My Italian Adventure- Part 3

RECAP TIMEEE

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Goodness, I have not written much lately! We visited the Uffizi, in Florence, on Friday. The Uffizi is an art museum that showcases many famous artists, one being Michelangelo.

On Saturday we headed to Venice on a two-hour train ride. Walking around Venice was so surreal. All of the canals through the city were absolutely adorable! Our hotel was within a minute of San Marcos Square and was very nice. I loved being in San Marcos Square a lot. It had a lovely ambiance that was enriched with the dueling orchestras on either side of the square. It was very nice to just sit back and listen while eating gelato. On our first day there we went inside of the Basilica. The basilica was gorgeous and the ceilings were amazing! The pictures were made out of mosaics and all gold. My favorite part of the basilica, however, was the fact that it housed the ashes of Saint Mark. You know, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? Yeah…THAT Mark. It was so awesome!

Our next day in Venice was short, but incredible! We went for a gondola ride through the small and narrow canals as opposed to the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal has way too much traffic on it to be an enjoyable ride. Oh my goodness though, the gondola ride was everything I had imagined and more! The gondolier wore the striped shirt and the uniform hat! We found out that normally it cost extra for them to sing to you and we decided against that, but during a quiet spell, the gondolier starting whistling a melody to go along with the boat ride and while not a big gesture, was still amazing! He was also very informative and showed us where Vivaldi, Mozart, Casanova, and even, Angelina Jolie lived during their times in Venice.

Later that day we got back on the train and headed for Rome. The train ride was a four-hour ride, but I thought it went quickly! Once we arrived a the Roma Termini, we caught a cab to our apartment. I thought the taxi drivers were insane in Florence…then I experienced the ones in Rome. They are nuts! We arrived at about 4 pm so we decided against going out an exploring. However, yesterday was our first day out an about and it was so much fun! We visited the Trevi fountain which is so much more grand and expansive than  the pictures portray. I, of course, had to throw a coin into the fountain and make a wish. supposedly throwing a coin into the fountain also means you will visit Rome again one day. I would not be opposed to that idea at all! It was quite funny. We were walking through all of these ally ways and all of sudden…POOF… we come around the corner and there it is in all of its magnificent glory!

Yesterday we also visited the Pantheon. I loved it! I had learned all about it during Western Civilization class this year and there it was! What I find interesting about it is that there is a hole at the top of it (on purpose) and it is angled in such a way that rain never or rarely gets inside! Fun fact of the day right there! I also did not know that the Pantheon is a church! Who even knew that?! Not me! Fun fact numero dos for the day! 🙂 I enjoyed walking all around and seeing the art inside.

Today we visited Vatican city, which means yes, I was in yet another country today and I did not even have to show my passport! Although, it was like going through airport security all over again! I loved Vatican City! We went through the museum kind of quickly because we were there for the main attraction… the Sistine Chapel. Which, oh wow…that is all I can say. It was fantastic! Michelangelo did such a spectacular job. I found out that there had been so many candles and oil lamps used in there that until the 80’s or 90’s, the ceiling had more or less been significantly darker than the original had been. Then they recovered the Chapel and the colors were so vivid that art critics did not believe that those were the original shades. The people in charge of recovering the Chapel verified that the colors were in fact, part of Michelangelo pallet. They figured this out by looking at work of Michelangelo’s students. The fact that they could verify that is incredible. While we were there we also walked on the grounds of St. Peters Church. I saw were the pope stands when he is delivering services. Tomorrow I believe we will be going back to the church to see the inside. I think that will be fun!

The people are different here than the people in Florence. For one, the people on the streets trying to sell purses (not out of a tent, as they are carrying them) are fewer than those in Florence. Still as direct, but there are less, so we encounter them less often. Personally I like that…I respect that they are out there trying to make a living, but after being asked for the hundredth time if I would like to buy a purse, I start to get slightly annoyed… bus alas, in a big city, what do you expect?! I am not complaining! I am in one of the greatest cities in the world with the best people! This city has been thriving for thousands of years and I had the absolute privilege of getting to see it and I could not even  be happier! 🙂

Well, that is all I have for tonight.

Until tomorrow (hopefully…I need to be more regular than this)

arrivederci,

Beth 🙂

My New Year Goals

new yearInstead of coming up with resolutions which aren’t always the most attainable, I decided to come up with goals!

In no particular order…

  • Write in my journal everyday (even if it is only a few sentences about something good that happened that day)
  • Study hard, study well
  • Stay better organized
  • Challenge myself
  • Learn something new (Something I want to and that is not a part of school)
  • Stay on my schedule and try not to deviate from it
  • No excuses
  • Read more for myself
  • Stay informed
  • Give myself time to reflect each day
  • Get a new hobby
  • Go on a road trip with my friends
  • Aim to go to the gym at least 3x/week
  • Stop eating bad food/ take smaller portions/ drink more water
  • Focus on myself and how well I am doing as opposed to comparing myself to others
  • Forget about the girls who caused so much drama in my life
  • Play my violin more
  • Try listening to a new genre of music
  • Watch a movie once a week to give myself a break from school
  • Spend more time with my family
  • Spend more time with my Kappa Delta sisters
  • Learn the KD ritual
  • Learn the KD songs
  • Take my clipboard to all chapter meetings and take ample notes
  • Read and refer back to said notes
  • Learn some French
  • Play more tennis
  • Learn to love everything about myself
  • Read my Bible more
  • Blog more
  • Aim high, reach for the stars to accomplish these goals

I hope you all had a wonderful New Years and have an even better 2014!

Let me know what your goals are for the year!

Beth:)

Moving In

So my parents dropped me off at college on Saturday. What a weird experience! I thought it was going to affect me way more than it did. I guess since I am used to leaving them for weeks at a time it was not really a big deal. Maybe it will hit me later? I am not sure. All I know is that my first two days at college have been FANTASTIC!

Yesterday was the move in process. It only took two trips to get all my stuff upstairs which was so nice! My mom and I spent the next few hours putting my dorm room together. Once my parents left, I began to try and make it look pretty. I had seen an idea on Pinterest that I had wanted to try… WELLLLL that did not go over as well as I had hoped! I had this great idea to hang pictures from my wall with close pins and string and all was well until they fell on me. 😛

So far the entire experience has been fantastic! Yesterday we had a huge Freshman class party and met with our groups that we will be with the remainder of the week. The groups are designed to help us along with getting to know our campus and learning about other college things. Currently I am in a math review class that is just refreshing my brain and preparing me to be ready when classes officially begin!

College is great in the aspect that you can walk down the hall and say ‘hi’ to random people and it is not even weird because everyone is doing the same thing. I have only been here for two full days and I have made so many new friends. I can already tell that socially, I have grown. In high school it is so easy to just ignore everyone you see constantly because most are not interested in making new friends. While I have been here, I have made probably twenty or so new friends. During dinner tonight I was in my dining hall constantly talking to all my new friends. Honestly, it is such an amazing experience.

More to come!

Beth:)

My Italian Adventure: Days 6-10

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Goodness, I have not written much lately! We visited the Uffizi, in Florence, on Friday. The Uffizi is an art museum that showcases many famous artists, one being Michelangelo.

On Saturday we headed to Venice on a two-hour train ride. Walking around Venice was so surreal. All of the canals through the city were absolutely adorable! Our hotel was within a minute of San Marcos Square and was very nice. I loved being in San Marcos Square a lot. It had a lovely ambiance that was enriched with the dueling orchestras on either side of the square. It was very nice to just sit back and listen while eating gelato. On our first day there we went inside of the Basilica. The basilica was gorgeous and the ceilings were amazing! The pictures were made out of mosaics and all gold. My favorite part of the basilica, however, was the fact that it housed the ashes of Saint Mark. You know, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? Yeah…THAT Mark. It was so awesome!

Our next day in Venice was short, but incredible! We went for a gondola ride through the small and narrow canals as opposed to the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal has way too much traffic on it to be an enjoyable ride. Oh my goodness though, the gondola ride was everything I had imagined and more! The gondolier wore the striped shirt and the uniform hat! We found out that normally it cost extra for them to sing to you and we decided against that, but during a quiet spell, the gondolier starting whistling a melody to go along with the boat ride and while not a big gesture, was still amazing! He was also very informative and showed us where Vivaldi, Mozart, Casanova, and even, Angelina Jolie lived during their times in Venice.

Later that day we got back on the train and headed for Rome. The train ride was a four-hour ride, but I thought it went quickly! Once we arrived a the Roma Termini, we caught a cab to our apartment. I thought the taxi drivers were insane in Florence…then I experienced the ones in Rome. They are nuts! We arrived at about 4 pm so we decided against going out an exploring. However, yesterday was our first day out an about and it was so much fun! We visited the Trevi fountain which is so much more grand and expansive than  the pictures portray. I, of course, had to throw a coin into the fountain and make a wish. supposedly throwing a coin into the fountain also means you will visit Rome again one day. I would not be opposed to that idea at all! It was quite funny. We were walking through all of these ally ways and all of sudden…POOF… we come around the corner and there it is in all of its magnificent glory!

Yesterday we also visited the Pantheon. I loved it! I had learned all about it during Western Civilization class this year and there it was! What I find interesting about it is that there is a hole at the top of it (on purpose) and it is angled in such a way that rain never or rarely gets inside! Fun fact of the day right there! I also did not know that the Pantheon is a church! Who even knew that?! Not me! Fun fact numero dos for the day! 🙂 I enjoyed walking all around and seeing the art inside.

Today we visited Vatican city, which means yes, I was in yet another country today and I did not even have to show my passport! Although, it was like going through airport security all over again! I loved Vatican City! We went through the museum kind of quickly because we were there for the main attraction… the Sistine Chapel. Which, oh wow…that is all I can say. It was fantastic! Michelangelo did such a spectacular job. I found out that there had been so many candles and oil lamps used in there that until the 80’s or 90’s, the ceiling had more or less been significantly darker than the original had been. Then they recovered the Chapel and the colors were so vivid that art critics did not believe that those were the original shades. The people in charge of recovering the Chapel verified that the colors were in fact, part of Michelangelo pallet. They figured this out by looking at work of Michelangelo’s students. The fact that they could verify that is incredible. While we were there we also walked on the grounds of St. Peters Church. I saw were the pope stands when he is delivering services. Tomorrow I believe we will be going back to the church to see the inside. I think that will be fun!

The people are different here than the people in Florence. For one, the people on the streets trying to sell purses (not out of a tent, as they are carrying them) are fewer than those in Florence. Still as direct, but there are less, so we encounter them less often. Personally I like that…I respect that they are out there trying to make a living, but after being asked for the hundredth time if I would like to buy a purse, I start to get slightly annoyed… bus alas, in a big city, what do you expect?! I am not complaining! I am in one of the greatest cities in the world with the best people! This city has been thriving for thousands of years and I had the absolute privilege of getting to see it and I could not even  be happier! 🙂

Well, that is all I have for tonight.

Until tomorrow (hopefully…I need to be more regular than this)

arrivederci,

Beth 🙂

Graduation Festivities

Well the time has come and gone. I (finally) graduated from high school last Saturday. It was an experience unlike any other. It was surreal. Here I was with all of these people I had grown up around for so many years, and this was it. we all walked in to the Pomp and Circumstance as one united Class of Seniors. I may be making it sound dramatic, but this is how it all played out in my head.

I walked in with my head held high and made a grand entrance (if I say so myself!). Let me just say, that was quite the empowering feeling. Finally after four years of rigorous classes and so many memories, I was being let out into the “real world”. I walked to my seat (in a line of course because a throw back to elementary school was necessary!). I then began to scan the crowd for my ‘cheering section’, as I like to call it. It took a while as there were nearly 6,000 other cheering sections in this arena. (and yes, we had to get an arena, my high school is THAT big). Once I found them i gave them that silly smirk of embarrassment as they all stood up and waved (which I did appreciate, by the way 🙂 ).

I have sat through 3 high school graduations and, maybe since this was finally mine, the ceremony flew by! I was very nervous until I reached the base of the stage where I had to walk up and the nerves just left. I felt completely confident in myself. I OWNED that stage like a fashion model! Alright, that is a bittt much, but I did feel pride in myself for completing the daunting task of high school.

Leaving the arena felt a bit strange, I will admit. I left behind all of the memories I had ever made with my peers and looked own towards my future.

Can you all tell that I like to make everything dramatic sounding? I promise I only do this in my writing…at least I think so… 😛

After graduation everyone headed back over to our school for one last party. It was an all night party that started at 11 and went until 6. It was such a blast and a great way to end the busy night! They had raffles going on, caricatures, air brush tattoos, bounce houses, casino games, and a hypnotist, and so much food! It was like a carnival! I finally returned home around 6am. I took a short, three-hour nap before I had my family graduation party. That was a lot of fun as well! My parents surprised me with this huge banner that had my name on it! It was so neat and unexpected! My family graduation party was a success! Yesterday, I then had my friend graduation party where I had twenty or so of my friend’s come over and hang out. It was such a blast and we all just talked, ate, played games (catchphrase and ninja to be exact). It was just as great as my family party.

Well, now, the graduation festivities are over, unfortunately. Graduation is an event that I never thought would arrive. It was always like a rainbow. In my sights, but I could never reach it. Yet now, I have reached the coveted pot of gold known as a high school diploma and it feels wonderful.

I wish all of you a wonderful night/day (whenever you read this)

Beth:)

 

A Letter to Me

When I was thirteen years old, in the seventh grade I wrote a letter to myself for a school project. After going through paperwork yesterday, I found this lovely letter and decided to post it here! Enjoy!

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Dear future me,

          I’m 13 years old and I love to shop a lot. My favorite stores are American Eagle and Hollister. I love to play soccer and I love to run in gym. My favorite food at the moment would be pretzels. My favorite subject of all time is Social Studies because I love learning about the past. I also love doing science experiments in science class. My favorite band is the Jonas Brothers because they’re very talented singers.

          The only fear I have of 8th grade is that when it ends, I am in high school. I guess that can be good and bad though. Good because high school seems fun and exciting! Bad because it also freaks me out. My thoughts of eighth grade is that it will be so much fun because we’re older than everybody and we’ll get more freedom. I’m excited for the eighth grade because there are so many opportunities for us!

          One of my goals this year is to get straight A’s in all my classes by  turning all my homework in and completing it. Another is to be the best person I can be by being kind and respectful to everybody even if I don’t like the person. A personal goal I have is to make a bunch of new friends this year so when I’m in high school I’ll know the majority of the people in my grade. Another personal goal I have is to learn a different language, so if I ever get a chance to go to another country, I’ll know what they’re saying. Nice talking to you!

          Sincerely,

                    Elizabeth<3

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What a lovely letter! 🙂 I believe it is obvious that there were requirements in this letter (favorites, fears/anticipations of eighth grade, and goals). I decided after reading this letter, that I wanted to write a letter to myself to read after I graduate from college.

*****************************************************************************************************************

Dear College Graduate,

          You better be graduated from college! You worked your butt off to get through high school and I expect nothing less from you in college. I hope you got everything out of college you wanted (the sorority, life long friends, and the internships). Hopefully you graduate with grades you are more than satisfied with. In addition, I wish that you find a job that you love. I do not want you/me to be unhappy with your future.

          Now, while you are only four years older than the current you, I hope you also matured. I hope that you have fun in addition to all of the work. Never forget what dad says, “You work  in order to have an enjoyable life; do not make work your life”. Enjoy all aspects of life. Smell those roses! Have some fun!

          In my letter to myself I wrote what I enjoyed, fears/anticipations, and goals for myself… I already stated the goals that I hope you reached. Let me continue with what I enjoy currently. My favorite store is Forever 21; you can find anything there!. I love looking at the stars, blogging (I mean obviously!), reading books, and listening to country music. I do not really have a favorite school subject anymore. I like different classes within the subjects. I am also not sure I could name a favorite band/ musician. I have too many that I love as it is and I am not sure how I could narrow it down!

          Right now, I know where I am going to school next year and I know what my major is, but past that, I am clueless as to how the next four years will turn out. The last thirteen years have been easily predictable, but college will be more lenient and I am not sure what path that will take me down. All I hope is that, as I stated above, you do what you love. Also, one more thing, respect yourself. You have gone so far without giving into peer pressure. Who cares what other people think about you? You are you and that is the best thing in the world. Keep on respecting others, being kind, and being super amazing-ly awesome (because you are!).

          I hope everything goes as planned or at least does not stray too far off the path you want.

                    Sincerely,

                              Your 18-year-old self 🙂

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Hopefully all turns out well with the next four years!

Have a great day!

Beth:)

 

 

 

Everything Must Come to an End

As promised for nearly nine months, I am composing a reminiscence of high school. The past four years have been a concoction of happiness, stressfulness, excitement, and most importantly growing (unfortunately not in the vertical direction). Throughout the past four years I have matured greatly into what I believe is quite a wonderful citizen if I do say so myself! So without further ado, I shall display my look-back at high school.

Freshman Year

As many incoming Freshmen, I did not know what to expect. I only had a Hollywood skewed version of high school. I imagined all of these really attractive, mature looking boys lining the halls. That was a let down! 😉 Apparently, few exist in my area. I was determined to get a boyfriend. I know that seems silly, but every one of my friend’s had experienced a relationship or something near it and I wanted to know what that was like as well. I wish I could go back and tell myself that I would get everything I ever wanted and to not dwell on being boyfriend-less.

Freshman year was also difficult academically. I still managed great grades, but it was the first time I felt a struggle in school of any sort. I took my first honors course being Honors English I. I am not sure how other school districts teach the class, but my teacher started off the year with Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Now, as a 14 year old, this was the last book I wanted to read. It was awful and we had the difficult quiz’s after each reading. however, it did teach me how to comprehend more! Honors English I honestly dictated the rest of my high school career. If I had not taken the class, it is unlikely that I would have challenged myself and taken other honors/AP/ college credit courses.

Freshman Year was a crucial year in my life that the past three years have built upon. It was unlike any other year I have ever had. I believe that I grew and matured the most this year than any other year.

great expectations

photo credit: google images

Sophomore Year

Finally! I was no longer a Freshman! That was a very happy moment in my life. No longer was I in the grade who was constantly made fun of. This year was even better than Freshman Year. It seemed as if people who caused drama were calming down and I was more than willing to accept that.

My classes during 10th grade increased in difficulty, as they should. Honors English I had prepared me for Honors English II, but my main focus was the ever exciting Honors Geometry. Before I was a Sophomore, I had loved math, but that all went down hill after taking Honors Geometry. 😛 I loved the majority of my classes. My friend’s and I had a great year and everything was well!

This was my second year playing tennis and I had improved so much. There were about 32 girls on the team when I was a Freshman and based o ranking, I was the 32nd worst person on the team, therefore, the last. Yet, this year I moved up 16 spots! I was only 4 spots away from making the Varsity team which I was determined to be on when I became a Junior.

Junior Year

This was by far the most stressful year in high school. On top of my first AP class (AP U.S. History), I also had to study for the ACT and SAT. My entire future was in the hands of these scores and my grades. Talk about a reassuring feeling! 😛

For the first time, I made the varsity team in tennis. I felt like I was on top of the world. I was ready to finally show my coaches how much I cared…and I did!

Life did, however, get way more exciting. My friends were getting their license’s and now we had places to go, people to see. It was absolutely amazing! I went on some fun adventures all around my city. The reality of my future began to settle in.

tantrum

Photo credit: workingmother.com

Senior Year

Oh my goodness. I blinked and it was gone…I’m not quite sure how that happened… This year was by far the best! 2 Senior BBQ’s, Senior breakfast, free shirts with my activity pass, my Senior crown, varsity tennis, and getting into college were the highlights for sure!

One would think that this year would have been more stressful than my Junior year. Since I got into the college I wanted to get into back in September, most of my stress was eliminated. My classes, while honors/college credit/ AP, were not bad in the slightest and I received a 4.3 GPA both semesters. Now, at graduation, I am walking with a Cum Laude medal. My goal throughout out school was to reach this level. My other goal was to collar for National Honor Society, which I did too! (Collaring is reaching the minimum amount of points by going to meetings and volunteering.)

 

On one hand I am sad to be saying bye to high school and all of the wonderful memories and friends I made, but on the other hand, it is time for me to move on in my life. I am very happy to be outside the petty drama that high school is filled with. I am glad to be flipping to the next chapter in my life where judging is limited and many people are ‘over’ the drama. I do not believe I would ever want to relive high school. I will take it for what it was and nothing more: memories and lessons.

Beth:)