Moana

I’m a sucker for Disney movies: the plot lines, the unrealistically beautiful hair and makeup, and my personal favorite, the soundtracks.

Today as I was driving to soccer practice, I felt like the radio just wasn’t cutting it and I needed something different than the same old songs I hear all the time. I plugged in my aux cord and pressed on my “inspirational” playlist on Spotify. The first song that came up when I hit shuffle was “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana.

My mood immediately went from a 3 to an 8. (A 10 would be if practice were cancelled :))  I started to sing along to the lyrics I knew by heart with the windows down for the world to hear me.

After practice, I plugged my phone in again and the rest of the song came on. As I listened to the ending with no energy to sing after a hard practice, I started to tune in to the words and think deeper.

When Moana kept repeating “sea’, it reminded me of the recent hurricanes and how devastating they are for the people affected by them. I thought about how all of the people who live there “used to stare at the waster, long as [they] can remember”. But now, they cannot do that and they are forced to relocate, or take shelter from the storms in the places that they call home.

It is a really tragic situation and I almost feel a little guilty about getting to live my own life normally while cities and homes are destroyed in the southern United States and islands like Cuba and Haiti.

But what can someone like me do? I could take the money I made babysitting last night and donate it to relief services. I could watch the news to be informed about what is happening. I can also keep the people affected in my thoughts and prayers everyday.

I can pray for them to have the strength and perseverance of the fictional character Moana and recover in the fastest and best way they possibly can. Hopefully they can rebuild their islands and territories together, like the characters in Moana, and become stronger as communities united for each other as they heal and the storms eventually go away.

 

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Planet Fitness

After soccer season ended last fall, I took a few weeks off and it felt great. A lot more sleep, more time to do homework, and more time for nothing. Anyway, after these awesome few weeks, I realized something in my life was missing: eIMG_1394.JPGxercise.

I live in Milford really close to Planet Fitness and I heard it was pretty cool and a really good deal. It turns out that both of those things were correct: You can’t really beat $10 a month, and from what I have experienced, I like it a lot and it helped me get back on track.

So, for all of the exercise enthusiasts in journalism class, here is a list of things to do and not do at Planet Fitness in Milford.

Do’s

  1. Use headphones – The sound system is awful and they play the same “hit” song ALL THE TIME. If you are not a particular fan of Sia, like me, bring your own headphones/music. Also, if you have headphones in, people are less likely to talk to you and distract you from your workout, so that’s a plus.
  2. Wipe off the machines – They have the spray bottles and paper towels all around for a reason!! Use them!!! It is just gross to leave your sweat on things.
  3. Put things back they way you found them, especially the weights.
  4. Use the training bikes because they are easy and you can be on your phone while using them.
  5. Use only the machines you know how to use because there’s nothing worse than being corrected or looking like an idiot trying to figure it out.

IMG_1393.JPGDon’ts

  1. Don’t leave a lock on a locker overnight if you are a guy. They will come in and brake it with bolt cutters. If you are a girl, you’ll be fine doing that because no one goes in there anyway. My record is having it in there for 2 weeks straight until I got scared of being out 4 bucks.
  2. Don’t do PDA because I saw people get kicked out for that once.
  3. Don’t hog the bench presses because there are only 3
  4. Don’t buy a black card unless you are planning on using the tanning bed or plan to take guests often.
  5. Don’t be a “Lunk”.
  6. And finally, don’t judge because it’s the Judgement Free Zone!!

And here is a nice quote to finish:

“The trouble with jogging is that, by the time you realize you’re not in shape for it, it’s too far to walk back” — Franklin P. Jones

 

 

Random Screenshots

I am a pretty unorganized person. One way in which I accomplish this is by appearing organized and put together so people won’t bother me. Basically like “fake it ’till you make it”. I have no idea where that quote came from, but I’ve been hearing a lot of people saying it lately.

Anyway, an example of being organized but unorganized is computer desktop folders. I have a lot of folders on my desktop, color coded and labeled according to the classes I’m taking.

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Let’s take a look at the inside of one of those folders, shall we? I think we should look at the one entitled: Random Screenshots, 115 items.

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I made a powerpoint for Mr. Hanley’s European History class and he thought this was a good way to link it on blackboard for everyone.

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I was very proud of this first quarter grade. It all went downhill from here, however.

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yep.

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I probably sent this in a group chat over the summer because we all know how difficult it is to coordinate plans.

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I think this was a conjuguemos assignment for Spanish. (Not sure why it’s not in the Spanish folder)Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 2.28.22 PMMy schedule requests for work over the summer. In hindsight, I should have requested for more days off.

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I have no words for this one except, enjoy! 🙂

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Accurate depiction of me on every day that ends in a “y”.

I think I had some kind of life lesson in all of my other posts, so here is the lesson for this one: stay organized kids.

 

Brigadoon

So this year, I joined the musical.

The first day I got there for “tryouts” was super overwhelming. Everyone had their tap shoes and dance outfits on and here I was in jeans and a sweatshirt.

Why is is bad to be in jeans and a sweatshirt? The stage might be the warmest place in the school when the lights are on. It gets so hot with the lights on and the numerous people around you too. I think there were about 60 people on the stage running around and trying to get the dance moves right. Pretty overwhelming for the first day.

Long story short, I was unprepared. I’m not going to lie, but I would consider myself one of the worst dancers there. That’s probably one of the reasons I’m not a “featured dancer”. I’m just not graceful and I can’t memorize steps the way some people do. (shout out to Lindsay Stricker!!)

The fact that I was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt did not help with the crazy steps we had to do. I’m really thankful that our school is small enough that we don’t cut people because honestly, at a bigger school I definitely would have gotten cut.

Also, you’d be surprised how hard it is to sing while making sure every step you take is perfectly aligned with everyone else on stage. Like while we are doing the “Machonnacy  Square” dance (one of the few times I’m on stage!!), if you don’t look to the right while you are walking right while crossing your legs one over the other in perfect rhythm while singing at the same time, you will stand out and make everyone look bad. Its actually really hard. Because I remember the first time we did that dance I watched the featured dancers ahead of me and tried to mimic their feet instead of looking right and I kind of got yelled at.

Anyway, when you come to our show on either March 17th, 18th, or 19th, look for me in the back row!! Also look for Lindsay  killing it in the front row!!!

Also like us on facebook and follow us on instagram! We are team follow back 🙂

Note: there are no pictures in this post because I am not allowed to have my phone out at rehearsals!

A year ago

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The other day, I got a text from my mom that said something along the lines of “A year ago today you were in the emergency room ”

When I got this text, I thought about two things:

  1. I thought about how sick I was and how much that whole week sucked
  2. I thought about how far I’ve come since that happened

Somehow, getting my wisdom teeth out the week before triggered a kidney infection and mass dehydration. I remember having an IV in my arm for a week and not eating for the duration of that time.

But, that’s not really the point of this post. Laying miserably in a hospital room a year ago today, that sick girl could not imagine sitting here in journalism class, happy and healthy.

My friends were a huge part of my recovery. I face timed them at school, and some of them even came to my house to visit me. When I finally came back to school, everyone was super welcoming, and my teachers were really supportive in getting me caught back up too. It was a great feeling to know that people noticed/cared that I was gone.

A few months after that, I went to New York for the school chorus trip. I remember thinking that I wouldn’t get better and be able to go on the trip because I’d be sick forever.

Today, I realize how thankful I am to the doctors and nurses who took good care of me, my parents and friends for being there for me, and that my time in the hospital was relatively short. I still think about the kids I saw there who had chronic illnesses, and I think about them often.

Because of this experience, I realize how truly blessed I am that I’m surrounded by amazing people who care about me.

Mexican Adventure

I would describe an adventure as something that you go into blindly. Something that is unusual, out of the ordinary, and allows you the chance to explore and broaden your horizons.

That is the kind of thing I found in Mexico. I was able to take it all in and go with the flow. If you know meimg_0540, you’d know that I live by going with the flow. It’s what I do. So, over Thanksgiving Break, I was able to do my thing: go with the flow and have an adventure.

I’ll admit it felt really nice to get away from Ohio. Don’t get me wrong, Ohio’s great. But it felt really good to be a whole world away from the Mariemont bubble for a few days. Also, I had no cell service except for in the hotel room. I’ll be honest, I kind of enjoyed being disconnected from my phone for a few days, too.

The city I went to was called Puebla. It has the original forts where the Cinco de Mayo battle was fought. It is also next to Cholula (I love saying that word!!), the oldest inhabited city in the world. Cholula has the largest pyramid in the world, (yes bigger than the ones in Egypt!!) which we got to climb.

I used uber for the first tiimg_0669me while I was there. I guess uber is a huge businessthere. They really want the five
star rating. They offered us candy and bottled water (don’t drink tap water!!! ) and opened the door for me and everything. The cars were very nice too. Apparently they are the second largest volkswagon country besides Germany. Who knew.

As expected, everyone spoke spanish. No one spoke any english except for the hotel receptionist. The words people spoke were so fast and thrown together, I don’t understand how they even communicate between themselves, to be honest.img_0086

One of the mini adventures I had was with Rocio, (pictured on the right) my brother’s host mom. She was going to the store to get cooking supplies and asked me to come. That was a very interesting car ride. Being in the spotlight and trying to speak a foreign language (even though I’ve been taking Spanish since 7th grade!!) was so hard. Unless you are proficient in speaking, I would not recommend it. Thankfully, she was nice and let me take my time to reply to her simple questions.

The food was really good. The only thing I didn’t care for was mole. It was kind of like meat covered in chocolate with walnuts in it. My taste buds were notimg_0598 ready for that. I had tacos for thanksgiving dinner, yum! They don’t celebrate thanksgiving in Mexico anyway, so we didn’t miss out on much. One thing that was different from American Mexican restaurants is the chips. They don’t give you a basket of chips for dipping. They give you three. I’m still not sure why. It looks nice, though.

 

On the last day, we went to Mexico city. I have never been more overwhelmed in my life. They have multiple streets just for walking. If you stop walking on one of those streets, you migimg_0306ht get trampled. There were people everywhere, talking in Spanish.

I swear there was a church on every block. The Mexicans are very religious. All of the old pyramids were christianized because they used to be aztec sacrificing sites. I guess the spanish explorers planned to eradicate the aztec culture, but it did not work, at least from what I observed. There is a catholic pilgrimage site in Mexico city that we got to see. We were thrown on a conveyer belt, saw it for two seconds, and then had to leave. There were so many people, it was insane.img_0236

My favorite part of the adventure was Teotihuacan. These were pyramids from the ancient times, even before the Aztecs. It was so cool to stand on top and think, woah, this is where people were sacrificed.

There is so much to learn from visiting another country. My brother was there for 6 months, and he’s basically fluent in spanish now. I also learned a lot about Mexican culture in just 4 days. To be honest, I’m kind of jealous of their culture. They have so many unique and fun traditions compared to the United States.

I hope I can eventually go back to Mexico in the future, maybe as a study abroad like my brother did. I just hope Trump’s wall doesn’t get in my way.

 

 

Momentum

Ever since I downloaded the momentum app for chrome, I’ve felt really inspired every time I open my computer. Maybe its because I’m a girl and I appreciate cute, colorful, artsy things, but it is such a great app for anyone.

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-23-37-pmThe Pictures:

The pictures are always some obscure place in the world, a place I’ve never heard of, or a country I now want to travel to. In the bottom left corner, it tells you where the picture was taken. The pictures are beautiful and calming and I’m always in a good mood after I see them. If you pay for the premium version, you can choose the picture, but the free version is also great because even though the app chooses the picture for you, they never choose a bad one.

The Quotes:

The quotes are always inspirational and uplifting, which is the kind of thing that keeps me going through a school day. The quotes just give me incentive to do my best and relax, even though school is stressful. The quotes keep me moving in a positive direction. You can tweet the quotes to your followers on twitter, or press the heart button so that the app will show you similar ones in the future.

Other things that are great:

I don’t know why, but I love that you can personalize it with your name. When I open a new tab, it says “Good Morning Stephanie.” and then below that, it says, “What is your main focus for today?” You can type on that line too. I usually write myself a note about something that I need to remember to do. It also has the weather at the top and a search bar.

Overall, I would give this app 5 stars. It’s so cute and it makes my day when I open my computer and I always look forward to the picture and the “Momentum” it gives me throughout the day.

10/10 I recommend it to everyone who uses chrome as their browser.