As I have gone through my high school career there has always been one teacher who has stuck with me every year. That teacher is Ms. Kerry Holtmeier.
From the first day that I walked into her Drama I class, I knew that she was going to be the coolest theatre director and most fun teacher I have ever had, but she turned out to be so much more. Ms. Holtmeier (aka K. Holts) has taught me so much more than just acting. She has taught me what it’s like to be responsible, caring, and understanding.
She has believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. She has encouraged me to follow my heart. She is also one of the most caring individuals you will ever meet. She genuinely cares for her students well being.
She has been there for me through thick and thin and is always there to listen to my crazy stories. She’s talked me down from many ledges. Even when things get rough, I know I can come to her for advice or just a listening ear.
K Holts, I appreciate you more than you know and it hurts that I won’t get to see you everyday after I graduate. Don’t worry though because I will be visiting (you can’t get rid of me that easily).
Thank you for always being there for me and giving me the best advice, no matter what my problem was. You are such a great person and I’m thankful everyday that I had a teacher like you to help me get through some of the most confusing times of my life.
Earning it Honestly Through Hard Work and Determination: My Thoughts on the College Admissions Scandal
If you pay attention to the news or posts on Twitter and Snapchat, you know all about the college admissions scandal. Many exclusive colleges (including UCLA, Georgetown, and Stanford) have been compromised by lies and bribes. The lies include staged pictures that support claims that prospective students play sports they’ve never played to receive a scholarship. Also, ACT and SAT proctors have been bribed to give out answers or even take the test for a student. This huge scandal of parents paying ungodly amounts of money to get their children into college is insane and unfair.
As a student who has worked so hard to have a high GPA and a great resumé, it is disheartening that these students who don’t meet the qualifications are able to bypass the requirements because their parents are rich.
I’m so very lucky that my parents and grandma are helping me with college. I will forever be grateful for how much they believe in me.
Getting admitted and receiving a scholarship to my dream school wasn’t easy. It took hours of rehearsal in plays, tons of stress from having to not only memorize lines, but also stay on top of my school work. It took dedication and determination to create an impressive resumé so that I could be admitted and most importantly afford to go to Westminster.
Scholarships are difficult to receive and you must work hard and put in the effort to get them. I feel so cheated to hear that these kids are getting into top colleges purely because their parents throw tons of money away to help them cheat their way in.
My parents taught me from a young age that if you want something, you have to work for it. Handouts are never given without consequences. In order for it to even feel good, you must put in the effort to get there.
My parents weren’t very sure of me going to Westminster at first because of the price tag. In order to convince them that I was serious, I had to work my hardest. I worked for my GPA, my ACT score, my extracurriculars, and my choir scholarship. I threw all my time and effort into being the best candidate I could be. And I did it!
When I got the letter saying I got the second highest scholarship that my college gives out, I was elated. All my hard work paid off, but even then I didn’t stop. I auditioned for college choir and got yet another scholarship. It was hard, stressful, and incredibly nerve wracking, but it was worth it because I did it.
I’m not here to gloat or say that I’ve gone through more struggles than others because I haven't. I have been blessed that my family is so supportive, but I worked to get into college. I put in time and effort and endured tons of stress to get here. It’s just so disheartening that others haven’t and got in free of the stress and effort it takes to get there.
I understand that getting into college is difficult and is so much more competitive now, but cheating your way to the top is unfair to the people who took the correct path and had to endure so much only to be beat out by students who used mommy and daddy’s money to get accepted.
As any other teenager, I love watching Netflix. It has a huge variety of shows and movies for all ages and interests. I enjoy most watching the Netflix Originals because they are (for the most part) unique takes on different stories and ideas.
I love film and the way you can tell a story and even evoke emotions in viewers. I think that watching movies or shows with unique circumstances can make you think about the world in ways you haven’t before. I personally get attached to characters when I’m watching TV or reading a book and become so emotionally invested in the storylines.
Seeing as I’ve watched countless shows and movies, I have high expectations and am very opinionated on the quality of television. Honestly, if I could critique Netflix shows or movies for a living, I would in a heartbeat!
I’ve watched so many kinds of shows on Netflix so here are a few of my recommendations for different interests!
For Documentary Buffs: Explained
I personally love this series because it is so informative. I love learning, but I sometimes find full documentaries a little long and repetitive. This series quickly explains different topics in 30 minutes or less. I learned so much about the increasing global water crisis, the history of tattoos, and my personal favorite extraterrestrial life. I highly recommend this show to anyone who wants to learn a little something they didn’t know about before!
For Horror Fanatics: The Haunting of Hill House
I grew up watching scary movies with my dad and I loved them! Since I have watched so many horror movies and tv shows, there are very few that actually scare me. I binged the whole first season in solitude with the lights off, because what other better way is there to watch scary movies?
I was afraid that since this was a horror series it wouldn’t be as scary, but I was pleasantly surprised, or shall I say, pleasantly terrified. With the many scares, genuinely creative plot, and haunting plot twist, The Haunting of Hill House exceeded all expectations. Although, I do recommend watching with the lights on because I was genuinely scared to get out of bed by the end.
For Comedy Lovers: Santa Clarita Diet
I started watching this show with my Mom and Stepdad. I loved it so much that I cheated and binge watched it without them. This show is the perfect blend of comedy and spook. It’s goofy, but still has small elements of the supernatural. With the comedic spin on Zombies I thought it was brilliantly hilarious, not only with the circumstances, but as well as the family dynamics in the show. I recommend this show for anyone who wants a good chuckle and unique storyline.
With my immense love for film, I run a movie and tv show review blog called Gordy’s Gradings. If you would like to hear about more recommendations, check out my personal blog at: www.gordysgradings.wordpress.com/
Keep on keepin’ on!
Sticking up for something you believe in can be scary, but when it’s something you feel strongly about it’s important to stand up for your beliefs. For me, I take a stand against using the R-word.
The R-word was first used in a medical way to describe someone with a mental or educational delay, but this word is now used to describe someone or something as stupid or dumb.
When I was seven-years-old, I took the pledge to never say the R-word because my younger sister was born with Down Syndrome. It hurts my heart that people still use this word in harmful ways to describe people with disabilities. I would hate for my sister to ever hear that word or think her disability makes her dumb. She is so bright and such a sweetheart.
I have had to tell countless friends why I don’t like it when people use the R-word and why it personally affects me.
There was even an instance when, in front of my sister, my pediatrician called her computer the R-word. I was so flabbergasted that I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t believe that an adult in a professional setting used that word, especially in front of my little sister. Afterward, my mom and I reported it to the hospital.
I sometimes struggle to stick up for what I believe in and tell people that I don’t like it when they use that word. However, it always feels much better to stand up for something I believe in than to let it slide by.
If you would like more information about ending the use of the R-Word, you can visit this website R-Word: Spread the Word to end the Word. You can share your personal stories, take the pledge to stop using the R-word, and more!
Discrimination is experienced almost everyday by many people who look different or act different than the majority. In my life, but mostly in recent years, I have experienced a small form of discrimination and every time it happens it’s completely disheartening.
If you didn’t already know, I am very short, 4’8” to be exact. Being short has its ups and downs, though mainly downs (pun intended). Yes, being short has its perks, like always winning at hide-and-seek or never having to duck under tree branches while hiking through the woods, but it also has its downfalls.
Often times when I’m out in public I get mistaken as a child. One time I had to return a set of headphones. The cashier told me I must have an ID, so I told her, "I’ll be right back," so I could grab it from my car. Once I returned with my ID, the cashier freaked out that I was old enough to have a license. She had thought I was eight years old. I usually laugh off occasions like this because as humans we all make assumptions, but the problem that I have with assumptions is that not only are they usually false, but also after making them people treat you differently.
I cannot express on two hands the number of times an adult has treated me or talked to me as if I were an incompetent little kid, and it’s frustrating. The most frustrating however is when I correct someone and instead of treating me like a normal teenage girl they continue to talk to me as if I were 9 years old.
Discrimination can come in different shapes and sizes, but no matter the type of discrimination a person experiences, it is saddening and frustrating. Prejudices and predisposed opinions on someone who you know nothing about are not okay. I would greatly consider that next time you look at someone who is different than you, instead of making an opinion based on their looks or identity, you get to know them and make your opinion based on who they are as a person instead of what they look like.
As the new school year is approaching, you may be asking yourself how you can better stay organized. Every year before the new school year I find one way to make my life easier and more organized. For a long time I used a basic planner that I had bought from Walmart to keep track of my daily activities like play rehearsal, acapella rehearsal, and appointments. For many people these planners work well, but I could never find planners with a layout that I loved and worked perfectly for me.
Then one day as I was scrolling through Pinterest, I found the concept of bullet journals (bujos). I liked the idea because a bullet journal gave me the freedom to do whatever layout I wanted and the ability to track whatever I needed.
I made my New Year’s resolution to make a bullet journal and stay on track with it. Might I tell you it has been a big success! I fell in love with bullet journaling and find it so relaxing and fun to do. Through my own experiences, I have a few tips to share about what to do when starting a bullet journal.
1. Not everything will be perfect.
You’ll mess up sometimes and make mistakes, but it’s okay, because that’s why God made Wite-Out!
2. Keep it simple.
It’s best to start off simple and work your way up to more complex designs and layouts. Ease yourself into the hobby instead of diving in face first.
3. Do what you want.
This bullet journal is about you and it doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. My bullet journal reflects how my brain flows and my unique preferences, as yours should, too.
4. Stay on top of it.
It's easy to get into the habit of putting off making your layouts and forgeting to write down events. What I do to combat this is I have a "notes section" in my phone where I write down important dates that I need to put in my bujo later.
Lastly, and most importantly…
5. Have fun!
Keeping a bullet journal is supposed to be a stress relief and a way to let your creativity thrive while still staying organized. Don’t stress over missing a day or messing up! At the end of the day a bujo is meant for fun and creativity not restrictiveness and stress.