Sooooo… I live in Florida. The hottest, most humid place on the face of America. A lot of people who live in Florida have never seen snow much less gone snow skiing. (Ironically I have never been water skiing which is pretty common here in Florida.) Unfortunately for me snow skiing is my favorite sport. I love it. Its pretty easy to pick up and is a lot of fun.
When you ski you get to hurdle yourself down a mountain and feel the cold air sting your face as you stay in complete control ( at least most of the time…) That is part of the reason I love skiing, you have as much control as you give yourself. If you can only do the bunny slope in a controlled way then you can do that but you can give up your control and go down the black diamond too if you want. The other reason is just how much fun it is the snow allows you to glide perfectly over it which gets you going pretty fast. You also get to see some beautiful places. There is nothing quite like looking over Vermont while it is perfectly covered in snow.
. Yes they are exactly what they sound like. A German yeast waffle coated in molten sugar and no they are not as good as they sound they are so much better. They are even better than that when they are the only hot thing you can get you hands on. To get a sugar coated waffle you first need to go to Ludlow, Vermont. There you will find Okemo Mountain and on the slopes of Okemo there is a little cabin that serves the waffles, and yes you can only get one by skiing to the cabin. If you manage to get one to the bottom of the mountain before you eat it they are delicious when added to Vermont’s own Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. (Yes ice-cream is still good when it’s bitterly freezing outside.
Don’t get me wrong if you go skiing you will be freezing and the cold stings. But it is all so worth it in the end.
As I have mentioned before I am a pretty big band nerd. Along with that comes some pretty varied favorite genres and because of that favorite songs. So in no particular order here is a (long) list of some of my favorites.
O Magnum Mysterium by Ivo Antognini – I love it because it is beautiful and and heart wrenchingly sad. I played a concert band version of this piece in high school and coincidentally had a pretty sad experience to go along with it.
Rest by Frank Ticheli- this piece is kind of hilarious and kind of beautiful. I would say more but I don’t want to ruin it and there’s really not that much more to say about it.
How Great Thou Art by Stuart Hine- this is the piece that I played as my solo in marching band my senior year. I actually don’t like this piece because I like it but because it was really special to me. I was really lucky my senior year in band because not only was I band captain but I also got to play this piece as a solo.
this is so weird that its good. Klezmer music is solely associated with Judaism. It has a pretty unique and indescribable sound. Feidman is an amazing klezmer clarinetist, he has an amazing tone on his instrument and is very expressive.
Hamilton by Lin Manuel Miranda- I’m pretty sure everyone knows of this hit rap/musical by now. Lin Manuel is quiet the lyrical genus in my opinion. When I first heard some of the songs from this musical I hated all of it, I don’t really know why but I just did. As I heard it more and more I began to know some of the rhymes and the next thing you know I was in love.
Roads Untraveled by Lincoln Park- I first heard this song wile researching some marching bands last year to compare my bands scores. I was watching the show of a band that we would be competing with and it started with this song. I loved the band and the song. I mostly like it because of the marching band who used this song but none the less its a favorite.
this one is more specific than the others because I have never actually heard Celine Dion’s version of Seduce Me. This is another one of those band things. Noah Kahn was the Drum Major and soloist of Hebron high school’s marching band last year. As a 17/18 year old he not only performed but also arranged this incurable version of the song. It is one of the best musical moments that I have ever seen/heard.
Jupiter by Gustav Holts- another beautiful piece by another amazing composer. Holts is incredible this piece is bold and emotional. It is a piece of music that can truly take you on an emotional journey.
In true band kid fashion when told to “just talk” the first thing that I talk about is band. I was in band for seven years. Like I said in a previous post I play flute and piccolo. Those seven years were full of ups and downs and some of the hardest moments of my life.
Now I know that a lot of band kids like to say that they work harder than the football team or that band in general is harder than football and were I don’t know if thats true or not there are definitely some ensembles that work pretty freaking hard. For instance Tarpon Springs Outdoor Performance Ensemble( that’s’ a fancy name for marching band.) I am constantly amazed when I watch them, even as someone who has participated in the event is incredible the show that a group of high schoolers can put on. Check this video of them wining the national completion two years ago. (source)
Now my band was not anywhere close to that good, but we did manage to pull out sixth place in class at the state completion last year. Which is pretty cool because that is the best we had ever done and it was my senior year and I was also the featured soloist and the highest level of student authority in the band. So I feel pretty proud of what we were able to accomplish last year.
Although last year was the best we did placement wise I think almost anyone who marched in 2013 would agree that was the best and most fun year. My band did “Wonka Pure Re-Imagination” which was a Willy Wonka (Book by: Ronald Dahl, movie adaptations 1971 and 2005) show essentially. We all had so much fun that year and we did really well only not making finals by .3 of a point. (source)
One of my favorite movies that I have discovered more recently is Apocalypse Now (1979). This movie follows the basic plot of the book Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, which is also one of my favorites. It uses the Korean war as setting and explores the bounds of the human mind. Like Heart of Darkness, there are no good words to describe this movie because of the material that it covers. Though the plot is important it only vaguely describe what the movie is actually about.As I’ve talked about before I tend to like stories that cover more vague topics or the mind and mental capacity. This movie does exactly that. (source)
I must admit that I watched this movie in school as part of a unit in an english class but there were plenty of rumors from the class above us about how good the movie was so we were all pretty excited to see it and to top it off the day we watched it was the same day that teacher had surround sound speakers installed in his room so it was quite the experience.
I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to watch something that will make them think. Also a word of caution: this movie is quite violent at times and definitely covers extremely mature subject mater. When we watched this movie as a class our teacher felt inclined to warn us when there would be a graphic scene, which was defiantly appreciated by some members of the class even though we were all seniors in high school.(source) Overall I love this movie and would definitely recommend it to anyone who thinks they can handle it. I find it tells a really insightful story about human nature and the capacity of the human mind.
I have gone through several fazes of reading throughout my life, I used to love reading when it wasn’t me doing the work, then as I grew up I hated it and wouldn’t touch a book. Then when I grew up some more I wouldn’t stop there were days that I would read from the time I got home until two or three in the morning. But when I became an upperclassman my priorities changed and I didn’t really have time. I do hope to get back into reading though because I have definitely had some great experiences through books.
My all time favorite: Johnathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. I originally read thisbook with my dad in the third grade and though I didn’t understand any of it, there was something about it that I just fell in love with
. Since then I have read it several more times and have been able to come up with some more concrete reasons why I love it. First it’s got a great story of a seagull with determination, and second, every time you read it you can get something new out of it. I love that it’s so interesting to me all of the different thoughts that I’ve had because of this one book through my life.
The best of the worst: The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. I love these books and I’m not afraid to say it. I know they are awful and of a subpar reading level, but that doesn’t stop me. The interesting part is that weather than following a vampire these books follow the story of a “vampire protector.”
From my early years: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Del. This is another book that I read with my dad in elementary school. It tells the story of a girl and her brother who get stranded on an island when their people leave, the children must learn to survive and fend for themselves. While hoping that someone will return for them. I don’t really know why I love this book, and honestly I haven’t read it in years, but what I can tell you is that I loved story about nature and humans using the friendly animals to help them survive. (Bonus: Julie of The Wolves: its quite similar and had nearly identical themes)
From my really early years: The Magic Garden (author unknown). I wouldn’t feel right talking about my favorite books without mentioning this one, even though its not a “real” book. I brought this sucker in for show and tell so many weeks in a row that y teachers had to tell me to stop. It’s a lovely story of a little girl who makes flowers grow everywhere she walks. This was by far my favorite book as a child.
From school: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Everyone a long list of books they were forced to read for school and usually several of those make it on our “never read again list” but this is my favorite. Now I admit I read this book before I had to because my friends who were a grade above me wouldn’t stop talking about it.
But still it was an assigned book so I still count it as being for school. There aren’t really words to tell you what this book is about in a few sentences, just know that if you read it you are in for the
ride of your life that ends with a dark twist. I would definitely recommend this book but be warned it is very dense and not for the faint of mind.(source)
I was 8 years old or so and my father was going through his collection of digital movies looking for something to put on my iPod nano for an upcoming family vacation. When he came across Bicentennial Man (1999)he asked if I had seen it; I hadn’t but reluctantly asked him if it was scary because I had it confused with the Biconic Woman(ABC,1976-77). Long story short the two had nothing to do with one another, and Bicentennial Man instantly became my favorite movie.
Bicentennial Man is a touching story that follows a robot, Andrew, who has a “small” glitch… he can feel emotions. As the movie progress human like relationships begin to form between Andrew and his owners. He eventually begins to explore the world and his “humanity,” as he does this he meets several new people, and other robots which help to solidify his beliefs about what truly defines a life.
There are several reasons that I love this movie but they can be condensed into the following three things:
It explores character relationships more thoroughly than most movies and therefor the viewer is really able to empathize with the characters. I say this as someone who never cries because of a movie, I cry every time! The writers spend what seems like forever just getting to know characters that aren’t in the full duration of the movie, but these characters are revisited and because the viewer knows them so well it’s very easy to fall right back into their lives with Andrew.
The topics that the movie focuses on generally appeal to me, I often find myself enjoying entertainment that explores similar themes to Bicentennial Man. I have always liked talking about the social issues that are throughly covered in this movie such as humanity, slavery. It also explores several unanswerable questions which have also intrigued me since I was a child.
It depicts the evolution of love, life, and humanity very well. There’s not much more to explain here. The movie is just able to really put its viewer on an emotional rollercoaster and helps to create a defined picture of the “life” of a robot.