Goodbye 7th Grade Poem

Goodbye 7th grade,

And hello to 8th.

I have walked your hallways too long.

I smile and cry

to think of goodbye,

but I know I will bring

memories of you along.

Summer approaches,

Finals come out,

students tell others of vacation plans.

But I can only sit here and wonder

how 7th grade has made me the person I am.

I have learned so much

in this past year,

reading,

math,

and band.

But I have more importantly gained

new friends,

new memories,

to help me hand in hand.

And though I am happy that summer’s arrived,

I take a deep breath and sigh.

Why does life pass so quickly?

Why does 7th grade have to end?

The answer:

It doesn’t.

 

Author’s note:

This is my last required blog post of 7th grade! I hate to say it, but I am probably not going to write on this blog for a long while.  7th grade has taught me so much, and I can’t believe I am going into eighth grade and then a year after that to high school! I have gone through eight years of school so far and I still live on in them through the good memories I have made (except for maybe kindergarten through 3rd grade).  But we all have to let go at one time or another, so finally, goodbye to 7th grade…

Random Acts of Kindness

Whether it is just a bright smile at someone you don’t know very well or organizing an entire fundraiser to stop a disease, random acts of kindness change the world. In my English class we are starting a Random Acts of Kindness log where we do something kind every day for three weeks, and I encourage you to join us.

It does take some courage to be benevolent, but it makes a big impact. One time, me and a group of girls went to the public library and made thank you cards for all of the librarians and workers there. We snuck them into the book drop and it was so worth it just to see the overjoyed looks on their faces. Another time when there was a new family moving into my neighborhood, my family made cookies and brought them to our new neighbors, and we became friends ever since.

What can you do to spread kindness around you? Over time, you will surely see a change. Whether it takes 5 minutes or 5 hours to plan, it doesn’t take a lot to make someone’s day better. And then people will remember what you did for them for a long time, and maybe even do something kind for someone else too.

“We rise by lifting others.” — Robert Ingersoll

Solo and Ensemble

”Come on, let’s go!” I shouted to my mom. I jumped into the car with my flute and band binder before she even walked out the front door.  I was so excited I could hardly stay in my seat.

It was Solo and Ensemble, a band competition that we do every year. I had done it last year, so I knew how it worked. A month prior to the competition, you would receive a solo and an ensemble to practice in class and at home. Then, on the day of Solo and Ensemble, you go in and play them in front of a judge, and they score you based on how well you played it.

There were four possible ratings that you could get on your solo and your ensemble: Excellent(the best), Good, Fair, and Needs Improvement. To get the best score, you need to play with a beautiful tone, get all of the articulations correct, and play the piece the way the composer would have wanted it to sound.

When we pulled up to Hill Country, I got out of the car and headed to the cafeteria to warm up. I met with all of my band friends and we had a fun time practicing our ensembles and showing off our solos for each other. My ensemble was first to perform, and we all got together to tune ourselves before we went into a separate room to play our piece to the judge.

My ensemble was a quintet called “Minuet in G”. In class for about 2 weeks prior to Solo and Ensemble, our ensemble would go into a room to practice to get her for a 15 minute time slot. In there we went over the balance of melody versus accompaniment, the DS al fine at the end, and the sections we thought were the hardest.

When we walked into the classroom that the judge was occupying, we sat down at our chairs and fingered through our piece until the judge was ready for us to begin. When she looked up at us from the last review she was writing, Leah (my friend the clarinet player?), counted us off and we began.

It went really well. We played all of the notes and rhythms correctly, and the judge said we played with an excellent tone. The only critique she had for us was that we needed “instaneous acceleration of air”, which I think means that we needed to start and stop the notes together.

When we went back to the cafeteria to wait for our results, we sat down and waited anxiously for our score. I felt very confident in our ensembles playing, so I didn’t worry. Instead, I practiced for my solo, which I had yet to perform.

When the results finally came in, we all ran up so we could get what we had all been waiting for. We got an Excellent!

I only had one thing left to do now: my solo.

Oh, the long hours I spent practicing that one piece. I chose an eighth or ninth grade piece called “The March to the River Weser” to play for my solo, and it was probably the most challenging pieces I have ever played. I drilled the arpeggios at the end, the trills from #C to D, and the double tonguing in measure 45 for months. Every detail I tried to come as close to perfect as I could, even though I knew I couldn’t possibly get to it all. I knew in the end that it would all be worth it.

And it was. When I entered the door I felt very prepared. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and started to play.

I breezed through the first page, only pausing for about a second at the trill. When I got to the second page, I began to run out of breath. My ending was a little rushed because of that, but it all turned out alright.

The judge seemed to like my performance. She said that I had a good tone quality and a natural vibrato. She said it was also stunning that I was a 7th grader. In the end, I felt very proud of myself.

I went back into the cafeteria to join my friends: Leah, Noelle, and Teà.  We all waited together again for our scores.

Finally, the scores were posted and we rushed over to see them. All my friends had gotten Excellents, and when I looked over at my result, I saw that I had gotten one too!

Solo and Ensemble is a lot of hard work, but in the end it’s all worth it, and you end up having fun too.

Spring

Everyone has a favorite season; some prefer Autumn’s warm leaves, Winter’s frosted windows, or Summer’s fun vacations, depending on where they live. I personally favor Spring in Texas, and I think it is the best season of them all.

The first reason is the weather. The grass turns greener and wildflowers start to bloom all around. It’s beautiful, watching the cold of winter being swept away. The sun comes out and it is never too hot nor too cold, just the right temperature. Events almost never get canceled due to rain, leading to more fun for everyone. Just watching the dew reflect rays of warm light is enough to love spring.

Another reason is spring break. The length of spring break is perfect. You never forget anything you learned in school, but it is still enough time to travel and have fun. This year over spring break I am going to Washington DC, and I am super excited. Spring break gives you an opportunity to do things you’ve never tried before.

Spring is a very fun and warm season, and I love to watch it go by. Autumn, winter, and summer are very beautiful in its own ways, but spring outshines them all. What is your favorite season?

Track

The breeze ruffling your hair, the red rubber of the track staining the bottom of your worn out shoes, the pant of breaths in unison as girls try to be under the time limit. Track and Field has officially started on Monday, and I have waited all year for it to begin. 

In track and field you get a lot of opportunities to find the event that is right for you. The track events are: 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, 400 meter dash, 100 meter relay, 200 meter relay, 400 meter relay, mile race , and mile and a half race (please comment if there are any that I am missing or have gotten wrong!). The field events are: Discus, shot put, 100 meter hurdles, 300 meter hurdles, long jump, triple jump, and high jump. 

I think I am going to be doing long jump, 400 meter dash, 400 meter relay, 100 meter hurdles, and discus. I have already gone to the Tuesday after-school field practice to try hurdles, long jump, and triple jump. I liked all of them except triple jump, until I went again on Thursday and found that I really loved it. They posted which track events we will be doing on our first meet, and I got into 400 meter dash. 

In 1st period Athletics, we practice the track events. Our track practices go most-of-the-time like this: we run a warm-up lap in under 2 minutes, and then we will be timed on running 100-200 meters. Sometimes the girls who have been doing basketball, which has recently finished, get split apart from the girls who have been doing off-season. Then the girls in basketball will be timed on something the girls in off-season have already done, and the girls in off-season will be doing different exercises. 

I have really loved track so far, and to me the hard work is all worth it. The sweat you shed during a practice makes it all the more worth it when you go inside and feel the cool air-conditioning. The aching muscles make it all the better when you get to finally sit down. The parched throats make it more relieving when you finally earn a water-break. I cannot wait for our first track meet on Valentine’s Day, and I can’t wait to feel rewarded for working so hard.

Band Is Best

All of your worries are washed away immediately once the music starts. Every day when I go to band class in 3rd period, I find myself swept up in the exhilaration of adding the sound of my instrument to the piece. I can hardly begin to describe it, but band is the best elective.

The first reason that band is the best is because it becomes very familiar to you very quickly. Even on bad days, I can always look forward to coming into the warm band hall and sitting in my assigned seat. Band is always like a tether for me when I am frustrated or sad, and I will pick up my flute for a while when I have a bad day. I know that once I pick up my flute and play the music we have worked so hard on that everything will be alright, and I have found that I have gotten so used to the green walls and smell of wood that I am always calmed when I play.

In addition, you can make lots of good friends in band. You get to know all of the people you work with and really have a great time with them. I have made so many friends in band that I wouldn’t even know if I hadn’t chosen it as my elective. Band has in a way made me a stronger and  better person because of it.  

Also, band teaches you perseverance. Learning to pursue an instrument takes lots of practice and patience. I love practicing because I know it makes me a better player, and in a way the perseverance has helped me with studying for other classes and doing my homework right away. I have even found that I have made better grades in all of my classes.

Overall, I believe that band is the best fine arts elective, and I will continue in band for a long time.

The Women’s March On Austin

The Women’s March On Austin was probably one of the most important things I have ever done in my life. The march was a peaceful  protest to fight for women’s rights. There were so many people fighting with us and it was so inspiring to see them having their voices be heard.

The colors and noises were almost overwhelming. All around me were shouts and signs, women and men, shirts and hats. We weren’t just a crowd of individuals, but one movement coming together to take action. There was the boom of drums and symbols as we flooded the closed-off streets.

I watched the people on the sidewalks cheering us on as we passed them and continued. It was really heartwarming to see them supporting the cause. The organizers of it all were giving everyone stickers so they could count the mass of people swarming through the streets. It was estimated that there would be a turnout of 25,000 people, but there was much more than that. Almost 40,000 came to the march on that Saturday, 40,000 who came for the same reason.

I thought that the march was very well planned out, for there were no troubles of any kind. But there was a deeper meaning to me than just marching. I knew that I was standing up for my rights. I agreed with some of the chants we shouted: ”Women’s rights are human’s rights!”   I believe that everyone should be treated fairly no matter what their skin color, race, or gender is. In my opinion, we are all sharing this Earth, so we should share our rights too.

In school recently we read some of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream speech”, and I thought that it was absolutely wonderful. He proved that some people are treated horribly and there should be something done about it, and I agree with him.

The Women’s March On Austin was truly breathtaking, and I believe that I will remember that day forever.

(Photo: Mike Holp, holpphotography.com)

 

“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low”…

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

“I have a dream”

August 1963

 

 

Hill Country Weavers

Over the winter break, just before Christmas, my mom and sisters and I went down to South Congress avenue to get our aunt a gift. She enjoys sewing and knitting as a hobby, so we went to a wool store by the name of Hill Country Weavers.The place was nothing more than a small green house with a sign of chipped paint. The steps leading up to the front porch creaked softly when we walked up to the small door. But, as we all seem to learn sometime or another, you can never judge anything from the outside, or you will miss the sparkling gem that is inlaid deep in the heart of it.

The first thing I felt was the warm rush of air that enveloped me in a kind welcome. The next was the smell of fresh cotton and wool. But when I opened my eyes I saw it.

Tall wooden shelves were overflowing with every color and texture imaginable. The vibrance seemed to reach out to me, to touch deep into my heart and leave vivid memories that I describe to you now. For hours, it seemed, all I could do was stand in the doorway and admire it all.

I came to my senses and approached the beautiful textiles. They may have been the softest thing I have ever touched in my life.  Magnificent hats, scarves, and accessories were in the display windows, and I wished that day that I could have taken all of them home with me.
There was an entire section of the shop devoted to ombres. I watched with awe as the navy blues turned softly to deep purples and greens. My favorite was the wool that went from a cement gray to a light blue, for it looked like the ocean.

All of the beautiful weaving in the shop window’s reminded me of the things that we use to weave our life, loves, and hobbies. Some things that weave together my life and hold me together is flute, books, and family. But I realized that day that the things that weave our lives are just as vibrant as the threads in the store, and that they might even be brighter.

St. Lucia Day

It is finally December. The dying leaves are falling of the trees, and the frost is gathering on the cold windows.  With December comes a flurry of festive holidays like Christmas or Hanukkah. But with it also comes a piece of my Swedish heritage.

St. Lucia Day is a Swedish holiday celebrated on December 13th. It celebrates Swedish heritage and stories of a lady named St. Lucia. It is said that she was killed for her faith, and she used to secretly bring food to persecuted Christians in Rome.

The Swedish celebrate this day by going to church and singing songs. But at home, the oldest daughter would get up early and make her parents breakfast. She would serve them breakfast in bed in a white dress with a red sash and a crown of candles on her head.

Last year for St. Lucia Day, we made Lucia buns. They are a kind of saffron bread shaped like an S and is decorated with pearl sugar. Almost nothing is better than biting into the warm, yellow treat. They were so good! The smell of homemade bread wafted throughout the house for days afterward, and it made it feel welcoming and warm.

 

St Lucia buns Liliana Fuchs via Compfight

 

These are what what  Lucia buns look like. Aren’t they pretty? We didn’t put raisins in ours, but it seems like a good idea.

I am so excited for this year’s St. Lucia, and I can’t wait to make more St. Lucia treats!

Adventures In Your Imagination

First you are in a desert. The hot sand stings your eyes as it is pushed around by the raging wind.  The blazing sun burns your skin, turning it a bright red. All you can see for miles around is dry, barren land.

Now you are swept into a lush forest. The green leaves from the tall trees make shadows that dance across the grass. You can hear the trickling of water from a crystal clear stream nearby.

You suddenly find yourself in a palace. The intimidating walls are trimmed with gold, and the grand floors have intricate designs carved delicately into them. Small tables hold vases of the prettiest flowers in all the land. People dance gracefully for hours.

You’re delighted to see that you have come across an ocean. The salty waves spray on you and wet your clothes, and you climb along the rocks that jut up from the water. The seagulls above you sing loudly but gracefully as they glide over the beach.

 

Sometimes the places we visit don’t have to be real. The adventures you take in your imagination make them all the more worth it.