“The highest altitude that I’ve been at, would be in a plane.”

I would say the highest altitude that I’ve been at, would be in a plane. I think generally, they fly about six miles up. But that’s, you know, a pressurized cabin. So that’s definitely the highest I’ve been up. As far as on land, I would say when I lived in Oregon and I went, I went to Mount Hood to the Timberline Lodge, which is I believe at six thousand feet, it was really interesting because I would say probably April and so the snowpack was still serious. And like just walls of snow around—around where the road is. A few friends and I just went up there to look and not be in the city for a day. It was really cool. Very interesting. Did not dress appropriately. Did not—I don’t think any of us realized that we were going to go up to the Timberline and being a bunch of snow. We were just wearing hoodies and tennis shoes and normal street attire.

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“It’s just tearing through the yards and literally just like ripping the fences up.”

She was just calling to make sure everything is okay, see if we still had power, you know all that stuff. And I was like, “oh yeah, everything’s fine”. She’s like “did you close the windows?” and I am like “yeah, everything’s good”. And then I turn my head and look out the window that’s right above the phone, towards the back yard in the neighbor’s yard. And all of a sudden I see this like it was weird. It was definitely — you know, we had a two-story house, well, honestly, it’s more like a three-story house. It’s really, it’s a tall and big, old house. And so there was this tornado that was like the size of the house, like it wasn’t, you know, massive. It was obviously big and I see it two doors down past the neighbors fences, and it’s just tearing through the yards and literally just like ripping the fences up coming straight at us. So I’m like, just scream “Oh my God, there’s a tornado!” And then just hang up the phone. My mom’s like, “what? What?” I just hang up the phone. So we’re trying to quick get the cats and dogs and shove them in the basement. Meanwhile, this tornadoes, it doesn’t really have enough juice to go crazy, it’s taking a minute to get to us. And it’s just kind of whipping people’s — my neighborhood trampoline, it’s whipping that around, but not — really, I don’t know, it was so bizarre, it was like tornado lite. And so — I’m in the basement. I’m like, halfway down the stairs. I’m calling my brother. And I’m like, “hurry up and get down here”, like “come on”, like “it’s happening”, especially me, like twister obsessed. I’m like, “it’s coming”, like, “we need to tie our belts to a metal pole so we live.” Yeah, my brother is like, trying to lock the back door for whatever reason. He’s struggling with the deadbolt, I don’t know quite where his logic was in that, but I remember laughing but also being like, “what the f*** are you doing?” He’s older than me. Obviously, less common sense. And so anyway, I like grabbed his arm, and I’m like, come back up and I grabbed his arm and like, “let’s go, I don’t care about the door”. And so we get downstairs and we hide…

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“I accidentally hit a bee with my hand…”

I guess I'll talk about… Yes, a bug that stings next when I was around five or six years old, I think it was five. I was staying over at my grandma's house. And when I was playing on the little plastic slide we had. I accidentally hit a bee with my hand and because I was just playing around with my brother and it bit me and I was trying very hard not to cry because I wanted to be tough as a kid and my grandma and mom were comforting me and trying to make me feel better, as they cleaned the sting. And my mom, trying to reassure me said that bees basically died after they stung a person. So that bee was going to be dead after it stung me. I think she said this to make me feel better, but I just felt so, so guilty because I knew it had it had been my fault that the bee stung me cuz I was just waving my hands around very wildly. And after that, I was just hyper aware of bees. Anytime in first or second or even third grade classmates would shout because there was a bee in the room and everyone would freak out, I would just like yell at everyone to sit down and stay still so it wouldn't sting you cuz I was just so concerned about other bees dying because me and other dumb kids were getting in their way. And I think it's silly because now I do know, like a lot about the Save the Bees movement, and I still tell people to just, like, calm down around bees and that they won't hurt them. And I think it's silly how just getting stung by one bee in—when I was five years old, still affects my behavior today, I guess.

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“The environment in the school bathroom was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.”

When COVID began to get more serious our middle school had a huge assembly, which we talked about hand washing, covering your mouth and nose when sneezing, and we even watched a Brainpop video. Right away, the class clowns started to poke and slap each other and the ones that were really desperate for attention began to roll around on the cafeteria floor. At that point COVID was a joke to us, something scary but too far away to hurt us. And when the teachers used the words "global pandemic" and "historical event", and then when the principal compared it to 9-11 in a somber tone that was when we all started to worry. Later that day, we were told to wash our hands in the bathroom before lunch and being a bunch of middle schoolers that wasn't typically a habit for us. The environment in the school bathroom was unlike anything I've ever experienced before. Every single person in that bathroom was on edge, and usually for a bunch of middle school girls, we're talking and laughing all the time, but at that point, people were afraid to touch each other. That was March 11th. The next day, school shut down—March 12th, 2020. The school closing was surreal, but since we've been warned at the assembly, I figured that after spring break, I was most likely to be back in school. To be honest, I was most upset about not being able to see the guy I liked, which seems so silly now. My dad and aunt were out of the country at the time and they were visiting family. So I was shocked to hear that there was a very real possibility that they might be stuck there. I think that's when I knew COVID was getting more serious and there would be restrictions in our lives that I never experienced before. When we went to the grocery store, many of the aisles were bare, even the ones you wouldn't expect, like the fruit and nut aisle or the cereal aisle. And there were news reports of people hoarding toilet paper and basic supplies, which was so crazy to me, because toilet paper didn't seem like such a big deal before 2020, but suddenly it was something everyone needed and everyone needed so much of it that there were restrictions on the max number of these items available.…

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“I don’t like to come off super like rough of hard or like hard-going on people…”

And the last question I wanted to talk about was would you describe yourself more as a gentle summer breeze or like a tornado? Now, I definitely would say that there is a mixture of both ends of the spectrum that can be found within me. But anything besides that most people see is summer breeze, because that's honestly the way I look to present myself. I don't like to come off super like rough or hard or like hard-going on people especially if we're meeting for the first time or if we're just friends. I try to show like always my calm happy like happy-go-lucky side and never really show much anger, or real aggression toward anything, which is what I would assume a tornado would be. But yeah, I like to always present myself as a very easy-going person. Someone who could, you know, go with the flow, which fits perfectly with the idea of a summer breeze.

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