Friday, July 29, 2011

Quick Udpdate

I know I have some comments and messages that I need to respond to. I just got back in town yesterday from AG Bell's Leadership Opportunities For Teens program, and I had a blast. It was such a powerful, emotional experience that I will blog about in much more depth later because I just had my wisdom teeth out this morning. I was doing well but now all the numbness has worn off and it feels like I have been punched in the jaw about 50 times, so hopefully the pain medicine will kick in soon! Promise I'll write more soon!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The title does *not* reference a CI failure of any sort.

Remember my freshman year?

Remember how hard I fought for accommodations? How much I struggled?

And then remember sophomore year? How I barely got any sleep? How I accepted the fact I'd just have to work harder than everyone else? How I figured if I just studied hard enough I could make up for what I missed in hearing?

And remember that one class I took for the past two years? I literally spent hours nightly slaving over the textbook reading, carefully taking notes- hoping that what had been discussed in a class of 50+ students would instead be absorbed by reading and rereading the material.

At the end of the two years, I took the national exam. It doesn't really serve much of a purpose besides the opportunity to receive college credit. Basically "testing out" of a college course. It's a culmination of all the work you've put into the class, giving you reassurance that yes, it was worth it.

I didn't think I'd done very well, but I hoped for the best. Scores came in the mail in rounds. I heard as more and more people received their letters and received outstanding scores. They never studied nearly as much as I did, so I thought maybe all my studying would pay off.

It didn't. I didn't just "not do as well I'd hoped"; my score was nauseatingly bad.

 Maybe some people would shrug it off and think "better luck next time."

But I'm not like that. Instead I reflect. I overthink.

I always thought that if I worked hard enough, I could achieve anything. But maybe that's not true at all. Am I completely out of my league? If I did this miserably bad on an exam with a class of 50-something kids, how in the world can I handle competitive college classes that can be 5, even 10 times bigger, let alone years of medical school?

Have I completely overestimated myself?

Don't get me wrong, working hard has gotten me far. On the surface, I'm doing pretty well. I hear and speak, by most standards, well. Working my butt off and barely getting any sleep has allowed me to stay in the top 5% of my class (for now).

Is it even worth it? Where is this going to get me? Are my standards just set too high? If I feel so burnt out now, where am I going to be five, ten, twenty years from now? Will there ever ever be a point where I can look back and comfortably say, "it paid off."?

It just bothers me because I feel like I'm capable of so much, yet every time I try to reach my potential, I can feel the painful hands of hearing loss trying to pull me back. Actually, I can't even completely blame it on my deafness, but, more accurately, society's refusal to adapt to it.

It seems like it would be so much easier to just be average. To be satisfied at the idea of simply passing a course that's on grade level.

But for now I carry on, chin held high, slowly placing one foot in front of the other. My life is so much more than a test score.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Keepin' It Sweet

 Your regularly scheduled programing will resume shortly. Instead, I decided to give you some pictures! Have I mentioned that I like to bake? I realize this is incredibly random, but I thought I'd take a break from my usual posts, especially since the series I'm working on, as I mentioned, is still in progress in my life.. So I might not finish that up quite yet, we'll see! Plus, I thought some of you might be interested in learning a little more about what I enjoy, so here you go!

Anyway, these are just a selection of pictures of some of the things I've baked (the ones I actually thought to take pictures of). I make a pretty mean chocolate chip cookie, but I guess I've never taken any pictures of those. These are cell phone pics, so they're not the best quality, but if you want a recipe or anything then just ask!

This was the first time I ever made crepes. The first one turned out pretty disastrous (I'll spare you the picture), but I think the second one turned out pretty well! It totally reminded me of the crepes I had in France.. yum!
Banana-Nutella Crepe

Okay, this cake did not turn out so well... and it doesn't really count since my sister and I used a boxed cake mix. As you can see, a giant crack formed in the middle of the top layer after we stacked them. We made our own frosting, though and it didn't taste too bad! And if you're wondering about the red and blue blobs, my sister thought she'd decorate the cake with some fireworks since our mom's birthday was on the fourth of July. She also did the writing on top (trust me, if I had done it the writing would have been illegible!)

Devil's Food Cake with White Buttercream
These are the easiest cookies to make, ever. They're flourless, so they're good for Passover and people who can't tolerate gluten. But, more importantly, they taste delicious! They look a lot more appetizing in person, I promise!
Peanut Butter cookies with chocolate chips
 This was my first attempt at making cakeballs, and they were a huge hit a family gathering I brought them to. I got the idea off of Bakerella, and she lists the steps out and makes it super easy!

Red Velvet cake balls in cream cheese frosting with white and milk chocolate coatings.
 I got a Whoopie Pie recipe book for Hanukkah, but hadn't gotten the chance to make any until recently when a friend and I decided to do it for fun. They were big globs of deliciousness!
Classic Whoopie Pie
 For Father's Day, my sister and I made cake balls. This was try two, and they actually didn't turn out as well as the first try (above). My dad is a big coconut fan, so we dyed some coconut and sprinkled it on top!
Yellow cake with cream cheese frosting, dipped in white chocolate and coconut.

Do you like to bake? If so, then share your favorite recipes- I love making new things!