Full Experience

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Just about every winter break I’ve gone to New York to see my family and I just love the culture of the city. There are so many different types of people that people watching is fun anywhere you go, plus there are so many different art installations, and amazing restaurants!

One of my favorite parts is having the ability to walk outside and get places so easily. When I’m there I’m given a key and a metro card and the freedom to explore the city. However, growing up in Atlanta without good public transportation, I’m still not really use to this freedom, so I don’t go far yet.

IMG_6390.JPGThis trip was full of adventures because I got the joy of having my best friend come to the city with us for her first time ever, so we had to give her the full experience.

We ate my favorite egg bagels fresh in the morning and pizza the size of your face for second dinner almost daily. We saw amazing shows such as Black Angels Over Tuskegee, The Color Purple, Chicago, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and Avenue Q. We went to the botanical garden and saw a train exhibit made entirely of natural material. We heard my mom yelling at stupid cab drivers in Time Square. We sprinted down street blocks to img_6427catch subways on time for events. We went to my favorite museum: an interactive math museum. We played Disney Cranium with the conductor for the Book of Mormon. We rushed between shows to see the Statue of Liberty from a distance. And we finished the trip by spending New Year’s Eve on the roof of my aunt’s best friend.  

It was a great and non stop adventure, and I think we really captured the full New York experience.

IMG_4793.JPGIt’s amazing what you can accomplish in just a few days when you have the ability to travel so accessible. Whether it’s a bus, subway, train, ferry, or feet, New York has so many ways to get around and it’s the biggest thing I always miss about the city.

 

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And Break Begins!

Now finals are done

The torture has ended 

But teachers must grade

So students and parents don’t complain 

So long, au revoir 

And so let me conclude: 

A merry finals to all 

And to all 

A good night! 

 

I kind of love the idea of traditions. Every year I start and end finals with a poem, and it’s fun to look back now at blog posts from exactly a year ago when I was finishing finals to see what I was thinking about then. Now break has begun and I’m so excited to get work done other than just homework. (And to rest a little.)

Tradition vs. Change

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Today was pretty great. It all started when I walked down stairs and saw egg bagels and apple cinnamon cream creese that my mom brought back for me from New York. When you have a fantastic breakfast, it really gets the day started right!

From then on the day just ran really smoothly. It was the first day of the newest schedule, and while it is hard to tell until the first full week, it seems that it went pretty well; at least as well as the closest to a normal day while in high school can be.

Christmas music started today in band, and while I wasn’t there, I got the pieces. For the past at least 10 years the high school band has played the same Christmas songs at the Christmas Arts Showcase, but now we have a “new” conductor (he use to just be the lower school conductor, so most of us already new him), so no one knew what to expect. It’s a weird thing, some people hate that we always do the same songs, but most of the people in band have come accustomed to the songs and there have been really fond memories formed with them, so we want those same songs really badly.

Some people may say that we need to change songs because how can things get better if they always stay the same; innovation kind of has to have change, so being in ID why am I advocating for the same songs?

Well, I’ve grown attached to these songs. There is a certain comfort with coming back each year to play them and it makes you remember past years and experiences; the songs inspire reflections on how you’ve grown. Every year you find something that you play better than the year before and it is a nice reminder on your progress as a musician. Also, one of them involves the praise band and another in a sing-a-long, so there is the community side to the songs where everyone joins together for this concert. (Fittingly so since it is the Christmas concert.) Even the 8th graders, who have only played the song once themselves, want to join the high school band to play the tradition ones that they have been hearing since they were younger. It is a right of passage almost; a prerogative for staying in band for so long.

My friend who is now in college is still playing in band and she sent me a text when they started Christmas music about how sad it was to not be playing those songs with us. At the end of last year we made a “contract” on the back of all of her Christmas music sheets so she could formally pass them down to me and my best friend to carry on through our high school years.

No one in band is against playing other songs, but we want these 3 traditional ones. (By the way, the songs are African Bell Carol, Sleigh Ride, and Christmas Sing-A-Long.) It could be nice to have one or two new songs, and we usually do have at least one song each year that is different.

Change in necessary, but it has its time and place. Some times you need traditions to remain traditions so you can reflect on the past, admire how far you have come since then, and ponder about how far you will go.