Central State Mansion: Central State Hospital for the Insane Administration Building Redone

Of course, you all know that I now live in the old Central State Asylum administration building.  Since I have seen a lot of articles about the redevelopment of the property, yet not the (nearly) finished product, I wanted to show some of my own photos!  The only reason I say it is nearly finished is because the basement is not finished, but near completion (I’m moving into a room down there once the room gets the furniture put in).

For some information about the redevelopment process, you can visit this article from IBJ, part one and part two from Historic Indianapolis, and this article from Urban Indy.

There you go!  Some new photos of Central State.  I do have to say most of these are from August and I just got around to editing them last night, hence the green grass in the last photo.

Allons-y,

Sydney

Recovery

It has been…too long.  I know I said I would keep this up during school, but I kinda forgot about it.  The only reason I’m writing this new entry is because my first official semester of college ended.  Crazy, right?  Well, crazy to me, at least.

This semester has been the worst I’ll probably ever have.  I had to take Finite math and, not being good at math, I damn near, or did, fail the class.  Not sure yet since I just took the final.  I also failed my intro to religions class that was part of my TLC (I didn’t chose to take this class.  I was forced to).  I did pretty well in my communications class (also part of my TLC) and I did very well in my professional writing class!  Of course I would do well in those two.

My classes next semester will be pretty fun!  I’m taking a first-semester American Sign Language, a film photography class, Introduction to Poetry literature class, and Introduction to Fiction Writing.  I’m pretty sure I can ace all those classes with no problem.

So, how has this semester been other than school?

Well, living away from home has done me well.  The Mansion has been amazing and I have met some of my best friends, and future roommates, here.  Honestly, after the whole Eva thing, I really wasn’t expecting to make friends this quick.  Yet, living with a bunch of strangers really has its advantages.  We’ve all grown so accustomed to living with each other and seeing each other every day that even over fall break my friends, Alondra and Megan G., and I kept in contact almost every day to keep from going crazy.

Anyway, I’m ready for a break and to party it up here a little bit before I head home for a couple days for Xmas.

Allons-y,

Sydney

It’s Been a While, Huh?

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Apologies for not posting for…I don’t even remember when my last post was!  May, I think?

Well, after coming back from Europe I had to prepare to go to student orientation at IUPUI.  It was much more fun than I had expected!  I finally got to see the new(ish) Tower dorms, also, which was pretty nice.  However, at that point I was still going to live at home because every other option was WAY too expensive.  Then, after the overnight stay, I went home and had a band practice.

Fast forward through a couple weeks, I ended up receiving an e-mail from the Liberal Arts department saying I qualified for the Liberal Arts Honors Program.  How exciting!  As of right now I’m still waiting for a response back to see if I actually made it into the program, but I have no doubt that I have made it into the program.

So, fast forwarding a little bit more to last week, this is what I feel to be my most exciting news:  I’m moving out.  Yes, I am moving away from home to go to IUPUI!  Last week I was looking at the off-campus housing on IUPUI’s housing website when I came across Central State Mansion.  The prices listed for the rent ere $350 – $450.  Of course, I became very excited.  Cheap rent near campus?  What?!?!  I then began researching this little gem and found that the listing was brand new, the housing was brand new, and, my favorite part, it’s located on the old Central State Hospital for the Insane property!  I may have slightly freaked out since I’ve had a fascination with Central State for a long time.

After checking out the website and a craigslist ad posted about the property I sent my information to Reverie Estates (the owners of the mansion) and began researching Central State Mansion a little bit more.  I found a couple articles on a website called Historical Indiana about the renovation process of the old Central State administration building, which is now converted into student dorms called, you guessed it, Central State Mansion.

So, once I heard back from Reverie, I set up a tour of the housing for the following day.  I had high expectations for the mansion and, despite the property still being renovated, my expectations were exceeded.  I was amazed at how beautiful the property was, as well as how nice the rooms were.  I was even surprised how much of the original wood and tile they were able to save.  Absolutely beautiful!!  I wish I would have taken photos, but I will have some soon enough to share with you all since I’m moving into a triple room (with private bathroom) on the third floor August 2nd!  I’m already in the process of buying all the things I need for the dorm since I’m a slightly tight schedule to buy everything.  So far I think I have all the little rather inexpensive things (cutlery, cleaning supplies, under bed storage), but I have yet to buy a mini-fridge, seating, curtains, etc etc.  But I’m waiting a little on a couple of those so I can see how much room I will have in the dorm, as well as what my roommates will bring.

Anyway, I’m totally excited!  I promise I will keep up with the blog over school, also.  Promise!!

Allons-y,

Sydney

Jet Lag

Bonjour!  I am finally back after not posting in, oh, two weeks or so?  Sorry ’bout that.  I really had no time to post while I was on vacation.

Vacation!  Paris for five days and Germany for 9.  It was amazing, fun, and super tiring.  I was incredibly bitchy on the trip for no reason, too.  I tried to control it, but I have no idea what got into me.  But overall, the trip was fantastic!  We’re all suffering from major jet lag, which sucks even worse for my grandfather who knocked off one of his side-view mirrors on his car while driving back to his home three hours away the night we got back home after an 8-hour plane ride, 1-hour plane ride, multiple hour layovers, etc.  He always refuses to stay at our house (even though we have plenty of room for him).  Mental note for everyone traveling long distances: don’t drive three hours to get home if you have a nice place to stay.

Also, while I was in Paris I learned I managed to get all As this semester at IUPUI!  I was so excited!  And, when I was checking the mail yesterday, I noticed I had received a letter from Teen Ink, a magazine/website specifically for teenage artists, writers, photographers, etc. that I had subscribed to in 2011 and had been a constant user of the website up till about roughly a year ago.  It said that in addition to being published in their October 2013 issue (Whaaaat?!), I had also been selected as the winner of their annual magazine cover art contest!  I thought it was a scam until I checked the website and saw this:

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Wait, is that…

Please excuse my hideously large photography name at the bottom.

Please excuse my hideously large photography name at the bottom.

It is!  Not only had my photo of an ex-friend riding her horse at a horse show been published, but it had also been used as the COVER PHOTO OF THE OCTOBER 2013 ISSUE!  I had no idea!  I had lost the information to access the e-mail I used for my Teen Ink account, as well as lost the password for my Teen ink account, so this was a total surprise!  I also do remember submitting a photo for the cover contest, but I can’t for the life of me remember what I submitted.  So, I e-mailed the editor and expressed my surprise and thank-you’s to them before asking what photo I had submitted, as well as how I can acquire the October issue and the next issue my photo will be featured on.

Anyway, I thought I would start off with this little “intro” post before I go crazy posting things about Paris, Germany, food, hotels, etc.  I have LOTS to write about and many photos to share!

If you have time, I would love you you all to view some of these photos on my Facebook photography page!

Paris:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.711301218915992.1073741849.163426097036843&type=1

Germany:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.711309308915183.1073741850.163426097036843&type=3

Allons-y,

Sydney

Finals and Trip Prep

Hello everyone!

Sorry I haven’t posted in about two or three weeks.  I had a ten page paper to write (and an in-class presentation to give on this paper), speech to give, final speech exam, two mini papers to write for speech class, an art project for woman’s studies, and a photography project for woman’s studies.  I don’t know what my overall grades re for the classes, but I assume I’ll have an A in WOST 105 (which I have worked very hard for due to starting the semester with an F and only having a C after midterms!), either an A or a high B for folklore, and a B- for speech. I’m pretty happy with my grades!  Plus, I have all my classes chosen for next semester!  And now, summer break!

I’ve also had to begin shopping and preparing for our Europe trip, which we leave for in three days.  I’m super excited and just finished packing (since I know what I won’t wear this weekend).  I wish I would have taken photos of everything while I was packing, but I guess I will when we get to Paris!  However, I know I packed:

  • Two pairs of jeans
  • One pair of leggings (I will wear my other pair on the plane)
  • One pair of yoga pants
  • Two pairs of shorts, one jean and one sport shorts
  • Five long-sleeve shirts (I will wear a 6th on the plane since it’s a cardigan)
  • Five (or six?) t-shirts/tank tops (I will a 6/7th on the plane)
  • Three camis
  • Many pairs of socks
  • Many pairs of underwear
  • Two sports bras
  • Two bandaus
  • One bra (The other I wear wear on the plane)
  • One pair of flip flops
  • One pair of black low-top Converse

Yeah, a lot of stuff (plus other things like shampoo makeup, etc.) to be able to shove into a bag the size of a carry-on!  However, it will be checked due to me having my camera backpack as my carry-on, as well as a purse.

I’ll take a photo later, also, and show you what I have in my backpack.

Allons-y,

Sydney

The Flowers and the Bees

I apologize for not posting.  Finals have me all tapped out with writing juice.  I did take a few photos of the blooming trees in our garden this weekend, though!

All photos have my photography name on them for safety.

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I’ll try to have a couple more posts up this week and next week.  I’m going to post my newest hairstyle (I did ombre!) and some travel updates (three weeks exactly from today, baby!).  I’m going to try to document everything from what I pack to everything I do and everywhere I go on the trip.

Allons-y!

Sydney

Feeling Good

Today is a beautiful day.  BEAUTIFUL!  It’s 50 degrees out with barely a breeze with the sun shining.  Compared to the winter we’ve had, I feel like this is swimming weather.

No, not really, but you get the idea.  It feels great and I’m feeling good.  I am ahead of my homework for once this semester!  How awesome is that?  I think it’s pretty awesome =]  However, I haven’t worked out any this week.  I’ve been one thing after another, so I’ve been taking a break.  But I’m continuing to eat well and push away my urges to pull into the Arbey’s drive through on my way home.

In other news, I feel like I have to be super gentile with my car.  I drove home from class on Monday and heard a really weird scraping noise, but since it stopped I thought it was my radio since it loses signal a lot and I had it blaring.  Well, yesterday I was driving up the drive way in my mother’s car and noticed something hanging of the underside of my car.  Ugh.  Got out, checked it and saw it looked like a pipe.  I told my father about it when he got home, so he went to check it out.  He said it doesn’t connect to anything and just popped it back up into this clip what was supposedly supposed to hold it.  I have no idea what it was, but I really hope that it doesn’t happen again.  I don’t want to rip something off the bottom of my car.

So, I have decided to do ombre on my hair.  I really wanted the bottom of my hair to be blondish, but I’m not sure if that will really work.  We tried bleaching a small section under my hair to see how it would turn out, but, for some reason, the very tips of my hair didn’t bleach nearly as much as the other two inches.  Ugh!  I’m wondering if it’s because I had my bottom layers dyed black.  Although, I feel like it would be grown out by now since my hair grows really fast and I haven’t dyed the black since last summer.  I think I’m going to go ahead and try it (if my mother lets me).  Not sure.  I’m not even sure if I will look good with the blonde color I want…And my hair is pretty dark so I’m kind worried that it may turn out orange/yellow.  Maybe I can find a toner at CVS.

This is what I want to go for:

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I especially love the second image (Drew Barrymore <3) for what I want my hair to turn out like.  However, my hair is also really thick…

Well, that was an especially boring rant about my hair, huh?  On that note, my class is almost starting so I will leave you with this video I had to write a paper on.  Fantastic speech so please watch!

Women Should Represent Women in Media – Megan Kamerick

Allons-y,

Sydney

38 Days

I have 35 days left of school and 38 days till I’m on a plane to Paris.

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I’m excited, but a little down, too.  I don’t really want to leave my woman’s studies or folklore class.  I love those professors (although I’m tired of the work).  I really don’t care about speech, though.  I don’t really like that class.

I woke up this dreary, rainy morning and just laid in bed talking to my mother (who woke me up since she’s an early riser).  I didn’t want to get up.   I still don’t want to leave to go to speech and I’ve showered and gotten ready.  It’s just such a shitty day.  Not to mention I don’t know if my professor told us this week we didn’t have class or next week…ugh.

UPDATE: I just got ready to leave (packed my backpack, put on my shoes and jacket) only to pull my speech book back out to check if I still have my notes from last week.  I did.  I don’t have class today.

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Well, at least I can lounge around in my sweats all day again.  I feel like a dumbass, though.  I should have put that note into my phone.

On another note, I really want this rain to stop.  I have no motivation to do anything.  I just want to sit outside and do homework, not sit inside with a blanket around my shoulders!  Come on, Indiana weather.

Allons-y,

Sydney

12 Things to Remember When You’re In College

It’s that time.  All the HS seniors are ready to get off to college and start fresh.  For me, I just got back into my classes after spring break.

Because of some problems I’ve run into this school year, I decided to make a post of 15 things to remember when you’re a college student or a HS student taking dual credit at a college!

1. DO NOT worry about what you wear to class

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Noo one cares what you’re wearing.  Of course you want to look cute (I know I always do), but don’t spend two hours getting ready.  It’s not that big of a deal.  You can walk around in ripped leggings, a shirt three sizes too big with pizza stains all over it, and your hair in a bun and no one will care.  Same with guys (minus the leggings, hopefully).

2. Don’t put friends before school

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Of course you want to go hang out at the movies with your friends, but damn!  You have that entire chapter to study and take a quiz on, a paper to write, a speech, and another quiz due all next week!  Somehow, you end up getting talked into going out with your friends.  You convince yourself, “Nah, I’ll do it tomorrow.”  Cut to tomorrow, you stayed up all night and now you’ve slept half the day.  Now you have no motivation to do anything.  You relax to “get your brain sorted” and spend that night on tumblr.  Oh great, that paper is due tomorrow!  Time to get some caffeine and rush!

No.  Never do this.  I know people who do this.  Hell, I have even procrastinated homework so I can hang out with friends.  I end up regretting it later when I have five things due all at once.  It’s not fun.  It may take time, but you need to prioritize.  I’m not saying completely ditch your friends, but remember this: work before play.  It makes that “play” much more rewarding!

3. Don’t worry about making friends as soon as your foot lands on that college-campus soil

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So you didn’t meet anyone at orientation.  Or you’re too shy to talk to anyone.  Or your roommate is awful.  Or you live off campus and everyone in your classes annoys you.  There’s probably more scenarios, but I won’t list them.  Really though, don’t worry about it!  You will find someone (or someones) soon enough!  While you’re trying to find those people you click with, focus on yourself.  Keep yourself busy, alone.  Make yourself happy, alone!  You will be much happier with yourself if you get comfortable with being alone.  It’s something you will have to get used to, whether you have a friend (or friends) on campus or not.

4. Control your Netflix usage

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‘Nuf said.  (This applies to any TV series)

5. Don’t always follow the crowd

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It’s cliche, I know.  But you need to know how true this is!  You need to always do what makes you happy, not everyone around you.  However, don’t be a twat about it.

6. Control your spending

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I have a hard time with this one. I’m a buyer. So, so bad!  But i’m getting better.  You need to realize that buying Starbucks three days a week (more or less) adds up.  Don’t go buying Burger King every night.  Don’t buy five new campus tees (even though that one would look super adorable with leggings!).  You don’t need them!  So, instead of these things I listed, try making coffee at home/in your dorm.  Making it in a coffee maker and drinking from a thermos will cut down on spending (and loads of sugar).  Also, try cooking in your dorm or at home and taking food with you.  Buy your food at the grocery store.  Resist the temptation!

7. Always pay attention in class

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I’ve done it.  Last semester I hardly payed attention in journalism.  Thankfully my professor pretty much read everything off of powerpoints (that he uploaded to our site so everyone in class could review them later), but you may not be that lucky.  None of my professors are like that this semester.  If you want good grades, seriously pay attention to your professor and take notes in class.

8. Take breaks when you can’t focus anymore
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When you’ve been staring at the same paragraph for fifteen minutes with no understanding of what you’ve read, maybe it’s time to take a break.  When you can’t focus, forcing yourself to pay attention while studying is not going to make it any better.  Take a break for as long as you need to clear your head before you jump back into studying.  Don’t slack, though.
9. Sports?  Sports!
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This.  This is me when it comes to sports.  If it’s not something on horseback, I have no idea what in the hell is going on.  Hey, maybe you are a sports person, though.  Good for you!  If you’re not but want to be, try and get your friends, your parents, whoever, to explain (insert sport here) to you.  Or, if you’re like me and don’t really care, just try to make some fun out of the sport in your own way so you can get through it as fast as possible and get back to your Netflix marathon.
10.  Treat university faculty nicely
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Don’t treat the staff poorly.  Professors, handymen and handywomen, etc.  There’s no reason for you to treat them poorly.  Besides, your professors have the ability to fail you (see GIF).
11. Free stuff!
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Any time your campus is giving out free stuff, take advantage of it!  At the student involvement expo at IUPUI this year I got a giant cup (I lost it a couple months later…), sunglasses, a cup of free hot coco, candy, a pen, another cup…Yep!
12. Exercise
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Exercise?  Yeah, right.  Between socializing, homework, sleep, and classes, who has time to work out?  Well, if you plan your times right, you can!  If your campus has a gym or workout classes, try going to those.  As an IUPUI student you can get a gym membership (access to everything in the Nat) for $15 per semester!  They have multiple workout classes throughout the week, too.  Zumba (what I go to since it fits into my schedule), Circuit, various levels of Yoga, and more.  If your campus has this, or similar, take advantage.  Seriously.
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The Frog Prince Feminist Rewrite

Finally, Friday!  This week went by so fast.  I’m in speech class right now.  She’s allowing us to use our computers while we wait to meet with her.

Interesting morning this morning.  I was running late because I took too much time getting ready for class, so I ran out the door to Bonnie (My VW Beetle) and hopped in the drivers seat after tossing my backpack into the passenger’s seat.  I stuck the key in the ignition…and the most horrifying honking started.  I turned the car on to see if it would stop, but it wouldn’t!  My hazard lights were on (and the button wasn’t pushed!) and the honking continued.  I ran inside to tell mum, which only made her panic because she had to take my dog to the vet at 3.  Ugh!  It wouldn’t stop when she tried the car, so I ended up taking her car to campus today with the hope that my car would fix itself by the time she had to take the dog to the vet.

Electronics suck sometimes.

Anyway, I wanted to post this before the weekend.  For my Women’s Studies midterm we had a choice of six things to do.  I chose to rewrite a story, fairytale, folktale, myth, etc. into a feminist story.  I chose to rewrite The Frog Prince as my project.  Well, this is the final turnout of the story!

Please tell me what you think.  I got good feedback from my family (my harshest critic is my mother, and I love her for it.) so I hope I will get a good grade from my professor!  One of my goals for this class is to bring my grade up to an A since I had an F at the beginning of the semester =]

The Frog Prince Rewrite

“Father, I’m heading out for a walk,” the princess called up the stairs to her father as she slid her feet into her shoes and fixed the hat on her head.  She heard nothing in response, so she exited the front doors of the castle and wandered into the woods.  Some distance away she came to a cool spring of water with a beautiful rose in the middle of it.  With a content sigh, she sat herself down near the edge of the water.

She peered at the object in her hand: a small golden ball.  It was her most precious belonging.  The princess began tossing the ball up in the air and catching it as it fell.  After a time she threw the ball so high in the air that it flew past her hand and onto the ground.  It bounced and rolled along the dirt until it fell into the deep, dark, cold spring.

The princess just stared at the spot the ball had fallen into and she felt her throat tighten.  However, she did not cry.  She stood up, dusted herself off, and rolled her shoulders back.   There was nothing she could do about it now and the sky was beginning to turn a dark pink, so she trekked back to the castle.

The next day at dinner with her family, the princess heard a mysterious plopping noise from down the corridor.  “What the…” the princess grumbled as she stood up from the table and went to peek down the hall.  As she stepped out into the dimly lit hallway, she felt something bump her foot.  She looked down and saw her toy.

“Father, did you have another golden ball made for me?”  She asked as she picked the toy up and cleaned it with her skirt.

“I found it for you, Princess!” A rather high-pitched male voice called out.  The princess gasped and looked around for the voice.  Her vision landed on a slimy frog perched on a windowsill.

The princess blinked, stunned, and pinched herself to make sure she wasn’t in a dream.  When she felt the pain from her pinch, she realized the frog was real.  “Well, thank you…” She said with a nervous tone as she continued, “How are you speaking?  Frogs can’t speak.”

“A witch cursed me.  You see, I was human, but I crossed a witch one day who said she could help me with a problem.  Instead, she turned me into a frog,” the frog spoke dramatically.

The princess sensed something was wrong with the story, but when she was about to ask, her father appeared by her side.  “What is this?” He asked in a deep, booming voice.

“This frog brought my ball back,” the princess began, and then continued, “He was human, but was cursed by a witch.  However…”

“Well, this calls for celebration!  Come in, dine with us,” her father invited.

I don’t think frogs can eat human food, the princess thought as she eyed the creature and went back to her seat before her father and the frog.  She sat down and waited for her father and the frog to enter the room so they may begin eating.  Yet, it took them a few extra minutes.

Then her father returned with a wide grin on his face and the frog on his shoulder.  He placed the frog on the table and announced, “Due to the frog returning your trinket, he has requested that you accept him as a companion, let him sit next to you and eat off your plate, and that you will love and cherish him for you are now his future bride.”

The princess couldn’t help but notice the smug look on the frog’s façade.  “I will not!”  She cried.

The king smacked his hand down on the table.  “Enough!  You will not disobey me!” He bellowed as he leaned over the table and grabbed the princess’s face in his hand.  “You will do as you are told, for I am your father and I am king.”

The princess whipped her face away and sat back down at the table.  Although her demeanor read that she was complacent, her mind reeled at the different ways to escape this ruling.  She watched as the frog hopped over and began nibbling off her plate.  She refused to eat from the same plate, so, while her father was occupied, the princess smuggled three rolls into her dress for later.

“Princess, I am finished.  Take me to you bed so we may sleep together,” the smug, fat frog requested.  The princess, unafraid of the disgusting, tiny creature picked him up and carried him through the castle to her room.  Once she entered her chamber, she threw the frog onto her bed, locked her door, and went to clean her hands so she could eat her bread.

“Princess, your bed is so warm and comfy.  Shall you come lay with me?”  He asked.  The princess laughed and ate her rolls as she played with her ball.

The frog jumped off her bed with a plop and hopped over to her.  “Princess, come to bed now!”  He yelled.  The princess kicked him with her foot, sending him flying across the room.  This action would have killed a normal frog, however, since this frog was cursed, it did no damage.

The princess knew what she had to do.

“My dear…” The frog croaked from the corner of her room.

The princess stood and placed her hands on her hips.  “Hush!  I will not marry you, nasty frog.  I will not love you and I will not let you eat off my plate.  However, I will let you sleep in my bed for one night, but only if tomorrow you leave the castle and take me with you. I will not stay with you, we will part ways when we enter the town outside the castle’s walls, and you will let me be,” she commanded.

The frog hopped up onto her bed and sprawled out in the very middle of her sheets.  “Understood,” he told her.

The princess grumbled to herself and gathered pillows and sheets for herself.  She spread them out on the floor at the end of her bed and lied down to sleep.  She woke in the morning to a foot hanging off the bed over her.  The princess was stunned and stood up, seeing a man now sprawled out on her bed.

“What?”  She squeaked, confused.

The man rolled over and looked at her. “Good morning, Princess,” he said, his voice the same as the frog’s.  She was stunned that the frog had now transformed into a beautiful man.  However, that changed nothing.

Later that day, the princess and the frogman left the castle in a beautiful white carriage requested by her father for the “future husband and wife”.  Yet, as soon as the tires rolled out the front gates of the castle, the princess stopped the driver and climbed out of the cab.

“Princess, please marry me.  You are beautiful and so am I.  We would make beautiful children…” The man started.

The princess continued to gather her things from the trunk on the back of the carriage.  With a bright and cheery smile she grabbed his hand, making the man think she was going to say yes.  But instead, she blurted out, “In your dreams,” and slammed the door on the carriage.  She walked to the driver and told him to leave her there.

The wheels began rolling as the frogman called out for the carriage to stop and for the princess to reconsider.  Yet, as the carriage got further and further away, the prince began yelling obscenities through the town that were directed at the princess.  Although she could hear him, she didn’t care.  She was free from the wrath of her father.

The princess bought a horse from a local villager by giving them all the belongings she had gathered from the carriage except for her golden ball.  She rode the horse away from the town, and away from her castle.  The princess ended up living her life independently by traveling around on horseback with a clan of other runaway princesses who all refused to let another man control any of them ever again.

Sources Cited

“The Frog Prince.” Classic Children’s Stories RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.

Allons-y,

Sydney