Classes

When I signed up for classes months before arriving here, I was told to pick eight or so courses and I would then be assigned a sixty credit schedule (twenty credits per class).  I picked all of the creative writing classes offered, all of the Scottish history classes, and all of the Scottish literature classes. I figured that whoever was going to make my schedule would get the idea. I was placed into two Scottish literature courses and one Scottish history course, so I decided that once I got here I would try to change out of one of the history courses and into a literature course. 

My first full day of being in Scotland, when I went wandering around campus, I eventually found the visiting students office, where I asked a lot of questions such as registering for the local health system. But one thing that I also did was ask to switch out of one of the history classes, and I was switched into Scottish Literature. Now I had a great schedule! It looked like this:

The History of Edinburgh, Scottish Literature 2, and Creative Writing 2: Prose.

My first day of school was January 14, which feels like approximately forever ago. That Monday, my first class was Scottish Literature. It took place in a huge lecture hall with at least 300 students. I felt very overwhelmed by the entire thing, as the largest class I’ve ever had at Wooster was with maybe fifty students for an intro geology course. Furthermore, the lecturer had neither a Scottish nor an English accent, and I later discovered she was Russian. I don’t know why I was so put out by that. This culminated in a lecture on a critic and writer who I had never heard of, with barely an introduction to the course. I couldn’t tell if my liberal arts education with small classes and professors who know exactly who you are was coming to haunt me or if I genuinely had no idea what was going on, but the only thing I knew for certain was when she said something important I could hear the clacking of keyboards so I made sure to write it down. 

I spent the last fifteen minutes of the lecture in a highly anxious state because I had a ten minute walk to my next class, which was set to start ten minutes after the first lecture had concluded. I had practiced the walk before but I could not focus my mind on a random critic I had never heard of when confronted with the sprint from one unknown building to the next. The lecture ended (late of course) and I did a very fast walk/run, making it just in time to the History of Edinburgh. 

I felt so much more comfortable there as the lecturer first introduced herself, then the class, and then welcomed all of the visiting international students who were there just for the semester. I am very excited about this class because it is exactly what the title implies, and what better place am I to be taking this class? Also, I love the setup. We hear from a single lecturer at most three times. The Medievalist historian comes in during the medieval times, and the the archeologist for the prehistory, etc. 

After the end of the lecture, I had a meeting with my personal tutor, who is like our advisor and assigned for the duration of the semester. Her name is Dr. Gunderloch from the Celtic Studies Department. I told her that I wanted to switch out of Scottish Literature, and she advised me to go to the visiting students office in order to make the change. She also advised that I take Celtic Literature. So I went from that meeting straight to the visiting students office and signed up for an appointment for the next day.

I honestly can’t remember anything else from that day because so much had happened in one day alone. And yet I feel very content as a fully functioning independent adult human in a different country figuring things out for myself. I’m in a new environment and I am thriving. 

I woke up the day to an email from somebody in Scottish literature saying she had enjoyed the first tutorial and reminding us the all tutorials were mandatory. My stomach dropped. 

Tutorials are new to me because every class at Wooster is like a tutorial — a small session where everyone is expected to have read the material and participate in discussion. However, everyone at the visiting student office and at the orientation meeting told us that tutorials started week two, so I had ignored all mentions of a tutorial on my time table. That is why I was very confused and upset about the email as I had managed to miss a class that I knew nothing about. That just about sealed the deal for me, so I skipped my second Scottish Literature lecture in favor of dropping the class. I made an entire list of classes that looked interesting and less overwhelming because I was worried about availability, but that turned out not to be a problem, so I was able to join a class called “Songs, Swords, Rebels and Revivals: Modern Celtic Literature in Translation.” 

It turns out that not only had my personal tutor recommended that I take that class, she is also one of two professors teaching it. Furthermore, it is much more manageable in my eyes as there are about twenty five students total in the class. Maybe I’m backwards for coming to a giant university and finding small classes that are out of the norm here, but I feel like I have things more under control now. Also, Celtic Lit is so far fascinating. It is divided into two lectures and two tutorials a week, with the first lecture and tutorial focusing on the Irish see of Celtic Lit and the second on the Scottish side. I am feeling very Scotland focused and quite happy with that decision. 

My last class is Creative Writing. This class only meets once a week for the two hours and there are only ten students (again a great comfort to me with my Wooster experience). I love it so far as it matches my other experiences with creative writing classes. We read stories every week and dissect them as well as write exercises in class. Our first assignment was to acquire a notebook to carry around to write random bits of inspiration. My favorite thing I have written down so far is “questionable hauntings.” 

And I will stop there. I have other things to talk about so stay tuned for news about Harry Potter, ballet, and other adventures. 

Choose Your Own Adventure

So many things have happened since last Monday and a lot of it is just business but I feel like I am on top of the world. 

Everything has been spectacular, even the plane rides. On the flight from Denver to Reykjavik, the first good thing that happened was that nobody was in the middle seat and I got the window. The next amazing thing that happened was that about half way through the flight, the pilot came on over the intercom and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, if you look out on the left side of the plane you will see the Northern Lights.” I was on the left side of the plane on the window! What luck! 

The lights were only white this time— not the multi colored ones that you see in pictures, but it was still spectacular. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of them. They rippled and were really fun to watch. 

When we landed in Reykjavik around 4am, the air smelled different than Denver air which made me happy. I had about a 3 hour layover, so I wandered around a little. I enjoyed the airport. I never thought I would say that. 

Then I got on my flight to London, where somebody told me I was in the wrong seat, so I got out like a doofus instead of checking my ticket. Then when I was blocking the aisle, I checked my ticket and found that I was actually in the right seat. I got a flight attendant, and it all turned out okay. Then I fell asleep and slept until the flight attendants started passing out immigration cards to fill out, which was the best time to wake up because when I looked out the window I was greeted with a view of the Thames, Big Ben, The Tower of London, and Buckingham Palace. I was thrilled. I scored out by being on the right side of the plane yet again. And then all I could think about was, “Nope, no infrastructural alien damage here. Big Ben is still standing. I guess Doctor Who is not, in fact, real.”

When I landed, I had the easiest time going through customs that I have ever had. The customs officer was really nice and the line was really short and he admitted my six-month visa without any fuss. I was really nervous about this part but it turned out to not be a big deal at all. 

So then I made my way through the airport and I found an information desk, and I asked for the best way to get to King’s Cross Station. I was told to take the London Underground to King’s Cross, and that’s what I did. The tube ride was one of my favorite parts of the day. Even though I didn’t see anything hugely exciting, I took great pleasure by watching the roofs of houses pass by and admiring the the chimney stacks (and thinking of Mary Poppins) and of watching the people on the train. So many of them were reading newspapers and I found that very satisfying even if it seems like such a minor detail. 

Finally, I got to King’s Cross. I had about 3 hours of time to kill, so I wandered around, found Platform 9 3/4 (of course, I took a picture) and got some food and tried not to fall asleep. Then I got on my train. 

Yer a wizard, Claire.

I had reserved a window seat, so I was very excited about this train ride. Then I was less excited when a woman came up to me and said, “Excuse me, that’s my reservation.” And I was like, “I’m pretty sure I’m here,” but she was insistent so we just swapped seats. And then she proceeded to not even look out the window for the ride so I was even more upset when it didn’t even matter where we were sitting except for the view! And then it got dark about 30 minutes later so after that I was not as upset and started to watch Netflix and work on my second sock. 

The most entertaining part of the train ride was two women who got on a stop or two after me who had brought plastic martini glasses, a whole bottle of gin, and tonic water. They were so funny to watch. First, they poured gin and tonic into their glasses, and then one of the glasses started to leak, so one of the woman just chugged the entire thing right then and there. Then she poured more gin into the remainder of the tonic bottle and started working on that too. And she was very loud and excited for about an hour, after which she fell asleep. I found the entire thing to be very amusing. 

Then I finally made it to Waverly Train Station in Edinburgh. I already had a hostel reserved since I wouldn’t be able to move into my flat until the next day, and my original plan was to find an information desk to figure out the best way to get to the hostel, which looked to be in walking distance from the station. Then I couldn’t find an information desk, so I wandered around until I found some taxis, and took a taxi to my hostel. It was only about a five minute ride, but I’m glad I didn’t have to wander through a dark city I didn’t know. Already I was thrilled by the stonework and the architecture around me even though I had only been in the city for about twenty minutes. 

From the outside, the hostel looked like it was in a gorgeous, really old stone building, but it was completely updated and renovated inside. I was in a 8 bed room for all girls, but only 5 or 6 of the beds were full. So I got there, put down all of my stuff, but I was so full of adrenaline that I asked the girls who were there if anybody wanted to go out and wander around for me. One girl from Denmark said yes, so we just walked a bit around. We found the place where J.K. Rowling supposedly wrote parts of Philosopher’s Stone even though it was closed, and I gushed about all of the incredible architecture and beauty around me. We only were out for maybe half an hour because after a bit I just crashed, so we headed back and I went to bed. 

The next morning, I got up pretty early and left to find some breakfast. Then I headed back to the hostel, zipped my suitcases up, and called an Uber to take me to Pollock Halls, which is an office for student accommodation so I could pick up the keys to my flat. I got the keys, and the man at the desk told me it was about a 20 minute walk to my flat, which is called Ratcliffe Terrace, so I decided to walk. He gave me a map, and I went outside, and at the end of the road there was a guard house, and the man inside came out and asked where I was going, and after I told him he said, “That’s a bit of a wee walk away,” and I said that was fine. He gave me another map and directions, which was a lot more helpful than the first map, and off I went. 

Luckily, I only had to make one turn the entire way there so I was very confident that I was going the right way even though it took me more like 45 minutes to reach the flat instead of the 20 minutes that I had been promised. I got inside the building, and then spent a lot of time wrestling with keys until eventually two extremely nice cleaning ladies swooped in to help me get in to the flat. I have my own bedroom out of six, and we have a kitchen and two bathrooms to share. The kitchen is already not very clean, but I have only so far met one person in the flat, so I don’t know if we will have a meeting to talk about chores or cleaning up. That’s a problem to confront another day. 

After I dropped my things in my room, it was only around 11am, so I decided to go on a bedding adventure. I had already arranged to buy bedding from visiting students from the previous semester, so the only challenging part would be finding the friend’s flat of the person I had bought the bedding from. This is when I discovered something really important: if you look something up on Google Maps while you’re on WiFi, when you leave WiFi, it will still lead you the right way even though I didn’t have cellular service. I was extremely happy to discover this. Even with this important map discovery, when I reached the apartment after about a 30 minute walk, I could not figure out where the entrance to the building was, so I spent a good ten minutes wandering around the outside until I finally found it and was let in. Then I collected the bedding, and carried two giant trash bags full of sheets and a duvet back to my flat. One guy told me I looked like a “wee vagabond.” I had to ask him to tell me what he had said since I didn’t understand him the first time. I was so thrilled the entire time. I was walking outside, in a beautiful city, with interesting and beautiful buildings everywhere I looked. I couldn’t stop grinning. 

When I dropped the bedding back into my room, I decided to go find the library because I had to pick up my student ID card. The part of campus where I will be spending most of my time is about a 25 minute walk away, and part of the walk includes going through an absolutely gorgeous park. And everywhere I look there are these gorgeous buildings and cobblestones and I am just thrilled by the aesthetic of everything. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy the beauty. 

I picked up my student card from the library, and then I spent a ton of time wandering around campus on a visiting student office adventure. I discovered that not all of the buildings have great labels, so I went to a few different places and asked for directions until I eventually found it. I was then able to meet with a member of the office, and I switched out of one of the history classes I had been given to take a Scottish literature class and asked about registering with a doctor so I can have access to the NHS. After my meeting, I went to the university health services and discovered that they have reached patient capacity, and but was told how I can register with a local GP so I can still have access to healthcare. Then I headed back to my flat to take a break.

Later that night, there was a visiting student event called The Taste of Scotland held in the student union (which is essentially a castle, what world have I fallen into?!). I went with a girl in the bedroom next to mine as well as a group of students from the building as the RA’s had organized for us all to meet and walk over together. I met quite a few visiting students which was really fun. I tried to explain the US political system to a kid from Australia on our walk and failed miserably. 

The Taste of Scotland event was fantastic. I met a ton of other visiting students (the vast majority from the US), tried haggis (fine but not my favorite thing), heard some Scottish folk music, listened to bagpipes (better than the ones from school…sorry Izzy), tried two different kinds of whisky and learned about the history of scotch and whisky, learned some different Scottish line dances (and have since gained a huge appreciation for the highland dancers at Wooster), and heard a Scottish folk story. It was a great night!

The next morning was a required orientation program for all visiting students, so I walked over with Lena from next door and Maddy who lives in the same building. The event was in the prettiest building I have ever seen called McEwan Hall. Apparently all of the graduations and such take place there and it is an important part of Edinburgh’s history overall. We heard a number of important people speak, but I can’t say I heard anything that I didn’t already know. It was still good to get confirmation about a number of things.

McEwan Hall
Some images from inside

From there, I asked one of the staff members from the visiting students office about where the place would be to buy towels, to which her answer was Primark. So then I went on a towel adventure because I was kind of desperate at that point to take a shower. 

The Primark I was headed for was in the opposite direction of my flat, past the Royal Mile. It was an incredible walk—I couldn’t stop smiling the entire way. Every time I turned a corner there was another gorgeous church built hundreds of years ago and then I passed a street full of castles and bagpipers busking. I just kept thinking, “How lucky am I.” I’ve been planning to go to Scotland for so long, but everything just seems so unreal. I just wanted to go on some errands and I found a few castles. 

After bringing the towels back to my flat and taking a bit of a break, I went on a kitchenware adventure, which I had also bought from a visiting student from the last semester. This time the building was much easier to find and easier to get into. So now I have important things like a skillet and a sauce pan. Later that night, Lena and Maddy and I went out in search of a pub because none of us wanted to do nothing that night. We did find a pub, which was very dark and looked like anything you would see in the movies, but it wasn’t that crowded and also seemed to serve a 40+ clientele. You could tell that everyone was looking at us wondering what we were doing there. Still, we had some beer and talked and exchanged ideas about finding our classes and buying mobile service and where to buy forks. It was a fun night. 

The next day I decided to go on a cell service adventure. The store I went to was also on Prince Street past the Royal Mile so again I was treated to a fantastic vista of medieval buildings and fantastic stone castles and churches. Along the way I found a sandwich shop and spent some time in the courtyard of a church listening to a bagpiper busking. And now I have cell service which is a total win mostly because I can use Google Maps! That being said, I have gotten pretty good at figuring out where I am based on landmarks. I am pretty impressed with myself because one of my greatest strengths is getting lost. 

After my cell service adventure and taking a nap, Lena and I went to a ceilidh put on by the school for international students. That was so fantastic. There were three musicians on stage— drum set, accordion, and guitar— and they called out the moves to different dances as they played some fantastic music. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun at a dance. Also, I met a ton of new people, some of whom I actually am hoping to see again and become friends with. It ended around midnight, and by the time I got back to my room I was so wound up that I couldn’t sleep for a couple of hours. 

I had a pretty lazy Saturday, which in my opinion was well deserved after a very exciting previous few days. I did go find a laundry hamper and buy real groceries for meals. Even leaving the house right now is an adventure. 

On Sunday, I decided to go to the National Museum of Scotland. I had a great time! It was cool wandering around, but about forty five minutes in I realized that there was more to the museum than just nature and science stuff, and I found the history of Scotland wing. I am definitely going to go back to explore that wing more thoroughly. The best part about the museum was that it is free, as are most of the museums in the city. Then I left to go back to my flat because the RA’s were to be meeting the new residents and walking with us to a lecture theatre so we could hear about building policies. When we arrived to the building where the theatre was, the building manager seemed to have made an error in booking the room, so the talk was canceled, so instead we all went to Teviot, the student union, to get some food and hang out in the bar and then to play trivia a few hours later. That was one of my favorite parts of the day. I need to brush up on my arcane knowledge but we all had quite a bit of fun and a lot of laughs. 

Well I am going to cut it off there even though today was my first day of classes at risk of making this the longest blog post ever. 

Mary Queen of Scots
Map of Surnames
I’ll have to go here at some point.

The School Situation

 

Exchange students are the best students
Exchange students are the best students

I go to a private school called Henrique Castriciano for my regular school day classes Monday through Friday from 7:15am to 1:15pm. My host mother pays for this school. I am one of six rotary inbounds that attends this school. The other two inbounds attend other private schools in the city.

Henrique Castriciano is a private school. Our host parents pay for their exchange children to attend these private schools. At these private schools, we are not expected to do any of the classwork, homework, or take any of the tests. We are expected to attend school every day and sit in the class while the teachers lecture. There is never any classwork for the students to do. Each class, including math, consists of a lecture for the entire block. And the teachers speak fast, so even if I wanted to pay attention to what they are saying, I’m only catching words and phrases here and there and the next thing I notice I’m completely zoned out and five minutes have passed.

At the end of our classmates’ high school careers, they will take a test to determine their entrance to university. Therefore, class consists entirely of the material that will be covered on the entrance test to university.

As you can surmise, this is not the case for the exchange students. For every single one of us, school (in a grading standpoint) does not matter. Either we have already graduated or upon return to our host countries we will have to take the year over again.

The teachers do not care what the exchange students do in class (with the exception of the physics teacher, for some reason that none of us can figure out). Chen sleeps every day. The rest of us mess with our phones, read books, write letters, etc.

I’ve never known a person in the world to not complain about school at one point or another, and the Rotary Exchange Students of Natal 2015-2016 are no exception. We all hate school so much. We just want some work to do or something to make the time go by faster. The only thing that we are all united in liking about school is time in between lessons and the thirty minute break in the middle of classes since we can actually talk to our classmates and friends.

As for activities, yes, they are offered at Henrique Castriciano, if you want to pay an extra fee. And soccer practice is still only two days a week with the extra payment.

The Rotary Exchange Students of Natal 2015-2016 go to a public school called IFRN on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a Portuguese class. IFRN is often proclaimed by anyone you ask on the street anywhere as the best public school in the state because it is federally run, not state run. Even the kids at HC (Henrique Castriciano, the private school) say it is a really good school.

The exchange students from the international youth exchange program of AFS attend IFRN for their everyday schooling. This is completely free of charge. IFRN is not a traditional school. You can choose classes. You might be able to learn how to cook or take a carpentry class. Furthermore, the activities that are offered by IFRN are completely free as well. And, if you join the IFRN soccer team, practice is every day.

The Rotary Exchange Students of Natal 2015-2016 are practically salivating we are so desperate to go to IFRN. Even if we get stuck in some boring class like biology where we have to listen to a lecture, hey, at least there’s a gym on campus that’s free of charge to all students.

So, the natural step is to ask our host parents why we are required to attend a private school. The answer is quite simple. We are not allowed to go to any public school since Rotary is concerned that the teachers of IFRN take too many strikes and we will not go to school for a long period of time.

Chiara, my German friend
Chiara, my German friend

A perfectly valid opinion. At this point, however, I think I’ve been in school as much as I’ve been out of school. Since we aren’t required to take the tests, the exchange students are always being told that we have to go to the classrooms of the small children and give presentations about our countries. This has yet to happen and it’s been a month for me, and two to three months for the rest of them. We end up sitting in a corner of the classroom talking, sleeping, reading, playing games, etc. So we’ve all taken to ditching school on the testing days, since there aren’t classes on those days. Furthermore, there have been random school holidays that no one is sure of the reason for. At this point, the AFS students in IFRN have been in school more than the Rotary students have been and the Rotary students are the ones paying.

Another reason that Rotary gave us for not being allowed to go to public school is that at public school, there are drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol are everywhere, folks. You just need to look.

The next step would be to ask our host parents what their reaction would be if we were interested in enrolling at IFRN. So far, all of the parents say that they think we should go to IFRN instead of private school. I asked my mom about it and she was all in, and the next thing I knew she was calling all of the other moms and asking their opinion.

Parents Against Private Schools. Check.

Exchange Students Against Private Schools. Check.

(These aren’t actual organizations, people, I just made them up. But you get the idea.)

The next step? Talk to Rotary. On Monday, I will be talking to my club counselor at my Rotary meeting. Also, at the end of this month, all the inbounds will be having a meeting with Clarice, one of the bigwigs in Rotary, to see who our next host families are. Then we will bring up the School Situation with her, though she’s probably already heard about it since some of the other inbounds have already talked to their counselors.

Best possible outcome: Rotary answers our pleas and we are in IFRN by next month.

Next best possible outcome: We get out of school for summer sometime in November and Rotary lets us change schools for the next school year. Personally, I think that this is likely to happen.

Other possible outcome: Rotary says no and we stay in our private schools. While I obviously don’t want this to happen, I won’t really be upset because at least I do have friends at HC and I’ve gotten more writing done in the past few weeks than I have in the past year.

 

 

Being a Teenager Sucks

I’m not joking. I hate hormones and having to adjust insulin and how I’m never steady even if I count carbs perfectly and take insulin ahead of time (like a good diabetic should, even though apparently that isn’t me) and exercise.

And maybe this happens to every diabetic, but I’m a teenager and thus haven’t been an adult yet so I don’t have anything to base it off of. But it sure is dang annoying.

But being a teenager is stressful. I’m not joking. Like right now the first thing that people ask me when I tell them that I’m a junior in high school is, “What colleges are you thinking about?” Or at least some variation of the above question. And this is super stressful and annoying to a girl who hasn’t mapped out her life plan and has no earthly idea what to do with the next six years of her life, give or take a few, unlike what seems to be the rest of my grade. I don’t know how they do it. And then there are ACT and SAT tests coming up, AP exams are in May, and this year is my first opportunity to go to prom. And lacrosse season has just started, and I was voted captain, and that is sort of stressful because I don’t feel like the greatest girl on the team, even though I may be the oldest. Plus I’m going to have to miss a lot of practices and games because of band rehearsals and things like that, even though the coaches say, “School first, lacrosse second.” Sorry, but lacrosse is not the highest thing on my list of TO DO.

Second semester junior year is wonderful. (Notice the sarcasm.) I even considered quitting lacrosse so I would have more time, but I’m glad I didn’t because it is a ton of fun, even though coaches can get pretty serious.

Plus the whole managing diabetes thing aspect of my life. Kind of a big deal.

On the plus side, I may be getting a new pump sometime soon! And if I ever need a hug, my dog is always available.me and my dog

Adios for now, and may your blood sugars be ever in your favor!

Sincerely,

Claire Montgomery

Insulin Pump Fashion

A couple of days ago I wore a dress with some boots. And as I’m sure that my fellow female diabetic pumpers are aware of, even if you have shorts on underneath your dress, it’s pretty awkward to reach up your dress and take your insulin pump out. And then my problem is that I LOVE wearing dresses, and I would totally wear them every day if it weren’t for people saying, “Why are you wearing a dress?” whenever I DO wear a dress. It’s actually pretty annoying. “Because I felt like it.”

So this time I wore a dress with boots, and then I clipped my insulin pump onto my boots, so I could get my insulin pump without having to feel so awkward about it like I usually do.

So band was my first period, and people kept on bugging me out of genuine curiosity because they obviously didn’t have any idea what an insulin pump was, and I must say that I was enjoying the attention. After band I was checking the list to see who made it into Wind Ensemble (the highest band at my school) when a girl came up to me. Her name is Sam, and she told me that she really liked my Medtronic insulin pump, and that her’s was boring and black. It turns out that a flute who sits three feet away from me is a fellow type 1 diabetic. That pretty much made my day. We talked a little about going to diabetes camp, and then I had to leave to go to class.

So if you wear your insulin pump on your boot, you realize that people have a ton in common with you. That little thing made me happy for the rest of the day. 🙂 And I still am happy.

Sincerely,

Claire Montgomery
Type 1 Diabetic, Diabetic blogger, Insulin pump fashion-ista.

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Smartie Spit
Party in the Nurse’s Office!

Smartie Spit

Get that picture into your mind: Smartie Spit. Now think of that spit going through a clarinet. Gross, huh. Don’t stop reading.

I play the clarinet. I’m in my high school’s symphonic band. It’s really fun, because I got first clarinet, and I just love love love music in general. It’s just so much fun. It’s really one of the best part of my days.

A couple of days ago I was low in band. Now that’s just awkward. I mean, try to imagine trying to inhale smarties during the rests (pauses while playing) and then forcing Smartie spit down your instrument. It’s really gross. And I’m not grossed out by many things, but this is just one of them.

And then in many cases your band teacher just gives you this look, that basically says, Why the heck are you eating and playing your instrument at the same time? Irresponsible student.

So you basically hope that you never get low during band.

Okay, and then you join the marching band. Which can technically be counted as exercise. Don’t get me wrong. Marching band is totally fun. Football games are the life. I mean, we’re all the “band geeks” so we really know nothing about football. So we just sit around and play little rifts and laugh and talk.

But throw the whole marching thing into the mix. We play at parades too. But how do you march in a contest in formation and get low in the middle of the song? It’s a puzzle, I tell you. A puzzle. My band teacher told me that I could just duck out when I needed to, and I’m not saying that I’m against the idea, but that it’s sort of awkward to playing our school’s fight song and then to duck out of the group when we’re all in formation.I will totally duck out if I need to, but it’s still weird. I still have a bag of Smarties in the pocket of my uniform. But I haven’t been low yet, which is a good thing.

Luckily, just now we’re only doing basketball games right now and no marching, so I wont have to worry about this until next school year, when we start marching again.

Well, adios for now!

Claire Montgomery
Type 1 diabetic, Diabetic blogger, Smartie spitter

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Party in the Nurse’s Office!

Come all ye diabetics and lament about blood sugars…

…’Twill be fun. :

I love the nurse at my high school. She is so awesome and hip and cool. At my old middle school I didn’t really like the nurse, but here she’s awesome. So the other day I’d been having high blood sugars for pretty much the whole day so finally I just went down to the nurse so I could change my site because I figured it was a bad site. But when I got there I didn’t have any insulin so I had to call my dad so he could bring me insulin. I had all of the other supplies. Anyway. So I sat in the nurse’s office while I was waiting for my dad.

And then this kid named Noah came in. He was a diabetic and he was something like over 400 mg/dl. So we were sitting there and talking and lamenting about other nurses that we’ve had that we didn’t like and about insulin pumps and about medical IDs and about tattoos that serve as medical IDs (look them up). And we were talking about iPumps (don’t you think that would be totally wicked? It could count your carbs and test your blood sugar and be your pump AND be your phone, iPod, etc…). It was totally so much fun even though we were just so totally high. And being high is never fun except on that day it was because we could complain to each other and talk about things that nobody else would ever get. Just hanging out with diabetics is fun in general but it was even better this time because we were both high.

And then my dad came and he gave me my insulin and then he left and I gave myself a new site. Blah blah blah.

AND THEN a girl named Nicole came in and she just happened to be a diabetic and she just happened to be high. Join the club, sista. I swear, that’s the best time I’ve ever had in the nurse’s office, and I mean that quite literally. Three diabetics were high at the same time and lamenting about high blood sugars and were in the nurse’s office at the same time. IT WAS SO COOL!

So, a message to all you diabetics who are still in elementary, middle, or high school. Go to the nurse’s office when all the other diabetics in your school are high. It’s fun.

Adios for now!

Claire Montgomery
Type 1 diabetic, Diabetic blogger, Nurse’s office party thrower

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High Blood Sugars

How to Cure High Blood Sugars

My Gum Drops Are Out To Kill Me

Okay, maybe I’m joking.

My normal pencil bag candy for school is Smarties. I’ve mentioned this before. Well, last time I checked, Smarties are strictly American and Canadian candy. And, oh right, I live in Mexico. So it might be time to extend my candy preferences.

So let me remind you about something: I absolutely loathe Smarties. And that’s exactly the reason why I carry them. The basic idea is so my willpower doesn’t crumble and so I can same my Smarties for when I’m actually low. Also, so I don’t eat too many of them and go high.

The Mexican candies I have to choose from are pretty limited. There’s candy with chile (basically spicy stuff), which even though I like, it’s hard to eat fast, unless I want the fire extinguisher and I to become best buds.

So when Mom and Dad went on a shopping expedition, they came back with gum drops and chocolate covered raisins.

Here’s the good/bad news: I actually like these candies. I sense a high blood sugar in my future.

The problem is this: Okay, maybe my willpower doesn’t collapse, but when I’m actually low I eat too many of them, and then go high. Or my willpower crumbles completely, and I go high. It’s sort of a lose lose situation.

My dad is a speaker, and so he flies out of the airport to go to jobs. So the last time he left, what do you know, he brought me Smarties.

Maybe one day I’ll figure it out.

Sincerely,

Claire Montgomery
Type 1 Diabetic, Insulin Pump User, Candy Eater

Related Posts:
A Type 1 Diabetic’s relationship with candy
Diabetic Low Blood Sugars in Mexico