The Phantom’s Lair

Eine rote Rose

Dark, damp, dreadful

Jet black walls closing in on you

 An unpleasant, heavy aroma settles like the dust perching on all objects

The feeling of uneasiness comes upon you as you take in your surroundings

Something isn’t right

You wander further into the hall and take a look around

A thick scent greets you as you enter what looks to be a bedroom

A cot, dresser, and small closet occupy the vast amount of space in the room

A big window overlooks a dark, eerie lake

You creep out of the room, into the hallway

Goosebumps rise on your skin as your gaze catches a pearly white mask

You turn, and search the room more closely

A grand piano sits alone, with a single blood red rose lying upon it

You jump at the sound of maniacal laughter

Turning around slowly, you see a figure looming in the darkness

The figure advances into the light, and you see him

All the stories were true

His body fully encased in the bright light streaming in through the windows,you confirm you previous thoughts

He’s here

The phantom of the opera

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: MrOmega via Compfight

TEDxYouth@Austin

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TEDxYouth@Austin 2014. Probably the best event ever. Sure, it was from 12:30 to 6:30 but it was totally worth it — every second of it. I just went to it over the weekend on Sunday, February 16th, 2014. There were about 12 speakers, and a break in the middle. It was amazing! All the speakers were brilliant, all taking about different things. There was a man who did the BetterBlock Project, where he just went around his city— Dallas — and just made it look better and more interactive with the people living there. Another guy from Africa decided to make sure that everybody could bathe in sanitary water, he made the DryBath: a lotion that was a substitute for bathing in water. And finally, my favorite Jon Cozart from PAINT on YouTube talked about how he got into doing videos. Afterwards, I met him with Caitlyn (in the picture) and it was actually the best thing ever 🙂 TEDxYouth@Austin has a great experience for me, and I also went last year. It was so fun and eye-opening. I can’t wait for next years event!

My Favorite Mistake

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” 57 playing, 58 to the waiting chair please.” The girl hurries past my seat, going all the way to the front of the room, to finally collapse on the stiff black chair. At All Region Orchestra Auditions, you need to be prepared. Unfortunately, prepared was the exact opposite of what I was.

I had been given the 3 pieces to practice over the summer. But I, of course,did not even lay a finger on my violin, not wanting to disturb my “summer chillaxation.” Yeah, and we all saw how well that worked out… Of course, while many other violin geniuses practiced every day, I wouldn’t even think about anything other than relax. I think we all know the worst thing is when you spend a little too much time relaxing and not enough time on the real important stuff. You might know it as procrastination. Well, procrastination has been my best friend for a while, we’ve always been pretty close, best buds. But yeah, no. On that chilly October weekend, my best friend Mr. Procrastination decided to battle me. A terrible thing, really, but hey, we all know Mr. Procrastination’s a pretty sneaky guy. I should have been expecting it.

The clock is ticking so loudly I think it’s broken. Chairs all around me squeak as 20 students squirm in the hard black chairs. There were many different actions going on with the hands of students. Some people were practicing silently, their fingers flying across the fingerboard. Others were biting their nails, or shaking their hands, wanting to go and get their audition over with. I was rubbing my own hands against my leggings, anxiously awaiting my turn; for the assistant lady to call me, Number 106.

Finally I hear the magic words: ” Number 105 playing, 106 in the waiting chair please.” My friends squeezes my hand as I get up, another girl gives me an encouraging smile as if saying, Good luck, try not to die or melt or mess up or any of that other great stuff. I took it to heart as I took my place perched on the very edge of the rigid chair. My leg was bouncing up and down and my hands were sweating like there was no tomorrow. My entire body was shaking and my eyes we’re darting back and forth. Player 105 finishes her piece — which she played perfectly, of course — with a flourish and walks back to her seat, head held high. I hesitantly get up, walk towards the music stand and get ready. I hoist my violin on my shoulder,and everything seems fine. Of course, that’s when everything goes wrong. I start, and my fingers deftly move across the fingerboard, my bow moving at record speed. I’m going good, only a few more measures left. But those last measures feel like eternity as my finger slips off the fingerboard, and my bow makes a dying animal sound. Not pleasant, I think to myself as I try to finish of the piece with a flourish of my bow, as the girl before had done. It didn’t work out so well, my bow banged an unknown object and at the end if it all, I legitimately wanted to move to Siberia, Tibet — or better yet, Antarctica.

Honestly, I knew I wouldn’t make it. I hadn’t prepared well enough, and more than half of the students were better than me. All because I didn’t practice as much as I could. And that was my terrible mistake. Looking back at it, it was a tragedy, really. So as endearing and charismatic as Mr. Procrastination is, don’t let him in too close. You actually need to work to reach your goals, and I will be surely be giving Mr. Procrastination the silent treatment as I do anything, ever in my life, from today and onwards. Don’t trust that guy.

Hillsong United : Welcome Zion

November 25th was a pretty great day. The last day of school before Thanksgiving break, and it was pretty relaxed. Yeah, sure, I had a science yes, but I had prepared for it and did well. I was feeling great by the time 7th Period rolled around. I was so excited!

There’s this band called Hillsong United that I absolutely adore. They’re a Christian band that my family follows and listens to all the time. They were on their tour, Welcome Zion, and my sister and I had been kind of obsessing over their best album yet. Our parents had surprisingly agreed to take us to their concert in Houston and pick us up early to school to get there at 7:30.

I had just gotten to English and we started talking about our essays and poems we had been working on when somebody came in to give my teacher a note. ” Hannah David.” I jump up eagerly while my friend glances at me with a questioning look. I whisper “concert” to her as I walk past her. I get my note from my teacher, say ” Happy Thanksgiving ” under my breath, and walk out of the computer lab. I run down the stairs, get all my things together, and run back upstairs to go to the office. My dad greets me with a smile and says, ” Ready to go?” Like I would ever have an answer anything other then ” YES!” We walk out of the school, the heavy metal doors banging shut behind us.

I jump into the car and we listen to music and talk about how we can’t wait for the concert as we drive home. When we get home, we gather all of our things and make sure our bags are packed with everything we need to stay the night in Houston. By the time the concert probably gets over, we will all be too tired to do anything other than sleep, let alone drive back home for three hours. My mom finishes her last meeting, and we all get in the car again to drive to Westlake to pick up my sister. When she gets in the car, the trip officially begins. Mission Hillsong United is in motion.

We get there just in time, and we run up to get our seats. The Reliant Arena is humongous, and as I scanned the crowd, I realized how many people can come together just for one cause. It’s pretty amazing to think that thousands of people all over the world enjoy the same things I do. The opening performance is by Young and Free, a youth branch off of Hillsong United. They are amazing, and very talented. After them, we wait for 40 minutes until Hillsong United comes out. I have to say, it was worth the wait. They play all of my favorite songs from their old albums, including a one where all the band members are dancing and running around on stage, one of the main singers are singing into a megaphone, and top it all off the ground is literally vibrating.

The concert ends at 11:37 PM, and I have to say, I was stunned. I’ve been to 2 concerts of their’s before, but this one was by far the best. I had so much fun, and the rest of Thanksgiving weekend, I was still marveling how perfect that night was.

Newsboys Concert

Last Sunday, I went to the Newsboys concert. SoundWave opened for them, followed by Grace Campbell, and then Rapture Ruckus. The Newsboys were on their Restart World Tour, and last Sunday was their last day in Austin. They played at ACL, and then they came over to Great Hills Baptist Church, and that’s where I was. They played all of the songs on their album, Restart, and then they played some of their old songs including Something Beautiful, Born Again, and God’s Not Dead. Some of my favorites from the Restart album were Restart, Change the World, That Home, and Love Like I Mean It. The concert was amazing, and I really enjoyed it.