Cremated

Here’s a list of the things I lost to the Thomas Fire:

My guitar, my ukulele, my first drum sticks. My symbols of creativity, my many memories of favorite songs and being so frustrated about my definite lack of talent!

The tapestry I bought last summer at my first music festival, that for some reason smelled like lavender and blown out candles.

My stuffed animals that I’ve had for years, that (call me a child if you want) are so much more than just “things.”

All my drawings. Those hours of concentration and enthusiasm I’ve spent throughout the past years. They probably burned the fastest.

credit: @MattHjourno on twitter

The girl’s dorm lounge, where I remember making my first friendship at this school, where I’ve spent so many hours watching Riverdale, or eating Oreos during the weekends, or working on my horrible piano skills, or watching Finding Nemo for the very first time. Now it looks like none of that has ever happened and for some reason it tears me apart.

I lost my poetry books.

My first love letter.

My band posters and shirts and bracelets and guitar picks and stickers and

my favorite dress.

My window. With my perfect view.

My door key, which now I won’t need cause my door is gone too.

My friends’ rooms with their baby pictures and yearbooks and paintings and Christmas presents and their favorite pair of sandals.

It is hard to believe that this place, the home of so many people I love so dearly, is gone without warning and without mercy.

Here’s a list of what I took with me that day:

The clothes I was wearing, and my favorite necklace. A baby picture of my siblings and me (just in case). My laptop and my backpack.

But I had no idea that everything that was left back would go up in flames within a couple hours. I thought I would come back the next day to my room with my guitar and my tapestry and my window and my posters and that everything would be fine and that our biggest problem would be the final exams we were going to have to take the next week. I wish I would’ve taken more, I wish I could’ve taken the entire dorm.

credit: ovs.org

But here’s another thing that all of OVS brought.

We brought our strength and our community and care and love amongst us. We didn’t forget our incredible OVS spirit, and to be honest I don’t think we would ever be able to forget that. 

 

 

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Skiing and surfing in the same month?

Ojai Valley School is really big on outdoor education, so we have a lot of camping trips throughout the academic year. I realized that in this month of March, I’m going on two trips that are for opposite types of activities. One is the Mammoth Mountain skiing trip and the other is a beach camping trip.

I just came back from the Mammoth Mountain skiing trip. I can’t move as much as usual because my arms, legs, and neck are sore from skiing and snowboarding. I can’t even think about surfing right at this moment, but I need to in a week, so I hope I feel better by then.

This experience – to have both of these trips happen in the same month – is only possible in California. It is crazy to think the weather can be this different in one state. I’m from Japan and I know for a fact that California is bigger in area than Japan, so this blows my mind.

Mammoth Mountain
Photo Credit: Evelyn Brokering

Cal Lutheran

On Saturday morning at 10 o’clock, I visited a college, Cal Lutheran, in Thousand Oaks, CA. I was curious about this college because it is opening a new multi-media building in fall, 2017. Also, my grandfather, Herb Brokering, is a famous priest among the Lutheran community. Although I am not Lutheran, I am interested in becoming one because of my grandfather. He wrote plays, books and songs for the Lutheran Church. 

The day I visited this college, I was worried that it would be very conservative and strict, since the name of the college is “Lutheran.” However, it was not. It was as nice as other colleges that I visited before, and had a very open-minded community. For example, they were giving out free condoms, and talked about other religions, like Islam. This was very interesting to see at this type of school.

The campus was very natural, surrounded by mountains and a creek, but it is still close to cities like Malibu and Los Angeles. I really enjoyed the tour and am considering attending this school.

Photo Credit: http://www.callutheran.edu

Halloween

Photo Credit: Urban Matter

It is now mid October, and IT’S STILL SUNNY AND WARM IN OJAI. This irritates me to no end, which means this post will be a long rant.

In Ojai, and pretty much all of Southern California, three of our seasons are summer, and the fourth season is kind of cold, but not really. This means, there is a very good chance that Halloween will be a warm, sunny day. There will also be no cool decorations around town like the Jack O’Lanterns in Chicago (pictured).

Disneyland, scary movies, and cold weather are all things I associate with Halloween. But, obviously the cold weather part isn’t exactly true for California.

But, Halloween is still one of my favorite holidays, whether it’s 80 degrees (ew) or 50. And, The Tower of Terror is closing at California Adventures, which is an amusement park tragedy. But it’s all ok, because after Halloween, Thanksgiving Break will be closer than ever.

Do you like the weather in Ojai ?

Mark Twain once said, “The coldest winter I spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

This summer, I spent my whole summer vacation in the San Francisco Bay Area. To me, the weather there does not qualify as summer. It was foggy and windy most of the days and you always needed a jacket when you went outside. One might think that’s great weather for the summer because there is no heat, but I hated it. It made me feel dull and was very depressing.

Photo Credit: http://www.psychalive.org

I was very excited to come back to Ojai in September because the weather is the complete opposite. The summer in Ojai is dry and sunny all the time. The bright and warm sunshine makes me happy and more energetic. But I’ve noticed that when it rains in Ojai during the winter, I get a migraine and it makes me very sleepy.

The weather really affects how I feel physically and emotionally. So the Ojai weather is perfect for me.

The Ups and Downs

Life is like a roller coaster. Filled with ups and downs, twists and turns, and abrupt starts and stops.

Image result for rollercoaster pov
Photo Credit: http://www.getlinkyoutube.com

Your future is like the tedious clicking of your cart on the incline. Each time you move a little forward, the safety kicks in to make sure you don’t fly back.  Those have been put there so you can only move forward. Time is what moves you along, what makes you get on with your life.

Once you reach the top, another goal is met. You are on the brink of a new adventure, a new path in life. You are relieved you made it, but are anticipating something new; whether it be a drop, jolt, or loop. Anxiety fills you as you are thrown into the unexpected.

Well, it turns out it was a drop. Not just any drop, either. Full 80 degree, head-first sensation that is heading straight for the ground. Hardships don’t slowly make their way into your life. They burst in and blind you. They take you by surprise and totally change your perspective.

Your cart continues the course of the ride and then it’s over. You can get off the ride and move on to the next thing. Some people say rollercoasters are just one thing, so they only stimulate one thing, one life. However, rollercoasters are almost the opposite. They’re one moment. When you go to a theme park, you don’t just go on one ride. You wait in line after line, just waiting for something new.

The one thing all the quotes relating life to rollercoasters forget to mention is others. You aren’t in that cart alone. You are sitting next to your best friend, your sibling, or a stranger, but you are never completely alone. These people are experiencing the same moment; they drop when you do and they soar just the same.

Life is a series of moments, a series of rides. Life isn’t just one big moment, but a mixture of many. However, the people around you and the way you deal with the big drops and loops can surely affect your ride.

Why I Do Not Enjoy Boats

Yesterday in AP Environmental, our teacher told the class that we are taking a class field trip to Anacapa Island. For most, this news was great, but for me, not so much.

Not many things scare me to the point of wanting to run away, but boats do.

So, let me tell you how this fear originated.

I went on a trip to Catalina Island in sixth grade. They told us the boat ride would be easy, with two to three-foot​ swells. We got on the boat and sailed off into the Pacific.

The boat ride there was easy, just like they said, two-foot​ swells.

But the ride back was much different.

They told us the same wave prediction again, but nearly ten minutes after sailing off from the island, we instantly knew something was wrong.

It was windy and storm – no rain, but clouds completely covering the sky. We continued on, only to be prepping for an emergency about a half an hour into the ride.

The boat was rocking side to side, but not in a relaxing motion, in the way that I was almost sure we were going to capsize. The waves looked like they were going to cover the side of the boat, terrifying everyone.

The scariest part was that when I went to my teacher for comfort, the only thing she had to say was that I should make sure I know where a life vest is.

We made it back to the Long Beach harbor, but since that day I have never gotten on a boat.