Thursday, November 27, 2008

District of Corruption, and Thanksgiving

Well, because I have not posted since August(?) I have mountains of info to give to everyone... From my trip to DC, to tons of school work, to Mock Trial finally starting up, to a great trip to Ruidoso, to Woodsock, to Thanksgiving, things have been going on, times have been busy.
I will start with my trip in the D of C; I decided back in June to go with my parent's urges and just take a trip to get to learn all about our amazing - albeit sometimes corrupt - form of government, in-person. The trip was sponsored by the NYLC through the CYLC (Congressional Youth Leadership Council) and while there I was able to meet great people from all around the country... a few come to mind: Katie from Hawaii, Chris from Colorado, Leeron from New York (she asked for a "hawt dawwg" from the vendor... haha), Jacob from North Carolina, Mary from North Carolina, Araceli from California, Christian from Utah, Hannah from North Carolina, Julie from New York, Stephen from Mississippi, and Kanin from Tennessee all come to mind... but SOOOO many people, that is the essential point.
From left to right on top row is: Paula (WV), Chris (Colorado), Stephen (Mississippi), Me
Lower row: Hannah (NC), Leeron (NY), Katie (Hawaii)

Below is another pic of mostly the same group... we hung out together the most...

What was really cool about the whole thing was just how each of us was so different, and how we all had very firm beliefs in different ways. We each wanted to make our mark on the other by letting them know just what we believed in, and many times we found ourselves in some pretty cool debates in all of the program's simulations...
Ive got so many pictures of the trip, I cant decide what to post... Lets see, below is a pic of the capital building and a pic of the congressman from El Paso talking to me about some issues...

Still so much to go...

So, due to the magnitude of this whole post... I will leave you for now with a cliffhanger to be finished tomorrow yes, I promise!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Thursday, August 21, 2008


I have time to post! Wow... this is cool... I can do this and then just relax. I don't have any pics for you today, but I can just give you the "update" promised...

So, the last few weeks have been very busy, yes, but in a very good way. I've been working on my NHS application, among other things, and found that I have a total of 58 community service hours since last September... maybe not as much as others have achieved from other places, but for AHS, and for me with other stuff, it's really not bad. (So much for modesty, right? haha) Most of the hours were obtained from my church in Clint, from working the 100th anniversary and the 30 min slide show for it's history to the 4 sermons I have delivered since then. Speaking of which, maybe I'll try and post the latest one on You-Tube and some of you can check it out.

Golf, Sophomore Class, Student Council, and other various committees are going good... no complaints at all. Speaking of which, remember when I said that 37 Sophomores attended our meeting? The latest had 62 in attendance... we have hit the right note here. People WANT to help at Red Cross stations, such as the William Beaumont Center! I have always believed in the goodness of my peers, just not that they shared my enthusiasm for helping out.

Homework, is, of course, piling up on all of us in the AP courses and in the COSMOS program, but hey... we ARE having some fun. Like, well... maybe this is nerd fun, but the other day in Pre-AP Chemistry, we were testing aluminum foil and one of the tests was to test it's chemical reaction to Hydrochloric Acid... man was that a reaction. It basically changed the phase of the foil from solid to gas as it "blew-up" in a black concoction... haha. And then there was Jacob, in our group one day, poor kid couldn't light the cigarette lighter for the bunson burner, of course after the gas has been running about 30 seconds or so... im so glad that a spark didn't come until after I thought to turn off the gas... haha

What else? Ahh... the Plaza theater. The oldest theater in El Paso, hadn't been open with movies since 1974! Now, after about 40 million dollars in donations was collected, it has re-opened with a movie festival lasting almost every hour of every day for 10 days! On Friday, dad, Will, and I went and saw Casablance... heck of a flick. Then yesterday, since our district had a half-day, Andrew, Savannah, Jade and I all headed over there and were sadly, going to see Titanic (so melodramatic... haha "Jack, you're so cold... I mean you're only in below freezing water... but you're so cold!" hahah... and haven't you ever noticed that none of the girls cry for the hundreds of dying kids, but they cry for the jerk perv?) but luckily, it was sold out, so we saw Giant in the huge old theater (where i saw Casablanca). It was good, but it was about 3 hours and 45 minutes... no joke. So, I get home, and finish homework-I'm a procrastinator-and fell asleep at about 12:30. Yet, this morning, I was awake at 6:30, and talked to Grandpa... and would you believe Momo - my grandmother - was still snoozing? haha....

So, the talk with Grandpa was a good start for the day, that and lots of coffee... twitch, twitch... I always used to think - when I was younger - that Grandpa Kit was a grouchy old guy, now I see the great family-man in him in the past few years, and frankly, I relate to him. Although, mom said he wasn't grumpy because we called him 1, on his birthday and 2, in the morning... hahaha...

After school today, I had to stay for the S.I.T. meeting... (School Improvement Team). It is run by our principal and her 6? A.P.'s, the department chair teachers attend, along with some organization leaders. Then, they have 3 kids go, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Clas Presidents. (That's where I fell in... yes, I am very humble today... man ahaha) and we discuss current issues at the school. After doing some budget reform and school policy changes, I pressed two huge issues that the students have told me about. A- cheerleaders, volleyball girls, and flag girls can no longer where uniforms due to school dresscode... ya, I was able to convince administration to reverse this one. I mean, come on! A kid can walk in with a tounge piercing and an ACDC shirt and a cheerleader can't wear her uniform? I mean, it has the school's name printed across the front of it!!! Then, I pushed for a change from last year's descision to have the 3 pep-rallies after or before school so that we could make more money and pay for the expenses of Leader's of Americas and AAA banquets (are leader-honoring dinners... usually with about 300 kids) because sometimes the totals are over $5,000 for each! That one, also, was reversed... haha... we the teens argued well.

Today, in AP World History, we read the necessary guide to life's keys, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, no joke. Probably published in about 1500 BC, it contains quotes that make your infinitesmal view on things seem grand. Take this, "The consummate leader cultivates the moral law, and strictly adheres to method and discipline; thus it is in his power to control success." I love that quote... really read it if you haven't. Im sure you can find it online somewhere... its not long at all. Another quote I want for the Student Council is "He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit thoughout all its ranks."

So, life is good; chances were just waiting to be taken. Go out there and get SOMETHING done... a small change can make the difference.

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)


Sunday, August 3, 2008


Man, have I gotten tired in the last few days. I can barely even stay awake to type this message. But, don't take any of this to mean that I am not enjoying the start of this year... believe me, it kills Freshman year in a heartbeat. I love EVERY class that I am in, the people in it with me, and the start of some of my extra-curriculars Not to mention the golf team. I am not gonna go out on a limb here, but I will note that our golf team is vastly improved and will be pretty good this year. Its going to be hard to win our 5A district title, considering we will be facing the super-rich power house teams of Coronado, Hanks, and Franklin, but I think that we should come in just behind them; by any means, it is an improvement. And we WILL beat our rivals of Montwood and Socorro, as they were just with us last year.

So, now that I have gone of on a rant about the golf team, I will try to change the subject... On Friday, I decided to try and hold the first Sophomore Class meeting (Student Council) so I told many friends to tell their friends and tried to get as many people to come as possible. We pulled 37! Now, hold on a sec. I know that you are thinking that that isn't a great number, but compare it to the 7 or 8 we had last year. We have very high expectations for this year. Among some of our soon-to-be activities are: Volunteering at the Humane Society to help the animals, Walking in the DaVita Kat walk for Kidney cancer research, and Volunteering at the Red Cross. I really do think that for us, it will be a great year; you see, it wasn't just one group of people, it was representation from all around the school. I told my football friends, baseball friends, Honor Society friends, golf friends, COSMOS friends, and even cheerleader friends to come over and support us. The result was overwhelming. We couldn't even fit in the room! (Next time we are meeting in the theater... can't believe we had to book that, but with an expected turn out of 50+, its a safe bet...) We have double the kids of Senior Class, and probably 4 times as many as Junior Class... Seriously, this can't be me... we have SO MANY great kids that want to help in the community. Man, again, this will be a great year.

What else to tell you? Oh! I heard all about the little fight about spelling between Mom, Kari, and Grandpa, and all I can say to that is... be glad Dad doesn't have a blog. Hate to put it that way, but his forte was history... or maybe sports... definitely NOT spelling.

You know, I don't want to go on all day here, but really... some good things have happened this week. And the work, the exhaustion is almost relaxing... if that makes any sense. I have had more fun with great friends these past few weeks than I have in a LONG time... Life really is great.

Sometimes, one has to consider the fact that things DO happen for a reason. Sometimes, one must consider that hard work CAN pay off... Sometimes, YOU have to just take that opportunity and make the best of it.

Gob Bless you guys, and have a great week... just love life, and take the chances you are given.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dolly Reaches Us...

The rain poured ALL day today... and last night. It probably started last night at about 9 o'clock, and it really hasn't stopped since. This is really becoming annoying... oh, and before you wonder, NO it was not a sunny rain... I didn't see the sun all day.

This morning we rose early as I was recovering from the movie last night and Will recovering from White Sands with his cousins. At about 11 we went to the mall and Will used a coupon and some money that had been burning a hole in his pocket to buy some toys that he just "had to have". After that, we went to the movie theater at the mall, Mom and Will wanted to finally get a piece of "Dark Knight" that I had been playing up for so long. And truly, I wont lie, I did not mind one bit seeing it for a third time... its worth it.

Of course, everyone enjoyed it... even Mom, who doesn't like comic book movies, or Batman for that matter. Then, we went to Fudruckers for a late lunch at about 3. The food was very good, and very good for us, I'm sure... haha.

Then, we went to Clint to see our cousins. Uncle Nick had caught a quick flight out to avoid the weather. So, we just hung out and chatted and at about 7, all 5 kids came to Horizon. We are gonna stay up all night watching movies and playing games, probably. But hey, movies and good times are what weekends are for, right? ahaha.

So, I won't get too theological on this one, but know that sometimes an easy, fun weekend is necessary to keep us from pulling our hair out. As even my Grandfather put it today as he mumbled back to me when I told him about hanging at the movies yesterday, "Don't worry so much, Zach. Have a good time..."


Friday, July 25, 2008


Do you ever find yourself bothered by just how distracted society continues to get? Are you ever bothered by your peer's priorities, their sense of humor? Today was one of those days for me... believe it...

It started with my Spanish Class... there we had to write two truths and one lie about ourselves, then have the class guess on what was the lie. Anyway, we got to kids who have had some very difficult lives, and who really don't get what is so sad about them... Take this one girl, her three were:

1. I have 4 tattoos
2. I have a 'gangsta' boyfriend
3. I am pregnant, due in December

Wait... what? She is 15, pregnant and has 4 illegal tattoos... oh, but its okay because she dumped the "gangsta" after he got her pregnant... I wanted to scream...

Next, we get to this guy that has three like 1) I am satanic 2) I try black magic and 3) I have two brothers... well guess what, he is an only child. Through the black clothes and the spiked piercing on his chin, there is still a good person... so what went wrong?

I'll summarize the others, basically there is a girl that lives alone because her mom left and her dad is a trucker and is gone for weeks... but its cool because she doesn't have a curfew. Another guy was in an accident while road racing... another guy was stabbed... on TWO occasions...

The world is a place where people's minds are simply distorted... take tonight, I went to go see the 'Dark Knight' again with some friends from school... I love that movie yes, and I don't want to give away anything. But when terribly psychotic moments arise and the bloodshed comes, why do people laugh? Yes, the Joker plays the part in an amusing way... but why do people talk about death as a funny thing an hour later?

The world needs to change, and to be honest, I don't know how to change it... people MUST come together and realize that things aren't always as bleak as they seem...

I hope the movie is right, maybe "The night is darkest just before the dawn..." or could it be closer to another view, that of the good Alfred when he states: "Some men just want to watch the world burn." Decide for yourselves.... pray only for a better tomorrow.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Lost Dog

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a lost dog? Seriously, what it would be like to wonder on in places that you have never been in before, hungry and alone. What if your owners just left you out in the desert somewhere? What if you weren't wanted?

The reason I ponder on this subject, is because today, driving around my Grandpa's farm, Lex, Kate and I found a lost dog; completely out of place. She was wandering around, nice collar on her neck, beautiful golden fur across her body. Her teeth were white, like a home-dog, and she was VERY tame. She would come and let us pet her often. But, by looking just a little farther back, one would easily notice that she was starving, malnourished. Her stomach was like a balloon that just deflated, she hadn't eaten in a very long time.

Poor, poor pup... all of the adults concurred that she could not come home with anyone... not even for the night to take her to the NO-KILL-SHELTER tomorrow... we kids wanted to grab picket signs and go on strike. How can we just let her die?

Will she live long? I doubt it... and I know that sometimes it is wrong to doubt the Lord, to just doubt the good-nature of humanity, but when I looked into that sad, beautiful animal's tired eyes, I felt like she was abandoned by the world.

We all must remember, at all times in our lives, that we, as Christians and even as people together have a DUTY to protect one another... perhaps God gave us this poor animal so that we would learn NEVER to let one of our own, a person become so lost that they cannot be found.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Message in the rain...

Man... I just finished my homework and everything and it is 11:00 here (by the way, why is the blog clock wrong?)! So, I am goin crazy; I mean, I knew that these courses were gonna be difficult, but its the fourth day of school and I worked for about 4 and a half hours! This year is gonna be wack...

So, not only did I have crazy work, because of that, I was not able to see my cousins... oh well, they will be here for a while. I'll have plenty of time to hang out with them.

Yes, the day was full of work, yes, it got a little stressful, however, I thought it was really not that bad. I had a great time seeing friends again, hung out on a new bus and around horizon with Andrew and Janean... had a lot of fun. Then, I came home a little after 5 o'clock, and it started to pour rain! If that isn't odd enough for here, it was a sunny rain! The sun was bright shining the whole time... very weird. I tried to get some good photos of it to post, but the lighting only made it weird looking... oh well, just visualize it. haha.

But really, seeing the rain pour and the sun still shine, I thought about life, and about today. I think that God was sending me a message with the weather... The message is this: yes, we get stressed, yes, we can be bothered by obsolete, albeit bad, events, but GOOD can always shine through it all. One can find happiness in the darkest of situations. To see it embodied in that way really, really made me feel more determined... and that glimmer of hope shined through.