Hi dad! Guess who it is? Nope, not Will. It's Ellen!
It has been quite a while, huh? I don't know why my calls to your office never reached you, but I guess this is fine too. How are you doing? I hope you still remember most of your English, because I'm going to be writing a semi-lengthy letter, and I hope that you can understand most of it (if not all of it).
I think I've changed quite a lot since you last saw me (or knew me, rather). If you didn't already know, I took up writing as a hobby in 7th grade, when we first moved to Syosset. From then on, I always wrote- I have a folder of stuff that I've kept for years. Most are short stories or just description pieces and some poems too. I also like writing speeches and opinion pieces on stuff that I'm passionate about. I got a lot better as the years went on and it came as a big surprise to me when I was chosen as one out of four students in my grade to make it to a national competition where I will be competing with about 3,000 other high school seniors all around the United States for the NCTE English Awards! I was VERY excited when I found out I was chosen! We find out this October if we won an award... I really hope that I did, but if I didn't, then I know that means my time hasn't come yet and it will come someday. Someday, I hope to publish a book.
Um, I guess I will also have to comment on my singing. Do you remember how I used to LOVE to sing? Well, I don't have such a huge obsession for it anymore, but it's still a hobby that I can't seem to let go of. I sing almost all the time at church, on the worship team, at a wedding, at a church coffeehouse (I wish you could have been here! I surprised myself at how well I did!) and a lot of other events. A lot of my friends say that I'm actually pretty good and a fellow church member actually said that I should use my voice as a way of ministering God's word! Also, at school, I made it into the elite singing group, called Chamber Singers. It was a grueling audition process and also, getting in is practically impossible. I also got into the elite girl's singing group at my school, called the Adelettes. It's a very committed group and we're going to be singing at a national competition this year! I'm sooo excited!!! We get to go on a plane! I don't even know where it's held yet, but I'm sure it's going to be a lot of fun! Mom said that I'm better suited to singing chinese songs, but I love American pop songs better (like Jordin Sparks, did you ever hear about her?). I'm not that good yet, but I'm practicing as much as I can.
Hm... what else? Oh, I joined my school's speech and debate team my junior year (last year) and found out that I'm actually pretty good at it. I won three trophies (not bad for my first year competing with people that have been doing it for three years already, huh?), one that qualified me for the States competition and two that qualified me for two events at the National competition in Appleton, Wisconsin! I had a lot of fun over there, except it stunk of cow manure EVERYWHERE! I couldn't get away from the smell... I hope to get a lot better this year by competing in a different event. Last year I competed in OI (Oral Interp), which is sort of like storytelling, except you have to act it all out with your voice and your facial expressions ONLY. You can't move your lower body and you have to make eye contact with everyone in the room. It sounds pretty easy, because you hold the script in your hand, but you have to memorize most of it anyway, because 80% of the time, you have to be looking at the audience. This year, I'm hoping to compete in OO (Original Oratory), which is where you write your own speech, memorize it and than deliver it. I have to get started on it, but I'm still trying to think of a topic to write it on.
My aspiration for my future, is to be a lawyer. My dream school is George Washington University in Washington D.C. I'm currently interning for a criminal law firm and I LOVE it! The lawyers and people there are so nice and caring- I feel like we are all just one happy family! I'm going to continuing interning there when school starts because I love it and it also looks EXCELLENT to colleges. I also work at Cardinali Bakery about 5 days a week now that it's summer. Once school starts again, I'm going to have to work less. I have an A average on my GPA and therefore, made it into the National Honor Society. As for the clubs at my school, I'm the President of the Book Review, one of the editors for KEN magazine (a literary and art magazine), a member of Adelettes, a secretary for BASIC (Brothers and Sisters in Christ), and a member of Forensics (speech and debate). I was also a member of the Awareness Club, the Japanese Club and the Book Club. My best subjects are English and Social Studies. This year, my classes are: AP Literature, Advanced Writing Studio (a special class for dedicated writers selected for their talent), AP Environmental, AP Macro Economics, AP Calculus AB, AP Comparative Government, AP Spanish, Chamber Singers, and Personal Fitness (instead of gym). By the way, AP stands for Advanced Placement, and if you get a 3 or higher (out of 5) on the AP test after taking the class, you can get college credit. If you get enough college credit, you can even skip your first year of college! So far, I've gotten a 4 on AP World History, a 3 on European History, a 4 on AP Psychology, a 2 (NNNNNOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) on AP Physics B (but I got an 84 on my Regents, so I'm not that sad...), a 4 on AP US History and a 5 (YAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!) on AP Language and Composition. Oddly, people said that the AP Lang test was one of the hardest. I was very happy when I saw that 5!
As of now, only money is the real issue. The place that we're renting now is 1500 a month, but mom only makes 1600 a month. So I got a job to help her out. I make about 100-150 a week, so it helps a little. We're trying our best to conserve as much as we can, I guess also because I'm going to college soon. I hope that before I go, I get to hear from you or maybe even see you again. No matter what, you're still my dad and I still love you! God has taught me that love is selfless and also forgiving, so I'm sorry if I've ever hurt you and I forgive you if you've ever hurt me. I find that pride is unnecessary and just hinders people from understanding each other. Hopefully, maybe we can be friends?
If you don't really remember me, I guess I can refresh your memory a little. I'm a quirky, impulsive, slightly selfish, just-turned 17 year old who loves nature, animals (especially kittens!), writing, art, dancing, gymnastics, singing, reading, and cute stuff. I have liked a couple of guys before, but as of now, I'm not interested in a romantic relationship. My favorite colors are bright, happy colors and my favorite food is kim bop (a Korean-style california roll). My favorite movie and book genres are drama, comedy and tragedy. I HATE horror! Also, the movie/book has to be meaningful and deep. Otherwise, I just find it a waste of time. I'm 5' 6''. I weigh around 104 lbs. and I wear glasses sometimes because I'm near sighted. When I'm sad or really angry, I cry and pray to God for guidance. When I'm happy, I can't stop from giving a HUGE smile. I think a lot about life, God, happiness, grief and what I can do to help the world. I care a lot about my friends (do you remember Aileen? The girl I knew since second grade and then met again at South Woods Middle School in seventh grade? Yeah, we're still best friends! ) and my family (mom and Will). I feel that I'm naive in the sense that I don't know a lot about the world, but I'm also wise in the respect of knowing how to reach people (most of the time). I can be very selfish, but I also care about God, my friends and my family more than anything. I strive to be a better person and help as many people as I can. I hope to run for political office one day (Senator maybe?). I want to travel the world.
There's still a lot for me to tell you- a lot has happened and changed while you were gone! So if you could respond to this email with one of your own, perhaps telling me how your life is going, then we can catch on each other, eh?
P.S. How is the little girl (she must be maybe 5 years old or so now, right?)? And her younger sibling?