Tuesday, August 30, 2011

shoddy poetry:

O calculus! Oh math!
How you do scramble my brain.
When upon a problem I encounter,
My hand cries out in pain.

I will write steps o'er and o'er
(As no other creature would do)
And yet, what ho! when the answer I give
The answer is snubbed with a "foo!"

I want to live a merry life
But, O math, you bring me low
Math, will you not be lenient?
Why must you stay? Will you not go?

"Your mind should not be wasted", they say
"From your math-heresy you must repent!"
"You foolish, silly girl", they tell me,
"Math makes your life well-spent."


Yet I laugh and scoff at their words
For what good comes of math?
It can't cook or clean (among other things)
It can't even draw me a bath!

"Math is in all processes" they'll tell me
"Math makes your wishes come to be!"
If this is so, I will now go.
For my one wish is from math to be free!

...this is what a few hours of calculus homework does to me. PURE INSANITY and lack of reason (and rhyme, as you can tell).

I have decided to never be a math professor.
E-ver.
 
Also, I'm not going to be a poet.

That is all.

Monday, August 29, 2011

the classics?

someone's copy of war and peace compared to a MacBook Air
I've been trying to increase my "bookage" and knowledge base by reading more.
I love reading, I just wish it didn't take so much time. (I am a rapid reader, but it still takes so much time!)

I recently bought "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy. I've been reading a few pages here and there. I'm a few chapters in. So far, so good.

There are a great many characters with similar names, however.
I may have to create my own dramatis personæ, (yay Latin!) so I can keep up with who is who.
So many princes, viscounts, and princesses.
If I can get through this book, and keep all of the characters straight, I will feel accomplished.

....

1984.
Madame Bovary.
The Grapes of Wrath.
Great Expectations.
The Old Man and the Sea.
Les Miserables.
The Picture of Dorian Gray. 
The Good Earth.
The Scarlet Letter.
Wuthering Heights. 
...I could go on...


All of these are "classics".  Yet all of these books are, to me, depressing. There are good parts, but there are also a great many sad parts. They end on a minor, depressed note.

I attribute it to the fact that many writers were also slight nutjobs.

For example?
Virginia Woolf. That woman was insane, I tell you. Absolutely bonkers.

Edgar Allan Poe was no better, marrying his 13-year-old cousin. He went off the deep end, too.

Jane Austen, though she wrote fabulous romances, had a rather bittersweet love life of her own. 

Charles Dickens? Well, his novels greatly reflect his own morose outlook. His life was no cake walk. 

Lewis Carroll? Holy cow, that man had issues. I'm not saying any more about him.


Many of the great writers seem to have led melancholy and pensive lives.  I'm sure there are exceptions...perhaps. Do you know of any?

I suppose sad events are what could drive one to pen, paper, and hours of solitary confinement.

Book-writing is hardly a social task. You agree with me on that, right?

But what I will note about many (ok, some) of the classic novels: they are well-crafted.

They are written in such a way that they can grip you.
They make you muse and ponder things that in day-to-day life, you might not think of to wonder.
They broaden your thinking and scope of humanity; giving you insight into another human's mind.
For writing is thought, and thoughts are (sometimes) precious things.

...though, some thoughts need to be chucked. Some thoughts are best left to the writer.
The adage, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything"?
It still holds true.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hey, older Makenzie, remember this?

(this is a post for me when I'm older and in denial of how I used to be. Also, it's a nice break from math problems at the moment)

So, I'm a geek.
I mean, there isn't much I can do to help it, it's in my nature.
Maybe older me will totally try to deny it, but here it is in lettering for all the world to see. Ha.

*NOTE: Usually when people proclaim themselves to be geeks, they are incorrect in labeling themselves in such a manner. But I really am one. It's scary. I have been reaffirmed on this from a number of sources. (...and I write like a nerd with some of this phrasing...)*

I have a thing for trivia. I can spout off some weird facts, especially about musicians and songs.

It's only right that I plan on increasing my geek-hood.

Maybe someday, I'll even find a geeky guy (who's also stunningly handsome, speaks 9 languages, incredibly intellectual, a talented musician, athletic, and a strong Christian. Also, he's humble. AND he likes coffee. Hey, a girl can dream...)

This reminder of geekiness made me think about how I view myself and how I actually am.
(Not that how I view myself and how I am are one and the same, by any means. I admit to having a rather subjective view of myself.)

At the moment, these 10 things are how basically I would define myself (for posterity of older me looking back at this someday):
  1. Redheaded. This isn't apt to change for a good long while. ...unless I go prematurely gray.
  2. Eclectic. I like all sorts of things, I can't quite fit into one category of society. I don't follow trends. I'm really happy following my own drum. I'm also usually tongue-in-cheek about everything.
  3. Thrifty. I like saving money and making my dollars stretch. For the most part, I'm a deal finder. I do know how to splurge on occasion (I'm no tightwad).
  4. Organized, yet messy. As of right now (as I take a short reprieve from trying to refresh myself on basic precalculus) I've been busy. I've neglected my room, I have stacks of papers to sort. Clothes to fold. But, aside from that, I am usually a neat and orderly person. Seeing things organized gives me a happy sigh. Once I catch up with my assignments, there will be order. I cannot stand disorder.                                   You know what they say...A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind, so an empty desk is an... empty mind.
  5. I'm a technophile. Like, seriously. I may not know all of the jargon or coding, but I really like to tinker and learn. Eventually, maybe, I'll get into the programming aspect of things. [I pretty much want to learn a little bit of everything. Like, from every discipline. This is why I can't settle on a college degree to pursue.]
  6. A runner. I must get in some form of exercise daily, or else I may just go mad entirely. Exercise helps to keep me sane. Running is my vice of choice.
  7. Shutterbug. Need I elaborate?
  8. One word: coffee.
  9. I'm a lover of music. Good music can change a mood entirely. Also, I love hearing phenomenal live music, it gives me chills and a giddy excitedness.
  10. Most importantly, I'm a follower of Christ. I would be in a bad place if I didn't have Him guiding me through the crazy maze of life.  He gets the credit for any good that I can do. 
So, this is basically a self-check, I've changed a lot in the past few years, and I think maybe someday I'll re-read this and....




...roll my eyes at what a dork I am/was.

Or maybe when I become famous (hahaha. riiiiight.) this will be something that people reference.
You know, someday you might read in my biographies:

"In her late teens, Makenzie kept a blog of the happenings of her life. It gives us a good insight into who she was as she grew up. One particular post, from when she was but 18, tells us of her interests and her view of herself...blah, blah, blah."

I have a boring biography writer. If a biography ever happens, please make sure it's a good writer.

...I think this math is getting to me.
Maybe I should call it quits for the night.

(also, I bought 5 notebooks, two boxes of pencils, and two boxes of crayons for $0.48 today. Yesss!)

my eyes won't focus...

Well, the beauty of joining a class after it has already been in session, is that you skip over the fluff.

You don't trouble yourself with busy work.

Yesterday, I was able to add a class! I was despairing of taking anything.
Then finally, a class opened in a subject I needed!
I was estatic.
I was soo ready to start learning. Like, it's crazy. You might have thought it was Christmas for me.

Knowledge is power...

Anyways, I emailed my professor...
and I found out that there are already plenty of homework assignments due. So I plunged in, ready to attack the math beast.

Calculus? These problems take a good amount of time. It's easy to make teensy little errors that throw your whole answer out-of-whack. Then, it's back to square one to rework the problem.

I've been wracking my brain and fervently reading my textbooks today. I have a lot of ground to cover.

The math knowledge is slowly trickling back.
It's like when your foot falls asleep.
Numb at first, but then, you get a little feeling. It's pretty much just as painful, too.

Hey, I don't do this kind of math in day-to-day life.
I'm realizing how true the saying is, "if you don't use it, you lose it"

Not to mention, I haven't had a really rigorous math course in about a year. Geometry was a relative breeze. Physics was technically math, but science math is infinitely more fun than math math.

Anyways, I have been giving my brain a workout. I know there are plenty of people who might laugh (cough, honor students, cough) at the fact that this is just calculus. I had a friend taking calculus 3 her senior year of high school.


Well, I have a headache because my brain is out-of-shape in the advanced math department. I've been pouring over my textbooks all day, trying to review what I had previously learned.
But just like in running, I shall get back on track.
Class is tomorrow morning, wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Imagine this

You're driving along the road in your fabulous car. It's a perfect day. Warm sunniness encapsulates you. The windows are down, and the breeze is good.The traffic is light, the music on the radio is (for once) all good and free from commercials.
You're almost at your turn when you see it.
The Detour.
Orange and flashing, big orange signs and the traffic cones direct you away from where you're needing to go.  You have to take an alternate route that adds considerable time to your trip.  Your "chi" is totally thrown off.

It's jolting.

Ugh.

Well, reader, I have come to The Detour. It has been smooth sailing for me academically. I have twice the credits I need to graduate from High-School, (which totally shocked me, bytheway!) and now I'm attempting to sign-up for classes.
...it's unconventional, I know, to be hoping for classes at the last minute.
...it's a long story.
Let's just say that it turns out the the classes I want this semester are full to the max, and there is no room for me. Tomorrow is the last day for anyone to drop their class and for me to snag a seat. 

If nothing pans out, maybe there's another game plan for me.  Maybe I'm supposed to take a semester off and do something greater. 

The beauty of the detour is that it takes you an alternate route, a way you might not normally get to go.
The detour may take you to some beautiful places. You never know...
We shall see.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Also, yesterday, I found an old paper written by me a few years ago.
It was funny in a painful way.
I don't think a 6-page report on jellyfish (why did I pick those as a topic?) is supposed to be satirical. But...
I noticed, in my paper, when I wrote, that I'd include random and superfluous bits of information.  I still have this problem.

I have these ideas pop up, and I don't take the time to format them into a nice flowing transition. Those thoughts need to come out right now.

Or else I'll get bored with my own words.
It happens.
I bore myself with my blabbing at times, so I've got to keep it fresh.

When I was a few feet shorter, I had this problem of going on thought trains during conversations.

 You know about those, right?
Yes, they are literal.
If not, I'll give an example:

Say that we're talking about college classes. You start monologuing. My thought process goes like this:

College classes. 
Hmmm. 
That makes me think about college sports. 
I haven't been to a game in ages. 
Maybe I should get tickets. 
Tickets, where can I buy those? 
Ticket hawkers, but that's ridiculous. 
Wouldn't it be strange if people did that with random things? 
Everyone would be like an auctioneer, with that sing-song voice.
I wonder how much auctioneers practice their selling chant. 
Is it like an instrument that must be practiced? 
Instruments. 
I need to practice my guitar. 
Should I play on street-corners for money? 
Maybe I'd be discovered!


...and by this time you're asking me a question about college classes and I'm thinking about touring the country with my music.

The absent-minded thinking has happened to me more than once. It's embarrassing, but it's not like it's the speaker's fault for failing to hold my attention.
It's not personal.

I'm just...different.

A...a...dreamer!

You get the point.

My sisters and I would collaborate on thought trains when we were on long car trips.
It may seem silly, but it was fun.

Anyways, I've learned how to focus a bit better in writing and conversations, but I still have a bit of that "hey, look at that unimportant-to-what-I'm-doing thing!" thrown in there.

Reader, do you have any tips you'd like to share?
I've read countless books on writing, planning, focusing and re-editing (I could quote them, but that's dulllll) but practical advice is my favorite. So, if you have some, please share! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Silence

I have too much to say.
It all wants to come out at once, but, because of the prolific amount of thoughts I have, the inverse has happened.

I am silent.
I am silent because there is too much.
Too much to say and too much to be done.

As always, God is good, and I need to remember that He is totally in control, no matter how crazy my life may feel.

Here are some pictures of the fantastic spur-of-the-moment vacation/road trip I had with a sweet friend.
I need a pet egret. Aren't they cute?
absorbing the beauty

Dunes


The storm creeps up on the unsuspecting condos...





Vacations are such fantastic things.
It's like you get a chance to push every problem away to being a blip on the horizon of thought.
It's a form of denial, I know.
Blissful denial.

Vacations make your worries teeny-tiny, like these people
When on vacation, you simply revel in the lists of fun things to do as opposed to the stressful adult things that must be done. Because, oh man, I know I'm getting ready to plunge into some stress.

 I remember, while sitting on the sandy shores as a warm breeze blew and the waves crashed, thinking, "At this moment, I have nothing to stress out over, nothing to work on at the moment. I am free to just be and relax."

...of course, after a few days, just being gets old, and one begins to long to feel needed again; to rush back into the race of life and be productive.

I know that in my walk with God, I'm called to not worry (that is one of the hardest commandments ever) I'm called to serve and shine. I should always have the feeling that I can just be in God's presence.

While we were out, I got sun. A lot of sun. I was so freckled. So so freckled. My hair turned even more copper.

Oh, and then there was the sound.
It had soft squishable black sand.

In a moment of genius, I suggested that we put some on out faces.
Shockingly, my friend agreed.

As I slathered my face with the mud, I realized it was one of the most daring things I felt I had done in a long while.

Even more daring than climbing 20 feet up into a tree.
Even more daring than driving a manual car in rush hour traffic.
Even more daring than dancing in a thunderstorm.
Even more daring, than, well, you get the point...


The masque actually worked!

We biked all over. I had forgotten how much I love biking.

We talked about all sorts of things, but then there were times when my friend and I were silent. It wasn't an angry silence, or an awkward silence, it was a contemplative silence.

Sometimes, there are no words, especially when you're in such a pretty place as the beach.





Friday, August 12, 2011

rambling on and on

In an attempt to expound upon the last few precious days of summer, I am going to the beach.
It's going to be great.
I feel so blessed to get this va-cay!
I might have a funny story or two from this. We shall see.

Also, I've figured out that one of my main love languages is words of affirmation. When people say nice things, it completely boosts my morale.

...it's taking me a long time to figure out my "love languages". I think that right now, as I'm discovering who I am (that sounds so cliché, but it's true) I have been able to see myself in perspective, more subjectively (well, as subjective as I can be when it comes to myself.) It's interesting, and I'm discovering the largest room in the world.
room for improvement, heh

Do you know what discourages me a LOT?

Let me preface this by saying that I am a perfectionist in many ways, and when I go for something, I give it my best. Like, I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. I'm also critical, and always looking for ways to make things better.

Since I am words-oriented, I'm sensitive to criticism.
You don't have to tell me something is wrong more than once.
If there is something I'm not doing right, just mention it, and (if you're right in what you're saying) I'll do a 180 turn around. I'm eager to improve.

When I have been working hard at something, general statements like, "Be the best you can be! Give it your all!", said in a way that is insinuating that I'm not being the best I can be (when I feel like I'm already giving 190% [bad math, I know])
...there is almost nothing worse. I know that it's meant to encourage, but it just isn't translated that way to me.

When I am actually slacking off, it's great to have someone remind me to work hard.

I don't mind constructive commentary; if you can point out a specific area to improve upon, I'm good.

When people come alongside me and appreciate what I'm doing, it spurs me on to work even harder.
I don't totally get the psychology of it, since intuitively, you think it would do the opposite and give me a pass to slack off...humans are so confusing.

It's true that you totally get more flies with honey than vinegar. (Flies, in this case, being a good thing)

I know that people do better with encouragement, so if/when I'm in a leadership position, I'm going to remember this fact.


Pardon the ramblings about me and myself and psychology.
How dull.
I just felt like ranting a bit.
Next post will be awesome.

What say you? How do you feel about encouragement/discouragement? What's the best way someone could encourage you?

Monday, August 08, 2011

I have arrived...

...as a manual driver.
Stick shift all of the way, baby!
Okay, so I know I can 'officially' drive my stick shift now because something happened the other day. I was asked to drive our van, which is an automatic.
I haven't driven an automatic car in about three months.
It was ...interesting.
I started up the car, and my left foot kept feeling around for a clutch pedal.
My right hand reached around trying to find the gear shifter.
...Talk about feeling silly.
I've grown used to using the gears to slow down the car as opposed to depending solely on brakes. Automatic cars don't quite work that way.

I also caught myself constantly phantom shifting as I drove.
My mom laughed at my antics.

I'm really thankful I didn't mistake the brake pedal for the clutch. That would have scared my passengers big time.

Music influences the way I drive. It seriously does.
Tonight I was listening to my 60's mix cd, and everything was chill.
Totally chill.
I didn't feel the need to speed in the least.
I had trouble going the speed limit.
But, I had no annoyance at the drivers who cut me off. Everything was all gooood.
I might just keep listening to chill music when I drive. I liked how the groovitude affected my driving. They just don't make good music like that anymore.

Today, I've had Spirit in the Sky stuck in my head:



Oh summer, where have you gone?

The cool thing about God's perfect plan is that you never have to "resign" to something. I've had that misconception before, and God has blown that idea out of the water.
His plan is so not boring, nor is it disappointing.
In fact, it's one of the most exciting things to follow.
I have no idea where I'll be in the next few years, but I know that it's going to be good so long as I keep submitting myself to His will.

Okay, I'm done being inspirational.

Oh blog, I'm sorry it has been so long. Lately, most of my posts have been apologetic in this manner.
I think you guys can forgive me for not writing, right?
...if not, too bad. I do what I do.

Well, let me tell you how the three weeks of working daycamp went.
It was fantastic.
I could stop with that statement, but I'll go into greater detail.

I adored my cabin. Me and my girls were tight.

You don't sing "Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee" 20 times in a row together without bonding just a little.

I taught it to my campers one day without thinking. We were trying to get over the cabin's fear of bees, and I think the song helped.
After I sang it once, that was all they wanted to sing when we were walking from activity to activity.

Bringing home a baby bumblebee
Won't my mommy be so proud of me? 
Bringing home a baby bumblebee
OUCH!! It stung me!


...okay, maybe not the best song to sing for bee fears...but the girls loved it. We do go on to squish it up...

Squishing up a baby bumblebee
Wont my mommy be so proud of me? 
I'm squishing up a baby bumblebee
EWWW! It's all over me! 


and then we go on to wipe it off and wash it off...

Speaking of bees, there were a lot of those fuzzy creatures at camp. I've never been stung by one , so I have absolutely no inhibitions when it comes to bees. I think they're cute.

I let them land on me, and I even carried one around a few times just to prove that there was nothing to be scared of.

8 year-old girls are apparently petrified of bees.
I'm proud to say that my cabin learned to conquer their irrational fears.

At the end of the week, I had campers asking me to come and live with them. One little girl insisted that her parents had room for me to stay with them.
Can you say cute? 


My fellow staffers were fantastic.
One of them taught drama, and oh boy he was dramatic. I did promise not to upload the video of him acting as a velociraptor...I'll keep my word.

My co-counselor and I were a fantastic team. We were also both redheads (like I said before) so we had that connection that only redheads understand. I had such a fun time counseling with her.

Another thing that I loved about camp: Friday afternoon crafts.

The campers would make their counselors drawings/cards for their final craft.
It is precious! I love the misspellings, cute wordings, and funny portraits.

If ever I need an ego boost, I will be re-reading these:


"Thank you for being the best, the Best teacher/counselor.
you seved me lunch,
Love,
Vada"

"Thank you for all of the fun you have given us. I enjoyed the blue slide the most.
You are the best counselor Ever.
Love,
Cilla

"I love you Mackenzie!
Thank you so much for helping me have fun
and learn about God!
Your Awesome!"

A funny little camp horse. I think he is tired because he has red eyes...
It's the best. 

"Thanks Makenzie for everything u do
u rock
<3 u soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo etc.
much.
Written with love,
Anna your camper

This is me. It is accurate. Enough said. 

"Dear Mekeanze,
Love you.
I will miss you so much.
Thank you for being the best counceler.
Victoria"

This is the best drawing anyone has ever done of me. 


I've learned a few handy counselor tricks over the past three years of counseling, and this year was no exception.
I've learned even more, and I know that if I get a chance to work at a camp next year, I'll be even more prepared, if that's possible. (I am the always over-prepared one. True story)
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