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.