All posts by Anastasia

Last Week of School!

We are finally here! Finals week, whoop whoop. But then again, that means four days of more stress and awful tests, but it’s fine.

Looking back on junior year, it. was. hard. I’m not even joking. I remember being a sophomore and thinking that junior year was going to be easy-peezy. I was very wrong. I remember talking to some of my junior friends and asking them about junior year. Some of them said it was going to be easy. Most of them said it was going to be easy, now that I think about it. Haha, they were wrong too. I did take three AP classes, so I guess that factored into the difficulty of the year but still. Oh, man was that rough.

I spent so many nights crying and studying and crying some more. I had so many headaches and I’ve never seen myself more sleep-deprived in my life. I didn’t cry because of friend drama or anything like that, I was actually crying over my homework. I had a wheelbarrow of it every night, it felt like. But other than dealing with the academic stress, this year was actually the best. I had so much fun.

I was in multiple organizations and clubs at school and those helped make my year amazing. I was healthy this year for high school tennis and finally got to play singles, won first in my region, and got to go to state for a third year in a row! Yay. 🙂 I was in NHS and had fun working with different volunteer groups to make my community a better place. In BLUE Crew, which is a group that helps the incoming freshmen transition, I enjoyed getting to know my little ninth-grade nuggets and guide them on the start of their high school journey. In student council, I had a blast planning events and I feel honored to be able to serve as one of the three co-presidents on the executive board for next year. I also was a part of Circle of Friends which is a club that partners students with students in the intensive care learning. I got to eat lunch with one of the sweetest and most amazing kids for the past two years now. I never saw myself doing anything like that, but now it’s something I’m passionate about and look forward to every week. The kid I eat lunch with has brought a whole new perspective of life to my life and I’m so thankful for the opportunities I had junior year. I’ll get to serve as one of the presidents for Circle of Friends next year too, and I’m pumped to do that as well.

I kept the friends I’ve made over the past couple of years, grown close with some, and even made new friends that I look forward to spending senior year with. It’s insane that I’m going to be a senior soon. I helped escort yesterday at my high school’s graduation and it’s so hard to believe that I will be graduating next year. AHH!

And so I should probably leave this post here, because I need to go finish studying for my physics final. Have a good week and best of luck to everyone taking finals! 🙂

Last Week of School

Happy Mother’s Day, Moms

And here we are at another Mother’s Day. Honestly, every day is Mother’s Day but I think a designated day for our moms is pretty great. Here’s some things I’d like to say to all of the moms out there.

Moms, thanks for all you do for us. Thank you for the late nights you stay up on the couch or in your room waiting for us to finish our homework or come home from being with friends. Thank you for worrying about us, even if we don’t like it sometimes. We know you care. We know you love you. We know you do what you do for the best. Thanks for the hugs on rough days and even on good days. Thanks for the good night kisses and tucking us in, even if we are teenagers. Haha, that would be me in particular. Thank you for going on shopping trips and quick grocery store trips and trips to Target when we forget something for a project at school.

Thanks for keeping our dreams alive. Sometimes we get frustrated and upset and worry that what we want to do will never happen. You push us and force us to keep our dreams in sight. With you, we never lose our track. Moms, you’re our rocks. You keep us humble and keep us hopeful. You also keep us in line. You teach us right from wrong and do your best to keep us from doing stupid things. Thank you for the long talks about silly friend drama at school and issues we may have. These talks help make us more comfortable and feel understood. Your stories of similar accounts make us feel human and not alone.

You inspire us, make us happy, and drive us to be perfect, like you all are. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers. You are amazing, beautiful, and wonderful people that we all revere and appreciate so much. We love you!

Happy Mother's Day, Moms

Do You Even Know What Cinco de Mayo Is?

I know that this is coming a few days after the actually day, but do you even know what Cinco de Mayo is? Do you even know why it’s celebrated? Is there a reason that Americans find the need to commercialize the holiday and celebrate it? Honestly, after learning more about the glorified day in Spanish class, I’m over the fiestas and big parties people throw on May 5th. Why do we see dollar signs on every holiday? For those of you who aren’t exactly educated on what Cinco de Mayo actually is, here’s some information.

  • Cinco de Mayo is NOT the Mexican day of independence. That day is actually September 16th. Cinco de Mayo actually occurred more than fifty years after the declaration of independence and “Grito de Dolores” in Mexico.
  • May 5th actually commemorates the victory of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War in 1862.
  • Cinco de Mayo is a relatively small holiday in Mexico but a huge holiday, in the United States. The holiday has become a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage to many Mexican-Americans.
  • At the Battle of Puebla, the Mexicans were greatly outnumbered and believed they would lose, but against all odds, emerged victorious.
  • Traditionally, in Mexico, May 5th is celebrated by military parades, recreations of the Battle of Puebla, and other festive events.

Cinco de Mayo

JFK Assassination Vignette

If you’ve been a round for a while, you may have noticed that I have a slight obsession with the JFK administration and Kennedy’s presidency. In AP Lang, we had the opportunity to pick any event in time and write a short piece about that moment. I picked the JFK assassination and wrote from the perspective of Lyndon B. Johnson as they were getting ready to leave Texas and head back to Washington D.C. Enjoy.

The heat was unbearable. The crowd was unbearable. The news was unbearable. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson stood as a crumbling stone wall aboard Air Force One. Franticly searching around the stateroom, he cried, “We can’t leave Dallas yet. Please!” This was all happening too fast. The arrival at the airport, the breakfast, the parade, and then the gunshots. He turned to Mrs. Kennedy who stared blankly at the floor, covered in the brains and blood of her deceased husband. President Kennedy was dead, dead as the Camelot he had fought so hard for. Johnson trembled as he placed his left hand on the Bible then raised his right hand to recite the oath of office. He fought to hold tears from rushing down his cheeks. He had lost his co-worker, his friend, his president. Johnson finally pleaded, “So help me God.” and with these last words, he became the next fearless leader of the United States of America. With the tragic events of the past few hours, the country watched as a peaceful river turned into a raging, destructive torrent after heavy rain. Once the rain had cleared, the river calmed back down and left fertile, new land to grow on. The country would grow strong again and Johnson would lead the way.  

JFK Assassination Vignette

Decompressing After Prom

Wowza! Junior prom came and went and boy did I have a blast! Here’s a little on how my prom and after-prom went.

My school is pretty awesome and was fortunate enough to book the Downtown Aquarium for our prom! I haven’t been to the aquarium in a long time so I was pretty pumped when we got the chance to dance the night away there. The aquarium provided us with a good dance, a full dessert bar, and plenty to drink because MAN was it hot! We also had full access to the aquarium and I really enjoyed getting to walk around and see all of the pretty fish and sharks. One really funny thing was watching all of the other girls in their heels as they fumbled around on the rocky floor of the aquarium. I struggled with that too so I guess I should also be laughed at, haha.

I went with two of my close friends from school and we had a really good time together. We went to an expensive Italian restaurant not too far from our houses. Fun story now, I had a white dress and being the smart human I am, I got spaghetti, with RED SAUCE. Luckily, I didn’t get anything on my dress so I was pretty proud of that.

After we finished dinner which was around 8? we drove down to the aquarium. At the aquarium, we walked around for a while and then danced some. The DJ was okay, but not great, so it was hard to actually do any dancing. I saw a couple of my other friends at prom who all looked amazing and then after 10:30 pm, my friends that I came with and I got bored and decided to head to one of their houses to get ready for JAM, or Just After Midnight.

At my school, the after-prom, or JAM party is even bigger than prom. A group of parents work almost around the entire school year prepping for JAM. There’s always a theme and there’s always inflatables and arcade games and food and cool prizes that include TVs and other awesome things. After we got to my friend’s house, we all changed out of our dresses and into some more comfortable clothing so we could bounce and run around. A little after midnight, we headed to the school and had a blast at JAM.

This year’s theme was all sorts of games ranging from board games to mobile games and video games, which was sweet! At JAM, by winning games and even just participating in games, we earned JAM bucks and got to spend them at the JAM store where there was a variety of prizes. I played real-life Mario Kart and went down inflatable slides and pushed around an inflatable wrecking ball and even jumped on one of those indoor bungee things with a trampoline! I ate Chick-Fil-A and s’mores and did an escape room with my friends and just had a great time. As JAM came to a close, I dashed to the JAM store and purchased a nerd emoji pillow (I’m a dork) and this cool hair thing from Chi, which is one of my favorite haircare brands. I didn’t win any of the ultra-mega huge prizes like the TV or the cool bike, but I had a great time with my friends and that means a lot more. 🙂

I am definitely exhausted today, as I sit here and write this blog. I got home around 4:30 am and slept until noon today! I’m so glad that I went with the people I did. It may have been quieter and more low-key than some groups, but at least I didn’t get wasted, or flat out drunk like some kids. In my mind, you can have a great time at prom and really any school dance without doing all of that crap. You can enjoy your friends and make actually good memories by staying clean. It’s more important that I was safe and not stupid. This prom is going to definitely be a memory I’ll cherish forever. 🙂

It’s Hard to Keep Up a Blog Sometimes

With summer vacation drawing closer and closer as well as the dreaded finals week approaching, I’d like to give a quick warning to everyone that I may not be posting on time like I usually do and I’d like to apologize for that. Tennis season is also coming to a close and with our big tournaments coming up, I’ll be missing a lot of school which means there’s going to be a lot of make-up work. AHHHH.

It’s hard to keep up a blog sometimes in that I have to make sure I get something posted every Sunday. For those of you who read this, it means a lot that you take time out of your day to scroll through my blog. For those of you who read this, I appreciate your patience when I suddenly disappear from the internet because I have a truckload of homework one week. For those of you who read this, I really and truly appreciate you. 🙂

It’s hard to keep up a blog sometimes because I feel like I run out of ideas. I scramble around my house and through my school-work seeing if there’s something good enough to post here. I want to keep my blog exciting and interesting and sometimes I worry that I lose my readers because I don’t write about interesting enough things. Hearing from a seventeen year old who thinks she’s got a grasp on life might not be that interesting to some people.

It’s hard to keep up a blog sometimes when I’m busy and super stressed. Sometimes I just feel like there’s not enough hours in the day to do all the things I want but I make the most of it. Some days I spend hours planning my blogs and making them perfect and making sure they fit the criteria to be posted. Sometimes, I don’t have the time to do that and you might find yourself reading something like this.

It’s hard to keep up a blog sometimes because I love it way too much. You might ask, “But Ana, wouldn’t it be easy then?” And I would respond with a strong no. Keeping this blog up has been one of the most enjoyable and amazing things I’ve had the opportunity to do. I enjoy writing and sharing what I love with all you readers. I just worry about making things perfect and entertaining to keep you all on board. This has been quite the ramble, haha. Thank you all for being here with me.

Until next week and also Happy Easter 🙂

It's Hard to Keep Up a Blog Sometimes

What Makes a Good Breakfast?

As a high school student who is often rushed in the morning, I find it difficult to always prepare my body for the day. Maybe I’ll grab a piece of toast or get a bowl of fruit but that isn’t exactly the best way to give my body the energy it needs to start the day. Based on personal experience and some research, here’s what I think is important and necessary for a good breakfast.

  1. Protein. Whether that’s through dairy products, nuts, or eggs, it’s important to pack your breakfast with proteins. Proteins help you feel fuller for a longer amount of time.
  2. A variety of foods. Different types of milk, meat and meat alternates, as well as a variety of fruits are important for a good, healthy breakfast. You want a variety so that there’s a variety of nutrients as well.
  3. Smoothies. Smoothies are easy to make and you can get really creative with them. To add on, smoothies are great for when you have to get out of the house quick. They make a great to-go breakfast.
  4. Fruit. In a smoothie, in a salad, or just straight from the container, fruit is awesome. It’s super filling and good for your body. Be careful though as fruit does contain sugar and consuming too much may not be the best thing for your body. As long as you live a healthy lifestyle and stay active, you should be just fine.
  5. Not skipping breakfast, ever. As a high school student, I know a bunch of kids that just don’t eat breakfast. They claim there isn’t enough time or they’re not hungry or they just didn’t want to. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s important to give your body what it needs to start the day and then get through the day. You want to be able to function properly and keep your metabolism and digestive tract in a rhythm and steady, so don’t skip a meal, especially breakfast.

It’s definitely important to have a wide variety of foods on your plate at breakfast and it’s also important to always eat breakfast. Even if you don’t have time to eat a full breakfast, give yourself something to fuel your body. Eating a good breakfast helps get you on the right track for a good day and helps the struggles of being hangry from staying away.

Have a good week!

What Makes a Good Breakfast?

Why I am a Self-Critic

Recently in AP Lang, we had a creative writing assignment inspired by a piece by Zitkala-Sa titled “Why I am a Pagan”. I chose to write about why I am so hard on myself and here is that piece. Enjoy.

Heavy breathing. Sweat dripping. Mind racing. There was no way I’m going to pull off this match. Two hours pass under the glaring sun and I’m still out on the battlefield. My back burns as the heat stabs into it. My feet burn as I dash madly from sideline to sideline in a frantic attempt to keep myself from raising that white flag. My heart burns as I watch the championship match against my nemesis go up in flames. No matter how many serves I sent penetrating the enemy’s walls or how many shots I fired evening the playing field it wasn’t enough. It never seems to be enough.

My last play haunts my mind as I walk up to the net. “You just had to miss it in the net didn’t you Ana? I can’t believe you just let that happen. It’s not like that doesn’t happen at least six or seven times in a match. You’ve been working on that! Get a grip!” My opponent and I may have ceased fire on the court but that ceasefire hasn’t reached the strident voice nagging me in my head. I hold back my frustration and overwhelming feeling of crying as we shake hands and head off the court to our families.  

I knew my family would be proud of me. They always are. They’ll see that I worked hard out on the court. Or did I? Was I good enough out there?

As I fasten my seatbelt in the car, a single tear rolls down my cheek. And then a second. And then a third. And then a flash flood rumbles down the hill. It seems like no matter how hard I push myself out there, I’m trapped swimming just below the surface of the ocean. I’m left to wander and explore the vastness of the watery depths. I’m breathless. It seems like no matter hard I work on the court, I’m doomed to endure the harsh conditions of a summitless mountain. Progress may be made but sometimes it feels like I’m headed nowhere. I see the same old trees on that horrendous mountain and every time I have to cross that river or climb over that boulder, I might vomit out of disgust. “We’re here again?! I thought we were over this already?”

I look out the window from the backseat of the car and watch as the cars, trees, and houses go by. As my dad navigates through Colorado Springs, my mom turns to me.

“Ana, you know not to be so hard on yourself. This is silly behavior. You are stronger than this. You made it to the championship, for goodness sake! Be proud of yourself for that! And who cares about some Jessica-messica Do not let that get to you, okay?”

My mom may be right. I shouldn’t let someone with poor sportsmanship like that get to me. I shouldn’t be my own worst enemy. I shouldn’t hate myself so much for losing a match in the championship of a tournament, but I have to.

Hating on myself and kicking myself in the butt for making mistakes motivates me to be better. Losing sucks, I’ll admit it, but it allows me to learn from my mistakes. I may never reach the summit of that awful mountain and I may never get to breathe the fresh, salty air by sticking my head above the water, but I’ll be able to learn from my experiences. Being critical of myself allows me to give flight to the strong, beautiful butterflies that were once weak and struggling caterpillars in my life. To some, being hard on yourself is detrimental. It’s pointless. It’s silly behavior. I don’t see it that way. I see it as an opportunity to educate myself and improve who I am. There is no limit to improvement and I am endlessly willing to become better in all I do. If this is self-improvement and growth, then forevermore, at least, I am a self-critic.

Why I am a Self-Critic
Credit to artist. Not my piece 🙂

My Five Favorite Actresses

I’m a really big movie person and I absolutely love getting wrapped up in a great movie with an interesting plot and getting lost for a few hours. There’s a myriad amount of wonderful, talented actresses out there but for this I could only have five. Here are my five favorite actresses, and they are not in any specific order.

Audrey Hepburn

My Five Favorite Actresses

I feel like Audrey Hepburn is a favorite for many and I’m with the many. She was such a talented and funny actress and in general, she seemed like a great person. I loved her in My Fair Lady and Roman Holiday. She is such an iconic and inspiring and also gorgeous actress and I feel like everyone could learn something about class and grace from a fabulous actress like her.

Jennifer Lawrence

My Five Favorite Actresses

Jennifer Lawrence was the star actress of The Hunger Games trilogy and that’s where I grew to love her as an actress. She is so funny and also very talented. She performs wonderfully in any role she’s thrown into and I think I would enjoy almost any movie she’s in.

Julie Andrews

My Five Favorite Actresses

This amazing woman has been in so many iconic and spectacular movies including Sound of MusicMary PoppinsThe Princess Diaries, and many more. Like Hepburn, Andrews is a graceful and very classy woman who has a beautiful singing voice and a lot of talent to share. Her movies always make me so happy and I would consider her as one of my idols.

Keira Knightley

My Five Favorite Actresses

Keira Knightley is another one of my favorite actresses because of her kick-butt job in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. I loved her as Elizabeth Swann. When I was younger, I really wanted to be Keira Knightley for Halloween because I loved her so much, and I still do!

Emma Watson

My Five Favorite Actresses

I know I talked about this great actress last week but I just can’t stop! Emma Watson did a fantastic job in the new Beauty and the Beast and I loved growing up with her in the Harry Potter series. Emma Watson is an incredibly kind and smart and wonderful person and I also really look up to her.

And there you have it! There are my five favorite actresses. There’s so many other great actresses that I love watching, not only in movies but in TV shows too. I’m currently really into Criminal Minds and I love AJ Cook in that show. She’s also a great actress. I haven’t seen her in anything but that show, but she’s a good one. I would recommend checking out Criminal Minds if you enjoy crime shows. I would warn you though, there can be some violence and definitely some thrills if you’re up for it.

Have a good week! 🙂

Reviewing the New Beauty and the Beast

The new Beauty and the Beast came out recently and boy, do I have a lot to say about it! Just a warning, there may be some spoilers in here so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you may learn some things you may not want to yet. Here we go.

Emma Watson was a beautiful Belle. For many others my age, we grew up with her as Hermoine from Harry Potter. When I first discovered that she would be playing one of my favorite Disney princesses, I worried that I would only see Hermoine, but that wasn’t the case. Emma Watson fit the role of Belle perfectly and had an amazing singing voice. In addition to Watson, the rest of the cast was fantastic. Dan Stevens played the Beast and Luke Evans played Gaston and they absolutely killed it! I actually loved Luke Evans so much that I almost felt bad for Gaston when he died. Stevens and Evans both fit their roles so nicely and also did a great job singing and acting in the movie.

Reviewing Beauty and the Beast

The music was wonderful throughout the movie. I loved that Disney incorporated the music from the original cartoon but I thought it really made the movie different and even better from the cartoon by adding a couple of new songs in. They really fit into the movie.

In addition to adding a few new songs, there were a couple of new additions to the plot to fill plot holes not covered in the cartoon movie. In the cartoon, everyone in the town seemed totally oblivious to the fact that there was a castle and a beast lived in it. I thought that was somewhat confusing. In the live action movie, we learned that when the Beast was cursed, the enchantress that cursed him also cursed the town and erased any memory they had of the prince and his castle. On top of that, from the cartoon, it didn’t make any sense that the Beast had been cursed for many years and characters like Chip didn’t age. In the live action movie, I think the enchantress trapped the town in a time-loop and left them unable to age. That would explain why Mrs. Potts and Mr. Potts where still the same age when they were rejoined in the end and Chip, their son didn’t age as well. If this seems confusing in my writing, there are several other writers who share similar beliefs and ideas with the live action plot. I would suggest reading more about it.

Reviewing the New Beauty and the Beast

The special effects and CGI for Beauty and the Beast were also executed well. The Beast was extremely realistic and looked very, very real especially when around Belle. The Beast’s castle was also super cool and reminded me a lot of the one in the cartoon movie.

Belle’s dress in the popular dance scene was also gorgeous and I’m really happy that the costume designers didn’t recreate the dress Belle wore in the cartoon movie. This one appealed to the more modern age but was still classical and beautiful on Emma Watson.

Reviewing the New Beauty and the Beast

And one other thing, I thought that all of the characters were developed much better in the new Beauty and the Beast. We learned much more about Gaston and his sidekick, Le Fou, and also Belle’s father. We learned more about all of the characters in the castle too, and I think learning more about the characters also really helped build the movie’s background and setting overall.

If you haven’t seen the new Beauty and the Beast movie, I’m begging you to see it as soon as possible. I absolutely loved it and I’m so proud of Disney’s latest masterpiece. Bravo!

Reviewing the New Beauty and the Beast