Thursday, November 26, 2009

Racist Jokes, Faulty Calculators, & Bellyflops

Well, we all know that today is Thanksgiving Day.

Where we give thanks. Today.

I have a huge list of things to be thankful for, but there are a couple that surprised even me:

Racist jokes.

When I was younger, I used to think racist jokes were the worst things imaginable. Even worse than 'shut up' or 'stupid'. They irked me, until the 4th grade. In the 4th grade, I met a boy who made racist jokes, things like, "What did you eat for dinner? OH WAIT, you're Asian. Of course, rice and eggrolls." At that time, I thought those were horrible, and I'd come home feeling rotten. But now that I think about it, these racist jokes helped me become a lot more insensitive to words that people use to try and hurt me. And now, this boy is one of my best friends. So I have two things to be thankful for in this category, racist jokes, and one of my best friends.

Faulty Calculators.

I had one of those days. The ones where I want to stay at home and sleep. I woke up at 6:50, and had to get to school by 7:10. I thought it was an A day, when in fact it was a B day. (On A days, I had gym, on B days, I had math.) I forgot about the math test we had, and my Physics teacher gave us a pop quiz. So, while I was taking my math test, I was calculating an integral on my TI-89, when I realized the calculator was giving me the wrong answers. So I had to work out all of my problems by hand. At the time, of course, I felt like running away and never doing math again, but then I realized that I was becoming too dependent on my calculator, and that not using it was a good measure of my knowledge. I'm pretty thankful for that. (By the way, the TI-89 is a HUGE reason why college and high school students are failing math.)


Bellyflops hurt. I found that out during my diving practice. I tried to do a forward dive pike for the first time, and I couldn't get out of it fast enough. BAM. It hurt. A lot. But that's okay, because then I felt like getting it right, and got back on the board. I didn't end up doing a forward dive pike, but I did end up doing an inward for the first time. I'm thankful for bellyflops too.

This time of year makes me think of being thankful, when I should really be thankful all year. Unless you're a turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Becoming A Better Person

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what I can do to be better.

I get a lot of stuff from people about what I'm doing wrong, but they never tell me what to do to make myself better. And it doesn't help me at all.

This past Sunday, I rededicated myself to God at my church. I just feel like God pulled me to rededicate myself to Him--I mean, lately I feel like schoolwork or extracurricular activities are becoming more important to me. And that's never good. So, I'm working on becoming a more dedicated Christian.

Honestly, I think I've become a kind of happier person than I was in middle school. Maybe I was going through a phase or something... Because I felt that the world hated me for some reason? But I've also become a little more sarcastic. Like this kid I didn't know was being mean to one of my younger friends. I immediately started being mean. I don't really regret being mean to this kid because he was picking on my little buddy, but I regret that I couldn't resolve it in a nicer way. And, instead of making things better, I ruined MY day by being mean, and that kid's day too. So it's kind of a lose-lose situation now that I think about it.

This song really hits home for some reason. Don't ask why.
Russian Roulette, by Rihanna

"As my life flashes before my eyes
I'm wondering will I ever see another sunrise?
So many won't get the chance to say goodbye
But it's too late to think of the value of my life"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Asheville Cougar Classic (and whatnot)

So, I thought Marvin Ridge High School looked like the school from High School Musical.
Asheville High School kinda looks like a castle. It's really pretty.

Myers Park debate team went there yesterday for the Asheville Cougar Classic debate tournament. We placed 5th in the sweeps, and a lot of people placed individually. I didn't, but that's alright-- I really learned a lot. (I also hit the top two placed debaters. -_-) Anyway. We left at 6:30, and got back around 11:30. I'm starting to feel really really sleep deprived right around now.

I was in Novice LD again, and there were over 40 people in our division only! My friend Lisa got 3rd :) And we took a lot of photos, and I met a lot of people on the team.

I just wish the warm ups were a little less loud and embarrassing.
"I am a mother pheasant plucker." <---Seriously? Who came up with this?

On another note, today was Thanksgiving Sunday. I feel bad for those turkeys-- I bet half the turkey population dies during this week in November every year.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Marvin Ridge Debate Tournament

I went to my first debate tournament last Saturday, on Halloween.
Oh darn, I missed out on all the free candy...
I'll live.

Anyway, it was at Marvin Ridge High School (which looks like that high school from High School Musical, if you ask me... It has a REALLY nice facility.), and it was a Novice/JV Tournament--for first time and generally less experienced debaters.

And for my first time debating...

I really learned a lot and had a lot of fun. Many of my friends from middle school were on other schools' teams and we were able to catch up on what has been going on in our lives. And the debates themselves were exhilarating, but nerve-wracking. I had an adrenaline rush every single time I opened my mouth. AND, I got 3rd place!

The resolution was: "2009 September/October Topic Resolved: Public high school students in the United States ought not be required to pass standardized exit exams to graduate." for my event, which was Lincoln-Douglas. Now I'm working on the the next resolution: "2009 November/December Topic Resolved:Public health concerns justify compulsory immunization." for my next tournament in Asheville: the Asheville Cougar Classic. Wish me luck?

Oh, and by the way, I placed 3rd at Marvin Ridge-- not THAT bad, right? :)