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.