February 24, 2006

First Shot

http://www.upload2.com/?cmd=_viewer&file=28f10e3a3b870e6fc1ef8c0fdf6ab9bc.mp3&s=file-upload

The first product of the music mixing software I got for my birthday. I was pretty much just playing with a bunch of different effects, but it's still pretty fun.

Note: To see/download the song you have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page.

February 7, 2006

National Honors Society

My essay. Most useless thing ever written.

Many attributes can be used to judge the achievement of a person. However, many of these traits fall into four categories: Education; Leadership; Personal Values; and Service. Through much work and effort throughout my life, I have worked to develop these characteristics, making me an excellent candidate for the National Honors Society of Mount Si High School.

The most prominent part of the life of any teenager living in the United States is their academic duty, and their responsibility to grow in a range of subjects, including math, science and the arts. I endeavor to work my hardest to actually learn the information and to apply it in my life. My favorite topics of study are history and the social sciences. It is important to understand not only past events and simple dates, but how they changed the world to become what it is now, and how those changes impacted the personal views of people. Along with school, I also participate in a daily seminary program before school with other sophomores attending Mount Si. This in itself has made my high school experience different from many other students attending the school. Personal study in my own topics of interest also allows me to increase and take control over a portion of my learning. By taking both in school and out of school education seriously, I have been able to learn a tremendous amount, especially given the short time I have spent in high school thus far.

As many American students will grow up to be leaders in their communities, work places, and families, practice in developing leadership skills is key to their success and happiness in their life to come. I have noticed, that as I get older, my opportunities for leadership have greatly increased providing me with much of the practice I will need for my future. The single greatest leadership experience I have acquired comes from years of babysitting. Babysitting children of a variety of ages teaches both patience and problem solving. I have also led younger children in a production of The Wizard of Oz. Another area in which I have been able to practice leadership is among the youth of my church. I was secretary in my freshman seminary class, as well as secretary and first counselor in my church organization for girls ages twelve and thirteen. More recently, I served as secretary in the group for girls ages fourteen and fifteen. This teaches me how to work with my peers and adult leaders. These leadership positions have taught me to have patience and help many ages and varieties of people.

Good character traits are something that I strive to build in myself and value in others. I know that I find it easier to trust a friend that is honest and willing to provide solutions; therefore I work to treat my friends and others in the same way. I am constantly working to improve my personal habits in every area, to become the best that I can be in every area of my life. A person without a firm commitment to progress their own well being cannot hope to become better in the future. Personal development and honesty to yourself in your achievements can lead to many bigger and better opportunities.

The number one thing that any decent person can give to their society is their time. Little else is as valuable as the few minutes, or the occasional weekend on the calendar. Especially now, when it seems as though every student has an obligation to their family, school work, sport, or social circle, to give one’s time to those who may need even just that extra little boost is the mark of someone that truly respects the society that has harbored them throughout their life. In my life I have participated in many service projects, such as delivering meals to individuals in town who are too busy, or injured to make dinners for their families at the time, sorting clothing for Deseret Industries, and packing hygiene kits for children and adults in the Middle East. My favorite service project was Operation Christmas Child, a yearly program run by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian organization that provides aid to those who need it around the world. This is my favorite project because it felt the most personal. It was exciting and character building to shop for things that a two or three year old girl would enjoy.

From helping little girls learn to play their parts in Munchkin Land to bettering the lives of those that I don’t even know, I have worked hard to make myself a better person than who I was just a month or a year before. I have worked to improve my relationships with others, my community and myself, all of which makes me an excellent candidate for the National Honors Society.

WASL Boot Camp

A REALLY crummy essay I wrote for language arts...

Dear School Board,

Requiring graduating students to have four years of foreign language, is requiring them the use their time in high school ineffectually. Not only is a new language harder to learn as age increases, but language skills obtained in high school also remain unused and steal time away from other subjects, such as math, history and science.

Studies have shown that learning a foreign language during childhood is far more effective than learning it at an older age. Though it is possible to learn a new tongue, it is far harder without complete immersion, a costly and tough project to install. It is more efficient to teach languages to younger students who will have less difficulty learning how to make new sounds. These children would also be far more eager to increase their skills in the area than teenagers, making them more likely to succeed in their learning.

Though there are students who will choose to travel and study abroad once out of high school, many will not leave the States, until after they have already forgotten the language that they learned. Still plenty of people after that will never leave the United States at all. It is a waste of their time to require them to learn something so easily forgotten that they may never use, or to learn a language for a country they may never visit. Subjects that apply to their work and lives are always a better use of their time, and should be able to be pursued freely in high school.

Finally, requiring four year of a foreign language uses the time and credits that could be used in other subjects, such as science, math, history or English. Though some jobs would require some knowledge foreign language, these skills can be obtained in college when the specific language requirements are known. This ensures that time is well spent and greater study of other topics is an option. Students should not be forced to choose from one of four languages that they may never use, when they are going into fields that do not require such knowledge.

Though some students may choose to take foreign languages for four years, the concept of forcing all high school students to take four years of it is entirely unwise. This only wastes their time and the time of the teacher who would have to teach and unenthused bunch something as hard as language. This path should not be pursed, but left up to the student to choose.

Sincerely,
A Concerned Student