Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dual Enrollment

Most students lately, have been taking the advantage of going to high school and enrolling in a specific college that has a class that they would like to join on the side. For instance, Sheridan Tech offers a course from 7:30-11:30 that teaches students how to fix cars, using different parts, and the basic necessities when becoming a mechanic.
Also, Broward College offers a class for students who plan to major in Pre-Med. Which ever school you attend, will pay for the classes you take so you get your education for free! This is a good way to stay in high school and enjoy all the privileges of grad bash, prom, and all the other activities for seniors while taking a college course for free instead of the regular college fees. This program is not only for seniors, but also offered to juniors and any other underclassmen that qualify. Why wouldn't you want to take this opportunity?


E-mail rules.

It may be the best thing since the invention of sliced bread. But if that’s the case, why don’t people love it more? An e-mail inbox should be treated as if it was an actual, physical mailbox, like the one you have dutifully standing outside your home or bolted onto its outside walls. You should think about it the same way people think about their family members: absent-mindedly but never truly forgotten. Why isn’t this the case? Is it simply because it’s not as fascinating to get an e-mail as it is to get a tangible piece of correspondence? Maybe it’s the commercial activity that e-mail has been linked to: companies sending “alerts” about new products, half-baked invitations to community events that always end up being anything but completely free … the works. Perhaps, once upon a time, people really did love their e-mail inboxes. Then someone screwed it up.

And what about e-mail that doesn’t get to where it needs to get to? Mailing lists are the culprit here. These supposedly distribute correspondence to everyone on the list, but when that’s not the case, you carry on with your life, completely oblivious of what you’ve missed, only to get a call a few hours into the day from a friend asking why you weren’t at “insert event here” today. The classic response follows: “I didn’t get the e-mail.” Fixing the issue to avoid it in the future is virtually impossible. There’s no post office you can throw your complaints to, no mailman you can strangle, no post office vehicle you can hijack and go on a joyride with. Unless you know exactly what caused the problem – often not a problem until it happens – you’re pretty much in the dark, and worst of all, you’re also out of the loop.

E-mail sucks.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The end is near indeed for the class of 2012

My school year started a week later than most, so today was my first day back at North Broward. It didn't really live up to my expectations, though.

Senior year is supposed to be laid back and whatnot, but I'm really not getting that vibe as a year 2 IB student. I'm already getting tons of homework in addition to the several somewhat threatening 13-page essays I must bring myself to produce in order to receive a diploma. The SATs and ACTs I have yet to retake are lingering at the back of my mind as I face the college application process with mediocre scores and a bit of anxiety.

It's really strange. I've been looking forward to this year expecting it to be amazing. We have a few perks, like off-campus lunch privileges and the ability to wear dress code exempt sweaters, but it seems like it won't be as awesome as the class of 2011 claimed it was. Not yet, I guess.

But then again, I have yet to discover solidarity with my classmates when we realize how quickly it ends, the feeling of having some certainty in my future, and a day cold enough to wear a school pride sweater.

We'll see.

Back to Football

The Archbishop McCarthy Maverick football team will open up its season against Cardinal Gibbons at 7 PM Friday. The game will be played at McCarthy, admission is $5 for all attendees. Archbishop McCarthy is located at 5451 S Flamingo Road in Southwest Ranches, between Griffin and Stirling.

Senior Year

It is officially my senior year of high school and I am E-X-C-I-T-E-D. All I can think about is grad bash and prom and how it's my LAST YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL. Now, I am pretty sure this is normal behavior and that many other seniors are feeling the same way as I am. But there is one thing I haven't really given a chance to think about.
Today at my school, we had an assembly for all the seniors and a topic mentioned was how it seems like it's just the beginning of the year now. But this year is going to go by fast. I remember gulping and breathing heavily for a moment (okay, not literally) and just thinking to myself "It's my last year of high school..."
As joyous as I may be for my last year of high school, it's a sort of scary thought. I'm transitioning into adulthood basically once I graduate high school. Then I will be off to the world of college! It feels like just yesterday I was a freshman in high school walking through those doors saying "Wow..." Except I didn't walk through doors or even say anything. I got off a school bus and sat down on a bench waiting for my friends.
In a way, I don't want school to end just yet. Yes, I know. What a nerd! But seriously, high school so far has been the most important years of my life. Both good and bad have happened but what I remember the most is the good. It's never easy saying goodbye to ANYTHING and so it's going to be a tad bit depressing saying goodbye to all the good memories.
Of course, I'll have them locked up inside my heart forever. But being in high school is liking reliving every good and bad experience in school every single day.
So graduating will be interesting. I have no idea what to expect. But as scared and excited as I may be, I plan on embracing this school year and enjoying every aspect of it!

Flashcards for iPhone Users

I know reviewing important vocab is hard to do, especially since most of us are always on the go. And now that I take both Latin II and Italian I, I need to take the extra time to make sure I don't confuse the two languages.

That being said, I just got an iPhone about a month ago, and I found a cool Flashcard app. Its easy to use, I can make my own flashcards and save the deck to my Library, or I can upload a specific deck from the many that others users have posted online (you can get the online decks straight from the app).

The best thing about it though, is that the online decks are categorized by subject, and many of the vocab from the same books that I use have already been uploaded on the app. So for my Italian class, I can just search the name of my Italian book, and flashcard decks of the vocab come up from every chapter in the book.

In the iPhone App Store, you can search for the app Flashcardlet, it's free, and you will be able to use this awesome resource for any class you choose.

Grandma's House!

Today, I visited my grandma after school because I hadn't seen her for an entire week, which is a long time for me! Once again I was met with food that only a grandmother could make and lemonade waiting on the table. Some of my earliest memories include my grandma either cooking, or dancing, or just having fun with her grand kids.
When I think about all the hardships my grandma went through, I am still amazed that she smiles and laughs. She always has something positive to say and always helps people, even if they might treat her badly sometimes. She has really been through it all, whether it be abuse (Not one of her best times), motherhood, immigration, or grandmother-hood.
Some quality time with my grandma always puts my life back into perspective. Her simple ways and funny take on the world make me remember that there are still good people in the world. She is a living example of the fact that even through rough times, a person may always have the chance to be happy in the end.

Milk's Favorite Cupcake

What's better than milk and cookies? Oreo Cupcakes!


Buy white cake batter and follow the directions in the back of the box.

To bake…

  • Put 14 Oreos in a plastic bag and crush into crumbs(or if you have grinder, grind the cookies).
  • Pour crumbs into batter and fold in with a whisk.
  • Pour the batter into the paper cups 1/3 full.
  • Add a Mini Oreo in the center of the batter and put more batter on top.
  • Now bake the cupcakes in 350 degrees for 16-21 minutes.
To decorate…
  • For every 2 dollops of whipped vanilla frosting add 1 dollop of marshmallow fluff.
  • Put the mixture into a pastry bag or plastic bag.
  • Swirl frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes.
  • Crumble more oreos and sprinkle over frosting.
  • Finally add a Mini Oreo on top.
Easy right? Enjoy these yummy cupcakes with a tall glass of milk!



Survival Guide to Studying

I'm sure all of us have been hit with a wave of exhaustion now that we're back in school. This exhaustion is due to several things, whether it be that boring homeroom teacher or those tedious after school activities. With all that is going on now, the worst thing that we as students have to deal with is that first exam of the year and the many more to come. If you're a procrastinator like me, studying becomes pretty difficult, simply because it's so BORING! Here are a few helpful hints that have helped me to study without passing out:

1. Instead of waiting until the last minute to cram every bit of information in your brain, try studying small sections each night a week or two in advance from the exam. Not only will you spend less time studying, you will also remember more.

2. Music can also help. When we study for long periods of time, we get tired easily, causing us to pay less attention to what we're reviewing. By listening to music with a constant beat or rhythm, we can keep a steady pace studying.

3. Quizzing our peers and friends before a test can also help us to remember the material ourselves. As we talk, we also reinforce and reassure ourselves with the right information.

I'm sure these tips will make studying much easier and it may even improve grades. It will also prevent this from happening:

(This is me "studying" for an AP exam two years ago)

Happy Studying:))

Surviving Freshman Year: The First Week

Okay, so we all know that today marked the second week of school. That's a good thing. Great, in fact. That means I survived the first week of (dun dun dun...) HIGH SCHOOL.

To be truthful, I honestly wasn't nervous the last few days of summer. In fact, I was excited. I couldn't wait for the summer to be over. I started getting nervous the morning of, as I was walking to West Broward.

My middle school was really tiny. Like so tiny you could fit five of them in my school. So, as you could probably imagine, I was not used to such a HUGE atmosphere. But, I have a handful of good friends by my side, and I know this year will be great.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I'm a big snacker. I love my snacks, especially when I study. For me, there's nothing better then a big bag of doritos to go along with the five chapters of APUSH I have to read.

Incase you don't know, that jumbo bag of doritos has a jumbo amount of calories, carbs, fat, and sodium. Which is very, very, very, very bad for you.

Lately, I've been really into this whole "healthy snacking" thing.
It's supersupersuper cool.

Basically, I find and try new healthy snack options that can replace my beloved doritos.

So far, my favorite is a baked (roasted) chickpeas recipe. It's very good and very easy to make, and this is coming from the girl who burns water!

All you need is:
1 Can - Chick Peas
2 Packets - Truvia (or the sugar substitute of your choosing)
1/2 Teaspoon - Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon - Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon - Sea Salt
Olive Oil Spray

Check out this full YouTube demonstration. Trust me, once you try it, you'll be hooked!


Comment & Let me know if you liked the recipe, want more, or have any questions! (:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Un Techo Para Mi Pais (A Roof For My Country)

One word to describe my past summer experience...UNFORGETTABLE. This recent summer was truly remarkable, not so much as life changing but more eye opening and mind boggling. I volunteered over the summer in Peru in an organization called 'Un Techo Para Mi Pais' (A Roof for my County). In a setting which was quite disturbing but nevertheless beautiful filled with amicable people.

The major problem was poverty, and our goal was to take a big task on our hands and eradicate this problem by helping build wooden made basic houses to give to most needed families.

In total there were 7 families, meaning 7 groups with 6 people in each group. It required team work, dedication, and for 4 days giving up alot of the norm we were used to. We didnt take showers for 4 days, while going to sleep in an elementary school on the pavement floor.

Volunteers would have to do some heavy lifting up and down mountains to reach the houses. There was constant tripping, falling, and sliding. While also, without a choice, constantly stepping on dog excrement. It was completely worth it because it was for an incredible cause. After doing the heavy lifting on the first day, we would start building and setting up the houses. By the end of the day we would have group activities discussing out day and general poverty situations and facts.

It was appalling; the families lived on top of mountains in small 10 meter square houses, on dirt floors with plastic walls set up supported by wooden sticks and bricks. In that house lived a family of 5.

Despite being in a situation like this, the families had a kind and gracious attitude. They were so thankful for being given such an amazing opportunity. I will surely be returning soonto help out more.The smiles on the families' faces were truly indescribable; it instilled a sense of happiness and hope, the hope to make progressand gradually eliminate extreme poverty in countries like this.

SideNote: The first picture features, two siblings from our group family Cecilia and Alejandro, in front of their home. The xecond picture shows the volunteers heading to their families homes, and the third picture is the bathroom.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I know right about now, your head is probably spinning with all of the new changes in your life. Don't worry! It does, in fact, get better. Once you get your classes and meet all of your teachers and peers, things begin to get easier. My advice to you is to manage your time wisely because as you get older, the work load increases. If you can learn efficient time management young, then you will be on the road to success! Also, do the best you can to earn good grades because in the end, it will pay off! Remember to enjoy your time in high school because it comes and goes quickly! Just think about it, four years from now you will be sitting at your high school graduation wondering where all of the time went. Remember to take on new opportunities because you are creating memories that will last a life time! Don't forget to do the absolute best you can, but remember to have fun too!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer's Over, School's in Session

The last two months have been a whirlwind of so many different events continously colliding with each other until collapsing this past weekend in a heap of distraught feelings. My sophomore year in high school has finally arrived, and this is going to be the biggest and most difficult school year I will have come across so far.

This past summer, I went on my first cruise to Key West and Cozumel with my family, visited Alaska for a week on a church missions trip, spent three hilarious weeks with my favorite cousin, and earned my amazing laptop I've worked so hard to get. Also, I interviewed one of my favorite bands at SuperCon, (Honor Society) while getting my very first journalism piece on Teenlink's website, which was pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

So school started yesterday, and wow; it just hit me how fast summer flew by. I thought freshman year was a pain to be in, but this year I have two advanced placement courses and three honors classes. There's so much chaos going on for only the first two days of school, but I know that if I want to achieve my dream of going to the University of Florida, I'll need to study my hardest these next three years.

Scream It Like You Mean It tour 2011

On August 2, 2011 I went to the Scream It Like You Mean It tour that Breathe Carolina was opening up for. They were fantastic and it was great finally seeing them after wanting to see them for over a year since I missed them at Warped Tour 2010. Their new album was a hit and it seemed like everyone that came out to their show knew the words to their songs, new and old. The other bands such as Stranded At Sea, The Color Morale, The Air I Breathe, Chiodos, and I See Stars were great as well. I recommend the Rockettown venue to anyone who enjoys going to concerts and shows, the venue provides a great interactive experience between the bands and the fans.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fall Concert Preview: Langerado Music Festival

Cypress Bay High School

Twenty-three acres of Markham Park in Sunrise will be crowded with music fans from around the world on October 8 and 9 for the return of Langerado Music Festival.
Headliners include Grammy-nominated Death Cab for Cutie and one of Rolling Stone's "Greatest Guitarists of All Time", Trey Anastasio.
The annual music festival has previously been held at the Seminole Big Cypress Indian Reservation in the Everglades and now comes to Sunrise after a two year break due to poor ticket sales in 2009.
With the strong lineup currently being advertised on Langerado's official website, there seems to be no chance that the festival will not come close to selling out.
Other performers include: Ben Harper, Ween, Thievery Corporation, Artic Monkeys, G. Love & Special Sauce, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Wolfgang Gartner, The Glitch Mob, Ghostland Observatory, among others.
To the delight of local concert goers, Langerado is bringing a selection of bands (many falling into the alternative genre) that so frequently skip over South Florida during their tours.
Advance 2-day pass tickets are currently being sold at $150, later to be increased to $180 regular passes.
More festival information and tickets can be found at www.langerado.com.
(Image from Langerdo)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Beachin' It

I had a wonder family day at Miami Beach with the whole family. From 12 to 6 we relaxed at the beach and laid in the beautiful sun. The water was absolutely perfect with minimal waves and refreshing water. We each brought sweet fruits, mini sandwiches, and snacks that could last for days! The day couldn’t have been any better. It was a great way to end the week with family.

The Woes of College Applications

It's finally that time. The past twelve years of schooling have prepared us for this moment. The summer before senior year has come and gone, and the time to face the rigorous torture that are college applications has finally come.

Do not fret, however. There are certain tips that will undeniably ease your stress when applying to college.

First, remember to take your time. College applications are long and tedious, and they require both your full attention and a sharp eye. This isn't just your English paper, guys. This is your future.

Something else to consider when applying to college that may make your life just a little easier is choosing to apply online. Most colleges offer an online application, and out of state schools often offer a supplement available on the Common Application website. (www.commonapp.org) Applying online can make things a lot simpler for you and your family, so taking advantage of this opportunity is most definitely in your best interest.

Talk to your friends and parents. Remember, you're not going through this alone. If your parents didn't go to college, then talk to someone who recently graduated and knows the process well. They may have tips for you to spruce up your application and really make it shine.

Finally, take a deep breath. Applying to college is probably one of the most stressful things you've gone through thus far, but it really isn't as horrible as you think it is. Remember, colleges are on your side. They want to admit new students who are excited about attending their school. If you stay positive and knock out those applications, everything will work out. It helps to think about the fact that you're on your way to some of the best experiences of your life.


Common App: https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/default.aspx
FSU Admissions: http://admissions.fsu.edu/
UCF Admissions: http://admissions.ucf.edu/
USF Admissions: https://secure.vzcollegeapp.com/usf/default.aspx?cid=87&ltid=1
UF Admissions: http://www.admissions.ufl.edu/
UNF Admissions: http://www.unf.edu/admissions/
FGCU Admissions: http://www.fgcu.edu/admissions.asp

Authentic yoga, anyone?

In all the downtime students had over the summer, we all indulged in some new habits and practices that will most likely dwindle during the school year. Like exercise. Like yoga.

So yoga is the new, hip thing EVERYONE is doing. Myself, included.

The ancient Hindu art of yoga. The union of the mind, body and soul. An arrangement of physical movements, asanas, and mental concentration and relaxation.

Yeah, most people probably don't get any of that from their Saturday morning yoga sesh.

It is an intrinsic part of the Hindu way of life, a daily reverence to the Divine within. Yoga is not a practice done once a week, or just whenever you're in a 'hippie-mood'.

The asana, those freaky pretzel-like poses, is merely a single limb of the eight associated with yoga. These limbs encompass all of the physical and mental attributes of the practice, and severing one from the rest leaves the yogi disabled. Every movement of every asana must be synchronized with the breath and the mind, enveloping the body and mind in a complete, spiritual experience.

Much of the Western world is focused on this single limb, thus depriving the largest portion of the world’s yoga practitioners of the full benefits. Undoubtedly, there are benefits to be reaped from yoga that are purely physical, but the practice is diminished when the asanas are taken out of context. It's pointless to stretch and pose and breathe when your mind is a million miles away, thinking about an upcoming movie, an embarrassing memory, an overdue term paper, whatever. Focus is key!

Does anyone even know where yoga came from?

Yoga has earned immense popularity in lands far from its hearth. The recent movement demanding the return of yoga to its creator centers on the Hindu reclaiming of the art. Although the Western world acknowledges yoga’s ancient Hindu roots, it has also been accepted by leaders in the yoga 'industry' that associating the word Hindu with yoga gives the practice too much unwelcome baggage. And this is easy to understand. The depiction of Hinduism in the minds of Westerners is uncharacteristically colorful, near-savage and eccentric. Yoga has a completely divergent portrayal. It is viewed as a peaceful act, associated with the vibrations of "Om" and the gentle sound of the ocean. But in reality, Hinduism is identified with more than savage gods and cows. Our traditions may be colorful, but they are painted with peaceful mantras and the belief that God is the Supreme, manifested across the Universe in infinite ways.

Yoga is a means of spiritual attainment for all who seek it; those who are aware of the underlying purpose of the practice can achieve the same as the saffron-clothed sages residing in the Himalayas. It's a deep practice that relieves stress, creates harmony, purges the mind of all negativity and revitalizes the body.

So if you're going to yoga, go all the way. Because you're cheating yourself! And because one day, when you mention in conversation that you 'do' yoga, just to give yourself a cool persona, you might be talking to someone who actually knows a thing or two about the art. And then you're caught.

As the summer doors close, the school doors open

The countdown started with months, then weeks, and finally days. As the time left in summer vacation continues to dwindle, the 2011-2012 school year is just around the corner. Bright and early Monday morning, my summer will be over and the overwhelming stress, endless studying, and sleepless nights will begin once again.
Even though saving my summer reading for this week may have not been the best idea, it was worth it having two full months without a worry on my mind. This summer happened to be the most relaxing and carefree one to date. Without having a job, going to camp, or doing anything that required a commitment, I almost forgot what it is like to wake up to an alarm clock and have a set schedule. Since this school year will be my busiest yet, I will have to reluctantly make the difficult transition from having too much free time on my hands to having slim to none at all.
This summer, I had two weeks of excitement. One week I attended Camp Orlando, which is a journalism camp for yearbook students. I learned a lot of valuable tips and information during the workshop and I also had a phenomenal time bonding with my yearbook staff. The following week, I went on an eight day cruise aboard the Carnival Freedom. I relaxed at a beach in Cozumel, Mexico, drove through the rain forests and banana plantations of Costa Rica, and visited the Panama Canal in Panama. I also happened to make some lifelong friends and memories that I will never forget.
As my sophmore year approaches, I look forward to new classes, new teachers, new friends, and new beginnings. Even though a fresh school year is always exciting, I will miss summer and everything that came along with it. However, there is one thought that will keep me motivated: in just ten months, I can do it all over again.

By Niki Wasserman

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Telluride Association Summer Program (or, In Which I Struggle to Describe My Summer Experiences)

Most TASPers find their TASP experience difficult to define. According to the Telluride Association’s website, a Telluride Association Summer Program is “a six-week educational experience for high school juniors that offers challenges and rewards rarely encountered in secondary school or even college.” And while I suppose this is true, TASPers rarely settle for these words as a singular definition. TASP is something more: a summer dedicated entirely to ideas, language, and thrillingly brilliant peers who share a love of thought.

For admission, prospective TASPers (cutesily called TASPlicants) complete what the website calls a “rigorous application process” – five essays, including a literary analysis and a discussion of a particularly interesting intellectual problem, as well as a book list. Once one has panicked, scrambled, triple-checked, word-counted, and finally submitted the files, TASPlication readers spend a few months selecting around 100 applicants as TASP finalists. The finalists are then contacted for interviews by Telluride Associates – often TASP alumni – in their hometown. For those of us lucky enough to be ultimately admitted to the program, the interview serves as a tiny preview of the intellectual microcosm that’s about to become our own for a summer.

My TASP, held at the University of Michigan, centered around a daily seminar: Freedom, Dialogue, and Polarization. My fifteen seminar-mates and I read everything from the ancient Greeks to Shakespeare to Roe v. Wade. We wrote essay after essay into the morning light (not figurative. I once stayed up until 6:30 working on a paper). Never have I been forced to delve so deeply into and think so critically about what comprise the some of the most complex texts I’ve ever come across. Discussions were serious and often intense, but always open-minded and laced with goofy TASP humor (think impromptu Team Cordelia vs. Team Lear debates in our discussion of King Lear). Seminar stands alone as my most important academic of yet. Those three hours every morning changed the way I think about my studies, my writing, even my own thought processes.

TASPers are uniformly intelligent and driven, but what stands out in the lovely people with whom I spent my summer is their genuine passion and warmth. I’ve never come across such a group so excited to debate the philosophical implications of the ambiguity of the word “sandwich”, nor have I been so amazed by a group of peers’ open displays of authentic generosity and kindness. From spontaneous rain dances and poetry readings to smoothie-making parties and basement workout sessions, much of TASP is about fun with a group of people who quite often seem eerily like one’s kindred spirits.

TASP was not perfect. Yes, most of us ended up getting 4 hours of sleep each night (at best!), and yes, living with 31 seventeen year olds in a sorority house can become intense. Yet for many 2011 TASPers, the experience already feels like a formative one. When I walked back into my house after forty-two sweltering Michigan days, I felt a little different—perhaps not yet prepared to write a Pulitzer Prize winning volume or even fully understand how to play the game Diplomacy, but changed, filled now with memories of an irreplaceable community of 32 that prized incisive thinking, compassion, and a genuine joy for living thoughtfully.

(Image -- Cleaning Committee TASPers take a philosophical approach to their duties)