Goodbye, OVS.

Wow. Did this year just end?

I’m sitting in my empty room on a sunny day before graduation, looking outside of my window thinking how OVS made me a happy person.

It’s still unbelievable that I’m here today at Ojai Valley School. Everything just happened all of a sudden in one week during last summer after I met Mr.Alvarez.

First of all, Mr.Alvarez. I don’t know how to thank you. You made my year. If I wouldn’t have met you, I would’ve stucked in New Hampshire being cold, wondering why I run and when and where I can be happy. It’s so strange that you know me very well; you knew I was scared to race, you knew I had to slow down and take one step at a time. I really couldn’t have achieved anything this year without you. You’re the best coach I’ve ever had, and it’s such a blessing to meet you. I will never forget the lessons you taught me, and in college, I want you to be at the Olympic trials in 2016.

Second of all, Serry. You have no idea how much you influenced me. When I first met you, I thought you were just being super nice because I was new to this school but you never changed and found out that you’re just nice from the bottom of your heart. And we have the exact same humor. Everyday, every morning, after lunch, before dinner, we never stopped laughing at the lamest jokes. At that moment, I realized that I’ve met the person who I will keep in touch for the rest of my life. I’m so fortunate that I could have you as a roommate. And I love you so much.

Third of all, all my friends at OVS. Seriously, I’ve never seen a group of people being very friendly and super nice. I am not even exaggerating but when I first came here, I couldn’t believe how nice they are. I was actually wondering why they’re so nice to me… but that’s OVS.

I really can’t express how fortunate I am to come here.

I just realized that this is the last blog of the year, and I think this is the last assignment of high school…

I love you OVS. You changed me and you made me so happy as a person.

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Wow really?

Well, the first four games of the Stanley Cup finals did not go as planned. This was gunna be a far more exciting series but unfortunately, the Kings had other ideas.

The Kings had a 3-0 series lead over the Devils going into tonight’s game. Thankfully, the Devils were able to win game 4, and we get at least one more hockey game. That’s good since I’m not ready to stop watching hockey yet. It’s incredible.

Now, as I am a die-hard Devils fan, I’d like to share my thoughts on the series so far. I have nothing good to say about the Devils really. We played strong games for the first two and arguably the worst game I’ve ever seen in game 3. 1 and 2 ended in overtime heartbreak, and really, the emotions of fans everywhere are simply crushed. I love the Devils, but I’m not expecting the Cup will return to New Jersey.

I will leave you all with this, as we close out the year of blogging. Jonathan Quick is the sole reason, if not a huge reason that the Kings are as strong as they are. He has stopped some very wild scoring chances and he only allowed two goals through the first three games, including one that was an own goal off of a defender.

Well, depending on whether or not I decide to blog actively this summer, I will bid you farewell for now. I hope that you will all remember my numerous rants on awful athletes and my love for Philadelphia.

Thank You.

Me

On the Hill word press has served as a great outlet for all my moods, disasters and has allowed me to document my growth over the past 2 years in America. Regaining my passion for writing through this medium, I am thankful for the experience and I have learned so much.

Blogging has taught me how to write, document and learn from others. With the help of this and my teacher I have been put on my path being connected with a passion for journalism, media and writing.

I don’t know where I’d be today if I hadn’t participated in this class and had the guidance. In fact I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be going anywhere.

It’s strange how by doing the simplest things and making the right decisions we grow and progress so much. Like I’ve said many times before it’s the whims we take and the things we fear the most that make us grow and that’s what’s happened to me.

Today is my graduation. I would have never thought I’d be saying that 2 years ago. I’m so thankful for the education I’ve received, the people I’ve met and the teachers who have guided me making me a better person and putting me on my path. I am also thankful to my parents and I owe them sincere apologies for the way I treated them before the move.

Moving forward is the only option in life, take opportunities and follow your heart and you will find true happiness. Trust me, I’m talking from experience.

Tribute

Here it is. June 3rd.
Just five more days until I walk across that stage and receive my diploma.

Who knew high school went by as fast as they said it did?

My five year journey here at Ojai Valley School has been unforgettable.

I started out in 8th grade at the Lower Campus. Although it was a great change from a large school of over 2,000 students, the warm and inviting faculty and friends I met made the adjustment easy.

I had a great year learning how to camp, do my own laundry, and take on the responsibilities of living in a dorm. Not the mention, the close bonds I made with the girls I lived with. It was a different kind of bond than the most of the ones I made in public school. Having lived with these girls, I felt almost as if I was amongst sisters.

So, after graduating, the decision was easy. I knew I wanted to go to Upper for high school.

My freshman year, I roomed with my best friend from Lower, Wendy Lin.

Now let me say something about her. I have been my most vulnerable with Wendy. I opened up to her about things I never really shared with anybody else, and she did the same. So when we roomed together, it was like I was with family. We both knew each other enough not to argue. So when I say, although we had our ups and downs, I am generally talking about the ups when it comes to Wendy. When I think of my freshman year, she is among one of the first people that pop into my mind.

Then there is Lucy Kim. Ah, she is so dear to me. Not only did we click because of our similar humor, she lifted me up when I was down and always was there for me when I needed prayer requests. She also listened to me when I needed her and let me realize that  She even got us transportation to go to church on Sundays so that we could keep our faith, after I told her how hard it was not to go to church.

Cooper, Jeremy, Oussou and Parker. Boy, were they funny people. Of course, when you are that young, seniors seem so much older than they actually are, and these were the people I looked up to. They had close, lasting bonds that were connected by years of laughter. Although they probably had no idea, my senior year was affected so much by the optimism and attitude they brought to the school.

The first half of my sophomore year was spent at Beverly Hills High School. That semester was definitely a learning experience for me. The big public school experience was new to me, having been in a private boarding school of just over 100 students. Regardless, I returned to OVS with a newfound appreciation.

Junior year..was tough. It was full of all nighters and instant food. I was swamped with the workload of 4 AP’s and struggled with balancing time between my studies and my boyfriend of two years. But this is the year that I grew close to Jo Chen and Maddie, two of my best friends today! However, it was also the year that Jo, Maddie, Lucy, and my boyfriend had graduated so the graduation was marked with strong emotions.

This year, graduation means something completely different.

It means five years of going to school in Ojai is coming to a close. It means growth. It means Reika, Sungjin, and Anni. It means Mr. Alvarez’s words of encouragement and Mr. Cooper’s long speeches on integrity. It means Mr. Weidlich running with the lacrosse team and Mrs. Colborn’s team comp announcements. It means Chico’s waffles every Wednesday morning. It means Mrs. Allen’s bake sales and the IOU’s that follow. It means Haldy’s jokes and Eddy’s motorcycle videos and Mr. and Mrs. Boyd’s wonderful singing and camping trips with Mrs. Davis. It is so much.

It kind of makes me want to stay a little longer.

That’s how much I love this place.

Thank you everybody for making this experience what it was. It has been a fabulous 5 years. I loved every minute of it.

Get Out and Vote

This will be the first year that I can vote, and I am very excited for it.

Most of my friends don’t understand why I would be excited and why I care so much, which usually ends with me calling them ignorant.

To set the scene, I have gone over the ballots with my parents for as long as I can remember. They were not trying to brainwash me; they always asked me what I though of a proposition or a candidate before they spoke their mind.

I learned to read the laws and understand them in a greater sense. It was always something I enjoyed and became excited about. I was much more likely to be conversing with my teachers about politics than my peers.

And now I am able to actually vote. It feels like a freedom to me, something that is meant to be cherished. As much as my friends may go on about it not mattering if one person votes, it does. Especially in the primaries, one vote does matter.

I feel that if more children were exposed to politics and encouraged to be informed even though they could not vote, we would have much higher turn outs.

After all, a democracy does not work without voter participation. If we want to keep the freedoms that we hold dear, we must have a voice as a people. That starts, and ends, with have a politically educated youth system.

The Red Necklace

I rather like audiobooks now.

I found this novel through Wikipedia, picking it up after discovering that the audiobook is read by my favorite actor, Tom Hiddleston.

I downloaded the audiobook, 6.6 hours of his beautiful voice, and finished it in 2 days.

I have bought several audiobooks and left them all unfinished.  I credit my inability to finish them to the fact that most of the readers have boring voices and their method of distinguishing each character is to merely lower or heighten the pitch of their voices throughout the dialogue.

However, not surprisingly, Tom Hiddleston broke that standard.

Tom Hiddleston

I could hardly tell one person was reading the book, the voices were so different.  He used a score of accents, ranging from his native English accent to Scottish, Irish, French, even vaguely Russian and more.

Aside from my obvious satisfaction with his reading, the book is quite gripping.

The title is a reference to the guillotine, the “bloody altarpiece” of the French Revolution, and to the necklace of red garnets found on murder victims throughout the book, the gems described as looking “drop of congealed blood.”

It tells the story of a Parisian Romani boy named Yann Margoza, a magician’s assistant and a young French aristocrat, Sidonie de Villeduval, at the time of the Revolution.

“Sido” is a beautiful, kind girl with a limp, and she is despised by her father, the Marquis de Villeduval.  The Marquis is obsessed with possessions and his estate, spending lavishly even though he is bankrupt.  He is indebted to the illusive and fabulously wealthy Count Kallivoski.

Following a fateful final performance, Yann is forced to flee to London.  He grows up, becoming a gentleman with a bright future.

Kallivoski has taken an unhealthy interest in Sido and blackmails the Marquis into consenting to a marriage between the two.  Yann embarks on a journey to save her from the Revolution and the Count alike.

It is an extremely well-written book.

Gardner writes exceedingly clever phrases to describe the setting and characters, using “varicose veins” to describe hidden passageways and citing that one man has an”entirely too generous helping of teeth.”

Check out this book or order it on amazon here!