I am more than a student.

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Five days out of the week, I wake up, go to school, come home, do homework, and collapse on the bed with weary eyes that have absorbed too much.

Two days out of the week I volunteer, take Sunday classes, go to mass, and prepare my mind for the next five days of brain-busting.

The vicious cycle repeats again and again. It’s a perpetual, taxing lemniscate of robotic actions and little creativity, only made bearable by the loneliness of humans who bear an identical cross.

I feel we all slightly lose ourselves in this lethargic daze of student life, yet we find ourselves there, too. We learn how we learn, how to learn. Through trial and error, we discover who we are, who we’re not, and what it’s going to take to be who we want to be. Slowly, the things that are important to us become buoyant while everything else drowns or drifts away, like sleeping otters who’ve unconsciously unclasped the hand of their partner.

 

But sometimes this frenzy of thought, this befuddling bubble of people pushing us in the direction they think we want to go in makes us believe we actually want to go there when our heart screams otherwise.

Sometimes I feel like life’s a hallway and our true selves are at the end of it, though we must go against the grain, swim against the rapid current of people and fight to not lose the ghost of ourselves in the crowd. We musn’t be distracted by the colorful doors or else we’d find a twisted version of ourselves and stamp our foreheads with “HAPPY” when we hesitantly embrace it.

This is, at least, what life feels like for me at the moment. This is probably an echo of what other students feel, though the fright of vulnerability has maybe replaced it with a more subdued version, a beach without waves.

Maybe it’s the time school occupies that makes us question its worth, or maybe it’s the forehead-creasing bafflement that forces devoted students to invest in grades, or maybe they’re both contributors to the depreciation of our true identity.

We lose ourselves in ranks, GPAs, or honor rolls, and forget that we are more than a number. We forget that grades do not define us. We forget that school is not a competition, but a vivacious opportunity to learn and grow.

We forget we are more than students.

As for me, I’ll try not to forget. I’ll write it in the condensation on mirrors from hot showers, I’ll spell it out in alphabet soup, I’ll even ink it in red on homework — but I won’t sacrifice my student days trying to outdo or prevent being outdone. Instead, I’ll devour knowledge until it devours me, until it blossoms into an earnest love for learning. I’ll create and fulfill my own definition of success. I’ll fight for the girl at the end of the hallway; she sees the my transparent ghost struggling and smiles at the thought of infusing it with color once it reaches her.

I  am more than a student, and the day I give up what I love to participate in this worldly race for “intelligence” will be the day I’ve lost.

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Advice for an older sibling, written by a younger sibling (7 year gap)

“A crisp day, isn’t it, Mr. Run?”

Yes! Indeed, it is most definitely a crisp winter day.  Did you hear that? A crisp WINTER day. Guess what guys, Christmas is approaching as quickly as a choo-choo train, fools!

I’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months –  a very fashionable, diamond encrusted rock, (my birthstone) that is – but a ROCK. A big old fat boulder.  I apologize.

The other week, I had a revelation while carefully shampooing my bird’s nest.  I always have these emotional episodes in the shower.  It’s just something about that cold water attacking you and stinging soap that makes you panic when it gets into your eye that just evokes so many cry-able moments.

You know, the best part about crying in the shower is that no one can see your tears! That quote was originally by Mr. Bean, (substitute “rain” for “shower”) the comedian.  How about that? Whoa there, paradox.

So, here’s the stitch:

I’m 14. My name is Kezi.

My sister, who I’m calling Cat, (an abbreviation of her middle name) is 21.

We’re 7 years apart! She’s graduated college. I’m a freshman in high school.

She left for college when I was starting 6th grade.

I probably love my sister more than anything in the entire world.  Although she’s been “missing” most of my life, she’s always been there!  I’ve been living both as a sibling and as an only child all these years.  Here are some tips I suggest for older siblings, because, believe it or not, Cat and I went through both good and bad times that may have changed our relationship forever.  So, grab your nacho bowl and donkey pinata and listen up, chicas.

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DO:

1.  SHARE THINGS WITH YOUR YOUNGER SIBLING.

Yes, no matter how old they are! Sometimes you’ll feel that your little sib can’t handle something because they’re too young.  And yes, sometimes, they ARE too young.  But please make sure to inform them of big (or what you feel are big) events in your life – like who you’re dating, how you feel about family problems, or simply keys to your personality.

Your younger sib, however squirmy or sassy they may be, most likely looks up to you.  A lot of their decisions in life will be based upon your judgement.  If your sib thinks of you as another god, it’s important to show some sensitivity.  This is especially important as they get older – the more you trust with them, the more they’ll open up to you.  This will create a sibling bond as strong as the shell of a cockroach! (For lack of a better simile)

2.  ENCOURAGE THEM TO TRY NEW THINGS.

This is so, so, so, SO important! Your sibling might be encouraging YOU to be the one to try new things, or they might be as close-minded as a person that only eats fat hamburgers.  If your sibling is the latter, try to persuade them (without forcing them) to BE DARING.  Here are some things my sister persuaded me to do:

-surf in the middle of the ocean

-ride this:

-eat seafood, including sushi

-learn how to skii and actually skii down the largest hill in the resort

-ride a jet skii

-play paintball

-Run for STUCO secretary, joing National Honor Society

-go horseback riding

-Jump off a platform 100 ft in the sky with only ropes to catch me when I fall

And so much more!

You see- my sister taught me I could do anything.  She is an amazing role model for being daring, adventurous, and living life the way it’s SUPPOSED to be lived.  Without her, I would’ve never done any of these things that made my life that much more interesting.

By encouraging your sib to do things out of the ordinary, not only will they have another thing to boast about, but they will most likely become a much more outgoing, social person.

3.  SHOW THEM YOU CARE ABOUT THEM.

Perhaps it’s just the needy younger sibling in me, but a little affection now and then really can’t hurt!

You don’t have to bake them cookies or flood them with kisses when you come home, but make sure you do simple things occasionally that show them that you care.

Growing up, my sister was really harsh on me, especially during her teenage years.  You would think that as I got older, I would realize that she isn’t a goddess and that I would be so fed up with the way she treats me.  Nope! I enjoy her company (however sassy she may be) much more than I dislike her attitude.  This is because, amidst the irritations she showed me, she was extremely thoughtful.

Examples:

She always helped me with my homework, even making flashcards and creating techniques for me to study better.

When something reminded her of me, she bought it happily.

One day, she spontaneously came home with bubble swords and we spent the day blowing bubbles bigger than our heads

I can easily say that the small things she’s done for me has kept me going.  If she had never showed a sensitive, fun, or caring side, (and I do feel terrible as I write this) – I would’ve given up on her a long time ago.  I would think of her maybe as an old, distant friend rather than a sibling.  You really don’t want your relationship to resort to that.

There are several other things you should do for your siblings, but to make this post shorter, here are the no-no’s!

NO-NO #1 –  TREAT YOUR SIBLING AS YOUR SLAVE

“Can you take this to the sink for me?”

“Can you read this book and summarize it for me?”

“OH YEAH . . . . I left my exotic bird, Quackers, at that resort we stayed at in Switzerland.  Next time you go out, can you bike over there and grab him for me?  Kay, thanks.”

Two ways your sib will react to this:

1)  ARE YOU CRAZY? I got stuff to do, places to be.  You may be older, but you aren’t the boss of this!!!
2)  Oh ok.  I get/do/sniff that for you :D

If your sib lashes out at you, then they’re probably acting accordingly if your request is . . . grand.  A multitude of small orders can also produce this same reaction.  Their respect for you will most likely drop.

For #2 – Alright.  So your sibling fulfills your every order.  It’s pleasant for you, but this can actually damage the self-confidence of your sibling.  However happy they may seem while serving you, later on, they will have issues saying “NO” and will become a doormat.  They may feel like that have to fulfill everyone else’s needs as well!!

NO-NO #2 –  POINT OUT THEIR FLAWS, OR COMMENT ON HOW THEY’RE CHANGING.

This is really more common in siblings with larger age gaps.  If the older sibling has been away for some time without seeing the younger sibling, naturally, they WILL change.  They aren’t going to be the little baby you saw at the hospital forever.

“You know, you’ve changed.  I can’t believe you went from being a girly-girl to someone that’s hardly a girl anymore.”

“Since when did you start wearing make-up?”

Comments like these, however harmless you may intend them to be, can really shut down your sibling’s confidence.  Friends’ comments can be shaken off, but if your sibling respects your opinion, they may feel as if they’re doing something wrong.  Remember how you changed personality and appearance wise as you grew up?  Well, the same thing is happening to them.

NO-NO #3 – COMPARE THEM TO YOU/MAKE THEM A CLONE OF YOU

“When I was your age, I was MAKING websites, not just looking at them for hours.”

“WOW, I was that size when I was 18 . . . . and you’re 15!”

 

Please, don’t do this!  Everyone evolves and discovers what they like at different ages and points in their lives.  If you have a large age difference, keep in mind that times have changed since you were their age.  Some things are harder, or easier, to accomplish.

You sibling most likely is compared to you by your relatives, family, and friends.  Even subtle comments from unsuspecting people can make your sibling think that they are dependent on YOU.  Example:

“Oh, so are you going to be a doctor like your brother?”

Once, my dad said to me, “When your sister was your age, she had much more friends than you did.”  Chances are, your sibling is compared enough to you by other people, and they really don’t need to hear it from you yourself.  Once again, this shuts down self-confidence.

 

I supposed that sums it up! I really hope that you can you these tips, or if you’re a younger sibling, you can relate.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to make more posts like this since I have a little too much free time! See you next time :D

 

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Cat (left) & I ♥

 

 

 

Reasons why I LOVE Happy People

 

Good DAY detectives!

Oh gee, life has been wonderful these past few days.  My first weeks of school have got me thinking about a certain . . . 

species

(THERE! I said it!) of people that practically ooze sunshine, sing silly songs, and skip wherever they go.  I have just a handful of those people in my life – and 98% of the time, I adore them, and in the other 2%, I am so jealous.

And why do these people make me fume?

Because sometimes I think – how can they be so happy when I’m so tired and I want to just throw tomatoes at everyone who talks to me?  How can they be singing and dancing while I have to keep my mouth shut so I don’t say something I’ll regret? 

But alas – with an exception of those days, I finally started to realize that those annoyingly sweet people are the ones that everyone around them a little happier.  Like yawns, happiness is super contagious. 

I enjoy being around people that are cheerful and friendly as opposed to those who are always wallowing in their problems, and are just so desperate for someone to ask them to homecoming because if no one takes them, they’ll automatically become crazy cat ladies. 

It’s funny, because my most cheerful friend was texting me and here what she said:

I think the people in my speech class are getting used to my weirdness. Or should I say uniqueness!! 

We had to do speeches and I accidentally  got hyper because someone was kind to me and I jumped up and down!! Man . . . it’s a good thing the teacher was nice! I didn’t get in trouble :) There were these two girls and they told me they loved me an I guess that isn’t kind but they said something sweet so all of a sudden my heart was filled because I was happy and then I became hyper lol!!! 

And I started to jump up and down and I even told the teacher I was happy so he gave me a waterbreak lol

You know what they say! If you are happy you cannot suppress it!! (I do not know if people say this or not but it’s true for me) 

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Honestly? How can you not love this girl? So back to this main topic. 

I LOVE happy people because they make me happy.   They remind me not to stress out too much.  You know that heavy heart you get when you are absolutely -excuse my language- pissed? Well, compare that feeling with being happy.  Ba da boom.  Congratulations – shoulders =lighter.  Smile = looser.  Heart =soaring. 

They are the type of people I want to be like.  I’ve done so many things I have regretted, and sometimes my actions are tainted with several vices.  Without happy people in the world, I would have no role models and would therefore be a living dead, staring-at-my-shoes zombie or an I-HATE-YOU type of person.  No, just no!

They are fun to be around.  Who in the world wants to hear someone complaining on how their hair looks so oily that day?  And I don’t know about you, but that ONE friend that never wants to try something new always spoils the fun.  Happy people are more likely to be open to the world around them.

They are incredibly easy to approach.  Someone with a scowl glued to their face isn’t going to get any attention from this girl.  Friendly people are more comfortable to be around and they can launch a conversation to new heights. 

So there you go.  If you don’t have any happy people in your life right now, it’s fine!  To solve this problem, just BE that happy person and others will follow.

Thanks for reading!! :) And about my life right now, I have a personal school stalker (that’s been suspended twice) . . . that’s going to be on the bus with me tomorrow when my theater class sees a play. Wish this girl luck. 

Make sure to sing Disney songs in the morning,

kezi (my nickname at school now is Ma kay-kay.  Oh Lord, please give me strength.)

Here’s a happy song for the occasion :) Enjoy! 

And here’s Chris Colfer dancing to the Single Ladies, blowing all the girls in the background out of the water with those hips. Love you guys :D

 

 

Featuring: Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Good day everyone! I’m back to post about my Disney World experience – and for the next park, I have my 3rd favorite – HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS!

HW Studios was fun filled park with a mix of rides, shows, and tours.  It was great because I could go on  rides and then settle down with a character show or a drawing class. Here are some of my park favorites!

Attractions:

TOWER OF TERROR: Creepy! This ride was a pretty crazy one – much like Six Flag’s Superman – but not as intense.  The ride takes place in an old, shabby looking hotel (you’ll get to see the hotel while waiting in line) that has a story behind it – the elevator dropped several years ago and many died.  As I traveled up the elevator all I could think of was: “GET ME OUT OF HERE!!” It really wasn’t that scary, but the music, the ghosts, and an overactive imagination made it all too real for me! Before going on the ride, you actually enter a small room with, I don’t know- a couple of talking busts and a creepy chandelier here and there.

ROCK N’ ROLL ROLLERCOASTER FT. AEROSMITH:  This ride was a lot more intense than I imagined! Although I can’t remember the “ride” ride very well (maybe because my eyes were glued shut) I did NOT except it to go upside down!!

You see, I carried around a string backpack with all the important stuff around all the parks, but I nearly lost that bag on this ride!! While the rest of the people were screaming, I was struggling to keep the bag still with my feet – and at one point, I saw my bag floating around where my head was supposed to be!! Thankfully, my bag didn’t fly off into the bowels of a roller coaster by the end of the ride!! (That would be horrible too, in case it fell on someone’s head.. oops!!)

Shows:

Although those rides were amazing, the real beauty of this park were the shows!!

One of the first things we did was the Voyage of the Little Mermaid. It wayyyyyyy exceeded my expectations!! I seriously felt like a mermaid myself.  The sitting area was turning into the ocean with bubbles, water lights, and .. it’s just too spectacular to explain!! The opening song brought me to tears, and the show hadn’t even started yet! The actors were great, the lights were amazing – the stage was filled with smoke, water, bubbles – and at one point it even rained on the stage! It was a very pure, feel good show that made my heart melt for Ariel. (cheesy, right?! That’s what Disney does to you)

My mind was blown after watching the Beauty & the Beast show, which just happened to have the best actors and  the best songs, the Indiana Jones show, which had me cheering for Indiana himself, & the Extreme Stunt show, which featured Lightning McQueen (aww!) & a bunch of cars chasing each other! (Tokyo Drift!) My dad REALLY liked that one.

We also did the American Idol experience, which was when they hold auditions for the park guests – the winner gets a fast pass to the front of the line at any (real) American Idol audition. The stage was /gtjhmre;iybaq[yqme7q.  It was like a real American Idol show, complete with a sassy British judge, an overexcited superwoman, and of course, a Randy impersonator. (Yo, dawg!)

After One Man’s Dream, (an exhibit about Walt D) we did my favorite! A drawing class taught by a Disney animator himself! (Or maybe it was just someone who was an excellent drawer :p)  We were given paper and a back light with a pencil.  Most unfortunately, we were NOT given an eraser, my trusty steed when it comes to drawing.

We drew Tinkerbell from Peter Pan. This is what the instructor’s looked like: (not my picture, lol)

How to Draw Tinkerbell

And here’s how mine came out:

When they turned on the lights .. “WHAT IN THE WORLD?!” It looked better in the dark.

Lastly, (I wanted to save this for last b/c this was the best part)

is…. -drumroll, please-

FANTASMIC!

Fantasmic = Fantastic. Aha.

We got the worst seats possible. On the other hand, we were so late we didn’t even GET seats! :( But it was beautiful nevertheless.  They only play Fantasmic when it’s dark, so you can gawk at the lights better.

There was a great stage with AMAZING props and dragons and magic and Mickey! The audience sometimes got wet because although it was a show, they replayed clips from Fantasia not on a projector or a wall, but on a wall of WATER. I mean, who does that?!  There was a ring of water surrounding the ginormous stage – and after the show was done, Disney music played & floats with all the princesses and princes waving majestically at the audience.  While this was going on, there were lights everywhere, and Mickey Mouse disappears in a poof of smoke from the bottom, to on top of the set’s mountain, 50 ft in the air! Seeing Mickey dancing on top, waving his wand, the Disney music playing in the background and all the characters I’ve seen on TV so many years ago made me burst into tears.

It wasn’t lady like Little Mermaid tears, they were gigantic monster truck tears that came in quantities of Niagara Falls.  It was so .. magical. It felt like a million butterflies in my chest and I haven’t felt so incredibly happy or safe since. Fantasmic is a must! And in between those tears, even being in the very very back where only the wild creatures live, I shouted out, “I LOVE YOU ALADDIN!” in my about-to-be-kidnapped voice.  And I PROMISE you, I can almost guarantee he looked straight at me & blew me a kiss! (see post below for my a.w.k.w.a.r.d. conversation with him)

Life goal #15 : Be noticed by favorite Disney character.. check!

TO SUM IT UP:

Hollywood Studios cannot be beat. It’s right up THERE on the list of eternal happiness with the glorious Magic Kingdom. I left the park with near bleeding feet, 100 lbs of sleepiness on my shoulders, my body shriveling from the heat – but with a smile on my face.  Because that’s just what Disney does to you.

kezi :)

KONY 2012!

Hi everyone!! 

Today I was bawling my eyes out at school.

Our religion teacher showed us the Kony video.  If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a vid to bring awareness to this man named Kony, who has been abducting innocent children in Africa and forcing them to mutilate people and kill their own parents.  Apparently, he has captured over 30,000 kids, and this has been going on for 20 years.

What this man has been doing is probably the worst thing I’ve ever heard.  The US just now decided to act on it, and the US sent troops to Africa to help capture Kony.  

What I don’t understand is how the US could have turned its back on these people for so long.  It was only until WE, the people, said something about it that they noticed it and decided to act on it.  

What I don’t understand is how some people are saying that the stuff Joseph Kony is doing isn’t real.  

I wish that everyone could understand that doesn’t revolve around the US, or wherever they live.  Just because we can’t necessarily see it, or feel it, or experience it, it doesn’t mean that pain isn’t there.  It doesn’t give us the right to ignore these problems just because it is happening on the other side of the world.  We all live on the same planet.  We are neighbors, we see other people every day.  We might as well get along. 

And yes, we can save.  We can heal.  We can make a difference – because everyone counts.  99 cents could become a dollar with just one penny.  I may still be young. I still can’t drive or do any of that stuff.  But I’m not going to let this world turn into a huge battlefield. 

Here’s the Kony video. Just take 30 min. of your time to watch this, then you’ll understand.  On April 20, all the people in favor of KONY 2012 will plaster every city and neighborhood with KONY 2012 posters to bring awareness.  I’m so happy that the world is finally coming together.  

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