Thursday, July 16, 2009

All Of My Revisions!

The revisions on this poem were pretty minor just some word changing.
Elizabeth Kidd- The Verse This Be
Your mom and dad are there for you
on and on your whole life through.
They try to control you and the choices you make,
To keep you from making the same mistake.

They too have heard the same stern voices,
from those older than them who made their hard choices.
It may seem they cannot understand,
but they are there to lend a helping hand.

Lessons are passed from father to son,
so listen to them, do not try to run.
Soon you will stand, your children and you,
telling them all you were taught as you grew.


The revisions on this poem were a little more challenging. I wrote this in
sestina form, and it is really hard. The poem didn't turn out quite like I wanted it to so my class told me to just tell the story and not to worry about form. I also changed the name because the first name was too cliche.
Elizabeth Kidd- You Were Not An Accident (Revision)

As I stand in your arms, I know life will go on.
Our story has come to a natural end; we must move forward.
I am done trying to keep you by my side.
We must look to the future, learn to forgive.
You and I should have cared when we still had a chance,
but there are no accidents.

I want to know why; I search for a reason.
Why did we struggle so long or love so deeply
if all was destined to burn at our feet?
The answer’s not simple, the hard ones never are.
What if we were there to help each other as we grew,
but is it time to move on?

Life goes on.
Our story started moving towards the abyss long ago.
It took another step with every screened telephone call.
It leapt forward with each diverted eye and white lie.
We gave up on our relationship long ago,
but now at the end, I wish I would have fought harder.

Why didn’t we care when we still had the chance?
Why didn’t we try to salvage what was left of our love?
I know we saw the end lingering ahead,
but why didn’t we fight?
When did we stop caring?
Why aren’t you here anymore?

Our journey is through; we must move forward.
I can feel our bodies and souls drifting apart.
Our memories are fading to gray, fading to just a part of the past.
I try to hold on. I want to remember,
but I bury our love deep in my mind where it cannot hurt me.
I am done trying to keep you by my side.

I brush your cheek. You stroke my hair. I look past you, to the future, where we will forgive.
Our story is through. I’m too tired to fight. We gave up our final chance,
but you were not an accident.

This next poem is my prose poem. I change some wording and I cut off the end. Caitlyn, my teacher, said the first things we need to think about during revision is the beginning and end because usually they need to go.
My Grandmother’s Trunk- Elizabeth Kidd (Revision)
As I walked through grandmother’s house, musty and old, I saw a large trunk. Brown. Wooden. I flipped open the latch, pulled open the lid. Inside was everything I could want and more. Items from adventures made together and others from long before I was born. They popped from the top and slipped through the cracks as began to pull them out.
First to come out was an old artichoke, saved from a pizza we ate long ago. A bumble bee came next and buzzed round my head. I found an old chocolate, a dog, and an elephant. There was a falafel and a bowl of green jell-o. A ring of house keys.
I shivered as I pulled out an igloo made of ice cubes. A jumble of Judo Masters sprang out of the dark. I cuddled the kitten that playfully chased them out into the room. Lord Voldemort slunk from the trunk with slow movement waiting to attack the unknowing muggles who waited inside. The Neanderthals followed, and I took a short break to watch them as they paced about the room.
An octopus squeezed from my grandmother’s old trunk chased by a pirate with a sword and eye patch. I helped Queen Elizabeth as she exited the room, holding a rat by its skinny black tail. A swimmer swam out. A tarantula stretched all eight legs over the edge.
I stood in awe as a unicorn pranced about the room. I played a song on the antique violin that I pulled away from the trunk.
Willy Wonka stepped from the trunk playing a xylophone. A yak shook out his thick fur, and, finally, I helped a Zimbabwean Princess out of my grandmother’s old chest.

This is the last revision I did, my dramatic scene. I really liked my original idea, so the only things that changed was some of the wording and the title. I think that my characters sound more real as their dialogue is less wordy.

Elizabeth Kidd
Into the Dark
SETTING: A dark park. STEPHEN has asked GRACIE to meet him there. They meet in their favorite spot- the swings.
GRACIE: [Her poetry voiceover begins. The camera pans over the opposite sides of the park. GRACIE comes from the east while STEPHEN walks from the west.] You try to pull away from me. You do not think I can possibly understand. We have never been the same, but, at this moment, I only want to be by your side. You walk farther and farther into the darkness of fear and hate, yet I will follow you. I will follow you into the dark. You think you are bad for me. You try to be different, but I don’t want you any other way. I do not look at your past; I only want to be part of your present and future.
[The characters meet and embrace. GRACIE moves into kiss STEPHEN, but he pulls away. STEPHEN leads GRACIE to the swings. GRACIE sits. STEPHEN starts pushing the swing.]
STEPHEN: [Looking distracted.] Hey.
GRACIE: Hey. How’s your day been?
STEPHEN: Fine.
GRACIE: [Looks back into STEPHEN’S eyes.] What’s wrong?
STEPHEN: Nothing. [He looks deeply into her eyes. He does not want to do what he knows he thinks he has to do.]
GRACIE: Stephen…[She looks at him again.]
STEPHEN: I’m leaving.
GRACIE: [She looks straight ahead. She doesn’t want to look at STEPHEN. She doesn’t want it to be true.] What do you mean?
STEPHEN: I am going to live with my dad with San Francisco.
GRACIE: [GRACIE stands] why?
STEPHEN: Gracie, [STEPHEN grabs GRACIE’S hand. GRACIE pulls away.] you know why.
GRACIE: [Tears are filling GRACIE’S eyes.] No, I don’t know why. I thought we loved each other.
STEPHEN: [His voice starts to rise.] I don’t know.
GRACIE: [GRACIE’S voice also begins to rise.] Why don’t you stay?
STEPHEN: Look at all that has happened!
GRACIE: I can handle it!
STEPHEN: You shouldn’t have to!
GRACIE: Then why did we even try?
STEPHEN: [STEPHEN’S voice lowers again. He strokes GRACIE’S cheek.] You are such a great girl.
GRACIE: [GRACIE pulls away.] Don’t…
STEPHEN: Shh… let me finish. Something about you just makes me happy.
GRACIE: So you were just using me?
STEPHEN: I tried to be different. I can’t…you deserve better.
GRACIE: I don’t want better… just you.
STEPHEN: No you don’t. You don’t understand!
GRACIE: Yes, I do, and I don’t care.
STEPHEN: [STEPHEN pulls his hand away from GRACIE’S] I do. [STEPHEN pauses with a look of pain filling his eyes.] Good-bye, Gracie.
SETTING: LORRAINE’S room. GRACIE ran to her best friend’s apartment after the encounter with STEPHEN. LORRAINE or LORI tries to comfort GRACIE.
GRACIE: [More of GRACIE’S poetry voiceover. The camera follows GRACIE as she runs from the park to LORI’S apartment.] You do not care. You step into the black hole of regret and sorrow.
LORI: [Answers the frantic knocking at the door.] Gracie, what are you doing? I thought you were meeting Stephen in the park.
GRACIE: [Her eyes are filled with tears. GRACIE’S voice is low.] I think he broke up with me.
LORI: [Shocked.] What do you mean?
GRACIE: He’s leaving. He’s going to San Francisco with his dad.
LORI: [LORI pulls GRACIE into a hug.] Why?
GRACIE: He doesn’t want his past to get in the way. He doesn’t want me to end up like him.
LORI: Did you tell him that you don’t think he’s messed up?
GRACIE: Of course I did.
LORI: [LORI grabs each of GRACIE’S hands.] All you can do is tell him how you feel…
GRACIE: [GRACIE interrupts LORI.] I have.
LORI: Tell him again.

SETTING: MITCH and STEPHEN are on the phone. MITCH is in his bedroom. STEPHEN is still in the park.
STEPHEN: [Into the phone.] I did it.
MITCH: How was it?
STEPHEN: It was awful. I hurt her, man.
MITCH: Which is ironic since you did this so you won’t hurt her anymore.
STEPHEN: Shut up.
MITCH: Sorry, man, but I don’t get it.
STEPHEN: What don’t you get?
MITCH: I think she really loves you.
STEPHEN: Yeah and that is why I am doing this. She shouldn’t be subject to my screwed up life. [STEPHEN remembers MITCH’S own recent break- up with KATE.] Why are you judging me anyways? You are not an expert on relationships. Can you tell me again what went wrong with you and Kate?
MITCH: Kate and I ran our course.
STEPHEN: If you and Kate can’t make it, where is the hope for the rest of us? You were a freaking fairy tale!
MITCH: Fairy tales aren’t perfect. They aren’t real, but I think you and Gracie might be.
STEPHEN: I can’t change my mind now. I am leaving. I refuse to hurt her anymore…[STEPHEN gets a call on his other line. It is GRACIE.] Gracie’s on the other line. What do I do?
MITCH: See what she has to say. You owe her that much.
STEPHEN: Okay. I’ll talk to you later, man. [Hangs the up the phone with MITCH. Answers GRACIE’S call.] Hello.
GRACIE: [GRACIE is on the phone in her bedroom.] Please don’t hang up. I just need to say something. Actually, I need to say a lot of things. First, I really don’t want you to leave. You make my life exciting and scary and fun. You know that I don’t care where you come from. I only care that you want to be with me now. What happened last week or what might happen next week does not mean a thing to me because, Stephen, I love you.
[STEPHEN has nothing to say. GRACIE only hear silence.]
GRACIE: That’s all. Bye.

SETTING: GRACIE’S apartment. STEPHEN is waiting on the doorstep. He doesn’t know if he is going to knock.]
GRACIE: [More of GRACIE’S poetry voiceover. The camera pans over STEPHEN on the doorstep and GRACIE crying on her bed.] I pull you back out, entwine my fingers in yours, and we run. We run from the past, head first into our limitless future. I look to you, “I love you.”
[There is a knock on the door.]
GRACIE: [STEPHEN is at the door. GRACIE opens the door.]
STEPHEN:[This speech is a little rambled] I am all wrong for you. I am screwed up, and people say that I am bad news. We should not work. If a couple as perfect as Kate and Mitch can screw it up, what says we will work out? I cannot be responsible for messing you up. You are too good…
GRACIE: [GRACIE interrupts STEPHEN. There are tears streaming down her face.] You know I don’t…
STEPHEN: [He interrupts GRACIE.] I am not done. Gracie, I’m terrified, but I love you.
GRACIE: [Shock covers her tear- stained face.] What?
STEPHEN: [A grin covers his face as he pulls GRACIE close.] Grace Marie Parker, I love you, and I am not going anywhere.
GRACIE: [The end of GRACIE’S poetry voiceover. The camera watches as STEPHEN pulls GRACIE off the ground in a tight embrace. They spin in a circle.] You look back with eyes full of fear. Longing. Hope. “I love you, too.”

That, with my short story, is my portfolio that I will be turning into my instructors tomorrow. I learned a ton this summer and I believe my writing has really improved through the lessons our teachers taught, the literature we read, and the workshops I participated in. This has been such a great experience in so many ways. I am on my way to becoming the best writer I can be, and I have spent three weeks in New York City. I understand different cultures now, and I am pretty good at directions and navigating the subway. I have made friendships that will last forever with people from all over the world. I am so glad I was able to have this experience and I would like to thank everyone who helped me get here. You guys rock!! I am sad to be leaving the city, but I cannot wait to see everyone!

Revisions!

Two of our classes during the day are devoted to workshopping each other's writing. We get together and read stories and then we tell what we like and don't like about them. It is really helpful and I have learned a lot from not only my teachers but also from my classmates. Every piece we have written must by revised and turned in on the last day as part of our final portfolio. This is the revision of Show Time, my short Story.

I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.
- 4-H Pledge

“Elizabeth,” my mother yelled, “get out of bed right now or I am selling the pig!”
I rolled over and groaned. I looked at the clock. 6:30 A.M.
“Elizabeth Kay Kidd,” she yelled again, “NOW!”
I stumbled down the stairs and met my mother’s disapproving stare.
“I have been yelling at you for ten minutes. You need to start caring about your project if you want to win.”
There are three things that every 4-H member knows. One, you want to be the fitting and showing champion. Two, if you do win, you get to go to the round robin. Finally, you never spook the steers. The last one is taught to us out of fear; no good parent wants their child to be crushed by a runaway steer, so our parents give us a five minute lesson on steer safety before swine showing boot camp begins. You see, kids don’t really care about anything other than staying away from thousand pound cows, but their parents have much higher aspirations.
4-Hers, like me, are dragged from our beds before the sun rises to whack pig’s behinds with sticks while pretending we are actually controlling the large, smelly animal. Parents are required to protect the children from cattle, but, however, they are entitled to throw, squirt, yell, and kick whenever the child whines or the pig does not feel like cooperating.
Swine boot camp started in the middle of July, and by now, the first of August, it was our lives. I walked out to our barn with Chloe, my sister, and Christian, my brother. The sickly sweet odor of animal waste mixed with grain to feed the animals on the farm whipped our faces as we pulled open the heavy, red doors of the barn. I brushed a group of sticky flies off my stick and released the pigs from their stall. Christian gave his pig a hard whack, and the pig took off across the pasture.
“Christian,” yelled Chloe, “you can’t hit him like that or he will never be tame!”
“He doesn’t do anything unless I hit him that hard!”
“Do you want to win the show?”
“No,” the tears started to fall from Christian’s eyes, “I just don’t want to get ran over by the stupid pig.”
“Stop crying and grow up,” shouted Chloe from across the pasture as she moved closer to Christian, her stick raised. I could see that this was getting out of control. Chloe liked to pretend that she was Christian’s mom, and I was usually the one who had to keep her from killing him when he didn’t listen.
“Honestly,” I said as stepped closer to the action with my pig following behind, “he’s nine years old. Worry about yourself.”
“Fine, let him do whatever he wants. He is the one who will look like an idiot when the show starts.”
“Elizabeth,” Christian cried, “I don’t want to look like an idiot.”
“Then practice!” I felt bad for yipping at Christian, but we seemed to have had this same argument every day for the past month and a half. We practiced in silence after that. I walked my own pig around and around the pasture until I decided that we could finally go back into the house without our mother yelling at us.
“Okay guys,” my mother said as she walked out of the bathroom. She got to shower while we were outside getting covered in pig poop. “Elizabeth has the vacuuming, Chloe has the kitchen floors, and Christian needs to dust.”
There was an audible groan from the three of us who were lying across the couch.
“Mom, are you kidding me? You wake us up at six in the morning and then expect us to want to clean for you?”
“Elizabeth,” she shouted back, “you don’t talk to me like that. Do your jobs or I will take away your iPods and cell phones.”
“Mom,” Chloe groaned.
“I am going to sell the pigs!”
I really don’t know why that was such a threat, but it worked for us.
My dad came home at noon for lunch. I had just climbed out of the shower when my mother called me down to the table.
“How were the pigs this morning?” my dad asked.
“Fine,” I said as I put a spoonful of casserole into my mouth.
“How long did you work with them?”
“About two hours,” I said.
“Okay—if you really cared about this project, you would be out there all day, every day We will go out after I finish eating lunch.”
“Dad, I just took a shower!”
“Elizabeth, you are sixteen years old. People are expecting you to win. You will not do that unless you are more dedicated.”
My dad had been a faithful member of the 4-H throughout his entire childhood. He worked with his project from the time he woke up in the morning until he fell asleep late in the night. He had been disappointed with me since I was nine years old when he found out I did not share that excitement towards my agricultural education.
We practiced for an hour that day at lunch. I walked the stupid pig around and around while my dad threw, squirted, yelled, and kicked until the pig and I did what we were told. I almost did a little cheer when he told me he needed to head back to work. I ran back into the house, up the stairs, and into my bathroom to wash the second round of barn stink off.
In my hometown, the county fair and rodeo is a huge deal. I had been going to the swine show with my father ever since I was a small girl. He pointed out the best showmen and told me to remember their technique.
There are two shows for every species: Quality and Fitting and Showing. Quality is all based on luck and how much money you have to spend. The Grand Champion of that show would be sold for the most money at the end of the week, but it did not come with the bragging rights that the Fitting and Showing title brought.
Fitting and showing is all based on talent. You spend all summer working on a winning smile, learning to effortlessly control your pig, and studying the answers to a judge’s questions for twenty minutes in the ring, yet a ton of practice isn’t always enough to win. You still have to put a judge’s special preferences into consideration. If he doesn’t like your hair ribbon, you’re screwed. If he doesn’t like the food you fed your pig, you’re screwed.
“Elizabeth,” I heard my mother’s voice shout, “time to get up.”
I knew better than to argue. It was 5:00 A.M. My mom didn’t want to be up anymore than I did.
“Ugh,” I thought, “pig weigh- ins.”
I pulled on my same old jeans and sweatshirt that I had pulled on every morning and stumbled out of my bedroom. I went out to the barn to find my family waiting there. We grabbed our sticks and started the miserable job of persuading the pigs to go into the trailer.
Pigs generally do not like to be put into trailers. My entire family stood by their pen and prepared ourselves to release them. Chloe took her position by the barn door. She would keep them from running into the pasture. Christian stood at the back of the trailer with a bowl of feed we were using as bait. My mother, father, and I coaxed the two hundred and eighty pound pigs closer and closer to the trailer. They stepped timidly out of their pen, and they a few awkward steps as they woke up. That was the easy part because as soon as they noticed the trailer waiting for them, they ran.
We moved slowly, and the kids prepared themselves. Then the pigs saw the trailer. The three pigs looked around for a place to escape. I swiftly rapped one on the head as it tried to run back past me to its pen. Chloe kicked a second as it tried to pass her barricade into the open pasture behind her. My mother screamed and my father swore as the pig they were trying to wrestle knocked them both to the ground. Christian trembled quietly as the back of the trailer with the food held an arm’s length from his body. An hour later we had finally convinced the pigs to move up the old piece of wood we were using as a ramp.
We pulled into the fairgrounds about twenty minutes later and started to wait. Pig weigh- ins were the worst part about the entire project. You had to be up early, with pigs, waiting in a line for hours. And, when you finally got in, you had to wash and feed your pig before you could go get breakfast and go back to bed. Not to mention the screaming noise echoing from every pen as the pigs made the pig barn their home.
“Elizabeth, time to get up,” I really hated the sound of my mother’s voice by the end of the summer. I thought you were supposed to be able to sleep in during the summer.
“Elizabeth,” I heard Chloe come into my room and sit down on my bed, “show time.”
The morning of a show is intense. We, of course, are up early to shower and make ourselves look cute. You had to look nice to impress a judge. That not only included clean hair and a big bow but new cowgirl jeans, a collared shirt, and a belt, special clothes that I only wore one time a year. It was like the prom only with pigs and cowboy boots instead of guys and tuxedos.
We pulled into the fairgrounds at 6:30 A.M., hours before the general public even thought about being there. Our pigs had to look as great as us. We had a water fight with the pigs as they ran in circles while we tried to spray them with a hose and lather them with soap. Then we had to clip their wire like hair to one fourth of an inch.
“Elizabeth, you missed a spot,” said Chloe.
“You try to do this while the stupid pig is moving!”
Christian chimed into our conversation, “I need to clip my pig, too!”
“Wait your turn!” Chloe and I yelled together.
I ran the clippers up the pigs back while Chloe tried to hold the pig steady, but the pig had different ideas. He looked Chloe straight in the eyes and shook. Water went everywhere. The time we spent perfecting our hair and make- up was in vain. We looked like we had just been caught in a freak rainstorm. Christian was rolling on the ground in laughter.
My father came over when he saw our dilemma.
“Go get yourselves cleaned up, girls,” he said as we climbed out of the pen and handed the clippers to Christian, “I will finish up here.”
We had just gotten back when they started calling in groups to show.
∙∙∙
Christian was in the youngest group, so he went first. Chloe and I went in the show ring to watch him. His pig did not want to do anything for him, but he was not the only one struggling to hang on to a pig. The nine year old group was hysterical to watch. Pigs ran circles around the kids while they frantically tried to figure out which pig actually belonged to them. It lightened the mood before my dad pulled Sarah back into the barn to prepare for the show.
I was in the barn watching my pig when Chloe finished her show.
“Second,” Chloe said.
“That’s good,” I tried to sound excited. I knew Chloe wanted first.
“He beat me again!”
Chloe got beat by the same obnoxious kid every year. She hated it.
“You’ll beat him someday. I’m sure you did great.”
“I thought so, too! How long until you go on?”
“I am in about ten minutes,” I said as I climbed out of the pig pen.
“Good luck. I am going to go sit with mom.”
I sat next to the pen until my dad came in.
“How is it going in there?” I asked.
“You need to be calm. Make slow movements,” my dad said.
“Slow movements. I’ve got it.”
“Stare a hole in the guy. Smile.”
A fair board member came out then, “Senior division!” he shouted.
My dad unlocked my pig’s pen and I grabbed my stick. My hand was trembling as I stepped into the show ring with my pig directly in front of me. The judge was standing in the middle. He was a middle aged man wearing a shirt covered with pictures of pigs. He looked grouchy as I flashed a smile at him. I stared a hole in the guy, but my nerves got the best of me, and I could tell I was not moving calmly. I had never been more nervous as I was the moment the judge grabbed the microphone off the table.
“This is a great group of senior showmen. I have seen all skill levels and all kinds of showmen.” He started to dismiss showmen from the ring. I couldn’t believe it when he made it to the top three and I was still in the ring.
“I have picked the young lady in the red shirt as my first place senior showmen,” he said as he looked in my direction. I looked down to see I was wearing a red shirt and I was the only “young lady” left in the ring. I still couldn’t believe it as the judge handed me the blue ribbon.
My dad grabbed me in tight embrace as I stepped out of the ring. It only lasted a second, though, before he started talking strategy.
“You looked great out there, sweetie,” my dad said, “but you were still too intense. Here watch this.”
He showed me another way to show the pig, and I tried it. My pig moved calmly along with me. It was only minutes later when my grandfather came to the barn as well with his tips he had given my dad thirty years before. I listened as both of them gave me tricks to win the show.
“We are not done, yet,” my dad started, “You have real chance of winning this show and then we will make it to the round robin.”
The round robin is the place that every 4-H member wants to make it to. The Grand Champions of every breed come together to pick the best showmen at the fair. The five participants have to show every animal. It was hard to learn to show sheep, steer, dairy cows, and horses in less than a day, but my dad had made it my goal from a young age. I wanted to be there, and, for the first time, I had a shot of making it to the end.
I stepped slowly into the show ring with my eyes glued on the judge and his pig covered shirt. My pig followed my every move with ease. The judge stepped closer to me and I prepared to answer whatever questions he chose to ask me.
“Breed?”
“Hamp- York cross.”
“Feed?”
I rattled off the ingredients found the feed I gave my pig.
“What is the most favorable part of the pig?”
“The loin.”
The asked me more questions about my project and I answered them with confidence. He walked away with a smile on his face that I flashed back at him as I gathered my pig back up.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” the judge started. My throat was in my stomach. “Give these kids another round of applause. You have seen a fantastic group of kids here today.”
The crowd applauded. I glanced at my mother as she motioned for me to keep my eyes on the judge. I turned back around and waited for the results.
“My reserve champion showman will be the boy in the white shirt with the blue- butt pig.” The judge rattled off the positives and negatives about the boy that had beaten Sarah. I could feel her smirk behind me. She was unbelievably happy that he had not won the show.
“And, now for my grand champion showman,” the crowd applauded again, “this young lady has consistently gotten better all day. She always listens to what I had to say, and she stared a hole through me all day,” the judge started to walk in my direction. Each step as he got closer and closer, I thought about my project and all the projects I had had in the past eight years. I had always wanted this, but it had never been close; it had never been mere feet away with a smile on its face. I thought about all the times my dad had thrown, squirted, yelled, and kicked so that I could make it to this point. I remember the shows I went to as a child, the hours and hours spent in the barn early in the morning, and my dream of going to the round robin. I felt a big, purple rosette in my hand along with a belt buckle. The prize for winning the show. I looked around to see my mother jumping out of her seat, cheering. My dad was by the gate and his eyes told me everything. I had never been more proud of me.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Random Adventures in New York City!

It has been awhile since my last post so I am just posting all the pictures I have taken with my friends and I over the past few days.

These three pictures were taken at the Metropolitian Museum of Art. The first one is of me and a random statue. The second is of me in front of real Egyptian temple that was given to the United States by the Egyptians after we helped them rescue another temple. It was really beautiful. The third is a naked statue. I don't understand why most art is naked.

Me, Zeynep from Turkey, Lauren, and Alex from Long Island riding the bus home from the met.

Zeynep, Lauren, and I waiting in the subway station
Alex and I waiting in the subway station.

I have learned that all of New York is a filiming location-- this is the street that Wizards of Waverly Place on Disney Channel is based on.


There are real live Abercrombie and Fitch models working in the Abercrombie of 5th Avenue. Lauren and I took a break to get a photo with him before we went into the store. We found models on all three levels and did not once look at the clothing!

We were looking at this menu and the first thing on it was Idaho Potatoes!!! I snapped a picture and felt a little homesick for those world famous potatoes!
I cannot believe I only have a week left. It has been such a great experience, and I have learned a ton! Thanks again for all your support. Declo rocks!


My New Short Story

This week we are doing short stories. I have definately been waiting for this since we started but I did struggle with the topic. I wanted to do something new and fun and different, but, in the end, I chose to write what I know. This story is dedicated to my dad and my whole family back home on the funny farm!
Show Time
Elizabeth Kidd

“Sophie,” my mother yelled, “get out of bed right now or I am selling the pig!”
I rolled over and groaned. I looked at the clock. 6:30 A.M.
“Sophia Grace Smith,” she yelled again, “NOW!”
I rolled out of the bed and pulled on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. I grabbed my glasses off the nightstand and moved out of my bedroom. I stumbled down the stairs and met my mother’s disapproving stare.
“I have been yelling at you for the last ten minutes. You need to start caring about your project if you want to win.”
∙∙∙
There are three things that every 4-H member knows. One, you want to be the fitting and showing champion. Two, if you do win, you get to go to the round robin. Finally, you never spook the steers. The last one is taught to us out of fear; no good parent wants their child to be crushed by a runaway steer, so our parents give us a five minute lesson on steer safety before swine showing boot camp begins. You see, kids don’t really care about anything other than staying away from thousand pound cows, but their parents have much higher aspirations.
Kids, like me, are dragged from our beds before the sun rises to whack pig’s behinds with sticks while pretending we are actually controlling the large, smelly animal. Parents are required to protect the children from cattle, but, however, they are entitled to throw, squirt, yell, and kick whenever the child whines or the pig does not feel like cooperating.
∙∙∙
Swine boot camp started in the middle of July, and by now, the first of August, it was our lives. I walked out to our barn with Sarah, my sister, and Carter, my brother, we let the pigs out of their pens, and we picked up our sticks. Carter gave his pig a hard whack, and it took off across the pasture.
“Carter,” yelled Sarah, “you can’t hit him like that or he will never be tame!”
“He doesn’t do anything unless I hit him that hard!”
“Do you want to win the show?”
“No,” the tears started to fall from Carter’s eyes, “I just don’t want to get ran over by the stupid pig.”
“Stop crying and grow up,” shouted Sarah from across the pasture as she moved closer to Carter, her stick raised. I could see that this was getting out of control. Sarah liked to pretend that she was Carter’s mom, and I was usually the one who had to keep her from killing him when he didn’t listen.
“Honestly,” I said as stepped closer to the action with my pig following closely behind, “he’s nine years old. Worry about yourself.”
“Fine, let him do whatever he wants. He is the one who will look like an idiot when the show starts.”
“Sophie,” Carter cried, “I don’t want to look like an idiot.”
“Then practice!” I felt bad for yipping at Carter, but we seemed to have had this same argument every day for the past month and a half. We practiced in silence after that. I walked my own pig around the pasture for two hours until I decided that we could finally go back into the house without our mother yelling at us.
∙∙∙
“Okay guys,” my mother said as she walked out of the bathroom wearing a bathrobe. She got to shower while we were outside getting covered in pig poop. “Sophie has the vacuuming, Sarah has the kitchen floors, and Carter needs to dust.”
There was an audible groan from the three of us who were lying across the couch watching some old sit-com on T.V. Land.
“Mom, are you kidding me? You wake us up at six in the morning and then expect us to want to clean for you?”
“Sophia,” she shouted back, “you don’t talk to me like that. Do your jobs or I will take away your iPods and cell phones.”
“Mom,” Sarah groaned.
“I am going to sell the pigs!”
I really don’t know why that was such a threat, but it worked for us. We groaned again, but we got up and did our jobs.
My dad came home at noon for lunch. I had just climbed out of the shower when my mother called me down to the table.
“How were the pigs this morning?” my dad asked.
“Fine,” I said as I put a spoonful of casserole into my mouth.
“How long did you work with them?”
“About two hours,” I said.
“There is only a week left until the fair—you really should be working with them more. We will go out after we are finished eating.”
“Dad, I just took a shower!”
“Sophie, you are sixteen years old. People are expecting you to win. You will not do that unless you are more dedicated.”
∙∙∙
My dad had been a faithful member of the 4-H throughout his entire childhood. He worked with his project from the time he woke up in the morning until he fell asleep late in the night. He had been disappointed with me since I was nine years old when he found out I did not share that same vigor towards my agricultural education.
∙∙∙
We practiced for an hour that day at lunch. I walked the stupid pig around and around while my dad threw, squirted, yelled, and kicked until the pig and I did what we were told. I almost did a little cheer when he told me he needed to head back to work. I ran back into the house, up the stairs, and into my bathroom to take another long shower.
∙∙∙
In my hometown, the county fair and rodeo was a huge deal. I had been going to the swine show with my father ever since I was a small girl. He pointed out the best showmen and told me to remember their technique.
There are two shows for every species: quality and fitting and showing. Quality is all based on luck and how much money you have to spend. The Grand Champion of that show sold for the most money at the end of the week, but it did not come with the bragging rights that the fitting and showing title brought.
Fitting and showing is all based on talent. You spend all summer working on a winning smile, learning to effortlessly control your pig, and studying the answers to a judge’s questions for twenty minutes in the ring, yet a ton of practice isn’t always enough to win. You still have to put a judge’s special preferences into consideration. If he doesn’t like your bow, you’re screwed. If he doesn’t like the food you fed your pig, you’re screwed.
∙∙∙
“Sophie,” I heard my mother’s voice shout, “time to get up.”
I knew better than to argue. It was 5:00 a.m. My mom didn’t want to be up anymore than I did.
“Ugh,” I thought, “pig weigh- ins.”
I pulled on my same old jeans and sweatshirt that I had pulled on every morning and stumbled out of my bedroom. I went out to the barn to find my family waiting there. We grabbed our sticks and started the miserable job of persuading the pigs to go into the trailer.
Pigs generally do not like to be put into trailers. That is probably the fourth thing that most 4- Hers know. They will fight and squeal the entire time, and you will want to kill them. It was a long hour before we had the pigs loaded into our trailer.
We pulled into the fairgrounds about twenty minutes later and started to wait. Pig weigh- ins were the worst part about the entire project. You had to be up early, with pigs, waiting in a line for hours. And, when you finally got in, you had to wash and feed your pig before you could go get breakfast and go back to bed. It is not a pleasant experience, but it means that you are close to the end of the project.
∙∙∙
“Sophie, time to get up,” I really hated the sound of my mother’s voice by the end of the summer. I thought you were supposed to be able to sleep in during the summer.
“Sophie,” I heard Sarah come into my room and sit down on my bed, “show time.”
The morning of a show is intense. We, of course, are up early to shower and make ourselves look cute. You had to look nice to impress a judge. That not only included clean hair and a big bow but new cowgirl jeans, a collared shirt, and a belt. I had special clothes that I only wore one time a year for the occasion. It was like the prom only with pigs and cowboy boots instead of guys and tuxedos.
We pulled into the fairgrounds before the general public even thought about being there. Our pigs had to look as great as us. We had a water fight with the pigs as they ran in circles while we tried to spray them with a hose and lather them with soap. Then we had to clip them.
“Sophie, you missed a spot,” said Sarah.
“You try to do this while the stupid pig is moving!”
Carter chimed into our conversation, “I need to clip my pig, too!”
“Wait your turn!” Sarah and I yelled together.
I ran the clippers up the pigs back while Sarah tried to hold the pig steady, but the pig had different ideas. He looked Sarah straight in the eyes and shook. Water went everywhere. The time we spent perfecting our hair and make- up was in vain. We looked like we had just been caught in a freak rainstorm. Carter was rolling on the ground in laughter.
My father came over when he saw our dilemma.
“Go get yourselves cleaned up, girls,” he said as we climbed out of the pen and handed the clippers to Carter, “I will finish up here.”
We had just gotten back when they started calling in groups to show.
∙∙∙
Carter was in the youngest group, so he went first. Sarah and I went in the show ring to watch him. His pig did not want to do anything for him, but he was not the only one struggling to hang on to a pig. The nine year old group was hysterical to watch. Pigs ran circles around the kids while they frantically tried to figure out which pig actually belonged to them. It lightened the mood before my dad pulled Sarah back into the barn to prepare for the show.
I was in the barn watching my pig when Sarah finished her show.
“Second,” Sarah said.
“That’s good,” I tried to sound excited. I knew Sarah wanted first.
“He beat me again!”
I knew she was talking about Jared Hanks. She had been beat by the same kid every single year, and it only irritated her more every year.
“He is so obnoxious. How does he always beat me?”
“You’ll beat him someday. I am sure you did great.”
“I thought so, too! How long until you go on?”
“I am in about ten minutes,” I said as I climbed out of the pig pen.
“Good luck. I am going to go sit with mom.”
I sat next to the pen until my dad came in.
“How is it going in there?” I asked.
“You need to be calm. Make slow movements,” my dad said.
“Slow movements. I’ve got it.”
“Stare a hole in the guy. Smile.”
A fair board member came out then, “Senior division!” he shouted.
My dad unlocked my pig’s pen and I grabbed my stick. My hand was trembling as I stepped into the show ring with my pig directly in front of me. I stared a hole in the guy, but my nerves got the best of me, and I could tell I was not moving calmly. I had never been more nervous as I was the moment the judge grabbed the microphone off the table.
“This is a great group of senior showmen. I have seen all skill levels and all kinds of showmen.” He started to dismiss showmen from the ring. I couldn’t believe it when he made it to the top three and I was still in the ring.
“I have picked the young lady in the red shirt as my first place senior showmen,” he said as he looked in my direction. I looked down to see I was wearing a red shirt and I was the only “young lady” left in the ring. I still couldn’t believe it as the judge handed me the blue ribbon.
My dad grabbed me in tight embrace as I stepped out of the ring. It only lasted a second, though, before he started talking strategy.
“You looked great out there, sweetie,” my dad said, “but you were still too intense. Here watch this.”
He showed me another way to show the pig, and I tried it. My pig moved calmly along with me. It was only minutes later when my grandfather came to the barn as well with his tips he had given my dad thirty years before. I listened as both of them gave me tricks to win the show.
“We are not done, yet,” my dad started, “You have real chance of winning this show and then we will make it to the round robin.”
∙∙∙
The round robin is the place that every 4-H member wants to make it to. The Grand Champions of every breed come together to pick the best showmen at the fair. The five participants have to show every animal. It was hard to learn to show sheep, steer, dairy cows, and horses in less than a day, but my dad had made it my goal from a young age. I wanted to be there, and, for the first time, I had a shot of making it to the end.
∙∙∙
I stepped slowly into the show ring with my eyes glued on the judge. My pig followed my every move with ease. The judge stepped closer to me and I prepared to answer whatever questions he chose to ask me.
“Breed?”
“Hamp- York cross.”
“Feed?”
I rattled off the ingredients found the feed I gave my pig.
“What is the most favorable part of the pig?”
“The loin.”
The asked me more questions about my project and I answered them with confidence. He walked away with a smile on his face that I flashed back at him as I gathered my pig back up.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” the judge started. My throat was in my stomach. “Give these kids another round of applause. You have seen a fantastic group of kids here today.”
The crowd applauded. I glanced at my mother as she motioned for me to keep my eyes on the judge. I turned back around and waited for the results.
“My reserve champion showman will be the boy in the white shirt with the blue- butt pig.” The judge rattled off the positives and negatives about the boy that had beaten Sarah. I could feel her smirk behind me. She was unbelievably happy that he had not won the show.
“And, now for my grand champion showman,” the crowd applauded again, “this young lady has consistently gotten better all day. She always listens to what I had to say, and she stared a hole through me all day,” the judge started to walk in my direction. When he reached me, he shook my hand and handed me a belt buckle, the prize for winning the show.
My competitive mother had jumped out of her seat with her arms high in the air. She had been waiting to be the winner since I was nine years old. I turned around to see my father outside the gate. The smile on his face told me everything. He had never been more proud of me. I shook the judge’s hand and walked out of the ring. Sarah was waiting with a hug, and she walked my pig back to the barn. My dad pulled me into a hug.
“I am so proud of you, sweetie,” he said as he let me out of his tight embrace.
My mother had made it from the stands by then, and she hugged me.
“Good Job, Sophie Grace!” she said, “I didn’t know you were that great of a showman. I bet you are glad I woke you up all those mornings now.”
“Oh yeah, mom,” I said with a smirk, “I love getting up early.”
“Do you need anything?”
“A diet coke would be fantastic right now.”
“I’ll run grab that for you,” she gave my dad a quick hug and walked away to get me the soda.
“We had better get working,” my dad said as we walked into the pig barn.
“On what? The show just ended!”
“The round robin! Can you believe that you get to be in it?”
“Oh my gosh! How long do I have to get ready?”
“Just a couple of hours—don’t be nervous, sweetie, you’ll be great!”
“I’m nervous,” I said. The round robin had been a dream I really didn’t think would come true.
“You just have to do what you just did in the ring. You can do it, sweetie,” my dad encouraged.
“Let’s do it,” I said as we walked towards the steers.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Harry Potter World Premiere!



Yeah- you are reading that right! I was one of the screaming teenage girls outside the Harry Potter World Premiere. It was really cool to be a part of something that has defined our generation, but the bad thing was we were so far away we couldn't see anything! People were lining up all night, but we couldn't because we had class all day! I had a great view of a bunch of people's heads.


So, we couldn't see much, but if you look closely at the box I drew you can see Rupert Grint, Ron Weasley. It was much easier to see him in real life, but I could not get my camera out fast enough when he was in a good spot. We also saw Hermione Granger, Harry Potter,Draco Malfoy, Dumbledore, Snape, Cho Chang, Ginny Weasley, and J.K. Rowling herself. Lance Bass of N'Sync was also there. We don't know why.



We did try to get a better spot. We thought about sneaking in with the press, but if we got arrested we would miss curfew and be expelled. We decided that wasn't the best idea.

This is the bank we snuck into to get a better view. We got kicked out before anyone got there.



This is how great our view would have been if we hadn't got kicked out! We even offered to sweep the floors if we could stay inside!

Even though we didn't get great views, it was great to be there! Harry Potter has been a pretty big part of my life. I cried when I read the last book because there were no more Harry Potter books coming out! I cannot wait to see the movie next week; I am going to the midnight showing. Columbia has reserved entire theatres for us. I am having a super great time and learning a lot. Thanks for keeping up with me; only one week to go! It is definately a bitter sweet moment. I am feeling a little sad about missing Declo Days. Have a great time everyone as Declo turns 100!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A New Trick

This week my class focused on screenwriting. It almost made me more nervous than poetry! I love to watch movies, theatre, and television, but I didn't know how I would approach writing for it. I used a poem entitled "Into The Dark" that I wrote during one of our seminars for the basis of the scene. Just so you know, I see this scene as part of a whole movie that I would want to call Life Imitates Art. There are some parts that are outside references-- I have not really decided what they mean either. They are just a part of a movie that is playing in my head! Ugh... That sounded really cliche! That is probably the most important lesson we have learned. DON'T BE CLICHE!
Here it is, and it is long so bear with me! It reads pretty fast...

Elizabeth Kidd
Life Imitates Art
SETTING: A dark park. STEPHEN has asked GRACIE to meet him there. They meet in their favorite spot- the swings.
GRACIE: [Her poetry voiceover begins. The camera pans over the opposite sides of the park. GRACIE comes from the east while STEPHEN walks from the west.] You try to pull away from me. You do not think I can possibly understand. We have never been the same, but, at this moment, I only want to be by your side. You walk farther and farther into the darkness of fear and hate, yet I will follow you. I will follow you into the dark. You think you are bad for me. You try to be different, but I don’t want you any other way. I do not look at your past; I only want to be part of your present and future.
[The characters meet and embrace. GRACIE moves into kiss STEPHEN, but he pulls away. STEPHEN leads GRACIE to the swings. GRACIE sits. STEPHEN starts pushing the swing.]
STEPHEN: [Looking distracted.] Hey.
GRACIE: Hey. How’s your day been?
STEPHEN: Fine.
GRACIE: [Looks back into STEPHEN’S eyes.] What’s wrong?
STEPHEN: Nothing. [He looks deeply into her eyes. He does not want to do what he knows he thinks he has to do.]
GRACIE: Stephen…[She looks at him again.]
STEPHEN: I’m leaving.
GRACIE: [She looks straight ahead. She doesn’t want to look at STEPHEN. She doesn’t want it to be true.] What do you mean?
STEPHEN: I am going to live with my dad with San Francisco.
GRACIE: I don’t care where you are going. [GRACIE stands.] I want to know why.
STEPHEN: Gracie, [STEPHEN grabs GRACIE’S hand. GRACIE pulls away.] you know why.
GRACIE: [Tears are filling GRACIE’S eyes.] No, I don’t know why. I thought we loved each other.
STEPHEN: [His voice starts to rise.] Gracie, I don’t know what I feel about you.
GRACIE: [GRACIE’S voice also begins to rise.] Then why don’t you stay? Try to figure this thing out?
STEPHEN: Look at what happened last week! I am all wrong for you.
GRACIE: I don’t care about any of that. I can handle it.
STEPHEN: Gracie, you shouldn’t have to!
GRACIE: Then why even start this thing between us?
STEPHEN: [STEPHEN’S voice lowers again. He strokes GRACIE’S cheek.] You are one of the most amazing people I know.
GRACIE: [GRACIE pulls away.] Don’t…
STEPHEN: Shh… let me finish. Something about you just makes me happy. I wanted to have that around me every day.
GRACIE: So you were just using me?
STEPHEN: I tried to be different. I wanted to be as good for you as you are for me. I can’t. I am too screwed up for you. You deserve to have better.
GRACIE: I don’t want better. I just want you!
STEPHEN: Gracie, no you don’t. You don’t understand where I came from!
GRACIE: Yes, I do, and I don’t care.
STEPHEN: [STEPHEN pulls his hand away from GRACIE’S] I do. [STEPHEN pauses with a look of pain filling his eyes.] Good-bye, Gracie.
SETTING: LORRAINE’S room. GRACIE ran to her best friend’s apartment after the encounter with STEPHEN. LORRAINE or LORI tries to comfort GRACIE.
GRACIE: [More of GRACIE’S poetry voiceover. The camera follows GRACIE as she runs from the park to LORI’S apartment.] You do not care. You step into the black hole of regret and sorrow.
LORI: [Answers the frantic knocking at the door.] Gracie, what are you doing? I thought you were meeting Stephen in the park.
GRACIE: [Her eyes are filled with tears. GRACIE’S voice is low.] I think he broke up with me.
LORI: [Shocked.] What do you mean?
GRACIE: He’s leaving. He’s going to San Francisco with his dad.
LORI: [LORI pulls GRACIE into a hug.] Why?
GRACIE: He doesn’t want his messy past to get in the way. He doesn’t want me messed up like him.
LORI: Did you tell him that you don’t think he’s messed up?
GRACIE: What do you think? Of course I did, I don’t care where he came from!
LORI: [LORI grabs each of GRACIE’S hands.] Then all you can do is tell him how you feel…
GRACIE: [GRACIE interrupts LORI.] I have told him how I feel.
LORI: All you can do is tell him again.

SETTING: MITCH and STEPHEN are on the phone. MITCH is in his bedroom. STEPHEN is still in the park.
STEPHEN: [Into the phone.] I did it.
MITCH: How was it?
STEPHEN: It was awful. I hurt her, man.
MITCH: Which is ironic since you did this so you won’t hurt her anymore.
STEPHEN: Shut up.
MITCH: Sorry, man, but I don’t get it.
STEPHEN: What is it that you don’t get?
MITCH: You guys had a great connection. I think she really loves you.
STEPHEN: Yeah and that is why I am doing this. She shouldn’t be subject to my screwed up life. [STEPHEN remembers MITCH’S own recent break- up with KATE.] Why are you judging me anyways? You are not an expert on relationships. Can you tell me again what went wrong with you and Kate?
MITCH: We’ve been through this. Kate and I ran our course.
STEPHEN: If you and Kate can’t make it, where is the hope for the rest of us? You were a fairy tale!
MITCH: Fairy tales aren’t perfect. They aren’t real, but I think you and Gracie might be.
STEPHEN: I can’t change my mind now. I am leaving. I refuse to hurt her anymore…[STEPHEN gets a call on his other line. It is GRACIE.] Gracie’s on the other line. What do I do?
MITCH: See what she has to say. You owe her that much.
STEPHEN: Okay. I’ll talk to you later, man. [Hangs the up the phone with MITCH. Answers GRACIE’S call.] Hello.
GRACIE: [GRACIE is on the phone in her bedroom.] Please don’t hang up. I just need to say something. Actually, I need to say a lot of things. First, I really don’t want you to leave. You make my life exciting and scary and fun. You know that I don’t care where you come from. I only care that you want to be with me now. What happened last week or what might happen next week does not mean a thing to me because, Stephen, I love you.
[STEPHEN has nothing to say. GRACIE only hear silence.]
GRACIE: That’s all. Bye.

SETTING: GRACIE’S apartment. STEPHEN is waiting on the doorstep. He doesn’t know if he is going to knock.]
GRACIE: [More of GRACIE’S poetry voiceover. The camera pans over STEPHEN on the doorstep and GRACIE crying on her bed.] I pull you back out, entwine my fingers in yours, and we run. We run from the past, head first into our limitless future. I look to you, “I love you.”
[There is a knock on the door.]
GRACIE: [STEPHEN is at the door. GRACIE opens the door.]
STEPHEN:[This speech is a little rambled] I am all wrong for you. I am screwed up, and people say that I am bad news. We should not work. If a couple as perfect as Kate and Mitch can screw it up, what says we will work out? I cannot be responsible for messing you up. You are too good…
GRACIE: [GRACIE interrupts STEPHEN. There are tears streaming down her face.] You know I don’t…
STEPHEN: [He interrupts GRACIE.] I am not done. Gracie, I’m terrified, but I love you.
GRACIE: [Shock covers her tear- stained face.] What?
STEPHEN: [A grin covers his face as he pulls GRACIE close.] Grace Marie Parker, I love you, and I am not going anywhere.
GRACIE: [The end of GRACIE’S poetry voiceover. The camera watches as STEPHEN pulls GRACIE off the ground in a tight embrace. They spin in a circle.] You look back with eyes full of fear. Longing. Hope. “I love you, too.”

The poetry that is read during the scene is actually the poem I based the scene off of. I was a fan of this piece and I hope you are all to. I definately have learned a new trick here
at Columbia!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Typical Day

My mom asked me if I would tell everyone what is happening at my classes just so you all have an idea of what I am doing everyday.
I wake up every morning around eight so I can meet members of my creative writing class for breakfast at eight thirty. We leave for class around nine thirty even though class doesn't start until ten. I don't really know why we like to be so early. We have what is called a seminar with Marina until eleven. At eleven fifteen we start our first workshop with Bridget. Workshop is where we read what everyone did for homework and critique them. It is a little terrifying. That class ends for lunch at twelve forty- five. My journalism elective runs from one thirty until two thirty. At three we start our final workshop for the day with Caitlyn. We end classes for the day at four thirty, and my class usually heads over to our favorite hang out, Artopolis, for dinner or gelato. We spend the nights doing homework or going on outings such as theatre, movies, and walks around the park. Curfew is at eleven. That is usually when we hold suite meetings with my RA's Emily and Sandy. I finish my homework and go to bed around one.
I am having a great time even though it is a lot of learning and running around!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Chicago! (The musical not the place.)

Today my friends and I decided to go see Chicago on Broadway starring Chandra Wilson from Grey's Anatomy!
We had to stand in the line outside the box office for an hour and a half!

Sabastian and Jordan playing games while we waited for the box office to open.



Lauren waiting for the box office to open.



Now, all you Grey's Anatomy fans out there, Chandra Wilson played Mama Morton. She was phenomenal! After the show, we waited outside the stage door and waited for the actors to come out. My friends didn't think that she would come out since it was just a matinee, but she did. Guess who she talked to first? ME!

She was really, super nice and acted just like Dr. Bailey! It was so cool, and we also found out that tonight is her last show. I highly recommend Chicago it was great!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Adventures in New York City!!

Hey everyone! Today was my first day off of classes for the fourth even though it is the third (we don't get it either). Since we were left with a free day, a group of friends and I chose to take a walking tour of Gossip Girl country. If you don't know what Gossip Girl is, it is a television show based on the lives of teenagers on the upper east side of Manhattan.
The Subway
So, Gossip Girl characters really don't ride the subway, but it was the easiest way to get there.
This picture is of Lauren from New Jersey and some random guys armpit-- it was a really small, crowded subway.
Jordan from New Jersey and Sabastian from Washington D.C. squeezing in for a picture.

Lauren and Julia from Connecticut

The band that entertained us on the subway.

Central Park

Central Park was the first stop because it was closest to the subway station. After getting everyone lost by taking a wrong turn (Why do they let the girl from Idaho be the navigator?) we arrived in Central Park.

Malika from Dubai (That is not in India like I thought it was!) behind her camera. She is not in many pictures because she really preferred taking them!

Sabastian and I hanging out on the rocks in Central Park.



Sabastian and Jordan on the rocks.

Julia and Lauren expressing their joy that we were no longer on the little subway!
Lauren, Jordan, Sabastian, Julia, and I take a break on the swings as we relived our childhoods.


Constance Billards School for Girls
So, it doesn't really exist, but they film the exterior shots at this church.

Sabastian, Lauren, me, and Jordan in front of "Constance."


The gate was padlocked so we tried to climb over the top before we decided it was a bad idea.

This is the real Nate and Chuck from Gossip Girl fighting in front of Constance.


This is Jordan and I recreating the moment in the EXACT SAME SPOT!!!


The New York Palace Hotel

In Gossip Girl, Chuck Bass owns the Palace Hotel where Serena van der Woodsen lives so it is important spot in the Gossip Girl world.





This is the courtyard of the Palace Hotel. We thought this would be as close as we could get, but we decided to try anyway. We actually got in!



Gossip Girl uses this room to hold fancy brunches. We definately were not supposed to be in here, but Julia and I hurried in to take a quick picture.
Decorating the Suite
I was assigned to decorate our suite so I decided that it would be great to use the Jonas Brothers!!! I bought a magazine full of posters and hung them in our suite. Everyone agrees that we are in cute overload! I love walking around our suite and seeing the Jonas Brothers looking at me.








All in all it has been a really great first week here! I am super excited for more learning and exploring. Thanks for checking the blog and I love all the support.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Poem

So- poetry... it has definately been a little bit of a struggle for me. Poets are supposed to be all dark and twisty, but I am not! This poem entitled Everything Happens for a Reason is completely opposite of everthing I have ever written. We had to listen to all kinds of slit-your- wrists- music (I really prefer the Jonas Brothers to the depressing stuff my professor likes!) and this is what I came up with.

Everything Happens For a Reason

As I stand in your arms, I know life will go on.
Our story has come to a natural end; we must move forward.
I am done trying to keep you by my side.
We must look to the future, learn to forgive.
You and I should have cared when we still had a chance,
but there are no accidents; everything happens for a reason

I want to know why; I search for a reason.
Why did we struggle so long or love so deeply
if all was destined to burn at our feet?
The answer is not simple, the hard ones never are.
What if we were there to help each other as we grew,
but, now that we are grown, it is time for life to go on?

Time, people, places, and even life goes on.
Our story was moving towards the abyss long ago.
It took another step with every screened telephone call.
It leapt forward with each diverted eye and white lie.
When did we stop trying to slow the progression?
I lie awake each night wishing we had another chance.

Why didn’t we care when we still had the chance?
Why didn’t we try to salvage what was left of our love?
I know we saw the end lingering ahead,
but why didn’t we fight?
Why didn’t we hold tight to what we thought was most dear?
Because, now that we are here, at the end of the road, I do not want to move forward.

Our journey is through; we must move forward.
I can feel our bodies and souls drifting apart.
Our memories, good, bad, sad, are fading to gray, fading to just a part of the past.
I try to hold on. I want to remember,
but, instead, I bury our love deep in my mind where it cannot hurt me.
I am done trying to keep you by my side.

I brush your cheek. You stroke my hair. I look past you, to my future, where we will forgive.
Our story is through, I’m too tired to fight, we gave up our final chance,
but you were not an accident. Everything happens for a reason.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My First Days at Columbia


Hey everyone!

I have been at Columbia for three days now, and I am having a phenomenal time! I am making so many wonderful friends from all over the world. I am in the creative writing program where I will be learning about all different kinds of writing. My instructors are great and so is the rest of my class. It is great to be around a group of people who are just as into writing as I am.

Our first unit was on poetry, and I have to admit that I was super nervous. My poem is called The Verse This Be and it is a variation on the poem This Be The Verse which I have also posted. I hope you all like it.


Elizabeth Kidd- The Verse This Be

Your mom and your dad, help you they do
on and on your whole life through.
They try to control you and the choices you make,
as though to keep you from making the same mistake.

They too have heard the same stern voices,
from those older than them who made their hard choices.
It may seem they cannot understand,
but they too have stood where you currently stand

Experience is passed from father to son,
so listen to them, do not try to run.
Soon you will stand, your child and you,
telling them all you learned as you grew.


This Be The Verse-- Philip Larken (The Original)


They mess you up, your mum and dad.

They may not mean to, but they do.

They fill you with the faults they had.

And add some extra, just for you.


But they were messed up in their turn

By fools in old- style hats and coats,

Who half the time were soppy stern

and half at one another's throats.


Man hands on misery to man.

It deepens like a coastal shelf.

Get out as early as you can,

And don't have kids yourself.


I personally think that mine is much, much more true! I like to look at the positive, and I would also like to thank my parents for teaching me and for making me the person I am today. You guys rock!!


Now, do not think that New York is all work and no play!! I am having a fantastic time exploring the city. I put a picture of my suite mates and I at Central Park at the top of this post, but I have done so much more and cannot wait for all my future trips and adventures. Tonight after a day of classes and hanging out on campus, I went with a group of girls to My Sister's Keeper. It is a great movie but now I really miss Chloe! Tomorrow I am going to the play Coraline with members of the Creative Writing program. New York is great and thank you for all the support!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wow- What a Journey!!




Hey everyone- we finally made it to New York City after a sixteen hour trip. My mom and I left Declo at five in the morning on Friday, arrived two hours early in Salt Lake, and then our flight was delayed an hour! We finally boarded the plane around 10:30, and we were scheduled to land in Newark, New Jersey around five local time but, wait, there's more. We started flying around in circles around Michigan while waiting for thunderstorms to pass in the New York area and that caused us to run out of gas, so we had to stop in Syracuse, NY. We had to sit on the airplane for a half an hour, but when they finally let us off the plane, Syracuse airport was disgusting! They had one pizza place, but there were so many people trying to get food that my mom and I did not even attempt. I ate a donut, licorice, diet coke, and peanut butter cups yesterday-- sounds healthy, right! After another hour of waiting on the airplane, we were able to leave Syracuse, and we arrived in Newark about an hour later. It took forever to find my luggage, and the train ride out of Jersey seemed to take hours, but, finally, we arrived in New York City. We took a cab from Penn Station while watching the sights around us. It was fantastic! I cannot wait to start exploring.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Jumping Potholes

As the final seconds ticked off the clock, we raced onto the field. We ran out of the stands and waited as our boys won the game that sent them to the state championship game for the first time in Declo High School history. They were all smiles, as was everyone else in the stands, as hugs were doled out and congratulations received. My dad was the first one I saw. I was always the first one on the field to give him a hug and tell him the boys did great.
“They did great, daddy,” I said after I had given him a celebratory hug, “I am so proud of all of you.”
“Thank you so much sweetie,” he said with his arm around my shoulders, “Did you know that you make me happy?”
My dad always said that to me. He told me that I made him happy. My mother was always a little bit harsher on me, but I always knew that I made my dad proud.
I had grown up a small town princess. My father, Kelly Kidd, was the head football coach at Declo High School. I had been his water girl when I was younger, but now I was his little cheerleader. It was my first year on the varsity squad, and I loved getting to be on the field, the bus, and right there when my dad won another game.
My mother walked next to my father then so I told him I loved him and I gave him another quick hug before I joined the other cheerleaders to roll up our signs and gather up our pom-poms.

The bus ride home was filled with excitement over the game and the upcoming week. We talked about pep rallies that needed to be planned and signs that would need to be made. It was too early to be nervous then.

The next week began with that same buzz of excitement. The halls were decorated, and the time and place for our state championship game was set. We prepared a dance for the halftime show, and we booked the fire truck for the pep rally that would send them off to their state championship game.

Signs went up by Tuesday with the words Finish and Believe written in big, bold letters. Everyone was counting on our boys to give us something to believe in by finishing what they started. Sports mean a lot in our small town. People buy lifetime passes to our games, and the entire town throws tailgate parties. People help out even if they do not have an athlete participating. This championship game meant to a lot to everyone who called themselves a Declo Hornet.

It was a week from Hell as my mother would put it. Life did not automatically stop for a state championship game. I still had to cheer for girls basketball, I had to do homework, and on Wednesday, I had to bake cookies for a church activity. I went to bed late every night, and I think I might have forgotten I had a father some days. He was never home before six, and he was in bed every night by nine. I forgot my best friend’s birthday, but I just hoped that everything would end up okay. In a week, there was a real possibility that we would be the Idaho High School 2A State Football Champions.

It was the Wednesday before the game. I was home baking cookies for a church activity when my mom called me.
“You will never believe who just got hurt.”
My heart stopped. My mind flashed through the quarterback, Jeremy Jenkins, and the running backs, Larsen and Tyler. It would be a loss to have any one of them on the bench.
“Drew,” my mother said, “blew his knee out at practice tonight.”
Drew Matsen was one of my best friends. He took me to my first school dance, and he probably had been in the sandbox with me when I was two years old. He was the Center. He was a really good Center. My friend, Dane, put it, “He is the guy frothing at the mouth on the line of scrimmage.” I did not even think of Drew getting hurt because he was too tough.
I made it through my activity before I gathered up my extra cookies to take to Drew’s house. I made the trip with only my sister. My father would call later; I was not going as a member of the coach’s family. I was going because Drew was one of my best friends.
He had just returned from the emergency room when I reached his house, and, looking back, I do not think he even remembers me being there. He was floating on clouds. We sat and talked for a while as I fought back my tears. Drew would be fine, but our team would not. It was selfish, but I really wanted a state championship. We needed Drew to be great.
I left that night with a heavy heart. The team was leaving the next day. Drew would go with them, but he would not be playing on Friday afternoon.
The news broke the next day at school and everyone was heartbroken. Drew was a good football player, but, more than that, he was an all around great guy. Everyone liked him. Everyone cheered for him at games. Everyone was his friend.

We had a pep rally that day before the team left. We called it “A kiss for luck,” and, while we told them that the cheerleaders would be kissing them, we brought in their mothers to kiss their blindfolded sons. We preformed new cheers that we had choreographed using the words on everyone’s mind. Finish. Believe.
My dad gave a speech at the end of the rally.
“To begin, I would like to thank everyone who has supported us throughout this record breaking season,” my dad started, “Thank you to the cheerleaders, the dance team, the band, and even to the boys on their couch in the stands.”
The entire crowd laughed when we thought of the four senior boys who had went to a thrift store, and bought the most disgusting couch they could find. They brought their couch to every game to sit on while they cheered on our team. I laughed when I thought of all the fun times I had with that stupid couch even though I never sat in the stands for a football game.
We went car jumping late one Friday night after a game. Ten of us loaded up into a little car, and flew over a hill in the mountains going one hundred miles an hour. It was one of the stupidest things I have ever done but also one of the most fun. We returned to the school where another friend’s truck, with the couch in the back, was parked.
“What is that on the roof?” asked my friend, Conner.
“I don’t know,”
“I think it is a bed,”
“Guys, it is a couch,”
“The couch?” I asked
Friends from the party we had been at before deciding to go car jumping had figure out a way to put the couch on the roof. We laughed our heads off as we tried to figure out a way to get the couch off the roof. In the end, we had to push it off the roof. We said good- bye to the couch and pushed. That stupid couch did not even break. We actually found some money and a set of keys when it bounced off the ground. There is always something good inside a bad situation.

“To my team,” my father continued, “thank you for letting me be the jockey on a great racehorse. I am so proud of all of you.”

“Now, in our lives, we hit some potholes,” my dad started with tears in his eyes, “We hit a pothole last night, didn’t we Drew?”
Drew laughed, but his eyes were also full of tears.
“Now when we hit those potholes, we just have to move on, and get stronger because of it. We cannot let those little problems stop us from being great. Drew does not want us to throw this game because he cannot play,” my dad said, “Let’s win this thing for him.”

After my dad was finished, we went to line the halls. All three hundred students stood out to cheer our team onto the bus. Drew was the first one to leave the school, and he met me at the end where I stood next to the door of the bus. He gave me a hug, and I did not know what to say. I just hugged back. My father and my little brother were the last.
“Good luck, little guy,” I told my little brother, Christian. He had taken over my post as water boy. I gave him a hug and a kiss that he wiped off.
My dad stopped in front of me next, “Good- bye sweetie,”
“Good luck, daddy,” I said.
“Thank you,” he started, “I love you.”

As we were walking back into the school after we sent the team off, we noticed the spot where an array of potholes were scattered. Everyone of them had been filled in that day while we were in school.

Text messages started rolling around three the next morning. While all the girls at Declo High School were sleeping soundly, the football team was not.
“What r u doing?”
“Sleeping,”
“We cannot sleep,”
“I can,”
We were probably not as nice as we could have been when our boyfriends needed someone to talk to at three in the morning. They said later that everyone was awake, but no one was talking. They also knew that there was no good television after midnight.

School that morning was pointless. Nobody worked because everyone was nervous. We wanted that game to be over. We were ready to be champions.

The cheerleaders and the dance team left for the game around eleven. We arrived while the team was still warming up on the field. We issued out final words of luck, and then they went to the locker room. We sat and waited for the game to begin for what seemed like hours. Then we won the coin toss.

We played a hard game for the next three hours. We made a point; they made a point. They scored a touchdown; we scored a touchdown. Interception for interception. Turnover for turnover.
We have picture that was taken of the scoreboard with two minutes and twenty- two seconds left on the clock and a tied score of twenty- two to twenty- two. We attempted to kick a field- goal, but we were unsuccessful. The game went into overtime.

We started the season with a four and four record. The last game we had lost all season was to Valley High School. My dad said that they were in the running for worst football team in Idaho. Our team got cocky and we lost. That one loss put our district into a three way tie breaker in which only two teams would make it to the state playoff.
Our tie breaker rules were: each team gets four downs to either make a first down or a touchdown from the forty- five yard line. Whoever had the most points after both teams were finished, won.
We had beat Glenns Ferry High School before, but they were able to kick a field goal that went in after we had already been shut down by their defense. They took the district title, and we were left to beat Valley. We won that time.

We went first. We made our touchdown, but the Parma Panthers were able to stop our two point conversion. Our defense put up the fight of their lives, but Parma was able to make a touchdown. We held our breath as the kicker reared up to kick the point after attempt.

The Hornets lost that game by one point in over- time. As the team went to a huddle on the side of the field, I followed, hugging both my younger brother and sister. The coaches spoke of how proud they were of the boys. They had made it farther than any other team, and they had done the season after my father’s first losing season in 2007.

2007 was the first year that Declo football had not dominated the conference. At the end of the season, my father told the juniors, “Don’t let this happen again.”

One of those boys who was now a senior told the juniors, “Don’t let this happen to you again.”

We hit a pothole that day. We did not win the championship that we so desperately wanted, but we came together as a school that season. From the cheerleaders to the dance team, and from the band to the four boys with their couch, we became a school not only the week before the big game, but the entire year just because we were Hornets. My friend’s mother left a note on my Facebook page, “Be proud of yourselves. You are making history.” We overcame our pothole, and that loss has only made us stronger and more determined in everything the Declo Hornets have done this year.

Hornets, thank you for all your support and a great adventure last fall. You guys are great. I would not be here without you!

New York-- Here I Come!

Hey- Elizabeth Kidd here. I am less than one week from my New York trip where I will be studying creative writing at Columbia University. My mom and I will be flying out of Salt Lake City on Friday morning, and I will be checking into Columbia on Sunday afternoon. I am super excited for my upcoming adventure.

For those of you who do not know, I was accepted in Columbia University's summer program last March. I applied for the the creative writing program where I was required to write an essay, get two letters of recommendation, and submit a writing sample. My short story was entitled "Jumping Potholes." It told the story of Declo High School's first trip to a state championship football game.

I would like to thank everyone for all the support I have felt since my acceptance. I definately would not be the person I am today without all my fantastic friends and family.