Review of the First Week!

first week

So this week was the first week back at school. That was an interesting time, I must say. This week, I just wanted to share my experiences with my first week back and this weird time navigating a worldwide pandemic and college classes.

Classes started on Monday, August 24th, and this first day of school was not like past first days. I didn’t try to dress cute or make myself look presentable which was honestly refreshing but also kind of disappointing. It made the day feel really different. Monday was a horribly busy day. I had five classes, cell biology, anatomy, a business class regarding the legal and ethical issues of business, macroeconomics, and my pre-thesis class. I basically sat at my table for five hours straight after I had breakfast and cleaned up and that was the worst decision of my life. After those five hours of classes and exploring the class pages and syllabi, I had lunch, and then it was time for more class work. I ended my extreme first day of classes with a pre-thesis meeting and then after that hour I crashed. My sister and I ordered Noodles and Company for dinner that night as a celebratory dinner and as a way of saying, “Yay we did it! We survived the first day of classes!” It was a good dinner and if you’ve never had caulifloodles, I highly recommend you look them up and then try them. 🙂

My second day of classes was a breeze. I had my online session for cell bio lab and then online lab for my anatomy class. For my cell bio lab we have an online portion and an in-person portion. I alternate when I meet in person every other week. When I meet in-person, I’m required to wear a face mask in addition to a mask which seems a bit excessive, but I understand the precaution, so I will do what I can to keep myself and others safe! For my anatomy class, we have a virtual dissection software that we use to understand and see all of the structures we need to look at. I was hesitant about an online anatomy course at first but I actually love the professor that does our lectures and the software we use for virtual dissection is actually pretty cool. That was basically all I had Tuesday, so I had a chance to do some reading for my econ class and was done with my work around 2 pm.

Wednesday, I had my cell bio, anatomy, business, and econ classes. It was a pretty mild day but wowza four classes in one day is a lot of work. I can handle it, but it’s just a lot of information to take in within a few hours. By Wednesday, I discovered that I really liked my business class. It has been very different from any other class I’ve taken so far and I really like how my professors are treating the course as a way of obtaining life skills as opposed to an actual academic course. Yes, I still get graded for the work I do, and there are still assignments and quizzes, but the emphasis is more on building the skills needed to run a business.

Thursday, the only true class I was the first-year honors seminar recitation that I teach. It was exciting to meet my students in person. It was just a very strange environment though. The tables were all so spread apart and it was odd communicating with people and trying to be enthusiastic and share my excitement for the honors program with a mask on. It was just a bit strange.

And then the last day of the school week, Friday!! Friday was another big day of many classes, those classes being cell bio, anatomy, my business class, and econ recitation. My econ recitation was an in-person class and that was interesting. For a class that was supposed to have thirty students in it, we were put in a decently sized lecture hall. All of the rows had tape blocking off all seats except one to enforce social distancing. Obviously we were required to wear masks. My TA basically just talked about how the semester is going to run but I found it most interesting that my TA found it strange for us to be meeting in-person. Our lectures for that course are asynchronous so it seems a bit weird for us to have in-person recitations, but I’m just going to go with the flow and see what happens.

It was a strange first week of classes but it was also good in many ways. It was filled with a lot of mask wearing and hand washing but it was also filled with fun and I was especially happy to see a bunch of my friends again. Hopefully people make good and smart decisions and allow us to stay on campus until Thanksgiving break. Stay healthy, stay safe, and I’ll see you next Sunday!

First Apartment!

first apartment!

Another school year is right around the corner and today was move-in day to my first ever apartment! Wow! I’m exhausted but I felt that this was important and wanted to share. 🙂

My mom, sister, and I arrived back in the glorious town of Fort Collins around 9:30 this morning and began unloading the car and brought everything up to my fourth floor apartment . I was honestly worried coming into the whole apartment world because I signed for a studio and typically, studios are quite small. Not this one! It’s the perfect size, in my opinion, and I absolutely love it so far.

I have a small kitchen with the tiniest dishwasher and stove with oven that has hardwood flooring. I’m a big fan of hardwood flooring. To the right of my kitchen, I have my washer/dryer unit and then to the right of that, I have my small living space and cozy bed cave situation. There’s also a table and two chairs, perfect for studying/eating/procrastinating/etc. I think it’ll be interesting to not have a formal desk like what I’ve had the past two years, but I think it’ll work out just fine. My bathroom is on the right when you first walk into my cute lil’ studio and I have a nice shower in addition to the other things that a bathroom typically has. It’s a pretty good size! As mentioned, I’m also on the fourth floor and also the top floor of my building and I have a wonderful vaulted ceiling. It makes the entire space feel a bit bigger and it also makes my large window look even larger. 🙂 So cozy!

I’m so thankful the apartment came pre-furnished and that all of my amenities and utilities come included in rent, but the one thing I wish I could change was the color of the comfy “living room” chairs. They’re striped and brown, orange, and a strange greenish-yellow color and I feel that they don’t really fit the theme or color scheme I’ve tried to create but it is what it is.

The thing I’m most excited for with my apartment is my bed cave. You might be asking yourself, “Why does she call it that?” and to that I say, I call it that now because my bed is in it’s own little space. It’s in the far right portion of my apartment and it’s up against the wall. The foot of the bed is also closed off by a wall. In case you don’t get the picture, you can look up to the picture at the beginning of this post to hopefully get a better idea. 🙂 It looks like it’s going to be a very cozy, very comfy situation.

Maybe I’ll post a little apartment tour when I get fully settled and all of my stuff is put together! That could be something fun and different. And now with this done, I am going to bed because I’m pooped. Have a wonderful week everyone. See ya next Sunday!

I’m Rescheduling My DAT…

Some of you may recall, but earlier this summer, I announced that was taking the Dental Admissions Test or DAT in early/late August. I have been studying this summer and working up to the exam, but lately, things just didn’t seem quite right.

I was waking up in the middle of the night panicking about this exam. My brain would go through things like, “What if you fail?”, “What if you need to retake it?!”, “You’re not ready, you’re not ready, you’re not ready!!” I would literally work myself to tears. Lately, I’ve also noticed that I put off studying. I had such a good momentum going earlier this summer, but lately, I’ve honestly been avoiding it. Studying for the exam reminded me that I have to take it and that would bring all those horrible thoughts flooding back which I wasn’t fond of at all.

Pushing away my studying meant that I could not think about failure for a good portion of my day. Pushing away the organic chemistry and general chemistry and biology and math meant that I didn’t have to think about the time crunch that is the DAT and the intenseness of it all. In some ways, I’m happy that I pushed it away but I’m also frustrated with myself for allowing fear to partly be the reason I lost my motivation and momentum. I literally sobbed after canceling my original DAT appointment. SOBBED! Were they tears of joy? Sadness? Relief? I feel like it was a bit of everything. I was happy in the sense that I had just allowed myself some room to breathe and I would now have more time to prepare. I was upset because I had already spent two-ish months preparing for this exam and I was feeling like I had just wasted the money that went into that preparation. I truly felt like a failure for not just taking it when I decided to take it originally. But then with that I also felt relief in knowing that my exam was no longer weeks away, but now months away again. I also knew that I wouldn’t burn myself out coming into this semester which was REALLY important to me considering my course load for this fall.

After some thinking, and hopefully good thinking, I decided to reschedule my exam to better prepare myself mentally and truly crush this DAT. School has always been intense, especially this past year and I know that dental school is only going to be more intense, and there is going to come a time when I can’t just reschedule something until I feel more confident in my knowledge and abilities and ready to deal with that something. I’m thankful though, that I have the opportunity to learn from my DAT journey leading up to now. As of right now, the current plan is to take the DAT over Thanksgiving break. That will give me plenty of time to be very settled into my upcoming coursework and it will also give me plenty of time (hopefully!) to find my confidence in the knowledge and skills that I’ve already built for the DAT and then also to polish up everything so that I absolutely destroy this exam.

Hopefully I’ve made the right choice and we’ll see how round two of my study extravaganza goes for this monster test. Have a good week everyone and don’t be too hard on yourselves! 🙂 See you next weekend.

The Final Straw with ProctorU

I have a lot of issues with online testing, especially those run through ProctorU. If you’ve been around a while, you may recall my issues with the proctoring service last summer! How fun…

I’ve been taking biochemistry online this summer and our exams have been proctored by ProctorU Live, meaning that I’m proctored in real time by a real person. This person has complete control over my laptop when I give them permission and they force everything to be shut down: from my Siri command to my screenshot abilities to my access to settings. They monitor your eye movement, what your room looks like, and even where your phone is, all to prevent more students from cheating. Most of the time, I understand the precautions that the proctors take and are required to take.

This past time however, my proctor took it a bit TOO far. In my room, I have a tournament draw that shows my regional tournament from junior year of high school when I won the 2 singles varsity tennis regional tournament. There is absolutely NOTHING on that poster that would or could be used to cheat. I have four clear glass trophies from other various tournaments I’ve won on my desk too. In the past, I’ve showed proctors that there is no harm in any of them and they’ve permitted them to stay at my desk. Most proctors have also understood that people get nervous during exams and it’s nice to have a glass of water available to you. As long as it’s a glass and they can see that you haven’t somehow magically taped some notes to the glass, you’re set. This proctor though. Oh. My. Goodness. She forced me to take EVERYTHING from my walls and desk. Even my ID, which as needed to verify who I was, was no longer allowed on my desk. I had to fully show her the process of me attempting to get my tournament draw off of my wall and then show her where I placed all of my belongings. After all of the rearranging and moving, I still had my glass of water at my desk. She told me to move it and I stood up for myself. I mentioned that I had been allowed my glass of water on past exams and she very rudely told me that she would notate my exam and my request to have a glass of water. She also explained that my exam score may be compromised… FOR THE FACT THAT I WANTED A CUP OF WATER AT MY DESK. Goodness gracious did that do “wonders” for my mental state going into that exam.

Not only was my proctor absolute trash, but I had struggled to get hold of one in the first place. There is supposed to be a proctor prepared for your exam time when you schedule. That’s the point of scheduling before your exam- to ensure that someone is THERE for you at the TIME YOU REQUESTED. My exam was supposed to begin at 9:10 am but it actually didn’t start closer to 9:30 am because of all the crap I dealt with. I was a total mess during my exam mostly because I worried that my score may not even be counted!

In the end, I actually ended up doing alright on the exam, but still, the score was not was I studied so hard for. Regardless of that, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to test from home. I recognize that this is a stressful time for everyone and maybe my proctor was just having a rough day. I get that. I also know that there are things that I can and cannot control and the crazy, rude actions of other are something I have ZERO control over and that’s okay! I can control how I respond in situations like where someone is unkind, hurtful, and rude, and be the better person. Remember to be kind but also stand up for yourself!

If you have to use ProctorU through your university, I’m so so sorry. See if there’s anything you can do to test at a university testing center or find another way to be proctored. That’s what I’m doing for my last biochem exam! I’d be curious to know if anyone else has had major issues with ProctorU… Let me know! Anyway, have a good week everyone! See you next Sunday 🙂

The Beginning of a New Journey

Very few people know this, but I wouldn’t consider myself to be extremely self-confident, especially when it comes to my body and how I appear. I’ve never felt very comfortable sharing just because I never want people to think that I’m just complaining or trying to make the world all about me. I’ve always wished to have the confidence that so many people I know seem to have and I just find it embarrassing that I’m not in that place. I’m also not typically the type of person to share a lot about myself because my entire life, I’ve strived to be perfect and I’ve never wanted people to see a sad, frustrated, or defeated side of me. I’ve been working on accepting that perfection is truly unobtainable, but it’s hard and has been a rough journey!

I recently decided that I’m sharing my struggles because I’ve decided to invest some time and energy into improving my physical state. It’s not good to bottle up all those negative feelings and emotions and so I’ve decided to do something about it. Being injured throughout high school resulted in a lot of inactivity for me, which was very unusual. I went from dancing competitively, playing volleyball on a competitive team, and also playing tennis at a very competitive level to sitting and doing absolutely nothing faster than you can blink when I found out I fractured my sesamoid. I continued to eat as if I was trying to maintain my three-sport lifestyle but since I wasn’t actually burning all of the calories I was used to burning, I gained quite a bit of weight. When I was finally cleared after my ankle surgery about a year-and-a-half later, I was decently more heavy than when I entered high school and my self-confidence had tanked.

Yes, I had the ability to play tennis, but everything else had been wiped off the table. Things were slow and in my opinion, they felt too slow. Fast forward to freshman year of college- I was still struggling with my weight but I received the opportunity to compete at the Miss Colorado USA pageant. I saw this as an opportunity to better myself, physically and mentally, and see how much I could do to prepare my body for the competition. There is a swimsuit competition, as many of you know that keep up with the Miss Universe Organization and it’s pageants, so you would be familiar with this. Even before my freshman year of college, I decided to dedicate my time to working on my fitness. And I did! I worked out a decent amount and ate cleaner (which was hard in the dorms), and I managed to lose about 15 pounds, which I was pretty proud of. By the time the Miss Colorado USA pageant rolled around, I was in a place where progress had been made, but I still wasn’t happy with myself.

Following the pageant, I still worked out a decent amount, but there wasn’t the same motivation I had for the pageant. I relaxed a bit but was proud to see that I hadn’t gained any weight back. Now let’s move on to the beginning of sophomore year. Same situation. Again, I prepped for the Miss Colorado USA pageant, as I did the year before. This time, I picked up kickboxing and started working out more on a treadmill. I really came to love and enjoy kickboxing actually, so that’s something I’d like to continue to incorporate into my fitness routine. Anyway, pageant time rolls around and I had decided to wear a two-piece suit this year instead of a one-piece. I thought I had made decent progress and so I made the move to wear a cute golden yellow two piece by Gianni Bini. It was a pretty cute swimsuit, but I don’t think I’ll ever truly wear it again.

As we got ready for the swimsuit competition in the dressing room, I realized how big of a mistake that was. One of the girls in front of me stared down at herself and commented, “Oh my goodness I feel so fat next to all of these-” I looked around and noticed all the toned thighs and tight tummies and shrank into myself. This girl looked up at me and then around the room and that’s when she stopped talking. Me, in that moment, thought that she suddenly felt better about herself because she looked at me and saw that she had much fewer problems than I did. Looking back on that, that was a REALLY unhealthy and sad thought for me to have. I tried to shake off the thoughts I had and when I walked out on stage, I felt pretty good about myself. However, all confidence or self-assurance I had was lost the second I got my pictures back.

I looked at myself and was honestly disgusted. I started crying. I saw stretch marks on my big, strange thighs. I saw the extra fat I have hanging slightly over the bottoms of my swimsuit. My false lashes looked horrible and my smile looked fake. The person I saw on my computer screen was not the person I had felt like. In that moment, I felt like I couldn’t trust the confidence I thought I was building anymore. Since that moment, I’ve had a really, really, really hard time finding any confidence in myself, especially in the way I appear. I’ve tried to wear more loose clothing to conceal my dislikes and as I write this and reflect on everything now, it’s really sad that I’ve felt like this about myself.

Things weren’t too great for my self-confidence when we all went into lockdown either. I couldn’t go to the gym and I couldn’t play tennis either. Any work I had done and any progress I had made was seriously lost. Currently, I’m sitting at an unhealthy, overweight BMI and yes I find frustration with it and I’m upset by it and how I appear, but I’ve decided to do something about it.

I recently found a gym in my area that only operates through personal trainers. After speaking with the director of the gym, he matched me with one of his personal trainers and I start on Tuesday. I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now, because I’m at a place now where I really just feel like I can’t be my own cheerleader and supporter, so I need someone else to be there for me and to help me out. From this, I hope to find confidence in myself and mostly, I hope to be kinder to myself. I hope that I find solutions and build habits for the long-term. I was tired of feeling so upset and frustrated with myself, so I decided it was time to make a change. Let’s hope it’s for the better!

If you’re interested in following the fitness journey, let me know! I’d love to share the progress (hopefully there is some) and the things I learn along the way. This could be interesting. Be kind to each other and yourselves this week. See you all next Sunday.

The Betrothed and Ice Princess

Sorry if you haven’t been a huge fan of all the TV and movie content lately. Currently, it’s what’s working but I promise that I have something different coming next week. The Betrothed is actually a book title, not a TV show title, so that’s a little different I guess. But this week, I wanted to share one of my new favorite Disney movies, Ice Princess, and a new book, The Betrothed by my favorite author, Kiera Cass.

Ice Princess, in opinion, is a Disney hidden gem. I think it was made around the time I was a young girl, so it would’ve been a movie I really enjoyed growing up, but since I grew up with satellite TV and very little exposure to Disney Channel, I didn’t know it existed until now! And oh my goodness and I absolutely LOVE this movie. It’s about a teenage girl, Casey that’s a physics whiz and it’s basically all set for her to attend Harvard and live out her mom’s dreams. Casey has the opportunity to complete a summer physics project and win a huge scholarship for the physics program at Harvard, and so she decides to analyze the physics of figure skating. Through her project, Casey becomes so involved in figure skating it turns out, she has incredible natural talent within the sport. She eventually begins competing as a figure skater and gives up attending Harvard to pursue figure skating.

Not only did I adore this movie for the beautiful costumes that Casey wore on the ice, but I really enjoyed the character of the girls in the movie. Instead of being jealous as Casey made leaps and bounds in figure skating, the other competitive skaters supported her and truly helped her out. They made her feel at home which was totally shocking for a movie like this. In most movies, you would except the main character to face some evil, horribly-mean posse of girls, but that wasn’t the case. It was so wonderful to see girls supporting girls in the right way in a movie like this. I loved it. 🙂

I also never realized how much I loved Hayden Panettiere until this movie! Yes, she was much younger in Ice Princess, but she was so pretty and still a very talented actress then. After seeing this movie, I’m much more interested in shows and movies with her.

Overall, I totally recommend Ice Princess. It’s such a good movie that motivates you and just makes you feel so good.

Now we’re gonna flip gears and talk about one of my favorite authors and her newest release, The Betrothed. I would first just like to say that my sister and I ordered a signed copy of the book. THAT’S how much we enjoy her work. Secondly, this book was not exactly what I expected and I’m not totally sure how I feel about it. If you are interested in reading, maybe skip this last part, as it will contain spoilers. 🙂

The Betrothed follows the story of Hollis, a beautiful, strong, young lady coming from a noble family who eventually finds herself betrothed to the king, Jameson. In my opinion, Hollis and the king are a PERFECT match. Anyway, a strange family comes to seek refuge from a neighboring kingdom, and asks the king to take them in and make them members of Coroan society. Hollis is tasked with the decision since the king puts her to little tests, seeing how she may do as queen one day. Hollis allows the family to stay in Coroa and they live in the castle for some time, sort of on a “probation” to see if they truly have good intent in Coroa. During this “probation” period, Hollis has several small interactions with one of the sons of this family, who is extremely talented in sword making. Somehow, she begins to doubt her relationship with the king and falls madly in love with Silas.

The king gives Hollis the queen’s apartments, beautiful tiaras and dresses, and all of his love and support, but Hollis eventually turns all of that down, just before Jameson plans to propose to her and runs away to be with Silas. I wasn’t too happy with this part, especially because the love Hollis claimed to feel for Silas, just didn’t seem fully supported if you know what I mean. Hollis and Silas had maybe interacted like three or four times and had kissed once, and suddenly Hollis wanted to give up BECOMING QUEEN OF A NATION, to run away with some suspicious, mysterious, and beautiful boy from a neighboring nation.

Hollis and Silas end up married and Jameson is devastated but moves on to be with Hollis’s best friend and former lady-in-waiting (which was REALLY weird and uncalled for, in my opinion). You might think, the book ends here, right? Wrong!

Shortly after the wedding, Silas and a majority of the people at the wedding, including Hollis’s parents are brutally murdered, leaving Hollis devastated. Silas’s mother and younger sister survive the attack but then decide to return to their former country, in hopes that their king may be merciful that they will not be found and killed there. Hollis initially plans to go back to Jameson for comfort, just to live as a member of the palace, but then decides to chase after Silas’s mother, and follow them back to their former kingdom, to meet with a friend she had made in the palace during a royal visit, and to possibly uncover if the king (not Jameson) had been behind the attack on her family.

Ultimately, I enjoyed the book because I always enjoy the work of Kiera Cass, but I was a little disappointed. I live for the glamour that comes with every Kiera Cass novel. The dresses she describes and the lifestyle of a palace is just so appealing and her imagery is just so vivid, that I imagine myself with America from The Selection, or Eadlyn from The Heir, and even Hollis from The Betrothed. With that said, so much happened in this book, but at the same time, it feels like nothing happened. I personally would have really enjoyed if Kiera Cass gave us the life of Hollis Brite, becoming the queen of Coroa and one of the women that she had seen immortalized by Coroa for their excellent leadership and character but she didn’t take that route. That’s perfectly fine but I would have enjoyed a slightly different story. Hopefully the next one will be better. I guess we’ll just have to see when it comes out! Maybe read along with me and we can see what happens next together! 🙂

Have a good week everyone and stay healthy and safe!

It’s Been Nice to Catch Up on Some Childhood Favorites

Childhood favorites
Courtesy of Susan Holt Simpson on Unsplash

Amidst the chaos that is my life right now, I’ve really enjoyed being able to catch up on a few of my childhood favorites during my spare time. You might be asking yourself, childhood favorite whats?? I’m talking about TV shows and movies, but mostly TV shows.

Lately, my sister and I have really been enjoying Kim Possible, Wizards of Waverly Place, Sonny With a Chance, and Phineas and Ferb. If you’re looking for some truly enjoyable Disney shows to watch, I recommend all four of these.

Growing up, my sister and I never had cable TV. We were the kids that grew up watching shows like Arthur and Cyberchase on satellite TV. The only true exposure we had to the magic of Disney Channel was at our grandparents’ house in New Mexico. On every trip, we watched a lot of Disney but we didn’t grow up with the Wizards of Waverly Place knowledge or Hannah Montana knowledge that a lot of other kids did. There’s nothing wrong with that, but at the time, Allyson and I definitely thought that there was. We were missing solid chunks of storyline and plot!! Looking on it now though, I’m glad with the amount of TV exposure my sister and I had, because we enjoyed much more time playing outside, being in the real world.

More than ever, I’ve found it very relaxing and beneficial to my wellbeing when I take a study break. I do a lot of studying and attending online lecture so it’s definitely needed. Having a chance to feel nostalgic by watching some of little Ana’s favorites and escape from the chemistry and biology and biochemistry that has consumed my life lately is pretty wonderful. I’ve also found that going on walks is really therapeutic and a great way to utilize a study break. 10/10 would recommend.

Well this post is much shorter than usual and that’s because I have an exam tomorrowwww. Yippee. Have a good week everyone and maybe check out some of your childhood favorites this week and share what they are with me! 🙂

Unpopular Opinion: Hamilton Isn’t THAT Good

Hamilton
Picture from Hamilton on Disney+

So Disney+ released Hamilton on its platform yesterday. What did I think of Hamilton? I’m going to be honest here. It wasn’t my favorite show, I’ll start by saying that. And I know that a lot of people are going to come after me and say a lot of things about how incredible the show is. In some ways I agree! I’ll share what I liked. But overall, I don’t really like the hit musical, Hamilton.

If you aren’t familiar with Lin Manuel Miranda and his work on Hamilton, I recommend you either watch the musical or at least make yourself familiar with the show before reading this post. There will be spoilers! 🙂 But for the most part, I’m pretty confident that everyone and their grandmother knows what Hamilton is so I’ll dive right into what I liked and didn’t like.

I’ll start with the positives. I really enjoyed the set and all of the effects. From that perspective, Hamilton was incredible. The use of movement with the stage and the use of LIGHTING in this production was phenomenal.

Each of the actors and actresses were incredibly talented too. I really enjoyed watching the young lady that played Eliza. She was phenomenal and I loved her voice. I also loved Jonathon Groff’s appearance as King George. His vocals suited the role extremely well. His work with Frozen has definitely not gone unnoticed by me and the same goes for his work in Hamilton.

And now onto what I didn’t like as much in this hit musical. I’ve never been that big a fan of rap and that’s basically what most of the music is in Hamilton. That’s just a preference thing. I’ve never really liked the beat or tone of rap and for an entire musical to be that way just wasn’t my cup of tea. It felt so repetitive at some point. There definitely were a few songs I liked from the show, but in general, the music was just a pass for me.

Lin Manuel Miranda has an interesting sound too. I’m not sure if I like it or hate it, but personally, I thought his sound was just a bit odd in Hamilton. He is clearly a very talented and brilliant man and I must give credit where credit is due. He spent years putting this show together and it has definitely paid off. Do I enjoy him as a performer though? Most likely not.

I really wasn’t a fan of the ending either. This is REALLY where the spoiler is going to hit if you aren’t familiar with the history of the United States or the show so if you’d prefer to see for yourself, then stop reading here. 🙂 In the end, they sing a song called “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” after Hamilton is shot by Aaron Burr in their duel. I did enjoy the duel rap though, I must say. Anyway, after Hamilton is shot, Hamilton’s life is played out before us. The show ends a few minutes later with Eliza singing about how she started an orphanage to help kids that remind her of her precious Alex and then she screams in horror (I’m assuming because she has learned that her husband died in a duel) and the show fades to black. Personally, I feel like the show could have had a greater impact if it ended right after Hamilton was shot and then the stage went black. Does anyone else feel that way about the end? I’d be curious to know.

I did mention my opinions on the set and the lighting from the show and I’ve touched briefly on the talent of Hamilton but the biggest reason I don’t think Hamilton is all that great comes down to the fact that the show just didn’t have that “wow factor” that a lot of Broadway shows seem to have. The music was just constantly going with the rapping and dancing and I found myself zoning out occasionally. There just wasn’t a whole lot of different within the show if that makes sense. Hamilton would rap and they would dance and then someone else would rap and then it would just repeat and to me, it felt like that for the two and a half hours following the opening song. It got kind of old kind of fast and I found myself wondering WHEN the show would be over about forty-five minutes in. That hasn’t ever happened to me when watching a Broadway show before. Again, that could just be because I just don’t have the taste for Hamilton like others do.

I’ve mentioned this before but we are all entitled to our opinions and if you really enjoyed Hamilton, I’m happy for you! I wish this were a show that I could learn to love and appreciate as much as a majority of the world, but I unfortunately don’t find myself in that population. If you haven’t seen Hamilton yet and you own Disney+, I recommend checking it out for yourself and I’d be curious to hear your opinions! Have a good week everyone, and happy belated Fourth of July!

I Go to Argo and We Spend Time in the Mountains

This past week, my aunt and uncle visited from New Mexico and it was wonderful to see and spend time with someone other than my dad, mom, and sister for a change. While they were here, we spent some time in Idaho Springs and Georgetown and also at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. I go, you go, we all go to Argo! Let me share. 🙂

My aunt and uncle drove in Monday afternoon and that evening was a pretty chill one. We hung around the house and caught up with one another. After all, the last time we saw each other was around Thanksgiving! We usually see each other over Christmas break and sometimes spring break, but things were different this past year, and so those visits didn’t happen. Fortunately, we were able to make this work, with all of the craziness in the world, especially with this virus.

Tuesday morning, we drove up to the small town of Georgetown to catch the Georgetown Railroad Loop train ride. We were required to wear masks at the park, which was an experience in itself, but it felt wonderful to be with family and to be outside! We were the first on the train and it was fun to pick where we sat before anyone else got that chance. We chose to sit in an open top car, which was ultimately a great choice because we got to experience a little bit of a breeze and the sun which was nice. I didn’t realize how much I missed the beauty of the mountains until this train ride. Colorado is a beautiful state and I feel so lucky to call such a gorgeous state my home. Following the train ride, which was about an hour and fifteen minutes long, we stopped for lunch near a lake where some fishermen were hard at work. It was a pretty spot and the chicken croissant sandwiches were a perfect lunch that day. Side-note: If you’re ever looking for something yummy to try, I HIGHLY recommend the chicken salad and croissants from Costco. That’s a pretty good meal if you ask me.

Georgetown Loop Railroad

Following lunch, we drove about twenty minutes back to Idaho Springs for a tour at the Argo Mill and Tunnel. This was a place that reallllly taught me not to judge a book by its cover. Driving in, I’m not going to lie, I thought the tour was going to be horribly boring and lame. It was actually quite the opposite. The Argo Mill was the only mill in the United States around the time of the gold rush to pump out any gold products with 95% efficiency, which is a REALLY high number, especially for its time. The Argo Mill was able to produce so much gold because they used a combination of mercury and cyanide to pump out A LOT of gold. The mill’s interior was built from the wood of EIGHT redwood trees and still stands today. Most if not all of the mill is maintained to this day and it was incredible to see how permanent, strong, and truly powerful the mill was. I can only imagine what it looked like in its glory days. While there, we had a wonderful tour guide, named Brooks, so if you ever get a chance to check out the Argo Mill and Tunnel, I recommend it and if you can get Brooks, he’s a super knowledgeable guy, both on mining and on the Argo itself!

Argo Mill and Tunnel

There were two stories I really enjoyed from our time at the Argo. The first was about a teacher. At a time when the mill worked consistently, women were not allowed to work there let alone travel in the mine. There was a young woman who could not get to teach at her school without traveling through the Argo Tunnel, so she took a mine cart to then get to a platform that would take her to her classes. There was one day where her skirt got caught on a part of the wooden platform as she was headed up from the tunnel and to escape doom, she twirled out of her skirt, exposing the wire hoop under. Luckily, someone was able to lend her another dress and she got to class. Now, THAT was dedication. The second story was about a water burst at the mill. There are a series of pockets or wells near or under or around the Argo Tunnel and while working in the tunnel, it was assumed that there was twenty feet of dirt and rock between the tunnel and wells, when it was actually only ten. There was a bunch of water in the wells and the pressure was so great that it burst through the layer of rock at an insane velocity. Four men working in that area were killed. Three miles down the tunnel, near the entrance, another man was working and heard the sound of the water coming. Fortunately, this man made it out, but the water had caught up to him by the time he made it to the mouth of the tunnel. I’m horrible, haha, I don’t remember any names! The water shot out of the tunnel at such a velocity that it crossed the valley and sprayed across the valley at the same velocity and with the same insane amount of force for six days. It was apparently, A LOT OF WATER. A really, really, really, strong and supported concrete wall now holds back all of that water.

Stories like these and more are some of the things you will hear about and learn about if you take a trip up to the Argo Mill and Tunnel. While the mill may really not be the most exciting thing in the world, it was certainly interesting and a good change of pace from what I usually like to learn more about.

The next day of my aunt and uncle’s visit we went up to Rocky Mountain Arsenal and walked around Lake Mary and Lake Ladora. It was pretty, but very dry. It was also hot because we made the foolish mistake of heading out around 10 am, when the sun was already really starting to beat down. Thank goodness for water bottles though, am I right? While the views were great, and the company was even better, let’s just say that I was really happy to get out of the heat. When we got home and when my mom got home from work, we had a really good dinner and then played Just Dance together on our Nintendo Switch. It was a lot of fun.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal

My aunt and uncle had to head out on Thursday morning which was sad, but it had still been great that they got to come. And if you guys are reading this, we look forward to having you again and I’m so glad we got to spend a couple of days with you!!

If you get a chance to and you’re in Colorado, check out the Georgetown Loop Railroad, Argo Mill and Tunnel, or Rocky Mountain Arsenal. Or all three! Do what you please. 🙂 Have a good week and I’ll see you next Sunday!

I MISSED MY OWN BLOGAVERSARY!

As I was prepping a post for this weekend I realized, I MISSED THE BEGINNING OF JUNE AND MORE SPECIFICALLY I MISSED MY OWN BLOGAVERSARY! To those of you that are relatively new here, hi, and welcome! 🙂 To those of you that have been here a while, you probably recall that I do a yearly blogaversary or blog anniversary post. Things have been so crazy lately and even though I’ve been doing most things from home lately, things seem to be moving so fast, maybe too fast.

June 7, 2014 was the day my first blog was posted. I was so little then if you think about it. 🙂 Just a naive, little scared freshman in high school. And now here I am, a junior/senior at university getting ready to take a big exam to take me to the next potential chapter of my life. Time does fly! On that day, I didn’t really know where this blog would take me but I did know that I had a love for writing and a strong passion for editing too so I took advantage of the opportunity my dad gave me.

Since that day, I’ve posted almost every Sunday. That’s so crazy to think that I’ve been doing this for SIX YEARS now! Six years of worth of Sundays are quite a few Sundays if you ask me.

One of my favorite things to do is look back and see what my writing was like in 2014 or 2015. I’ve removed a few posts just because they didn’t seem relevant to my blog as much as they did when I was 15 but it has been really interesting to also see where the world was at and where I was at then. I was in a boot at one point and then I was getting ready for surgery and then I was stressed about all three of my AP exams and then I was applying to college and then I was getting ready for college and then I was beginning college and all of the sudden I’m here. Crazy, right?!

Blogaversary

And so it’s a happy belated blogaversary to me! Haha. 🙂 As I post this, my blog has 13,016 views and 300 posts. Thank you all so so much for your time and for letting me share my life story and also my passion for writing. It’s been a blast. 🙂 It’s exciting to see how far I’ve come and I look forward to the many more posts and adventures to come! If you’ve got any ideas or there’s something you really want me to talk about, reach out! I’d love to hear from you!!

Thanks for being here on this journey with me. I appreciate you spending time here. Have a good week and I’ll see you next Sunday!