Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wordy Wednesday

Hello, everyone!
    So, lots of stuff has been happening lately.... definitely keeping me busy! I apologize for not having posted for a few days.
    First of all -- most of you probably know this from my mom's Facebook posts, but we're trying to adopt! We don't know how many yet, or what age, or even really gender... but it's exciting! We've had our first home study, where the caseworker assigned to us came over and basically checked to make sure that our house is safe for any kids we adopt. My brother is pretty excited about the possibility of getting a little brother that he can play with. I think it would be cool to adopt a girl, since I've never had a little sister, and honestly I think I could relate to a girl more easily. I think Aly doesn't have as strong of a preference as James and I do, as she will be going to college soon, but she seems to be leaning slightly towards adopting a girl. My parents don't have a preference either, at least not that I know of. However, I do know that my mom would love to adopt a younger child -- just yesterday, she was talking about a sibling set with a 1-year-old, 2-year-old, 3-year-old, and 4-year-old! The 1 and 3 are boys (because all boys are odd, haha!) and the 2 and 4 are girls. We've also looked at another sibling set: twin 6-year-olds, one boy and one girl; a 10- or 12-year-old boy, I can't remember which; and a 15-year-old girl, who goes by the nickname of Maddy, wants to be teacher, loves school, and reads/writes! ...she sounds like the twin I never knew I had.
    My mom's birthday was this past Friday! (Happy belated birthday, Mama!) I've also got a birthday coming up -- tomorrow, actually! It's kind of hard to believe that I'm going to be 16. I'm not sure if I'm ready... I've really enjoyed being 15! But then again, Sweet Sixteen!! Woo-hoo! And this summer, I think I'm going to take a Driver's Ed. course, so that I can get my license.... I'm pretty excited about that, too! FREEDOM! Haha. And presents, too... who doesn't like presents? And who doesn't love a good party? My grandparents are also coming over this weekend for a 'birthday dinner', which will be a ton o' fun! I've got one of the best, most amazing/crazy families in the universe.
    AP exams at school are coming up -- as are EOCs, EOCTs, Milestones, SPGs, etc. I'm ready for the last four (bring it on!) but I'm not so sure about the AP exams. I really want to do well on those, because not only will it bring up my grades, but it will also reflect well on my teachers and allow me to earn college credits as well. I'm fairly confident I can get at least a 3, which is passing, on both my AP World History and AP Biology tests, but I'm really wanting and aiming for 4's and 5's, aka "exceeds" and "superior". Let's face it: the odds of me getting a 5 on both tests is pretty low. But there's always the possibility! And seeing as how I've managed a 4 on my last two Mock AP Bio tests, I think I can probably get a 4 on the real thing. My parents have gotten me some workbooks and flashcards designed specifically for the AP courses, too, and they're super helpful.
    Does anyone here use Pinterest? I do, and I'm finding myself super addicted to it. As in, every spare moment is spent on Pinterest. I've got more boards than I know what to do with, almost 900 followers, over a million likes and two million pins.... yeah. It's getting a little out of hand. But I can't bring myself to stop, since it's so... *ahem* Pinteresting! I love it. I could, would, and quite possibly already do spend hours online every single day. The thing about this site that really appeals to me is that there is, quite literally, a pin for EVERYTHING. You can follow any board or person, like/follow certain topics that you're interested in, upload any pictures or sites of your own..... it's really quite amazing, actually. Hours are wasted, never to be regained.... is it worth it? I'm not sure yet. I'm trying to spend less time on there, though.... I've got poems to write, pictures to draw, and books to read!
    School's awesome, as usual. I've got all A's again -- yay me -- as opposed to those two B's I had as of last week! (...both of which were in my AP classes....) Here's hoping that the A's are here to stay~! Biology is really interesting right now -- we've just finished learning about neurons and now we're learning about the immune system. When we were talking about neurons, I actually managed to think of a question my teacher couldn't answer: I asked what causes some people (like me) to have high or low pain tolerances. Did their neurons have higher thresholds, and therefore send fewer action potentials? Or did the action potentials have lower frequencies? Or did the brain simply receive these potentials differently? ....neither my teacher nor the assistant teacher could answer, which was funny. I've never managed to render a teacher speechless before! In World History, we've officially stopped learning new things and will be reviewing until the end of the year. We play Kahoot a lot (it's an online review game), and I usually manage to end up on the leaderboard! In French, we've begun talking about prepositions, which is really interesting actually. It's all so different from English, which is to be expected, I suppose, but it's also very beautiful. French is an amazing language. One day, I want to move to Canada -- where people speak French, and where the weather is usually cool, which I like! Math: we're currently in the middle of our logarithmic functions unit. It's kind of fun! And in Language Arts, I just finished reading Fahrenheit 451. It was a pretty good book (but I'd read it three times before, so....). Different groups in the class will be teaching everyone else about different parts of the book. My group is going on Tuesday next week, and we're discussing the symbols and motifs! We've decided we're going to teach through a PowerPoint/lecture and then have our "students" debate over different topics afterwards. My teacher -- she's awesome -- says that usually when she does this with her classes, she gets other teachers to come and watch/listen/act like students! And apparently, they like to talk in class, play on their phones, etc. So I've talked with my team members and we decided that we'll be taking everyone's phones as they walk into the class, and send anyone who talks out into the hall, where we will then have to talk to them. We're supposed to act like we are actual teachers, which I think is really cool since I want to be one! My friends keep joking that I'm going to be a natural with this, since I love to learn and teach others. In my Journalism/Yearbook class, we've finished the actual yearbook -- actually, it was finished about a month ago. Now, we're busy completing various "journalism brush-up tasks" and coming up with different marketing strategies, so that we can get more of our books sold. We only have 125 of them left, as of this morning, which is awesome... and apparently we're selling more every day!!
    And now that I've finished this relatively-long update full of my ramblings about various topics, I shall leave you all with a poem and a picture. I hope you enjoy both of them, in addition to the actual post!

~Mattie <3

How do pencils
Leave such perfect marks on paper?
Curves. Sharp edges. Shading.
To draw,
You need nothing except
A pencil and paper, and a bit of imagination.
Start here, add some detail there, color it in, create a new person or place or thing.
It forms from your thoughts.
Flows down your arm,
Into your hand,
Your fingertips,
Out, down the pencil,
Guiding it across the paper.
And all of a sudden, you see it --
The picture you'd imagined, seen in your mind,
It is suddenly there in front of you,
Tangible, changeable, shareable.
Now it is there
For the entire world to see, if you choose to show it.
And then you reach down, and flip the page in your notebook --
And you see a fresh, clean, new page appear.
Perfectly smooth and white.
It seems almost a shame, a waste, to put any marking on it.
But as soon as you've gotten a new idea,
You have no other choice.
You place the tip of your pencil back down, move it across the paper,
Watch as the graphite trails behind.
And you cannot help but smile
As your new creation slowly
Begins to come to life.

Ruby Rose - from the show RWBY

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Treasured Tuesday

This poem is for the people who think they don't matter, or they're not enough.
They're wrong.

You walk into the classroom, not
Eagerly, but not particularly dreading it either.
You made sure not to be the
First one to arrive, not do you wait until the
Last minute before the bell.
If someone says "hi", you respond with a small wave, nod, almost unnoticeable smile.
No time for small talk. Not today.
You sit right in the middle of class.
The perfect seat: far enough from
The eager students in the front rows that you
Won't be called on. Not so far back that
The troublemakers can bother you, either.
As the other desks become occupied, you slowly
Begin to blend in. A small wave in the endless sea of faces.
I notice how withdrawn you seem.
Instead of taking notes, you sketch on the edges of your paper.
Instead of flipping through the textbook, you sneak a novel or comic book.
I watch it all out of the corner of my eye.
You always know the answers, but you never raise your hand.
You talk if called on, but only then. You never volunteer.
The majority of the time,
You get through the entire class without uttering a single word.
Just the way you like it.
But why?
You couldn't always have been such an introvert, so shy and quiet.
What changed?
You say there are the
Cute girls, the nerdy kids, the athletic guys. Hardcore, hipster, goth.
You are none of the above, so you assume -- falsely --
That you don't matter.
Unimportant. Replaceable.
But you are wrong.
You think that you are invisible,
Untouchable. Unwanted. Not needed.
Because you are imperfect.
But you are wrong.
I can see you.
I notice every detail: how you let
Your hair fall in your face; when you seem
Tired or sad; your smile, or lack of one.
I see it all.
You think you are invisible, but you are an
Entire universe -- galaxies, the unknown,
Beautiful and new -- all inside the body of a single person.
You are endless. 
Because, to quote one of my favorite authors, John Green:
Some infinities are larger than others.
And you?
You contain such marvelous, awe-inspiring
Ideas and knowledge that the rest of the world has yet to hear of.
You think you are invisible.
But me?
I see it all. And I understand.
You are unique, not perfect. Unique is better, anyways.
You contain an entire infinity.
You matter, and I see it all.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Time-to-Rhyme Tuesday!

The title of this post may be a bit misleading. I will be posting a poem, but... it doesn't rhyme! Haha, it's a spoken-word poem, or as some people call it, a free-verse. I've already read this one to my family members, but I'm finally typing it up for the rest of you! Enjoy~

Light-brown hair,
And bright blue eyes
Twinkling with secrets and stories untold.
Pale white skin -- the color
Of the paper this was written on, or perhaps the color of the walls at school.
Long legs, made to run,
Though they don't do that often.
Walking is easier.
Pink lips, sometimes tilting up at the corners, tilting down just as often;
Sometimes wide open with a yawn or a laugh,
Revealing white teeth behind.
The mouth... of a singer.
Hands, pale and smooth;
Left hand calloused from violin strings, right hand a bit small and scarred from  one muscle too few.
Long, thin fingers, seemingly created only to dance across the keys of a piano,
And crafted to hold a pencil with ease.
The hands... of an artist.
Small nose, pointy chin, long lashes.
A shorter neck, stubborn and unyielding...
Never one to back down or, ahem, turn away. Not from any challenge.
A girl -- who takes in everything all at once,
And hopes never to forget it.
And hopes never to be forgotten.

~ Mattie

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sleepy Sunday!

Hey everyone~
     Phew! We've been getting a lot of work done around the house lately! It almost feels like it's not the same building -- like it's someone else's home. Today, I put the (hopefully) last coat of wax on the kitchen table; once we buff it, the table should be completely done! And my parents have been working on their biggest project yet: they're taking down the railings/banister on the stairs, and replacing it with a bookshelf! I wholly approve of this renovation. Books for everyone!
     So, yeah -- all this work is pretty exhausting! But to make things worse... sometimes, I am just so forgetful. Example: this evening, I asked if I was allowed to wait a while longer before I took my sleep meds. My parents said yes, because this week is spring break, so there's no school tomorrow. I cheered victoriously. And then proceeded to take all. Of. My. Meds. Including the sleep pills. Awesome, right? If I make it to 9:00 -- no, 8:30 -- without passing out, it'll be a miracle. I'd better write fast, so I don't forget what it is I want to say! Haha
      To stay in theme, I shall write a poem about sleep. I have no clue whether it's going to be any good or not, and honestly? Tomorrow, I probably won't even remember that I wrote it until I check my blog page. Let's see what I can come up with in this half-asleep daze that I'm in.

Why is it that
When you are at work, or school,
All you want
Is to sleep?
And then when you get home
Lay down in bed, lights off, blankets on
You can't lose consciousness.
No matter how hard you try.
That sleepy haze you fought earlier is now gone completely;
You wish that it would come back, but no,
Your thoughts come so fast:
Worries about the future,
Reflections on the past,
Wishing about what could be,
And what, in our minds, ought to be.
But finally -- finally,
After seconds that feel like minutes, and minutes that feel like hours,
You feel the fog of sleep slowly enveloping your mind,
And you sink into darkness.
Sometimes impossible to achieve,
The majority of the time, wanted,
And always so warm and welcoming to us all.

Usually forgotten, so quickly, so easily.
Did you know, that after ten minutes,
There is only a ten percent chance of you remembering your dream?
Most people don't.
Dreams, sometimes logical, sometimes nonsensical.
Happy, exciting, blissful.
But nightmares, too --
Scary, terrorizing, cold and hostile.
Nightmares are so much easier to remember than your average dreams.
I don't know.
But it's worth it, I think,
To experience the happy dreams.
The ones that you know could never normally come true.
Dreams allow you to experience what is usually impossible.
Flying, falling, being invisible; a hero, a villain, princess, knight;
Flashbacks to old memories, though sometimes with a few tweaks.
So beautiful and wonderful.
I don't understand them.
And I don't want to.

     Ta-da! I'm going to have to look at this again tomorrow... but for right now, I'm pretty happy with it! Hope you all enjoy this post -- you know, reading the poems and laughing at my craziness. (Go ahead, I won't mind. Promise.) What are some of your guys' oddest and funniest memories that have to do with sleep? Do you sleepwalk? Sleeptalk? Snore? (My brother does all of the above!) Let me know in the comments, if you feel like it!

    I'll post again soon!
~ Mattie <3