29 June 2016

Shakespeare Camp: Monday and Tuesday

Shakespeare Camp began, hooray!
Things have been going just swimmingly. I think this year holds the record for the most people who know their lines at the beginning of camp. As a result we are making quick progress with blocking.

Group photo. I love the shirts this year.

Just the usual weirdos.

Dress Day picture...with Sus and Thomas.


more blocking

More weirdos!

It's their last year! SNIFF SNIFF

25 June 2016

Weekly Prompt Writing

Yep, it's back! At least for the time being. From tonight's meeting.

Whitney sidled a little closer. "You know, I feel like we're really connected."
"Do you?" James barely glanced up from his pizza.
"Yeah. It's like we're the same person in different bodies...if that makes sense. It's like we are finishing each other's--"
"Government conspiracy theories. I totally get you, Whitney." He put down his pizza to give her his full attention. "Like, that time when I mentioned Area 51, you were the first person to catch on. Do you watch the X-Files, too?"
Whitney looked down at her hands. "That's not exactly what I meant."
"It wasn't?" James relaunched into his pizza.
"No, I meant we finish each other's..." She paused dramatically.
"Uh, homework? Because I haven't finished that essay for you yet."
"No, idiot, not homework." She took a deep breath. "We...finish...each...other's...?"
He gave her a blank look. 
"SENTENCES! We finish each other's sentences." She leaned against the back of her chair in defeat. 
James licked the pizza sauce off his fingers. "You know, the situation didn't illustrate your statement very well."
They were silent for a while.
Then Whitney started. "You haven't finished the essay yet? That's due today!"

24 June 2016

Random Pictures from Life

Tessie stealing my phone while I put cream on her sunburns

Spending time with nature on Fathers' Day

Reading my stuff for TAC!

Solemnity = meatballs on Friday

Tessie getting an award for her art

We made a seriously amazing cheesecake

Tessie took the nature thing a little far

...And she stole my phone again while I helped make dinner.

22 June 2016

Writing Update

...because everyone loves those!
I'm working on a new project this summer. I'm taking a break from novels and writing short stories! I found this day-by-day guide to writing a short story a week. I've read lots of stuff on the benefit of writing a bunch of short stories, just to get used to opening and closing stories and to get as much writing as possible under your belt. Because a short story is a lot less of a commitment than a novel, it's easier to just sit down and write it.
That's not to say I've completely abandoned novels! I'm still trying to find a plot for my third novel, and I'll probably begin writing it for my NaNoWriMo project.
By the way, if you're ever interested in reading a short story of mine, comment on a post and we can arrange something! I don't plan on posting unpublished short stories, but if you ask you can read them.
Oh, and hopefully I'll be starting up my weekly prompt writing again soon. I've been far too busy up until now, but things are finally settling down so I should be able to do that again.
Now to go learn some honor choir music!

15 June 2016

4 Reasons I've Loved Homeschooling through High School

As I begin planning (despite my mother's insistence that it's too early in the summer) my senior year of high school, I'm realizing how glad I am that I am homeschooling through high school. Here are four reasons why.

1. You can choose what to learn. 

Sure, it's the USA and you need certain high school credits to graduate, but hey, this isn't middle school anymore! Your mother (despite what many non-homeschooled students think) is no longer teaching you out of a book. Even in schools high-schoolers get a lot more flexibility in what classes they take when. And homeschooling just takes that to the next level. For instance, I want to be an author. So my mom and I found out about several online courses on fiction writing being offered by a published author. And I took them, and they were some amazing classes. And I also happen to love history and theology. So we found an online course on the Protestant Reformation. One of the best classes I've ever taken. I'm not very good with math and I don't plan to go into anything STEM-related. So for high school physics Mom pulled our "Conceptual Physics" textbook and I did that in sophomore year. In eighth grade, I was already taking mostly high school classes, including Government, Biology, Literature, and French 1. I have an affinity for Latin, so I went to the local Catholic high school for Latin 1, 2, and 3, plus AP Latin from 7th to 10th grade. As a homeschooler, I have that kind of flexibility and the ability to shape my education based on my learning preferences and career goals.

2. You have free time.

"Free time" is rather a foreign word to most high-schoolers. My little sister could tell you that. But when eight hours of your day aren't ruled by an electronic bell (which, for the record, sounds nothing like a bell), you find that you can make time for things that matter to you as an individual. I'm a musician: I take piano lessons and voice lessons, sing in choir, and play a little organ. Because I'm homeschooled, I have the time to go to concert choir at the public school every day, play piano at nursing homes, participate in church choir, and learn piano and voice duets with my sisters and friends. I'm a writer: anyone who reads this blog knows that. Homeschooling allows me to set aside an hour every day to work on my current novel or short story, and gives me the opportunity to realistically participate in things such as NaNoWriMo. Actually, since I finished AP Latin last year, I've found I have even more free time, since I don't have to spend an hour every day translating Julius Caesar or Vergil. I have time to take tea breaks during math, go on walks while memorizing Shakespeare, read a chapter of a book during breakfast, and go to Eucharistic Adoration and daily Mass.

3. You can learn about colleges firsthand. 

This is related to reason number 2 above. I'm exciting for senior year because based on the number of high school credits I still need (which is technically zero), I can make time this year for college visits. I'm already planning road-trips to the closer colleges, and finding good dates to visit some of the further ones. This summer I'm going to the Thomas Aquinas College summer program (among other things) instead of working a summer job. I also hope to return to a couple of the convents I visited on the Nun Run last summer, and maybe go on retreats to a few other ones, too. Homeschooling allows me to actually make all this happen.

4. Family life is good practice.

By the time you enter high school, chances are your parents are viewing you more as a responsible individual and you have more responsibilities. This time of growing up and being able to get to know your parents as peers, or friends, with whom you can have real, meaningful conversations and experiences, is priceless. Homeschooling offers 24/7 access to at least one parent, so you can learn together. Since I entered high school, my mom and I have been home alone together for countless hours. And we've gotten to know each other so much better and she has taught me so much, that I couldn't have wished it any other way. We have conversations about theology or history while making dinner and listen to classics while knitting and drinking tea. Dad and I love going to classical music concerts together and listening to lectures while he drives me around. There's so much to learn from your parents, even just by being in their presence. And spending most of your day at home really ingrains in you the give-and-take of family life. Which is useful in college communities, religious communities, work communities...basically anywhere.

Those are the top four reasons I've absolutely loved being homeschooled through high school. Are there any other awesome aspects of homeschooling I missed?

12 June 2016

Musical 2016

  Our performance went fairly well. There is suspicion that the theater's air conditioning broke or something...at any rate, we were sweating buckets at the performance, whereas we had been totally fine during the dress rehearsal just two hours previously.
But aside from that, our audience enjoyed the show and things went as smoothly as can be expected. To be honest, I'm glad that it's all done, that I'm home again, and I can give my aching muscles a break! It was a great experience but definitely a lot of time and effort.

Huge thank-you to our director Ann, our costume-maker Marie, and our accompanist Nancy!

Cast Picture


"Interplanet Janet"

"I'm Just a Bill"

"A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing"
"Unpack Your Adjectives"

08 June 2016

Isabel and Matt

Yesterday he popped the question, and she said yes! Welcome to the family, Matt!

06 June 2016

The Second Week

Here we are on the second week of rehearsals for our musical. Things are going pretty well. It's tough putting on a musical with a cast of only nine people, but we're making it work. Our choreography is intense at times--I currently have sore thigh muscles--but I think it's going to look really cool on stage. Plus, our director taught us how to Charleston, which is pretty much as fun as it sounds!
We're having some lovely summer weather so hooray for going to the pool after rehearsal! I'm already a bit sunburnt on my shoulders just from sitting outside.
It's going to be an exhausting week pulling all this together, but I think we'll remember it fondly in the future.

02 June 2016

Summer Begins!

The last day of May included two things to signify the beginning of summer: I completed my math final (which means I'm officially a SENIOR), and we began rehearsals for our musical!
This year we are performing Schoolhouse Rock LIVE! Jr. for the benefit of all those children who didn't grow up watching Schoolhouse Rock (myself included). Rehearsals are off to a good start, and our costumes look pretty good!

I especially like my bright green shoes.