Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Summer Reading Spree Continues

A couple updates in the wonderful world of Chelsea:
I'M GOING TO EUROPE!!! In particular, Scotland and England. Uncle Gordon is taking me, and we may be meeting up with Dad in London. I have a stack of books from Uncle Gordon that I'm supposed to read before I go. I started one today, and it seems interesting, but very very slow. History. Enough said.
Also, you are reading from the blog of the earner of the highest mark in Mrs. Reid's Block 2 Math 30 Pure class. Our teachers post our marks next to our ID numbers on the blackboard, and the highest mark is a 93 (me!) with a 92 following. After that, I think the highest is an 89. Tomorrow are midterms, so wish me luck!
Last Friday, I picked up a book called When Calls the Heart, by Janette Oke. I finished it at 12:30 that night. Then I picked up the sequel, When Comes the Spring, and finished it yesterday. Such a good series! The author lives really close to Calgary, so some of the places she mentions, I have been to, like the hill overlooking Prince's Island Park. I love that view, but I've only been there once. Maybe I'll go watch the sunrise on Saturday, from there. I would like to watch the sunset, since it would set west, over the mountains, but unfortunately that street can be a lover's lane of sorts. Probably safer in the mornings.
Now for a question: If you are assigned to debate a topic which you do not agree with, what would you do? I don't mean something you have clashing opinions with, but something that you are morally opposed to. I see two sides to this, but I want to know what you guys think. By the way, this is hypothetical. While it has been my dread since I signed up for debate that one day I will have to debate pro-choice, I haven't been faced with it yet. Just comment on that- I'm curious to see what you say.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thought of the day

"God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road." (Isak Dinesen)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Couple Thoughts

1) Wouldn't Macbeth make a wonderful season of survivor? I mean, eveyone dies, so why not make a game over who's next?

2) How do addictions develop? I don't mean thinks that are by nature addicting (ie, nicotine). I mean things like tetris or sudoku. Actually I just asked Kassi for another example, and she pointed out that anything can be addicting- work, for instance. Making money. What's the line between addiction, habit, and healthy amount. Are addictions and habits simultaneous, or is one an extention of another? Where do cravings fall into this?
Don't feel like you have to answer any of those. They're rhetorical.

3) 69 days until December 25th. Plus two (that's the least conspicuous way I could think of!).

4) Am I too busy? I hate being busy, but sometimes I feel that "busy" is my excuse for laziness. I have debate, early morning bio classes, and 2 AP classes that fill my afternoons with homework. Looking at that, I suppose the proper question is, am I busy enough? I have time to read out-of-school books; I never used to be able to. I learned another song on the piano the other day (Boston, by Augusta. Look it up on iTunes if you don't know it- it's a pretty piano song)

But is that a matter of prioritizing? I have to read Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Siddartha, and Huckleberry Fin for English. Plus the ongoing list of projects for the class. Maybe I should go do something productve... like the mountain of make-up math work I missed because of the Lois Hole trip.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Lois Hole Tournament

This has been an amazing weekend.

Thursday at lunch, I left the school and we headed up to Edmonton. I hung out with Brittany, Kyla, and Feden on the bus, because I knew they were my roommates that night, and I had it on good authority that they were really nice. When we got to Edmonton, we stopped at Old Scona Academy and had a practice debate. My partner was Danielle, who is my established debate partner for all of eternity. Our first resolution was "This house will decrease the voting age to 16." and we were the opposition. We kicked rear. Second resolution was "This house will increase fossil fuel royalties," and we were the government. We kicked rear again.

The tricky thing about Canadian Parliamentary debate is two fold: first, there are crazy titles like Prime Minister, Member of the Crown, and Her Royal Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Second, it is about Canadian government. I nearly caught myself once about to say the United States of Canada, and trying to present an alternate way to help the environment (rather than boycotting the Olympics) as "just sign the Kyoto Protocol" (Canada has...).

Thursday night we had seminars and got to bed too late. Friday we had seminars early in the morning, and then spent the afternoon at West Edmonton Mall (like the Mall of America... or an amazingly amazing Galleria). Our group of girls (plus Jamal) hit the clearance rooms of Abercrombie, Hollister, and Forever 21, and got some really good stuff. Ex: I got a really cute Hollister shirt for $10, originally $70. Good sales. It was nice bonding time too, because we really didn't know each other, but we all had the same style and could pick stuff out for each other and give opinions, etc. That night we had a hardcore seminar at University of Alberta, hosted by the university debaters. Another late night.

This morning, we got up early (haha, our room was always the first to breakfast, and so we'd receive some cynical remarks from non-early birds) and packed/dressed up to leave. The purpose of the Lois Hole debate is personal growth, not partner growth, because for each round you are paired with a different person from a different school. I got really competitive about it eventually, but it got to the point where I wasn't too stressed and I still enjoyed it.

Our first resolution was "This house would legalize drug use in sports." We were government (yes, HARD) and our three points were first that it would make sports more entertaining, second that it would decrease the sink pool of money that athletes are by increasing the supply (therefore decreasing the cost of sports), and third is that it would help the military. I thought this was somewhat genius, partially because it was formulated from some very sketchy arguments in my brain. Think of it this way: by allowing steroid use in sports, we are making it a less taboo topic in society, and accepted by students within school athletics. Schools' purposes are to raise "the future," so therefore, the future would be more accepting of steroids. Now, if this were so, the government could use steroids in other areas, namely the military. It costs thousands of dollars (and time) for training and preparing soldiers to fight. Steroids would decrease their intermittent period. Yes, I know this is a pathetic and disgraceful argument, but quite frankly, we were desperate. We still lost, but our judge said we did a good job, and it was close.

Our second resolution was "This house supports mandatory voting." We were the opposition, and our first point was freedom of choice/convenience. Our second (my favorite and the judge's favorite) was the founding principles of Canada, and the third was environmental and economic effects (and time. Think 2000 presidential elections in FL. Now imagine if something like that happened, but the whole population of Canada voted. Ya....). I guess here I'll expand on the founding principles of Canada. I actually learned this Friday night at the U of A seminar. They are: Peace, Order, and Good government. (Ya, "good government" is an opinion, but that seems to work for Canada (?) ). So if these are the founding principles, good government implies quality of votes, not quantity, and that's how we dealt with that issue. I took a point of information really well too (where someone stands up in your speech and asks you a 10 sec question). I was talking about the freedom of choice, and how it may not be convenient for someone, because they are in the hospital, or an important CEO who has to be in Japan that weekend for something. Gov. stood up and said, "Can't these things be rescheduled?" and I said, "You can't schedule when you'll be in the hospital."

Our third resolution was, "This house will legalize burning flags." We were government. Again, HARD. How do you develop valid points about why it's ok to do that? So we took the route that the flag does not symbolize the country, but rather something that the country stands for (freedom, unity, etc.) and if someone doesn't agree with either that idea or that the idea is even being exercised in the country, then they have the right to exercise their ability to tell their government this. By doing something as dramatic as burning a flag, they are showing that something is most definitely wrong and needs to be fixed. Furthermore, if we suppress this they may still resort to dramatic expressions, but not as safe. Yes, I totally advocated that 9/11 was preventable if the terrorists had been allowed to vent through burning flags. Bologna, I know. But seriously? Burning FLAGS? I made a good POI though. Our opponents said, "If a citizen is so unhappy with their country, if all else fails, they can leave." And I stood and said, "A convicted felon is not allowed to leave Canada." :)

So it came down to where they selected 4 "novice" debaters, and 4 "open" debaters. For novice, we had Owen for our school, and for open we had Rhiannon, Kees, and Sean. We kicked general butt, even if it was our own butt (sorry Rhiannon) we were kicking. Owen was amazing, ranting about how media trains kids to think independently of their parents, rather than following "mommy and daddy." He made it sound really convincing. (The resolution was that This house would ban advertising directed at children, but because of the way the government defined advertising, it pretty much became a debate about all media).

The open debate was HILARIOUS. First off, Sean and Kees are the biggest partners in crime I have ever met. Open debates can get very "squirely" (not sure where that term came from) to where you can take the resolution, and as long as you explain how you got from one point to another, completely change it. Also, because it's the final, it's taken very lightly and more about having a good time (depending on the nature of the direction of the new resolution as well). The problem then for the opposition, is all their planning is gone from what they thought it would be to begin with, and they have to plan their new case off of, and during, the government's speech. Sean and Kees were opposition. The resolution is "This house believes that if you are not the solvent, you are the precipitant." With Rhiannon's first sentence, they simultaneously ripped their pre-planned cases out of their notepads, and tossed them over their shoulder. She went on for a while explaining her logic without explicitly stating what they were debating, talking about how precipitates stand out, pretty much wasting time for them to be planning. Then, she quickly said how nerds stand out, so the nature of this debate is who is more valuable: nerds or jocks? Very wishy washy logic, but I don't think it was too far fetched ;). Major points were that which is more valuable in the world: those who lead (the nerds) or those who follow, or the brunt work behind the plans (the jocks). Then it turned into, if the jocks were leading instead, would the world be better. A hilarious point was made of flipping coins and how then there would at least be a 50/50 chance we didn't go into Iraq (apparently, Canada REALLY hates Bush). Sean and Kees were pretty much verbally promoting, without prettying it up at all, the shoving people into lockers (as opposed to the backstabbing trickery of nerds) and communism, although I really forget how that came about. Oh, and clairvoyance. And barbarianism. And they won. They did a pretty slick job, concerning the entire room of debate nerds had prejudices. I think it came down to which side was funnier, which was a blast for our last round.

I'll be putting pictures up on Facebook, and maybe I'll stick some good ones up here tomorrow. For now, I want to go to bed and not think about the categories of effects: Political, Society, Military, Moral, Regional, Religious, Economic, and Environmental. *sigh* Sweet dreams.

Oh, I suppose I forgot to mention I got ranked 6 out of 100. : D

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mishaps and Stress

Do you remember in that last post, I said: "It was disappointing, because I really wanted to go to the Hat, and really wanted to get out of sex ed, but though I can't see why I stayed at Abe, I know God had a reason."

The reason has been discovered.

Chelsea must must MUST learn to speak more modestly.

Unfortunately it took three letters, and a huge misunderstanding to realize that. Why am I a magnet for these sorts of mishaps?

I probably will not be on the computer at all for the next week, not because of grounding like the last time (no, this time my mother chuckled while shaking her head. Then she wished me luck). This time I have so much work on top of this misunderstanding, that I am at my peak stress height. I will be gone for debate Thursday morning until Sunday, but I have a bio lab which I received today that I have one day (Wed.) to complete because it's due the Friday I'm gone. I have an English creative writing paper, that in all honesty, I have been doing well in, but creative writing is hard for me. It's due the Monday I get back, so I have Wednesday. I have a math project that I received today, due Tuesday, which I need to do Wednesday as well because Monday will be spent doing everything I missed Thursday and Friday. Oh, another English creative writing project due sometime soon that I should start. And three novels I have to read for English by Nov. 26th, and a presentation I have to start for English due soon. I just want to get EVERYTHING done before Edmonton, so I can enjoy the trip. And I was planning on being rested, but an email plopped on my lap two hours ago that I have spent the last two hours beating myself up over.

And I have to pack for Edmonton. Or else wear the same clothes that I drive up there in, to sleep in, and debate in. That would not be a pretty sight.

I'll stick some pics from debate up here if I live that long.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thursday morning, I was in early morning Biology at 8:30 gag. School doesn't start until 9:15, so they constantly make announcements over the PA system. One was "Could all grade 11 and 12 debaters come down to the debate room immediately. Thank you." I was like, sweet! Walking! So I left Bio and when I walked into the debate room, Mr. Poirier (POY-ee-ay) looked startled and said, "Vechert?" since that's all he knows me by, and speaks French. I think that he thinks I'm in grade 10 since I'm new. Anyways, Sean, looked at me and said, "Do you want to be in school today?" In my mind I was thinking, duh no. Who wants to be in biology at 8:30 AM? But I was confused and tired, so I didn't say anything. Another girl came in behind me, and Sean asked, "Do you want $30?" and for some reason my hand shot up. I'm not crunched for money, but when someone offers you $30 Canadian... (which is higher than American right now, heh heh).

They had been booked to give a seminar in Medicine Hat that day, and one of their girls was sick, so they were offering us 1) an excused absence, 2) $30, and 3) a fun day with the debate kids (think GT kids). I was like, YES!

For the next 15 minutes, I had to rush around the school and check with my teachers. First I went up to the third floor to Mrs. Miller's room. I knew this would be a problem, since we started sex ed on Thursday, and it is the one part of CALM that if you have an unexcused absence, you fail. I figured an avoidable excused absence was unfavorable. She wasn't there. Then the though hit me that I also had a math test (you know how I am with math tests. I don't plan these things) so I went to Mrs. Reid and asked her. The fact that I corrected her key Wednesday probably gave her the idea that I wasn't trying to skip the test because I didn't study. Then back to Mrs. Miller's, but she still wasn't there. Then back down to Bio, where I went through the whole first period wondering if I should go or not. At 10:30, I went back down to Mr. Poirier, and he said the spot was taken. It was disappointing, because I really wanted to go to the Hat, and really wanted to get out of sex ed, but though I can't see why I stayed at Abe, I know God had a reason. I'm thankful He left it up to Mr. Poireir to decide, because I still really was not sure if I should or not. It was almost relieving, hearing I couldn't go.

The rest of the day was fine. I think I may have passed the math test- passing here is a 50, so yes, I'm being sarcastic. And sex ed was a blast, let me tell you. You know, it really stinks, having a nurse as a mom. I mean, I know she means well, and she is an amazing mother, but sometimes she goes overboard with the sex ed. I remember her sitting me down when I was in grade two, and explaining the basics. I took sex ed in school in grade four and five, and then eight. I wasn't even supposed to take it in eight. I had a PE waiver, but she contacted the school and asked that I get out of my study hall for that week, and take it. Plus, medical things are part of dinnertime conversation. I totally agree that we shouldn't be ashamed of our bodies, but there's a limit. Dinner time is my limit. Pretty much whenever the instructor would ask if anyone knew what something was called, the name would pop into my head. I spent a large percentage of my time with my mouth shut and sitting on my hands. Plus, I'm not going to need to know this stuff for a while, some of it ever! Kevin, it was not abstinence only sex ed. It was the full deal, as in any sort of pairing off, tripling off, or even not pairing off you could imagine. Very awkward class to go through. And it lasts for two more days.

Friday was a lot of fun. We got out of school early, like every Friday, and then I did some housework and went to the bank. Aneca was throwing us back-to-Canada-Texans a party, so I got to her house at 5:30. It started out as Disney princess themed, so we had a formal, princess dinner (turkey, mashed potatoes, veggies, gravy, and dessert) but watched Pretty Woman. There were 9 people there: Aneca, Sarah, Sarah, Kim, Kaitlyn, Lindsey, Carmen, Natasha, and me.

Saturday we headed up to the airport to pick up my cousin Abby. She's over in Montreal studying photography, and flew over for the weekend. Then we headed down to Barry's house to pick him up, and over to Rolling Hills. As soon as we got there, we ate, and then went for a walk down the side road by Aunt Dawn and Uncle Bob's farm. Then we played pictionary, and came back to Aunt Heather's. Here are some pictures for the day:

Heading out of the farm yard:

View back from the dirt road:

The word was "ride," aka, "stick man on coyote":