All posts in 6) High School

Visiting California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts Valencia)

Visiting California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts Valencia)

The first stop of our west coast art school tour was California Institute of the Arts, or Cal Arts Valencia. It’s about a hour away from the LAX airport, give or take traffic. The good news is that you are generally going in the opposite direction of traffic, but take that lightly, because even “no traffic” does not mean that there are no slow spots.

We left from Torrance and it took an hour and half each way, and I would, having grown up in Southern California, consider the traffic to be light.

Visiting California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts Valencia)

Once you arrive at Cal Arts, you go through a guard stop into the parking lot. It’s set in suburban sprawl that feels recent and very much like Orange County tract houses and commercial developments. The school itself though, is an oasis of creativity.

My daughter, Grasshopper and Sensei, has mixed feelings about Cal Arts since she is looking for a very specific art school experience. She wants a foundation year; Cal Arts does not offer one. She wants to study Industrial Design. Cal Arts does not have this major. She’s interested in film; perhaps animation but not character animation necessarily. Cal Arts has the most competitive Character Animation program that is a feeder into Pixlar and other coveted animation studios.

Visiting California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts Valencia)

So why Cal Arts for her? It was the school tour that sold her. She loved the vibe of the school. She loved the Creative Animation program that is animation meets fine art. She also likes a school where kids are committed to their school experience and willing to collaborate. Cal Arts has that in spades!

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Young and Feminist

Young and Feminist: 3 Book GIVEAWAY

Please welcome Abby Richmond, a high school senior and friend of my oldest daughter. This book, Young & Feminist, is her brainchild. Her thoughts about being a feminist in these challenging times are below.

Young and Feminist edited by Abby Richmond

A collection of feminist essays by high school students. Contributors include Rose Bostwick, Alisa Caira, Sophie Chalfin-Jacobs, Clare Donohoe, Seika Ghavidel, Julia Greenblatt, Gabe Jasper, Zoe Jasper, Shanie Kalikow, Sam Kesselman, Zoe Lee, Chloe O’Neil, Madeline Ranalli, Abby Richmond, Maddy Sherbet, Sarah Vernovsky, Cate Waters, Kate West, Sophia Wilcox-Warren, and anonymous.

Please note that 100% of sales from this book will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

p.s. My daughter is also one of the contributing writers of this book and also did the cover.


By Abby Richmond

It’s a challenging time to be a feminist. Although sexism certainly existed in the country before Donald Trump was elected president, it now has a fresh face and firm role in governing our country. I’ve always taken notice of microaggressions and discrimination in my day-to-day life, but growing up as a cisgender straight white woman in an affluent city, I’ve been lucky to feel safe from the harshest realities of misogyny and other forms of bigotry. Donald Trump’s election, and the fervent support for his destructive policies and statements from wide swaths of the country, brought to light deeply-rooted sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia in our country. These dangerous tendencies were not as apparent as they should have been to people like me previously. Trump’s election signaled the end to an era of complacency for many liberals like myself in this country.

Donald Trump as bottom feeder by Zoe Lee

Mixed media art by Zoe Lee

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Applying to Art School: Visiting School of Visual Arts

Applying to Art School: Visiting School of Visual Arts

My two daughters and I spent five days in New York City over February break to visit art schools for my oldest.

Jenny Brown Artist

Jenny Brown. Homesickness 2. Pen & collage on antique photo. 2016

We brought our friend along, the artist Jenny Brown, who attended School of Visual Arts for her M.F.A. for help navigating the streets of NYC. Our trip was jam packed and included 4 art museums, 1 art gallery, two art schools, two colleges, and a lot of foodie stops. Read more…

YA Dystopia for Middle School

Dystopian YA Like The Giver, Legend and Hunger Games

PickyKidPix reading Legend by Marie Lu

PickyKidPix has very specific tastes in books. She likes realistic fiction and dystopian, and that’s it. No fantasy, nonfiction, or action adventure for her. No Percy Jackson (boring), Harry Potter (snooze), or even YA chick lit romance. She also likes her realistic fiction be pretty dramatic. Special needs characters are a plus for her.

Even with such a limited range of books, her blog has garnered a lot of traffic for her book posts. Her third grade book list written as a third grader generally spends time on the page 1 of a google search.

7th Grade Books from a 7th Grader

6th Grade Chapter Books from a 6th Grader

5th Grade Book Recommendations from a 5th Grader

4th Grade Books I Liked When I Was In 4th Grade

4th Grade Chapter Books by a Picky 4th Grader

4th Grade Books Recommended by a Fourth Grader

Top 10: Best Books for 3rd Grade by Me (A Third Grade Girl Who is Very Picky)

Now that she’s reading YA dystopia which is not my cup of tea, I am at a loss to find her more books. And god knows that I stress out when she doesn’t have any books to read, because reading is a low on her priority list. Luckily, my Instagram followers were willing to assist me.
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ScholarshipOwl

Apply to Dozens of Scholarships with 1 Application using ScholarshipOwl

ScholarshipOwl was founded by veteran tech entrepreneur Kenny Sandorffy, who believes passionately in the need to transform the application process, so students can get the aid they need to pay for their education. Sandorffy became frustrated after completing a single aid application took longer than applying to his college.

The college application process is already time consuming enough! But scholarships can help pay for college so it’s worth taking the time to apply. Imagine if you could use one registration form to apply for dozens of scholarships and they are targeted to you?!


ScholarshipOwl Read more…

International Camper Exchange Program (ICEP) AUSTRALIA!

International Camper Exchange Program (ICEP) AUSTRALIA!

Grasshopper and Sensei did a five week service trip through her YMCA sleepaway camp to Australia. It was a trip of a lifetime with about a dozen kids both boys and girls and two counselors! The International Camper Exchange Program (ICEP) goes to more than a dozen countries and anyone who has done sleepaway camp through the YMCA can apply, though the application process is rigorous and a lot like applying to college.

International Camper Exchange Program (ICEP) Australia Chimney Corners Camp Berkshires

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How to Get Into College: AdmissionsRevolution

How to Get Into College: Admissions Revolution #GIVEAWAY

With my oldest starting 10th grade next year and my middle fixated on getting into a top college, I have been thinking about admissions quite a bit. You might have noticed my anxiety with posts for Grasshopper and Sensei on Top Art and Design Colleges for Undergraduates and Art Competitions for Kids and Teens.

It’s a little easier, I’ll admit, having my oldest focused on Art and Design schools. There aren’t as many so the focus is narrower and the acceptance rates are not as heart-stopping as top colleges. It’s going to be tougher to help PickyKidPix with her dream college.

PickyKidPix will be in 8th grade next year and she’s already starting to think about SAT tests. She’s been taking Latin and studying SAT vocabulary cards. She’s trying to figure out which sport to focus on that increase her chances of getting recruited. She appreciates knowing how everything works in terms of the college admission game.

This post is for her! Read more…

Drawing Hands and Feet

How to Draw Hands and Feet

Grasshopper and Sensei eye drawingsMy daughter, Grasshopper and Sensei, wants to go to art school after she graduates from high school so I’ve been hard at work trying to figure out how that works.

Grasshoppper and Sensei XTreme Week at Mass College of Art

Step 1: Meet with a college counselor specializing in art colleges. She works with art college counselor, Jeanette Nyberg of Tiny Rotten Peanuts who attended Rhode Island School of Design. Read more…

Top 10 Books for Struggling Teen Readers

Top 10 Books for Struggling Teen Readers

Please welcome author Jim Westcott who is a literacy specialist as well. Today, he shares his favorite young adult books for teen struggling readers. These books are high interest with a lower reader level to draw in reluctant teen readers, both boys and girls.

We’d love your suggestions as well! Please share!

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