It’s hard to imagine life without summer vacation. What would we do without lazy summer days catching up on sleep, spending the day at the beach, or trying to earn some money in a seasonal job? The summer-off schedule evolved when we had a more agricultural society, so that kids could help families on the farm. Some say that this is an outdated model in our modern society, especially given the academic declines that occur for some students during the summer break. As a result, the shift to year-round school is becoming a more common practice. Continue reading “The Pros and Cons of Year Round School”
“Home is where the heart is”, but it has also become where students and parents provide a non-traditional setting for learning. Parents and students, alike, have chosen to take part in home-based instruction, but some are still hesitant on wondering if it is the best decision in getting seen by the college of their choosing. Homeschooling is not a new phenomenon and has continued to grow since the 1980’s. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, over 2.5 million students are homeschooled in the United States. Whether accompanied by individual instruction or e-learning supplementation, homeschool is a fantastic alternative and is respected by institutions of higher-learning. Continue reading “How to Get The Most Out of Being HomeSchooled”
As an American, I’ve always considered traveling to Europe to be “Travel-Lite.” That statement is in no way meant to imply some kind of elitist condescension about what denotes “real” travel or not. On the contrary, European countries, such as Italy, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom (which is a part of Europe whether it likes it or not), are some of the most fascinating sites in the world to explore for history, culture, and general atmosphere. Go on a study abroad trip there and I might be your instructor! Continue reading “5 Preparation Tips for Traveling Outside the U.S. and Europe”
As we quickly approach Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate® (IB), and a vast list of more college preparatory tests, applications, or study abroad programs, stress can become the greatest adversary. Continue reading “How to Manage Your Academic Stress”
“Anthea, are those parachutes?!” my friend asked me. And just like that, I was so excited I practically shook in my dusty, busted sandals. I felt that feeling in the pit of my stomach – the one that usually means I’m about to experience an adrenaline rush. “I think they might be?” I said, looking over the edge at the dark, disappearing shapes falling through the thick, white of clouds circling the top of Mt. Fuji, leaving trails behind them. Continue reading “Hiking Mt. Fuji: Friendly Advice From Someone Who Made All the Mistakes For You”
Cuba and U.S. relations have improved enough that visiting is no longer impossible. One must apply for the appropriately categorized trip on their visa. Cuba is almost indescribable in less than fifty thousand words, but suffice it to say the culture, history, and nature are uniquely beautiful. And the people are unlike anywhere else – a particular kindness, and an unusual sense of safety for two women traveling alone, was a pleasant surprise. Continue reading “Cuba’s Fusterlandia: Transforming a Neighborhood”
What do Korea’s demilitarized zone and Chernobyl, Ukraine have in common? It may sound like the beginning to a poorly chosen joke, but it’s a sincere question with an unexpected answer. Both areas have become nature sanctuaries. Both regions are undisturbed by human activity and construction, allowing animals to flourish and plant life to return unmitigated by industry or landscaping. After the destruction of war and nuclear catastrophe in 1986, Chernobyl’s exclusion zone has seen the return of a number of species to the area, including the intentional introduction of one species. Continue reading “Overgrowth in Chernobyl: Interesting Botany and Wildlife in the Exclusion Zone”
Overtone singing is the practice of splitting one’s voice so that two tones are audible. The tones can be the same note, or one can remain constant while the other modulates. Perhaps most eerily beautiful is when both tones change at the same time. The effect, you can imagine, is astonishing for those unfamiliar with the talent; an individual singer will produce two haunting voices simultaneously, both the lead and the background to the same song. The practice requires skill and a great deal of work to perfect.
Continue reading “Music and Opera in Mongolia”
Toward the end of my freshman year, although the college process was still far away, I became anxious as the intimidating standardized tests, said to determine my future, were still a foreign concept. So, I decided to dedicate two weeks of my summer to familiarizing myself with the ACT. Now, as a soon to be high school graduate, I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I made during my high school career.
I’ve heard Chernobyl, Ukraine is best described as a living museum. It’s perhaps the best way to explain what is now referred to as the exclusion zone because it truly feels like even the cities decomposition is a way of preserving what happened there. The exclusion zone – the region now off limits due to residual radioactivity from the 1986 power plant accident – is largely deserted, apart from the military and scientific staff that are rotated in shifts to maintain its borders and keep a close eye out for fires or illegal settlers. Continue reading “Stained Glass, Art, and Murals in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone”