Friday, May 29, 2009

Going Places

Yep, I took my last exam this morning and school is now out for the year. Our last report cards will be mailed to us within the week.
And yes, Meredith and some of the other girls did in fact skip school today, like I'd heard they'd planned to do. I was glad they weren't there.
Oh guess what, the Sightseeing outfit came, and I have to say I like it more than I thought I would. Even the boots are growing on me.

It had everything, including a little travel planner that I stuck in my suitcase. I still think the shawl and corsage is a little bit much, though.

Well, I'm pretty much all packed up and ready to leave. I'm scheduled to depart on the 8th of June but Vee has green-lighted me to actually go sooner, if you could believe that. Because of that I could possibly squeeze in another destination before I'm due back home to prepare for the new school year -- wherever that may be.

I've been looking in my trusty atlas for places I'd like to go. My first destination is Bakersfield, California, where Wendy lives. I've never been to California, not with my parents or by myself, so I'm pretty excited about this trip. Plus seeing Wendy is a bonus.

I can't wait to get this show on the road!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Yep, she's here...

She meaning my cousin Nicki. I got a surprise for my Memorial Day -- a phone call saying I needed to get to the airport because someone was there waiting for me. At first I thought it was my mother but then I realized who it was.
Nicki held her outstretched arms out to greet me. "Look at you, just as I left."
I shook my head. "Nicki, it's only been a month and a half."
"Still too long," she said.
The real surprise, though, was Adam. He's already a full head taller than either Nicki or me. And he's only ten. He has Nicki's hair color but brown lost-puppy-dog eyes. Something tells me he's gonna be a cute one when he gets older.
I have finals this week so I probably won't get to spend much time with her. And I just found out both Harriet and Kristy have to go to summer school. What a bummer.
And I feel worse because I won't be around to help them with their work because I'll be out traveling.
We can't do too much until after finals, I've got to go hit the books. Later.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Graduation, interview, etc...

I spent Thursday night at the eighth grade graduation. It wasn't my choice, the whole newspaper staff had to be there to cover it. Alison showed up in a deep blue velvet dress, it was cute on her. Alison in a dress was strange, but I had to get used to it. Megan's dress was black and gold, also very cute.

Before the graduation, though, I ran into Marisol Luna. Remember I told you she was an eighth grader? Well I found out that next term she's going to Parkington. So you know I piped her with all kinds of questions about the school.
She says Parkington is a magnet school for gifted and talented young ladies. Since she's a dancer, she's enrolling in its acclaimed dance academy. She told me something else too -- about something called a deferred enrollment, which is what she did. She attended Adams for a year before going to Parkington and said that if I was thinking about going that it would be an option to think about.
Another thing: Her younger sister, Maitte, will be at Adams next year.
The next day was our awards ceremony for this year. I hate these because the teachers take too long to give them out. They gave out awards for clubs and activities and perfect attendance. I haven't missed a day of school in three years, so when they announced "Haley Hotchkiss, three years perfect attendance," I heard Meredith and some of the others sitting on the top bleachers yelling boos.
Kristy got basketball team MVP, Alison got soccer team MVP, Megan received the special principal's award for "going beyond the call of duty." A boy named Caelan Staub got highest average awards for math and science, I got mine for social studies, Megan got it for English, Katarina got for reading, and Hilary got her awards for highest average in spelling, winning the school spelling bee, district spelling bee, 2nd in state spelling bee -- oh, and she's going to nationals in July.
I was a little nervous when Mrs. Baldwin went to announce the 6th grader with the highest grade point average. "Haley, you know you're gonna get that," Harriet said with a nudge.
"Caelan's smart too," I reminded her. I don't know Caelan that well, he's pretty quiet and keeps mostly to himself.
"The sixth grader with the highest grade point average for the year -- Haley Hotchkiss with a 3.975."
"Haley, don't act like you didn't know," Kristy said. Meredith and her friends rained down more boos as I walked to receive my awards.
Speaking of Parkington, my interview was okay... not great, not bad. Just okay. They asked me about what I was involved in and what I wanted to do with my life. When I got ready to leave, they shook my hand, and I left.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Layout and End-of-the-Year stuff

First of all, how do you like (or don't like) my new picture and layout? I figured I needed to refresh it, and I also changed the title of my blog. The new title is courtesy of Hilary, she thought I needed something more catchy. The new pic and graphix are courtesy of Lindsey, she is just a whiz with those graphix programs. Tell me whether you love or hate it, and what can be done to improve it.
Today was our last full day of school, hard to believe it's almost over. *sniff* HAHAHAHAHA Tonight the eighth-graders graduate, tomorrow we have our awards ceremony and a half-day of school, Monday we have off because it's Memorial Day, Tuesday through Friday are all half-days as we take our final exams. Next Friday is our last day of school, and some of the girls in the class are talking about skipping out.
The eighth-graders picked Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" as their class song. The first time I heard it, I believe it might have been on either Sabine's or Katie's blogs. It's not the prettiest song in the world -- to me it sounds like someone cried throughout -- but I'm just weird, lol. Sorry if you're offended.
I've already begun packing for my trip. Vee ordered me the retired Sightseeing outfit, I'm waiting for it to arrive, everything else is packed up and ready to go. I saw pics of the outfit, it's okay, not great. I'm not a fan of the poncho, and I can take or leave the boots. I leave on the 9th, which doesn't give me much time, frankly. She's also letting me use her niece's old Barbie suitcase, and while I'm not a big fan of Barbie, the case keeps my stuff in place and is the right size for me.
My friends' summer plans are pretty varied. Kristy's going on a two-week camping trip, then basketball camp. Hilary's replacing me again -- at least temporarily. She'll take my spot at the local university's gifted and talented summer enrichment program. Thing is, she'll also be spending some time in California (just not when I'm there -- figures) with her father. Her parents are getting a divorce, and there's still a possibility she might be moving. Katarina's returning to Germany. Kit's gonna do her newspaper stuff and play some baseball. Linds says she wants to finish the movie she's making and read all the new Rebecca Rubin stories coming from AG soon (Like Rebecca, Lindsey is Jewish, so she feels a special kinship). And Harriet? "Nothing special," she shrugs. Sometimes I wonder why we're friends as she's so laid-back and I'm just the opposite.
What are your summer plans?
We decided that since I have a half-day tomorrow that I'm not going to stay at Parkington. Instead we're going to drive up as soon as I get out of the assembly and then come back here tomorrow night. It's a six hour round trip.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Rambling about assorted stuff

Harriet went away for the weekend, said a cousin or something was graduating college, so she had to go. It wasn't the same without her around. Sometimes I'm jealous that Harriet has this big close-knit family, with her mom and grandmother and cousins and such. Both sets of my grandparents are already dead.
So, I was stuck today with watching cheerleading tryouts. There are 10 girls trying out for 2 open spots on the squad, so you can imagine there's a lot of competition. Alison and I just shook our heads and shrugged.
Two of them I recognized as 5th graders, the brunette gal and another girl in yellow, said she was Victoria something. She's got the blackest hair I've ever seen, and I can't pronounce her last name.
Remember I said the new cheerleading uniforms are hideous? Here they are:

On the subject of Parkington, I haven't found the guts to tell any of my friends about it, and it's a situation I really don't want to deal with. My parents do, however, know about it. They arranged it so my interview is Saturday, so I'm leaving town Friday evening and Vee and I are going to stay in a hotel Friday night. I did, however, tell my cousin Nicki about it, and she totally says I should botch the interview. Problem is, I can't see myself purposely messing up anything, especially after I've worked so hard to get this interview in the first place.
Speaking of Nicki, she is managing to throw ANOTHER wrench into my summer plans. She is coming down, starting when school lets out at the end of the year. And it's not just Nicki. She's bringing her brother Adam, who'll be starting 5th grade next year. I've told her that I'm gonna be with the traveling doll program most of the summer and she won't get to see very much of me, but she insists on coming down. Deep down I don't think she believes I actually signed up for the program. I hate when she does these things. She's my cousin and all, but a lot of the time she gets on my nerves. I hate to say it, but I wish she'd stay in Colorado. Oh well, you can't pick your family.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Of 5th graders and plans gone awry

Today was the 5th graders' last day here, and I showed them the Chrissa movie and gave a talk on bullying. I wanted to be sure I looked nice, so I got out one of my plaid skirts and I borrowed a pair of tights from this girl Samantha that lives down my street.
When Megan, the editor of the newspaper, introduced me as "Haley Hotchkiss, sixth grade class president," I was met with applause.
"How many of you have been bullied?" I asked before pressing 'play' on the DVD player. I saw a few hands raise up, including Kit's and Lindsey's. "Be honest, how many of you have been bullied?" A few more hands came up.
"There are thousands of people who are bullied in school each year," I said. "There was a recent story on the news about a boy our age who killed himself because he couldn't deal with the bullying anymore. I know, because I'm one of them."
There were some people murmuring in the crowd but for the most part it was silent. "You may think it's harmless teasing but it really hurts. And you may not even realize you're doing it. The girl in the movie you're about to see, named Chrissa Maxwell, is also being bullied in school. See how it affects her and those around her, and what she does about the bullying."
When I told Megan to press play on the DVD player, I left the stage to applause. Kit and Lindsey waved at me to make sure I saw them.

Last night when I got home from yearbook, I found an email from the Parkington Academy up in the northern part of the state, saying they want to interview me. I told Vee about this and she said this likely meant they were pretty close to accepting me. This totally screws things up. I've wanted to go to boarding school since forever, but I'm at Adams now and, other than Meredith and the Mean Girls, I'm fairly happy. I've got friends and I'm in activities. I'm at a pretty good place in my life right now. I'm not sure I'm ready to give all that up. On the other hand, Parkington is a serious opportunity for me. It could be my ticket to a very good college like Harvard or Yale. I'm just not sure what to do, and I have less than three months to decide.

On a lighter note, I just caught a glimpse of the new cheerleading uniforms, the ones they're gonna be wearing next year, and I have to say they are hideous! I'll publish the pic as soon as I get one.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The 5th graders are coming! The 5th graders are coming! They're he-ere!

Today the 5th grade class from the local elementary school took their grand tour of Adams Junior High. This is different from the Open House, where parents (and some 5th graders) came here in dress clothes to find out what the school was about. Lindsey wasn't at Open House, but Kathryn (Kit) and Carissa were, so I saw all three of them today.

All the sixth grade class officers had groups of five or six they had to take around the school. I had a group, Meredith had a group, Megan had a group, Mia had a group, and another girl named Heather something-or-other had a group. And the groups were divided randomly. In my group was this girl that looked Asian, another girl with long brown hair, Carissa, Kit, and Lindsey.
Carissa mentioned her dad was also thinking about private school for her, so she didn't say much. Kit and Lindsey were there too. But I was most interested in the pretty Asian girl in the long pink and orange skirt.
She'd said her name was Jessica, Jess for short, and she'd come from spending a year in Belize with her parents who are archeologists. They'd both gotten jobs at the local university as professors, so it was goodbye Belize and hello school -- but what school? They were still trying to decide.

I introduced Kit and Lindsey to my friends. Harriet and Kristy knew them from Girl Scouts, but Hilary and Katarina had never met them. Lindsey said she was trying to talk Jess, who'd just moved here, into joining Girl Scouts. Kit said she was looking forward to joining the newspaper staff and becoming sixth grade class president. I'll say this -- if anyone's gonna be my successor as sixth grade class president, I'd rather it be someone who shares my ambition and desire to learn. Seems like Kit does.
I'm starting a buddy program, where a 5th grader will be paired off with one of us 6th graders to help with the change between elementary and junior high school. It's not my original idea, though. It's something I read on Wendy's blog that her school is doing, and so I'm gonna try it here. I kinda wish something like this was around when I started 6th grade and didn't know a soul. Unfortunately, even though I started the program I won't actually be doing the pairing. The student council sponsor will. And that means I could end up with anybody, even someone I don't like.
The 5th graders will be here till Friday, so I have to come up with 2 more days of activities for them. I'm considering showing them the Chrissa movie and giving a talk on bullying, since I finally finished that project I was doing. Not sure what else I'll do though. I do know some of the girls are staying after school for cheerleading tryouts (blech!).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thoughts on my 1st year of Jr. High

Wendy's recent post on starting jr. high got me to thinking. As most of you reading this know, I'm coming to the end of my first full year there. It's been, well, interesting to say the least. I've met a whole lot of interesting new people, made new friends (and enemies), and discovered quite a few things about myself. I think I've matured a great deal from the girl who showed up at Adams' door last August in a white satin blouse and plaid skirt.
I became class president, joined the newspaper staff, and renewed my commitment to Girl Scouts. And this coming Friday, I will be inducted into the Jr. Beta Club, a national club for honor students. I think I'll wear my Silver Belle dress again.
If you're just going to jr. high, know that it is different from elementary school in a lot of ways. First, instead of one teacher, you're gonna get several different ones, with different personalities and subjects and interests. Second, in some schools you're gonna get a locker. (We're getting ours next year, along with locker buddies. Harriet and I have already talked about it.) There are these locks that you put on them to keep your books and stuff in them. Some have even decorated these lockers. Then there are separate periods for lunch and recess. You're gonna get a schedule for classes, and not all students take the same classes. I'm in only two classes with Harriet and one with Kristy, for example. However, I do have Hilary in most of my classes and I have a few with Katarina.
I still haven't made up my mind where I'm going to school in August, although I have applied to a Parkington Academy branch in the northern part of the state, and there are a few private academies I'm looking at. But honestly, a return to Adams is likely my best bet, a thought that was unthinkable just a few weeks ago.
The learning won't stop when school lets out on June 1. Starting June 12th I'll be doing some traveling, and my first stop is California. I've never been to California before so I'm sure I'll be seeing some different things. While I'm there I'll actually meet Wendy, so I'm excited about that. My next stop is New Hampshire in the latter part of June and early July. I come home after July 17th to prepare for the next school year. Since the summer vacation is so brief, my travels have to be as well as I'm not home schooled (lucky Quinn and others, lol). I've entrusted Harriet and Hilary with my blog while I'm gone.

This week I'll be busy with helping to put together the yearbook. I've tried to get Harriet to join the yearbook staff but she refuses at every turn. Not only that, but she thinks that Megan (editor-in-chief of pretty much everything Adams publishes) is a snob, when she's not that way at all. I try to tell her to give these other people a chance. Harriet pretty much sticks to our crowd at school, mostly, and she doesn't know the 5th graders, Lindsey and Kit, all that well.

A little preview of what our yearbook's gonna look like.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Twas an hour before showtime, and all through the house, the only thing that stirred was the click of a (computer) mouse.
Those words aren't mine. They come from the mouth of one Harriet Louisa Jones -- also known as my best friend. She didn't spent much time milling around backstage with me, though, her mom and grandma were out in the audience so she spent most of her time there. Sometimes I wonder why we're even friends, we have precious little in common.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. I didn't expect Lindsey to come through with the video stuff, but she did.

She was setting up her camera when Meredith walked by. Her friend Kathryn (Kit) even managed to get a backstage press pass because she's writing an article about Adams' show for her paper. "Wow, that thing's even bigger than you are," Meredith said, pointing out the camera. "Be sure to flatter my face, and don't make my butt look bigger than it is."
"Don't worry," Linds shot back, "that tutu does a good job of that."
I covered my mouth with laughter. I didn't think Linds had it in her, I was impressed. "Is she always like that?" she asked.
"Yep," I replied. "And worse." Linds let out a giggle.

She wants to make movies when she grows up, and you have to admit she's getting good practice here.
The first act turned out to be Sasha. She managed to show, after all, and I was glad of that. I really liked her dress, a little flashy for my taste but I love the style of it. Though she was hoarse, she sang her little heart out, a rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from the Wizard of Oz. She left soon afterward, to loud applause. I can't blame her, lol. If I could have I would have.

Next there was Marisol Luna. The eighth grader and a group of girls did a hip-hop dance routine. People were actually getting up to dance along with them.
Two other acts followed and then there was Meredith. I wasn't sure what the song was she danced to, but all I could remember her doing was twirling around. Half the audience was yawning. They were glad to see her off the stage.
Right after her was Bridget. She did an Irish dancing routine. She said she's been doing Irish dance for six years and got into it when she took a trip to Ireland to see her great-grandparents.
There was another girl at the guitar, another one playing the violin, and they set up a mini-rink for Mia to do an ice dancing routine. Finally there was Hilary at the piano. Seven years of piano lessons really paid off, I guess. She's actually pretty good.
They decided not to 'judge' the show as a competition because they couldn't find another judge after that one backed out.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The show must go on....

As most of you reading this probably know, all anyone's been talking about around here is the talent show on Friday. But I just got word that Sasha's come down with the flu, one of the judges backed out because she found out her daughter was performing, and the seventh-grade boy who was going to play the drums got suspended so his mom won't even let him perform. Fabulous.
And on top of all that, Hilary and Bridget are basically ignoring each other. I told Hilary the other day, I understand she's bitter over her friendship ending, but she's got other pals now and she and Bridget now have two different sets of friends. I don't know how we're gonna put together anything even remotely decent.
Oh, and on top of everything else, I just heard about the Simply AG magazine cover modeling contest. Though it's not really my thing (I probably would have liked an essay or skolarship contest), Avery, one of the regulars here, says she's entering, and I've heard Meredith Hopkins is submitting an entry as well. If the girl doesn't already have a swollen ego (Meredith, I mean, not Avery)...

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day!

Today is May 1, which means that in exactly one week is the Adams Jr. High talent show. And I have to say, I'm no more closer to putting together a decent show than I was a week ago. Between the petty squabbling going on over acts, there's the Hilary and Bridget thing (Hilary's our pianist so she'll be playing ALL the talent numbers) turning the ex-BFFs into mortal enemies, and of course there's Meredith. It's not that she's not more impossible than usual (which means she's pretty impossible), it's the way she's doing her damage now that's changed. Most of the time, it's been verbal, with teasing and such. But now, somehow, she's gotten hold of my email address and sending me nasty notes from there. Vee suggested that I change my email address, which I'm thinking about, especially if these nasty emails keep coming.

To: "Haley Hotchkiss" XXXXX
From: "Meredith Hopkins" XXXXX
Subject: Ur a dork

I dunno if I ever told ya this, but I think ur a dork. You should have the word stamped on your forehead like a brand. Ur glasses are so old fashioned and ur clothes suck and u r such a teachers pet. I hate u and your dorky loser friends.

She wrote worse than this but I can't print it on here.
Then, I asked her to help with decorations for the talent show and she, of course, refused.

On a happier note, Lindsey emailed me these manga cartoons she made of me and Harriet off that faceyourmanga site. She painted the freckles on herself using her graphix program. Do they look like us?