Monday, March 14, 2011

Dominance of Extra-Curriculars

Due to my recent scheduling, I have not been able to keep up with household chores and straightening out my life. January-March being my busy season, this is expected. Starting in january, practices for the Vshow are very time consuming, leading to the Orchesis show soon after and Poms Tryouts to finish my season. With all of these activities, it is very hard to keep up with cleaning my room and doing my homework and finishing projects and such. It is amazing how time consuming activities are these days and how there is no way to escape missing out on one or the other. You have to balance and prioritize which things in your life are necessary and which ones you can hold off on. I seem be always being scolded for not cleaning my room or organizing my closet when I come home. I would love to complete those chores if I had not just been at a very stressful day of school followed by several hours of dancing. When I get home, I usually eat and then need to do my homework and then afterwards need to go to sleep in order to repeat the cycle the next day. There is just not enough time in the day for that to be possible. The way that extra-curriculars dominate over all teenaged lives is crazy. Sometimes coaches set up practices or schedule games and competitions at times that will not allow you to be able to get any of your homework done, let alone have time to do anything else but attend school. Just this past saturday, our dance group was called to come at school at 10 in the morning and wasn't able to leave until around 5 or 6. This took up an entire day that one could do homework or sleep late and rest and catch up on life. it was a necessary practice, but there could have been more practices earlier in the season to get the show started faster and and avoid last-minute long days such as these. I feel that there should be certain regulations that schools set up to monitor how much time students are being forced to put into their activities in order to succeed. Not that I don't love dancing everyday, but when you can't find time to get good grades or even connect with your peers, the activity is lessening your chances for getting into a good college or creating long-lasting relationships with your friends; ultimate goals after high school.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Just this past week I got the opportunity to go on a trip to the British Virgin Islands with my camp. As we were walking down to the marina to get on our boat, I noticed lots of shops that sold shells and starfish and coral. I dont know why people would want the dried out, dead version of these objects if they could jump in the water and see them alive. A few days later, my group went on a snorkeling adventure so that we would get the chance to see all the wildlife for ourselves. As soon as we got in, a school of snapper came to investigate us and followed us around for a good hour. Looking down at the coral and fish, you realize that it is really magical the way our earth was created and we shouldn't be digging up that magic just to make a paperweight or something so nonsensical. It was also cool to realize that as curious as we are about the world down there, the fish are just as curious as us about the world above the water. I could see how some of the fish around me just stared and tried to take in all of the human body. We are such foreign creatures to them and even though we never intended to harm them, I felt as if we were trespassing into their world and we needed to be as careful as possible so we didn't ruin anything.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

OIled Bird Conservation Efforts

I just read an extremely disturbing article on the oiled bird debate:

I am sickened by the fact that many people are against wildlife conservation efforts after crises such as this one. There is no ethical reason to why we should just let the birds die because they are “too expensive” to keep washing or it’s “not worth the effort”. I believe that because it is BP’s fault that there are so many animals harmed, so they should be funding organizations that make efforts to save these birds. Why would we be giving up on these animals if it is our fault they were oiled in the first place? Many people are willing to volunteer their time to help wash off oil from the animals, so we should make BP donate money to the cause to make purchases of soap and other materials possible. 

The main part of this article is a woman by the name of Silvia Gaus going on and on about the fact that the birds may not live the longest lives even after they are cleaned because of them ingesting oil or just the stress of the whole event giving the birds health issues. She believes that because of this insecurity, we should just stop all efforts towards assisting the birds in living. Even though it would be all of BP's money going into the funding, she still believes it is money wasted. I really don't like her negative approach to all of this because she is crashing all hopes of people who want to make a difference in this issue. I think that we should still rinse the birds because it is just wildlife wasted if we decide to just let them die. This could lead to a population boom in their prey, throwing off the entire ocean food chain, just because of us giving up on the birds.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Kids taking over the streets, fueled by high fructose corn syrup. Leaves blowing through the yards, the scent of winter coming on strong. I love that halloween feeling. The fact that you can go to any random person's house and they give you candy. Just like that. All you have to do is dress up and yell "trick or treat!" when you get to the door. It's nice to know that I live in such a safe town where nothing would happen if I went into a certain neighborhood for candy and it's okay to walk around in the dark. It gives the town a good connected feeling. Even though we are about 30,000 people, it seems so small on halloween because the whole town takes part in celebrating it. Also, halloween is awesome because of all the candy. I love candy, the sweet, the sour, and the chocolatey. Yummmm. After halloween, I have a full candy bowl for months, and even after that I'm forced to throw it all away because it gets stale. The best feeling is when you reach a house and the owner pulls out a huge bowl of king-sized bars. You feel so successful and happy all at the same time. I know it seems weird for me to know this feeling given I am 15 years old, but it still gets me every year, that good ol' halloween feeling.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


As I am sitting here at my desk thinking of something to write about, I look immediately to my right and see 2 rolls of duct tape and a package of sesame street bandaids. What kind of weird 15-year-old would have these? Me. I'm sending them to my camp friend for her birthday as bribery to return to camp next year. She is hesitant about going back, but one month in minnesota without her makes camp just not the same old fun. Luckily, I still have my good friends Annie and Nora returning, but it still won't be the same. I feel like camp is like this every year. Just something missing..... This was the first summer that I was able to say everything was complete, but next year I will have to again, alter my description of 'complete'. As I think about it, camp is like a birthday. Like birthdays, camp is only once a year, one month only. You long to be at camp just like you long for a birthday, but when camp is over, much like when a birthday passes, the longing starts again and the yearning for another experience much like the last one grows stronger and stronger until you reach the point where there is no place you would rather be than at camp, or no better day than your birthday.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Camp Birchwood

I believe that everybody deserves the chance to go to summer camp. It is an amazing opportunity and the best place I have ever been to. At my camp, Camp Birchwood, there are so many  activity choices and I achieve so much more than I do at home. At home I sleep in until 11 everyday and usually never clean my room or do anything until nighttime. At camp, I'm up at 8 o'clock every morning, must clean my bunk and the shelves around it, and have finished my first activity by 11 o'clock. That's a huge difference. Also, camp is so much more fun because instead of living with your parents, you get to live with 2 counselors close to your age for a whole month, not to mention the 11 other campers living in your cabin. By the end of the session, you get to leave knowing you will have 11 have sisters waiting for you next summer to pick right back up on the fun. One of my favorite parts of camp is sailing. This summer I got accepted into my camp's leadership program where I was a 'senior camper' and assisted in sailing every day. I loved just being out on the water for 3 hours a day with my only control being me and feeling free. Also, I enjoyed teaching the campers how to sail and different skills for their awards. The biggest satisfaction is when a camper you've been helping all session gets their award and you get to watch their excitement as they told all of their friends and counselors. All of these things just add to the true magic of summer camp, nothing at all like home.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Homecoming Week

Today the biggest thing on my mind has been homecoming. Walking through the halls there are tons of reminders that this weekend is going to be special. The halls are decorated with music notes and song lyrics, there is a constant stream of music coming from the student activity center, and most of the school is participating in the dress up days scheduled this week. Monday (yesterday) was “got the Monday blues” and everyone wore their pajamas. Today is Rock Star day and people are either dressed up as their favorite musician or wearing a band shirt. Tomorrow is Western Wednesday and I’m expecting to see a lot of plaid shirts and jeans. Thursday will be the weirdest day, GBN goes Gaga, because Lady Gaga has chosen to present herself in many outrageous outfits, some of which I’m sure will be displayed. Then Friday, of course, is Spartan pride day in which the whole school will be decked out in all of their green in gold clothing, for fear of being shunned otherwise…..Friday will be my favorite day because one, I won’t have to pick out an outfit due to my poms uniform, and two, it really shows how close our whole school is even though we are about 2100 people in total. Even though we’re all completely different we can somehow come together and show our school spirit. After school on Friday there’s the homecoming parade in which all of the clubs make floats or hand out candy in cars to show off our diverse school to the rest of Northbrook. It’s another fun event that the community looks forward to, especially the parents of younger kids who want some reassurance that their kids will have many opportunities in high school. This year there is a new tradition that the upperclassmen want to start. A tailgating party will be held before the varsity game and tickets are sold for 5 dollars, all of the profit going to charity. Some of the restaurants around town are donating food to the event. I know that Sunset is bringing chips because my dad set that up…I think that this tradition will keep going and I hope to be able to go next year because this year my poms squad will be performing during it. See? This is just so much fun to look forward to, I’m not surprised it’s been clogging my mind all day.