Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Stamps Baxter 2016: AKA 2 of the Best Weeks of my Life!!!

Well, that was fun! I just got back from 2 weeks spent at a southern gospel music school, and it was even better than I could have imagined! I made so many new friends, and learned a lot too! For example:

Having no accent is basically having an accent "Oh, you're from Tennessee!" "Well, she's originally from Phoenix. That's why there's no accent!"

Also, when people tell you to put the "Arizona" back in your voice...

I haven't gotten to hang around people in my own age group AND with similar interests in a looooonnggg time, so these past two weeks were amazing!

When the squad takes on Nashville...<3 td="">
I've heard that the friends you make in college are the ones who stay with you all your life. And I think the friends I've made these past few weeks will be the ones I connect with for a while. Or at least I hope so! And ya know, trying to keep a Snapchat streak sorta helps with that ;)

It's so weird to think that in like 10 years, I could be performing many of the people I just spent 2 weeks with! That's one of the craziest things I can think of!!!!

God is ALWAYS moving! One of my friends, in fact, the girl who was supposed to be my roommate (long story) got saved at camp! And she wasn't even supposed to be there!

Who needs college when singing school can teach you all the theory you'll ever need to know!

Trying to fit stuff you could practice for a week into ONLY 2 hours is exhausting and will make you hate life until you walk to the cafeteria.


Man alive can those southern boys play their piano!!! Here's a link if the video doesn't work!

Conversations after lights out go ALL OVER THE PLACE!!!! (And no, I totally don't know this from experience because I was ALWAYS in bed by lights out and definitely didn't have to survive the second week on six hours a night!)

Snapchatting makes uber long rehearsals better!

Pardon the horrible quality of my front camera...
The country seems so much smaller over here, guys!! Like I'm between 3 and 10 hours from most of the friends I made, and I can think of like 3 events where I'll get to see at least some of them!

Don't take 8AM college classes! #CodysWordsOfWisdom (But I actually have to so boo)

Steinway pianos aren't my favorite but transitioning from playing one EVERYDAY to playing my Yamaha keyboard is gonna take some work!

Probably one of the best selfies I've ever taken with THE BEST choir director
and a photobomb by the best guy and girl from Minnesota I know XD

"Picking" (aka improv) with other musicians is kinda stressful but really, really fun! (Like Top 10 Musical Experiences of My Life fun!)

I probably had 5 Top 10 Musical Experiences of My Life in the last two weeks...

Affirmation from your family and long-time friends means a lot, but when people you've only known for 2 weeks believe in you and like your music and tell you that you "beasted" it, that means soooo much! And then when people you look up to and respect tell you that they think you can do what you've always wanted to do, just ahhhhhhhhh!!!

When you can't get Chick Fil A, you order Papa Johns and PARTAY

So girls don't have falsetto, and boys get crazy range which is totally not fair!

Apparently there's a whole "sub-culture" of singing schools and singing conventions that I've missed out on my whole life!!!!! But not anymore folks! Tennessee State Singing Convention here I come!

Don't take the food you eat at home for granted! Even if it's not a five-star meal or "home-cooked" so to speak, IT'S STILL BETTER THAN COLLEGE CAFETERIA!!!! (Although they had the best grilled cheese, chocolate milk, and apple juice I've ever had....)

Most of my meals were this random...
When you're at a Southern Gospel school with a bunch pianists trying to play quick and easy duets, OF COURSE you're gonna play I'll Fly Away 500,000 times!!!

Finally, I'm NOT ready to be a Southern Gospel pianist. And that may sound discouraging, but to me it's awesome because I think God has given me the tools to get me to the point where I WILL BE ready! I don't know why really, but the fact that I'm not ready is kinda encouraging because it means I still have time to keep working and get better!

Don't scream at us cuz we're children of the king and we all failed the test!
Well, I hope you enjoyed that trip behind the scenes of my life the past two weeks! And if you're here from Stamps, welcome! Feel free to look around and leave a comment or two :)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Book Classification Ancient Essay from the 11th Grade

Because I haven't been reading/watching much lately, and I don't think you'd be very interested in my thoughts on a documentary on Mitt Romney (which was actually great), I dug this out of my drafts.

It's an essay I wrote 2 years ago for school about book classifications. I added my current commentary to my 16/17 year old self in (). So have fun!!! Also, there may not be a blog post for the next 2 weeks because I'm going to my southern gospel music school woot woot!!! So don't have too much fun while I'm gone!


Everyone knows the basic categories of books: mystery, historical fiction, classic, juvenile, fantasy, and so on. But did you know that there is a separate key for books based on how you read them? You didn’t! Well here’s Ashley's Non-exhaustive Guide to Types of Books by How They’re Read, or NEGTTOBBHTR for short, NGTBHTR for shorter, and Guide for shortest :P (Obviously I added that when I originally put this in my blog drafts. Don't write papers with :P kids)

First up, the book that you can’t put down, and if you have to put it down, you can’t stop thinking about it. This book captures your attention constantly. You may have lost sleep over this book. It’s a wonderful story, that possibly has you crying at the end. It probably becomes one of your favorite books! (Weird commas tho)

Secondly, the book that you have to digest in small pieces. You just can’t read this book for too long. This could be because it has so many grains of truth that you need to digest them, or it could be because it’s so boring! Also, this could come from a highly educational book that is so chock full of information you go into overdrive! (You couldn't phrase this paragraph any better?)

Another book type is the normal book. The one you read normally, at normal times and normal rates. Perhaps a chapter at a time. You are not obsessed by it, but you keep coming back to it. (Why is this in here? Did they give you a minimum number of categories? It literally has no purpose)

Then, we have the picking book. This is the book that you open up at random places and read a few sentences of and smile because of the memories brought back! Maybe it’s a book of short stories, or just a chapter book you remember from your childhood! (You couldn't think of a better word than "picking"?!? smh)

cool gif
Also, there is the book that you know you should read and want to, but it’s so hard to get through! You have to make yourself sit down and read it! But when you finish, you feel like a champion! (Meh could have described that better...)

Finally, we have the snoozer, the book you own for the sole purpose of going to sleep! (And that's all ya got with that. No examples, no nothing?)

Although this list is not exhaustive, it gives a good idea of the types of books that are out there. The interesting thing about reading is that the same book can be a different category for each person! (This is true, but why oh why didn't you give examples?! Were you really that uncreative?!? Oh well, at least my writing has improved. I hope)

Well, hope you enjoyed or at least laughed at that XD Adios y'all! (That's my new catchphrase I'm trying out)

Friday, July 1, 2016

June 2016: 2016 is Halfway Over What

June! Wow, that was a whirlwind! So. Much. Happened. But I actually can't remember what I did Monday... (Like seriously, did we go anywhere? *checks Twitter* No it was just rainy and cloudy and our neighbor kids came over...)

This is in a backyard!!!! What even!!!
And 2016 is already halfway over!!! I actually don't know how I feel about that. On the one hand, it's been exciting, but on the other, man, 2016 is halfway over!!!!! Anyway, here's how June went down according to my faulty memory aided by Twitter. Also, it's almost midnight but my body doesn't feel sleepy enough for bed so I'm writing this XD

The moving saga is basically done
To start, we got moved into our house woot woot! And now I have my own room! Kinda... We split our loft in half using dividers and the back half is mine even though there's no door. It's a little small but that's okay because I usually just rotate between the desk and my keyboard which are right by each other :D

Now, I'll have to get around to doing a whole post on the differences between Nashville and metro Phoenix, but as Elizabeth Anne asked if it was a lot cooler, here's the answer: yes and no. It IS cooler temperature wise BUT humidity makes things hotter. HOWEVER it's still way cooler than Phoenix. For Pete's sake, I've gone OUTSIDE and enjoyed it every afternoon this week! And I can actually go for a run while the sun's up without LITERALLY dying. So it's hot, but still bearable.

Conversation everybody has with us when they learn we're from Phoenix:
Them: Oh, you're from Phoenix! It must be cooler here, but that humidity must make it about the same haha!
Us: hehehehehe... no *tries to explain oppressive heat that lasts for 6 straight months to people who have experienced 4 distinct seasons their whole life*

You can see the huge map of TN if you look closely
We've gone to downtown Nashville a few times. There's a park called Bicentennial Mall that's really pretty. It has this historical walk and a HUGE map of Tennessee. My siblings and I also walked up the bajillion stairs to the capital building and tried to not look suspicious...

The Collingsworth Family tho!!!!
By Sunday, I'll have been to 4 gospel concerts in 10 days and 5 this month!!! Now THAT is why you should move to Nashville!!

I did get my drivers license but I still don't drive by myself yet so it doesn't feel like that big of a deal :)  I'm more excited by the fact that I actually have TN ID so I can do stuff like get a library card and sign up for college.

I applied for the local community college which is cool. I'm heading for an associates degree in English right now. That means I don't have to make any big decisions for 2 years haha! (Except nothing in my life is easy so just ughhhhhh lost transcripts and mandatory orientation sessions while I'm out of town....)

I also got a fr - I wrote that then stopped writing and I'm not sure what I was going to say but feel free to speculate ;)

Annnd I found a piano to record YouTube videos on through some generous friends! So here ya go! Hopefully, I'll have more opportunities to play in church coming soon.

Anywho, June's been a great month! How has yours been?

Looking forward:
Music Camp - July 10 FINALLY
College - August 22 save me someone
I literally have no idea what the rest of my life holds ¯\_(ツ)_/¯