I am a bird wearing a brown polyester shirt.

Ben Folds definitely had it right. It sucks to grow up. When you’re little, no one thinks much of you saying that something sucks, but as I’m saying it right now, a lot of you are thinking much of it. Your calculator doesn’t need a logistic function button when you are little. You don’t have the stress of conflicting extra-curriculars. You don’t worry about the babies choking–you’re the baby. You just grow up more and more until you aren’t yourself anymore–there’s just this big person in mascara looking at you from inside the mirror. We don’t think or believe or love the way we used to. Everything has a condition, a back door, a catch. Sometimes it’s like you are being put through more and more but never getting any stronger. You start to hear about the kids who don’t have parents or shoes or food. You learn about the incredible human tendencies to be rude, selfish, inconsiderate, violent and mean. You get sick and you get hurt and you get left alone. And everything just gets so much harder. It’s exhausting. It sucks.

When I was young I was sure of everything; in a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before; at present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to me. –John Wesley

I’ve come to find that this is true also. I think that a large part of growing up is learning one thing–that you don’t know anything at all. I think that education is just the continuous realization of your own ignorance. Also, anything we learn can be over-turned without the slightest notice. We learn that the things we once believed in don’t exist in reality. And I think that this is one good thing about growing up. As we all go on with our lives, we lose more and more faith in everything besides God. At the end of one of the Narnia books, Aslan tells the kids that they are all grown up and can’t come back to Narnia…and that they must learn to know him by his other name. We find out that the Birthday Fairy is really our mom. We learn that wishes don’t come true because we make them on the right things or at the right time. We figure it out that everything is going to crash around us except for God Himself. Some people say that it is hard to have faith in God alone, but I’ve found that it is much easier than believing in anything or anyone else. I have been wrong so many times, I would be more conducive to the thought that I myself didn’t exist than that God didn’t. I have reached my Wesley Brink, where the only things I know for sure is what God has revealed to me. Everybody knows it hurts to grow up but everybody does. And it isn’t all that bad.

Isaiah 46:3-4

“I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.”

The only reason I will tolerate this constant change, this constant growing, this constant falling, is that I am being carried. The only reason is because I’ve had it revealed to me that, even though it hurts to grow up, I am moving toward something bigger.

Newspaper essay

My newspaper is something very close to my heart. As Editor-In-Chief, I am there for my staffers every step of the way in the process of journalism. I am always there to bounce possible interview questions off of, answer AP style queries or just be a human thesaurus. I am very passionate about the need for a student-run newspaper. It benefits the whole school. The newspaper staff learns to investigate, communicate face-to-face with an interviewee, and report the news in an objective way. newspaper has done wonders for my writing, speaking, and reading abilities. I have been involved in this publication for my entire high school career thus far–I am now a junior. Countless hours of the past years have been spilled over my passion for my newspaper staff. One work night I was at school until 11:55 the night before my birthday. It didn’t bother me, because it is what i love and what I feel compelled to do. However, it is not easily accomplished.

Our publications department doesn’t receive any funds from the school. We struggle behind out-dated computers that sputter and shut off unexpectedly. it is not uncommon for be to be at school until midnight fiddling with the layout of our next issue, as the computer freezes or turns off. in my three years on staff, I have only sent one issue to print in its entirety. We often have to cut quality articles because we are not financially able to print them. It is so disheartening to have to go to my staff as their Editor-In-Chief and tell them that everything they’re doing is right, but it’s just not going to work out money-wise. It breaks my heart to work so hard and be held back by financial obstacles.

With this generous donation, our newspaper staff could flourish into a thriving publication. We could replace our out-of-date cameras and computers. We have been working very hard on creating an online supplement to our paper to usher our publication into the technological era. With more financial support, we could buy a video camera and extend into broadcast journalism. We would finally have the opportunity to show the school–and those beyond our school–what we can really do as a staff. We have very talented photographers, speakers and videographers whose talents would truly shine with the launch of an online paper.

Our school would be brought together significantly by a stronger newspaper program. Our publication takes all the pieces of the public high school experience and collaborates them into one newspaper, the never-ending story of our school. With more adequate resources, our paper could be more effective in this aspect. We could reach even more students and report on even more news, making our student body more informed sand cohesive. No where else can the captain of the UIL Ready Writing Team be a page away from a state-qualifying pole-vaulter. Our school’s sense of community would be enhanced greatly by the extension of our journalism department.

‘Things about school that make me sad’ Part Two. As published in The Colt

I am sitting in Goody Burris’s English class as the noise progresses. Mrs. Burris is teaching a lesson about commas or something similar and every other voice grows around hers. A lot of the sound is questioning about commas or something similar. A good portion of it, however, is asking Mrs. Burris if she has a Facebook or trying to trip her up on the lesson or talking across the room about soccer or blatantly singing. First of all, if we think we can trip up Goody Burris on grammar rules, we’re dead wrong. If Mrs. Burris doesn’t know the exact rule, I guarantee she will make one up. Secondly, we are with these kids all day, we are only graced by the comma knowledge of Francine Burris for one class period. Additionally, we are juniors in high school-soon to be living on our own-we should be capable of listening to someone talk with busting out in the top 20 hits of why adults find our generation repulsive.

I often find myself wondering why we’re here. Sometimes this is pondering existence itself but today i am wondering why we go to school. It is my thought that public education is designed to create a more educated government and society run by the people-who are themselves more educated from this school system. Presumably, we all want to grow up and become educated citizens of the world. yes, that’s it. it has nothing to do with the fact that we are required by the state and federal government to show up everyday. It has nothing to do with the fact that they let us play football here. It has nothing to with the fact that our moms wake us up in the morning and we just never questioned it.

All of us teachers are here for a reason. As I was writing a story alumni who teach at AHS, I noticed something. Every single teacher said that the one thing they loved most about their job was the students. They loves to see us truly learning. They love to see us grow out of immature middle-schoolers into adults ready to take on the world.

Everyone has classes that they hate. For me, it’s a different one every day. Nonetheless, I have them. When I walk into that class, all I’m thinking is “What time do we get out of here?” I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way about some classes. When we walk into those classes, we have a decision to make. We can pay attention, try our best to learn something and stay out of the way for the other kids, or we can forget about all of that. We can get distracted, forget about the learning and cause a ruckus. It’s okay though. We don’t like that class.

Now think about your favorite class. Think of the one you look forward to all day. think of the class that teaches you about what you want to do for the rest of your life. You walk in and sit down and open your book and you feel at home. Then you can’t hear what the teacher is saing because of a ruckus from the other side of the room.  It’s okay though. They don’t like that class.

When you are in you least favorite class, you are in some one else’s favorite class. You are interfering with their right to learn what they love just because you don’t love it. That’s not fair. That’s rude and inconsiderate and obnoxious. That’s not okay.

You’re not only cheating your classmates. You’re being rude to your teachers. I know. Teachers aren’t people, right? It’s not fair to Goody Burris.  She’s spent her whole life learning how to be the English teacher she is today. Me and my friends talk like we a buncha country bumpkins in comparison to Francine Burris-a true lady of the North, skilled in punctuation, vocabulary and other sorts of higher schoolin’.

I am sitting in Mrs. Burris’s English class. She is giving a lecture about colons or something similar. She says “For example, ‘I love teaching for the following reasons:….'” All of a sudden we are talking about ellipses instead. At the time, it was funny. That’s the kind of thing that couldn’t be planned or made up. Just pure, beautifully unique humor in real life. It was funny at the time, but in retrospect it’s sad. I’m sad. The heart-hurting reality is that teaching is probably frustrating and annoying and just generally hard. It’s also very often thankless. That’s not fair. That’s not okay.

Goody Burris loves teaching because she loves reading and writing and tutoring and lecturing and interacting with students. She loves students. In my research for my alumni story, I saw that this is one thing every teacher agrees on. they love the students. They love teaching. They love their subject. Your least favorite class is your teacher’s favorite class. By being obnoxious, rude, inconsiderate, loud or mean in that class, you are stripping them of their right to do what they love. This is unfair as you are being to your classmates. That’s not okay.

I’m convinced that the things we are constantly worried about do not define us. You are not defined by your SAT scores, how many football games you went to or how straight your hair was. You are defined by how you treat people. Why not treat them well? Why not be just a little more lovable? Why not just listen to Mrs. Burris and learn a thing or two about commas or something similar?

Think about the time you’ve spent at AHS. Think about the classes you’ve taken, the teachers you’ve had, adn teh kids you’ve grown up around. Think about all the times you came home mad, frustrated, annoyed, upset. you’ve probably caused that for someone else. Don’t be obnoxious, rude, inconsiderate or annoying in class. That’s not fair. That’s not okay. You and I both need to apologize to Goody Burris.