Thursday, January 27, 2011

I just love how much I'm posting lately!!!

It's still not much, but I'm keeping up with my wish (NOT my resolution because those are dumb). So that is good.

*I went to Wal-Mart with Mom the other day. I love going to Wal-mart with my mom, because I frequently end up getting some little goody out of it that I just love. This time it was a purple pen. A wonderful, smooth-grip, PURPLE pen! Do you have any idea how much more I write when I have a purple pen to write with? I tell you, it's incredible. I'm working on a fanfiction right now. Hunger Games, of course, and I'm really enjoying it. Once I finish I will be putting it up on, because YES, that is a real website dedicated solely to Hunger Games Fan Fics, and that is amazing and so I must post it there, under my same pen name, Migillicutty. But first I have to finish the thing. And before I do that I have to stop note-taking and write more then the first chapter. Hmmm.....

I have a kinda problem with note-taking. Well, not a problem, because it's very helpful, but I can't write more than a few snippets of a book without around 30 pages of plotline, calendars, research, brainstorms, and a rather large summary. Does anyone else share this quirk?

*Finals went great. I got an A in Geometry :) :)

*Kira and I are fighting. I hate it. I'm not the kind of girl who does well with drama, which really only makes it worse because I kinda don't do anything, it makes it seem like I don't care that we're not speaking, but I do and I hate it. I'm trying to just ignore the whole thing and hope it will go away, because that's worked in the past, but what if it doesn't this time? What if she thinks I don't want to be friends anymore? Cuz I really want to be friends again, but I just have a bad way of showing it.

Stupid teenage girl drama. I thought I left that behind in 7th grade.

*I have more John Williams than Taylor Swift on my iPod. What does that say about me?

*I'M OUT OF STUPID FREAKING FRESHMAN STUDIES!!!!! WOOHOO!!!! The problem is, now I have Health taking it's place. Any class that takes me far away from that she-man that used to be my teacher is a good class, but Health is so.... redundant. Now instead of pretending to teach me useless stuff, they are actually trying to teach me useless stuff. Well, it's not really useless, but it is to me, because I have Church for my 'Health' needs, you know? I have church leaders to tell be not do do drugs, sex, alcohol, or tobacco, to make good friends, respect your parents, be responsible, etc. etc. etc. I've been hearing this stuff since I was old enough to walk. So nothing that they teach me in Health is new, and it's frustrating to have them tell me only HALF the truth, as well. If your going to tell teenagers to practice abstinence, you should tell them not to have sex until they are married, not just 'until they are emotionally ready'. Teenagers obviously have no idea what 'emotionally ready' is!
It's so stupid, pointless, agonizing to hear teachers (who never lived my standards and might not have lived or believed the ones the are teaching) try to tell me only half the truth. I know the truth, and the truth is that you should be married first. But all the other kids in my class are not getting that.

And on the other side of the coin, I'm sick and tired of ALL these lectures. I wish I could just hit a button or check a box that says 'Yes. Ok. I get it. No problem, Good job, your lectures got through to me and I'm never going to smoke cigarettes or anything else. You achieved your goal, ok? So STOP GIVING ME THE SAME LECTURE OVER AND OVER AGAIN!!! I passed that test and I don't need to hear it anymore!!! Can we move on to something that I am struggling with?'

*Well, enough of my ranting. This weekend at one of the convention centers, a HUUUUGE group of Mens Choirs are getting together and doing one of the biggest mass choir concerts EVER. There are choirs coming from all over the world. And since they are in town for this thing, a New Zealand College/High School Men's Choir came to sing at LVA today.

Men's Choirs.

They are God's gift to women, ok? And this isn't any old Men's Choir, this is a NEW ZEALAND Men's Choir!!! Do you have any idea how cute New Zealand tenors are???

Pretty freaking cute.

Unfortunately, I was in another class at the time they were preforming. Fortunately my class was right next door. Even more fortunately, if you walk down the hall towards the bathroom you can look through the window in their door, and just drool all over the place. All the girls spend the whole class taking it in turns to 'go to the bathroom' and stare at all the cute (waaaay cute!) New Zealand guys. (And they had UNIFORMS!! Oh my gosh, those uniforms were to die for) It was pretty funny, because as soon as one girl came back from 'the bathroom', three other girls would jump up and race each other to the hall pass :) And no, the teacher wasn't completely oblivious, but he just figured we'd all ate something funny for lunch.

Heh heh heh. :D

*I had a pretty good day today :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

I stand corrected.

Ok, fine. The handbells thing actually was kinda fun. It was pretty much just like the Arizona choir trip I went on back in March, (which I hated at the time but which I loved as soon as it was over) except for handbells instead of choir. The director was good- he talked a lot about they different attitude you need to have for each piece and the way you have to move your whole body to get a good sound. Stuff that applies to singing just as much as handbells and is really, reeeely important.
and I sound like a complete nerd right now, but that's ok.

I had SOOO much fun today! Jessica's mom drove me, Jess, Kira and Katey (another friend, well she's not really my friend but she's Jessica's) up to Mount Charleston and we played in the snow. It was lots of fun, except that there were about a million people there and then Kira got kinda sick (not really sick it turns out, just dehydrated) so we left pretty quickly. But it was fun anyways! And then afterward we went to Kira's house and watched Flipped. Oh my Gosh that was SUCH a cute movie! I loved it :)

I have Midterms starting tomorrow. I'm not excited about that, I'm not that worried about them but I am a little worried about my Geometry test. Well, wish me luck!

-Migillicutty :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Afternoon/Night

One of the few times in the week when I actually have time to blog.

The Super-Awesome Choir is starting up again. We were asked to sing for a pharmaceutical convention (whatever the hack a pharmaceutical convention is) this past Tuesday. We sang "I Hope You Dance" with different words. I think we did good, but it was most definitely NOT our best performance ever. I don't know if you guys know this or not, but its a lot harder to sing a song in an ensemble when it was written to be sung by a soloist. But we still sounded good, I think.
My favorite part however was that it took us out of school! I still had to get up and go in the morning, but I got picked up after seminary, which was awesome. And it meant I got to miss Freshman studies, which is the stupidest class in the world, and Geometry, which is the second stupidest. So that was good.

It's almost the end of the semester. Do you know what that means? It means I'm HALFWAY through my freshman year!

And that I have midterms next week. Ugh. I'm not that worried about the tests themselves, but I hate all the stress.

Speaking of Midterms and Stress, I did my Choir Jury today. For anybody who doesn't know, a Jury is like a musical performance exam. You pick out a fancy-schmancy piece that showcases your abilities and you memorize it and perform it in front of a panel of judges.

I'm not sure if I blogged about my Orchestra Jury. It was suuuuper suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper stressful, and basically ruled my life for the first half of December. Which is why I didn't blog during that time. But I did end up doing pretty good on mine- I got a 90, which I'm quite happy with.

Choir Jurys are less stressful, but still a big enough part of my grade to be worrisome. I did a duet with a friend from Super-Awesome Choir. Not to diss her or anything, but I'm SOOOO never doing a duet again, Not only do you have to worry about your performance, you have to worry about somebody else's performance. Not fun, Not necessary, Not doing it again.

Tomorrow is the first day of the Handbells 12th Night Festival. 8 to 5:45 Saturday, 12:30 to 5:30 Sunday. SERIOUSLY!!!
I will not be there on Sunday because I don't think it counts as keeping the Sabbath day. I will only be there for the ALL-FREAKING-DAY rehearsal tomorrow. Apperently some people have no lives at all, so they spend all their freaking time playing handbells! I mean, I've spent more time then that in a weekends worth or Choir rehearsals, but this is different! Especially since I'm not even going to be at the freaking performance.
I know there are people out there who care enough to go on a choir trip where they have 8 t0 5 rehearsal days. But choir is the kind of thing that you could really REALLY enjoy doing, and maybe make a career out of it. But who ever heard of somebody making a career out of handbells?

That's pretty much all I have to say, but I don't want to end on a negative note so I'll share my after school snack today:

Take a Graham Cracker. Cover with Chocolate Frosting. Stick Pretzels in the frosting. Stick M&Ms in all the spaces not occupied by pretzels. Eat. Bask in the deliciousness of it all as you try not to remember how many of these you've already eaten this week.

-Migillicutty :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

This is Migillicutty's Mom. I've hijacked her post to answer a question someone asked about her education. At first I was just going to answer her directly, but I thought if I did it here we would have a more permanent record, and the person who asked could ignore it if it was more information than she really wanted and she could get a glimpse in to who Migillicutty is. So with all of those good reasons, here is.....

The Story of Migillicutty's Education 3-9th grade.

I really do believe that every child is different and so is every parent and every family, so there's not a formula for how to educate children. I'm going to share what we've done with Migillicutty and why. I think there are some good lessons to be learned. But I'm not saying that this is the way anyone else should do it.

Migillicutty first home schooled in 3rd grade. She had spent the entire summer between 2nd & 3rd grade reading every book the Clark County library system had on Greek Mythology and at one point she told me that she couldn't wait until she was old enough to learn Greek so she could read the Odyssey in it's original. I noticed that when she went back to school it kind of seemed to be getting in the way of her learning. At home she was constantly asking questions and reading everything she could get her hands on, but when she had to be at school all day and then do homework at night there was a lot less time for all of that.

We were moving at the end of October and she wasn't really excited about being "the new kid" so we decided it would be a good opportunity to try home schooling. I bought a Calvert 3rd grade curriculum and we followed it, some, but not super faithfully....

....pause for funny story that sums up Migillicutty very well. The first day we opened the science book to the first page which talked about Robert Ballard and some of the work he had done on Mars exploration. Migillicutty said "oh wow, Robert Ballard! He discovered the Titanic!"

"Oh, I didn't know that, " I responded.

"And you know what's cool?" she went on, "the ship he was on when he found it was called The Argo."

"Huh?.....Why is that cool?"

"You know? Jason and the Argonauts?"

No, I didn't know. She's been the one to answer the younger boys questions about science, weather etc. since she was 7 or 8. And so it was hard to feel super motivated about teaching a child who clearly was doing a fine job of educating herself.

We joined some home school groups that did field trips and park days and there was a girls book club that studied the American Girls books and of course there was church and activity days. And in Nevada you can participate in up to three hours of classes at your local public school even when you're home schooled, so she went to the gifted education class twice a week at school. She was definitely not socially isolated. (Home school parents are always defensive about the socialization criticism since the home school opponents beat that drum so loud.)

The next year we enrolled her in a charter school where she did all her work at home (mostly on the computer) and she had a teacher come once a week to our house to make assignments. This was nice because it gave a little more accountability and relieved some of the guilt I felt when we didn't do everything we were "supposed" to do the year before. And she was able to work at her own pace so she finished up 4rth grade at the end of March. I was hoping that the teacher would let her study what she wanted for the rest of the year. I thought they could come up with ideas for assignments together and then the teacher could just check on them the next week and help her come up with a new one. But she said if she stayed enrolled she would have to move on to the next grade and keep to the traditional curriculum. So we just pulled her out of school all together and let her do her own thing for the rest of the year.

My sister in law who has had kids home school and private school and charter school etc told me once in July that she had no idea what her kids were going to do for school the next year. She said "I haven't asked yet." She said she wasn't ready for the answer yet and so she hadn't prayed yet. In August she prayed and it turned out she found a great charter school that she wouldn't have been able to get any info about in July. I've sort of used that as a model for how I've decided about my kids education. Each year in the summer I pray about what they are going to do for the next year.

And the summer before fifth grade I prayed about it and felt like it was time for Migillicutty to go back to public school for a year. Fifth grade is the last year of elementary in Las Vegas and I am not a fan of public middle school. So I felt like it was the kind of the last chance for her to have good elementary school experiences for a while. It was OK. She didn't learn much academically, but it was good to be reminded what it's like to be in a classroom setting and fulfill assignments on time and have homework, etc.

At the end of the year I asked her teacher if she thought there was any point in Migillicutty going to 6th grade, academically speaking. "Oh no, she's not going to learn anything she doesn't already know." But for some reason, I can't honestly remember why, we didn't want to home school and I certainly didn't want to drop her right into the middle of middle school by skipping her to 7th grade public school, so instead we sent her to a small LDS private school.

There were some really good teachers there that she enjoyed and others that were not so good. She made a couple of really good friends, was mostly ignored by the cool kids and cried when the kids all picked on one boy who was mildly retarded. It wasn't a completely typical middle school experience, but at least she got the hang of changing classes and opening a locker and got some exposure to what kids that age are like-without over exposure. And one year was enough.

The next year she took a sabbatical. She was academically ready for High School but we definitely didn't want her to be any further ahead so she spent the year studying the Irish Potato Famine, how to remove cyanide from peach seeds to make almond extract, learning Greek online, etc.... and studied on her own. I was determined at the beginning to make her do certain things, but without any accountability at all I didn't stick to it very well. We bought a Saxon Math Algebra curriculum and she worked on that. She also took piano and cello lessons, she went to school for choir and orchestra and she was in another choir outside of school. And she studied and made power points and wrote a blog and a very short historical fiction novel just for fun.

And socially she really blossomed. One of the nice things about home schooling for Migiligutty was that she could be as nerdy and intellectual as she wanted at home and then when she was at church or choir or sports she could fit in the the other kids. They know she's smart, but they don't really see it the way they do when she's in class with them, so they can accept her as a normal kid instead of an egg-head.

This year she is in a magnet school for the performing arts and it's the first time she's really loved school. She's in all honors classes and every kid at the school had to audition to get in, so finally she's with other kids that are more like her. She's not sitting in class listening to behavior lectures she's actually learning. And as I said she's at the top of all her classes.

So I'm really happy with the way things have worked out. And I think the key was making that personal evaluation every year of what her greatest needs were. If she had never been to "real" school at all I know I couldn't have provided the structure she needed to be able to transition back into public school this year. Some people could, but I couldn't. However if she had gone to school entirely and never had any "at home" years, she might possibly have lost all of her love for learning. Or maybe not, but she certainly wouldn't have had as much time to pursue it.

And of course, once again, on the social issue, not all socialization is good socialization. In fact a very large part of it-especially in middle school-is negative. Kids learn to adjust and cope, but not always in positive ways. Some kids do just fine, but a lot could probably benefit from a year or two out of school so they can realize that social scene is not really what life is all about.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I want to say Happy new Year on New Years, so... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I would make a resolution to blog more, but I don't like New Years resolutions because they set you up for failure and I don't like setting myself up for failure and I don't see anyway that making that particular resolution would NOT set me up for failure.

So Yeah.

I really would like to get back into the habit of blogging, though. Just for the record.

I went and saw the Tourist today. I was good... sorta. I'm really glad they didn't make it all naughty because they totally could have- but they didn't. And in the world today, that says something. But the last scene... what???? No. Fail.
And that's pretty much all I can say on that note.

I'm glad I went to see it, though, because I went with one of my best friend that I hardly ever get to see anymore. She got me a late Birthday present and guess what it was? A Justin Beiber magazine and Sharpies to deface it with (by the way... how in the heck do they manage to sell a 100-odd page magazine of 100-odd pictures of the same really bad singer???) and LIGHTSABER LIP-GLOSS!!! It's pretty epic. :) :) :)

So that was my 1/1/11.

Yesterday was my first dance. My church hosts dances once a month or so, but you have to be fourteen to attend, so my first one was the New Years Eve dance, which is kind of a big deal. It was a lot of fun, but there were a whole LOT of kids hopping up and down and waving their arms around and whatnot, so it got really really hot in that room! I actually knew a couple of the songs (whoopee!) so that was good...I discovered its a lot easier to dance when you know the song you're dancing to. Most of the dances were solo or square-dance style, but they had a couple slow dances, too. Like literally a couple. Two. I only danced one of them, but he was like a head shorter than me so it was kinda awkward.

So that was my New Years Eve.

My Christmas was spent at my Grandma's house in Utah. We have this family tradition where all the girls come over to Grandma's and we make Gingerbread Houses. They get really fancy sometimes and it's a lot of fun!

Christmas was, of course, excellent. I'm not going to list all the things I got because I think that would be inconsiderate to my readers who probably don't care and plus it's a pain in the neck to me, but suffice it to say Christmas was excellent and I love my family very much.

We went home the day after Christmas, and guess what happened when we arrived? It was really extremely cool. Dad always locks the garage door when we leave town so you can't go in through the garage. So they sent Thelly through the front door to open up the garage. But apparently he needed help or something so they sent me in- and Santa left us all brand-new bikes in the hallway!! It was so much fun, running back to the car and grabbing Scaffy and Monkey and seeing the looks on their faces. Surprise Christmas gifts are by far the best, I think.

So that was my Christmas.

Three days after Christmas was my Birthday. It was kind of laid back: I'm not the type of person who gets all excited over Birthdays. My main interest in them is gaining privileges like going to Dances. But my family kind of wanted to make a special day out of it, so my brothers all did my Chores for me before I woke up. That was really sweet of them, I think. They also all bought me gum (and they have perfect timing- I was running out :) and Mom knitted me an AWESOME pair of fingerless gloves (they're probably going to join my Awesome Twilight-Dissing Jacket as one of my favorite articles of clothing) and I got the boots I've had my eye on for a while.

So that was my Birthday.

Happy New Year everybody! :)