Life goes on.

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Okay, it’s nearly been two months, but I assure you all that I am alive and well and enjoying my summer thoroughly.

I’ll try and walk you through everything so far, so this may end up being pretty long. Probably.

First off, final exams. Everything went really well, and I ended up finishing the semester with 10 As and 1 B. Okay, okay, I’ll confess…one of those was an A-, but who’s counting that?

Well, besides him.

Actually, one of those As is still listed as a B, but I queried my professor about it and confirmed that it should be an A; it’s in the process of being fixed, supposedly. What I’m most proud of this semester, concerning my grades, at least, is that I got As in my two most difficult classes: music history and honors integrated science. Hooray!

During our final weekend at Tech for the semester, Andrew’s parents and my dad came up and helped us pack up all of our stuff. Mr. and Mrs. Grant went back home on Saturday/Sunday (Mrs. Grant left a day early), while Dad stayed until Monday morning. While he was there, the three of us watched the last few episodes of How I Met Your Mother that were on Netflix. What a great show! There’s still one more season to watch before we’re caught up, but it wasn’t on Netflix yet, so maybe we’ll get to it later in the fall sometime.

After meeting up with Lexi for lunch and taking my final final exam, I climbed in my car and began my long drive home. Lubbock wept that day.


And then summer began! The day after I came home was the Poteet Choir’s Spring Show, which my brother is still a part of, so I attended that and sang with the choir onstage for the traditional end-of-year song, “May the Music Never End”. Fun times! Mrs. Westgate was just over a month away from having her baby at this point in time, so that was exciting, and this was also right before Blake was elected to be president of the Poteet Choir! Congrats to him!

That weekend, Andrew, Seth, and I bought lots of food and traveled out to Lake Tawakoni State Park for our now-annual Bro Camping Trip. We were there for three nights, and we had a blast. Also, our menu was pretty delicious. Here’s the walkthrough:


Breakfast – Waffles and eggs.

Lunch – Chili Cheese Hotdogs

Dinner – Made-from-scratch lasagna


Breakfast – Eggs, bacon, and sausage

Dinner – RIBS (the most delectable, delicious ribs you can possibly imagine, courtesy of Andrew)

I don’t know if these are supposed to be ribs or popsicles, but you get the idea.

Yes, it was a menu fit for 5 kings. We didn’t just eat, though; we played frisbee curling (a game of our own invention) for several hours, walked a couple of trails, sat around the campfire and made s’mores, and watched lots of movies. Let’s see if I can remember everything: Lord of the Rings Extended Trilogy (yes, all 12 hours), Tangled, How to Train Your Dragon, Thor, The Phantom of the Opera, and Get Smart…I think that’s it. So yes, it was a very involved, busy, enjoyable weekend.

The day after we came back, Tuesday, was the Poteet Band Spring Concert, which was super exciting because the Honors Band premiered a piece that was commissioned in honor of Mr. Coulson, called “Elixir”. Composed by Michael Markowski, whose music the band had played a couple of times before, the piece was lots of fun, and the whole ceremony/involvement of Mr. Coulson made it even better. Here’s a YouTube video of the premiere:

Later in the concert, Mr. Davis, who had also retired this past year, made an appearance, presenting a new scholarship named after both him and Mr. Coulson. Overall, it was just a great night full of fun reunions and awesome music.

For the next week or so, I spent most of my time in the living room watching TV with my parents, mostly Criminal Minds, but with some CSI and others interspersed into that. For Memorial Day, the four of us Hopkinses went up to my grandparents’ house, where we feasted on more delicious ribs. It was a good day.

I’ve been reading a lot this summer, mostly just before bed every night. I started off by finishing the second volume of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Two Towers, which finally got moving about a quarter of the way through; Tolkien’s usually a slow read. After having finished that, I decided to take a break from Tolkien before reading Return of the King. Here’s everything I have read with a short review attached:

Who Censored Roger Rabbit by Gary K. Wolf – This has been on my reading list for quite a while. Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the film directed by Robert Zemeckis, is based on this book and is one of my favorite films, so I gave the book a try. Just about the only similarities between the two are the character names and, even then, that’s only four similarities total. Sure, there’s a few things here and there that I can tell influenced the film, but, overall, they are entirely separate entities with entirely separate stories and characters. All that goes to say I LOVED it!

I loved it thiiiiiiiiiis much!

Wolf’s novel reminded me a lot of another, much older, crime book I once read, The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. It definitely had a darker “noir”-type feel to it than the movie did, though it was definitely present there too. I sat down with it one day and finished it in a matter of a few hours.

A Night to Remember by Walter Lord – This book is a documentary-style book about the night the Titanic sank. The author interviewed several survivors and other people connected to the disaster, so it’s just about the most accurate description of the Titanic ever. It was adapted into a film in 1958 that is excellent; I bought the movie on Blu-Ray shortly after finishing the book. The Titanic fascinates me, so this was an awesome read for me, albeit pretty depressing and eye-opening.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett – This book was the basis for the recent film with Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Octavia Spencer. The film did a good job adapting the source material, but the book is even better. It explores the characters more in-depth, and there are a few plot additions/differences that I really enjoyed. Bonus fun fact: Octavia Spencer, who portrayed the character of Minnie in the film, is a friend of the author, who actually based the character of Minnie in the book off of Octavia. How cool is that?! If that was confusing to read, here’s the gist: Octavia Spencer played a character who was based off of her in the first place. Better?

What’s It All About? by Michael Caine – This book is is actor Michael Caine’s first autobiography. I actually read his second biography first, The Elepehant to Hollywood, and rated it five stars. Had I read the two memoirs in the proper order, WIAA? would receive its deserved five stars, while TETH would only receive four. In WIAA?, Michael Caine gives us a fascinating, detailed tour through his entire life: his life growing up in the countryside of England, his time spent in the army, his rise to fame, and his life since. He introduces us to actors and actresses he has had the pleasure of getting to know throughout his long career, and he reveals to us the things he finds importan in his life. His second autobiography repeats much of this before moving on to new material. If you’re a fan of Caine’s, or if you’re at all interested in what it’s like to be film star, What’s It all About? is for you. Make sure to read The Elephant to Hollywood afterward, but know that it is repetitive.

Now, I’m finally getting to The Return of the King. I haven’t read more than a few pages just yet, but hopefully I can really dive in soon. As long as it doesn’t take me all summer like Fellowship of the Ring did last summer, I’ll be happy.

My group of friends from high school and I met for a couple of dinners/hang-out nights together before going on a pseudo-campout at Seth’s family’s land out in East Texas. They have a small cabin and several acres of land that they use for hunting, and it’s out in the middle of nowhere, so there’s no cell phone reception.

Just let it out.

At first it was weird not having any Internet of any kind because I’m used to being able to pull out my phone to look something up on Wikipedia at a moment’s notice, but I got used to it pretty quickly and actually enjoyed the limited connectivity with the world. The seven of us were cramped into the small two-room-and-a-bathroom cabin, with the four girls (Megan, Regan, Kate, and Hannah) sharing the bedroom and the three guys (Andrew, Seth, and me) were in the living room area. A little cramped, but we managed to enjoy ourselves. Activities included cooking (yes, there were more ribs), movies, shooting guns at targets (a revolver, a .22 rifle, and an assault rifle), and riding around the property on a four-wheeler. We had a great time together!

Amid all of this was South Pacific, which just finished up this past Sunday. It was a pretty awesome experience for me. Rehearsals started at the very end of May. There were six rehearsals total: three orchestra rehearsals and three dress rehearsals with the cast. The other horn player ended up being a recent graduate of SFA, so she’s just a couple of years older than me. We got along really well, making jokes together and sharing funny pictures with each other on our phones when we weren’t otherwise occupied with the music. The performances all went really well too; I had several friends and my family attend and enjoy the show. Not that I was too involved in the actual production…the horn part wasn’t very active, so lots of the time I was sitting in the orchestra pit on my phone, playing games and whatnot. I even ate chocolate while down there, but don’t tell my horn professor that! Like I said, it was an awesome experience, and the music director, Larry, has said that I’m on the spreadsheet for contacts next year, so hopefully this’ll be a summer-by-summer recurring gig!

Remember when I first auditioned for Garland Summer Musicals a couple of months ago and how I really wanted to be in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying? Well, it opens on July 20, which just so happens to be the day that I LEAVE TO GO ON A DISNEY CRUISE WITH MY AUNT, UNCLE, AND COUSINS! Things definitely worked out for me since I was neither cast in How to Succeed nor asked to play in the orchestra for it, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to go. Unfortunately, Blake can’t go because of summer school, so that’s a bummer, but I’m still excited to be spending the time with my family. It’ll be a Caribbean cruise, my fourth, and it’ll be on the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Fantasy, which just launched back in March. I’m super excited! I keep thinking that it’s coming up sooner than it actually is, but we’re still about three weeks away. Counting down the days!

This summer is the Summer of Movies, much like 2008 was a few years back. So far this summer (since coming home), I’ve only seen Brave (review here in a sec), but I have pre-ordered my tickets for The Amazing Spider-Man (next Monday night/Tuesday morning midnight showing) and The Dark Knight Rises (July 19), both in IMAX. In the case of The Dark Knight Rises, I actually bought a ticket to three movies: THE ENTIRE CHRISTOPHER NOLAN BATMAN TRILOGY IN IMAX! AMC is having a trilogy event on the night of the midnight premiere, at which they’ll be playing Batman Begins starting at 6pm, followed by The Dark Knight, and then the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. What this means is no waiting in lines for me! Other movies coming out this summer that I might be seeing include Ted (comes out tomorrow) and The Bourne Legacy, coming out August 10.


Okay, now Brave. I went to the midnight premiere for this, which was really weird because people didn’t start showing up until about 11:40 or so. Never been to a midnight premiere like that. Anyway, though it was a sort of departure/new direction for Pixar, it worked really well and was pretty enjoyable. The trailers did a pretty poor job in marketing the film, so I’m glad I went and saw it anyway. The trailers gave absolutely no hint at what the actual plot of the film would be, which I suppose could be considered a good thing, but it would have been nice to have a bit better idea of what I was walking in to. The story was definitely geared toward mother/daughter combos, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable for people who don’t fall in to that profile. The soundtrack by Patrick Doyle (who I used to shun because I HATE his score to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) was excellent, truly capturing the Scottish setting of the film. And the Academy Award-nominated short film before Brave, La Luna, was one of my favorites. I want a soundtrack album for the Pixar Short Films that has all of the music from the shorts! Some good stuff from Michael Giacchino, among others.

At the start of the summer, I watched through the awesome Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, for the first time; it was incredible. I won’t go too into detail on it, but it’s on Netflix Instant, so you have no excuse for not checking it out. The sequel series, The Legend of Korra, just had its Season 1 finale this past Saturday, and it was incredible too. Can’t wait for Season 2!

I’ve also played through a couple of video games in the past week. I’ve been getting more and more each year, and I only play one or two a year, so I had quite a stockpile to work through. I started off with Halo: Reach earlier this summer, which was decent, and this past week I played through both Star Wars: The Force Unleashed I and II. The first one was pretty excellent, minus some frustrating moments, but the best part of the second one was the incredible screen quality. The graphics blew my mind. Now, I’m playing through Fallout: New Vegas, which is a new kind of game for me. It’s mission-based, whereas I’m used to playing story-based games. It’s not a bad thing, though. It’s a nice change, and I’m really enjoying it, but it’s slow-going.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention my pen pal, Shauna. You may recall that I sent her a package a month or two ago filled with every single kind of Reese’s Candy that I could find. Well, she finally sent her package to me, which was FILLED with all kinds of British candies! Yeah, she’s pretty much the best pen pal ever.

I’ve had a Tumblr account for quite a while now, but I never cared for the service so I pretty much left it alone aside from reading friends’ posts that were linked to Twitter. However, yesterday I decided that I’d start using it as a means to review films and film soundtracks, so there’s about to be some regular posting from there. Here’s the page: Clicky

Anyway, that’s pretty much my summer in a nutshell so far. I probably missed a thing or two, but don’t take offense to that if you were involved. This was a long enough post already. Now, I’m heading off to the Rangers game with Seth! Woohoo!

I’ll try not to wait so long before updating this again, but the truth is that I don’t use my computer all that much during the summer, relying instead on my iPhone and iPad for Internet access.

Welp. Goodbye! God bless.


Never not be having fun!

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I will post this video on people’s FB pages for their birthdays now.

Well, it’s been an eventful week. I won’t go into terrible detail, but I’ll give you the highlights.

Last Wednesday night, I decided to go to Best Buy to buy Marvel’s Thor on Blu-Ray. I hadn’t seen it before, and, since the midnight premiere for The Avengers was the next night, I figured it was time for me to watch it. As it turned out, all of the Marvel movies were on sale, so I went ahead and bought The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2 as well to complete my Marvel/Avengers collection.

Despite the fact that I bought Thor for myself, I ended up going over to Lexi’s house to watch it with her. She has it on Blu-Ray 3D, and she has the capable Blu-Ray player and TV and glasses to allow 3D viewing. Unfortunately, one of the pairs of glasses were out of batteries, so we didn’t watch it in 3D, but the few minutes that I did see in 3D were pretty awesome. I definitely wouldn’t mind having a 3D Blu-Ray Player/TV of my own!

As for the movie, I really enjoyed it. It was definitely different than the other Marvel movies being that it’s topic was considerably more “supernatural”; lots of it takes place on a distant planet. I was glad to finally see it!

The next day, after classes had gotten out, I went and picked up our tickets for the midnight showing later that night so that we could skip the line whenever we showed up later. I then stopped by Target to see if I could find an Avengers shirt that I liked to wear to the midnight premiere, but they didn’t have any, so I went to jcpenney instead, which had LOTS of great choices…I ended up buying two! Very cool.

I ended up going to the theater at about 10ish or so, meeting up with Lexi and her sister Bekka, who had arrived at about 8 and saved Andrew and me seats. Andrew showed up a little bit later because of a meeting he had with his fraternity. When midnight rolled around, I made sure to call Granna for her birthday before the pre-movie trailers started, which was cool because she was definitely surprised!

After I wished her a happy birthday, I turned off my phone and returned to the theater just in time for the trailers. The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus…so many great movies coming out this summer! I can’t wait!

And now, The Avengers. THE AVENGERS. I can say the following with complete conviction: I’ve never had so much fun watching a movie as I did while watching The Avengers. It managed to throw humor, action, and quality acting together to make one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. EVERYONE should see this movie. Really, if you haven’t already, you should go see it. The score by Alan Silvestri (Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Captain America: The First Avenger) was fantastic as well…the track “The Avengers” is now my ringtone!

I only had a couple of classes the next day, and they were pretty evenly spaced out throughout the day, so it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t handle, even on limited sleep. However, once I was done for the day, I went back to the room and crashed. I slept from 4 to 6:45, at which point I shaved and got semi-dressed up for a musical audition at 7. The audition was for next fall’s musical, Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, and my audition went well, but, after I had told the director that I’m a Goin’ Band section leader next fall, he told me that there would be no possible way for me to do the show. Oh well!

I came straight back to the room and proceeded to sleep some more, this time until about 10:30 or 10:45ish. I woke up, played video games for a few hours, surfed the Internet some, and then went to bed at 4ish or something.

Get this – the next day, I was in bed until 7pm. I know, crazy, right?! There was nothing pressing that I had to do or attend, and I didn’t feel like doing much else, so I just stayed in bed all day. I woke up several times throughout the morning and afternoon, but I officially woke at 5, staying in bed for another couple of hours, playing games on my phone.

When I finally got out of bed, I grabbed dinner and wasted away in the room. I returned to the comics that I had downloaded onto my iPad last summer, reading some Spider-Man, Fantastic 4, Iron Man, and the first issue of The Avengers. Good stuff.

I again went to bed at 4, but I was up early enough to make it to church in the morning. I came back to the room after church, changing into some more relaxed clothes and eating a quick lunch before heading back out and meeting Lexi at the movie theater for round 2 of The Avengers! It was actually Lexi’s third time to see it…her goal was to see it 4 times opening weekend; she ended up seeing it for the fourth time on Monday! It was just as good the second time, and I’ll be honest…I plan on seeing it at least once more in theaters. I’ve got to see it in IMAX 3D back home!

Later Sunday evening, I went to the University Bands’ concert at the music building, which was lots of fun. I went to last year’s concert as well. Though the University Bands are comprised of mostly non-music majors or music majors playing secondary instruments, their end-of-the-year concerts are lots of fun because they typically feature movie music, which, as you all know, is my favorite!

The better of the two bands was the first to perform. They played a piece about/for/in memory of Rosa Parks, which was probably my favorite of the ones they played (Rachel, my co-section leader, had a solo or two! She sounded great!). The first band also played some music from a few video games and an Eric Whitacre piece and music from John Williams’ score for Far and Away. They were really good, though! The second band wasn’t as good, but their program was still fun. They played music from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Star Wars, as well as something else that I don’t remember. Still lots of fun, though!

That night, I did my music theory final exam review that was due in class the next day, which was really easy. Then I hit the hay!

We’re almost caught up…hang in there!

Monday was pretty simple. Theory was spent going over the review, and all we did in woodwind methods was turn in our instruments and notebooks. I got an A in the class, so I don’t have to take the final that would have been next Tuesday, which is a relief…I get to go home a day earlier now! We had our final music history lecture, which was interesting, but it wasn’t exactly what I had hoped it would be; last spring, our teacher ended the year by bringing his accordion to class and playing for us, which was awesome! Oh well. I really enjoyed this iteration of the music history class; after the final on Saturday, I’m done with undergraduate music history classes! Hooray! My only other classes that day were band and piano, which were pretty standard. Done with those too (minus my piano final on Friday)!

Monday evening was spent typing out my 4-page paper for my science class that was due today. It was really pretty easy; it had to be about anything in the field of biology that interested us, so I wrote about stem cell research. Michael J. Fox first introduced me to stem cells in his memoirs. As you should know, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991 and since has become an advocate for funding further stem cell research.

Stem cell research is also really controversial, but only one area: embryonic stem cell research. This involves taking an embryo five days after an egg has been fertilized, called a blastocyst at this stage. The debate is whether or not an embryo this early in development can be considered “living” or not. My personal opinion? Yes, they are living at this point, so they should not be used for stem cell research.

HOWEVER, there are lots of stem cells are thrown away for no reason, and I think that they should be taken advantage of. No matter your moral stance on embryonic stem cells, the fact of the matter is that further research into this area may eventually provide the key to curing diseases previously though incurable, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and Parkinson’s disease. I need to look further into this area so that I can form a better opinion. I encourage all of you to look into this and other issues of political debate…this stuff matters.

Anyway, I finished my paper and eventually went to bed. My science class was my only real class today, so I woke up and went to class at 9:30, turned in my paper, listened to a brief lecture, and then returned to the room. Back in the room, I finished up my Powerpoint presentation for my movie project that I’ve been working on for the past month, the conclusions of which we presented in our final lab today. It went well.

Our last horn studio for the semester was at 5. I practiced on my horn for a while after it was over, and then I came back to the room and just messed around. I balanced my checkbook, I listened to music, I read some of my book, etc. When Andrew got off work, we walked to Chipotle for dinner, and then I just did more of the same thing. Exciting, huh?

Now, I’m about to hit the hay. I have no obligations tomorrow until 1 in the afternoon, at which point I’m meeting with my accompanist and my horn lesson teacher to practice my jury piece for a while, after which I will be meeting with my friend John (who directed CCBB last year) for lunch. I haven’t seen him in a while, so it’ll be great to see him! Later in the evening, I have my final voice performance lab that I have to sing at at 5:30, and then I am heading over to Lexi’s house for a game night with her and one of her friends, which should also be lots of fun.

Less than a week until I’m home!

Welp, I know it’s been more than a week since my last post, but this is my longest post in quite a while, so I hope it was worth the wait. Goodnight!


P.S. – Want a good place to read more about stem cell research? Click HERE for the source that I used to write my paper. Do it!


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Hello everyone! Sorry for the long delay since my last post; Christmas break, in some ways, has proven to be busier than school was.

I’ve really enjoyed being home with my family. I’ve spent pretty much all of my time at home hanging out in the living room with Mom and Dad (Blake only plays video games online in his room), and my cat has been hanging out with me as well. When I first got home, I was a bit jealous because Noel (my cat) seemed to be more attached to my mom than to me, but he’s warmed up to me since I’ve been back, so that’s good.

Last Friday, Dad, Blake, and I drove to the big little town (though mostly just little) of Sentinel, Oklahoma, where my grandparents (on my dad’s side) live during the winter since it’s so cold and snowy at their other home in Idaho during this time of year. My aunt (my dad’s sister) lives next door to my grandparents’ home in Oklahoma, so it was a cool little reunion for all of us, especially since the last time I had seen any of them (unless my memory has slipped) was when my Memaw attended my graduation in May of 2010; it had been even longer since I saw my Pawpaw or Aunt Shannon. At their house, I actually had my first home-cooked meal since returning home from school for the break, which was nice. Memaw fixed us a breakfast consisting of eggs and ham that morning, and we had pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and butter/bread, all of which were great (though I admittedly didn’t eat any carrots). Overall, it was just awesome getting to spend time with them after not having seen them in such a long time.

The three of us left for home Sunday afternoon. That night and the next day were particularly uneventful, but Tuesday was super exciting because I got my wisdom teeth removed! Yaaaaa- just kidding. It wasn’t that exciting. However, it wasn’t painful either, for which I’m grateful. Dad took me to the oral surgeon’s office that morning at 10; as soon as I got in the operating room, they put an IV in my arm and I was out for the count, though it seemed like I was awake in the next instant. I haven’t had any pain so far, which is awesome, but having to keep up with the meds I have to take and the task of keeping my mouth consistently clean is a bit tiring. An advantage is that I haven’t really done anything but sit around watching TV the past two days, and lots of that time was spent with my cat napping in my lap, which warms my heart. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it on here before now, but December 26th will mark 10 years since I first got Noel, so I’m glad that he’s warmed up to me so much.

As a result of my diet being mostly limited to soft foods, I’ve now had my mom’s spaghetti for dinner three nights in a row…awesome! It’s my very favorite food. Hooray!

Earlier tonight, a Back to the Future marathon came on TV. I didn’t catch it until halfway through Part II, but I watched the rest of it and then the third one, all with my parents. At the end of Part II, I had to pause the TV for a minute or two to clarify the timeline of the trilogy for Mom; she was confused as to how these characters got where and when, but I think she (mostly) understands now. I’m such a good son!

The other day, I discovered that one of my favorite childhood Saturday morning cartoons is available for viewing on Netflix Instant: Jackie Chan Adventures! Very exciting news. I’ve been watching several episodes during the past couple of days, and the more I watch, the more I’m convinced that it’s not just the nostalgia speaking: this TV show really is quality stuff. If you haven’t seen it before, I highly recommend it. It’s lots of fun, and it doesn’t dumb things down for kids. It’s action-packed and light-hearted, though it has some light moments as well. Very good!

Anyway, that’s pretty much it for now. I’ve been getting in bed a lot earlier this break, believe it or not. I’ve been going to bed not too long after midnight, though I’ll be honest: I’ll often lie in bed for an hour or so watching a TV show or listening to music before finally falling asleep, but that’s still a pretty decent bedtime as far as I’m concerned.

48 hours from now, I’ll have been at my aunt and uncle’s house in Alabama for several hours, eagerly anticipating Christmas on Sunday morning. It’s only been a few weeks since I last saw them (Thanksgiving), but I’m excited to see them as well; I usually see them maybe three or four times a year, max, so it’s always a treat to spend time with them as well.

And now it’s time for bed. That’s today’s update! I’ll update you all at least once more before Christmas…I promise! Goodnight, everyone!


P.S. – The final grades are in! Of my 11 classes this semester (I know, it’s a lot – welcome to the life of a music major!), I received 9 As and 2 Bs, bringing both my semester and combined GPAs to a bit higher than a 3.7 (though not high enough to round up a tenth). I’m very happy with these grades…this is my first semester to get an A in my music history class! Definitely an improvement.

Romping around.

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Well, I’m home! It’s a great feeling.

I know I haven’t posted in a few days, so I’ll briefly review the past few days.

On Monday, I didn’t really do anything all day aside from going over to Lexi and Bekka’s house for a little movie-watching party. Neither of them had seen The Polar Express, so I brought it over, they ordered pizza, and the three of us sat and watched. They loved it! It’s always a good feeling to share a movie with someone and to have them really enjoy it. After that was over, I went back to the room and finished packing for my month-long break (woohoo!) before hitting the books…I had one last final exam to study for. I was up a bit later than I had hoped to be, but it was worth it because the exam was a bit tricky.

This last exam was at 7:30am on Tuesday morning, and it was in my COMS class. I think I passed it for sure, but it may not have been my best grade. I’m not worried about it, though; I received high grades on all of my speeches/presentations in that class, so my grade should weigh more in favor of those than to the not-as-great exam grade. I finished at about 9am, at which point I walked to my car, drove to Sneed, loaded up the remainder of my things and said goodbye to Andrew, and then finally left Lubbock! The drive was a bit dreary because it seemed that all of Texas is under a fog, but the Christmas music made it all the better. I also took another break to listen through the soundtrack to The Muppets yet again, which was fun. Such a great soundtrack!

I got home at about 3:30, which was earlier than Mom expected me; I called her an hour after I left Lubbock to tell her that I was just now leaving, ensuring that I’d be there before she was expecting me so that I could surprise her. I bought Sonic drinks for the both of us before visiting her at Beasley. She was definitely surprised! Later that night was the choir concert, which was lots of fun. Variety sang before the concert, and, though I was upset with the Variety Girls for cutting “All I Want for Christmas is You” this year, it was good to see Blake and others having so much fun. The concert itself wasn’t bad either, and it was made better at the end when the alumni joined the choir onstage for my favorite Christmas song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, and for “Carol of the Bells”. It had been two years since I had sung either of them, but I remembered both very well; it was great to be back on that stage. Definitely home!

Yesterday, I slept until about 11:30 before eating lunch with Mom at Beasley. After we had eaten, Andrew and Johnny came over to the house, where we watched The Office and Andrew played some inFAMOUS on my PS3 (we set up a small TV so that both activities could go on at the same time in the same room). In the evening was a spaghetti dinner up at Poteet as a fundraiser for the baseball team (I think…). When we had eaten our fill, we went back home and watched bad Lifetime Christmas movies before hitting the hay.

Today, I woke up before noon again (I’m trying to avoid sleeping the day away), but with consciousness came an awful headache, so I stayed in bed for a couple of hours before Mom came home from work to take me to an appointment with an oral surgeon about my wisdom teeth…I’m getting them removed next Tuesday. Oh goody? Hopefully it won’t be too bad. We originally scheduled it to take place after the start of the new year, but we decided that it would be best if we got it over with now so that it doesn’t interfere with practicing for band auditions. It shouldn’t affect my eating habits on Christmas, at least, that’s what the dentist guy said. Here’s hoping!

After the appointment, Mom dropped me off at home before going to her work Christmas party, leaving Blake and me at home for a while before Dad got home from work to take us out to eat – Cici’s! We got home not too long after 8, at which point Mom and Blake left to deliver fundraiser items that people had purchased from him, and I left to go see The Muppets again with Andrew, Connor (who just got back in town), and Johnny…thank goodness for Johnny getting us in for free since he works there! It was nice to see the movie again with people who hadn’t seen it before (neither Johnny nor Connor had seen it before tonight) as gave Andrew and I opportunity to enjoy their reactions as we enjoyed it for the second time.

And now I’m home, ready to go to bed. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we’ll see! Goodnight, all.


P.S. – Of the grades I know, I have 8 As and 1 B+…still waiting on my music history and COMS grades.

Kicked today in the face.

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Mostly. There was maybe 1/4 of unbruised Friday face once I was finished with it.

Starting off with yesterday, I woke up early to take my sight-singing final for aural skills, which I got a 99 on, bringing my final grade to a 96…the class average was an 80. Aural skills is by far my easiest class; thank goodness for my choral background! The rest of the day was spent practicing my horn, napping, and watching a documentary called The Pixar Story on Netflix Instant. Some of the best films out there are documentaries, and this was one of the better ones I’ve seen. I recommend it!

I hit the hay soon after 1am, knowing that I had to wake up early for my busy day: four finals. I woke at 6:15 for my first final (music theory) at 7:30, which went really well. I finished and less than an hour; I’m fairly confident I got at least a B, maybe even an 8. As long as I keep my overall A in the class, I’m happy. After turning in my final, I warmed up on my horn, practiced piano a bit, ate some yogurt for breakfast, and then took my piano final. This one also went well, not only because I practiced more for it than I ever have for a piano final but also because my teacher liked me; our class isn’t the most respectful since he’s a grad student and not an actual professor, so he thanked me for being the guy in class who always worked hard and paid attention. Woohoo! Another A? Check!

At this point, I returned to the room for a couple of hours, finishing up edits to my research paper, filling out my repertoire/judge sheets for my horn jury, and printing them all out. I wanted to take a short nap, but I figured it would be wise to study at least a little for my music history exam, which was at 1:30. I wasn’t too worried about this test since it technically wasn’t a “final”, instead acting as the third of three exams. My grades for the first two were an 86 and a 91 or 92, so it all averages out to a good grade no matter what. That being said, this test was just a bit more difficult than I had hoped it would be (a thought echoed by the many vulgar words I heard people utter after they left the test room). On the last test, a grading curve was applied, so I’d assume the same would be done to this one. Possibly another A? We’ll certainly see, but I’d be satisfied with a B.

I finished my music history exam much quicker than I had anticipated; I had worn my suit to the exam so that I wouldn’t have to go back between my exam and my jury, but I ended up having about two and a half hours of free time, during which I ate lunch and hung around before re-warming up, practicing a bit, and having a quick spot-check with my accompanist. The jury went well; it started rough, but I improved as the piece went on, so I’m hoping for at least a B on that as well. I’ll be sure to let you know!

When my jury was finished, I packed away my horn and came back to the room, hanging up my suit and crashing on my bed…it had been a long, busy day, and it was now nap time. I slept until about 7:30, staying in bed until Andrew got back from work and we started watching more of The Office. We’re done now, having just watched Season 6, episode 5; we’re almost completely through all of the episodes available on Netflix! Wow! It’s a great show…I can’t believe I hadn’t watched until now! Andrew and I are constantly cracking up while watching.

I had my first “argument” over whether or not “Linus and Lucy” is a Christmas song or not (IT’S NOT) today. Megan had posted a status on FB about how the song came up on her Christmas Pandora station and how it made her day, and then Hannah commented, wondering how long it would be until I corrected her…this is something I feel strongly about. Ha. Here was my response:

‎…it’s not. If I’m making a Christmas movie and decide that I’m going to write a song that has no relation to Christmas, and then I use that same song in the next two non-Christmas sequels, does that make it a Christmas song? Nope.

And my mind will not be changed…feel free to try!

Anyway, tomorrow I have no plans until the evening. My friend John, who was the director of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang back in February, invited me to see his latest production, A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley, offering free tickets for me and whoever else. I accepted the offer, so Andrew and I are going to go see that tomorrow. It’ll be great to see him (I haven’t seen him in months!), and I also know someone in the cast, so it’ll be lots of fun.

Until then, it’s time for sleep! I’m going to enjoy sleeping late tomorrow. Only four more days until I’m home for a month! Goodnight!


P.S. – The only other final grade I know right now is for my strings class – an A! I would have been concerned if I HADN’T gotten an A in that class.

P.P.S. – My friend Jonathan and his family are going through a rough time right now; it’d be great if you could all pray for him. For details, read his blog at THIS LINK.


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It’s late, so this post won’t be super long. But there are definitely a few things worth being said!

I got to sleep a bit late this morning as mentioned in last night’s post, which was nice. I had my violin final this morning, which went pretty well. I’m expecting an A in that class in any case, so no big deal. After strings class was my section leader teaching audition. They piled all of the auditionees in a room, and when it was almost our time to go teach our sections a piece of music, we were sent to another room where we were given five minutes to look over the music. The song was “Sing, Sing, Sing”, which EVERYBODY knows (The “Chips Ahoy song”), but there are still a few tricky rhythms that I needed to work out with the other horn players. My audition went really well; I wasn’t nervous, and, though I didn’t get very far in the music (I was told none of the candidates did), the section had started sounding pretty good by the time my five minutes of teaching was up. I was feeling pretty confident.

In case you hadn’t heard, Prof. Hill, the director of Goin’ Band last year and this year, was not guaranteed the job again next year; he was technically only the temporary director until they had a proper application process for other interested candidates. Last week, the other potential director came and visited and worked with Tech students hands-on as part of the application process, and Prof. Hill was the other potential permanent director. I got a little worried because lots of people seemed to like the other guy, but I definitely preferred Prof. Hill. My worries were laid to rest, though, when we were told today that Prof. Hill is now the official Associate Director of Bands at Texas Tech! I’m SO excited for him!

When all of my classes for today were finished, I returned to the room and napped for a couple of hours before waking and meeting up with Andrew and Megan for a trip to Chili’s. Our favorite Chili’s back home caught fire and burned down early this morning, which is a lot more depressing than it would be if we were just losing a restaurant. Our senior year especially, my friends and I spent many hours at Chili’s; it was our hangout spot and our default dinner option. We went after many concerts and other school functions, and one of the last moments I spent with my late friend James Betterton (who died in a car crash back in January of this year) was with him and “the guys” at this Chili’s. I have lots of great memories at that restaurant, and it’s sad that those times have come to an end for now…I’m hoping that it’s eventually rebuilt. We’ll see.

After dinner, I dropped off Andrew and Megan and parked my car at the garage, prepared to make the walk back to the room in the cold alone (you’re welcome, Andrew!). Before I got too far, Prof. Hill sent out an email to all who had auditioned for GB Leadership positions, which is when I found out the great news: I am now a visual instructor and the band 1 horn section leader for Goin’ Band 2012! I’m so happy! The other girl who I had convinced to audition is the band 2 section leader, and her and ALL of the other horns who auditioned for visual instructor got that as well! It was a great day for our section. Additionally, all of the officer candidates who I had voted for (ALL of them EXACTLY) were elected, so that was good too. Next year is going to be a great year for GB! Thank you all for your prayers!

Anyway, I’ve been working on my theory review and editing my research paper for a while (plus watching The Office, of course), and now I need a shower before bed, so I’ll talk to you all tomorrow night…this post ended up being longer than I expected it to be! Tomorrow is the last day of classes for the semester, and I also have my voice final (a short recital) tomorrow night, so wish me luck! Goodnight!


Snows and stuffs.

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Everything paled in comparison to the snow on the ground. I’ll never get used to walking to class through the snow. Ever. But it’s awesome.

Classes were boring. Nothing new. Aside from class, Andrew and I have been watching lots of the Office again…we just started season 5. Woohoo! I had a band concert at 8 that went well, so that was cool.

That’s pretty much it, though. Classes have been delayed tomorrow, so I won’t actually have anything until 11 in the morning…yay for sleeping late! Also, section leader auditions in the afternoon. Wish me luck! Prayers please!

I compiled together all of my finals: I have four on Friday and then one on Tuesday morning. How awful is that? At least I’ll be done before noon on Tuesday, so I’ll make it home before the Poteet choir concert that night! I didn’t make it last year, so it’ll be nice to be there this year.

Anyway, it’s bed time. Goodnight!


I know, I lied.

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“Changed my mind”, more like it. I thought about typing up last night’s post earlier this afternoon, but I (obviously) decided to just hold off and to briefly go over yesterday in tonight’s post. Savvy?

I woke up before 8 again yesterday to take Blake to school, made a quick stop by Sonic for a sweet tea, and then headed home. I just sat around in the recliner watching TV/movies ON TV for a while, and at one point I considered taking a nap, but I changed my mind about that too. I finished filling out most of my job applications, minus a couple of references that I needed, so that I could get those turned in soon. I don’t remember if I mentioned it before or not, but I’m applying to a few different Half Price Books locations, as well as a Barnes and Noble; I’ll probably apply to places like Target and maybe Best Buy as well, just to keep my options open.

For a while yesterday, I played Portal 2 co-op for the first time online with a fellow Tech horn player, Benito, who will be a senior next year. He was only one chair ahead of me in Symphonic Band (meaning that we sat next to each other all semester), so we became decent friends and talked quite a bit. He had told me back in April that there was an achievement that you could get if you played Portal 2’s co-op with someone who had never played it before, so I told him that he’d be the first person I’d play it with after the PSN went live again so that I could put it on my laptop and connect over the Internet. I’ve gotta say: the game designers did a great job with Portal 2’s co-op mode. Some of the levels were pretty tricky, but that’s what made it more fun; my only disappointment was that the gels introduced in the single player story mode didn’t appear in the co-op, but that’s something I can live with. Later in the day, I played the co-op mode with one of my Twitter friends, Shauna (view her Twitter account here!), who actually lives in London! I met her via Harry Potter in one way or another, and we’ve become decent friends. I love Twitter. 🙂

Last night was the night of the Pirate Band’s Senior Honor Concert, which was the last concert with the band for both Mr. Coulson and Mr. Davis. It was an emotional night, but it was definitely an enjoyable one. I believe that this was the first time I’ve ever gotten to hear Concert Band play live (aside from maybe once at UIL, but I’m not sure on that), the first time I’ve heard Symphonic Band play since I was actually in it my freshman year, and the first I’ve heard Honors Band play without me in just as long. It was a weird feeling. After the concert, there was a reception for Mr. Coulson and Mr. Davis, where tons of people who had shown up for the concert had their chances to both congratulate the two retirees and to greet friends they hadn’t seen in a while. Andy and I hung out for a good bit of this time, and I had a slice of cake, and after talking with people for a long while, I went up to IHOP with Andy, Kate, Regan, Courtney, Andrew, Johnny, and Blake, with mine and Andrew’s parents sitting at a separate table. We had a good job all hanging out and eating together.

Now on to today: Once again, I woke up before 8 to take Blake to school, but today I went back to bed after getting home. I woke up a little later to turn on the dryer for the jeans my mom had put on and then slept for another couple of hours; I was awake just before noon, and it felt great. I finished contacting references for my job applications and started playing Portal 2 with Shauna again, which was lots of fun. I picked Blake up from school and deposited a check into my account before heading home again. Mom came home soon after, and Dad a while later with food. We ate dinner while watching Dancing with the Stars and later the 3 most recent episodes of Criminal Minds. It was great.

And now, I’m finishing up this and about to go to bed. If I wasn’t so easily distracted by other things on the Internet, I’d totally have read another chapter of Michael Caine’s autobiography, but it’s now almost 2am, which is about the time I went to sleep last night, so I’m off to bed now. Goodnight, everyone.


P.S. – My choir grade was FINALLY posted, so here are my grade totals for this semester/freshman year:
Spring Semester:
– 6 A’s, 3 B’s
– 3.533 GPA
Freshman Year:
– 3.718 GPA
I’m happy with this, but I’m definitely hoping to improve next semester!

Finally home!

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And it feels oh so good.

On the way out of Lubbock this morning with Dad and Poppa, we stopped by a company that makes Poppa’s favorite peanut brittle and let him buy some (he made sure I knew where it was so that I could bring home some for him in the future…yay! Haha.

The drive home was fine. Poppa rode in my car with me and Dad followed behind, and we only stopped once in Abilene at my usual Subway for lunch. We got home a little bit after five or so, at around the same time Mom got home after running an errand. We unloaded the cars and brought all of my college stuff inside, and then we hung around the house until Granna showed up a while later. Blake was at rehearsal for Variety since they have a concert tomorrow, but we decided to go ahead and go to Spring Creek Barbecue for dinner. Pretty good stuff.

We came back to the house after eating, and we put on Dancing with the Stars. Unfortunately, I haven’t kept up with it this season due to lack of interest in the celebrities participating plus a lack of time. It was nice to be sitting on the couch once again, watching DWTS with my family like we used to do. Nice and refreshing. Granna and Poppa left after the show was over, and then we each retired to our own rooms, with me going to mine to get things organized just a bit…not that it’s not a mess anymore or anything. That’ll (hopefully) come with time.

Blake was done with Variety around 10ish, so Dad picked him up and he started on homework when he got back, and now he’s in bed and everything has simmered down (not literally because our house is a sauna at the moment). I’m probably about to at least lie down with a movie or something while I fill out a job application to Half-Price Books (I’m gonna apply to three different ones, for good measure). Tomorrow, I also plan on driving out to Terrell to plug in the trailer’s refrigerator before the camping trip on Wednesday, and then the choir concert is tomorrow night. Can’t wait!

Anyway, that’s pretty much all for now. Goodnight, everyone!


P.S. – This just didn’t feel right without a postscript…

P.P.S. – OH, I can share my grades with you all! I think the final count for my final grades this semester will be 7 As and 3 Bs, but we’ll see once they’re all actually posted; all that’s posted right now is that I have 4 As and 2 Bs…I’ll let you all know when I know for sure!

Laaaaaaast day.

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No long post tonight. Final early in the morning.

The room is completely bare now. It’s great to leave this place (and our hallmates) behind, but a little melancholy as well, since Andrew and I are wrapping up our first year of living together…and what a year it’s been! I can’t wait for the future.

Andrew and I finished watching through all six seasons of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air tonight. The show ends with the house bare – much like our room is now – and with all the family saying goodbye to each other. It’s a really emotional episode, and very relevant to Andrew and I right now…minus the fact that we’ll be living together again next year. Best roommate ever.

Anyway, the next time I post here, I’ll be home. I’ll kinda/sorta miss you, Lubbock. Texas Tech, thanks for a great year. Can’t wait for the next one!


P.S. – MercyMe song of the day: “This So-Called Love”. Generous Mr. Lovewell. The last song of the CD…wow, it’s the ending of a lot of things today.

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