MADDY ROTMAN

weekly moments captured from my point of view

Category: Abroad

COME HOME LOUIE

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Hello friends!

This past January, my very best friend, Lucia, left on an incredible journey to France for a six month study abroad program. She had known for years it would be something she would do after living in Paris for a year when she was younger. Although I was thrilled that she would be able to unleash her independent side and come back with hundreds of fabulous stories to tell, I never imagined it would be this hard to go sixth months without my beloved weirdo of a friend. Of course we text very often and even get to facetime occasionally (even if its secretly in the middle of one of my classes ha ha yaa time difference) but its never as satisfying as I would hope.

I was originally going to try to write about some of the awesome things Lucia’s been up to in good ol’ Francy pants (such as recently moving straight into PARIS!!!) but she already summed it all up beautifully in this lovely little blog post on auricmag.com. GO CHECK IT OUT!

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Comment below and let me know where YOU would love to study abroad.

Thanks for stopping by,

Maddy

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photos by Maddy Rotman

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Coachella Pt. II

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When people say Coachella is the best three days of your life, they’re not exaggerating. When people say the three days after Coachella are the worst days of your life, their REALLY not exaggerating. My Coachella experience consisted mainly of eating, shoving, dancing, and most of all, screaming. Whether I was at the front row of Flume, in the middle of an RL Grime mosh pit, or chilling in the back of the Doo Lab listening to Slow Magic, I was having the best time of my life. Some of the highlights other than the ones listed above included waiting in line next to Vanessa Hudgens for a solid ten minutes, getting to see both Snoop Dog and Gwen Stefani surprise everyone at the Pharrell Williams show, and (my personal favorite) standing under P Diddy as he showered the audience with champagne. It was quite surreal.

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Although 90 degrees during the day, the valley winds picked up at night, just in time time to cool everyone off. This meant more energy for dancing and LIGHT SHOWS. The Sahara tent was the go to spot for an unreal light show, my favorite being Dillon Francis. During his show, I thought I was having a seizure (in a good way).

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Thanks for tuning into part II!

Maddy

Coachella Pt. I

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COACHELLA. Every teenage girl’s dream!

Last weekend I was lucky enough to fulfill this dream of mine. After a week of packing, screaming, and preparing, my friends and I headed down the coast in a decked out coachella-mobile, ready for the three days ahead of us (or so we thought). Our trip started at the bright and early time of 6 AM on Friday morning. After a four hour drive straight into the festival, we were practically peeing our pants with excitement.

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At Coachella, there is a contest called “Carpoolchella” where festival-goers with at least four people in their car can decorate their cars in hopes of being selected by a secret spotter to win a prize which could be back stage passes, merchandise gift cards, or free VIP tickets for life. My friends and I decided to go all out for the contest and paint our car from hood to toe. As we pulled up to the parking lot and were approached by the two secret spotters, we thought we had it in the bag AND WE DID. We won Carpoolchella! BUT… no one ever told us that everyone in the car has to be eighteen years old or over. Consequently our victory was stripped from us and we walked away with nothing. Major damper, yes- but not for long! The moment we stepped foot onto the Empire Polo Field grounds our excitement was rekindled.

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Comment below and tell me what your dream music festival is!

Thanks for reading,

Maddy

 

MAD Academy Takes Mexico Pt. II

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If you haven’t already, check out my previous post, MAD Academy Takes Mexico Pt. 1

My other favorite part of the MAD Academy trip to Mexico was the time spent bonding with the other volunteers. Going into the trip, I had already had a very solid group of MAD Academy friends and I was excited to use the trip as an opportunity to get closer to them. In addition to the time spent with my good friends, I got to bond with people who were previously just acquaintances and some people who I had previously never known existed. A huge part of this was due to the fact that our work teams were assigned, specifically so we would be forced to go outside of our comfort zones and reach out to new people. I was amazed by how many new friends I made and created memories with. Anyways, the point of this rant is to tell you that making an effort to talk to new people can result in incredible, long lasting relationships and as scary as it is, you never now what can come out of it.

Here are some other pictures from the work site and nightly campfires. Enjoy!

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Photos taken by Maddy Rotman and Anais Berman

Thanks for reading,

Maddy

MAD Academy Takes Mexico Pt. I

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I am a student of the Multimedia Arts and Design Academy at my school, otherwise known as the MAD Academy. Every year, MAD students volunteer in a group project and it just so happens to be that this year, it took place in Mexico! It was an experience I will never forget and I was so fortunate to be given such an amazing opportunity.

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After a four hour drive to the Mexican Border, we made our way to small town on the outskirts of Tijuana where we worked for a week. Each day consisted of getting up bright and early, eating our usual rice, beans, and tortillas (which we also had for lunch and dinner every single day), and leaving our campsite to head off on a bumpy ride to our worksites. The mission of the trip was to build houses for the families in the town who could not afford houses otherwise. Our group of approximately seventy volunteers was split into six teams, each team in charge of building their own house with the guidance of experienced carpenters and program directors.

I use the term “house” loosely for multiple reasons. In America, people often think of a house as a right, not a privilege. Consequently, most homes have excessive luxuries such as multiple floors, extra amounts of rooms, and an insane amount of utilities and electronics. The houses in the town we were volunteering in could not be more different. Many of the existing homes we saw barely had supportive walls or steady roofs. However, because of how accustomed to that way of living the people of the town were, they didn’t seem to realize what they were “missing” and as a result, were very happy. For the people of Mexico, ignorance was bliss and the less materialistic possessions they owned, the more content they were with what they had. This was just one of the many lessons I was able to take away from this experience.

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All of that being said, the houses we built were incredibly simple but amazingly, so much more than what the families had to begin with. During our three work days we mixed concrete to create a slab as a base, constructed walls using nothing but hammers, nails, and wood, stuccoed the walls, and glued down a waterproof exterior for the roof using tar.

My favorite moment of the entire trip was sitting on the roof after some volunteers and I finished gluing it down. I remember having such a special feeling of pride in my heart as I was able to sit there on something my friends and I had built with our own hands, in such a short amount of time. I was even more excited to be able to hand the family their brand new house keys and I still constantly think about how grateful the mother of the family was when we gave them to her.

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By the end of the trip, the MAD Academy built six houses for six different families. Leaving the trip was the hardest part of it because of how happy I was when I was there. Until next year, Mexico!

Thanks for reading, and comment below to tell me about your favorite volunteer experience.

Maddy

SPRING BREAK PT. I

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After what seemed like the longest school week of my life, my classmates and I were set free for a wild week of vacationing, exploring, lounging, and best of all, sleeping. My spring break started with a four day trip to Vail, Colorado with my two friends, Sophie and Coco. My family has been coming to Vail since I was a baby and I was beyond stoked to be able to take friends with me this time around.

We spent our days on the slopes with fresh powder to our shins, our afternoons exploring the fairy tale-like town, and our nights playing board games or just laughing our heads off at god knows what. Overall, it was a wonderful way to kick off an fantastic spring break!  Although I had an amazing time, after a long day of traveling back to Santa Barbara, it felt good to be reunited with the sunny, spring break weather of my hometown. I spent the remainder of the weekend celebrating multiple of my friend’s birthdays, catching up on sleep, and surprisingly, getting a head start on some school work.

Comment below and let me know what you did over spring break!

Thanks for reading,

Maddy

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all photos by Maddy Rotman

FIRE ISLAND

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As I was recently cleaning up around my room and relentlessly trying to find god knows what, I accidentally came across an old disposable camera of mine. Having absolutely no recollection of what it could have been from, I excitedly took it to get developed. As I looked through the pictures, I relived summer memories of visiting Fire Island in New York.

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While I was in New York over the summer, I visited my cousins in Huntington. One of the days we were there, we took a mini trip to Fire Island to enjoy the nice weather, California style. This required a short drive followed by a ferry ride in which many families pushed and shoved their way on in hopes of not having to wait for the next one. Luckily, we got on and it was smooth sailing from there. Throughout the day I enjoyed a dip in the surprisingly warm ocean, soaked up the sun I had been missing so much, and cooled down with a mega scoop of ice cream from the small town next to the beach.

As I looked around at all the beautiful beach cottages, I daydreamed about living in one some day and being able to wake up to the sounds and sights of the ocean. Big windows flooded with light, soft bushes of grass and sand as a front yard, spacious patios; they were all so dreamy!

Comment and let me know what your favorite beach is.

Below are some pictures taken on my iPhone from the same day.

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all photos taken by Maddy Rotman