Number 26–Snorkeling

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Today was a great day. We didn’t have to start quite so early today, more around 8:00am. We were all out the door by 8:30am so we could get to our catamaran tour! The tour was so much fun. I did get a little bit sea sick, but it was okay. I really enjoyed seeing all of the sights! I had never been snorkeling before, so for that to be my first time was really exciting. We went in the Barrier Reef and those were just some incredible sights. We saw schools of fish, and some people even saw a sleeping shark.

School of fish.

School of fish.

If that isn’t excitement, I don’t know what is. I did learn, though, that snorkeling isn’t really for me. It was pretty wavy so I ended up getting a headache, there were tons of people all around so I was getting kicked and splashed, and water kept leaking into my mask. I loved seeing all of the fishies and everything, but snorkeling was more of a one and done kind of deal for me. However, I am still pretty pumped to scuba. I think that will be a great experience.

Once we were done with snorkeling we headed back on the catamaran and started our journey to another island to eat. On the way they served us all rum punch (legal drinking age is 18, don’t worry.) and we were all happy campers. I think that really does show their laid back lifestyle and how everyone needs a drink on a boat and just how much fun they have. They got us playing some game with two ropes and once we had a little rum punch in us everyone was trying every possible way to get out of those ropes.

Tangled in the ropes!

Tangled in the ropes!

It was hilarious.

After we got back from the catamaran we had a class discussion and we talked a lot about race and connections that people are making. I think it is a really great point that we live behind a camera. Instead of taking in everything and having the best experience that we can, we just take pictures without even thinking. Tamara was talking about a sacred place called Maroon Ridge and how our tour guide for that encourages pictures there so that we can share the story (which I will do when the time comes) and make it something to learn from. Throughout this trip I have been taking a few pictures, but I don’t think I’ve been living behind the camera, and I also think I’ve been doing a good job of being respectful. I’ve taken in so many things that I can’t believe that there are still 14 days left.

Once class was finished we had a great dinner and we had some really interesting conversations at our table. Hunter (the only guy on the trip) was at the table and we were talking about what everyone wants to do and what they’re majoring in and he told us that when he completes his minor is WGSS, he will earn more than a woman with a minor in WGSS. Now obviously we all know there is already a wage gap and stuff, but even after WGSS, he’ll still earn more. That just blows me away. Life is crazy that way.

After dinner everything was very chill. We got back by 8:30 so it was an early night. I got to skype Tom and my parents so that was nice! It was definitely a relaxed night which was good because of worksites in the morning and having to wake up pretty early. Day 4 was adventurous and exciting. Bring on tomorrow.


Number 25–Coconuts

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Today was an early start. Most of us woke up around 6:45 to head out to the farmers market. Being at the farmers market was actually a really great experience for me. I not only got to enjoy seeing the market, but I also got to interact with a great local there. I wish I would’ve gotten his name. We were chatting and he was giving me advice and it was actually really great. He told me to always do everything excellent. If you’re going to do it, do it excellent. People should remember you for something good. He was saying that he sells coconuts and ice cream excellently and I agreed with him because he was doing a really nice job. He was very friendly and seemed genuinely interested in us. After our group got a coconut for everyone to try, he pulled me to the side and actually gave me one for free and was telling me all about it. He told me to go show it to my friends and that I could keep it and take it home. I was honored because this is how he makes his living, or at least some of it, and he’s just giving it to me. That was so kind of him. I thought it was extremely generous of him and that’s something I hope I don’t forget.

Once we were back to the beach I got to lay out in the sun and go in the ocean for quite a while. It’s so relaxing here. I love the smell and sound of the waves. Everything is just at perfect relaxation I don’t know how anyone gets anything done. I got to Skype with my parents which was really nice! I’m so used to talking to my mom every day that it has been weird not talking to her. We’ve been keeping in touch through text, but it’s not quite the same as calling/Skype. They loved the beach and our cottage. They were excited for all of the adventures that I have gotten to take and will be taking and that was really encouraging.

Pier jumping.



Aka a heart attack waiting to happen. That was so scary, but I’m so glad that I did it. I definitely would have regretted not doing it. As we were contemplating jumping, a group of local teenagers (probably 14-16) came up to us and you could tell that they were making fun of us. Not to the point of us being insulted or anything like that, but they just didn’t seem like they liked us or wanted to talk to us very much. I started to understand what Arden said yesterday about being discriminated against. Like I said before, I didn’t feel insulted and I didn’t feel threatened or anything bad. I just understood what she was talking about.

After pier jumping we all got ready and we took off for Christiansted. In Christiansted we took a walking historical tour of the town with Miss V. She was such an amazing woman. She told it like it was and I really appreciated that. She talked about a lot of interesting stuff. Some things that stuck out to me were when she was talking about the difference between free blacks and free colored.

This was a free gut house. Read more below to find out what that is!

This was a free gut house. Read more below to find out what that is! There is a mural on the door that the local university painted. From what I understood, it’s just to draw attention to the house. There could be something more significant to go with it, but I’m not incredibly sure.

The difference is that if you were a free black, your skin was black, and you were raised by two black people. If you were raised by a black person and a white person but your skin color was still black, you were considered free colored. And in order to be free, you needed to meet a bunch of requirements, or sometimes you could buy your freedom. And if you didn’t keep your freedom papers with you basically at all times you could become enslaved again. There was a spot called London Bridge that a lot of people hung out at.

This is the London Bridge.

This is the London Bridge.

Miss V called it the social media of the time. Everyone sat at this place. It was such a cute place and I actually sat on it and could just feel the history. I tuned out for a minute to just try and think of all of the things that could have gone on in that exact spot. Who could’ve sat there at one point. Then there was the free gut. The free gut is 2 blocks where the free blacks and colored could live. Walking down one street we could see a house that had been burned down recently and these homes where people lived were tinier than the cottages we’re staying in.


The burned down homes. This would have been 3 homes. You can tell that based on the steps.

A side view

A side view

I just cannot imagine how it was living there. It does not sound like it was that great of a time. The tour that Miss V gave was so informational and so eye opening that I could go on about it for hours, but I think I’ll stop there for now.

After the tour, our group had a fantastic dinner and we all had a great time going out and exploring the little areas of Christiansted that were open. We ended up stumbling across a mechanical bull which I actually got on and rode!

I can't believe I did that.

I can’t believe I did that. I just can’t. They all made me do it.

I cannot believe I did that but I’m so glad I did. It was quite the experience that I’m glad I only did once.

It was such a fun day and night getting to know these girls better. I can’t wait to experience this island with this particular set of girls and guy. Day 3 was a complete success.

Number 24–Let’s go paddle-boarding!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Today I woke up and I was groggy because I was pretty sure that this was all a dream. Apparently it wasn’t because I got ready and had coffee on the beach.

The view from the cottages.

The view from the cottages.

After coffee, we went to the grocery store. On the way to the grocery store I got to sit in the front seat of the van and it was SO WEIRD. Here they drive in the left lane with cars that are made for the right. It was really hard to get used to when watching! The grocery store reminded me a lot of Pick n’ Save. It all seemed very normal except that everyone seemed to love doing what they were doing. Maybe it was just because I was in such a good mood or something, but everyone was just having a good time. Everything is so relaxed here. It’s the perfect place for me.

After the grocery store, we sat on the beach (which was basically heaven) and then went paddle boarding! That was a fun experience, especially because I had never gone before.

I was for sure excited to try something new!

I was for sure excited to try something new!

Something very interesting that happened while I was out on the water was that I was talking to Arden about our travel study. She asked what we were here for and everything and we told her it’s a class about race, class, and gender and she asked oh, so like discrimination? We said yeah, like that. Her response is what shocked me. She said “yeah we have a lot of that here. People always say to me, ‘you’re white??’” That was really something that just stood out to me and I haven’t been able to forget about it. I just can’t believe that she gets discriminated against for being white. I have NEVER heard of that. I understand it though. This, from what I’ve seen, is a predominantly colored community, and these people that have lived here for a long time have history with white people that can’t be erased. I just hate having to hear about children going through discrimination. It doesn’t have to be a white kid. I can’t stand when children get discriminated against. They don’t know what’s happening and I’m sure they have no clue why it’s happening to them. It’s so irritating. Arden was seriously the cutest 13 year old girl I have ever encountered. She’s so sweet and it’s cool to see that she lives that island lifestyle. She’s so laid back and ready for whatever life decides to throw at her. I can only hope that my kids one day will be like her.

After paddle boarding, we headed back to Cottages where we got to rest for about a half an hour and then we got to explore Frederiksted and that was so cool. I loved getting to explore a place with so much history. Also getting to see that art show was amazing! The art that some people can produce is just mind blowing. Hearing the jazz throughout the town was a great touch too. I love jazz to begin with and I even recognized some of the songs! It was a great night of getting to know one another and getting to see the incredible town. Dinner at Pier 69 was so yummy and we even got to talk to the owner! Before dinner we also got to talk to a lady that owns a shop near the restaurant. She was very interested in what we are doing here and she even wanted us to go to a Rotary Club meeting to talk about what we’re doing here. I think that would be cool to get to see the stuff that goes on behind the scenes in this town.

Once dinner was over, the girls and I went over to the pier where we got our pictures taken by some very nice people walking.

Aren't we just too cute?

Aren’t we just too cute?

We saw turtles and sharks, and we even got to see a Lemon Shark being caught. The guys that caught it said that it was the first shark they’ve caught in 8 years. Can you imagine? Those guys are probably out there close to every day. That’s commitment. Also on the pier we got to interact with quite a few locals. It’s honestly amazing how much locals trust other people. They just let anyone talk to and play their kids. We got to play with two siblings and one other kid. They were just so darn cute. The one boy was telling us about sharks and how he wants to ride one and live in its stomach, and the other boy was just loving all of the attention he was getting. He was holding a fish the whole time we were interacting with him and he kept yelling “FISH”. He was just too cute.

Day 2 was amazing. We got great interaction with local people and we got great food and great bonding time. What else could possibly be waiting for us the rest of the trip?

Number 23–Getting to St. Croix

Thursday, May 16, 2015

Today I started my journey to St. Croix at 2:00am. I woke up, got ready and was out the door with my dad by 3:30am. We made our way to Chicago, which is a little over an hour and a half from my house. I arrived to the airport at 5:15 and got my luggage checked. I noticed that people are not very happy early in the morning. The airport workers were very crabby with me. I was so excited and ready to be on my way, but they definitely brought my mood down. Oh well. After I got through security, I got some yummy Starbucks and made my way to my gate. Deanna had already been there for about a half an hour and we got to get to know each other. We got to board about an hour later, but we were stuck on the plane for about 2 hours before we went anywhere. That was not a fun experience. We were both tired and ready to be on the island, but we were stuck in the same spot, the same chair for hours. Once we did take off the flight wasn’t that smooth so that made everything worse. Thankfully we landed in Miami and had a safe flight. Unfortunately, we missed our flight to St. Croix because of the delay in Chicago, but we did get reconnected to a (much) later flight! We also got FREE food so that was awesome! At the Miami airport we were starting to see more people that were different from us. We saw people that spoke Spanish, people of different color, and one boy in particular stood out to me. He had some kind of face deformity. He couldn’t have been older than 5. He seemed like he was the happiest kid in the whole stinking world and that really was awesome to see. Nobody treated him differently, no one looked at him funny. Everyone just kept on doing what they were doing and that was incredible to me. There were lots of other kids around and the kids didn’t seem like they even questioned it. They just accepted it like it was nothing but normal. Deanna and I did too. He came over and started trying to talk to us. He would point at the plane and point at us and we would ask him questions. We was such a good and cute little boy. I hope that my kids can be as good as that someday. He was friendly and ready to talk to anyone. Once 5:15pm rolled around we boarded the plane and got to the island! My professor, Tamara, met us at the airport and we got our stuff and headed to the island. (By this time it was 8:30pm) We got acquainted with our cottage and cottage mates, we finally got to sleep, after being awake for more hours than wanted.

I was kind of sad that I didn’t get to really see the island during the day! I was so ready to sit on the beach, and get to see a little bit of what I was in for, but it’s actually okay that I didn’t. I was very happily surprised when we woke up today how beautiful it was. The view from our cottages, which is the big picture, is just absolutely incredible.

All in all, day 1 was exhausting and I’m glad it’s over. I can’t wait for the 17 more to come.

Number 22–Things I wish I knew before college

Let’s be honest here, when we’re seniors in high school we think we know everything about college. At least I did. I was very confident that I had EVERYTHING figured out. But to my surprise, I didn’t. So current seniors, here’s a few things I wish I knew before my first year of school.

  • Making friends at a new school with all new people is not as easy as you think. When you get there, you’ll talk to people, but you’ll be talking to so many new people that it will be hard to actually make friends with someone. 
  • The friends you do make and stick with will be the highlight of your year. I don’t know what I would’ve done without my girls. They were my rock. I love them so, so much. They stuck by my side through everything and my year wouldn’t have been as amazing as it was without them. 


  • Grades are super important. This might seem like an obvious one, but with my college experience, teachers really don’t care about the homework you do (besides math). A majority of grades are tests and sometimes attendance/participation. If you don’t have a good study technique (like me) then you’re GPA will not look as pretty as you want it to.
  • Sweat pants are ALWAYS okay. In high school it was fun to try every once in a while, but now in college sweat pants are everyones best friend. No one is judging you. They are wishing they were you. Especially at those 8ams. 
  • Being nice to people is the key. People love nice people. If you treat people like poop, it’s going to eventually bite you in the butt. That extra smile and thank you can go a really, really long way.
  • Do not take everything so seriously. Yes, grades are EXTREMELY important, but honestly, put down the books for a nice night with your friends, even if it’s just for an hour or two.
  • Go out and enjoy the city you live in. Realize it’s beauty and thank yourself for choosing to go to that school. 

    Sugar Loaf in Winona <3

    Sugar Loaf in Winona ❤

  • Pizza** is your friend. Most pizza places deliver until very late/early in the morning. Take a study break for pizza. If the caf food is not satisfactory, order pizza. **Chinese can sometimes replace pizza. Or subs. Really just food is your friend. 
  • Money and time management are way more important than anyone could have ever told you. Money: yes, pizza is your friend, but money is a better friend. Just remember to check your bank account weekly. You might not want to see it, but you need to. Time: your schedule is important. Make sure you give yourself time to get to class and get settled in. Professors don’t like late people. They might not point you out, but they don’t like it.
  • Dorm life can be really fun. I don’t know why people knock dorm life before they try it. Sure, it doesn’t always sound appealing, but it’s the experience. I had a blast running into the same person every morning in the bathroom. It’s fun living with someone who is one of your best friends. The only thing that really sucked was how gross other girls could be. Leaving toothpaste in the sink and hair in the shower. But other than that it was perfectly fine and I’m excited to do it again. Honestly, don’t knock it till you try it. 

    Halloween in the dorms with the roomie!

    Halloween in the dorms with the roomie!

  • Long distance is incredibly hard. No more of that “distance is just a test” crap. It’s hard. And you’ll have to fight like hell so make sure it’s what you really want. If it is, more power to you. If it’s not, save yourself and the other person from the pain. 
  • Mistakes happen. You can’t live in the past. You just can’t. You have to learn and grow from your mistakes. Didn’t study and failed? Study next time. Skipped an important class? Don’t next time. Mistakes happen to everyone. It’s not just you, even though that’s what it feels like. 
  • Family is everything. Call your parents every few days at least. They miss you. Call your grandparents. They miss you too. Family are the people who have to be on your side through everything. They support you and they love you. If you need a pick-me-up, call home.  

    Mom and dad came to visit!

    Mom and dad came to visit!

  • Finding love isn’t everything. It really isn’t. Spend the first few years having fun and just being you. If you do happen to find love, you realize that it’s truly amazing. My love grows every single day and it is just crazy how much you can care about one person. I love being in love, but like I said, it isn’t everything. 

    Happily in love with my best friend. <3

    Happily in love with my best friend. ❤

That, my friends, is my list. It’s probably lacking a few things, but I can add those as time goes on. Seniors, get ready to be a freshman again. It’s one hell of a journey that will be unforgettable to you. 

Number 21–Catch up or ketchup?

Hi there! I’m so sorry that it has been a while. I just really haven’t had much to say! Let’s play a game of catch up.

Well since we last talked Tom and I took a break, but don’t worry, we’re back together now. I actually just got back from visiting him in Seattle! That was seriously a blast. My featured picture is one I took when we were downtown! Here are some more 🙂

The classic Space Needle picture! I mean I can’t just not.

We went to this glass garden thing right next to the space needle and it was SO COOL. It was just so incredibly beautiful. It’s hard to believe someone could create this stuff with their hands.

This was a ceiling of one of the rooms. It reminded me of a reef or something. It’s so beautiful.

This one reminded me of an upside down Christmas tree. It’s actually hanging from the ceiling. Like dang.

How could I even pass this up? This room reminded me of sunflowers and happiness.

OMG AREN’T WE THE CUTEST THINGS YOU HAVE EVER SEEN???????? I seriously love this picture so much. I’m so happy with this man and I think this accurately describes how much we love each other.

I'm so in love.

I’m so in love.

We didn’t get to ride the ferris wheel. 😦 Next time… 🙂

It was really cool to see the Public Market! Pikes Place was a super fun place and I can’t wait to go back.

Well now you guys are caught up on my Seattle trip! That’s so exciting. It was honestly so much fun and I’m so grateful for Tom because he paid my whole way there and back. What a great guy! 🙂

Now on to other parts of my life. Believe it or not, there is more to life than bae! (Sorry bae.) School has been great! I actually just added a minor! I’m now officially a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies minor! I’m so, so excited. This summer I’m going to St. Croix for that. (It’s actually in 13 days and I’m freaking out because I’m so excited.) Next semester alone I’m actually taking 9 credits for my minor so that’ll be really good! The minor will be complete by the end of my junior year so I really think it’s a good use of my time. Plus it’s something that I’m really passionate about so that makes it even easier.

I registered last week and got most of the classes I wanted so that’s amazing. And now I’m number 1 on the waitlist of my last class I want to get in to. YAY! Speaking of next year, I have 2 jobs lined up and I’m ecstatic about both of them. The first one is the lifeguard/fitness center job I already had, but the second one is being a Community Mentor for Octans house. Basically, we have 7 houses on West at Winona. The houses are set up like Harry Potter. (Well I think they are. I never read or watched Harry Potter so…) It’s just a competition. So we have contests and games and stuff and whoever gets the most points wins! First prize usually gets mugs, second gets shirts, and I don’t know what third gets….whatever. They don’t matter. And I’m also really excited for this job because I get to be a teaching assistant to the Mississippi River class and we get to go kayaking all the time. I can’t wait for that. I LOVE kayaking! Who doesn’t though?

See! I love kayaking.

See! I love kayaking.

I’m almost done with my freshman year of college. That’s so crazy to me. Like I can’t wrap my head around it. I’m 25% done. If you count from preschool, I’m 15/18 done. That’s 83.33% done. That’s INSANE! Adulthood is about to become real. Next year I’m signing a lease for a house with the squad.



I’ll be buying groceries and actual things that go in a house instead of a dorm. I won’t wear shoes in the shower. I won’t go home in the summer and I’ll spend more and more time in Winona. AHHHHHHHH. My stress level is basically Troy Bolton senior year. If it could just be summer that would be great. Finals are this upcoming week so that’ll be good. I’m not really too worried. I’M JUST READY FOR SUMMER! 🙂

Well now that I feel like you guys are all caught up with my life, I’m gonna get out of here. I’m going to try to blog more about feministy things and things that relate to my minor. Keep watching out for St. Croix details 🙂



Number 20–“Feminism ruined my generation”

Screenshot (1)

I went to go look up some videos for this blog and as I typed in feminism this is what came up. This makes me so upset because people of the internet literally don’t know what feminism means. They think it ruins things, that it’s bullshit, that it’s dumb. I hate that. I hate it so much. Why can’t people understand that feminism is about EQUALITY. Literally because it has “femin” in it doesn’t mean it’s all about women. Sure, it’s mostly women that want to be equal, but it’s also about boys too. Girls shouldn’t be able to get away with a speeding ticket because they are pretty or because they are crying, just like boys shouldn’t be able to get away with things because they are intimidating. If people could think about it in simple terms like that life would be so much easier. If the name could be something totally unrelated to women, life would be easier and that sucks. It just proves why we need feminism. I told my parents that I’m definitely a feminist and now they keep making comments like “maybe we should ask the feminist” or “feminist, is that okay we said that”. Stuff like that doesn’t make me mad it just annoys me with how ignorant some people can be sometimes. Why do you think society so turned off by feminism and feminists?

ps bloggers that follow me and care, I’M GOING TO ST. CROIX WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.



Number 19–St. Croix

Recently I got the amazing opportunity to maybe take a trip to St. Croix in May! It’s a travel study through school and I’d be earning credit to do a lot of volunteer work, meet with women’s organizations who are looking to earn social justice, meet with human rights organizations for justice within the legal systems, meet with other human rights organizations for kids in school, and so many other cool things. It honestly sounds like the most amazing thing that I would ever do. I’ve always been looking for a push to do something like this and help make a difference somewhere. This could really be a turning point for me and I just cannot stop thinking about it. I’m really hoping that I get to fulfill this opportunity. Ugh. I seriously can’t even imagine it. Not only do we get to do all that cool stuff, but we also get to go on a full-day tour of the island, go deep sea kayaking, go hiking, and go snorkeling/scuba diving. 18 days to explore and change lives. I’m just waiting on the mothers okay. She’s not too keen on the whole idea of spending $4000 for me to do this. I think it’s worth it because that includes tuition and fees (I’d get 6 credits), air travel, food, travel around the island, a place to stay, and basically everything else. I think the only thing I would have to pay for is any souvenir type things I would want. I personally think it’s a great deal but we’ll see. I have to know by the end of this week so I guess I’ll be letting you guys know about my adventures then! 🙂

Have a great week everyone!



Number 18–Let It Snow

Snow is so beautiful, don’t you think? I love the snow. Today as I was walking back to my room from class though, I was thinking about how eerie it is when you’re walking through the snow and there isn’t any noise. Think about it. Rain makes noise when it hits the ground, but the snow is totally silent. I think it’s funny how when it snows and snow lands on your nose it’s super cute and you cross your eyes to try and see it, but when it rains we put our hoods up and walk with our heads down. Rain is annoying and snow is fun. I also find it eerie because you know that somewhere a car probably just went into a ditch or someone got into an accident. Snow is silent, but it creates a lot of noise. Something so extremely beautiful can be such a dreadful thing.

So that’s what I was thinking about today! Today has really been a 1989 day. I just love Taylor so much. She’s so perfect and I could go on and on and on and on. Anyone catch that one? oh… haha 🙂 OH! So my birthday is in 2 days and I’m SUPER pumped and today I received flowers from the best boyfriend in the whole world. I would say that they’re beautiful but they haven’t really bloomed yet so I’ll save that for when they bloom. Hahaha 🙂 I’m so excited for my birthday because I’m going to bake a cake! Who doesn’t love cake?!

Well kids I have to get back to my homework now. Talk to you soon! ❤



Number 17–The S Word

Suicide is a horrible thing. Something that shouldn’t be joked about ever. Today one of my professors said something along the lines of “If you’re going to make me do math I might as well commit suicide.” Did he really mean it? Of course not. But that is absolutely not something you joke about, especially in a class full of college students who most likely know someone who has committed suicide or are even contemplating it. I honestly got so upset I almost left. I hardly paid any attention the rest of the class. In September my 16 year old cousin committed suicide and it has really left a mark on me. I could probably count on both of my hands the amount of times I saw her because she lives 6 hours away from my house, but that does not mean it didn’t affect me. I think about her all the time actually. At my graduation party this summer she wrote on my picture thing “we need to see each other more.” Gosh she was just so cute and young and innocent. It makes me feel absolutely horrible that she had no other way out. The only thing that makes me feel better about the whole situation is that she’s happier now. She’s got to be happier now.

Back to my main point though. Suicide is not a joke. I 100% hate it when people laugh about something so serious. They make jokes about killing themselves while someone might actually be doing the same thing they’re joking about. It’s so sad. It breaks my heart. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people 15-24. Can you believe that? Let that soak in for a minute. This is a huge problem in society because everyone makes jokes about it!! IF WE TREATED THIS SERIOUSLY MORE PEOPLE WOULD GET HELP. If you need help you should not be afraid to get it. We want you here. You were put here for a reason, and you might not know what it is yet, but it’s important. You are so, so important. I don’t know why I’m here yet. I’m sure I’m not going to figure it out for a while. But there is a reason and I’m determined to find it. All I know is that I’m important to this life, Carrie was important to this life, and you’re important. Don’t ever forget that.

Much love,