sat prep

Flipping through the most recent Reader's Digest, I found an article that might be pertinent to those of us eerily close to embarking on our college-bound journey. It's a "vocabulary quiz" if you will, though I'm sure most of my fellow Providence students will be shocked to find how many of these they know, thanks to a particular English teacher. I got 14 out of 16 correct, even having to guess on a few (it helps to pay close attention to the type of speech the words are in) . Post your answers in the comment box (no cheating!), and I will post the correct answers at a later date. :) Enjoy!

"With the SAT just revised to add more reading and writing, those taking the college entrance exam have many new study aids to pick from. We like The Intuitive Learning Co.'s vocabularly shower curtain (tilcoweb.com), the basis for our quiz. So lather up..."

1. enhance (v.) A: to weaken. B: improve. C: undergo, as in hardship. D: sign up for.

2. antagonist (n.) A: murder victim. B: ancestor. C: scientist. D: opponent.

3. diligent (adj.) A: very careful. B: excessively late. C: harmful. D: unprepared.

4. scrutinize (v.) A: to examine closely. B: ignore completely. C: consider skeptically. D: view casually.

5. procrastinate (v.) A: to produce offspring. B: show interest in. C: delay. D: dissappear.

6. disdain (v.) A: to throw away. B: to regard with scorn. C: humiliate. D: disappoint.

7. spurious (adj.) A: authentic. B: reluctant. C: false. D: casting blame on others.

8. empathy (n.) A: pity. B: identification with others' feelings. C: strength. D: mixture.

9. venerable (adj.) A: green. B: stripped bare. C: corrupt. D: resepected because of age.

10. querulous (adj.) A: constantly complaining. B: curious. C: cooperative. D: compact.

11. florid (adj.) A: smelling of flowers. B: bright, as a light. C: ruddy. D: cheap.

12. impute (v.) A: to calculate. B: to pierce with a sharp object. C: attack as false. D: attribute to.

13. evanescent (adj.) A: mild, as with weather. B: brightly lit. C: religious in nature. D: short-lived.

14. superfluous (adj.) A: extra. B: overly proud. C: heavely. D: believing in the supernatural.

15. sagacity (n.) A: history of a city. B: courage. C: wisdom. D: ignorance.

16. perfidious (adj.) A: marked by foul odor. B: treacherous. C: wandering. D: routine, mechanical.

I enjoyed this little sidetrack. I'm sure y'all will think I'm a nerd. :p

Graduation is this afternoon, at 3. I'll be sure to not wear mascara! :tear: Jenna's very nervous about making her speech, and thus I am nervous for her. But, she's good at things like that (it's too bad she can't sing it...). AH, I'm going to miss her a lot. And Heather. And Jessica. And Jacob. And Michael (sorry, I wish I had time to make you more cookies!). I can't believe they're all leaving!! And next year it will be my brother, Jeri, Austin--everyone!! How disheartening.

God bless,

Aren't you guys impressed with my terribly frequent updates? I just have so much to say. ^_^


it's leslie with an S.

An Ode to Lezlie
By Josh Thompson and Brad Talbert

Lezlie, Lezlie, quite contrary
You walk around like a fairy
The fragrance in your hair
It's so ambrosial and so fair
You and me* go together like the sun,
And a dry desert
You are like the apple of my pie
And the star in my sky
I cannot help but chasing [you]
If you keep refusing [me]
There are many others for your choosing
Like Spencer, Dane, and Jason Kelly
I know you love me though you rarely
Rarely let me believe
On this I conclude my love for you
Now that I am at the end all I want to do is be

Okay. So, technically, it's not an ode. But it is hilarious. And, for those of you who don't know Josh, Brad, and this whole little situation, there is no real point or substance to this poem. No, I don't like them (Anyone will contest to this, no?). No, they don't like me. The whole thing is a fluff and a joke. And it's SO funny.

I do have to say, though, where the asterik is placed (*), I needed to correct a grammatical error that deeply saddens me. I've been in English class with these boys as Mrs. Sylvia drills these grammar concepts into their pea-sized brains (did I say that outloud?), and they still continue to say "you and me". No. No. NO! "Me go together" makes not a lick of sense. "I go together" sounds soooo much nicer. :D Thanks for the poem, though, guys. It was priceless, and will be going in a frame before long. And thanks to Katie T for helping them out with the idea. ;)

Today was the unofficial last day of school. I guess I'm technically a junior then. How strange.

My vivacious Vicki-tortilla (or, once you get to know her anyway) found my book. The book. The book I've been searching for my whole life. She's made a huge discovery.

And thanks to all of my fabulous friends for making my sweet sixteen the sweetest it could ever be! You guy are awesome, and I am blessed to have you all in my life.

God bless,


'i cannot say i lov'd, for who can say hee was kill'd yesterday?'

School's cutest couples (as decided by Me):

Emily and her darling Danish.

  • Emily and Dane (Sophomore/Sophomore)
  • JuliAnne and Michael (Junior/Senior)
  • Kalynn and Richard (Junior/Junior)
  • Lauren and Brandon (Junior/Sophomore)
  • Lauren and Chris (Junior/Junior)
  • Karlie and David (Freshman/Freshman)
  • Mrs. Sylvia and Paul (Erm. Teacher/Husband)

Mrs. Sylvia and her precious Paul

School's cutest should-be couples (if circumstances were different):

  • Victoria and Mark (Sophomore/Senior) ^_^
  • Emily and Spencer (Sophomore/Sophomore)
  • Rachel and Josh (Sophomore/Sophomore)
  • Jesse and Joel (Sophomore/Sophomore)
  • Kelly and Bryson (Freshman/Sophomore)
  • Austin and Milu (Junior/Junior) HAHA!
  • Katie and Neil (Sophomore/Sophomore)
  • Katie and Spencer (Junior/Junior)
  • Erin and Phillip (Sophomore/Sophomore)
  • Tiffany and Perry (Sophomore/Sophomore)
  • Emily and Jimmy (Sophomore/Sophomore)

Katie and Neil (Adorable!)

School's cutest used-to-be couples:

  • Magan and Trey (Senior/Senior)
  • Caitlyn and Eric (Junior/Junior)
  • Sarah and Chris (Junior/Senior)
  • Megan and Coats (Junior/Sophomore)
  • Katie and Tommy (Junior/2004 Graduate)

So, I was feeling kind of bored and decided that I needed a distraction from studying. This is what happens when my mind gets restless. Haha. I almost went for the "weirdest couples" and "weirdest what-if couples" lists, but I opted out, figuring it would be best not to offend anyone. I'm sure most of you can formulate these lists in your heads, though. Let's think back to those early 7:30 mornings in the car, with nothing to look at but untinted windows...Oh brother. Let me know what you guys think of these lists though, and feel free to comment and add your own. There's just one rule: You are not allowed to "place" me with anyone. ;) Such things do not need to be done in my own personal space. Ha.

Well, I'm off to study for my last two exams of tenth grade. Nothing like Geometry and History! Joy. And tomorrow is my birthday. Eee. :) We're all going to the beach after school which is extremely exciting. I just hope it doesn't rain! :gah:

Have a wonderful end of the week everyone!

God bless,


you and me and all of the people

Wow. It's been an interesting last two weeks of school. I don't care to recall all of the events, though I will say that I'm glad it's almost over. I officially have four more exams, not including our "dance" exam, in which we will be critiquing our recital pieces--entirely pointless, if I do say so myself. Tomorrow, however, I have English and Bible and Thursday (my birthday), I have Geometry and World History. What fun! Although, the happy thing is, I won't have any exams to study for on the evening of my birthday. In fact, a bunch of us are going to the beach after school, so I'm really looking forward to that.

I don't have anything of substance to talk about. Rachel and I had our party on Saturday which was a blast, though I was sad more people couldn't be involved. But, moving on, we swam for a little while, then ate some really good dinner, then we went boating and tubing (the Townsend's brought their boat and we brought ours), so that was very fun. And the sunset. Wow. The sunset was simply phenomenal. Such evidence of God's creativity and beauty. Then we came back and ate cake and opened presents. I have to say, not to offend anyone or anything, but Josh and Brad's present was the greatest. Truly. I loved everyone's gifts, but...a poem? By Brad Talbert and Josh Thompson? That's priceless. Maybe I'll post it later if I'm feeling generous.

Because I'm in a listing mood, and I'm a bit ... excited and stressed out about all of my upcoming events ... I'm going to post them for you:
  • May 18: New York meeting, including What Not to Wear!
  • May 19: The beach with school peeps, and my birthday
  • May 20: The last day of school (unless you are one of those unfortunate people who is actually going to school on Monday)
  • May 21: Providence Graduation :cries: followed by Lindsay's graduation party to which I am not invited, but will be watching my little brothers during such
  • May 22: Michael Kelly's graduation party to which I am invited and quite looking foward to (if not for particular reasons that I'm leaving unsaid to the world wide web, then for the simple reason that Jenna will be there and I will get to see her one last time [and get her to sign my year book] before she goes away to Tennessee. Sniff)
  • May 23: The real last day of school, which I am not planning on being a part of. There's something else happening on this day, but I can't seem to think of what that is.
  • Sometime next week: Going to the orthodontist to set my final appointment at which I will be getting my braces off forever and scheduling my jaw surgery for 2 some odd years from now and also going to my dress alteration appointment to get my massive size 2 maid of honor dress altered since it's 5 miles too long and 2 miles too wide. Heavens.
  • June 2: Rascal Flatts concert. Which I can't go to. :tear: I'm sure Amye and her posse will have a wonderful time though. :)
  • June 4: Jason Kelly's birthday party. Mmpah. No further comment.
  • June 6: I'm leaving for New York City with my grandmother and the Village Dance troops. Miss Karen's baby is coming too, which I'm very excited about. Not that I'll have time to spend with him, or even the opporunity to hold him since I'm sure Miss Van and Jennifer will be hogging him the whole time, but still. I love babies. And, Joan and I are going to try to see each other, if she can somehow hop into our crazy plans without disrupting anyone. Haha. We'll just keep it on the down low. ;) Joan's not tall or anything. Hehe.
  • June 12: I return from New York. How sad.
  • June 13 and 14: I am volunteering at St. Johns' VBS. I'm really excited about this. I love kids, and I love helping out with things like this. Children make me happy.
  • June 15: I leave for South Carolina with my mom to prepare for Ashley's wedding! I'm very excited about this trip, because, not only am I going to be the maid of honor in my cousin's wedding (the last time I was in a wedding was when I was like 5, and I was a flower girl) but also because her fiance has the coolest little brother. He's 14 (maybe 15 now) and he's just awesome. You know, he's got those southern hospitality manners, and we can have conversations as if we've known each other forever. And his mom! She's precious as well. I really love Cliff's family. The southerners you know. They're just neat people. ALSO on this day, Annie Pajcic's fourth baby is due. AAH. I'm thrilled. I hope it's another girl. Hehe. Curry needs to be the only boy. It will help keep him schweet.
  • June 17: Bridal luncheon and rehearsal dinner. :)
  • June 18: Ashley and Cliff are getting married!
  • June 19: I return from South Carolina while the Sauls head off to their honeymoon!
  • June 23: I officially go back to South Carolina with Providence Competition Team for Encore Nationals. This, my friends, is going to be a BLAST. I'm thoroughly excited.
  • June 26: we come home from SC. And I finally get to rest. Although, sometime after this, Katie and I are taking driver's ed. together with some private guy. Hm. Fun.
  • July 14: I get my license. Or, it will be my one-year-of-having-my-permit day. Whether or not I actually get my license, I cannot say.
  • July 17: FITS! AAAAH. I'm SO excited about this. I may even be more excited about Fun in the Son than I am about New York. Simply because I am so anxious for that awesome spiritual waterfall, and I have a feeling NYC won't exactly give that to me. Woosh. FITS is going to be amazing. David Crowder band! :gah: :falls over from excitement:
  • July 21: come home from FITS. :cries: Also, Katie's birthday. Max's is the previous day.

So, this is all I can think of off the top of my head. I'm sure there's more. :spazz: Yes, my life is insane. I'm not even sure there's time to breathe! Well, it's better to be busy than bored. Although, I certainly hope there is time in here for me to read. Because, Lord knows, I have a lot to do in that particular area. Required and unrequired summer reading lists. I'm thinking I'll start with the latter. ;)

Have a beautiful week (hopefully last week of school) everyone!

God bless,


schedule joys

One week from tomorrow, I will be 16.

One week from Friday, I will be a 16 year old in the beginning of my summer before my junior year of high school.

Three weeks from Monday, I will be going to New York City for the first time.

Five weeks from Saturday, I will be in the maid-of-honor in my cousin Ashley's wedding.


Perhaps these happy events will make up for my sucky last week of school.

God Bless,

May 4th was Rachel's birthday. May 9th was Dani's birthday. Today was Erin's birthday. Tomorrow is Bethany's birthday. May 15th is Dedad, Grace Anne and Amanda's birthday. HAPPY MAY BIRTHDAYS!


administering poison

A couple weeks ago, I finished reading Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible. I had been asked by Mrs. Sylvia to read it, as she was considering it as a summer reading novel for her upcoming 10th grade students. I accepted her request, borrowing her book so I could get started on it as soon as possible. That was about 4 months ago. Needless to say, I read it off and on for 2 months, and then stopped reading it all together. My complaint was not that it wasn't good, or even that it was un-enjoyable. It just seemed slightly pointless? The story appeared to be going nowhere, and it was simply 5 girls telling a story that seemed to have no purpose. By the time I had come to this conclusion, I was on page 150 or so. One weekend, I decided I would try again. It turns out that I had stopped a page too early; I could not put the book down. Something had happened in one page, and it suddenly all made sense. I became emotionally attached to the characters--feeling Ruth May's pain when she fell from a tree and broke her arm, sensing Leah's mature but girlish attraction to Anatole, picturing Rachel's eyes wander to her little cosmetic mirror every possible chance she got, dragging my left side behind me in my sleep and understanding Adah's struggle through life. It was as if I was living in the Congo with the Price family. It ended much too quickly, and I will sit alone sometimes and imagine how Adah is managing in nursing school, or decide what Leah is doing inside her little African hut.

The Poisonwood Bible is the story of Nathan Price, his wife Orleanna, and their four daughters: Rachel, the eldest, Leah and Adah, the twins, and Ruth May, the baby. But, really, it is not Nathan's story. It's the girls' story. Interestingly, each chapter is written in first person by a different daughter, and the opening to each "Book" is written in first person by Orleanna. Nathan does not have his own chapter, his own say, or his own voice in the novel. All that we know of Nathan is what the girls tell us. Their accounts of his discipline methods ("The Verse," in which he would make them start with a specific verse in the Bible and write the next 100 verses that followed it until they ended up at the verse which rebuked and corrected their sinful action), their memories of his temper toward those who disagreed with his evangelism methods, and his holier-than-thou attitude toward everyone, even God Himself. Nathan Price picked up his family from Georgia one day and moved them all to the African Congo, where he had a vision and a plan to convert the tribes to Jesus. There was a fault in this vision: it was all about him. He was so determined to fix the people, to change them, and to make them a certain way that he forgot to allow God to be the ultimate "fixer". And rather than converting the Africans, he deverted his family. They were drawn away from God and the church; because all that they had known of it was their father, and all they had seen of it was the destruction of Nathan and their family. He made himself like a god to them; they were afraid of him, they desired (specifically Leah) to please him, they loved him while simultaneously hating him.

All in all, Nathan's mission failed. He didn't change a single African's life. Sure, when they were praying to their gods and their children were still dying, they would run to Tata Price's God, hoping He would save their children. When their children continued to die, they went back to their beads and stone. God was nothing more than another god to them. Rather than making this fact clear to them, and allowing God to work in their lives, Nathan continued to press and condemn them for their evil (as if he was infallible himself). Not only did Nathan not change a single African's life, but he completely ruined his wife and daughters' lives. Any faith they had had in Jesus before they went to Africa had been eaten away by the killer ants that swept through their village. If this was what God was, they wanted nothing to do with it. If Father was God's definition of a good man, they wanted to find a bad one. Nathan didn't teach about God. He taught about himself; he taught about his selfish desire to fix everything, darnet, if it was the last thing he did. It was the death of him and of his family. He was so concerned about fixing everything, and everyone else, and making everything the way he saw fit that he was blind to what was really occuring. His family was turning away to an eternity of hell, as was his "beloved Congo" and he had all of their blood on his shoulders.

The girls move on with their lives after the year and half they spent in mosquito netting and mud piles; but they are eternally effected. They lack personal relationships with Jesus Christ. They lack the knowledge and confident belief and comfort of the Father God. All they know is Father Nathan; and Father Nathan believed in God, and look where it got him? Nathan destroyed his family with his selfish intent and his stupid desire to fix other people--and the confidence that he could do it himself.

This book encapsulates the esesence of humans today. We are control freaks. We want things particular ways, and we are determined to make it happen. We forget, though, that God has to be in control of these wants and desires, or all that will be produced is an overwhelming amount of destruction.


Have a wonderful week, everyone.

God bless,


Well, it's not really side note because it pertains to the above. But, I am posting Barnes and Noble's wonderful review of Poisonwood below:


Barbara Kingsolver calls her new novel, The Poisonwood Bible, her "magnum opus." And it is—500-plus pages of "the deepest-delving" fiction she's ever written, not to mention a fresh new locale. Packed with themes of cultural diversity, political morality, and environmental ethics, this one, unlike her three previous Southwestern novels, is set in postcolonial Africa. The narrative begins in the relatively tame Belgian Congo of the late 1950s, gains speed in the tumultuous early '60s (with the coup of the independent Lumumba government toppled by the CIA-backed, UN-funded Mobutu government), then branches out several decades in the future. "I set out to ask a very long question," Kingsolver says. "What have we done as a nation, a culture, a people to Africa, and where do we go from here?"

Kingsolver has been waiting her entire life to write this novel. When she was seven years old, her mother and father, both public health officials, moved their family to the Congo for several years. She laughs and says, "I'm happy to say my parents are wonderful people, not at all like the family in the book." There they practiced their medicine while young Barbara kept a journal. She explains the impact: "Living in that part of the world during the formative years of my childhood introduced me to the possibility that everything I had always assumed was right could be totally wrong in another place." Although the story is in no way about her personal familial experience, much of the setting and detail are torn from the pages of that journal. That's not to say she didn't do a heapofresearch; there's an extensive bibliography included at the end of the novel. She also made a number of trips back to Africa and had many experts comment on the manuscript, including the activist, journalist, convicted murderer, and cause célèbre Mumia Abu-Jamal, who gave it the thumbs-up from his cell in the Pennsylvania state penitentiary.

The Poisonwood Bible is the saga of the Price family, a rural Georgia family wrestling with inner demons while living in the small African village of Kilanga. It revolves around Nathan Price, an abusive southern Baptist evangelical minister who forsakes his family on his quest to save the souls of the natives. What begins as a church-sanctioned mission ends in a dangerous battle of wills that separates the Price family forever. The action is filtered primarily through Nathan's four daughters, à la As I Lay Dying, with future-time flashbacks from the mother's point of view. It's through the girls that we learn about Nathan's proclivity toward physical and mental abuse, his lack of fear regarding growing political unrest, and his stubborn insistence that the villagers be baptized in crocodile-infested waters. And through their mother, Orleanna, we find out why Nathan lives with such a heavy and hurtful God-fearing heart: In World War II his entire company died during the Bataan Death March. Although Nathan was honorably discharged, survivor's guilt led him to the jungles of Africa and did not permit him to retreat, no matter what the cost. The price of this intractable attitude is disease, death, and madness.

The novel's post-Congo years, which describe what the Price women do with their lives after the 17 months in the bush, are slightly anticlimactic, but the first 400 pages of this book are stunning and historically accurate to boot. Two scenes in particular are extraordinarily vivid and powerful. The first is a depiction of the biannual migration of ants, a literal sea of ants eating its way across Africa. Kingsolver has seen this natural phenomenon firsthand. "It's thought of as a cleansing. You try to remember the baby and the chickens and let the ants go on about purifying the country." The second happens the day the villagers, plagued by starvation, set fire to the high grass to burn out game. Kingsolver has the ability, in a beautifully painful sort of way, to make these scenes come alive with a single sentence: "Birds hit the wall of fire and lit like bottle rockets."

Although Kingsolver does as few media appearances as she can and ignores media hype with "every molecule" of her being, she has once again consented to do a multicity book tour for her new novel. "I was raised Southern," she says. "It's almost not in me to disappoint people. But what's most important to me is being a mother, a writer, and a responsible member of the community in which I live. The other stuff is incidental. Somehow our culture has dragged authors into this celebrity scene, and it's a place where we really don't belong. I have more to offer if I stay at home and write another book."

The Poisonwood Bible is certainly Kingsolver's most daring and quite possibly her most engaging and provocative outing yet. And if staying at home means another book like it, well, surely the world will survive with one less book tour.

Nelson Taylor is a freelance writer who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He currently writes for Time Out, Paper, Bikini, Bomb, and Salon.