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Seventh Grade Reflection

An Encounter with Lightning

Recently, there have been a lot of lightning storms, especially at night, early in the morning. Here’s the story of one of my first encounters with lightning, from when I was a little girl.

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BANG! My eyes flew open as a loud ruckus filled the air. I inched forward into a sitting position and let my eyes adjust to the dark room. Sirens roared up and down the highways, racing as fast as they could to their destinations. These places were unknown to me, unfortunately, and my heart filled with worry watching them go by.

Suddenly, there it was. A brilliant flash of lightning tore through the sky, enlightening the whole town. Another crash exploded through the hills, rumbling the earth. I quickly ducked under my covers, as if they could block out the loud noises and bright lights. There it was, again; this one was the strongest hit yet. I dug my fingers into my ears, hoping to stop the thundering bangs that caught me by surprised and made me shake with fright.

Hunny tossed and turned at my feet, then slowly cracked an eye open. She was a good sleeper, lucky enough to have dreamt through part of this insane storm. I felt her rough tongue on my ankles and her head nuzzling my leg. I was grateful for the comfort. I picked her up and held her close to my face as the rain came roaring down on my roof. Bang, flash, boom! The thunder continued.

Slowly, after seconds- minutes- maybe an hour- it quieted, until eventually the storm was just a quiet pitter-patter of raindrops falling from the grey clouds. My eyelids grew heavy, and I was lulled once more into a deep sleep by the rhythmic sounds from outside my window.

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The Importance of Color

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( My photo)

Color is an important part of our lives. It is one of the most under- appreciated things in the world, in my opinion. Without it, life would be so boring. We wouldn’t be able to choose out a new colorful dress, or be able to paint our room our favorite color, or even choose the shiniest, reddest apples in the grocery stands. Without it, we wouldn’t have the defining characteristics of our appearance. No red heads, sparkly blue- eyed babies, or tanned skin from the summer sun. Color is a part of who we are- a major part of everyday life.

In Lois Lowry’s The Giver, there is no color. People are unaware that such a huge piece of their lives is missing, and they don’t miss it because they never even knew it was once there. Jonas lives in a society where everyone and everything is the same, nothing making anyone unique. People are assigned jobs, spouses, and have strict rules regarding what is proper and what isn’t. The world is grey.

In this book, color represents the excitement of differentness. When Jonas starts to see the color red, it completely changes the way he sees the world. He starts to no longer just see black and grey, but also splashes of red, green, blue, orange, and more. This special talent sets him apart from the rest of the community. Without the color, people are boring and almost lifeless.

I chose the picture above to represent what it must be like to have no color. You obviously can’t see it, since I edited it to make the picture black and white, but there is quite a brilliant sunrise in the background. It takes away a sense of wonder to have the color sucked out of a picture. You can’t see the golden sand, or the crystal blue lake, or the pink and yellow sky above. Color to me gives off a certain positive mood. I think that if I were to live in a black and white world, I would soon become bored and maybe depressed. There wouldn’t be anything to set me apart from others. Think about how much would be lost in a world of no color. Paint would be worthless, and your favorite blue shirt would no longer hold any importance. Without color, we would live in a world without originality or uniqueness.

Places to Visit

We still have two months left of school, and I’m already dreaming of summer vacation. My family is debating where to go, and I came up with some ideas. 😉 Here are the top five places I want to visit and why:

1.) Rome, Italy

I’ve been wanting to go to Italy for the longest time. Between the incredible architecture, the food, and the historical landmarks, there is so much to see and experience. Also, I am currently doing my GT exhibition project on Roman architecture, so I think it would be really cool to go and explore it personally.

2.) Stockholm, Sweden

My dad’s side of the family grew up in Sweden, and he’s always talking about what a cool place it is. I studied Sweden for our family heritage unit in second grade, and I’d love to visit soon. My sister and I became Swedish citizens, thanks to my dad! I think they have some unique traditions, and it would be cool to visit the place that much of my family comes from.

3.) Hawaii

Who doesn’t want to go to the Hawaiian islands? I love tropical places, beaches and relaxing environments. I really want to try surfing some day, and Hawaii would be the perfect place to try it!

4.) Sydney, Australia

My dad used to travel almost every week for his old job, and he always said that Sydney was one of his favorite places to visit. Apparently, people there are super nice and it’s a beautiful city. Plus, I want to see a kangaroo. 😉

5.) Jerusalem, Israel

I grew up a Christian, and for many religious groups, Jerusalem is a place of great importance. I studied Israel in sixth grade and learned all about the historical landmarks there, and I think it would be really interesting to go see them. Also, Israel is home to the lowest point in the world, the Dead Sea. Here, there is so much salt in the water that you can float without trying. That’s pretty cool!

Where would you like to travel to someday? Comment below! 😉

My Prized Possession

One of my biggest thrills as a child was transferring from a gravel driveway to a paved one. This meant finally learning to bike, being able to walk barefoot outside without fear of stubbing my toes on rocks, and getting to use my favorite art supplies- chalk.

I had buckets and buckets of the stuff, from dusty pastels to darker blues and greys. I hoarded them like they were chocolate bars. My sister and I would spend hours drawing in our free time, letting our imaginations run wild with pictures of dragons, monsters, and princesses. We used each one to the point where it was a tiny sliver chalky color, too minuscule to draw with anymore.

On more than one occasion, Annika and I got in trouble for taking a stick of the stuff to our dog, Loki. We colored him blue, pink, purple… All on the glossy white coat that my mom tried hard to keep clean.

Chalk allowed me to transform my driveway into a huge, black canvas ready for me to spread my ideas across. Our driveway was very long- about a fifth of a mile. This allowed for the most intense hop-scotch tournaments! We would draw and draw and hop and hop until it was dark outside.

It’s funny to think that some of my favorite memories are associated with tiny sticks of dust. Who knows? Maybe if I had never been exposed to art at that young age, I wouldn’t be as creative as I like to think I am today!

Why Bethany Hamilton Inspires Me

Bethany Hamilton is a worldwide surfing champion, a dedicated donor to multiple organizations, a hardcore Christian, and an author. She also happens to have no left arm! She is one of my biggest role models and she inspires me every day.

Bethany was 13 when she was surfing in Hawaii and a huge tiger shark came and tore off her entire left arm. However, as soon as her shoulder was stitched up and healed, she got right back in the water and kept going. It took her awhile, but eventually she was just as good and ultimately better than she had been before the bite. She didn’t let the fear of another shark attack get in the way of doing what she loved most. I admire her so much because she persevered through it all and kept trying!

Another reason I love her is because her beliefs are so strong. For one thing, she has an incredible relationship with God. I’m a Christian, like her, and she inspires me so much to do good in the world. She went on tons of work trips to help those who are less fortunate, and finds small ways to incorporate her faith into everyday situations.

Bethany Hamilton in my mind is an incredible role model in so many ways. From her ability to constantly persevere despite her handicap to her admirable relationship with her Heavenly Father, she is someone whom I think has influenced many people around the world.

Why Participation in Sports Should Be Mandatory

Participation in sports should be absolutely mandatory. Not only do sports keep you strong, but they also teach you how to work with a team. Your health and your ability to cooperate with others and two very important pieces of life.

Sports keep your heart rate up. The harder you work, the faster your heart pumps blood and oxygen out to the rest of your body. Later in life, having a healthy heart can protect you from experiencing a heart attack, or other heart diseases.

Another thing sports can do for you is teach you how to work with a team. If you know how to successfully cooperate with others, you can one day be happier with your job. Also, being on a sports team can teach you how to take winning or losing appropriately.

For me, sports are a great way to cool down, especially after a long day. Sometimes, after I get in a fight, or if I’m stressed, I go and kick around a soccer ball to let my anger out. It sounds silly, but getting outside and breathing some fresh air really helps to calm your nerves.

Finally, sports can improve your social life. I have made made many friends on my soccer team, some of the first people I met in Texas. Team building is a great way to be friendships and trust in people.

Overall, sports are great for both the mind and body. They should be an important part of any individual’s daily schedule. If they’re not, give ’em a try!

Why Steamboat is the Best Place to Vacation

I speed downhill on my skis in just a long- sleeved shirt, perfectly warm and happy. It’s 40° and a beautiful day on the slopes. The sun is out and beaming down on smiling faces, and people glide down the hill leisurely. Steamboat Springs is by far my favorite ski resort to visit.

First off, the slopes are amazing. There are trails for beginners, as well as experts. I prefer the black diamonds, but my little siblings always have fun learning “pizza” and “French fries” on the green trails. Trails have a variety of features, such as moguls, jumps, trees, and steep chutes. The thrill of flying over a huge jump is truly like no other. One cool thing about Colorado mountains is the snow. Before I moved to Texas, I lived in the northeast, where the snow is very hard-packed and often extremely icy. However, out west, it’s soft, light and abundant. They call it champagne powder!

Another great thing about Steamboat Springs is the city outside the resort. Here you can find shops, the hot springs, restaurants, and other cool attractions, all with that Old West charm. The hot springs are probably my favorite place to visit in Steamboat. It’s a great place to relax and have fun with friends and family after a long, tiring day of skiing.

Lastly, Steamboat is a place to connect with family and friends. For me, Steamboat means that I get to see my best friend and her family, and spend a week having a blast together. I’ve also made friends here that I love to ski with! A particular example is a girl named Corey, who I met through a friend. She knows the mountain like the back of her hand and is always willing to recommend the best trails. Every year, I have fun spending quality time with these people and my family. Steamboat is like our second home!

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My Favorite Movies

I love watching movies! Here are my top five and why:

1.) The Imitation Game-PG-13

This movie is incredible. The plot is so complex, with spies, enigmas, and learning who you really are. Benedict Cumberbatch plays a gay crossword-enthusiast during World War II, who happens to be extraordinarily smart. He gets hired to try and figure out a German contraption called the Enigma. The Enigma is a coding device that the Germans use to send out messages everyday to give details about their next surprise attack. I can’t give the rest away, so I recommend you go and see it to find out the rest!

2.) The Hunger Games-PG-13

Of course, the books are incredible, and we all know that the books are always better than the movies. Honestly though, the main reason I love this movie is because of Jennifer Lawrence. She’s just brilliant! She is able to portray so much emotion, especially in the reaping scene and the scene where Rue dies. I think that these movies have so much depth, and it has such a crazy, unique plot!

3.) Soul Surfer-PG

Soul Surfer is a movie about the life and story of world champion surfer Bethany Hamilton. For weeks after I saw this movie I was researching Bethany and her terrifying shark encounter. One day in Hawaii, where she lived, she was out surfing with her friends and family when suddenly a huge tiger shark came along and ripped off her whole arm. The incredible thing, however, is the fact that as soon as she could, she got right back on the board and kept surfing. All along the way she had God by her side and courage in her heart.

4.) Mean Girls- PG-13

I just saw this movie for the first time last night, and I have to say, I LOVE IT. I finally understand all the mean girl references that people make, like “On Wednesdays, we wear pink.” I think that it’s totally hilarious, and a classic chick flick.

5.) Lilo and Stitch-PG

Lilo and Stitch is probably my favorite Disney movie. I just think it’s so cute, and I love Lilo’s sassy/ loving personality. My favorite quote from this movie is when Stitch is talking to the aliens. “This is my family. I found it all on my own. It’s little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.”

Upcoming Field Trips

I have a lot of upcoming field trips! One is for art, another for GT, and also one for my religious youth group.

The nearest one is actually tomorrow, the GT opera trip. We will be going to the Long Center to view the opera Romeo and Juliet! From what I understand it will all be in French, so we have to read the words in English above the stage. I’ve never been to an opera before, so I’m actually pretty excited. After all, even if it gets really boring, (I’ve heard they sometimes can be) I still have many of my friends there with me! Have you ever been to an opera/ play? Which one?

The second one is actually on Valentine’s Day weekend. I had to make the tough decision of choosing between Youth Austin TedX or the annual WHPC Focus mission trip. I ended up choosing Focus, because my church is really important to me and it sounded like fun! From what I understand, Focus is a time for kids to get together for a weekend in the house of someone in their gender and age group. Then you have the chance to talk about God and do some fun things around Austin and in the church, including community service. I think it will be fun, especially because I get to do all this with my friends.

The last one is the 7th and 8th grade art field trip. This time we take a bus to Houston and go around to many different museums there, to learn about all different types of modern art. I’ve only been to one art museum in my life, and that was the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. It was a lot of fun and certainly very interesting, so I’m excited to do something similar again!


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