We took our last field trip to the conservatory. I loved seeing all the succulents and I even got to keep a few for my own home. It was a bittersweet moment but I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity to attend HSI and gain the memories that I have.

These flowers kinda look like broad heads.
I like the symmetry of this succulent. Also, it is a succulent ❤
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw these orange succulents!
I like the pattern on this plant.
This is another succulent that I found.
This plant had a cool spiral leaf in the middle.
I like this picture because the plant stole my hair! It is so curly!
I like the patterns in these little plants.
This is Hibiscus.
I love these little Venus fly traps!

End of HSI Post

Now that HSI is coming to a close, I realized I have learned a lot while I’ve been here. Some of the most important things I have learned from this class are; how to take decent photos, what it means to be media literate, how to keep an interesting blog, how to use different tools to make your photography better, and much, much more. My physical world class taught me a lot about the brain, how the human nervous system works, and the structures of the eyes, ears, and brain. My favorite memory from HSI is when we were doing Zumba with Keegan. We were dancing to a Bollywood song and one part of it required us to kick then squat. Ivan got a little too excited and a little too low and he split his pants! The funniest part is that none of us realized what had happened because he just kept going. It wasn’t until after we were done that Ivan told us what had happened. I will always remember this because Ivan was so chill about it even though he had a huge hole in his pants.

I think I have changed a bit as a person since I have been here. I think I learned how to get out of my comfort zone a little and be more sociable with others. I am much nicer now, more outgoing, and I have a new appreciation for life in general. Now I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t all fun and games the whole time, there were a lot of ups and downs. However, overall I had a great experience. I am more prepared for college because I know how the dorm life works and how to make new friends when I don’t know anyone. If I were to go back and re-live HSI, I would sign up for more activities, sign up for the talent show, and try to get out of my comfort zone more often. When I get back home, I am going to tell my family and friends how much of a great time I had, how many new friends I met, and how much I learned in just three short weeks. My advice to future HSI scholars would be: Don’t be afraid to find the new you. No one here knows you and you can be whoever you choose to be. Don’t worry about trying to impress others. Do things that are outside of your box because, who knows, you might just love it! Try to make every second one to remember because you will never get another opportunity like this.

Book Banning

We read the children’s book And Tango Makes Three today in class. Basically, it is about two gay penguins that raise a baby penguin together. Right now, it is on the banned book list for exposing children to homosexuality. Some disagree with this decision because LGBT couples are becoming more and more popular and children will be exposed to it at some point anyways. I personally believe that it should not be a book for children to read as children can’t really understand things like that at an early age. The First Amendment guarantees the right to speak freely meaning that if the American Library Association wants to put out a ban on a book, they can. Their freedom of speech is just as protected as yours or mine. There are still ways to get banned books if they aren’t offered at your public library and you don’t have to agree whether the book should be banned or not. Harry Potter was a banned book for a very long time and now it has grown into one of the most famous book/movie series of all time. It is our choice to read what books we want to just as it is ALA’s choice to ban the book. Ultimately, the parent can choose what their young children can read so if And Tango Makes Three is banned at their school, if the parent really wants their child to read it, they can find other ways of acquiring that or any of the banned books.

Body Image

In my opinion, everyone’s body is unique for a reason. It is unrealistic for average people to desire to look like models, actors, and singers. The majority of the pictures and magazines you see are photo shopped anyways. The standard of beauty we see in this society is that you have to be skinny, gorgeous, and have lots of make-up to be considered pretty. The truth is, you don’t have to conform to these standards to be beautiful. Imagine a society where everyone looked like the models do on magazines. It would be so boring that no one would want to look that way anymore. We are all unique with unique features and I don’t think we should spoil that by wanting to look like someone else. You are your own beautiful and no one can control that.

Snowy Range Mountains

We took another field trip to the Snowy Range yesterday and I can agree that it was named appropriately. Even now, near the end of June, there is still several feet of snow in some places. I had a lot of fun despite how cold it was and I think I got a few really good pictures. I saw a fox but I couldn’t catch a picture of it in time. My favorite part was when Tarena and Ivan went into the frigid water to get the perfect picture. Afterwards, we went to get ice cream, which was delicious. All in all it was a fun trip for my first time in the “Snowies.”

This is a cute little beetle I found while waiting for Matthew to climb the mountain.
I also found these mushrooms while waiting for Matthew to get down from the mountain.
After waiting for nearly ten minutes for Matthew to climb this mountain, I did end up getting a pretty awesome picture of him.
This is the river that runs through the mountains and these two people decided that they wanted to walk on the melting snow!
I couldn’t decide if this was a nine or a six but I just took a picture of it being a six.
This is the broken handrail along one of the bridges over the river.
This is one of my favorite pictures I took. The yellow really stands out against the asphalt.
This is another of my favorite pictures. I’m not sure what kind of plant it is, but it is really cute!
This is another picture of the river while it was covered in snow.
This is a cool rock pathway heading down to the edge of the river.
This is another picture of the river and I added it just because I liked it.

Comedy Next Step Reality TV

A lot of us like to watch these sort of comedic reality TV shows. Some of you may like The Office, or my personal favorite, Malcolm in the Middle. They provide comedic relief after a stressful day through their witty humor. But what makes us like these types of shows so much? Each Next Step reality show has different properties that make them unique and favored. However, they are all founded on some of the same basic principals. They are all made so that the average person can relate to it. They each depict average people living average lives. This helps the viewers connect more with the content. Alternatively, the things that make them “next step” is really what draws viewers in. In Malcolm in the Middle, this average reality show is taken to the next step by showing the family’s accomplishments in love, school, and family bonds. It appeals to everyone in the family because each character gets their chance in the spotlight and accomplish things that the average person maybe wouldn’t achieve. We must be careful when watching next step TV shows so that we aren’t tricked into thinking that this is how our lives should be.

Berry Biodiversity Center and Geological Museum Photos

We took a walk to the Geological Museum and the Berry Biodiversity Center. It was interesting to see all the different animals that were native to Wyoming long, long ago. My favorite part was the bee game in the Biodiversity Center. The object was to see how hard bees had to flap their wings to keep their bodies in the air. You had to flap your arms to keep the bee in the air while collecting flowers for bonus points. I spent several minutes in front of an Xbox Kinect frantically flailing my arms around to try to win the game. Lets just say, I probably will not be hitting the gym for a few days…

Its just a picture of me in a dinosaur!
There were these really cool birds in the Berry Biodiversity Center.
This is a really pretty pine tree outside of the Biodiversity Center.
I loved the way the leaves framed the bird feeder in this picture!
This picture was taken in the Geological Museum. You can see the really big dinosaur in the background!
I found it weird that this fruit was all dried up and dead despite the fact that it is summer.
These are just a few pretty flowers outside of the Biodiversity Center.
And more flowers…
And some more…
And finally one more…

Media Consumption

I wake up and take a shower. Get out and check my phone. I snapchat all my streaks. I eat breakfast while perusing through Facebook. I would say I am like the average teenager as far as media consumption is concerned. After school, I watch the news, specifically CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, and sometimes Buzzfeed. After that, I do my homework, go to bed, and start it all over again. I do not trust my news sources which is why I check so many of them. I would really like to decrease my media consumption. My parents watch biased news channels and expect me to agree with whatever it says simply because they are older and “wiser.” I have learned from their mistakes and I regularly check several news stations. My favorite entertainment stations are Netflix, FX Now, Snapchat, and movies. I use these entertainment stations to relax and maybe get a good laugh. Sometimes these entertainment stations interfere with my school work because I’d much rather watch Netflix than do my homework. However, my parents help me be limiting my screen time so that I can get my homework done. I really would like to decease my media use and hopefully be less reliant on my parents to guide me through this information filled world.

Cheyenne Printing Press

I had the unique opportunity to take a tour of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle in Cheyenne. I learned a bit more about the news making process and got to see some crazy machines. Here are some of my favorite pictures below.

These are just a few of the many archives that they have at the Wyoming Tribune Eagle dating back all the way to the 1800’s!
This is just a picture of the three story printing press. It originally came from Germany and is one of only 11 in the world!
This is a picture looking up in an archway under the machine. This newspaper was near the end of the printing process and had already received several layers of ink to show the colorful ads.
This is a picture of the red part of the printing press. I like this picture because it shows just how much work goes into printing a newspaper.
This is a picture of one of the dirty hand controls on the machine. I just really like it so I thought I would just add it.
These are the enormous rolls of paper used to print on. Each one is about three feet tall, weighs half a ton, and contains about fifteen miles of paper!
This is one of many packages of unused papers that is being shipped out to be recycled into more newspaper.
This is the giant shredder that they put some of the used paper to be shredded and shipped off to be recycled.
This is a close up of one of the tracks on a machine used to print on the aluminum plates that then prints the paper.
This little room had maybe a hundred of these newspaper dispensers that were waiting to be fixed. It was cool to see so many of these all in one place because they aren’t too common anymore.

Internet Identity

Recently, Harvard rescinded acceptance for several students that applied there because of posts on their social media. For most people, this might make them extremely angry. Some might ask “Why does what they post on social media matter?” “What difference does it make?” If you are one of those people, just hold on for a second while I explain some things. I completely agree with what Harvard did. In a world where technology and social media are expanding, it is important that we remember that whatever we put online is open to anybody to see. You surrender quite a bit of privacy every time you get online. If you have a public social media account, it is completely within Harvard’s jurisdiction to view applicant’s profiles and posts. Typically, one’s posts, likes, tweets, and snaps reflect their opinions and beliefs. In no way is this a bad thing. Social media is a great way to get your voice out there. However, because your social media accounts typically reflect who you are as a person, colleges and universities are now looking to social media accounts to get a better idea of their applicant’s opinions and beliefs. Your posts can be seen by anyone and it is important that who you are online represents who you are in person. Colleges have every right to refuse applicants based on their social media accounts. Your accounts represent you better than even the most well-written resumès. It is important to watch what you say both online and in person. Obviously, the difference between representing your best self and posting whatever comes to mind might cost you a spot at Harvard. Anyways, I just hope that all of you choose to represent your best self on the internet, make good choices, and be yourself!