Monday, March 29, 2010


March 29, 2006 is a day I'll never forget. Two young lives were lost entirely too soon in a bus crash. It was the worst thing our senior class had ever had to deal with, losing a classmate like that. It seems like it all happened just yesterday. I can close my eyes and picture how eerie school was the next day and how sad graduation was two months later. I think about the fact that I saw most of those girls walking to the bus that would wound many and take the lives of two.

I've tried to put into words how much it changed our entire graduating class, an entire school, but I can't. A tragedy like that isn't something easily explained, even four years later.

The following is an email I sent out the next day at school:

I can't even begin to describe school today. In my first period class, our teacher tried to tell us what happened to clear all the rumors, and she started bawling. One of the girls was in our class and although she has pretty bad injuries to her hips, she's having surgery this morning, she was the one who kicked out the emergency window and pulled out 8 to 10 girls. We all sat there in silence for about 35 minutes and then slowly started to talk, and cry, about things. As I sit here typing this, you can hear the clicking of keys sending out emails and searching for information, an Among Thorns CD and news casts from the computers and televisions we have in the room.

The halls are eerily quiet. You can hear some hushed conversations, but mainly all you hear is crying and the shuffling of feet. It's so sad that something like this had to happen, but it's slowly bringing us together as a school and that is an awesome thing!

What's even more amazing is the presence of God. Everybody is talking about Him, even the teachers. Text messages were going out like crazy! A girl put one on the chalk board in my 1st period class, and our teacher passed it on to the other teachers. It's really amazing how something that is not allowed to be talked about normally is so strongly present.

2 coaches came to talk to us and they said that most of the injuries were upper body injuries and a lot of people had road rash and really bad ant bites all over from laying in the grass. As of 12 midnight, there was only on girl who's arm they reattached and couldn't be saved. Only 6 girls are still at St. E and one is probably going home today or tomorrow.

All you can do in a time like this is pray, so I ask that you continue to pray for the girls families, their friends, and all of us here at West Brook. Pray that we can come together and get through this as a community and that God can start to heal some of the horrific pain we're all facing.

Four years ago today, a bus crashed.
Four years ago today, we lost a classmate two months before graduation.
Four years ago today, a school was shaken to it's core.
Four years ago today, a community was brought together.
Four years ago today, the image of that overturned bus was burned into my brain.
Four years ago today, changed the lives of friends and family forever.
Four years ago today, is a day I will never forget.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oh, it is love.

There's nothing special about it, but I'm in love nonetheless.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Basically, I feel all important.

Voting is a big thing to me. It may be the way I was raised, but so many people died to give us that right it just seems fair that we do it. It takes just a few minutes, depending on the lines, and can change things forever.

Where I do believe that everyone has the right to vote, and should, I also believe that you should be well informed on who you vote for. The only thing worse than a non-voter is an ignorant one. I don't think you should just go out there and pick any name simply because you've been told to vote. Take some time, do some research, and vote for the candidate that best represents your views and where you stand.

It's not only your future, but your future children's future that is being decided. Do something about it.

I was able to register to vote when I was 17 years and 10 months and did so. The day I turned 18, my card was officially valid and I was proud! One of the first things I did was help get signatures to get a Texas gubernatorial candidate on the ballot. I was a senior in high school and had people mock me for doing it, but I didn't care. I was doing what I could to help and it made me feel good.

I've voted in every election since then and even if my candidates haven't always won, I've voted, which is a lot more than most people can say.

This year, I'm taking it on step farther. I work with a lady at church who is married to the Republican Party Chairman for our county. I'd mentioned how my Political Science teacher told us we could volunteer and work the polls for the primary elections and I was thinking about doing it. Her eyes got big as she told me her husband was still looking for people to help and would I please e-mail him if I was wanting to do it.

A few e-mails, two phone calls later and one very long training video later, I was officially an election judge. I'm nervous as all get out and am still not quite sure I know exactly what I'm doing, but I have a book that the County Clerk assures me has everything I need in it to guide me through it all.

It's going to be a long day, I have to be there at 5:30 AM and was told I should be done with everything by 9:00, but I'm excited. Yes it's my first time and I don't quite know how everything is going to pan out, but I have faith that it'll all work out. I'm excited to be experiencing this. I'm putting myself in a challenging situation, interacting with strangers and that's a HUGE thing for me.

I'm getting out there and helping my community. I'm there so people can vote. I'm there so people can have the chance to possibly change things. Maybe I'm young and maybe I don't have much experience in politics, but that's just it. I'm young. I'm America's future whether I like it or not and I'm doing my part to make sure I've done what I can to make it a good one.

As for now, I'm going to go pile up in the middle of the living room and sort through everything. I've had two people call me to verify that they were going to be there in the morning, one of which is one of my best friends.

I have a nifty bag that makes me feel important. That in and of itself guarantees tomorrow will be a good day! :)