A New Perspective on Burton’s Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

In my honor’s seminar on children’s literature, I will be giving a speech this week on what critics, reviewers, and scholars are saying about Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland. As I did my research preparing for my speech, I chose to focus more on what scholars had to say about the development as Alice, the main character, and how she’s been changed by society over time and who she is in Burton’s movie is a result of that. Here’s what I learned from that research. This is a reflection of what several professors and doctoral candidates had to say about Alice and all I did was interpret it. Here’s a different look at Alice from Burton’s version of Carroll’s classic tale!

A 51% rating by Rotten Tomatoes, a 53% rating by Metacritic, and a 6.5/10 by IMDb. These are the ratings that Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland received when it was released in 2010. After the movie’s release, the new Alice was met with mixed reviews. Some critics believed that the movie was a fresh take and interpretation of Carroll’s story. Others thought that Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland was grotesque, much too dark, and “ordinary” in comparison to Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

I feel like I could go on and on about what the critics and reviewers had to say about Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland but I’m not going to. That stuff is all very interesting, but I found that what several English professors and doctoral candidates had to say about the movie was even more fascinating. There was a general trend I noticed. This trend was that Alice has been so influenced by popular culture over the years, that she is worlds apart from Carroll’s version of Alice.

For one, Alice has been sexualized over time and we see this as Alice struggles to keep her clothes on. When she enters Wonderland, she is only in her petticoat. As she grows and shrinks, her clothes do not conform to her body. She shows more skin and cleavage than would be considered appropriate during the Victorian era. At one point in the movie, the Knave of Hearts even pulls her aside and compliments Alice, or Um, on her “largeness”. The innocent and adorable little Alice of Carroll’s story that we all know and love has been lost to the sexualization of women that we see so often in media today. Another side of this argument, however, applauds Burton on his decision to display Alice as he did. Some scholars and even the screenwriter for the film argue that Alice is more empowering shown as she is. She encourages girls and young women to break the barriers of their own society by breaking the barriers and expectations of girls and women in her own Victorian society. To scholars that believed this idea, Alice’s portrayal put an emphasis on creating and building strong-willed and empowered women.

In addition to this, many scholars noted that Alice seems to have lost her sense of curiosity and interest in Wonderland which completely contradicts with Carroll’s message of encouraging curiosity and imagination in young girls. Alice flees to Wonderland to escape from an unwanted engagement and throughout her journey, her one goal is to get home. In Carroll’s version, Alice follows after the White Rabbit because of her curious nature. Alice wants to engage with the animals and learn about the nonsensical world she’s stumbled upon. In Burton’s Wonderland, she’s in a constant state of fear, uncertainty, and rejection toward Wonderland and curiosity is viewed as a negative thing. As Alice ventures through Wonderland, she constantly reminds herself that she’s in a dream but has no control over anything. Like in the instance with the Vorpal Sword, In the end, you might remember that “The Vorpal Sword knows what it wants, you just have to hold on to it.” According to one of the doctoral candidate’s papers I read over, Alice had no control over killing the Jabberwocky. It was ultimately up to the sword to finish off the monster and this was an interesting thought because it demonstrates that Alice has morphed into a woman who has no control over her choices which holds true for some women in society today too.

So in conclusion, the Alice of Burton’s movie is not the Alice of Carroll’s book. Burton’s Alice is not the curious, lovable, and innocent little girl she once was. Alice has grown into a completely different person as a result of society’s expectations and beliefs of women over a long period of time. Honestly, if the Caterpillar was to ask Alice who she was today, there’s a good chance she would have no idea how to answer.

Works Cited

Aguilo-Perez, Emily R. “Appearing Otherwise: Alice Is Now The Woman in Wonderland.” The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children’s Literature, 2015, lib.latrobe.edu.au/ojs/index.php/tlg/article/view/595/556.

Rother, Larry. “Drinking Blood: New Wonders of Alice’s World.” New York Times 26 Feb. 2010. Web. 11 Sept. 2018.

Susina, Jan. “Marvels & Tales.” Marvels & Tales, vol. 25, no. 1, 2011, pp. 181–183. JSTOR, JSTOR, jstor.org/stable/41388993.

Beating the Freshman 15

freshman 15

Last week, I briefly mentioned the Freshman 15 in my “How to Be Productive in College”. For those of you who don’t know what the Freshman 15 is, it’s an expression that refers to a weight gain during the first year of college and it’s typically a gain of 15 pounds.

I’ve been really conscientious of my weight, physical health, and mental health ever since I was cleared to play sports again after my ankle injury. I gained about 30 pounds throughout the time I was injured and I feel like I wasn’t happy with how I looked at all. Since then, I’ve worked my tail off to get back to a place where I’m about where I should be in tennis and I’ve maintained my flexibility from dance as best I can. In no way am I exactly where I want to be physically, but I’m feeling much better about myself and I feel like I’m in a much better mental state. By eating right, getting good sleep, and working out, I’m getting closer to my goal.

Coming to college, I was worried that all of my hard work would be destroyed. With all of the food available at practically any hour of the day and all the free time, I could easily gain back 15+ pounds. To stay healthy and beat the freshman 15, here are some of the things I’m doing:

  • Drink lots of water. Drinking water is not only good for your body in general, but it’s good for the skin. Drinking a glass of water before eating can also be good since it makes you feel fuller. I try to drink around 60 oz. of water a day from my Hydroflask and then I have water with every meal.
  • Exercise, exercise, exercise. Whether you just walk around a track, lift weights, do some form of cardio, or play a sport, it’s important to work out. This keeps your body in a good state (as long as you’re not overdoing it) and working up a sweat is a good natural detox. Some of my favorite things include the elliptical, circuit training, and various leg, arm, and core workouts. If you’re looking for some fun, different workouts, Pinterest is a great place to search.
  • Avoid stress eating or bored eating. I’ve been guilty of this before, but this is a big way to eat excess calories. If you’re in your room and find yourself bored, find something to make yourself busy! And whatever it is, try not to resort to eating. If you do feel the need to stress eat or you’re bored and want to eat, make it something healthy, like celery or carrots.
  • Limit the sweets. Too much sugar can be a bad thing. I’ve really tried to cut back on dessert foods and really sweet things. If I decide that I am in need of a cookie or some ice cream, that’s the only dessert I get for the day. So if I had ice cream after lunch, I tell myself no desserts at dinner. Just be aware of what’s on your plate.
  • Have a colorful plate of food. Going off of that last sentence for my last tip, watching what’s on your plate is really important. My rule of thumb is this: If all the food on your plate is the color of “fried-brown”, you need to change something. Make sure there’s some veggies or fruit  with every meal. Your body will thank you.

These are just some of the things I’ve done to beat the Freshman 15, and I hope that by having these good habits, I’ll keep it that way the rest of this school year. Honestly, keeping these habits for the rest of my life wouldn’t hurt either!

I strongly believe that self-improvement is awesome and everyone should work toward becoming the best version of themselves. If there’s a certain something you don’t like about yourself or there’s something you feel could be better or stronger, work toward that! Sitting around and complaining will get you nowhere. It’s honestly much more satisfying and inspiring to have a goal and work toward it and then look back and see how far you’ve come. With that in mind, I hope you all have a great week! Until next time 🙂

How to Be Productive in College

productive

As I found out very quickly over these past two weeks of classes, making use of the free time you have is crucial to staying afloat in college. Being in honors, I feel like I have fewer classes, but by no means does that mean I have less work. Having fewer classes means that I have more time to do what I want, which can be a good and a bad thing. Here’s what I’ve done to stay productive in college, so far. 

  • When you have nothing to do, study! I’ve found that if I have a chunk of time where I’m doing nothing, it’s best to study. They do recommend that for every hour you spend in class, you need to spend 3 hours studying, so use your time to study!
  • Be smart about how you study. Personally, I can’t study with a lot of noise or music just because I get distracted by that stuff easily. Find what works best for you and go with it. If you need highlighters to emphasize certain points in your notes, use them. If notecards make studying for tests easier, use them. If working on homework and studying in a group works best for you, do that! Do whatever you can to better your understanding of what you’re learning. 
  • Take time out of your day to exercise. I’ve heard that the “Freshman 15” is a thing, and oh boy do I see how easily it could hit you! I will not allow myself to gain weight because I’m feeling lazy and have access to all the carbs, cookies, and other sweets in the world right now. For all of you, find some physical activity you like to do and do that. Exercise is also a great way to destress and relax. I recommend working out before studying just because it makes your brain much more active and helps get out any jitters you may have before going to do homework.
  • Get a healthy amount of sleep. You can’t be a productive person if you can’t even stay awake in class. Get the recommended 8-9 hours of sleep to let your mind and body recharge so that you can have a great next day. Just take good care of yourself.
  • Use a planner. I honestly haven’t seen many college kids using planners, but I know that I use one and I need one. Planners are a great way to organize your exams, due dates for assignments, and other events going on in your life. Even if you don’t use a planner, at least look into putting down some stuff in your phone calendar. Keeping track of everything makes your life soooo much easier and allows you to see what you’ve done and what still needs to be done.

College is a totally different world from high school and it’s been exciting to figure out life on my own and test my productivity and ability to manage my time properly. The one thing I’m still trying to get used to is showering in flip flops… We’ll get there some day. Have a good week everyone! 🙂

How I Define a Leader

I’m involved in the President’s Leadership Program at CSU and I think it’s going to be a wonderful opportunity. I’m very excited to learn more about what makes a good leader and just get to meet some cool, new people. As our first assignment, we were asked to define what leadership is and what makes a leader who they are. Here’s my response.

A leader is the kind of person to embrace challenge. If there’s an issue in their community, a leader is the type of person to promote change and work hard to make their world better. In our world, there are many leaders known for their outspoken personalities and abilities to work a crowd. While a leader can be that type of person, it is also crucial to have the leaders who guide others through their actions and ability to listen. Leaders who listen gain the trust and respect of others while also giving voices to those who may not typically have one. Regardless of how talkative or quiet a leader is, every leader should have the ability to listen to others. In addition, every leader should be respectful of others’ opinions and ideas even if they disagree. Leaders should understand all sides of an argument or issue and comprehend the various backgrounds of others.

When leaders work together within their communities they promote social change. Social change is the evolution of people’s interactions, ideas, and acceptance pertaining to other people. Leaders greatly impact social change in that they work to promote acceptance of all people, no matter who they are.

The way I lead is through my kindness and ability to listen. I lead by encouraging others to become leaders, participate in community service, and show support for their friends, peers, and coworkers. When I played club volleyball, I learned that leadership is most importantly about making a difference in the lives of others. As a leader, I’ve found that being approachable and inclusive is extremely important too. I lead by demonstrating good character and spreading positivity to others. Leadership is the opportunity to help others grow. It’s a chance to have fun, work hard, and learn so much about yourself and others. Most importantly, leadership is what allows one to truly make a difference for others and make the world a better place.

I Said I’m Proud to Be a CSU Ram

CSU

Wow am I exhausted! Move-in at CSU was a lot of work. Meeting new people was a lot of work. Ram Welcome was a lot of work, and walking! Going to classes this upcoming week is going to be a lot of work! From pep rallies to finding our classes to getting free succulents and doing the most fun high ropes course with my roommate, I’ve done a lot. Here’s some of what I’ve learned this week.

  • See where your classes are BEFORE they actually start. If you want to feel more confident about where you’re headed on a giant college campus, take the day before classes to figure everything out. 
  • Take the time to meet people. Whether it’s on your floor, in your orientation group, or in classes, be social! You never know who will become your best friend. And it’s also nice to get to know people so that you see some familiar faces around campus.
  • Introduce yourself to your professors. This is something I’ve heard time and time again from upperclassmen. In big lecture halls, you don’t just want to be another face. Get to know your professor so that you’re not just another face or test to grade.
  • Get involved. Even in the first few days, it’s important to find clubs and other things you want to get involved in. This is another way to meet people and find what interests you!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I know that when classes start, I’m gonna need some help actually finding my classrooms. I know the general buildings I will be in, but not the classes. If you’re lost, get some help! There’s no need stressing yourself out and there’s no need to walk around staring into outer space when you could be figuring out what you need to. 

There’s a lot more I’ve learned over these past couple of days and I feel like if I kept writing, I would have another novel of a blog post. To those of you also leaving for college soon, or already at college, have a great, safe time! If you’re at CSU, good choice. If there’s any CU Buffs reading this post, go Rams, am I right? Haha 🙂 Have a good week everyone!

Thank You to My APUSH Class

As I finished packing up my stuff for school this week, I ran across my AP United States History (APUSH) notebook from junior year. I loved the teacher I had for that class. He made everything really engaging and actually interesting. I also had some of my really good friends in that class which made it fun too. 

One of the things that made that class rough was the other half of the room. In my class, there was my half of the room, which was the smarter group of kids and then there was the other half. Oh boy was that a group. I often asked myself, “What made them think taking APUSH was a good idea?” Some of the things I heard were comical. I decided it would be a great idea to write down some of the stuff these kids said and figured I could share them now.

And disclaimer before we get started: I am sharing these just as something that was a part of my junior year experience. I’m not making fun of anyone or making any attempt at being insulting. This is just stuff I heard and I’m sharing it. Now here’s some of what I heard in my APUSH class!

  • “There’s no alcohol in Utah?”
  • “This is totally unrelated but in the movie Top Gun what war was that?”
  • “Angelican is the new Anglican.”
  • “God made animals so we could eat them… but why are we eating them all so fast now?
  • “No one survived the Civil War, did they?” RIP AMERICA
  • “If I get 200 retweets on Twitter, will you give me an A on the final and in the class?”
  • “Social Darwinism”. Pay attention to the spelling on that one.
  • “Have you seen the show Weeds? It’s about a mom who sells drugs and I just look at it and think, that could be me one day!”
  • We were talking about the Progressive Era in class one day and our teacher asked what progressive meant. Someone answered, “If someone is driving slowly in front of you, you are progressive by going around them.”
  • “You know… when they like… drew a line between the Apache Mountains?”
  • Our teacher asked, “What is the importance of the French Indian War?” Someone answered, “Well, it was seven years.” 

On that note, I’ll end this week’s post. I hope you all have a great week. This week is the big week for move-in so wish me luck!

Summer is Coming to A Close!

summer 2018

It’s hard to believe that I’ve wrapping up my second-to-last weekend at home before I head off to school! Summer just flew by! As usual… I’m really excited to write this weekend partially because I’m testing out the new editor on WordPress and it’s really nice so far. It’s been a lot easier to navigate and work with compared to the other one. Anyway, summer is wrapping up here!

My summer started off on a really high note with a magical trip to Oahu. It was nice to live the island life and leave my worries and stress behind. I really enjoyed learning more about Hawaiian culture and history as well. The food there was amazing too and left me kinda wishing I just lived in Hawaii.

When my trip was over, I came back and the rest of the summer has been dedicated to spending time with family and on the tennis court. I spent a lot of time with my two coaches at the country club my sister and I hit at as well as with my dad and sister, which is always a blast. There were plenty of tournaments played and plenty of lessons learned along with them. In fact, here’s a couple of those!

  • When your opponent is acting like a dinosaur and a jerk on the other side, ignore that. They’re doing that to be distracting and ridiculous. I ran into a girl that literally roared and screamed if she lost a point and I learned to just laugh at that. I’ll play my game and she can play her’s.
  • Be prepared for the heat, and really just every scenario. Colorado’s weather is the weirdest. It can be raining one minute and sunny and hot the next. This summer was definitely a hot one. The tennis court tends to be 10 degrees warmer than off, so if it’s 90 degrees outside, imagine what it’s like on the court! Be ready with iced water, cold towels, sunscreen, extra clothes, and find a place on the court to keep yourself cool. You don’t want to get heat exhaustion or pass out!
  •  Tennis is a hobby. Have fun with it. One of my coaches at our country club has been constantly telling me this since I started working with him and I think it actually clicked this summer. I’m not saying that I haven’t had fun with tennis in the past, but I truly understood what he meant this summer. I’ve played more for myself this summer and regardless of the outcome, I’m content with myself. It’s important to take the pressure off of yourself and understand that tennis is a game. Tennis is not a lifestyle and it’s not something to live and breathe. It’s a game, it’s a hobby, and it’s fun. In the end, if you lose, you’re still alive and life is good. Realizing this all made my relationship with myself and tennis much healthier.

Other than tennis, this website and my blog have been a great part of my summer. I really enjoyed writing posts this summer and I typically felt really excited to write. It’s crazy to see how much this blog has grown and that I’ve had over 8,000 views! Truly, I thought no one was going to read anything on here and it’s been amazing to see the opposite of that. 

Spending time with family is always a big part of my summer and next weekend, I’ll be going to New Mexico to visit my grandpa, aunt, and uncle one last time before college. Those visits tend to be shorter, but they’re always a lot of fun. We’ll be celebrating my dad’s birthday and also my aunt’s birthday during this trip so that’ll be a lot of fun. 🙂 The past couple of days, my sister and I have had to play nurse to Marty as he recovers from his dental surgery. He’s been doing quite well actually and seems to be a much happier pup which makes me so happy. Boo has been a great little brother lately too and has been giving Marty a lot of attention. He’s still a very happy little dude too. 🙂 Bobo has been talking a lot more and he’s flying more too. He likes to call my dad’s name and eat banana chips. He’s a cutie.

I’m starting to get pretty nervous about leaving for school but I know that it’ll all be good. I’ll settle in and figure life out. It’ll be good. My roommate seems really sweet and we’ve gotten along really well so far so I hope it all goes well with her. I’m very excited to meet her in person. I really like my schedule and it’s so nice knowing that I never have a class before 8 am! College is going to be a whole new world and I hope I’m ready for it. Have a great week everyone!

I Think It’s Safe to Say That Sassafras is Not My Favorite Restaurant

sassafras

Almost two weekends ago, my family and I ventured to Golden, Colorado which is about 30 minutes from where I live. My dad had been to this one breakfast, lunch, and brunch place called Sassafras awhile ago and he wanted us to try it. Before we left, I looked at the menu and the food seemed good enough. There was a good variety of breakfast and lunch options. It seemed unique compared to a lot of restaurants too in that there were items like jambalaya pasta and BBQ mac n’ cheese. For those of you who don’t know, Sassafras is a Southern-style restaurant that claims to make all of their food from scratch and with locally-sourced, organic food products. Have I got a story for you about my adventure there!

We arrived in Golden around noon and it was a little gloomy and kinda chilly that day. On the car ride over, I noticed that I couldn’t see properly out of my left eye and everything looked dark and blurry on that side. Grrrreat, I’m getting a migraine. My family and I were all pretty hungry about now and so we found our way to Sassafras and they told us there was an hour long wait. We were already so hungry and we were gonna have to wait around some more?!

Oh well, we decided to spend that time walking around Golden. It was honestly kind of fun wandering through some of the tourist shops. Being a Colorado native, it was funny and entertaining to look through all the Colorado merchandise. About halfway through our hour wait, I started to feel nauseous and my headache was definitely getting worse. My family and I walked back to our car and I tried to lie down and take a nap. Meanwhile, my sister and dad went down past the car a little to check out an outdoor museum with a nearby creek. That picture above is actually one of Allyson’s! Finally our hour wait was up and we headed back to Sassafras. I was not feeling good at all at this point. Even the smell of food made me feel extremely sick.

We were seated and our waitress arrived. She was kind of odd and not very welcoming or friendly. I originally ordered orange juice but she didn’t even bring me that. We were all given warm water in mason jars that smelled dirty and that didn’t help my case one bit. When my family ordered appetizers (beignets as well as biscuits and gravy) they took forever to arrive. I didn’t eat any because I was sure to release it all back on the table but according to my parents and sister, I didn’t miss much. The beignets weren’t filled in the center like they typically are and they were covered in a mountain of powdered sugar. According to my sister, they tasted like funnel cake. Really expensive funnel cake. As far as the biscuits and gravy went, they weren’t much better. The gravy appeared to be a mushy, gross mess that drowned the biscuits. I’m honestly glad I wasn’t feeling well enough to eat any of the appetizers. When it came time to order our meals, I ordered their chicken gumbo, my sister ordered their jambalaya pasta, my mom got the BBQ mac n’ cheese, and my dad got some form of eggs Benedict. Once again the food took forever to arrive. When it did come, we all had a very difficult time eating. I maybe took three spoonfuls of jumbo and then decided I couldn’t eat anymore. My sister maybe ate half of her meal and my mom barely touched her’s. My dad somehow managed to get through his entire meal.

In the end, the food’s price did not match up to its quality, the service was poor, and my family and I will not be returning to a Sassafras anytime soon. On the way home, I was not doing so hot. We’ll just say that about halfway through the ride I already had an empty stomach again… Sorry Mom! I was feeling a lot better after we got home and had the chance to calm down my upset stomach. Naps do amazing things!

If you’re looking for a fun and different place to get breakfast, lunch, or brunch, I do not recommend Sassafras. The waits are too long and the price just isn’t worth it. Instead maybe check out The Early Bird in Greenwood Village or Westminster. To those of you who have been to Sassafras and enjoyed the food or had a good experience, I’m very happy for you and feel disappointed to have missed out. Maybe it was just a rough day for our waitress or the restaurant in general! I guess I’ll never know.

While I wrap up this post, I have one request of you all. One of my sweet little dogs, Marty is going in for dental surgery this week and is going to lose an estimated 16 teeth. The periodontal disease in his mouth has progressed rapidly over the past couple of years and he hasn’t been feeling very good lately. We’re hoping this will help him feel a lot better and ensure that he lives the full, happy life he’s intended to live. If you could all just keep Marty in your prayers this week, my family and I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much and have a great week everyone. 🙂

 

 

I Loved My Childhood

Childhood. Oh wow were those the years. My sister and I had a wonderful childhood and looking back on it, I wish that the kids of today had the chance to experience what my sister and I had the chance to live through. From playing outside to movies to toys and also games, I really enjoyed my childhood. Family, of course, made life great too. We spent a lot of time in Farmington, New Mexico with my grandparents and aunt and uncle on my dad’s side. Several of my favorite memories from Farmington include hunting for grasshoppers in my grandparents’ backyard, writing letters to Santa with my aunt, and having tea parties with my grandma. My sister and I grew up without cable TV and so any time we went to our grandparents’ house, we loaded up on our Disney Channel shows, Spongebob, and Animal Planet shows.

Image result for if you carry your childhood with you you never become older

When Allyson and I had the chance to watch cable TV, like at our grandparents’ house, we caught up on shows like Phineas and FerbHannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Wizards of Waverly Place, That’s So Raven, Kim Possible, Sonny With a Chance, Shake it Up, Good Luck Charlie, Spongebob (duh), The Replacements, The Powerpuff Girls, Chip and Dale: Rescue RangersTotally Spies, Fairly Odd Parents, Codename: Kids Next Door, and The Magic School Bus. There’s a lot of shows and that’s probably still not all of them! Off of our good old satellite TV at home, Allyson and I had access to PBS which gave us great shows like Dragon Tales, Clifford, Martha Speaks, Word Girl, Fetch with Ruff Ruffman, Cyberchase, and Arthur. It’s kind of disappointing to see where Disney Channel has gone. The shows just aren’t as good as they used to be! I feel like once Sonny With a Chance (starring Demi Lovato) ended, Disney Channel took a turn for the worst. I also really liked it when the actors would draw out the Disney logo with their magic glowing wands. That was something I always wanted to do as a kid!

childhood

As far as movies go, I remember going to theaters to see the first Incredibles movie and also Finding Nemo. When Cars came out, my aunt and uncle took me and that was a really fun movie too. Honestly, going to see most Disney movies in theaters is fun. I truly feel honored to have been a kid at the time of the Wizards of Waverly Place movie, Princess Protection Program, Lemonade Mouth, Camp Rock and its second movie, The Hannah Montana Movie, the High School Musical movies,  The Cheetah Girls (Dorinda was my favorite), Princess Diaries, and so many more. I also enjoyed all of the Disney princesses and their movies, Mary Poppins, Robin Hood, The Fox and the Hound, The Aristocats, Tarzan, Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Island, Fantasia, and Peter Pan. Aside from Disney, I also loved several movies including: Thumbelina, Anastasia (after all that is my name!), the Bratz movies, and all of the Barbie movies. Yes, I absolutely LOVED Barbie. From The Princess and the Pauper to Swan Lake to Magic of the Pegasus and Barbie and the Diamond Castle I was all in. One year for Halloween, Allyson and I dressed up as Anneliese and Erika and that was pretty great. Kind of like Disney, it’s been sad to see the path the Barbie movies have gone. The animation is very different and the movies are all too flashy and artificial to me. It is what it is though, and I’m glad I got to see the movies I did.

barbie movies
Anneliese and Erika from Princess and the Pauper. This was definitely my favorite Barbie movie as a child. 🙂

Moving on from that block of a paragraph, I also remember having a blast with a variety of toys like Polly Pockets, Bratz, Zhu Zhu pets, Barbies, Webkinz, Littlest Pet Shop, Liv dolls, and frogs. Yes, frogs. You might ask, “What do you mean by that?” No worries, I got this. There’s a way you can fold index cards to make origami frogs. My sister and I made an actual village of these frogs. They all had names and some had kids and we had a very particular way of naming them and getting them married. We were weird about our frogs. Oh boy. Liv Dolls were a brand of dolls that you could take the hair off and give them new hair and they were really pretty but very short lived. I think there were five of them named Sophia, Alexis, Katie, Daniela, and Hayden. They all had really pretty eyes and were really flexible dolls. It was disappointing when they stopped producing stuff for them.

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I honestly think I can say that I lived through the golden age of Webkinz. That was back in the days when there weren’t deluxe memberships and all the stupid, colorful, and flashy plushies. I was a big Webkinz fan and I think I had about 80 of them. They all had beautiful rooms and I was SO dedicated to my Webkinz. I’ll never forget that Christmas when I got my first Webkinz, a chocolate lab, named Choco. Yes, I know I spelled it wrong but that’s how I spelled it as a seven-year old. I’m pretty sure I still have most of them in my basement too… Haha. On the topic Webkinz, which had the virtual pet world, I was reminded of Club Penguin. Club Penguin was a magical virtual world where you were a penguin and you could chat with others in real time and enjoy life as a penguin. Several times, my parents bought me the membership and that was when Courtney98 (my penguin) lived her best life. She had the best igloo and puffles (those were her pets) and cutest clothes. She was also a secret agent and tour guide for the island. Not too long ago, Club Penguin shut down for good and being the dork I am, I actually went back to Club Penguin to say goodbye to Courtney98 and a big part of my childhood. On that day we finally tipped the iceberg and it was great. If you played Club Penguin, you’ll know what I mean about the iceberg. 🙂 Another website I loved spending time on was Pixie Hollow. You could make your own fairy and have her travel around the world of Tinker Bell and that was pretty great too. Thinking about computer games, my sister and I also played games like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, Zoombinis, Bella Sara, Poptropica, and on the Build-A-Bear website. Once again Barbie had a great website with good games, Girls Go Games was pretty great, and also the American Girl Doll website was a lot of fun. There was also this fun but really weird math game we played that involved monkeys and this group of kids trying to stop Mathra and bring back the goo. Hopefully, some of you have played this and know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, we never finished the game because the disk had issues.

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In addition to all of this, my sister and I spent soooo much time outside. We played pretend with our friends in my backyard or in the cul-de-sac I live in and it was a great time. We spent hours on end outside and I wouldn’t trade any amount of social media followers or power-ups in some silly game for that. We also played a variety of board games that kept us occupied that were very, very fun. There was this one Disney princess game that helped you get ready for a ball that was really fun. I always loved playing that and really any game involving princesses. I honestly feel like many of today’s little kids are occupied by their iPads and virtual game worlds. They’re focused more on making their game character successful and happy than actually enjoying the real world. Some middle school kids, I feel, are even more worried about being cool and technology than spending time in the real world, enjoying Mother Nature. I’m getting a little off topic here, but I just feel like kids need to spend more time being kids nowadays. They need to put down the iPad, get away from the TV, and enjoy childhood, just like I did.

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Back on topic now! Not only did we play outside a lot, but we enjoyed reading a lot. The summer reading program at my local library was one of my favorite things to do. I loved the Wishbone series, Junie B. Jones, the Boxcar Children, some Nancy Drew, Harry Potter, Magic Tree House, Emily Windsnap, The Lightning Thief series, and the Twilight saga. I know I read many more books than what I’ve listed here and I think my love for reading then is what has allowed me to be the bookworm I am today. Books are great. 🙂

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Finally, I’d like to talk about the music I listened to. As a kid, it was all about the Jonas brothers, the good version of Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, the Cheetah Girls, Jesse McCartney, David Archuleta, and several other amazing artists and singers. Radio Disney was where the good music was at. I remember being in the car with my parents and any time 1690 AM wasn’t on, I would ask for it to be. Taylor Swift was really good at that time too. Some of her music today is alright, but it’s just not what it used to be, in my opinion. I loved her work as a country artist and even in her early pop years, but now, no thanks. Vanessa Hudgens also came out with some really good music and there were several other people and groups that my sister and I really liked, like Ashley Tisdale, the Black Eyed Peas, Katy, Cher Lloyd, Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Shakira. I really loved Shakira when I was younger, and I still do! According to my mom, I did a really good Shakira impression!

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Well after all that writing, I hope you’re still reading! This was a fun trip down memory lane. I hope you all enjoyed it and for some of you, I hope this was a trip down memory lane as well! I’m really glad that I grew up in a world without as much technology as some of today’s young children. They’re missing out on all the fun! I remember when iPods came out for the first time. That was pretty cool.  And now see where we are today! It’s crazy what technology has done for us and allowed for humankind to do. I hope you all have a good week! Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Here’s to Another Year of Blogging!

Wow it’s already July! Summer has flown by. I also realized that after a crazy June and my big chunk of Hawaii posts, I totally forgot about my blogiversary which was in early June. This post actually marks my 201st post too!

I just wanted to thank you all for reading my blog and taking time out of your day to visit my website. I truly hope that you’ve enjoyed the content because I’ve enjoyed putting in the work to make it all happen! I feel that I’ve come a long way as a writer and person. It’s crazy to also think that I started this blog as a rising high school freshman. At that time, this blog was a good way for me to do something since I was trapped in that stupid boot. At that time, I was dealing with a sesamoid fracture and I feel like I was really struggling. I honestly wasn’t excited about going to a totally new school that was HUGE compared to the small charter school I had been at my entire life.

As high school progressed, I wrote more and learned more, and this blog became such a big part of who I am. I love writing and thinking of fun things to post. I love coming up with ways to keep my website looking clean and professional and reflective of my personality. Sometimes I struggle to get posts up on time but I work extremely hard to make sure I get content up as soon as I can. I plan to continue this blog as my journey in college begins and I’m excited to see where this takes me!yay for the blog