The Catat

A land without normal cats,

Lived the great powerful catat.

The catat wore a big top hat,

He would hunt for some bugsey rats.

 

The bugsey rats would never quit,

Until the catat threw a fit.

The catat could not benefit,

So it stopped hunting rats a bit.

 

Catat (Noun) – A mix between an At-At (from Star Wars) and a cat.

Bugsey (Adjective) – Something that is small and fast; bug like. Usually a tiny animal.

Transitioning into High School

Throughout the past couple of months, I have been experiencing a lot of transitioning in my life. I have recently gone from a kindergarten through eighth grade school, to very intense and vigorous academy high school. I have been learning a lot of lessons throughout this major transition in my life, and still am learning more as we speak. Here are just a few things I wish I knew before entering high school: 

1. Asking for help shows your teacher how much you care about their class, so don’t be shy about doing so.  

At the beginning of the school year, I was very concerned about asking for help because I felt I would waste the teachers time and have them annoyed at me, but now I’ve learned it shows the teacher that you care about your work. I have been struggling in a few classes, but after asking for help, my teachers put in the extra effort to help me succeed because they knew I cared.

Believe it or not, a teacher will pay more attention to the student getting C’s that asks for help and is interested in improving, rather than the student getting A’s who shows they are not interested in the class.  I am using all the help I can get at the moment in school by meeting teachers after school, having upperclassmen peer tutor me, and working hard on assignments. Though I am not always the most proud to admit to people about all the help I need, it really helps in the long run.

2. The right choice isn’t always going to be the most enjoyable choice, in the moment.

In the past, people have always been telling me, “Do what makes you most happy,” and, “Do what makes you feel right.” Though that saying is true, it seems to be missing the part that says, “Do what will make you the most happy in the future, not the present. Missing a party or turning off Netflix for a few hours to study doesn’t make me feel the most excited in the moment, but in the long run, I’d rather get a decent grade rather than see my friends.

I like to follow the saying, “Business before pleasure.”  Get your work done first, even if that means missing a party or a trip to the mall, then you can truly treat yourself.

3.  Enjoying the small things in life will keep you sane. 

I am not going to lie, life in high school is pretty hectic between of going to school for 7 hours almost everyday, hours of homework, even more hours of studying, extra curricular activities, and managing friendships. With all this on my plate, I tend to get a negligible amount to time to kick my feet up, watch some Netflix, and just relax with no worries. Without a significant amount  relax time, I tend to get extremely stressed out which negatively affects the rest of my life.

What keeps me sane is enjoying and looking forward to the little moments in life: Listening to music on the bus, breaks between homework assignments, sitting with friends at lunch, and even experimenting with coffee flavors every morning. Looking forward to these small things everyday experiences may sound a bit depressing, but I believe it leaves a highly stressful and busy person, like myself, with all their marbles.

Transitioning into high school is a very stressful, scary, busy, yet still very enjoyable time in your life that is filled with many life lessons. Even though many people will try to prepare you with lesson’s they learned, you never truly know what’s coming until you get there.

Stop Hitting Replay

The other day, I found my old Sony MP3 player between the cushions of my couch. It was one of the most shocking experiences ever to listen to my favorite songs from 2nd grade. One thing I learned was, I was into some pretty weird music when I was seven. Half my songs were Ke$ha and the other half were heavy rap. I have absolutely no idea how I grew from Jason Derulo to Taylor Swift, but all I know is the only rap songs I know now are the rap sections in pop songs. Another thing I learned was even though I haven’t heard some of these songs in years, I caught on to all of the lyrics quicker than I expected.

That’s how I’d like my memories at my old elementary/middle school to be to me. I’m not always going to be thinking about the school all of the time or be around my old classmates and teachers, but once I step into the building that I grew up in, all of the memories flooded back.

Even though the memories from my old school and second home will always be in my heart, it’s still sad to leave the nest. I know I can’t play the same song on replay forever, but I don’t ever want to forget about it. I was in my old school for nine years, it’s shaped me to who I am today, so it’s tough to let it go.

The toughest thing to let go isn’t even the school, it’s the kids. My classmates are like siblings to me, sure we fight and get on each other’s nerves all of the time, but I still love them. This all hit me as I was walking down graduation aisle, looking back on all of my friends. I couldn’t help but sob like a baby as I walked out of the ceremony but they weren’t just tears of sadness. I’m ready to leave the nest, it’s my time to go.

My school is like a song, I may not play it all the time, but it’ll always be in my playlist.

Worthwhile Reading

As the school year comes to a close, it saddens me that the many amazing bloggers that I’ve read over the year might never write another post again. I hope in high school, I will still get to read some of the fantastic posts from the great bloggers that I’ve gotten the privilege to read all year. This post, though, is not to say goodbye to these great bloggers, but it is to really appreciate what they’ve written and learn something from them.

One extraordinary blog that I’ve been reading lately is Sydney’s Superior Blog. If you’re looking for a great book review, I recommend you check out on of her most recent post. Sydney’s post is about a book she is reading called Still Waters by Ash Parsons. Still Waters is about a boy named Jason who gets abused at home, so he’s naturally learned how to fight back, hard. I loved how she explained Jason’s situation and the analogy she used about taking a punch. Sydney is a great writer when it comes to book reviews because she really knows how to hook the reader without giving away the entire book. I love when she said, “When living with an abusive father, you better know how to take punch, but will also learn the correct way to hit back.” This quote makes me wonder who the main character is punching and why his father hits him. I really enjoyed reading this post of Sydney’s or any of her witty, yet beautiful posts, then I truly recommend you check out he blog sometime. You won’t regret it!

Another fabulous blog that I’ve been checking out lately is Ashley’s Amazing Blog. She recently posted a book review as well about Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt. Dear Hank Williams is a kind-hearted book about a girl named Tate who is writing letters to her school pen-pal. I love how Ashley tried to relate to the readers because it’s one of the best feelings ever when you relate to the text you’re reading. Ashley also uses simple, yet beautiful metaphors in all of her posts that really help you get a better understanding to what she’s trying to say in her post. One quote of hers that I love is, “Having a sibling is like having a friend who’s always around. There’s always someone to play with, and even though I bicker with him a lot, I would “die of boredom” without him.” If you’re interested in reading this beautiful post, or any other of Ashley’s heart-warming posts, then check out her blog as well!

 

Play by Play

A few weeks ago, Mr. Jahnsen came to our class to introduce us to the speech writing contest his law firm is hosting. The topic of the speech was based upon the Boston Marathon bombings and was about whether Jabar Smith should go to Super-Max prison or the death penalty. Mr.Jahnsen gave the class an extremely helpful packet to help us write our speeches. This packet taught me the three most important elements of a speech to keep in mind while writing it. I was very excited to write my speech during his visit because I had just failed at a speech competition and would like to redeem myself.

Before during my research I was curious about the prison Jabar would be going to and how harsh it would be. I learned he’d be going to a Super-Max prison, the harshest prison in the country. I also learned how much cheaper it would be to send Jabar to Super-Max over death. I never even considered that tax-payers had to pay more money for Jabar to go to prison. I picked that point as my essential argument because it was something that everyone in the audience could relate to because no matter who you are, you want to save money (and if you don’t, please go reassess your priories). It was a bit difficult selecting my position because I found lots of great arguments for the other side of the argument, but I knew I had to stay true to my beliefs.

My favorite part of my speech was my ending paragraph because I liked how I wrapped it together. One strategy I tried to use was to attempt to relate to the audience and gain their trust in my opinion, ethos as my packet would put it. At my recent speech competition, I realized the winner of the contest was the girl who related to the two judges to most. I tried to use this tactic in my own speech.

In the end, I learned a lot about speech writing and presenting. I am so glad that I was included in the contest and I wish all my class mates luck. Thank you Mr.Jahnsen and you law firm for holding this contest, it was a great experience.

 

Powerful Reads

Last week, I finished Eleanor and Park, a young adult, by Rainbow Rowell. This book was about two misfits in high school that fall in love in the most unlikely way possible. I believe the purpose of this book is to show that love doesn’t come in the ways we want or expect it to. Most people don’t marry their high school girlfriend, and if they do, they didn’t expect to. For example, Park thought Eleanor was gross when he met her, and Eleanor thinks Park is a weird Asian kid. I don’t think they expected to fall in love on their first bus ride to school.

My favorite moment in the book was when Eleanor and Park held hands. It was a simple, quiet, but Rainbow Rowell made it so powerful. For example, “Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”(N/A) I believe this was the most romantic moment in the book because it was so unexpected, yet so right. Rowell added so much detail into this moment that it felt like I was sitting right there with them.

The most shocking moment in the book was when I found our that Richie was perusing Eleanor. Though I believe most of the readers saw this coming, I didn’t. If I were Eleanor, I would called Child Protective Services because Eleanor and her siblings home situation was terrible. I wonder why Park and his family didn’t call them sooner because his family was completely aware of the abuse.

I recommend this book to girls who like to read light and fun books, that still want powerful moments. After reading this, I am excited to read Rainbow Rowell’s other book, Fangirl.

The Glades

When I think about skiing,

this is what I remember:

 

Pine trees scattered about the trail

My neck warmer hugging at my neck

Cold, empty snow spitting in my mouth

Cracking branches under the weight of skis

Pine, filling my nose and warming my body

Sparse foot prints from lonesome creatures

 

When I think about skiing,

this is what I remember.  

A Close Call

I beg to cry but tears won’t fall

A state of confusion filling my head

(You heartless fool, a close call)

 

I grow tall for you to make me feel small

Pain filled nights approaching ahead

I beg to cry but tears won’t fall

 

I imagined you as a friend I would tell all

Still, you make me feel like a dread

(You heartless fool, a close call)

 

Disappointment comes piling in a downfall

You reopen healed wounds just so I bled

I need to cry, tears please fall

 

Enough’s, enough, time to brawl

I open my eyes, all I see is red

(You heartless fool, a close call)

 

I see what you wanted overall:

To be the best with my dreams dead

I start to cry and let those tears fall

(You heartless fool, a close call).

2.7 Million

When I was six years old, I adopted my cat, Meow-Meow from the ASPCA. Meow-Meow is currently seven years old and is one of the most friendly and playful cats alive. Though the ASPCA takes great care of animals, it isn’t a particularly happy place. I vividly remember the the walls lined with cages filled with tons of depressed and lonely animals, pleading for a new home. In that moment, I realized how important it is to adopt your pet, so you can give these sad, lonely creatures a better home and life.

Rescue Me David Reece via Compfight

One of the reasons I believe people should adopt their new best friend is because of the extensive amounts of innocent animals being turned in each year that cannot be taken care of. According to an article from The Humane Society of the United States, 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are put down each year in the United States because of the lack of people adopting pets. That is about the population of the state of Kansas. To me, this number is overwhelming. If more people adopted their pets this number could go down tremendously.

One misconception I see from people skeptical of adopting a pet is if they’re healthy. The good news is that most shelters give their animals vaccinations and medical care before they’re adopted, so you’re ensured a happy, and healthy new pet. In my opinion a health is an extremely important factor when adopting a pet, so it’s great to know that shelters understand that as well. In addition to that, shelters also study how each animal behaves and interacts with others, so each animal is paired up with the ideal home of them.
Though there are tons of reasons why you should adopt your pet, I think the one of the most important ones is how good you’ll feel after doing it. My cat was abandoned under a porch along with his siblings and I am honored to have given him a new beginning. If you’re planning on getting a pet, I highly recommend you get yours from a shelter like the ASPCA. Let’s shrink that 2.7 million.Take me homeSOS animals via Compfight

Confessions of a Pessimist

My favorite thing to do is sail.

Depending on who you are in my life, you may be saying to yourself, “Really, Katharine? Whenever you go sailing all you do is complain?” Ok ok you’re right, when it comes to sailing I’m quite the pessimist, especially with the condition of the wind and weather. When my team and I launch our boats in the water, I think some sort of simulation comes over us and we become Goldilocks and the wind is porridge.

“It’s way too windy, how come the race isn’t postponed?”

“There’s no wind, do they expect us to be 50 pounds or something?”

“The wind is fine, but it’s so cold out!”

Now that I think about it, we’re a pretty annoying crew. You’re probably wondering what I like about sailing if all I do is complain, but to me the answer is simple. I love the way the way I feel when the wind is blazing in my face. I love how to rutter forms a wake behind the boat when it’s gliding through the water. Feeling the water running through your fingers like grass moving with the breeze. The rush of excitement, energy when you know you totally owned that race.

Sailing may be extremely frustrating and very annoying at times, but it’s one of those things you appreciate more when it’s not there. Sailing is like life, you enjoy the little things about it the most. With all of those little moments put together you get your race, sure it’s tough, and sometimes you totally bomb it and others you win by a long shot. Somehow, one way or another, how ever long it takes, you get to the finish line. When you get there, it’s rewarding to look back on how you did so you can improve in the next race. That’s how I see life, a learning experience, filled with trial and errors.

Sailing is my absolute favorite thing to do. Even more than sitting at the beach, walking down mainstreet, or even debating with people.  You’ll never hear me tell you that when I’m out on the water though, maybe, just maybe, on the dock.

20130615T132237-0281_v1 Anders Lund via Compfight