An Open Letter to My Former High School

Dear Sequim High School,
        Every fall since I was six I lined up my school supplies and prepared my bag to go to the same line of schools off of Fir Street. For the last four years, you Sequim High School have been my home away from home. Within your walls (or in your case lack of walls because of the California style architecture) I cried, I laughed, I had a great time, and I felt utterly and desperately alone. It was in room 125 that I had the most inspirational English teacher that I believe the world has to offer. It was in room 111 that I realized that while things may be hard, I can always make it through if I just work. I’ve cared about you. I’ve worked in leadership to make you a better place, but you have also disappointed me. 
  You disappointed me when you failed to provide me with a model UN club, when you didn’t offer AP World History and when you didn’t allow me to decorate my graduation cap. For 99.9 percent of my time with you I wanted our relationship over. That wasn’t always the case.
Four years ago I was thrilled that I was a high schooler. I looked towards orientation with a type of elation that probably matched my current thrill for entering college. To be honest, I hope college doesn’t let me down in the same way. 
Now though, Sequim High School, I realize I have probably judged you harshly. You might not have offered the Phillips Andover education that I so desired, but you gave me the building blocks necessary to hoist me into the next section of my life. You educated me enough to compete on a national level and get into my dream school. You provided me with incredible teachers that taught me the necessary material and inspired me for the future. 
When I left your after picking up my diploma I swore I would never enter again. That may be true. That is probably true, but regardless understand I see no animosity between us. You were a chapter of my life that is over, a chapter I am glad is over, but please. No hard feelings.

Best wishes,
Angela Bentley



I have never been to Alaska before and I have also never been on a cruise. When I graduated high school my mom and I wanted to find a trip to take. Since I am moving across the country we decided that Alaska would be a sensible idea. I will probably never live this close to Alaska again. So we looked into cruises and found they were pretty affordable.
We sailed on the Celebrity Century out of Vancouver, Canada on July 20th. The cruise was fantastic, but there were a few slight issues. One was the internet which was nonexistent except for in Juneau (this is the reason for the blog silence.) This was coming at a time when I was hearing about roommates and all from my college so it was quite inconvenient. I wasn't a huge fan of the constant motion either, but that could not be avoided. I have always known Alaska rural, but I hadn't quite realized how isolated. It makes Sequim look like a great metropolis. Even Juneau seemed barely bigger than Port Angeles! The boat had fantastic food though I still heard complaints.
 ^I spent a lot of time reading^

^Ketchikan was quite rainy^

 ^I'm someone who is semi judgmental about entertainment, but this stuff was fantastic!^
We returned home on the 27th of July. The scenery was beautiful though much of it was similar to home. The glaciers of course were quite different. We saw some whales, but no bears. I would recommend the cruise though if I were to do another I would want one that made more frequent stops and less cruising days.


Portland Baby Shower

The youngest member of my family right now just turned six so when we received the message saying my cousin was having a baby I was ecstatic. This last weekend my mom and I headed down to Portland for the baby shower. A lot of the family came up so we enjoyed a mini family reunion and got to spend bit of time in Portland. All the cousins who didn't live in Portland and us actually all ended up staying in the same hotel and we didn't all even plan that! I saw my favorite elephant statue and enjoyed Powell's City of Books where I bought The One and Only by Emily Giffin which I can't wait to read. The only downside was the hot weather while driving with no air conditioning!
^Powell's: love this place!^

^My mom with her cousins^
 ^These twins are my cousin's girlfriends nieces and they were so adorable!^
 ^The family^
 ^This little guy was my little buddy^

 Lots of fun and all the babies around made me excited for the new baby coming in September!


Hiking Storm King

For the Fourth of July my mom and I hiked up Storm King Mountain over Lake Crescent. The internet review said it was difficult and they weren't lying. It was a hard, long, uphill hike. For about three quarters of the way I thought that we were almost to the top. Would I suggest this to someone? Only if they like self- abuse. Just kidding, sort of. But from the top the view was breathtaking. Lake Crescent sprawled below us and over the hills we could see Puget Sound and Canada. In the end I realize it was worth it. We were lucky to have s fairly sunny day. Though I would not suggest going when it is hot out. I'm glad it is over though. It is one of those things you do only once in your life.


What Are You Reading?

I live half my life in the world of books. I read all the time and because of this I am often asked about my favorites as well as for suggestions of what to read. I am a believer of the quote "you are what you read" so I have decided to compile a list of books that have impacted my life. I have seen people's five top books on bookprints, but I could not choose just five. Sometimes it was just on sentence or one character or the entire story that impacted me. Some I read when I was in first grade, others I read just this year. Some are great  works of literature, others are not so much. Regardless all of these books, among others, have made me who I am today. I plan to continue to share books on here throughout the summer and college. 
My Fifty:

1.    A Friend Like Henry//Nuala Gardner
2.    A Series of Unfortunate Events//Lemony Snicket
3.    A Thousand Splendid Suns//Khaled Hosseini
4.    A Tree Grows In Brooklyn//Betty Smith
5.    Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland//Lewis Carroll
6.    Amy and Isabelle//Elizabeth Strout
7.   Anna Karenina//Leo Tolstoy
8.  Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret//Judy Blume
9.    Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe//Benjamin Alire Sáenz
10. Between Shades of Gray//Ruta Sepetys
11. Bossypants//Tina Fey
12. Bridge to Terabithia//Katherine Paterson
13. Cat’s Eye//Margaret Atwood
14. Children of the Lamp Series//P.B. Kerr
15. Eat, Pray, Love//Elizabeth Gilbert
16. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweller//E.L. Konigsburg
18. Gone Girl//Gillian Flynn
19. Harry Potter//J.K. Rowling
20. House Rules//Jodi Picoult
21. I am Forbidden//Anouk Markovits
22. Lean In//Sheryl Sandberg
23. Little House Series//Laura Ingalls Wilder
24. Living History//Hillary Clinton
25. Me and Emma//Elizabeth Flock
26. Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Lived//Ralph Helfer
27. My Life//Bill Clinton
28. Nancy Drew Series//Carolyn Keene
29. Paper Towns//John Green
30. Sarah’s Key//Tatiana de Rosnay
31. Siddhartha//Hermann Hesse
32. Sold//Patricia McCormick
33. Stolen: A Letter to My Captor//Lucy Christopher
34. Bell Jar//Silvia Plath
35. The Catcher in the Rye//J.D. Salinger
35. The Diary of Anne Frank//Anne Frank
36. The Fault in Our Stars//John Green
37. The Great Gatsby//F. Scott Fitzgerald
38. The Help//Kathryn Stockett
39. The Kite Runner//Khaled Hosseini
40. The Lovely Bones//Alice Sebold
41. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter//Kim Edwards
42. The Notebook//Nicholas Sparks
43. The Perks of Being a Wallflower//Stephen Chbosky
44. The Poisonwood Bible//Barbara Kingsolver
45. The Scarlet Letter//Nathaniel Hawthorne
46. The Thief Lord//Cornelia Funke
47. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz//L. Frank Baum
48. To Kill a Mockingbird//Harper Lee
49. Tuck Everlasting//Natalie Babbitt
50. Water for Elephants//Sarah Gruen
^Some of my early reading (Kindergarten?)^
On the top photo I am reading Anna Karenina today on the hammock.
The middle photo I am reading Manhattan Transfer last year in New York

So what are you reading?


Summer, Pets, Music in the Park and Froyo

 Summer has always been a time of reflection for me,
many of my joyful memories happen during these months.
School is always so go go go that I often can't relax.
In summer I feel more free.
so this summer I photographed my cat
and climbed a tree.
Our town does music in the park every tuesday during the summer
so we went and had a picnic
where I found these adorable pups just relaxing in the sun.
 So maybe a froyo opened forty minutes from our house
in a town called Port Angeles
and maybe I went on the opening day,
only a couple hours after it opened.
I'm sorry, but before we had to drive over an hour for froyo.
Maybe I'm addicted,
but I need to complete my punch card before leaving for college.
This is one of the cutest froyos I've seen,
plus it is individually owned.


Hillary Clinton

For years I have admired Hillary Clinton. As for many girls for me she is the symbol of all that women can do. She is my inspiration for so much. When I was in fourth grade while other girls loved Hannah Montana I loved Hillary Clinton. A year and a half ago I had the opportunity to meet Bill Clinton, one of my favorite presidents. Still Hillary has always been the one I've really loved. This year she released her new book Hard Choices so I knew I had to see if she was doing a book signing near me. It turned out she was doing one in Seattle. So my mom and I woke up at two thirty in the morning, caught the first ferry to Seattle and drove to the University bookstore to get in line for her book signing. We were in line by 5:45. There was a reporter from King 5 news there who interviewed me. Also KMPS radio came and interviewed me. They did this thing where they tried to trick us with current event questions. Too bad for them everyone in the line knew what the Secretary of State did and who the current one is, including me. At nine the doors opened and the first thousand or so got wristbands. The signing wasn't until five so we waited around the city once we got our wristbands. At around two we got back in line. When Hillary finally showed up we all cheered. 
 When I finally got up to the table THIS was our conversation. Needless to say it was better than I ever could have imagined: 
Me (shaking Hillary's hand): Hello thank you so much. 
Hillary: I like your shirt it's great (referring to my dare to say the f word: feminist shirt)
Me: thanks it's from my college, Barnard!
Hillary: Oh great, will you still be there next year?
Me: Yes I will be a freshman!
Hillary: Wonderful
Me: I campaigned for you in fourth grade...
Hillary (giggles): sweet, thanks
Me: and I attended the women in the world summit in New York this year.
Hillary: Oh that was such a great summit, wasn't it.
Me: Yes it was amazing!
^For those interested that is the shirt!^
 Also this past week I received a packet from my fifth grade teacher. One of the things in it was a letter that I wrote to my future self back in fifth grade. The timing of receiving this letter and going to the Hillary Clinton book signing seemed so perfect. I really haven't changed much except for my spelling which has improved.
More info on the event here. Photo seventeen is of me!


Finally. Graduation.

This last Friday I graduated from high school. It took until halfway through the ceremony that I realized how everything actually is changing. Besides the year I home schooled in Panama I spent the last eleven years in the Sequim school district all on the same block. Now as I embark on my next adventure everything changes. I will no longer be with these same people or in the same place. I look forward to the new adventure, but in some ways I realize there are parts that I will miss. Graduation was an enjoyable ceremony though I was stressed about my speech. I was glad it was in the beginning since I could get it over with. I encouraged my classmates to be the new greatest generation, like those who sacrificed in World War II. I spoke to them about my belief that greatness, however, does not require war. After the ceremony was the all night graduation party. It was LONG, not ending until four in the morning. The best part though was that I won a Keurig K-cup machine which I really wanted for college. My uncle came up from Colorado, my mom's cousin and husband from Oregon as well my brother and his family from Port Townsend for the ceremony. 

^I started my Valedictory speech with "but first, hold up, let me take a selfie."^

 ^With my mom's cousin, her husband, my mom and my uncle^
 ^With my sister-in-law and niece^
 ^With my brother and dad^
 ^With my favorite teacher, Mrs. Reichner^
 ^WIth my friend Heidi^


O Canada!

For the long memorial day weekend my mom and I headed up to Victoria, BC for a little get away. School has gotten tiring and it was a nice break. I haven't been for a couple of years so it was nice to go again. Victoria is only an hour and a half away from Port Angeles, the next door town so it is an easy getaway that feels different than home.

 ^The water taxis gave a cute little dance in the harbor on Sunday morning. They are so cute!^

 ^Marmot in front of the Empress^
 ^Van all the way from Chile^

 ^We had afternoon tea at a small tea place in the inner harbor^ 

 ^Buchart gardens^