revelation #5

anyone we know could be apart of the witness protection program...crazy.
i never really thought about that till last semester in my cultural anthropology class when we had to sign something saying it is okay for us to be on the internet and mr. wesch said, 'i don't know, for all i know, you could be in the witness protection program.'
interesting and curious.


revelation #4

not really a revelation, but it woud fall under this category but a thought i would like open up for discussion.

what happened to mr.pibb/pibb xtra? where did it go?


more on bobby

i finally got to see the part of the movie where bobby dies, and right when bobby allows himself to fall off the bridge, his mother is praying and this is what she said, 'please keep convicting bobby of his sin.'
i won't even start on what the filmming and camera work do to make christians look bad during this scene but she isn't letting bobby love himself and is making him feel guilty for being honest with her...ugh, that makes me so angry.

this is what happened to the mom

understanding is not agreeing

i have a class with a girl, who is a complete know it all.
she always has the opposite answer then everyone else, and i am starting to think she doesn't really believe that answer, she just wants to be difficult.
we were in the same group and we were given a question about attachment.
she, of course had a different answer then i did, and the other two girls in the group.
it was frustrating because she didn't pick the best option, she chose the option that was easiest. that was not the point of the assignment, but anyway.
the reason for this posting is because she said to me, 'i don't think you understand.'
ha, okay, it is not that i didn't understand. i didn't agree, and then i realized that is what people mean when they say, 'do you understand.'
i didn't agree with her, so obviously i did not understand...clearly. can you read the sarcasm.
i thought of my dad when he says to me,'do you understand me,'
'yes dad, i understand you, but i still don't agree.'
and then he keeps saying the same phrase over and over again until he is sure that i 'understand,' him.
it also made me think of the one and only frank martin, head coach for k-state mens basketball, 'you understand,' is like his catch phrase. he doesn't say it to his players to really know if they understand, he says it to them because he needs to enforce fear, and make sure the player agree with what he is saying, and they can't defy him, because that my friend is disrespectful.
so, understanding is not agreeing, i understand the girl in class, i understand my dads point of view, i just don't agree.
don't get the words mixed up, they are totally different, i mean, 'understand,' alone has five extra letters and one extra syllable.


life group

i am so pumped about my life group this semester.
we started in the beginning of the year and the reason we connected is because we all have a passion for student ministries.
last semester was great because we were just getting to know each other, and getting our foot in the door for some awesome opportunites to hangout with students around manhattan and kc.
but this semester i am even more excited because now that we have a semester under our belt and know each other better, and getting some new members we are more confident in what we do as a group.
i think last semester we were just so caught up in the youth aspect we were only limiting ourselves to what we can do with youth.
now we have ideas like a prayer group once a week...which is so great and is great for me because it gives me the chance to listen to peoples stories (which i love) and then practice prayer.
i have never been a big fan of prayer and i think this will show me that i am silly and will make me more confident in prayer.
now that our group has broadened our horizons a little bit i think our group is going to rock manhattan and other communities this semester and really do what god wants us to do the next four months!

i am also pumped for 12:30 wednesday lunches


i have been looking forward to the movie, 'prayers for bobby,' for awhile.
based on the griffith family in 1979 the youngest son is gay and the mothers goal is to 'cure' him from his sinful nature.
whoa, wait a sec, back up, and freeze...
'he can be cured right?'
solution, spend more time with the dad so they can do 'manly,' things.
this boy wanted to take a handful of aspirin before he told his family he was gay...he couldn't because it was a sin.
'but this is worse,'
'what's going on bobby,' his brother asked,
'i don't dream like you ed, i don't have dreams about girls, i dream about guys.'
'you're gay.'
'see, you even say it like you hate me.'
through all of the efforts to find a 'cure' the parents and siblings cover their shame up with words like, 'you are family, we will always love you' the tone they use is like, 'we don't have a choice but to love you because you are family.'
this kid is struggling with his sexuality and trying to be a the christian his parents want him to be.
he has started running and stopped eating junk food because that could make the homosexuality go away faster.
then there is the mother, 'i can't lose you to this.' she says constantly.
she puts him in therapy, brings girls home for him to meet, puts bible versus on note cards and posts them all over the house, she doesn't realize she is pushing him away with her lack of knowledge and her bible thumping tendencies.
and now because her son is not what she wants him to be, she doesn't even want to be in public with him.
This movie hurts my heart so much because he thinks he is a bad person because of who he is.
no one should ever hate them self, and no one should make someone feel bad for who they are.
people will agree and some will disagree, that is totally okay, i am not trying to change peoples minds about such a hot topic.
i just wish people would take people for who they are and just love on them and be their friend. they can disagree, just don't be judgmental.
'they hate me because of my sin,' bobby said.
'they should love the son no matter what the sin,' said bobby's cousin.
you can guess the ending...what happens to the mom, what happens to the son.
it is a lifetime movie, so your first guess is probably the right one, however lifetime or not...this movie was insightful and tasteful.


one of the best movies

the diving bell and the butterfly
watch it, this movie is incredible.
set in 1997 when the french editor of elle magazine had a stroke and wrote a book with a translator reading him the alphabet and him blinking yes with his left eye and filmed through his view point, the man can't speak, he is completely paralyzed, but his brain is still functioning...amazing. i have never appreciated the art of speech before in my life. how frustrating would it be to have everything done for you, when you are capable to say what you want with your mind, but it can't come out in words; which channel you want the tv, where you want to go, how you want to show emotion, etc.
this is one of the best movies i have ever seen.

before the devil knows you're dead

i'm watching the movie, 'before the devil knows you're dead,' and this movie is crazy good.
it is a movie about two brothers who rob their parents jewelry store and their lives were already in a really crappy state with phillip seymour hoffman's character andy in a loveless marriage who hates his job, does drugs and steals money from his work, and ethan hawke's character, hank who is the younger brother, has no money and is trying to support his child with his nagging ex-wife in the mix, plus cheating with andy's wife.
but throughout this whole film you feel sorry for hoffmans character...the villain of the movie you just want to give him a hug.
you feel sorry for this man because you can tell he always took the back seat to hank growing up with his dad because hank was the youngest.
andy manipulates his baby brother in robbing their parents store, that they used to work at, and know where everything is, and they planned on robbing the store when neither of their parents were going to be working...the plan went haywire when their mother decided to work that one saturday morning.
the brothers get blackmailed for 10k, are on edge the whole time which makes hoffman's character go completely ballistic in that he is about to kill his own brother because he cannot take the pressure of the situation. and yet, through all this melodramatic chaos it is filmed in an unique way, where it doesn't seem so melodramatic anymore. you can feel the tension in the room, but the love these brothers have for each other that turns to hate within seconds.
hawke is just the little brother, you can tell his whole life he was always scared of his older brother, and he always did what andy told him to do, no matter what the stakes.
this movie is amazing because it makes you love the villain, that doesn't happen that often. and then you get to the end and you think the dad, who figured everything out is going to take the high road...he doesn't and you are in complete shock by the last shot and the scene goes black you just sit there.
it is the story of two brothers that are in complete turmoil and have lost complete hope...i mean come on, they are the reason their mom is dead...that is a lot of pressure.
here is what i think the best line in the movie is...where the father figures out his sons are the culprits.

"The world is an evil place Charlie, some of us make money off of that, and some of us get destroyed."

the sons wanted money, instead they got destroyed.


oscars, i am so disappointed

i am so pissed with the oscar nominations.
click here for the list.
-kate winslet got one nomination, and it wasn't even for, 'revolutionary road,'...granted, 'the reader,' has done extremely well.
-leonardo dicaprio got zero nominations....ridiculous
-the curious case of benjamen button got 13 nominations, granted it was filmed beautifully, it was not that fantastic.
-'gran torino,' got what, maybe one nomination and that one nom isn't even for best picture!
ugh, i am so angry with the academy right now, except for two things, 'doubt,' and, 'frost/nixon,' got nominated.
i am not going to be a fan of the oscars this year...and that is no fun at all, it is only the show that presents the best of the best of film and theater with this prestigious award and they snubbed the people who i think deserve it the most, do they not remember, 'titanic,' won all 11 awards. and to snub clint eastwood is like telling willy wonka he is no longer allowed to eat chocolate.


yesterday one of my all time favorite childhood movies was on TBS.
watching it as a 20 year old, this movie still fascinates me, still make me laugh, and i still think the little boy (who is no longer little, in real life he is five years older) is still so so cute.
this movie came out when i was about 7 or 8 and i remember watching it not all that in tune with the message the movie was trying to get across to their viewers.
i remember watching it again and again, when i was 12, 13, 15, 16, 18 and now 20.
still thinking every time that the little boy is cute, wanting the tree house, and actually wanting to be a boy, because this movie is all about boyhood, how boys become friends, how they mature at a natural rate, and at a rate four times more then the average 10 year old.
this movie is, 'jack.'
an a-list movie with robin williams, diane lane, bill cosby, janis from friends, jennifer lopez, and all the little tykes that were in every kids movie of the 90's.
watching it last night, i watched it in a different light...literally, i only had the lamp on not the head light in the living room, but more philosophically, i watched how the kids wanted jack to come out to play and they would not leave him alone until he came out...he didn't come out, how a right of passage for these boys was to eat the most grotesque combination of worms, toothpaste, brownies, whip cream, relish, and whatever else a 10 year old would make another 10 year old eat, or louis...the little boy i still find cute wrote his essay on what he wants to be when he grows up, on who he wants to be when he grows up, "like my best friend, jack, because he is the perfect grown-up."
and then we get to the graduation ceremony seven years later. jack gave a speech that reflected what his tutor said to him when he was 10, 'you will never be normal, you are spectacular. have you ever seen a shooting star? they come quick, but they light up the entire sky, just for a moment."
jack said to his fellow classmates, 'look up at the stars and think of me, live your life, life goes quick, mainly for me, make it spectacular, i did."
and in just a simple little movie that promotes laughter, promotes acceptance to those who are different, and shows that 10 year olds are wiser then they seem, i left the living room thinking, have i made my life spectacular? not yet, but i had along with the other kids that jack didn't was time. when i am 28 years old, i will not have the body of a 112 year old, but that doesn't mean my life couldn't end up short.
i love going back to the movies that helped shape my childhood, because i always learn something new.



so i just watched obama's speech and it was very good. i didn't get the tingling feeling that i got from watching mlk jr. or kennedy's, but maybe it is just one of those things that it won't sink in for awhile. i really appreciated him covering all people...faith, no faith, skin color, etc.
I am so pumped for today, i cannot believe that my first election was this election, it was a great start to adulthood.
i did however have a little bit of a head jerk when the prayer was being said, i don't know who said it, but he said this, "whites will learn what is right," something of that effect, and it just kinda bothered me.
before he said anything about whites, he said a one-liner about blacks, browns, yellows and reds, and they were all about having justice and being equal and then the guy said that about whites...and i didn't really appreciate it. i can't help being white, just like a black-american can't help being black.
i will be watching the innaguration recaps all day, so i will be able to hear speechs multiple times, which will help me learn.
it was a great hour of history, i just need to chew on it for a little bit and then i will finally know the true importance of today.


family studies and human services.

let me tell you the things i can't do, and or have no desire to do...
i can't figure out a chemistry problem...the basic of chemistry...i can't do it, not off the top of my head i can't.
i can't grasp the idea of learning how to become a surgeon and how to use the utensils a doctor needs to learn for surgery
i can't go to a lab and work with the embryos of a fish to try and find a cure for something.
anything that has to do with engineering...forget it, i can't do it.
drawing, painting, sketching...i was not given the talent of being an artist that works with their hands.
i have no desire to learn how to be a dentist, a financial advisor, how to work in PR, or how to run my own business.
now, let me tell you what i can do...
i can listen to someone for hours.
i can help people help themselves.
i can give advice to the best of my ability.
i can be patient.
i can understand the mind of a 12 year old.
i can write a book.
i can read personalities like no ones business.
i can work with people.
why am i ranting about the things i can't do and the things i can...because,
i am a family studies and human services major. i want to be a therapist who works with middle school students struggling with whatever is happening to them at that moment.
i know a few people who think i have the most ridiculous major that doesn't lead to anything and that is so hurtful.
yes family studies doesn't have equations, or definite answers to the questions asked...it is more everyday information that has to do with life, not how to find, 'x' on an obtuse triangle. it is theories and philosophies that turn into statistics about the world around us.
the classes i take, i enjoy, the classes i take i will remember, not because i have to, but because it has to do with the world around me and how the world works.
i hate when people who major in family studies bash their own major...if you don't like it, then don't major in it.
i also hate when people who aren't family studies majors criticize our major and say it is the easiest and doesn't take a lot of work...that is a total lie. i would love to see someone who is amazing at numbers try and take one of my classes and do well in it.
yes, engineering is harder then family studies...i mean that is just how it is, but family studies is hard in its own way...it is difficult in the subjects we talk about...child molestation, date rape, divorce, suicide, media influence...do you want me to go on?
i am so frustrated about how many times i have to defend my major. i love my major, i love the concept of being able to do what i want to do and i love that family studies is so broad and it opens so many doors.
family studies is the major that is all about working with people...that is the hardest job of all, learning how to work with different personalities and trying to do the best for everyone we come across,'specially wanting to be a therapist, i am going to come across a lot of stories that i am not sure i am going to be able to handle. that is why i am here to learn how to become a therapist and learn the tricks to make those relationships strictly professional and not get to attached.
so, no, i can't get through a semester of human body without failing, i can't get trough an engineering class about cement without failing, i can't get through organic chemistry, or a senior level economics class without doing poorly, but i can relate to people...not that people who take organic chem can't, it is just, i have the patience to listen to people and their stories no matter how ridiculous i find the issue to be...can a lot of people say they enjoy that? i don't think so.

revelation #3

i was at a party last night and it occurred to me...like it has before, but not like this,
i know what the point of college is...it is to learn to become what we want to be for the rest of our lives, but i had never really thought about it.
last night i saw two dynamics of the college student.
we were playing beer pong...some of us, the others actually follow the law of underage drinking and while we were playing one of the guys had his notes out to study.
it was weird, he was at a party, but he was studying and that is when the thought of, "we are here to become what we want to be," flooded my brain.
i looked at the pre-med majors, the pre-pharm major, the nursing major, the mechanical engineer major, the electrical engineer majors, the pre-dental major, the secondary-ed major and the family and consumer science major, and never in my life after college will i be in a room this diverse.
why this was a little bit of a Revelation was because of what we were doing.
we were playing beer pong. the simplest of games, but on tuesday we would be back in our classes learning how to become the specific profession that we have chosen.
deep down we are all still kids with the rest of our lives still in front of us, and we still find pleasure in winning a stupid game like beer pong, and who can get the ping pong ball the quickest when it falls to the ground, but we soon turn into adults when we are in the classroom learning organic chemistry, or how the brain of an 8 year old works.



one of my favorite shows that got cancelled was this show called, 'Jack and Bobby,' no, it is not about the Kennedy's.
i am a quotes girl...i love them, i pay very close attention to dialogue in film and television, and a quote from this particular show has stuck with me.

"i would like to offer you a thought to take with you, listen carefully.
you will fail here, all of you. college is not a combination of your high school career, it is the beginning of your adult life.
only it is a slow, sweet process that feels nothing what life and its attending obligations you will eventually put in.
so, fail here. be bad at things, be embarrassed, be afraid, and be vulnerable. go out on a limb, or two, or twelve and you will fall and it will hurt, but the harder you fall the farther you'll rise, the louder you fall, the clearer your future becomes.
failure is a gift, welcome it."

i have been told twice, by someone in my famly that i will fail. the first time being in high school and them saying to me, i will fail at life. no, i won't fail at a task, or in a class, but in life. how can someone say that to a 16 year old girl who already has enough crap going on in her life.
the second time by this same person told me i would fail was over christmas break.
"maybe college isn't for you, if you keep making these grades, you will fail."
it sounded all to familiar and this person is a jackass for thinking they are helping me by telling me i am a failure.
after the first time they said it, i told myself and them, that i will not fail, i have gotten this far, i don't have time to fail.
yes, failure will happen, trust me, i have failed a many of times. however, for someone to say that to me, has made me even more eager to succeed in everything i do.
i have to remember...ready for another quote...that, "the key to failure is trying to please everyone," said by the one and only bill cosby.
i have stopped trying to please this person for a long time, i stopped the day they told me i would fail at life. but, i have to remember we learn more from failure then having success and i am not done learning, which means, i am not done failing. i just have to make sure when i fail, i tried my hardest to succeed, and then not get discouraged. life isn't about succeeding, it is about learning from failure.



i'm torn.
now that i am back in manhttan i feel more at home then when i was in stilwell where my family is.
when i am in manhattan for a long period of time i cannot wait to go 'home' (stilwell), i love stilwell because my parents of course, my home church, and that is where i see my two best friends the most.
when i am in stilwell to long, i am ready to go 'home' (manhattan).
manhattan is where my school is, and my life. so, wouldn't manhattan be more of a home then stilwell?
i don't know what it is. stilwell holds my family, my history, and in a weird way my identity.
manhattan is my world, where i have closer friends then i ever had in stilwell, where life is leading me, and where i am learning and growing.
this isn't a strange concept.
i think a majority of college students have this same thought, of where home really is.
i am back in manhattan, i have only been here for a week and within the past 6 days i have had a better time then the four weeks i was at home in stilwell.
break was great, because i got to hangout with my middle schoolers and my two besties more then i have since the summer, but...
life has just been amazing this week.
i love my classes, i love my schedule, i have a better relationship with my parents when i don't see them everyday...that isn't a bad thing, and my friends are incredible.
i have to say for this time, this chapter in my life, manhattan is my home.
struggling about feeling important doesn't affect me as much when i am in manhattan, it does a little, but it would happen anywhere.
surrounding myself by the right people has realy helped. i never really had that in stilwell.
my christmas break was very thought provoking, which brings me to my resolutions...which i don't usually make, by the way.
-i want to cook more, i'm good at it and it's fun
-i need to be better with money...boring, but true
-stay in better contact with my middle schoolers
-be more outgoing...i am way to introverted

talking (interesting word choice) this out helped. i need to remember through my past few posts, people like me around, i wouldn't be loving life right now if i didn't feel i belonged.


the start to 2009

so the past three weeks...the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 has been a little ridiculous.
there has been so much thrown at me, it is a shock i haven't gone awol yet.
i am also not starting my semester well because i am not going to sleep at a decent hour...i am still working on that one.
today in the car however i had an epiphany.
even though there has been one struggle after another the past few weeks, it is okay.
god doesn't give us anything we can't handle, and then it hit me...these are the first struggles of my life that i have not resorted to cutting.
it was so awesome, because all break i was getting so frustrated with the question, "why is all this happening now?"
i mean it has been one thing after another.
-my phone bill was astronomical.
-i dropped my phone in water.
-the people i love around me have been struggling with stuff too.
-my savings account is drastically dropping.
these are just some of the small things, there have been a few really big ones that have been taken care of.
but the past couple weeks have been a little humbling and encouraging.
encouraging because this means i can get through anything without cutting and that is amazing.
it is also encouraging because i finally figured it out...god did this on purpose to prove to me that i can get through all of life's challenges and come out fine in the end.
jesus is pretty cool, but you probably already knew that!


the golden globes = almost a perfect 10

kate winslet won two golden globes tonight and her second win was best actress in a movie.
her speech was a tear-jerker, heartfelt and nerve racking...she just didn't know how to handle her win, considering she has yet to win an oscar.
after her moving speech of love for her husband and her work with leonardo dicaprio, rainn wilson and blake lively come on stage and rainn says this, "hello, we're tv actors." and then went on with the teleprompter.
it would be rainn wilson to almost ruin an amazing moment in kate winslets career.
nice work rainn...said with sarcasm and annoyance
the golden globes have been exceptionally amazing this year, with, "slumdog millionaire," bringing the indian culture into america, steven speilberg winning the top award...watching his film clips was incredible, there has not been a more influential filmmaker in the history of film making, and there have been some amazing ones, and of course the made for tv movies just busting with amazing talent...and people wonder why i love the cinema so much, just watch, "doubt," "slumdog millionaire," "john adams," "milk," "frost/nixon," and, "revolutionary road," and you will know what i'm talking about.


a conversation

aunt sherry- "receptionists are suppose to be blond, perky and painted fingernails."

uncle bill- "or the bosses wife because she doesn't trust him."

aunt sherry- "yeah, because he hires the perky blond with the fingernails and takes her out to lunch."

-yes, my moms side of the family...if you were only here.



i woke up today...with the mind of a high schooler.
in other words, i woke up in the time it takes to get dressed and ready for that first bell to ring at high school.
however, i made it during first hour...i'm not in high school anymore, i don't have to follow those rules.
being in my high school was very strange. i don't really miss high school, i miss the building and the tradition that comes with high school.
i have been out of blue valley for about three years and i had to go back today for some documentation from the school psychologist...dr. chin.
i walked into the doors and i just stood there, soaking the hallway in, looking at a very important bench that was a crucial part of my senior year and then i started walking down the main hallway.
one of my former teachers walked towards me and i was hoping he had to take a second glance, but then i remembered he had the entire hallway length to figure out who i was.
he knew who i was right away, which was comforting in that i forget how much my teachers liked me and wanted to see me succeed.
i got to dr. chins office and of course he wasn't there...he never is, but i ran into yet another teacher who knew where my envelope full of stuff was...mrs. witcher.
i always love seeing her, she always knows the right things to say and she knows all about my academic struggles from high school and in college.
i got what i needed and could have left, but there were two more teachers i had to see, and i just really wanted to walk the hallways of blue valley high school.
because of all the school shootings that have happened over the years, the school has become a lot more strict, i used to never have to sign-in.
i had to sit in the office and wait for a teacher to come get me...it was odd, i never had to sit in the office, only once in high school and i never wanted to again after that.
it happened to be where i was sitting was where the three I.S.S students were, and i felt like was sent down to the principles office. i made sure when people asked that i was a college student.
why was i worrying what the teachers thought, they never had me as a student, who cares.
i walked to my teachers classroom...escorted by her and it was different. i am a junior in college and she is still a new mom and of course an abundance of things have changed, so it was a very good adult conversation. i wisped myself over to my old history teacher mr. peres classroom, who is a major reason i went to emporia state first and stuck with family studies, and he was the teacher that edited all of my high school papers.
these three teachers: mrs. witcher, mrs. rabbitt, and mr. peres are the ones who knew me best, they didn't just know me on an academic level but they where the teachers that invested the most time in me. every student at blue valley high school can say that about at least three teachers.
i was done visiting when the big shock was about to arrive. i walked down the horizontal main hallway towards the lunch room and the cafeteria...which is much nicer then when i was there, by the way.
but there it was, in all its glory...the band hallway.
i spent maybe around 80-90% of my time in that hallway, the band room, and the ever so glorious drum closet.
there were new lockers, no trophy case, there was carpet, and it was like all the tradition that my class, class of 2006, built up and tried to continue from year past was gone.
the worst was walking into the drum closet. it was clean, and there were no picture on the wall and our collection of energy drinks disappeared and at that moment, i realized, i know longer missed this place.
of course i miss my teachers and i will always remember the experiences i had...my high school career was a book in the making.
i looked in the drum closet and it was like i never existed, my locker was replaced, the wall of shame was gone. and i no longer felt a need to be there anymore.
i wasn't holding on to anything that made me want to go back to the high school. when i go back it means i have to pick something up from the office, and i do try and stop by witchers, rabbitts, and peres classrooms.
i was also able to watch the teenagers around me...a couple making out, boys running in the hallway, a girl saying,'why is she being so dramatic?'
at that point i felt very old, but i know so much more then those high schoolers, because i conquered that school, i graduated, there are things i know now about bvhs, that those students didn't and it felt really good.
i had one more place to go at my school and that was the tree garden.
i needed to visit kyle.
the tree garden is for any student that died while attending blue valley and kyle died april of 2006.
i just stood there, no emotion was running through me.
i wasn't sad, or angry, jealous, or happy, and i no longer felt sorry for myself for the way i treated kyle...we had a weird friendship...if you can call it that.
being at my high school brought everything back; the classes i took, the screw-ups i accomplished, and the great things i accomplished, how i looked in high school, how i treated the people around me, everything. i went by my old locker while walking through the senior hallway and i no longer missed the walls and tradition of blue valley high school.
since i was in the mode of visiting teachers, of course i had to visit the best teacher of all.
the teacher i had, had since 5th grade, the teacher that has influenced and inspired me the most...mr. strain, my percussion teacher.
he now works at the middle school, which is so weird considering they only time i didn't have him as a teacher during the day, everyday was in middle school.
he is like mrs. witcher, he always knows what to say, but with him it is different. he asks questions relating to me, not just academically, but because he knows what would happen if i was upset about something or if something life-altering happened, he knows how it affects me. i mean come on, he has known me since i was 10.
i walked through my past today and haven't regretted anything from it ever, and i still don't.
i am now at the point where i don't need to go back to those places that i was in 3,6and 9 years ago.
today was a good day, a day to finally say goodbye to my childhood.


read this article

A generation adjusts as teens confront a harsh economy
-usa today
SAN ANSELMO, Calif. — The late-afternoon sun flicks finger-like shadows into the steel-and-glass study hall at Drake High School. A dozen students fiddle with pencils and hair clips. One teen breaks the silence.
"I had no idea until I walked into this room today that everyone felt this was such a big issue for them," says Lindsay Rogers, 15.

A few seats away, Dani Curtin, 16, nods. "On the surface, your friends make you feel they're doing well. But I guess you see very quickly it's affecting everyone."

The elephant in this room is another big E, the economy, which for today's teens threatens to upend everything from social habits to college plans.

Perhaps never before has a generation that has wanted for so little — these offspring of acquisitive Baby Boomer parents have amassed cellphones, iPods, laptops and a perceived sense of entitlement — been forced to give up so much.

-we are a generation that knows what we want...it has been said we expect a different way of living when we're older, and that is what i always thought, we are the generation that will get what we want-

But far from paralyzing teens, the new fiscal order finds them embracing these leaner times. Instead of tuning out, teens are eager for parents to share the sober details of family finances. Instead of whining, they're clamoring to help by cutting back on outings and getting odd jobs. And instead of moping, they're shifting expectations for the present and banking lessons for the future.

"The only time there are arguments in the house is when it's about money," says Caitlin Morgan, 17. "So at least now we're all talking about what we spend on which expenses, and what needs to be done to make it through this year."

-i love our generation, a lot of people don't, which is interesting to me because our generation has had a lot happen to us in the past 20 years, that didn't happen in our parents. this is just one more thing to add to the list.-

That the economic meltdown is having such a vivid effect on teens in Marin County, among the nation's wealthiest, shows the breadth of the financial crisis. In previous downturns, upper-income families seldom felt the need to cut back. But today a record 51% of consumers making more than $75,000 a year say they'll spend less on discretionary entertainment, according to a recent Discover U.S. Spending Monitor survey.

For the kids from Drake High, 2009 already is filled with dashed expectations.

Morgan had planned to travel to Scotland with her family to visit a sister. They're assembling a care package instead. And although the senior has just been accepted to Stanford University, the hit her college fund took last fall may jeopardize that dream.

Similarly, senior Jenny Marshall, 17, also has to change her college expectations from private to public, while a sister in a private university may be forced to reconsider.

College may bring bigger changes for others: "I know a lot of parents who are saying, 'The minute you go off to college, we're moving' " in order to downsize, says Marika Lee, 17.

For seniors, pricey prom season looms larger than ever. "I've gone since freshman year, but tickets are expensive, and then there's the limo, the shoes, the dress," says Maddi Wachs, 17. "I can see things being much lower-key this year."

With snow falling in the Sierra Nevada, Laura Hunerberg, 15, had visions of hitting the slopes with her family of six during February's winter break. But that Lake Tahoe trip is nixed. "We'll just stay home," she says. "It could be nice."

Staying home is the issue for Stephanie Blazek, whose relatives live in the Czech Republic. "We used to visit them every year, but now we don't know when we can go," says Blazek, 17. "It kind of stinks, because my grandparents are old."

But finding a rainbow in this fiscal storm is proving a teen strong suit, says Madeline Levine, author of The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids. She says parents may be surprised by the therapeutic effects of tough times.

"Kids will rise to the occasion," she says. "Teens not only want to pitch in, but also prove they can take care of themselves."

Teens can't revive a dying investment account, but they can help take the sting out of day-to-day living. That's what drives Morgan Shahan, 17, to eschew malls in favor of thrift shops. Or Blazek to pass on movies with her friends and invite them over to play board games instead.

Packed lunches, part-time jobs and walking are in. Restaurants, allowances and driving are out.

"Things are a lot cozier now," Ben Green, 17, says with a laugh. "The standard for what makes a great weekend is a lot lower. Video games with a friend are it for me. But it's OK."

Scaling back has its psychic rewards. "This is a wake-up call to how much we had," Marshall says. "I've stopped shopping, and it feels good."

So does talking about their shared predicament. "Except for boy-girl relationships, the economy is the No. 1 topic with kids right now," says Jim Taylor, vice chairman of The Harrison Group, which canvasses young gamers for its market research surveys on behalf of interactive entertainment companies. "What we're seeing most is the rise of Mom. She's drawing the line on the frivolous spending. But many kids seem to welcome that."

Frugal is cool, says Mary Ann Romans, a Pennsylvania mother who writes the Frugal Living blog for Families.com.

"Some kids actually compete to see how cheap they got their jeans, or who managed to find an iPod on eBay," she says. "I realize that some parents would prefer to shield their kids from what's happening and not worry them. But teens can tell how it's affecting their parents, and they feel uncomfortable not helping in some way."

After sex, "money is the least favorite topic among families," says Judith Sachs of website Parenting Teens Online. "But it's important to realize this is not likely to be a momentary crisis. It's an everyday sense of doom and instability, and it's best to deal with it head-on."

Sachs suggests empowering teens by including them in belt-tightening plans, whether that's arranging carpools or walking neighborhood dogs for money. "America is rooted in the notion of sacrifice. People will get through this, and it's important to involve the kids."

Donna Richards pays her five sons a quarter whenever they find a light on in their Gaylesville, Ala., farmhouse. "And there's no more Coke, it's Kool-Aid now," says her son Michael, 13.

The Richards home has a few other new rules. Instead of buying books at the big-box stores, Mom hops in the family Prius for a trip to the library. Those frequent treks to McDonald's have been eliminated. School snacks take a smaller bite out of the family budget now that the Richards kids bring food from home.

"You hear 'recession' and 'depression' so much now, so I guess it wasn't a surprise when my 9-year-old asked me, 'Are we going to be OK?' " says Richards, who along with her husband runs a mobile home dealership and transportation company. "You want young kids to stay young. But this is being forced upon them. So the best you can do is be open and honest."

Heidi Kahme says her family is "comfortable," and her husband's job as a bankruptcy attorney is, fittingly, thriving. But nevertheless, the Kahmes' new habits — checking food prices, cutting back on trips to the nail salon — have become a part of their daughters' lives. One, at least.

"My youngest, Samantha (14), is a total saver, and we joke she'll need to hide her money because we'll have to dip into it," says Kahme of Hopewell, N.J., who works for a community non-profit focusing on drug and alcohol prevention. "My eldest? She's a typical girl. She loves to shop."

Becca Kahme, 17, admits as much. "I wish I could spend on stupid things," she says. But she's doing her share, forgoing trips to trendy Abercrombie & Fitch and hitting Forever 21 instead. "I rent DVDs now, and come home from school for lunch when I can. I guess we're growing up early."

- this is where i started to get upset with the article

The students at Drake High School would agree. That can't-always-get-what-you-want slap in the face can sting, as it recently did for Morgan, who sees Stanford slipping away.

"I guess you could say I was naive; I thought that between my parents' savings and loans, things would work out," Morgan says. Her college cash shriveled by 40% in the market crash.

-this girl was not naive in wanting to go to a great college, between her parents savings and loans they probably did have enough money to send her, but because of what is happening right now, she might have to wait a year.
this is what the recession is doing it is allowing dreams to collapse and in young adults and that is not okay. parents should be honest with their kids saying an expensive school might not be able to work right now, but we will get you to where you want to go. it is so frustrating when crap like this happens and it affects young adults in a way that makes them give up on what they want to do or what they want to achieve.

Classmate Cassidy Kakin, 17, had hopes of attending the University of California-Berkeley. "Now a community college is more like it," he says, shrugging. "I have a job at a restaurant, so I hope to save some money for college. But the other weekend there wasn't anyone in the restaurant eating."

For students such as Curtin, who shuttles between her divorced mother and father, family dinners have a new, distant feel.

"My mom sells jewelry at Macy's on commission, but no one's buying, so she had to take a second job," says Curtin. "My dad runs a trucking company, but he's had to lay people off and now works late. We don't talk as much. It's like we're all separate from each other."

Hunerberg shares a similar saga. Her father designs packaging and has had to put in more hours of late. "There aren't as many family dinners," she says softly. "I feel I should do more to help."

Rogers says her parents are "closed off" when it comes to discussing financial matters. "They want to protect me, and I appreciate that," she says. "But if it affects my life, and this financial crisis does, then I want to know."

It's getting late now. Classes are over. Some kids head off to sports practices. The sun continues its westward journey toward the Pacific. As she packs her backpack, Hunerberg offers a thought that belies her 15 years.

"We as a generation will come out of this wiser and smarter about our own financial strategies," she says. "I'm sure of it."

Green smiles, adding, "It's always darkest before the dawn."

Descartes? Jefferson?

"Um, no," he says. "I think it's Batman."

-the ending is amazing...again we have an amazing generation, we have a generation that doesn't give up and we know what we want. I mean, come one, quoting batman, that is so great. the world i live in surprises me everyday.-


am i important

one of the biggest things i struggle with is questioning my importance in the world.
with my family, my friends, what i do with my time, who i am as a person, etc.
sometimes i just feel really out of place, like i just don't belong, not that i was born in the wrong time or anything, but why was a born at all, what's the point?
in high school, my friends were my youth group...you know who you are.
i didn't have a lot of friends in high school and if i did, they were more acquaintances.
i had this one friend in the youth group who has been my best friend sense we were little.
it hasn't been sense i started going to k-state where we really started hanging out on a regular basis.
in high school they witnessed everything i went through, all the crap i brought upon myself, they have been there and know my history first hand.
in high school i knew, or i thought i was important to them.
i didn't realize this person had a completely different life i didn't know about. how would i? i didn't go to their school.
the friends i have now didn't know i existed in high school, they were/are friends with this person, and i was friends with this person, but there was no connection. it is like this person was living two lives.
they weren't embarrassed of the two lives, they were just never brought together.
but it is crazy things like that, that make me feel less important in this world.
i know i am important to this person...because i don't think anyone has a friend that isn't important to them, then they wouldn't be a friend.
but was i, was i important to them in high school? not that i am conceded and thought they should have mentioned me around their other friends, but for my friends now to not know anything about me, or who i was before we met, for some reason really affects me.
i talk about my friends a lot, so when my friends connect they already kinda know one or two things about them, so when i realized my group of friends now didn't know anything about me, yeah, i guess it hurt a little.
but maybe that is what i think everyone else does, which makes me ignorant, but that is a whole other topic in itself.
i am important, and i know my friends like me around, but in away i am still the outsider, i am still building roots with them, when they have known each other for years.
it is hard to believe that sometimes, not because of anything they do, they are still getting used to me also, but i never really knew how much i struggled with feeling important, or feeling like a burden until i thought of this example.
i think this whole topic of importance and feeling left out is really getting to me now because i feel really disconnected from my friends and in the next few months i think i might have to find another place to belong and that is my biggest struggle.

a glimpse into my extended family

there are sometimes when i really appreciate how my parents raised me.
and that is when my moms side of the family comes to visit.
some lines from tonight

'who knew boobs needed knee pads'
'i think his son was a year younger then me, remember when he stole the sheriffs car and ran it into the pond?'
'yep, that was bernie the under-taker'

these are just to name a few...that aren't the worst ones.


love at 15

-best part in the video...the cymbol crash!

there is this show called, 'the secret life of the american teenager,' and it is revolved around 15 year old amy getting pregnant...stereotypically at band camp. that is what this show is...one big stereotype.
teenagers having sex at band camp.
the drummer being the bad boy.
christians being judgmental and preachy.
the jock being stupid.
the cheerleader being a tease.
the younger sister doing anything she can to get attention.
good girl getting pregnant.
when i first watched the premiere last year, i was intrigued, i watched that one episode in disgust of what they were putting on television and how unrealistic this show really was.
what got me was the cheerleader...grace, a purity-ring wearing-perfect family- anything done that is slightly wrong is a sin-dating the head football player- christian. the portrayal the writers made christians in this show the first season was absolutely ridiculous.
in one episode you have this 15 year old marching into an abortion clinic screaming at the receptionist saying what amy is doing is a sin in the eyes of god, and that she is a murderer....it was not only terrible writing, but terrible acting.
did i mention her boyfriend is a christian too, but is having a hard time staying pure and he explains his religion using words like; regret, smite, and judgment, nowhere does he say grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
besides that story line there are so many other plots happening it is hard to keep your head on straight.
some story lines are completely bogus and some are pretty accurate...i applaud those specific story lines, because you don't see them that often that aren't completely off base...cheating parents for instance and foster care just to name a few.
i decided to give this show another shot, so i kept watching it and the acting was still terrible, but what do you expect these actors...who are the correct age for their roles, have never really acted before...give them time.
as the first season went on, amy started accepting more and more that she was pregnant and that the world around her was falling apart, except one thing...or person, ben.
ben is the only reason i watch this show. he is optimistic, kind, doesn't have a lot of friends, kinda geeky, a romantic, and along with amy has had his fair share of hardships...losing his mom.
out of all the relationships not only in this show, but on any show, ben and amy's relationship is the most real. yeah, they're fifteen and people say 15 year old's can't fall in love...i disagree with that, but that's me.
i know it is a tv show and it isn't real, but watching these two stick it out through all the crap 15 year old's have to go through is amazing...did i also mention ben is not the father.
tonight was the season premiere of the second season and in this episode ben and amy get married. yes, very unrealistic, and not the best decision ever, but watching the scene where they say the vows and ben puts the ring on her finger, it was filmed beautifully and really refreshing that they put this great of relationship in the hands of teenagers, it is like the writers have hope in teenagers in that teenagers know what love feels like, but gets judged by adults saying they haven't lived long enough to know what love is.
second season is going to be way better then the first season now that the actors playing their characters know their characters really well. the acting has gotten much better and the stereotypes have simmered down dramatically.
i am rooting for ben and amy, i just hope the show doesn't make teen pregnancy look easy, they haven't yet, but we will just have to see.


baby steps

today the middle school ministries and the high school ministries at covenant were together and it was interesting...great, but interesting.
watching the dynamic between a 12 year old and a 17 year old was quite entertaining, but the point to this post is not that, but about one of the 16 year olds...actually two.
i was sitting near the back with a few of my middle schoolers and in front of us, was a beautiful, boy-loving girl, and she was not paying attention to what dave was saying and if she was, i don't think she was comprehending the message.
maybe she was, but that's a different issue.
the reason for my ranting is i was really frustrated by the display of affection between this lovely girl and the boy sitting next to her...no worries very G rated, but it was done in front of four or five 12 year olds, and it just really bothered me.
these middle schoolers love learning on sunday mornings, they have such a heart for their youth group and they were distracted by what was happening in front of them.
of course the two love birds in front of us had no idea how they were affecting the people around them because they are 16 and nowhere in their brainwave is the thought of, 'how am i affecting middle schoolers with my actions,' but still as a leader it made me upset.
i could have said something, but i didn't. they weren't doing really anything wrong, but i knew my girls were distracted. maybe i didn't feel it was my place to tell them to pay attention and stop whispering, i don't know.
it was just interesting because it is very rare when i get to see the major differenes between middle school students and high school students.
from what i've noticed with covenant, and is probably true for most youth groups is that high schoolers usually go because they find a person of the oppisite gender 'so cute,' not only phisically, but they go to church too...duh, and with middle schoolers they go because they usually have too and their friends are there.
i know these are not the only reasons, but i can't wait till my middle schoolers get into high school and go to youth group because they like a boy, it might not be the best reason to go to church, but it means they are growing and maturing into amazing young women.
the high schoolers at covenant are amazing and love jesus, and realize they are their because they want to learn the word, but it takes baby steps to get to that point and if liking another student is one of those steps then so be it.
so, for my middle schoolers and those two crazy 16 year olds...like away.

revelation #2

not really a revalation but a thought

bacon flavored sausage...


(sigh) oh grandma's

that's all


the past 10 hours

i have come to realize two things...
1) with the exception of a fan, i have to have complete silence to sleep.
nothing; ticking clocks, footsteps, sinks, animals, talking, you name it, it can't happen. insomnia blows
2) there is only one place that i have ever been that i am 100% without a doubt board out of my mind...and that would me my grandmothers house.
i am not even here for 24 hours and i brought my laptop.
also, this is what brought up number 1, i cannot sleep here, because there is a ticking clock,it is like the clocks in this house know i'm coming and then conspire against me, and somehow become louder and then right when i leave they go back to their normal volume...a conspieracy i tell you.

who knew

i have a scar on my chin...not a big deal.
my entire life, i thought this scar came from me falling off a bathroom sink.
...my. entire. life.
i come to find out over christmas, 15 years later that i got the scar from falling into a door.
who knew? appearently everyone else but me.