Volunteering for Save the Children?

+non-formal education talk

So I finally decided to get my lazy ass to start writing again. I don’t know if it was because I was super busy or just felt like I needed an actual break from it to let myself get my thoughts in order, but I came back with yet another article. So as you probably read in the title I started volunteering at Save The Children Romania.

For those of you who don’t know what “Save the Children” is, it is an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) that contributes to protecting children’s rights and education. They also promote a non-formal education that helps you build a critical way of thinking and also your public speaking and many others!

It was one of my first interviews, and it was the most chill of all of them! I was actually a bit nervous presenting myself, yet the feeling sorta disappeared since the interviewer made everything so interactive and tried her best for us to be comfortable. I quickly joined the conversations and some debates (along with my friend, Rebeca who is also an active volunteer).

So after the interview I took my first volunteering responsibility and applied for the Mobile Kids (Moki) program, and fortunately I got accepted. So along with my friend we got to our first training session (even though it wasn’t the first since we are learning FAN (first aid notions) at Red Cross).

The training was so amazing I didn’t even want it to end. They showed us some stuff I didn’t even know about and it was an amazing exchange of knowledge. We started off with an introduction and a “get to know ourselves better game” which helped us remember some facts about the people we’ll be working along with (Even though we quickly befriended eachother trough the training itself and we’re still talking, they are amazing people so shout out to them 😉 )

Trough this training besides the stuff I had to learn in order to teach the kids, I also found out more about non-formal education.

What is non-formal education?

Non-formal is the education where both sides have something to learn from eachother! We encourage ourselves to develop a critical thinking, challenge ourselves and find other answers trough our imagination. I personally support this amazing technique and really hope I’d see it more often in schools. Children have to be supported instead of discouraged.

So when I walked out of the session, the girl responsible with us, asked: “How did it feel talking in front of us?”, “What are your fears about this project?”, etc. It made us open up and feel even more comfortable in this ‘safe-space’.

Why is non-formal education important in my opinion?

This type of education encourages children to speak up freely without the fear of being wrong and laughed at. When they get something wrong many are yelled at or immediately discourage. They ask themselves if they are good enough and quit answering in the fear of getting something wrong again. Fear? That shouldn’t be in a child’s vocabulary under any circumstances. So instead of telling our children “YOU are wrong.” why don’t we say “THE ANSWER is wrong.” or “That’s not it, but let’s find another way.”. Nobody was born full of knowledge in everything, we all made mistakes, but the thing is that we shouldn’t let them stop us. We should keep going, keep guessing and keep finding new improved ways to answer until we get it RIGHT.

It is sad that so many young children have their hands raised all the time, yet when we get in highschool: nobody. Why? Because we are scared of people telling us that we are wrong or them threatening us with bad grades.

Yes, I encourage non-formal education.

My opinion?

Totally recommend volunteering in general. Save the Children is indeed a new experience yet it’s really thrilling and fun. It helps me be the best version of myself and not just that: Making a change isn’t simple, it’s an actual journey we take individually and each decision we take to help others gets us closer to our goal. Volunteering isn’t about you or me in particular but more about us as a community mostly because us people gotta stick together and help eachother when we’re in need.

So as a conclusion, I gotta admit this was a great experience and I can’t wait to do my first presentation!

I’ll see you next week with another article!

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Why I love the dance community and tips for beginners!

I am going to start off with an apology.. I am so sorry for not posting anything in the previous week. I was super busy with my finals and school in general. I even took a week break from dancing, which made me think “God I already miss this so much!”. Honestly, it wasn’t just that, but I almost broke my leg during contemporary practice so… I thought a little break would do me some good. (Unfortunately, it sorta took a toll on my mood, since dancing is one of the things that makes me happy).

Being a 3 rd time beginner I have A LOT of experience with the struggles of starting off dance from (almost) 0.

Now I’m gonna answer some questions I frequently get and then I’ll start with my advice:

“How do you manage to schedule your time?”

The thing with dance classes is that it takes a huge amount of time. Before starting you need to be aware of that and reserve some time for it, maybe go to the studio or email them to send information about the classes. You can also search the studio on Instagram. For example, mine posts the daily schedule every morning so I can make a decision on the spot

“Am I too old to start?”

This is one of the most common questions I could find. Heck I thought this about myself a few months ago and I’m barely 16. So are you too old to start? It definitely depends on the studio. Some studios offer classes only for kids, others are open to anyone. So keep that in mind when you’re making the choice of a studio. You are never too old to dance. I met a few people between 29 and 60 at some beginner classes and I was so shocked by how beautiful they progressed and how much determination they have, so don’t be afraid to start new things and you’ll eventually find suiting hobbies.

“How is a first class?”

I’m not going to lie to you. It’s hard, but totally worth it. At my first class I accidentally entered in the intermediate level, and I had no fricking idea of what I was doing. I legit made a fool of myself and I couldn’t even remember the simplest dancehall steps. BUT- yes, there’s a but. I had so much fun and even though I felt awkward I started making friends. And the next time, I got better, and better.. You actually notice the progress yourself.. and that’s one of the pros of being a dancer. It feels so good to get better.

Tips for beginners!

  • Don’t look at your feet! It might be really tempting to just follow the movements of your legs but don’t- you’ll just stumble.
  • Don’t follow the person in front of you if it’s not the teacher. Trust me on this one. I made the same mistake following this girl’s moves, thinking that she was pretty good instead of looking at the teacher and I ended up messing the choreography.
  • Don’t overlook in the mirror. At first, when I started contemporary I tended to always look in the mirror and follow others movements and that just looked awkward in clips. Plus I wasn’t actually memorizing the steps, just imitating them. If you want to look in the mirror, try looking at yourself for correction.
  • Drink a lot of water. No kidding, you have to hydrate yourself. (in general, not just to be a dancer, this is self care y’all)
  • Try everything before choosing your actual courses. When I first started dancing I felt so awkward entering a new class, but what I didn’t realize was that trying everything out made it easier for me to choose my actual styles. So let yourself try everything before deciding on a style or class.
  • If you want to dance contemporary try taking off your socks. I always go with special shoes or just plain socks and end up dancing barefooted. Why? Dunno, it’s neither comfortable nor helpful, but it’s just good to not slip on the floor for once. I once had this SUPER slippery yellow socks and oh boy I fell right to the ground.
  • Beware of the crowded changing rooms. After workshops or free classes they’re ALWAYS full. Once i even forgot my shoes there (found them the next day though). Also make sure you arrive at least 10 mins before the class so you have time to get ready. (unlike me, I’m always late).

I’m sure I can think of a lot more advice for firsties, but I’m sort of really tired right now.

Now off to why I love the dance community. First of all it gives me such a positive vibe? I’m always happy after a class and my teachers always help me out if I don’t get a step or anything. I met amazing people and befriended a lot of really inspirational dancers. Honestly, this is just amazing and I’m so grateful I’m a part of this really awesome community.

I think my favorites are either free classes (since a lot of non dancers and dancers come together and have fun trying out the dance style) or workshops. Legit when there are more people in the class the vibes are unforgettable.

So if you want to be a dancer: Go ahead! I promise you won’t regret it.

Don’t forget to email me if you have any questions, I’d love to talk to you all.

How to study?

Even though the title might be a cliche there are a lot of people out there that have no idea how to study for an exam or test. Heck I didn’t know I was doing it wrong until my Chemistry teacher showed me another way to quickly memorize. I also got advice from my other teachers so since I acquired so much knowledge on this topic I thought I would write this article.

Quick tips!

  1. Don’t procrastinate studying for the last minute! Even though it might seem easy to just read a bit before your test, your short term memory won’t help you in the long run. You must know that school isn’t all about getting good grades and “impressing your parents”. Sure, there will be times when you will get bad marks, or fail but that shouldn’t bring you down or upset you. We are meant to learn from our failures so that we can find the path to success.
  2. Tip number two will refer to actually being organised. Yes, I struggle a lot if my room is messy and I can’t find my books or notes. So clean up your work space and get ready for your study session.
  3. Schedule! Okay this one is really important. You need to know exactly how much time you have to study. For example if it’s math it will take you longer to get the hang of the exercises and practice than learning English grammar. So put down everything you have to do, your time and the time it takes to do everything.
  4. Chocolate is your friend. I got this tip fro my Biology teacher before my contests. A bit of sugar before an exam or competition helps your brain work better since the neurons are functioning with glucose. Make sure you don’t eat too much tho.

Studying methods and styles:

  • So as I said in the previous paragraphs, I was struggling to memorize the energetic diagrams, so my teacher came up to me and helped me out. She told me to write down all I know without looking on my notes and then check. If I did something wrong, I would have to turn the page and start over again until everything was correct. And so I did, it took me a while to understand how this works, but apparently it helped me lots, and even after months I still remember everything from that lesson.
  • Okay so I heard about this a while ago. Apparently everyone has their own studying style. Some people might need to read out loud while learning so they can actually remember (including me), some might have a photographic memory and some just have to do something active while also reading (also me). So don’t be afraid to try out different styles and eventually you will find the one that suits you better.
  • This one is the most basic study method ever. You have probably heard of it a lot, yet I will still mention it. Get three different highlighters and color your notes. For example red for important quotes, green for definitions and yellow for questions/answers. I also used to do that with my reading materials when I needed to do essays based on other books for Romanian. It saves a lot of time when you just have to rewrite the quotes instead of re-reading the whole entire chapter.
  • Don’t forget to apply your new found knowledge! You need to know how to use the theory so make sure you do a lot of exercises no matters if it’s for English or Physics. Practice makes perfect.

I know this week’s article was a really small one, but I also have to get going to study more for my finals. I might write another one by Friday :). Hope these methods were helpful and don’t forget to take care of yourself. Being in a good shape and less tired will help you out a lot.

How to make a change?

I stood in front of my computer and looked trough the results provided by google for this particular question, and let me tell you… all of them continue with “…to make your life better” or “…to feel better in your skin” and that sorta bothered me. Not the actual idea, it is in fact a good one, but the simple fact that none provided the information on how to make someone else’s life better. So guess what? For this week’s article I will stop being selfish and actually list some methods to help others and yourself!

1.Do the plastic pledge!

You may wonder: “What the heck is the plastic pledge and why should I do it?”. Well. here’s your answer: Plastic Pledge is a program that strives to help preventing 1 billion items from reaching the ocean by 2020. “Why put it on a resolution?” Good question. If you start by 2019 in 2020 you would’ve already stopped approximately 1,624 plastic product from getting into our oceans.

So help us save the ocean and begin the pledge with me! : https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/plasticpledge/

2.Volunteer!

Wohoo, we got to one of my favorite topics? “Why?” Because it’s fun and helps you develop yourself A LOT. It helps you with your communication abilities, leadership and it helps you help others. If you are romanian you can search “Harta Voluntariatului” which is a website where you can apply for different projects and events. You can explicitly tell your schedule so you don’t have to worry about not having enough time. You can also google volunteering projects and you’ll find a lot you can sign up for!

I actually found out about some volunteering activities trough my high school and friends. So informing yourself for reliable sources can be very useful as well.

3. No hate speech

This is an anti-bullying movement started by the Council of Europe which provides support and help for those who struggle with these issues. If you’ve ever been trough something like that, you can share your story or actually report the problem in the special section.

International campaign link: https://www.coe.int/en/web/no-hate-campaign/national-campaigns1

4.Small gestures

Everyone thinks that making a change involves grand displays, yet a simple gest like carrying the bags for someone or just showing pure kindness can help others change their view about the world. I once read that offering a smile towards someone will bring you back another. 2019 is a new year, let’s inspire others with kindness and make the world a better place to live in!

In conclusion, I want to wish you all a “Happy New Year” and may you live many beautiful moments trough out this year.

Christmas special!

Attention! This blog has officially been wrapped in the Christmas spirit, or at least this article only!

So let me start off by telling y’all ‘Merry Christmas!’. I should’ve probably posted this earlier since now it’s the second day of Christmas and everybody has already had enough sarmale (if you guys are romanian you’d totally understand what the fuss with this food is all about and if not… google it! You’ll be impressed of how good they look, maybe even drool a bit in front of your device) and listened to all the stories provided by the web.

I suggest you get all cozy as I’m about to begin my weekly tale while listening to carols (yes, i have to actually be in the mood to write an article. Surprise! I have author’s block too).

So it all starts in the Christmas…..Eve…Eve….Eve? Oh yes, that’s when realization hit me big time! I woke up at 8 am like I usually do when I have volunteering only this time I walked there just to see the place was closed. So I thought… why not go to the comic opera for kids? I called my friend who also volunteers there and told her that me and my other friend are coming over to help with the Christmas Fair and so we did. It was really fun spreading maps of the attractions and playing with kids. Honestly it just spread a big smile across my face… just seeing the kids having fun in an educational environment.


On the Christmas Eve Eve I carried the Christmas tree on the bus. No, I didn’t exactly buy the biggest one, yet it fit perfectly in the living room. I even decorated it so that it would be aesthetically pleasing. After that I got changed and I was off to my last afrobeats class this year. Of course I failed my steps miserably and had to repeat them like 7 times? Auch.

On Christmas Eve I surprisingly didn’t go all extra. I only went to the mall to buy my parents some gifts and since last year i bought my mom a silver ring that she didn’t even wear, this time I got her a mug. And since I’m actually a good daughter I filled it with make up. No judging, I was on a budget.

And now my favourite part- CHRISTMAS! Yes, actual Christmas. Sounds exciting after all those Eve EvE eVe EVE you just read. 25 th was the best day out of all this Christmas journey. Unfortunatly even though I’m nearly 16 I wasn’t advanced to the adults table YET. I’m still working on it. The thing is that I got to hang out with all my family including my cousins, brother and his fiance. And it’s not that I’m praising them or anything but they are utterly amazing. I had so many positive vibes and encouragements coming from them that just hanging out gave me a rush of positivity that it still lasts till this day. I even got to draw for the first time on a graphic tablet. Gosh, I have a ton of respect for digital artists now. This job is hella hard!

In conclusion, I hope y’all had an amazing Christmas and will have an even better New Year. Sometimes holidays can be a lot to handle, but it’s still manageable. See ya next week!

Get to know me!

Congratulations! You just clicked on my blog and stumbled upon this begginer level article. You are probably confused and asking yourself why continue reading? Well, dear reader I have the exact answer for your eager questions: “Simply because you will achieve a lot by sharing knowledge and learning about cultural diversity”. Yes, I am from Romania and no I won’t write in my mother tongue since I hope this blog won’t be read just by people in my country. Call me Ana… and this, well this is my blog. It’s like a public journal of thoughts, feelings and ideas. I hope we can share this experience together and shape ourselves into better people.

So, since we will be spending some time together why won’t you start introducing yourself, will you? Or am I going to start first?

Okay so I am a young dancer, blogger ( cough bet you didn’t figure that out!), volunteer and student in a highschool with intensive english classes, which is most probably why this blog is bilingual (mostly english though). I haven’t started dancing that long ago but I am really passionate about it. Whenever I arrive at the studio my heart feels in the right place and even if i fall I always know I have to get up and continue dancing.

If you ask yourself how i found out about dance well, it’s sort of a weird messy story. When I was 3 to 4 years old my mom took me to this ballet class… and then life happened I guess. We had to move to Bucharest (which is the city I’m currently living in). In first grade most of my classmates were on this competition team so I thought why not also try out? And I did! I went to a lot of contests trough out these four years I was on the team. We didn’t always win, yet I was happy. I was just enjoying the feeling of belonging somewhere and oh boy it felt like I could fly. Then.. I quit. Yes, you heard that right buddy. I quit the thing I did for four years just to try out basketball. Curious why? I was sort of mad at people. If you didn’t figure out… I’m a girl. And most boys told me that I couldn’t join the basketball team because of my gender. Like excuse me? The only ‘girls’ team was the volleyball one. The thing is that I absolutly suck at volleyball. So yep, I joined the other boys on the team. Unfortunatly for me it didn’t last that much since my mom couldn’t afford paying the basket lessons anymore and I had to back off from that. Even though the boys at my school saw how much I worked on this silly dream of mine and let me join them. Fast forward to ninth grade, which I’m currently in I started dancing again. As I promised my family I balanced my schedule, volunteering and extra curriculars so that I will still have really good grades.

And now you might be thinking: ‘Poor child, she deffinetly has no time for having a social life..’ WRONG. I do have a social life, lots of friends in fact. It’s all about an equilibrated lifestyle nothing more, which I will probably explain in my next posts.

So now that I introduced you into the basics of my existence, here comes the ultimate question: ‘Why did I create this blog?’. Honestly it was out of sheer curiosity. I wanted to discover myself, to groom myself into more than just a puppet controlled by inspirational tumblr quotes. I thought ‘What is the best way of knowing yourself?’ and then the answer popped right into my mind. ‘To know yourself you must first discover who you are”. So this- this is my first step towards discovering what I stand for, my values, my thoughts, my personality. And you, my lovely reader are going to embark on a journey full of failure, success, internal screeching, tears and laughs because this is not only a journal, not only a blog, this is a whole life written in black and white. A whole history of someone that wanted to give you something, even if it’s just a thought, an idea or a whole book of knowledge. Just like everyone else on this earth I want to leave my mark, to contribute with something. And this… this is only the beggining of my contribution to humanity.

Let’s get to know eachother! Email me at ann11mary22@gmail.com. I can’t wait to meet y’all!

the struggle is real