Bye-Bye Summer, Hello Sophomore

It's official. Summer is over, school has begun, and I am a sophomore. And you know what? So far it's not that bad. On our first day, sophomores, juniors, and seniors come for the first half of the day, and freshmen come the second half so we high schoolers only have a half day which is pretty cool.
When I got to the school the first thing we did was take school pictures and get our schedules and lockers and turn in all of our paperwork before we sat in the auditorium and listened to our principle talk. And our assistant principle talk. And the police officer talk. And the guidence director, and the athletic director, and our advisors.
A lot of talking was done. And it was pretty much the same thing they told us a million times last year except now we were adressed as sophomores. Yay.....
After all the talking and logistics were straightened out we got to run a mini schedule of all eight blocks (we have four each day, and each are 85 minutes) which today were only eight minutes long. All my classes seem really good and pretty challenging, and I know that they are really tough classes because almost all of them require special teacher recomendations to get into. I seem to have good teachers though, and it seems like the classes will be of some interest. On one day (red days) I'll have Advanced Placement United States History (from now on reffered to as APUSH-college level course), Real Life (1st semester) and Health (2nd semester), Honors Chemistry (junior/senior honors), and French III. On my other day (white days) I'll have Honors Math III (honors junior), Wind Ensemble, Chemistry Lab/Study Hall, and Honors English 10.
Now one of the interesting things last year that I did was at the beginning of the year I wrote a quick first impression of each teacher and each class, and at the end of the year I did a comparison on that and how I actually like the year and I thought I would do that again :)

Wow. Seems like a really tough class, but the teacher seems good, and I think I will be learning a lot and that it should be pretty interesting as I DO enjoy history.

Real Life
Everyone says this class is really boring and useless, but I think the teacher is nice enough and he was talking about some cool stuff we'd be doing. Seems easy but pretty fun overall.

Honors Chemistry
I'm excited for this class! I love chem and I'm good at it too so...I like the teacher, she certainly is a talker, and she seems to know her stuff. Personally I think it will be easier than honors biology last year.

French III
Same teacher....pretty much same class....continuation on last year probably. (aka more French boredom)

Honors Math III
Not sure about my teacher, she's a bit...crazy. I hope this class is really good though, I've had really good math classes the past two years and I hope I learn lots! Thank goodness for more algebra and not trig!

Wind Ensemble
YAYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!! BAND!!!!! I'm so happy to be in wind ensemble this year and not concert band because wind ensemble plays really good music and my director says he's got some great stuff picked out so I can't wait for our first real class.

Honors English
I think this will be a really good English class - much much MUCH better than last year. My teacher seems really great and funny, and has a good class layout. Yay for English!

Well, there you have it. Back to school tomorrow for a full day and then a four day weekend - YES! Anyone else have their first day today? How'd it go?



Yesterday was an interesting day because of the hurricane, and as you can tell, we made it through OK, because here I am typing out this post :)
It actually wasn't too bad here all things considered. For one, it really didn't rain much at all. There were some spurts with heavy rain, and a lot of light showers, but the brook didn't flood and the marsh didn't flood, and the little hill that my house sits on didn't become an island, so that was good. It WAS really windy though! I was glad that we had moved all of the porch furniture and the badminton net and stuff because if they had been out there....they would be gone. It was actually pretty cool and a bit scary to see the trees across the street wave and bend, and our weeping willow became much more like a whipping willow if you ask me. Also a lot of people around us lost power but ours just flickered several times but didn't go out for more than 30 seconds. I guess we were lucky!
My mom and I were able to make it up to church in the morning which was nice, although there were NOT a lot of people there at all! No more than thirty, and that's streching it. Our church was actually one of the only ones that stayed open too.
I got another good chunk of homework done, just a little bit left for today and tomorrow...
And my friend Lucy decided to have a hurricane party with me and our friends Anna and Mackenzie. We ate a lot of junk food, especially brownies and doritos, and because we're marching band geeks we watched National Treasure. It was really entertaining even though I've seen it a couple times before because Lucy was talking the whole time, Anna was like "Shut up Lucy I've never seen this movie before and I wanna watch it" and Mackenzie and I payed close attention to the music and shouted things like 'OOOH!!!! That's like measure twenty-five in our opener!!!' Oh what marching band geeks we are...
Anyway, it was a pretty fun day all in all, and it is beautiful out today which means we'll be able to have rehearsal outdoors as planned- which is good.
How did those of you also in Irene's path fare?



It certainly has seemed like a whirlwind this past week- hence my not posting which I apologize about. Must get better about that. Sorry. Anyway, there have been three big things happening this week.

The first is, of course, marching band. Naturally, I'm totally loving every second of it....well...not the seconds when my water bottle exploded but pretty much every other second. We have worked hard for several hours every day this past Monday-Friday usually around 4 to 9 in the evening. It's been a lot of fun to get back with the family (and oh what a crazy family we are) doing slides and flip-flops and jazz runs in advanced technique block, frantically memorizing music, marking and re-marking sets with chalk and soap, marching and playing and getting yelled at and singing and marching and getting yelled at again. It's been good. Really really good.

The second thing has been nowhere near as much fun. Summer homework. I've been working like crazy reading biographies, textbook chapters, articles, and novels, answering questions, doing reading logs and taking an AP practice exam. Thankfully, I am nearly done and should finish tomorrow or Monday. I have made great progress the past couple of days, for example I just sat down today and wrote a two and a half page essay on why John Brown was an influential person in American history.
Not cool.
Very very boring.

And finally, the hurricane. In a few hours Irene will strike my area, and who knows what's gonna happen then. As one of my friends posted on facebook today, 'I live in Maine! I should be worrying about moose attacks and blizzards, not hurricanes!'. Hurricanes are kind of odd for us out here, I mean we were supposed to be hit by Earl and Kyle last year but they both went out to sea, but Irene isn't going to do that. She's going to be tearing into here tonight, so tomorrow and Monday should be interesting. For those of you also on the East Coast where the hurricane has already hit or will hit, good luck and my prayers are with you! I will try and give you an update of how I am doing through the storm tomorrow, but if the power is out I'll have to wait on that :)


Back to Boot Camp

Tomorrow is the day I having been waiting for for a very very long time. Since last November to be exact. 
Well...there's this thing....called marching band...and I'm sorta kinda really into it....more like an obsession......and OH MY GOODNESS THE 2011 SEASON STARTS TOMORROW AND I JUST CANNOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT!!!

I got that out.
I am calm now. I am cool, calm and collected.
Anyways, marching band starts tomorrow and I've been preparing for it a lot recently. I've memorized most of the music, I'm totally pumped for the season, and my chalk and soap are ready to mark sets out on the parking lot. I am prepared to have a truly excellent season - my third totally awesome season. It's my third year with the marching band and I honestly think I become more and more excited with each passing year. I wonder what I'll be like before my senior year....
Two years ago our music was Holst's 'The Planets' and last year 'The Music of Pat Metheny'. This year we're going to be doing some movie music based on the film scores of Trevor Rabin. Specifically, music from the movies 'National Treasure' and 'Remember the Titans'.

(One of the awesome themes from National Treasure is the chase music which is used several times in the score)

^^ Listen, it really is quite exciting.

I guess with all that being said, all I can say is-
Marching band,

i'm ready!


Check It Out!

Hey everyone! Sorry for not posting, I've been really busy trying to work on my summer homework, I went to the aquarium in Boston, and spent the day with Lucy out on an island yesterday, so well, yeah...been busy.
But I did go and guest post on THRIVE today and so head on over to Lauren's blog, read my post, drop a comment, and maybe follow. I'm sure she'd appreciate it! :)


am i....crazy?

It's not even the end of summer yet, but yet, for an hour yesterday this is what I sat down and did:

Yeah...maybe I'm crazy for thinking so far ahead, but then again, arranging is a lot of work and takes a lot of time....
Oh well, it only makes me really excited for what's to come in the arranging scope in the coming year :)


Summer Endings and Beginnings

It's that time of summer when things are starting to end and wrap up.
Summer, before school starts, will be over in a couple weeks.
Our long days of sunshine shorten with each turn of the earth,
The weather starts to cool- or not. One day it feels like fall, the next the height of July.
Summer freedom starts to fly away as you remember all of your assigned reading and other homework.
It's getting to be that time where things are ending and the joys of summer slip away one by one.
Soon the flowers of spring and summer will dry up and wither away for the winter.

But I suppose it's OK that summer is slowly leaving because it means new things are to come.
In just over a week I'll be back with the marching band for our 2011 season, my third season with the band. The Planets in '09, Pat Metheny in '10 and I'm pumped for a great fall with this year's show 'The Music of Trevor Rabin' featuring selections from National Treasure and Remember The Titans.
Of course with the end of summer and the coming of marching band means the beginning of fall, my favorite season. And with fall, and August 31, comes the start of my sophomore year of high school. 
Much as I groan and grumble about the beginning of the school year, I am excited to some extent. I've got some great new classes: AP United States History, Honors Math III, French III, Honors English 10, Honors Chemistry, and Wind Ensemble. Not to mention marching band, jazz band, this year's musical, and the Florida trip with the band in February. While I will most certainly be missing some people, friends who transferred for 10th grade, last year's 8th graders who aren't going to my high school for freshman year, and my now post-grad friends now starting college, I think it will be a good year.

I'm hanging onto summer for as long as possible.


A Kotzschmar Concert

Oh I just LOVE a good concert!
In Portland at the auditorium at City Hall there is the huge and beautiful organ called the Kotzschmar Organ and every Tuesday night in the summer a guest organist comes and plays a concert, and I got to go and see the one last night with my grandmother!
A man by the name of James (Jimmie) Jones was the organist, he was quite young and was VERY good, but the really neat thing was that a woman named Anita Cirba played along on many of the pieces on trumpet.
See the appeal this holds for me now?
Anyway, the concert was INCREDIBLE.
The organist was so so great and was very animated in his playing, which made him fun to watch. It was especially fun to see him glissando the really low pedal notes that are played with the feet. 
This is him:

The trumpet player, Anita, was simply fabulous. She had beautiful tone quality and was just so nice to listen to. She played trumpet, fluglehorn, and piccolo trumpet, and I especially enjoyed listening to her play the fluglehorn. One of the cool things too was that she played a couple of pieces from the balcony instead of the stage which created a very cool effect.
This is her:

They had a great program too. Some Mendelssohn, Holst and Durufle, along with more contemporary composers. I really liked on of the pieces 'Tea and Trumpets' which featured very 'punny' title such as 'Trumpet Mandatory' instead of the usual trumpet voluntary. I knew some of the music too like Hovhaness' 'Prayer of Saint Gregory' and Durufle's theme from his 'Veni Creator'. I was so excited when they started to play the Holst piece though because it turned out to be the ballad from 'Jupiter' from 'The Planets'. 
Of course, our marching band did the planets two years ago and the Jupiter ballad was my favorite part of the whole show.
It was very nice on organ and trumpet too...

All in all it was a fantastic concert and I would love to see them perform again sometime!
It's raining here today, but that's OK. Good for reading books and doing homework and stuff like that :)


Doing Nothing?

Well this is certainly a change...
I've been crazily busy all summer and now I can just, well, relax! 
(Or as close to relaxing as my life can
Yesterday we took my brother to camp, Pilgrim Lodge, to a week that I have been to many times that is totally awesome, and that he should really love. That was fun because a lot of my friends who are a year younger than I am go to that week and so I got to see a bunch of them which was nice.
Last night the 25th anniversary concert of Les Mis was on PBS so, naturally, I had to watch it. The whole concert thing was really really cool but I didn't like that they skipped some parts and changed some of the words. It was still very good though and I'm glad I watched it because I needed a nice heavy dose of Les Mis :)

It's a pretty lazy day around here, I washed my trumpet, wrote a letter, memorized the whole opener to our marching band show, read a bit, did some of my APUSH (Advanced Placement United States History) summer homework (YUCK!) and then sat down to write this blog post. Not really sure what to do with the rest of my day, I'm kind of bored already.
While it IS nice to not be crazy is kinda boring too....

*random pictures*


Beach Daze

Have I mentioned how much I love the beach?
The sand, the sun, the surf. Just perfect.
Today, our last day here, started out badly.
With rain.
I was not happy. I mean, it was our last day and I wanted to spend it at the beach of course!
We even walked in the rain to the post office so I could send a couple letters and got totally drenched. Yeah, that totally lifted my mood...
Thankfully though, it cleared off enough for us to want to get moving and get to the beach. It was actually quite a nice day there too. It wasn't too hot and although it was windy, it wasn't terribly cold either. The waves were also the best they'd been so we had a good time body surfing, especially at the end of the day.
After a while the sun came out too which was super nice as well.
Plus it was thoroughly pleasing that I didn't burn any more.

Speaking of my burns, they are still very very sore around my shoulders, and I really don't want to talk about the ones on my stomach....
Already splotchy they've turned a violent reddish-purple hue and are making it look like my tummy is diseased. Not pleasant, I assure you.
But you know, at least I'm tan in some places! That NEVER happens :)

We're going to head home sometime tomorrow I think and hopefully it will be a painless trip back and I will get to do a good chunk of driving too.
Upon my return home I don't have much to do for the next two weeks except do my AP US History homework, clean and relax (at places like the beach) until marching band starts up. (Oh yeah, maybe I should memorize my music too....)
Sounds like it'll be pretty low-key which is in direct contrast to how it's been!
Oh well, I could probably use the break.... 


I'm A Vampire Lobster

do not use spray sunscreen as your base sunscreen layer.

I guess I should start at the beginning...
At midnight last night my family left or house and began our trip down to New Jersey as we do every August. The trip went very smoothly except for a bunch of constrcution in Massachusetts but whatever. It didn't slow us down much. My leg of the journey went well too and my driving was just fine. (Yay me)
We arrived here in Cape May around 9:30am and were on the beach by noon.
It was a great beach day! I hadn't been to the beach yet this year because I've been away so much and I was really starting to miss that salt water.
I spent most of that long beach day in the water where my dear brother decided it would be a lot of fun to constantly attack me....and also in my beach chair reading a very good book.

Now unfortunately for me, I used spray sunscreen as my first sunscreen application of the day. What I didn't know is that you should use cream as your base coat and the spray or cream to re-apply.
Basically my five or six hours in direct sunlight with spray sunscreen was not very good for me.
We came back from the cottage, took showers and as I was canging I saw myself in the mirror.

My skin is not the least bit attractive at the moment, let me tell you. It is all mottled between two colors:

Half of me looks like a very pale vampire, while the other half looks like an overcooked lobster.

And it's mottled, so I like have a burn on my arm and a couple random pearly white circles in the middle of it.
It is very strange.
I do not like it very much at all.


(other than that my day way very nice, thank you very much for asking)