Recap Time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I slept until 11:30 today.

I have had an incredibly tiring week.

Tiring, but fun.


We were to leave for Milwaukee at one o’ clock on Tuesday. Sunday afternoon, I was cram-learning biology vocab when someone called me. Specifically, Calvin and guess what he wanted? A debate partner. As in, he asked me to be his debate partner. My first response was, “No!!!” Why on earth would I say, “Yes” to debating with him in 3 days? I had never debated before and frankly, I stink at making up speeches on the spot. However, after he told me the whole story, I knew that I had to say yes. I was being given the opportunity to help a friend and to learn how to debate. I was worried what people would say when I failed, but everyone was so glad that I had even agreed to do it.

On Monday, Calvin came over and I read the case and we discussed cross-ex and what exactly I would be doing. It seemed do-able. And once again, he told me that he wasn’t expecting us to win. He was just so glad that I was even doing this.

Technically, I had no reason to be nervous. No one was expecting ANYTHING of me. As long as I read the case and gave my 1-2 speeches they were happy. Even if I stunk. So, I didn’t freak out. Yet.

Tuesday, Calvin drove down with us and we worked some more on cross-ex. I had issues with cross-ex. The basic gist of cross-ex is that you come up with questions, regarding your opponent’s last speech (or case). These questions are meant to reveal a flaw or just for informative purposes. I could not come up with any. See, the problem is, I am an optimist. I tend to see the best in everything. You wanna abolish Mandatory Minimums, sounds great. Oh, you wanna keep them? Okay, let’s keep ’em. It’s not that I don’t have OPINIONS, it’s just that I don’t have opinions about these things. Mandatory Minimums, Civil Asset Forfeiture, Exclusionary Rule. First, I need an explanation of what it is, then I’m supposed to find out why we need to get rid of or keep it? Seriously? Anyway, for two hours, Calvin tried and tried. My cross-ex questioning usually lasted for about 30 seconds and consisted of questions such as: “What is you first mandate (not that you didn’t just read it 30 seconds ago)?”, or “Could you please tell me the date of such-and-such piece of evidence?” It was lame and slightly embarrassing. I disliked it. But what was I to do? I had no choice; whether or not I wanted to cross-examine I would have to and that was that.

Tuesday night, we went to script submission where we turned in our scripts and then went out for dinner with the rest of our speech club. The restaurant we went to was really awesome and it was so nice to just talk with my friends and not freak out about anything. After that, we went to the hotel and then Elizabeth (a friend and one of the girls in our club) and Abby practiced their speeches until 10:30. I was tired and ready to sleep.

But when the lights were finally out, sleep wouldn’t come. I could NOT stop stressing out about debate. I cried and cried and finally fell to sleep.

Wednesday morning, dark and early, we were up and ready to go over to the Tommy Thompson Center by 7. After announcements at 7:30, we had our first debate round. Praise the Lord, we were affirmative. I read the case and then I also had to give one of my own speeches. The team we went up against was REALLY good, but they were impressed that this was my first debate round and said I did great for my first time ever. As you can imagine, this was very encouraging.

The way a tournament works, is that the first day the schedule is like this:

Debate Round 1, Speech Round (pattern a) 1, Debate Round 2, Speech Round (pattern b) 1, Debate Round 3, Speech Round (pattern a) 2, Debate Round 4.

Each round is 2 hours long, so by the time you get to the second debate round it’s already past 11 and your day isn’t even halfway over. It’s stressful and by far, the worst day of the tournament.

I did fairly well in my first debate round and my first speech round, in which I gave my persuasive, went fabulously. My second debate round (first negative round) went not quite so well but I didn’t worry too much. The first pattern B speech round, in which I gave my Open Interp, went great as well. The third Debate Round was incredibly fun and easy because we were up against a not-so-good team. But after that, I was ready to be done. My last speech round of the day went fine but by then it was 5:30 and I had gotten 6 hours of sleep the night before. Needless to say, my last debate round was horrific. I didn’t understand what the case was, i couldn’t come up with any cross-ex questions, Calvin was tired, I was tired, the judge was bored. Bla bla bla. It was horrible.

When we finally got to the hotel, I dropped into bed.

The next morning was bad. I was so tired I thought I was going to puke. After my horrific round the night before, I was fine with never again setting foot into a debate round, but I didn’t have that choice. To make things worse, we were negative. But, it was the best round of the whole tournament. I definitely enjoyed it the most. The whole debate thing just clicked–finally. We were evenly matched against a team and it was just so so fun. Speech rounds went well and our last debate round was magnificent. I used up all my cross-ex time as well as, all my speech time. After that round (which we won), Calvin told me that he had had two goals for me:

1) To use up all my time

2) To be more assertive

and that I had reached both of them. I was so grateful that those two rounds had been so great.

Throughout the tournament, I realized that cross-ex was in fact my favorite part of debate. It started out my least favorite. But there’s just something about it. It’s so satisfying to have a really revealing question. It’s so exciting to use up all your time. It’s so fun to answer their questions and win the argument. It’s fun to be respectfully rude. I just ♥ it.

We didn’t break in debate. Calvin was disappointed and I was relieved. Had someone asked me if I thought there was even a possibility of breaking, on Sunday I would have said no. But as we debated, and grew better and better. I realized there was actually a chance of our winning. Likewise, Calvin didn’t think we would win any of our debates; if we were lucky, we might win one. He never even entertained the idea of us breaking, until we got good. There were two round that we knew we had won for sure. There were two rounds that we knew we had lost for sure, and there were two that could have gone either way. You have to go 4-2 to win and there was a possibility of that happening. So, my point is although it was unlikely, it could’ve happened. And that would mean I had to debate at Regionals. No thank you. Don’t get me wrong! I love to debate. It’s so exhilarating. But, debating at Regionals, this year at least, doesn’t sound like fun to me.

The following morning, I broke in my Persuasive. Yes! I had wanted to and I knew there was a possibility, but I didn’t know if it would actually happen. When they said my name in morning announcements, I was so shocked all I could do was stand there with my hands on my face and go, “omigosh!!!!!!!!!!omigosh!!!!!!!!omigosh!!!!!!!” Yes, it was a VERY intellectual moment! 😛

I broke to semifinals so I gave my speech another time. But I didn’t break to finals, so after that, I just hung out with my two friends, Bekah and Maddie. We were so tired. By late afternoon, we were ready to curl up on a couch and sleep. I actually would’ve done that but there wasn’t really any quiet place to go. In the end, we sat in a little room and listened to music on my iPod. I drew on the sole of my high heel which had broken off. We were quite a sight. Two of my other friends who had broken to finals, wanted us to watch their speeches. Truthfully, the LAST thing I wanted to do was watch two more speeches but I am so glad I did. They were both biographical narratives and they were so inspiring!!! Mr. Law bought Bekah, Maddie, and I coffee (my second frappucino of the day) and it worked. After our coffee, we had so much energy, we ran up and down 4 flights of stairs–twice! 🙂

At awards, I got recognized for breaking and that was really exciting for me!!

So, what’s next for me? Now, I’m writing a biographical narrative. I love my running persuasive, but I want to write a moving speech. I feel strongly about running and I do think other people should as well, but I want to write a speech that will make people cry, I want to write a speech so moving that it will influence my listeners, even after they have seen 20 more biographical narratives. There’s a big difference between a light and fun running persuasive and a moving and inspiring speech on Joni Erickson Tada. You know? So, I’m going to write a biographical narrative about Katie Davis and I hope that it will be moving. I got a book from Mrs. Jones written by Katie Davis. She lives in Uganda and has 14 adopted children. Her life is so inspiring and when I read that book I cried. I wish that I could just read the book to my judges because it is such an amazing story and so well-written.

So, I’m writing a biographical narrative about Katie Davis and I am fixing my running persuasive and I am (hopefully) dropping my open interp. And I am going to regionals!!! And I am doing debate next year. LD probably, possible TP with Abby, it depends. Right now, I’m leaning towards LD cause it’s shorter…but we’ll see.

One of the many reasons I am glad I did debate at this tournament is because I got to meet so many people that I otherwise wouldn’t have. Calvin is in a different club than I am, so I met a bunch of people from his club. Also, it was fun to be able to talk about debate with them. Like, “Yes, I am so cool cause I debate and I know what you’re talking about!!!” 😀

Another exciting fact about the tournament?

Abby didn’t break in any of her speeches or in debate. She was very sad about this and so was I because, personally, I think all her speeches are good enough to break. She was mostly upset that she didn’t break in debate cause she LOVES to debate. I also think it was hard that I broke and she didn’t.

Except that she did!!!

After the awards, when we got our ballots from ALL the rounds, she discovered that they had won 4 of their rounds and lost 2, thus qualifying them for regionals. After a little research by the debate coordinators, early this morning, Abby recieved an email that she and her partner had broken (they’d made a mistake) and get to go to regionals!!! 😀

Today? I slept till 11:30, did school, took a shower, ran 4 miles, did school, ate dinner, and worked on my biographical narrative…kinda!! 🙂

It was the perfect relaxing day after a strenuous week.



First for my governmental input of the day…month…year?

SOPA and PIPA… what do you guys think about that? (well, firstly, is it the same thing? or is it two different bills?) I am not exactly Miss Government so I’m not really sure. But… it’s kind of amazing how everyone is uniting together to protest against it. I’ve seen things on Google, WordPress, Yahoo… all you have do is click on the black box or the “censored” sign or whatever it is and then you type in your name and your email and it sends a prewritten, “Please vote ‘no'” type thing.

Here’s Google:

After I signed that I asked my dad if we are for or against it. Thankfully, he said that we are against it. 🙂



I almost have my first two paragraphs of my running persuasive memorized! I am so so excited about the tournament and with a little less than two weeks before it happens I have to get to work on memorizing and perfecting my speech cause I wanna break!! I wanna break SO SO bad!

Breaking is when you don’t place at that tournament but you qualify for Regionals!! And right now I have pretty good chance of breaking, as long as I get my speech memorized!

I am really starting to LOVE speech!

My last point for the evening is…oh, I totally forgot what it was. AGH! I hate when that happens.

Anyways, I am GOING to the MALL!!! Tomorrow!! I am excited and apparently it’s my bedtime now so…good night! 🙂



I Realize…

1. …that I have not written in a while.

Here’s why: because I have a life outside of blogging!! I am a freshman in high school and so I am super stressed out. I think it’s cause I have so much work to do but Abby insists that I don’t. So, if that’s the case, then I’m just going to say that I am still adjusting to a high-schooler’s work load.

Also, ( I almost wrote tambien because for me, spanish words are like more creative english words..), I had a history final this week (easy peasy…lol) and I was still catching up a little on work from when I was sick!!

So those are my excuses.

2. …that now that I am 15, I need to start acting more mature.

Blah. I do need to act more mature cause if I don’t then I will always be immature and (slightly) obnoxious. Last night (it was like 11 so that give me a little bit of an excuse), I was emailing my friend and explaining to her how in the last couple months I have become more mature. I then continued to explain how I wanted to smash ice cream on someone’s head.

This is not mature and the fact that I think it’s funny is also not mature..and the fact that I am sharing that with you is also probably not mature. So I am going to be more mature and that starts with cleaning my room, doing school first (i.e. not procrastinating), not fighting about dumb stuff, and not acting obnoxious/stupid.

These are like my year resolutions so don’t expect quick changes… 🙂

3. …that this blog is becoming less and less of a running blog and more and more of a life blog.

This is as sad for me as it is for you. I love running and now that I have an iPod, I have even more incentive to get out in the freezing cold and run. Today, it was sleeting and I was DYING to get out there. Sadly, I am not yet 100%. Happily, I had a dance party with my brothers and didn’t cough at all (our dance parties are very strenuous), so I am on the mend.

Hopefully, before February is over, I will be back to Running on Full, Claire the medium-core runner! 🙂 (and high-energy optimist) [with a little bit of randomness thrown in]. Yeah I have my sub-title memorized…what’s it to you? (That was very immature and the fact that I didn’t delete it [cause I think it’s funny] is also immature, I’m still working on it!)

4. …that I have been grumpy and cranky lately.

I think (and hope) that that loveliness is over though. Since I am not stuck up in the house anymore and I am caught up on school and on the road to recovery. And I am getting decent amounts of sleep…which always results in a Happy Claire. So I guess you could say that I am kinda like a big baby who is grumpy when things are going poorly or when she is tired…or hungry…

Okay I should work on that. (VERY IMMATURE)

5. …that I suddenly have this strange obsession with being mature.

Okay. I am sorry. Cause not only is that not mature (har-har) but it’s also probably kind of boring for YOU!!! But I realize that I am slightly annoying and obnoxious and if I wanna be a flourishing (dumb word; it makes me sound like a flower), and graceful, and fun, and lovely (lol)…then I need to be more mature. And possibly quieter. Hm. But I kind of like being loud. I will be quieter (emphasis on the -er part).

Thank you and make sure to tune in next time for I Realize…!


A dissection

I realize that as of late I have been less than optimistic about my life. But I have not been high-energy. Soo, that ruins the high-energy optimist part. And because of my pneumonia, I cannot be a low, medium, or high-core runner cause I can’t run. So that knocks out the medium-core runner part. And although I am a very random person in all aspects of my life. Lately I have only been complaining about how bad my life is right now. So, that kills the “little randomness thrown in”. So now we have dissected my sub-title and realized that as of current events, I have not been fulfilling any part of my blog description.

I am sorry.

I truly am.

I am being a grumpy-butt and I really need to just pull myself out of that funk. Why is everyone so happy these days?  Why am I so grumpy?

I am sick and tired of being inside all the time! I am so fed up with doing school, school, school. I do the work but I miss out on the “out” it provides. And being the girl who is gone more than she is home…it takes a little getting-used-to. And once I get used to it, I’m bored of it.

BUT! I am NOT complaining anymore. I am going to be happy, not mad. Chirpy, not snarky. Optimistic, not pessimistic. Grateful, not complaining.

Yay. 🙂 Happy-face. Smile, Claire.

Say something nice to your brother instead of yelling at him (no matter how satisfying that is or how much they deserve it).

Look outside at the pretty snow. Go for a walk. Get outside and smell the fresh-snow smell.

You’re wearing makeup so act the way you’d act if you were out, instead of in.

Write a blog post, since that makes you so happy. It’s very nice to know that I am writing what I think and that other people are typing in and reading my thoughts!!!

Post a picture, cause you never do.

Pray, cause that’s always good to do.

Stop thinking sarcastic things. Bad bad girl. No thinking mean things because they often pop out.

Stop listing stuff because this is only interesting to yourself.



First day back on the job for me.

I was in a foul mood. Correction: foul foul foul. Another correction: I am…

You know, the problem with bad moods is that no matter how long they last you never really feel better. You just keep wanting to be in a bad mood. You go around and growl at someone and then it feels so good that you go snarl at two more people.

Is that just me? I doubt it.

Anyways, coming back from a week-long sickness to finals, speech-memorizing, geometry…it’s not fun. It’s stressful and grumpy. And today, I lay on the couch and told my mom that frankly, I’m sick of it all. I think we all are. It’s hard to come back from a long two-week break when you have no obligations. But to come back from that to my life, and to be behind on school, and to have a big test, and to have a speech tournament in a month, it’s stress.

You know most kids get a whole week for finals. They take a final and then they go home. Me? I’m home-schooled. Things are different for me. I squeeze my finals into my normal life. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

Have you ever read Surviving the Applewhites? If you haven’t I suggest you do because it is one of the best books I have ever read. Anyway, it’s about this eccentric, artistic family who home-school and they all do their own thing. One of the girls loves to dance so she spends hours in their home dance studio, perfecting the play Ophelia. That’s her school! Another boy shuts himself into his room and creates masterpieces. One of the girls who craves a schedule, makes a whole school curriculum for herself. These kids live far away from the rest of the world. They’re not stressed out. All their school is in one place.

Sometimes I wish my life could be like that. Just in one place. But I know if it was I would die of boredom. So then I wish that my life could be all over the place, just “the place” would be closer. For example, instead of driving an hour to Speech, we would drive 15 minutes. Instead of driving 30 minutes to Math Team and 30 minutes to band and then 50 minutes home, we would drive 10 minutes to Math Team, then 5 minutes to band and then 12 minutes home. Are you getting my idea? Like I would have a world, it would just be smaller.

But then I’d probably complain that everything was within 20 minutes of my house and I never got out to see the world. I wouldn’t know that The Chapel existed or that at The Arboretum in Barrington they have a Panera (with a private party room), a Charming Charlie, a creperie, and a (over-priced) chocolate/gelato place that gives out free samples of those handmade chocolates (also overpriced). I wouldn’t know my wonderful friends the Laws or the Dimoulis’.

If my world was infinitely smaller, I wouldn’t have memorized the route from one church (math) to another church (music). I wouldn’t know the Borows or the Ledfords or the girl- who-sits-next-to-me-whose-last-name-I-don’t-know.

And I believe that even if my world was smaller, my life would be just as hectic. As is proven through my Mondays and Wednesdays. If I took out all my activities on those days, I wouldn’t see my friends the Burkes, or my favorite kids Myla, Micah, and Adam and their mom (who rocks).

So maybe I should just shut my mouth and live with the craziness for a time.

Are you in that CRAZY tired-of-winter-ready-for-spring time too???

Let’s talk about…



Since I’ve been sick, I’ve taken Benadryl. For my cough I think. And technically it’s called Wal-dryl because it’s from Walgreen’s…but it works just the same! Wow. Imagine that.

Anyways, Benadryl is powerful to me in one way. It knocks me out.

Woo-eee! That stuff is POWERFUL!!! In 1/2 an hour, I feel my eyelids drooping, and then *bam* it’s morning! Very amazing.

See, before I was having problems staying asleep because I kept waking up and having these coughing jags. Then I would have to get up, get some water, and then by the time I laid back down I would be wide awake. But noooow!!!!!

I just sleep through the night.

How nice. Except that every morning I jerk awake and then….I cough….again.

This has been an episode of Let’s talk about… Please join us next time for more of Claire’s opinion! 🙂


You know. It REALLY bugs me that I have pneumonia.

Why? Why why why?

For those of you who don’t know, pneumonia is liquid in the lungs. This results in high fevers, quick fatigue, and lots and lots of hacking, er I mean, coughing.

You can’t run. You can’t sing. You can’t walk quickly. Everything I do has to be done slowly. After I walk up the stairs, I have to catch my breath. After I put my clothes away, I have to take a rest. And I tried dancing…that was a bad idea.

Well, firstly it’s kinda dorky to dance in your room by yourself. Especially when you don’t know HOW to dance. But when you are recovering from pneumonia, after awhile you get REALLY out of breath and start coughing. Alot. Like to the point where I am gagging and Dad is yelling to me from downstairs, “Are you okay?? Are you sure??”

And I’m like, “Yeah *cough cough cough* I’m fi…*cough cough cough choke gag* …ne. *pant pant pant*

Yes. It’s a wonder I’m still alive. But then that’s always a wonder cause I’m not a careful person. And I’m constantly tripping and falling and hurting myself. Yesterday I found these scabs on either ankle and I have NO idea how they got there. Maybe from runnign shoes?? OH, they are from my new shoes (I just thought of that). I got these awesome hiking-boot-high-heel shoes for Christmas but they kinda rub around the ankles. But they’re still awesome and I still wear them! 🙂

Moving off of me. Guess who followed in my footsteps and got braces!!!! John! Oh, he looks SO good in them! 🙂 Probably better than I ever looked. He looks so cute and he does like having them kind of but right now they really hurt and he’s not really used to them yet. Still, he will be so glad he had them when he starts seeing results (today he claimed his teeth were already straighter).

He looks so cute, doesn't he? And yes, he's 13 (which is a year younger than me)

Aw. That little mouth all full of black brackets. When I got my braces I had pink and yellow and blue brackets. But that just shows one of the many ways we are different.

Well, I was going to talk about how much weight I have lost since being sick but since thats kinda creepy and TMI-ish for all of you instead I am going to tell you something way more interesting!

My birthday is on January 13 which by the way is this Friday! And I am turning. No, you have to guess. Which you all will be able to because you all know me but that’s ok. 🙂 i always feel awkward telling people it’s my birthday. Like a couple years ago, my birthday was on a Wednesday which meant it was youth group night. But I didn’t tell anyone it was my birthday cause I was too lame shy too. I just feel like when you say, “Today’s my birthday” firstly, it’s totally off-topic and secondly, it’s like practically commanding, “Now everyone say ‘Happy Birthday’ to me or you will be considered rude.” You know? No? You don’t? Okay, so I have an uncommon fear of telling people it’s my birthday but obviously I am getting over it! 🙂

Wasn’t that way more fun than hearing about my weight loss?

While I was sick, what did you do this week?

Sugar Rush!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In the past two days, I have had two fully caffeinated Starbucks. That is more than I usually have in 2 months. Today I was telling my friend that I could now control my caffeine rush. This is because the last time I had caffeine with her I had a bit of a…breakdown in the candy shop (our next stop). Let’s just say, I couldn’t stop laughing. And we’ll leave it at that. Anyways, I got a skinny peppermint latte today and realized that maybe I couldn’t fully control my caffeine rushes as well as I thought (this I determined by my sudden increase in giggling after my first few sips of the coffee). So I’m on coffee and a little crazy.

Let’s move on to my little brother. We get lots of candy for Christmas. Lots. And. Lots. And. Lots. Of. Candy. And because we are all relaxed and kind of disoriented from rich holiday food and our current setup of things flooding our living room that candy stays in the living room, fully accesible to all. Which means my little brothers eat lots of candy. I got a lot of candy. But I either ate most of it on Christmas Eve or didn’t get as much as my little brothers because they have some sort of candy sticking out of their mouth every time I see them. Today I was talking to Peter and I was like,

How come you are so mischievous lately??

He didn’t of course answer me cause he was too busy being mischievous (;) ) and it’s kind of hard to talk around a mouthful of candy.

Candy! Of course! No wonder he’s been so mischievous. My little brother is on a sugar rush. A perpetual one. It’s almost funny. I don’t really get on sugar highs and that’s why it took me so long to realize he was on one.

Eventually the candy will run out, our house will be restored to its former state, and he will stop being quite as mischievous, but for now, I guess we will have a Puckish Pete (which by the way puckish means mischievous or impish).

I think we are all going to go into withdrawal when school starts again. 🙂


Yeah…still living in the aftermath

Hey All-

Sorry that I haven’t posted in such a long time! I have been super busy over the weekend with lots of fun Christmas Break activities! And then I was sick yesterday… I also now have limited internet access which is rather annoying cause I can’t jot out a post whenever inspiration strikes me.

I now have limited access to my computer and I have mixed feelings about it.

Oh. Really? What makes you think that? I’m sorry you feel that way.

1. OH.

2. Really?


3. What makes you think that?

Well, for one every time I try to open up the internet it refuses to. Secondly, the internet has already shut off once since I started writing this post. Third, I haven’t written a post for 5+ days and this is NOT because I haven’t had inspiration (i.e. I haven’t been able to get on the internet). And…yeah. Moving on.

4. I’m sorry you feel that way.

Your face is sorry I feel that way.



The aftermath of a blog post


Let’s just say… I have been a little more obnoxious than usual probably due to the fact that I have been playing SWAT with my little brothers. It’s a very fun game that includes darkness, running around, scaring each other (and shrieking), and guns.

What could be funner? And no, funner is not a word. Yes, I do know that and yes, I still use it.

Anyways, this sort of activity doesn’t really encourage me to act…maturely. So, we have all been crazier than usual.

Tonight at dinner, everything one person said would immediately be followed by a “your face…” and then, “Oh.” “Really?” “Why do you think that?” and “I’m sorry you feel that way!”

It was really amusing and probably doubly annoying.

Abby: I am getting you so many presents for Christmas

Yours Truly: Your face is getting me so many presents for Christmas! Er… I mean Oh! Really? Why do you think that? I’m sorry you feel that way.


Me: Well, it’s all up to Abby.

Abby: Your face is all up to me. I mean, Oh! Really? Why do you think that? I’m sorry you feel that way!


You know, that kind of edifying conversation. We laughed a lot. No, we aren’t always that rude… 😉

That's James behind all the guns on the far left! 😉

FINALLY! Some pictures! 🙂