My Favorite Baby Names

When I grow up, I plan on having many children. I want a big, warm, loving family to come home to each night. I want to adopt children from all around the world and give them better lives and a wonderful, welcoming home. I want to be the best mother that I can be!

In this post, I would like to share a list of my favorite baby names, both male and female — but they’re actually mostly female since, ideally, I want to raise girls. I prefer unique and original names that have a ring to them, and stick around long after you hear them.

Delilah – I just love this name. It brings to mind a really adorable little girl who’s smily, cute, and cheerful. I also love the spelling of “Delilah” – I love the playful “h” addition at the end, and I am also fond of names that start with the letter “D”. I even like the way the name rolls on my tongue when I say it aloud. This name is just one that you don’t hear everyday.

Parker – This one is also a favorite. I love the letter “P” for some reason, and I also think the name is different. Personally, I’ve never met anyone names Parker. But the name brings to mind someone who’s really pretty, fun-loving, fashionable, and confident.

Darcy – To me, this name is playful and pretty. I picture Darcy as a really adorable person who’s always the life of the party.

Genevieve – This one just exudes sophistication, class, elegance, and glamour. I imagine that Genevieve is a girl who is insightful, intelligent, well-traveled, and trendy. She speaks perfect French.

Isobel / Isabel – I love the spelling of this name. When I think of Isabel, I think of a really lovely person who always reading books and studying, but is stylish and sociable as well.

Naomi – Sounds like an interesting girl who comes from a foreign country.

Inez – This one is just exotic and has a nice ring to it when said out loud.

Sophie / Sophia – The actual definition of this name is a Greek word for “wisdom,” which is an incredible quality for anyone to have.

Dimitri – This is my favorite male name. I like that it’s masculine, but it’s different from all other male names at the same time. I’ve only met one boy named Dimitri, so I consider it unique as well. I think that Dimitri brings to mind a boy who is adventurous, well-traveled, appreciative, and intellectual. Dimitri is a true charmer.

Ezra – I think that this one is just unusual, but it’s handsome-sounding as well.

Raphael / Rafael – A name fit for a king.

A Lovely Quote

My Ideal Boyfriend

He’s just as interesting as Lake Bled in Slovenia

Boys. I don’t think I’ve ever discussed them here on my blog. I don’t have a boyfriend right now, but in this post, I’m going to describe all the ideal qualities I look for in my dream guy.

First off, he’s intellectual. He goes to a great college, and we can have conversations on anything ranging from Rasputin to sea coral. He’s very well-read and he spends a lot of time at the library. He’s well-informed about current events, and in his spare time he reads The New York Times and The New Yorker and classics.

He holds a degree in music, and he can play the guitar and the drums (most importantly!). His goal in life is to play in an indie rock band, even if, in the future when he becomes successful, that leads to a hectic, travel-heavy lifestyle where he only sees me once a year. I’m attracted to artists and musicians  because they do what they love and they have strong passions, even if it doesn’t make them a lot of money.

We definitely like the same music, films, board games, and whatnot. He probably likes arthouse movies and documentaries and he likes to hang out at film festivals. And he loves all genres of music, like me, and attending concerts. He definitely likes to shop at the farmers’ market, cares about the environment a lot, and keeps fit. He has a tasteful fashion sense.

He’s also from another state or country. Maybe Montana, Idaho, El Salvador, England (those accents make me swoon!), India — anywhere really! I’m super open-minded, I would like to date someone foreign with completely different experiences from me. Oh, and he also speaks multiple languages! That way, our kids will be bilingual.

Personality wise, he’s serious and devoted to his craft, but he’s also adventurous and open-minded, confident, considerate, enthusiastic, curious, wise, and diligent. He’s also attractive, but to me at least and not necessarily to everyone else.

And that’s my dream boyfriend.

Montana, Where he might be from

My Literary Paradise

A Favorite Quote

Greetings to all! The following post is my official college essay. It took months of perfection, and I hope you like it!

Common Application Topic: Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?

Within ten minutes walking distance of my home is a sanctuary – a place of solitude, abundance, bliss, wonder, and repose. It is brown-and-white brick and “read” all over. And throughout the years, I – regrettably, yet for good reason – have contributed no less than one hundred dollars in penalties. Housing over one thousand books and tomes, that spot is my local library – a literary safe haven of my very own.

Almost since the day I was born, I have cherished the written word. I found joy in my mother reading aloud to me – anything from the story of Heidi to Judy B. Jones. With the turn of a page, I have voyaged 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, stayed In Touch with the latest celebrity gossip, and savored the haute cuisine of Eataly.

At the library, I am surrounded, swimming in a sea full of literature from five-thousand BC to the twenty-fifth century. But not only is the library a figurative escape from my everyday life. The books contained are timeless, powerful tools of change. They have been my outlets to adventure and shock. They have been instruments of transformation within my personal beliefs. Thanks to its sheer diversity, the library has allowed me to discover worlds unstudied and unknown, to expose me to the harshest realities that I seek to change. I carry what I’ve read throughout this journey of life.

I’ll never forget one day walking through the stacks, and stumbling into a section of food-and-drink. I scanned the selection, making sure to pick up The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Fast Food Nation, and even Eat This, Not That. Little did I realize that this seemingly random assortment of books would impact the way I eat, shop, think, and reflect. I quickly unearthed a horrifying reality.

I traced the journey of a fast food meal from farm to plate. I uncovered the plight of agricultural laborers, the treatment of livestock, and so much more. I discovered the hidden underbelly of the American food industry, a reality that I wished to change with my lifestyle. I began to shop and eat with a conscience, implementing the knowledge gained at trips to the farmers-market and grocery store. And thankfully, this change can all be attributed to the diversity and adventure of my local library.

But not only have the joys of books served to change the way I eat; they’ve also aided in my connection with relatives and friends. Nicole Kraus’s The Nanny Diaries is a hilarious favorite. My cousin Linseigh saw me reading it, and ended up devouring the work herself. And then there’s Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman, a novel about the art of French parenting. I shared it with my beloved French “professeur” Madame Zuclich – and we often bring up the title to enliven our class discussions about French culture. I bond over books, and the many works I’ve discovered at my literary paradise have only served as sources of friendship, inquiry, laughter, and joy.

Above all, my favorite part of the literary hideaway is the travel section. So far, at the library, I have journeyed to the almost all two hundred nations on the planet. Through my beloved travel guides – from Lonely Planet to Berlitz – I’ve voyaged from Greenland to Antarctica, India, the Cook Islands, and ever beyond. I have discovered my favorite New York City restaurants – Burmese “Mingala” and Ethiopian “Awash” – thanks to a dogeared copy of Zagat. And issues of Time Out New York have driven me to visit the city’s dazzling array of art galleries and museums. I love to globe-trot and explore, and the library – with its infinite range of books and periodicals – piques my constant curiosity and rouses my desire to sightsee and travel.

The books of the literary hideout are outlets for my adventurous soul. No matter what the season or where I go, the written word is my mainstay, my second home.

Butler Library at my dream school Columbia University

Columbia University – An Official Essay

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Topic — Please tell us what you find most appealing about Columbia and why

Tucked away in quiet Morningside Heights is a little green haven I would like to call home for the next four years: Columbia University. Since my junior year tour, I have had a love affair with the institution, especially for its world-class academics. The Core Curriculum, the most celebrated aspect of the Columbia experience, provides the best mechanism to produce a diverse, well-rounded individual. And the ability to explore multiple disciplines in courses like “Frontiers of Science” and “Art Humanities” — even if they do not pertain to my major — is immensely appealing.

Another course I am eagerly anticipating is “Literature Humanities” – which typifies Columbia’s celebration of the art of literature. As an avid reader myself, I realize that at Columbia I would have the opportunity to not merely read some of history’s Great Books — Don Quixote, The Illiad, and more — but to engage in the incredible experience of discussing these revolutionary texts with a like-minded student community.

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One of my prospective majors is “French and Francophone Studies,” and I believe that there is no better place to hone my language skills than Columbia University — a microcosm of the world! Columbia’s student body is bursting with international flavor, making it an extra special place to study a language. With Columbia’s emphasis on studying abroad, I would even have the option to perfect my skills at legendary French institutions, including the Sciences-Po or the Sorbonne — or on campus in unique courses like “Poesie Francophone D’Afrique.” And outside Columbia’s urban campus, the opportunities for French cultural interaction are endless at lectures, film screenings, and exhibitions at La Maison Française or the Alliance Française.

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With Columbia University’s focus on structured learning, I know that I would graduate as an insightful, well-versed individual, equipped for life’s challenges. Columbia is truly an otherworldly institution, and I would be delighted to call it home for the next four plus years!

Day 10 – Goodbye Guatemala!

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Greetings from 20,000 feet in the air – or however high up we are!

My mother and I have just departed from Miami International Airport in Florida, and we’re on our way home from Guatemala City. Today, Day 10, just consisted of hanging out at aeropuertos and flying around. We woke up at about 6:30 a.m. so that we could arrive at the Guatemala City International Airport at 8:00. Apparently, in Guatemala City, airport officials try to set a rule that all passengers must arrive 3 hours before the departure time of the flight. Why, I do not know. I guess so that nobody arrives too late.

The airport in Guatemala City has no air conditioning, unfortunately. I believe that it was about 90 degrees in that airport. My mother and I were suffering beyond belief! But our tour guide did explain to us not to expect all of the amenities provided at an American airport here in Guatemala.

Nonetheless, the airport in Guatemala is a lot of fun. There are maybe 30 different souvenir shops (which all carry the exact same merchandise), and they all have very good prices on locally-made items (like fancy jade and beaded jewelry, colorful Mayan textiles, etc.). But still, prices are not as low as in the marketplaces, which are a much better place to get a bang for your buck. In the way of food, water is about $1.20 (and at the Miami airport, it was a whopping $3.50!).

Mostly American food chains are available at the Guatemalan airport, like Subway and Pizza Hut. Some Guatemalan chains located at the airport are Pollo Campero and Telepizza, but most of the food is American cuisine. And unlike US airports, Guatemala offers free wifi, which I think should be gratis at all airports worldwide. Throughout my visit, I’ve noticed that Guatemala is much more generous in amenities at hotels and in public spaces. This is one aspect of Guatemala that I love: the people are gracious and welcoming, and hospitality abounds.

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I am going to miss Guatemala very much! This country has to be one of the most memorable places that I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. The landscapes throughout the country are breathtaking, the work of the Maya people is intricate and impeccable, the food is flavorful, and visiting the country is extremely low in cost. By far, I am going to miss Lago de Atitlan, an unusual highlight of my vacation. Here, I stayed at the best hotel yet and experienced the action the markets had to offer.

Guatemala is such a great for a student or budget traveler to explore. Taking a tour here is relatively inexpensive, as I had stated before, and, most of the time, a full meal (which is always served in heaping portions) costs only $2 to $3. Things aren’t pricey because the Guatemalans don’t live as extravagantly as Americans prefer to. But of course, that doesn’t mean that the country isn’t bursting in culture and vibrancy.

Traveling in Guatemala has allowed me to become a more open-minded, adventurous person. In the future, I want to take more risks when I travel, and visit more developing countries. I don’t just want to see the first world. Guatemala has also caused me to rethink my ideas of poverty. Numerous times, our tour guide gave us his opinion that Guatemala is not impoverished. Rather, the people just lived simply and humbly. I mean, if a Guatemalan family does not finish its home, they don’t pay taxes! But Guatemalans still own plasma TVs, cellular phones, and computers. They just don’t feel the need to be flashy like Americans, and I wholly appreciate this way of life. We’re just too quick to judge.

My mother and I would never have gone to Guatemala if it wasn’t for two travelers that we had met in Peru. Over dinner one night in Lima, the Peruvian capital, this couple had informed us that Guatemala was an unforgettable destination, and that it reminded them a little bit of Peru. Guatemala was so cheap that we knew that we had to plan a trip. Before I went to Guatemala, I probably would have thought of it as a country with little in the way of tourism. But boy, was I way wrong!

Guatemala is a little hidden gem of a country, a destination for people who wish to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations. This is the first country that I have been to where there are not too many actual tourists. Most of the foreigners that I encountered were Christian missionary workers (almost all of them, actually) and also people adopting children. Outside of my tour group, I think I 20 people were there for fun. The entire country is unspoiled by tourism and souvenir shops. So many parts of the country have been untouched and undiscovered by visitors, that travelers will gain a real sense of what it means to be Guatemalan.