In my last blog post, I talked about how the quarantine issue led me to meet new people. This blog post is similar, but this time, I am going to talk to about how it is affecting my schooling.
Throughout the last couple of weeks, our school has kept the hope that we will return back to our education and graduate on the same timeline. A few days ago, we received the news that that is no longer happening. We are told, online school is the only way we are going to graduate. This normally wouldn’t be an issue, but I have had to expand my abilities and educate myself on most subjects. Homeschooling is something that I have always wanted as a kid, but now that homeschooling is the only option for me, it has been really hard.
I think the worst part about trying to learn and figure out everything, is trying to balance my seperate lives. Now everything is all in one house. My social life is through technology while I am sitting in my bed or on my couch. My academic life is at the same table where I eat dinner with my family every night. My home life, seems to slowly be disappearing. Having all of these things in one place makes it really hard to seperate my academic mind and my social mind. When I am in school, I normally have a different mindset, and when I come home it is my time to relax and let my brain process everything. Now with my education and my home being the same place, I have a really hard time separating my lives.
This new experience, certainly has allowed me to expand my comfort zone. I have to learn and adjust to things I never had to before. It is a new experience for me, and for a lot of people. That is what makes this experience a little better, is because we are all figuring it out together. I think that after this whole things is over, we will all have a new ability to handle hard experiences.
So I have been quarantined for the last 20 days and let me tell you, I have never been so bored in my life. Now one of the top priorities of mine was to make sure I got all my homework done on time. I also said I was going to try and make myself a better person by getting up early-ish and working out and doing productive things. As I figured, that has not happened a whole lot.
However, one thing I have managed to do over this long period of isolation is meet and talk to new people. I will be attending UW-La Crosse next fall and I have been struggling to find a roommate for the longest time! I was always just so nervous to talk to new people and get to know someone on a level where I could live with them for a year. For me, opening up to people has never been something I was willing to do. I like to keep to myself. Then came along someone new.
This new person’s name was Jess. Jess found me on our housing portal and decided to message me in hopes of finding a roommate. Luckily for me, I still hadn’t found one yet so I was super excited to be talking to someone with the same goal. However, as excited as I was, I was still super nervous! I could barely say three words without questioning myself. After this small struggle I got more comfortable with Jess and I was able to talk to her without having slight social panic attacks.
“Your only limit is you”
Meeting someone new was a huge step outside my comfort zone. I am not a super social person when it comes to meeting new people, but this was a positive experience for me. I am so glad to have met Jess. Her and I are really great friends and I wouldn’t have met her if I didn’t step outside of my box and talk to her. I got a really great roommate out of this experience and I can’t wait to see what more adventures I will have with this friendship!
Have any of you ever thought in your head of a tune and tried to put words to it? Or maybe you even took a tune you already knew and changed the words? For me this is something I am always doing! Ever since I was a little girl, music had intrigued me and I was always being caught singing in the shower or humming in the middle of class.
When I was 12 years old, I bought my first musical instrument, which happens to be a ukulele. Now the ukulele isn’t super popular, but a few years ago made a comeback as a huge trend. You can play many songs on the ukulele and I was super excited to learn to play it because it would be like an escape for me when I was sad, or angry.
The ukulele comes in many different sizes and styles. The one I own is a tenor ukulele which is just a little bit lower than the rest. My ukulele was very personal to me as I had saved up my own money to buy it and it wasn’t cheap I will tell you that 🙂 No one in my family is super musical, so to learn the instrument was really hard for me. I had to teach myself which was something I was definitely not confident in doing.
It took me about 3 months to learn my first song. After that it was smooth sailing, until it came to the point I wanted to write my own song. That was the most difficult part. I remember getting so frustrated with myself and it took me a few months to write my first song, and then the other ones came together pretty quickly.
It took a lot of courage and confidence with myself to get that far in my music. It took a lot of bravery to step out into the world of music but I am so glad I did. Now I share my music with others, and I am continuing to write my own music and expand my confidence with myself.
Moving from home is probably one of the biggest steps we have to take as teenagers. Throughout my high school years, there has always been those teachers that are up your butt about what you want to do after high school and honestly, none of us understood why we needed to know those things when we were a freshman. Being a senior now, and having to pick which school I am going to go to, and what I am going to major in, and how I am going to pay for college, are things that have been a lot easier for me to think about being I had the resources and help to figure it out before I was a senior.
A few weeks ago, I took my 5th college tour. Let me tell you, college tours are not the most exciting thing, but when you tour “your” college, it is an amazing feeling. My final college tour was to UW-La Crosse. Going into this tour, I had the mindset that this was the college I wanted to go to, but it was still super scary meeting with administrators, and other high school students. This was a bit of a challenge for me because I am kind of shy when it comes to meeting new people.
At the start of the tour I was nervous, and by the end of it I was confident. This was my school, this would be the place I would call home for the next four years. Furthering your education to college after high school is a great benefit in many ways. It will be easier for you to get a job in certain fields, and it will help you develop more as a person. In college, you pretty much start your life all over again. New friends, new experiences, and you are starting a life of your own without your parents and family there to guide you.
This is a very scary thing that requires a lot of motivation to go outside of our comfort box to completely start over.
“There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.”
I say this quote is completely true. It takes a lot of work to become successful and going to college is a step up the stairs to that goal. My experience transitioning from high school to college, was an interesting one and it definitely wasn’t easy. But now that I have my future planned out, I feel more confident leaving home and starting my own life. What are your plans for after high school?
Black Friday shopping. Crazy people that get up at the crack of dawn to go stand in lines for hours with their giant shopping carts filled with all sorts of christmas gifts, or extra things. My family has never been black friday shopping, not only for the reason that when my dad was little he was ran over by a shopping cart, but because it takes all day and you have to be able to be patient. Now for me, I have a small scale of patience. Growing up with two younger sisters does that to you.. anyways, this was my first year going Black Friday shopping, and let me tell you, my experience was absolutely crazy.
SO, my day started off by waking up at about 5:30 in the morning. I am not really a morning person so I was a little bit crabby all ready. The when we finally got in line at walmart, a lady cuts right in front of me! I looked over at my mother who was half asleep sitting on the sidewalk, and she just tells me PATIENCE. Now in my head I am telling myself it is gonna be a long day and I need to stay calm. Finally, we get into the store, and everyone starts running around like cows getting out of pen! Absolute craziness.
This happened at many other stores, and let me tell you the lines.. I think I am pretty good at standing considering I spent most of my day standing in the lines. Then to top it all off, we went out for ice cream, and even Mac Dons was packed!! At this point, I decided I was not going black friday shopping for a long long time. Catherine Pulsifer says, “learning patience can be a difficult experience, but once you conquered you will find life is easier.” I think this shopping experience has taught me that my little siblings really could be a lot worse. I have a little higher of a scale of patience with them, and I think the experience will be a memory I can share with my family. Although this was not a great experience for me, I still stepped outside of my box, and now I can say that I have gone shopping the craziest day of the year. Plus, I can make fun of my dad for being ran over by a cart 🙂
When you go to a family members house for any holiday, birthday, or family reunion, the one thing that most people love, is the variety of foods and sweets! But what if you go to a friends house, or a new family members house and they have different food traditions? For me, I was first introduced to Kumla when my family visited the states from Norway. My uncle, aunt, and cousin have lived in Norway for 20 years, and they come back to visit the family here every two years. A few years ago, they introduced us to the Norwegian dish Kumla which is potato dumplings.
Kumla is a potato dumpling often made with a piece of pork inside of it. It is a traditional meal that my family in Norway eats. When I was first introduced to Kumla, I did not have any interest in eating it whatsoever. I thought it was going to be gross, so I didn’t try it the first year my family brought it to the states. Then a few years later, they brought it again, and still, I did not want to eat it. My cousin Even (Ay-ven) was the one who made me try it. He tried to bribe me by saying he wouldn’t talk to me in English until I tried it. So I did.
After trying Kumla, I started eating dumplings in soup and other things. This dish, also increased my knowledge on my own family heritage. To make Kumla:
Place a ham in a large soup pot (at least 10 quart size), and pour in 16 to 20 cups of water to cover. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer the ham to make a rich stock, about 2 hours. Remove the ham, and skim any foam off the broth. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste) to broth, if necessary.
Place potatoes in a large bowl, and use very wet hands to mix in the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt to make a sticky dough.
Bring the ham stock to a full, rolling boil. Place a bowl of water near the stove. With very wet hands, pinch off about 2/3 cup of dough, and press a piece of bacon into the center of the dough. Roll the dough into a ball about 2 1/2 inches across, and slip the kumla into the boiling broth along the side of the pot. Don’t drop them into the middle of the broth to avoid splashing the hot broth. Repeat with the remaining dough, using the bowl of water to keep your hands very wet, until all the dumplings have been added to the broth.
Cover and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, then use a slotted spoon or spatula to gently lift any stuck dumplings from the bottom of the pot. Cover the pot again, and simmer the dumplings for about 1 hour. They will float to the top of the broth as they cook.
Gently lift the kumla from the broth with a slotted spoon, and stack them in a bowl for serving. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.
Traveling, we all love to do it. Especially with our families! But, what if you were to travel by yourself with a group of friends to a foreign country? This past summer, I got the opportunity to take a trip with our Spanish Club to the Dominican Republic! I remember being so scared as we were leaving on the bus at 6 in the morning from the school to drive to the airport. Saying goodbye to my mom and dad before I left for 9 days, and saying goodbye to my crying little sister because she thought I wasn’t coming back. This experience was a scary one, as I have never traveled by myself before, but in the end, it was one of the best experiences I have ever had.
When we first arrived to the Dominican, it was at about 11 o’clock pm and we met our host families as soon as we got there. This was the part I was most nervous for. We were staying with absolute strangers who knew little or no English! How were we supposed to communicate? Luckily, I had taken Spanish for three years before hand, but I still was not fluent and could barely understand what our mother was asking us half the time. Overall, looking past the slight confusion on communication, staying with a host family was so much fun! My host family had two little boys, Jaden and Eithan. I don’t have any little brothers so I have to say this experience, was a fun yet challenging one. Eithan is 3 years old, and he likes to bite A LOT! When we first arrived, he bit me about 5 times in just that one night. This continued for the 5 nights we stayed there. The thing is, is that he would only bite me. He wouldn’t bite Jolleen (the classmate I was staying with). This led to a lot of laughs and fun memories!
Being in the Dominican, I met lots of new people! Before I went on this trip, I had been so shy and scared almost all of the time. Now that I am back, I can’t shut up! My personal attitude towards people and life had changed so much in the 9 days that we were gone. I have to admit, I had thought about quitting and not going on the trip because that is how scared I was, but in the end, I wish I could go again! If you were to ask me to go on a trip to a foreign country by myself in September of last year, I would have looked at you like you were a crazy person and said no. If you were to ask me now, I would jump around with joy and go start packing my bags! This trip had opened my eyes and I am so glad I had people around me to support my decision and push me outside of my comfort zone. If I hadn’t gone on this trip, I would not be writing this blog today telling you to push yourself and expand your horizons! Napoleon Hill says, “Fears are nothing more than a state of mind.” I say that this is very true! From my personal experiences, I was so scared to go on this trip, but it was all about my mental attitude. If you have an open mind, you are more likely to enjoy things you didn’t think you would! Little things change perspective so much!! I would hate for you to miss out on an opportunity like mine, because you are scared to do something. Show no fear, and have a blast!