georgia, and Emory University -- and I was accepted into all three! I've toured them all, and now I'm trying to decide which school I'm actually going to attend. The UNG and KSU campuses are absolutely beautiful, but then I also love the idea of attending a well-renowned school like Emory. I'm going to have to make my decision pretty darn soon though, since the deadline to confirm my acceptance is May 1, and in the end it might just come down to financials. 

I'm also getting ready for all of my AP exams! My first, and probably most difficult, test will be the AP Chemistry exam on May 7th. I'm definitely not looking forward to it, but I guess it'll be nice to finally have it over with. Chemistry caused me a lot of strife this year. AP Chem + 3 other AP classes + period of time without seizure diagnosis/medication = stress, stress, stress! But I've finally started to get the hang of it, and I'm passing, so... who knows. And after all, if I can pass the exam, they'll automatically bump my grade in the class to an A, so I'm just hoping to get a 3 on the test. I'm also going to be taking the AP Statistics, AP Literature, and AP U.S. History exams not long after.

Honestly, it's really weird to think about the fact that I'm essentially grown up. I feel like I'm 17, going on 12. Knowing that I'm in high school is strange enough, but the fact that I'm getting ready to go to college is really freaking me out. I mean, I'm turning 18 this Saturday! I'm definitely ready to be an adult, but at the same time... I'm definitely not ready to be an adult. I'm going to have to learn how to act like a mature grown-up and make phone calls and doctor's appointments! Aaaaahhhhhh! But I have actually been working on becoming more independent. It's a work in progress, but I've started becoming more responsible for my medical stuff (learning how to do my I.V. and tape myself for the shower, etc).

Last night was Senior Awards Night for my school, where they present students with their cords, stoles, certificates, and plaques. I received a stole for being a member of the National Honor Society, and cords for completing my French pathway, being a member of French National Honor Society, being an honors graduate, doing over 100 hours of community service, and for completing some classes through GOC, an online public school. I was oddly, illogically nervous about walking across the little stage area and receiving my cords, but was still really proud to have my achievements recognized. It was also really cool to see my friends and classmates receiving their awards, and while I'm slightly bitter that I wasn't valedictorian or salutatorian, I'm so happy for the two who received those titles. They're really awesome and intelligent people.

I'm sure you all remember how I've talked about my dog Paco... I'm sad to say that he has recently passed away. He was seven years old, though, and had a neurological disorder that caused seizures. We all miss him very much. Raphah needed a new friend, though, and so we now have a new puppy named Emma! (It took a while to pick a name, but we got there eventually.) She's a couple months old, and while she's absolutely adorable, she's either "on" or "off". She also isn't fully potty-trained yet... I'd forgotten how difficult and not-fun that can be. But we're getting there, and we're all glad to have her. Luna and Abi are doing pretty well. They've come to accept (aka tolerate) each other, but I'm not sure they'll ever be BFFs.

The littlest Lorenzens are doing pretty well. Kenya is now homeschooled, and she's doing much better socially, behaviorally, and educationally. The boys are still in school, but we're talking about homeschooling one or both of them next year. Felipe has a cold or something going on right now - he's been coughing a lot and having some trouble breathing. He's on meds and breathing treatments, so while he's still not feeling great, it's definitely getting a whole lot better.

On Saturday, not only will it be my birthday, but it'll also be the day I perform at our school cluster's  Fine Arts Festival! My friend Ameena will be there to display some of her artwork, another friend named Emilia might be there dancing, and I'm going to recite two poems. One of them will be "Monet Refuses the Operation" by Lisel Mueller, which I also performed at Poetry Out Loud this year. It's so, so pretty and I love it. The other one is going to be one of my original works - the only problem is that haven't yet decided which one. I think I might write a new poem just for the arts festival.

Anyways, speaking of poetry, have "Lysander's Dream"! I wrote it for my AP Literature class after we read "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Lysander's Dream [based on Shakespeare's play]
She is beautiful. No - not so -
That word is not enough to describe the
Perfection I perceive in her pensive gaze.
Her dark eyes are galaxies. I watch as those specks of light
Spin, spiral, shine.
Her skin, it is velvet --
Smooth, silky, soft
The same hue as caramel.
Her dark hair becomes a waterfall as it is caught in the breeze,
Streaming, shimmering, shining.

My Hermia, clever as her namesake
And quick as his winged shoes.
However did she become mine? We have been gods-blessed.
I reach out, caress her cheek,
Her small, smiling, shape,
And we sleep.

I dream of my love
Her eyes are my sky, my world
Big, blue, bright
Her long locks are the light
Blinding, billowing, bewitching.
Her skin, it is flawless, it is moonlight
Breathtaking, beaming, blushing.

And this is not Hermia, no,
This is my Helena,
With a face that could launch a thousand ships,
A demeanor that could entrance a thousand men,
A smile that could heal a thousand hearts, or break them, if she so chose.
My Helena, sweet perfection,
I reach to brush her tears away.
Why is my love crying? Her eyes, brimming with tears,
Will overflow any moment,
Will pour out enough salt water to fill an ocean and
Launch those thousand ships.
Ah, and yet the light’s reflection in her tears creates a sparkle,
Bioluminescence, a beautiful sight to behold.
My hand brushes her cheek, and –

I am awake once more, returned to the world
In which only Hermia will ever be the one
To satisfy my heart.

My love, my one, my only.

Friday, April 14, 2017

   So, vacation was GREAT! We did go to Chattanooga, and we visited the aquarium, zoo, and Ruby Falls. It was so much fun! It was so different there, too; all of the shops and stores were right next to each other (and they were so small), and so many people walked everywhere. Plus, everything looked more... green. It was really, really cool. I think F, K, and J enjoyed the aquarium and zoo most. We've got a couple pictures somewhere that I might actually be able to upload for you, so I might edit this post later and add those. The house we rented for our vacation was pretty tiny, but we made it work - and there was a piano in the living room, so of course I was happy.
  I started this new drawing over spring break, and I think it looks pretty good so far. It's not done yet, but I'm almost finished with the actual outline. Once that's done, I'm gonna color it in and then maybe outline it with pen. The hardest part so far has been figuring out the angles and proportions for the arms and legs - the girl in my picture has both arms in the air and one leg off the ground. I think the hardest part after that will be trying to color in blonde hair! We'll see, I guess.
  Speaking of seeing and pictures, I have my final Memory Project! I think it looks pretty cool, if I do say so myself. I'm in school right now, and my phone hates any form of communication here, so I can't upload that picture either... but I'll do it this afternoon, as soon as I can.
   On Wednesday, I was inducted into the National Honor Society at my school! Technically, I was supposed to be a member already, but we ended up totally missing any information about the induction ceremony last year. But now I'm an official member! I've got the certificate and card to prove it. :) It was really cool, seeing how many of my friends were there too... we were all talking and hanging out while we waited for the ceremony to start. It was great listening to the leaders of the club talking about the four pillars and then having us all repeat the pledge.
   There's some fantastic stuff going on right now with the littles... I don't know how much I'm actually allowed to say right now, but as soon as I can, I'll post a full update on that. My mom posted a thing in her "Lorenzen expansion pack" group, so if you're a part of that, go read it!
   Life is a little stressful right now... not going to go into full detail, but things are definitely crazy. Everyone is freaking out at school because finals and AP exams are almost here... I don't know how I'm gonna do on my AP Calc exam. There's been weird stuff with my nursing too... currently we're looking for a new one. Plus there's this thing with one of my friends giving me the silent treatment... not fun there, either. But there's not really anything for me to do about any of these things, so I'm trying to just keep myself busy with books and art! And poems, too, but that goes without saying.
   Ooh, speaking of writing. My friend Jake and I are actually to the writing stage of our book, and it's really fun! He's a lot faster than me - I'm still on my first chapter, and he's turned out three or four, I think. But we'll get there! It's gonna be a cool thing. And even if this never gets published, it'll be SO awesome to be able to tell people that I (co)wrote a book!
   Does anyone else ever just get a kids song stuck in their head for no reason? Lately I've been on this Disney loop. I mean, that's not completely unusual for me, but it's been happening more often. "When Will My Life Begin" and "Now I Finally See the Lights" from Tangled are great songs... and I'm still stuck on "True Colors" from the movie Trolls, too. Yep.
   Well, I hope y'all have a great day, and a Happy Easter!

(I had a poem that I was gonna post here.... can't find where I put it. I'll edit that in later, too.)

Monday, March 27, 2017

   So, not last Friday but the one before, I ended up in the hospital. (I know, fun times, right?) I had a pretty high fever and was vomiting, and so when we got to the ER, they admitted us. Which sucked, but whatever. My mom and I thought it was a stomach bug, but they had us stay for a few days just in case it was a line infection or something awesome like that. They let us go home yesterday - and I would've been back to school, but I didn't have a nurse, so there's that. Hopefully I'll be back soon! I'm missing my friends and classes.
   The little kids (K, J, and F) were so excited when we got back home! It was kind of cool to have a welcoming committee of screaming children. And they were so super cute, acting all clingy with my mom. I'll admit, the peace and quiet at the hospital was a little nice, but I missed my family a lot.
   Our new cat, Luna (have I told you guys about her yet?) is settling in pretty well, I think. She doesn't get along with the dogs 100% of the time - I think she's scared of them - but she absolutely worships Abi. And Luna is so cuddly. She'll literally just lay there and let you pet her for hours, and she purrs the entire time. Her fur is almost entirely black, with just one or two tiny white spots on her stomach, and her eyes are sort of yellowish-green. She's great!
   The art club's Memory Project is going really well! Everyone's pictures are looking fantastic. A lot of the other members are using paints and things, but I decided to stick with what I know best: colored pencils. Luckily, my parents got me a ton of awesome colored pencils in various colors - even an entire pack in just flesh tones! I think my drawing is looking pretty good, and it's nearly done; I'll see if I can upload a picture of the finished product!
   This past Saturday, I went on my first college tour! My mom and I visited GGC, and while I wasn't completely sold, some parts of it were really cool. Their honors program looks fantastic - they put on Shakespeare plays and do some cool journalism things. The dorms are also pretty cool; they're all suite-style and you get your own room, and share a kitchen area and bathroom(s) with your suitemates. I'm planning on registering for a tour at KSU soon, and maybe UGA as well.
   Today, I took the multiple-choice section of my mock AP Lang exam... it was surprisingly easier than I expected it would be. My teacher scanned in my Scantron answer sheet, and I got 48/55 right! Which, according to our conversion chart, equals a 103... and I haven't even taken the free-response section yet! I'm just hoping I'll do this well on the actual exam. I'd love to make a 5 on the test!
   The schedules at school are weird this week. All of the sophomores are taking the Gateway tests (remember me freaking out about those essays last year?) and so they've rearranged the schedules for our classes. It also doesn't help that we have Friday off, since spring break is starting. But speaking of spring break - we're talking about actually doing something this year! Usually we just stay at home and hang out, but we've been talking about maybe going to the aquarium or some museums. I think it'll be lots of fun, and the kids are gonna love it too!
   Okay, so there's this Disney movie named Trolls... it has some great music, right? But lately I haven't been able to get the song "True Colors" out of my head. It's an awesome song, and I love it - but it's starting to get a little annoying! I've tried everything to fix it... I've even sung "The Song That Never Ends" to myself. It didn't work. I fear that I will live out the rest of my life singing the harmonies to this song, originally performed by a chorus of tiny, colorful, dancing trolls.

I hope you're all doing well! Have a great day!

Monday, March 13, 2017

   I've decided that I am going to start writing again! Writing a book, I mean. It's going to be a realistic fiction novel - and it'll be kind of like my life. Not exactly, but similar. I'm trying to come up with a name for my main character; I want her name to mean "strong" or "fighter" or "courage", something like that. Any ideas? I'm getting tired of baby name sites, haha.
   Speaking of books - I finished reading like, four of them this weekend! Admittedly I did have a long weekend, having had Friday off of school, but still. BOOKS! I read this one called "A List of Cages" which was so good but sooo sad, and two of the "Song of the Lioness" books called "Alanna: The First Adventure" and "In the Hands of the Goddess". The latter two were written by Tamora Pierce, who is one of my all-time favorite fantasy/adventure authors.
   In the next couple of weeks, I'm going on my first college tour! It's not to my top-choice college; we're visiting Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC). I've heard good things about them, and the dorms are supposed to be awesome, and the have all the classes and degrees that I want. Still, I'm looking at Kennesaw (KSU)! I can't wait for the tour; it's going to be cool looking around and seeing what everything's like. I'm a little nervous thinking about going away to college (my mom is freaking out, I think), but I'm really eager to go out and see the world and be independent. I think it'll be pretty great.
   I've started drawing some more, too! My friend and I are planning this manga; we're going to try and create it ourselves. He and I are coming up with the story together, and I'm going to try and illustrate it all. It's either going to be incredible and the best thing anyone's ever seen/read, or it's going to look terrible; I'm hoping for the former. But I've been working on my concept art for the characters and whatever, so maybe we'll be okay!
   It's kind of weird now that Readers Rally is over... I have more time to do things I really want to do. Of course I enjoyed reading the books for RR, but at the same time it was a little bothersome that I couldn't choose which books I was reading. Now, since the competition's finished, I can read whatever I want; and instead of creating questions for my team to review, I can draw; and instead of practicing on Quizlet all the time, I can practice my keyboard. Don't get me wrong - I definitely had fun with RR and can't wait to lead the team next year! But this down time is pretty great too.

A poem for you! (I don't even remember when I wrote this... oh well. Enjoy!)

Where am I?
I do not know this place, this world, this universe;
Cannot recognize the faces of those around me.
Have we met? I cannot think,
Do not recall;
I am sorry.

Who am I?
I do not know myself, this body, this mind;
Cannot recognize these emotions and thoughts flowing
From the tips of my fingers down to my toes.
I don’t know myself;
Do not understand who I am,
Why I am here;
What is my purpose?

Even now, I can feel these thoughts
Slipping away,
A gradual fade.

Back into nothingness.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Hey everyone!

I don't know about you, but I've had a pretty crazy weekend! Fun, but crazy.

On Friday, my sister came home from college; since it's her spring break, she'll be visiting for a week or so. It's cool having her here (especially since she sometimes buys me ice cream). It's funny, though, seeing how much she's changed since she first started college - from the time she goes to bed, to the time she wakes up, to the things she says and does. And her hair is still bright pink all over, but she's thinking of adding some purple too.

Saturday was my Readers Rally competition; it took place at Berkmar High School. My friends/teammates and I carpooled together - we drove two cars for the seven of us. We reviewed our books and questions the entire way there. Once we got there, we checked in and then went and walked around the book fair, which was pretty cool! I bought the book "I Am Princess X", which was ironically one of the Readers Rally books.
When it was time for the actual competition to start, we were all pretty nervous; this was the first time that any of us had competed. The first round was a bit of a fail for us; we only had 30 points compared to the other team's 110. But the next few rounds were actually really good, with us getting 100-110 points! We had a couple more rounds in which we earned 30-40 points - I think we were starting to psych ourselves out again. But in the last round, we earned 140 versus their 10! That one was EPIC. I still can't believe we managed that!
I answered the most questions out of anyone on my team, which was kinda cool.

And yesterday, we had my grandmother (Mommom), my grandfather (Papa James), my aunt (Aunt Leslie), and my cousin (Debra) over! It was pretty fun. We dyed Debra's hair black (it had been dark brown with blonde in it). She looked really good, I think, though my mom joked that she looked kind of emo/goth, since her skin is pretty pale. Then we played foosball, which was great - I beat Debra, and James then proceeded to destroy me. She and I teamed up against my brother, and though he did beat us again that time, it was a pretty close game.

I'm still a bit tired from the excitement of this weekend, but it was totally worth it!

AND I wrote a poem. Ta-da!

Ink drips -- drops --
Down to the paper.
Splash, stain, smear.
The paper will never be the same again.
You cannot retract the act,
Cannot undo what is now done,
Cannot fix what has been broken.
A permanent flaw, a fault;
A blot, a splotch;
Unable to be erased, effaced;
That one drop of ink sinks down
Into the paper.

Friday, February 24, 2017

SAT results are in!

My SAT results came back a few days earlier than I expected -- I got the email last night!!

I scored a 1420 out of 1600!! I'm so happy. I'm in the 98th percentile nationwide, and the 95th percentile of college-bound juniors and seniors. I scored really well in the Reading and Comprehension sections, as well as the English/grammar section. I did pretty well in math, too, though not quite as well as I did in language arts.

Happy dances for all!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hi peoples!
    I swear, this cat is insane. She was laying on my lap and purring just a minute ago, and then randomly decided to attack my hand and run away! James, get this creature under control! I do love Abi, though; she can be pretty sweet when she wants to be.
   I dyed my hair the other day, and am going to touch it up today! I wanted to try the ombre thingy (that is how you spell it, right?), so I've got brown hair now, and the ends are blonde! I like it. Definitely not as drastic of a change as my sister's hair, though -- Aly just dyed her entire head "magenta"! It's quite the fashion statement... maybe I should try that someday.... hmm.
   I'm getting a little nervous, since I have my Readers Rally competition not this Saturday but the next. I've been frantically re-reading all the books, but I'm still worried that I'll forget all of the details. This is the first time I've actually joined Readers Rally, and we've had two of our teammates decide they didn't want to compete... so we're down to the minimum number of competitors. I don't know what we'll do if someone can't make it! But it will be fun getting to the competition -- my mom said she'd carpool, so we'll be driving in the new "church bus"! We've even joked about painting the windows. Could be interesting!
   I'm supposed to get my SAT results in 5 days!! I'm a bit freaked out about that too. I mean, I know I can always take it again if I have to -- most people take it at least twice -- but I'd still like to do well. I'll let you guys know what my scores are when I get them!
   In AP Lang, we've been learning about Romanticism, right? Well, we've started looking more specifically at Dark Romanticism, which means... wait for it... POE! Edgar Allan Poe may not have been the most "romantic" guy (haha), but his writings were definitely dark! We've finished "The Raven", which is super good but a bit over-taught, and "The Fall of the House of Usher", which is one of my favorites. I do wish we'd read "Annabel Lee"; it's a great poem. What are your guys' favorite poems/stories by Poe?
   My hands have been doing this weird tremor-y thing lately. It's happened before in the past, but recently it's become way more frequent and more noticeable. We haven't gotten them looked at yet (we have called the doctor, they just haven't called back). I'm hoping it's not anything serious... my mom's guess was essential tremors, but again, we don't know for sure. It actually seems to get worse -- my hands will shake harder -- when I'm excited or nervous about something. Like, when I'm playing keyboard for worship at church, or playing Super Smash Bros. with my friend. It's weird.
   The art club at my school is doing this really cool thing called the Memory Project! It's basically where we contact an orphanage or other organization; they take pictures of the children they are caring for and send us the photos. Once we have the photographs, we draw or paint the kids, and send the artwork back with a picture of ourselves! I'm really excited to be doing this. "My" kid is a little girl named Jhakelin, and she's so cute.

I hope you're all doing well! Have a great day!!

*A poem, based off the idiom "cry me a river".

Cry me a river,
Sing me a breeze;
Dream me a rainbow,
Paint me the trees.

Dance me a desert,
Laugh me the light;
Scream me the storms,

Speak me the night.