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Hello Smart Girls and hello summer! How nice is it to say that? In the midst of chilly winters, it seems like summer will never shine its bright rays, but luckily, it is has arrived. I live on an island on the Jersey Shore (no, it is not like MTV’s Jersey Shore) and summer is a special time of year, to say the least. The tourists begin to make their way from the mainland, patches of sailboats can be spotted racing across the bay, early morning walks on the beach become a daily practice, and there is just this sense of simplicity. It is during these summer months that I find are when we learn to celebrate the little things that make life big. Whether it is finding red sea glass on an early morning walk on the beach, placing first during the weekly sailing races, or finally standing up on your surfboard, summer has a way of making even the little things worthwhile. As Smart Girls, we have so much going on; nevertheless, no matter how crazy life may seem, there is always time to celebrate. I have a task for you. This summer, smile a little bit more, laugh a little bit louder, and celebrate everything. Even if you have no reason to celebrate, celebrate anyway! Life is like summer: it is too short to not soak up every minute. I am astonished that I am writing my fourth Smart Starter letter. Here at The Smart Girls Group, we have a lot to celebrate this summer. We have been blessed with Jenna, who has designed this entire magazine (and was so patient with us!). Then there is our Smarts Shooter, Ava, our newest member of SGG. We are celebrating our newest addition to Smart Girl’s Guide, a column called, “Hello From Home,” which is taking us straight into the world of Smart Girls, starting with Appoorva. Finally, we are celebrating our Smart Girls. When you are surrounded by motivated, compassionate, fun girls like we are, how can you not celebrate every moment? I hope that this summer brings you lots of things to celebrate. Be smart. Share smarts, Emily Smart Starter


July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide

The Smart Girl is...

July/August contents






“Work it Girl”








“The Race to Run”

“Clever Closet Cleaning” “The 3 T’s of Travel


“Water Works”

Also in this issue:

Smart Girl Spotlight: Maddie Widmeier “Sail Away Sister”


Relay for Life


Organization of the Month: “Set Your Sights on the Finish Line” 32

Hello From Home: India






“Hair Styles of Summer” 20 Prepared “College Column”


Life List Column:



“Summer Songs” “A Sea of Smarts” July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide


sophie raleigh

hannah holliday

new jersey


christina lanlokun canada

dorothy walton alabama


hannah buchan new jersey

The Guide Girls 3

July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide

emily raleigh new jersey

amber ausley kentucky

hannah o’boyle gabbi oppenheimer pennsylvania

courtney brooks new jersey


annie phelps rhode island

July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide


Guest Contributors

apoorva ramamurthy india “Hello From Home”

ava gagliardi pennsylvania photographer


July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide

maddie widmeier pennsylvania “Sail Away Sister”

Smart Sharer Royar Loflin

Mitt Romney



In our second issue, we were introduced to the candidates for the Republican primaries of the presidential election. As time has passed, our country has spoken and the Republican nominee has been decided: Mitt Romney. No matter the opinions of our friends, family, or teachers, the Smart Girl forms her own, educated opinions. This month, Royar Loflin is empowering us to do so by informing us about the policies of both candidates, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

The 44th President of the United States and the incumbent in the 2012 Election, Barack Obama was born in Hawaii to a father from Kenya and mother from Kansas. He graduated from Columbia in 1983. After graduating from Harvard Law, where he was the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, he served as a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago. After announcing his candidacy for President in 2007, he emphasized three main issues: ending the War in Iraq, new energy sources, and health care. His two campaign slogans were ‘hope’ and ‘change’. He won the Presidency 365 electoral votes to 173, winning the popular vote receiving 52.9% of all votes. During his presidency, he has appointed two female justices to the Supreme Court, cut the NASA program, repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and removed all soldiers from Iraq. He ran unopposed in all of the Democratic Primaries this spring and secured the nomination in April.

Although he has not been named as the official nominee of the Republican Party at the time of writing, the Republican Party is now united behind Mitt Romney. Born in Detroit, he has spent most of his life working in the private sector, most notably turning around the Salt Lake City Olympics in winter of 2002. After being elected Governor of Massachusetts, he balanced the budget and eradicated a $3 billion debt without raising taxes. When he left office in 2007, the state had more than $2 billion in a rainy day fund. He also helped small businesses and fought to bring new industries and jobs to Massachusetts, stopping job loss and bringing in jobs by the thousands by the end of his term. He does not support the auto-industry bailout and is for Guantanmo Bay staying open. He believes that family, the military, and the economy are the essentials for America to remain powerful. July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide


Base Brain Article Annie Phelps

Work it

Everyone wants to hit the beach this summer and look good, no matter what they are wearing. The key to looking good is confidence, and one way to gain more confidence in yourself and your body is by working out! If working out in the summer is something you dread because of the hot, humid weather, just think of all the extra water weight you will be losing through sweating! Just a note: only doing this workout is not going to get you in tip-top shape for the beach. In order to be in your best shape for summer, you need to workout year round. You do not have to follow these exact guidelines – you may substitute some of your preferred exercises in place of one I have mentioned. When substituting this workout, continue to target the same parts of the body.



15 pushups (if this is too hard start out with 3 sets of 5 and work up to 15 in a row)

For the optimal weekly workout schedule, do this workout or some other type of weight training twice a week, cardio 4 times a week and have one day of rest. Some ideas for cardio are: running, biking, swimming, kickboxing (my personal favorite), jump roping, etc. And as always, make sure you stretch before and after working out.

Overhead Extensions

15 overhead extensions: while standing, grab the end of a 5 pound dumbbell with both hands. Lift the dumbbell above your head and, keeping your elbows against your ears, lower the dumbbell until it almost touches your back, hold for 2 seconds, and then raise it back to start.

Legs Backwords Lunges

100 squats (this sounds daunting but trust me, you can get through it! If this is too hard, do 2 sets of 50)

July/August Squats

Wall Sits Wall sit: lean against the wall and pretend you are sitting in a chair, with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle and stay there! Hold this for at least a minute. If you can hold it longer, congratulations! Aim for five minutes as your next goal.

50 backwards lunges: step back when placing your leg on the ground instead of stepping forward. Do 25 on each side (to make this harder, kick your leg out when you stand up.)



Clearly you are aware of the fact that I LOVE planks! Hold a side plank for 30 seconds on each side, and work your way up to 1 minute per side. (Eventually you can get up to over 2 minutes per side!)

Russian Twists

Russian twist: sit on the ground, bring your knees off the ground (do not put them back on the ground until you are done!), and twist at your core. Twist back and forth until you can twist no more! (If that’s just not possible, aim for at least 40)




Clever Closet Cleaning By Smarts Sharer Dorothy Walton


July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide

Since school is out and you find yourself with more free time, now is the perfect time to organize your closet. Organizing or rearranging this once a year allows you to see which clothes you have yet to wear and make sure that all of your stuff is easy to find. Depending on the size of your closet, your organization system may be different, but one thing that all of them have in common is that they store clothes. For me, I have a long rod that goes from wall to wall of my closet that I hang bunches of articles of clothing on. So that the general appearance is inviting, I like to have all of my hangers the same color and facing the same way. Because it would be unproductive for me to just hang articles of clothing in an open spot, I have a specific organizing system that I am happy to share with y’all! At the very front of my closet I hang all of my dresses. When arranging these dresses I like to group them according to the seasons I will be wearing them in. These dresses usually go from winter, fall, spring, and summer since a lot of the time dresses are versatile enough to transfer into the following season. It is important to make sure that when you are hanging dresses that there is nothing below them that could push up on them causing them to wrinkle. After my dresses, I have my skirts. I arrange my skirts in a similar fashion where they are lined up from more suitable for winter all the way to summer. Again, this allows me to slide my hangers to an area in my closet and now what articles of clothing I have suitable for a specific season. After my skirts and dresses are all of my school uniform options. At my school, we wear polo shirts or oxfords on top and a plaid skort on the bottom, so keeping this section organized allows me to grab my


July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide

seasonal organization

uniform and be ready to go so that I can optimize my sleeping time. If you are like me and have uniforms, it is easy to organize this part of your closet if you break up the articles of clothing. I keep all of my school shirts together, then comes my skorts and after that comes school approved jackets. For those of you who do not have a dress code, my only advice would be to pick out your outfit the night before because I can only imagine how stressful getting ready for school each day must be. So now that we are passed the boring uniforms comes the favorite part of my closet; the seasonal clothes. Right now for me that is shorts, skirts, cute tanks, and blouses. I have all my summery shirts grouped with shirts in the same color family leading up to my fun shorts and skirts. This makes it easy to match up pieces and then choose the style top I want to wear on a given day. Like I said, shorts and skorts come next. I don’t have a particular way to organize them other than hang them on hangers with little clips so that they don’t get wrinkled. I love walking into my closet and seeing a group of fun colors that comes from this section of clothes. Aftermy seasonal section, I have jeans. With these, if you have white and colored, I would put them together leading to your more traditional blue denim. I find that jeans can be worn all year round and can easily separate different seasons of clothes.

Next I have all of my sweaters and cardigans. My only advice for organizing these would be to have all of your sweaters together and all of your cardigans together. After that comes cold weather shirts which group as long sleeved shirts together, the turtlenecks together and the other winter shirts together. Most of the time your colder weather stuff will take up more room because those articles of clothing are thicker in order to keep you warm. Jackets are next, and I separate all of my sweatshirts, vests, coats, and pullovers so that again, they are easy to grab. If you couldn’t have guessed yet, I am all about being able to put an outfit together quickly so most often the aim of my closet organization is to optimize this process.

July/August organization

“I hope this organization process will help to inspire and give you new ideas of how to optimize the space you have while keeping your clothing organized!” - dorothy walton At the very end of my closet I have scarves and bunches of extra hangers so that they don’t linger between clothes. For shoes, I have a rack above the bar that hangs my clothes. I line up my shoes differently according to which season it is currently, but I like all of my tennis shoes to be

together, all of my ballet flats together, all of my heels or wedges together and all of my sandals together. Boots are a little bit more difficult because I have to store those on the ground so they get tucked away in their boxes, which are neatly placed underneath all of my extra hangers.

July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide


July/August Travel

by Christina Lanlokun, Smarts Sharer “It’s been a long year” This year, I felt that the weeks quickly turned into months and time seemed to pass by really fast; especially during the study periods, holiday breaks, university applications and activities with families and friends. You know that saying, “time flies when you’re having fun.” It really does. Only a few more weeks and summer will be officially here; which means it’s time to start planning for your vacation. However, most people find that preparing for a trip can take twice as long as the journey itself, and they eventually give up and stuff more things than they need in to their traveling bag. Yes, packing for vacation is more difficult than most people think. This is why I’ve come up with an effective way to pack your travelling bag and still have enough time left to organize your own personal guide to explore the city.

Summer Traveling T’s Summ

To-Do List

er Vac at tion- L ondon, ion! Eng


Construct a list of all the things you need for your vacation. This makes things run smoothly and keeps you from getting stressed. An illustration

land Weathe r : R a in er Cloudy y, , some times hot. Trenc Cloth ing boots,h coat, Hunter lig sweate ht rs... Events aRcainy days: Indo or tivities : muse restau u ms, ran Ben, To t..Warm days : Big w Hyde P er of London , ark. Weath

Touring Plans One of the most important things to do when visiting a new country is sightseeing. However this can be pretty overwhelming, especially for those who find it difficult to make quick decisions. So how do you decide where to go first?

‡ I recommend visiting the classic (must see) attractions of the city, starting with your favorite. ‡ Booking a tour with a guide allows you to learn more about the history of the country. ‡If you’re the adventurous type, try getting lost on purpose to discover new things. However, make sure you have a map somewhere in your bag to return safely to your hotel when you’re done or have a card with a taxi number listed. ‡ Shopping and Souvenirs. Shopping seems to be one of the most popular reasons people go on vacation, so why not do some research and make your own shopping guide to the main shopping streets. Remember to also get some souvenirs for memories of a great summer trip. Don’t forget about your friends and family back home, pick up some gifts that are significant to your destination, for instance, the classic I love New York T-shirts.

Tea and Treats

Food is one of the most important aspects of a culture, so what better way to get acquainted with the country by trying new, exotic meals.

‡ Book a food tasting and cultural walk tour. ‡Research food blogs on the city you will be visiting. Most blogs offer reviews on restaurants, and their opinion on the foods. ‡ tep out of your comfort zone, and don’t be afraid to eat things that you’ve never tasted. You might be surprised at how good it taste.

Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” – Freya Stark

July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide

” 14

Smarts Sharer Hannah O’Boyle

July/August sport

WaterWorks It's summer time, and for me, enjoying water sports is one of the best ways to spend a nice summer day. Summer water sports include: wake boarding, water skiing, knee boarding, tubing, jet skiing, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Sailing, surfing, wind surfing can also be classified as water sports as well. Out of all these sports, I have at least attempted nine of them. Although these sports are all water sports, most of them are completely different from one another. Water skiing, knee boarding, tubing, and wake boarding are perfect for those of you who have or are renting a boat for the day.


July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide

Water Works Out of those sports, some are more difficult then others. Tubing is by far the easiest out of these sports because all you have to worry about is hanging on for dear life and having an awesome time! For me knee boarding was also easy and only took me two tries to completely on the board. Kneeboarding requires arm strength, but would still be suitable for kids around the age of ten. If you can't get completely on the board, no worries, you can just ride it like a boogie board if you want to! Next comes water skiing. It literally took me at least 20 times to get up on those skis! Don't get discouraged! You'll get up eventually if you really want to. The trick is not to stress about it, lean back and hold on. Once you get up for around 30 seconds, its smooth sailing, because getting up is the hardest part. Finally, there is wakeboarding. I do not have a lot of personal experience on this one because when my brother couldn't get up, I figured I couldn't either. With saying that one of my goals for this summer is to try to get up on it, hopefully before my brother! Fishing is also an awesome thing to do on a boat. The great thing about fishing is you can do it wherever you see water, except for a pool! One of my fishing tips is to use the

proper bait. I love using live bait. If you are freaked out by worms, artificial bait is probably appropriate. When you see the bobber go down (the little red and white ball), wait until you know the fish is very interested. If it goes down around 4 times for about 20 seconds each, quickly pull the rod up. The hope is that you snag the fish and catch it! Surfing is an awesome sport, especially popular if you live near the beach. I have gone surfing 3 times in my life so I am far from an expert, but when I got up one time ( even though I wasn't fully standing up) it felt awesome!! One of our Smart Girls, Sophie is a great surfer! If you have a lake or river around your house, try to rent a kayak or canoe. They give you an awesome work out, toning your abs and strengthening your arms. When I go kayaking, I like to go slow and enjoy the weather and scenery. Ocean kayaking is for those who are a little more adventurous. Just to make things clear, an ocean kayak is different from a regular kayak. There are two main challenges that you will face. First, it is tricky to go

July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide


past the shore and all the crashing waves. The key is to go when it is calm or when a wave just broke and isn't as strong. Once you pass the break, you can enjoy the beauty of the ocean until you decide its time to go back. I personally enjoy going into shore because it is really fun to ride a wave in! However, some things can go wrong. The most likely thing would be a wave crashing right on top of you and the kayak will tip over. Don't worry, if your wearing a life jacket (every smart girl does!) you will be fine. Just climb back into the kayak and continue going towards shore. Summer is a time for fun, fun and more fun, so try some of these sports out. I don't think you will be disappointed!


July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide

Smart Sharer Hannah Holliday


Hair Styles of

un B p o T

If you’re like me, it gets really annoying to fix your hair every day during the summer. There are so many better things to do! So, I’ve put together my IDYRULWHKDLUVW\OHVIRUWKHKHDWDQGWKHÂŹVXQ7KH\¡UHDOO UHDOO\YHDV\DVZHOOÂŹDVTXLFN The top bun is a fun way to not be bothered by your hair in the summertime! It’s really more suited for girls with long hair, because you have to wrap the hair in a bun a couple of times before you can achieve the ideal “ballerina bun.â€?

1. Start with wavy hair. If your hair is too straight, it will not look as relaxed when it’s in the bun.

2. Put your hair into a high ponytail. Secure with an elastic. 3. Twist hair into a bun around the elastic, but keep it loose. The bun should look pretty large around the elastic.

4. Secure with bobby pins and spray with hairspray.

1. Part your hair deep on the side. 2. Grab a small section (1 inch thick) of hair on your part.

3. French braid that section into your hairline, but only pick up hair closest to your hairline. 4. Braid your hair almost to your ear, then secure with a bobby pin. 5. Tuck the end of the braid under your hair.

t Braid ron eF

I love braiding my hair in the summertime, and after a couple of years of practicing braiding, I’ve gotten pretty good at t! The first type of braid that is perfect for the hot weather is the front braid.



Be aves hW ac

nytail o P h g i H

High ponytails are probably my favorite hairstyle for the summer. They’re super girly and flirty, plus they keep hair away from your face when it gets hot out!

Lastly, the easiest hairstyle for summer is beach waves!! If you’re at the beach, this is even easier for you. They’re really relaxed and low maintenance, and it’s even better when they’re a little messy!

1. Curl all the ends of your hair

1. When hair is wet, spray a “beach spray”

under. This is the most important step because it gives the ponytail a really bouncy look. 2. Put your hair in a high ponytail. I like to brush my hair into a ponytail so that everything is really smooth. Secure with an elastic. 3. Spray lightly with hairspray. the


July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide

(usually made of salt water) halfway down the hair shaft to the ends. 2. You can either let your hair dry naturally (better), or blow dry it. 3. When it’s dry, use a 1 inch curling iron to curl hair loosely. I always hold the iron vertically and start curling my hair from the middle. Then, I slide it down close to the ends. When you leave the ends untouched, it makes the curl look more natural. 4. Hold each curl for about 5-15 seconds, depending on your hair type. 5. Shake out your curls and you’re good to go!!

Smarts Starter Emily Raleigh

COLLEGE COLUMN Freshman Happy summer, Freshmen girlies! Congratulations on graduating middle school! I welcome you to my College Column. You may be thinking it’s silly to plan for college when you are not yet even in high school. Don’t worry; this is more about how to get the most out of high school, while doing tasks that are beneficial for college. Each month, I will give you a task. Your job is just to complete it. I promise, if you keep to our to do list, you will be so much less stressed in high school, especially Junior and Senior year, when the college process becomes even more real. Okay, onto your first task. This month is all about setting goals, something we are big about here at The Smart Girls Group. To set goals this time, you need to write yourself a letter. This letter can be opened after you graduate high school, four years from now. Make this personal! Tell yourself what you hope you accomplish, who you hope you are as a person, where you hope you are going next, you know what I mean. Once you are done, tuck it away in a special place that you will remember, and keep what you wrote in your mind as you embark on this new journey. Finally, don’t forget, whenever you need guidance, a friend, or anything else as you travel through high school, The Smart Girls Group community is always here for you.


July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide


Hello our new sophomores! We hope you are having a fantastic summer! Now that you are doing something for a job, it is time for us to move on to another task: careers. Don’t panic! I’m not telling you to decide what career path to take at 15. You still have so much growing to do before that, of course. What I mean is to dedicate some time this month to researching various career fields that you think you may be interested in. Notice that I say fields. We are strictly looking from a more general viewpoint. For example, let’s say you enjoy music. Look into music management, communications, performance music, and music technology. Your goal this month is to find fields of interest. If you have many different interests, look at careers in all of them. For me, personally, I enjoy writing, college prep, motivational speaking, selfimprovement, and business. My dream job, therefore, is to do exactly what I am doing now! Use this month to figure out your dream career fields. Happy hunting!

Juniors Welcome to summer, our favorite juniors! We hope that your SAT/ACT preparations are going well so far. I’m sure you are all doing great! This month, we are going to plan a little bit. The college process is now becoming very real. There is a lot to do in these next two years in order to submit that sparkling application. If you keep to our tasks, I promise you will! Now that my college prep is over, as I am going to college this fall, I noticed something in the process. For a majority of schools (notice I say majority; some things are completely out of your hands), you cannot just have a great SAT score and solid grades. You need a lot more than that. You need a hook. This means that you need something that makes you different from others. Think about it. There are thousands upon thousands of students just as smart as you applying to these schools. Why should they pick you? It may seem like a loaded question, which is why we are going to work to find your hook this month. The best way to find your hook is to list all of your activities, talents, etc. Which one sounds unique? Now, don’t say it is because you play soccer or are in a choir. As fantastic as those things are, there are plenty of kids just like you. However, if you are a soccer player that has started a soccer clinic for younger girls in your area or started a choir group that puts on performances to raise money for a certain charity, well then, you have a hook! You need to channel something that is slightly normal into something unique. Make sure that it shows leadership. That is a big thing for colleges. They want students who will make the school shine, not spectators. This month, think about your hook or what your hook could be, and start planning.

If you need suggestions or ideas, email me at







July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide


Music Mind Sophie Raleigh the of





Blog Brains Hannah Buchan

In the 1980’s, Howard Gardner hypothesized that people have multiple intelligences. Although his theory has yet to be proven, there is much to say about Gardner’s ideas, especially how they relate to becoming your ideal Smart Girl.

and have the confidence to share it with the world! Here at the Smart Girls Group, we want to hear how you want to make the world a better place, or how you study more efficiently, or how you helped in your local communities.

According to Gardner, there are eight different types of intelligences: Logicalmathematical, Spatial, Linguistic, Bodily-kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalistic, and Existential. Gardner’s work is so relevant to the Smart Girls message, which is to be your very own Smart Girl and have the confidence to share it with others! You do not need to be a straight A student or a bookworm to be a Smart Girl, but we totally encourage that if that is your strength! It is merely not limited to being “typically smart.”

You can become confident in your particular “intelligence” through practicing and studying the material of the subject. Start small by telling your family and close friends about your passion; people you know who will want to see you succeed! Little by little, your confidence in your intelligence will grow. We hope you share your passions, intelligences, and goals with the world and, of course, the Smart Girls Group!

If you are a really talented basketball player, are a great listener when your friends need help, have a strong connection with the spiritual, or are a math whiz, there are all intelligences for these qualities! If you haven’t found your “intelligence” yet, keep looking! Everyone was given a gift, it is your job to find it, nurture it,

Smart Girls Group July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide


A Smart Girl sees passion as an opportunity for gre an athlete who learned to sail at the mere age of eigh water. She has channeled her smarts into years of ded sunny Florida. The hard work has certainly paid off.

eatness. This month, we spotlight Maddie Widmeier, ht years old and since then, has never truly left the dication, taking her from Italy to Illinois, Seattle to

July/August spotlight For some people, when they hear the final bell ring on the last day of school, that means a summer full of laid-back fun and no set schedule. However, that is not the case for sailors, like myself. When that final bell rings, I know that I have a busy schedule ahead of me; one that does not leave too much time for me to lay on my towel and soak up the sun on the beaches of Long Beach Island. This schedule involves many endless hours on the road, driving to different venues to compete. Imagine hanging parallel to the water, seeing your silhouette painted onto your pink sail, as the sun is setting, having your body be slapped into waves, and gulping down mouth-fulls of salt water. This is my life as a dingy sailor A typical summer for me is leaving my old farmhouse in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and moving into my shore house on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. I rarely come home, maybe a total of three days at the very most, but only at my home for a mere 24-hour visit, which makes me miss my school friends dearly. When I am at my beach house, every morning my alarm goes off at 7 am and I take a 30-minute jog on the ocean boulevard. I then shower and eat breakfast, followed by a 2-minute bike ride to my home club, Brant Beach Yacht Club, where I store my boat. I sail a Club 420, a double-handed boat (two people in the boat) with my friend, Ally. We rig (set up) the boat and we are on the water from 10 to 4 each day, 5 days a week, when I am training at BBYC. When I am racing, the days get even longer. Competition days, or regattas, usually start with a 6:30 am wakeup call. Then, by the time we rig our boats, get changed, have a briefing with our coach, and get on the water, it’s about 10.


July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide

We have three to five races per day, depending on the wind, weather, and race committee (the people who run the races). Now, if you have seen the movie Charlie St. Cloud, there is sailing in the movie. When any athlete sees their sport displayed in a movie or on a TV show, Make it or Break It, which has gymnastics as the backdrop, filled with drama. Since I am not a gymnast, I do not see anything different but if a gymnast were to watch it, they’d disagree, as do I with Charlie St. Cloud. Sailing is not your typical mainstream sport. I got involved because my dad was a sailor when he was younger. I first started sailing Optimists, which are boats shaped like bathtubs and have hollow, fiberglass frames, just shy of 8 feet long, 3 feet wide, and a 1.5 feet deep. I sailed these for two years then my instructors felt the next appropriate class for me was the race team to sail with 11 year olds, when I was only nine. I learned very valuable tactical and technical skills from this class, but the next step for me was to create my own race team. Now, about 5 years later, my hard work paid off and this past summer, my skipper, Ally, and me finished second in the Double-Handed Women’s National Championship. Since Ally and I spend every waking moment of our summers together, we are practically sisters. All sailors share this special bond because we understand how hard we have to work and how many variables we cannot control. I am fortunate enough that my parents support me because now I do national and international events all over the world. I have made countless friendships through the sport; relationships that I know will last forever. Sailing is my passion and I am positive I will be sailing for the rest of my life.


SMART GIRLS group We believe in inclusion. We believe in community. We believe in opportunity. Getting involved in The Smart Girls Group is easy. We welcome everyone! Get involved and join The Smart Girls Group. For more information, please contact us at: getinvolved@thesmartgirls




of the


Relay for Life by Gabbi Oppenheimer, Smarts Sharer

I still remember it like it was yesterday. Almost four years ago, one of my best friends walked into the eighth-grade hallway, her face pale and expressionless. I watched, shocked, as she choked out the news that the father of one of best friends had lost his battle to adrenal cancer the night before. We spent the morning shut away in a classroom, sobbing with the school social worker and the rest of our friends. That was in September. Later that year, our friend decided that she wanted to honor her father by organizing a Relay for Life team. We all agreed enthusiastically, and our team–dubbed “Got Cure?”—made its debut at a North Shore Relay for Life event in June of 2009.

Relay for Life is the most well known fundraiser of the American Cancer Society and is almost completely volunteerbased. It’s also very easy to get involved with and so much fun! As a team, you and your loved ones will raise money towards a set goal by the date of the relay. Once the day of the relay arrives, each team sets up a campsite at the relay site, usually a high school football field or a park. From six o’clock in the evening to six in the morning, team members take turns walking laps around the site, to represent the fact that “Cancer never sleeps.” Fundraising for the event can be a challenge, but it is incredibly fulfilling in the end, knowing you have reached your goal. The best part is that there

July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide


Organization theof Month

are so many different fundraising methods. Each year, my team holds a team fundraiser at a local restaurant. We all go for dinner and the restaurant donates a portion of the sales to our team. In the past, I have held bake sales, gone door to door asking for donations, and, my favorite, last year I did my own “Kicks for Cancer” mini fundraiser! Using my love for dance, I set up a sign in a park on a busy afternoon with a jar for donations and for every dollar put in the jar, I did a high kick. It was a great crowd pleaser and attracted lots of attention. I ended up doing at least sixty kicks that day!


July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide

I am thankful each year that I have the opportunity to be involved in Relay for Life. Cancer research is a cause very close to my heart, because of my friend’s father and because of my grandmother who overcame breast cancer almost sixteen years ago. Knowing that I can help find a cure to this terrible disease is what drives me to participate in Relay. Being involved with so many of my close friends is just icing on the cake. I am proud to say that I have participated in four Relay events to date. I hope you consider joining me next year as we band together to bring cancer down.

Life List Column

Setting Your Sights

Amber Ausley

on the

My biggest enemy can be myself. Sometimes I let fear, doubt, or imperfections keep me from accomplishing big dreams. I often find myself saying ‘no’ more than ‘yes.’ However, I just woke up one day and decided that I want to experience every opportunity I am given, and expand my comfort zone. I walked into the kitchen to find my mom signing up for a 10 mile race. I

three month countdown until the big day, I decided to start out small and work my way towards my goal. The first day I ran a mile. How motivating is it to know that at the end of my mile run, I realized I only had to do that nine more times? Of course it wasn’t motivating. I was scared. I did not feel any closer to my goal. Madame Marie du Deffand once said

Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you're young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don't let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself." –John Bingham don’t know why, but I decided to sign up, too. Through experience, I have found that I am not a very athletic person. I love watching sports, and I love playing them, but I am not naturally gifted when it comes to them. I enjoy playing tennis and skiing out on the lake, but put me in a game of dodge ball or ultimate Frisbee, and someone is going to get hurt. However, I also get bored very easily. I want to move on to the next challenge and accomplish something new that I never thought I could do. Obviously, the only logical option was to buy some running shoes and start training for a ten mile race. The First Step: I tied up my laces, put in my ear buds, and opened the front door. As daunting as running a long distance race seemed, coupled with a

“The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that is difficult.” In all respect, I beg to differ. The distance is difficult. In the process of working towards a goal, you face difficulties, setbacks, fear, and doubt. However, seeing your goal get closer with each step, and seeing yourself transform as a person makes the distance insignificant. In reality, very few things worth fighting for will ever be easy. Race Day: Three months after first committing to my crazy idea, it was finally the big day. As the buzzer went off, and the runners in front of me started, the weight of what I had gotten myself into came crashing down on me. I was excited to see if my preparation had paid off, but nervous of the challenge in front of me and

July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide



Life List Column

and fear of disappointment if I couldn’t achieve my goal. However, inspired by Anthony Robbins’ quote, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible,” I remained determined. After an exhausting run uphill, I finally finished the race…almost fifteen minutes under my goal! You never know how much you can accomplish if you let fear stop you. Just go for it. The key to accomplishing a goal is setting your sights on the finish line. Don’t focus on the difficulties you might face along the way. Instead, picture yourself accomplishing your goal and concentrate on the way you will feel when you achieve it. When someone, or even yourself say that you can’t do something, take the first step and say “watch me.” What legacy will you leave? Have an idea for me to add to my list, or a story about you setting your sights on the finish line? Send us an email at thesmart girlsgroup@ I will feature stories from girls like you in the upcoming issue.

Other girls from all around the country are setting their sights on the finish line… mbat” t nurse in co h ig fl a e m eco “I want to b “I want to go on a mission trip” “I want to scuba dive in the


Too often we are scared. Scared of what we might not be able to do. Scared of what people might think if we tried. We let our fears stand in the way of our hopes. We say no when we want to say yes. We sit quietly when we want to scream. And we shout at others, when we should keep our mouths shut. Why? After all, we do only go around once. There’s really no time to be afraid. So stop. Try something you’ve never tried. Risk it. Enter a triathlon. Write a letter to the editor. Demand a raise. Call winners at the toughest court. Throw away your television. Bicycle across the United States. Try bobsledding. Try anything! Speak out against the designated hitter. Travel to a country where you don’t speak the language. Patent something. Call her. You have nothing to lose and everything everything everything to gain. ~Barry Sanders

What’s next on The Life List? Here’s your clue: “Live and Learn” 33

July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide

What is on

Bucket List? Send us your ideas at:

and an item off your bucket list could be featured in our next issue!


When people say ‘India’, your imagination conjures up collages of colours, golden skinned people in bright clothing, interesting folk dances and fascinating culture. And surprisingly, although our country’s features have been diluted quite a bit, it’s not too far from the truth. Being a student in a cosmopolitan city in India is strenuous, of course, but it provides you with the best view of one of the most remarkable societies in the world. The cries of vegetable vendors shouting out the names of their wares in every language known to them in the shrillest voice possible shatters the rather sleepy atmosphere as every student drags themselves out of bed and gets ready for school. School children with a hundred different types of uniforms usually accompanied by their doting mothers, bright school bags and a dangling lunch box; neatly dressed men and women in colourful saris and salwar kameezes generally illustrate a typical Indian morning.


July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide

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Schools in India usually emphasise heavily on one value – discipline. Although this varies from school to school (my school wasn’t that tyrannical in these matters), the general implications include: MaryJanes, or Bata shoes as many wearers tend to call them as they are usually bought at Bata, a shoe store. These must be polished black till you see your reflection in it; white school socks must be pulled up to your knees and school uniform must be worn neatly everyday without excuse. No eye-makeup, no ‘fancy’ hairstyles and nothing other than stud earrings? Absolutely not! But in this spirit, Indian schools have managed to keep a sense of singular identity amongst students and have improved grades and behavior as many studies have shown. Respect is also another quality Indian teachers and parents alike expect their children to show. Standing up to greet the teacher once she enters, making sure your eyes stay on the floor when you’re being yelled at, is advisable. Parents also have strict rules about behavior and studies. There’s a saying in Sanskrit, which translates to English as “Regard the mother as God, the father as God, the teacher as God, and the guest as God”. Admittedly, such culture has long since been filtered through Gen X, or the current generation

of Indians, to be replaced with a more child-friendly approach. My mother often tells me stories of how she used to live back in the eighties – hitting mangoes on mango trees with stones to make them fall, drinking almond-flavoured milk on the roof in the night. I couldn’t live like that, and I’m thankful that life has become so much more fast-paced and tech-savvy in India. Corporal punishment is no longer prevalent in India, and its education system has evolved with its people. But getting to school, or to anywhere in general, especially where I live, is a challenge. A major problem in India is the roads. To get to school, I take the school bus, which is usually driven by a man whose goal is to get to his destination in the fastest way possible, whether he has to squeeze through impossible gaps between cars, run over innocent pedestrians, drive on the sidewalk or even steer at a frightening speed over potholes built to send commuters flying towards the roof of their vehicle. The smaller kids in my school bus actually reminisce about such memories. Typical India. After taking the bus home from school, I relax for a while and then start on homework. Homework in India is pretty important, but it’s exams and monthly tests that decide where you stand. Grades eleven

and twelve are the deciding years in India, like anywhere else. During these years, students decide what subjects they want to take, whether they’d like Science, Commerce or Arts. Competitive exams rank students based on their performances; these are the tests that decide where they go to college. Some of these include IITJEE, the entrance exam for the Indian Institute of Technology, the best college in India for those who took Science in 11th and 12th grades; AIMPT or the medical exam, which is also extremely difficult, with a limited number of college seats; CLAT, or the law exam which places students wanting to do law; and NATA which pertains to Architecture. There are also many coaching classes for each of these exams. In short, the 11th and 12th grades in India are not easy. After homework and studying, I take a walk around my apartment. It’s a nicely spaced area with trees and a comfortable walking path. Where I live, there’s mixture of different

types of Indian people –Hindispeaking north Indians, Bengalis from West Bengal, south Indians like me who speak Tamil, Kannada or Telegu, and north-eastern people who speak Assamese or Mizo. Bangalore in particular is quite diverse – it is a mixture of many types of Indian people, as well as a good number of foreigners. Bangalore is famous for its pleasant weather, friendly people, and sophistication. I have friends from Bengal, Assam, Punjab, and many other parts of India.differs everywhere in India, from city to city, village to village. Everyone is lost in the melange of tradition and custom, including India’s own natives. I was pretty scared too, when I moved from my comfy house in the suburbs of Atlanta to the crowded, noisy streets of Bangalore, India. Food is almost half of India’s culture – Indian cuisine is world famous and is renowned for its spiciness and flavour. South Indians usually eat rice, dal or lentils, rasam or lentil soup, sambar, and curry. North Indians generally specialise in roti or flatbread and delicious subzis. This is just a broad division, however, as all Indians eat different dishes. Breakfast in India could be just bread and butter, or it could be parathas or stuffed flat bread, and idlis and dosas usually served with an excellent chutney and gun powder. Lunch is either packed in a stainless steel lunchbox or is eaten at the cafeteria. At my house, dinner is usually yogurt and rice, or dal and curry. Pickles are an excellent addition to yogurt and rice, and I’m addicted to them, as is every Indian.

But the craziest yet most heart-warming thing about India is, with one smile, a foreigner is suddenly family. You could stop in the middle of the road and ask the next rickshaw-driver for directions, and he’d be happy to point the way. One could strike up intense conversations with kulcha vendors on the streets. My grandfather used to sit down regularly with the mochi, or cobbler, opposite his ancestral home and discuss politics. Even the poor, and the beggars on the street, which is a common sight in India, are regularly given alms and shelter. Everything about India, it’s architecture, it’s food, it’s festivals, even the cinema industry, is inescapable, or like ‘brushing your teeth in the morning’, as Shah Rukh Khan, one of the most famous actors in Bollywood says. In the movie Outsourced, Todd Anderson initially experiences complete confusion when exposed to India’s culture. The funny thing about this is that culture differs everywhere in India, from city to city, village to village. Everyone is lost in the melange of tradition and custom, including India’s own natives. I was pretty scared too, when I moved from my comfy house in the suburbs of Atlanta to the crowded, noisy streets of Bangalore, India I read an article, recently, and one of the lines that struck me most went something like this: ‘It’s like being on a high – everything is suddenly brighter, everything is either magnified in importance or downgraded to being trivial. It’s topsy- turvy but strangely agreeable. If you’re ready for it, you’ll love it, but it could also take you down and burn you out.’ That, in my opinion, just about sums up India.

July/August 2012 Smart Girls Guide




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Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! As we conclude our fourth issue, there are people we would like to hug, for all of their dedication and support. As we cannot actually hug them over the computer, we would like to send them â&#x20AC;&#x153;virtual hugsâ&#x20AC;? through our thank you page. Sherri Crawfor, for being our own Elle Woods and advising us on taking the next step with The Smart Girls Group. Thanks to her, we are now an official company! Amber Ausley, for conneting more Smart Girls and introducing us to Jenna Coleman, aka our saving grace here at SGG. Jenna Coleman, who, like we said, is our saving grace (in particular for emily), and has transformed Smart Girls Guide into a professional digital magazine. Our company growth would not be possible without her! Apoorva Ramamurthy, who has connected more dots on our Smart Girls map and had opened our eyes to India. It is Smart Girls like her who represent our vision of the The Smart Girls Group. Tara Smith, our sweet cover girl, who came to an early morning shoot (partially in the bay) before she went off to her summer job in a boutique for the day. Ava Gagliardi, who gave us hope for the future of SGG through her incredible photography smarts. Maddie Widmeier, who opened our eyes to a sport that can be confusing to the outside world. We wish her the best of luck as she begins her sailing circuit. We are rooting for you and Ally! Finally, we must thank our Smart Girl Spreaders; those of you who shared our Facebook links, tweets, blog posts, and pins. You have connected Smart Girls all over the world. Who knows what we can do together! We have you to thank. We hope to see you next month!

Smart Girl's Guide Issue No. 4  

Smart Girl's Guide is a digital magazine that is part of The Smart Girls Group.