Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Junior Lifeguarding

My division warming up.
Over the summer, I have been participating in the junior lifeguard program, a program run by our local fire department. 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 the B group as I am 13. During our training,  we learned how to save people who may be drowning, paddle, surf, and swim in the ocean. 

Swimming in the ocean to do our buoy swims was the hardest and the scariest part.  I was always worried about stingrays, sharks, and other kinds of sea animals.  Someone in my division got stung by a stingray and had to go to the emergency room to get the stinger removed. We were running into the water to complete our buoy swim when the boy got stung. We are taught to do the stingray shuffle which is a shuffle that lets the stingray know that we are going to invade their territory  but the stingray didn't move.  I loved swimming with the dolphins as they would always put on a show for us.

I also loved to surf.  I have my own short board at home but the long boards are a lot easier to stand up on and I caught a lot of waves this summer. It was hard at first, but then I got the hang of it.  I also was allowed to tour the 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 would swim out past the surf line and pretend that we are drowning and then our teammate would practice swimming us in.  We also competed against different junior lifeguard squads form all the local beaches.  I especially did well in the running and always placed either first or second. 

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

Lined up after our buoy swim

My sister Sarah just watching and boogie boarding

My instructor Lance and I

Friday, July 24, 2015

The 2015 Youth Track Season

Every since I was a little girl, I have been training and competing in track. Track is my favorite sport, and I train every morning and evening to prepare for meets.  My best and favorite event is the 3000 meter run which is approximately 2 miles.  On school days, I woke up at 6:30 am to run in the morning to improve my time. I ran from my home to the local high school track.  At the beginning of the season, I was one of the last in the line of competitors which was a disadvantage as I had to merge into lane one.  But as the season progressed I made my way up to the front of the line making it easier to merge into lane one. All the training paid off as I made it to Varsity, a competition that requires you to qualify under a specific time of 12:13 minutes.  I accomplished this goal with a time of 12:07 and placed 5th at the competition. This was the first of two qualifying competitions as top 8 contestants from Varsity move on to the Southern California Youth Championship to compete amongst the best girls in the Southern California.  I had to train extra hard for this competition as there were other great runners who also wanted to do well. My hard work paid off when I won 5th place again and received a green medal.

In August I will start running for the cross country season.  I have already started some training and will write a separate post at the end of the season.

What sport/activity have you worked hard to achieve your goal? 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

First movement of Sonata No 11 in A major

Over the past few months, I have been learning the first movement of Sonata
 No. 11 in A Major by Mozart.  This piece has many different sections each taking on a different variation of the first section.  If you listen closely, you can hear the melody of the first variation in all of the other variations.  This piece has a gorgeous melody and I especially enjoy playing the first, second, and last variation. 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an Austrian composer who created many gorgeous operas, concertos, symphonies, and sonatas that helped build the beautiful music of the classical era. 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria, and was the youngest son of Leopold Mozart, a composer and instructor. Music was an important part of his family and his father took Nannerl, Mozarts sister, and Mozart on tours around the country. Mozart was a child prodigy and from the age of four he could play full symphonies and by age 6 he was already composing pieces and performing in Vienna and other parts of Austria. He was best friends with Haydn which he later dedicated a composition to him. Throughout Mozart's life, he composed many pieces that were known throughout Europe and he traveled around Europe to perform his many works. Sadly, on December 5, 1791, Mozart died at age 35 from illness, leaving behind 600 compositions, including works for symphonies, the piano, and the opera. Some of these compositions are considered to be the finest works in the Classical period. 
My sister and I have both been learning a piece by Mozart so if you enjoy listening to Mozart, here is a link to her post. In a couple weeks I will be finished learning the third movement of this sonata called Turkish March so stay tuned.  

Saturday, June 20, 2015

My Great Grandfather, Samuel Zarotsky, Sept 1919-June 7, 2015

At my aunts wedding
On June 7th , one of my greatest role models past away at the age of 96, my great grandfather. My great grandfather lived a long life full of happiness and tears.  He survived the holocaust and rebuilt his family here in the US.  My great grandfather and I have spent a lot of time together over the past few years and these pictures show all of the wonderful memories. I am really lucky to have met and spent time with my great grandfather as most children don't get to meet their great grandparents.  As a tribute to my great grandfather, I have written a poem for him.  

In our hearts
In tears we saw you sinking,
We watched you fade away,
Our hearts were almost broken,
Until we figured out,
That those we love don’t go away,
They travel with us every day,
Unseen, unheard, but always near
In our hearts still loved and very dear

Children of Samuel

Grandpas birthday

Family photo at home

Celebrating Ben's Birthday

My Grandpa, Great Grandpa, and I

To family and friends, please leave a comment with your favorite memory with Samuel.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Guest Post by Michael: Track

My sister and I before the race
This year I decided to try a new sport, track.  My sister has run track for a long time, and I thought it would be a fun sport.  Track practice was two months long, and we practiced Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. At first I didn’t know which event I should do. There was the 100 meter, 400 meter, the 800 meter or the 1500 meters, and I tried each one.  After trying all of the events, I decided that I enjoyed the 1500 meter run the most. The 1500 meter run is about one mile and is the longest event I can do. 
After training for a couple weeks, I had my first meet. I was very nervous that I would get last place when I ran, but I did great! Every track meet is very busy, and there are many people watching, cheering, or competing in a race. Before every competition, I have to warm up and get my hip number to determine which lane I ran in.  After warming up, all the competitors are put on the track, and a gun sets us off.  I went to many different meets at different high school tracks this season. At my first competition, my time was 6 minutes and 14 seconds, and I got 3rd place. Over the past 2 months, I have been to about 6 meets, and at one of the meets, I got my best time of 6 minutes and 7 seconds receiving 2nd place. 
After working hard all practice we had a track party.  It was at a beautiful park, with a big field and playground. There were also many kids with enormous water guns. I forgot to bring my water gun so I borrowed someone’s. After I squirted a lot of kids, I was extremely soaked.  Then, my coach gave out the trophies. I got a trophy that had my name on it, and my sister also got one that had her name too.  Track is hard work, but I have learned a lot this season and have had fun! 
At the start line

Running to the finish

Friday, April 24, 2015

Guest Post By Michael: Spring Break Hike at Malibu Creek Park

Recently, my family and I went to Malibu creek park. We decided it was a beautiful day to go hiking. When we got there, it was gorgeous. Everything we saw was green such as the grass, trees, and leaves from a few days of rain. Although we had a couple of days of heavy rain, California is still in a drought so the river was very dry and easy to cross. As we were hiking we got to this hill. My mom thought it was a beautiful sight so she decided to take a photo right near the tall grass.  As we were standing to take a photo, Miriam cried SNAKE just to scare us.  After the photo, she saw a real snake and once again cried SNAKE! This time, we didn't believe her, until we looked and saw she wasn't kidding. On the ground was a  long brown garden snake. We didn't hear a rattle, so we don't think it is a poisonous snake, but we did see its tongue.

As we continued to hike, Sarah did a back-walk-over on a long log. When we got to a resting point, we climbed this humongous rock. We all ate a delicious lunch in nature. After lunch, we went to the place where the river pools, and we saw many people feeding a duck. The duck was gorgeous and big.  The duck came really close to shore because people were feeding it. Then we saw this boy jump off a really big rock into the water. The water was freezing, so he quickly jumped out of the water. When we were walking back to our car, we all raced each other; I raced against Sarah and Hannah. I lost against Sarah but tied against Hannah. Then Miriam raced against Sarah and Miriam won. When we got back from the hike everyone took a long rest. I had the best time ever.
The beautiful green background

Too bad the river dried up

Back walk-over on the log

Duck begging for food

Have you ever seen a snake while hiking?