Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Challenge Mania

You know that scene in Drumline where the big Bass drum challenges the other and they go at it in front of the whole band and ther is only one winner and after they are done everyone holds their breathes to see who will win? Well that is what the challenges at Kennedy are like only I would say about ten times worse. (Exaggeration :P) Anyway yes it is that time of year again concert band auditions. Now let me tell you the auditions are scary alone, you have to go in play all twelves scales, play a prepared etude and a sightreading piece. The thing is once you see your name on the list and where you rank you cant be relieved just yet because you have to worry about the person behind you. Are they going to challenge me or not? What will happen, pretty much the whole week after auditions you are just waiting in anticipation to see if the person sitting behind you will challenge you. You are smiling at them twice as much, making sure to be extra nice to them. Its especially stressful for me because I am the last chair in the top band (there are three bands concert band, symphonic band, and wind symphony, Im in Wind this year) so that means that the first chair symphonic girl could challenge me and I would be knocked down a whole band. This week is also a challenge frenzy week. The directors printed off a whole pack of challenge forms and they were gone after first hour the first day. People arent happy with their chairs so they just go crazy there are people who try to challenge up through a line of people just one after the other after the other. While I find this whole process very stressful it still annoys me the attitudes some poeple have about challenging. I am jsut sick and tired of hearing people bash on other people that challenge them. Its the name of the game people. You know that. Its not that they hate you and have been secretly plotting against you for your entire life and this is their one chance to ruin you! Its because they want to get better and improve their skills as well, they want to try and be the best they can be. You cant blame them for that right? Its funny to see challenges ruin friendships, some people say they would feel betrayed if their friend challenged them but in all honesty if my friend were ahead of me I wouldnt be declined from challenging them. Does that make them any less of a friend? No of course not its just the name of the game. What I have to tell all you whiners, and naysayers, and challenger bashers out there is suck it up and get on with it. Stop complaining and just do your best. Dont hate the player, hate the game :P

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Youth Leadership for Five Seasons

Last year I was accepted into the Youth Leadership for Five Seasons. This is a program that not many people know about at Kennedy but is a really good organization. We go around on different days (on Wednesdays usually once a month) to different organizations/businesses in Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities and we also do group and team building activities and talk about how we can help improve and make the Cedar Rapids community better. Usually these days are really fun and enlightening and it gives us leadership skills we get to use every single day. We are afterall the future of Cedar Rapids :) The first outing we had together was the Leadership Retreat. We went to the boyscout camp and did the high ropes course and some team building activities. It was really fun because we got to do it in the rain!!! Haha The next day was Law and Government day. We went to a halfway house and listened to a man that worked there then we listened to some lawyers and judges speak. Then we went to the police department and got to watcha demonstration with a police dog and we got to look at some pretty neat weaponry. Then we listened to the City council members and the mayor talk. The best part of that day was probably going to listen to some court hearings. It was really neat to get to see these in real life. You see them on tv and movies and stuff but it was cool to witness it up close. The next day was Volunteering day and we went to help out at Camp Tanager. A camp that houses kids with blood disorders and other diseases for a week in the summer so they can experience just a normal camp experience. Then we took a tour of the ice arena and the kernals stadium. Then we even got to go ice skating for the afternoon! It was a lot of fun. The most recent day was Corridor Day. The "Corridor" is the area of Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Coralville etc. They were trying to teach us that there was more to our community than just Cedar Rapids. We went to take a tour of Nordstrums and that was really cool. They took us through the warehouse and it was massive! It was really cool to see all the conveyor belts and things and the 300 foot high holding shelves. Then we went to the airport to see where they fly private jets and we even got to sit in one. Then we went to kirkwood to listen to some people talk about the Corridor and we finished off the day at a printing press where they printed newspapers like the Gazette. My favorite day so far was Law and Government day. I enjoyed seeing the different aspects of the law. This has been a very good experience for me and I really enjoyed it. I encourage everyone to go out and do some sort of leadership role. Whether it be volunteering at the soup kitchen after school or running for Student Government President. Who knows what may come of it. The possibilities are endless!