“We started a new tradition.”

Who's a family member that you get to see at holidays? What do you do together? Well, apparently, when my grandparents came up, we started a new tradition. We watched Home Alone like every night. We watched Home Sweet Home Alone, the new one. Really good. There's some funny parts in it and my grandpa made it even funnier by laughing so hard that it's just contagious, and you have to laugh super hard, and then we watched Home Alone. And then we watched Home Alone 2. So all three nights in a row.

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“…it’s easier to become friends with people who have the same interests as you.”

Some people think it's hard for boys and girls to friends, what do you think? I don't think it's very hard. Maybe it just like, well, actually in a way it could be, because girls and boys -- this is not true for everyone, for example, some tend to share different interests. for example, the guys at my school, there're some girls in their groups too, so you know, it's not exclusive to one gender only. Like in my product team class or personal projects since we're an IB school, they sit around and watch a video sometimes and the friends in my group, we end up just like drawings. That's not too gender-specific. Like girls playing with dolls boys playing with cars, I guess is a better example. Well, I guess what I'm trying to go at is that -- it's more -- like it's easier to become friends with people who have the same interests as you. It's not something exclusive to either gender. Then again, there can be genuine sexism and stuff. Yeah, that can prevent guys and girls from being friends. There can also be transphobia and stuff. Like, there's this trans girl who I'm friends with. She might not be accepted as a friend by some transphobic people, you know, it could just -- a lot of, it could also be gender identity. Some people who disagree will not treat someone as they should be treated, and disregarding interests or stuff like that, just being mean to them because it's who they are. So, it's kind of sad, but, yeah, I feel like it's mainly interest or some problems with the kids themselves, you know, being either racist, sexist, transphobic, stuff like that.

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“…it definitely is possible for a boy and a girl to be friends.”

Some people think it's hard for boys and girls to be friends. What do you think? Okay, this is just like what I said earlier, like a friend of mine came over and he is a boy. It is definitely possible for boys and girls to be friends, like especially if you're neither gender. Because I have a friend who's not a boy or a girl, like, their pronouns are “they” and “them”. I think that's "them, they, their". That's their pronouns and like they're not a boy or a girl. So it really just depends, like it definitely is possible for a boy and a girl to be friends. Like my mom is an engineer and there are not a lot of girl engineers, so most of her friends are guys. So yeah, it definitely is possible.

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“I think in the US, we are very preoccupied with time.”

I think I would do fine living in a laid-back culture, especially with like a perception of time. I think in the US we are very preoccupied with time and being somewhere on time, and I think I have a tendency to run late so quote-unquote, but for me, it's just like I get there when I need to be there and, you know, things happen in life. I get stuck at the train tracks or I get stuck behind a tractor or there's a car accident or a million other things can happen and you just can't account for every possible scenario, so you know, I — and it's not good to rush. So I think I'd be fine in a laid-back culture.

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“My Mom was a tribal member of a recognized tribe.”
Native american heritage month. Vector banner, poster, card for social media with the text National native american heritage month. Background with a national ornament, a pattern of feathers (Native american heritage month. Vector banner, poster, card

“My Mom was a tribal member of a recognized tribe.”

So, I did indeed know that November is Native American Heritage Month. My Mom was a tribal member of a recognized tribe here up in northern Wisconsin, actually. And because she was -- my siblings are from her first marriage, they are also recognized members of the same tribal band. Although, I only have one sibling left and Native American history has, although not taught in school very much, always been a part of my existence, I guess. So yeah, I don't know if I've learned so much about Native American Heritage Month per se. I mentioned to my brother, I said, "I think it's -- I see it's Native American heritage month." He said, "Oh, is that right?" So, you know, he says, "Oh, isn't that nice?" But yeah, being native has always been -- being part native, I'm proud to claim, has always been a part of my heritage. I'm not a member of the tribe. I'm actually too white to be a member of the tribe. My Dad's heritage is both of his parents came from Finland. So I'm actually half Finn, part German, and part native Ojibwa. So, we get together with my cousins and stuff and I says, teasingly say, "I'm the white guy in the family." And that's true, but I honor my Native American Heritage and I participate, somewhat, in my Native American Heritage as much as I can.

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“It goes in the tall grass and it just starts jumping up and down, and I’m hanging on for my dear life.”

So, I have been horseback riding. There was one experience that I had that almost made me never go horse riding again, and I've -- horseback riding again, and I've only done it once since. And by the way, that one time that I did it since, I enjoyed very much. So, I was afraid of horses already before we were going into this, but then I was building confidence. However, I did -- this was for Girl Scouts. So I told my troop leader "okay. I need the best horse. I am very afraid of horses. So can I please get, you know, a good horse?" And she's like "sure whatever you need. If you're going to go horseback riding." And then we went and I did not get the best horse and immediately my horse was going faster, kind of like, and then it would go like slow. And then the people were like, "oh, they've never gone off the trail. They'll never do anything to you." My horse, when we are going on the trail, there's this one road off to the side. My horse starts galloping. And it goes to the right and it just starts running. It goes in the tall grass and it starts jumping up and down, and I'm hanging on for my dear life. Like it was one of the most terrifying experiences I've ever had, and this horse is trying to buck me off. It's running around in circles in this grass like super tall and it's jumping up and down. And I will tell you that the workers immediately stopped what they were doing and they ducked under electric fences to save me, or yeah. Like that's how bad it was.

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“The first time I ever experienced a daylight saving was in high-school”

This entry is from our very own team member, Cherilyn Wang. See the "Meet the Team" page for more information. As an international student, I've never heard of it, even before I came here. So, I think the first time I've ever experienced a Daylight Saving was when I was in high school, when I first came here, it was 2016. I remember a night. I still remember that night. Me and my friends, we were like watching stranger things, I'm pretty sure and then we had school the other day so we couldn't like stay up too late, but the show was so good. So, we kept watching for like, like six hours straight and then we suddenly realized that it was like 4 o’clock in the morning. And I said, "why is it so late?" I didn't feel like that late. Cuz I felt like I was just so like, I paid so much attention to the show. I didn't, like, look at the clock at all, so I didn't know that it was Daylight Saving. So, I asked my friend like “why is it so late?” Cuz it felt like 2:00 something and it is four, and then she told me that it was a Daylight Saving. I asked why, and then asked “what’s the reason behind all this? What’s the history and everything?” That was pretty cool. I thought that, it was the first time I've ever heard of it. So, it was really interesting. And it took me a while to get back to my schedule. Cuz even though it was just an hour, it kind of affected my life quite a bit because, well, I lost like an hour of sleep. And the next day, I was like, I couldn't pay attention in class and everything, and yeah. And I think it’s more interesting when it switches from fall to winter, because we get an extra hour. So, every time I get really excited because I get an extra hour to like play games or watch a movie or something. It feels so precious. But yeah, you still need to pay off because like half a year later, you still need to give an extra hour. So yeah, I think it's really interesting, especially as a foreigner.

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“Maybe I’m Kissimmee in Florida.”

If you were a personification of a US city, what city do you think you would exemplify? Hm. Well, I'm not as cool as the big, like the big ones, like New York City, or San Francisco, or Chicago. I'm not that trendy. I'm not a partier, so I'm not Miami, or Reno, or Vegas. Maybe I'm Kissimmee in Florida. I'm sweet. I think. Most people continue to say I'm a very kind person and I like to have fun but it's usually wholesome fun, but I do have a side that can be a little snarky or a little bit like make jokes, and I feel like Disney movies, there's totally jokes we get now as adults that we did not get as kids. So maybe, maybe I could personify like Kissimmee.

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“He’s too busy being a floppy cat.”

Yeah, and I'm grateful for my pet's health, as well. My cat Zhang Zhao is now officially a senior cat. He went into the vet to get his routine shots and vaccinations. And yeah, he's crushing it. His teeth look great. His one eye he has left looks great. His coat is healthy. He's put on a little bit of weight, but, um, still within the good range. So yeah, he's doing a darn good job. So I'm happy. Let me see if I can get him to talk. Right, kitty? You tell me. Oh, no, he's too busy being a floppy cat. He doesn't care. He just rolled over.

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“My dog is ten pounds when he’s fully grown, but still.”

My old neighbors, they have these two dogs – I was so terrified of their dogs, I would freak. This is when I was afraid of any dog, any shape, size, whatever. I was afraid of it. Any dog, I was afraid of it, and I have a dog now, so it's, like, super weird that I ever was afraid of dogs, but I was terrified. And now I think I was stupid but, anyways, I was – there were these big, humongous dogs, and I never had an encounter with them, but I thought they were the scariest things, and I would freak out every time I walked down that – down our road, ‘cause they would, like, always be outside. And I didn't really understand – I was young – like, what an electric fence did and stuff. And so, I would walk down and they would be barking at me and they're massive, like, 150 pounds a piece or whatever, and they're just barking at me and acting – they're just, like, fake running at me and I am, like, freaking out and, like, running away and, like, screaming for help. And it was – it's just terrifying because those dogs were, like, massive and, like, they look so mean. And now I'm not afraid of dogs, like, I have a dog walking business, and I have a dog. My dog is ten pounds when he's fully grown, but still.

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