Earlier this month in Language Arts, we did something called the Hero Project. We wrote about someone who has changed our lives in a good way. I wrote about my grandfather. He survived the Holocaust when he was a little boy. My favorite part of the project was getting to write about and express my gratitude to my grandfather, Sam. It really made me feel good inside to be writing about him.
In Language Arts, we wrote endings to a short story called, “The Lady or The Tiger”. This is my ending:
The youth, muscles tense, heart pounding like a hungry guest knocking on the door at a tavern, walked carefully towards the door on the right-hand side, as if one misstep would result in death. Before opening it, he smiled calmly at the princess as if he was controlling the entire affair. He steeled his mind, and confidently pulled the latch off of the door and pushed it open. He had faith that the princess would lead him to the door behind which the lady stood, that the princess wanted to see him well and alive. He saw not a lady, but a bolt of orange streaking at him. Tears fell out of his eyes when he realized that the princess did not love him enough to see him with some other maiden and be alive and well rather than having him die.
But he had come prepared. The quick pass of a ten piece coin to a guard had ensured him a non-inspected entry to the prison and the amphitheater. He sidestepped the tiger’s charge and pulled a short woodcutting axe out of his tunic. Realizing what he would have to do, he blinked the tears out of his eyes and raised the axe up. The tiger bit at the youth’s arm, and his dagger-sized fang scored a cut on the sleeve of his tunic. The man staggered backward, grasping it in pain. During the brief cessation of his tears, the tiger had wounded him. He ran at the tiger, axe at the ready, and swung at the tiger. He saw the hard iron blade cut into the tiger’s flesh. Madly screaming, wildly swinging, the man hurled his axe into the beast’s gaping, blood-caked maw, killing it instantly. There was an excited hubbub of conversation in the audience as neighbor turned to neighbor, pointing and chattering.
“STOP!” Roared the king, red-faced, in absolute fury. The princess snarled in a most barbaric way, with the same flaming ire as her father. He motioned for some guards to grab the man and drag him out. The man pulled the axe out of the tiger’s massive jaw and whacked the first guard with the flat of the blade, knocking him unconscious. He tumbled to the ground. The youth ran past the others and wrenched the axe into the bolt on the main door and ran to freedom. The clang of those doors was a heart-wrenching sound, like the doors to the man’s former life closing.
The youth felt hot, stinging tears coming to his eyes. The princess, whom he had thought loved him, did not love him enough to see him happy and with the lady. He ran into the forest surrounding the amphitheater on the path. The crunching noises echoed throughout the forest, just like the grinding of the metal grate leading into the arena from the prison. He ran through the forest for what seemed like hours. Finally, he heard noises and smelled familiar sounds. He found a village. He had lost everything, but it didn’t matter. He was free.
In “Cosmic”, Liam, the main character, reads a book called Talk To Your Teen, which is about getting to appreciate your teen, setting limits, and being a good parent. I think that it should have included something about bedtime. Bedtime is a big issue, because sometimes the bedtime is a limit on reading time, or it is letting teens stay up too late, and therefore not get enough sleep. Parents usually overestimate the time that children need to sleep, and children underestimate it. This is good, because usually somewhere in between is the most reasonable bedtime, unless the parent or teen is very irrational. During this time, teens need about 9-10.5 hours of sleep to function properly. A nine-o’clock bedtime is reasonable if you need to get up early if you live far from school, and a nine-thirty bedtime if you can get up later. Any later than that is unreasonable and unhealthy, and any earlier is a limit on your teen’s time. This is what I would add to “Talk To Your Teen”.
If I were a grown up, I would be a software engineer. I would design apps for mobile devices and computers. I have already designed a game (In real life) and I would most likely be drawn to game design. I think that I can sort of understand what draws a teenager to a game, such as excitement or action. Some applications I might design are things like Google Maps, but that have live satellite feed from anywhere. I might also be a risk management analyst, since I love math, algorithms, the stock market and currency, and risk. I would teach kids how to program and design apps and games.
In all, being a grown-up would be rather math-centric.
Recently, with “The Hobbit” being made into a movie, with all of the memorabilia junk and such, it has been popularized. Over the past month or so, I have seen many more people carrying around a copy of it. However, I am proud to say that since I was six, I have been an extremely dedicated Tolkien fan. I have read almost all of his books, with the exception of an Elvish Encyclopedia, and I have the really old (cardboard thingy cover and map on the first page) version (you can tell because the text on the cover is starting to fade) of “The Hobbit”. I have read it at least twenty-five times, and I am reading it again (Near the end now!). I love Tolkien’s writing. It helps me escape from a world that is all too real and let my imagination be free.
A hobbit named Bilbo Baggins, who has never thought of doing anything out-of-the-ordinary or going outside of his comfort zone, has his house invaded by dwarves seeking to claim the treasure of Erebor, kingdom under the mountain. Their leader is a dwarf named Thorin Oakenshield, and he is the grandson of the King Under The Mountain, Thrain. Erebor was overrun by a dragon, and the dwarves are looking to recover Erebor. Poor Bilbo is dragged along on an adventure, in which he learns about the outside world while getting captured by goblins, traveling through caves and forests, and even meeting Beorn, the skin-changer. He learns about doing the right thing and being tenacious. All in all, it is a wonderful book and I recommend it strongly to anyone who asks, “Should I read it?”.
“What’s in a name?/A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.” The famous Shakespeare line has some truth to it, although some people suggest differently. My explanation is that although name has nothing to do with smell, appearance, both physical and verbal, changes how humans think about things. A name may close the mind as to how something may be like, or smell like. For example, if a rose was called a Timmy or a Bob, it might change how some people think about it. Although it doesn’t seem like it, names have power.
In our LA class, we made wisdom tales comics on a software called Comic Life. We had learned how to use it in Technology with Mr. Schaefer. It was still difficult to convey the entire story in four panels. I drew my pictures on Sketchbook Express, and I emailed them to myself and put them in a comic in the computer. Comic Life is fun software to use.
Once, there was a very well-known school in the middle of a city. On the last day of school before the summer holiday, the students took a test. All of them passed but one. The teacher talked to the little boy afterword. “How did you get such a bad score? ” he asked.
The boy responded, “I did not understand the material.”
The teacher told him, “You could have asked a question. There were many opportunities.”
“I was afraid that I would ask a stupid question.” The boy answered.
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
Today, we took a test with iPads for open notes. As a result, I do not know for a fact but my guess is that most people did not study as much as they would for a normal one. It was much easier and I finished rather quickly. I think that the iPads are good but sometimes they can be a distraction during a test. There are lots of bright icons and notifications that are distracting and might tempt one to click them.
I am thankful for the fact that my family is not constantly “plugged in” to devices. We are a family that watches television, so it is a bit easier to stay away from electronics. It makes me be able to appreciate the world a bit better and learn about things that interest me like psychology and the world that is around us. It also helps us connect as a family. I am also thankful for the school that I go to. It is the best school ever!