Friday, May 8, 2015

Choose Your Own Adventure ~ Author's Note

                                                 Author's Note
                                       By: Sierra M.

                 When I was told about this assignment I was excited; I loved writing stories. But, what I didn't know that it wasn't just going to be a written essay, but a interactive book when it was finished. Jackie G. and I decided to partner up and together we transformed a great story in a interactive book. The book is called Finding the Cave; it is about two young girls who got transferred into the future, they go through many obstacles trying to find a magical cave that will transport them to the present time. The story has been struggles and conflicts, from getting arrested several times to getting abducted by aliens; I hope many people will think this book is very interesting and exciting.

                         Now, the main question is; how did you make a interactive book on Keynote? During this project I learned many different, unique things about Keynote, which helped me create this book. First, we made a map on Inspiration 8, numbering them and writing what we would do in that slide. Next, we wrote out what words would be on each slide; based on what our map said. Then, we started copy and pasting the words onto our slides, adding pictures, adding buttons, and linking the buttons to different slides. Finally, we went to the document settings in Keynote, and changed the presentation type to 'Links Only'. I personally think that this project was a wonderful idea.

                         I think our project turned out really good. Instead of just slopping something onto a Keynote we went back and changed things to make it better. I think the story is very interesting and unique. What do you think?


Friday, April 17, 2015

My Inspiration ~ Barb MCcain

                                                  Barb McCain ~ My Inspiration
                                                             By: Sierra M.

Have you ever wondered what inspires those millionaires and well-known people in the world? Yes, even millionaires have people who inspire them; people like Barb McCain, a regular person on the outside, but outstanding on the inside. Barb lives in a small apartment with a roommate and goes to work as a para in the school day, and works at the after school program after-school. Barb may sound very boring and simple, but she actually does much more. Before school she gets up early and educates a young girl about religion so that the young girl can get into her dream college, at lunch she comes and hangs out with her TeamMate (Me), after-school she teaches kids fun and cool board games, and when she gets home she calls family and friends, making plans for the future. In this essay I will tell you about the basic information about Barb, her accomplishments, and why she inspires me.

Barb McCain is a very inspiring person, and to many people, too. Barb has done many things, but today she gets up early to teach religion to a young girl trying to get into her dream college, then she works as a para in the school day, and works at the after-school program afterwards, yet Barb takes off time to come visit with her TeamMate (Me), and socialize with family and friends on a daily basis. When asked why she decided to become a para and work at the after-school program she stated matter-of-factly, “I do it because children need a way to express themselves and to know that they are loved, and that they are very intelligent.” In her earlier days Barb served as a missionary and raised four intelligent children. Barb may have a very simple life-style to you, but to me she gives inspiration to others every day.

Barb not only gives inspiration, but she accomplishes things every day. Barb raised four beautiful children in her younger years, and all of them are grown and successful. Barb also served two missions for the Church of Jesus Christ, and accomplished many things during that time, for example; teaching people in the Isle of Man that families can be together. When asked what was her favorite thing she did as a missionary she replied, “… teaching people that families CAN be together forever in the Isle of Man, of course!” Barb owned a business in her lifetime, too. Barb has also become a para and a TeamMate in the last couple years. When I asked Barb how she got to where she was in life she explained, “Being old and having lots of experiences has brought me to where I am now.” Barb has also accomplished many other things.

Why is Barb McCain, an ordinary person, my inspiration? Barb Mccain is not only a good friend, but my TeamMate. A few years ago my parents got divorced, and, well, I didn’t take it too well. Everyday I would go to the guidance counselor’s in Elementary school, I would have to go there so often, she had already knew I was coming. I eventually got better, it took a few years, but I started going to the guidance counselor’s less and less often. Then I had a mid-life crisis, and it started all over again… this was at the end of fifth grade. In sixth grade I was still recovering, and I got a bright sheet of paper that had the word ‘TeamMate’ plastered on the front. I took it home and gave it to Mom, who contacted TeamMates and signed me up, thinking it would get me less depressed. It took a few months, but eventually Barb had gotten trained to be a TeamMate and we were starting to hang out together. The first meeting I explained everything to Barb, who listened contently, without saying a word, and let me blab out my life story. When I asked Barb what success was she said simply, “Being who you are… believing in what you believe… and… standing up for that.” I loved confiding in Barb, I could say something about my Dad or my Mom and she would be all bubbly and happy, unlike others who were happy when I said something good about Mom and not about Dad, or vice versa. Barb and I have been visiting each other for about a year now, and I have never been better. Barb is my inspiration, because she helped me get out of that nasty era in my life, and into one of my best.

Barb is a business owner, parent, family member, missionary, para, friend… etc. Barb is a very bubbly and happy person, no matter what happens, she will always be positive about the situation. When I asked Barb if she had any advice for others she said, “Be yourself… be true to yourself… educate yourself as much as possible… and continue that for the rest of your life.” Barb is not only astounding and loving, but a great inspiration.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Berlin, Germany ~ Travel Report

                                       Travel Guide: Berlin, Germany
                                                   By: Sierra M.

Usually, the word Germany is synonymous with war, but think again. Everyone has been involved in a war at some point, yet Germany has changed the most from it. At the heart of Germany, Berlin, instead of being torn down and shabby, Berlin built back up and excelled their country. Now, Berlin has elegant parks and architecture; even a garden that was used by royal emperors is accessible to tourists! Why would I want to go to Germany? Germany is where my ancestors on my father’s side came from, to be specific the Kingdom of Prussia that was a state in Germany. My great-great-great-great-great- great Grandpa Otto came to Nebraska a long time ago, from then on the Matschullat family grew, and so did their stubbornness and hardworking personalities… Berlin is also very inspiring to me, when defeated in World War II they accepted that what they were doing was bad, and changed their ways. Instead of staying shabby and poor, Germany excelled and went on to create unique architecture and made symbols of war; the Berlin Wall, Devil’s Hill…. into symbols of peace, that tourists can see, too. When you go to Berlin, Germany you will need to know three key things; what to expect, things to see, and what to eat and drink in Germany.

Every time I leave my hometown I get jumbled up on what to bring on the trip. I also am a very organized person, so I want to know what to expect, too. You will want to go to Germany in their spring season, which is also our spring season, because that way you can enjoy warm weather; not hot, but not cold either. In the spring you will want to bring lightweight clothing, along with some rainwear, just to be safe. Germans also advise to bring a sweater year round. Berlin’s climate is very similar to Nebraska’s climate, as both are inland and the same distance away from the equator; cold winters and hot summers. When you get to Berlin you are going to have to use some sort of transportation to get to your housing for your stay, so what type of transportation do you use? Many tourists use busses and taxi’s to get around, but you can also rent a car and drive; just be sure to know the road rules and return the car when you are done. Now, where are we going to be housed at? A hotel, a motel, a relative’s house… or maybe a house boat. A house boat is one of the more popular places to stay in. A regular house boat looks like a small house that is connected to the bottom of a boat and a motor, yet it can go up to six miles per hour. You may choose to stay in a house boat neighborhood, these places are on three major rivers like the Landwehrkanal, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, or the most popular, Spree River. Spree River is the central river in Berlin, and it’s beaches have been redone to look like ocean beaches, with white imported sand slipping and sliding into the river, palm trees waving in the wind, and deep water sparkling in the sun.
You didn’t come to Berlin just to sun tan on their imported beaches, did you? I think not. You may have heard about one main tourism hot spot; museums. Berlin has one main museum area called Museum Island, Museum Island is a bunch, to be exact one hundred and seventy, museums on platforms surrounded by water. Another tourist attracted place would be Berlin’s Museum of Technology, in Berlin. When you show up you will be amazed, but when it becomes night and they turn on the lights, you will be astonished. The museum not only houses many different types of ‘technology’ from different eras, but when it becomes dark and they turn the lights on you will be astonished by bright neon colors blurring over the building. Another big tourist attraction is going to parties and celebrations; if you go to Berlin, Germany in the start of the summer season you may get to go to the Carnival of Cultures; the Carnival of Cultures involves over 4,500 actors dressed up in elaborate costumes. Many Germans and tourists go Berlin’s Badeschiff every weekend. Berlin’s Badeschiff is a huge pool with a large stage, that houses many different performers each night; Berlin’s Badeschiff hosts all night parties and concerts. Now, ladies, I know most of you LOVE shopping, I do too. Well, you’ll be happy to know that Germany houses a ginormous, elaborate mall, also. So while the boys are off playing soccer, which is Germany’s most played sport, you can go out to the mall and get some modern German clothing. While you are heading back to your house boat you might notice a small park here, a piece of the Berlin Wall that is painted there… etc. These are probably some of your small pit-stops. Two of the most famous ones are Berlin’s east side Gallery and Berlin’s Tiergarten, which was used by royal emperors, and is now open to tourists. Berlin’s East Side Gallery is simply just one of the many pieces of the Berlin Wall, yet it is painted to perfection with 3D images that look like they’re coming after you! But, Berlin’s Tiergarten is a little more elegant; you can enjoy trimmed bushes and perfect roses, lilacs growing in the corner of a fenced in garden, yet the main attraction is a large statue in the middle of the park, called the Victory Column. It is a statue of the goddess Victoria, the statue represented the German-Danish war. There are many different sites to see in Berlin, Germany.

Now, you may want to go grab something to eat and drink. Breakfast can be many things, yet the usual is a roll and jelly with milk or coffee to drink. Breakfast is not the most important meal in Germany, yet it is eaten every day to have enough energy to start your day. Now we come to the most important meal, lunch. Lunch is usually a serving or two of sausages, bread, and a fruit or vegetable. Lunches on special days (Christmas, Sunday Lunch) would be way grander and would be accompanied with desserts. There are two main deserts in Germany, 1.) Stollen, and 2.) Black Forest Cherry Cake. Black Forest Cherry Cake is a large, layered chocolate cake that is savory and sweet with every bite. Stollen is usually only eaten on Christmas, and it is a fruit cake made with bits and pieces of dried fruit. Fancy pastries are also served in German’s Sunday lunch. Next we move onto dinner. Dinner is usually very small, as Germans are known to have ‘midnight snacks’ frequently. The dinner might be made of a small serving of sausages, some fruits or vegetables, and some fresh German beer and wine. Germany makes splendid beer, and magnificent wine, too. Many of German’s midnight snacks include small sugary treats, pastries, bread, and sausages. Doesn’t Germany’s food sound SO good?!

After reading this I hope you decide to go to Germany sometime in your lifetime. Germany has many things to see, as well as to eat. You can enjoy a beautiful winter scene or enjoy a hot summer in Germany! You can float along the Spree River, enjoying the sound of birds singing in the most popular house boat! You can go see Museum Island, an island of over one hundred and seventy museums, go party at Berlin’s Badeschiff, or eat glorious foods at gourmet restaurants. But, one things for sure, Germany sure is a magnificent country.

Friday, February 20, 2015

College Essay

                                                College Essay
                   By: Sierra Matschullat

When you walk into a room, do you always get “the question”? I do. “Are you going to college?” questions family and friends. I sigh, answering the question for the 50th time, “Yes, I will go to University of Nebraska for my Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine, and then go to Colorado State University for my Master’s degree.” My family approves of this job, and plan, but some people do not approve of their loved one’s plan. I advise you take the path that you want, not the path your family wants. 

Now, my family is pretty strict about getting good grades and a good education, so, of course, they interrogated me some more. I sighed and went into more details, “ I’m planning on going to  University of Nebraska and getting a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. I am also planning on participating in Nebraska Ladies’ Volleyball, too.” My aunt tilts her head disapprovingly, “Just a Bachelor’s degree?” Rolling my eyes, I tell her, “ Then, afterwards I will transfer to a different college, probably Colorado State University, and get my Master’s degree in veterinary medicine. Then, hopefully, I will be able to come back to Nebraska and have my own private veterinary business.” By this time family and friends have gathered around me, nodding their heads in approval. 

Now, everyone has diminished, finally prying my life story out of me. I gasp, Grandmother is heading over here, I try to scurry to the other side of the room and hide in the crowd of family, but she grabs onto my arm quick like. I turn around innocently, “Yes, Grandma?” She smiles that smile that means we are going to be talking for a LONG time, “I heard what you were going to do when you grew up… why?” I sighed, Grandma thought about everything way to hard, maybe that’s where I got it from… Anyways, I answered her question, “Well, that’s simple Grandma, I could get a good job.” She thought about that for a moment before quizzing me yet again, “ There has to be something else, though?” I thought about it a bit and replied, “Well, I would obviously know more about my job, and that would help, plus I would have a better reputation and attract more customers since I had a Master’s degree.” She grinned at me approvingly, I had just aced the quiz she had thrown at me. My Grandpa waltzed up to me, as my Grandma shuffled away. “You want to know why I think YOU should go to college? I think I have some better reasons,” he egged me on mischievously. “I have three important reasons of why I think people should go to college; 1.) To make people smarter, so that humanity can invent new things to make life easier, 2.) To let people get good jobs, which will boost the economy, and 3.) People can network with others, which will help them out in the end,” he explained. I gave him a confused look. “Well, if you were a doctor, and you needed a lawyer because you were being sued, “ he explained, “… you could just call up your old buddy from college, who’s now a lawyer.”

My cousins were then surrounding me, hearing that I was going to become an “animal doctor”. “Why do you want to become an animal doctor, Sierra?” Autumn asked. I explained, “Well, so that I can help animals, of course! I also love helping animals, and people, with their problems.” My cousins were obviously stumped.  Look at it this way, if I help your dog, I will be helping you with your problem; your sick dog. The cousins slowly wandered away, thinking about what I had said.

Finally, no one interrogating me about what I will do when I grow up. I wandered downstairs slowly, and into my bedroom. I sat and thought for a little while about what I had just been through. Actually, tonight had helped me figure out where I was going in life. I thought some more; I was acing all classes with A’s, and wasn’t refusing to go to college, like most people, so I must be on the right track. Remember, pick a path that suits you, not your family.