Cup Half Full


Truth: We all have issues.
Dare: Let's find the bright side to all of them.

Give yourself a point if you know one of those obnoxiously optimistic, constantly cheerful people.
Give yourself another point if you noticed the two alliterations in the last sentence.
Give yourself a third point if you are one of those people.

Like me.

My blog will explore some common issues. More importantly, it will find the bright side to each and every one of them. (Maybe even a solution!)

Welcome to Cup Half Full.

About me: I'm happy, friendly, naive, and dedicated. On my spare time, I save the world and advise Obama. I love people. I also love figure skating, oil painting/charcoal sketching, public speaking, and adjectives. If you want to be my friend, buy me a Disney snowglobe. My time is split between between school/extracurriculars, sports, this blog (my internship for Daily Local!), and my awesomely amazingly fabulous friends. How about you?

Ask me anything

Contribute!

But she’s my uncle’s best friend’s cousin-twice-removed!

Rustin news, kids! As you all should know, school has started. I think I’m just going to leave at it that until the full impact of this realization hits us all…

Onto the blog: Kicking two problems to the side - saving seats and line-cutting. What do they have in common? Well, people who do this usually use the excuse of being related to whoever they’re saving a place for. This currently nonexistent person is (a) their bestestest friend ever, (b) their long-lost cousin’s bridesmaid recently found, or (c) their mother who came all the way from Vatican City just to spend a single precious day with them by waiting in line for groceries. Whatever the excuse, both of these problems are annoying to the person who either can’t sit where they want or lose their place in line.

Most importantly, they’re annoying because we really don’t care what their excuse is. Maybe their best friend is getting ice cream because she’s never had ice cream before. Maybe their long-lost cousin’s bridesmaid is reuniting with the rest of the long-lost family. Maybe their mother is picking out healthy vegetables. Whatever the case, we don’t care and never will.

Now we’re going to tackle two sides to this issue: (1) how to forgive these tyrants, and (2) how to solve your issues.

(1) The best thing to remember when dealing with acquaintances, strangers, or even close friends is that you don’t know where they’re coming from. The whiney family in the waiting room might have a new baby in the family, and he’s sick. They just have to see the doctor before you. The snobby girl in the theater might have just been dumped by her boyfriend. She’s not saving space; she’s saving your health - if you get too close, she might explode on you. (Of course, who sits right next to a stranger in a movie theater anyway? Unless it’s Disney. Everyone loves Disney.) Whatever the reason, you have no idea what’s happened in their lives the few hours before you met them. Whether they’re having a bad day or have a legitimate excuse is not the point. The point is that we all have bad days, and we need to empathize with others.

(2) Politely let them know that seat-saving or line-cutting is unfair to other people who have been waiting way longer than their best friend/cousin-twice-removed/etc. This should usually be enough to shame a reasonable person. Of course, if you’re dealing with an unreasonable person, you could get an authority figure to say something. My advice? Suck it up and deal with it. It’s not that big of a deal. Somewhere down the road, that line-cutter/seat-saver will get what’s coming to them.

Writing these posts make me realize that people are completely crazy and lovable. That’s all for now, fellow cup-half-fulls! Enjoy your first few days of school - that newness and no-homework-ness doesn’t last for long…

Robot dogs, antique shops, and small children

My summer work is over! Pros? More free time to hang out with friends, more free time to be totally productive (or not), more free time. Cons? I’ll miss the adorable kids that I was a camp counselor for.

I work for Camp Invention (inventnow.org), an adorable camp that promotes innovation, creativity, and teamwork between elementary school kids. There are five age groups, and I had the cute little second graders - all 20 of them, with 17 or so boys. Don’t get me wrong - I adore little kids, and little boys are just so funny. But when you have to look out for 17 rambunctious ones for 6 or so hours a day, nonstop, you get a liiiittle exhausted (or a lot).

So in case you haven’t guessed, this isn’t one of my normal blog posts about little problems and how to look on the bright side of them. I absolutely love my job, even when it involves taking little kids to the restroom nonstop, and here I am to tell you all about it!

Camp Invention is a national program, and I work at the East Bradford location in West Chester, Pennsylvania every summer. I’ve gotten the second graders the past 2 years, but my friend (aka another counselor) and I are planning to switch groups next year, which means I’ll get the more mouthy but less clingy fourth graders. The fun thing about that is that I’ll get the kids I first had as second graders two years ago! Yay! It’s actually pretty amazing how fast they grow. The good thing is that they’re still little, so I, at my five foot three height, feel unusually tall. Second graders are sweet, energetic, friendly, and pretty well-behaved… most of the time.

At camp, my group split their time making their own world (creating a clay model to represent themselves, making shops, developing a map, etc.), inventing something that would cure common problems (hey! That sounds like my blog!), exploring ancient games and how we can add on to them, how math/science works into everyday life, and making a robot pet. Sounds like a lot for a group of seven and eight-year-olds, doesn’t it? Well, these kids never fail to surprise me with how quickly they learn. They build/create things and say things that have me going, “I definitely did NOT know that word at their age.” Is it just me, or is the world getting more creative at an earlier age? Whatever the reason, I’m impressed.

For privacy/safety reasons, I won’t go into detail about various kids or use their names, but I can tell you that being a camp counselor is very rewarding. Hearing seven-year-olds say, “I love antique shops! I wish the whole world was antique shops.” or “I have a girlfriend who’s going into ninth grade.” makes the whole exhausting experience SO worth it. (P.s. He doesn’t really have a ninth grade girlfriend, as we found out later. The kids were pretty shocked.)

Anyway, I’m very involved with the Invent Now programs. As part of Key Club (my obsession - if you haven’t heard about it yet, it’s the most fantabulous high school service organization ever), I volunteer with Club Invention - an afterschool elementary school club that teaches kids about architecture, work for Camp Invention, and have fun ripping Duct Tape over and over… and over for little kids so that they can invent robots. They’re all amazing programs, definitely ones I would recommend if you have kids.

That’s all for now, fellow cup half-fulls! I have a Key Club Board meeting this weekend… time to pack for that :)

Don’t start cursing yet…

You and your family are sitting happily in the car, on a road trip. (Okay, maybe you’re getting a little antsy. But so far, no explosive arguments.) Then there’s this random car that zooms out of nowhere and nearly crashes into you before cutting right in front of your car.

Before you start cursing that driver for (a) causing your baby brother to make a racket, (b) causing your parents to start cursing, or (c) putting you on step closer to heart problems, let’s take a look on the bright side.

I know, I know. You’re on a road trip, and some annoying bugger totally cut you off. You’re mad. I get it. Nevertheless, there are some valid reasons to be a mental bugger who cuts happy little families off on their road trips. These all go to show that we really don’t know what people are dealing with, so let’s not judge.

- Reason #1: It’s his 18th birthday. He’s legal. He’s running off to do illegal things (go figure). His girlfriend is sitting shotgun, and he thinks he’s being really cool by almost running a couple people over and causing traffic accidents. His girlfriend thinks he’s being really cool doing all this (go figure). Finally, his older brother spiked his drink this morning, and he’s really not thinking straight.

-Reason #2: It’s her first time on a highway. She got so nervous that she forgot that the brake and the accelerator are totally different. Since her lane was stuck in traffic, she wanted to brake a little and hit the accelerator instead. (Whoops!) The only way to assure that she wouldn’t hit the nice old lady in the car in front of her would be to frantically switch lanes and hope that she can get in front of you in your faster-moving lane.

-Reason #3: His wife is in labor. Enough said? I think so.

-Reason #4: She wants to get in a faster lane, is in an awful mood, and the car in back of her has been honking for the past 2 hours. Needless to say, she could care less if you cursed at her. While this isn’t the best reason for cutting in front of someone, hey - it happens.

-Reason #5: Hey- is that a police car? I think they’re chasing someone…

-Reason #6: His best friend/relative/girlfriend is attempting to do something dangerous, in some kind of danger, or is about to perform a totally dangerous but totally awesome experiment that he just HAS to be there for.

-Reason #7: She doesn’t have the best reason in the world, and even if she did, she wouldn’t tell you. She doesn’t like you, okay? She’s in a horrible mood, her parents just kicked her out, and I wouldn’t curse at her while the windows are down if I were you.

Whatever the reason, we all have those wacky days. What’s more, we all do those things that we look back on and think, “I bet that guy behind me hates me for doing that. Too bad I didn’t have time to explain.” The thing is, these people shouldn’t have to explain. If we all cut each other (and each other’s driving skills) some slack, there’d be less honking, less cursing, and less fuming on the roads - all things that your road trip does NOT need.

——

Pstt.. having a bad day? Try givesmehope.com

Ladies.. want to help out? Try girleffect.org

Everyone else.. going to lend a helping hand? Try dosomething.org

For the rest of you who are bored, head over to freerice.org and be productive :)

ONE: We are PA!

Two - a little bit louder. Three - I still can’t hear you! Four more more more…

No, I haven’t lost my mind. (Actually, you guys can debate that.) Anyway, what we have here is one of my favorite Pennsylvania Key Club chants that we shouted during PA District Tour/Key Club International Convention, which in total was from 07/06-07/11 in Memphis, Tennessee. So do we make keys at Key Club? Actually, yes, we spend all the time of our meetings making, designing, and selling keys. You want it; we got it.

Okay, just kidding! (Sorry, couldn’t resist saying yes to one of my favorite questions!) Key Club is the world’s biggest, oldest, and (no bias) best high school service organization! We focus a lot of our service on kids and helping give them better lives. Our partners are March of Dimes, UNICEF, and Children’s Miracle Network. Right now, Key Club is working with UNICEF on a project called ELIMINATE - which is basically trying to eliminate maternal and neo-natal tetanus. To find more info on the ELIMINATE project (which I highly encourage you to do), check out http://sites.kiwanis.org/Kiwanis/en/theELIMINATEproject/home.aspx. As an lieutenant governor (aka communication link between 9 Pennsylvanian clubs), I got the amazing opportunity to join the rest of my district board in Memphis for one of the most amazing weeks of my very, very long 15-year-old life.

I spent my first week back trying to figure out how to blog about this. How do you put into words one of the most awesomely amazing, fantastically fabulous weekends of your life? (Pst - brownie points if you noticed the alliteration!) So I’ve decided that chronological order wasn’t the best way to approach this. Instead, I’m going to explain what I believe are some of the most important things in a Key Clubber (in no particular order), and show you how this week embodied just that.

First of all: SERVICE. Of course, Key Club is all about service, and I didn’t expect anything less from the convention. We raised $13,769 at a charity walk for Friend a Gorilla, a foundation that educates the world about endangered gorillas. Yes, they’re adorable, but did you know that they’re also a main source of Uganda’s tourist appeal? They are absolutely essential to keep Uganda’s economy healthy, and you can help them out by raising money for Friend a Gorilla. In fact, Friend a Gorilla is sending two Key Clubbers and an advisor off on an Ugandan safari from the Key Club that raises the most (check out kcgorillas.com for more info)! The International Convention also hosted a Service Fair where different projects, clubs, and branches of the Kiwanis family (which Key Club is a branch of) could enlighten us on what they do and what we can do to help. I’ve finally managed to unpack my suitcase and sort through the many, many flyers/magnets/pens/pins/brochures/booklets that I’ve gotten from various Service Fair booths - and let’s just say I won’t be out of service ideas for a long, looong time.

Second of all: CARING. The little things do matter. (Need proof? Check out givesmehope.com or freerice.com) Can you remember a time when someone’s smallest gesture or words either made or ruined your day? Can you remember something someone said years ago that seemed unimportant at the time. I know I can. At the convention, Key Clubbers from around the world met each other at the Meet-and-Greet, where we’re encouraged to break away from our districts and go talk to people from other parts of the world. (Note to the boys: You are the minority in this club. To someone, somewhere, you have an awesome accent. Consider yourself lucky.) At the International Convention, I really felt what my Kiwanis advisor first said to me two years ago when she said that Key Club was a family. Everyone was amazingly friendly, helpful, and (of course) caring. Besides doing service, we Key Clubbers really do care - we love what we do, we love caring for you, and we love you :)

Last but not least: INSPIRATION. There were plenty of inspirers and inspirees at this convention, and I’m pretty sure I just made up two words. Anyway, speakers included UNICEF ambassador Clay Aiken, singer/songwriter Simon Curtis, past Kiwanis International president Bo Schafer (who, by the way, is the most adorable person ever), and now-past Key Club International president Abigail McKamey (who is also adorable). They called us to service, telling us to care for each other, and - in Abigail’s words - to “wake up”. Sure, our eyes are open, but we can easily ignore the fact that somewhere in the world (maybe right next door), there are people in need. We live in a life truly blessed, a country whose luxury in certain places is almost obnoxious, and by the time you finish reading this post, a baby most likely has died of neo-natal tetanus somewhere in the world. The cost to save her? 60 cents (please check out project ELIMINATE). Somewhere in the world, a little boy is giving his friend his shoes because you need shoes to go to school, and they’re too poor to afford a pair each (please check out Soles for Souls). I know International Convention has inspired me in ways I can’t even describe. On the last day, I was running on less than 2 hours of sleep, made it home after two flights and a layover, and was too excited to sleep. In fact, I managed to contact more than half my clubs that night, got to work planning service, and am currently waiting for one of my club officers to call back. I know that service is my passion, and inspiration is my drive. What’s your inspiration?

Finally, I’d like to end my post for today with another spirit chant. Sure, there were amazing bonding experiences with my AMAZING District Board (shout-out to Pennsylvania, we really are the best!), fabulous dances (with awesome 70s costumes), awesome Southern accents, and super-fun trolley rides. However, the one thing that ties this all together is Key Club spirit. So here goes:

Ain’t no party like a PA party

'cause you can't spell party without

PA!

Dear Parking Pass Police…

I would start with Rustin news, but there is no Rustin news. It’s SUMMER! :)

I can barely contain my excitement, and I’m sure the rest of you who are off now are just as pumped. So here’s some summer news: Over the summer, I will be blogging, running, playing tennis, and shopping (especially for hot shoes). Besides hanging out with my friends, I’ll also be camp counseling, attending Key Club’s international convention in Tennessee, and blogging! Sounds delicious, yes?

Now onto the blog! This time, we’ll be covering the topic of parking spaces. I’ll start off with parking places in relation to my school, Rustin. For those of you who don’t go to Rustin, let me explain. Seniors, juniors, and faculty each get their own parking lot. The faculty have parking places right next to the school. The seniors are a bit farther away, but not by much. However, the poor juniors have to walk from the stadium all the way to the school. On a normal day, this isn’t so bad. On rainy days, you might as well be asking for pneumonia. Even so, pneumonia is not the topic for this blog. The problem with parking places was that after the seniors left, the juniors took their sister’s/brother’s/friend’s senior parking passes and thus their spots. Personally, I don’t see why this is so much of a problem. Seniors get out of school seven days before us (five, if you don’t count half days). If the faculty could just turn a blind eye for seven days, everything would be okay. After all, the juniors were still using passes. If the senior parking lot had become a free-for-all, that might be slightly different.

On the other hand, I can see how the faculty are viewing this. Rules are rules are rules, and the last few days need to be just as rule-bound as any other day. Otherwise, people may start breaking other rules, too. Please correct me if I’m wrong. What are other reasons the office makes a gaggle of announcements for the three out-of-place junior cars in the entire senior lot? Let me remind you that our junior class has about 300 kids. 3/300=1% out of place.

Here’s my way to look on the bright side: There was only seven days left of school. Just take the bus a couple of days. It may wake you up early, but (at least for me) you might start paying attention earlier (For me, I mentally wake up around 10 AM). Paying attention=does not fail finals. Yay! Plus, riding the bus gives you so much to talk about. You’ll never believe the outrageous conversations that go on in a high school bus until you actually hear them. They range from cheating college boyfriends to underage drinking to liberal plots to new homework excuses. Interested? Please contact the back of my/my friends’ buses.

Either way, there were only seven days left. Stay optimistic! Summer is right around the corner, and then you can park wherever you want. You know, legally.

Facebook by Person X and Person Y

As usual, starting with some Rustin news: Key Club bake sale through the rest of this school week - yum! Graduation in less than an hour; congrats class of 2010! Finally, Idryo (literary magazine) is selling its magazines; contact Mrs. Turley for more info.

Onto the blog! Today we’re going to be focusing on two recent Facebook trends that caught my eye: the “Like this Status” trend, Formspring, and Facebook fights.

- “Like this Status” usually goes something like “Like this status and I’ll tell you what I like about you on your wall. Use this as your status if you’re [insert your word choice]!!!!!” For those of you who hate your newsfeed being filled up with unnecessary info, this is your worst nightmare. You will see posts from Person X to Person Y like this: “Omigosh i lyke looooooove your beutiful eyezz &&u r lykee sooo awesomez. we shud ttly hanggg some day. haha. haha. yous pretty cool.” Okay, bad spelling aside, this is not something that I want to pop up on my newsfeed. I know that Person X and Y don’t even see each other in real life, but of course, Facebook is not real life. If they want to drench each other in mispelled compliments, could they at least message? This is like PDA. People don’t need to see it.

- Formspring is a little site where you can post anonymous comments and questions to a person of your choosing, provided they have an account. This, by itself, is a fabulous idea, and I applaud Formspring’s creators for thinking of it. However, what started out as an innocent little advice site turned into Person X telling Person Y: “you suck at a person. suckkkkk - anonymous” Fantastic. Hiding behind a computer screen might make Person X feel braver, but this doesn’t make Person Y feel any less hurt.

- Facebook fights are really just amusing. They usually follow this pattern:

Person X -> Person Y: imma beat you up. you betta watch yo back foo

Person Y -> Person X: bring it sucka. i could take you anyday

Person X-> Person Y: yeah? we’ll see who’s the real gansta monday.

Person Y-> Person X: yeah [edited for content] you. [beep beep beep beep]

Their bravery is outstanding. I’m just dying to see this fight now. Oh wait - they don’t even talk in person! Oh wait - there’s a snowstorm Monday. How convenient.

Now, we’ve gotten our complaints out of the way. Here’s to looking on the bright side!

- Even if you hate your newsfeed being kidnapped/mutated by a bunch of huggy strangers, hey - at least they’re being nice to each other. It’s great and fun to find the good in everyone. It’s a way to encourage everyone to be optimistic! That girl who shouts out the answer to every question in school like her life depends on it? Well, she’s smart, she doesn’t care what others think, and she’s headstrong. Bam! That guy who talks about himself at parties like he’s reciting his autobiography? Well, he’s confident, self-assured, and.. uh.. well, you like his profile picture. Anyway, the point is that there’s something wonderful we can find about everyone! The clogged newsfeed might just be worth it.

- When it comes down to it, Formspring is still a great site to ask for advice or out of curiosity. Just please don’t stalk people. That’s just weird. If you’re still bummed out when you look at your friend’s page and see mean comments, try this game I play: Whenever you have time and someone sets their formspring as their status, click it. If you see a lot of mean comments, write a super nice anonymous comment assuring them that the mean commenters are just insecure jerks (which they are). Tell them to stay strong and keep being amazing!

- Facebook fights have an obvious bright side. They’re so ridiculous that I think even the fighters are entertained by them. Of course, they’re a much better alternative than physically fighting it out. Especially if it was a snowy Monday. Here’s a free soap opera for the rest of us, as long as nothing gets serious.

Now, we all have a Person X and Person Y in our lives. Actually, most of us have plenty of these people. Next time you’re on Facebook, just remember that they can’t see you roll your eyes.

Play-by-play of the SAT II’s

Standardized testing: the bane of my existence. For those of you who don’t know what that means, the SAT folks will be happy to refresh your vocabulary. Head on over to collegeboard.com or Sparknotes.

Anyway, I had SAT II’s this morning, so that’s the focus of this blog. My SAT II had 50 questions. So for all of you who haven’t taken the SAT II Math 2 yet, or enjoy watching me suffer, here’s a play-by-play of the question number versus my thoughts:

#1: (Proctor: You may now open your test booklets and FAIL.) (cue dramatic movie music) I still want to live!

#5: Wait. I can do this. Oh my gosh! I can do this! I will NOT fail, and maybe I’ll actually go to college. I want to go to college. This is a good thing! Yay! Logic still working.

#10: You know, this isn’t so bad. (Person nearby has a coughing fit) Oh no. I’m like a germaphobe. What if I get sick? What if I get some new disease named after me?

#15: If I do get a new disease, could I pick the name?

#20: It’d have to be an absolutely delightful name… like Edgar Flumm. I skipped #19. Go back; go back! … Maybe if I broke my arm, I would be excused. I could ask the guy next to me to beat me up. Would that be too obvious?

#25: Never mind, he’s the one who coughed. I do not know how to solve this. I do not know how to… oh wait, I forgot about my calculator. Wow, that makes things much easier! Answer C. (Person in front sighs in relief and mutters “B”) Oh crap, is it actually B? Wait, they might not even have the same test…

#30: I will not die. I will not die. I will not… crap.

#35: I’d really like to go to CVS right now. CVS is walking distance from my house, and this is only a couple minutes of driving time away from my house. Therefore, by the transitive property, CVS is near here.

#40: CVS has those really cute little lotions. I really like the sunflower one. Sunflowers are my favorite flowers. Concentrate! What’s sin^10283109284129038124x. Oh no…

#45: Only five more to go! Finish strong! …You know, CVS should really get some of that new kind of perfume that smells different on everyone (Thanks for the info Amy!)

#50: afsioajerowiajwfiojaoafsdjafis

Afterthoughts: You know, that wasn’t awful. I think I may have gotten somewhere in the 700’s (800 is max). I studied a lot.

There’s your play-by-play! For all you SAT II-victims-to-be, here’s my advice to help you look on the bright side: Pick a subject you’re good at. If you’re not great at memorizing, try something like math or physics. They both focus more on application and understanding. If you have a photographic memory, try for something more fact-based. After making your choice, sign up (of course), and start studying a lot. For the application based ones, get your foundation down, and start studying/sobbing at least 2 months in advance. I haven’t taken any fact-based ones yet, so I’m not sure about those. Nevertheless, some common sense is always helpful:

Do get a good night’s sleep.

Do NOT blow off rest for a hot date with your sister’s best friend’s cousin’s BFFL. (Your proctor the next morning may be hotter.)

Do eat well. Try something heavy on carbs but low on refined sugar. Personally, I love the simple stuff: cereal, OJ, and some strawberries. Eat at a reasonable pace because (who knew?) eating slowly tricks your body into thinking that it’s full. You don’t want it to realize it’s actually starving while you’re trying to find the limit of #27.

Do NOT eat so fast that you think you’re going to lose it. Thus, schedule your morning well. Lay out your clothes before hand, get directions to your testing center, and know that you actually have a ride there. Never assume anything. If you eat too fast, you will turn green while trying to figure out #32. Your hot proctor will think you’re weird. She will not tell you where she got her awesome shoes, EVER.

That pretty much sums it up. Did I miss anything, fellow strugglers?

Chocolate days and annoying siblings

As I promised, this post is going to be about siblings. Just for you guys, I cornered some of my friends in the hallway and forced them to tell me their sibling woes. I am so intimidating with my cheerful smile and 5’3 height.

Besides my own experience with my “siblings” (the kids I’ve grown up with), my friends provided me with some powerful insight. Here’s one friend’s view of the sibling life:

Oldest child: The oldest child must be a role model at all times. S/he is often blamed for the middle and younger child’s mistakes because s/he “should have stopped them”. S/he is under a lot of pressure to set the bar high for her/his younger siblings because they (a) look up to her/him, or (b) love to watch her/him fail. The latter case is more common, and far more entertaining (sorry guys). Therefore, she leads Student Council meetings, the soccer team, tries to get awards in FBLA, and sells chocolate to fundraise for UNICEF on Tuesdays. Mmm chocolate…

Youngest child: The youngest child always, always, gets her/his way. Always. (Am I clear?) S/he is the baby of the family, and anything s/he does wrong is obviously proof of her/his older siblings’ failings to teach her/him right from wrong, even when she gets older. Conversely, s/he has a lot of pressure to learn from her/his older siblings and (a) carve her/his own, unique path, or (b) follow their footsteps (yuck!). When your older siblings have done everything worth doing out of their personal pressure, it’s hard to find something unique to do.

Middle child: The middle child is stuck in no-man’s-land. S/he must follow the orders of the older child if s/he doesn’t want her backpack to be turtled, but s/he must also act out the demands of the younger child if s/he doesn’t want to be called “immature” by the parents. However, this vague job description gives the middle child some leeway. S/he has (of course) the pressure to live up to the older child, but s/he has many options/ways to do that.

Many siblings fight more than they act civil towards one another, but for most of my friends still admit to loving their siblings.

Only on Tuesdays though. Those are the chocolate days.

song of the day: Smile by Uncle Kracker

Hands over eyes does not make you invisible.

To start off, some Rustin school news: Rustin Run: June 5th, 8:30 AM run (pre-register $15/ register there $20), kids 8:00 AM fun-run (register there $8), @ the stadium. 1100 Shiloh Rd, 19382. For more info, visit the Rustin homepage: http://www.edline.net/pages/Rustin_High_School

Onto the blog! Yesterday I went shopping with my friends and heard some, um, interesting stories about siblings. Thus, this one’s topic is going to be “being an only child”. For those of you who have so many siblings that your Mom doesn’t know your name, I’ll cover you guys next time. Deal?

Let’s start off with the only child phenomenon, something that happened to me. Why is it a phenomenon? Because if you, like me, are an only child, that means you were so delightfully charming and wonderfully adorable that your parents didn’t want a second child for fear of having them never live up to you, like me. No bias, of course, but did I already mention that I was one of these awesome kids? …Great. Moving on.

Anyway, the biggest complaints I hear about being an only child are (1) not being able to get away with anything, and (2) having no clue to what’s going on.

(1)Your parents eyes are on you ALL the time. As I type this post right now, my mom is sitting about two feet away and periodically looking over at me. Claustrophobia! Claustrophobia!

(2)You get to high school, and realize you have to take SATs, ACTs, SAT IIs, and AP tests. If you are not yet in high school, by the time you are, you will probably have to take even more, such as SAT IIIs, IVs, and SAT Vpi^2xlog10429183910421093. Because standardized testing is the only way to measure our worth as a human being. (sarcasm) Of course, you have to take these no matter how many siblings you have. But if you’re an only child, you may not realize the SAT IVs, which do not exist yet but eventually will, have 14 essay questions that require you to know the entire history of Cyprus and its surrounding water.

Now looking on the bright side:

(1) Being an only child puts you through an intensely tough training of how to get away with things, starting from taking a cookie from the cookie jars. For those of you with siblings, this means that, no, you cannot just put your hands over your eyes and think that you are now invisible. That doesn’t work for us only children. Therefore, we are extremely adept at getting away with anything when we’re dealing with anyone but our parents (who constantly stare us down - Hi Mom!). We’re probably also awesome at BSing and puppy faces. For those of you with only-child-friends, they are the ones you need to drag along whenever you need to get something out of someone. Because only children are persuasive. Very persuasive.

(2) Not knowing what’s going on teaches you to be very independent. You’ll learn how to ask for information most efficiently and use it to your advantage instead of having your older sibling just sit there and feed it to you. You’ll build up courage for asking random strangers awkward questions, knowing what you want and how to get it, and in short, how to take care of yourself. Independence from your siblings/parents is an important skill for later life. Why? Because my parents said so.

That sums up our post for today! What do you say, only children, have I covered everything? (Disclaimer: If any of younger siblings are looking over your shoulder at this and realize that putting their hands over their eyes doesn’t make them turn invisible… I am not responsible for the consequences.)

Dancing Mondays

Hi everyone!

Wow. I’m excited.

Okay, let’s start out with an overview: This blog is for those of you who need a pick-up. I’m going to go over at least one relatable issue per post and give you a bright side (or solution) to it! This one’s theme? School.

Some people think they have “fat days”. Me, I have “my-backpack-is-ridiculously-heavy-days”. Today was one of those days. I seriously think I get a workout running up and down stairs every day. This is my way of staying in shape during tennis off-season. Pretty effective, huh?

The fact that high schoolers have a ridiculous amount of back pain is an undisputed fact. I’m here to explore why this issue, along with other high school novelties, is just so hard to correct. Here we go:

-The loveliness of Monday mornings: Wake up at 3:00 AM when phone beeps loudly (No batteries!). Try to go back to sleep, fail, and get up to do something productive. Fail to do something productive, and realize it’s time to get ready for school. Stuff the 5 textbooks I brought home over the weekend into my backpack, along with my two binders, gazillion folders, and countless notebooks. Proceed to school via car with my now-elephant-sized backpack, minus the elephant-cuteness. Great start to the week.

-The loveliness of stairs: There are around 1500 students in my school. There are 5 staircases, some connecting all three floors. 1500/5=500. I’m 5’3. We can safely assume that most of those 500 are taller than me. I can’t see where I’m going. I think I may develop claustrophobia.

-The lack of online textbooks: Last year, I had one online textbook. Now, I know everyone complains about them for one reason or another. I don’t know about you, but personally, I’d rather grab a couple CDs than yank a couple of textbooks bigger than my head.

That sums up my complaints. Now onto the solutions:

-Mondays mornings: I think the dreariness of Monday mornings is 99% due to their reputation. We wake up believing Monday to be awful, and therefore nobody makes an effort to make Monday awesome. Can we all go to sleep early one Sunday, wake up, turn up the radio, and dance some Monday morning? Please?

-Stairs: I’m sorry. There is no practical solution to this. Maybe we need an alternate pathway, like a slide.

-Heavy textbooks: …CDs? This one is a no-brainer to me. Textbooks cost around $50 a pop, if not more. There is no way a CD costs that much. CD=good for school budget +brownie points with the people pushing for technology in schools +students minus arthritis=win!

That’s all for now. Remember: Monday… dance!