How was your break and what did you do?
My winter break was not very eventful. I spent the 1st weekend in Laredo with my grandparents where I had my first (of 3) Christmas celebrations. After seeing my grandparents I went with my Dad and stepmom, Brandy, for a week. They had just moved into the house that they built, so I spent most of the week helping my Dad do small projects around the house. Once my stepsister, Makayla, arrived from college, we had an amazing sushi dinner and all spent Christmas day together. When I got back home to my Mom's we also had a Christmas celebration for my little sister, Avigail, and I got to help wrap and set out presents late the night before. Overall my winter break was simple, but I enjoyed spending time with all my family and taking a break from the stress of school.
What is the most trouble you have ever given your parents? What is the most enjoyment you have ever given them?
I think the most trouble I have ever given my parents is when I was told to do something and I didn't do it, or I answered back. This has happened several times and I think that is the thing I've done that has upset my parents the most over the years, since it's a repeated behavior. The most enjoyment I have given my parents is when I finish with all A's and when excel in band. At this point it is an expectation to make good grades and its somewhat of one to do well in playing the flute. I think those are the things they take the most pride in when it comes to me.
What dream can you conceive? Can you believe it? Can you achieve it?
I want to be in the top 20 in my class by the time I graduate. I believe that if I continue to work hard in my classes and get good grades I can achieve my goal. Right now I am ranked 26, so a little more work could go a long way! Handling my free time more responsibly, procrastinating less, and putting more effort into every assignment are things I could do to achieve my goal. I also should study more for big tests and work together with my peers so that we all improve.
What are you doing this weekend?
My plans for this weekend are pretty simple. On Saturday I am just going to sleep in and hang around my house during the day, then go to the movies in the afternoon. Sunday will be pretty simple also, but we will most likely have a family BBQ. This coming Tuesday is my little sister's birthday so we're throwing her a party on Monday at the Children's museum in New Braunfels. Those are all the plans I currently have, but I may end up hanging out with friends or doing something more exciting at the last minute.
How do you decide if you like someone? How do you show interest in them?
To decide whether or not I like someone, I usually first start by comparing interests. If we like similar things and have things to talk about, I will be more inclined to like them as a person. I also consider their behaviors and actions to see whether or not I agree with them. To show interest in people I like, I usually try to talk to them more and be friendly by smiling when I see them or showing positive body language. Having a good attitude when around them is also a good way to express interest.
Have you ever "passed on a kindness?"
I have passed on kindness before. I am a big believer in karma, so I think that if you do good things, good things will come to you. If someone does something nice for me, I feel like the right thing to do is do something nice for someone else. When people give me something I need or help me in any way, I try to do the same for others.
Who is your biggest fan?
My biggest fan would probably be my little sister, Avigail. She's four years old and she looks up to me a lot (literally and figuratively). Anytime she attends my concerts or any award ceremony/recognition ceremony she is very supportive. She often tells me that when she grows up she wants to be "just like" me, which i find really sweet.
What do you love most about yourself? What do others love about you?
The thing I love most about myself is that I am intelligent and hardworking, so I can be successful in anything I set my mind to. I think that others love that I am trustworthy and a very supportive, caring, person. I also consider myself to be pretty self confident and secure of myself.
Which of your senses is the most important to you? What would you do without it?
I would say that my sight is most important to me. I think that not being able to see would make things very difficult for me. I don't know how I would handle not being able to read or drive or enjoy all of the beautiful sights that the world has to offer. If I couldn't see, I would probably try and get more engaged in music since my hearing would still be working, but it would be challenging since I wouldn't be able to read music. I think I would also try to involve myself in things that include other blind people so that I would have people that understood what i was going through.
How do you see yourself? How do you think others see you?
I'd say that I'm pretty self confident and consider myself as beautiful. I definitely have my days where I feel insecure, but my overall self image is very positive. I think that others' views of me probably vary, but I think that most people would agree that I'm pretty. People have definitely said mean things about my image before, but I try not to let it get to me.
Do you treat people as they are, or as they ought to be?
I think I treat people as they ought to be. My mom sets really high standards for me, since she expects me to excel in most things. I follow this principle for most of my friends, especially my best friend. I know she has the potential to do great in anything she sets her mind to, and a lot of times I find myself pushing her and treating her like she should do better in school than she does. I know that she may find it annoying, but overall I think it does push her to try her hardest.
How were you taught to tell the truth?
When I was in Kindergarten, my best friend took some blocks from our classroom and asked me to hold them for her after school. She left before I could give them back to her and I ended up taking them home. My mom saw me with them when I was getting ready for bed, and I lied to her about what they were (but she obviously already knew). She made me apologize to my teacher the next morning for taking them and didn't let me watch TV for a week. That was how I learned not to lie and not to steal (and to not hold things for people that I knew were bad).
Have your parents ever practiced "long division" on you and your friends?
I think "long division" would be making a friend/significant other leave, and if that's what it means, then no. If my parents think my friend(s) should leave, they usually hint at it to me, and then I tell my friend. They don't ever abruptly tell my friends to leave or physically kick them out, but then again they've never caught me kissing anyone or anything like that. If they did then they might practice "long division" on us.
When has a friend opened up a whole new world for you?
My friend Nia opened up a whole new world for me. When we became friends in 6th grade, I befriended her through band and becoming friends with her opened up friendship opportunities with a bunch of other people too. Had I not become friends with her, I probably wouldn't be close with some of my best friends now. I was always really stuck up during elementary school and I didn't have many friends. Once I got to middle school and befriended Nia, I changed my attitude and was able to gain many more friends!
What is the most important advice you have ever received?
The most important advice that I've been given is that hard work pays off. I've learned that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to as long as I work at it. My mom is the person who gave me the advice and I really took it to heart. I know that if I really want something, I can get it if I work hard enough.
What was the stupidest thing you have ever done? Did someone persuade you to do it?
The stupidest thing I have ever done was in 5th grade with one of my best friends and a kid a year younger than us. We all went to an after school daycare program and one day decided that it was a good idea to sniff sharpies. We arranged a day and decided who was going to bring them. We all knew it was a bad thing and that we had to hide it (but being 5th graders, we didn't really know how bad). As we hid under the playground, one of the younger kids tattled on us and on of the daycare counselors came over and busted us (before anyone actually sniffed the sharpies). We all got in loads of trouble-both with the daycare and with our parents. My mom and Dad also gave me a huge lecture and I learned my lesson. This was stupid because I was naive enough to not really know why people sniffed sharpies, but I knew it was wrong and still planned to do it.
Topic of choice
Tomorrow is my Solo and Ensemble competition for Band. I'm doing a solo as well as an ensemble. I feel pretty confident with my solo, and I have it memorized. You have to have your solo memorized in order to qualify to advance to State Solo and Ensemble. I advanced last year, so I'm hoping to continue the trend. My ensemble on the other hand, I'm pretty nervous for. We can't seem to nail our transitions and its overall a little messy. We are also missing a person, so I don't know if we'll even be able to advance. I am also having a sleepover with 3 of my best friends tonight, which will be a lot of fun. We haven't had the chance to all hang out in a really long time so I'm looking forward to it.
What do you wish you knew then that you know now?
I wish that I knew that drama with boys and friends was temporary and that it wasn't the end of the world. Throughout middle school and part of freshman year, there was always so much dumb drama between my friend group. I used to take it to heart and get really upset over it. I know now that all friend groups go through phases, but real friends stick by you through rough patches. I have a group of 3 girls that are my best friends now and we've definitely had our ups and downs. Boy drama used to also stress me out but I know now that it's really not that serious. Knowing what I know now would have been helpful and saved me a lot of stress over drama.