Good Evening OVS Bloggers!

Gosh it’s good to be back in the blog world and the non-alcoholic Thanksgiving after party that is Mr. Alvarez’s Journalism class. Do tell! How is it going so far? I’m sure you are all enjoying it. If I remember correctly Journalism was always like a big birthday party with desks and a big white board. Unfortunately, there was no cake.

What! No cake?

But, who needs cake when you have a teacher like Mr. A? Yeah okay, so he doesn’t have sprinkles and fire cracker candles on his head and he doesn’t walk into the classroom covered in vanilla frosting…he doesn’t right? Anyway, if he were to be covered in frosting it would be chocolate flavored, not vanilla, because everybody knows that a brown guy can’t hide beneath his frosty vanilla coating.

What's Up Vanilla Face?

Okay, okay. I’m done ragging on the teacher. (Evan Cooper, you’re next!) But take what I’m about to say to heart; I don’t know any of the new teachers at OVS, but what I do know is that Mr. A, regardless of how great they are, will always be number one in my eyes. He is absolutely one of the greatest teachers and one of the greatest people (persons?) I have ever had the pleasure to learn from. I’m not even really sure if that was proper grammar. But, thankfully he wasn’t my English teacher so you’re off the hook for any mistakes I make Mr. Alvarez. You all should know that I’m proud to have been his student and so should you. Hope you guys have an amazing year. Enjoy it and take advantage of what they teach you. And absolutely absolutely absolutely ABSOLUTELY do not take it for granted because it’s going to be the best high school experience of your lives. Be well. Have fun. Don’t be late to class.

Maddie

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And yet she comes again.

It’s been at least one month since Aunt Lela’s funeral. Just last weekend we were at Relay for Life and I was walking in her honor.

It’s been four hours since my great grandmother passed away.

It’s been 20 minutes since I got the phone call from my mom. After the fourth ring I decided to pick up. “Mama, I can’t talk right now.” My roommate was sleeping and I didn’t want to disturb her. “It’s an EMERGENCY.”

This one I was close to. It really hurts this time. All she wanted before she died was to hear me sing. I didn’t do it for her.

I feel guilty, but it’s not about me. It’s about this woman who was so kind and funny. She loved her family, but she especially loved her daughter. The one who took care of her until the very end with very little help.

Now, she’s gone. What is her daughter supposed to do?

We can only pray and give love, right? What else? Why is death such a powerful thing?

I will pray. Not for God or Jesus or whoever. None of them. I will pray for my family. Because with tragedy comes grief and with grief, one never knows what can come of grief. So, I will pray and I hope you will too.

Grammie and Bubba

Are You There God?

Faith is the journey continued in hopes of finding the end

it is the belief that after years of hard work, finger breaking there will come rest

There is faith in mothers that they will nurture us

there is faith in fathers that they will protect us

there is faith in lovers that they will love us

But, what faith have I in someone else’s religion?

What do you believe?

I believe in love

love can’t be taught or preached

it can’t be written or spoken, not published, or broadcasted

I have faith in love

Not So E-Z Up

Half the field had fallen asleep after 2:30 am. Only a select few were still walking, but luckily there was a free coffee stand open for the whole 24 hours. Even the 6 of us kids were still up and about trying to stay up until at least 4:30. We walked a bit more, but soon we got super tired and decided it was time to take a break. We had all set up camp underneath a green E-Z Up. It was cold and windy, but the warmth of our sleeping bags took care of that. Ryan was posted in a fold out lounge chair, Kai, Lucy, and I were sprawled out on the lime green tarp, Mrs. Davis curled up under the booth table, and Mr. Alvarez was laying just outside of the shelter of the tent.

It was late. Around 3-ish maybe. We had already walked at least a trillion or so laps. 18 hours and 12 cups of coffee later I was disappointingly unable to fall asleep and what I saw would make the night a zillion times more interesting. It started to sprinkle and the sprinkling got heavier. The corners of the E-Z Up began to sink and leak. Nobody thought anything of it at first (mostly because we were either half or fully asleep). When the rain got heavier I started moving all the bags underneath the tent so they wouldn’t get anymore wet. That’s when Mr. Alvarez woke up. The tent kept dripping and eventually it got so bad that it just couldn’t be ignored… maybe it was just the coffee.

We scraped the water off the tent with lacrosse sticks. Frustratingly enough the water just kept building up. At this point everyone was awake trying to fix the problem. The tent frame wouldn’t rise or spread or move pretty much at all. The only thing we could do was get rid of it. Kai was pushing the water. I was holding the covering taught and pulled it down. Kai pushed the fabric up towards the edge and before I could move out of the way a waterfall of rain dumped on my head. I was completely soaked. My shoes were in puddles. My pants were drenched and my hair was dripping. It was awesome.

We all curled up in the middle of the tarp; unorganized and uncomfortable. About two hours later I woke up to a bright and shining sun, took a few walks around the track and when Mr. Alvarez’s run around the track ended we wondered how and why everyone else’s tent kept them dry and ours drooled all over us. The hunt was on. We looked under every tent. The Fire Department’s tent was exactly like ours, but we noticed something different about the frame. We ran to our booth, took off the cover and lowered the frame legs. It turns out the top of the tent extends high, so high that it was supposed to let water roll off the sides. I guess ours wasn’t fully raised.

Oh boy, what a night. But hey, it was so worth it.

Why Do We Relay?

It’s 10:01 pm. Kai, Lucy, and myself are walking on the desert red track at Buena High School. While the senior Lacrosse players have only just arrived, Lucy and I have been walking, dancing, and celebrating for 13 hours. But, we still have 11 more to go.

It started with the survivor lap and when our beloved John Valenzuela circled to the first strait-a-way an eruption of applause broke out from our booth. And as he smiled and put his hand to his heart in appreciation tears began to fall. Mr. V is our survivor.

Then there was wedding. A 5 year survivor was given the chance to marry the love of his life. Tons of ladies in dresses joined in and led the bride’s path to the alter. As they exchanged vows hearts were lifted in the celebration of their chance to live a long life of happiness. He is her survivor.

After numerous laps honoring cowboys, the 80’s, and siamese twins there came the luminaria ceremony. Hundreds of lights shined representing the battles fought by millions. As the names of the lost and the loved showed on the big screen yet more tears came. We sat in silence.

For some the walk is for their mothers and sisters. For others it is for their sons and daughters. For me the walk is for my great aunt, my great grandmother, and my mom’s sister who is a childhood cancer survivor. If you were there you knew who the relay was for. For Dad, for a 13 month old baby girl, for Krista.

Relay for Life is not just a fund raiser for cancer research. It’s a celebration. It’s not a time to grieve but a time to give respect and celebrate life.

OVS relayed for Mr. V and celebrated and continue to celebrate his life. A life that he was given a second chance to live, alongside so many other lives because of the support of their family and community. We relayed. We walked. We celebrated. We fought.

Happy Mother’s Day

Sometimes, I wonder how people cope with not being able to spend Mother’s Day with their moms. Or even the other holidays that we boarding students don’t get to go home for. Personally, holidays honoring parents or lovers or, heck, even the Easter Bunny should be spent with at least the person who the holiday has been dedicated to. Well, today is Mother’s Day and as I got off the phone with my mom I realized that it has been at least two years since I’ve spent Mother’s Day with my mom. Come to think of it, the past two Father’s Days were spent in the car driving down here, to school. If you are a boarding student, doesn’t that bother you?

It’s just that, some kids, adults, parents, don’t get to celebrate some of these holidays. To me, that’s just makes the day even more important. We get the chance to spend time with our parents, show them why we love them and that they are appreciated, but others probably don’t get that opportunity. And yet, here we are. Forced to make phone calls and the cards we buy don’t get there until six days later and we can’t go out to lunch but we can talk about all the stuff we’re going to do “when we get home”. I think we take advantage of these holidays. How do I know that when I get home there will be enough time to spend with my family before I have to start my new life? So, I say treat them, the holidays, your parents, like it’s the last day you’re going to see them. Corny, yeah, but these holidays were made for a reason. Your mom deserves a hug, so give her one and while you’re at it, can you give mine one too?

Strugglin’

Bro! So AP exams have been happening for a little under a week now. My first one is over, thank Jesus. But, I still have another one on Friday. Stress is killer of course but you know what’s really annoying? The fact that my Senioritis has kicked in times one trillion and 72. Last year I always thought Senioritis wouldn’t be so bad. I was wrong. Seriously, I just do not want to do anything but sit in my bed and watch Bones. It’s really upsetting too because it’s the end of the year and I have a lot to catch up on. *Cough* Blogs *Cough*.

I’m just strugglin’ man. Here’s what will happen, I’ll sit down at my computer, I’ll think of an idea and get really inspired. Then when I start to write I get super creative and come up with these crazy thoughts. But, when I run out of time to finish what I start, it never ends getting done. The worst part is, on the weekends I get more done than I do during the actual school week. I’ll spend hours studying on the weekend, but by the time Monday comes I’m too burned out to do any other work. It’s ridonkulous. Gosh dern it’s frustrating!

So, what do I do? I want to graduate man, but I’m not gonna lie, I’m scared!