Friday, April 30, 2010

25 Things that Make Tessa Happy

These are some things that make me very happy. :)
1. When people say "Hello."
I love it when people take a minute to acknowledge my presence. It makes me feel really, really good.
2. Giving hugs
Some people don't like hugs. I love hugs, but don't want to intrude into other's large personal bubbles... But if you give me a hug, great!
3. Smiling
I love making people happy. I very much enjoy it when people smile at me and make sure I know they are feeling good.
4. Straight A's
I guess you could call me a nerd. There has been one term in my life where I haven't been on the high honor roll. I love seeing the beautiful A's on my progress report every week.
5. Taking pictures
I used to use my mom's camera 24/7. I was the "photo queen" at my house. Finally, for my birthday, I got a camera of my very own. I love that thing to death and take bajillions of pictures a week.
6. Going for walks
I feel so relaxed when I walk. It's a perfect time to think, feel, daydream, or maybe just talk to myself.
7. A good book
I've loved reading ever since I was a baby. A really good book is hypnotizing!
8. Getting messages from my crush
End of story.
9. Teasing my friends
We sound really mean if you don't know our inside jokes.
10. Being warm
Sitting under a really thick blanket right next to a heater... Perfect.
11. Laughing
I love laughing. Funny people are my favorite. The only bad thing is that I turn as red as a cherry when I laugh... How embarrassing!
12. When my locker opens on the first try
13. Seeing people you haven't seen in forever
It's especially weird to see teenagers that you haven't seen since they were in first grade. Weird!
14. Drawing cartoons of my friends
Most every one of my school buddies have at least one picture of them somewhere.
15. Compliments
I'm pretty invisible, and compliments mean a great deal to me.
16. Sleepovers
Staying up late + Eating junk food + Laughing until you can't breathe + Watching "chick flicks" + Best friends = Sleepovers :)
17. Writing
Writing stories, blog entries, or whatever.
18. Making people laugh
I love it when I say something funny and my friends start cracking up. It always makes me laugh along with them.
19. Singing
My mom says my life is a musical. I believe her.
20. Exchanging letters/notes
I love it when I read a letter/note for the first time. I feel like my smile can spread off the sides of my face.
21. When cats fall asleep on my lap
I can feel their soft, steady purring against my leg. I softly stroke their back and run my fingers through their silky fur. It's one of the most peaceful moments ever.
22. When a drawing of mine turns out really well
Erasing, re-drawing, erasing, re-drawing, erasing, re-dra---- wait !!! It's PERFECT!
23. Dreaming
I love it when I wake up in the morning and remember a really good dream in full detail.
24. Back or head scratches
A little to the left... no... there..... over, over...... up...... Ahh..... Right there......
25. When everything turns out as planned
When the whole day goes perfectly and smoothly I get the greatest feeling.

I quite enjoyed writing this and thinking about life's joyful moments. Maybe you should realize what makes you happy, too.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Very Different Place

I remember back in Elementary school when we had crushes.You'd go out to recess, huddle into a little group, and follow around/gossip about the cute guys. For one thing, in Jr. High guys aren't "cute" anymore, they're "attractive." Apparently there's a difference. Now, instead of the girls sitting and giggling about the "attractive" guys, your guy friends go around and tell everyone who you have a crush on. This often leads to rumors and embarrassment.

Another thing is lunch.
Before, we would go to the lunchroom and sit evenly spread out at the table with all of your friends. You would eat and then go outside and play or just talk. You waited until your teacher came out and then lined up in single file lines and waited for everyone to get inside.
Now you shuffle down the stairs and into the very tight lunchroom. There are never any chairs left, and people are standing by the tables and sitting on the ledges. Half of your friends have a different lunch time. The lunch lines are miles long and the food is gross. You finally get out of the crowded room and get to your locker. People are squishing you on all sides as you try to turn and twist an obnoxious dial to get the stinkin thing open. You switch out your heavy textbook for a different heavy textbook and break away from the wall of lockers. You wander around and bang into people until the bell rings and everyone scrambles to their different classes. If you don't make it to your class, you have to visit the evil lady and serve detention.

Before, no one swore. Most people said nice things to each other. Conversations were innocent and clean.
Now there's swearing left and right. Everyone calls each other bad names and a lot of conversations have suggestive content.

You used to have one teacher and everyone in your class did the same things at the same times.
Now no two people have the same schedule. You have seven to eight teachers and different teachers every day. You have five minutes to cross the whole school and get to your next class. You aren't allowed to have backpacks, so you carry around this huge "pillow binder" with all of your stuff crammed into it.

Looks are everything. The skaters with cool hair and new shoes can fail at any subject and no one cares, but for some reason really talented or smart people with normal hair and clothes can be completely shunned.

Believe it or not, Jr. High School is a very different place.

Pshh! Me, complain?! Of course not.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Just Do It

This past week I got my hair cut. My hair was newly washed and I was nicely dressed  when my father came down the stairs. "You are coming to the dump with me." Of course, the next responses were things such as "Do I have to?" and "Why can't Braden go?" Then out of the bathroom we heard my mother's voice: "Just do it."

Back in Februrary, after a rather nasty gust of slushy snow, I walked to the park with my friend. We walked on the path for a while before she suggested we climb a nearby tree. I'd never been a huge tree climber myself, and stayed back and watched her rise farther and farther away from me. Finally, I decided to follow her in order to cotinue our conversation. I made it halfway up the tree and was steadying myself to take another step. My wet boot slipped off the branch and I came tumbling out of the tree. I hit several branches on the way down to the cold mud underneath. My knee felt terrible. I choked back tears as my friend scrambled down the tree. I pulled up my pant leg just as blood started to swell on my knee. My friend helped me over to a bench and held a peice of ice to my leg. After we got it to stop bleeding and cleaned my leg off with snow, I really wanted to go home. I limped back to my house with my friend by my side, pain in every step.
The next day I discovered many bruises along my arms and legs. My knee was swollen and bruised. It stayed that way for several weeks.
Last week I was walking in the park again. I sat on the bench right in front of that tree, thinking. I badly wanted to conquer the branches that had defeated me. Finally, I stood up and appraoched the tree. I hesitated the first couple branches, but kept going. I went farther and farther up, past the branch I fell off of. When I made it that far, I felt so good and so accomplished. I felt like I could do anything.

Just those three words can be the most motivational. If you feel like you can't do something, or are to afraid to speak up, tell yourself that you can.

"A somebody was once a nobody who wanted to and did."

Saturday, April 10, 2010


School has been crazy lately. I was so excited for spring break. I'm happy to escape the many horrors of Jr High, but at the same time I miss it. I miss my friends. I miss slipping notes into Ansalee's locker at lunch. I miss my crush.
I've been thinking a lot about school in my free time. At first I would go down to my room, but my thoughts were always interrupted by someone wanting me to do something. One day I decided to stroll around the neighborhood. After that, I kept walking.

Come take a walk with me.

I step out of the front door. I am almost thrown back inside by a sudden gust of wind that messes up my newly brushed hair. I step off the porch out into the cul-de-sac on 110 West and glide through my front yard and onto the sidewalk. I walk around the park and along the top of the hill. From the highest part of the grassy hill I can see kids running around the playground and climbing trees. Another burst of wind startles me and I continue my walk. I wander the field and take pictures of the trees and sky. My photoshoot ends abruptly when a huge cloud covers the sun, sending a sharp chill through my arms.

I cross the park and past Windsor Elementary, where I used to go to school. So many memories fly through my head that I can hardly focus on a single one. I turn onto the curved road leading up to Timpanogas High School. The road is completely silent and deserted. A soft breeze tickles my face as I walk along the winding roads behind the school. I walk through the empty fields, parking lots, and along the speedbumps. The only sounds are the soft wind blowing the trees and my footsteps beating on the ground. I take more pictures along the way, admiring the scenery.

I make my way around the bend and come to a busy road. The air is suddenly filled with noises. Cars swishing past, kids running around in their yards, and people talking as they walk along the sidewalk. The white silhouette of a walking person indicates my permisson to cross the street. I walk through the middle of the road, glancing at the oncoming cars. I reach the other side and look back at the winding road from which I came.

I continue walking. I travel in a straight line for quite a while, passing houses and business as I go. I eventually reach the street I am looking for: Falcon Way. I turn down the quiet street and pass several houses before coming face to face with Canyon View Jr. High. I take more pictures while touring the perimeter of the school. I think about being inside, doing history assignments. I can deal with spring break a little longer...

I travel home past the houses, streets, neighborhoods, schools, and everything else I passed on the way there. Finally, I turn the corner and back into my cul-de-sac...  I'm happy to be home.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Pipe Cleaner People

You know those furry little sticks your mom uses to clean twirly straws? The ones often found in a craft store aisle? The millions of soft, colored hairs sticking horizantally out of a pair of twisted wires, ready for bending? Yes, pipecleaners.
And it all started with a diorama...

Everyone should remember book reports. You read a book, then at the end of the month, you write a report, do a project, and present the book to the class. You see, back in sixth grade I read for my book report The Sword in the Stone. I had used all of the other project options on the page except for one... a diorama. Don't get me wrong, I am a very artistic person, but also very busy. The time and materials put into a diorama did not seem appealing to a fast-moving, pre-teen, elementary school kid. My mother is also a very crafty person, so I went to her for suggestions on how to do my diorama.

Neither of us could think of very good ideas for quite a while. She looked at me. I looked at her. She looked at me... I looked at her... Both of us brainstorming. Finally, she had an idea.
"Pipecleaner people!"
"Pipecleaner people." A smile formed on her face as she visualized the final diorama. A concerned frown formed on mine. I didn't know how to make pipecleaner people, let alone the fact I wasn't actually sure what a pipecleaner person was.
We started my lessons the following day. The moment my dear mother pulled out that plastic box, I knew this would be a long afternoon. How in the world would you make a person out of wires?!

We started with the head. My mom freely twisted the wire in cirlces, slowly but effortlessly moving it down to make a perfect sphere. I crumpled the wire into a small deformed ball and immediately wanted to give up. This obviously wasn't my expertice. I was a 2-D artist, not a sculpter.

Next came the legs. As my mother had perfectly even and porportunate legs, mine were uneven and bent up. The waist was too low and my poor person leaned to one side. As we continued add ing more pipecleaners, twisting, cutting, folding, and forming our smallish sculptures, Mine became more of a mess. With my fate resting in the palm of my hands, I knew was going to fail.

"Don't give up." and "It takes practice." were often heard from my mother, trying to stifle a laugh at the patheticness of my wimp of a person.

We made several more that afternoon, and every time I learned new, helpful techniques. I practiced and practiced for the rest of the week. Finally, It was time to present book reports. I was becoming more confident. In one corner of the diorama stood a wizard in robes with a pionted hat and a beard. On his shoulder was an owl, perched upright and confident. In the middle there was a boy holding a sword, with one foot on a large rock, and people bowing at his feet.

It was a work of art.

People stared in awe at the glorious site of my finished project. They all touched the characters, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the fine craftsmanship. I was very proud of my finished work, and wondered when I would make pipecleaner people again.

It turned out I did end up making some again for several other projects in sixth grade. Soon I had a lot of practice, and my people looked better and better every time. I started making them for fun, making up more exciting creatures.

I became more excited with the craft and started teaching my friends to make people.

So far I've now made a family of aliens, a royal family, a fairy, a pirate, a turtle, "Elf," Santa Claus, an Easter Bunny, an assorment of different people, a leprechaun, dancers, and even a harp.
After a while my obsession did die off, though I still enjoy looking at and perfecting former pipecleaner wonders.