The One Where I Go Slowly Out Of My Mind Waiting

A brief look at my Snapchat story

A brief look at my Snapchat story

At this point in my Brazil adventure I am on a visa adventure and stuck here in Aurora, Colorado.

It is a long process for an American citizen to get a visa to be allowed to study in Brazil for one year. I will be going on a student visa, something which I do not yet have. There are a lot of restrictions on Brazilian citizens attempting to get visas to come to the United States, and the Brazilian government is not happy about this and are therefore retaliating so there are a lot of restrictions on American citizens attempting to get visas to go to Brazil. You have to have a lot of paperwork, first of all. Everything from recent bank statements to notarized copies of your driver’s license, etc. etc. But the big thing that you must have before you must even start to apply for your visa is a criminal background check from the FBI. It took thirteen weeks for my background check to come back and I finally applied for my visa on Monday. I’m hoping I will leave sometime this month.Photo Aug 06, 2 21 43 PM

It might be a long shot. I still have to get a plane ticket, after all.

Meanwhile, over this past week, I have been packing up my room so it can be all ready to go for when I find out when I have to leave. I’m really excited about this because I’m feeling productive, but it’s also like a slap in the face because I still don’t know when I’m leaving yet. I’m getting my hopes up without a guarantee.

Photo Aug 06, 2 21 45 PMBut don’t worry! My day will come!

Then there’s this other girl, Niki, who is from my district of 5450 who is going to Sweden. She left this past week and I read her blog today and everything seems to be right in her world. I’m also super jealous of her because everything seems to be right in her world. The students going to Brazil were told that they would be the first people to get out, but that is in no way true at this point.

So right now I am packing up my room and putting my winter clothes in storage and taking down posters from my bedroom walls so my sister Paige can put her own posters up while I’m gone. I’m buying summer clothes since they are all on sale right now because I’m going to Photo Aug 06, 2 21 47 PMthe tropics. I’m putting things that I won’t need in college in boxes to put in the basement. It’s kind of a long process and my room looks like a hurricane swept through it, but I really don’t care since at least I’m doing something.

I went out to hang out with some friends last night. That Photo Aug 06, 2 21 50 PMis weird, too, since they are all making the transition to college and I’m doing something that they can’t even imagine. They ask me my plans but all they want to hear is that I’m waiting for my visa and then I will go, but all they want to talk about is how they’re worried that their roommate might be psycho. I understand why they don’t want to hear about Brazil, but it is still a weird and kind of lonely feeling.

Right now, it seems like there is only one person who understands what I am going through, and that is Lydia, one of the other girls from District 5450 who is also going to Brazil. We’ve been sending each other videos and stuff about how we are packing and just waiting.

That’s where I am right now. I’m in limbo.Photo Aug 06, 2 22 18 PM

Rotary Youth Exchange Pins

One of the traditions in RYE (Rotary Youth Exchange) is that each person makes one or several pins that represent their states and countries, and then these pins are exchanged with all the other kids exchanging in Rotary that you meet on your exchange. The pins are displayed on your blazer. Oh, and the blazers are the jacket that each Rotary kid gets. It’s like the symbol of your exchange year, especially when you have a ton of pins on it.

So I made some pins, and then looked up more ideas, but there was like one YouTube video with an idea and all of the other blogs that I looked at basically just mentioned “pins and blazers” in passing. So I thought I would share to the world my pin ideas.

A lot of supplies

A lot of supplies

Some sorting and cutting of ribbons.

Some sorting and cutting of ribbons.

One of the pins involving ribbons and pennies.

One of the pins involving ribbons and pennies.

Pennies overlapping each other with a pin on the back. Very cool, if I do say so myself.

Pennies overlapping each other with a pin on the back. Very cool, if I do say so myself.

A lanyard with red, white, and blue.

A lanyard with red, white, and blue.

Plus this one that I bought.

Plus this one that I bought.

It’s Real

Me and Abi

Me and Abi

I am beyond being super excited right now because I have been Facebook stalking (as I usually do) and I found all of these Rotary Youth Exchange 2015-2016 groups (that’s me!!!) so I just thought I would share since I’ve been trying to be better about posting regularly to my blog.

Hi, world.

I have found a girl, thanks to these groups, who lives in British Columbia, Canada, who is going to District 4500 in Brazil, and is going to live an hour away from Natal, the city that I will be going to. So you betcha that I’m going to meet her in person.

I have been informed that it is really the new exchange students that you meet on your adventure that make the experience. I don’t doubt this at all. Abi, an exchange student with Rotary from Argentina whom we hosted just recently, has amazing friends just because of Rotary. I am more than slightly jealous of her. However, I know that this will be me in a few short months.

It started tonight, when I went Facebook crazy. I have met at least one girl from my district. I have been messaging with a girl who lives in my host district that is the goddaughter of my host mom. Her name is Eduarda, and she is going to Finland with Rotary next year.

It is amazing what technology can do.

Also, the friends don’t start in Brazil. I am friends with so many amazing exchange students that are living here in Colorado. We don’t really connect all that well since I can’t begin to understand their experiences yet. I will soon enough.

There are also the group of kids that have been selected from my district to go on exchange and represent District 5450 of Rotary International Youth Exchange. They are amazing people. I really can’t wait to see where our adventures take us.

But first, I have to get my visa.


Outbound Rotary Exchange Students from District 5450



I’m Going to College… Eventually

wooster20logo_422926704So I told you that I would update you guys on where I decided to go to College.

So here’s the story. I applied to seven smallish liberal arts schools. And then I had a freak out because I had this irrational thought (that’s my new favorite word because I’ve been using it a lot in my AP Psychology class) that I wouldn’t get into any of those schools so I applied on a whim to CSU-Pueblo which is a really easy school to get into because they have even lower standards than Colorado State University and I didn’t have to write an essay or fill out the Common App for them.

And then I got into six of the seven liberal arts schools (one of them weight-listed me) and also got into CSU-Pueblo. So basically eight for eight. It sounds like I am bragging and I am because I’m super proud of myself.

My cousin Katherine goes to Macalester College and I spent a few nights on her dorm room floor and loved it but they gave me exactly no money, so while Mac was super high on my list of schools to choose from, that decided it in itself because every other school gave me a lot of money.

And then I visited the College of Wooster to audition for a music scholarship and fell in love. Because it was Audition Weekend, Wooster went all out in order to make us feel like Wooster was the right choice. And, I tell you, it worked. They had this thing where after our auditions were over they gave us dinner and we sat with different people in the music department at Wooster. Like students, faculty, etc. I sat next to a fourth you in a button down tweed shirt and a bow tie and round glasses. Like Harry Potter glasses. I kid you not. And he was a member of the Wooster Quidditch Team and lives in the Quidditch house. So I was all like, sign me up right now.wooster-cricket-2jpg-2161873298eccf58

After the dinner, we divided into different groups depending on our instrument. The band instrument kids got to go participate in a band rehearsal, the orchestral instrument kids did the same thing, you get the idea. I sat next to the first chair clarinet and had a ton of fun because the music was awesome and they were just having a good time. At one point, the first chair (one of the only music majors in the group) told me to play his solos with him, so I said okay, and then when his solos came around he stopped playing. His solos became my solos. It was scary as heck, but also amazing. Wooster also has a marching band (they wear kilts and are led by bagpipes!!)

The next day, my mom and cousin and I went on an actual tour group of the campus. It basically just sold me more.

But I didn’t want to make a decision yet because I still had two other schools to visit: Trinity University and Knox College. At this point Trinity, Knox, and Wooster were my top three schools.

My mom and I visited Trinity together. I liked it. I didn’t love it. My dad and I visited Knox together on Admitted Student Day. I knew almost twenty minutes into the visit that I would be attending the College of Wooster.

I had no idea how much the “vibe” factored into my decision until I just knew and couldn’t really nail down a concrete reason of why.

A part of it was definitely the music. I knew that I wanted to be able to play in a band without necessarily being a music major which helped me narrow it down. Knox has a kick butt symphony and not a concert band. They have a good jazz band though. Me and my dad and a few other kids had a meeting with the jazz professor so we could ask her questions about my chances of getting into the symphony. However, at this point, I had already decided that I would be going to Wooster, so I almost had zero interest in going to listen to the professor. But I hadn’t told my dad yet since I wanted to hear his opinions before I did anything.

And then I got super low and kind of lost myself in the low blood sugar haziness that we all love and hate so I ate some smarties while I heard that it would be essentially impossible to be a part of the symphony.

At the end of the meeting, my dad asked me if he should go grill the professor about my chances of getting into the symphony, and that’s when I told him that I had already made my choice.

So, for the record, I will be attending the College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio for the Class of 2020! I have deferred admission so I don’t have to reapply next year.13363192

Love you lots!

The Nature of Chords

IMG_7647I graduated yesterday! Yay! It seriously was awesome and exciting.

I’m mainly writing this blog post to talk about the fixation humans have on outshining each other, and shoving our achievements in each other’s faces. I didn’t realize I fixated I myself was until I realized how much I was comparing my achievements to those of the other graduates.

At my school, any person who has a 4.0 unweighted GPA and has taken a certain number of AP classes is eligible to be a valedictorian. So, unlike other schools, we have a ton of valedictorians, compared to the single valedictorian at most schools. My high school had eighteen valedictorians. During the graduation ceremony, each valedictorian is honored by receiving a medal and having their plans for the future announced.

So they have a medal. Good for them.

Furthermore, there is a class called Socratic Seminar at my school. All students that take Socratic Seminar and have an unweighted GPA of 3.75 or higher attain the accolade of being a Distinguished Scholar and this achievement is marked by their wearing of a black stole at graduation.

As for chords, there are four chords that a scholar might receive. A black chord marks a weighted GPA of 3.5 to 3.74. A blue and white chord marks a weighted GPA or 3.75 to 4.0. A gold chord represents a recipient of a Faculty Award, and a white chord represents a recipient of a Department Award.IMG_7565

I was very proud and honored to wear a white chord and a blue and white chord.

Here’s the catch: I spent a lot of my senior year stressing over my GPA, wondering if it was worth taking a class to become Distinguished Scholar just to get the black stole, hoping I would get honored on Senior Awards night, etc.

Yesterday during the graduation ceremony, there were kids who I think are lovely people and enormously smart who had one or no chords, and there were kids who played it safe or were teachers’ pets who had three chords and a stole. And then I decided that while I was very happy to have two chords, I also have great respect for those who lack chords.

So I guess my point is, that we as humans spend a ton of time looking at ourselves and others for our flaws. But in the long run, it doesn’t really matter. Chords at graduation simply are a way for humans to find another way to feel better about ourselves.

I took Socratic Seminar this past semester, and I tried my hardest to get out of the class because I thought that everyone was going to look at me differently because I wasn’t going to be Distinguished Scholar even with the class. I failed, but I eventually decided that I was “beating the system” because I was taking the class and bettering myself, rather than taking the class just to get the stole, like almost everyone else did. While the reason I took the class in the first place was to get the stole, I like to think that I have expanded my horizons.

Furthermore, I am beyond proud of myself for what I have accomplished over these past few years. I was a part of one of three groups that were selected to perform musical selections at my graduation ceremony. I am going to Brazil next year for a youth exchange program. I am attending an awesome college the year after. I have won a ton of academic awards. I got a huge band award. I could keep going on, but I will stop. The short story is that I am proud of what I have accomplished and I am happy with where my life is going.IMG_7605



Some Exciting News!

Rotary-Youth-Exchange-ProductsHi guys. I know I haven’t updated in a while, but I have some exciting news to share with everyone. I found out in January after I finished interviewing, but I didn’t want to post about it until now because I wanted to wait and finalize my college applications and see where I was accepted.

You know how in an earlier blog post I mentioned possibly taking a gap year before I went to college? Well, it’s actually happening!

I am proud to announce that next year I will be going to Brazil as an exchange student through the Rotary Youth Exchange program. I will living with at least one host family, and most likely two or three. I am going to be living in the city of Natal.

Right now I am in the mountains at a retreat center where all of the outbound students (all of the students who are going to another part of the world on a Rotary exchange for the 2015-2016 school year) are attending a required Outbound Student Orientation. I am very excited because this makes my upcoming adventures seem all the more real.

These past few months all of the outbound students have had to make PowerPoint presentations about themselves, and various other topics. Today we presented our work and also had to do an introduction in the language of our host country. For me, that was Brazil.1032_w

Maybe you remember that I lived in Mexico for a year? Well, it was very hard for me to pronounce the Portuguese in a Brazilian accent, not a Mexican accent. Spanish and Portuguese are very similar so that has been screwing with my brain recently.

I have been texting back and forth with my host sister, Eduarda, over the past few weeks and I’ve been trying to speak in Portuguese with her. I keep on slipping into Spanish. I guess there are worse problems to have.

The thing I didn’t understand is why we had to do the presentations (part of it, at least) in the language of our host country because we haven’t learned that language yet. I ended up reading off of notecards because I was trying to memorize sounds, not words, since I didn’t know what I was saying. I am hopeful that the leaders will explain this to us tomorrow.

Well, I will keep you guys updated! And I will tell you about my college decisions in my next post!


Diabetes vs. Diabetus

It’s about time that someone got this right. This kid is funny and charming and he realizes that WE DON’T LIKE HAVING OUR CHRONIC ILLNESSES BEING THROWN IN OUR FACES. Seriously. By intentional mispronunciation, what we go through on a day to day basis sounds trivial.

So props to Kid President.


The Taylor Swift Phenomenon



First, let’s establish something right off. It’s kind of not cool to be obsessed with Taylor Swift. It is (at least at my high school), however, cool to be on the spectrum of annoyance to hate when it comes to Taylor Swift.

It is also a thing that peer pressure is kind of hard to resist. So I am just kind of a mouse when it comes to people ragging on Taylor Swift. I keep my love inside.

And just saying, I’m kind of done with that. BECAUSE TAYLOR SWIFT IS AWESOME AND I LOVE HER.

Haters gonna hate. (Kudos if you get that reference.)

So. 1989 is awesome. Beyond phenomenal. The only thing I’m kind of upset about is that Style hasn’t become the huge sensation that “Blank Space” has. I think I went through a few days of only listening to “Style” over and over and over again. And over and over and over again. You get the idea?

Dear Taylor, will you pretty please make a music video for “Style”? Thanks.

Speak Now tour in Denver

Speak Now tour in Denver

I’ve been a huge Taylor Swift fan since Fearless came out. Last year the song “Fearless” became my theme song for the year because it was all about me being on top of the world, something that I really think happened last year.

I was listening to National Public Radio (okay, I’m a nerd, sue me) and I heard someone say that Taylor Swift is arguably the biggest name in Pop right now. That made me feel so happy because I feel like I’ve been with Taylor since the beginning. It’s not like I jumped on the Taylor bandwagon when 1989 came out and everyone went nuts. I’ve been here since I was old enough to decide what kind of music I like.

Speak Now tour in Denver

Speak Now tour in Denver

I am lucky enough to have gone to a Taylor Swift concert when she was touring for Speak Now. It was awesome. Just saying. When she was in Denver she performed in the Pepsi Center, which is this circular arena that the Nuggets (our basketball team) and the Aves (Our hockey team) play at. So while I was in the cheap seats and in the way back (why all my pictures show the view screen, not Taylor in person) I was lucky to be center stage.

Sorry, I’m rambling.

The moral of the story is: I LOVE TAYLOR SWIFT. Enough to publicly declare my love on the internet.

To those of you still with me: Thanks for putting up with my random free write blog posts that really have nothing to do with diabetes and are kind of long winded and tend to ramble a lot. And that was funny because that sentence is a long winded and rambling sentence.



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