Friday, August 28, 2009

A Talk with Nicki

So, Nicki and I were walking through the kitchen, when she suddenly brought up the upcoming student council elections.
"I don't know if I'm running," I said.
"Whaddya mean you don't know if you're running?" Nicki asked. "You ran last year -- and you won."
"Yeah," I reminded her, "but things are different now. I'm assistant editor of the school newspaper and that's taking a lot of my spare time."
"Don't you think Meredith knows that?"
I shook my head. "Huh?"
"Hales, it should be obvious to you that she's testing you. The fact is, by announcing early, she wants to see if you'll bite."
"She's trying to stop you from running against her because she knows you can win."
"I'm not sure if I want to go through that again."
Nicki's face lit up. "Aha! So that's it. You had that campaign last year --"
"Yeah, and if you remember, it got nasty. Really nasty."
"And you don't want to go through that again."
"Not really."
"You know, if you let her get to you, she will have won. Someone will have to challenge her. And I know that you're smart enough and strong enough to do just that."
Nicki's going back to Colorado next week, because she starts school the day after Labor Day. When she hasn't been at school, she's been volunteering at the local animal shelter. That is sooo Nicki, so something she'd do. There are times when I like having her around, and then there are times I wish she would just let well enough alone. This is one of those times.
Then suddenly Nicki confessed something else to me. "You know, I actually wanted to keep Sprocket for myself," she said. "I'd really gotten attached to him."
"What made you give him up?"
"I saw that Veronica needed him much more than I did."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Just Another Day At The Office

Spent the entire weekend just vegging. Didn't do anything, didn't think about anything. I just did nothing. Oh, and I think Harriet came over twice. I dreaded going back to school.
However, going back to school meant going back to work on the back-to-school issue of the newspaper, which is almost done and will come out this week.
To no one's surprise, Meredith says she's running for 7th grade class president. But I'm also hearing she may throw her hat into the ring for student council president, even though that usually goes to an 8th grader. So far nobody's running against her, and I'm iffy on it, especially with my added duties at the paper. I can't see Meredith Hopkins being class president though. I don't know if I'd be able to tolerate it.
Spent my afternoon at the paper today, and managed to convince Harriet to come this time. I'm pretty sure Megan can find a position for her on the staff, even if it's a nominal one like "special adviser to the editor" or something. Harriet has said that she can't see herself doing any kind of writing, and she's also said she can't see herself doing any art -- even though I've seen her sketches and they're actually pretty good.
I still haven't found the guts to warn Antoinette about Meredith though. I'm gonna have to sooner or later, as I see her getting suckered in more and more. She doesn't even have a clue what kind of person she is, and I'm afraid that when she finds out, not only will it be too late, but she'll be messed up big time.

Oh, Vee went to McDonalds and got some of those cute Happy Meal books everyone's been talking about. The ones she brought back were Molly and Josefina. They're actually very cute. They're little books with something about the character, a drawing, a couple paper dolls and some fold-out scenes from their books, and some craft projects from the girl's time and stories. I think I'm gonna give them to Hilary for her going-away present.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Nicki vs. Meredith

Remember in a previous post I said there were a lot of new faces around here? Well there was one more I forgot to mention.
Last spring before Nicki returned to Colorado after visiting for Easter, she gave this blind girl named Veronica her service dog, Sprocket. Turns out the story didn't end there. Apparently Nicki and Veronica have been chatting with each other online and emailing each other ever since that first meeting, and have become pals. So when Nicki came back, she saw Veronica again and Veronica was using Sprocket as her seeing-eye dog.
Now Veronica is attending Adams as a sixth-grader. And Sprocket is walking the halls of the school alongside his new mistress.
So I was on my way to go interview Antoinette the other day when I saw Nicki with her arm around Veronica and I heard her raise her voice in the direction of someone with blond hair. I peeped to see what was going on, and sure enough, Meredith was on the scene.
"You know," Meredith had said, "dogs aren't allowed on campus. Especially not smelly, stinky mutts like that one. Ewww!"
"He's a service dog," Nicki had attempted to explain. "He's a seeing-eye dog."
Meredith made a face. "Ewww! I'm still reporting you to the principal. Dogs shouldn't be on the campus, period. And neither should blind bats like you!"
"It's not her fault she has problems with her eyes!" I heard Nicki shout. And Nicki, you should know, NEVER raises her voice, so she had to be really upset. "And the dog is with her to be her 'eyes' so to speak."
Meredith flicked her hair. "She doesn't need a dog to see!" Then she paused a bit. "You know, you haven't changed a bit, Nicki Fleming! You're such a goody two shoes."
Nicki shook her head and sighed. "You're the one who hasn't changed, Meredith Hopkins. You're still the same selfish person I knew last year. If anything you're worse now."
"You don't even go to school here," Meredith shot back, "so shut up! You're not even supposed to be here. And as for the dog, I'm still telling the principal. Get that smelly thing out of here!"
What a twit. Here goes another fun-filled year of that snob. And I hope this attitude doesn't rub off on Antoinette. So far it doesn't seem to have, yet, but it's early. And I'm also hoping Antoinette finds out what kind of person she is before it's too late.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Back to School Assembly, news on Hil, and a talk with Kit

Principal Ballard only decided TODAY to have his huge back-to-school assembly, going over the rules we've heard about 60 billion times, going over schedules, class assignments, activities, and making introductions. He trotted out Antoinette as the school's first-ever foreign exchange student. What I found out was, one of the eighth graders is at Antoinette's school in France for a semester, the same time as she's here. So I'm wondering if such a program would be available by the time I got to eighth grade, and would I be interested.
Hilary returned today, but she says she's only here for a couple weeks until her paperwork is finalized. She'll be living in California with her dad for the time being, as her parents have joint custody. She really is having a tough time dealing with the divorce. I remember when my parents split up, it was hard at first, but like I told Hilary, it does eventually get easier.

I spent the rest of the afternoon in the office helping Kit with her article for the back-to-school issue. I also directed her to Maura's blog post about becoming Ruthie Smithens, her great-grandmother's best friend in 1934. "Can you time-travel like her?" I asked.

"Lindsey pretended to be Ruthie once when we were in my dad's attic playing," Kit told me. "Time-travel isn't that hard. You just put on a costume and bam, you're in a different place and time. I love it." Then she asked, "You know who my great-grandma was, right?"

"How could I forget?" I replied. "There was a movie and 6 books about her, I want to read them but I haven't had the time. She sounds like she was amazing." Then I asked her what she was writing about.

"The ways school is alike and different in my great-grandma's time and now."

"Sounds like it's gonna be real interesting," I said.

"You'd be surprised," she said, "not much has changed in 75 years. We have computers and stuff now, but a lot of things are exactly the same."

"There weren't French exchange students in her day, were there?"

Kit laughed. "Heck no," she replied, "but there were wanderers called hoboes..." She began telling me this story she knew (that was in the book & movie) about her great-grandma's hobo friend named Will.

"So, that's kind of like what's going on with Antoinette now," I wondered.

"You might wanna cut her some slack. She is in a different country, away from her family and her friends."

I had to admit I never thought of it that way. Count on your friends to show you things you never realized.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Antoinette Boucher, Fashion Queen

If I needed more evidence that Antoinette Boucher is THE sharpest dresser in my grade, maybe the entire school, I got it today. She's definitely showing a lot of guts wearing this outfit, even though it's very pink and very girly. I've said more than once in this space that I'm not that big a fan of pink, even though there's a lot of it in my closet.

She says it's from Madame Alexander's new Friends 4 Life line, and she paired it with the hat from AG's 2-in-1 set they made for Mia last year, a beret she borrowed from (gasp) Meredith!
Speaking of which, I do think this whole thing with me, Antoinette, and Meredith is gonna eventually come to blows, and I don't know how it's gonna shake out, but somebody will feel some serious pain. I feel like I'm gonna eventually have to tell her what Meredith has done, because I don't want Meredith to do the same thing to her, and I know she will, because that's what she does to people.

So, Harriet, Antoinette, and I were on our way to gym class when I teased her that she should've worn that outfit tomorrow because there's supposed to be this big back-to-school assembly. She laughed and said "I didn't know" in an innocent French. All these new outfits are making me feel bad. I haven't had time to go shopping for new clothes, and both Harriet and Antoinette have new outfits, lol.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Friends Come...and Go?

Wow, judging by the comments here, I notice Antoinette has gotten everyone talking! I had so many questions for her, I couldn't ask them all!
But, I have to tell you, sometimes I don't get her.
Today she officially joined the newspaper staff when Megan created a 'special correspondent' post for her. She doesn't usually do that kind of thing, except it was Ms. Baldwin's idea and it's not every year a bona fide French exchange student attends your junior high school.
We were talking on our way to class when out of the blue she said in her French accent, "Pardon, I did not know you and Meredith did not get along."
I let out a deep groan, wondering what Meredith had told her. "You obviously have not been here," I told her. "You do not know her at all."
"Pourquoi?" she asked.
I was tempted to go through the laundry list of the things Meredith had done. But I didn't. I'm hoping Antoinette sees soon enough what kind of person she is. When I told Nicki about this, she said Meredith may actually be on her best behavior re: Antoinette because she doesn't want her to see her 'bad side.' And she also said something else too -- that Antoinette may actually be torn between me and Meredith. An odd place to be, for sure.
I decided to try to change the subject by doing what Abby suggested and asking her about her hometown of Nice. "It's a very beautiful place in the south of France," she said, making me even more jealous. "There are a lot of historical landmarks there, and since the weather is great, a lot of tourists come to visit."
"Have you been to Paris?" I asked.
"Un certain nombre de fois," she said. "A few times." She also joked that she tries to avoid a lot of the famous French cuisine but can't resist partaking of a few crepes every now and again.
At the same time, I do think Harriet is somewhat jealous of my activities & other friends -- I've been trying to talk her into joining the newspaper, that if nothing else she'll meet some new and interesting people -- and she insists that she'll have nothing to do on the staff. When I mentioned Antoinette to her, she was like, "why are you trying to befriend her?" I explained that I'm curious about her since she's new and different and seems cool. She didn't behave this way when I introduced her to Kit & Lindsey. Matter of fact, she's friends with them, too.
Oh, neither Hilary nor Kristy have returned. I'm wondering about Hilary's parents. I know they were getting a divorce this summer and she was back and forth. I also know Kristy was going through a time of it too -- she ended up in West Virginia (where she's from). Seems some relative claimed her out of nowhere, that's what Harriet said. I don't know if Kristy'll stay in WV or if she'll return.
All in all, I think I may be on my way to making a new friend, at the same time I may be losing at least one of my old ones. I'm hoping she and I will keep in touch even when she returns to France after Christmas.

Some staffers posed for this pic while we're working on the back-to-school issue, which'll probably be in the yearbook. Megan (seated) is still editor-in-chief. I'm the first four-eyed fool (lol) on the left, Kit's next to me, Marie-Antoinette (I actually just wanted to type that, lol) is next to her, and Alison is wearing the hockey shirt. Missing is Lindsey (who also joined today) and Katarina Engel. Having the new staffers around certainly helps; I remember at some points last year we were so stressed out because there were so few people. I hope these newbies stick around for the whole year. It's much more fun with them around now.

Monday, August 17, 2009

All About Antoinette

The majority of comments from my last post were about Antoinette, the French exchange student who's at Adams for the semester, and with good reason. Naturally everybody's curious about her. So imagine my surprise when Megan approached me with an idea to do a profile article on her for the back-to-school issue due out this week. I asked her, "How am I going to interview her? Especially with Meredith in the way?"
So, today when I approached Antoinette, Meredith looked at me like I was crazy. "What are you gonna do with her?"
"It's for the paper, you doofus," I shot back. "You don't own her!" I've decided I'm not going to take another year of abuse from her. We're never gonna be friends, and I can live with that.
I'm still not sure about the format to use for the article, but back in February I did do a 15 things about me post on my blog, so I suppose I may use that.

This afternoon I managed to get Antoinette in the newspaper office, and here's what I know about her now that I didn't know this morning. One thing I know about her is that even with her glasses, she's very pretty, and another thing I know is that she's very thin. She's even thinner than I am.
  • Her full name is Marie-Antoinette (one name) Anais Boucher, and she gets teased a lot back home because Marie Antoinette was a French queen who was beheaded.
  • Instead of using her full name, she chooses to go by Antoinette.
  • Her mother is Italian, her father is French.
  • She speaks three languages (French, Italian, English) and is learning Spanish and German.
  • She's in seventh grade, like me.
  • I have two classes with her.
  • She was born in a town called Versailles (she pronounces it vur-SY) and was raised in another town called Nice (pronounced like niece instead of nice). I'm sure Avery or Sophie may be much better at writing out the pronouncing of these names, though.
  • Her birthday is May 2.
  • She admires France's first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, a former model who has also launched a music career.
  • Her family in France is fairly well-off.
  • She is an only child.
  • Her favorite artist is someone called Lady GaGa, and like me she doesn't get the obsession with Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana. "It's not that I don't like Mi-lee or Anna," she says in her cutely accented English, "it's just that they are not my favorite."
  • She wants to write for the paper. Knowing Megan, I'm sure that could be arranged.
  • She loves Harry Potter, admits to having a crush on Daniel Radcliffe (the guy that played him in the movies), and fantasized about being a Hogwarts student.
  • She loves fashion and is interested in the AG couture scene.

The cool thing about having her around now is we actually get to practice the French we're learning in class. I actually think she's okay. If I could rescue her from the clutches of the evil Meredith...

And the other cool thing about having access to the computers in the newspaper office is, they're connected to the internet... ;-)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Queen Bees and Wanna-Bees

So, Sophie asked in her comments to my last post if Meredith (aka our class' queen bee) was still around, and my answer now, as then, is she is... and in my opinion, she's worse than ever. I heard she entered a couple modeling contests over the summer, and she sure has gotten her head swollen like a balloon.

And on top of that, she's got a new accessory -- er, companion, in the form of a French exchange student named Antoinette Boucher (right), who's staying with the family next door to the Hopkins' for the semester. She's very exotic looking, with long dark hair (almost as dark as Victoria's) and bright blue eyes. She wears glasses most of the time but she wasn't wearing them there. And to think, she could have been staying at MY place for the semester, bummer.

Nicki doesn't return to Colorado to start seventh grade there till next month, so she wanted to see what had changed at Adams since she last attended last year (which isn't much, btw). Harriet & I gave her a grand tour, and we showed her the newly-remodeled newspaper office. BTW, I'm totally digging Harriet's new outfit, it suits her. It's from Carpatina.

Speaking of the new newspaper office, I'm happy they got new computers in there, and we welcomed Kathryn "Kit" Kittredge as our newest staff member. (Megan plans to ask Lindsey to join on Monday, and I've told Kit not to tell her.) And just in time, too. We have to get the back-to-school issue printed by next week. I'm trying to convince Harriet to join us at the paper, but she refuses to budge, saying she'll have nothing to do.

As for those sixth-grade 'wanna-bees' Kylee, Zoe, and Victoria -- I'm not bothered with them -- except when they bother my friends, and Kit and Lindsey are my friends now, though they're not in the same grade as I am. Besides, I do suspect someone will put them in their place soon enough, and I actually would be very happy when that happens. Funny how that works, huh?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Seventh Grade!!!

Welp, started school this week, and hadn't had a moment to start recording everything. Until now.
Most of the usual suspects are back in action for another year, but a couple people still aren't back yet from whatever they were doing this summer, and I'm kinda worried. Kristy hasn't returned, neither has Hilary. I'm kinda bummed about it, actually. On the other hand, there are a whole lot of new faces around here.
Kit and Lindsey were telling me about some of their new classmates. "There are these three girls," they told me, "that you gotta stay away from at all costs."
Uh-oh. Are they the sixth-grade version of Meredith's crew?

I got a look at these girls. They sure did look like meanies. From left to right, they're Victoria Vaccaro (the dark haired one), Kylee Phillips (the blond), and Zoe Fishers (the brunette). Kit and Lindsey say Kylee is the definite queen bee of the group and has treated them like crap since kindergarten.

Speaking of Kylee, I'm actually stuck with her -- for the foreseeable future. That's because my student council sponsor matched us up for the seventh grade-sixth grade buddy program that I started last year. She reminds me of Meredith except, in my opinion she's actually even prettier. I was kinda hoping I'd get either Kit or Lindsey as I already knew them from Girl Scouts. Harriet's partner is Jess McConnell (I'm jealous as Jess seems far more interesting). I don't know who Hilary or Kristy have. Kit likes her partner as hers is into sports and they can talk baseball all day and all night. Lindsey's partner is Sasha Moore, one of Meredith's pals. I asked my teacher what made her make the matches she did, and she said they were totally random. I bet.

My classes -- I've only got one class with Harriet and three with Hilary. Hil and I have honors classes, plus French and TAG (talented and gifted) enrichment. Megan Ryder is still editor of the newspaper, although the newspaper sponsor, Ms. Baldwin, named me assistant editor now, so I'm gonna be spending more time with that. This means Megan and I have the task of picking new staffers. Kit and Lindsey have already submitted their stories, and I hope I don't have to tell one or both of them that they didn't make the staff, especially since they talked about it before all this happened.

I got into Parkington. I tried on my uniform, even paid the dorm fee... but then realized I couldn't go there. I didn't really belong there. It wasn't for me, at least not right now.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm BAAAAACK! (cue evil maniacal laugh here)

Welp, the title says it all.
And to celebrate my return, Linds redid my blog banner with one of the pics from my stay.
My post is gonna be brief, because I've got to get ready to go to SCHOOL today! Oh yes, the reason I came back so soon is because school starts today. I'm a seventh grader now.

Here are the two albums from my travels. The first is from California, where Wendy is. Wendy and I had a blast, along with her other friends. What's funny is she's got a friend with the same name as my cousin. And they kinda look alike too. Weird, huh?

The second one is from the other side of the country, in Massachusetts. I had a blast with those girls, too, seeing all the sights. It's very pretty up there. I'd never been to Massachusetts, even though I'm from PA.

More later! Byeeee,

Friday, August 7, 2009

Guest post #2: Harriet!

Yo! Harriet here. Y'all have probably heard a lot about me, cause I'm sure Haley's had a lot to say about me. But y'all have never heard FROM me. So, now, here I am.
For starters, Haley came back last week, but she's resting, so she'll be back posting next week sometime. I'm sure y'all probably will be glad to hear from her again.
My full name is Harriet Louisa Jones. I know it sounds like an old fashioned name, and it was given to me by my mom. I'm named after my two grandmothers, Harriet and Louisa. Louisa's dead, and Harriet is the one who's raising me. I don't have any siblings, but I have a whole lot of cousins and other relatives, so there's always somebody around.
I know Haley's not so much into music, but I love it. Mostly I like hip hop and R&B, but I like some pop. I have to admit I LURVE the Jonas Bros and some Miley Cyrus...but I'm not so into Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. I've also found grandma's old Jackson Five records and have been listening to those, ever since Michael Jackson died.
Sometimes I wonder why Haley and I are friends, we're so different. I'm a couch potato and like watching TV and listening to music, she's much more active and would prefer reading to the tube. I barely read what I have to read at school, and writing for this??? I don't know how she does it.
Ok, where was I? Oh yeah, I was in summer school most of the summer, which is a total bummer. And I had some very long talks with Haley's cousin, Nicki Fleming. Nicki came down to visit Haley for the summer, only to have her up and leave on this traveling doll thing. I never understood it, myself. Nicki being Nicki, was dissapointed by Haley leaving, but she and I actually got close, in part because of it.
Last year, when Haley came to Adams, she was this girl that didn't seem to know where she was, and I've watched her grow and change just in the past year. I've mostly been along for the ride. We start seventh grade next week, so I can't wait to find out what else is in store!
Peace and love, Harriet