Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Well, we finally made progress on the dance front. But not because of Meredith, Natasha, or Madisyn. Neither of them have lifted a finger to help with the dance.
The school gym is halfway finished. We decided to go with the haunted house theme, with cotton balls and fake spider webs all over. I have no idea how it's all gonna shake out, but I hope it does.
I also signed up to volunteer at a local polling place for election day. All I do, really, is hand out flyers and write down stuff. Since I'm eleven, they're not gonna give me too much to do.
As for who I support, I'm torn. I like Obama, but think it's cool that a woman is in the running for VP.

And I'm still tutoring Kristy Van Dyke. She's a fast learner -- matter of fact, I think she's better in science than I am -- and I've been trying to get her to catch up to the rest of the class in the other subjects.
I also have no costume either. I'm considering just cutting up an old pillowcase and becoming a ghost.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A tough goodbye

Nicki left yesterday evening. As I write, she is in Colorado, with her family.
I can't believe I actually miss her. I mean, we have IM and phone but it won't be the same. She promised she would be back in time for the holidays. I'm actually counting down the days until she's back here. I know that sounds incredibly selfish of me, but it's true.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Wow, it's starting to feel like the weather back home in PA. Quite chilly. I thought Louisiana was warmer than this.
Equally chilly has been Meredith's attitude. And it's not just Meredith. It's her disciples. If Natasha Ivanova is Meredith's first lackey, then Madisyn Baker is her second. It isn't just that Madisyn is blond like Meredith, or that she copies everything Meredith wears, or that she follows her all around school. Meredith has a younger sister named Madison, as well. It's that Madisyn has also copied Meredith's attitude.

So, Madisyn is on the decorations committee for the Halloween dance (which BTW I still don't have any decorations for, or a costume!) and I went up to her and Meredith and asked her to try to pull her weight.
"I don't have to do anything for your stupid dance!" Madisyn shouted, within earshot of Meredith, who chuckled loudly in front of Natasha and Alyssa and everyone else. "It's a nerds' dance anyway," agreed Meredith. "Besides, I've got my own plans for that night. I'm having a big party at my place, with a live band, and half the school will be there. So I don't know how you're even going to get anyone to come to your stupid dance. I could see it now. You and your two or three little buddies, standing in front of the fake decorations in your homemade halloween costumes, all sad because nobody bothered to show up. Too bad, so sad, poor wittle Haley Hotchkiss!" Then Madisyn added, "Meredith's party will be tons more fun than your stupid little dance."
I can't cancel the dance. I promised my voters that. But after this, I don't know how I'm going to pull it off.
On top of that, Megan Ryder interviewed me for the student newspaper. She told me it was the usual practice, interviewing class presidents and publishing their stories in the paper. She asked me questions like what I intended to do as class president.
My first report card came in, too. I didn't get straight A's, though. I'm a perfectionist, I'm kind of ticked about that. I got B's in math and science. I expected A's in social studies and English and got them. I got extra credit from my social studies teacher for running my successful campaign for sixth grade class president.
"I wish I got your grades!" Harriet chuckled. "I've got mostly B's and C's and YOU're complaining?"
"Tell me about it," added Kristy. "I've got mostly I's on my report card 'cause I missed so much school."
And then Meredith is, like, "Did you get straight A's, smartie?"
"What's it to you?" I asked.
Madisyn Baker said, "Well, we just wanna know, geek."
"I didn't get straight A's."
"Big shock!" Meredith shouted. "Maybe we should copy off of you then."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Some news

Nicki just told me some stunning news. She might be headed back to Colorado over the holidays. And she could leave before Thanksgiving.
I can't say I'm totally surprised, after all, she does need to go see her family at some point. But I had just gotten used to the idea of having her here. It's strange, but if she leaves, I might actually miss her.
I got to school early because I had to tutor Kristy Van Dyke. Remember, she missed two weeks of school by being in the hospital.
Well today we took our class portrait. I decided I wanted to look especially nice for the picture, so I wore my green cashmere sweater (it was another cool day) and my plaid skirt.
I had another reason for wanting to look nice today, too. Adam.
Adam Cartwright is a sixth grade boy, and, I'm telling you, he is sooo handsome. Too bad he doesn't know I exist. He spends most of his time being pursued by the likes of Meredith Hopkins, Natasha Ivanova, Madisyn Baker, and Alyssa Belfour (this dark-haired girl). As far as I know, Adam doesn't play any sports -- he just looks hot. He has these deep brown eyes... mmmm yummy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

About the new girl...

Well, the rumors are true. The new girl, Mia St. Clair, was introduced in my English class today. And I hate to say it, but Mia is gorgeous. She has strawberry blond hair and hazel green eyes. She said she was from upstate New York, she was a figure skater, and her goal was to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics. She says she also played ice hockey with her three older brothers. I'd like to know where she could play hockey in Louisiana, where the last time it snowed, I wasn't even living here.
When Mia said she played hockey, I noticed Kristy Van Dyke sitting up straighter in her chair.
I have to say, ever since she lost the election, Meredith is being worse to me than ever! She wrote nasty notes and slipped them in my locker, hid my math book so she thought I couldn't do my homework (I ended up getting it anyway), and purposely makes noises while I'm presiding over student council meetings. My pen pal Robyn says that when karma hits her, it will hit her hard. I keep hoping that would happen, but nothing seems to happen to girls like her.

Worse, she showed up at school today wearing a tiara on her head. Apparently she'd won a pageant over the weekend and wanted to show off her prize. As if she needed her head swollen any more. Ouch! Did that thing hurt?
Then she bragged about having seen High School Musical 3 already. See, supposedly she knows someone who works at the movie theater, so she's already gotten a sneak peek at the movie. It doesn't come out until Friday. Not that I'm interested, anyway. Harriet wants to see it, though. She kinda has a crush on Corbin Bleu, one of the guys that plays in the movie.

Speaking of Robyn, she sent me her old AG Place jammies. They're cute, but a little too, Meredith-ish for my taste. LOL They're a tank top and little boxer shorts.
Harriet and I have been planning a slumber party for her 11th birthday. So far we've got me, her, Kristy Van Dyke, Nicki, and possibly Katarina and Megan on the potential guest list. Kristy's inclusion on this list is obvious. She's been following me and Harriet around school ever since she came back from the hospital. Nicki's on this list because she's my cousin, and Harriet likes her, although they're not what you'd consider friends, but they talk. Katarina was my suggestion. She's quiet and shy and doesn't seem to have many friends. Really, the only time I see her is when I'm with the newspaper. The same with Megan.
I still have no idea what I'm doing for Halloween, or how I'm going to deliver on the Halloween dance. I managed to get a couple people to help with decorations, and we got the teacher to let us use the gym for the haunted house, but nothing else is done. And Halloween is next Friday. Sigh. I'm in a heck of a pickle.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Order...or not

First off, before I begin this entry....
If my glasses are different from the ones you're used to seeing me with, they are. And there's a good reason for that. You see, my old pair got smashed to bits. And guess who was responsible.
You got it. The one and only Ms. Blondie herself. I took my specs off in gym class, and somehow she found them and tossed them to the top of the bleachers. You could not imagine how upset I was when some boy finally told me where they were and how I found them.
So, I'm wearing these until mine can finally get fixed.

Speaking of Blondie, if I thought Meredith would have been repentant after losing the election, I was wrong. In fact, the next day she was in rare form, with zinger after zinger -- and this time, they weren't all aimed at me. She went after my friends, too.
I can deal with her railing against me now, because I can care less, but going after my friends is just low.
Kristy Van Dyke has taken to following me and Harriet around school now. I think Harriet knew her in kindergarten, then she moved away, and now she's back. She's okay, I suppose.
"Well if it isn't the head geek and her band of misfits," Meredith shouted, within earshot of her followers, who cackled like hens in kind.
"Shut up, Meredith," I said.
Meredith referred to Harriet as my 'sidekick' and said Kristy 'should just change her name to Chris, because she looks like a boy.' True, Kristy's preference is for flannel and fleece instead of the stuff Meredith likes, and she seems to care less about clothes, but there was no reason for Meredith to go there.
Kristy came back with a zinger of her own, though. She said Meredith's outfit looked like a cheap imitation of something off the Disney channel. And she added something else too. "That's why I voted for Haley." I was impressed.

That afternoon I had my first meeting as sixth grade class president. I had to admit, Haley Hotchkiss, class president, had a good ring to it. The topic of discussion was the upcoming Halloween dance. Of course, as sixth grade class president, I'm mostly responsible for planning the dance.
I haven't had time to do anything Halloween related. I don't even have a costume. There are a couple medieval dresses here, but they're too small for me. And Vee doesn't have enough time or money to send for a costume from AG. Not sure what to do.

Meredith walked in, tight short skirt and all, sending a few sneers my way. Nicki and some girl called Heather, her homeroom rep, were also there. Heather managed to meander her way straight to Meredith's corner. Nicki and I both let out deep groans.
Meredith's skirt was so short and tight she could barely sit down.
So, I opened the floor for suggestions. Meredith and Heather were playing around with nail polish. The other kids just looked at me with blank stares. "Hey, you're the president, madam, do something!"
So I banged my gavel again and asked for the meeting to come to order. Surprisingly, when I banged my gavel, everyone became quiet, even Meredith, who took to fooling with her Ipod. I again asked for ideas. "Costume contest!" one girl suggested.
"Bobbing for apples!"
"Haunted house!"
Nicki grabbed her notepad and copied everything down.
"All great ideas," I said, "now about a theme? Since a haunted house has been proposed, how about Haunted Halloween as the dance theme, with the haunted house as the centerpiece? Surrounding the house would be pumpkins and scarecrows and ghosts and other creatures of the night. There would be a space over to the right of the house for pictures."
After I finished talking, I didn't hear much argument. Not even from Meredith, who was more interested in her cell phone conversation than what I was saying. This class president thing was definitely harder than I thought.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

And the winner is...

I decided I needed to look as 'presidential' as possible. After all, this was my first-ever run for any kind of political office. And I needed to prepare an acceptance speech should my name be drawn from that hat.
So I went over to Harriet's (again). Harriet had Kristy there already. Kristy still walks with a limp, but she's getting around much better. And she's gone back to school. Since her last name is Van Dyke, she's not in my homeroom. Not sure who she voted for, and I didn't bother to ask. She did, however, finally tell us why she had to have surgery in the first place: she'd smashed her hand and legs in a scooter accident! Now, I think I'd have to be either blind or crazy or both to ride a scooter, but that's Kristy's thing. She likes all kinds of things -- fishing, boating, riding her scooter, and dreams of getting a motorcycle. Matter of fact, I hear she's back riding her scooter again.

And another thing: She LOVES to eat! She'd be very much at home at Harriet's place, Harriet's mom is an awesome cook. Harriet's mom made some spaghetti and meatballs. She also fried some chicken drumsticks. I was hungry, so I took one. Kristy wolfed down the spaghetti.
So over spaghetti and chicken and McDonalds drinks, we all hashed out what I hoped would be an acceptance speech.
I've just started reading Samantha Parkington's books, and I'm beginning to like her more and more. Even though Felicity is still my favorite historical AG, I love that Samantha doesn't discriminate against her friend Nellie just because her family is poor. She doesn't allow her wealth to get in the way of friendship, unlike SOME people we know -- coughMeredithcough.
Speaking of whom, when I saw her, my mouth hit the floor. Her skirt was so short, and her hair so big, that I thought she might have been going to a Hannah Montana concert instead of a school assembly. She even wore -- gasp -- makeup and showed off her new earrings. I mean, seriously. Does she really think she's going to get away with that?
When I walked past, she teased and said I looked like a librarian. I used to care what she says, it used to bother me, but I don't anymore. She doesn't realize how irrelevant (yeah, big word huh?) she really is. The fact that I, lowly little Haley Hotchkiss, got the exact same number of votes as she did, proves that point. The world doesn't revolve around her, although she thinks it does.
So we got to the assembly, and everyone sat in their seats. Some eighth-grade girl, who I believe to be the student body president, walked up to the assistant principal and handed her a box. The assistant principal then gave the box to one of the other teachers, who then pulled a name out of the box.
"And the winner is," she began, her voice booming through the microphone.
Harriet gave me a nudge. "Don't you just love this?" she asked as she grabbed my hand. She didn't want to know. I couldn't tell if she were being sarcastic or not.
Before she read the name out, she went on with all that mumble jumble about how both of us were winners and she was glad to see such enthusiasm in the campaign this year and she was looking forward to working with whoever came out the victor in this election. I was, like, come on, just cut to the chase.
"Haley Hotchkiss!"
I was positively floored. I couldn't believe I actually won. I, geeky, dorky little Haley Hotchkiss, who realistically had no shot at getting elected, actually did get elected. I guess the American voting system still does work, at least in some cases.
I looked around for Meredith, but I didn't see her, at least not at first. I did, however, catch a glimpse of someone running out of the auditorium in tears. In that instant I felt sorry for her. If the outcome had been different, I probably would have felt the same way. I realized that there really wasn't a winner in this election. All it did was split the entire sixth grade into two distinct camps, and it just so happened that my camp won out over hers on the day the election was held. Had the election been on a different day, it probably would have had a different result.
Of course, knowing that I actually won meant that I would have to work even harder than before, but I don't mind. I'm a hard worker by nature. I'm not sure why that is. I suppose I take after my mother, who's an attorney.
Public speaking is not my strong suit, but I'm getting better at it since this whole election thing started. I wasn't going to stand up there and make any promises I couldn't keep, but the promise I would keep was that I was going to do my best to represent the sixth grade.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Catching up

I apologize I've been so busy, but I've got a lot to talk about.
I heard the big news about the Samantha Parkington dolls being 'archived.' Not sure what AG means by 'archived' but it can't be good. I have to say, it sounds like the dolls are being put in this big old storage vault and preserved like they preserve mummies.
I have to confess, as far as the historical AG characters go, I'm a bigger fan of Felicity Merriman than Samantha, but she's still likable nonetheless. Samantha was this rich orphan who lived with her grandmother at the turn of the century.

I've taken up a new hobby... stargazing! Yeah, Vee picked up this telescope for me, and I like it. If you haven't noticed, I'm kind of a geek. I like learning all kinds of things.
Okay, now for the other big news -- the election. Yes, there was an election, and not for president of the US, although I am only paying minor attention to THAT, lol. I'm talking about the sixth grade election, the one I've written about endlessly in this space.
There were, as far as I was concerned, only two candidates -- Meredith and me. There could be only one winner. And I was hoping that winner would be me.
The election was last Tuesday, and I waited two days on pins and needles waiting for the results.

Thursday morning I was sitting in my English class when Megan Ryder (editor-in-chief of the newspaper) knocked on the door and whispered something to my teacher. The teacher then called me to go to the principal's office. When I got there, Meredith was there, too. I didn't want to sit next to her.
Then Megan came back out, with a vote tally. "Well, the two of you were tied, 22 votes apiece."
"TIED???" Meredith asked. "Whaddya mean, tied?"
"Both you and Haley Hotchkiss got the exact same number of votes."
"But -- that's not right. I took my own poll and I knew I would win!"
In that instant, I almost -- almost -- felt sorry for Meredith. So, I asked Megan who would break the tie, and she said they won't break the tie. Instead, both our names would be put in a hat and a name would be drawn by a teacher. That person would become sixth grade president, and the name left in the hat would become vice president.
The prospect of working with Meredith, either way, did not sound good at all. But then again, nobody gave me a fighting chance of winning this election. If I had known I'd be tied with Meredith Hopkins at the end of this election, I probably would have campaigned even more.
"Well, when is this tie going to be broken?"
"Tomorrow, in a school assembly."
Joy. Fun.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Great Debates

I'm sorry about the lack of updates recently, I've been sooo busy! Between the campaign and the newspaper and of course my schoolwork, I've barely had time to breathe! Sometimes I wonder if I've stretched myself too thin.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, the election. It's next week, so campaigning has reached a fever pitch. I've come to the conclusion that the competition for sixth grade class representative has really come down to Meredith -- and me. The other students in the race just don't really matter.
Meredith and I had to address the entire sixth grade in an assembly. The thought of standing next to her made me retch, but I straightened out my blouse and calmed myself down. We posed for the obligatory yearbook picture.

Just before the debate started, though, Meredith shot a look at me that could melt steel.

"You're not going to win the election, Haley Hotchkiss," Meredith hissed. "So you need to just quit while you're ahead.

"I'm not quitting, Meredith," I vowed, "even though I know you sent Natasha to tear down those posters."

"How do you know she tore them down?"

"Oh, come on, Meredith! You think I was born yesterday?"

So there Meredith and I stood, side by side but worlds apart. I didn't look at her and she didn't look at me. I stood there and told the sixth grade why I was running: I'm smart, I'm a hard worker, and I'm willing to learn. I'm hoping to convince 'fringe voters,' aka people who haven't made their minds up yet, to at least consider voting for me. I've figured that those who have already decided to vote for Meredith aren't going to be convinced otherwise.

Meredith resorted to her old tricks of teasing and name calling. I said to myself, Haley, don't lower yourself to her level, just talk about the issues. I wanted to talk about student activities, she was just there calling me names like geek and nerd. It became clear to me that she wasn't running to better the sixth grade. She was only running for her own selfish reasons -- and if she were to get elected, nothing would get done.