How was your break and what did you do?
My break was good but shorter than I hoped it would be. My nephew was born on December 23rd, so I spent a large amount of time with him and the rest of my family. I also went to the movie theater a lot over the break with my sister. Spending time with my family is always fun.
My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it. --Mark Twain. What is the most trouble you have ever given your parents? What is the most enjoyment you have ever given them?
I haven't had a whole a lot of trouble with my parents. For the most part we got along pretty well since I do what they ask of me. I give my parents lots of reasons for enjoyment. I make all A's every year and am currently number 11 in my class. I've never had any behavioral issues at school and I think I represent my family very well.
A high school football player felt hurt and betrayed when his girlfriend broke up with him, and it affected his game. His coach suggested that he write down all of their experiences, good and bad, and what he learned from them. When he read what he had written, the football player realized how she had shaped his life and made him a better person. With that, he could move on.
Does writing help you express your feelings? "Love is Never Lost," David J. Murcott, CSTSII
I definitely think writing helps you express your feelings, good and bad. Instead of letting your thoughts transform into bad actions, why not just write them down and get them out in a more civil manner. Writing can be very beneficial.
A teacher decorated his bulletin board with inspirational sayings. One sign proclaimed: "You you can conceive it and believe it you can achieve it." Paul, a D student, read the sign and said that his dream was to be a B student by the end of the semester. He believed he could be; and with hard work, he achieved it.
What dream can you conceive? Can you believe it? Can you achieve it? "The Eternal Gifts," Jack Schlatter, CSTSI
An academic dream I have is to be in the top 10 of my class. I definitely see myself at that spot since I'm currently number 11. This goal is attainable but will just require a little more effort and dedication to my schoolwork.
What are you doing during the 3-day weekend?
On Saturday I'm going to San Antonio. I plan on spending time with my family and watch football on Sunday. And on Monday I plan on doing homework, cleaning up my room, and working out.
A college student was offended by a professor's remark and thought that the professor didn't like him. A friend suggested that the professor might be thinking the same way. " People like people who like them," he said. "If you show an interest in him, he'll be interested in you." When the young man spoke to the professor in a friendly way, their relationship changed.
How do you decide if you like someone? How do you show interest in them? "Like People First," Kent Nerburn, CSTSI
Usually people like each other when they have something in common. Or if you see some of the qualities you have in that person. You can show interest in a person by trying to talk to them and making an effort to try to get to know them better.
Two teenagers stopped at a hot dog stand for lunch. When they went to pay, the vendor wouldn't take their money, saying it was his "freebie of the day." After they ate, a homeless man asked if they had any food left. There was none, but one of the teens bought a hot dog for the man. "I'm just passing on the kindness that someone gave to me," she explained.
Have you ever "passed on a kindness"? "A Gift for Two," Andrea Hensley, CSTSI
Yes, I actually have passed on kindness. One time I had ran into HEB real quick to buy a few things. An older gentlemen behind offered to pay and I told him it was okay but I thanked him anyways. He insisted on paying for the items and I was deeply flattered by his generosity. The next day I had gone to a coffee shop and noticed an elderly woman in line behind me. I ordered my coffee and gave the cashier money to pay for the woman in line behind me.
Just two weeks before opening night, Sherry told her drama teacher that she had to quit the school play. Her boyfriend complained that she didn't have time for him. The teacher told Sherry that she was outstanding in her told and that her boyfriend should be her biggest fan. Sherry kept her starring role in the play; her boyfriend got a new girl friend.
Who is your biggest fan? "Discovery" Eugene E. Beasley, CSTSII
My biggest fan is my Mom. She always pushes me to do my best and I love her for that. She is supportive and always does her best to set a good example for me. She always believes in me no matter what. I'm truly blessed to have a mother like her.
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. -- Oscar Wilde
What do you love most about yourself? What do others love about you?
I love that I can control myself and my feelings. I realize that things aren't bad until you start thinking that things are bad. If you have the right mindset, you'll always be able to turn bad into good or good into bad. I also love that I have self-motivation and can actually keep and reach goals I make for myself. Others love that I'm very generous, I'm laid back, and I always have a listening ear for them.
Because of a rare eye condition, Jason is legally blind. He can't drive, see a blackboard or read a book. But he can play varsity basketball, take honors classes and study abroad. How? Jason compensated for his blindness by developing his other talents. He realized there are many different ways to look at life.
Which of your senses is the most important to you? What would you do without it? "Visionary" Jason Leib, CSTSII
My vision is most important to me. I love looking at the beauty of nature and playing with my nephew and dog. Living without vision would be very hard for me and I'd probably always have to be helped. This is an actual fear for me because I already have very bad vision and can only see blurs of color without glasses or contacts.
When Greg passed around his yearbook to be signed, someone wrote, "Hi there, Ugly!" on the back page. Greg was crushed and believed this cruel remark was true. Years later, his wife told him he was handsome. Until, then he had always believed the graffiti in his yearbook.
How do you see yourself? How do you think others see you? "Hi There, Ugly," Greg Barker, CSTSI
I see myself as a clean person who has high hygiene expectations. I'm always clean and I think I'm a very beautiful person, inside and out. As far as others view me, I don't really know exactly how they see me but I do know my Mom thinks I'm a cute girl.
If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain as he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.
Do you treat people as they are, or as they ought to be?
I treat people how I view them, which is most of the time what they ought to be. I tend to try to see the best in people and that reflects in the way I treat them.
Jason was supposed to pick his father up for the 18-mile drive home, but got engrossed in a movie and was two hours late. He then lied to his father about his tardiness, but his dad knew the truth. 'I'm going to walk home and think about what I've done wrong to have a son who lies." the Father walked the 18 miles home in the dark while Jason drove alongside -- and he never lied again.
How were you taught to tell the truth? "A Long Walk Home," Jason Bocarro, CSTSI
My parents have always taught be since I was a little girl to tell the truth. I've never lied a huge lie that got me into trouble. My parents raised me to have standards for myself and I can definitely say I live up to them.
Then he kissed her, she kissed him, Without an explanation, And both together smiled and said, "That's multiplication." Then Dad appeared upon the scene and Made a quick decision. He kicked that kid three blocks away And said, "That's long division!"--Dan Clark
Have your parents ever practiced "long division" on you and your friends? "Practical Application," Dan Clark, CSTSII
No, my parents have never kicked one of my friends out of the house.
Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. --Anais Nin
When has a friend opened up a whole new world for you?
In December 2014, I went to Colorado and my family met a family that we became friends with. They had a daughter, Sarah, who was 16 at the time, 3 years older than me. She introduced a lot of fun activities to me that was definitely a whole new world. Theses activities included pond ice skating, snow boarding, skiing, and night skiing. When I went back to Colorado in August 2016, I thought it wouldn't be as fun as in the winter time but I was completely wrong. We swam in natural springs, went hiking, hunted for mushrooms, played walley ball, and many other awesome things.
Some students researching careers were given an assignment to interview a professional in their chosen fields. One student decided on journalism, but she was terrified when she sat down to interview a real reporter about his career. The reporter gave the girl some crucial career advise: "Never go anywhere without a pen and paper."
What is the most important advise you have ever received? "Mrs. Virgina DeView, Where are you?," Diana L. Chapman, CSTSI
The most important advice I've ever received is to learn from my mistakes. If I allow myself to get down about something that I did, then I won't ever learn anything from them. However, if have the right attitude towards them, then I'll be able to use that mistake and help myself and others grow from it, learning to not do it again.
An honor student was persuaded by her friends to pull a stupid prank. They bought a bottle of mustard and squirted people as they drove by. One of their victims turned out to be their teacher! They went to the teacher's home and apologized. She forgave them, and they learned their lesson.
What was the stupidest thing you have ever done? Did someone persuade you to do it? "My Most Embarrassing Moment," Rochelle M. Pennington, CSTSII
One time I was in Colorado during winter break. We were staying at a ski resort and it was super snowy outside. We decided to get the sleds and go down this small hill by the parking lot. I went down too fast and lost control and I ended up sliding under one of the cars and hurting my back pretty bad. Everyone was encouraging me to go first so I just went ahead and did it. I definitely learned to think before I do.
Any topic of choice.
Today grades are due for progress report cards. 4 of my grades are 100's. In Pre-Cal I have a 94, which will go up at the end of the nine-weeks with my 60 extra point points. In English, I have a 96 which should go up to at least a 98 with all of my extra credit. In WHAP, I have a 91 which will hopefully go up in the next 3 weeks.
People often say, "If I knew then what I know now...," A girl wrote a poem about the knowledge she wished had. Some of her wishes: I would listen more carefully to what my heart said... I would play more, fret less... I wouldn't be afraid of acting like a kid... I would be braver.
What do you wish you knew then that you know now? "If I Knew," Kimberly Kirberger, CSTSI
Just yesterday I smashed my finger between two dumbbells in Weights class at about 9am. You could immediately see the purple blood swelling up under my fingernail. Coach let me go to the nurse to get an ice pack and I iced it for about 2 hours. I thought the pain would've gone away by about 11:30 but it still hurt very bad and I couldn't even write. I went to the doctor at 2:45 and she drained it using a needle. It hurt really bad but I definitely think it was worth having that pain for the next couple of days. Thinking back about what happened, I wish I would've paid more attention to my surroundings and what I was doing and never to let my guard down when I'm in the weight room.
A high school senior in a small town became close friends with a beautiful, sophisticated girl from a big city who had transferred to his school. Their friendship bloomed into a romance. As they parted for college, they decided not to correspond and to leave each other behind.
Have you ever decided to leave someone behind? How did it feel? "Lost Love," T. J. Lacey, CSTSII
One time I decided to cut off my association with a friend that was very bad influence. Although we were not romantically involved, we had become close friends throughout a matter of 3 years. He started hanging out with bad people that stole and did drugs. I ended our friendship and stopped talking to him. It was pretty hard because we had become very good friends but I just had to remember that my relationship with myself is more important than any other relationship.
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." --Eleanor Roosevelt
What is the most frightening thing that has happened to you? How did you live through it?
One time my family and I went to a massive convention with many people and few familiar faces. We had gone to the front to take a picture together in front of a statue. Once we were done, I started walking away with someone I though was my dad. We walked pretty far before I realized this man was not my dad at all. I ran away and started shuffling through all of these people. My eyes started getting tearing and I started wondering about what would happen if I didn't find them. Thankfully, I was able to find them nearby.
A mother who had been a plain girl remembers how it felt to be ignored on Valentine's Day. Every Valentine's Day she gives her sons money to purchase carnations at their school. She instructs them to give one to their girlfriends, and to give the other -- anonymously -- to a girl who probably won't receive a flower from anyone else.
Have you ever received an anonymous gift? Have you ever given one? How did it feel? "A Valentine for Laura," Don Caskey, CSTSII
One time anonymously received a box of chocolates from someone and down to this day I still have no ides who it was from. Another time like last year I was in line by myself in HEB. An old man in line behind me gave me a one dollar bill for no clear reason. It feels good to receive gifts but when they're unexpected, it feels so much better.
Elisa was involved in acting, gymnastics, horsemanship and dance. In her desire to look and perform perfectly, Elisa developed anorexia. Soon, she was smaller than a size zero. Serious heart problems sent her to the hospital. Elisa finally learned that in trying to be perfect on the outside, she sacrificed who she was on the inside.
What do you try to do "perfectly"? What happens? "Always Perfect," Elisa Donovan, CSTSII
I try to get perfect grades and give my all on everything I do. Of course this is impossible because we are all imperfect. I try to lower standards for myself to make my goals easier to reach.
Kimberly often heard adults express their disappointment in teenagers today, until she drove into a car wash manned by a mob of young people. She learned that the teens were raising money to plant a tree in memory of a friend who had died.
What is the best thing you have seen teenagers do lately? "Teenagers Today," Kimberly Kirberger, CSTSI
The best thing I've seen teenagers do was almost a year ago. It was when San Marcos and local areas flooded. Most of the seniors used their Senior Skip Day helping the San Marcos community clean up devastated areas.
What are your Spring Break plans?
So far, I only have a couple of plans for Spring Break. On Saturday, I'm going to my brother's house to hang out with my nephew. On Wednesday, I'm planning on going to Garner State Park. On Thursday, I'm getting a haircut. I also hope to workout more and start running o
What did you do over spring break?
Saturday I was with my nephew the whole day. Sunday I went to Logan's Roadhouse and had friends over to play board games. Monday I went to Garner State Park with friends and family. Tuesday I went to the movies with friends. The morning of Tuesday and Wednesday, I helped people that were affected by the recent flood by cleaning up their yards and cutting fallen trees. On Wednesday I also went to Texas Roadhouse with my family. On Thursday I got a haircut then went shopping in New Braunfels. Friday I volunteered again then went to the park with friends to play basketball and tennis. Saturday I went to my friend's house and played volleyball. Sunday we had family friends come over to our house to eat brisket my Dad made.
T.J. Ware was the most celebrated troublemaker in his town -- that is, until he joined the Homeless Project team and was elected co-chairman. A group of teachers protested his involvement because of his arrest record. T.J. proved them wrong by collecting a record number of canned goods and blankets.
Do you know anyone who has made a major change in his or her behavior for the better? What caused them to change?
My cousin was a very good child when we were growing up. As time went on, however, she started hanging out with bad people inside and outside of school that had a negative impact on her. She started drinking alcohol and doing drugs at the age of 15. She ended up pregnant by the age of 16 and recently had a baby boy. Although this was not the ideal way to have a baby, I think it changed her for the better. She cut off her association with bad people and started talking to people that actually cared about her well-being. Now she is such a great mom and is very dedicated to her son.
A teacher decorated his bulletin board with inspirational sayings. One sign proclaimed: "If you can conceive it and believe it you can achieve it." Paul, a D student, read the sign and said that his dream was to be a B student by the end of the semester. He believed he could be; and with hard work, he achieved it.
What dream can you conceive? Can you believe it? Can you achieve it?
A dream I've had for myself ever since I can remember is to be an A honor roll student. I've always believed I could reach this goal and actually have. As a result, my parents and teachers are very proud of me and I can gladly say that I'm ranked number 10 in my class of 639.
After a fight between them, a daughter left her mom a poem about growing up that began, "Wonder, to me, is the worst place to be...". Her mother responded with a poem of her own, and it helped them reconcile. As a surprise, the daughter read her mother's poem at graduation, and ended her speech with, "You can turn your wonder into wonderful."
What is the best thing you have ever written? What is the best thing ever written to you? "Wonder, to Me," Jill Thieme. CSTSII
About a couple of months ago I wrote a Creative Story in English and had it published in December. It was taken place in a forest in the winter. It was about a girl who had a nightmare while camping about a family of polar bears. I would say that this was the best thing I've written so far. The best thing ever written to me is a card my mom wrote me for doing super great freshman year. She writes me a card at the end of every year, but this one in particular was very special.
My friend I need you now, Please take me by the hand. Stand by me in my hour of need, Take time to understand. --Becky Tucker
When have you needed a friend most? Was someone there for you? When has a friend needed you? Were you there for your friend? "I Need You Now," Becky Tucker, CSTSII
One time I was out at my friends house who lives far into the country. It was late into the night and we were playing hide and seek. I had climbed far up the tree where no one could find me. I ended up being the last one still hiding and after a while I realized I no longer wanted to be in the tree. To my surprise, I had climbed way higher than I thought I did and I couldn't jump down and it was too risky to climb back down. Luckily, my friend sneakingly brought me a ladder and to this day no one but me and her knows where I was hiding. Another time I was in Iowa with my friend Gabriel. We were working on a roof together by ourselves. He was using a drill and accidentally drilled into his hand. It made a bloody mess all over the roof. He was in pain and I had no idea what to do. I took him upstairs and doctored him up. Fortunately, he was okay. j
How you feel about yourself is like a personal bank account. You make deposits and withdrawals with all the things you think, say, and do. When you do an act of kindness, for example, that's making a deposit. When you break a promise, that's making a withdrawal. Even all deposits over a long period of time lead to a healthy account.
What is the balance of your personal bank account? Are you rich or bankrupt? - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Habit 1
I would definitely say that my personal bank account is rich. I make a lot of invests into relationships with my family and friends. I am constantly helping others and focusing on the best in them. I also volunteer very often which is good for our community.
Character is the discipline to follow through with resolutions long after the spirit in which they were made has passed. ---Anonymous
Have you ever made a resolution? What was it? When did you make it? Did you follow through with it? What resolution do you want to make now? - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
I made a resolution to make good grades and stay at the top 2% of my class. I guess you can say I've kind of lost my spirit and some of my motivation since second grade. Although I've lost some, there's still enough in me to keep my promise to myself and I'm proud to say I'm in the top 1.5%.
All successful people have the habit of doing the things failures don't like to do. They don't like doing them either, necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose. ---Albert E. Gray
What is the secret of your success? What is the one thing you do that makes you successful? - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Habit 3: Put First Things First
One of my secrets is my strong motivation. In my opinion, nothing is possible without motivation. Motivation can spring out of your own heart or mind or come from others. This motivation causes me to keep my grades up and trying my best at everything I do. You have to learn to believe in yourself even when others don't.
What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other? ---George Elliot
For whom can you make life less difficult today? - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Habit 4: Think Win-Win
I can make my grandparents' lives less difficult by helping them around the yard. My mom's parents live an acre and their land is basically a huge garden because there's so many plants and trees. I help them by watering, planting, and whatever else they need me to do. My other grandparents own a barbershop so I help them clean it once a month and whenever else I can and also help with their yard and house. My 86-year old great grandmother lives with my grandparents and still occasionally drives herself to grocery and clothing stores. I help her by driving her places when I can and also try to spend as much time as possible with her.
Don't be fooled by me. Don't be fooled by the mask I wear. For I wear a mask, I wear a thousand masks, mask that I'm afraid to take off, and none of them is me. Pretending is an art that is second nature with me, but don't be fooled.
Do you pretend to be someone or something that you are not? Why?
I don't pretend to be someone I'm not because I don't want people to think I need their approval or friendship in order to be happy. Instead, I'm myself all the time because that's what makes me happy and leads to true friendship.
We see them come. We see them go. Some are fast. And some are slow. Not one of them is like another. Don't ask us why. Go ask your mother. ---Dr. Seuss One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
How are you unlike any other person? What makes you unique and different from everyone else? - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Habit 6: Synergize
My personality is unlike many people and it makes me different. I'm very organized and prefer to do things alone so I can do it correctly. But I'm also very dependent. I hate being alone and I feel the need to be with someone every strp
It's easy to quit smoking. I've done it a hundred times. ---Mark Twain
What unhealthy habit would like to break? Have you already tried to break it? How? - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
I would like to break my bad sleep schedule. I had a really good sleep schedule at the beginning of the year, I laid down around 9:30 everyday of the week. Now that it's the end of the school year, my work load has gotten a lot heavier and it's harder to manage my time. Some nights I'll to sleep at 9 because I'm so tired and other nights I'll go to sleep at 12 because I have so much homework. I'd like to get on another routine sleep schedule.
A ship at sea for many years picks up barnacles that attach themselves to the bottom of the ship and weigh it down, becoming a safety hazard. When the ship is taken to a freshwater port free of salt, the barnacles come loose and fall off. The ship can then return to sea, relieved of its burden.
Are you carrying around "barnacles" in the form of mistakes, regrets, and pain from the past? How could you let go of these burdens? - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Habit 1: Be Proactive
I don't really carry around "barnacles" because I've never done anything super bad. I'm only 15 and I live a pretty good life, so I don't necessarily have "pain from the past." Even when I do something I regret like saying something that hurt another person, I try to make it right by genuinely apologizing to that person which is sometimes hard to do.
The myth of the phoenix bird teaches a valuable lesson. According to legend, when this winged creature reached 500 years of age, it would burn itself in a fire. Out of these ashes, the phoenix would arise, reborn.
Have you ever been "burned" by a bad experience? Has a bad experience ever transformed you and turned you into a new person? - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
One time I bought a phone on craigslist. I met the guy at Walmart and the phone worked perfectly and was in good condition. I popped my SIM card in the phone to make sure my service worked with it. It was all around a great phone. I bought it and took it home. It worked for about a week and I absolutely loved it. However, it started acting up on me and my internet, calls, and text wouldn't go through. I took it to a phone place and it turns out the person that sold it to me had blackmailed it, basically telling his phone service company that it was stolen so that he could a full refund on the phone. This caused the phone to be put on a blackmail list which basically deactivated the phone for it's purposes. I was definitely "burned" in this experience and pretty much lost my trust in most of humankind.
Any topic of your choice
This week was good. I completed almost half of my to-do list. The only major thing left to do is my AP World History Exam.
An all-American collegiate wrestler was asked what the most memorable day of his career had been. He replied that it was the one day during his career when practice had been canceled. He hated practice, but was willing to endure it because it enabled him to be the best he could be.
Is there anything you hate doing, but you do it anyway because it makes you a better person? What is it? - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Habit 3: Put First Things First
I hate going to school and doing homework but I do it because I love learning and it makes me look like a good person. The reason I continue trying hard in school is because of what I achieve. I'm ranked number 10 in my class and I make my parents proud.
Win-win is a belief that everyone can win. You care about other people and you want them to succeed, but you want to succeed as well. It is the belief that there's plenty of success to go around. It's not a matter of who gets the biggest piece of pie. There's more than enough food for everyone. It's an all-you-can-eat buffet.
What situation in your life requires win-win thinking? The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens - Habit 4: Think Win-Win
In a work environment if everyone had a win-win attitude there would never really be any conflict. Most people go to work to provide financially for their families but not everyone necessarily enjoys their job. If everyone viewed their job as getting what you need to get done, done, then working would be s