Thursday, February 27, 2014

Today I had no school because they were taking their Klausur tests and it took up the whole morning and I don't have afternoon classes on Thursday. I went on a walk to clear my head. Feeling the fresh air against my face was really nice. I ended up coming home with unsweetened banana chips (somehow it's always either that or nuts). Yup. That's pretty much it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A little philosophy is good for the soul...

Keep reading until the end for my philosophical story.

I think spring is coming soon.
Birds are starting to sing again, we have had a couple sunny days, the wind is a little warmer...and forecasted temperatures are in the high 40s and low 50s (Fahrenheit, of course).

Yesterday in English we were looking at some of our classmates' analyses to "The Last Night of the World" by Ray Bradbury...we first corrected the grammar (although there were a few mistakes both in the originals and corrections from others, most of it was well written) and then talked about the content. My teacher's funny line: "Maybe I should have you (me) here when I correct the class tests. It's a lot faster than using the dictionary."

Meanwhile my host sister's boyfriend decided to stay the week instead of just the weekend, which is nice for them.

Also, I had the longest Skype conversation with my parents on Sunday - nearly two hours with one minor interruption. Usually they are shorter and are interrupted an average of three or four times because of the bad WiFi connection I have in my room. It was really nice - we talked about our trip to Greece, the upcoming summer, college stuff, Grandma Carol, and their awesome work in the gym. ;)

As far as I know, I have sent everything in for the college applications that was still now I get to be tortured by the awful wait. Oh well. I just hope it turns out well considering I've worked my entire life for this moment.

I also thought about how surreal my return home will be. Here's what I picture in my mind (and I already know it's exactly what will happen):
I fly home to Washington. I drive 6 hours in the car to good ol' Greensboro, NC with my parents (and yes, I will be driving part of the time), I enter my house and drop my bags at the front door which irritates my mom but it's force of habit and my suitcases will be heavy, I take off my shoes and socks, walk upstairs, and flop (yes, flop) onto my [new] bed. I will start thinking. About life, what got me to that point, and my year living away from my family on a different continent. Surreal. It will feel like a very long dream. I will be home in a place that has not changed since I left. But I will have changed. This year has changed me so much. It will continue to change me these last 3.5 months I am still here. But I will be home where everything has stayed the same, moving forward a year without me. It's not like moving to a new place and never going back. I will be dropping myself into the world I knew as a completely new person. The last year will seem like a daydream, a hallucination maybe. And the only evidence I will have that it actually happened is myself through my memories, my personality, my knowledge. No one else can tell me what is real. Only I can. A man named Bertrand Russell once wrote, "So far as things are concerned, we may know them or not know them, but there is no positive state of mind which can be described as erroneous knowledge of things, so long, at any rate, as we confine ourselves to knowledge by acquaintance. Whatever we are acquainted with must be something; we may draw wrong inferences from our acquaintance, but the acquaintance itself cannot be deceptive." He also talked about knowledge of truths, but this was a different truth that what I'm talking about. I believe that my memories are "things" because I can only know them by acquaintance. No one else can tell me that they do or do not exist, because they have not nor will ever experience what I have. Thus, this adventure will seem like a dream.

Thank you, Freebird, for being an outstanding philosophy teacher - your lessons in school and in life will always stay with me.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Don't You Rain On My Parade

Divergent is such a good book. I'm nearly finished with it. I really do love dystopia-related books, I've realized. We were talking about dystopian and utopian books and stories in my English class because they had that topic last year and it'll be on their Klausur (test like a benchmark or mid-term) next week. Most of them said they don't like those kinds of books after having read 1984 last year. Meanwhile I think aside from historical fiction involving a woman as a main character (not that specific considering I like it from almost all time periods - I think that love began with the American Girl books and grew into more sophisticated reading), dystopian books are probably one of my favorite genres. The first dystopian book I ever read was The Giver in fifth grade, followed by books like The City of Ember and its sequel, The Hunger Games, and a bunch more (even in German). So naturally, Divergent followed to be one of my loves and I am so excited for the movie!
We also read a short story by Ray Bradbury. 3 of us (Pauline, Alina and I) thought it was good but the rest didn't like it. Oh well. It reminded me of the Twilight Zone, which is always cool in my opinion.

Yesterday the girls and I made ricotta crêpes from DJ Foodie's website. They were really good but took a long time to cook and somehow we managed to not make as many as we thought would turn out, even when we doubled the recipe. We made 10 crêpes. It was still really fun though. We also watched Youtube videos and Germany's Next Top Model. Around 10 pm I rode home. It was pouring rain, direction: at my face. So basically I was lucky I could still see the street through the rain and mascara in my eyes. By the time I arrived one of my eyes was hurting so bad from the water/mascara mix in it that I had had to keep it shut and ride with one eye open...very slowly, mind you. Luckily my coat kept the rest of me dry, and my jeans were only partially soaked. But I cleaned myself up, put on nice, warm PJs and hopped into bed...where I ended my night by watching more Youtube and reading Divergent.

In other news, my host sister's LDBF (long-distance boyfriend) is coming for the weekend so she's picking him up at some point this evening.
Also, considering the fact that I haven't eaten anything today because my stomach wasn't doing too well, I should probably go make myself some food.

Talk to you later!

Monday, February 17, 2014

You got me trippin', stumblin', flippin', oh fumblin'....

Today was a day of clumsiness: I stepped on a nail (why it was on my carpet I have no idea), tripped up the stairs, hit my bike on a curb and basically tripped into my bike. I don't know why but today something was just out to get me.

Meanwhile I filmed the same video twice today. The first time the sun wasn't out and then the sun came out so I re-did it and then I wasn't happy with it because I was talking way too fast. Awesome. So I'll do that again tomorrow or something...

Today I only had two hours (1.5 hours technically) because History fell out. So I went to school for English...I feel like that's just counterproductive but I was happy when I found out it was my only class of the day. Who wouldn't be happy?

Other than that, I have nothing to report. It was a pretty average day.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Becoming a Foodie by Nature

So for anyone who has been wondering why I've been liking Low-Carb/Sugar-Free/whatever on Facebook (and my fellow CIEEers who saw me suffer in Bonn), here's my story.

For a while I was feeling pretty bad. I don't normally eat junk food but I was feeling just as cruddy as if I was: upset stomach, migraines, fatigue and all that good stuff. I ended up going to the doctor because I didn't know why I was feeling so down when I was eating healthy meals and all. After going through my daily routine, he said he suspected it might be carbohydrate intolerance. So I had to go through two weeks of absolutely no carbs whatsoever, which was pretty miserable because it was very hard finding food but I was feeling better. I resorted to salads, eggs, and nuts and meat when it was available (not the processed lunchmeats). After the two weeks I went back to the doctor to report. It was pretty clear I had CI, meaning things like potatoes and beans which have a lot of carbs basically can't process well in my body. To go even further in-depth, he wanted to test allergies to make sure there wasn't any extra allergies that were causing me to throw up (sorry for the visuals guys). It ended up with me testing positive to wheat and gluten allergies but luckily not dairy. So that meant that rather than just making me not feel good, my body was resisting those completely, which is why I threw all of that back up whenever I ate it.

Anyway, spinning that into a good thing. I've been doing a lot of research on food substitutes, low-carb meals, wheat and gluten free recipes and so on. So to answer questions, no I am not on a diet trying to lose weight. I don't need to lose any more weight than I already have this year. Yes, I did lose a few pound in those two weeks completely without carbs but that was not the goal. The goal was for me to stop having health issues and I've finally figured out why I was having problems and I am not correcting it with a healthy lifestyle. While my diet is now pretty restricted on some levels, I am determined to make the best of it and find yummy recipes that will do my body good.

Benefits: staying healthy and being pretty guaranteed to stay in shape, being forced to stay away from junk food (a good thing), most meals have ingredients that can be substituted, and learning to cook meals for myself.
Cons: it can be hard not eating everything everyone else is eating, sometimes restaurants aren't very accomodating, I'll have to read labels very carefully........
But it's completely worth it and not really an option anymore.

So that is my story and full explanation to answer any questions.

And yes I will be baking with friends on Thursday. They were very respectful and let me choose a recipe so I can eat it as well. We will be making ricotta crepes from and I'm pretty darn excited.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Blurbs and Books

Yesterday I got all the school reports sent out to my eight colleges...for tiny little letters it cost 12 euros...that's kind of insane BUT I figured it's definitely worth investing in my college future. That's really my number one priority so I am willing to do anything for it.

I also watched The Blind Side in German with my host family...and ended up having to explain why it was such a big deal that the tutor told the family she was a democrat (is that supposed to be capitalized? I'm losing my English). Also, it was weird without the southern accents.

I started reading the book friend got it in English and so she's letting me borrow it. Let's be honest - books are best when in the original language. My friends think so, too, which is why she got it in English and several have read Harry Potter (the holy grail of all books btw) in English. I would love to read The Unbearable Lightness of Being (11th grade reading material I actually really enjoyed) in Czech but that is one language I cannot speak (yet). Anyways...back to Divergent. It's a good book (LUKAS and MOM - you NEED to read it) and reminds me a bit of The Hunger Games trilogy, The Giver, and those German Die Windsänger books we have at home...that I just realized I never actually finished (I was too young). Basically a semi-sci-fi, dystopia-type book...also a really easy read. I started it on Thursday and before I knew it (it felt like 5 minutes but was probably a bit longer) I was already at page 45.
I highly recommend it.

In other news, my host sister's spray detangler basically exploded and leaked all over the bathroom. Product defects are often interesting. She also left for a interview/seminar in Bonn (sound familiar?) for a voluntary year in a third-world country. She'll be back tomorrow. My other host sister Anne, Iris, and I went to Holland this morning to go shopping and look for a bathing suit for Anne. I didn't buy anything (go me!) but there are some really nice stores there.

Plans are iffy for the rest of the day. (I love the word iffy but can never use it so yay!) I've been watching Meghan Rienks's Youtube videos and obsessing over Mish and Dom's perfect relationship and their beautiful faces. I'll start editing one of the other LK videos later.

Also I know you guys don't care but my hair has been acting really weird. IDK what it is, but it's basically resisting my shampoo and either being really dry after I take a shower or being super greasy even, like, the next morning. It's grossly stringy and flat and should NOT be because I washed it last night. I'm probably just going to need to get a different shampoo because apparently this one is not happening for me...*sigh* at least it was almost empty anyway and maybe I can finish it later on.

Oh, and today is really windy. Not like a normal "bad windy" but like in an extreme "hurricane windy" way. So that's no fun.

And yesterday was warm enough for me to have to teach myself how to take off gloves while riding a bike. I was successful and a lot cooler afterward. It was warm enough for me to take off my scarf, but I'd have to stop for that one because I'm not pulling a scarf over my eyes for even a split second while riding a bike...and I didn't feel like stopping. Hence the glove lesson.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!

So I didn't celebrate with a guy, flowers and chocolates....that just doesn't happen for me (well it did last year but that was an anomaly). Instead I went to school, with a three hour break inbetween...and afterward I filmed the LK video for our history class. It was cool because I got to work the camera, direct the scenes (little Emily is turning into a producer/director/cameraperson/editor) and I'll be editing the video, along with 7 others. I have two for over the weekend that I can edit. I love my new thing for cinematography. It's a really amazing hobby and I can't believe I didn't do it for so long.

So that was my Valentine today. I've found my second love aside from gymnastics.

Since this is a day of love, I also want to give a shoutout to my family and friends. Recent events made me realize how important that is and how suddenly it can disappear. So we should love and appreciate our friends and family every second of every day while we still have them. <3


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Passing of a friend

I'm sad to say I'm writing once again about death.

When I first moved to America, we started attending Trinity Covenant Church. There I was welcomed into open arms by the youth at the church, which was headed by the most amazing youth pastor and most generous and loving man. His name was David Bowden. He was a very tall man and we nicknamed him "Tree." He has a wife and two daughters, who are a couple years younger than I am. I remember him always smiling and happy. He found joy in every part in his life, through his work and through his ministry serving God. Everyone loved him and loved being around him. He willingly made fun of himself and acted crazy in front of everyone to make them smile. He headed up our church musicals and VBS and youth group. I remember him dying his hair blonde at the end of VBS because we had raised enough money for the Upward Basketball program. I remember him picking me up and throwing me into the 12ft deep pool in Myrtle Beach the summer before sixth grade. There were tons of memories and every one of them makes me smile whenever I think about them. Although we switched churches halfway through seventh grade, the three years with him were pretty amazing, and I think anyone who knew him would agree with that.

I found out about Tree's passing today through a text from my dad. I immediately started writing. I can't believe he's gone. It seems like just yesterday I was going to youth group singing songs with everyone while he played the guitar. The last time I saw him was at a Mexican restaurant two years ago, although I hadn't realized it had been that long. I'm sad about his passing. Really sad in fact. He left a great mark on my childhood and I will always be thankful for that. But mostly I feel sad for those who really knew him: his family. His daughters and his wife have suffered such a huge loss and I can't even begin to imagine their pain. I pray for them and wish them all the best and hope that they can find comfort and happiness in his loving memories at this time and in the future. He was very young. Too young to die. But he's in heaven with God and we all know he is safe and happy there. Although it hurts right now, we will see him again someday. We will never know why, but I believe that it was God's plan to take him and there must be a reason for that.

David Bowden is loved and missed by all. While his body may be gone, his spirit will forever live in the lives he has touched through his ministry to God, to the church, and to the youth. He was and always will be a loyal servant, great father, friend to all, and amazing man.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A tribute to America's Sweetheart

Just learned about Shirley Temple Black's passing yesterday...
She was my favorite actress growing up and I watched basically all of her movies. I remember she would always just bring me joy.
She touched a lot of hearts, both young and old, and will go down in history as being America's Sweetheart.
After her acting career she became very involved in the community through political and social activism. She even survived cancer. She has received numerous awards and honors throughout her life and contributed a great deal to society.
Shirley will always be held dear to us and America will miss her.

Shirley Temple Black
April 23, 1928-February 10, 2014

Let's talk about the weather

Yesterday I went to Münster. It was lovely. We went to the Picasso museum, where they also had a Matisse exhibit. After that we went shopping. Mind you, I haven't bought an article of clothing since London and that was in early September. I ended up coming away with two tops I can wear now and in the spring and summer, and a rose gold colored necklace!
Also, my parents told me it was snowing in Greensboro again...we've had no snow here in Vreden. Legit none. And I checked Today's forecast for Greensboro is a high of 38 degrees. It's already 4 degrees warmer at 9:23AM and should get to a high of 46 degrees. We also live way farther up north than our counterparts in Greensboro, so I ask Mother Nature, "Why?"
Anyways...if it's gonna be too warm for snow, can it at least really warm up? I really want spring.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Keep it simple, sweetie (I thought that was nicer).

The interview went well.
R.I.P.D. is a funny movie, at least in German.
I love tea. Probably too much.
I bought a day planner/organizer from Amazon. It's white and cute and I'm excited to start color coding my schedule.
I made about 3 checklists dealing with college applications yesterday. Color coded, of course.
Today I feel short. I like it.
I want to go shopping.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Rant being over about the living conditions at Sochi, I must say they redeemed themselves somewhat with the opening ceremony.

A Nonlinear Review of the Week

I am now in charge of editing 6 of the LK class videos...apparently word got out that I can do that. I've done two already so that's good. Editing is fun for me. I like seeing what I can do with it to make it a good final product and learning new things every time I edit.

Today I have my UPenn interview (in an hour actually) I've spent the morning preparing. Also, Anne (host sister) is coming home today.

Yesterday I went to a comedic act thingy with Rebekka and Iris. It was really funny in a typical German humor sense...very different from American humor but still funny.

Yes I realize this blog is not in chronological order. I figured I'd just switch it up.

Wednesday I worked on editing the video for the LK math class. One part is just so funny, I could not stop laughing every time I watched it.

That's pretty much it.

Also right now I'm waiting for lunch to be ready and listening to some song about the Hard Rock that's interesting.


Friday, February 7, 2014

2014 Winter Olympics: Sochi

So today I'm going to talk about something different. I felt like I needed to just say something to this whole thing so here's my rant:

All over the place I've been hearing bad news about Sochi. I didn't really believe it could be that bad until I saw this piece online titled "#Sochi - Where did the $51 billion go?":

So um...yeah. Let's talk about this.
Most of the hotels are not done, reservations that had been booked months in advance were no where to be found, the water and heating is out after less than a day of use, the rooms are bare and falling apart, the food is NOT the breakfast of champions (although I do give props for at least stating the caloric intake, even if we're not quite sure what the food is), and the outside isn't that great - or safe - either.

I'm sorry but that is super disturbing and unacceptable. Most people staying at these hotels are OLYMPIANS. They've worked their entire lives for this moment, dreamed about it since they were little, went through struggles and injuries and came out to be OLYMPIANS. It should be the moment everyone dreams of. It should be the happiest couple of weeks of their lives. But instead they get to stay at what would be about 1/2 star-rated hotels that should NOT be in operation for personal safety. All they do is think about how miserable it will be living in those horrible conditions while trying to prepare for the biggest moment of their lives.

Sochi had the privilege of being chosen to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. It is a privilege and should be treated with honor and respect, not carelessness. By being careless, they enraged the world, destroyed their own reputation and crushed the dreams of every Olympian competing there in the upcoming weeks.

To that I will use the popular slang term:

I can't even.

Monday, February 3, 2014


So I didn't actually get  around to filming my video yesterday because I ended up reorganizing some stuff in my room and by the time I was done the daylight was gone. I'm gonna try to film a video after I finish this blog post...I'm not even sure what I want to do in the video but I'll figure something out. I'll probably just go look at my handy-dandy idea list.
We also got new class schedules but I wasn't there 5th/6th because I don't have class then, so I left before they made the announcement to go pick them up. I'll just go tomorrow. Hopefully my schedule won't be too messed up. I really like it how it is now. We'll see...
Other than that, it was lovely talking to Samia over Skype even if we were both having some voice issues and even though my internet decided to be lame. At least we got to chat for a little bit.
College stuff is almost done (thank goodness, I'm so over this...). I got another alum interview for UPenn so I need to schedule that.

Well I'm off to (hopefully) film a video.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Brown and Youtube

Yesterday I uploaded a new video to my Vlog channel...Today I'll probably film a video for my beauty channel (finally, it's been forever).
I also had my interview for Brown University yesterday over Skype and it ended up lasting over an hour. I personally think it went really well, so I was excited about that. Then that evening I just hung out with my host sister and a friend from school.
This morning I dealt with more college stuff and then watched Youtube videos.
I'm also trying to schedule a time to help my friend edit a video for that might happen today or sometime later this week.

But yeah, that's basically it. I'll probably end up recording the Super Bowl and watching it later (because it airs at 12:05 AM tonight and I have school in the morning) or I'll watch it at my friend's house if I can't figure out the recording stuff on this TV.