7th Grade – the Experience

When I first arrived in August, I expected the 6th grade level of everything. All I was greater with, though, was homework, homework, and well, more homework. All A’s, a great social life— wait, who am I kidding… As 7th grade progressed, I soon realized thay homework would keep me up till 1:00 AM, straight A’s were actually a struggle , and friends were a luxury that were not likely for me to have.

By October, my life had changed. With a crazy busy schedule,no good sleeping time was 12:00 AM. Volleyball was going on, and practice was at 7:30 AM. Eventually, I figured out that I had to get used to 5 hours of sleep. No room for hope. In 7th grade, I learned how to completely bomb a math test. I learned that my friendship with Procrastination was a love hate relationship. I learned that happiness and never being tired is overrated.

As the year comes to a close, I am cramming for finals and craving for summer. If I had to do it over again, I would get Tumblr and Pandora early on. My advice to next year’s 7th graders: RUN. Escape while you can; just drop everything and run.

The Fault In Our Stars

Okay, so before I get into things, SPOILER ALERT. I REPEAT: SPOILER ALERT. Now that that’s over with, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about “The Fault In Our Stars.” It’s my favorite book, and has been ever since last summer, when I first read it. My older sister had just finished reading it, and just kept walking around the house saying,” UGHHH Augustus Waters…” So me, being me, decided to find out about this so called, “Augustus Waters.” And so it began.

Of course, being “The Fault In Our Stars” and all, the demand was high and supply was low. I had it on hold in my local library, but I couldn’t wait for a whole three weeks, so I got a little crazy. What can I say, desperate times call for desperate measures. I couldn’t wait to get pulled into a world with Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. Even Patrick seemed interesting to me. It was a John Green book, and that just added to the list of reasons why I should read it. I looked it up in Google, and low and behold, “The Fault In Our Stars” was there in big bold letters, with a little PDF symbol next to it. Well, if I’d only known that this book would do what it did to me, maybe I would’ve rethought. But in the end, I mean, come on, it’s “The Fault In Our Stars,” like how can you not read it. But I digress. So I get the book and I sat there for about 5 hours, hoping the end would never come.

What’s so endearing to me about “The Fault In Our Stars” was that there wasn’t a fairytale ending. The world is not a wish-granting factory. “The Fault In Our Stars” was a book about dyi, not even really a book about cancer. Because, after all, everything is a side effect if dying. Depression is a side effect of dying, grief is a side effect of dying, and cancer is a side effect of dying. We don’t get to choose the number of our days, but we do get to choose how we spend the days we do get. Augustus Waters had the more positive, optimistic outlook on life, and he doesn’t let the fact that he’s slowly dying get to him until his cancer reappears. Being as metaphorical and curious as he was, he also knew that everything was a side effect of dying, not the other way around. He had his own metaphor with his beloved unlit pack of cigarettes. “You put the killing thing right between you teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.” After this, I pondered the meaning of life with Augustus Waters, hanging on to his every word and figuring out all the hidden meanings and connections. Even when he was dying, he found a way to be a joy to all the people around him. Yeah, he complained sometimes, he stated over and over again how it sucked, but he never turned into a rude and annoyed human being. He never turned into a Caroline.

“The Fault In Our Stars” has really opened my eyes to the side of the actual dying person. Sure, they appreciate all the condolences, but it gets kind of tiring sometimes. Hazel Grace talks about how happy she was when that little girl just straight up asked her what her oxygen nubbins did at the mall on her half birthday. She talks about how she wishes everyone was like that, just asking her what they were rather than staring at her. About how nice that was. About how most people didn’t even come near her as if her cancer was contagious. And when I think about it, I can’t say that I don’t do that. Whenever I see someone that’s not like the majority of people, instead of treating them like any other person, my eyes are immediately drawn to their imperfections, and that’s something that many people do. Instead of focusing on the good this, people always prey on the bad things, or just things that aren’t like everybody else. But not everyone is the same, and not everyone has someone who completely understands, and that pretty much sums up Hazel Grace, until she meets Augustus.

Everybody wants to make a difference in this world, or leave their mark. The thing that hit Augustus the most when he found out he was dying, and soon, he realized that he would never get his chance to leave his mark on the world. Hazel doesn’t want to get too close to anybody because she believes that she will be a grenade, just blow up after she dies and hurt everyone around her. So while she was friendly, social, popular, after she got her cancer and found out she would die pretty soon, she shut everyone out. Augustus Waters was friendly, nice, popular, and loved hanging out with friends. He knows that his cancer is an obstacle, but he believes that his life doesn’t revolve around his cancer. He just wants to do something for the world, something spectacular, something heroic. So when he finds out that that won’t happen, it’s a really big blow. I have never really appreciated and given people with sicknesses as much credit as they should get. They are working so hard, their bodies and minds are tired, and they still have the choice to have a positive or negative outlook on life. One of my best friends’s sister got diagnosed with cancer, and not once did she ever say anything or complain. I was only 7 when she died, and it hit me hard. At the age of 21, nobody deserved to die, especially not one of the most amazing people I have ever met. Our families are very close, so we visited her often. Every single time she offered a smile and hug, while so many people out there had already given up. But we don’t get to chose the number of our days. The world, as big as it is, is not a wish granting factory.

When Augustus Waters has his pre-funeral and asks Hazel to write him an eulogy, Hazel realizes that she wasn’t the grenade, Gus was. That any day now, one of the only people she actually cared about would be gone forever. When Augustus dies eight days after his pre-funeral, Hazel realizes that after all those time when she went to the doctor and the nurse asked on a scale of one to ten how much pain she was feeling, then, and only then was the big ten. She sits there, just feeling the tidal wave of the ten come crashing over her, again and again.

After reading and finishing “The Fault In Our Stars,” I realized how much of an actual genius John Green really is. I realized that the world is not a wish granting factory. I learned that we don’t get to choose who we hurt, but we get a say in who hurts us. I learned that we need to live everyday as if it was our last. I learned that the marks humans leave are too often scars. I learned that the fault was not in ourselves but in the the stars.

It’s Dark In Here by Shel Silverstein

It's Dark In Here


It’s Dark In Here


I am writing these poems

From inside a lion,

And it’s rather dark in here.

So please excuse the handwriting

Which may not be too clear.

But this afternoon by the lion’s cage

I’m afraid I got too near.

And I’m writing these lines

From inside a lion,

And it’s rather dark in here.

~Shel Silverstein

    This poem was hilarious to my 8-year-old mind. In elementary school, while we were studying poetry, I managed to fall upon Shel Silverstein, one of the world’s greatest Children’s Poets. It really grabs you at the beginning. I mean, how many poems are written- supposedly- from inside a lion? That’s pretty unique, if I do say so myself. I love how it’s the perfect mix of simple and creative.

Week 4: Media and a Memory


When I was little, I just couldn’t do without my favorite stuffed dog, Bester. It was the most fun animal ever. I would sleep with him, play with him, do everything with him. Bester was the best thing in the world! He had the softest fur, nice brown eyes, floppy velvet ears, basically everything you could ever want in a dog.

While I snuggled it, I pretended Bester was a real, living dog, all for me. I could play with him and dance with him whenever I wanted to. I would talk to him when I was sad; I would talk to him when I was happy. I would play with my sister’s stuffed dog, Hope. Bester and Hope; the best of friends— just like Rachel and I. Bester reminded me of old times, of times where we jumped on the bed and when I threw him up into the air, promising to catch him. When I would toss him and twirl him, it was as if I actually had a puppy.

Bester never failed to make me laugh and smile. That’s why Bester was my favorite stuffed animal. Without Bester, my life would be incomplete. I would no longer have a fantasy little puppy.

Week 3: Favorite Apps

I may or may not be slightly obsessed *sigh* with apps. Gasp. I know, I know, scandalous. Here are my top 5 (with added commentary and praise and amazingness and — let me just get to it) :

1)Tumblr: TUMBLR. Where have you been all my life? In tumblr you get to choose whose blogs you follow, and all of their posts appear on your dashboard: an endless stream of posts. There are over a million different blogs, all with different topics! Some are hilarious, some motivational, some serious, and some sad. Tumblr is good for any situation, but no chance, no way; I won’t say I’m in love.

2) iFunny: Número dos. iFunny. Well, the name is pretty self-explanatory but it’s just this massive app filled with funny posts. You can post, you can subscribe to people you like, and there is a featured set everyday at 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. There’s also a collective set, where everything is, and similarly a popular set: with posts that have a lot of likes. iFunny can get you laughing out loud in no time.

3) Pinterest: Pinterest is like a big a bulletin board. As you scroll down your home screen — where all the board’s and people’s pins you’re following shows up — you see pins: little sticky note type of things. As you click on one particular pin, the picture enlarges, and you have the choice to like it, share it, comment on it, or repin it. You can creat multiple boards, where you post pins with a certain category in. For example, a board could be called “Books” and every pin that you repin that you put under the category books shows up. When you repin, you have the option of which board that pin goes in. You can follow just one of a user’s boards, or the entire user, so all of their boards. Pinterest is a great way to procrastinate.

4) Pandora: Pandora is love. Pandora is life. Pandora is music. Pandora is everything. I use Pandora for anything and everything. You can make radio stations based on an artist or a song. Pandora gives you the perfect range of new and old music. You can like a song, and Pandora will play that song again and more songs like it; you can put a song on the shelf if you are tired of hearing the song but still like it; or you can dislike a song, and Pandora won’t play that song again or songs like it. Pandora is great for homework.

5) Messages: Messages are a great way to talk to your friends. Without having to face the fear of actually talking on the phone, you can just text them and BABOOSHKA. It’s done. On Messages, you can put read receipts on, which tells the person you’re texting when you saw the text, and you can see when the person is typing. You can have group messages with as many people as you want, and with emojis that express feelings that I’ve never felt before, Messages is the perfect package.

Those are my five favorite apps, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Wow. I guess that since I could say that much about apps, I guess I am classified as — gasp — obsessed.

Week 2: A Day in Austin


You get off the plane, the first thing you notice right away as you walk is the hot Austin air. It’s your first time to Austin, and you’re ready to have the greatest vacation. As you slowly descend down the escalator, you see colorful massive guitars hanging around the baggage claim area, drawing many tourist’s attention. You get your baggage and make your way to the big double doors. Walking out, a huge gust of hot, humid air blasts onto your body. You get a taxi and begin your journey.

Downtown is the best place to go when you’re visiting Austin. Just waking around, you see more of the real Austin than anywhere else. With shops on every street, you see many “KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD” shirts, and Tyler’s clothing everywhere. As you look up, you see fluffy white clouds littering the sky. Directing your gaze lower, you catch sight of the UT Tower, many tall skyscrapers, and office buildings. People fill the sidewalks, some walking in groups of friends, some hurrying to get somewhere. The sound of car engines is constantly in the background.You see many college students as you start to walking in the campus of UT. It’s a friendly community; a warm atmosphere.

Another thing about downtown is the food . I mean, we all love food, but Downtown Austin has the best food. With the perfect mix of food trucks and fancy restaurants on every corner, Austin has a great variety of food. Places like Halal Guys and Chipotle are my favorite. Finally, when you’re all done eating, you could just go across the street to Yogurt Planet for a good cup of frozen yogurt.

Downtown a great place to go for a day out with friends. From Segway tours to the Capital, it’s possible activities are endless. You could even go bowling in the underground bowling alley that’s part of the University of Texas. There’s music literally everywhere, but that’s what you get in the Live Music Capital. With great stores for shopping, it’s a great place to go to with all your friends. The Graffiti Park is a great place to go to. With beautiful art all over, it just is a great thinking place. Finally, you can go see the popular graffiti, ” HI HOW ARE YOU” with the frog, and ” I love you so much,” a great place to go with your best friends or family. If you want a day packed full of fun, definitely go to Downtown Austin.

As you enter your hotel room, you think, This really was the greatest vacation, and I will be there in the background saying, wasn’t it? All because you went to Downtown Austin.

The Phantom’s Lair

Eine rote Rose

Dark, damp, dreadful

Jet black walls closing in on you

 An unpleasant, heavy aroma settles like the dust perching on all objects

The feeling of uneasiness comes upon you as you take in your surroundings

Something isn’t right

You wander further into the hall and take a look around

A thick scent greets you as you enter what looks to be a bedroom

A cot, dresser, and small closet occupy the vast amount of space in the room

A big window overlooks a dark, eerie lake

You creep out of the room, into the hallway

Goosebumps rise on your skin as your gaze catches a pearly white mask

You turn, and search the room more closely

A grand piano sits alone, with a single blood red rose lying upon it

You jump at the sound of maniacal laughter

Turning around slowly, you see a figure looming in the darkness

The figure advances into the light, and you see him

All the stories were true

His body fully encased in the bright light streaming in through the windows,you confirm you previous thoughts

He’s here

The phantom of the opera

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: MrOmega via Compfight



TEDxYouth@Austin 2014. Probably the best event ever. Sure, it was from 12:30 to 6:30 but it was totally worth it — every second of it. I just went to it over the weekend on Sunday, February 16th, 2014. There were about 12 speakers, and a break in the middle. It was amazing! All the speakers were brilliant, all taking about different things. There was a man who did the BetterBlock Project, where he just went around his city— Dallas — and just made it look better and more interactive with the people living there. Another guy from Africa decided to make sure that everybody could bathe in sanitary water, he made the DryBath: a lotion that was a substitute for bathing in water. And finally, my favorite Jon Cozart from PAINT on YouTube talked about how he got into doing videos. Afterwards, I met him with Caitlyn (in the picture) and it was actually the best thing ever 🙂 TEDxYouth@Austin has a great experience for me, and I also went last year. It was so fun and eye-opening. I can’t wait for next years event!

iPad – Valued Possession or Negative Influence?

Valued possession. Yes. Yes. YES. Oh, of course! Isn’t it obvious? I mean, the iPad? Being distracting and bringing me trouble? Of course NOT.

My iPad keeps me organized. I can write my study habits and homework in it, and i can also set reminders for myself. I am a very forgetful person. Teachers are starting to give out homework on the iPad, which is very convenient because then I can do my homework almost anywhere. My iPad is helpful.

Also, it’s a G-R-E-A-T (I can spell) great entertainment device for leisure. I can read on my iPad, listen to music, get on Twiiter, Pinterest, or Tumblr, check my email, all that great stuff. All in a little (actually quite big) technology device. As long as you manage your time responsibly, the iPad can really help.

So, yes, my iPad is a valued possession rather than negative influence. It keeps me argali zed, helps with school, and gives me entertainment. Let me tell you, the iPad has a LOT of storage. I use my iPad everyday, and I enjoy it immensely.