Welcome to my blog, the online version of my life!

Monday, October 31, 2011


Sooooooooooooo much candy in my bag. I am obviously not going to eat it all tonight.

Stanford Splash!!

I had an awesome time at Stanford Splash! Splash is a thing where students at Stanford teach classes to middle and high school kids. A small area at Stanford is devoted to Splash, and we walk around going to really cool classes. The campus is beautiful!

The classes are good. I took lots of classes I enjoyed over the weekend that is Splash, such as a class called "The World's Largest Rodent, Dr. Seuss Birds, and Other Amazonian Oddities". The teacher had just come back from a few months in Peru, studying the animals of the Amazon rainforest. She showed us her pictures of the animals and told us about them. Did you know that the world's largest rodent, the capibara, is considered a fish in Peru, just so it can be eaten on Catholic holidays?
My favorite class was Introduction to Photography. The teacher talked about visual effects that make a nice photograph and how to create them, then took us outside to try them out. We were given assignments for our photos. The first assignment was to take a picture of a flower straight on. I took several, and here's one.

Next we had to take pictures of people. Awwwww.

Next we paired up and posed each other. I took some good pictures of my partner, a sweet kid named Maryam.

Then the assignment was to do a group photo shoot, and Maryam offered to be the model. At first it was a bit awkward, but then she laughed and laughed and laughed. I;m sure everyone got several pictures of Maryam laughing.

That was my last class. Eventually the group goofed off, and by the end we were all laughing too.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Parkour-related things

I tried to wall-run up the side of my house, but my house is very different from the tall triangular blocks at parkour. For one thing, it's way slipperier. My feet slipped right off it and I slid down it. For another thing, it has splintery shingles. Ouchhhhhhh.
Stanford SPLASH starts tomorrow! Hooray! I'll tell you all about it afterward. (By the way, hi there new followers!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Things I Am Not Prepared For

1. Halloween! I have really not worked on my banana slug costume at all. Oh well, I do have a backup costume: a dead person. I would dress the way I always do, but with a little fake blood. I'd ring the doorbell and then lie in front of the door looking dead. When they got freaked out and started to call 911, or went back inside (depending on the effectiveness of my trick), I would get up and say "Trick or treat!"

2. NaNoWriMo... my plot is not ready, I feel like I don't like my plot, and I'm unimaginably busy even without trying to write over 600 words a day. I am worried that I will quit NaNo a week in. On the other hand, I never get out my longer ideas if I don't have the pressure of NaNoWriMo. So what to do, what to do? Here is my NaNoWriMo book's "cover picture" that I made. (It's going to be about some kids doing NaNoWriMo.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

High School!

I visited CPS (the College Preparatory School) today. It looks like a great place with lots of dedicated students. Every student I talked to said they liked school and the classes were actually fun. I haven't visited any other schools yet, so I'll see how other schools compare.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Save Save the Words

One of my favorite websites, has mysteriously disappeared. It was really cool too, a website with underused words. I learned the words quaeritate, mingent, senticous, keleusmatically, boreism, and essomenic from it!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Question

Hi followers,
I might or might not change to a different blog template, because this one feels a little weird with all the background color. If I changed I'd keep the same abstract orange image, but it would only be at the top where the header is, not behind the posts, and there wouldn't be the transparent strips. What do you think? Is the background and all the photos too much? Please comment.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Learning to Lie

There is an exercise in a writing class I'm doing called Learning to Lie. You write three paragraphs, each about a fact about yourself. Two of the facts must be true, and one must be false. Here's what I wrote. If you know me, do you think I chose facts well? If you don't know me, can you tell which one is false?

1. I have a pet macaw named Flame. My parents got him for me for my seventh birthday, and I think I named him that because the feathers on his head and neck are flame-colored. I had an idea that if I got a parrot I could teach it to talk and sit on my shoulder, but Flame never has said anything that sounded like a human word. He does sit on my shoulder when I put him there, but he always flaps off after a few seconds.
2. My grandmother used to own a one-hundred-year-old Sartori violin bow. She inherited it from somebody—I don’t know who—and it sat around with her violin for ages. A couple years ago she wanted to take up violin again, since she hadn’t played for a long time. But when a violin expert saw her bow, she found out how valuable it was. She sold it and it paid for a vacation to Italy.
3. I have written a novel every year for the last three years. I do a yearly writing challenge called NaNoWriMo where I set a goal for how many words I want to write, and then write a novel in a month. The first time I did it I wrote about 5,000 words in the whole month. The second I wrote 12,000 words, and the third time I wrote 15,000 words.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Prepare yourself for a really long post!
My family spent the weekend in Yosemite, along with the Mnookin-Dienstags, who have a son Solomon's age, Isaac, and a daughter about my age, Sophia. We all had a great time, and I took a lot of pictures of the park's nature.
 On the first day we all hiked to Vernal Falls, which three people fell from recently and died. While we were there, divers were trying to find the bodies. But don't worry, it's not as scary as that. These were stupid people who crossed the fence, waded in the river, and were pulled by the current. Then someone else tried to save them and fell over too. Do you see the moral??
Yosemite has tons of waterfall, and we had a clear view of Nevada Falls (another waterfall) from the trail.
 And here is Vernal Falls:
 When we reached the end of the trail, on top of the falls, I took some pictures...
...but my foot hit my backpack, lying on the ground. My camera's case fell out and-- before I could even reach toward it-- slid across the rock and over the waterfall.
"Sasha, your camera case!" Rafie said.
"Damnit." I laughed. I placed my camera back in my backpack and moved away from the edge.

At the campsite, there are a lot of squirrels!
The next day we took a shorter hike, up Sentinel Dome, a large rock with an awesome view of Yosemite!
 Solomon climbed on a tree famous for Ansel Adams' photograph of it, which has now fallen over but is still extremely beautiful. (May I add that, throughout the trip, I was really awed by Adams' photos of Yosemite!)
 The river:
 On the last day we biked, without the Mnookin-Dienstags, to the impressive Yosemite Falls.
 I scrambled over rocks toward it.
 And eventually, from just beneath it, took this photo:
At the very end of the trip (today), we all ate a buffet brunch at the Ahwahnee hotel (where we were not staying, we just went there for brunch). The food there is really good! I filled my plate with a little of many things, then went back to get some desserts afterwards. I was stuffed!