Thursday, June 22, 2017

June Jams for Your Summer Enjoyment

What have I been doing recently besides neglecting my blogging duties?

Listening to music of course!

Here are my top jams I've been loving recently that I recommend to you all as a nice finish to your June.

Reminds me of Ed Sheeran but better:



Man attempts to find meaningful jobs:



My Coldplay nostalgia compels me:




Ukulele or guitar?  Its a toss up:




Obscure country artist has a good song:




Man rejoices in California earthquakes...?  Still not sure what this is about:




The Lumineers play off their first success but better this time:




Woah, Vance Joy made it on this list twice:




Better-sounding acoustic version of an 80s new wave/synth:




The song we know the refrain to from an insurance commercial:




Lord Huron strikes again!




Hey it's U2!  Because we are cultured here:





Billy Joel rips off the Lion King's fugue style:




Aerosmith!  Steven Tyler, Liv Tyler's (Arwen) dad!  





The song that makes you feel bad for not travelling this summer:





The song everyone loves from Napoleon Dynamite (no, not by the White Stripes--although that one is great too):





The band that reminds of you of the White Stripes:


A song I feel like I know but don't know how and stumbled across randomly:


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson

American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson is a miniseries all about the infamous O.J. trial of 1994.  O.J. Simpson, a famous football player was put on trial for the brutal murder of his ex-wife Nichole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, apparently a companion of Nichole's, and despite all the evidence confirming his guilt was acquitted in the "trial of the century".

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The trial was already dramatic enough material to work with, and this miniseries really was thorough and true to the real story.

I first watched this series in December I think, and re-watched it a couple times since.  My sister Katie has just started watching recently and has been freaking out about it for a couple days.  She really loves dramatic stories, particularly crimes and mysteries.  This reminded me that I never reviewed it, so here I am.

My parents and some of my siblings were around when the trial was actually going on, and it's been interesting to hear how accurate the show is and what the feelings of people who lived contemporaneously with the trial were.

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The show has garnered a lot of attention from slightly younger viewers because we don't remember waking up every day for eleven months and being blasted with O.J. news, and some people don't even know what the whole trial is even about.

Aside from the clearly very dramatic material that the show covers, it is fantastically made content with beautiful camera work and lighting.  The acting is superb on all fronts, and I was especially impressed with how similar some of the actors looked to their real life counterparts.

The series is a nonstop roller coaster of emotion, and I even second guessed myself at times.

Marcia Clark was a very well developed character who had a family she worried about and a tough job to balance.  My heart broke for her when she had to undergo such harsh treatment for her looks and general "being a woman-ness" throughout the trial.

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Chris Darden was a sympathetic character.  I felt bad for him initially when he was put on the trial because he felt that it was only due to his skin color and not based on merit.  As the trial went on, I got a little frustrated with him, particularly when he disobeyed Marcia Clark and tried the gloves on O.J.  Overall though, I liked their friendship and found them to be likable characters.

Johnnie Cochran bothered me a little bit because he didn't seem to care at all about O.J. specifically, and just wanted to get his overarching agenda across through O.J.  Right off the bat he seemed disingenuous for this reason, but he was truly a powerful speaker and very persuasive when he spoke.

My favorite moments were the parts where I gasped out loud: when the original second chair for the prosecution fainted at the beginning of opening statements; when Judge Lance Ito was thinking about recusing himself from the trial because of Mark Fuhrman's comments about his wife, etc.

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I also loved how the media circus was portrayed, and even today you can see the media sort of being it's own source of entertainment: they'll blow something out of proportion and then report on how out of proportion things have been blown.  It was fascinating to see the parallels between all those years ago and today.

To sum up, I really recommend this series.  It won't take a whole summer to watch, and it catches one's attention very quickly.  If you're in the middle of a heat wave, it might be a good day to hunker down and relive the "trial of the century."

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Monday, June 12, 2017

The Westboro Baptist Church Picketed My School

Before I go on with this, I just want to say that this event happened a long time ago.  I wrote my reactions to it at the time and saved the document to post at a later date.  This was done in order to keep my location mysterious and make it impossible to look up recent WBC pickets and find my school.

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It was Sunday when I first saw the Snap story one of my classmates had made ranting about some "anti-LGBT protesters" coming to our school and how she would fight them no matter what.  I had no idea what she was referring to, so I just closed her story and moved along with my day.

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Sunday evening my dad showed me an email that my principal had sent out to the whole school about an "out of state group of protesters" who would be on a sidewalk near our school toward the end of our school day that Wednesday.

I recognized the name "Westboro Baptist Church" from some apologetics studies, actually.  Often times when reading about apologetics, something like this would be said, "How do you counter claims that Christianity is responsible for evil things?  The Crusades, the Inquisition, and even modern day things like the Westboro Baptist Church..." etc.

I didn't really know exactly what they were renowned for, so I read the Wikipedia article online about them and watched a documentary.  I won't deny that I was pretty scared for what would happen at school.

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First of all, I felt really pretty bad that these people were travelling all the way up from Kansas to bother kids and teachers at my school.  I mean, that's pretty sad for that group that they believe such a perversion of Christianity, and of course I hated the idea of kids being targeted by protesters.

Clearly I knew (or thought) that basically 100% of the kids at my school would strongly disagree with the protesters, but I could easily see the pendulum swinging.  I was worried that kids would try to fight the protesters.  That would not be a good look, for sure.

Our principal assured us that police would be present and technically the group's time-slot of protesting ended right when our school day was over, which meant they would likely be gone before anyone saw them.

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I heard in passing during creative writing class that after the announcement in the morning that our principal made, that someone had stood up in their class and said that they "stood with the church", which first of all, I cannot confirm since I only overheard that claim, and secondly cannot believe.  How ridiculous do you have to be to a) say that and b) say it in the middle of your class where everyone can see you?  Do you have an actual social death wish?

At school there was a general buzz about the topic, but I tried to steer clear of it as much as possible.  WBC wants attention and I didn't want our school to give them that much.  Besides, we all have finals and the seniors have graduation to worry about.  We don't have time for this!

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It's all very sad.  We have a very good school, but we've had a couple dramatic incidents this year that have besmirched our name and rubbed our pride into the ground.  My sincere hope is that this WBC protest is ignored and they go all the long way back to Kansas unfulfilled.

*

Okay, I wrote all of this before the protest, and now I am back post-protest.  I watched a documentary about WBC a little before the actual protest occurred, and I have to say that seeing the real people behind WBC was really, really sad.  They are just normal people--parents with kids and jobs etc. but they are so terribly misguided and their actions are truly hurtful.

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It did make me less nervous about the entire ordeal though, to see that the people were really just that--regular people.  Turns out there were only a few people even outside our school during a time of day when no one could even see them.  They stood across the street and held up their signs.

Teachers guarded the doors to our school so that no kids could leave early and go rile up the protesters, but other than that the school day went on uninterrupted.  Lots of kids wore pride gear and tried to virtue signal a bit and show that they disagreed with the protesters.

To be honest the protest ended up not interrupting my day at all.  When school was over I quietly slipped out the orchestra hall door, popped in my headphones, and walked back to school unimpeded.  Many kids at my school, however, in an effort to prove just how "courageous" they are, went to counter protest at the side of the street.

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This whole thing kind of made me just a little angry.  The protesters wanted this exact thing to happen.  Even once the WBC legally had to leave the property, counter protesting kids from school blocked off the streets and created a huge ruckus.  The news came, and WBC got all the publicity they wanted.

So in the end, the WBC got what they wanted, and the kids at my school got to virtue signal a bit.  Kids like me who wanted the protesters to just leave also sort of got what they wanted--an uninterrupted day of finals at school devoid of extreme controversy and danger.

It was definitely an interesting (and pretty random) event to end the school year with, but I am very thankful that everyone stayed safe at the very least.

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If the WBC ever pickets a place of worship or a school or whatever in your are, here are a couple tips I have for you.

  • Don't be scared.  As zealous as the WBC might be and as scary as the concept of extremism is, the WBC's weapon is words, and sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you unless you let them.  
  • Ignore them.  There is nothing the WBC loves more than attention.  They are kind of like the annoying sibling who will eventually stop if you quit reacting to their antics.
  • Keep things in perspective.  The WBC represents a small cult-like faction of "Christianity" (I hesitate to even give them that) and by no means is representative of Christians of course.  Don't paint people with a broad brush after seeing the terrible things WBC does.
  • Keep calm and carry on.  They will be gone by the end of the day, and life will go on.  Don't lose sight of that.
I hope that you never have to deal with a WBC protest, but if you do, just know that it will probably blow over very quickly and you will be able to get on with your regular life.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

2 Year Anniversary and GIVEAWAY

Guys, it's June 11th!!

I had a giveaway announcement planned for today, and I just picked the date at random, figuring that it would be long enough after my school year ended to get myself settled and the giveaway going.

My friend pointed out that my blog anniversary was coming up, and sure enough, when we looked earlier this morning, we realized that today is actually the two year anniversary of Lover of Lembas!

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I'm so happy he caught this and I didn't miss the anniversary.  I am so happy to have kept this blog around for two years.  Over the course of 730 days, I have posted 721 times--almost every single day!

1,912 comments have been left here and Lover of Lembas has almost 48,000 views!  Thank you so much to everyone who's been visiting and interacting--I sincerely appreciate it.

In a token of my thanks for all my wonderful readers, I have a special gift for you!  I am hosting a giveaway for the next couple weeks.

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All you have to do is fill out the following form and answer the very simple questions.  Please be aware that your answers may be published on the blog a little later with your name or screen name.

I will randomly choose one entry to be the lucky winner of...

...a Lord of the Rings coloring book!

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I personally have used one of these coloring books and I can vouch that it is pretty epic.  The scenes you can color in are iconic and I can't even explain how proud I feel when I finish one.

The lucky winner will be announced in just a few weeks :)

I encourage you to enter this fun giveaway, and I thank you for your constant support here at Lover of Lembas!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Save Money This Summer

Are you tight on the cash dollars right now?

Do you want to throw all your money at Caribou coffee rather than--I dunno--necessary things?

Well you're in luck, because it's the same with me!

These are some easy ways to save money this summer!

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Turn off your AC.  No, really!


I know.  You shudder at the thought.  And really, I do too.  Sometimes summer is just unbearably hot, and where I live it gets ridiculously humid too.

But AC really costs a ton of money over the course of a summer, and it's one area where saving money will feel nice on your wallet and nice in general.

You know why going to a cabin up north in the summer is so awesome?  It's because you spend the whole weekend laying out in the sun, going in and out of the house through just a screen door, and jumping in the lake whenever you feel hot.

Why not extend that type of living to your house?  Keeping the windows open makes it so you are basically outside all the time.  Being outside makes people feel good because it's simply more natural.  Don't be a soft human who just has to have everything perfect and controlled.  Let mother nature take care of you a bit and go with the flow a little more.

Bring that cabin-life mentality home!

If humidity is getting you down, dehumidifiers can help and they create nice distilled water perfect for running in fountains or watering your plants.

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Dry your clothes on a clothesline


This is very cheap and good for the environment.  Drying your clothes on a line can save your water bill.  It keeps light clothes looking crisp and pristine, and since sweaters are not generally standard fare in the summer, you don't need to worry a lot about stretching things out.

Additionally, your clothes will smell amazing after hanging in the sweet air for awhile.

Make sure your clothes are in a safe location where people and animals can't wantonly steal them and the sun hits them well.  Pin them up carefully (upside down is often the way to go) so you don't ruin the sleeves, and ensure that they are well dried before folding and putting them away.  They will be musty if you neglect this.

This is a very natural way of getting a necessary chore done, and it can be a very calming and relaxing chore.

clotheshorse, clothesline, clothespins


Travel on foot


If you have a nice summer season in your area (even if it's hot!) you should really make the best of it and try to walk places or ride a bike.

Clearly it's good for the environment, it's cheap, it's good exercise, and it releases endorphins.  It does take a little longer than usual depending on where you are going, but think about it this way; say you need to go to the grocery store, and you should also get some exercise.  You may spend an hour at the grocery store and another hour at the gym...but you could always combine the two by just biking to the grocery store!

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Get a haircut


This is clearly a natural step in the summer experience that only makes sense.  Things are about to get hotter, especially if you are planning on taking my advice and turning off the AC and being physically active during the day.

As someone with hair to her waist, I totally understand how much of a burden hair can be.  We often don't notice this because the burden is accrued slowly, but once you get a short hair cut everything feels so light and easy to manage.

This can really help decrease your feeling of oppressive heat and make things seem freer and less worrisome.

If you don't want to cut your hair, learn some quick ways to put your hair up that won't interfere in your daily life.  Your neck will thank you for the relief from heat.

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Some of these tips may have been obvious, but others may have stood out to you.  Carefully consider if you're willing to try these tips for the sake of money, or if you are going to spend the big bucks this summer.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Halfway World

She leaned against a crooked tree
neither standing nor quite sitting.
She shuddered in the halfway breeze
neither warmth nor cold 'twas spitting.

The sky was blue
though cloudy too,
the trees were large, though weak.
She glanced and saw a stranger's face
reflecting in the creek.

It seemed it was a halfway world
It seemed she was a halfway girl;
one foot behind in yesteryear,
one hand pulling the future near.

Though she was nervous and confused
she smiled in the sunlit chill,
"At least," she said in halfway tones,
"The earth seems unsure still."

Copyright Lover of Lembas 2017

Brown Withered Plant during Daytime

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Closet Remodel (I am TEEN?!?)

A scary realization has slowly been seeping through the crusty sponge that it is my reluctant-to-change mind.  To my mind-sponge's credit (what even is this metaphor?), it did a good job of resisting said realization, but alas! it has finally been soaked.

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The realization is this: I am teen.

I am not old-lady-Jenny who used to wear cardigans and sip tea literally all the time.  I thought that I was different from other people and could resist the teen-phase.

I used to look at teens and literally think "those whippersnappers!"  I used to be so confident in myself that I never thought about what other people think about me (wow, look at the grammar of that sentence).  But now...?  Now, I am teen!

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I got rid of all my nightgowns because I figured that was pretty weird for a teenager.  Younger Jenny would probably say "but who cares, they are comfortable and you're just sleeping!"  Yes, BUT THIS JENNY CARES.  This Jenny wants to fit in.  She wants to wear cool pajamas even though no one will see them.

This Jenny listens to music more than she reads.  Just let that sink in.

A lot of this may have to do with the fact that school has really picked up and my mind is fried by the end of the day, but it's still a shocking realization.

Jenny has a crush on a boy from school.  Old Jenny thought that was a huge waste of time that could not matter less.  New Jenny cannot control herself and needs to DIAL IT DOWN.

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I don't know how this happened, but slowly over the past few months, I've been realizing that slowly but surely I've been morphing into a teenager and changing from my weird old-lady ways.  Who am I?

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This all came to a head Sunday when I finally pulled the desk out of my closet in my room.  It'd been in there for as long as the room had been mine, and it was just another reminder of how odd I was--my closet wasn't used for clothes like most people's, but was just used for more studying.

But I haven't used the desk in awhile, and so I tore it out.  It had been wedged in there before the closet doors were put on, so I had to literally tear it apart in order to pull it out.  Now my closet is full of clothes.  Teen clothes.

The forsaking of a desk for more room for clothes perfectly manifests the overhaul of my prior personality into this strange new world of teen-stuff.

I mean, it's a natural part of life, right?  It's been a pretty rapid progression from old lady to teenager, but eventually I'll probably wobble out an old lady again.  My personality is probably a parabola to be honest.



Well now that that rant is over, I can show you how I organized my closet!

My room is usually never messy, but teen-Jenny has been getting lazy when it comes to cleaning her room.  It starts with one piece of dirty clothing and snowballs into a huge mob of random stuff.  Two nights ago, I found a five pound dumbbell in my bed.  I had been sleeping with it in my bed and didn't realize until midnight.  And by that point I was too lazy to put it away (I took care of it in the morning).


Things only got worse when I emptied everything from the closet.

So I know what you're thinking!  Dang Jenny, you are actually a slob.  

But really I'm not!  I adore organizing, so I was really excited to get everything put away.  I mean, I spent my Memorial Day weekend cleaning, so that shows just how much I love it.




So why do any of you care about this?  The truth is, you probably don't.  But I think that this whole debacle illustrates something you definitely will care about.

I'm talking about the different stages we go through in our lives when it feels like we don't really know who we are.  This closet and it's organization represents that to me.

Yeah, I have gotten rid of my desk and I'm changing my priority a slight bit to something else.  But deep down I haven't really changed.  I can't be too much of a teen if I still spend my weekends cleaning my room and organizing things.

No matter how much of a stranger you may seem (even to yourself) there is always fundamentally you deep down inside.  As long as you don't lose sight of yourself, you'll be alright and can feel free to embrace change.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Schindler's List

I got food poisoning yesterday so I had to leave school early.

I was scrolling through Netflix looking for something to watch while I was bumming around, and I noticed that I still hadn't finished Schindler's List.  I watched the first twenty minutes about a month ago, but I never had the time or patience to watch the whole movie.  It is quite long!

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But even though being infirm was definitely not fun, it may have been a good thing because it forced me to sit back and made it impossible for me to attempt to multitask while watching this film like I normally would.

Schindler's List tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman and member of the Nazi party who, through various efforts and expenses on his part, manages to save about 1,200 Jews from being killed in the Holocaust.

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He originally hires some Jews just because they are cheaper labor, but later figures out that he can buy them and take them to his factory as workers (even if they aren't necessarily very good workers--he saves many children for instance) and therefore prevent them from being killed.

First of all, I really liked the character of Oskar Schindler and how he was portrayed by Liam Neeson.  Sometimes people like to whitewash the protagonists of stories, particularly true stories (as Schindler's List is) and make them completely heroic or completely awful.

Oskar Schindler was not whitewashed in this movie: he was shown as a man with deep issues and problems he had to conquer as well as a man with a compassionate soul deep down.  The movie didn't shy away from his ties with the Nazis--he is shown wearing the Swastika pin--and they acknowledged that he had a problem with womanizing and being unfaithful to his wife.

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The same goes in the reverse.  Amon Goeth was of course a very terrible man who shot Jewish people from his balcony at the camp, but there was conflict within him.  He began to sort of fall in love with one of the Jewish girls, and wrestled with his notion that Jewish people were like rats--for how could her's be the face of a rat?  In the end Goeth was not able to make the correct decision, and didn't change for the better.  But I did like that the film didn't paint him as a completely callous man who never faced any internal conflict.

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Aside from the wonderful characterization, the acting itself was superb.  Ben Kingsley who played Schindler's secretary, Itzhak Stern, had a particularly outstanding performance, as did Embeth Davidtz, who played the Kommandant's maid, Helen Hirsch.

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The movie was very well made, and I found the choice to show it in black and white quite interesting, and something that sets it apart from other WWII films.  I suppose that when I think of WWII images I always think in black and white, so to see everything happening in black and white made me really think it was history rather than people play-acting history.

The music was awe inspiring, though I wish there would have been more of a prominent presence!  I adore the Theme from Schindler's List, and actually that is the primary piece I am working on playing on the violin, and I just wished that it would have been incorporated a bit more into the movie.



I thought the authentic Jewish prayers were very beautiful and heartbreaking to hear.

I must say that after a long time studying world history, there is a tendency to say "oh yes, the Holocaust, well that was horrible..." and just leave things at that.  One knows the facts of course, and knows that it was an awful occurrence, but sometimes I feel like we get a little desensitized to it because time has passed, and it is talked about so much (which it should be!).  But this film really was a bit of a wake-up call and sort of showed just how truly horrific it was.  I really felt that I was right there with everybody being carted around and pushed everywhere.  I think that is a very valuable aspect of this film; that it is able to bring something we know factually but don't understand emotionally to life.

One part I found very heartbreaking was when all the children happily waved goodbye from the trucks (because they didn't understand what was happening) but their mothers and families rushed after them crying because they knew they would never see them again.

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With that said, a lot of the ways this film brings out the truly painful aspects of the Holocaust is through some rather graphic details: shootings are shown very up close and very realistic--I must confess that I never really put together just how one's neck would be maimed if they were shot: it just never occurred to me.  Other instances of this include complete exposure of naked bodies as the Jews at the camps were forced to run around for health inspection.  This may be a little disturbing to younger viewers, but it was done in a respectful manner I think.

The inclusion of these graphic details was not for gory gratification at all, but I think it was to be realistic and not shy away from how truly awful everything was.

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Schindler's List does a great job of balancing the overarching atrocity of the Holocaust happening with intimate struggles of the main characters.  This movie is not too much of a character study, and also not too much of a history documentary.  It is able to balance both of these pieces quite wonderfully in my opinion.

So after this rave review, I don't think it's any surprise that I whole-heartedly recommend Schindler's List to anyone who feels that they are mature enough to handle the subject matter and graphic content.  This may be one of my top five films, and possible close to number one.

I recommend this review from TheCinemaholic which does a wonderful job of summing everything up.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What I Learned From Doing Something I Dislike

I hate track and field in the same way teenage girls "hate" their mothers.  I constantly complain verbally, sometimes I actually give it the cold shoulder, but I return to it time and time again because I know that it's what's best for me and only is working toward my good.

I signed up for track this year under the impression that "it'd be good to try new things" and "meet new people" and "get some exercise!"

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Typically when you join a high school sport, you go to captains' practice for a couple weeks, to see if you'll like it before you fully commit to going to practice and meets every day of the school week and paying a boatload of money to the district.

But my friends Sarah and Kayla had already been in track for a couple years, so they didn't bother going to the captains' practices.

After rigorously questioning them about track and field, I decided that it might be a good idea to join, and I didn't bother going to captains' practices since they wouldn't be there and I didn't want to be alone.

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The first couple days of track were a honeymoon period for me.  I felt good about myself for getting my endorphins rushing around and I didn't feel like a boring person who rides the bus home from school every afternoon and just blogs (not that blogging is lame or anything).

But after the first couple weeks it began to dawn on me that track, quite simply, is not my thing.

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I'm not an awfully out of shape person, but running for no reason (or for very little reason) is not necessarily something I find particularly fun or attractive.  I need the adrenaline of getting to the soccer ball first or preventing the tennis ball from double-bouncing to get me truly motivated.

It didn't help things that the majority of track practices took place in the bitter cold and freezing rain that is so plentiful in my home state around this time of year.  When we weren't in the smelly weight room or using resistance bands in the gym, we were outside freezing while I asthmatically wheezed on the turf.

Part of the issue was that I literally had undiagnosed asthma which made things doubly awful.  It wasn't until a couple weeks ago that I got my inhaler, and things have been marginally better since.

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I didn't make many friends, either.  Part of this is definitely my fault for not putting myself out there, but part of it is due to the really intimidating atmosphere of the team.  There are the top runners who everyone knows and definitely cares about, and then there are the runners that aren't as good who don't necessarily get much attention from coaches or even other teammates.

I run with the sprinters which secludes me from all the people I knew who were mid-distance runners, and that left me with only Sarah and Kayla as friends basically.  I've only really made one other friend, the girl who runs the second leg on our relay team, and even then we only talk when we need to work on handoffs or something.

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So what objectives have I met and missed since joining tracked?

Have I made lots of friends?  No.
Have I tried something new?  Yes.
Have I developed a new skill?  Not really.
Have I gotten a little exercise and sun?  Yes.

So it's a bit of a mixed bag when it comes down to it.  I'm not in love with actual track activities, though I don't necessarily hate them.  I didn't really look forward to track, but sometimes it was nice.  I would say all in all track is not the best use of my time because I don't see it getting me anywhere significant, and I probably will not join next year.

But I have learned and accomplished just a few unexpected things throughout track, and since the season ends for me on Thursday, I want to look back on the season and see how it has benefited me.

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I am More Confident With Myself


When you're forced to make the most intense and hilarious looking face while sprinting because it's the best way to get air in; when you're forced to run little prancing steps to get good form; when you're forced to push your rump as far into the air as possible to stretch out and practice blocks; and when you're forced to wear skimpy little running shorts for your uniform at every meet, you have got to find someway to be confident in yourself.

Normally I am uncomfortable in anything shorter than Bermudas.  But since I've legitimately been forced to wear actual shorts and tank tops for meets, I am more used to letting loose and being confident in who I am.  Not in an overly-revealing way, of course, but I've learned that I don't need to hide out of lack of confidence.

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I Understand More Jargon


If you had told me you ran the 4x1 a couple months ago, I would have little to no idea what you were talking about.  If you used the phrase "PR", I would immediately think "public relations?"  But now I understand all these phrases that people throw out, and I get what they mean by them.

I feel like it'd be really embarrassing as an adult to not even know how long a strait is on a track.

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I am Proud of Myself


Discipline is doing something even when it's not fun and shiny anymore.  Discipline is working even when the goal seems so far away and unachievable.  I don't mean too toot my own horn here, but the shine wore off track a long time ago, and I still pushed myself to do it.

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I don't think there was necessarily anything forcing me to keep going besides a desire to not waste all the money I paid, to please my parents, and not be a quitter in front of my friends.  I could have dropped out most likely with little or no consequence.  The coaches certainly wouldn't have cared if a a lowly JV runner suddenly stopped showing up.

But I kept going not for anyone else, but for myself.  This sounds really melodramatic, but I honestly would be so disappointed with myself if I looked back on my freshman year and saw that I weenied out of track and field.

I'm not usually very challenged academically in my courses, and sometimes I slack off a bit and just do the bare minimum to get the grade I want.  I don't really learn the discipline of doing something you don't want to do in the academic field, mainly because I love studying and it's not hard for me.  The one thing that is actually challenging to me is mentally preparing myself to do something like running, and I'm happy that I disciplined myself enough to get that done.  It may help me when academic things or music things, etc. get harder (*cough cough* AP Bio, APUSH, top orch next year).

I persevered, and yeah, I'm not the best, but I'm glad that I did what I set my mind to.

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I Got Sun and Exercise


I'm not super ripped or anything, but I am more toned than I normally would be at the start of summer vacation, and I am not as desperately pale as usual.  I actually have a bit of a tan!

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Track is a memorable experience.  I look forward to twenty years in the future when I tell my kids "when I ran track in highschool..."

It's not necessarily my favorite, but I am proud and happy that I went for it and actually did it.