When The Worst Happens By Elliot Rendall

Well, I think my literal worst nightmare came to life this week. And not even like a cool obscure nightmare that only my brain could come up with. A nightmare me and every other theater kid has had before.

I got up on stage, said my name and what I was singing- and then started to sing the wrong part of the song. Despite days and days of singing it over and over again, preparing for this moment, I made one of the worst mistakes possible. I felt every muscle in my body realize it and tense up as I completely blanked on what my lyrics actually were, and just kept singing the wrong ones. After attempting to roll with it and completely failing, I stopped myself and apologized, before rushing off the stage.

I absolutely, completely, totally choked. Something I hadn’t even had on my anxiety radar (which is shocking considering how anxious of a person I am).
Things that were on my anxiety radar are listed as follows:
1) Singing the wrong notes
2) Cracking because I lost my voice last week*
and in a TINY little footnote at the bottom of the page

*maybe forgetting the lyrics but I don’t think that’s at all possible

In my opinion, I didn’t forget the lyrics. I remembered the other part of the song really well. I’m just that dedicated to my craft. I’m amazing, I know.

Very kindly however, the directors encouraged me to have another go at it- and after looking at my lyrics again, I took a deep, grounding breath, and sang my little heart out. And not half bad, in my opinion. While I did cry out of deep, deep, embarrassment afterwards, I am incredibly proud of myself for having the ability to pull myself together after all that and try again.

In summary- there is a possibility your little anxiety footnotes will come true. But they might not be as bad as they seem. I take it as an opportunity to act as if this is rock bottom, and there’s no way to go but up: so why wouldn’t you give it your absolute all? And if the experience really is just as bad as you thought it might be, then maybe you’ll come out the other side thinking, ‘hey, this would be a really good college essay or blog post’.

Really Cool Lego Sets I don’t Have the Money for by Sarah Marcus

Whenever I see an ad for Legos or walk through the isles of Target, I always see these really cool Lego sets. However, the problem with this is that they are SOOOO expensive, and I don’t have the time nor the money to purchase all these amazing sets. I also haven’t built Legos since I was like 8 years old. I wasn’t even a Lego kid. I had a few Lego sets throughout the years, but it was never one of my favorite toys. If I could go back and be a Lego kid now, I 100% would. Here is a list of my favorite Lego sets and how much money they cost (spoiler alert: the price is always way too expensive):

  1. The Lego Eiffel Tower  – $629.99 This is just awesome, but I didn’t know that Legos have age limits. Luckily I am barely old enough to build this 18+ Lego set.
  2. The Globe – $229.99  In my brain, an office needs to have a globe. A globe makes you look official and shows that you are successful. Even though I learned about the biases behind maps in TOK last year, I think for my fully-official, adult office, I will need a globe. The thing about this globe is you know that if I have it on my desk, I must be REALLY successful. Because this globe not only proves that I have enough money to spend $200 dollars on a Lego set I will use once, but it also shows that I have enough free time to spend hours on this project.
  3. Hogwarts Castle -$469.99 When I think of awesome Lego sets, this is what I think of every time. Hands down. While I will be buying every Harry Potter Lego Set, in my imaginary life, this one will undoubtedly be the first one. My 10-year old self wanted this so bad, even though I was completely unaware of its existence. 
  4. The Lego Typewriter -$249.99  All I can say is I am currently trying to find a justification to buy this for myself.
  5. The Orchid Set -$49.99 This is the room decor I didn’t know I needed, and it’s “actually” under $50 (if you ignore tax and shipping).
  6. Porsche 911 -$169.99 I may never be able to own a Porsche or get up the courage to actually drive it without the fear of immediately crashing or scratching it, but I can buy this Lego set, and my wallet will be just as empty as if I bought the real thing. 

I would keep making this list longer, but I have spent too much time on the Lego website, and I’ve ignored my never-ending to-do list. Tip of Advice: DO NOT GO ON THE LEGO WEBSITE. No one is rich enough to afford all the awesome Legos on that website, and you may become very far behind in other areas of your life as you endlessly add things to your wish list. 

My Favorite Baked Goods in Cleveland by Meg Hahnenberg


When I was little I loved to help my mom bake in the kitchen. We would knead dough, decorate cookies, and occasionally I would have the privilege of licking a frosting-covered spatula. I got so much joy from watching a recipe come to life (not literally though, I’m traumatized enough from the gingerbread man book already). In middle school, I spent countless hours watching baking tutorials and shows. My favorite will always be Cupcake Wars, which inspired my ever lasting love for aesthetic cupcakes. I loved baking everything from brownies to cakes to cookies. I even attempted macarons and croissants, although neither of them turned out to be what I had hoped. After the COVID-19 lock-down, I’ve barely had time to bake, mostly thanks to my workload from IB. Thankfully, I still have some time every once in a while to drive around Cleveland in search of my next favorite baked good. Below I have included some of my favs.

  1. Salted Caramel Macaron from Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes
    • Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes (KEC) is my FAVORITE bakery in all of Cleveland. Her pastries are adorable and at time sugar-coma inducing, but she never fails to amaze me with how delicious everything is. Over the years she has sold hundreds of different flavors of macarons, and the salted caramel flavor is one of my favorites. They are baked perfectly every time and the frosting compliments the cookie so well. Although I love salted caramel, I simply cannot ignore another favorite flavor of mine: peppermint. Her peppermint macaron is only available near the holidays, so get yourself one while you still can!
  2. Killer brownies from Dorthy Lane Market
    • I wasn’t sure if I was going to include this one on the list, but I couldn’t see why not. These have been a longtime favorite of mine, but up until recently I was under the impression that they are only sold at Dorthy Lane Market in Dayton Ohio! Now KEC carries them in store along with the rest of her incredible baked goods! I don’t think I could even tell you what is in this brownie, its just delicious. They have a variety of flavors so if you like caramel in your brownies, they’ve got you covered! To be quite honest, these are some RICH brownies; I find that a quarter of one is just enough for me.
  3. Chocolate Chip Walnut Blondie from On the Rise
    • This was the first baked good that I ever liked that had walnuts in it. I used to be a big walnut hater, but after falling in love with this treat, I’ve been converted. Like the killer brownie, this blondie is rich and chock-full of walnuts and chocolate. Honestly, this blondie is just a giant chocolate chip cookie with walnuts. Yum!
  4. Cinnamon Raisin Bread from On the Rise
    • Although On the Rise has some great sweets, I might love them more for their variety of breads. I absolutely love their cinnamon raisin bread, which comes in a small loaf with, you guessed it, cinnamon and raisin inside! I love to eat this with my breakfast and preferably a bit of butter.
  5. Scone from Juma
    • Unfortunately the Juma cafe near Van Aken is long gone. Thankfully before they shut down I had the chance to try one of their scones! The first time I went to Juma was after the Sunday matinee of a show I was in, Willy Wonka or Hello Dolly maybe. I must’ve been really hungry after the performance, because I remember that scone as one of the best things I had ever eaten in my life!

Thank you for reading my rambling on about my favorite treats! I also wanted to mention Koko bakery, where I LOVE to get strawberry boba. However, boba isn’t a baked good so I couldn’t really include it in my list. Again, thank you for reading and please leave other bakery suggestions in the comments!