Posted in 7th Grade, English 7

E6 L65 – Two Tools I would Want on a Deserted Island

          In the past week, I have been reading Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. Crusoe was the lone survivor of a shipwreck and is stranded on an island (likely Tobago or one of the Caribbean islands, but I’m not sure about it). If I were in the same predicament, there would be two things I would very much want to survive longer on the Island of Despair (that’s what Crusoe called it).

          First, I would really want a survival multitool like this axe/sword/shovel combo for self-defense and for gathering materials.  I could also use the bottle opener like a climbing claw in little nooks in the tree the opener would fit in to climb the tree like a removable branch to, say, a house in a tall tree, or the saw to cut a sapling instead of wasting axe durability and/or time, and the shovel to possibly complement the pick to dig the cave and/or a shelter, and/or a cathole inside.

          Second, I would want a small pocketknife multitool like this.  I would use this tool for planning and carving the cut saplings, boards, and other wooden objects like maybe a pick for getting more resources or building a cave for shelter or a hoe for tilling the ground.  The pocketknife could also make a weapon like a spear or bow for hunting or cut even smaller plants like a sugarcane or cocoa plant seedpod stem.

          These tools would still be useful on really any camping trip as well as this 6000-lumen headlamp.   Those are the two things I would think would be the most helpful for survival on the Island of Despair.

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Posted in 7th Grade, History 7

H7 W4 – Clovis and France

Almost a thousand and a half years ago a man named Clovis rose up from the remains of his father’s legacy and began to unite the kingdom of France.
This second king of France was crowned over the Salian Franks at age 15 after the death of his father, Merovich. He gained popularity by beating Syagrius, the Roman general in Gaul (early France), because Syagrius underestimated Clovis. The Franks therefore won the Battle of Soissons (swah-SŌNN). Clovis therefore kicked the Romans out of most of Gaul. He was then free to capture the rest of the Frankish tribes and communities to create the first French borders. He was converted to Christianity after he prayed to his wife Clotilda’s god for a victory, which was then given him. The interesting part about that is that he converted to the Catholic (Catholic means universal in Latin) church instead of the popular Arian church. He then made Christianity the official religion of the new France.
He died soon after in 511 AD, and all the other kings after Clovis were said by the Franks “to be chosen by God”. Some time after Clovis I died, the French kingdom expanded to control Burgundy, the last little kingdom not under French control, in 538 AD, showing that the French kingdom was still up and running even after the death of their most powerful king.

Posted in 8th Grade, Personal Finance

PF W12 – American Credit Card Debt

In the past week I went over lots of bank-related topics, and one of the major topics was American Credit Card debt and I must now compare it with other types of debt like mortgage, and then there’s a way at the bottom to pay off more than one debt at the same time.

First, because of the reasons stated in my Week 10 essay, a mortgage loan has a substantially lower rate than a credit card even with an “excellent” credit rate, by about a third or at maximum a quarter.  The credit rates I found were from 12.99 to 25.99 (bankrate.com, credit comparison. note all 0% intro APR Because I couldn’t figure out anything else), while the mortgage was from 3.668 to 4.375 according to bankrate.com (mortgage) as of September 21, 2017.  (It may be different depending on when you read this.)   The maximum rate I found for credit cards is about eight times the smallest mortgage rate. 

The credit cards’ benefits are just to get you to buy things with their card, not for the benefit of the buyer.  Then they don’t let cardholders know when they’re about to go over into debt and so the holder incurs debt from spending too much.  Then he/she is faced with a full-interest debt to pay off before it gets too large to pay.

Credit card debt has steadily risen to over $784 billion right now (according to Nerdwallet.com), as of Sept. 2017.  It could be larger by the time you read this, but this is still tremendous, and all of that is owed to banks.

An interesting plan anybody can use for paying off debt is to “snowball” it, or pay the interest for each debt and the remainder on the smallest debt. Once the smallest debt is paid off completely, add the money from the first debt payment money to the next largest amount’s payment.  

Here’s an example of the plan:

snowball plan

See, it starts with the smallest one and then rolls the payment for that into the next largest one and then the next and so forth.

Posted in 7th Grade, English 7

E7 L60 – A Robin Hood Story

Chapter XXII

Robin Outsmarts the Sherriff… Again

          In past days, when King Richard was off in the Crusades, a jolly outlaw named Robin Hood sat in a forest, waiting for a traveler to come by to feast and then tax for the merry feast under a greenwood tree deep in the recesses of the jolly forest.  Meanwhile, the Sherriff was furious that merry Robin should get away with “such treachery” as he did.  When he was feasting some guests, his face suddenly filled up with glee.  Now nobody knew why he was so jolly that night, until he called for his soldiers to be fitted out with their best suits of armor and full defense gear.  He had devised a way, as he happily thought, to stow merry Robin in a cell.

          Minutes later, the Sherriff and his men were trotting thru the forest with torches alight, waiting for Robin and his gang to come out and try to rob them of their jingling gold.

          Though the Sherriff’s plan was fitting for capturing an unsuspecting outlaw, one of jolly Robin’s merry men heard the Sheriff and his men jingling and jangling thru the forest, and saw the soldiers’ armor, and had run to tell Robin and the other Merry Men about the Sheriff.  The outlaws now knew the men were coming and presently started setting and resetting traps for the soldiers and Sheriff.  The sheriff, however, had suspected these traps and had sent ahead some soldiers to inspect the surrounding woods and road.  They were shot and never reported to the sheriff.  He had also sent out squadrons of a score of soldiers each, totaling five score soldiers to battle and capture the bold outlaws.

          For all this preparation the outlaws had short notice from their own scouts and were fully unprepared for the impending battle but for the traps they had set and the positions of their archers in the trees and the small battalion of spearmen, halberdiers, and wielders of the quarterstaff.

          When the Sheriff arrived, he thought to find the placed covered in rope and vines and traps, but he saw nothing until the soldier directly in front of him, who happened to be the captain, was suddenly whipped off his feet and drawn up into the heavens by an invisible object apparently holding his leg.  When the next person, who held the only torch, was knocked out by some invisible object and the torch went out, soldiers went flying in all directions.  Every second one was seemingly dragged up into the sky by the feet, and he ground seemed to have eaten the rest.  Then the sheriff noticed his horse was dead, a shaft sticking straight up out of its head, and it was falling over.  Hopping off, he whistled for his squadrons, and decided to go back the way he had come to let his squadrons fight the battle.  However, on the way back a whole line of the squadron was suddenly bleeding from a massive hole in the middle of their bodies, and the rest of the group stopped.  This discouraged the sheriff from running away.  Turning around again he stood in front of a remnant of his army, which the majority of had been wounded in some way by the traps scattered on the road.  When the back line was hit with a flurry of arrows, half the men scattered, each man looking for a trap to destroy.  Many of them fell into the very traps they wanted to destroy, dragged up into the sky, eaten by the earth, shot in the back with an arrow, impaled by a swinging spiky log, or knocked down and then a log dropped on their heads.  No mare men fell into any more traps, and the remaining traps were destroyed.  They found that the ones that dropped you in a covered hole killed you with upward-pointing swords and wooden spikes.

          When all the traps were destroyed, Robin alone went out to talk to the Sheriff’s men.  When they tried to attack him, the attacker was killed by an arrow seemingly from the sky.  When a soldier fired his on bow, that soldier was killed the second he touched the bowstring.  They learned very quickly not to draw their weapons or try to rush Robin. 

          “Surrender and you will be spared with all your men,” quoth merry Robin.

          “I shall never surrender to such a coward of an outlaw, who sets traps instead of fights like a true man!” said the Sheriff, drawing his sword.

          This was a grave mistake – Robin’s men had been ordered to shoot the Sheriff’s hand if he drew his sword, and this was speedily done with the cost of one shot from everyone’s bow.  The sheriff thus had a bad hand and his sword was on the ground.  And after all the trouble, the whole remainder of about twoscore men charged the forest and encountered the Forest Footmen.  The battle clashed here while the sheriff’s men attempted to gain the trees as a vantage point.  This as easier said than achieved, and the archers all died in the attempt. 

          After a while of fighting, the sheriff’s men surrendered against the sheriff’s will, and the Sherriff was taken captive.  He as taxed for the damage done, and hen released, while the soldiers were lured into the band and became members of the Merry Men of Robin Hood.

 

 PS. Sorry for the bad formatting This browser doesn’t let me format anymore

Posted in 7th Grade, History 7

H7 W3 – My Creed

I know that I should do right even when nobody’s watching and that I will get caught and in trouble otherwise.

                    I know that my parents know what to do and how to do it, and I can learn from their actions. 

Posted in 7th Grade, History 7

H7 W2 – Two Civilizations

In the past few weeks I have reviewed all seven continents from just before the beginning of the Roman Empire up until about 400 AD.   Two of the civilizations on opposite sides of the world were Egypt and South American civilizations.

Egypt was started very early and has lasted the test of time mostly because of its shelter under the Roman wing for hundreds of years. It has many runes, relics, and treasures from the past.  The country also has the ancient hieroglyphs, one of the very first forms of writing.  Though the Egyptian hieroglyphs  are multisyllable, they are still very similar to the Olmec monosyllabic hieroglyphs.  The Egyptians also developed bricks as one of the first methods of construction.  The same event happened with the Nazca, Olmecs, Chavin, Anasazi, and Teotihuacan – mud bricks. The Anasazi learned how to carve stone as well, but that both sides of the world developed bricks at about the same time is quite interesting.  Egypt did learn about paper first, though, but the Anasazi figured out how to dig a hole large enough to make a cozy house in [the ground] and then how to give the hole a roof.  The Egyptians never really did that despite the similar climates.  And the Olmecs figured out how to carve huge objects accurately before anyone else.  The Egyptians, however, harnessed animal power first to plow larger fields and gather more crop.  Both created agriculture at nearly the same time, and surprisingly noticed the benefits of certain crops at the same time too.

These civilizations’ technological advancements were strangely timed at nearly the same time, and were the same discoveries too.  I wonder if some type of intercontinental trade did exist for a time?  Anyhow, the result is that more than one civilization made the same advancement at the same time and then connection cut off and the Americas were by themselves.