Categories: Blog June 9, 2014 @ 8:44 AM 1 Comment      

Dear Mrs. Ripp,

My 22nd birthday is approaching, and I decided to get in touch with all of my previous teachers. The one I remember most, after 10 years, is you Mrs Ripp! I remember how in the younger grades I wanted to be a doctor, or a singer, but after having you, I decided my true passion: Writing and Designing! So I have been going to The University of Washington (Go Huskies!) and am wrapping up my final year of college. After getting a job for a year or two, I plan on going back to college to earn a second degree. I am working towards my degrees in Writing, Math, and Graphic Design. But I hope to return for my degree in Fashion Design, and the scholarship I received allows that. So, after graduating Middleton High School, (obviously) I decided to move to Seattle because (A) they have a fantastic University, (B) have excellent programs in Math and Design, (C) I wanted to return to my hometown, (D) I’ve always loved the city, and (E) I could be with some family! But I may move back to Madison for maybe 2 or 3 years so I can work at this EXCELLENT graphic designing industry, and I can house with my parents and revisit some best friends who I left when I took off. It really broke my heart to leave, but I love being an adult and being free! Graduating college will mean the world to me. I believe you have helped me take that step to achieve my dreams in so many ways. You have made me more confident, for starters. You have allowed me to express myself. And, you have never let me forget what it was like to be young and carefree, and to challenge yourself! That’s why I moved to Washington. I have read every single one of your books, and you are truly amazing. Yes, even the teaching ones. *Sigh.* Those took a little bit, but were still somehow inspiring! I’m so glad that I realized that singing wasn’t for me, and that I’m probably not a good doctor… But my passion for writing has only grown! I have published 3 single novels and 1 trilogy- so make sure to read them! The Elements Trilogy just had its final book published- Raging Fire. But check out Burning Ice and Fiercer than Wind, the other two books in the trilogy.

That’s all that’s up with me- so how are you, after 10 years? Have you turned 35 yet? Are you still teaching? Where? How is Thea since she is a teenager now? What about Ida and Oskar and Augustine? What about Brandon? And Theas Hamster? (is it a hamster?) I am hungry for answers! (and sushi, which, BTW, I get A LOT of here!)

Yours Truly,

Sydney                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                June 4, 2024

Categories: Blog May 30, 2014 @ 11:12 AM 0 Comments      

This week I am going to talk about the most recent fifth grade activity at our school- Innovation Day! If you do not know what Innovation Day is, its when for the whole day (except for specials and recess) you get to create anything you want using equipment and supplies (yes, some people used saws and crafting knifes) that are allowed under the school policy. You can do whatever you feel like- and if you ever do something like this, take the chance, and do something that describes YOU, or make something that YOU like to do. Some examples of what people did was: made a video game,  tried out yeast reactions, made an origami museum, made a volcano, and made a solar-powered working robot. Pretty amazing, huh? I did my project with Alli and we did fashion. We made clothes and drew designs from the 50′s, 60′s, 70′s, and 80′s, and we also made a virtual fashion show using OUR designs using the My Virtual Fashion Show App. Very expensive, but worth it. So heres the million dollar question- would I like Innovation Day to be every day? No, I think every week would be more suitable. I mean, eventually you would run out of ideas. And you would spend so much money on materials, you would be broke by 8th grade! If I did it again, I would make something more hands-on, or maybe something that appeals to everybody, not just the female species. Most of all, what I liked was that we got nearly complete freedom over what we did and who we did it with. Last year, I didn’t have much freedom in that way, but this year I think were all breaking free! So what about you? Would you like to try out Innovation Day? If so, recommend it to your teachers. Its really a great 5th grade activity, but anyone older could do it, and  I think that third graders could try it as well.

Thanks for reading! Comment below what you think, and don’t forget to add where you are from so we can map it. (and this week I’m the Mapper, so… :)

-Sydney the Superstar

Categories: Blog May 21, 2014 @ 7:16 AM 3 Comments      

After watching the amazing, inspiring video “Look Up” I have a few opinions about the 21st Century and what technology means. So, what do you think? Does technology isolate us or connect us? There are pros and cons for both side of the story. Right now, I am indefinite of my decision. I think I am leaning both ways. On technology, you can text and FaceTime, and Skype, and use Instagram and Facebook so that if you have family who lives far away you can stay connected.  My parents are still friends with all of the people we left in Seattle when we moved. They mostly communicate via Email and Facebook. So, consider this, without technology, you wouldn’t be able to communicate long distance. Or even short distance. So in this case, technology is of huge importance. But however, I have been to sleepovers and hang-outs where my friends just check Instagram or play on their IPod Touch. That is as annoying as ever! However, what if you are creating a video or using an app together? That’s staying connected on the Internet AND hanging with friends, right? But staying cooped up inside is so much worse compared to going biking or hiking, or swimming, or to a sewing class, or to the zoo, or shopping, or to a baseball game. Maybe just go to the park, anything. Just remember to always stay connected to the world! I think that overall, technology really isolates and brings us together.

So heres another big question: Do I use technology 24/7? Well, I often IM on my IPad and check YouTube and such, (especially watching Toddlers in Tiaras! :) but I am often outside with my friends, at the park, playing outside, and going biking, hiking, swimming, NOT SEWING, going to the zoo, shopping, and going to my brothers baseball game. I am going to a Brewers game right after we get out of school, however. Last weekend I went to Morgans sleepover and played Capture the Flag for 2 DAYS STRAIGHT! And then I went fabric shopping. The weekend before, I went out to dinner with some friends and went biking. So overall, I think I am connected! Are you???

Thanks for reading! Comment below your opinion!

-Sydney The Superstar


Categories: Blog May 10, 2014 @ 11:33 AM 4 Comments      

Today, as school is coming to an end, and summer is approaching faster than a cheetah on steroids, I am going to share with you a few must-read books for the summer, and for life! These are books that I may have read in fifth grade, or fourth grade, or have just heard about, but all of these books deserve a spot on your to-read list. And if you don’t have a to-read list, well, then you’d better make one! Think of this like a bucket list- things to do before you die, but things to read by the end of summer. Maybe just things to read in life! The things that are starred with *these* icons mean that they are all time favorites. But remember- for this blogging challenge, I actually want YOU guys to comment below books to add to MY reading-bucket-list. I have a feeling that this summer its going to be a long one.

  •  First up- Pivot Point, and then its follow-up, Split Second. They are amazing Sci-Fi books that have just enough action- not to little and not to much. Be forewarned- mind powers, a secret Para-norm realm is included, and if you like high-school drama and possibly a small bit of romance, well, you might be in for a treat. But the romance is not overpowering by any means. They are by Kasie West. ***
  • The Divergent Trilogy. If you haven’t heard of the books, or read them, may I politely ask; what is wrong with you? Action, (no- LOTS of action) romance, (no- LOTS of romance)  and more action, this book is for every reader out there. If you have a wide imagination, this book is meant for you! It is by Veronica Roth. Divergent is also a movie- but read it before you see it! ***
  • The Legend series. Amazing. Legend, Prodigy, and Champion. The three books make up some of the best middle-school, high-school, or adult literature that has been seen. In my opinion. As you can tell, I truly like Science-Fiction. The books have no dry parts- you are on the edge of your seat 24/7.  By Marie Lu. ***
  • The Ascendance Trilogy. It is placed in what seems like “Medieval” Times but it really isn’t- but there are kings and queens and battles and torcher. It is an amazing Action book- it is Fantasy but has nothing to do with witches or trolls or ogres- save that for the Brothers Grimm. The books are full of surprising twists and the battle points can turn at any moment- the whole book will leave you in suspense. Just enough romance, (but not a lot) and more than enough deaths, what could be better? By Jennifer Nielson. ***
  • The Selection-The Elite- The One Trilogy is a modern yet old story where the ancient caste system is uglier than ever. Rebels attack, princesses flee, love is in the air- its one of my favorites, but its not for everyone. But give it a shot- chances are, you’ll be hooked! It seems like its an old book, but its truly only Sci-Fi. The books are a classroom favorite, I can tell, and if you fon’t give them a chance because there are “princes” in them, then may I politely tell you, STOP BEING STEREOTYPICAL! Written by Kiera Cass. *********   GIVE IT A CHANCE! ☺

And those are my MUST-READ books! If I think of any more, I will blog about them. Oh, and- I guess the *star* method didn’t work, because all of the books got stars! So read them all!

And please comment below some book recommendations for me. Thank you for reading!
-Sydney the Superstar


Categories: Blog May 7, 2014 @ 7:21 AM 5 Comments      

This week I’m going to be discussing something VERY top-secret- you have to swear not to spill! I have to be able to trust you. Can I trust you? Good. I will be discussing… (here it goes…) the secret life of a VERY intriguing species- the teacher! The secret life of the teacher. And a very special teacher as well- Mrs. Ripp! I may be with Mrs. Ripp all day at school, but that’s only around 1/3 of the day! What does Mrs. Ripp do during the other 17 or 16 hours of the day? Well, I have some suspicions. First- most teachers go home and hold an ice pack to their head, or go to the ER because of their migraine, but what Mrs. Ripp does is she goes home and she grades papers, comments on our Google Drive stories, and most definitely plays with her 4 kids. Thea, Ida, Oskar, and Augustine take up lots of time! She also goes grocery shopping, and definitely shops for things for our classroom. I maybe have a teensy weensy suspicion that she spends some time browsing Forever 21, Macy’s, Christopher and Banks, Loft, and Ann Taylor, and all the other “designer” women’s stores. Because Mrs. Ripp has a beauteous fashion sense- it doesn’t just happen in one day! And she is also a techy, so I bet that she loves to go to the mall and browse Apple and Microsoft  as well. I cannot forget that Mrs. Ripp is a writer, so I imagine that she stays up late at night curled up in a hot-pink snuggie blanket on her bed, with a bright pen writing drafts in a drafting book. And then, in the afternoon she revises, revises, revises. And after she stays up all night writing, then she stays up even later to read a good book with a cup of hot tea and (possibly) with a shot of caffeine or Go-go juice. No I am kidding! Of course Mrs. Ripp wouldn’t drink Go-go juice, and even though Mrs. Ripp may get tired after reading, caffeine is not the answer and I doubt that she drinks that in her tea. She has 4 kids- reading is her sanctuary! I feel that she spends a lot of time telling her husband Brandon about us, how ***CRAZY*** we are, and how funny we are. (Emphasis on crazy.) And most of all, I honestly believe that she spends a lot of time reading picture book to Thea, Ida, Oskar, and Augustine. But you never know- some teacher spends oodles and oodles of time recovering from migraines, doing tons and tons of work, sorting through papers, cleaning the classroom, but I certainly hope Mrs. Ripp has better things to do! She deserves better things to do. One thing that I think she does a lot that most teachers don’t is blog. I have a deep, deep feeling that Mrs. Ripp spends a lot of time pooling her heart and soul into her blog- after changing the diapers, of course!

Those are MY suspicions about Mrs. Ripp- not just your average teacher! Make sure to check out her book that comes out on May 14.

Thanks for reading.

-Sydney the Superstar