Tuesday, July 30, 2013

University Of Michigan, Ann Arbor

After visiting UC Santa Barbara, my family flew up to Michigan for some family time and made time to visit University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. U of M has been on my college list for quite a long time.  I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I was introduced to this school via Starkid aka The Very Potter Musical kids. However, it is a wonderful school and frankly, I would love to attend.

Like every college tour, the 30ish families were funneled into a large meeting room where they told us why we should attend their school.  Then we were split up into groups and given a tour of campus.

Unfortunately, I was no where near as impressed or enthused by U of M's tour guide as I was by the guide at Santa Barbara but he related a lot of cool details about the college.  Plus the architecture more then made up for it. Also, what I saw of Ann Arbor besides the college also looked like a bunch of fun.  There were giant ants painted on the side of our parking building and there were signs everywhere to The Blind Pig, a music venue that looked super cool.  The only downside to the campus at U of M is that it's huge! You have to take a 15 minute bus to get to part of campus! I'm sure that would get annoying.

It's like Hogwarts just exploded everywhere!  The best part was that the archaeology classes (my chosen path) were in the most beautiful building on campus with ivy clinging to the walls and everything.  It was also really interesting to see how the campus was built.  The pavements were heated for snow and a ton of the buildings were made of brick.  Brick adds so much to a building and it was really cool to see styles so rare in California.

If I wasn't set on the college because of anything else, walking onto campus and seeing the sign below just cemented in my mind that I would be lucky to attend this college.  I got the vibe that I could learn a lot here and there seem to be many opportunities.  Plus, I should probably experience snow at least once right?

Important Admission Facts:
Average GPA: 3.83
Average SAT: 1990-2230
Average ACT: 29-33
Population: 41,924
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Application Available: August 1st (Common App)
Application Due: Nov 1st
My Major Interests: Ancient Civilizations & Biblical Studies, Anthropology, Classical Archaeology
Application Fee: $75
Total Tuition: $53,490
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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Halfway-ish There

7 months in and I suppose it's time for a check in.  Back in January I wrote a post called "My Birthday List: 17 Goals for 17 Years", since it has been a little more then half a year since that post, I thought I would update you with my progress.

1. Decorate my room so I love it []
This goal is finally finished!!!! I just finished painting my room a couple weeks ago and besides one papasan chair, it is perfect!

2. Grow out my hair [✓]
It's on it's way, a little more than shoulder length at the moment.

3. Bake from scratch [ ]
I made some banana bread. Does that count?

4. Take ceramics all year [ ]
Okay, this one I have failed.  I've only taken one class so far this year.  I plan to sign up for another when school starts!

5. Declutter and buy less [✓]
SUCCESS! At last everything I own has it's own spot.  Nothing is too crowded and I've been on vacation this summer and haven't bought a single item.  I throw new things out all the time and I love it.

6. Spend spare time on test prep books [✓]
Yes, I'm that kind of girl.  There are about 9 test prep books laying around my room unfinished.  Some of them are from tests I'll never take again! However, with the SAT, ACT, and subject tests staring me in the face, they're getting quite a bit of use.

7. Read a fatty cold war book [ ]
Kinda.  I have been reading books on Stalin and that era for my Extended Essay this fall but I have yet to finish a complete book.

8. Take a picture everyday [ ]

9. Go camping []
Done it twice and planning a third!

10. Eat more salad [ ]
I think I made myself a salad less then 5 times this year. I'll try to eat more salad when school starts.

11. Spend less time on the internet [ ]
Counting the time spent on the tumblr app in bed, I can't say I've been spending less time here.

12. Make Christmas cards [ ]

13. Swim [ ]
This was going pretty well until summer came, since June I've gone less then 10 times...

14. Stay hydrated []
I have been really good about this one.  I can't even remember the last time I stood up and my vision went blurry.

15. Write in a journal [ ]
I'm still using the same journal that I started in September 2012, so no.

16. Make sushi [ ]

17. Use reusable bags []
I've started to carry one around with me and I always opt to carry my food from the grocery store.  My friends in Boston thought that was really strange.

7/14 not bad.  Maybe I will become the person of my dreams! What do you want to start doing?

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Friday, July 26, 2013


I've been away for a while, sorry about that, but during that time I have rediscovered my love for kinda shitty music. Just pass all the pop-punk and real pop over here please. I literally cannot sit in my seat when I listen to these songs, I just have to get up and move.  I hope you find something to move your butt to!

Hot Chelle Rae-Hung Up
Their videos crack me up. Especially the one with the girl from Pretty Little Liars. Quality entertainment.

Bastille-Laura Palmer
I am in love with this band. I don't know how to explain it there is just a deep connection.

Best Song Ever-One Direction
I'm sorry, but I love these boys.  I am proud to say I no longer stalk their lives like I did about a year ago, but the crazy stuff they chose to do just jumpstarts those feelings all over again.  They are literally making fun of themselves.

Panic at the Disco-Miss Jackson
I don't care if it sounds like Fall Out Boy, I love it.

Union J-Carry You
I thought I was done, but then this made me crack up.  Cute British boys plus the sequel to one of my favorite movies? I had to.

Austin Mahone-What About Love
I've started to take pride in how bad they are. I need to stop.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

National Student Leadership Conference

Last summer a went to a student conference for Intelligence and National Security in Washington DC through the National Student Leadership Conference.  This is a program for teens entering junior or senior year the following fall.  I went the summer before my junior year and while most of the students were a year older then me it was one of the best experiences I've had.  

The National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) has been around for over 20 years and offers students experience on a college campus, leadership skills, information on a chosen topic, and time to explore the area around you.  I experienced all that plus fun and friendship which made it all the better.

College Experience

Every NSLC event occurs on a college campus.  I stayed at American University in Washington DC.  Our food was provided by the college so we got real experience with dorm food, it wasn't too bad.  We were also given a schedule and allowed to wonder around the campus as we pleased, as long as we were at the right activities at the right time.  This allowed me to explore the campus and play a game of soccer with some of the boys during my visit.  This time at AU has helped me decide what I want in a college campus, like large dorm rooms!

Leadership Skills

Every night, after dinner we would all gather in a lecture hall to learn about leadership.  What it means to be a leader, different personality types, and how to work together.  These lectures really turned us from about 100 individual teenagers into one cohesive unit that could work together.  If there is one thing this conference taught me it was how to work together on a common goal.  That has to be a helpful quality!


I went to the NSLC event for intelligence and national security where the main focus was on the US Government's National Security Council.  We even had a mock council. They separated all of the students into different teams and assigned them different roles (I was the Director of Intelligence) with one college student as the president.  We were then informed of a Security Crisis and chose how to fix it.  I have to gloat that my group kicked some serious butt! Our president never walked out on us in anger, no fictional citizens died, and we did not go to war with Iraq.  Couldn't have been better. I don't know what happens at other conferences but I had a great time learning about national security.


Another amazing attribute of this program is the to see the sights.  During my stay in DC, the program took us to all the monuments, the Smithsonian, Arlington, The National Mall, International Spy Museum, the CIA, the Pentagon, and to a ropes climbing course. So many amazing opportunities.  I loved each of these trips away from the university campus.  We saw all the national monuments in the dark which I thought made them more powerful.  We were allowed to wonder around most of these stops on our own which allowed for even more friendship building. The most amazing trip was to the CIA.  I still can't believe that I've been there.

Sorry for the long post guys but I really wanted to illustrate all the great things that happened to me through this program.  If you're high school aged and receive a letter in the mail from NSCL, I highly suggest taking this opportunity if you can!

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Sally Hanson Sugar Coat Nail Polish

I have found a new favorite nail polish. I was hesitant to buy this when I saw it in the store, but now that it's on my nails, I really like it.  It was strange to get used to the bumpy nails but after a day, it was just as normal as other nail polish. Plus, the sugar effect is adds really cool texture where regular nail polish is just shiny.  Also, this polish dries really quickly! I swear less then a minute after I applied a coat, my nails were dry enough for another.  Amazing.  Also the polish has yet to chip off even though it's been through five days of wear.  I might even go pick up some other sugar coat colors or the fuzzy coat line if I'm feeling adventurous.  Anyone else liking the strange nail polishes this summer?

Sally Hanson Sugar Coat Nail Polish in Sour Apple
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Local Sand Sculpture Festival

This past weekend I went to the annual local Sand Sculpture Festival with my parents.  I went in the early afternoon and was amazed by both the sculptures and the amount of people who showed up.  In my town, you're lucky if 10 people show up to an event, there were at least twenty times that number on the beach for the festival.  It was very shocking.  Usually one has the beach to themselves. However, it was a nice change. Here are my favorite sculptures! Beware, picture heavy.

Bathing Beauties
Some sort of Hippo? I have no idea but I love it.
Creepy face but cute toddler.  It's really easy to take pictures of children that aren't yours....now I sound creepy
Huge Octopus.  There were actually a few of these but this one was by far the largest.
Amazing Catfish
Non-native Caterpillar.  All the plants used for decoration are invasive species.  
This was my dad's favorite. A dwarf in the side of a mountain
Just a sun chillin'
This one was HUGE! To me it looks like a cross between a rat and a whale but apparently it's a sturgeon.
This was the only sandcastle so it stands to reason that it is the most intricate and impressive sandcastle I've ever seen.

I can't wait to visit again next year and see all the new creations.  It may have taken us a few years to attend this event, but I'm really glad we stopped by this year.  If you know of a sculpture festival in your area, definitely try to check it out for a good dose of culture, think of it like an art show!

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Greener Life

I have finally decided to bring some greenery into my living space.  My mom has plants downstairs but I never understood the appeal.  Then, about a week ago, I decided that I NEEDED a plant in my life and these two fit the bill perfectly.

I bought the pot from Marshalls for $5 and the plants are from my local Ace Hardware for $3 and $4.  Less than 24 hours in and I've already learned some important things.  For example, don't leave a candle burning near the plants.  So, any tips you have for keeping plants alive would be amazingly helpful! Thanks. Oh also, Happy 4th of July!

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Pink Clouds

I don't know if the clouds outside are naturally this way or if it's just pre 4th fireworks but either way, I like it.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Marshall, Michigan

I recently visited my family's hometown of Marshall, Michigan.  It's an old town and the architecture is fabulous!  According to Wiki, in Marshall there are 850 buildings labeled as National Historic Landmarks in only 6.40 square miles! That's just insane. I just thought I'd share some pictures with you from around town.

Honolulu House. Built to resemble similar houses in Honolulu

My great-grandpa's old house
It was really cool to see all the old buildings and the stories my family has attached to them. My family is so anal about all the stories and the family lineage, I've heard all the stories ten times before, but know I have a background for them.  I wish we could have stayed longer and experience all the little shops but we had a lake to swim in!  Ah well, I'm sure I'll be back.

My cousins and I watching the water.

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