Carly's Wicked Blog

Keep Calm and Love Turtles

Reflection: Seventh Grade


When I first arrived in August, I expected—well, to be completely honest, I don’t know what I expected it to be like. I guess you could say I expected the worst. Just between you and me, sixth grade was a pretty awful year. I lost some really good friends. But as the school year wore on, I realized that seventh grade wasn’t going to be that bad. By October, I was on a roller coaster that just kept going up*. I joined cross country and discovered my passion for running. I formed strong friendships with some awesome people and my classes weren’t extremely difficult. Eventually, I found my self on the path to figuring out who I am. Over the course of the school year, I learned three things:
a) never give up and just keep running. Cross country taught me this. At one race, I got 11th; I was one place away from a medal. Even when it hurt and I wanted to stop, I knew if I wanted to win, I had to keep running.
b) a positive attitude will get you far in life. Orchestra taught me this. I had to record audition pieces to try out for sinfonia and I was freaking out! I practiced and practiced but I just couldn’t get one of the pieces right! I was stressed, confused, and frustrated. But my bestest friend Lily made me calm down and you know what? I got into sinfonia!
c) you’re more important to others than you think. My friends taught me this. Whenever I was depressed and lonely, I could always count on one of my friends to make me feel wanted and liked.
As the year comes to a close, it’s hard to imagine how I got to where I am today. If I could do it all over again, I would make the most of every day because it went by way too fast. My advice to next year’s seventh graders: keep calm and everything will work itself out.
Trust me.

*The Fault in Our Stars reference.

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There are many different kinds of leaders.

There are those who inspire us to follow our dreams. There are those who guide us through difficult or dangerous situations. But there are also those who take charge and help us finish a task. There are those who tell us what to do. There are those who teach us new things. And there are those who help us get through each day, inspiring us with their strength and positivity.

Who are these leaders? They are our teachers, our parents, our principals, bosses, and government. They are our friends and our peers. They are the scientists, the movie stars, the artists, and the doctors that save us, inspire us, and educate us. But the population of leaders on Earth is not limited to these select few. I believe everyone is a leader because everybody inspires, saves, and educates someone. You are a leader too. Maybe you inspire your friends with your determination. Maybe you saved the dog you adopted. Maybe you educate your younger sibling by setting an example.

There are many different kinds of leaders.

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Favorite Poem


Here’s a poem I found about Netflix:

Beloved Netflix,
You are my Friday night
We never fight
(Except for about what to watch)
You are so sweet
Even got me a V-day treat
House of Cards season two
What would I do without you?
It’s not a Scandal or even a Battle (Star Galactica),
All of my secret marathons, you never tattle
It’s Always Sunny when you are near
So let’s stay home and screen Luther, my dear oh dear

By Cinya Burton

I chose this poem because it describes my feelings about Netflix almost perfectly. I didn’t write it (I wish I did) but I found it on the oh-so-reliable Internet and thought it was perfect.

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My Favorite Childhood Toy


When I was little, I couldn’t live without my PollyPocket dolls. With the seemly endless possibilities they offered, they were the perfect companion for a rainy day (and for when my older sister was “busy”). I could make them anything I wanted: astronauts, movie stars, vampires, spies, mermaids, etc. The sky was the limit. I remember building them a “super secret private mansion” out of pillows and blankets. They even had a private swimming pool (also known as the bathroom sink).
I also used to love to mix-and-match their clothes and accessories. My stuffed animals attended many fashion shows, where I showed off my “signature designs”. Soon after that I realized my fashion career was going nowhere. Heh…:)
I loved those dolls. Without them, I don’t know what I would have done! They were more than just plastic dolls. They were my friends.

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It’s a Small World


I live in a place where the dead grass is the only reminder of our horrible drought. Where the rolling hills are dotted with roofs. I live in a place that hundreds of people visit to listen to live music. A place where the cars travel 60 MPH and pick-up trucks are a frequent occurrence. I live in a place where Aggies and Longhorns are sworn enemies. I live in Austin, Texas—the most interesting place I have ever been.

Austin has so many cool events! South by Southwest and Austin City Limits are live music festivals, making Austin the Live Music Capital of the World. People fly to Austin from all over America to listen to famous bands play live outdoor music. Coldplay and Lady Gaga are only a sample of the performers who played at South by Southwest. A couple of years ago, I went to go see Stevie Wonder at Austin City Limits. Also, we have something called “Blues on the Green” where people gather in Zilker Park to listen to live music.

Not only does Austin have so many interesting events, Austin is also home to so many interesting people. For instance, I went with my family to see the Trail of Lights, and as we were walking back to our car we saw some people paddle boarding on the Colorado River. True, paddle boarding isn’t unusual in Austin, but these weren’t regular paddle boards. They were decorated with Christmas lights and their riders were dressed as…Santa Clause? Yes, Santa Clause. I never saw anything like this back where I used to live!

Austin is one of the coolest, yet hottest, places I have ever been. Texas can often be very stereotyped as the “Wild West”, with cowboys and tumble weeds. Sure, we have hot summers and some people own ranches, but Texas is much more modern than stereotypes depict it to be.

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Solo and Ensemble


Oh that? That’s the beating of my heart.
Here I am, standing in the orchestra hall with my trusty bass, awaiting what would certainly be my doom.
D, A, F, E, shift, G, C sharp, D, harmonic—I run my solo through my head, fingering each note.
What if I messed up? What if I skipped a note? What if I played the wrong note? What if I went too slow? Too fast? These thoughts fly through my head at rapid speed. The door to the audition room squeaks as it opens, interrupting my constant stream of self-doubt. The player before me steps out with a smile on his face. Can lightning strike twice?

With one final deep breath, I enter the room. Slowly, I walk to the lone music stand, tripping on the way. Smooth. I place my music binder on the stand, looking shyly at the judge who will decide my fate.
“Hello”, she says, still looking down at her papers.
“Uh, hi”, I reply, nervously.
An awkward moment of silence passes.
“And your name is…”, she asks impatiently.
“Oh! Carly Rose”, I blurt.
“Ok whenever you’re ready.”
I place my bow on the string and begin to play. The first 5 measures sound fine but nerves get the better of me. I rush, losing my place on the page, so that I have to stop and find where I am. My bow hand shakes, making it sound inconsistent and, well, shaky. By the time I finish, I’m scared to look at my judge’s face. I wait, expecting her to give me tips and criticism. Instead, not even looking up from her papers, she tells me bluntly, “You’re good you can go.”

Turns out lightning can’t strike twice.

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Expository: Why Interrupting is Annoying


By Halle Gordon and Carly Rose

“What’s the weath—”
“There I was ta—”
“I can’t be—”
“Why would you d—”
Interrupting can be quite annoying.

First of all, interrupting causes you to lose your train of thought. When you begin to interrupt someone, they focus on what you’re saying, so by the time they get back to their conversation, they forget what they were saying and look like a complete idiot. Do you really want to make your friend look like an idiot? Rhetorical question. You don’t. All in all, interrupting is just plain distracting.

Even worse than looking like an idiot, is feeling like one. Interrupting makes you feel like what you’re saying isn’t important. There I was, giving my speech, and this guy turns to his “buddy” and starts discussing sports. I felt like a complete idiot and like nobody cared what I had to say.

Patience is a virtue. Unless someone is on fire, what you have to say can wait. Interrupting bothers people and hurts their feelings. Be patient

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Orchestra Ice Cream Social


The WHS Practice Gym is filled with the sweet sound of more than a hundred string instruments playing in unison. My bow glides over the strings and my fingers move across the fingerboard, their calloused fingertips pressing down on the thick strings. The music rises and my heart swells with each bow stroke. I am apart of something bigger than myself.

Who knew that black squiggles on a page could create something so beautiful?

The smooth melody washes over the audience. I wonder if they realize how much they’re missing out on. Listening to the music is not enough—you have to be the music. The violins, the violas, the cellos, the basses, and the harps. All our instruments sing, regardless of skill or age. The entire room is vibrating with the force of horsehair on string. The final note of the song rings out loud and clear. The crowd claps loudly but I can honestly say, I think we enjoyed it more they ever could.

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Reuse, Redesign, Recycle: DIY Jean Bag (10 steps)


In GT we did a project called “Reuse, Redesign, Recycle”, where you take one thing and make it into something else. I took a pair of old jeans and made them into a purse. Here’s the steps I took to get the finished product:


1. Find a pair of old jeans that you’re not going to wear ever again.

2. Lay it down on a flat surface, facedown. Measure a couple of inches down from bottom of the back pocket. Take the ruler and draw a line with a permanent marker. Cut along the line.

3. So now you’ve got one side of the jeans looking like…well, jeans and the other looking like shorts. Okay, so that thick seam that connects each of the pant legs together? Cut along the edge of that seam so that when the two pant legs are separated, the thick seam is on the “shorts” side.

4. *Take some patterned ribbon (I chose something that was thick) and roll it out so that it covers the waistline. Put it through the loops (like a belt) and pin it down.

5.Now fold it inside out. Take some straight pins and put them in a straight line about 1 inch from the bottom of the back pocket. Also, put them in a straight line about 1 in from the side of the back pocket. Make sure that the point of the pin goes in and comes out of the fabric.

6. Now it’d time to break out the sewing machine. I already knew how to sew but if you don’t, I suggest that you learn because it’s a very useful skill to know and it will allow you to do things like this. After you thread the machine and the bobbin, put the presser foot down just outside of the line of straight pins underneath the pocket and sew there. Repeat for other line of straight pins on the side of the pocket. Since you sewed all the way up the side, the ribbon you looped like a belt (in Step 4) is now sown onto the waistline.

7. Now take your scissors and cut off as much of the excess fabric on the side and bottom of the pocket as you’d like, but leave just a little bit extra, the loose ends will be on the inside anyway.

8. Now take the same patterned ribbon you used in Step 4 (if you did Step 4) and measure it as long as you want your strap to be. Add a few extra inches. Cut. If it’s one sided, like mine was, then just sew two pieces together along the edge. If it’s double sided then you’re good to go (unless you want a thicker strap).

9. Okay, I suggest folding you’re ribbon over a little bit, sort of like making a hem, just because I think it makes it more even. Now you’re going to sew the strap onto the sides of your purse. Take the arm off the machine and put the layer of fabric that you aren’t using underneath. Now line the hem of strap at about 1 inch down from the waistband. Sew and repeat on both sides.

10. Turn inside out, add a cool pin if you’d like, and enjoy your new purse!

*= optional

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Scituate vs. Austin: Holidays


Since I’ve moved to Austin from Scituate (which is in Massachusetts for those who were wondering), I’ve noticed a lot of the differences between them. The list could go on and on and on and on and on and—well, you get the idea. So I’m going to focus on the holiday season for now…

Austin: The winter is spent walking around at the Hill Country Galleria, usually only wearing a jacket to brace the cold.
Scituate: The winter is spent sledding down snowy hills wearing a snow pants, a bulky jacket, a scarf, hat, and mittens.

Austin: They make fake snow and people come out to the Galleria to see it.
Scituate: You have your own personal winter wonderland in your backyard!

Austin: I think it would be a Christmas miracle if we had a white Christmas.
Scituate: Dreaming of a white Christmas isn’t such an unrealistic goal.

Austin: Our weather is like a roller coaster! One day, it’s almost snowing and the next I’m in shorts.
Scituate: You don’t even need to check the weather forcast. Everyone knows it already: COLD.

Austin: We have one snow day (yay!) and we have to go to school on President’s Day (meh).
Scituate: Five days are incorporated into the schedule in case of snow. Because of that, their holiday vacation is shorter than our’s.

Austin: If it snows at all, then we don’t have to go to school. We had an unexpected late start because the road’s were icy.
Scituate: They’ll only get a snow day if it’s really coming down.

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