High School, Here I Come!
August 2, 2018. By Athena Rapinan
It is hard to believe that I am going to be a high schooler. Summer break went by so fast, and it does not feel like I completed middle school two months ago. With high school starting in a few days, I have been thinking about the changes that I will undergo as I attend Evergreen Valley High School, home of the Cougars.
I have also been thinking about the SAT tests lately as I will be taking them sooner or later. I am also thinking about driving, yes I will be driving in two years! Exciting times, but also overwhelming. I plan to make my four years at EVHS count, and I have made some goals to help me have a successful and fun high school experience. Below are the goals I have made for my freshman year.
- Obtain a 4.0 or higher GPA for the school year
- Participate in three varsity school sports
- Cross Country
- Track and Field
- Stay active and participate in school events and activities
- Join clubs
If I achieve these goals, I will have a fun and successful freshman year.
My Eight Grade Experience
June 22, 2018. By Athena Rapinan
This school year went by so fast, and I cannot believe I already finished middle school. I can now officially call myself a high schooler, and will be attending Evergreen Valley High School this fall. I am excited, yet a little anxious as I do not know what to expect. This time of year is bittersweet because I am leaving the home I was just getting used to, and am getting separated from some of my close school friends. At the same time, it is summer, and this is the time to relax, have fun, and be a kid. This year, I am proud to say I finished my eight grade school year with a few awards I am proud of. I have also made strong friendships along the way, and many memories that will last a lifetime. Here are my eight grade school year accomplishments:
1. Four Principal’s Honor Awards – with hard work and dedication, I managed to achieve 4.0 GPA each quarter. As a result, I earned the Principal's Honor Roll award each quarter.
2. Scholar Athlete of the Year Award – I earned this award by getting straight A’s while making a difference in Quimby Oak’s school sports. I participated in soccer, track, and cross country. Only one person for each gender gets this awards per grade.
3. Cross Country MVP – since I contributed the most to the eight grade girls cross country team, I was named MVP.
4. Soccer MVP – with my school soccer team, I played all positions, (except goalie) and contributed to the success of the team with goals and assists.
5. Made a Few Good Friends – I made a few good friends from both the sports teams and my classrooms. My friends made school so much fun, and more memorable. I am glad I have met all of them.
My eight-grade experience was the best school year I have ever had yet, and has been my favorite one. Although I am a little frightened of the thought of going into high school, I am ready for a new challenge in life. This is a new chapter, and I am up for the challenge.
Why we need another dog
February 25, 2018. By Athena Rapinan
We got our first dog, Buddy, on July 2016. Since then, life has been different. I have learned and gained new responsibilities from owning a pet. Buddy, our almost two year old Maltipoo, has contributed much to the family. He gives us his time, love, and his unwanted messes. Although he can be a pain sometimes when cleaning up after him, there are still many things that I enjoy about him. Buddy is soft, playful, loyal, and protective. I like bringing him on walks, playing outside, and snuggling with him.
Whenever my family is home, he gets all the attention in the world. However, when we are not, he is all alone, sad and lonely. That is why we need another dog - to give Buddy another playmate. Not only will the new dog serve as Buddy’s new friend, but it would also give us a new family member to play with. There will be less fights between my brother and I about who gets to hold the dog. I could already picture my brother and I walking the dogs together and how fun it would be.
If I were to choose which dog we would get, I would ask for another Maltipoo. They are friendly, playful, and affectionate. I think an apricot colored one (as shown in the picture above) would be perfect. I can’t wait until we can get another dog.
My 2018 Goals
January 5, 2018. By Athena Rapinan
Every year, my family and I create goals to make our year more exciting and productive. I believe setting up these goals help me achieve the things I want to accomplish, and has assisted me in grasping all of the successes I have had in my lifetime. Having goals obligate and push me to do things I may not want to do, and that is a good thing. This year, I feel confident about the goals I have set for myself, and will strive to complete all of them before 2019. Here are the goals I have set for myself for 2018.
My Hockey Experience
August 15, 2017. By Athena Rapinan
I joined an inline hockey team at the Silver Creek Sportsplex this summer. There were a total of four teams in my league, with one girl on each team. I played as a defender on a team called the Wildcats. We practiced once a week, and had ten regular season games, one playoff game, and a championship game. The practices were fun, but the games were intense.
Joining a team made me a better skater and hockey player. I learned how to control and shoot the puck. It also helped me understand the rules of the game. My team did really well. We were second overall in our standings during the regular season. We played good, worked hard, and won the playoff game. For the championship game, I was very nervous, but we ended up winning the game 3-2. It was a very close game, scoring in the last five minutes.
My overall hockey experience was better than I thought it would be. Not only did I improve at hockey, but also got great exercise out of it. I am so glad I joined a hockey team. It was such a great experience that I am considering playing hockey next summer, too.
Update on my Bucket List
July 29, 2017. By Athena Rapinan
It has been almost two years since I have written my first bucket list. So far, I have completed thirteen items and I’m adding ten new ones. My goal is to finish as many of these activities as I can throughout my lifetime. I know this will take me on many great adventures and I will learn much along the way.
Here are my bucket list items I have completed:
- #5. Go parasailing
- #7. Learn to skateboard
- #12. Learn to speak Greek
- #16. Learn to play guitar
- #17. Learn to play piano
- #18. Learn to play saxophone
- #35. Become a better cook and baker
- #36. Learn to paint art work
- #37. I want to learn how to braid hair
- #39. Learn to use chopsticks
- #44. I want to get a dog
- #47. Learn to knit hats
- #48. Make charms out of clay
Here are the new ones I have added:
- #51. Get a part time job at age 16
- #52. Open an investment account before age 21
- #53. Visit all 50 States
- #54. Visit all 7 continents
- #55. Open a bank account by age 18
- #56. Buy a house by age 25
- #57. Create a YouTube video with 10K+ views
- #58. Learn how to play basketball
- #59. Coach a team
- #60. Meet a few San Jose Sharks players
I can’t wait to see how many items on my list I can accomplish in the next year or two. It will be lots of fun and I can’t wait to go on my next adventure.
My Seventh Grade Highlights
June 24, 2017. By Athena Rapinan
I finished my seventh grade school year with several achievements: I earned seven awards, joined two sports teams, got straight A’s each quarter, and made a few good friends. Overall, I thought seventh grade was a blast.
- Four Principal’s Honor Awards – with hard work and dedication, I managed to achieve 4.0 GPA each quarter. As a result, I earned Principal's Honor Roll award each quarter.
- Scholar Athlete of the Year Award – I earned this award by getting straight A’s while doing well in sports: soccer and cross country. Only one person for each gender gets this awards per grade.
- Cross Country MVP – one person for each gender was named as the most valuable player. Since I contributed the most points for the seventh grade girls cross country team, I was named MVP.
- Most Versatile Player Award – this award is given to me after the soccer season. With my school soccer team, I played all positions, (except goalie) and contributed to the success of the teams with goals and assists.
- Cross Country Team – this is my first time participating in cross country competition, and I’m looking forward to 8th grade cross country.
- Soccer Team – soccer is my favorite sports and I have been playing competitively since I was eight. I’m glad I joined my school soccer team.
- Made a Few Good Friends – I made a few good friends from both sports team and my classrooms. My friends made my school environment and activities much more fun, even math!
Like always, nothing is ever perfect. Seventh grade was not easy. The most challenging for me was managing my extra-curricular activities, school work, and sports all at the same time. With the help of my parents, friends, some perseverance, and hard work, I did well.
I am so excited for the new school year to start and to go through a whole new experience.
Cross Country at Quimby Oak - what a blast!
December 27, 2017. By Athena Rapinan
I joined my middle school cross country team to stay fit. It is a sport where I have to run long distances and compete in challenging courses against other runners. When I joined the team, I did not think I would do well. The outcome surprised me. I was one of the top runners in the 7th grade girls division which include ten to fifteen different schools, and number one 7th grade girl runner for Quimby Oak. For eight straight weeks, my team and I practiced four days a week, and had races once a week. For each practice and race, we ran between two to three miles.
The toughest race I competed in was the League’s Finals held at Christmas Hill Park located in Gilroy, CA. The runners in the League’s Finals were the best of their respective schools. Christmas Hill was also very hilly with almost 3 miles of unpaved path, and it is the longest and toughest course among all locations I competed in. Even though my cross country journey was really tiring, it was all worth it. Below are the highlights and results of my races.
Athena’s Cross Country Highlights and Results – Quimby Oak Fall 2016 Date Race Location Race Name Total School Competing Personal Time Division Rank - 7th Grade Girls 9/8/2016 Chaboya, San Jose, CA Chaboya Showdown 4 12:35 2nd 9/15/2016 Christmas Hill, Gilroy, CA South Valley Invitational 15 15:14 1st 9/22/2016 Christmas Hill, Gilroy, CA Solorsano Invitational 12 15:08 6th 9/27/2016 Montgomery Hill, San Jose, CA VC and Willow Glen 5 16:29 2nd 10/4/2016 Montgomery Hill, San Jose, CA Division Finals 7 16:36 3rd 10/13/2016 Christmas Hill, Gilroy, CA League Finals 15+ 14:26 4th
July 14, 2016. By Athena Rapinan
Meet Buddy, a playful three months old Maltipoo, born on April 27, 2016. Buddy is our newest member in the family. When we took Buddy home, my life changed from good to awesome.
When we arrived at the breeder’s house, there were a lot of cute puppies to choose from, but Buddy was the first dog I laid my eyes on. With his cute face and adorable light brown ears, it is hard not to fall in love with him. At the end of our visit, we had two dogs to choose from: Buddy or another cute dog with curly hair and big round eyes. Buddy was our final choice.
On the way home, we stopped at a Petco store to get a few items for Buddy: a cream colored bed, a big crate, puppy food and treats, bowls, toys, a dog carrier, a leash, puppy soap, and poop bags. Already we paid a fortune for this little guy, but it is all worth it!
Buddy is enjoying his new home and has gotten used to us. Recently, I noticed a few characteristics that I did not see before: he has grey eyes, is super soft, playful, smart, easygoing, and has a little light brown spot on his back which makes him even cuter!
I am so glad we have Buddy. It will be a good experience taking care of him. Although he still needs some training, buddy is already adding much joy and happiness in my home. I love you Buddy!
May 8, 2016. By Athena Rapinan
Next month I will be completing an important milestone, and will be moving on to the next stage of my life – I am graduating sixth grade, and moving on to middle school.
The thought about going to middle school is nerve racking, but exciting at the same time. It is bitter sweet because I am leaving the school where I spent seven wonderful years, but I have to move on to the next chapter of my life.
In middle school, I will have six teachers, six periods, and six different groups of about 25 classmates. Also, there are going to be school sports like soccer, and different electives to choose from, like leadership. All of these changes are super fun. With all of my new classmates, I am sure to make new friends.
Norwood Creek has been a great experience for me, and I am completing six grade with three gold honor rolls, perfect attendance certificate and super citizen award. Most of the students, teachers, and staff are nice. I have had great school years with all of my previous teachers, and I am having a blast in six grade, with my teacher, Mrs. Baker. I am very excited to go to middle school because I know it will be as fun as Norwood Creek.
Below is a quick video of my Norwood Creek classrooms and teachers from kindergarten to six grade. Enjoy.
My first Folk Dance Festival (FDF) competition
March 31, 2016. By Athena Rapinan
On February 11, 2016, I attended a Folk Dance Festival (FDF) competition with my dance group in Anaheim, California. FDF is a Greek Orthodox folk dance and choral festival, held every year, where dancers from different Greek churches all over United States compete. My dance group was competing against twelve other groups. FDF was fun, exciting, and I enjoyed being there with my friends and family.
In preparation, we had to practice singing and dancing, for four months, once a week, and later on twice a week for two hours each day. Also, during some of the practices, we had to wear different costumes that we were going to wear during the competition. When we were at FDF, we practiced the nights before, and the mornings of the performances. It took a lot of hard work and time to prepare for the competition.
During the opening ceremony, all the dance groups from different cities were introduced. There were a bunch of people, loud and up beat music, and lots of laughter. I have not seen that many Greek people in one big room in my life! When we were introduced, my group and I waved our flag and screamed our church’s name. Some people also danced, clapped, and some even did gymnastic flips. Although the opening ceremony was short, it was really fun.
I thought the competition days were fun and intense. I remember watching all of the groups before us perform, and they were really good. Watching them made me even more nervous. When it was our turn to dance, I started to feel excited. After each performance, I felt relieved and happy.
During the closing ceremony, they served dinner, presented awards, and had a concert. The dinner was a four meal course where they served different appetizers, salad, a main dish, and dessert. The awards were presented throughout the dinner, and our group won best costume award. After the award ceremony, there were two Greek singers, Eleftheria Arvanitaki and Master Tempo, that performed. My mom and I stayed to enjoy the concert.
Even though my team just won a costume award, I had a great time with my friends and family. FDF was exciting, fun, and a great experience. I really hope I get to go to FDF next year with my group, and have another awesome time.
This is a short video taken at FDF. Hope you enjoy it.
My First Pets
January 27, 2016. By Athena Rapinan
It was just after the Thanksgiving holiday when three members were added to our family. We decided to get three parakeets: a blue one named Speedy, a green one named Angel, and a white one named Beauty. Having birds are like having a younger brother or sister- you have to play with them, take care of them, and feed them.
Each bird has their own personality: Beauty is loyal, friendly, and looks like a dove. Angel is shy, quite, friendly, and has big beautiful eyes. Speedy, on the other hand, is fast, friendly, and always making a big mess. When the birds are all together, they play around and make cute little noises. It is cool listening and watching the birds play together.
Having birds are great. It is like having more people in the house to play and care for. I love watching and playing with the birds, it is so much fun! Although we have birds, I think we are still missing something - a dog!
Ten tips on caring for Parakeets: http://www.10spot.net/articles/parakeet_care_tips.html.
Opa, Yassou, Psomie - It's all Greek to me
November 12, 2015. By Athena Rapinan
According to my parents, my first words were: “nani” (sleep), “nero” (water), “gala” (milk), “mamma” (mom), “baba” (dad), “giagia” (grandma), “pappou” (grandpa), “kota” (chicken), “psomie” (bread) and “bala” (ball). These are all Greek words.
Since I was a baby, I was exposed to the Greek language. Whenever my older Greek relatives came over, they always spoke Greek to me. Since I thought learning Greek would be fun, at age six, I started taking lessons at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. I go twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays. Today, I know how to read, write and understand it well, but I do not speak Greek as fluently as I want to.
Recently, I have started using a new application called Rosetta Stone which I hope will help me with speaking Greek. So far, I am on the right track to becoming a fluent Greek reader, writer and speaker.
This is a video of my mom and I speaking Greek (the video is under construction).
This is why I want to learn how to play guitar
September 19, 2015. By Athena Rapinan
I have been wanting to learn how to play guitar. I like the way it sounds, the way it looks, and just learning how to play it is awesome. Playing the guitar would be such an accomplishment. My goal by year end is to learn two songs.
Recently, my family and I went to a shop called Guitar Showcase. The Acoustic Guitar I got came with five picks, a bag, and a tuner. When we came home, I started to play with it immediately. I knew I would have a great time playing this musical instrument.
If I continue with this plan, I will learn to play it in no time. Playing guitar is cool, it is a good skill to have, and I will complete another item on my bucket list - that is why I want to learn to play guitar.
My Bucket List
September 3, 2015. By Athena Rapinan
I have been thinking about a lot of stuff I want to do, so I created a bucket list. In my bucket list, there are three rules: I may add more to the list, I may not remove from the list, and I will do everything I can to achieve them. Below is my bucket list.
In my bucket list, I have six categories: sports, musical instruments, travel, language, what I want to do when I grow up, and just some random stuff. The items on the list are things I would like to accomplish now and in the future, but some of the items I may never do, and it is okay.
After putting my list together, I feel super excited in completing them. I am especially looking forward to learning how to play the guitar. I think that is the first thing I will do because it is the easiest item to complete. Overall, I am happy with my bucket list and hoping to achieve all of them.
An open letter to my family: why we should get a family dog
August 19, 2015. By Athena Rapinan
Dogs are great family pets. They can make you laugh and happy. Dogs also can provide great company. With a dog, our family will be even more complete.
Did you know that dogs can improve your health? Dogs keep you on your feet, reduce stress, and improve your mood. Dogs are also great fun and could be your best friend! If you are having a bad day, your dog will be there for you to cheer you up. Additionally, having a family dog will create great memories. These are the reasons why owning a family pet is a great idea.
Below are the three dogs that I thought will be good for our family. When we get one, we can name it Sydney.
West Highlands are so cute. Golden Retrievers are good dogs for the family. The American Eskimos are playful dogs.
There are a lot of reasons and benefits on why we should get a dog. A pet to play with and a dog to take care of are good enough reasons for me. I hope we get one soon.
FIFA Women's World CUP 2015 in Vancouver. What a great experience.
June 16, 2015. By Athena Rapinan
On June 16, 2015, my family and I watched a FIFA Women's World Cup game - USA versus Nigeria - in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We were all very excited as it was our first time participating in a world sports event. The game was held at BC Place Stadium - a beautiful stadium used during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
The USA versus Nigeria soccer game was very exciting - the crowd was loud, people were happy and chanting "USA," "USA," "USA," and it was so much fun being there. My family and I were rooting for the USA team, and most people were wearing red, white, and blue. We were also wearing our USA shirts and each of us had our own USA flag.
During the game, I thought it was very cool to watch the players control the ball, pressure the opponent and try to make a play. My favorite part is when people were chanting "USA," "USA," "USA" very loudly. Overall, the game was really fun, and the fact that USA won the game made it a wonderful experience. I hope we can have another opportunity to watch a global sports event in the future.
The game was about to start. My family and I were so excited. My brother and I at the "fan zone" after the game. Getting ready for the game. Players were being introduced. Pick up soccer game with other kids outside BC Place Stadium.
My Life as a 5th Grader
May 17, 2015. By Athena Rapinan
Being a fifth grader could be complicated, but also really fun. I like my teacher, I like all my friends, and all the fun activities we are doing. I am going to miss 5th grade.
For the past three trimesters, I have been working hard to get good grades. I have been doing great on tests, assignments, and other activities. From all my hard work, I have received three honor-rolls, perfect attendance, and super citizenship awards. Fifth grade is fun: my teacher gave fun activities, we went on super cool field trips like the one to science camp, and I have made new friends.
Fifth grade is almost over. In about three weeks, I am moving on to become a 6th grader. Since it is the end of the school year, my class has been doing a bunch of tests and projects. I have taken the state tests, star exams, and physical education tests. However, I still have the following projects to complete: expert project, bio project, song parody, poem book, and a story to write. Since I participate in band at my school, I also have a music concert coming up. I play the alto saxophone and I am excited to show my classmates and parents what I have been practicing. My extra curriculum activities like soccer, Greek school and dance are also ending soon.
Lately, I have been thinking about my future as a 6th grader. I am looking forward to 6th grade and I think I am going to enjoy it. After 5th grade ends, I will be in a summer program to prepare for the next school year. This summer will be exciting. My family and I will be traveling to different places. We are planning to take a few trips, and I am so excited. The places we may visit are Alaska; a trip to the California national parks (Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Yosemite); Women’s FIFA in Vancouver, Canada; Las Vegas, Nevada; Portland, Oregon; and Chicago, Illinois. I cannot wait!
Although 5th grade is really fun, I am looking forward for the future - sixth grade, summer school, and all the summer trips. For now, I will enjoy what is left of 5th grade while I can.
My Favorite Family Trip
April 29, 2015. By Athena Rapinan
The road trip to Yellowstone National Park is one of my favorite trips. We went on the trip in August 2012 for two weeks. I was almost 8 years old at the time. My family and I traveled a long way and spent a lot of quality time together. We went through five cities and states (Reno, NV to Salt Lake City, UT to Idaho Falls, ID to Jackson Hole, WY and to Gardiner, MT), and two national parks (Yellowstone and Grand Teton). According to my dad, we put in almost 3,000 miles from our home all the way to Yellowstone and back.
This trip is my favorite because I got to spend quality time with my family. In the truck, we sang songs, talked, and played games. One of the games we played was counting how many Toyota Prius were on the road. Also, in this trip we got to visit many sightseeing places, and we explored some of the most scenic, fun, and beautiful places. In Yellowstone, we saw geysers, hot springs, and wild animals such as bisons and elks. Each place we visited on this road trip was fun. My favorite ones were Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Jackson Hole, and Idaho Falls.
Vacations are a lot of fun, but going on a road trip with my family is even better! I can't wait for our next family road trip.
April 7, 2015. By Athena Rapinan
At age 5, I started playing recreational soccer at the Silver Creek Sportsplex. Today, I play competitive soccer at NorCal and CYSA leagues for U10 and U11 girls. I have always loved the sport. On this blog, I will share with you why I like soccer, how I prepare for the game, and what happens during and after the game.
Why I Like Soccer.
I like soccer because it is an exciting sport and I get good exercise. I am always moving, kicking, or passing the ball. After each game, I feel good and happy. Also, soccer is a fun sport. I get to meet new friends and we get to work together as a team. That is why I like soccer.
Before The Game.
Whenever my dad and I drive to the game, he would ask me: what are you going to do today? I would then answer: I will play safe, play hard, and have fun. My dad would ask me that question as a reminder on what I need to do during the game. When I get to the game, I always warm up by doing stretches, passing drills, and running.
During The Game.
Soccer is a team sport. We work as a team to win the game. Everybody on the field has their own position that they are responsible for. Each team plays with 11 players on the field. I mainly play defense and midfield. My goal as a defender is not to let the ball pass me, so the opponent does not have an opportunity to score. My goal as a midfielder is to make good plays, control the ball, and try to help out the defenders and forwards.
After The Game.
Win or lose, I always have a great time. After each game, we would line up to high five the other team, the referees, and then we would run to the parents to high five them too. Right after that, my team would meet to discuss what we did right and what we need to improve on. My coaches take their time to talk to us about the game.
Playing soccer is my favorite sport. What is yours?
February 27, 2015. By Athena Rapinan
My dad and I had a couple opportunities to volunteer at a shelter organization called Loaves and Fishes, located at Saint Maria Goretti Church, and fed homeless and families in need.
On the days I volunteered, I helped prepare the food, served fruits and bread, and mopped the floor after dinner. While I was serving meals, I observed three things:
- Food was not wasted.
- People said please and thank you.
- They also took extra food home for their families.
I also learned a few things while volunteering:
- It is good to help others.
- Appreciate what you have.
- Try to do good things.
When I was there, I also made some new friends, Vanessa and Sara, which I hope to see again sometimes soon. Volunteering was actually pretty fun, and I can not wait to do it again. You should try to volunteer too!
Serving food at Loaves & Fishes, January 16, 2015 Preparing food at Loaves & Fishes, February 6, 2015