My 7th Grade Year

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

When I first arrived to seventh grade in August, I expected a lot of homework. I soon realized that I was not to be disappointed. By October, I was drowned in homework and tests. Eventually, I figures out that my life would end shortly with me lost in the endless sea of  assignments.

However, I managed to learn several things. There were those plain, old, boring educational lessons. And then there were the slightly more interesting social and life lessons. I have a good summary of them:

  • Turn in your homework on time! (If you don’t, your teachers will chase you around the halls until you do.)
  • Learn useful magic tricks. (Hopefully you’ll learn the tricks that help you make your gum disappear, only to reappear when the teacher isn’t looking.)
  • Know how to make sure the teacher doesn’t focus on you. (If you do that, secretive iPad gaming will be much easier during class.)
  • Make sure you can run like the wind. (This is just in case you annoy your classmates too much.)
  • Be able to dodge dodge balls in PE without running into obstacles. (If you can’t do this, you may collide with a classmate that just stands and talks.)

Seventh grade teaches you theses lessons and more, but I am glad I only have to go through seventh grade once. I really don’t want to have to learn these lessons the hard way again. I am overjoyed that I will be moving into a supposedly easier grade next year. Although, I am not quite sure that eighth grade will be easier…

The Run

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3… 2… 1… GO! Everybody starts running at once. I am pumped up. I start sprinting. “Slow down,” I tell myself. I don’t want to run out of energy before the first mile. I am running the 5K in Austin with my dad. I know I am not the fastest runner, but I want to see what my time  is. This is my first 5K run and I want to see what it feels like.

Run, run, run. That is all I am doing. There is a bend coming up! I think it is the half-way mark! Its… just the 1.5 mile marker. I slow down from whatever speed I had built up in the anticipation. I continue running. My legs start to feel as if acid is pouring down them (which, considering that lactic acid is being secreted, is an appropriate description). Yes! I finally reached the halfway point. I start slowly increasing my speed, panting at the effort. Sweat is pouring down my face. 2 miles! Yes! Only about one more mile to go. I start putting distance between me and my dad. More sweat pours down my back, and I feel as if I am going to faint. I start coming around the final bend and put on a final burst of speed. I can see the finish line! Finally! I put on a little more speed. Spots start dancing in front of my eyes. My legs feel as if they will fall off. I look like I have taken a shower in sweat. I cross the finish line! I look at the time that they recorded from the microchip on my tag. It is 26:40. “Not bad,” I think. I was expecting to take at least 30 minutes. I shakily sit on the grass and wait for my dad to finish.

A Favorite Memory of Mine

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

(The orange background at the end was inserted by a YouTube user.)

When I was little, there was one TV show I loved. I would do almost anything to watch it. I even woke up early. I just couldn’t do without watching Curious George.

Curious George was my favorite TV show. I loved the little monkey and his adventures. He was a cute, little, brown fur ball. I always giggled hysterically when he made a mess in the kitchen. I always cheered for Curious George when he overcame a problem. My favorite episode was when he had to launch a rocket. Humans couldn’t launch it because there was a need to push four buttons at once, but George could. He had four limbs and a tail. He used the tail for balance and jumped. In the air he pushed all four buttons and the rocket could launch. I thought  that George was a monkey genius!

I still remember my enthusiasm to watch Curious George. Now that I am older, I realize that the TV show, Curious George, taught me that I should solve problems calmly like George. Curious George was my favorite TV show as a toddler, and I will always cherish the memory of watching it.

My Favorite Apps

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In the modern world, apps (applications) are very important. Apps are self-contained software that can complete certain tasks. Safari on iPad allows you to search the internet. Flappy Bird on iPhone allows you to play an addicting flapping game. The AP Mobile app allows you to stay in touch with the latest AP news. All these apps can modify your phone or tablet to make it what you want. I have apps on my iPad to help me complete tasks. These are my favorite apps (not necessarily the most useful ones):

1. Super Stickman Golf 2 (SSG2)- This is a really popular game at my school. Now, I usually don’t like participating in sports (other than soccer and skiing), but this is different because it’s virtual. Even then, I don’t like virtual golf, but this is such a stretch from the real game of golf, I love to play it. You have to accurately hit the ball with a certain amount of power and shoot it at a specific angle to get it the hole in the least number of hits.








As shown in the picture above, there is a lot more than sand traps, out of bounds, and and water hazards. There are lasers, acid, and blades to penalize your score too. Your character can look different based on the level you are. There are seven power-ups to your ball that can be unlocked. Each power-up gives your ball a special ability. In addition to all this, your characters can wear hats that give special perks on each course. If you look carefully at my character, you will see that I am wearing goggles. The goggles protect me from acid, and I cannot get penalized  for touching it. There are so many more aspects to this game, like multiplayer, that I probably would take up an entire screen explaining it. I love this game, and it is my favorite app.

2. Flappy Golf- This game was released a few days ago, and this is a really fun variant on Super Stickman Golf 2. Most of the courses are the same, but instead of shooting the ball with a golf club, you have to flap it into the hole in the least number of of flaps. There are no power-ups, hats, or different characters, but it’s really addicting. This game is like a combination of Flappy Bird and Super Stickman Golf 2 .

3. Google Search- This app allows me to search google with the tap of a finger. I open the app and tap the microphone button. I speak in to the device and I can get search results instantly (provided I have Wi-Fi)! Searching the internet just got so much easier. If I don’t know the definition of a word, I can type the word preceded by “define.” I can even entertain myself by searching “atari breakout” and tapping on “Images.” I then get to play Google’s version of Atari Breakout: Image Breakout. I have to destroy the images with a small ball. With Google search, I have the entire internet waiting for the tap of my fingers.

4. Calendar- This app allows me to see all my homework in case I forget. I just have to sync it to my Google Calendar and all my assignments appear on this app. It is very handy. I don’t even need to write down my assignments in class because I know that I can open this app and find them. This app is very useful, but it is not very fun unless you find checking your assignments fun.

5. Gmail- This app is a really useful app. You can check your mail on the go. When I am visiting relatives and I have a question for my teacher, I can just email him or her through this app. The moment I get internet connectivity, Bam! The message will be sent.

In conclusion, apps are important in the modern world, and life just wouldn’t be the same without them. Apps allow you to complete many tasks. From playing games to ending emails, apps can be very fun and convenient. Apps are awesome!


Image source: screenshot from my iPad

Panera Bread

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I live in the capital city if Texas, Austin. My favorite place there is a small café chain called Panera Bread. I love their food. Panera Bread is my favorite place to go to in Austin.

When I go to Panera Bread, the aroma of fresh soup fills my nose. I always order broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl with potato chips on the side. Background music quietly plays while people are eating. Quiet conversations can be heard across the café. This is my favorite place.

I love Panera Bread because it is fairly quiet inside. They have freshly baked pastries that are mouthwatering. Their foods taste delicious. The broccoli cheddar is a creamy and cheesy soup with hints of broccoli. The chips are salty and crispy. Their food makes up for anything bad in my day.

Panera Bread is full of delectable meals and pastries. It is my favorite place in Austin.

The Prison of My Mind

Print Friendly, PDF & Email



Part One: Return to the Lair

An old and wrinkled figure opens a secret door in the depths of an abandoned opera house. He has not been here in over 80 years, but he plans on making one last visit. It was here that murders were plotted, kidnappings were committed, and a love was lost. This old and wrinkly man was in the center of it. This man is me.

Wooden stairs seem to infinitely extend into the depths below. I walk down them. They creak in protest. Deeper and deeper I go into the hollow cavern that surrounds me.  It gets darker and darker. Colder and colder. Slime oozes from the walls. Stalactites hang low. Stalagmites as sharp as knives grow from the ground. They look as if they want to impale some unfortunate passerby. Unlit candles line the walls. Rats scurry. Bats flutter overhead. The creaking wooden steps gradually become limestone step embedded in the cave. I continue my decent.

It gets darker and darker. Colder and colder. Deeper and deeper. 

I walk further down. The cruel light that I have known for so long is extinguished. Welcoming dark envelopes me. I walk further down. I reach a hallway. One dull throne is at the end. An organ is next to it. Dust shrouds the organ from view. Cobwebs with spiders run along the corners. I take a seat on the throne. My bony fingers run over intricate carvings on the arm rest. It was expensive for sure. A simple reminder of the wealth I had before I lost everything. Because of Raoul. But now I am back. One last time after 80 years. I will reclaim what was mine and return this cavern to what it was: not a cavern for the bats and rats, but a lair for me.

Part Two: The Lair’s Return

Just as I am about to get off the throne, ominous music begins spreading around the cavern. It fills every corner, nook, and cranny. The organ seems to be playing along with invisible instruments. “There must be invisible instruments,” I think. How else can one explain the sound of violin when it is not visible?

I smile. The lair was waiting for me. It was waiting for me to return. Instead of getting off the throne to start fixing the lair, the lair starts repairing itself for me. I relax on my throne and allow the repairing to begin.

(Play this while reading the rest of the post.)

The dust slides off the organ. The cobwebs disappear. The bats stop fluttering. Rats stop scurrying. Slime stops oozing. The candles light up. The throne I sit on becomes shiny.

A dining table appears. A lake is created in the cold and dark depths of my lair. A single boat is floating aimlessly on it. An ornate bed materializes. A Punjab lasso hanged on a hook. The cavern becomes what is used to be: a lair for me. I am the Phantom.


Photo Credit:

The Disadvantages of Electronics

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Today, more and more people have access to electronic items such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. These items are available to the young and to the old, to the poor and to the rich, and to the famous and to the infamous. And while these items have many advantages, they certainly have many drawbacks.

Electronics can negatively affect vision. Computers, tablets, and smartphones can stress your eyes. This is not because that they are glowing screens but because they are closer to your eyes. Most people spend hours a day on electronic devices. Before electronics were available on a global scale people used to look at objects closely for a less amount of time. Now, people are constantly staring and close up smart phones without giving their eyes any rest. My school gave every student an iPad, and my vision has declined since then. Electronics are major causes of vision problems.

Furthermore, electronics can hurt your social life. People now do most of their socializing through electronics. They Facebook, iMessage, and Tweet. While this makes communication over long distances much easier and can keep friends together in different states, bad people can also gain from this. Recently someone posted extremely insulting comments about someone through social media and the victim committed suicide. If Facebook, Twitter, and iMessage didn’t exist, the victim would have to be insulted in front of his/her face. That is incredibly harder. Imagine that you were to insult me in person rather than leave a nasty comment on this blog. It would be much harder. Right? This disadvantage of electronics is very serious.

In addition electronics have security issues. Electronics have been known to be hacked. They have also been known to hack. Recently target and other major retailers just had thousands of customers get their credit cards stolen. All the information was stored on a computer–an electronic device. The hackers also used and electronic device. Nowadays, instead of having to pickpocket hundreds of credit cards individually, thieves can get a hacker to type lines of code and push one button to steal thousands of credit cards. These are then put on the black market. Now the federal agents have to find these credit card owners and notify them of the theft. Then the owners can cancel the card. The thing is that they didn’t even know that their credit card was stolen, because they still had the physical card. To extend this thought farther, the hackers just steal more credit cards, so if one person cancels his/her credit card another person gets their credit card stolen. Credit card theft can have seriously negative consequences in someone’s future. This can be caused on a massive scale by electronics.

Another disadvantage is that electronics can compromise your privacy. The United States government has been tapping into phone calls in an attempt to decrease terrorist attacks. Whether this has worked or not is still being studied, but many Americans were enraged that the their government would be secretly listening to private conversations. This was also made possible by electronics.

Overall, electronics can have many disadvantages and harmful effects. The effects can range from benign to serious. So next time you use an electronic device and think about all the things it helps you do, keep mind of the drawbacks it can have.


Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Chris Smith via Compfight

The Sleep-destroying Problem of School in the Morning.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

“Come on.” Wake up!” Get up!!!” These are common phrases said by parents to wake kids up for school. Kids hate waking up for school. Most of them have one thought as they groggily get out of bed: school should start later.

Most people HATE getting up for school. Both kids and teachers hate getting up for school. Nobody wants to get out of their warm and cozy beds in the winter. Would you? Most kids will get out of their beds unwillingly at such an early time. This unwillingness to get up lowers performance levels at school. Once there was a weather delay and my school started two hours late. The general mood of people in school that day was much more lively and happy than on regular days. Schools should notice this and take actions by starting later.

In addition, a recent study has shown that a teenager’s natural sleeping time, set by an internal body clock, gets shifted to a later time. Just because your parents put you to bed at nine doesn’t mean that you won’t really fall asleep two hours later. Unfortunately, school still starts at the same early-morning-I-still-don’t-want to-get-out-of-bed time. This lowers the amount of sleep that teens get. Lower sleep drastically reduces work performance, especially for growing bodies. Middle schools have taken action for this reason by slightly delaying school starting times, but it is still not enough.

Waking up early is bothersome, and it can lower the number of hours you sleep. This will lower your performance. If school started later, people could have more sleep and be much more productive.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

“S-A-T.””S-A-T,” the letters kept on running through my head. Today was the day I had to take the test everyone hated: The SAT. I had repeated sources tell me that it was Slimy and Atrocious Torture. Stories were told about people who went into the testing room and came out with their brains spilling out of their ears. You can see why I didn’t want to leave my cozy and safe bed to go to a possibly dangerous testing room.

I had studied for this test for hours. The test was divided into sections and each section was timed. The first section is always an essay. I hate essays. I don’t know how to write. The last 9 sections are either reading, writing, or math sections. I love math, but I can’t read or write. The last section takes 10 minutes, and the eighth and ninth sections are 20 minutes. The rest are 25 minute sections.

I ate a hearty breakfast and was driven into the testing center. The testing room number was on my admission ticket. (Yes, you need a ticket for a SAT test!) I entered the testing room and the test administrator started reading off of a SAT instruction sheet in that droning voice that teachers  use while reading off the STAAR instruction sheet. We were instructed on how to fill in the bubbles on the ScanTron and what to fill out on the information sheet about ourselves.

The test started with a 25 minute essay. We had occasional breaks between sections, and little by little, hour by hour time progressed and the test finished. The test finally finished! Four hours of testing were over! Finally! At last! I leapt for joy and sprinted out of the testing room at top speed. When I met my dad I told him that the test wasn’t that bad and my brains hadn’t spilled out. In fact the test wasn’t that bad, and I wanted to take it again! I couldn’t wait for my results!

This is what my test day was like. Scroll down and play the video under “Test Day Simulator”.

The Super Bowl: An Attraction for Advertisers

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Football is one of the most popular games in America. The sport is a favorite of many and advertisers are not to be excluded. This sport attracts advertisers like garbage attracts flies. They are all showing commercials during commercial breaks, trying to get their piece of publicity. Once a year there is a big football game that attracts more than the usual number of people watching football: the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl is shown on almost all sports channels and news about it constantly updated on news channels. Advertisers know that a lot of people watch the Super Bowl on TV, so the commercial breaks will be packed with advertisements. A lot of times the same commercial plays repeatedly over multiple breaks. The sponsors of the two Super Bowl teams and the sponsors for the Super Bowl itself are recognized before and after each commercial break. Sometimes ads will be shown on screens for viewers attending the game. Sometimes, based on the team that is winning, only certain ads will play. When that team is not in the lead other ads will play.

These ads cost the companies a lot of money, but they hope that by displaying all these ads they will have more customers and make a greater profit. These ads are meant to make you want to buy only their products. These products may not benefit you or may be more expensive than another brand that is just as effective. So when the Super Bowl comes around make sure that you are aware of the advertisers trying to convince you to buy their products.

Photo Credit: John Martinez Pavliga via Compfight