Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Junior Lifegaurd

 Over the summer,  I tried out to train to be a Junior Lifeguard, a program run by the fire department.  I was tested in the pool, and I had to swim 100 meters in a 1:50 seconds.  I had to stay after swim team practice every day and train extra hard to become fast enough to make the time.   There are real lifeguards at the beach training us everyday.  One of the lifeguards is my swim coach who helped me pass the timed swim test.

I had to wake up early every day to arrive at the beach by 8:30 every morning and stay until 11:30.  At the beach, we were divided in three age groups.  I was placed in group C. During our training,  we learned how to save people who may be drowning, paddle, surf, and swim in the ocean.  Swimming in the ocean was the scariest part.  I was always worried about stingrays (and I saw one), sharks, and other kinds of sea animals.  Although I did enjoy swimming with the dolphins.  They would always put on a show for us.  It was incredible!  I also loved to surf.  For the first time this summer I actually stood on a surf board and caught a wave!  It was hard at first, but then I got the hang of it.  I also was allowed to tour a lifeguard tower and a lifeguard station.  We also learned how to use the cans that the lifeguard swings in the air to use if they need to save a drowning victim.   The other Junior lifeguards and I practiced saving each other. We had competitions as well.  We competed against different junior lifeguard squads form all the local beaches.  I especially did well in the running and almost always placed in the top ten. 

In addition to the instructors, we had helpers called Cadets.  They are in the highest group and have been doing Junior Lifeguards for 6-7 years.  They are not experienced and old enough to be an instructor but they are fabulous helpers for us.  My favorite one is Kourtney who is in the picture with me together with my instructor Sherri.

On my last day, I received a Junior lifeguard badge which my Grandma sewed on a one of my favorite sweaters.  I also received a certificate saying that I have finished my first year of junior lifeguard training.

Have you trained in something interesting?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Moving On

Saying goodbye isn't always easy when you like something very much.  I recently decided that I would say goodbye to ballet and move on to focus some of my other activities.  It isn't that I didn't like ballet, it was just because I had too many activities, and I was only doing ballet once a week.  I have been doing ballet for 2 and a half years.  I appreciate watching the real ballerinas perform. They make the moves look really easy, doing many turns and leaps. However, now that I have tried, I know how extremely hard it really is and how much they work to get their routines just right.  My favorite ballet teacher I have ever had is Eryka. I really liked her and she taught me many new moves.  She would always correct me and teach me new skills I didn't know.  She was also extremely kind.  I will miss her very much! I still enjoy dancing, and maybe I will stop by and take a few classes here and there. 

I also became close with the the receptionist Gabrielle and her little dog Seven.  Gabrielle named her dog Seven because she found her on the streets on July 7th which was also Gabby's birthday. Gabby would watch our class and encourage us to do well.  Gabby would sometimes bring her dog Seven, and let me hold her before class.  Seven now serves as the official Goodwill Ambassador of the ballet school. She is adorable!

Eryka and I

Gabby and I

Holding Seven


Have you started something and then decided not to continue with it?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Saying Goodbye


A few days ago, my cousin Ben left to go to University.  He worked really hard to get good grades and always did all his homework. Ben is very kind, helpful,and charming.  I admire him because he works hard at school, goes to the gym every day to get stronger, and always cares about others.  I also admire him because he is the oldest of 3 children and takes care of his younger brother and sister. He takes them to school every day and helps them with homework.

This summer, Ben and I spent a lot of time together before he left.  We went for a run on the beach, and on the way back, he told me different stories about Greek mythological heroes such as Achilles and Spartacus, so the run isn't as boring.  He  also went boogie boarding with me after the run to cool down.  Once Ben started driving, he took me to different places like Sky High and Knotts Berry Farm.  He also bought us ice cream any time we wanted.  He even babysat my younger brother and sister this summer. He picked them up in the morning, took them swimming, fed them lunch, and played with them. 

Now that he is in University  I wish him to study well and make many new friends.  I will miss him very very much, and I can't wait to see him in December!

Sarah and Ben

 We love you Ben!


Have you ever had to say goodbye to someone special?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Modern Ballet

A few days ago, I went to Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet with my family at a local community college.  My ballet teacher had tickets for some of her students to attend. We also invited my cousin Luba to come along. She also dances ballet and is already on point.  We had great seats right in the second row. We were so close that I hear every squeak of their shoes and could see every little mistake and even the dancer shaking while holding there leg up high in the air. When the curtain went up, my younger brother asked if the dancers were real. They looked so spectacular.

What was so interesting is that they danced to classical music by Bach, and Liszt. Usually modern ballet is danced to modern songs.  However, dancing a modern ballet to classical music actually looked and sounded really good. 

The difference between modern ballet (also known as contemporary) and classical ballet, is the way the body moves. Classical Ballet is very emotional and has dramatic movements that tells a fictional story, like my favorite The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.  Contemporary  is very free and expresses the emotion of the music. These contemporary dances were very graceful and dramatic.  Everything they did was in unison and musical. The men and women were extremely flexible, and the men were very muscular. They were able to lift up the women up with great ease and grace.  It was a wonderful performance and I would love to see another modern ballet.

Have you ever seen a modern ballet performance?
Which do you prefer, modern or classical ballet?