Saturday, December 28, 2013

Let's talk languages!

New video is finally up!
Talking about the importance of learning languages.

Check it out here:


Yesterday I ended up doing basically nothing.....
I filmed a couple videos and one is currently processing (and taking way too long)...and I watched a movie and talked to friends...
I did eat a piece of pizza for dinner (but no more, because I still really don't like pizza)....but that's it.

Bis später!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas in Review

So I haven't had any time to write a post the past few days. I'll write the one for today separately, later tonight. Here's what happened:

I did nothing except lie around sick with a cold all day...then around 5 the extended family came over for an early Christmas dinner. Our appetizer was maultaschen soup, which is my favorite meal (so if you ever want to cook for me, make maultaschen soup and I'll be a very happy camper). We had rouladen with potato dumplings, potatoes, vegetables, rotkohl, and a few other things for the main meal. It was soooooo delicious and at the end we were all stuffed. We then ate dessert, made by my host sister Anne. It was Mascarpone and fruit topped with Spekulatius cookie crumbs and it was seriously good. I made sure to get the recipe. ;) After that we played Dirty Santa and I ended up walking away with stuff Anne brought from my "hometown" Halle (Saale). I was super happy!!

I continued to be a bit sick, but it was better. I ended up hitting up a friend to hang out. We drove to Holland and walked and talked a bit. It was really cool, and you could definitely tell the difference between Germany (at least this region) and Holland. This area is known for building huge houses and having everything a little bit bigger than the rest of Germany, while Holland is known for having everything built tiny. So there was a huge difference. It was kind of cool to see, since we are only 5km from the border and that city is only 5km from the border. If you can do math, that means we are 10km apart, and yet everything is completely different. I then went home and chilled. Later that evening I went with Anne and Rebekka to Schoeppingen, where their other sister Laura lives. We watched a movie from our childhood: a Dracula parody. It was pretty hilarious. We also ate so much cheese. First we had ovencheese (Camembert that you bake in the oven and it becomes melted cheesy goodness) with pieces of baguette. It was kind of like fondue. Then we had crackers with cream cheese mixed with herbs and bell peppers. We also had Hors d'oeuvre-like cheese and pickle on a toothpick platters. Yum!

Christmas Eve is the big day in Germany...not Christmas Day. So we first did nothing....then we dressed up nicely and prepared the food for Raclette, which is super good. So we stuffed ourselves, again. That seems to be a thing here: just eating and drinking through the holiday season. We then opened presents. I honestly wasn't expecting anything except the present my parents sent (Periwinkle PJs with snowflakes, which I am wearing now), but ended up getting a bracelet from my host mom and a manicure set/bejeweled USB/Rafaellos from my host dad. Cool :) I was really happy to get those, and they're perfect. I also gave them each a few little things, which I didn't think were too spectacular but they seemed to really love. After that I went with Anne to her friend's house, where her parents were having a sort of "everyone's invited" after-party. I got to meet a lot of new people, who I actually ended up seeing again last night. It was pretty chill. We stayed from 10 PM to about 3:30 AM, and by that time everyone was ready to go to sleep. But it was still fun.

Christmas Day. We ate lunch (soup) at the grandparents' house with extended family, and around 2, Anne, Rebekka and I went back home. We watched movies in our PJs the whole day. Later I skyped with the family and worked on editing my college essay with Lukas (thank you!!). I then watched Youtube videos and went to sleep.

Stephanus Steinigung is celebrated big in this area. First we had breakfast with everyone because it was also my host dad's birthday. Laura and her boyfriend came, too. I then hopped in the shower and got ready. At 3:15 PM I went to Pauline's house for a "pre-party" where we played a revised version of "Mensch, Ärger Dich Nicht" and ate chips. Simon also stopped by for a drink. We found out he can braid really good. Apparently he learned to braid hair because of his many girl cousins. He then set up a revised version of Kings for us to play and explained it all. He left to go back to his pre-party and we played the game. It was interesting. We all ended up being called Kevin. There's now a Whatsapp group called "Kevin." :) We also ate french fries, and then, at 6:30 PM, rode our bikes to the Stephanus party at the Meile. It was pretty good! Around 10 PM the girls decided to leave, but I ended up going with Simon next door to N-Joy. It was soooo crowded we could barely walk so after a little while we rode our bikes home. He dropped me off and I went right to bed. It had been a pretty fun day, and the sleep was welcomed.

Yeah, so that's been my holiday season this year! All in all, I'd say it was pretty good. Next up: Sylvester, AKA New Years at our friends' house. But first, a little break to catch up on rest and training. :)

Ciao Leute!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013


I had school for the first two periods yesterday, since they let everyone out after fourth and I have third and fourth free. We ended up watching a movie in History (Geschichte LK) about the protests against communism and the building of the Berlin's pretty intense but also good. I'm not exactly sure what it's called. I then went to DM to buy a Wichtelgeschenk, which is like Dirty Santa. We're playing that with the entire family tomorrow (we are also cooking a HUGE dinner for everyone)...should be fun! Later on I went to Ahaus with Rebekka and Anne (her sister) to get Rebekka's ticket to Sachsen...then went home, where Anne dyed Rebekka's hair...I joined them in the bathroom because I was bored. After that Anne and I went to eat a Döner. Yummm! I then went with Anne and her friends to Ahaus with them because they wanted McDonald's....on the way a tire popped. We ended up waiting for an hour for ADAC. The guy showed up, replaced the tire, we drove around a little and noticed something else was wrong. So we went back and luckily he was still there, so he fixed that. Then we ended up just going home because we were all too tired to hang out or go to McDonald's...I then went to sleep.

I had morning practice from 9:30 to 12. It went alright, but it wasn't my best day. Then I went grocery shopping with the family for our dinner tomorrow. After that we went home, ate some Maultaschen soup and I hopped in the shower. Now I'm writing this! I have yet to figure out what to do today but once I've lived it I'll post it as an edit in this blog post.

Edit: So after that post I ended up doing more college application stuff. I then went downstairs and watched a movie. I had yogurt and granola for dinner, and tea....I'm also getting sick. Blah. My nose has been runny all day and it's not pleasant at all. So for tonight it looks like I'll continue to drink tea and watch movies.

See you later!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2 day posts


I had the first two periods free, then school for four. Not so bad! The last period we didn't do anything anyway. After that I rode my bike home with Rebekka and we ate lunch. Later on I went to practice, which turned out to be pretty good. I learned new skills for beam (back handspring step out, back tuck connection) which was great. I also did some floor and conditioning. I came home, ate half of an avocado with chili pepper seasoning and watched Footloose (2011) with my host family.
After that I just took a shower and hopped in bed.


I only had one period of school (5th) so I biked to school in the rain, just to find out we'd be playing Taboo. My teacher being who he is, chose me to explain to my partner the words...It was interesting....and the words chosen were pretty hilarious. Yeah. Now I'm waiting for everyone to get home so we can eat lunch, and after that I'll be going to watch the dodgeball tournament at school between the 12th grade PE classes. One friend said I should play, too, but I think I'll just provide support. I'm actually really good at dodgeball, considering I'm good at dodging the balls and have a good throwing arm, but I'm just not in the mood today. We'll see what happens. :)

So the dodgeball tournament went pretty well. I ended up filming some of it for our grade's Chaos Week. When Rebekka and I got home, I met her sister Anne and her friend, and we went to buy a Christmas tree!! We then decorated it really nicely and are now watching TV together.

Bye loves!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Today I got to sleep in, since my first two periods fell out. It was nice getting ready in peace.
I then had two periods of school (History) and went home for another 2.5 hours.
After lunch, I had German, and then went home.

I have since been working on college application essays. They will be the death of me.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Okay, so 3 days..


I went to get some money from the Sparkasse...later we went to the Weihnachtsmarkt where we drank some nice Glühwein and hot cocoa with Amaretto shots in it....I also ate a yummy bratwurst and some candied almonds (the best when still hot).

Around 9:30 we went back home and Rebekka and I got ready to go out. Then another friend came over and we had a little pre-party before going out (around 1 AM)...we ended up leaving at 4 AM. It was fun, but I don't need that every weekend.


It was Sunday. We stayed in and watched TV and relaxed. :)


Today I rode my bike to school for the first time ever. It was great not having to wait in the cold for the bus!
After fourth period I went home and bought an avocado on the way, which I ate for lunch and dinner, with some red chili pepper seasoning. Yum!! For a while I just chilled out, but I ended up going to a friend's house to hang out for a while. Now I'm watching TV with my new host sister and texting people. Totally chill!

Ciao Leute!

Friday, December 13, 2013

New Beginnings

Today was very eventful. I finished packing my bags and drove to Vreden, where I unpacked my bags in my new room.

Yep, I moved in with my new host family, by my friend from school. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders - I already feel way more comfortable around this family than I ever did around my old host family, and it is like a home, not just a house. I already feel happier, like I can finally relax and be myself. I have a really good feeling about this.

But yeah, that was basically it. Just unpacking and getting to know the family (including my new host dog). We did have trouble figuring out the WiFi but we eventually got it right (after about 40 minutes). I also like that I make my own food - I can control what I'm eating now...that means: NO MORE CARBS. I am so sick of them. Like really though.

We're now watching The Voice of Germany.

Anyways, TTYL!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

TWO DAYS, ONE POST (Revolutionary thinking, right?)

So I was way too tired yesterday and forgot to post. But hey, I'm doing pretty good so far!
Yesterday: I went to school, had the first two periods free (like every Wednesday), had English, was supposed to have History but since only six of us were there the teacher decided it was pointless (yay for us), spent that hour at school, and went home after the fifth period instead of sixth, since I didn't have German because they were all writing their Klausur. Other than that not much exciting happened...

Today I had a long day.
It was my last day of having to wait for the bus in the cold, and I'm so glad that's over.
I had Math the first two periods - went well...It really is all just review of everything I learned in IB Math SL and all that good stuff, so I'm able to answer pretty much all the questions. Then I had 3rd and 4th free...I hung out with some other free period-ers. 5th period I had Sozialwissenschaften, which is a bit like Civ and Econ, just about Germany. He had us do this fun activity: we had to write down the plan of what was going to happen every year for the next twenty years of our lives (realistic). He then paired us up - I got put up with one of the guys because the teacher thought it would be funny to see what happened (and where we would end up living), to be "married." We had to compare our lives and change it so it was compatible. I still got all of my wishes because he was planning on going to America (at least for a while) anyway. PLOT TWIST: the teacher started giving out strips of paper with situations on them that were supposed to interfere with our plans. He would tell you at what age it would happen, too, to give it a little variety. We then had to plan our lives accordingly and figure out a solution. Then he'd give out the next piece of paper, and so on.
Our situations:
1. You unexpectedly become a mother/father at 18.
2. The child has Down-Syndrome.
3. Your failed investments cost you 80000 euros (age 21).
4. You unexpectedly become a mother/father at 25.
5. One of you (him) has an accident leaving you unable to work.
6. You are offered a management position but you would have to move to Kirgistan, Russia.
7. You are offered a job as a TV-Show Moderator.
8. You win 200000 euros in the lottery.

It was interesting, but I ended up coming out with my own TV Talk Show three years before I had scheduled it on my 20-year plan. We did end up giving the first kid up for adoption...we weren't ready. And we turned down the job offer in Russia because by then I already had my own cosmetics line.

I then had 6th, lunch, 7th, and 8th free...but 7th and 8th I went to Adriana's house to chill. It was really nice and she gave me a chocolate St. Nick. (Thank you!!)

9th and 10th I had Deutsch...we talked about Hiob, and one of my classmates decided it would be fun, while talking about the American Dream, to volunteer me to answer the question. Thaaaaanks dude. Oh well, I still think I answered it pretty well. I think for the first time the entire room was listening to an answer in that class. I'm pretty sure they were all eager to hear what I had to say about the American Dream...I later thanked him in a very sarcastic manner and am proud to announce my sarcasm worked!! For any of you other exchangers, you know American sarcasm doesn't really work on Germans. Just a different sense of humor, which is why him recognizing it makes me very happy.

After that I went home, made dinner, and am now writing this blog post. Next I'll be packing stuff up and talking to people.

Bye guys!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shining Stars

Not much to say today...
I had ten hours of school, so I got home at 6PM.i
School was good, and I finally got the Döner for lunch that I've been craving for the past two days.

After dinner I took a walk alone. I needed to clear my head. It felt good just walking in the cool air...But I don't think it helped much, mentally. I would love to find a place where I could just lay down and stare at the stars for a while...
They're so beautiful and so calming.
Maybe some other night.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Just in time!

Hallo liebe Leute!

ALMOST forgot to write!!!

Well today I got to school late because of the traffic surrounding the construction area of the only road into town....sad, isn't it? But my teacher went the same route so he got there the same time I did.

Then it turns out that instead of having my usual 4 periods (2 classes), my second 2 fell out because the teacher was sick or something. So I had school from 7:45 AM to 9:15 AM....but I still had to wait three hours for the bus at 12:30 PM...that kind of sucked. At least some of my friends had free, too.

I am proud to announce I can finally use Whatsapp. And it is slightly addictive after 4 months of no texting, not gonna lie. If you don't have my number, message me on Facebook, by the way.

The rest of the day I spend on college applications, which WILL be the death of me, texting people, and watching/singing the entirety of Les Mis (the brilliantly made 2012 version, of course).
And of course, as a former IB student, I completely analyzed the entire film and the characters based on what they said, how they acted, and their backgrounds. I only realized after the movie was over, that I had been doing that the entire time...IB has rooted itself into my mind. Oh dear.

I told the family about moving on Friday (long story, for another day)...And I can't wait to be able to go home in free periods and stuff starting next week.

I am also really looking forward to going to school tomorrow :) Let's just say it's been a pretty happy past few days.

That's it for today guys, so TTYL!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

2nd Advent Sunday

Well it's the end of another day. Following yesterday's insanely personal post, tonight is going to be more general...

It's Sunday in Germany. That means everything is closed. While it kind of gets on my nerves because I can't go anywhere or do anything outside the house (the American in me talking), it's kind of nice to have a day that's really meant for relaxation. I'm told that back in the day, America did the same. Sunday was all about family and rest, but over the years it's been taken over by consumerism and the need to have everything at one's disposal all the time. Oh well, it's a cultural thing.

So, staying true to the German idea of Sundays, I stayed at home and did nothing. Okay, I kind of went Christmas-crazy, now that Netflix has it's Holidy Favorites category again...but yeah.

I now really want some candy canes.

Anyway, that's all for today! And if my German friends have any idea where to buy candy canes, let me know! ;)
Bye everyone!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A little personal

So in this blog I'm just going to get a little personal. IAt first I didn't really think I should post this, but I decided it's something the world can know about me. I'm trying to be open.

Since I didn't do much today, after being so tired from the party, I decided to write about the effect Germany has had on me.

Throughout middle school and high school everyone is trying to find themselves. There's the kids who go out and party every weekend, the ones who don't care about school or learn to care about school, the ones who just want to find a close group of friends, and the ones who feel alone.

I'll tell you a little secret: I always classified myself as the one who felt alone. Sure, I had friends and best friends, but all the while, there was a part of me that was alone. Separated from the rest of the group. I don't know why, but I never truly felt like I belonged. I was happy when people talked to me because half the time I'd be ignored (although that may partially have something to do with the fact that my voice is very quiet) by kids at school. I basically never got invited to parties, although I probably wouldn't have gone anyway. I felt out of place and blah blah blah. I could go on but I'm not going to. I think you guys know where I'd be going with that.

Anyway, that all changed. At language camp I finally had people I could openly talk to, and nearly everyone talked to each other. There was no ignoring, pretending people weren't there, etc. It was the first time I felt like I belonged to a group, a family. Sure we had our issues, but in the end we were really close and it was a blast. I found that being part of something did amazing things for me, for my self-esteem, for my self-confidence, everything. I didn't feel alone anymore. That was the beginning.

I started school in Germany in my senior year. Everyone in my grade has known each other since the 5th grade, and I was the newbie. So of course I was nervous. I didn't know if I'd be able to make friends that easily considering I am a quiet person (at first), but what I experienced was the complete opposite of what I expected. Within the first few days all of my doubts and worries went away. I was welcomed with open arms by everyone in my grade. People were excited to get to know me. For the first time I'd get a few "Heys" in the hallway (which btw still makes me happy) on my way to class. People were eager to help me find things and explain how things worked at the school. I got invited to a couple of parties within the first week, and people were just overall friendly. I've found my really good friends and my other friends. I know they genuinely care, and aren't just putting on a fake act (as, I'm sorry to say, happened a lot at my high school). I finally feel like I'm really a part of something bigger. Like I matter. Like it's cool to get to know me. And while it's never been about popularity, it's nice to know that I'm not invisible anymore. It's nice to know that people know who I am...that they're kind to me...that they really want to know how I'm doing and so on. Through this feeling of acceptance among my peers I've finally been able to come out of my shell. I was in a shell so long I forgot what it was like to just let loose once in a while and have fun with people I care about. So yes, I have changed. I've become me. A better version of me. A more confident me. A me who knows what I want and knows how to get it. A me that has fun and doesn't always care about being little miss perfect (which is all I had to hold onto as an identity for the past few years). I have grown up, changed, become more independent, become confident, and I honestly never want to go back. So after all the struggles of trying to find myself in my entire high school career, all it took was a little kindness and the love of others to teach me about who I am as a person, a friend, an athlete, a young woman. And for that I say thank you.

Friday, December 6, 2013


Today I ended up only having first and second period. Which means I was done with classes by 9:15 AM. Crazy, huh? But then I had to wait three more periods for the bus, so that was a bit boring. At least I had friends there.

Also, I got a waffle, which was delicious, and some free hot cocoa :)

Tutoring was cancelled, so I'm about to go take a shower and get ready for the class party tonight. I'm excited!

I also need to start packing some stuff up.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Who knew

Who knew hurricanes hit Germany? Of course, living in North Carolina, I've become used to getting hurricanes, but I never experienced one in Germany.
Luckily we're just getting the traces from the storm, but everyone here is freaking out. While North Carolinians are able to cope with hurricanes because they happen several times a year, this is a very rare occurrance in Germany (especially in my area, where we aren't even that close to the water), so no one is ever really prepared for them. As an honorary North Carolinian, I tend to think of a hurricane as not such a big deal, unless it's absolutely huge. Here, even just getting the end traces of the hurricane, it's made into a big deal. It's kind of interesting to see, actually. I'm just calm and everyone around me only has their minds on the storm, which I'd classify as a typical NC storm. Very windy, a bit rainy, cold. Maybe we don't get so much of the "cold" since they usually happen in the summer and spring in NC, but the rest is normal. So I'm just quietly sitting here, while everyone is panicking and closing the schools and cancelling religious holiday celebrations (yeah, afternoon classes got cancelled, as well as the St. Nick walk-around-town thing that happens here). Meanwhile, NC closes schools for non-existent snow, while we go to school in snow unless we're literally blockaded in at the door by snow.
This all goes to show how different environments create different types of preparedness among the people. Those who are used to tropical storms vs. those who aren't go about the same storm in very different manners: calm and rational vs. panicky. Those who aren't so used to snow vs. those who are go about the same precipitation in extremely different manners: closed schools on an inch of snow vs. schools still open with three feet of snow.
The things we learn from storms.

Yeah, so that's been my day. Storm this, storm that, storm blahblahblah.

I also tutored a kid for an hour in English (we just finished at 4pm)...
I'd make a video but it's too dark outside.

Anyways, I hope you learned something new about handling natural disasters. Personally I just think everyone needs to calm down, both in NC and Germany. It's not that disastrous guys, really.

Thanks for reading!

EDIT: I did end up making a video. You can watch it here:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I'm bad at this

Whoops, totally didn't post yesterday.

I edited and uploaded a video to my other channel, had 8 hours of school (until 4 pm), and other than that, not much happened.

Today I don't have school because they are all writing a test that takes up basically the whole I've been laying in bed and editing a video for my Vlog Channel (it's a tag video)...Yeah. Today I also have gymnastics, if I can get there.

Other than that, not much is going on.


Monday, December 2, 2013


So today was average....except I had four free periods at school and one 45-minute period....yeah there was a lot of boredom today.

After "school" I went and tutored a couple of kids in English at the Hauptschule...then I went to the bank, came back and filmed a video. I'll see if it's worth editing and then maybe do that tonight.

After that I started watching Youtube and stuff...a lot of what I watched was how to get perfect lighting for your videos, since mine tends to vary, considering I have to resort to outside light. It would be nice not to have to film always during the day (for fear of turning yellow and having harsh lighting accentuate literally EVERYTHING *shudder*), but I'll probably wait until I'm back in the USA - I don't feel like dragging lighting equipment with me everywhere I go.

Yep. That was pretty much my day....

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday, 1st of Advent

So today...

I spent the morning watching Youtube videos
Ate lunch
Went to a Weinachtsmarkt for a bit (but it was mainly food so I didn't buy anything)
Ate a waffle
And now I'm doing what I'm doing...I'll make myself some Chinese Egg Drop Soup in a little while and hopefully get on Skype after that...

Not much to say about it...just pretty basic.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I'm trying!

Hallo Leute!

So I'm really going to try to post more blogs, even if that means just writing a sentence or two every day. I've been really terrible about keeping it up, but I'm trying now!

Also, I am happy to say I got my editor up and running again (thanks, Dad!) so I'll be posting more vlogs and videos on Youtube again. :)

Other than that....not much is going on. I'm charging my camera battery right now so I can make a video...I might do a tag or something. IDK. I've also been working hard on college applications (go me!) because I have about a month to finish them. AHHHH what is this madness? Me? College? I'm getting old.

I was actually supposed to go to a party tonight but I decided I'm not in the mood so I'm going to stay home. Also my Betreuerin is coming over today (I think) so we'll see how that goes.

Here's my Vlog that I finally got to edit, from a few days ago (and don't judge my singing voice, I was goofing off):

Well, I'm off.

Oh PS, here's pictures from my birthday (minus the Thanksgiving food, which hadn't been put on the table yet):

Friday, November 29, 2013

What I've Learned (so far)

Apparently I'm really bad at keeping up a blog. Oh well, I'm trying.

This month:
I turned 18, I celebrated Thanksgiving on my birthday, I started tutoring kids in English, I saw Catching Fire but had to leave early to catch the bus back, and other than that, it's been fairly average (school, gymnastics, friends). I also started randomly singing Christmas songs while waiting alone for the bus...they just keep popping into my head. I have concluded my movie editor is terrible and yeah. That's that. I'm still trying to film the Vlogs though. Oh, and I'm still waiting for snow.

I decided to write down a few things I've learned in my stay here so far:
1. Real family can't be replaced. Don't take them for granted and always tell them thank you for loving you.
2. You never know who your best friends are until you're separated from them. Best friends don't need to talk every day to be close, but to keep each other in their thoughts and prayers, and always make sure to stay in touch.
3. Being put in new situations is scary, but there's always a way through. You just have to keep trying.
4. If all else fails, cry and hug. It helps.
5. The best German food can't beat a late night run with friends to Cookout or Sheetz.
6. Home is where the heart is. Home is family. Never forget where your real home is.
7. Dubbed-over movies are way worse than subtitles.
8. Mexican food is taken for granted in the USA. Eat it while you have the chance. (I miss it A LOT)
9. Making friends is simple. Figuring out who your real friends are takes time. I'm still doing that here, but I'm starting to figure it out.
10. No matter what, be yourself. Pretending to be someone else for the sake of others has damaging effects.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Whoops, long time.

Soo sorry I haven't posted in a while or put a video up!
My video editor is still acting whacked-out so I'm struggling. Filmed a lot, but no way to put it together. :(

Here's a run-down of everything that's happened:

School is great. I've made friends, gone to a party, etc. I've been doing really well in class. Most of it I've already learned in IB or AP or Honors classes, just this time it's in German. I actually decided not to do the Abitur because I technically don't need it for German university. I then decided I didn't need 3 10-hour days so I took 4 of my 10 classes off the schedule. I'll post a picture below of my schedule...everyone in my grade says it's a dream, although the free periods get really boring if you can't go home and have nothing to do. Oh well, at least there's no stress!
Now we have 2 weeks off for fall break. I still need to decide what to do...hmm...

I'm back into gymnastics for a good month or so now, so yay for that! I have to admit, building the equipment up and down is still really weird for me. I'm so used to having a gym that's there all the time, not training in a school gym. However, I am starting to get a little more used to it...Not to mention somehow a lot of the fears I had before have somehow disappeared with the new environment and I'm trying a lot more stuff, even though we have less mats and less drill-equipment than before. Odd, but good.
We had a competition today so I helped out a little with the sound booth and watched my new team compete. They did really good until bars, where 2 of our 5 fell in their giants. However, we still pulled through and I'm really proud of the girls competing for doing so well!

I turn 18 in a month and 2 days. How weird is that? And since I'm in Germany and 18 here is the "full adulthood age," I'll have reached it before my brother, who turns 21 in America the next day. I think that's the strangest concept of all to grasp: even though I'm nearly 3 years younger, I'll have reached the legal age before my brother. I can just imagine a Lizzie McGuire-type mini-me freaking out about how odd that concept is and how that really shouldn't be possible, but somehow is.

Ever since I've been here I've been starting back into my exercise junkie habits again. Gymnastics, home gym (a Crosser and weight machine and stationary bike), biking, yoga, pilates, videos, yada-yada-yada. I'm also interested in kickboxing but I don't know how to find a class around here. Oh well, hopefully soon!
I'm also trying to ween myself off of the sugar and amazing German chocolate, because as good as it may taste, it's just not good for me. I also plan on telling my host family I can't eat so many carbohydrates. I need to stick to more fruits and veggies and not so much bread because it just doesn't do the job. I feel too sluggish and tired and unhealthy.

This week I haven't been too sick. Some coughing and a bit of a burning throat but not too terrible. I have lost my voice a couple of times. If the throat problem continues I may go see the doctor again, because I already had strep throat while here, so I'm hoping this isn't a reoccurance.

Anyway, I'm going to go to bed, so good night!

Each period is 45 min, between every 2 periods there is a 15 min break, and a 1 hour lunch break between 6th and 7th. The 7-10th hour A/B week schedule means that week A I have 2 periods Math and 2 periods Bio and 2 periods Deutsch, but week B I only have 2 periods Deutsch (7th-8th).

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Summary: Last week

Last few days have been a jumbled mess, but long story short:

I helped my friend Katy find a new host family and she stayed with me for 2 days in between. I even got her invited to a party at my school. I also redyed her hair a more reddish/auburn color during one of my free periods.
I started gymnastics again, and have already started new skills - yay! Only thing is, the gym is in a school gym and we have to build up and down the equipment every practice. My new coach coached the national team of Uruguay for 7 years - the only time he went to the USA was for the Pan-Ams for gymnastics...pretty cool.
I got a bike - it's a child girl's bike and red. Everyone refers to it as "cute" and "sweet" because it's so small. I feel midget-y again. I biked 14 km today.
I baked an American-style cheesecake today and my host sister refused to eat it because it was new.
I've now been invited to three huge birthday parties, and have been found by about half the 12th grade on Facebook.
I've been trying to edit videos but with A LOT of difficulty considering Movie Maker keeps crashing and blahblahblah. It's very frustrating.
I'm in shopping withdrawal.
I'm sick of seeing fields of corn everywhere.
I got a book from the library. It's a historical fiction novel called Children of the Fire (in German).
I've been craving chocolate and gum. I haven't had time to go to the store.
I'm dropping a few classes so I won't have to deal with 10 hour days. I've decided not to do Abitur but instead just try to transfer the credits to the US.
I had strep throat the whole last week. Homeopathic doctor....weird methods.
God I'm bored. Fields and I don't mesh. I miss stores and stuff to do.
It's been cold, gray and rainy.
I eat way too much bread but my host family seems to think I don't eat enough of it. What. Trust me, I do.
Tomorrow my host family wants me to start speaking only English with them. Uh.......I thought the whole point of this exchange was for me NOT to do that.

Anyways, that's basically a summary.
Good night!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Back from the UK!!

So I just got back from London yesterday morning.
Awesome week, will post a blog and a vlog about it as soon as I can edit my other vlogs and put them up. Right now my Movie Maker is acting up and doesn't want to let me edit. :'(
Today is Saturday and I was actually supposed to start gymnastics up again tomorrow, but I brought home a nice, strong cold from I'll wait until Wednesday and hopefully I'll be better by then. Today I'm just lounging around, drinking tea. My host cousin Leonie stayed the night last night. About an hour ago she, Kathi, and I baked a cake so we can have Kaffeezeit later. It's a chocolate and nut pound cake. YUMMMM. I'm charging up my camera battery right now so I can hopefully film a vlog and a London-haul video later. We'll see how the editing goes then...
Today is just rainy, cold, and gray. Apparently it was like that the whole time we were in London. Perfect though, because now I get to use my British flag umbrella! I also love that I get to wear scarves around the clock without being judged.
Anywaysssssssssssssss, I'm also trying to help my friend right now with some issues she's having. Hopefully I'll know by the end of the day if everything works out. If you're reading this, you know who you are. I love you <3 Stay strong. Think of all of your favorite things, and then you won't feel so sad! (Yes, I just kinda-sorta quoted The Sound of Music.)

Hopefully I can edit and put videos up, and photos from the trip!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Last week of camp, coming up!

So today we started the final week of camp.
I'm super sad because I have to leave the wonderful teachers, teamers, and kids but at the same time I'm really excited because I finally get to meet my host family on Saturday!

We started talking about what it's going to be like with the host families yesterday in the Plenum - fears and expectations and such. Today we talked about knowing personal boundaries and boundaries of convenience. We held an auction of values. We also talked some about communication and seeing the big picture in our small groups.

The biggest event of the day was announcing the new game. This time we only have on target at a time - we received a slip of paper with their name and have to find a way to give them something, where both hands are touching the object at the same time, so that they die by taking it. We've already had several casualties, including Sven, a teamer, who freaked out in the dining hall when he died. It was really funny! I've been offered bottles, apples, a chalkboard, several plants, have been blockaded in a room with a bed in the doorway, have almost been hunted down in my own room, and chased through the halls. At one point I just hid. Several people are terrorizing me and I have no clue who is out to get me. That being said I have already come up with several ways to kill my victim.

Oh what fun this week shall be.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Week 2 at Camp

I finally have some time to write a new post. I'll just go over what happened in Week 2 of camp...I can't believe I'm only 6 days away from meeting my host family! But I'll be really sad to leave everyone.

So the week started off with a game. The game has lasted all week. It reminds me of the Hunger Games, actually. Basically, if you are alone with a person (like, no one there to see it or anything), you can kill them by showing them your toothbrush, if both of you are still alive. If there is anyone else even in the area, even 50 feet down the hallway, it's not considered valid. So the whole week there have been a bunch of crazy Americans, teamers and teachers running around with toothbrushes, trying to get people alone (most travel in packs) to kill them. In the common area we have a whole list of "who was killed/when/where/by whom/last words." Also, the whole week we have randomly heard yelling, screaming, shouting, and a whole lot of profanity...along with some hilariously witty last words. I'll take a picture of the list so everyone can read it. It's been a very entertaining week. I got killed on the third day while trying to unlock my door to get into my room. The conversation went like this:
Alyson: "Hey Emily, are you dead yet?"
Me (thinking she was dead): "No"
Alyson: "You are now. Hahahahaha"
Me: *start yelling* UGH! I HATE YOU! *continue yelling*
*Followed by me storming down to write my name and all the info down while Alyson walked away giggling. Only after I wrote it down did I storm back to my room to finish unlocking the door and go inside.*


So the rest of the week was more school, seminars, and activities. Tuesday night for workshops I got to bake cheesecake, my favorite. It was absolutely delicious. We also ended up having a mini dance party while baking. It was great because Zoe and I were working on the same cake and I swear we were such "great bakers think alike" that we sent each other telepathic messages and would start doing the exact same thing at the same time. Later on Sven joined us upstairs in the kitchen. The next day for lunch we ate the cheesecake. Yummmm.

The first few days I was feeling a bit sick, but by Thursday it got a lot better. It happens. We watched another movie on Friday for class. Only a few of us could understand it, though, because the English subtitles weren't working properly. Oh well. I thought it was a great movie.

I also spent time editing and posting pictures on Facebook. There's a new album up now.

Friday night we went to the Altstadtfest in Bad Laasphe. It was pretty fun but we ended up going to the Wittgensteiner Hof to watch the Bremen vs. Dortmund game instead. Almost the entire group was there. Our table was constantly rotating people, although a few of us (Kevin, me, Sven, Linda) stayed pretty much the whole time. There was a creepy old Chilean man who kept serenading me and trying to buy me beer because I could speak Spanish. I ignored it because it was weird. At the end of the night the guy was so drunk he heiled Hitler. At that point we decided to leave. It was incredibly disrespectful. I couldn't believe that had just happened.

On Saturday we spent most of the day doing the Schnitzeljagd with our teams. It was alright but very tiring. After dinner, we went back down to Bad Laasphe. I bought some shampoo and chocolate at REWE and a few people bought some beer and a loaf of bread...ein bisschen komisch, nicht? We again went to the Wittgensteiner Hof, where we, of course, bumped into a bunch of our group. We sat down at a different table but when some of them left and Sven and Jonas came in, we joined that table. After a while we also left to go see the fireworks. Alyson, Caroline, and I huddled under Sven's umbrella because it started to rain pretty hard. The fireworks were nice, but nothing spectacular. After the fireworks were over we hailed a cab and went back to the Schloss. Then I took a shower and went to bed.

So that's been my week in a nutshell. It's had its ups and downs but overall it was really fun!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bad Laasphe/Schloss Witti

So I'm sorry I haven't updated this blog the last few days...It's been a crazy (almost) week.
We arrived in Washington DC on Thursday around 4 PM and I said goodbye to my family. I then went to the lobby to hang out with and meet other CIEEers in my group. A little while later the Germans arrived from the airport. This was the first time the CIEE and Experiment groups had been together at the Washington orientation, ever. We all had German roommates - mine was the sweetest girl named Claudia. Our rooming arrangement worked out well and by the end of the trip everyone was friends with each other. Sorry, I kind of skipped over the Washington part there: we visited the Dept. of State and listened to speakers, visited the Holocaust museum and Pentagon City (a mall), and did group activities.
On Saturday we said goodbye to the Germans and they headed off, and then later we left for the airport. Everything went well and we had a long wait (2.5 hours) before boarding the plane. Katy was able to switch seats so she could sit next to me - we were in the very back of the airplane, which I was fine with because I could lean my chair back pretty far. I watched Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet, and part of The Hobbit. I only slept for about 30 minutes during Moulin Rouge, but the music eventually woke me back up. At 7 AM German time we finally landed, got on the bus and headed to Bad Laasphe on another 2 hour-long ride. I took a bunch of pictures from all of our traveling and will be posting them both on Facebook and here tomorrow. On the bus ride I took a 30 minute nap.
We got to the castle, Schloss Wittgenstein, and went to eat lunch. The food they had? MAULTASCHEN, my favorite food EVER!!!!!! I was so excited to hear that. We did a bunch of activities, including finding our way around Bad Laasphe. I also took pictures of the town. I found my favorite Engelblau Eis, which they don't have in the USA!!
On Monday we took a placement exam of 80 questions to figure out what level of German class we would be put into. We also had a short interview to assess our speaking. While we were waiting for everyone to do the interview, we played a bunch of games like German Taboo and Obstsalat. Then a few of us went on a Spaziergang, or walk, on one of the paths through the forest. I talked to one of the teamers most of the way and found out a little more about university in Germany and also a few other things. It was cool. Later on we found out our placements - I was put into the highest level, not to my surprise. I've found it's a lot easier to speak German here than in the USA because I'm almost completely surrounded by it, except with the other CIEEers who don't know German very well.

I really like it here. We're in the mountains, so the view is absolutely gorgeous, and we're surrounded by trees and nature and all that good stuff. The weather is actually pretty cold, with highs in the mid-60s. It has rained a lot the past few days, but I don't mind since it isn't humid at all here.

My roommate, Morgan, is really chill. She likes yoga and working out, like me, and is a really go-with-the-flow kind of person. There's no bad vibes between us, it's all just calm and chill. We get along really well and got 3rd place in the room-sign contest, behind a pop-out word sign and a German pin sign, so that was really cool for us! I've also been helping her with her German.

I also like the other CIEEers - they're all pretty cool to hang out with. I'm trying to get to know everyone.
The teachers and teamers are also really nice. I really like talking to them and being around them.

Yesterday, several peoples' things were stolen, so everyone was in a panic. We searched everywhere but found nothing, so the police were involved. They questioned the "victims" and they believe that it was probably an outsider, based on the times when things were stolen and all. There is still an investigation going on. The teamers got big boxes for us to put all of our valuables in, so they could keep them locked in their office until we got keys. Today we were finally given keys for our doors. This has never happened in all 30 years of CBYX/PPP, so everyone was just astonished that something like that would actually happen. So now we have keys and everything can be kept safe! I just hope they find the thief and the items that were stolen.

So that's pretty much it for the last few days. I'm going to get ready for bed now, because it is about 12:45 AM in Germany.
Good night, and I'll write more as the adventure continues!
Photos will be up tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Today in a few words.

So today was VERY eventful!

I uploaded my first ever voice-over video to my beauty channel.
I had lunch with a good friend to catch up and say goodbye before I leave.
I bought a gift for my host family. I really hope they like it!
My family had a family portrait photoshoot done, ironically right next door to where I had eaten lunch.
We came home and ate Abendbrot (a German type of dinner - bread with meats, cheeses, etc.).
Then my parents surprised me with a going away/early birthday/Christmas gift - the ever-coveted Canon EOS Rebel T3i camera!!!!!!!! It's an amazing dSLR :) I couldn't be more excited.
After that I taught my brother a card game I learned while in Mexico, and the whole family played the game. Some people call it Coleslaw, others call it Canadian Salad. IDK, but it's super fun! I'll try to teach my host family :)
After that I went upstairs, began to figure out my awesome new camera... and then continued to pack for a while. Tomorrow all that's left is some clothes that I still need to wash, and my makeup. And camera. And installing the camera software onto my laptop.
And then I checked my email and found an email containing a letter from Kathi, my host sister, and a letter from Anne, my host mom. They attached pictures of their backyard and it's sooooo adorable! They have a coy fish pond, several sitting areas, the cutest shed, etc., etc. I'm really excited to meet them and live there! It's a small town but it's actually really similar to the town I grew up in, before moving to Halle (Saale).

Tomorrow I'll post pics using my camera so everyone can see what I mean by freaking AMAZING.
Now, I'm going to try to get some sleep. Busy day tomorrow.

Good night!

Monday, August 5, 2013

3 days and Oxford

My brother, Lukas, was on a 6-week study abroad program in Oxford, England.
Today he finally came home, only to be so jet lagged that he was struggling to stay awake by 6 pm (our time).
He brought me a teddy bear with an Oxford University sweater on. It's so cute and I love it.

Today was my last day at the gym. It was really sad because I realized I wouldn't be stepping into my second home for a whole year.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful...just packed a little and went out to dinner with the family.

We are currently 3 day (almost 2 since it's a little after 10pm) away from going to Washington, D.C. where I'll be saying goodbye to my family and hello to a new family of 49 other CIEEers. I really feel like, even though we haven't all met, we're already really great friends. Language camp in Bad Laasphe is going to be so much fun!

Friday, August 2, 2013

On Growing Up in Germany

As pretty much everyone who knows me knows, I grew up in Germany.
I moved there when I was just months old and lived there until I was nearly 10. I grew up going to German schools with German friends and doing gymnastics afterward, with German teammates and coaches.

This is actually not very typical, since most Americans who move to Germany usually go because one or both parents are stationed there in the military. Often they will go to international schools, where they study in English, and will therefore not learn German.

Not me. I learned German at the same time I was learning English. All my friends were German and couldn't really speak any English at all. Where I lived, our family used English as a Geheimsprache, or secret language.

That's why it always catches me off-guard when people ask me if I speak German. My usual answer is, "Yeah...I lived there for 10 years." And then I'll be reminded that most people are expecting military kids who usually don't speak it very much. Sure, some do, but a lot don't. The second thing people tell me that catches me off-guard is, "Whoa, that's so cool!" and things like that. I never really know how to respond to that question. Here's my reasons why:

        1. I grew up there. That was my life.
        2. I don't know what it's like to grow up as an American. I always considered myself more Euro-kid.
        3. I was completely surrounded by Germans so I don't notice anything "so cool" about it. They're just people, like you and me.
        4. Since I speak German, I don't think there's anything cool or strange about how it sounds. I don't know how it sounds to non-German speakers because I never didn't know German.
        5. To me, being a MCK (multi-cultural kid) is normal. I have no idea what it's like to just be from one country completely. To me, being in Germany was a normal childhood. I don't know what a "normal childhood" constitutes for non-MCKers.

I don't know if I'm explaining it exactly how I mean it, but I can't think of another way to put it. It's just, to me, being raised in Germany seems normal because that was my life. To others, being raised however they were raised seems normal to them because that was their life. You see what I mean?

There is no one standard for what's normal. So what might seem way-out-there-awesome to someone is completely normal to someone else, and vice-versa.

Just rambling...that was just something I observed that I wanted to share my feelings on.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I can't even contain my excitement.
I'll be living in Südlohn, Germany. It's on the border of the Netherlands.
I have two younger siblings (12 - Kathi, 14 - Patrick), two host parents, and fish for a family.
They seem like they're really active and into sports, as well as things like music, travel, and such.

I'm so excited to meet them!!!

As promised in the last post...

So as I promised in the last post, I'd give the link to my Vlog Youtube channel, for anyone that even cares about my random ramblings.

The first post will probably be later today, after I've finished working out and showered and all that good stuff. I've been working out all morning, so I look kind of gross. No videos of that!

But basically a few minutes ago the song "This Girl is on Fire" by Alicia Keys popped into my head. I then made my own rendition of it. I call it "My Abs are on Fire" - can you guess what I've been focusing on this morning for workout???? (Hint: it's in the song title)

Anyway, before I get too off-topic, here's the link:

So if you want to, please subscribe so you can enjoy, laugh at, or ignore my videos. Either way, subscribe! There's no requirement saying you have to watch all of the videos but if there's ever something that catches you're attention, feel free to watch!

Disclaimer: I may act a little weird if I'm especially tired...or at any time. Remember, I'm talking to a computer. Anything may happen. And it might be odd. But I'm not apologizing for that. If you don't like it, click the "X" on the corner of the internet tab.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Random (Ir)Relevant Rambling

So a few days ago I made my official Youtube channel. I've gotten a few views and a subscriber (of course I'm not expecting anything major for the first few weeks just because it's a slooooooow process, but I really don't care). I've found I actually really like making videos for Youtube. It's fun! Even the editing and all that good stuff.

But I've decided I'm going to make another Youtube channel. For what? VLOGS!! So I can record my random, sometimes boring, sometimes awesome life in the US and in Germany for everyone to see...although I doubt anyone will care. But I guess it'll be kind of like this blog, except in video format. I'll also be posting videos on health and fitness on that channel because I am an exercise junkie. I don't care, I love it!!! (You see what I did there? Hint: Icona Pop)

I've also decided I want to save up for a better camera because the one I have right now is good for pictures but terrible for videos. So I've been doing research and decided if I'm going to save up, I'm going to make it big and save for a DSLR. So my pick? The Canon EOS Rebel t3i. I've seen videos done with this one and the quality is amaaaaazing! It's $599... oh well. I guess I better start saving now.

On another note, I still don't have a host family. And we have like, nine days before we leave. What.

I've already started packing my pink suitcases with clothes and stuff. And I went shopping this weekend to get a couple of basic things for the first month at language camp that will also last me for the year (like the only jeans that come in 00/short - American Eagle).

And then I couldn't resist, so today after practice I went shopping at Target (again)...I bought three new pairs of workout shorts! Black, pastel neon pink, pastel neon tangerine. You guys don't realize how excited I am about that. Like, way too excited.

Today at practice I learned another new leap (the first was switch ring-straddle half). This was the switch straddle jump/leap. So YAY! I've also been working on punch front full layouts (I can get the full into the pit, and about 3/4 full onto a mat), as well as front aerials, which are looking really good! Basically anything I can do that doesn't involve my arms is good. I tried doing a handstand again for the first time about a week ago, and while it was slightly crooked because my elbow isn't completely straightened out (although it's really close), I'd still call it a success.

So all in all I've had a good few days and tomorrow I get to hang out with my best friend before I leave. I haven't seen her since before I went to Mexico because we've both been so busy.

So yeah! Once I make my Vlog channel, I will post the link to the blog. I am not, however, posting the link to my first channel on here because honestly I'd rather have strangers watching it than people I know watching it and judging me. For now, at least, that just kind of makes me uncomfortable. Until I know people actually like my videos, I'll be keeping that one to myself.

I think that's all I'm going to talk about tonight. I think I covered most of my bases. I probably forgot some stuff but whatevs. So, I'm gonna go back to either exercising or watching Youtube videos because I have no life. JK I do. Duhhh I'm alive, so I have a life...just not a particularly interesting one right now.

xoxo Emily

Thursday, July 18, 2013

An almost potential

Last week I was in Chiapas, Mexico on a mission trip with Hebron de Desarrollo Tzeltal. We went to Yaxoquintela to help build a church. While I could not do the physical labor because of my still-recovering elbow (I dislocated it during gymnastics practice a few weeks ago), I helped serve as translator (a lot), VBS leader, and helped in the kitchen.

While I was there, I was basically off the grid. No internet, no cell phone, no anything. So on Sunday when I was in the airport in Chicago, right before we were about to leave I borrowed a friend's phone to call my parents and tell them what time our flight was expected to land.

I called and my dad told me that on Wednesday Juliette had sent an email about a potential family, who was really into winter sports (like skiing and winter camping, whatever that is). They were allowing me until the Monday (the day after I got back) to decide if I would be up for having them host me. The request, however, was sent to a couple of other girls. So after thinking about it a little, I decided, "Why not just go for it? Take a chance!" and by mid-day Monday, I called Juliette to let her know I was interested.

Long story short, another girl said yes while I was still in Mexico and the family decided to go with her.

So here I am, exactly 3 weeks before we leave for Washington, DC. No host family. Still waiting.

Hopefully I'll hear soon.

Friday, May 31, 2013

All I want for summer's a host family.

All I ask for is a host family. Several fellow CBYX/CIEEers have gotten them now and they all sound so perfect! I'm excited because I know I'll be put with a good family, but I'm also anxious because I just want to know.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Just an update...

We've started receiving more e-mails from CBYX/CIEE for details about departure and yada yada yada.

I also got an e-mail from Julia saying Experiment, e.V. wanted a different headshot. I gave them one that was taken at my friend's 18th birthday, and Julia said it was perfect for what they were looking for. I hope this means they are getting ready to send my secondary application to host families to choose (or however that works, but that's what I've heard they do).

Currently, I'm finishing up 11th grade in IB (so right now I'm in the middle of tests and projects). I have a little over a week left and then I'm done! YAY! I've already taken my IB and AP exams, now it's just the common finals and projects.

I also have two more competitions coming up - State Meet this weekend and Regional Meet next weekend, in Charleston, SC. I'm really excited, I have a really good feeling about these. Wish me luck!

Besides that, I'm basically just waiting to get a host family. Host family, please come soon! I just want to know...(*sad face*).

Yup, that's it!
See you guys later!

Monday, April 22, 2013

I'm Ready

At this point, I'm just waiting to hear more information from CBYX, either about the orientation and packing or about my host family.

I feel like I've mentally moved on from Greensboro. I'm ready to just finish school and leave...
Is anyone else feeling like that yet?

I'm ready for bigger and better things, new adventures, and new people.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

All Done

Today I sent off my secondary application, which is the one CBYX and Experiment use to determine which host family to put you with. It felt weird to say I was finished with it and all I had to do was put it in the mail. From now on I'll have to let CBYX handle finding me the family I'll be living with for 10 months.
That sounds so strange to actually say. I'm done with applications. All I have to do now is wait.
And wait.
And wait.
And wait.
But I'm really excited! I hope they find a host family really soon, and I really hope all goes well!
To all of my fellow CBYXers/CIEEers:
WE ARE DONE!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

So I'll start off the blog the proper way, talking about my experience with the application for CBYX CIEE.

I applied last year, and made it through the semi-finalist interview, only to be accepted as an alternate. So I ended up spending junior year in the USA.

I ended up reapplying, because I remembered that they had encouraged that. I got one recommendation letter from Freebird, the best teacher I've had as of yet. The other was by my former Spanish teacher, Sra. Howard. After sending in my application, I got the email asking for the interview location, and I thought "I really get another chance? Yay! This time I'll make the best of it!" That's exactly what I did. At the interview I really got to know everyone in the group as best I could, and tried to really be myself. Our entire group hit it off so well, and by the end we were all hoping that we could all just go together. We had already established friendship, which was a really great feeling. In the interview, I answered all the questions, which were the same as the previous year, honestly and I tried to elaborate on anything I could. I talked about what gymnastics means to me, my life in Germany as a child, and a lot of other things. The gymnastics topic must have been interesting, because I was asked about the German Olympic Gymnastics Team, as well as what my favorite event was, etc. Lucky for me, it was a good topic to rave about ;) 

After all of that was over, it was just a matter of waiting.

Then, on our school's Early Release Day on March 13, CIEE called my house. I was out at lunch with friends, so when my dad called to tell me I had gotten a call, they were the first to see my OMG face! I knew that only those who were accepted got called. I rushed home and called back, and that's when they told me I was officially a CBYXer!!!!! You can't even imagine how excited I was.

Here's a picture of the email.

Sorry it's a little weird - the cut and paste thing was a little off.

Anyway, now I'm just working on filling out the second application, to be placed with a host family. I'll be talking to the school counselors today - wish me luck!!