The Six Probs of Staffers

THE TOP SIX PROBLEMS OF STAFFERS

We’ve all had these guys as our leaders.. Heck, some of us have been these guys. It’s every teenypacter’s dream.. cause who doesn’t wanna become the staffer of all staffers? I get that. So here are five easy steps of things NOT to do while you’re that rad staffer.

1. Staffers aren’t perfect so STOP ACTING LIKE YOU ARE. We all think the staffers are these perfect examples of leaders and culture changers back in their communities.. We think they are leaders in their church and are all ahead in their school. NEWSFLASH: NOBODY IS PERFECT. EVERYBODY MAKES MISTAKES EVERYBODY HAS THOSE DAYS. *thanks Hannah Montana for the lyrics <3*

We need to stop thinking they are. More importantly, staffers need to get off their high ladder and stop acting like they have it all together. Cause they don’t. Believe me, they/we don’t. Never have, never will. I doubt every staffer has the most virtuous past and I know we, as staffers, still struggle with language and our relationship with Christ. STAFFERS, we’re only human and we crash and we burn. *Thanks Christina Perry for lyrics* So instead of faking your entire lifestyle and homelife.. maybe start being real and more open to sharing your faults. How else are we supposed to carry others burdens to the cross when we can’t even uncover our own?

2. STAFFERS WHO ACT LIKE THEY ARE SUPERIOR

I remember going to my first 4 day class and thinking all the staffers were the demi-gods of Teenpact. Like they had the power to make your life that week a living inferno or heaven on earth. It grates on my nerves when a staffer likes to become the dictator of a group of students merely because they are staff. Sure, they’re your leaders but there’s a difference between being a leader and being a dictator. Staffers need to get off their high house and stop acting like they are Eugene Meltsner when they are only Connie Kendall.

3. STAFFERS HAVING THEIR PHONES

They ask that this week be media-free for all the students, yet they readily allow the staffers to have their iphones on them on all times.. TEENPACT ENCOURAGES STAFFERS TO HAVE THEIR PHONE ON THEM AT ALL TIMES. Obviously, this plan wasn’t thought through. Allowing a staffer to have their phone on them only builds barriers between the students and said staffers. No mind that without a phone, the staffers couldn’t stay updated on schedule changes and the like. Some little student needs to write a bill about this huge problem, obviously. Maybe walkie talkies instead?

4.  STAFFERS WHO DON’T SIT WITH STUDENTS

This falls under #2.. Staffers really need to sit and encourage and try to befriend students and not try and distance themselves from said students. We are being segregational when we split apart staffers and students.

5. STAFFERS WHO ACTUALLY BECOME BFF’S WITH STUDENTS

But don’t totally un-distance yourself from said students… Because then you’ll be breaking the student-staffer boundary. and we mustn’t make teenpact angry, should we? especially with other genders. Becoming best friends with a person who isn’t on the same totem pole in teenpact is against the codes. Don’t do it. Staffers who try and become best friends with students won’t last long as staffers… Staffers should be mentors not best bosom buddies.

6. STAFFERS SHOULDN’T PICK FAVORITES

Staffer siblings are always the favorites. And returning students are usually favorited more than one day students. If you’re awkward and introverted you’re not gonna be a favorite. That’s just the way things are. They will always have a certain little cliche that they will always call on for TP-leg. There’s always those few kids who can debate the pants off kids and ask the hard questions, those kids will always be chosen to ask stuff to the kid in the well. that’s just the way of life. It’s the circle of life.

Do you agree with these? Why or why not? Remember to subscribe for future blog posts done by yours truly, Teenypacter.

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How To Be Awesome. written by a beginner teenpacter for beginner teenpacters

i’m just gonna go out and say it.

I’m a fraud. I haven’t been to teenpact yet. In a few weeks i shall receive my cool person ticket aka going to teenpact. But alas, i have yet to perform the monumental deed. But before you get your knickers in a twist I shall also state that I am merely a measly sibling of one of the true writers of this blog. (I’m not gonna tell you who they are but i will say that they’re both smoking hot humans).

anywayys, since I have yet to embark on my life changing journey I haven’t a lot to offer to you teenpacters. But there is one thing that i’m good at. And that is making an impression/being awesome. Every time i walk into a room people gasp and exclaim “woah she’s so cool!” or “wow she truly is a divine creature!!”. If you want to achieve that goal then read on. It’s guaranteed to be awesome *sunglasses emoji*

step 1: confidence. Without confidence what are you? A wimpy earthworm, that’s what. Just remember this: you are the only you and you rock. who cares what those peasants think of you? you be you.

step 2: stand up straight. Honestly, this is such an important step. So many times have i seen people walk into a room and barely get noticed or written off as lame because they’re slumped over like they’re part of Cirque De Soleil. Not only does it makes you look better, it’s also really good for your back *Sid from toy story voice* DoUbLe PRizEs.

step 3: clothing. dress in what you feel the most bomb diggety in. that shirt that makes you feel #flawless or the sweatshirt with cats on it.

step 4: smile. It’s honestly the best thing. It makes you seem more welcome, friendly and attractive. So flash them pearly whites!

step 5: listen to others/talk to others. Do both! It’s not in your comfort zone to talk to members of the opposite gender? TOO BAD. ask them about music! ask them about their family! talk! to! people! Alright, that concludes what might just be the crappiest blog post ever written. YAY FOR ME!

(DISCLAIMER: i am not actually that awesome but a girl can dream, right?)

and now, a collection of gifs to demonstrate my point:

Withdrawals. TPA style

TeenPact withdrawals are pretty much the worst.. They’re brutal and gut-wrenching episodes that can attack you at almost any point of your day. We’ve all experienced them and have luckily, survived… Barely. My heart goes out to all of those newcomers that will be sure to shed tears this next season as they have to try and move past the week that completely changed their life.
So here are 5 ways to get over TeenPact:

1. Watch YouTube videos.. Those NC commercials have sometimes been the only thing that has kept me sane on some of those days following State Class. You can’t go wrong with “I’ll make a man out of you” (TeenPact Commercial video..) Plus all those guys are complete eye-candy, so who wouldn’t want to gaze at completely TPA guys? (Cause that above sentence was completely TPA..)

2. Friend all the staffers on facebook and research/stalk them to your hearts content.. Especially if they’re the opposite gender and attractive.. It’s double prizes.. & who knows? You might actually have something in common with them and you can gallop off into the sunset with your new staffer friend.. **Don’t lie to me, alumni kids.. We’ve all staffed our staffer crush on every known social media site ever created..”

3. Listen to worship songs that were sung at TeenPact. Envision the lovely Zac Chambers, Christian Edmonds, or Jonathan Sears raising up their angelic guitar-accompanied voices up to their creator while listening to those songs and you can’t go wrong.. It’s a win-win solution too.. Jesus time and thinking about guys in a Christ-like way is completely TPA.. So this is a great solution for those super conservative people who don’t have social media.. (See #2)

4. Look at pictures.. This time, though, don’t look at pictures of those angelic interns/staffers… Instead look at pictures that you have of yourself and friends that you had taken while you were at TeenPact. Just be sure to have a backup of these pictures because your tears will completely ruin these lovely candid TPA snapshots.. (And no, we didn’t say snapchat… Cause we all know that’s of the devil and not TPA)

5. Don’t get over it. Go to National Convention and start the long journey of becoming a TeenPact legacy. Go register for all those alumni events and never lose the feeling of extreme longing for all things TeenPact. Plus it’s a win-win for both TeenPact and yourself.. Just not for your parents wallet, but it’s kingdom work so who really cares, right?

And there you have it, folks.. My personal top 5 ways to help curb TeenPact withdrawals.
Now go study for finals and remember Jesus is the reason for the season (no matter that he wasn’t even born in December and this is a pagan holiday..)
Sine Die.

Dividing Lines

Things happen when a bunch of us homeschoolers congregate at TeenPact state class. Mostly stuff that is super rad and mad fly.

Specifically:

  1. Flash mobs (as was previously mentioned)
  2. Impromptu debate sessions
  3. Politeness
  4. Handshaking
  5. Getting stuff accomplished (like literally establishing new countries)

But then there are some things that happen that are not so awesome. For example, the totally incomprehensible segregation that happens when all the girls go first to eat and everyone kind of just settles into a stasis of gender separation.

This is not very fun, you guys. I mean it is your choice where you sit and everything but people didn’t go on hunger strikes decades ago for you to be able to exercise your segregation free-will. MINGLE GOSH DANGIT.

I could also mention that it’s not super great when you’re forced to go first instead of being able to chill in the back of the line with your hombres and bro-dawgs.

Another thing that isn’t super great is the use of the word “Division” as it applies in parli-pro.

Apparently this is a fun word to say. People love to say it, scream it, recite poetry about it. Listening to the last legislative session at TeenPact is like eavesdropping at a convention for mathletes with an odd obsession with elementary mathematics, everyone shouting division followed by lots of counting and recounting. One time a kid got confused and actually shouted “multiplication” which literally caused a two minute government shut down.*

Anyways, it is fun to say, but there’s something that people don’t realize about this word. As with many things that seem like a great idea but aren’t, such as eating too much Nutella and getting a neck tattoo, there is a price to be paid. The second this word leaves your mouth it is coupled with the sinking feeling of instant regret and a tarnished reputation among your peers. Never mind that we all love the power trip it gives us. We’ve all said it. We’ve all triumphed in the ability to make an entire room groan with irritation. But this word can only lead you down a path of desolation.

*casually exits pinterest tattoo board*

If moving the previous question was Jesus, division would kind of be Satan in the sense that it likes to steal, kill, and destroy.

Division is like that robot from the future that was programmed to come back in time and destroy all happiness. Really though, we should probably vote again on whether or not we should vote to vote to vote. I don’t think everyone had enough time to reflect on all the bad choices they made in their lives to deserve this the first few thousand times division was called.

So now that I’m finished with that tirade…

…Gonna go load up on some Nutella sandwiches.

*This actually did not happen but we all wish it had.

Five Steps To Success

_______

HOW TO BECOME A COO KID

We all have nightmares of being that one kid that nobody will ever like.. We don’t wanna be labeled as a weirdo or a rebel.. So we become awkward and seemingly sheltered.. So I have thought of

  “FIVE EASY WAYS TO BECOME A COOL KID”

starring: my own experiences

1. Listen to Adventures in Odyessy for days. It is the unofficial fandom of the homeschool circle.. Pay close attention to the NovaCom series though.. Mitch and Connie’s relationship roller-coaster will surely give you access to at least one person’s ear in the upcoming days.. The more you listen to this series, the better chance you have of not being labeled the “awkward unsocialized homeschooler” .. Listen to John Avery Whittaker’s words and take counsel in them.. He is like a father/pastor/counselor/friend all rolled into one.. It’s a wonder he is still single.

2. Develop an unhealthy obsession with books… This step is a little more difficult and time-consuming.. For not only do you need to own hundreds of books, you need to have read them all.. At least once. If you haven’t read CS Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien, are you really a homeschooler? Make sure you’re fluent in the old classic literature. If you want to be labeled as a “cool kid” then you might want to swim with the current.

3. Be a super major introvert, everyone agrees that this is the ideal stereotype to fit into. A good start to showing everyone how introverted you are is to talk about it incessantly. It will catch on in no time and everyone will be forever charmed by your humble and introspective ways. (But make sure that you’re really outgoing too because no one wants to be friends with someone who just stands there and stares like a dead fish) … Be introverted but outgoing too. Don’t be weird about your outgoingness either. You want it to be a natural thing, and not one that makes you look a person who escaped their insane asylum.. (But really, isn’t that we are?)  So be a beautiful introvert who can also be super outgoing when the occasion calls.

Example: me. I am an introvert.. But I have the ability to entertain people by my crazy antics.. I am an extremely likable person who has been able to make four different staffer/intern/program director guys all laughing as we waited in the lunch line. It was a girls dream come true. See, I am still extremely introverted and like to look like ratchet mess and blog away by my lonesome self for dayzzz on end, but I can also be a good extrovert and make people laugh. It is a wonderful talent of mine to make people laugh by my lame puns and awkward ways. Overall though, I am one of the most introverted people you can meet..

And now that I have shown you have humble and introverted but yet outgoing I am.. Don’t you want to befriend me and become bosom buddies for all eternity? Exactly. Be me and you can’t go wrong. Don’t try to be your own person this next week.. It could end up badly for you so just impersonate the coolest introvert/extrovert you know and everything will be honky-dory from there.

3. Take several years of Debate before attending TeenPact. How else are you supposed to know how to crush everyone else’s very valid arguments by some sly placement of words? If you want to look at all knowledgable while in the well, you should take debate for a couple years beforehand. Trust me, it helps.

4. Be an avid follower of Focus on The Family,  Lamplighter Theatre, Vision Forum (Before the scandal), Voddie Baucham, and if you know anything about nutrition and/or essential oils, all the better. Not that you can talk about media while there, of course, but “Out of the heart springs the issues of life”.. meaning: If you have all aforementioned names in your spirit, your heart will surely pour forth that and you will instantly connect with likeminded homeschoolers. Bonus points if you make your own bread and own a vita-mix. These points are like currency in the homeschool world so be sure you have an abundance of points because points results in friends.

5. Listen to generic Christian music and hymns. If you can go and tell somebody your favorite artist is Britt Nicole and DC Talk… You will be welcomed into the outer courts of Teenpact. Pretty much, listen to your generic Christian radio station for months before attending TeenPact so you can know all those songs by heart.. Sure, you won’t become a legacy.. But at least you’ll fit in, right? You won’t become a legacy just by attending one state class, will you? No, to become one you need to looking at the next 5-6 years of your life and several thousand dollars worth to become a legacy.. But don’t sweat that. First, just focus on getting accepted into the TeenPact realm. Because nothing says “I’m set apart” like swimming in the current.

There you have it, folks. Five easy steps to successfully becoming a cool kid of TeenPact. Now of course you won’t become an Elijah Griles or Mcbryde Campbell overnight.. But at least you’ll be on the right track and that’s what you want, right? That’s your aspiration in life; to become one of the greats of TeenPact history? So get to jamming to Mercyme and Moriah Peters and reading some Joshua Harris books so you can gracefully become a TeenPact cool kid.

Fanfiction and the Blackest Friday

Today is Friday, known to TeenPacters nationwide as…well, Friday.
But more importantly Friday marks the day of the week that comes before Saturday and Sunday as Rebecca Black has so aptly taught us, the day after Thursday. TeenPact graduation day.
To every TeenPacter the Friday after graduation is the true, one and only, Black Friday. The day when the dazzling life you see before you implodes like a dying star only to leave in it’s wake a deep dark abyss.

As we all know, whenever life implodes into a dark abyss the best way to recover is to read YA romance novels, lay in bed, and cry about it.
Which is pretty much the most effective way to handle all your problems.

Anyway, in honor of Black Friday, we have composed a short piece of fiction that should assist you in your mourning on this bleak day.

“Still a Better Love Story Than Twilight”

It’s the end of the week, you’re wishing for something to happen, the same thing you’ve been wishing for since you shook their hand at registration. You’re waiting for the moment when that staffer sits by you, the staffer, your staffer.
Suddenly, you feel a tap on your shoulder. It’s them.
You can smell their beautiful scent and you know this is it.
The moment you have dreaded and dreamed of.
The moment they lean over and whisper those three special words in your ear.
A shiver runs down your spine, your heart pounds and slowly you raise one trembling hand and stand to utter the fateful words,
“I move to adjourn sine die”
The room goes silent. You can feel the stares of pity and envy of your peers. To be the one chosen for this task by your beloved staffer is nothing short of ecstasy.
One second.
The gavel falls with the crack of thunder and your knees buckle under you.
It’s done and you were the catalyst upon which graduation was hinged.
In the silence after the din of disapproval you reflect over the last four days and deep in your spirit something nods to you. The knowledge that the past four days were absolutely and irrevocably flawless.

After the graduation ceremony the room erupts. Everyone is saying goodbye, hugging, crying, promising their eternal loyalty to one another.
You search for only one person. Finally, you see their face, standing apart from the crowd like a poppy planted a few feet away from a field of poppies.
You approach, your heart pounding. Your skin prickly with electricity.
“Hi,” you say.
“Hi,” they say. They smile at you. Offer a side hug.
You take it and hold on tight.
“I’m going to miss you…” you say, your voice catching in your throat.
A flicker of regret passes across their face.
“I have to leave. You know that.”
You nod unable to speak.
They pull back and look into your eyes, staring deeply into your very soul.
“I’ll see you again, you will be at National Convention right?”
Their eyes are earnest. Prodding.
Yours are filling with tears.
“I don’t know,” you whisper. The three most heartbreaking words, I don’t know.

A day passes, enough time has expired for you to have fully reflected on the perfection that you knew just a day ago.
Enough time to feel the weight of indescribable depression that has settled over you. It feels as if you are the ocean floor and the suffocating weight of the ocean water above you lies heavily on your chest.
TeenPact was life…TeenPact was love. And it has gone, along with your favorite staffer YOUR (other) LOVE. Both having been swept away by the salty waves of time leaving only your salty tears in its wake.
All you wanted to do in life was write bills and campaign and be a leader in government and now there’s absolutely no way in the world whatsoever for you to ever fulfill that dream…

Wait a second…

The End.

Thankful Thursday

Today is the one day in the world that everybody wants to spend with their family and just be thankful for what they already have. It’s a lovely day.
Thanksgiving is not a holiday that sneaks up on you either… If you’re a member of facebook, then you’ve read the daily status updates on what your friends are thankful for. If you haven’t posted a status every day this month about all the things you should be thankful for (like Tim Echols’ beautiful mind) your thanksgiving will not be a success.
Because that’s what thanksgiving is all about, right? Showing other people what you’re thankful for will make them thankful that you’re thankful? Duh.
So to celebrate thanksgiving and show our deep appreciation for TeenPact and its values, we’ve compiled a list of things that we’re thankful for that TeenPact has brought us.

1. Tim Echols’ beautiful mind from which sprung the embodiment of my social life
2. The gavel that establishes peace
3. The chivalry TeenPact so strictly enforces
4. The TeenPact ultimate frisbee
5. Worship TeenPact style
6. Do you love your neighbor ?
7. The fitted skinny suits that the guys wear (can I get an amen?)
8. Suspenders
9. Lunch break
10. Rendezvous
11. Hackey-sack
12. Brady Clayton’s sarcasm
13. Nathan Baber’s cello skills
14. Nathan Tifft’s pose
15. The Seldenrust twins
16. The “signs” game
17. Deep appreciation for the constitution
18. The problem of having your hand shoot up as soon as a speaker asks for any questions…Even after TeenPact ends.
19. Understanding the concept and language of parliamentary procedure
20. The week off of chores that you get because of TeenPact
21. Those NC commercials that always seem to make us laugh
22. Deodorant.. Especially after frisbee
23. The great food those TeenPact moms prepare
24. The “her” “she” skit
25. Homeschoolers that are willing to play chess during free time
26. Committee time during lunch at the Capitol
27. The endless supply of starburst
28. The feeling of taking off your stockings at the end of the week
29. The extra day dedicated to political communication so you’ll see your friends tomorrow even if today was graduation
30. Making eye contact with the other gender
31. Getting to kill lame bills in committee
32. The hashtag #savedupsaturday
33. The blog @brothersandcraft (Chambers brothers, ftw)
34. The amount of times you give your email address out that Thursday
35. That we don’t have to listen to every bill be read aloud (to the end)
36. TeenPact, in general.

How many of these things are you thankful for? Did you actually read them all or did you skip around?
Have you done your yearly “I’m thankful for…” status yet? You should probably get on that because I know that all your friends are anxiously awaiting your status that declares how thankful you are. ‘Cause you’re original, right?
TeenPact helped smooth out my awkward edges and helped make me into the people I am today.. And for that, I am eternally grateful. (Toy Story 2 quote)
Today, I am thankful for TeenPact. As you should be, especially if you’re reading this instead of gorging yourself with sweet potatoes and marshmallows.
Now go enjoy your turkey and pumpkin pie and stop being an anti-social homeschooler who’s immersed in social media. Go be thankful and eat yourself sick because nothing says thankfulness like a food coma does!

Perks of Being a Survivor

Survival can pretty much be summed up in one word “Sufferfest”.
That is to say, it’s one of those weeks that the absolute worst thing may happen to you and the minute you pack up the car to leave you’ll be sobbing and wishing you could stay forever even if it meant falling off of a cliff or contracting Ebola from the creek water that you forgot to iodize. (Neither one being fatal in this hypothetical situation though, because nothing is worth dying for unless that thing is a tortilla smothered in PB and J)

You learn a lot at survival, you’ll learn stuff that you can pretty much apply in every day life like how to break a ton of boundaries with someone in three seconds flat and how to make aaalll the chicks wanna be all up in your personal space (while maintaining the sacred space for Jesus of course, hallelujah amen and amen).
These things being, respectively:
A) feeding each other weird undercooked chili that you had to make with disproportional ingredients
B) carrying every girls backpack at once even if they said no when you asked them to give it to you. This will totally make all the chicks dig you because it shows that you can take charge in any situation.

Ladies, if you develop a crush on one of your teammates, you are pretty much at the only TeenPact event that you can somewhat entertain said feelings.
Let me tell you, there are gonna be plenty of contextually TPA activities that’ll get you really up close and personal to that special someone. Like in some instances they may have to hold your waist/hand/you, and their/your life may or may not depend on it.
*aggressively waggles eyebrows*

This could possibly become really awkward if they perceive this physical contact as unwanted and they may begin profusely apologizing to you. Either way, you win. Because you get to see their beautifully sculpted muscles and dang gurl you are on your virtuous woman game tonight, goshdang!

Another thing that you might not have known before you came to Survival, when you get a bunch of homeschoolers together in any setting you’re pretty much just asking for a flash mob to break out.
One that includes singing, dancing, jazz hands, and straight up interpretive miming to One Direction. This may or may not be followed by a full debrief that covers everything that’s totally nonTPA about the song of choice.

Usually those parts are edited out mid-performance but discussed in-depth post performance.

No matter what, you can learn a lot more than you ever wanted to know about the current hottest pop star that holds a special place in every TeenPacter’s heart. That is, the place where they keep everything they loathe with fiery passion but will still listen to because it’s fun ironically.

Obviously you can also apply this to your everyday life to bring joy to random strangers in outdoor shopping centers and hotel courtyards nationwide.

Bonus, they totally taught us how to siphon liquids from big tanks* (wink wink nudge nudge) if you’re ever in a pinch and really need to get to that homeschool convention to see that one girl you met at Survival last year and haven’t talked to since but know in your heart of hearts is your soul mate.
YOUR DESTINY IS WAITING IN THAT HOTEL BALLROOM/UNIVERSITY AUDITORIUM DANG FLABBIT!
*breathes heavily*

At Survival you learn teamwork.
You’ll most likely have a kid on your team that has been to survival like 7 billion times before so basically just follow this kid blindly. They know EVERYTHING and will most likely be able to lead your team to glorious victory.
Even if your team totally fails you’re still gonna be winners because your team is always the best team and anyone who says differently is pretty much your mortal enemy. Ride forth and conquer my dear survivalist.

You’ll surely be leaving with fond memories and a tune in your heart that, whenever it plays on the radio, you’ll simultaneously want to kill with fire and play in repeat for the rest of your earthly existence.

*You might, in theory, be able to use this to theoretically borrow theoretical gas from another human’s theoretical vehicle. Which may theoretically end with jail time because it’s technically a crime that I’m theoretically NOT condoning but whatever. LOVE TRANSCENDS.

How to Win at TeenPact Homework

I remember my first TeenPact State Class.. I was 12 years old and going to the One Day Class. While the homework was easy, for a homeschooler it looked like finals week in College.. Nobody but your mom usually checked your work so you actually turning it in to somebody outside of your family was a big deal! Believe me, you’re not the only homeschooler out there who turned pale at the mention of “homework.”

Hopefully by following these few steps you will be able to stop panicking at the idea of writing a bill and watching the state of the state address.. If one homeschooler can do it, so can you!

First off: Writing your bill.. You should pick a topic that isn’t yawn-worthy or one that every other good conservative homeschooler will rally in arms behind you in support of your bill. If you wanna catch an interns eye you aren’t gonna do so by proposing a bill that a million of other homeschoolers have written. Gun rights, prayer in classrooms, pro-family, and pro-life are all ones that every staffer has had their ears talked off about by little students like you.. ORIGINALITY IS KEY IN BEING A TEENPACT LEGACY. Yet even originality in this circle has a limit.. If you write about marijuana or something semi-liberal you will be written off as a rebel for the rest of the week and be avoided like the plague by all upperclassmen of TeenPact. So be forewarned, originality is something that matters in a bill as long as it doesn’t go against what TeenPact stands for. Ignore the fact the debate is something Teenpacters all revel in because they don’t like the idea of conflict in their little circle of homeschoolness. Write a bill that doesn’t bore people to sleep but also one that won’t brand you with a giant scarlet letter S for the rest of the week. Maybe one on the environment will catch that interns eye, who knows?

Second: Vocabulary.. It’s a lot of time consumption but that is what Spotify is for. Crank up those non-TPA jams and listen your heart out as you define the meaning of liberty and justice. Helpful piece of advice: Listen to as much music as you can before you get to the capitol.. The no-media policy there can be pretty strict so seize the day and listen to plenty of music before you leave.. That’s the good thing about all the vocabulary… SPOTIFY TIME BBY. Unless you are a good homeschooler and only listen to classical music and hymns.. Then you are excluded from this part… Wait, why are you on the internet again? Does your mom know you’re online?

Third: The rest of it.. Don’t sweat it. The staffers won’t judge you because you messed up your homework.. Believe me. My first time as an alumni at the state class? I forgot all my homework and that was the year that all my friends were staffing and I got a big fat 0 on all my pre-class homework.. No matter that I only missed two questions out of all the daily quizzes.. But life happens, guys.. And in my heart of hearts I know that I did a good job cause I spent hours on my two essays for the alumni track. But you know what? Even the program director and male intern, both who were good friends of mine, didn’t judge me or make me feel inadaquate for not turning in my homework… SO BONUS POINTS FOR THEM KOOL KATS.

Homework stinks, guys. Which is why Google and Spotify come in handy. Don’t put off finishing your homework until the last minute.. That’s what horror stories are made up of.  Becoming a TeenPact legend requires more than impeccable homework. But it helps if you know what you’re talking about when you start talking politics with people back at home after coming home from TeenPact.

TeenPact is a culture-shock, boys and girls. Not only are you homeschooled and smarter than all your public-schooled peers but now you’re interested in government and politics? You’ve been brainwashed by some crazy cult, haven’t you?! My answer? I just slowly nod my head and sprout some nonsense about a well, division, and ultimate frisbee before fading away into the dark abyss of my sheltered home.

Work is never fun unless you’re working with a hot intern guy from TeenPact.. Then it might be fun because you get to sit and chat with hot babes all day. (Which might make Napoleon Dynamite jealous) but since you’re not working with Elijah Griles or Christian Edmonds while doing your homework.. Then you’re not having fun. Which might be why you’re reading this blog in hopes of finding a cheat-sheet.. fyi, there’s not one.. Believe me because I have looked into it. Back to topic though.. Work, it’s not fun. Especially homeschooled homework. But get it done so you don’t look like a noob when they ask you how many Republicans are in the Senate. Cause you can’t guess “21” or “The Bible” for this question.. (Bonus points for anyone who caught that Vine reference) So buckle down, soldier, and read “real citizenship” and send out those letters to those leaders in your community.

Work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Same goes with TeenPact homework; don’t get caught up in the whole work part of TeenPact and not enjoy the media-free, conservative week you’re going to be heavily immersed in. Don’t sweat the little things. Learn parliamentary procedure beforehand, that will be a lifesaver! Also, if you could memorize the Constitution, that’d be great too. Memorize a lot and get all media-outted before your state class starts.. Cause once you go in, there’s no going back/ you will forever be changed.

The Creation of Image, Item One: Clothes

As can be expected from organizations such as TeenPact, there is always a certain demographic that is appealed to. Of course, this demographic is largely* teens of the homeschooled variety.

Now there are homeschoolers, and there are TeenPact homeschoolers.

TeenPact homeschoolers are of a different order. These kids constitute the crème de la crème, the future leaders, the hippest hipsters, the mouth breathers of a generation.

But of all the subgroups and sub-subgroups within the middle class republican labyrinth that is TeenPact, the first timers are the ones that can hardly ever escape the eye of the older/more experienced students.

There’s something about a novice TeenPacter that stands out, both in appearance and behavior. Whether it be the floor length broom skirts, the clip on tie or the omnipresent hand-me-down business cut blazer, there are a hundred and ten ways to identify a first timer.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with being new. TeenPact thrives on new kids, but we just want to make sure that you get as much out of this class as possible, and there’s no way of doing that when you’re worried about your image.

Of course, you hear all the time that how you dress/look is not as important as what is on the inside of a person. While I concur that, say, arteries and organs and thyroid glands are all extremely important, in this case you can just check that belief in to the staff along with your iPod and iPod accessories.

Dress code at TeenPact is very important, and considering all the Chick-fil-A you are destined to consume on the daily, how you dress rises a little higher on the importance scale. Meanwhile your insides are crying out for probiotics and decent gut flora.

Here are the basics of dress code. First of all, Homeschoolers are inherently hipster; we already totally rock the hand-me-down chic, retro-esque, goodwill couture.

Usually, you can probably just root through your parents’ closet and find the perfect TPA** outfit to try to re-purpose each day with different ties/scarves/shoes/blouses.

I’ll make it really simple for any guys that are reading this, because let’s be honest, guys, no one even notices if you wear the same suit every single day.*** All you really need to do to is change up your shirt, pocket kerchief, and tie combo each morning and you’re good to go.

Oh no! you say? You can’t find any TPA clothes? Nay, none of your clothes fit the look you’re going for?

Not to worry, just ask mom or dad to go shopping for you.

Trust me, oldest siblings, by the time one or ten of your baby siblings enroll in TeenPact, all of your newly purchased (and parent approved) TPA attire will have aged well enough to be fashionable again. At this point you’ll either be staffing or an intern, and you’ll be able to really shell out the cash for the poshest most well tailored TPA suit or dress on the market. Either way, you end up looking like a million bucks, even if you only spent a few hundred!

Thus is the circuitous nature of the fashion train at TeenPact, that or the train just never leaves the station… but I digress.

In short, the clothes make the man. You want to fit in and have fun, you want to feel just enough inhibition to quote that slightly non-TPA meme or bring up your favorite British TV shows without getting reprimanded by someone bringing up the media policy.****

Social interaction for us homeschoolers can be a dangerous game and hopefully this has helped steer you toward your evolution towards creation of the right outfit that will give you an added edge as a first time student.

*Largely meaning almost entirely.

** As we have learned from this lovely little gem: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/11/17/a-man-wore-the-same-suit-on-tv-almost-every-day-for-a-year-nobody-cared/

***TeenPact Appropriate

****But I swear to Tim Echols, if you quote Misfits you’re flushed.