Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Books I've Read in 2012

It's the end of the year, and so I've decided that I'm going to write two posts today. Coincidentally, this is also the hundredth post I've made! This is a list of all of the books that I read this year going from my favorite (#1) to my least favorite (#35).

  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  3. Legend by Marie Lu
  4. I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  5. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  6. Paper Towns by John Green
  7. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  8. Son by Lois Lowry
  9. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass
  10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  11. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  12. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  13. Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  14. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  15. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  16. The Road from Coorain by Jill Kerr Conway
  17. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  18. A Million Suns by Beth Revis
  19. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  20. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
  21. Starters by Lissa Price
  22. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
  23. Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
  24. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  25. The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
  26. Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
  27. School's Out-Forever by James Patterson
  28. The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  29. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  30. MacBeth by William Shakespeare
  31. El Principe de la Niebla by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  32. Girl, Stolen by April Henry
  33. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
  34. Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson
  35. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
I hope everyone has had a wonderful 2012 and I hope that everyone has a happy new year!


So I'm back from a three day trip to Oakland, Maryland. My family and I went on a ski vacation at this place called the Wisp Resort. We didn't stay there though. We stayed at another hotel that claimed it had "internet." When my dad asked the person at the front desk why we were only getting 15% internet, the guy apparently said "yeah, the internet gets weird in the winter."
Now my ski experience has been limited. I've gone skiing twice before this trip at a place called Boyce park near our house. The last time I went was last year, and the only real thing I remember from it is the pizza and french fry positions of the skis.
The weather was really nice for skiing. It had snowed about three or four inches before we got there and it was still coming down. Friday, it was still snowing, but there was practically no wind, so it wasn't terribly cold.
On Friday, my dad and I got onto the slopes at Wisp. My mother decided that she didn't have the desire to ski so she stayed inside and crocheted all day.  We stuck mostly to green slopes all day, and I advanced to the point where I didn't ski pizza style, but instead did a bunch of turning to slow myself down. I did fall about five or six times and one time, this snowboarder kid (I don't like snowboarders-they're rude and don't know about personal bubbles) ran into me while I was down. I wasn't too happy about that. I DID go on a "black diamond" slope.  It was accidental though. I didn't know that I was on one at the time, and that makes me feel better about falling down half of it.  
Saturday and Sunday, we went cross-country skiing. THAT was awesome. It's like a combination of skiing and skating. We got to ski across the golf corse, which was absolutely beautiful. There was about two or three feet of fresh snow on the ground and the mountains were covered with trees that had lost all their leaves but were coated in snow. There weren't any tall buildings in sight, and it kind of made you feel like you were truly in the wilderness. We went cross-country skiing for two hours each day.
We had to go inside a yurt-a round tent made of felt usually used by nomads-to get our skis, which was awesome. It was a very cozy and I thought that it would be really cool to actually live in one, that is, until I decide that I want to take a shower. The skis themselves aren't like skis that you ski down mountains with. They're very slidy so you can ski across the surface of the snow really easily. My parents had some trouble with snow sticking to their skis-the snow packed really easily, which made it easy to make snow balls. Hehehehe. My dad and I learned that pretty fast.
I'm very glad that there was a bunch of snow on the ground. If there hadn't been, falling down would have hurt a lot. It wouldn't stop snowing while we were there, and all that snow piled on top of snow made a beautiful sight, as I've already said. I don't know why I love snow so much. I just love how it makes everything so serene and pretty. It's snowing right now while I'm writing this, in fact. Maybe it'll snow a lot and tomorrow I can make myself a snow castle and have a snowball fight. You never know. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


For the first time in my life, my dad's computer is not the most powerful computer in the house.
Guess who's is!?
I am now typing this entry on my new computer Istari. It is a 13 inch MacBook Air, and it is amazing. It's sooooo fast!! Everything opens really really quickly. I was shocked this morning when I opened my mail and didn't have to wait about ten seconds for it to actually open. I can't even say "whoa" faster than it opens. It's so wonderful.
I was going to name my computer "Elrond" from Lord of the Rings, because he is amazing and in the movies, he has an amazing forehead, but I thought that that was a bit too well known. Istari is Quenya (one of the languages of the Elves) and refers to to the wizards of Middle-earth.
I do feel more efficient now with my new computer. I'm now motivated to do a lot of typing and opening of documents. I'm currently working on our Christmas letter. My dad and I are now also MacBook Air buddies. Right now, he's sitting next to me on his air and I'm on mine, and it's cool.
I'm also discovering a lot of new things. For one, I'm on a new operating system. I just clicked on a button that I didn't know existed, which let me go to different tabs of Safari. But mostly, I'm just surprised at how fast it is.

Monday, December 24, 2012


So, I know it's been a while since I've posted. I don't like that I don't post that often. I like posting, so I don't understand this at all. Maybe for the new year, I'll make myself a schedule, or a minimum amount of posts that I'll write in a month.
Anyway, tomorrow's Christmas, so to anyone who is reading this, Merry Christmas!! Christmas also means that Christmas cards are coming in from friends and family, which also means that I have to write the Christmas card. Yes, that's my job.
I've been excited for this movie to come out ever since I was about nine years old, though the reasons for wanting to see it have changed. When I was little, I just thought that my dad would enjoy it, so I was excited for him, but after I read The Hobbit in seventh grade, I got even more excited to see it. Especially because I wasn't old enough to comprehend or enjoy The Lord of the Rings when those movies came out, so I'm glad at the timing of it all. At least I got to see some of the story of Middle Earth in the theaters. And knowing Peter Jackson (which I really don't, but based on his actions) he'll probably make The Silmarillion into a movie as well. Actually, he won't make it into a movie, he'll make about four or five movies out of that.
It was amazing. It was sooooo good!!! Martin Freeman did an amazing job as Bilbo. He was very hobbity and just was really really good. The scene with him and Gollum gave me the shivers because it was done so well. Gollum's eyes were really large and blue and amazing. Gandalf was awesome, as well as Thorin, and I have to mention here the amazingness of Elrond's forehead. I don't know what it is about it, but it's just awesome.
I've seen the movie twice. I saw it last Thursday with my parents and I saw it yesterday with my friends Eli and Alexandra. The one on Thursday I saw in 2D, but yesterday I saw it in 3D. I think I enjoyed it more in 2D, just because I don't really think 3D adds anything to the actual movie experience, but I also thought that the movie looked better in 2D. The picture was prettier (especially Erebor and Rivendell). I don't know if I saw the 2D one at 48 frames per second (for those of you who don't know, a regular movie goes at 24 frames per second, but Peter Jackson tried it with 48 to see if it looked "more realistic"), but it was still amazing.
I can't wait for the next one, not only because the first one was amazing, but because BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH is in it as Smaug!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Project for Awesome

Today is the Project for Awesome. Project for awesome is an annual event, run by the vlogbrothers on YouTube. All year, people have been donating money here. Every year, on December 17, vloggers take over YouTube and make a video about a particular charity that they feel strongly about. Then, the YouTube community goes to the website (linked under "here" a couple of sentences earlier) and votes on what they think is the "best" non-profit organization. The top 5 non-profits get 20% of the money that was raised throughout this year.
I think that it's an awesome thing. I like how people are reducing worldsuck (vlogbrothers term for the amount of suck in the world). Many famous YouTubers (or at least the ones I watch) make videos about their charities, and even everyday people make videos for their favorite charities. John Green of the vlogbrothers (an amazing author who wrote The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines-only recommended for highschoolers and up) made a video for Save the Children, a program that provides children who live in poverty with medical aid, education, clean water etc. WheezyWaiter made a video supporting, which provides impoverished places with clean water.
I personally don't have a favorite charity or anything. I think giving to these places is a good thing in general, and usually do so through school. Though the thing that I don't like about the school fundraising is that there is pressure to donate or to participate. Yes, it does produce more money that way, but at the same time, I believe that giving to charity should be done from the heart, and not just because you don't want to be that one person who didn't donate. Also, it feels better to know that you gave because you cared.
I'm just trying to raise awareness for what I think is a really cool thing. If you're interested, there are a bunch of links up there that you can click to get introduced to the Project for Awesome.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pictures of Florian and Montague

These are pictures of Montague and Florian. Montague is on the left with the white sand and pinecone, and Florian is on the right with the red sand and the starfish. I think they're adorable and I love their terrariums. I wanted to hang them somewhere, but I don't really know where I would hang them. However, right now, they seem to be pretty happy with their positions. 
Also, I love the fact that Florian looks like he could be a character from Veggie Tales. He looks like he would be one of those veggies that has round glasses and always talks with an English accent. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Introducing Florian and Montague

So, yesterday, I received an early Christmas present. I was really confused about why I was getting to open this present two weeks before Christmas, but once I did open it, it made a lot of sense. I got two air plants!!
Air plants are plants that don't need any type of soil to survive. Instead, they take the moisture out of the  air and use that as their nutrients. The air plants are about the size of an eraser, and they are adorable. After I soaked them in water (because I have to do that once a week or so), I put them into their terrariums with some sand. Then, I promptly named them Florian and Montague.
Please don't judge me on my naming skills. The thing is, I would never ever ever be so cruel as to name a child Florian (or Montague). If I ever have kids, then I would give them names that are much better than that. However, I've always had this thing for naming stuff (plants, imaginary pets, etc.) with old names.
I sometimes have these moments when I meet people or discover people who have awesome names. A perfect example is Benedict Cumberbatch (speaking of Benedict Cumberbatch, the new Star Trek teaser trailer is out and THERE ARE TWO SHOTS OF HIM AS THE VILLAIN!!). His parents did an amazing job at picking out his name.
Anyway, I found a good spot for Florian and Montague to live. I'm excited for them to bloom, but I'm not really sure when that will be. Apparently, after they bloom, they grow little "pups" that are baby air plants that will grow to be like Florian and Montague. Soon, I'll have a family of air plants that all have really old names. It's going to be exciting!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Snow and the Advent Calendar

This post is going to be really short because I have to go to practice soon.
So I'm still sore. I have practice again tonight so I will probably be sore again tomorrow. The weird thing is, there's this part on my hand that's really sore. Apparently it's called the first dorsal interosseous, which is just a fancy name for the muscle between your thumb and your index finger.
Right now, I'm really in the mood for snow. I want it to snow really really badly. It was about sixty degrees outside today, so I didn't even need to take a jacket to school. It's December already, and the ground isn't covered in snow like it should be. Last year, we had a really odd winter because it only snowed about twice and we didn't even have a snow day. It was really disappointing.
The thing that is really exciting for this year is that I have an advent calendar! It's a lego Star Wars advent calendar, and every day, I open up this little compartment and get to build a little lego toy. So far, I've gotten two ships, a Jar Jar Binks mini figure, and a catapult. It's awesome.

Monday, December 3, 2012

I'm Really Sore

Last week, my mother signed us up for boot camp at the gym that we go to. These boot camps last for about an hour and a half and take place about once every three months or so.  I was kind of excited, because I hadn't been sore in a while. So last Saturday, we went to the gym and attended this boot camp.
I was really glad when I got there to see that there weren't any people there that we extremely buff. My mother and I didn't really want to be in a crowd of people who can bench press twice their body weight or something. There was also a girl from my school that was there, so that was exciting. I think we were the only teens that attended.
There were four stations that we went around to, and they all focused on multiple parts of the body so it wasn't one station for abs and one station for upper body, but all of the stations contained exercises for all of our body. I think I almost collapsed after the first station because we were lunging and then going right into a jump and the lunging and then jumping for a long time. And then, without a break, we went right into squatting and jumping and squatting and jumping. Then we went to the second station, and I quickly realized that I hadn't eaten enough to get myself through the whole boot camp, so I ran into the locker room and very quickly ate a Nature Valley bar. Thank goodness for Nature Valley bars.
I did survive through the whole thing, as did everybody else. But today, I'm really sore. I'm kind of glad I'm sore though. It feels good.
Now here's the other part of the story. Yesterday at about noon, I got a text from one of my volleyball teammates and found out that my club volleyball season had started and that I had missed practice the day before. So I was kind of upset, especially because I had done the exact same thing last year. And I was even more upset because practice was after drivers ed from 8pm to 9:30!! I should be in bed by 9:30!!
And I was sore. But I was excited too, because volleyball season is the best.
I went to practice, and then when we were warming up, my coach from last year, Zach, goes, "so Miss Nace, where were you yesterday?"
Gulp. He said it really scarily too. And you could hear all the coaches sort of listening in.
So I said, "um....I didn't know that there was practice," and they Zach says,
"Ok, thanks for being honest. " He didn't even make me run or anything! Honesty is truly the best policy.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I'm Excited for Photo!

The Thanksgiving holiday is done now and I have four more full weeks until Christmas break. That makes me a bit sad.
I didn't get any of the finals that I wanted to get back today. I know what I got on my Spanish final, but Dr. Andy wouldn't give us our history finals back and Mr. Hallas wouldn't give us our math finals back either. I was actually quite impressed that Ms. McDermott gave us our english finals back last week, because usually the english teachers are the ones that take forever to grade because they have to read so much.
I'm now in photography class though! I'm so excited! We get to use film and old cameras. Mr. Jones, our teacher, also told us that we could basically take as many roles of film from him as we like, so I'm very excited to start shooting. I've been excited since the trimester started really. Every day before photo, I'll wonder to my friend Lily if we'll be getting our cameras today to start shooting. I thought we'd be getting them today, but we have to wait until tomorrow. It's alright though because today we learned how to use an old camera that uses film and we got to play around with the buttons and knobs that are on the camera.
I don't really know what I'm going to take pictures of, but I'm sure that I'll find something of interest to me. The only problem I see with myself and this class is that I don't think that I'll have the patience to wait to develop the film in the dark room. I want to see it right after I take it, especially because I want to know if the picture I took is good or not.
Mr. Jones also told us that we would learn in his class how to take pictures of people without them noticing. He then said that we would have this unit where we take pictures of architecture, and during that unit we get to go outside and take pictures of houses in the neighborhood and we're allowed to sneak up onto people's porches and take pictures of anything that interests us. We're going to learn how to trespass! Now that's my type of class.
They're a bunch of electives that are art related at school, but I think that it would be cool to have other classes. How much fun would a cooking class be? Or maybe a knitting class, or a sleuth/private eye class. Or how about a lets-blow-things-up class? That would be awesome!

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I must say that I had a pretty enjoyable Thanksgiving. I don't think I was expecting that much from it, because my mom invited a bunch of her Japanese friends that weren't planning on having a big Thanksgiving affair and my dad invited two of his students that didn't have anywhere to go for the holiday over to our house. Usually when we entertain, I'm stuck babysitting, but that didn't happen this time, so I was extremely thankful for that.
Since we were going to have a total of ten people at our house, my mother and I had to do a lot of cooking. We started Wednesday afternoon and cooked for about five hours. Then, on Thursday we cooked a lot. And cleaned. We cleaned a lot as well.
Out menu consisted of:
Turkey (duh...)
Pineapple Stuffing (my favorite)
Streuseled sweet potatoes and dried fruit
Mashed potatoes
Cranberry-kumquat chutney
Terragon marinated mushrooms
Grape chutney
Brussel sprouts au Gratin (which is absolutely delicious)
French beans with bacon
Lemon tart
Bourbon pecan pie

That doesn't even include the stuff that the guests brought. It was truly a big feast.
I think that this is the first time that we've made such a big deal about Thanksgiving since we moved to Pittsburgh. Last year my dad was off on a work trip somewhere and so my mom and I got a room at a nearby Bed and Breakfast ( I love Bed and Breakfasts-they're all so cute).
It was kind of nice to cook and make the food. I think I appreciated it more because I actually made about half of the stuff on the menu above. My mother was constantly reminding me that "cooking is about precision" and then once I would show her what I made, she would say "oh, just dump a little more of (insert ingredient here) in that." Also, the French need to learn how to spell. But of corse, that's nothing new.
The entertaining part was pretty fun. My dad was talking to his students about computer stuff. They sounded like they were talking in code with all of those weird terms.

It snowed today. I love snow. There's something magical about how it covers the whole world. It was the first snow of what I hope to be many many more. We need actual snow days this year. That's something I would be extra thankful for.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Books #33 and #34

I've finished two books since the last time I wrote one of these, so it's time to catch up!
The first book that I finished was Son by Lois Lowry. Son is the last of the four books in The Giver quartet. I don't even think that the fourth book was supposed to exist, but thankfully, it did. I loved The Giver. It's one of my most favorite books of all time. The language, the plot, everything is just perfect in that book. The best part about it too, is probably the worst part about it because you don't really know what happens to the community. It's one of those endings that you just have to imagine for yourself, like the ending in Inception (which was just as brilliant).
I loved Son because, unlike Gathering Blue and The Messenger, it returned to the original community; Jonas' community.  I learnt more about this place from the perspective of a girl named Claire. I should probably mention here that the book focused on a girl named Claire who was named a birthmother, but her son was taken from her and she just wanted him back. She searched for years for her son (and I'm not going to tell you if she found him or not).  The writing in this book was just as good as the writing in The Giver. Unlike some reviews of the book that I've read, I think that the time that Claire spent in the fishing village was one of the best parts of the book-especially her relationship with Einar. I loved the Rumplestiltskin-like character of the Trademaster. And above all, I loved the theme of the book-that love is stronger than hate (if you didn't learn that from Harry Potter, you'll definitely learn it here).
5 stars

The second book I read, I finished over the weekend. It's a book called Cinder by Melissa Meyer. I was very cynical about this book. I saw it on the bookshelves of Barnes & Noble and thought it would be just a typical distopian-Twilight-esque book. The reason that I read it is because the school's librarian, Mr. S. gave me a copy of the book because there was a raffle at school on Banned Book Week, and I won, so he picked out a book for me to read. He actually gave me another one as well, called Starters, but I've already read that.
It was ok. I don't think it was great. It was an interesting twist on the Cinderella story. I didn't like the language. I think it was too straightforward and a bit dull. It was also very predictable. My favorite part about it though, was Iko. She was amazing. I would want to have a robot that had a personality like Iko. She was cute and funny, and I loved the fact that she dressed herself up in Cinder's stepmother's jewelry.
3.5 Stars

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bhangra in the Burgh!

So I'm back again.
I feel like my brain fizzed out last week because we had finals on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. And if that wasn't stressful enough,  after that we had two more days of normal school and it was just extra tiring. I got home early on Wednesday because the only final I had to take was my Chem final and I just knitted sashay scarves for about six hours. It seems like I'm mass producing these scarves and people keep buying them.
Saturday though was awesome. I went to the museum from 11 to 4. The day was pretty slow. I was on Polar World cart and we got a whopping total of 17 visitors in two hours, then a girl named Mollie and I went to the discovery room, which is a room where little kids can touch things and see live animals, but it's sort of like a self-serve room. You really don't have to do anything.
But it was after the museum that all of the fun happened. My friend Krithika invited Alexandra and I to go to Bhangra in the Burgh. It's a dance-fundraiser-show that celebrates the Indian festival Diwali. Apparently, Bhangra is a type of Indian folk dance that was combined with hip-hop and reggae music. So we went to this show that was sponsored by CMU but was at Pitt (confusing, I know) that featured these Bhangra groups from all over the country and Canada.
It was amazing. It was so cool! These dancers were dressed up in the Indian dress (which I have always been jealous of because it looks so amazing) and dancing. The music was so loud that the bass shook the whole auditorium. The Bhangra dance itself is high energy and very rhythmical. It seemed like the most common move was when the dancers squatted to the ground and then jumped back up again multiple times. It was awesome. Everyone was dancing in their seats and cheering and trying to take pictures. I tried, but the best picture I got was a blur of bright colors, because, you know, the dancers don't like to stay still.
It was a lot of fun. This show of Bhangra in the Burgh was apparently the sixth one they've had. It was a charity event, and all of the money goes to an organization whose name escapes me, that gives disabled children bicycles, which is pretty cool. I've already decided that I'm going to go see it next year too. Maybe by then I will have mastered the squat jump.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Today, I am going to write about something that upsets me. It's something that makes me irritated and mad.
An awesome company called Buckyballs makes tiny magnets that nerds and geeks can play with to make really cool shapes and designs.  These awesome shapes are often a cure for office boredom, or for studying.  I can spend a really long time playing with these things before get bored of them. My dad's the master at making these things. Buckyballs also have Buckycubes when the magnets are not round, but are square. It also has a kit where there are magnetic sticks which you can connect them to these balls that aren't magnetic themselves, but when you stick them to the stick they become magnetic and then you can make cool shapes with triangles and hexagons and all kinds of stuff. Doesn't this sound cool?
However, the company is now shutting down.
This is not because their business has been unsuccessful. It is because the little magnets are dangerous for the little kids who try and eat them. The company didn't want to go bankrupt trying to go to court, and decided that it would be easier and cost less money to just stop making them.
They have stickers on the box of the Buckyballs telling you to keep them "out of reach from children." You don't need to be a physicist or a quantum mechanist or even have a high IQ to tell you that you DON'T GIVE SMALL THINGS TO SMALL CHILDREN!!! This company's whole concept and whole business is to SELL SMALL THINGS!!!! They tell you to keep out of reach from children. It's incredibly hard to take just one magnet away, because even if you put it on the other side of the table, it will still come zooming back to find the other 215 magnets. The magnet is just that strong.
So a company is shutting down because some people fail to keep an eye on their children. It's shutting down because some people just can't be responsible. And its all because they just don't have some common sense. It seems pretty sad to me.
Awesome companies should be able to do awesome things. Why does the government have to step in because one child went to the hospital after eating one Buckyball? America prides itself in being a country where you can make pretty much anything. If I had a good idea, I can make that idea become a reality. At least, I can, until the government says that I can't anymore. It seems like we have a long way to go.

Friday, November 9, 2012

I Have Done the Horrible...

I can't even believe that I did this. I listened to Christmas songs BEFORE Black Friday. The world must be coming to an end.
Please don't get me wrong. I enjoy Christmas songs a lot. I really do. However, it's just the fact that sometimes they are overplayed.  Whenever I go somewhere during the Christmas season, I just hear them everywhere.
Speaking of the Christmas season though, I'm really looking foreword to it. I can't wait for the time of year when snow falls and covers the pavement, or when I sit with a book on my couch and read with a cup of hot cocoa (that is, if my mother allows hot cocoa in the house). This year, I plan to learn some Christmas carols on the ukulele, and that will be very exciting.
Christmas comes around earlier every year. A couple of weeks ago, I was at Michaels, a store, I must say, that is not good at giving their customers discounts on anything, and I noticed that there were Christmas decorations adorning the store. It was before Halloween. The witch items and everything concerning spiders or anything at all creepy were gone, replaced bright red, green, and white objects that will not come in use for another couple of months. Isn't that sad? I don't even think that I've seen much stuff for celebrating Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays around. Its the only time of year when I'm sure that I will get to eat my absolute favorite pineapple stuffing.
I am just waiting for the first snow right now. Last year, our winter was pretty lame. We didn't get much snow, and only got one two hour delay. That was unacceptable. So this year, there has to be a lot of snow. And I mean A LOT. Like the amount that we got a couple of years ago. We got about three feet of snow overnight and the whole city seemed to halt. I didn't have school for four days. It was wonderful, and the snow was absolutely gorgeous. I hope that this year though, there will be people who are willing to have an intense snow ball fight. That would be awesome.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Back in the Habit?

It has been a while, hasn't it? I have to admit, the only real excuse I have for not writing is that I was busy. Busy, busy, busy. I still think that's a lazy excuse though, but I like the feeling of blogging once again.
The most notable thing that I've done in the time that I've been away, is that I wrote a piano composition. For english class, we are reading the epic poem Beowulf, and our teacher gave us an assignment to represent Beowulf in an artistic form. I, naturally, picked music for my artistic form, and composed a section of the poem. The composition is on here on YouTube. I spent A LOT of time on this. I originally wanted to play it live for the class, but I wasn't going to play it on an electric keyboard (because they don't sound real and they shake if I play anything intense), and the piano in the room my teacher booked for this has a broken pedal, and my whole piece uses the pedal except maybe two measures. So I had to record it at home and then upload it online.
I also have finals next week. Winchester works on a trimester schedule, so for the first and the third trimesters, we have finals. They're two hours long. I don't know that I'm really stressing out that much, because the only subject that I have to study a lot for is chemistry, and that's just because I'm not particularly good at chem( or any type of science really). My AP European History final is two essays, and Dr. Andy gave us six possible essay questions, which I was really happy about.
The school is doing this thing called "Movember." It's when guys shave their facial hair at the beginning of the month and then grow a mustache throughout November. So a lot of the guys (obviously not the girls) shaved their six hairs worth of "facial hair" and decided to grow a mustache. The teachers did it as well, and it will be interesting to see what they will look like at the end of the month. The point of Movember is to raise awareness for men's prostate cancer. The teacher that I wanted to see without facial hair, Mr. Hallas, said that he wasn't going to do it because his wife said he couldn't. Apparently he's had that mustache forever, and it never grows, it just stays the same length.
I wonder if I'm back in the habit of blogging. I really hope I am going to keep on doing it, because I really really like it, and I didn't enjoy not blogging. Double negatives. Urgh.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Carving Party

Yesterday, I hosted a pumpkin carving party in anticipation of Halloween. I haven't carved a pumpkin since I was about seven years old, and even then, I don't remember doing the actual carving part. I think I decided what pattern I wanted and then let my dad do all the work.
So I wanted to carve a pumpkin this year, and I invited some friends over so I could do that.
28.57% of the people I invited actually showed up. I was a little disappointed of corse, but I was determined to have fun with the two who could actually come. Summer and Akeyo came over at around noon, and we ate. At around one, we started to get around to the carving part. I decided to do a pattern that had three pumpkins sitting on top of one another. Summer wanted to carve a wolf, and Akeyo decided to carve a face.
Considering the size of the actual pumpkin, I noticed that there's not much stuff in the inside. I was surprised that the actual amount of innards that I took out of mine was relatively small.
Summer finished her pumpkin in about half an hour. And when it was done, it looked really really nice. The carving part was all even an smooth. Akeyo's pumpkin is really cool too, especially when you put the candle in it. In this picture it looks especially cool because you can see the candle right in the middle of the nose, and its awesome.

The party was a lot of fun. It got me into the spirit of Halloween.
I just got a message about half an hour ago that said we wouldn't be having school tomorrow because of the "anticipated effects of Hurricane Sandy." I hope it's not as bad as people are planning for it to be. I'm glad they cancelled school (even though it was on a day that I have three free periods). Mr. Maione, the orchestra teacher said that sometimes the orchestra room floods when there's a lot of rain. I dearly hope that doesn't happen, because some of the instruments that are in there would get destroyed. The electric pianos are actually pretty nice in there, so it would be a shame if they were ruined.
But the good part is I get to sleep in tomorrow!! Huzzah!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Bear Mascot

So I had an experience the other day that made me think.
The WT soccer team had a playoff game yesterday. It's kind of a big deal, apparently, when any sports team goes to the playoff, and it's the only time this year when I've seen that much school spirit in a school so small. In order to get the WT community pumped up about this game, one member of the soccer team dressed up in a bear mascot costume and went around school giving people hugs and high fives.
The thing that interested me the most about this, was that everyone was trying to figure out who was in the costume. For about forty minutes, the whole school was guessing and talking about who they thought was in the costume. I myself was curious about this. I thought it was Matthieu, but apparently it wasn't.
Once we did find out who was inside the bear mascot (the person's name shall remain anonymous) some people were very disappointed. The person who was actually in the bear costume is in a sort of "click," you could say, for guys. They call themselves the E8, which is a name I don't really understand, but I just accept it.  They don't have the kindest reputation, from what I've heard, mostly because they don't talk to anyone but the members of the group and their girlfriends. I don't have much contact with them, so I really can't judge. I'm not saying that this person is bad, but I am just gathering data from what I heard from the people who were around me.
So I thought that it was interesting that we care about who the mascot is on the inside, but once we do know what is on the inside, we are disappointed. If we think that about a person in a mascot costume, then we must think that about a person and the personality of that person. We have one opinion about the person, and then once we know their true colors, we act like we know exactly who they are. Sometimes we do, and sometimes, we don't. I don't know. It was just interesting to me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Internet, Come Back!!

One of the reasons that I haven't been blogging much lately is because of the internet. More specifically, it's because of the lack of internet. My mother has this view that we in this household are too attached to the internet and we need less of it. So now she's turning it off at 8pm and then only turning it back on when she comes downstairs in the morning at around 6am.
I think that she has part of a point. Not a whole point, but some of it. In this day, we spend a lot of time online. I don't think that I would be so opposed to it if I didn't have work that I need to do.
For example, yesterday, I came home, ate a snack, and then was promptly whisked off to the gym for about an hour workout. I got home at around 6, then had to eat and shower. So then I finally got around to getting my homework done. Homework takes a while. I'm not saying that I need the internet for the whole time that I'm working, but wikipedia is very useful in times of trouble. I was studying chemistry ( I have a test on Friday) when the internet got turned off, and I was very annoyed, because I needed to know what Joseph Priestly did and it wasn't in my notes, so I had to look him up, but of corse, when I got to the internet page, safari said "safari is not connected to the internet." Sink me.
Then, the next morning, the internet was turned on at 6am, and my phone started to buzz. Unless my alarm on my phone is going off, my phone is NOT allowed to buzz. Especially early in the morning. That woke me up half an hour before I would have normally gotten up. Half an hour is a LONG time in sleep land. I could have had a very nice dream during that time. It turns out that my phone was giving me iMessage texts from the night before that didn't get to me because the internet was turned off.  Needless to say, that was not my happiest morning.
The thing is, my dad agrees with me. My mother's the one who's enforcing this rule.
So I'm irritated. I can't blog before 8pm, and 8pm was usually when I started my posts. I'm adjusting my plan. I just really really hope that this will not be a long time thing.

Monday, October 22, 2012


On Saturday night, my mother and I went to see the Cirque du Soleil show Saltimbanco!!! It was truly amazing.
I've seen three Cirque du Soleil shows that I remember, including Saltimbanco. I saw Totem when I was in eighth grade, and then saw Quidam last year. I love Cirque du Soleil shows, because everything is amazing. The tricks are amazing, the music is amazing, and the costumes are amazing.
So you can imagine my absolute joy when I found out that I would be attending the show showing in Pittsburgh, Saltimbanco.
Have I said yet that it was amazing?
Saltimbanco is about a metropolis. A city where people are happy and everything is colorful. Its a show about the city, but it also pays attention to the individual. They also spoke during this show in a language that I can only describe as a mix of Irish, Italian, and gibberish.
The first act that I really really enjoyed (like, extra really enjoyed, because I really enjoyed all of them) was the chinese poles. There were four poles, standing vertically and about 20 people would climb it and jump from one pole to another. Everybody was really in sync, which I really liked. Another act that I extra enjoyed was the boleadores act. It was basically two people, a man and a woman, swinging around two pieces of string with a ball at the end. They were also in sync, and when the balls would hit the ground, they would make a loud noise, and it was really cool.
During the whole entire show, my mother was sitting next to me, and every time something amazing happened (which was like every ten seconds) she would lean over an say "how can they do that? They're not human." She said this a lot in this act, where these two men lifted each other and made statures out of themselves. I realize that that sounds weird, but there was one move where the smaller of the two extremely buff men had his feet in the air, and his shoulders were balancing on the back of the other man, who was standing on the ground. It looked like a very long human being in the air. It's especially amazing considering how buff these men were and how heavy they must have been.
I really also enjoyed the costumes in this show. They were colorful, the makeup was colorful, and I really want to live in a city where people can wear clothing to make them look like a rainbow.
The show was again, really really good. I now have to listen to the music and memorize the words.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Icons, Son, and PSYCH!!!

There have been three major excitements in my life recently.
1. Icon factory 2. Son 3. PSYCH SEASON 7 PROMO!!!

1. Icon factory is an amazing place where I can get little pictures to replace my icons on my computer. My dad told me about this last week, and I checked it out, and it is awesome!!! I immediately changed practically ALL of my icons on my computer.  I changed the safari icon (a compass) to the TARDIS from Dr. Who, I changed my Spotify icon to Totoro, and most importantly, I changed my 1Password icon to BATMAN!!! I did a lot of other ones too, but now on my dock on the bottom of my screen, I have a mini TARDIS, a TARDIS key, Totoro, a beach ball of doom, Batman, and the little bell from Polar Express. Now anyone who wants to use my computer will be extremely confused and not be able to navigate on my computer. But it is awesome.

2. So I read The Giver by Lois Lowry three times. I read it in fourth, fifth, and sixth grade, and occasionally pick it off of my bookshelf to skim through. It's an amazing book, and is currently ranked at #5 on my Top 25 Favorite Books list. This book has two "companion books," which means the books, Gathering Blue and The Messenger, take place in the same world and cross paths with the main character of The Giver, but it doesn't really continue the story of Jonas and Gabe. What I didn't know, was that there was another book that takes place in this world, and it came out two weeks ago. It's called Son. I read the free sample that Barnes and Noble gave me on my nook, and it's pretty good so far. I've read some reviews, and they have been pretty positive, so I am really excited to start reading it, but I have to finish the current book I'm working on, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. There used to be a time when I could read five books at the same time, but I really want to finish The Book Thief, and don't really want anything to come in between me finishing it.

3. Today wasn't really the best of days, mostly because it's Wednesday, and I don't particularly care for my Wednesday schedule. Also, I had an English in-class essay. It was lunchtime, and I had just come back from writing a lot about what I think a hero is (that was our prompt), and I came downstairs to grab my lunch. Then, Jacob showed me that THE PSYCH SEASON 7 PROMO VIDEO IS OUT!!!! I was absolutely positively so excited. I have been waiting for this for about six months. And the cliffhanger at the end of season 6 didn't help either. Psych is one of my favorite shows (I say one of my favorite, because, you know, Downton Abbey, Big Bang Theory, and Dr. Who are good too). Though they did ruin the cliffhanger because they showed a clip where Henry was alive and well. Admittedly, I knew he would be alright, but come on!

Those are the exciting things that are going on in my life right now. There's another thing coming up, but I'm going to save that one for another time. I'm drumming my fingers together in front of my face and saying "hehehe" like an evil person right now. But you'll just have to wait and's rather exciting!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Glory of Autumn

On Saturday, my family and I went to Oakland, Maryland for the town's annual Autumn Glory Festival.  My dad apparently attended the festival once when he was a small child, and remembered really enjoying it, so we decided to go back this year.
The day was absolutely beautiful. The sky was blue, it was about 60 degrees (Fahrenheit) outside, and the leaves on the trees were turning red and orange and yellow. It takes about three hours to get to Oakland, and I thought that I would be watching Downton Abbey during the car ride, but instead, I decided to look out at the beautiful view of the woods that were bright with autumn colors and listen to music. Though I was very irritated because my iTunes on my iPod was broken and I couldn't listen to the music that I wanted to listen to, so half the time I listened to my new purchases, Fireflies of Montreal and Permafrost by Laurena Segura.
We got to Oakland at around noon, and ate lunch at a pizza place that I had apparently eaten at before, but don't remember. The pizza was square and good though.
At one, it was time for the parade!!! I don't really have any memories of going to parades as a child, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It started out with a person, who I think had been crowned Miss Maryland or something, and then proceeded to a marching band. Then there was the army of people with bouncy balls. They were all dressed in a green t-shirt and black pants, and were dancing along to a song that I can't remember the name of. There were about 150 people or so, and they would take the bouncy ball, which, I should note, was probably a yoga ball or something, but I don't know. They would dance with it, and sit on it and bounce up the hill with it, and it was very odd, and a bit unnerving.
The best part of the parade, by far, were the SHRINERS!!!! The Shriners are an organization that help children in need of hospital care. I can't take people wearing fezzes seriously anyway, but after golly, it was so much fun!! There were some Shriners in nice, big cars, waving to the public, but then...then, all of the fun happened. A group of Shriners-there must have been at least twenty- came around the corner in little yellow go-carts, and sped around making figure-eights in the street. They must have practiced a lot, because it was truly really really cool. It was awesome. That was a demonstration, that even 70-year old men (wearing fezzes) can still act like children, and, as my dad pointed out, do it legally.
We also spotted a relative of my dad's in the parade (my great-grandfather lived in Oakland, so there's some family and friends around). Please don't ask me to tell you his relation to me, but I know that his name was Jeff, and he's a nice person.
After the parade, my mother and I went around the antique shops in Oakland. My favorite part of the antique shops that we went in were the hats-I love hats, especially ones from the 1930's.
When we started out car ride home, it was about 7 at night. It was peaceful, and you could see the stars in the sky. We went home after a really nice day in Oakland. This time, I did choose to watch Downton Abbey, but was still thinking about how nice the day had been-the weather, the parade, the Shriners, and of course, the colors and the glory of autumn.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why Batman Wins at Life

I am of the belief that Batman is the best superhero out there. 
Calm down you Hulk and X-Men lovers! I said he is the best superhero out there, Not the best comic book (personally, I think Spiderman is the best comic book) and I will explain why I think that this is so. 
It's because no matter how minute the possibility, anyone can become Batman. 
There is no scientific phenomenon that allows Bruce Wayne to become Batman. In Spiderman, Peter Parker is bitten by a spider and takes on some of its abilities. In Fantastic Four, the Fantastic Four are exposed to some cosmic radiation and something happens to them so they have special abilities.
Bruce Wayne is rich. That's why he can have all of those fancy gadgets. That's why he has amazing technology to help him fight his nemeses. Other than that, if I want to become Batman (which would be awesome), I just have to go get some intense martial arts training, build a lot of muscle, and learn how to have two different personalities at the same time. That's possible. It's just a lot of work. It would be hard. It would be difficult, but it's possible.
We all had people in our lives that we wanted to become. Personally, I wanted to become Hermione Granger and Laura Ingalls Wilder at the same time. But no matter how hard I try, I can't use magic, and I can't travel back in time to live on the prairie. 
Little children want to become Wolverine and Spiderman, but there's no chance. I'm sorry. It's very sad. 
So that's why I say, if you want to become a superhero, become Batman (or Ironman, but Batman's just better). Become rich (or inherit the money), go to all the martial arts training sessions you can go to, and acquire the best technology out there. Then go around and save cities from crime. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Planet

I decided that it would be fun to create my own planet. Please understand that there is no science to what I'm going to write. It's just what I think would be a very nice place to go visit sometime.  So here I go!

The planet is named Iskyra, and it lies somewhere not in out solar system, but out there in a place where we humans haven't discovered yet. The sky during the day would be the color of autumn leaves. There would be no clouds. There would be no sun. However, during the night, the sky would turn a deep velvety blue and two moons would hang in the sky. One, the large one, would be a creamy yellow and cover a third of the sky and light the nighttime world. The other moon would be small and a color in-between orange and yellow. This small moon would circle around the big moon throughout the night.
The landscape of the planet would be magical. There would be forests of trees as tall as redwoods and with branches that would spread the distance of five school buses. The trees would all have flowers on the end, which would flower every day no matter what time of year it is. The water would be crystal clear. There would be one ocean that extends from the mountains as far as the eye can see, but then after that, all the water goes over a cliff and pours into the biggest lake in the planet, which spreads into rivers traveling throughout the Iskyra. There would be no fish in that huge ocean, but there would be very colorful fish living in the rivers and streams. They would all be light colors like baby pink and baby purple, though there would be the few exceptions. There would be huge fish (ancient dinosaur-type fish) living in the huge lake. There would even be sections of the huge forest of trees that was flooded by this crystal-like water. In sections of the forest, there would be little lilies that would open up every morning in what we call "slow motion," and that would mark the time when the planet would come to life and the day would begin.
The short mountains on Iskyra would be the size of Mount Everest. There are of course, much taller ones throughout the planet. They would be covered in flowers of all colors no matter how high you climbed, and would stand tall and bold against the orange sky.
Gravity would work differently on Iskyra. Rain would fall, but it wouldn't fall like it falls on Earth. It would fall slower, the raindrops would be a bit bigger and fall less often, and it would be beautiful.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Are We Fearless?

This past weekend, I went SCUBA diving with my mother and father. We went to a place called Gilboa Quarry, and I would tell you where that is, except that I don't really know. All that I know is that it is in Ohio, and is in the middle of nowhere.
The quarry itself is quite large. On the surface, it looks very serene and peaceful, but it's underwater where the fun happens. On Friday night, it was raining really hard, and it was about 9:30 pm. We decided that we didn't want to camp that night, which had been our original plan, so we stayed in a hotel. The next night though, we camped.
Before I describe the actual diving part, let me stress that the land was very very very cold. The temperature was barely above freezing level during the day. Saturday night, I was wearing six layers of clothing and snuggled in a pretty thick sleeping bag, and was still very cold.
So now knowing that part, imagine having to change into a bathing suit, then struggle for about ten minutes to put on a thick rubber wet suit. Not a pretty picture, eh? But we got through it and my mother and I headed to the docks to gear up.
The water itself was warm. Compared to the land temperature, the quarry felt like a big, large, warm bathtub. Our dive master, Dick, took us to a platform about sixteen feet down, and we showed him our  mastery of skills like taking our masks off and sharing our extra regulator with our dive partner. He then took us around a bit, and we saw what underwater life was like. For starters, there were fish!! There was also a bunch of stuff that had been sunk to make the quarry a bit more interesting. There was an airplane, a motorcycle, and a school bus all covered in slime and surrounded by fish. It was actually very cool.
Now at this point, you may be wondering what the title has to do with it all. Don't worry! I'm about to tell you.
This past weekend was a charity fund raiser for brain cancer research. Since Halloween is coming up, the underwater life is decorated with "scary stuff" like rubber snakes and creepy looking clowns. The idea is, that on Saturday night, you go night diving, and you get freaked out by all this stuff.
I was excited for the night dive. I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. My mom and I decided that we were going to do it. A couple of weeks ago, we bought some flashlights to prepare us for this dive.
It was night, and people were already in the water when my mom and I got down to the docks. I was going to dive with a very gentle dive instructor named Jim, and my mom was going to dive with Dick. This way, we were one on one with an instructor. It was my second dive ever.
I got into the water, and honestly, it was nothing like I was expecting. You can't see anything down there. This fact might be obvious to some people, but it's completely different from anything you'll ever imagine. This fact that I couldn't see anything somehow freaked me out a lot. I didn't know how deep I was going, and I didn't know if I was going to bump into anything, and my dive computer wasn't lighting up like it was supposed to so it wouldn't tell me if I was deep or not. The first time I tried to go down, I failed miserably. I didn't know where I was, and had no sense of direction, and I kept on shining my light into Jim's face, and it was not a fun time. I went up and tried again, but going down the second time was just as bad as the first. Then Jim gave me another 3 pound weight because he thought that I wasn't sinking enough, and then the third time, I was able to stay down longer.
I got down, and was still really freaked out. Not by the stuff, but by the loss of my sense of direction. Jim held my hand, and that made it a little better, but not that much, because the added weight was making me sink more and I couldn't control my buoyancy (though, afterward, my mother pointed out that I could have inflated my BCD). I kept on having to kick a lot, and that was terrible because SCUBA is supposed to be a not-kicking-a-lot activity. Since my weight was pulling me down, I kept on hitting the top of the plane and the bus. Then my mask started to flood, making it harder to see the blackness, and it was awful. I was also breathing really really fast. I couldn't see, I had no sense of where I was, I kept on sinking, I couldn't control my buoyancy, I kept on running into things, and my mask was flooding. It was scary. It was frightning. I was starting to panic, and the thought of oh God, if you're going to take me please do it as fast as you can was entering my mind, when I signaled to Jim that I wanted to go to the surface.
I actually started crying on my way up because I was so disappointed in myself. I couldn't do it. I was scared, so I couldn't do it. I didn't like the thought of fear keeping me from something that I really wanted to do. I got out of the water, and started to cry even harder, and all the while, people were coming up to me saying that it was ok, and telling me that they hadn't lasted as long as I had on their first night dive, and there were professional divers who wouldn't go night diving. I took off my stuff, and got dressed in my six layers of clothing, all the while thinking about fear.
I think that sometimes, we humans like to think that we're fearless. We see characters in books who do brave things and who seem like they have no fear whatsoever. They have fears too. We see people climb Mount Everest, and go to the deepest parts of the ocean, and we think that in some magical way, we are fearless. But we're not. At some point, we are reminded of what we fear. I was reminded of what I fear. I fear loss of control, loss of direction, and that's part of a list that includes fear of regret and fear of lionfish. I don't like fear though. I don't think anyone does. But the thing that I don't like about fear is that it limits us. It limits us to what we know, and doesn't let us "expand our horizons." How can we grow if we aren't brave?
So, no. We aren't fearless. But conquering our fears, isn't that what we've been taught ever since we were little and afraid of the dark? I was scared of that night dive. I'm still scared of some stuff to do with SCUBA. I'm determined to get back in though, and I'm excited for my next night dive, whenever it is. I'm excited to prove to fear that I'm not scared of night dives anymore, and I'm excited to see what fear's next challenge for me is.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Book #32 The Road from Coorain

So, apparently I was a liar. A really really big liar. I'm sorry!!! I am so so so sorry!!!
I told you that I would finish reading the extensive amount of 6 pages from The Road from Coorain. Instead, I had a sudden desire to create a stop motion movie using silly bands.
I did finish the book though! I finished it on Wednesday morning, but being the kind of person who likes to procrastinate, I am writing this now, during my free period.
The Road from Coorain (written by Jill Kerr Conway) was a book that was different from anything else that I've ever read. It's  a memoir of a woman who grew up in the bush of Australia and the emotional battles she went through throughout her life. There were battles when her father and brother died, there were countless numbers of emotional thoughts that went through her head as she learned about bias against women who wanted to establish themselves in the educational world.
I loved the writing in the book. The narrative was amazingly clear. She expressed her emotions perfectly. I got angry when she was angry. I became frustrated when she was frustrated. I love that kind of writing.
I don't know what I would do if I was in Conway's situation. I don't think that I could stand to just watch other people learn while I was supposed to sit and not be educated. It was incredibly frustrating for Conway, and it would be incredibly frustrating for me. Thankfully I go to a school and live in a time where education is highly valued (though apparently Governor Corbett doesn't want to pay for the education of the young people in Pennsylvania). Though, in the end, Conway became the first woman president of Smith College, so she sort of shoved that in the faces of the people who tried to limit her education.
Then there was the incredibly sad part of Conway's relationship with her mother. I loved the mother in the beginning. She was kind and caring, but as Conway became older, her mother became crankier and crankier. In the end, I could feel Conway's frustration with her mother's ideas and worries. I felt sorry for her though. She was a person scarred with emotion from her husband and son's deaths, but I didn't like how she reacted to the deaths, and how the deaths seemed haunt her throughout her life, and she never got over them.
The Road from Coorain gets a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I apologize for my lack of blogging. I will try to blog more starting on Monday. I won't be able to blog this weekend because I'm going SCUBA DIVING!!!!!! I'm soooo excited!!!!!! We will be diving 4 times, one of which is a night dive. We're going to Ohio, the state that is full of nothing but cornfields. We'll also be camping overnight, and woods don't get internet access, so that's why I won't be able to blog. I promise though, that I will get back on track on Monday!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ms. Reed Told Me to Read It

I've been reading this book called The Road from Coorain lately (by lately I mean for the last month or so). I have about six pages left, and I'll probably finish reading it tonight, but before I finish it and write a review of the book, I thought that I would give you a little background about how I decided to read this particular book.
When I was in fifth grade, I lived in Tokyo, and attended the American School In Japan (ASIJ for short). It was a pretty large school, containing about 130 kids in a grade, all the way from Kindergarden to 12th grade. I loved ASIJ. There was a HUGE playground, the classes were fun, and the people were really nice. I had a teacher called Ms. Reed, the greatest teacher that I've ever had. She made everything fun. She was energetic, fair, and loved to read. There would be times where she would sit at the front of the class and read us great books like The Giver and Tuck Everlasting. Every day, she would give us a whole period to write, which was, naturally, my favorite class.
One day as the year was coming to an end, Ms. Reed stood up in front of the class and held up The Road from Coorain. She told us that she had just finished reading it. She told us that she thought that we, especially the girls, should read it sometime in our futures. It was an inspiring book, she said, could teach anyone where determination could take you. When a girl named Ann asked when we should read it, she told us that we should read it when we were in eighth grade. Not now, because we were a bit too young to appreciate it, yes, eighth grade. I never wrote the name of the book down, and I thought that I would forget about it, but somehow, I've remembered to read it.
So when I was in eighth grade, I borrowed The Road from Coorain from the library. I read it for a month, but never had the chance to finish it, so I returned it, having only read the first half of the book. A couple of months ago, I decided that I would read the book again. This time, I decided, I would finish the whole thing. So instead of checking it out from the library, I went to Barnes & Noble and bought it. It sat on my nightstand for about two months before I picked it up and started to read it.

Monday, October 1, 2012


I made the wonderful mistake of leaving my chemistry notebook at school over the weekend. This is ill advised, especially when you have a chem lab due Monday after lunch.
I realized that I had forgot my chem notebook on Saturday, when I opened my backpack to start my homework. I immediately thought that there must have been a mistake. I distinctly remembered thinking Aki, don't forget your chem notebook on Friday, and I remembered that I had put the notebook in my backpack. So on Saturday, I was very confused when I realized that it was not there, and I was starting to wonder if inanimate objects could teleport, when I had the wonderful idea of e-mailing my lab partner to get the data that we had collected together. I sent her the e-mail, and then sat at my desk staring at the little mail icon that shows up on the computer, refreshing my inbox every couple of seconds to see if she would respond. But she didn't, so I did the parts of the lab that I could complete, and then went to bed.
Yesterday, I checked my e-mail in the morning, and my lab partner still hadn't e-mailed me back, so I began to worry a bit. After I came back from the Ren Fest, she had e-mailed me saying that she too had forgotten her lab notebook. Then, I became even more stressed out than I already was. WHAT WAS I GOING TO DO!!!???????? I can't turn it in late, that would just be...terrible. I don't think that I would actually physically be able turn in an assignment late. Or turn in an assignment half completed. I've never done that before. But thankfully, I remembered that I had a free period before lunch. Whew. I could finish it then.
I got to school this morning, opened my locker, and saw that my notebook was NOT in my locker. Great. I lost my lab notebook with all the data in it. Now it was PANIC TIME!!!!! I was mentally banging my head against my locker. So I went to my lab partner and got the data from her.
Then, during math class (I think my teacher was talking about the London Eye and a bigger ferris wheel that New York City is trying to build and a bigger one that Las Vegas is trying to build....because that's what people should be concerned about right now. Building ferris wheels, and not be concerned about the economy or all the other problems in the world.) I did the calculations for the lab, and then after I was done, I payed attention in class and took really good notes.
After, sculpture class (a class that is really really fun, but I'm terrible at making 3-D objects), the librarian, Mr. S., told me I had left my chem notebook in the library over the weekend. I am told this NOW??? Not that Mr. S. should have told me earlier, but......I was mentally banging my head against my locker again.
During my free, I feverishly finished the lab in about half an hour. I had fifteen minutes left, and I was feeling really really good about myself when I realized that I had graphed something wrong. I HAD SWITCHED THE X AND Y-AXES AND HAD TO DO THE WHOLE THING OVER AGAIN!! GARRRRRR. My heart was racing so fast it could have run a marathon. So then I franticly did the whole graph over again, which meant hand drawing it again, making a line of best fit, and then calculating slope, etc. Don't worry, the math was right and everything. The whole table that I was working on in the library was covered with papers, and things were flying out of my backpack, and it was a very hectic time. I finally got everything done, everything printed, and I piled all the papers up in a very neat stack. It was ready to be handed in. I finished one minute before lunchtime.
This whole wave of relief swept over me as I headed to lunch. I never thought that chemistry would give me that much stress. But I have learned, as I (mostly) always learn from my mistakes, never ever EVER to repeat what I did today. I'm never going to do that. Ever.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ren Fest

I have never thought that anyone is too old to play dress up. As a person who loves (notice the present tense) to pretend, imagine, and dress up, and has never really grown out of (what people might call) child's play, a Renaissance Festival results in a lot of fun for me.
This particular Renaissance Festival is about fifty minutes away from the city in an open field. There's a small castle gate that marks the entrance, and inside, we were immediately met with the sounds of some bagpipes. We stopped to look in some little shops (Ye Olde Jewelry, Magyk Cloaks, etc.) and then made our way to the joust. We got there a little late, so we didn't know what was going on. I should probably add at this point that it was raining. Though, of corse, it started to clear up right as we were about to leave the festival.
We left the joust and went around shopping again. I love seeing the little stores that I wouldn't get to see anywhere else. There was a leather shoe store, a store that sold metal scented roses, and a fairy store. The people in the stores were all dressed up in clothing from the Renaissance. Though my dad did point out that around 90% of the population during that time was probably wearing rags, not cloaks and fancy dresses. I did see a guy dressed like a flagellant though, so I was weary and didn't talk to him.
After looking at some of the stores, we went to go see my favorite part of the Renaissance Festival, Cast in Bronze. The act consists of a guy playing a medieval instrument that is sort of like an organ, but instead of the sound coming out of pipes, every note you play on the keyboard hits a different bell. The instrument weighs about 4 tons, and has about 40 or so bells in it. It's absolutely huge, and absolutely wonderful sounding. The instrument itself is called a carillon, and it is the only instrument of its kind in existence.
We then had food, and while we were sitting and eating, the bagpiper came to our section of the festival and started to play a medley of Star Wars and the Star Spangled Banner.
All the time that we were at the Renaissance Festival, my dad and I kept on bringing up a scene from The Big Bang Theory where the characters all go to a Ren Fest. Then Sheldon ruins the fun (like he always does) because he states that it is an inaccurate festival. But then, Raj, Howard, and Leonard convince him to go back, dressed as Spock (yes, from Star Trek) and pretend to be Spock investigating what life would be like during a Ren Fest.
Throughout this whole festival, there were people dressed up. They were wearing all these cloaks and cool outfits. A couple of years ago, when I first went to this festival, I wanted  my own outfit to wear for later years. I asked my mother to create one for me, and not surprisingly, she hasn't (though she did promise to make me a cloak about five years ago and she still hasn't, so I could probably get her to make one for me. It would be extremely useful during Harry Potter Day at school), so I should probably get to making one for next year's festival.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Underwater Music

Today I went SCUBA diving. I haven't done this in a while. The last time I went diving was in August, and it felt really nice to get back in the water. We are going diving next weekend. We're going to a place in Ohio called Gilboa, where we will take part in an underwater haunted quarry. I don't really know what it's going to be like, but it sounds like a lot of fun. While we're there, I will go on a total of four dives, and one (I'm really excited about this one) will be at night.
We got home from SCUBA at around four-thirty, and since then, I've mostly been doing homework. More like I've been trying to do my homework, but I forgot my chemistry notebook at school that has all of my notes from a lab that we just did in it, and the lab report is due on Monday. I hate this kind of thing. All day on Friday, I kept reminding myself to put my chem notebook in my backpack, and then I completely forgot at the end of the day. I could have sworn that I put it in my backpack, but apparently I didn't. Thankfully, I have a free period before chemistry on Monday, and I can do it then. That is, if my lab partner doesn't send me the measurements that we took, and I really really really hope she checks her e-mail and sends them to me because that will make my life so so so so much easier.
The thing is, I never forget things. (Let me correct myself before my mother contradicts me on this matter) I never forget assignments. Really. I forget like once a year, so I really really hope that this will be that once a year, so I don't have to forget another assignment until my junior year.
On another, happier note, I'm going to the see the Matthew Morrison sing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in about an hour and a half. Matthew Morrison is a singer and currently starring on the television series Glee, a show that I tried to watch, and then failed. I put effort into seeing the first half of season one because a friend asked me to, and then I just quit after that. It was awful. But I do like Matthew Morrison. Apparently he's going to be singing some selections from his new album (the album has broadway music on it). Sounds like fun.
While I was underwater today, I kept on humming the songs that were stuck in my head (I always have songs stuck in my head, as my friends know). I didn't really know if the people around me could hear me, because I wasn't humming that loudly. But I kept on thinking about music that is underwater. There's a radio show that I listen to, Adventures in Odyssey, a Christian radio drama that is mainly focused for 8-12 year olds, but it's still fun to listen to years later, in which there is a scene in one of the episodes where a character named Wooton is talking about a band called the Pool Boys, who sing songs underwater. I always thought this concept fascinating. First of all, it's hard to sing underwater. Second, I don't know of anyone who would listen to songs that are sung underwater. I wouldn't be able to distinguish between a good singer and a bad singer. But if Matthew Morrison was to sing underwater, what would it sound like? Would it sound different if I sang? What would the underwater guitar or the underwater drum set sound like? I don't know. We should test it out.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Amazingness of Google

Our topic today is Google. More specifically, our topic today is about the amazingness of Google.
The internet is an awesome place that is abundant with information. There are whole webpages devoted to random things like grapes and candles. The information is right, literally, in front of us. We just have to access it.
I love google. I love how it will answer any question you have. I love the existence of googledox and YouTube. I love how that when I'm bored, I can type in sentences to google such as, "can you really," and see the top most asked questions on google, such as, "can you really have breakfast at Tiffany's." A couple of weeks ago, I typed in "what should I take to," and google filled in the rest of the sentence with "sniper school." Sniper School!!?? There's a school for snipers??
There is also the amazingness of google maps.
Last year, when my friends and I were bored in jazz piano class (a class, I should point out, which was not really a class at all, but more of a lets-watch-Batman class) we would look up our houses, or places we lived. My friend Elisha had lived in New Jersey, so she would show us her old house or her old school. I would show her the places I had been in Japan, and digitally take the route I took from my house to school every day. It was a very surreal feeling.
Now, apparently, google maps is so advanced that I can actually see the landscape of an underwater coral reef without going there at all. A couple of years ago, my family and I took a trip to Heron Island, and island that's only a mile in length, and sits on top of the wonderfully vibrant and colorful sea life that surrounds it. The island had no cars, no internet, and the people who worked there were either researchers, or people who staffed the hotel. I had to ride a two hour boat ride (a very bumpy ride that made my mother throw up) to get there. It was a beautiful place. The ocean was a shocking blue, the sand was pure and white. It seemed so laid back. We went snorkeling, we took walks around the island, and it was wonderful. Now I can go there without really going there at all. I can click some buttons and see the sea life that I flew 12 hours on an airplane to go see. I don't know if I like this or not. But now that I think about it, it seemed inevitable. I could probably access google space, if I wanted to. I could probably see Saturn and Mars. I don't know, I haven't explored it that much. I just have one question. Will google maps give me directions to underwater landmarks?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Studying for History

Today, thanks to all of the Jewish people in the neighborhood, I don't have school. It turns out that today is Yom Kippur, the most holy day of the year in the lives of Jewish people. The theme of Yom Kippur is repentance and they have to fast for twenty-five hours.
I like not having school on Wednesdays. It makes the week less intense. I got to sleep in this morning until 8:45, which is something of a miracle in my case, because I usually end up waking up early on weekends as well as on weekdays.
At around 11:00, I started to do my homework. Aside from a small breaks at around lunchtime and two, I have been studying all day. I have my first big history test on Friday, and I'm kind of freaking out about it.
I have to know practically everything about Medieval Europe. That includes things like Thomas Aquinas, The Hohenstaufen Empire (which is just fun to say) the Hundred Years' War, and the fall of Constantinople. These things aren't that hard to keep straight, but don't even get me started on the monarchies of France and England, and that's not even mentioning all of the Popes of the Medieval Period. Why couldn't they all have had different names!? It's very difficult to keep straight Pope Gregory IX from Pope Gregory XI, and I don't even know who Pope Gregory X was. Then there's all of the Philips of France, the Henrys and Edwards of England, and the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire that I have to learn.
It is fun though, to learn about all these people and what they did. I also get kind of amused when people fight for power. I was very amused when I learned about the Golden Bull, which was when the Luxemburgs of the Holy Roman Empire set the number of electors of the emperor to seven people, completely eliminating the papacy from influencing the election. I am also amused by the names that are associated with the kings of France. There's Philip the Fat, Louis the Quarrelsome, etc. How terrible would it be to be remembered as "Louis the Quarrelsome?" I would want to be known as Aki the Valiant or Aki the Good. John II (he was captured by the English at the Battle of Poitiers during the Hundred Years' War) was known as John II the Good. I would just despise being known as Aki the Quarrelsome or Aki the Terrible (like Ivan the Terrible)...
The thing is, the test is only 35 questions, and they're all multiple choice. It doesn't seem that bad, but I'd much rather overstudy than understudy. That's true for any type of examination. So if you'll excuse me, I have to go learn about Muscovite Russia.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Aki's Emmys

Aki has deemed the Emmys last night as unsatisfactory. This is a complete list of winner's in Aki's world. Note: This list only includes categories that Aki watches. There may be some instances of write ins. TV programs that are written in italics are write ins.

Outstanding Drama Series: Downton Abbey
Outstanding Comedy Series: The Big Bang Theory and Psych (Yes, in Aki world, a tie is allowed)
Outstanding Miniseries or TV movie: SHERLOCK: A SCANDAL IN BELGRAVIA*
Outstanding Reality Show Host: Tom Bergeron of Dancing with the Stars

Lead Performances
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Brendan Coyle in Downton Abbey**
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Michelle Dockery in Downton Abbey
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: ??
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie: BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH in Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie: Caroline Catz in Doc Martin

Supporting Performances
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Rob James-Collier in Downton Abbey
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Joanne Froggatt in Downton Abbey
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Simon Helberg in The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Mayim Bialik in The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie: MARTIN FREEMAN in Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie: Una Stubbs in Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia

Outstanding Directing: Paul McGuigan for Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia

Outstanding Writing: Jullian Fellowes for Downton Abbey

The Additional Aki Awards
Outstanding Adorable Character: Daisy Mason in Downton Abbey

*Aki is very irritated that Sherlock did not win any awards in the 2012 Emmys
**Aki has deemed that John Bates is a very very central character in Downton Abbey, and thus awarded Brendan Coyle the award

Now I know that there is some bias in this list of people I think that should have won the Emmys last night. But still, come on, Sherlock didn't win a single award!!!??? My dad did tell me that I should be ready for disappointment for these things. Practically every show that I watch is on this Emmy list.... (except Dr. Who, because I've only watched the first and second seasons)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Bucket List

These are just some of the things I would like to do sometime in my life:

1. Climb a hoodoo
This has become an obsession of mine lately. I don't really know where it came from, but when I thought of it, I knew that I wanted to do it. I still want to do it. I don't really know how to climb a hoodoo, or if it's safe to climb a hoodoo, or if it's even possible to climb a hoodoo, but I will at some point in my life be on top of a hoodoo, and it will feel amazing.
2. Spend a night at the museum
Yes, I have seen the movie, and no, I did not think it was all that good, but I still think it would be fun. Practically all the other teen docents at the Natural History Museum think we should have a night at the museum. How epic would a game of hide-and-go-seek be??
3. SCUBA dive with a whale
This, I know is actually possible. There's this place in Okinawa, where my mom was born, where you can go swim with a shark whale. It's going to be fun and amazing, and I am going to feel tiny next to that whale. It's 12 meters long!!!
4. Go to all 7 continents
This is something that's on a lot of people's bucket lists. I think it's because a lot of people like to travel, experience new things, and most of the people who like to travel want to make it to Antarctica someday. I think it'd be fun to visit Antarctica. I want to see the penguins.
5. Learn how to do all these things: morse code, juggle (to the point where I can juggle chainsaws or something just as intimidating), play the bagpipes, learn how to properly strum a ukulele (because I'm really really bad at it), tune a piano (so I don't have to pay someone two hundred dollars to do it every year, and because I think it'd be a cool job in college. I'd prefer doing that over working at McDonalds), and the splits (I used to be able to do the splits, but if you could see my flexibility level now, you'd never believe it).
6.Compose a piece on the piano
I'm just waiting for inspiration to strike.
7. Fly
I know that it's physically impossible, and if you really want to, you have to buy all this gear, it's expensive, and the danger level is really really high. I just want some form of safe, flying mechanism to become cheap so I can fly places.

So that's my bucket list. I guarantee myself that I'll think of something else to add to it just as I publish this post.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bad Wolf

Do you remember when I said that I probably wasn't going to watch Dr. Who? Well, apparently I lied.
The odd thing is, that I knew this was going to happen. Right after I published the post, I thought that it would be funny if I did end up watching the show, and that's exactly what happened.
I don't know why, really. But somehow I continued to watch it, and then I watched some more, and now I've finished season one.
However, I don't think I'm going to talk that much about my thoughts on the series. I wouldn't be watching it if I didn't think it was good. No, today I'm going to talk about whether I could be a companion to The Doctor.
I've actually thought about this a lot, and I believe that I could be a companion to The Doctor. I know that I would be able to travel through space and time, fighting Daleks and other aliens. I think it'd be fun.
Some might argue that it's not worth leaving everything I know, that it's not worth leaving friends and family, but that's the sort of life that I've had. I'm used to uprooting, moving schools, and having to make new friends. WT is the tenth school that I've been to, and that has required a lot of uprooting and meeting new people. I'm not saying that family and friends aren't important, on the contrary, I think that family and friends are pivotal to our lives.
However, I also believe that adventure is something that most of us do want. It's something that I love. That's why I love SCUBA diving and that's why I want to climb a hoodoo someday. The desire for adventure is something that sparks our imaginations, and I am a firm believer that imagination is very very important in childhood, and in everyday life. With The Doctor, I could get as much adventure as I want. There are planets to explore, aliens to meet (and destroy), and new things to experience.
There is the fear factor to consider though. There are some really creepy aliens that invaded the world of Dr. Who. But I do think that I'm afraid of much less than what normal people are afraid of. I think it's because I'd much rather know what the creepy alien is than run away from it because it looks weird.
I think I'd love it. Actually, I know that I would love to be a companion of The Doctor.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bowl of Water is Addicting to Watch

Don't worry. I'm not breaking any type of rule by blogging during school. I have a free period right now, and I finished all the work that I have to do. Though admittedly, I always have AP Euro homework. I have a test on the medieval period next Friday, and I'm already freaking out about it.
I'm sitting in a study room in the library with my friend Anastasia, and I can't stop looking at this bowl of water. Hanging from the second floor ceiling, there's a brass circle with an "x" inside it. Then, hanging from the middle of the "x," there is a copper pot. It actually looks more like a cauldron. Also hanging from the brass circle are some clear strings that are connected to a glass bowl. This glass bowl hangs above the library entrance on the first floor.
That piece of creative art has been there all year. Though when I asked people about it, they said it was new this year. But there has been a new addition to this piece of creative art.
There is water dripping out of the bottom of the cauldron. The water droplet falls about three feet, and then makes an awesome ripple in the water that's already been collected in the bowl. It's awesome, and I can't stop looking at it.
I don't really know what it's for. It seems like the water falls once every second, so maybe it keeps time. Maybe when the bowl is full, it signifies that it's time to leave.
The problem is how to get the water out of the bowl. It's not in a place where any normally sized person could reach it, so there might be an issue regarding that. Then, how do you fill the copper pot so it can keep on dripping?
It's also really entertaining to see the people who are interested in it. People walk out of the library, look up, see this wonderful bowl full of water, stay there a few seconds gazing up at it with their mouths open, and then just continue walking. Teachers and students alike have been staring at it. Then there are the small number of people who think that it's stupid and don't appreciate little things like that. I think that's sad.
It's something that's so simple. Yet people think that it's amazing. I don't know why, but this bowl of water is addicting to watch.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Movie Theater Disappointment

Ok. I should be seeing a free screening of Perks of Being a Wallflower right now. I'll tell you why I'm not seeing it.
You know how airlines actually sell more tickets than there are seats available on the plane? This is done so that the airplane is sure to be full, and it saves money in the end. Some people don't end up coming, so it usually works out. But the thing is, they only sell about two or three extra tickets.
This is what the movie theater decided to do. Except, instead of selling two or three extra tickets, they sold about twenty. Actually, the number might have even been more. Mr. Bachner said when I went to go get my ticket that he only gave out about fifty tickets of the one hundred he was supposed to give out. So potentially, the theater sold seventy extra tickets. They gave tickets to other places too, I guess, which filled up the theater.
The movie was supposed to start at 7:30. I got there at around 7:17, which is a reasonably early time before the movie starts. I met up with my friends, Summer and Akeyo, who had already been standing there for a couple of minutes. They told me that they were waiting to see if there were any extra seats in the theater because the theater was full. The ticket-checker person that checked the tickets asked us to stand in a line, and we all sort of jumped into it. Then, as if we weren't mad enough about what was happening, the manager-person came out and told us that only five people could get in. She said the people who had arrived first, which included Summer and Akeyo but not me, could get in to see the movie. I guess that's as fair as you're going to get in this situation. Everyone else from school was sort of just left there. We were told we could wait for the next screening, but she didn't know when it would start.
I waited around for some more information. I saw a friend from CAPA who is dating a freshman from WT, and she told me what's happening there. I was also informed by the freshman that not many people like our grade. Ah well. I guess I'm used to that from middle school.
The manager-person then came out again and said that she would let us see another movie tonight of our choosing, since we couldn't get into Perks of Being a Wallflower, but I didn't really want to go see another movie. I was excited for Perks of Being a Wallflower. I finished the book!!! I gave it a 5 star rating!!!! Plus, all the other people I knew had friends with them, and I didn't feel like going to see a movie by myself. So I left.
I'm mad, I suppose. I don't think it's fair. I don't. And the manager-person didn't even apologize.
Even though I am mad, I don't think that it's something to get too worked up about. I'll go see the movie another time. I'll write my review then.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book #31: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I have wanted to read this book for a long time. I had heard about a year ago that it's a really good book. Then, the movie's coming out, AND I GET TO GO TO SEE A PRE-SCREENING!!!!! I was excited when I actually got the ticket this morning, and I am now super super super excited now that I've finished the book.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, written by Stephen Chbosky, is about a freshman boy named Charlie. He's sort of a child when he enters high school. He meets two seniors, brother and half-sister, named Patrick and Sam, who become his best friends. Charlie also has a teacher named Bill, who lends him books to read and then asks him to write essays about them outside of class. He decides to learn as much as he can by "participating" in life, and this book is the result of his experiences. It's written in a series of letters, addressed to a friend, and it's very similar to a diary. I just assumed that, the way the book was written, the letters were addressed to the reader, but from reviews I've read and stuff, that doesn't seem to be the case. I'm not sure.
I thought it was amazing.
It was a very honest book. Or at least, Charlie was honest. He didn't seem to hide anything, or seem to dull the truth at all. I loved the characters, except maybe Mary Elizabeth because she talked to much, and didn't care what Charlie thought. My favorite character by far though, was Bill. It was awesome the way that he treated Charlie and pushed him to read more and write better essays. I especially liked the part when Charlie went over to Bill's house, because it was very touching. I guess I just liked their relationship.
I also liked Charlie a lot. I liked the way that he was so selfless. He didn't want to see his friends get hurt, and when they did get hurt, he would go and help them. Charlie wanted to be a good friend. He didn't push anyone to be his friends, and he understood why people acted different ways. He understood why Susan had changed over the summer and he understood his sister.
I loved the book, and hopefully I love the movie. The movies are never ever ever as good as the books, but I can always hope that they'll be. It's got a 7.7 out of 10 on IMDb, so I think that it'll be good. I'll probably end up reviewing the movie as well.
Perks of Being a Wallflower gets 5 stars out of 5. This doesn't happen very often at all. That privilege goes to the group of amazing and wonderful authors that includes John Green, Veronica Roth, John Green, Markus Zusak, John Green, Orson Scott Card, John Green, and now, Stephen Chbosky.

In other news, my Spanish teacher didn't tell our class (of three people) that we are going on a field trip tomorrow. Now I get to miss my two favorite classes, English and Sculpture. He didn't tell us!!!! He gave us no information, no nothing!!! I'm mad.

Also, my parents got new credit cards today. My dad's has an American flag on it, while my mom's has a Japanese flag on it. Wow....

Monday, September 17, 2012

Going Back to Middle School

We didn't have school today. It's Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year, and since we live in a neighborhood that is 40% Jewish, my school decided to give us the day off. The middle school I went to wasn't off for school though, so Jacob, Sarah, and I decided to go and visit.
We walked into school, signed the visitor booklet, and then started to make our way around the school. Since it was lunch time, not many teachers were in their rooms. We would have started off seeing Ms. Coyne, the English teacher, but she wasn't there, so we first saw Mrs. Patton, the history teacher. Mrs. Patton is awesome. She's such a good teacher, and she's really nice. We talked to her about high school, and what's been going on since we left. Apparently last year's class wasn't as rowdy as we were. No surprise there. We were a grade that didn't know how to channel our energy into learning.
We then stopped by Mr. T's room. He was our amazing math teacher. He was helping out some eighth graders though, so we didn't get to talk to him that much. The eighth graders were complaining about rate-distance-time problems, and how they didn't understand them. Looking back, I remember hating them as well, but the further you move on in math, the more difficult your biggest problems become.
We then went to see Magistra, the latin teacher. She's semi-retired though, so she only teaches in the mornings. She had already left, so we left a note for her on the white board.
We went to see other teachers as well. We saw Ms. Coyne, who asked us to tell the students she was teaching some advise about choosing high schools. Then we saw SeƱora, who told us that she hasn't had students as good as Jacob and I since we left, which was really nice of her. We also saw Mr. Jenkins, who told us to go see the new preschool, and I saw Mrs. Trahan, the lower school science teacher. She was also my volleyball coach in seventh grade.
It was really nice to see old teachers again. There were some new teachers sprinkled in there as well. Mrs. Peterson moved off to Hawaii, and I don't really blame her. Living next to a beach? How awesome would that be?