Hasta la vista, High School!

Can you hear that?

Can you hear me jumping for joy? That sigh of relief?

Because I. Am. DONE.

Done. Done. Done. Done! The Regents are over and I feel a like a 5 ton weight has just been lifted from my shoulders. It’s been about a week since the exams. Last Thursday marked the beginning of my over-do summer vacation, and I’ve just been enjoying it. I spent most of the time either practicing piano, recipe hunting, developing my characters or writing. I have the next two and a half months before I start college, and I plan on using it to the full. But first, some things need to be said.

When my entire extended family was here last week to celebrate my graduation, I almost made a speech. Despite being a writer, I am awful at giving public speeches and when put on the spot like that, I feel like my brain shuts down and every word of my vocabulary goes out the door. Of course, the extremity of that depends on the who and what of the crowd I’m speaking in front of, but for the most part, that’s what happens.

So while at the graduation dinner, my dad informed me that I had to say something. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but after he said a few words, everyone looked at me. I think they were but hope they weren’t expecting a nice, thought-out speech about my journey through education and my future. Because that’s not what came out.

Here is my speech, what I wish I’d said when the opportunity presented itself. 

High school. I have mixed feelings about it, really. I am more than happy to see it go and fade into my past, but it has taught me valuable lessons. Although the physical building of my high school was my bedroom and my teachers were myself and lesson guides, I learned a lot, besides the actual academics. I learned who I was.

High school has taught me how to learn. It has taught me how I learn. It taught me the true meaning of procrastination, the consequences and the ways to avoid it. I learned self-motivation and willpower and determination. It taught me patience, self-discipline, real boredom, and real interest. I wouldn’t be graduating at sixteen without any of these things. 

High school has shed a little light on what it’s going to be like in the real world. A little. I am still a firm believer that high school should focus more on the necessities of adulting, like paying taxes, and focus less on parabolas (I’ll bet that the adults reading this have never had to use parabolas in their daily lives, with the exception of math and science professors). But for the most part, I think high school has given me some preparation for the real world and how to deal with it. Like I said, I learned patience while dealing with the people who work at the American School institution. That patience will come back into play when I have to deal with an employer and coworkers, and in general life. The time I spent studying for impending exams taught me the stress of deadlines and showed me healthy ways to respond to and reduce it. That’s one of the most important life skills, in my opinion.

High school has also taught me what I really enjoy, what my real priorities are. I’ve learned how to fulfill those priorities, but also how they fit in with the priorities of others. For example, my priorities have almost always been writing (specifically my novel), reading and cooking. In the past, I never had a job that would limit my time spent doing those three things. High school, although not a job, has taught me how to balance my personal interests with the priorities of the real world. What’s most important to me isn’t always the most important thing to the world. That was a crucial lesson for me to learn. Otherwise, I would’ve spent all my time writing/reading/cooking and I wouldn’t be a graduate now or anytime soon.

Now, I’m better equipped to balance my time between my personal priorities, the priorities set by my parents (which foreshadow those of my future employer and my own future family), and any other obligations I may have in the times to come.

So I’m ready to say goodbye to high school. I’ve been wanting to say goodbye to it since the day I first said hello. I’m ready to close the cover on this chapter of my life and move on to the next. And I really enjoy using that writing analogy.

To my family and friends, I want to say thank you. Thank you for supporting me in the life decisions I’ve made so far, and for supporting me in my future ones. I love you.

And now I think it’s time to say what I’ve really been wanting to say this entire time. Since I was homeschooled, I never knew what real high school was like. All I know is singing and dancing in the classrooms, hallways and cafeterias (although I do actually know that real high schoolers don’t randomly break into rehearsed song and choreographed dance mid-lunch). But I’m going to say it anyway.

Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.
Thank you.

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Learner’s Permit

Well, yesterday was a big day. I took the written driver’s test and passed, so now I have a learner’s permit! This is huge. I am now able to legally sit behind the wheel of a car  and drive around a bunch of other cars and people. Very nerve-wracking, to say the least. And while I’m ecstatic to be able to drive (it’s a new sense of freedom), I really think that the testing is a bit ridiculous.

Reading this, you may think I’m saying that taking a permit test is ridiculous because I just want to be able to get my permit at 16 and go. But that’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m not saying that there should be no written test. True, when I was younger, I would have definitely wanted to just get my permit without worrying about any written test. But now…

When I say the testing is ridiculous, I mean it’s pathetic. I don’t know how the other States are, but the NY state laws regarding tests are so stupid. When I went to the DMV, I had to bring my birth certificate, my Social Security card and the learner’s permit application. The lady took the paperwork, handed me the paper for the test and said ‘good luck.’

I took the test, and let me tell you, it was so easy. But that’s the problem. After I finished, I gave it to another lady who graded it in front of me, told me which I got wrong and told me I passed. Then she took the picture for my permit and that was it. Even though I studied the driver’s manual, I was expecting more instruction, more rules, more seriousness. I was expecting someone to look me in the eye and tell me seriously how dangerous cars and reckless driving can be, even though I already knew that. I wanted those ladies to explain in a firm voice the consequences and responsiblity. I thought, because they have so many laws against drunk driving, texting and driving, and driving without a license/permit, that when I went to get my permit I was going to have to sit through a lecture, and I was totally okay with that. I saw the need for a lecture, should there have been one. But there wasn’t anything like that, so I went to the DMV, handed them my paperwork, answered a few multiple choice questions and got my permit.

Easy peasy lemon squeezey. Too easy for something so life-threatening.

On the flip side of NY laws regarding tests, I can’t graduate unless I’ve passed four Regents exams. Originally, I didn’t have to take the exams, until we found out that NY State won’t accept my homeschool high school diploma, so now I’m forced to take the Regents. And while I’m halfway done with the tests, it’s still a pain in the butt because it’s so retarded. Why are the exams for graduation harder than the exam for driving? Does that even make sense? To graduate high school, I am required to study for months about relatively trivial subjects, like mitochondria or the functions of x, and then take four excruitiating exams, but to get a permit AND OPPERATE A CAR I only had to read a manual, take some practice tests and then answer 20 way-too-easy questions.

The Regents exams are way too difficult for something that only affects me and my life.

If I failed the Regents, my life “ends” because all those months seem wasted, and you have to pay to retake the test. If I failed the written test, no biggie. Just retake the test at no cost.

To pass a Regents, you need a score of 65 or higher. There are between 30 and 50 multiple choice questions (depending on the subject) and a few essays, for a total of around 85 questions. To pass the written test, you need to answer 10 out of 20 multiple choice correctly. That means on the Regents you don’t want to get ANY of the multiple choice wrong, but on the driving test you can get 10 wrong and still pass to get a permit. Hmm, seems a bit ridiculous to me.

When you’re behind the wheel of a car, you become a threat to every single person in the immediate area around you, not only to the passengers in the cars or the other drivers. Even the most cautious driver could be distracted for two seconds and in that short time, he/she can endanger the lives of so many people. Driving is a risk that people take for granted. Cars can be a weapon and NY state is more worried about me failing a test for school.

But hey, on the brightside, I can drive! 

Kitchen Musings & Bakery Names

This past year, I decided what I want to do with my life career-wise. I want a bakery business. That’s where a lot of my passion is. Yes, I love writing (and I will always be writer before baker), but it’s a shame writers don’t get paid very much, unless you’re a best selling author. I’m not at that level, unfortunately, so author is off the possible job list for me 🙁

But it’s okay! Because I have other passions! And baking is one of those. 

I love to bake. I really, really do. I love cooking as well, and both are so therapeutic. I could spend hours upon hours in the kitchen. It’s my favorite room in the house.

I’ve been wondering lately what it is about baking that I love so much. Is it the food itself? Is it because neither of my sisters like to bake, so they know to stay out of the kitchen otherwise I’ll put them to work? Well, because psychology is another subject I have a passion for, I had to analyze why I love baking as much as I do.

My love of baking, I found, most likely stems from my insatiable need to serve and help others. A few years ago, I noticed in myself that I love to serve people. At eleven years old, you know what my dream job was? Waitress. I wanted to be a waitress for the longest time, and I still do. So I want need to help people. It doesn’t matter what kind of help; if I see someone suffering, I feel that suffering deep in my own heart and I just needed to help. If I see someone with an empty glass the dinnertable, I get up and refill it without thinking. And so upon taking the personality test and learning I’m an INFJ, I immediately knew I wanted to be a psychologist (funny sidenote: my autocorrect decided it knew what it was doing and changed ‘psychologist’ to ‘psychopath’; “So, do you know what you want to be when you grow up?” “Yes, I want to be a pyschopath.” 😝😝)

And I really, really wanted to be a therapist. It was the perfect job for me.

Until I learned I had to go to college for nine years. I can barely make it through four years of high school; and in college, I’ll just have to do high school all over again – but for longer!

So that’s out. I’m sad about that; two of my dream jobs, my hopes of becoming them squashed. Well, the waitress thing is still a possibility and will most likely happen.

I started baking more. Not a lot of eating, just baking. When I bake, I don’t have an appetite for the sweets and treats I’m making. Not that they don’t taste good; believe me, they do. It’s just being around baked goods a lot, for some reason, has lowered the intensity of my sweet tooth. It’s seems counter-intuitive, but my love of baking is not because of the end result. It’s the process itself I love.

I get this rush of joy and fulfillment when I serve someone a piece of cheesecake that they enjoy. I don’t mind clearing the table after dinner, or fetching someone an extra glass of water. It’s my purpose. It’s my job. That’s what I want to do. 

Okay, so I’m rambling. I didn’t intend to make this post very long, but that just goes to show that writing is my outlet and all my feelings pour out when I put words together.

Here’s what I really wanted to talk about in this post. Last night I was brainstorming bakery names.

One of the suggestions given by my parents was “Kayla’s Kakes.”

The mistake in grammar alone would drive me crazy, not to mention that I don’t like my nickname Kayla very much. 

I was kind of in a silly mood (it was almost 10pm), so I was making puns from bands and songs. I wanted to share a few of them.

  • twenty øne pies
  • Panic! At the Mixer
  • My Cupcake Romance
  • Fall Out Brownies
  • One Confection
  • Bread Sheeran (I was cracking up when I thought of this one)

And then I was making up some songs too:

  • ‘Fried’ by twenty øne pies
  • ‘Heavydirtybowl’ by twenty øne pies
  • ‘I Bake Sweets Not Disasters’ by Panic! At the Mixer

Yeah I was really tired 🤣

5 More Minutes, 2017…

Hold up and slow down. 2017? Is it just me? Or is time really going by so fast?

2016 just started, right? 

It’s been quite the year. And January 2016 felt like so long ago, though it went by so fast!

2016 has been a milestone year in my life, and not just because I turned 16 years old. So much more happened than that. I created this new blog. I finally found something I want to do with my life job-wise. I got to know myself a whole lot better. We moved to a new part of New York and settled in strangely fast. Not to mention the AWESOME music I’ve found and fell in love with!!

Like any other year, it’s had ups and downs. But overall, 2016 was one of my best years (so far). I’m sad to see it go so fast, but I’m ready for 2017 and whatever it has to bring. 

Friendships


This post is dedicated to the very special people in my life: my best friends.

I love you guys. I really, really do. I want to say thank you so much for listening, for understanding, for laughing, for trusting, for sharing, for being there for me. And basically, I’m scared of losing you. And I just want you to know that I’m always here for you, just like you’re here for me. Forever 😘

Friends are so important. They have such a strong influence in our lives. The people we called friends have the power to make you feel loved or left out, special or ordinary. Of course, we all need friends who make us feel loved and special. We want friends who bring out the best in us. We become like the people we spend the most time with.

True friendship is like nothing else. There’s nothing like feeling connected to someone. It’s like a spark that warms your heart; yes, there’s someone out there just as weird as you are. It’s like, someone gets you. That feeling of connecting with someone one of my favorite things in the world. Also, being able to trust someone is amazing in itself. Becoming close friends with someone is like showing them your true, perhaps hidden, self. You know that all your feelings, dreams, wishes, all your inner beauty and all your broken pieces are safely in their hands.

True friendship is amazing. There’s really no other way to describe it. And as a writer who loves words as much as a girl loves chocolate, it’s difficult to fathom that I don’t have the words to describe something as special as friendship. It’s just that special.

I guess what I’m rambling on here about is, friendship should never be taken for granted. If you have a true friend, be the true friend that they need as well. Friendships are not meant to be one-sided. Assure your friends of how much you care about them, not just by words, but by actions. Everyone has down moments, so telling your friend how much you love and care for them could be exactly what they needed to hear.

“If you find someone who makes you smile, who checks up on you often to see if you’re okay, who watches out for you and wants the very best for you, don’t let them go. Keep them close and don’t take them for granted. People like that are hard to find.”

-Unknown

Winter is here

Snoooooowwwww! Winter is here!

So it looks like today is an indoor day… my favorite kind of day 😊

Time to listen to my winter playlist. I’m not kidding. I have a winter playlist. It features Of Monsters and Men, twenty øne piløts, and Ed Sheeran, in case you were wondering.

I love winter. It’s wonderful. Waking up in the morning to a fresh snowfall is one of the best feelings ever. I love the way my snow-loving German Shepherd burrows his muzzle in the soft powder. All the snow sticks to him and he loves it. The falling snowflakes and the snow on the bare trees is just so beautiful. Right now it’s flurrying a little and it’s really windy. I love staying inside and writing at my desk, watching the flakes float down. 


Have a cozy, wintry day!