What I Want to Do Before I Die by Neil


Before I die I want to do many things. I want to drive a Farari. Skydive from an airplane. Do an iron man. Run a 4:00 mile. Go to the Olympics. Ride the tallest roller coaster. Ride the fastest roller coaster. Climb Mt. Everest. Go to China and visit the Great Wall. Play one of Beethoven’s real pieces on piano. Coach a cross country team. Run a Marathon. So far I’m not making progress on that list, but everyone can have dreams. What is one of your dreams?

iPads By Neil M







In the 6th grade I have used the iPads in every class. In Language Arts I use the iPad app Evernote to write down homework and write definitions for vocabulary words. Membean can also be used on the iPad. Science class doesn’t often include the use of the iPad but when we do it is to write down homework or do homework. iPads in math class are used to take practice quizzes. In history we make Keynotes and in French we take notes on the iPad. We have done a lot on the iPads and will continue doing so in the 7th grade.


Membean Vocabulary Learning by Neil




Membean is a new, fun, and helpful way to learn new words. Previously we had only been doing assigned lists each week in school. Now we are using the online program Membean. Each week I find myself learning more words.

When I first began, the program placed me in a level that fits my ability. So the words I am learning are new but I am easily capable of learning them. The way it works is the computer introduces new words. After that it will filter through those words and keep them in your memory. Soon I had about 300 words. The computer will continue to show you these words until it thinks you’ve mastered them. There are 5 levels in the middle school Membean, and 5 more in the high school level. Membean has really helped my learning progress! I will be looking forward to using Membean during the summer.


My Memory I Would Give First by Neil

In the book The Giver there is a person that keeps all the memories so the people don’t have to suffer from the terrible memories. That person is called the Giver. The Giver suffers from all the bad memories, but there are also many good memories. As he gets old he has to give these memories to Jonas the future Giver. He is called the Receiver. If I were the Giver the first memory I would give the Receiver is the memory of hope. Hope is an important feeling to have. Times are hard in The Giver and I think the Receiver really needs hope to make things better.


The Ideal Teacher by Neil M

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The ideal teacher is a teacher who will mainly just help you learn in a fun way. Good teachers don’t have to give you candy or extra recess. They don’t have to give you any homework. I think a good teacher is someone who understands their students. They would understand that kids have things after school, and on the weekends. Some of the best teachers I have ever had, organized small activities in class. Like games that make you learn. Homework had options. For example, you could make something that will help you learn in your own way. No one studies the same way.

If a teacher wants to be the best teacher they can be they have to give choices. Choices for everything as long as it makes them learn.


Community Service By Neil M






I am lucky as a Durham Academy student to have the opportunity to give back to the community. My advisory helped out at TABLE. TABLE is one small organization that makes a big difference. People like you and me volunteer  and donate to keep the organization running. TABLE takes donated food and helps send it to local people in need.

First the advisory collected 260 pounds of food. Then we sorted through it and moved aside the food that was expired. We put the food on shelves and prepared it for donation. I feel grateful that I could spend some time helping others that need food.


Assignment in the Giver by Neil M

The Giver opens up a world with a “perfect society.” There is no war, fear, pain or choices. Is that a good thing? People can’t even choose their job. They are assigned a job by the elders who carefully watch each individual. When kids are twelve there is the assignment ceremony. The elders who have seen your strengths, and weaknesses choose a job that they think you will be happy with.

I am twelve years old and would be chosen a job if I lived in the book. If I were give a job I would likely be a doctor. From day to day I enjoy helping others and enjoy the feeling of success. However, one quality that is extremely important to a doctor is being understanding. You have to understand that you can’t save every life. You have to understand that you tried your hardest to save that person. I think I have that quality too.

If I took this role in the book I would enjoy it but wouldn’t love it completely. In the book there are so many rules that make it a “perfect society.” What I began to realize is the so called “perfect society” actually has many problems. People in the book accept the rules but don’t truly like them. Would you like the life people lived in this book? There are no choices. You can’t choose what to wear, what to do, and when to it. There is no fear. You can’t enjoy anything because fear is what makes people different and sets people apart. There is no pain. You don’t know when you’re being hurt, and when to stop. There is no war. If you don’t like the way something is you can’t change it.


The Westing Game by Neil

The Westing Game is a mystery novel written by the award winning author Ellen Raskin. The way the book played out had me guessing until the end. At first all we know is that Sam Westing was murdered and that his murderer is among his heirs.There are sixteen heirs that have a chance to inherit Sam Westing’s fortune. To do so they must take part in a game to figure out who murdered Sam Westing. Throughout the rest of the book Ellen Raskin sets many false paths that I fell for myself. Soon I was wondering what in the book was what I thought it was. Near the end of the adventure heirs are still unable to figure out who did it. That is only one problem because they will soon find out that the the guilty one, who took Sam’s life will soon take another. All of this leads up to a very exciting climax involving sacrifices, trials, and finally justice.

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Hero Book by Neil M







This project we completed in Language Arts was great! My parents loved my story. Everyone’s story was about a hero that is in their life. My hero is my grandmother. She is a very loving, caring nanny. One thing that my hero did that was amazing, was leaving her life she loved so much to help take care of me when I was born. For the first four years of my life she lived with me. Even though she was very weak and close to death she handled it very strongly and helped make my early life fun!

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Lady Or The Tiger by Neil


This project the lady or the tiger required a lot of creativity. We wrote an ending to a story that didn’t have one. In the story the princess would pick a fate for her love. She would point to either the door on the left or on the right. The man would have to consider what the princess would want for him. Behind one door there was a lady that he would be married to, behind the other there was a ferocious tiger. Then the man would walk up to one of the doors and open it. He would meet whatever lay behind the door he picked.

This is my ending to the story.

Standing, shaking, and wondering. What will fate lead me to? A horrible bloody death, or an end where I would never be truly happy. Needing to be married to one that I don’t love. What would the princess want to suffer from? To live forever in jealousy of the wife, that I was married to, but have me live? Or be rid of me and never have to remember this day again but have the guilt? These questions were gnawing at my insides.

When asked, the princess quickly thrust her arm to the right, seemingly responding to the call with no thought. I observed the princess with meaningful, serious eyes. The crowd finally quieting after the grand applause. The people seemed eager to proceed with the event.

Returning my gaze back to the doors, I decided that the princess would have wanted me killed because of the jealousy that would come if I were to be married. This was was my final decision. However, I would never truly be sure of what was behind the doors until I opened a door. After all, she was half barbaric. That gene had been passed down from her father and the previous rulers. So expecting this, mind racing, I slowly drifted to the door on the left. Murmurs and gasps traveled through the crowd. All thinking, why would he choose differently from the princess?

Reaching for left door, I wrapped my hand around the handle. Standing there for what seemed like an eternity, I pulled. The door creaked open. There was a ferocious roar, and instantly I dove out of the way. Before even having a chance to look back. I felt an enormous pain. My last thought I would ever have was why didn’t I trust the princess?

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