Seventh Grade : What We’ve Learned

With our seventh grade year drawing to an end, we’ve learned quite a few things that have helped us stay on track. Keep reading as we share with you some of our secrets to success.

1) Stay Organized: Your life will be easier if you spend a few extra seconds making sure everything in your binder is in the right spot; you won’t constantly be scrummaging around for the right papers.

2) Don’t be late to classes: Not only will you fall behind, but you could possibly create a habit of being tardy, which will build into a referral. Thus, it is best to stay on top of your schedule.

3) Do your homework: In most classes, homework is a daily grade, and could be up to 40% of your final grade. Just because homework doesn’t count as much as exams, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

4) Prepare for your tests: Studying is essential to do well in each subject, and not reviewing your work or notes could result in a terrible test grade. To avoid doing poorly on a test, make sure to study!

5) Don’t overcrowd your schedule: Although there may be things that you can’t wait to do in seventh grade, you have to remember to limit yourself and make sure you have time to breathe.

6) Don’t procrastinate: Doing assignments at the last minute is never a practical thing to do, especially as your courses get more grueling and require more time.

7) Don’t skip breakfast: In order to keep your brain functioning properly, a good and hearty breakfast every morning should be there to help you make it through your day.

8) Try your best: Give 100% of your effort into what you do, no matter the obstacles that may come your way, for eventually, your work shall pay off.

9) Don’t be afraid to show your true self: Always remember that you don’t need to please anybody but yourself. Follow your own heart, not everybody elses.

10) Never give up: Although times may seem hard now, they’re bound to get better if you persevere and give everything that you do  your all.

Best of luck to you in your seventh grade year! 🙂
~ Alita and Kristen

Six Flags 2016

Before last Friday, it seemed as if the trip to Six Flags, San Antonio, would never come. But there I stood, awaiting to face the most terrifying roller coaster I’d ever seen.
I wearily glanced over at Rose and Kathryn, the two people I’d spend my trip with, wondering if they were as petrified as I. Every minute that I spent waiting in line, I embraced, running through all of the unlikely, yet possible scenario I could imagine. Holding my breath anxiously, I stumbled onwards, drawing closer and closer to The Superman, praying that all would be well.

Minutes later, I stepped out from my seat, still dizzy from being turned upside down in consecutive spirals. I grinned with pleasure at my friends, proud of myself for overcoming my acrophobia (fear of heights). Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of another spine-chilling ride. Beaming, we all marched confidently to the next line.

My First Pet – Mini

Her name was Mini, and she was my first pet. Naturally, being a clumsy eight year old, my parents refused to trust me with an animal that required lots of care. That’s why a hermit crab was perfect for me.

Because hermit crabs are nocturnal, I was often bored with Mini. However, I knew that if I proved to my mother and father that I was responsible with a crab, they would consider a more lively pet – like a dog!

Mini brought lots of happiness, and I’ll never forget our many memories. Unfortunately, she passed away a year after I first got her. I concluded from the scratches on her carapace that she tried to move into a larger shell, but injured her back (a vulnerable spot for a crab) in the process. I was completely devastated, but learned a valuable lesson – any animal, big or small, needs lots of supervision, protection, and attention.

The Tyger – William Blake

The Tyger, William Blake (1757 – 1827)

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Pixabay CC0

Pixabay CC0

This masterpiece, written by English poet William Blake, is a rhyming couplet (with the rhyme scheme A-A-B-B, C-C-D-D, etc.) questioning how the creator of such a vicious, violent animal could also create a peaceful lamb .Some say that the Tyger represents Blake and his philosophy on spiritual uprising, but also symbolizes the negativity in our universe and the bad occurring while the Lamb represents goodness and positivity.
I enjoyed reading this poem because of its analogies, which allowed the reader to ponder. Blake’s lambasting showed how he felt towards good, and the way he catechized the Tyger was an interesting addition to his poem.  Click here to read more about The Tyger.

Top Three Sites in the United States

The United States of America is a beautiful, remarkable country, filled with history. If you decide to visit the land of opportunity, there are a few places that you must see.

Pixabay CC0

Pixabay CC0

Disneyland, located in  Anaheim, California, stands as one of the most visited amusement parks in America. This resort holds 58 attractions, ranging from thrilling roller coaster rides to meeting the well-known Mickey.

Pixabay CC0

Pixabay CC0

The 9/11 Memorial is a museum in New York City commemorating the many lives that were lost in the horrific bombing of the Twin Towers. Learn about the attack with educational programs, pay respect towards those who passed at the twin reflecting pool, or look through their many exhibitions.

Pixabay CC0

Pixabay CC

The Lincoln Memorial, a site admiring the 16th president of the United States, stands in Washington DC. Whether you ask Honest Abe a question or praise his works, you’re bound to enjoy yourself.

Breaking the Rules

Over the past week, seventh grade English classes have been learning to write expository pieces. Our practice prompt was, “Is it ever okay to break the rules?”. The following was written by Kristen L., Sarah K., and me.

Some rules are made for our well being. However, others are made to be broken. It is not okay to break the rules, unless they are unfair.

First of all, some rules are unjust. For example, Adolf Hitler made many unsuitable laws; these laws led to the horrific murders of millions of innocent people. You may think that Hitler must have broken some law or rule, but everything he did was legal under the the German law. Hitler did not break any rules while he massacred many. People blindly obeyed these laws; in following these rules, they effectively let Hitler murder millions of virtuous souls. This proves that some rules aren’t created fairly, and therefore they should be broken.

Second of all, people should stand up for their rights, and rules shouldn’t block their way.
Rosa Parks was an inspirational woman in the 1960’s, who didn’t allow rules to stop her, no matter the consequence. When Parks refused to give her seat to a white man, she stood up for her rights and demanded respect. Although this led to her arrest, it sparked the start of a new era. We should all learn from Rosa Parks and stand up for our beliefs, even if we have to break some rules in the process.

Without these influential moments, we wouldn’t be aware that breaking rules can change our world for the better. Therefore, if you come across unreasonable rules, don’t restrain yourself to break them.

The Alamo

The Alamo – a momentous duel, well known throughout Texas – stands as the greatest battle in our history. Texas, led by Travis, fought against Mexico’s ruler, Santa Anna, in the late 1830’s. This battle was vital to Texas and now commemorates many things.

William Travis – a Lieutenant for Texas – stands as the most heroic soldier who fought for the Alamo. Travis demonstrated with his well-known letter to the citizens of Texas and the United States that we must rely and help others in order to succeed and gain what we are fighting for.
Although all mercenaries  were brave and showed effort in their battles, Colonel James Fannin’s actions would not be described as successful. When Fannin journeyed out to San Antonio with a fair number of troops, he returned as an utter mess and had ruined Travis’ chances to win.  

Many should have felt thankful that we had so many soldiers who sacrificed their lives to fight and die for Texas’ independence. This film showed that independence should not be taken for granted, for hundreds of our own died for the state that we live in today.

Yes, the battle of the Alamo was successful for the Texans, however, if Texas and Mexico had decided upon a stronger base, there may not have been as many casualties. The Alamo had weak, easily-damaged walls, and wasn’t ideal for such an intense battle.
Not only that, but Texans was not alert. During the night, Mexico would advance and fire cannons, while Texans were resting and hardly prepared to combat.

We should appreciate those who beared arms against Santa Anna and his army, and brought our state to where it is to this day. So, don’t forget to remember the Alamo and those who served for Texas!

~ Alita

My Prized Possession

my woodland animals
Aimee Ray via Compfight

When I was little, I had a stuffed doll. It was an ordinary, horse-shaped, polyester filled toy, but to me, it was the world (it was even worth more to me than my favorite picture book, which at the time, meant a lot!)

It had the softest texture against my curious fingers, and though my hands were wrapped tightly around it, I felt as though its plush-like material was embracing me.

Whenever I played with it, I had the biggest grin painted on my face, and the loudest laugh echoing throughout the room. I couldn’t help but giggle uncontrollably when (in my imagination, of course) I put the doll into crazy, unrealistic scenarios.

Without it, I was lonely, and couldn’t help but bawl for its presence. I felt as though my best friend had vanished, and was somber until I had her back in my grasp. That’s why I would never leave without my dearest toy.
What was your prized possession? Comments are appreciated!

The Phantom of the Opera

For the past two weeks, we’ve been reading The Phantom of the Opera in English class, and on Thursday (the twenty-first) finished interpreting the script. The Phantom of the Opera is book written by Gaston Leroux and was released as a musical/play in the 1980’s.

I enjoyed reading and listening to this play, and not just because of the catchy melodies. I felt that the script demonstrated suspense and helpful imagery for the reader to picture.
When it was announced that we would be reading The Phantom of the Opera, I expected to have a hard time comprehending the plot. However, it was not at all confusing or complicated. Everything seemed to be well explained through the strongly-written dialogue, and the setting changes written in italics helped to define what was happening.

Overall, I was pleased while reading The Phantom of the Opera.  Before studying this, I hardly had any experience
with plays, but am now looking forward to future opportunities with this genre.
What did you think of The Phantom of the Opera? Comments are appreciated!

Christmas 2015

Christmas tree in front of Terminal 21 shopping centre on Sukhumvit road with Times Square building in Bangkok, Thailand
Uwe Schwarzbach via Compfight

My eyes, groggy from lack of sleep, unfurled open as I sat upright. 7 AM, I murmured to myself as I adjusted my eyes to the dim light that peeked through the windows. I glanced over at my calendar and gasped when I saw the date. December 25th it read.
“Christmas day,” I whispered to myself. fighting the urge to rush outside my room and wake my family up.

After debating on whether or not I should go back to sleep, I carefully tiptoed towards the living room, where the once lonely Christmas tree stood. Beneath it sat about six presents, delicately encased in festive papers. I couldn’t help but stare at the intricate designs that lined each gift, only wondering what lay beneath the wrapper.

“Merry Christmas,” my brother emerged from his room, a grin painted on his face. One by one, my mother and father awoke and we spent Christmas together as a family. This Christmas was one that I definitely won’t forget.
How was your winter break? Tell me about it in the comments!

~ Alita