Posted in 7th Grade, English 7

E7 L160 – Takeoff

Packing for flight is a burden,

Finding the parking’s no fun,

Waiting, waiting, waiting ‘til time,

To finally get on the plane!

Waiting on the plane is annoying,

Until the plane starts moving along. 

The undocking was slow,

But the plane sped up

As it raced down a runway

Towards my Gram and Pop.

The plane slowly angled

Its nose into the sky,

And as the plane released

The long-embraced ground,

The air turned into gelatin.

Over the thundering sound,

I’d always imagined being

On top of the sky

As the flocks of sheep-clouds

Flew quickly on by.

As the hours passed,

Three books I finished,

And lost track of the time.

Trapped within an earnest conversation

With my neighbor,

Confused about the travel time

and he lost me halfway through.

As I settled down to read again,

A light flashed on and said,

“please stow devices

In the secure places.”

As I obeyed, the plane banked left

And threw my water sideways.

I retrieved my water

As the plane banked right

To align itself

With the runway. 

As the nose dipped,

My ears began to pop

And the air became gelatin again.

As we passed through the fluffy white clouds

They grew dark and heavy

and icy rain pounded

on my window.

It always rains whenever I fly,

So I had packed an umbrella and coat.

As everyone left, I sat still

And waited for the Minors’ guide.

She arrived when everyone else was gone

And took me to a counter

Where they asked me for my grandparents’ name. 

They called her on the loudspeaker,

And she arrived to take me home.

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Posted in 7th Grade, English 7

E7 L155 – The Odyssey Books 9-12

In the time of Homer, one of the two major books were the Odyssey, a story about the adventures of Odysseus on his way home from Troy.  Over time, he runs into a cyclops names Polyphemus, a witch named Circe, his battle comrades in the land of the dead, and even Athena herself.

In book nine, the story is picked up just after the fall of Troy, which is when the Ciconiids attacked the retreating Greeks.  The Greeks fled in their twelve ships.  Sadly, the Ciconiids managed to light one on fire, and that ship did not get away.  The other eleven, however, made it out to sea, where they were battered around by a three-day-long storm that put them right on the edge of Cyclopes’ territories.  The sail through cyclopes territories was smooth up until they landed at the other side of the Cyclopes territories, at the very last island within those territories.  The men landed, and they found a good cave to shelter in.  Much later, the men see a figure walking in the mouth of the enormous cave, and the figure closes a boulder in front of the cave, as a door.  As the figure starts a fire, the men are revealed, as well as the identity of the cyclops.  The Cyclops introduces himself as Polyphemus, and two of Odysseus’ men are immediately eaten with much carnage and sheep’s milk.   As the men are eaten, Odysseus notices a pole in the back.  He then comes up with an idea.  As Polyphemus is out herding his sheep for the day, he sharpens the end of the pole and hides it in the dust in the back, then prepares wine for the cyclops.  As Polyphemus eats his two men for the night, Odysseus introduces himself as Noman, and offers the wine to the cyclops.  After getting it drunk and asleep, he helps his men pick up the pole and stab the cyclops’ eye.  They then tie themselves to the undersides of Polyphemus’ sheep, and ride them out in the morning to escape. (the cyclops felt the tops of the sheep as they passed.)  As they escape the now-blinded Polyphemus, their ship is blown off course by Neptune (Poseidon), who hears a prayer from the Cyclops and prolongs their suffering.

After their encounter with Polyphemus, they arrive at the island of Æolus and gain a bag containing the adverse winds to their journey home.  Odysseus makes it within sight of Ithaca, but he is immediately blown way off course by the gods stirring up the bag so the winds escape.  He blown near a desert island, and when they land, Odysseus decides to go exploring.  He reaches the tallest point on the island and sees mostly desert up until the edge of a forest, where he can see a blue curl of smoke.  He heads back to the ship and a group is chosen to explore the area with the smoke.  When the group gets there, they see a palace.  As they enter, a beautiful woman is singing.  This woman introduces herself as Circe and gives them a feast.  After they eat, she uses a spell that turns all the men at the table into pigs, which is what she says all men are.  Only one man, who was suspicious of this feast, waited at the door, and when he saw the men turned into pigs he ran back to the ship and told Odysseus.  When Odysseus arrived, he meets the god Mercury (Hermes), who gives him a plant called Moly.  This plant made it so Odysseus could not have a spell laid on him for a day.  As he entered after eating the plant, she attempted to lay the same charm on him as she did the other men, and when she fails she attempts to lull him into getting into bed with her as the spell laid on her by Mercury would cause her to love him when he threatened her.  The rest of his men then come under the hospitality promised by Circe, and as they leave one of the drunk men falls off the roof and kills himself.

After they leave the island of Circe, they go to the land of the dead to find out what route to take home.  The journey is smooth, and so is the sacrifice, up until Odysseus sees his mother within the lot.  He has a long chat with her and some of his old battle comrades, and he and his men leave for Ithaca.

As they sail Odysseus home they make stops at countries which give them much wealth to take with them, and only a day before they reach Ithaca, they land on a beautiful island with what looked like the cattle of the gods.  And indeed it was.   They refrained from eating it for almost a week, as they starved from lack of other foods.  The men eventually starved themselves into eating a dozen of the cows and drinking the milk.  This angered Zeus, as the cattle were his son Apollo’s.  As the sailors left without Odysseus, they were hit by lightning out of a clear blue sky.  Some other country’s ships happened to sail past and see Odysseus, half starved to death, and bring him to their king’s palace.  He was then treated well and given gold and a ship to sail him home.

The story keeps going after book 12 on Odysseus’s revenge on the suitors for his wife while under Athena’s disguise, and ends with him home again as recognizable as can be.

Posted in 7th Grade, English 7

E7 W30 – My Brother

          As the day grew long on the night of trampolines, a ten year old boy managed

          To hit me on the leg, an get me out.

          As the round was finished, he regained his territory within the game

          Just before the oldest person in play let loose a torrent of balls the speed of Light

          And most of the younger people got out including myself.

          As I watched from the sidelines, he rolled under a ball, jumped over another, and

          Threw his ball as hard he could.  It flew across the court, and slammed

          Into the thigh of one of the adults near the edge.

          Another ball flew between his legs, and bounced straight up behind him.

          As a tornado of flying objects consumed him, he disappeared

          Only to reappear over near the corner.  As the flurry of red flashed towards him

          He dove under it and rolled out of the way – right into another trap laid by the team.

          He was then out, and as the game ended, he was headed for the bar which swung

          From ropes at the ends.

         

          As the boy swung off the flying bar, he dove into the cubical blocks of foam beneath

          And ran over and up the stairs to the hanging silks.

          He immediately tried, failed, tried again, failed, and after a hint, was

          Able to swing three silks out before losing the grip or going too low.

          He soon got the hang of it (no pun intended) and completed the course.

          After the lock-in ended, the two of us, hands covered in blisters and sores,

          Yet happy above all extent, rode home knowing we had had fun.

Posted in 7th Grade, English 7

E7 L145 – Adventure of the Round Table

When time was gay, the village was an uproar in happiness, singing like the birds, for a holiday was here, Lancelot was here with it.  Also, present was a friend of the Knight’s by the name of Francis.  These two were talking in earnest, about crops, and swordsmanship, and sometimes political matters.  While talking over the cost of wheat at the time, a rustle of a nearby bush was barely audible over the celebrational noise.  Lancelot held up a hand for silence, and the bush trembled repeatedly.  Lancelot drew his sword and called, “Who goes there?”  No response was given, and other bushes around the clearing started shivering.  Then a distant thunder broke the silence, while many people started to run towards the stone tower in the center of the clearing.  The river of men, women, and children swept Lancelot inside, but not before he managed to take up his lance.  Men with rusty pikes and spears dug out of attics sere positioned at the door to stab at enemies between the slats of the iron portcullis.  As the thundering of hooves grew, so did the bustle of men readying defenses from the tower, such as stored oil and tinder, and some stones, with the addition of many bows and arrows.  The first horseman to appear was a well-built man with hard eyes, bulging arms, a night-black stallion with strong flanks, and armor that was darker than the horse.  His cronies followed him into the village; a gang of green beans with beady eyes and random pieces of armor taken from random peasants in neighboring towns.  More bandits appeared, some short and squat ones that emerged from the bushes, some that did not even seem to see the others and were almost as muscular as the man in the black armor, whom Lancelot took to be the leading officers under the dark-suited man.

After all the bandits were in the clearing and staring up at the tower, the dark-suited man whispered a few commands to his different men, and they gave commands to their men, and the band split up.  Half went around the tower in a ring to prevent escape, while the rest attempted burning out, picking off defenders with bows, and even trying to break the portcullis to invade the tower.  All the while, the villagers had lit the fires and warmed the oil, while stones were constantly falling on the attackers and the children were running and fetching more wood, more stones, and more spears to replace broken ones down at the portcullis.  After a while the dark-suited man shook his head at his troops’ futile effort and took matters into his own hands, breaking an old oak to use as a ram.  At this point it was about noon, and he called his other five muscle-men to help him, and all six of them took out the portcullis at three blows.

The bandits swarmed the tower; though the peasants put up quite a good fight what with uphill battle, they soon gave out under the sheer number of bandits.  Lancelot himself took down many a bandit, but soon was the last defender.  The bandits left him alone, but everyone else was taken prisoner to be slaves.  That was as much as Lancelot was able to intimidate out of one of the bandits he cornered, as well as the location of the castle they were being stolen away to.

He immediately started out for the castle to try to gain it before the bandit pack by using side roads.  As he rode, he came upon one of the brutes the dark-suited man, who was apparently called the Black Knight, had used as ram-swingers.  It was evening and the man challenged Lancelot to a duel to see just how far his own strength would go.  The man was easily defeated as his strength waned with the sun, as Lancelot figured out quickly.  He thus assumed the others did as well.  The man was sent back to Camelot with instructions to go to the king.  He chanced upon the second and third, to whom he gave the same instructions in turn.  Just before the edge of the woods onto the plain leading up to the castle, the two remaining knights were guarding the path.  One was asleep, the other nodding, but he could tell the second was still as alert as ever, which seemed to be not very.  He snuck up from behind the nodding one, and struck out.  What he had miscalculated was that this one wore his armor under his clothes.  This allowed him to alert the other man, who took a second to recover from shock.  Once recovered though, they began circling each other like cornered cats.  The first to lash out was the seemingly armorless one, and as Lancelot parried the first blow the second struck from behind.  Lancelot fell, dizzied by the hilt which had struck the rear of his head, and recovered faster than they expected.  His lightning bolt of a sword flashed, striking them both to the ground before they could blink.  He left them there as he set out across the field towards the castle.

Once up to the door, he used a bronze mallet to put a dent in the gong which announced his arrival.  The Black Knight himself came to see who he was to fight and saw the man who had planned the defense at the village.  Snarling, he called for his sword.  Lancelot drew his, and rushed forward like a mad boar, already flowing into an attack.  The Knight countered as he received his sword, and as the battle raged on into the day, the Knight’s strength increased as Lancelot’s decreased.  By the time the sun reached its zenith, he was doing his best to not be crushed by the flashing blade and flying objects hurled by the Knight.  He then noticed the Knight’s strength quickly failing as the sun fell to twilight, and as the man began an attack, Lancelot slid to the side and kicked the Black Knight in the ribs.  With the man down, he caught the other man’s hilt, gave a quick twist of the wrist, and a flick of his sword and the Black Knight was disarmed and under Lancelot’s leather boot.

As the man was now prisoner, Lancelot was welcomed into the castle as a hero by the slaves and bandits who feared the Black Knight and had just been liberated.  He slaved and scared bandits had revolted against the other men of the group while the Black Knight was gone.  These men he sent back home, whereas the Black Knight he sent to Camelot along with news of Lancelot’s success at ending the terrible reign of the Black Knight.

Posted in 7th Grade, English 7

E7 L135 Review – Summary of The Taming of the Shrew

          Ove the past four days, I have been reading a play called The Taming of The Shrew by William Shakespeare.  The play is about a parent who has a beautiful young daughter and a shrewd, sharp-tongued, rude older daughter.  He must marry off his older daughter before the younger one, and has a big problem while doing it; who’s going to marry a sharp-tongued little brat who slaps her little sister for no reason? 

          The story starts when a drunk peddler starts yelling at the innkeeper for more wine.  Then he passes out on the tables and a lord arrives.  The lord plays a prank on the peddler, whose name is Christophero Sly, by acting as if the peddler’s a lord.  the result is that the Sly forgets himself and acts like a lord.  they go to a play for entertainment, and the actual story commences. 

          A man with two daughters must marry off both of them, but the older has a sharp tongue while the younger is angelic.  However, the older must be married off first by tradition.  The younger has many suitors while the older has none, and the men would not like a name-caller instead of an angel.  All the nobles of the village get together and disguise themselves as teachers of music to woo the younger daughter.  While this happens, one of the musicians, Petruchio, lays eyes on the older daughter and sees nothing else.  This man also has a sharp tongue, and soon they engage in a word-fencing game.  He then marries her and after he is wedded to her, the real struggle begins.  In the end, another one of the musicians, named Lucentio, gets the younger to be his wife.

          I don’t know the moral of the story, but I do know that sometimes, despite having a purpose, some traditions can be extremely inconvenient.  Mark twain said in his book “Tom Sawyer”, “Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.” 

Posted in 7th Grade, English 7

English 7 L130 – Thomas Sawyer’s Vocabulary Examples

 

        In the past week I have studied many different ways of expressing thoughts, including some very interesting ways, like soliloquy, personification, and Imagery.  Each of these words represent a set of things that help the reader better understand what is going on in the book.    Personification is giving an inanimate object, like a gate, human abilities, like in the sentence, “The gate squealed and refused to move.”  Soliloquy basically is a character talking to themselves, to help the reader understand what they were thinking.

          Soliloquy is basically a character’s talking to themselves.  A lot happens during the two chapters “The Pinch-bug & His Prey – Chapter Vand The Cat and the Pain-killer, chapter XII.  During the pinch-bug chapter, Tom kept thinking about the fly which landed on the chair in front of him and what he would do to it after the prayer.  In the pain killer one, Tom talks to the cat, and then decides to do it.

          Imagery gives the reader a visual image that the reader can “see” in their mind.  Some of the images given were funny, like in “the Pinch-bug & His Prey – Chapter V, Tom brings out a pinch-bug and a dog sits on it.  It then becomes a “wooly comet” up and down and up and down the aisles and “everyone in the parish was attempting to hide their laughter behind a fan or handkerchief.” Another one is about Sawyer’s Granma’s cat and painkiller, Chapter XII.  Tom’s grandmother has a yellow tabby, which walks into the room as Tom poured some painkiller into the crack in the floor.  The cat wanted some, so Tom gave the cat the painkiller. The result was that the cat ran around and round the room, making “general havoc” around the house, doing a few cartwheels, and rocketing out the window along with the rest of the flowerpots. These chapters are not included in condensed versions, though, so the ones with a steamboat on a tan background will have these.

          For personification, the cat mentioned above was given the ability to make a war-whoop and say hurrah while racing around.  A fence was also given the ability to stretch forever while Tom was forced to paint it on the weekend for punishment, and at the same time a shoe whistling like a nerf dart for his not doing it. 

          These parts of making an interesting book were well represented throughout the book, especially imagery and personification; so many times, I cannot even put all of them on here without taking up five pages.  Over the book, many things happen, but I would not spoil it with too much information – I’ll leave you to read the book on your own.