K-Spin 16… Open Letter to Harry Potter

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Dear Harry Potter,

 

You have been facing problems with bravery for years. Some people say that you made some decisions they disagree with, but my opinion is that you did everything to give all of your fans the experience that makes you and your story so famous!

You did everything perfectly:

When you were blamed by Snape for something that wasn’t your fault, like when you dueled Draco and got blamed for casting the first spell even though it was your opposer that started it, you found a way to convince him and prove your innocence. You never gave up, and you faced Snape boldly. Harry, do you know how many times you’ve almost gotten expelled? It’s that urgency, “NO YOU CAN’T EXPEL HARRY!” That makes your story so fun to watch and read! It’s also iconic scenes like from before the duel with Draco that couldn’t have been better… “Scared Potter?” “You wish.”

When you had to get through the TriWizard Tournaments—even though you didn’t put your name in that goblet—you faced the challenges head-on with help from your friends. You took a problem, such as TWO people captured underwater by the mermaids, and solved it in the awesomest way possible, fighting your way to the surface with both of them, even though you didn’t know one of them.

In your duel with He Who Must Not Be Named in the Goblet of Fire, you were very brave. You battled your worst enemy, and escaped alive. You kept calm enough to think of something to help you escape, and survived a battle with the greatest dark wizard of all. The battle was intense, but you bested Voldemort. Awesomely.

Your story was a wild ride! You always kept calm when the going got tough. You always emerged victorious. You are an iconic hero to so many people! The reason you’re story is MY— and many other people’s— favorite series, is because…

every decision you made was perfect.

 

Sincerely,

Miranda S.

K Spin 15… FIRST Championship!

109 teams competed at the FIRST Championship… only 18 teams would win an award. The competition was fierce… everyone striving to win no matter how exhausted they were. 91 teams walked away empty handed… but the 18 teams… became some of the best in the world. My team, Club Oreo… was one of those 18 teams!!!

“Club Oreo, are you ready?” Says one of our judges. We start walking into the room, singing our chant. “Innovate, create, team 14938!” In the front of the room was 3 judges, with rubrics on the table they were sitting at. This was our PROJECT judging! Where your team goes to present the research you have done to fix a problem that associates with this years theme, Hydrodynamics.

We programmed our own app that calculates how much water you could save if you xeriscape your yard—whichns to replace water-hogging plants with native plants and hardscrape and then tells you how much money you could save. We presented a skit called LAWN AND ORDER! It was really cool and the judges were impressed.

In the end the award we won was the ROBOT Strategy and Innovation award!

3! 2! 1– LEGO! The buzzer sounds and the robot runs start! This buzzer, the 3 robot attachments running out to earn us points, and the cheers of our watchful referees, would be one of our key reasons for winning the robot strategy and innovation award. The robot team of Club Oreo and I worked really hard this season to build a complex, unique, consistent robot. 

At the award ceremony, there were lights, the teams all sitting together in anticipation, music blasting, and beach balls being passed around the celebratory room. When the music quieted down, all that was left to do was announce the winners of each award. We all had to wait eagerly in those seats, heart pounding every time a team name was called. When our name was called, we couldn’t believe it!  We rushed down excitedly to the stage to claim our long awaited reward!

It was an awesome FLL season! Now the competition is over, and Club Oreo walked away one of the 18 best FIRST teams on the entire planet! I can’t wait for next year’s theme, Into Orbit!

 

K Spin 14… Driving Without A License!

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 I love going fast, whether in a car, riding on a galloping horse, or just running in the wind. I’ve always thought of how fun it would be to drive a racecar, and recently, I got to try it!

  A couple of months ago, I went to the K1 Speed Track, where you get to take the wheel of your own mini racecar, and race against other people! After each race, you get a score sheet with your results, and how many points you got based on your rank. I went there with my brother, my uncle, and my mom. 

Even though the karts only go about 45 miles per hour, it’s more than enough! 45 MPH is a lot faster when you don’t have a roof, or walls, around you to block the wind and sounds. The track I was on was full of twists and turns, and I had to learn how all the controls work so I wouldn’t crash into the boundaries. There was a go pedal, break, and reverse. To do some of the sharper turns, you had to slow down a bit, but the straight paths are a completely different story.

RRRRRRRRRRR! VRRRRRRRRR! The engine roars as you push the gas. seeing out of the corner of your eye, the rubber flying off the wheels. The wind rushing around your helmet, and making your hands cold. You go into high alert when your racing because you don’t want to crash, and you don’t want to let others pass you!

It was an exhilarating experience! I actually beat my older brother once! I officially drove a car–for the first time– even though I don’t have a license! And I tell you… it was fun!

K Spin 13… Why Having Downtime Is Important

Picture I took of my dog, Tydus.

Coming from a family where you are always told to get good grades and study, and being a 7th grader that knows how hard it’s going to be in the future, I think that it’s very important for middle schoolers to schedule personal downtime in their busy schedules.

This isn’t a new concept. In some countries, they take mid-day siestas and close down shops. In this time, they can do whatever they need to do. They could also just relax, and do something that uses absolutely no brain power.

My friends and I are so busy with our out of school activities, while maintaining our grades in school, that we can get overwhelmed. It’s great to take a break every once in a while to reset your state of mind and get rid of stress.

I have downtime after I finish my homework or after my robotics meetings. One of my favorite things to do during my break is draw. It doesn’t require any thinking, and you can just let your hand move. You might be proud of what you make. Other things you can try are watching shows, being with friends, reading a book, taking a nap, and listening to your favorite music.

I find that after a nice break, I’m more alert and focused when I need to start another activity. I think every middle schooler should put personal break times into their weekly schedule.

K Spin 12… CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

Photo taken at tournament by a parent

This past weekend, I was at a lacrosse tournament. This one, however, was a big competition at an actual college!

My first game was at 10;30 in the morning, so I had to wake up super early to make it on time to warm up.

When we got there, I learned that there were over 20 teams, 12 fields, and 6 games to play if you got to the finals, which my team did. We won the first two games on the first day and had a team dinner to celebrate. 

The tournament itself was two days long, so my entire team stayed in a hotel. We played picture hide-and-go-seek athroughout the entire hotel and got ice cream.

The next day, we won 1 game and tied the other, but that was just enough to make it to the semifinals! We ended up winning the semifinals and moved on the championship game!

It was an epic battle:

Whistles blown, goals, cheering… then the end of game buzzer sounds.             We had won the championship.

My team and I sprinted to our goalie and off the field to take a team photo with the (super heavy) trophy we had just earned.

It was a super hard, but super fun weekend. I’ll never forget it!

 

K Spin 11…The Phantom’s Lair

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This is a post for a school project… A description of the Phantom of the Opera’s Lair!

 

The Phantom’s Lair

 

The phantom sat in box five of the opera house, gazing at the empty stage that Christine had just sung on that night. He turns and disappears into a long empty hallway which leads to a hidden door. It’s the pathway from the surface into his dreary underground home.

Everything’s the same, dark.

His steps fall heavily on the damp floors, and he is surrounded by darkness. The only sounds he hears is the slow dripping water drops coming from leaky cracks above. He continues moving forward to a mystical underground lake. One boat on the shore waiting to float on the waves. The stench of rotting rat flesh makes the air heavy, but the Phantom is used to that by now. It is his lair after all.

He rides the boat to a small island in the middle of the lake that houses two thrones. Both dusty, one is worn out and the other one particularly old and unused. He takes his place on the worn out throne and looks longingly to his side…

To see where the love of his life refused to sit.

K Spin Ten… Quest!

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Okinawa beach!

Ever since the beginning of this year, I’ve really wanted to go to Japan. Mostly because I got into anime. If I could go anywhere in the world, I’d want to go to Japan!

The thing is, I’ve already been all over Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean many times. One of the only places I haven’t been, is the motherland of anime, Japan. I made it my all-time quest to eventually go there! I’ve been preparing and planning the whole adventure!

I know that I want to go to Tokyo, because it’s the capital, but I also want to go to Shibuya to be in the same place as a character from one of my favorite video games! I absolutely HAVE to go to Okinawa though. It’s a beautiful chain of islands with beaches and the ocean!

This is how I’ve been preparing: I’ve been teaching myself japanese, so by the time I’m in high school or college, I’ll be able to walk around and talk to everyone normally! I also can’t wait to try authentic Japanese cuisine!

K Spin Nine… My Poem!

Something from Nothing

 

A Black hole
in the mind,
Trapping all ideas,
with no hope of breaking free.

Pencil,
On paper,
Paralyzed,
Forever not knowing what to write.

What a cruel thing,
This black hole is.
A loss of thought
By the name of writer’s block.

Nothing…

No,

That won’t do…

Scribble, erase.
Scribble, erase.

Wait!

Who would have known?

I think I just finished my poem.

 

 

I came up with this idea, while having a severe writer’s block. I was actually 2 days late in the beginning stages of writing a poem, for I hadn’t put a single letter on a page. Then I literally got the idea to start writing about how brain-dead I felt at that moment. When the poem actually started coming together, I thought, “Wow. I wrote half of a decent poem.” And that is how I had the idea for the twist at the end.

I always liked the idea of breaking the 4th wall, so I thought that the twist should be that someone is writing about not being able to write, and by the end, the person realizes that they’ve completed a poem. I also wanted people to get the irony as a reaction from it.

K Spin Eight… Robotics!

I’ve been in FLL robotics for three years, and every year, my team and I end up  doing very well at the qualifier tournament and we move on to the area regional tournament.

To be a successful team, you have to work well together. You have to respect each other. You have to support each other. In my experience, I’ve learned this to be true. 

Some people think that robotics is just building a robot and programming it to do stuff, like throw frisbees or follow a line. That, however, is not the case. (At least not in my level.)

Every season has it’s own theme. The first thing that my team Does every year is come up with a project idea that fits the project theme challenge. This year’s theme is the human water cycle, and its called Hydro Dynamics. How us humans use water and how it gets recycled, how we find it and how we get rid of it. For the project, you have to find a problem, and do research on how to fix that problem.

After that, you start building the robot, and programing it.

Every year, there is also a different set of tasks that you have to program the robot to do in a matter of two and a half minutes to earn points.

Robotics is really fun, and I look forward to our upcoming tournament on January 13th, 2018.  Wish us luck 🙂