This January has been crazy! All month we have been packing and unpacking and getting all stressed out, but it is all worth it because we are finally in a house! My family and I for the past year and a half, have lived in an apartment. I am not saying there is anything wrong with apartments but, before we moved to New York we lived in a pretty good sized house. So from going to a house to an apartment was a bit annoying. But my family and I are very grateful for this house, and we cannot wait for the summer because we have a pool, and a huge backyard! The work load at school is also increasing, which made things a tad more stressful, but what is school without all of the work? January is also the time where retaking/taking regents occurs. I did not retake a regents, but I did take the English 11 regents. No, it was not a retake, but my teacher, Ms. Woodward did persuade the board to let the English 11 kids take their English regent early. All the prep that went into these last few months was crazy! But honestly, it was all worth it in the end. I believe I did pretty well, but I know if I did not doing well, then I can just take it again in June, before school is out. Regents are so stressful! You work all year just to take one regent for that one class! There is one regent for every one core class you have. English, Science, Math, History, a Language, and a music have a regents. If you have an AP core class, then you have the AP exam (that costs money) and a regent’s exam (does not cost a dime, out of my parent’s pockets, thanks taxes!) So you can see how school might be a bit stress full in January and in June. January also marks when we ae halfway through the year. My elective classes are coming to an end, and that means finals in my electives. That means that is our very last grade in that class, and hopefully it boosts our grade, and not lower it. Some core classes also have midterms. On top of it all some teachers decide to throw a midterm at us right after Christmas break! OH JOY! That is just adding right onto all the stress. I think for all these reasons, kids are dropping out of school. I’m still in school (obviously), but I have found four grey hairs on my head, WHAT!?
At four o’clock my aunt and uncle met my grandma half way and they took us into their possession. On the ride to their lovely home we talked about many things and had some good laughs. By the time we got to their house it was 5:30pm and we were all hungry. After dinner we unpacked our bags and went and sat with my aunt and uncle. At 9:00pm exactly my uncle went to bed and my brother, aunt, and I stayed up to watch the ball drop. I honestly was not worth it, if you compare it to Australias New Year. After that we all went to bed and slept peacefully. That next morning my aunt told me that her and my uncles New Years tradition was to walk on the beach in the morning. So we got ready and headed to the beach and it was really cold and extremely windy! We then went to lunch at Salt Life, a popular restaurant in Florida. The drinks took forever and then our food took even longer! My uncle told me to set my timer for five minutes and thats when we would leave and just pay for our drinks. So i set my timer and four minutes went by and our food wasn’t at the table yet. They had ten more seconds and we would’ve left without any food. At that five second mark they finally came with our food! It was a pretty good meal. The next day we went to the alligator farm and fed some big ole alligators. That would’ve been a great experience if my brother didn’t get hives from the shellfish in the pellet you feed them. There are over 3,000 alligators at the farm on display to the public. They also have mammals and beautiful birds there too. The alligator farm is my favorite place in St. Augustine. At the alligator farm my brother and i bought my mom a mug, because she loves coffee. The next day we went to a Tiger Reserve and saw 45 different kinds of big cats! The tour was two hours long and has lots of walking involved. The big cats were once pets of people who could not take care of them. You walk in and automatically feel awful for all these animals. It wasnt just big cats there, there were deer, wolves, hyena, and even a black goat that would follow you around the reserve. Florida is an amazing place to visit and i am so thankful that i have the opportunity to visit so often. I loved visiting my grandma and my aunt and uncle. I’m very thankful that they let my brother and I stay in their homes. Our flight home was rough and bumpy but obviously we made it. The flights took longer because of the severe winds up in the east. My dad picked us up and we finally got home safe and sound. I really really missed my bed and my dog Lucky…and maybe my parents too.
On Christmas eve my family and I opened all of our presents. What my parents got my brother and I was AMAZING! Of course I appreciate everything they got for me and my brother. Its sometimes hard to give them these amazing presents too, since i make no money. They say all they want are big hugs and kisses, but I end up feeling bad for only being able to give them that. Soon I will be heading off to college, and I cannot wrap my head around how much I actually need them in my life. I have been thinking a lot about how many things I need them for. I need them for money, food, shelter, love, protection, and support. Those six things don’t even cover half of what they do for my brother and me. I know we might not be in the best positions sometimes, but my parents always find away to make sure we are ok, and make sure we don’t worry about our family. So i just wanted to take time (and 177 words) to thank my parents for giving me the world and more. On Christmas day my parents shipped my brother and me off to Florida for 10 days! My first real adult experience of flying without my parents there to guide us. With a connecting flight waiting for us in Atlanta! I know you all are wondering “WHAT THE HECK WERE THEY THINKING? Sending two kids on a plane alone!” Dont worry, we had a escort on and off the plane. When we said our goodbyes at the gate to our parents i felt really nervous that something might go wrong, but nothing went wrong thank goodness. The flight to Atlanta was surprisingly smooth! In Atlanta (for the kids) they have a kids room called Skyzone. They had 9 Xboxs with nine TVs to go with it, i charging bar (to charge that darn technology), a snack area where the snacks were free, and a lounge. I know it sounds pretty nice, but its only nice when you’re there for more than ten minutes. The escort picks you up from Skyzone one hour before your flight, so our flight landed at 12:45 and it takes five to ten minutes to get to Skyzone. So by 12:50 we are in the room and then we realize we need to check into Skyzone (to make sure you still the same kid that you were ten minutes ago, when they ask you right when you get off the plane who you are and where you’re going). So it takes about five minutes to get through all those questions again. We set our bags down as we were told o and sat down on the lounge couch, five minutes go by and the next thing i know i hear “ALANNA AND ALEC YOU’RE FLIGHT IS HERE!” Please tell me why they brought us down here to the Skyzone when we were going to be there for five whole minutes? Our flight to Florida was smooth and we finally saw our Grandma!
On Thanksgiving our family and friends gather to celebrate what we are truly thankful for. It is a time to catch up and a time to relax. For kids its a time to sleep in and maybe do our homework. For my family it is just us my mother, father, brother and me. We always seem to have a great time. This thanksgiving was very nice but different. We did not have a big turkey dinner, or have any family or friends over. What we did was we minded our own business for most of the day. I sat in my room and watched movies, my brother did who knows what (played video games maybe?), my mom cooked food and watched football, and my dad he slept and watched T.V. For dinner we ate lasagna, yes not a traditional Thanksgiving dinner but it was good enough for us. After dinner we went to go see Interstellar, BEST MOVIE EVER! This movie really makes you think, what if this is all real? No one has explored black holes, no one has gone out of our universe. The action scenes were amazing! This movie was truly a great one, I have not seen a movie this good in a long time. I recommend everyone to see this movie. I would tell you all about it but i do not want to spoil anything for anybody. The movie is three hours long by the way, so i would not get any big drinks, you do not want to miss a second of this movie. That was our whole day. At the dinner table my mom asked us what we were each thankful for, and everybody just copied me and said their thankful for family. I think everybody said that because we were all hungry, the food smelled great, and we had a movie to get to. I know we are all thankful for a lot more than just family, but her question did spark some thought into my head. What i am thankful for is of course my family, but also for the soldiers who are over seas and fighting for our country. I am also thankful for the friends i have made in school, and for the friends i have in my old school. I have realized the types of people i should hang around with, and who i should not be around. I have been hurt by my so called “best friends.” I am thankful that i actually have a best friend who does care about me, and not just about herself. I am also thankful for my boyfriend who just recently went off to college up in Toronto, Canada. Even though I can’t physically see him right now, he does constantly text me, to make sure I am ok. I am very thankful for that. Overall I am thankful that I am alive and have a roof over my head and have two loving parents who will do anything for me. Two years ago on November 21, 2012 a friend of mine passed away from an accident that happened at school in gym class. He was only in America not even a year. He came from Africa to America. I was put into my science class in 8th grade. Then in 9th grade we had gym together. In gym he had an accident and from that accident he passed away. I will never forget that day. I take Thanksgiving to remember him, and I will never ever forget him or his amazingly bright smile. He could make a room filled with 600 people laugh. He was an amazing guy. I miss him so much.
Today is Halloween, I did not dress up, I did not go out, and I did not pass out candy, I just was not feeling it this year. Next week is the end of the first marking period, I am honestly so stressed out. Junior year is one BIG stress factor in a high schoolers life. Every decision we make is for our future now, and it is really hard to get used too. I am finding that I have less and less time for things that I enjoy and more time studying and doing homework. These grades this year mean a lot, and colleges are going to be looking at them when it comes time to apply. Yesterday I honestly had a mental break down because of school, and it’s not even January yet. Works is piling up as I type, its stressful. Some of me wishes I went out and did something today, but I had too much work to do. But everyone goes through this stage, my mom did, my dad did, and I am sure if you are reading this and you are older than 17, you did too. This year is crucial for the rest of your life. Now that I am saying this, it kind of scars me thinking that my adolescence is almost up, no more mommy and daddy fixing everything. Soon I will be on my own and doing my own thing. Growing up really stinks sometimes, it was only two years ago I was excited about driving, college, and just growing up in general, I could not wait to bolt out of here as fast as I could. Now I am sitting here praying that time will slow down, that time will just stop for a bit so I can catch my breath. I still feel as if I do not know who I am yet, I need to find my identity. Well that is why Ms. Woodward made us do this blog, so we figure out who we truly are, so when it comes time to write that dreaded college essay, it won’t be so hard. It is scary, Junior year is Halloween all year-long, everything we have to start thinking about all at the age of 16-17. Life is tough, life is hard, but if you just sit around and complain everyday nothing gets done. I tell myself that at least. My goals for this year is to have all A’s and B’s and I will only allow one C a semester. My plan for college is to go to MCC and get all of my core classes taken care of, then go to a university, so that 2+2 program basically. MCC has the nursing classes I need, so I want to take those there. As much as it might seem, I actually cannot wait to just get going with life, even though I just said I wanted time to stop, but that was mostly for my family. I wish I spent more time with them throughout the years, I plan on making that up soon though. Hopefully we can make some really nice memories before I leave to live my life, and create my own story.