By June 30, 2016 Read More →


By Leia Johnson
Hey Everyone!

Finally it’s getting to be pool weather, I hope that your first month of summer was as fun as mine! Between Concert in the Park, ice cream runs and all Modesto has to offer, it’s almost impossible to be bored. I was fortunate enough to visit Norway with my family to visit my parent’s former exchange student, Ida, who went to Downey for her junior year! Norway is ranked the 4th happiest country in the world. Knowing this, I looked for characteristics that made their happiness so well known. In Oslo especially, people ride bikes to work and spend as much time outside as possible. We also visited Ida’s family in a much more traditional Norwegian town, Gausdal. My sister and I’s new friends Martine and Oda introduced us to an entire new lifestyle. Norwegian children normally don’t make plans for the summer and instead explore with their friends during their days off. We walked to a river next to the girl’s elementary school to swim in. Sofia and I thought the water was freezing because we are so spoiled by Modesto’s weather. Despite this, Sof and I still talk about how much fun it was.

When I got back from Norway, I pledged that I would spend as much time outside as possible. My dear friend Haley has a VW-Bug Convertible, so one morning we drove up to Knights Ferry and had a picnic under the trees. Knights Ferry is definitely a must-do this summer, between the perfect picnic grounds, hiking trails, and water rafting, there is genuinely something for every occasion. On top of that, the drive is under an hour AND there are indoor bathrooms.

For the latter part of the month I participated in Modesto Performing Art’s Bye-Bye-Birdie! The director Paul Tischer has an authentic directing style, making his shows so enjoyable to be in and to watch. If you didn’t get the chance to see Bye-Bye-Birdie, make sure you catch Oklahoma! next month on August 6th, 7th, 12th, 13th or 14th. All performances are at the Gallo Center for the Arts and the actors range from elementary school to adulthood. This is a program that I would seriously recommend. When auditions roll around next year, I will be sure to let you know. For further information on the shows and MPA, go to Naturally, my songs for July are “The Telephone Hour” from Bye-Bye-Birdie and this super upbeat song called “I Follow Rivers-The Magician Remix” by Lykke Li. Thanks for making the start of Graffiti so insanely great! Keep it up Motown!



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