Thursday, December 29, 2011

Skiing in a Winter Wonderland

Hitting the slopes!
Hey everyone! To celebrate my last week of winter break my family and I took a skiing trip to the mountains! One nice thing about California is you could be at the beach in the morning and be in the snow by the late afternoon. For the last couple of days we skied (downhill) at Big Bear Mountain. Although most of my family skis, my brother and most of the Californian population snowboards! Snowboarding is one big board strapped to both of your feet, and is very popular in the United States. Maybe even more than skiing!

Snow making machine

Since we live in southern California, the weather is extremely warm here, Even when we ski we are still in about 60 degrees F or 23 degrees C. This is extremely warm for any snow sport, so most mountains here make their own snow!  They use big machines to automize the atoms in the water particles to create the snow. Man made snow is exactly like real snow, only made through a machine. Is is very helpful when you want to ski but the weather is not cold enough for it. Its such nice weather that you can ski without a jacket, some people ski and snowboards with only a t-shirt on.

Although we normally travel to Big Bear Mountain because it is the closest to us, one of the main skiing and snowboarding places in California is Mammoth Mountain. It's one of the biggest in the country! It is in central California, so it is colder there which results in more snow. I have been there a couple of times and it is really fun! However, I do not care where I ski as long as I can do it!

Do you prefer skiing or snowboarding? What kind of weather do you like to ski/snowboard in? Have you even been in man made snow? Let me know in the comments!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Its the most wonderful time of the year

Hey everyone! Happy holidays! Today was Christmas eve and my family got together to exchange presents, make treats, and eat a gourmet dinner. It is always so fun to see your family, which is one thing that makes this holiday season so enjoyable. My grandmother who immigrated from Norway to America and we celebrate Christmas every year with many Norwegian traditions. We always make a Kransekake, which is a Norwegian almond cake, and decorate it with many beautiful colors. Don't forget the Norwegian flags!
We also open one small Christmas present in anticipation for tomorrow. We have to wait for Santa to come during the night, a great American tradition, before we can open all our presents on Christmas morning. Although we have many traditions, we make new memories each year that last a lifetime.

What traditions do you have during the holidays? Let me know in the comments!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Happiness

Hey everyone! This week is a great time for American high schoolers because its winter break! Since the holidays are just around the corner we get two weeks off from school to celebrate! We begin our break the week before christmas and then go back to school after New Years. Its a great time to relax before the hectic holiday season, along with doing many winter activities like skiing trips and seeing Christmas plays. Many people travel during these two weeks off from school, either to the mountains or a tropical location. I love to downhill ski, but many Americans are into snowboarding! Either way, they are both fun activities to do during winter break.
Disneyland ride!
Christmas Pajama Party

Some other fun things to do around this time of year is go shopping for Christmas gifts or have holiday parties with friends. Also, winter is a great time to go to Disneyland! I live only 20 minuets away from Disneyland, so this vacation is a perfect time to go. In the winter, Disneyland is filled with holiday decorations, including a huge Christmas tree and snow falling on Main Street. Its the perfect way to kick off the holiday spirit.

What do you enjoy to do on your vacations from school? Let me know in the comments!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In your "free" school time

Hey everyone! There is one thing I love the most about American high school. It makes all the other hard classes you are taking more bearable, and its called electives! Electives are classes within school that appeal to your interests. There is everything from drama to art to languages to photography! Every student is required to take electives, but they are fun and interesting so no one minds. Electives are a great way to explore different interests in different fields all within the comfort of your high school. Sound cool right? Some of the electives I am involved in are Model United Nations, Spanish, and Video Production.

They are all more artsy types of classes and are a good break from your core classes throughout the day. Other popular electives at my school are ceramics, graphic design, auto shop, and woodshop. There is truly an elective to fit every interest. I wish I had more room in my schedule to try different classes, but for now the few electives I am involved in are very exciting!

Here is a video my school's video production team made. It talks all about the cool electives offered at my school, and other American high schools alike. Check it out!

What electives would you be interested in taking? What are some of your interests? Let me know in the comments!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holiday Helpers

Hey everyone! Since the holidays are coming up, our school likes to help those less fortunate. Every year, our school has a canned food drive where students bring in cans and packaged foods to donate. We work with South County Outreach, a charity which collects and distributes these foods. We love getting in the holiday spirt and helping other feel the same way. We even have competitions between classes to see who can raise the most! We also host toy drives, through Toys For Tots, which collects and distributes toys for presents for all the less fortunate children. Its such a great feeling to help others and is one of the best part of the holidays. The holidays are just as much about giving as they are receiving.

Here is a video our school made to talk about the can food drive! Last year we collected 8,500 cans.

Do you do charity at your school around the holidays? Let me know in the comments!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Hey everyone! One thing that is very fun about American high schools is we can leave for lunch! Only upperclassman can leave, which are juniors (11th grade) and seniors (12th grade). Since they are older, must students can drive, or can walk, to a nearby restaurant or market to enjoy lunch. Its one of the special treats for being an upperclassman in high school! Its a great way to have a fun time with friends outside of school, but just remember to be back when lunch is over! The younger grades, freshman (9th grade) and sophomores (10th grade) have to stay on campus during lunch. This is for a number of reasons, but the main one is so they get acquainted with their classmates and make good friends they can hang out with for the lunches to come! Plus, it gives you something to look forward to coming to school year after year. Overall, its a great system that supports our stomachs and the neighboring businesses!

Would you go off to lunch if you could during lunch? What is your favorite place to get lunch? Let me know in the comments!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fight on!

Hey everyone! This weekend was very exciting for me, I attended a college American football game! This was unlike any high school football game I have been to, it was way more intense, upbeat, and exciting! My college weekend started on Friday when I drove up to the University of Southern California, USC, a great school in california with a killer American football team. My friend and I spent the night in her sister's dorm! It was a fun way to get a quick glance at college life before I go in two years. Pretty exciting! American colleges are super fun, as they are a great way to meet new people while learning new things. On Saturday, we went to the football game! The USC trojans were playing the University of Southern California (UCLA) Bruins. These two schools are huge rivals, so this was one of the biggest games of the whole year. The schools play pranks on each other the week before the big game, like painting the school mascot statue the color of the other school, dyeing the fountains, or even painting the grass! Anything they can do secretly to spread spirit for the other team. Since the USC mascot is the trojans, we always chant fight on as a battle cry when going to any sport event.

Before the game, families and students host a big tailgate. This is an event that covers the entire campus, as groups sent up easy-ups with tables and chairs and their own little before-game party! By the afternoon, the whole school streets are filled with these parties as people are getting all psyched up for the big game. My friend's family were at the tailgate, so we cooked lots of food and had a get together right outside of the stadium! Once the game started, we were totally excited, never leaving our seats! USC had to win, we had even painted our faces in support! Luckily, USC was playing amazing and ended up beating their rival UCLA 50-0! One of the best scores ever against this team! Everyone in the stadium who were supporting USC was cheering, especially the student section. Each game, all the students from the school fill one huge section of the stadium, and cheer together. It was such a fun and great experience!

Have you ever been to a college sports game? What is your favorite college sport? Let me know in the comments!