Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Well, fancy meeting you here again!

Hey Everybody!

My summer so far has been a whorlwind of traveling, but I am enjoying it. Today is one of the few days I have at home this summer, so I am trying to catch myself up on everything. As far as "work" is going this summer, I would say good. I am still reading the Tempest, keeping a summer journal, reading tons of plays, and studying my Biology book a little bit in preparation for next year. I think that instead of writing about it, I am going to share some pictures, because it is faster, easier, and probably more beautiful. Just one note before I go: I will try to keep up this blog, but I don't know how much I will be writing on it in the coming months. You can always check out my poetry blog, which is listed on the side, because I do try to write on that, though not as much during the summer. Have a great rest of vacation!


That's me! (From a fun "photo shoot" with a friend)

Ferry trip to visit grandparents.

Sunset over a lake in Maine where we spent a relaxing two weeks.

Waterfall from a hike we did while in Colorado.

Possibly my favorite picture this summer. Taken outside after rain at my grandparents' house. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

This post is about...

What a year. At this moment, I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that the year is over. I have been home schooled for a year. I succeed. I am more happy than I can say. Recent updates: I received the highest grade in my class on the math final with a 99. I got honors grades in German, and I am writing this month now that I do not have classes. I am including in this post a brief write up of my year. At some point this summer, I think I will go more in depth about this wonderful year, but for now I just want to relax and let it all sink in. I will continue to check in over the summer with reading and what I have been up to.

My Year

The year is drawing to a close, the weather turning warm and my thoughts drifting
from academics to beaches and from schooling to strolling outside. While my former classmates sit in school, I am taking the moment to reflect on a year that has changed my life for the better. What began as a joke at the kitchen table one night turned to a year of self discovery and the simple idea that when I put my mind to it, I can do anything.

This year, my family and I made the decision that I was to take my education into my own hands. In the previous year, I had adored school, loved my friends and teachers, but was not learning or being engaged in the class as much as I should have. I quickly grew bored in the classroom, and I felt for the teachers who tried hard to teach both ends of the spectrum, but often fell short with students who were passionate about learning and ready to put in the extra work. When my mother suggested home schooling, I thought it was absolutely crazy, but wonderful, and I quickly became excited about a year of learning at my pace, with material that was right for me.

What began as home schooling soon morphed into something much bigger. This year has not just been about me meeting educational requirements, but I feel it has been wonderful in helping me connect with my world. I have worked with many people in the community of Andover, relatives, close family, and even several high school teachers that I may have next year. All along this path, I have continued to find things that interest me, things that make me passionate about learning and really connecting with others over our shared interests.

Whenever I tell people about my home schooling, I jokingly refer to it as, “home-alone schooling,” because I do a lot of the work by myself. It is not that I am not taught by others, it is that I take that knowledge and turn it into projects and ideas that I feel would be helpful and fun. I love taking the initiative and doing things on my own, and that mind set has really made this year special. Over the course of the past ten months, I have found so much inside of myself and around me that I had never thought of before, and that has been the best part of this experience.

This year, I have traveled alone to meet my great aunt in North Carolina and study pottery. I have sang Mozart and had my first dance performance, published articles for the Andover Historical Society’s blog (, volunteered with a charming kindergarten class once a week, written poetry, read autobiographies, entered a national statistics poster competition, had high school level math and German courses in which I received honors grades all year, read five Shakespeare plays, written papers, taken pictures, corresponded with authors about writing and poetry, practiced calligraphy, seen drama productions, learned about the science of sailing, and done many other things that make me smile when I look back on the year. Every moment, every new activity or new book from the library has made me happy, and I love that getting up in the morning ready to learn is fun.

I have learned that although I am the only one to answer to if I don’t do the work, I am capable of buckling down, because answering to myself is not easy. I am a perfectionist who knows how to be independent, and this year has only fueled the fire of my desire to learn as much as possible about whatever interests me. This will be a year to look back on for years to come, and I have loved every second of it. Today, I am collecting a sample of my work in a portfolio, and I will also include links to places where I have different projects online. Thank you to everyone who has allowed this year to be, and to everyone who has made this part of my life so special.  


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Photographing Water

An interesting project this morning, several hours and hundreds of shots plus getting myself very wet got me a couple good water pictures. I will be sure to continue trying, as I want to get better and I had so much fun!

The focus is not perfect, but I think they will get better as I try them more often. 

Monday, May 7, 2012


sunshine after a week of rain
Julius Caesar
green tea
project 365 and baseball pictures
Agatha Christie biography

Not So Good:
feeling tired
math homework
too much to do

Monday, April 23, 2012

Wet Garden

Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from an afternoon excursion through my garden. It rained heavily this morning, which was miserable, but made for some great pictures. Try viewing them large to see the drops of water more clearly.


TODAY is the 448th Birthday of who many people, including me, think is the best writer to have ever lived, William Shakespeare. 

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564, and became one of the most influential playwrights in the world. He was born in a London suburb called Stratford-Upon-Avon, married Anne Hathaway at age 18, and later had twins named Hamnet and Judith, as well as an older girl named Susanna. Shakespeare moved to London around the turn of the century and became a playwright, one who quickly became the talk of London, even performing for the queen.

Shakespeare wrote thirty seven plays and many sonnets and longer poems, which were collected by his friends after his death in what is referred to as the First Folio. Shakespeare died on his birthday, April 23rd, 1616, but his work will most likely live on forever.

The words of The Bard continue to shape our cultures and our worlds today, inspiring us and making us laugh and cry. He was a genius, and I wish him a very happy birthday today.

"Look, he is winding up the watch of his wit
By and by it will strike"

"Et tu, Brute?"

"If music be the food of love, play on"

"Be not afraid of greatness:
Some are born great, some achieve greatness,
and some have greatness thrust upon 'em"

"A jest's prosperity lies in the ear of him that hears it,
Never in the tongue of him that makes it"

The State of Things

Quick List...

Feeling Energized on Mondays
92 on a Math Test, not to brag or anything...
Service of All the Dead by Colin Dexter
Writing lost scenes for Julius Caesar (ghosts, anyone?)
Understanding Circles in Math Class
Ein Mann Zu Viel, our short but authentic German crime book
Reading Poetry
Drinking hot tea for breakfast on a cold day
Listening to David Copperfield while doing homework
Modern Dance
Wet flowers to take Pictures of
Chorus Concert Coming Up

Persistant cold rain
Wind That Keeps You Awake
Rain that interferes with taking pictures
Lots of Homework
Earth Day (It always makes me sad...Why can't every day be earth day? Do we need to commercialize our bad effect on the environment? It's not really helping anyone...)
Worrying about Chelsea vs. Barcelona if Drogba is injured :(

Luckily, there is more good than bad...I should do this more often!