Back to Everything

So I've been going to high school for a few weeks now and its been a bit of a culture shock. After Ashwood and a summer playing music, singing, and swimming at the lake, its pretty different to be inside, surrounded by hundreds of students all going from one eighty minute class to the next with intermittent pauses to listen to the directions and announcments that come over the loud speaker. Despite this, high school is full of amazing opportunities and interesting peers and teachers alike. It's nice to be back at school however much I sometimes wish I were still skipping through the lovely days of summer.


My classes are mostly challenging so that's a plus, and there are all sorts of opportunities for musical endeavors. In the photo you can see my sheet music for All State and District Three choral auditions. Also in the photo you can see my latest read, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. For anyone who hasn't read this you should definitely give it a shot. The story isn't a bucket of sunshine and has its harshness, but it is very engaging and beautifully written. I loved it.


Not only am I back to school, but piano and vocal lessons started back up last week! Piano is especially exciting because this summer I got a 1909 Mason & Hamlin grand piano in beautiful condition. Ever since I started playing, when I was somewhere towards middle of single digits, I've been working on a electric piano at home so it's amazing to have such an fabulous instrument and I am extremely fortunate that it didn't coast me and my family a fortune.


And don't let me forget dance. After the summer I am even tighter than usual and it seems my ankles and legs are going to need some readjusting to being on point. We didn't even do that much, but my feet were pretty sore after an evening of standing on their toes in addition to a modern class (where I somehow managed to wear the skin of my nuckles).


Anyway now it's the weekend and I get to breath, sort of. I need to prepare for doing henna body art at Common Ground Country Fair next weekend and do the usual music practicing and homework.


So Much So Fast: 2

My Brother, my amazing brother whom I love dearly is eighteen! How did it happen? Driving, voting, he is legally an adult, which is a fact that his little sister has a hard time comprehending.


After my graduation we both headed to Kneisel Hall, which is a chamber music camp in Blue hill. KH goes most of the summer, but only a week of it is open to Maine middle and high school students who are mentored by the all summer college students. The week went by in a beautiful blur of coaching sessions, conducting classed, sight reading, ear training, and even a few musical fact quizzes. What a great way to begin the summer!


So Much So Fast: 1

My life has been going at full tilt for the last month or so. After a week long trip to Newfoundland with my class, getting sick, heading right into graduation prep as soon as my fever broke, saying goodbye to my wonderful peers, spending a week preparing for Kneisel Hall, going to KH and playing chamber music from 9 to 5 for a week, I have swept into my vacation at full tilt. This past week I have finally been able to slow down, and with my computer fixed, able to look through all my photos since leaving for Canada.


Just getting to Newfoundland was an entire chapter of our trip. After a ten hour car ride, over night fairy, and four hour trip to Gros Morne National park where we would be staying in a little fishing village, we unpacked our two vans which had been loaded with all of our gear, us, and enough food for what seemed closer to a few months than a week.


We were all pretty zonked after the long day and a half of highway after highway.


Although not so much that we weren't able to have to have some fun together.


Somedays we were the brightest colors to be seen…


and somedays it was bitterly cold in the wind…



…but it was also very beautiful and we weren't about to let weather get in our way, we grew up in Maine for after all.


A few of my beautiful freinds.


Who would guess that we would end up with German guides when we went zip lining in Newfoundland?


This photo was taken by Ginny, right before a subset of us went to climb Gros Morne. Are shoes saw a lot that hike, from snow and and large rocks, to piles of moose poop.

It was worth it when we got there though.


We were on top of the world.


Thank you to Mr. E for making it all happen, pushing us when we needed pushing, and most importantly telling us when it was time to quit for our own safety. I know we can be a bit head strong.


On the night of our graduation we each sent a paper lantern into the sky. I don't know exactly what the person who came up with the idea had originally had in mind, but for me when I let go of mine I was letting go of seeing my classmates everyday. Letting go of some of our dependence on each other, but also wishing for new connections to form and old ones to stay strong.



It's officially here and finally being clear of its intention to stay. With it has come the final weeks of school which are about to be over, and also the end of my eighth grade project. This doesn't mean I'm about to stop blogging and proprioceptive writing or anything drastic like that, they're just no longer officially school work, although I'm not sure I ever actually thought of them like that anyway.

And… I got a new camera! It's a Lumix LX7 by Panasonic. It takes lovely photos without taking up an awful amount of space, but it is also a serious upgrade in quality from my previous point and shoot. The LX7 is really perfect for someone like me who likes to have something easy and portable as well as having some more accessible manual controls, and very high quality photos.

I just started doodling around with it and haven't quite got the hang of the auto and manual focus modes.



Yay for vacation! It is so nice to have some time to decompress and get some of the things done that there normally isn't enough time for. A couple of days ago I went through my school binder because its three rings were completely packed, and it was getting impractical I couldn't have fit much more than a few extra papers in there to save my life, and I was growing tired of using the side pockets all the time. I kept the things I'd be needing in the near future, set aside all the other older school work, and had fun cutting out and looking over some of the doodles I've done throughout the year.

The snake doodle in this photo was inspired by Vi Hart. She is an amazing “mathemusician” and is now working for Khan Academy which is also an amazing website if you are into math and science… You may know Vi Hart from her videos, but if you don't then you should definitely check her out. Her videos are quite entertaining and I can guarantee you'll walk away with a lot of fabulous math thoughts bouncing around your head. I especially like her “doodling in math class” videos.




This doodle actually turned into a card for some friends of mine.


I can't quite believe how close we are to the end of the school year, it's sneaking up so fast. I almost don't want 8th grade to end, but I also can't wait for summer.



The other day my mom was going through some old clothing that belonged to my grandpa’s cousin and her family. It was the oddest collection of clothes, from ball and dressing gowns to maids’ uniforms, and being me, I decided I would like to try some of the things on. It was mostly for fun, but I was also looking to see if there was anything I might actually want to wear.


Riding pants. More like frog pants. Maybe that’s what I’ll do for next Halloween, be a frog.


This wool skirt and lederhosen also have a rather hideous jacket to match. It looks like it might be a skating outfit because the skirt even has built-in wool pantaloons.


You probably can’t quite tell from the photo, but this dress has parrots and round crackers on it. Maybe a play off “Polly wanna cracker.” I’m not sure, but I think it’s pretty cute.


Although it was very wrinkly this shirt had the most delicate lace and sewing detail.

Trying on the clothes was such a clear glimpse into the past, even though I can’t imagine wearing some of the things. I am, however, hoping I can find the right occasion to wear at least one of the more practical outfits. Perhaps next winter I could wear the wool skirt skating if the ice on the lake gets smooth enough, or perhaps I’ll just wear it cross-country skiing.

Show Time!

Photo courtesy of Madrona Wienges

Four weeks ago my class started the last Ashwood play block we will ever have together. Our production was the Broadway Junior version of Guys and Dolls.

And since we have such a large class and were unable to find a play with a cast large enough to support all of us with enough major roles, we double cast it. That translated to about two weeks of practice time for both casts, which is infinitely too short to put on a musical, in my opinion. Anyway, for one cast I was Adelaide and for the other cast, which starred Chloë as Adelaide, I was a collection of extras.

Jonas E. played my fiancé Nathan Detroit when I was Adelaide. His mom Iris also did a lovely post about the play, and she was kind enough to let me use her photo.

Thank you so much to Madrona for catching some of our pazazz on camera. That’s Jonas, Emma, and Gabe holding Ginny, with me, Madelina and Japheth in the back.

If you can’t tell from the photos, we all had a lot of fun. Even when it looked like we would be presenting a really underrehearsed play we pulled it together and enjoyed ourselves along the way. Despite the bumps in the road, like Ginny (who played Sarah) and I being sick on our opening night and a fire alarm going off in one of our performances, we survived.

Ella (the other Sarah) and I on the car ride home from our last performance in Blue Hill.