Monday, April 27, 2009

Tomorrow Never Comes

     I gave a presentation in biology today, about a terrible disease called "progeria." I don't think I've ever cried as much as when I was making the power point presentation. The disease is absolutely horrible, and I cried continuously as I read about this adorable little girl named Hayley Okines. She is the sweetest little girl, and I was devastated that there is almost no chance of her surviving to her next birthday.

     Finally the time for my presentation rolled around. After school I felt like a mess, and probably looked like one too for all I know. But it was one of the hardest things that I've had to do, sucking up my own sentimental nature so that I didn't cry in front of every kid in the class. As I headed out to the bus after school, I was still thinking about Hayley, and my presentation; needless to say, I felt really depressed. And that's when someone made my day, as usual. I still continued pondering about Hayley's sad predicament, and I continued to think about my presentation, but I also thought about how much I love my friends and family. There's almost no words to describe how much I love you guys! So, I'm going to post one of my favorite poems, keeping all of my best friends in mind as I do.

Tomorrow Never Comes

If I knew it would be the last time I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly, and pray the Lord your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time that I'd see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and a kiss, and call you back for just one more.

If I knew it would be the last time I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would tape each word and action, and play them back throughout my days.
If I knew it would be the last time, I would spare an extra minute or two,
To stop and say "I love you," instead of assuming you know I do.

So just in case tomorrow never comes, and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you, and I hope we never forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you're waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes, you'll surely regret the day
That you didn't take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss,
And you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today, and whisper in their ear,
That you love them very much, and you'll always hold them dear.
Take the time to say "I'm sorry," "Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay,"
And if tomorrow never comes, you'll have no regrets about today.

---Norma Cornett Marek

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Year to Remember

      “Did you hear the news, Beth?” asked my Dad cautiously, eyeing me as if expecting me to know.
“Uh, I have no idea what you’re talking about to be honest.” I responded. My Dad took an intake of breath, looking at me seriously,
“The district changed the school boundaries; you’re going to Fairfield next year.” As if on cue I gasped in horror,
“What?! Fairfield Junior High? But Dad, this is my last year of junior high; they can’t just force me to another school!” He just shook his head at my incredulity as I sank into a pool of tears.

     I was going to be at the top of the rung, the oldest in the school, yet, I would be new!
At first I protested the idea altogether, literally, I went protesting during a public meeting held at Layton High to discuss our neighborhood’s “fate.” Why should I let the unseen district push me around like a child’s play-toy? The fact of the matter was that I  truly was nothing more than a pawn in their hands. Just another number, easy to be moved around the board. It wasn’t long before the hopelessness set in, the realization that I was going to a new school hit me harder than a ton of bricks; there was nothing I could do about it!

     Before I knew it, my time as a knight of Kaysville Junior High was up; the last months with my friends from fourth grade were over. Despite my feelings of self doubt and depression that I faced when I thought of the ominous outlook of attending a new school, there was a little compensation for my situation. In a feeble attempt to make the poor kids in my neighborhood have some confidence, they decided to elect a ninth grader to a student body officer position. With some luck and lots of posters, I became the “new student student body officer!” It was after the election that my attitude changed dramatically. As I had learned earlier, there was nothing that I could do to change the district, it’s not like I could really change the world just because I was “officer.” Like I’d been taught in Kindergarten, I was completely in charge of myself; attitude and all, and I decided that I was going to make the best of what I’d been given. After all, wasn’t there a reason for everything?

     After a long summer of contemplation, and heart-rending worries, it was the night before school! Where had summer gone? Life wasn’t like a train; it was more like a roaring subway that never stopped. Scared completely out of my wits about the quickly fading summer; I prayed earnestly that I might somehow at least recognize one person in all my classes. It was a ridiculous thing to ask for really, but God always finds a way to help those that try.
After getting the least amount of sleep that I’ve ever gotten on a school night, I woke up calm and collected. It was just another day of school, and hey, I wasn’t the only new student out there now was I?

     Well Fairfield was definitely a crazy experience at first. The first day of school was very interesting. I sat in all of my “ninth grader only” classes, yet many kids thought I was an eighth grader, just because I was new. In band class, I felt the full force of all of the staring! The band was a unified team of percussion and woodwinds who had learned to play together over the years. To their apparent amazement, Mr. Earl had let an outsider in, a little green-eyed flautist who had come from an opposing school! Well, it was hard to grin and bear the stares in that class; I was too busy blowing through my flute.

     Even though the first few weeks were pretty tough, Fairfield became my second home in no time! I knew only a handful of officers at first, but that slowly changed as I began branching out. My prayer on the first night of school had been answered and somehow the student body president was in all seven of my classes!

     For the first two and a half months I didn’t have a main group of friends; instead I sat with random kids that looked as lonely as I sometimes felt. Even though I didn’t really mind, I missed having my fun, over-dramatic best friends that actually new me. Maybe I shouldn’t have really missed that, because I got plenty of drama later on!

     Without warning, a quick week of school rolled past, becoming a month, which brought up the first menacing school dance.

     The terrible smell of cafeteria food wafted over all of the junior high students; the stench was terrible, but the smell of nervous sweaty kids had not yet settled. Trying to forget the fact that no boy would ask an unfamiliar girl to dance, I merrily wove my way through couples, asking many random boys to dance. I tried not to let my voice shake as I asked a simple “Will you dance?” question to all of those scary boys. It seemed weird asking them to dance, but unfortunately it was one of my many new “officer” duties. The weirdest part was the fact that I couldn’t differentiate between ninth eighth and seventh graders yet, everyone was taller than me anyway!

     It was at the first dance that I met the first person that befriended me. Picking at my sporty green skirt, I noticed a girl coming toward me. I didn’t know her at all; I didn’t even know what grade she was in. Well it turns out that “her” name was Heather; she had bright red hair and towered inches above me. Ignoring my shyness, Heather walked up to me and immediately burst into conversation as if she had known me for her whole life. Without further ado she declared,
“You have to dance with my brother!” Somehow she didn’t notice my cheeks turning redder than her hair, or my hand obsessively plucking at my clothing. Trying to imagine how shy or genuinely cowardly her brother must be, I was dragged across the flecked white floor by my arm. Wishing that I could sink through that white floor, I finally met the reason for my embarrassment. I was a bit surprised, he wasn’t as social inept as I assumed he must be, but he gave us both a rather penetrating grey-eyed glare; as if saying,
“Heather, you are dead! Another one?!” Politely, the vivacious red-head demanded that her brother ask me to dance. His reply was short and expected,
“I don’t know her.” Unfortunately, Heather was persistent even though I stood there feeling extremely awkward. After a slight pause, she continued trying to persuade him to do something that he didn’t want to,
“She’s Beth, the new S.B.O., now you do!” Now his glare was completely directed at her, contempt written in every crease between his eyes; somehow she had the strength not to pull her own eyes away as she bluntly stated,
“Tyler, you’re being a jerk.” Tyler's next few words were the first he ever spoke to me,
“Hi, I’m a jerk!” and to my disbelief, “jerk boy” asked me to dance. Despite the rather odd introduction, he turned out to be was a pretty funny kid that I grew to like.

     The next month after the dance, I realized how much I really wanted to have a best friend. One day after my geography class, I pulled a girl to the side and asked her if I could sit by her at lunch, biting my lip and wrestling with mountains of self doubt. We didn’t really know each other, but I thought she was awesome, (just because she played tuba.) Just as I'd expected, she gave me a weird look and replied,
“Um… Okay…” Not sensing her skepticism at having a peppy girl like me ask her that question, I was elated.

      I continued being friends with Jess, and in turn earned three new friends that helped to staunch the loneliness of being a new kid. As if on cue, they began invading our lunch table daily. The first new friend was Jason; he became one of my best friends over time. His dark brown eyes always seemed to smile by themselves, and he was a genuinely nice, down-to earth boy. My second new friend was Caleb. His looks practically defined his personality; bubbly and hyper. It was really easy to spot his bright yellow hair and his loud, childish laugh in a crowd, which wasn’t a bad thing! One of Caleb's favorite hobbies was staring off into space; perhaps he was just secretly thoughtful? His wandering mind made me raise my eyebrows a few times, but despite his sometimes dreamy state, he was still a good friend. The third and last friend that adopted me was Joey, he was a bit short compared to most boys and had a tendency not to worry as much as everyone else. He was unique in a good way. Out of the three of my new friends, Joey was the easiest for me to talk to. He became my friend much more quickly than the other two; it made me smile when he actually laughed at my tacky jokes.

     Now approaching was the third term; the year was almost over. My work as an officer became really tough and time consuming. At the beginning of the year, I had been appointed “historian” in my officer class. That meant that I had to gather all of our schools history and photos and put it into the end-of-year slideshow. For two terms I worked, there was an hour every day dedicated to putting familiar and unfamiliar faces on a screen that everyone would see.
The third term was the fastest by far; I worked diligently at the show, and in the meantime, went to those gross, sweaty wrestling matches. I can’t deny how relieved I began to feel when the lunch bell rang, weekends became my best friend!

     Third term dissolved into fourth term, I cracked down on the slideshow even harder, even skipping half of Lagoon day so that I could work on it. My teachers weren’t lenient on me, but I still loved them all anyway, what’s not to love about people that teach you everything you know?
The best part of the whole year (and the saddest,) was the last week of school. It had come so fast, and I just wasn’t ready for it to be over. There were times when I’d been sad and angry, sure, but the pros outweighed the cons so much that tears filled my eyes once more at the thought of leaving another school.

     There were three notable events in the last week. The first was the ninth grade photos. The photographer took the pictures as the sun was rising in the east, blinding everyone who was attempting to look at the camera. We were all tried to shield our eyes while staring into the heat of the sun for nearly ten minutes. Although that was painful, it wasn’t as painful for us as the poor boy that threw up over the side of the scaffolds. Conveniently that happened as we were taking our final picture as Fairfield Junior High’s ninth grade class.

     The second to last event was the “ninth grade dance” where only the big “ninth graders” themselves were allowed to attend. It was the best night at Fairfield by far! That night, I spent the laughing with my friends Jill, Jeremy, Kyle, and Jordan; we had become really good friends, but only Jeremy and Kyle would be attending the same school as me next year. We all tried our best not to feel sad then, as the full realization hit that we were dancing our last tacky junior high dance away. Brushing aside fears of high school, I couldn’t help being happy. The ninth grade dance was the first dance that anybody had asked me to dance all year!

     Finally the last song of the night came, leaving everyone breathless. My friend Joeycame and found me to ask me to dance, but out of the blue, a crowd of people separated us before I could respond to him. On the other side of the crowd was my friend Caleb who stood on his tip-toes and mouthed, “Do you want to dance?” I just yelled over the crowd,
“Sorry Caleb, I’ve already been asked!” Caleb might have heard me, but the crowd certainly didn’t. In that crowd was a motley crew of boys, heading in my direction. They were pushing a tall and rather embarrassed looking boy in my direction, unexpectedly; he walked up to me and asked shyly,
“Can I have this dance?” I turned beet red and said,
“Sorry. I’ve actually been asked to dance, twice!” Not wanting to turn down another boy, I practically ran over to Joey who was still waiting for a response.

     The last day of school was so short, bringing tears of pleasure and sadness. All students (to my relief,) watched the end of year slideshow in awe, making me feel so much better about my hard work. With only a short time left before the summer, everyone signed year books for a few hours.
After all was said and done, my group of four fantastic friends huddled into our little circle outside the school that we had become so fond of.

     Jess cried more than anyone, and we all tried to comfort her. It was unanimous that ninth grade had been the best experience of our lives so far.

     I learned a lot in ninth grade. I learned how to be a leader, and how mitigate petty drama. I learned how to make friends, I learned to forgive, but I never learned how to forget; how could I forget such a great school? At Fairfield I had learned a lot from my supportive teachers, Mr. Thompson Mrs. B, Mr. Earl. Even better than all of those perhaps, I had finally broken my “shy shell” that had completely enveloped me since elementary school. Finally, and best of all, I had had the best year of my life, I had learned to truly love school.

The Book Box

Another terrible poem, I'll admit. I'm just not good at writing poetry when it's required! Oh well, I think it's fun to give people a good laugh every once in a while!

Tape, boxes, covers, papers, strings.
So many unique and different things!
My mouth opens in silent surprise,
Happiness gleams behind my eyes.

I’ve been waiting for the longest time,
Waiting, waiting for the bell to chime!
When I bring out a pretty, splendid book;
I can’t take it in in just one look.

The pages shine whiter than snow,
So many bindings and covers aglow…
What secrets lie in-between these pages?
They’re filled with robbers, dogs, and mages.

Eagerly I sail sparkling seas;
Beside evil pirates with peg knees!
I feel like I’ll be lost forever,
I just can’t stop reading! Never, never!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Prom 2009

Prom really was like the best day of my life, I got to have fun with my best friend all afternoon! I was so happy that Wes was nice enough to put up with wearing a purple vest! Not only did he conform to wearing purple, he wore a bow tie (which I just happen to like better than regular ties!)

Aww! Isn't he so cute?

That was probably my favorite picture for some strange reason, I just liked the fact that it was outside and everything was more colorful (even the dead tree.)

Don't you love the look on his face? It took me forever to try to get the boutonniere on, and I was trying so hard not to stab him!

Here's all the girls in my group, aren't they all so pretty? There were some really gorgeous dresses! Two girls even wore the same dress, (I'm pretty sure it was purposefully.)

When I found out that Wes and I were going with a bunch of juniors, I was a little concerned at first. Well, it turns out that I shouldn't have worried at all! I knew some of the kids from marching band, and I'd known one of the girls from a previous soccer team. The girls in our group were all really nice! Prom turned out to be so much fun! The capitol building was totally breath-taking, I'm way glad that I even got asked!