Sunday, April 29, 2012

AP Exam Crisis

It's past midnight. I should be asleep, or doing something entertaining on a Saturday night. But alas, I have just set down my handy-dandy Princeton Review AP U.S. History study book-thing and decided to call it a night on the APUSH studying. It's the first AP exam I've ever taken (that and the AP Spanish Language exam I will also be taking this year as well) and, as you can probably tell, I am stressed out. By nature, I am a tense, constantly stressed-out person, and this is by no means an exception. Not only do I have to focus on course studies, but I still have to find time within now and two weeks to properly study (I know, I should have started sooner - but don't criticize me so soon, as I have been faithfully attending my AP teachers' AP exam tutorials). My study-buddies and I already had an AP exam study session at B&N (didn't turn out so well, coincidentally - we happened to be sitting by the humor section and the boys were obsessing over the zombie apocalypse book, and the coffee + cookie run we made to Starbucks in the bookstore didn't help, either. Although, in my defense, I spent my two hours going over AP Spanish reading comprehension practices and did half of an APUSH multiple-choice test). Next time, we'll just stick to the good-old school library. Also, in my defense, I have started studying sooner than most people who are taking the AP exams. 
It certainly doesn't help that my AP Spanish teacher tends not to give us any practice whatsoever on the oral parts of the AP exam. Sure, we've done listening exercises, reading comprehensions, and long & short essays, but we haven't done any Spanish speaking practice (except once, in January.) This, is a problem. While, luckily, I will not be taking my exam with the rest of the sophomore AP Spanish class, the hardest part of all for me is the speaking. Listening is difficult too, as the narrator usually speaks incredibly fast. Speaking-wise, my grammar isn't that exceptional, and it's kind of a big deal considering I don't have much time to come up with a decent essay to deliver in two minutes-time. I am somewhat more confident for the Spanish exam than the APUSH one. The DBQ and FRQs are going to KILL me. It kills me that I don't know what exactly to be prepared for. There's so much information! It's overwhelming! 

I am lucky that I have better information-retaining skills than most people. My class hasn't done entirely too many DBQs and FRQs, which not-so-secretly stresses me out. It would be nice if we had more DBQ/FRQ exercises in class, but my APUSH teacher is frantically trying to get all the information properly taught to us. 

I don't know how my friend Olivia can juggle her AP exam studying (she's taking AP Stats + AP Spanish and APUSH) and volunteer as crazily as she does. I'd die! I volunteer a lot, as I'm in the Spanish Honor Society and the National Honor Society and the Rotary Interact Club at my school, but she takes the volunteering to a whole new level. I mean, when is she going to have enough time to REALLY study? 

Anyway, I'm going to desperately try not to scream my head off due to frustration and stress. I am making a vow to myself that I will stay off Blogger until AP exams are over. I'll let you all know after May 11 how everything went. 

Coincidentally, I will deactivate my Facebook account until AP exams are over. Starting tomorrow.  God, give me the strength to stay off Facebook for two whole weeks. Trust me, I need all the strength and patience in the history of, well, my whole life up until this point. 

Wish me luck you guys!!!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Girlfriend Material

Once again, long time no post! As usual, I've been crazy busy, what with loads of homework and AP exams coming up and scrambling to get all of my hours for NHS done and turned in. I can't believe I did 56 hours of volunteer service this year. We only had to do 15. I certainly overworked myself this year. :) 

I haven't gotten much reading done (at least, for fun) - my class did finish To Kill A Mockingbird...although it wasn't my favorite book in the world, I did enjoy reading it (more than reading Ender's Game, at least - science fiction is so not my genre, I discovered). My class watched the film and it was good, although it didn't compare to the novel, in my opinion. It was certainly a good adaptation of it, though. Peck made a wonderful Atticus Finch. 

I still haven't read The Help (shame on me) but I definitely plan to read it this summer, when I go to Spain, as I will probably not have much to do in the semi-abandoned town I visit there. I also plan on looking at scholarships for college there. My dad says I should teach English to the kids there...hah, PLEASE! I don't know how to teach anything. I'm a very impatient person. 


ANYWAY...away from the blah blah blah about my dull, typical high-school life (I am SO ready to be done with high school, even though I'm only finishing the 10th grade, unfortunately). I did get some time today, after state testing, to read Girlfriend Material by Melissa Kantor. It's about this girl, Kate Draper, who has to ditch all of her "marvelous" summer plans -  she had been taking a summer writing class and was planning on playing tennis with her best friend, Laura - to go to Cape Cod for the summer with her mom, who is only trying to get Kate's distant father's attention. Kate and her mother were bunking in at Kate's mom's college best friends' - Tina & Henry - house for the summer. Initially, Kate is thrilled to be seeing Tina & Henry's daughter, Sarah, a childhood idol and friend, again, but gets a cold and rather unfriendly welcome from Sarah once she arrives, discovering that Sarah wants absolutely nothing to do with her. Out of her comfort zone, (even her best friend, Laura, has found something to do in her absence - surprise! She has her first real boyfriend) Kate has no choice but to spend her time either in the library or at the country club, where she teaches tennis to a 8th grade brat, Natasha (who obviously doesn't even like tennis), and where she meets Sarah's friends - Jenna, Lawrence and Adam. Slowly, but surely, the four of them start becoming friends,  Sarah included, and she becomes friends with Adam more so than with anybody else, if you know what I mean. Adam is irresistible - funny, smart AND attractive! - and he seems to be interested in Kate, too. As the two of them hang out more, the pull between them grows stronger, until neither can hold back any longer. After kissing on the Fourth of July, Adam and Kate hang out a bit more, until Adam has to go on a fishing trip with Lawrence. While he's on the fishing trip, Kate discovers something shocking - Adam already has a girlfriend, Molly. Unbeknownst to her, Adam and Molly are on a "break" for just the summer, which Adam explains to her when he comes back, and that he believed she wasn't interested in any kind of serious relationship, either. However, even though Kate tries to shake it off like it doesn't matter to her that she's just a summer fling, it does bother her, and at last, she tells Adam that she doesn't want to "hang out" anymore. Eventually, she realizes that she does miss him, and goes to tell him how much she likes him, but blurts out her feelings to Adam's twin brother, David! How embarrassing, right? David informs her that Adam had left to New Hampshire, where Molly is, and she comes to the sickening conclusion that Adam had gone to N.H. to get back with Molly after all. NOT THE CASE. Adam comes back and tells her that he had only gone to N.H. to break up with Molly, realizing how much he liked Kate and wanted to be with her. 

AWW - so cute, I know. And although I sympathized with Kate, knowing what it's like to be stuck with someone who obviously doesn't like you and being a fish out of water with someone else's friends, I don't understand how Kate could be so nonchalant about being just a fling, even if was just to Adam's face. I mean, her feelings change so much. When she's with Adam, she's all like "oh, who cares if it's just a fling? I'll probably never even see him again" and then when she's alone, she's like "but I don't want to be just a fling, I want to be dancing in the happily-ever-after with him". It's like she doesn't know what she wants. I mean, sure, I can cut her some slack as it's her first boyfriend, but I've never had a boyfriend either and I know I wouldn't be okay with being someone's fling. 

All in all, I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. 

I'll post again when I read a new book or something - if you've been keeping up with my posts, you'll know I've been hooked on a Fanfiction Naruto story by AngeLHearteD. It's fantastic, and I get so frustrated that she's been so busy with her life that she hasn't uploaded any new chapters! Fortunately, she keeps me hooked with her amazing characters and her sneak-peeks, but I do understand how busy she must be. It's just like reading a good book! You can't get done with it fast enough! 

Check it out. Seriously, I'm not kidding. It's amazing. And Sasuke makes me drool because he's hot, even if he IS a jerk. I'm NOT giving any spoilers to her story, so you'll just have to read it for yourself. And if you do read, please leave her a review! She DOES appreciate them and actually DOES go through them!

Here's the link: 
Quietus by AngeLHearteD

She also has a Deviantart group for her story, too, in case you guys like her story a lot. You'd be surprised how many drawings and pictures she gets for her story. It's incredible. She's a very talented writer and people do see that, as they draw pictures for her story :) I think the link to her group on Deviantart is on her Fanfiction page. 

Later, gators! :) 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Life and the Hunger Games

I haven't gotten on here in some time, I know, but I've just been so busy with school and stuff. Things are hectic right now with AP exams coming up and finals and state exams and the like. Scrambling to get all my volunteer hours for the various clubs I'm involved in, things like that.

But tomorrow's a holiday, and for the first time EVER, I HAVE NO HOMEWORK THIS WEEKEND!!! 
I am beyond thrilled, as you can see by the shouty, ecstatic Caps Lock. 

I have not read any new books, but I did go see the Hunger Games the weekend it came out. I read the book the summer before freshman year, so before any movie announcements were made. The books didn't really get popular until the movie was announced, which disappoints me somehow, because HG is a really good series, much more so than the Twilight Saga. 

All in all, I have to say that the movie did the book justice. Of course, it's not on the same place on the scale as HP, but close. Much higher on the scale than Twilight and its sequels. 

Jennifer Lawrence was a good choice for Katniss. I didn't know much about her when she was first announced - I still haven't seen her other movie, Winter's Bone, the one she was Oscar nominated for. Of course, I had my initial doubts about Josh Hutcherson for Peeta, mainly because he reminds me of Disney, which I know is not fair, but still. And Liam Hemsworth...I am ashamed to say that I had my doubts about him because he's Miley Cyrus' boyfriend. They did pretty decent portrayals of Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne, respectively. Although Jennifer L's acting stood out the most. 

I could list the differences between the book and the movie, but if you still haven't read the book and seen the movie, I won't spoil anything for you.