Archive for the Category » Kid’s POV «

October 24th, 2010 | Author:

In the simplest definition, a circle is a basic shape without an opening or end. Have you ever noticed how people’s behaviors sometimes resemble a circle? It doesn’t seem to matter the age of the people involved either, although kids seem to “circle” more than adults.

I have always been a pretty observant person. I like to stay back and assess situations before I jump into them so it gives me a chance to notice the way people act. Recently I noticed that people, especially kids, do a lot of things in circles. Kids talk in a circle. They dance at parties in a circle. Even people eating at a table are often in a circle shape.

I was recently at a Halloween birthday party. To no surprise, everyone danced in circles. There were small circles of four to five kids and also larger circles. Finally, the birthday girl got everyone together in one big circle to dance, which was really different since so much of our activities are done separately.

My mom and dad just don’t understand why kids dance in a circle because they are used to people dancing with just one other person at a time. I guess kids today like the feeling and security of groups.

You can tell a lot about people by the choices they make. I have divided them into three circle types:

  1. The Embracer – The person who leaves a circle open so more people can join (Caring, inviting, friendly – someone that people want to be around).
  2. The Closer – The person who closes the circle so if someone else wants to join, they have to push their way in (Selfish, rude, insecure – most common but least admitted).
  3. The Protector – The person who temporarily closes the circle but when someone else wants to join, they let them (Cautious, neutral, accepting – takes care of themselves but is willing to help others too).

People do things subconsciously.  Their actions and choices tell a lot about them. Not everyone’s life revolves around circles, but try and figure out which type of person you are. Remember, if you don’t like who you are, you can change it.

October 10th, 2010 | Author:

Probably everyone has done a puzzle maze at one time in their life.  Some people may have even had the fun of running through a corn maze that usually is done around Halloween. No matter which form you do, mazes can be fun but also frustrating.  There are so many options and usually only one way out.

Life is a little like a maze. There are many different paths that to take to get to the end result but the big difference is, life has unlimited options at the end.

Last month I spoke at the TEDxRedmond Conference held at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington. I called my talk, “Take Off Your Blinders” or as they titled it “Goals vs. Plans.” While I wasn’t talking about mazes, it does have some connection. If you go through life or the maze with your eyes closed or get so focused on one path, you may miss other opportunities that might pop up right beside you and are even better than your original path.

When I created Pencil Bugs in 2005 at nine years old, I never ever imagined that I would be where I am today. If someone would have said I’d be named on a Forbes Top 10 List of Role Models 18 & Under or would be a published author or any of the other things that have happened, I probably would have just laughed. But with the help of my parents, I went through the maze in the last five years and found new paths as I went. I don’t know where it will lead from here. I am almost 15 so I don’t feel I have to have my whole life planned out at this point. That’s the fun of keeping your eyes open, seeing what opportunities might pop up, and making the most of this maze of life. You never know what can happen.

September 24th, 2010 | Author:

Last month as I began high school, I thought it was best to take a break from writing my blog. I figured high school would be a lot different than middle school and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t overloaded with things that could distract from school work.

It’s now been a month and school is going great! I have a lot of new friends and some great teachers. I realize the importance of teachers assigning homework but I have never understood why teachers assign busy work. Well, I’m glad to say that these teachers agree. They teach in class, assign work to make sure we understand the material, and sometimes even give us time at the end of class to start on homework. That makes sense! It’s no surprise that people, including kids, are overscheduled these days. Giving busy work is just plain unproductive.

After this short month of adjusting to high school life, I am now ending my hiatus from my blog. I will be writing weekly posts again (usually on Sundays) and if an idea strikes me during the week, I will post then also.

Thanks to my followers for hanging in there with me. I hope that you will share my blog with your friends and family. If you subscribe, you’ll get an email notification when I post something new.

If you haven’t checked out my Christmas fundraiser to donate teddy bears to kids at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, please visit Pencil Bugs and consider making a donation. Every little bit helps. You would be surprised what a soft, teddy bear can do for a kid while they are in the hospital.

July 19th, 2010 | Author:

This past week, my family went on a Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean’s new ship, Oasis of the Seas. It is the largest cruise ship on the ocean. And when they say large, they really mean HUMONGOUS! You could not even tell that you were on a ship. No rocking or swaying motion at all. It would be hard to get seasick on a ship this big but we still saw a few people with those seasick patches behind their ears.

Just like most things, this ship had its pros and cons. Depending on how you are and what you like to do is whether you would think each feature was a positive or negative.

It had seven separate neighborhoods to simulate things you might find if you were visiting major cities like New York. It had a boardwalk, complete with a full-size merry-go-round and a Zoltar machine like the one in the movie “Big.” A scaled-down version of Central Park which was open air and had lots of different trees, plants, and flowers so you can imagine how humid that section was. A Royal Promenade for shopping and specialty restaurants. If you liked different types of entertainment, there was a comedy club, a karaoke bar, a full featured casino, an ice skating rink, a theatre for Broadway shows, a night club with resident DJ, an Aqua theatre which had water and light shows, a surfing simulator, rock climbing wall, zipline, and much more. The Broadway play during our week was Hairspray. They also have special programs for kids from six months to seventeen years old. For the teenagers, we even had our own night club and hang out room.

The maximum double occupancy is 5400, but our week has 6200 guests. There was also 2200 staff. That’s a LOT of people in one place. The thing is, with so many people you hardly ran into them more than a few times.

For people that want variety, there are twenty-one dining options and over twenty bars but some of the restaurants cost extra.

There are a lot of activities and entertainment options but many times they overlap, so you might not be able to do some things that you want. Because they had multiple entertainment areas you had to reserve your seat for shows which wasn’t always a good thing.

We sailed from Fort Lauderdale, FL and stopped in Labadee, Haiti which is a private island owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Costa Maya, Mexico and Cozumel, Mexico. We had planned on parasailing in Labadee but the reservations were full so we just hung out on the beach for the day. In Costa Maya we did our own touring and bought souvenirs and did a snorkeling excursion in Cozumel. They took us from the beach and swam out a ways so we saw some cool fish and coral. About the time we were almost done, a big rain storm hit so the guide took us back to shore but told us not to panic as we felt the cold raindrops on our backs. It was definitely a weird sensation.

Oasis of the Seas is definitely a beautiful ship and we were anxious to try it  because it was so different from the other ship’s designs. But we will probably not take another cruise on a ship this large as we liked the smaller ships better for lots of reasons.

Getting back home from Fort Lauderdale to California was a long process. We had to disembark the ship by 9:00 a.m. because by noon, they are already letting the new passengers board so the workers have a lot of cleaning to do in a very short period of time. Our flight didn’t leave until 4:15 p.m. so Dad asked a taxi guy to drive us around for about an hour to see some of the sights. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the airport around 10:00 a.m., there were so many people in the same situation so the airlines wouldn’t let people check in their luggage until four hours prior to their flights. We ended up sitting on the floor in the terminal along with several hundred other people just waiting and trying to kill time. After playing on my iPod for awhile, I decided to walk around and show people card tricks. One couple I asked didn’t speak English but the guy nodded his head “yes” so I showed them one card trick. That was a little awkward. We were sitting beside a family who was going home to Michigan so I ended up talking with the two high school girls and teaching them my card tricks which was lots of fun.

Of course we had a plane delay so on our layover in Atlanta, which was more like a “run-over”, we had to run from Gate B7 to B32 in less than 4 minutes. We made it just in time but then the plane still left late because they had to call electricians on board to fix a couple of the TV screens. So we ended up leaving 40 minutes late and getting home about 11 p.m. (2 a.m. Eastern time). I couldn’t wait to get into my own bed but the house was 98 degrees so the A/C had to work overtime all night to get it to a comfortable sleeping temperature.

Jet lag hit the next day but now everything is back to normal. My dog is home from the kennel, all the clothes are washed, and I’m having some friends over this week. I have a lot to be thankful for.

June 27th, 2010 | Author:

Parents do many things but their most important job is to become obsolete.  This is not a bad thing.

Their goal is to teach their kids to be self sufficient and not rely them for every little thing.  This doesn’t mean that kids don’t need their parents anymore or won’t want their help for lots of things as they get older. My mom still calls her mom all the time with questions or just to talk.  Parents should always be a part of their kid’s life, but the kids should be able to survive if/when the parents are no longer around.

People change constantly, especially kids.  Ironically though,  at my 8th grade graduation, the speaker said that “From this point forward, your [the parents] job is done.” Even as a kid, I couldn’t believe what he said because I know how much my parents still do with and for me. Then he added that at this age, kids are pretty much the way they will be for the rest of their life. Not only is that ridiculous, but it is not true. I have heard lots of adults say they changed even after they grew up.

As kids grow up, we won’t “need” our parents in the same way as we did when we were little but that doesn’t mean that parents won’t continue to help or teach their kids.

My grandma, who is 77, is still learning new things each day. Life is about changing and improving. If we didn’t change after 14 years old, well who knows how we would be?

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