Looking Back on Seventh Grade

I have to say, I didn’t expect there to be this much of a jump between sixth and seventh grade. Even though I’m just a hall away, things have certainly changed.

Taking a lot of different classes this year was new. Last year, we couldn’t choose our electives. I’m really glad that we could this year. Art has been my favorite class. I’ve enjoyed all of the projects we’ve done, but by far the best was when we made pottery on the wheel, something I’ve always wanted to do. I thought it would be really fun, and it turned out to be one of the coolest things I’ve done in a long time.

My math class was new this year as well. It was pretty difficult, so I learned a lot of new things about math that were interesting, but I think the most important thing I learned was how to do will in a challenging class. During the year, I began to realize that I needed to check my grades more often. There was a time when my grade dropped because of some work I had missed. That was a shock to me and I now know to keep on top of things and to check my grades at least once a week.

Out of all my academic classes, I liked Spanish the best. Having a conversation in a language other than English is awesome. I learned a foreign language and I also learned how to present to the class. We were also taught some interesting facts about Spanish-speaking countries, like Costa Rica. I’ve never had a class like Spanish before, and I found out that doing something you’ve never done at all before can be a very interesting experience.

I feel I learned a lot from seventh grade, and I want to offer some advice for anyone who’s going in to seventh grade next year. In seventh grade, you can try out to be in a science class called Integrated Physics and Chemistry, and I think that everyone should try to be in it. I really think that you’d surprise yourself with how well you do on the test. Seventh grade was the first time I had a class with a final, and I would have been pretty happy if I had kept all of my old tests and homeworks to study. I believe that you should do that so you won’t have to search through a disorganized folder or binder for something to study. If your backpack is getting heavy, don’t wait until you can’t carry it or shove it in your locker. I learned that anything that the teacher has seen or graded could be left at home.

Sixth grade was fun, and even though seventh grade was very different, it was also fun. My last piece of advice for seventh grade is to enjoy it.


The Color of the Universe

It doesn’t do justice
The sky from a city
Black with small blobs of light.
Even farther out, it’s simply scattered pricks of stars
The backdrop of the world resting
Blue with the silent sounds of night.
But go farther still,
Bumping down a dirt road marked with holes,
Come to a clearing and stop
To admire the true color of the universe.
It’s not black, or white, or blue.
It’s the silvery light when you can see the Milky Way.
It’s the starlight reflection of the Moon.
It’s the way the still shadows are resting—
Silver edges on every silhouette.
It only seems empty.
But the darkness is just pauses between starlight.



It’s been a long week, and a poem is needed—
But this week has been quiet.
Nothing really much to say.
I’ve decided I don’t like the quiet when you’re taking a test and you can’t talk.
But, like in winter when you wish for it to be hot like summer again, then in summer wish for winter,
I believe you need both.
It gives you time to focus, when everything is quiet.
But it’s not very exciting.
Loud things are more fun.
Parties are loud.
Good music is loud.
Happiness is loud.
But, everything in equal parts.
Can’t have summer without winter.
After all, summer heat makes getting in a cold pool or lake much better.
Winter is beautiful, all the ice and snow and things…
But all I want is what I have right now.


Challenge Week 4 & 5: Memories & Media

Of all the things I remember doing when I was younger, I remember watching Saturday morning cartoons the most. I wouldn’t sleep in on Saturdays, and though I’m not sure if the two things were related, that gave me time to watch cartoons old and new. There were a lot of shows I watched— Bugs Bunny, Wily Coyote, Tom & Jerry and more. It was always fascinating to me that the people who make cartoons had drawn each piece of each cartoon and invented so many famous characters. Even now, I will still watch an old cartoon if it comes on.



Original drawing from Chuck Jones, I believe. Go Chaps! Found on a website called disquiet.com.


Week 3: Favorite Apps

1. Minecraft- I think I’ve said enough about this one already…

2. Youtube- If there is something you’re looking for, there’s a video of it on Youtube— and of course many other things you’d never even think of. Hours can be spent just searching and watching any video that sound interesting. If you’re looking for a FTB Youtuber, I would recommend Direwolf20. Otherwise, there are too many cool things on Youtube to list here.

3. 2048- 2048 is a game in which you move tiles on a grid to match numbers. However, only the same numbers can be combined to make a larger one. 2+2=4, 4+4=8, 8+8=16 and so on. More tiles will keep appearing on the screen, and if the screen fills up, the game is over. All in all, a very fun game. It’s addicting because it seems easy enough, but not really— I have yet to get the 2048 tile, the goal of the game.

4. SSG2- SSG2, or Super Stickman Golf 2, is a game like online golf. Your goal is to get the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible. In later levels, it gets much more complicated. You’ll have to golf around sticky patches, lasers, magnets to pull your ball AWAY from the way you hit it, and earn yourself some cool power ups to make it a little easier. Race Mode is amazing, which is where you and up to 7 others can play one course (9 holes) AT THE SAME TIME! Really cool and fun also.

5. Disco Zoo- I’m honestly very impressed with Disco Zoo. I thought it was just one of those games with no point and no way to accomplish anything. I was wrong! In Disco Zoo, you get a zoo without any animals. To find these animals, you get a grid of squares and under some of them, there are tiles with animals on them. Each animal has its own pattern, and the tiles will always appear this way. You get 10 moves, and you need to use them wisely, since most animal patterns are 3 or 4 tiles. The disco part? The money on the game can be spent to start discos, lasting various amounts of time, or free discos can be earned after getting 30 of a kind of animal. In a disco, all the lights start flashing, the people and animals start dancing, and the zoo earns double the money.


Week 2: Magnolia Cafe

It’s just an amazing place. The piles of pancakes in delicious flavors are definitely the best part, at least for me. There is all sorts of interesting foods, but the gingerbread pancakes are the best. Syrupy, golden goodness and a cafe just as good.

When you drive up, park, and walk inside, it’s easy to see that it’s a pretty popular place. Some days, the entire patio-ish area out front is filled with people waiting to get inside. Other days, there are only a few. But when you get a table and open the menu, you can see what you came here for. There’s a lot of food.

The menu is like Tex-Mex crossed with breakfast. Some dishes served here are very unique— some I had never heard of before I went the first time. I’m pretty uninteresting, so I usually get the gingerbread pancakes. But there are many interesting and authentically Austin things there, too.

Not enough can be said about this place, so I’ve only given you a little taste of what you might find there. The people are always friendly, the food is delicious, and it is just one place that you should go when in Austin.


What is True?



Flashing through the mirrors


Carry down the stairs

Deep, black despair

Descending into darkness

Cold, unfeeling

Turned away from thoughts of light

Music floating, soft, foreboding

from across the lake, it seems…

There’s no Phantom here today—

he left, many, many years ago…

Still, beware the waters—

Lights dance in the depths

But do not dare to cross alone

For the night hides what it does not wish for you to see…

Or shows you things that are not there


The shore

Materializing from the darkness

An illusion

No more solid than a dream

The lights, they lead you to the edge

Where the grand room fills with new light—

New light—


The crimson candles in the golden chandelier flicker

Once again awoken

Your presence causes stirring in the shadows…

Ascend the steps away from the dock and shore

You made it… alone…

The bloodred wax from the candles pools in the floor

Stirred by the footsteps of the Phantom

He has returned—there is no Christine to persuade him to see reason

A cabinet of masks

Illusions in gold and midnight blue

And at the organ, the spectral organ

The Phantom of the Opera begins to play

Photo Credit: MorgueFile


Why Minecraft is Fun

Minecraft is a video game that can be played on your computer, phone, or Xbox. At the time I am writing this, 14,283,669 people have bought the PC edition of Minecraft. It is a game that I personally enjoy.

“Ooh, look at this!” I exclaim. “I found it!”. I’m sitting on the couch, on my laptop. I had just found the IP of one of the biggest Minecraft servers that I knew of, and I was going to join. I was extremely excited, because I knew it would be very fun, just because Minecraft is amazing.

For one thing, Minecraft gameplay can be customized with programs you can download. These programs, called mods or resource packs, range from the simple-to-install and play to large, complex ones that change the game a lot. There are even modpacks, which are large groups of mods that work together and add many, many things to Minecraft. A good example of this is FTB, or Feed the Beast. FTB is many different mods that are all compatible and use features from each other. There are mods that add more magic, better worlds, and more technology. Anything from portal guns (yes, from Portal), to jetpacks, to quantum physics, to volcanoes, to wands that let you zap things with lightning. The best thing is, making a small mod is not that difficult. All you need to know is some Java coding, and there are many tutorials to help with the rest. Installing most mods is pretty simple too, but be careful: always back up your files, make sure that if you need a modloader, such as Forge, you have it, and follow the instructions on the mod’s website or the Minecraft Forums.

If you just wish to change how the game looks or sounds, resource packs can be installed. These change smaller things, like the way stone looks or the sound dogs make. Resource packs are much simpler to install, too—there is a menu in Minecraft itself for them, if you dropped the files into the resource packs folder. Minecraft is enjoyable because the gameplay can be changed.

In addition, Minecraft is fun because you can play it with other people on servers. Servers may have maps, minigames, or many other things, such as making towns, basic Minecraft only with your friends or whoever, and simply having land to build on and sharing your creations with other people. Maps are usually made up of puzzles or challenges you have to do to move on. They are like a challenge that you can do with a few friends, and then be really happy when you beat it. Minigames are pretty different. There are servers where you can play many different minigames, and most of them are other games that someone created in Minecraft. The games could be anything from Connect 4 to Flappy Bird to capture the flag. There are even some games that don’t exist outside of Minecraft at all! Other things that I’ve done on servers include Factions, which is where you gather a group of people, find some land, and try to make your new town the best there is. I’ve also just had a chunk of land and unlimited things to build with, and created a giant house to show off. Playing Minecraft is exciting because you can go on servers.

Similarly, I enjoy Minecraft because other people enjoy it. There are many, many famous Minecraft Youtubers, including people with MILLIONS of subscribers. You could be on Youtube for days, just watching all the mod reviews, map playthroughs, minigame competitions, and even Let’s Plays, which are videos of someone playing Minecraft with or without mods and what they’re doing. It just makes you think, “Hey, I could do that! Maybe I should be famous.”. There is even a famous project going on in which one guy is trying to reach the edge of the world. This project is called “Far Lands or Bust!” Minecraft is interesting because it has its own share of celebrities.

Lastly, Minecraft is actually being used in schools to teach engineering, math, and history. Students can use circuitry, recreate historical buildings, or just learn physics or graphing. The best part? It’s fun. Teachers can run their own servers and assign them projects and the students can submit them to the teacher when they are done. Minecraft is the greatest because it is educational.

I think that Minecraft is pretty underrated. It’s a fun game with a lot to offer, and it doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves. I think that if people knew more interesting things that they could do, more people would play. Maybe one of you could be the 14,283,670th person to join! But there’s not much time for that now— the Nexus is almost full, and I’m not going to miss a perfect opportunity.


Why Staying Home is Better Than Vacationing

“Whoa whoa whoa,” you might be saying. “That can’t be.” In this essay, I will argue that your own house is the best vacation destination in the world.

Ahhh, how good it feels to be back in your own bed after vacation! Back in your own house, your own room, your own stuff, not living out of a suitcase anymore. But why, then, is vacation so great? This is why you should just stay home.

For instance, when you go on vacation there can be lots of surprises. You can’t predict many things, such as the weather, that could seriously impact your plans. One minute you’re on your way to do something fun and—BOOM!—a thunderstorm rolls in. Or maybe it’s closed. Or—worst thing of all—the hotel is full and there is nowhere for you to stay, so you have to search late at night in somewhere unfamiliar for someplace to sleep. Yikes, right? Your entire trip can be ruined by what you don’t know and what you can’t control. Something can be said for staying home, then: no matter what happens, you’ve got a place to stay and something to do in the comfort of your own house.

In addition, you may have noticed that your parents (while you are on vacation), expect you to see people and do things. Who wants to do that? Can’t they just let you do something relaxing? It can’t hurt to just spend a little time laying on the beach, if that’s where you are. But nooooo. There are things to do! Places to go! A schedule to have maximum “fun”! No time to rest: we have to visit your aunt at 9:00, then go here, here, here, and here before 10:00, and then at 11:00, lunch. At home, you can do things on your time and your parents don’t have “plans”.

Being at home sounds much better than going on a trip because of many reasons. You always know how to turn on the shower. If it rains, you can still have a nice day. Dependable internet connection. Closets. With all of your clothes in them. But the best thing about a “home vacation” is that it is just as fun.


My Non-Fanfiction Story

It just appeared. Right behind me, a creature much like a winged fox, actually very much like my dog Samson, but horned, winged, and fiery. It seemed to be set on fire, the blue-white flames rippling in a line down its back without harming it. I knew that this creature was unfamiliar, but I feel that there was a name for it…. A dragon.

Though it seemed intelligent, it spoke in an unknown language. Probably similar to Fox, but as we all know, no one can tell what a fox says. Well, whatever it was, it was made up of different small barks that sounded like “ding”. I reach out, because the dragon seemed friendly, and my hand brushed past the blue dorsal flames, and found them to be warm. Only warm, actually a quite comfortable temperature. Enough to keep you warm in winter, toasty warm, but not enough to be uncomfortable in the light spring air.

I rush away, eager to show someone what I had found. Maybe Samson and this dragon, who I had begun to call a Fireyfox, could become friends. But either way, I felt that this was somehow more important than it seems….

The sound of pawsteps. It seems that it, or he as I now think, wants to follow me. I turn to face the dragon and I beg him to please, for the good of both of us, “Stay here, I don’t want you rampaging through the city and sparking all sorts of conspiracy theories. Someone could even try to catch you to keep as a pet, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that became the case.” I barely even know this creature, and I already want to keep him. I think that that fuzzy face of his makes me love him. He gives me one long, scathing look, and bolts. “Oh great. I find the first real dragon and I frighten it away! COME BACK HERE, YOU FOXY LITTLE FOX THING!” I start out speaking, and then I yell. In one final effort to get him back, I call, “I’m sorry! Please come back!” Nothing. “One more try, and then I go home.” I think. “We’ve got food!”

Just as I reach my door, I hear the telltale sound of wingbeats behind me. There he is, acting like he never left. It seems like this Fireyfox is the most uncooperative and frankly the sassiest creature I’ve ever met. I mean, he has a major attitude. But he’s just so cute, you can’t even be mad at him. I still wanted to know what to do about this rather random situation, but didn’t want him in my house, for one main reason I don’t care to mention. “Mom,” I call. “There’s something you should probably see.”

” What is it, Megan? What did you want to show me?” I step aside. I can tell my mom is shocked, but she’s trying to stay calm. Thankfully at that moment Samson appears. He walks over to the Fireyfox and proceeds to sniff him. Samson ends up with his nose on the fox’s wing, and he jerks back, a confused look on his face. But the Fireyfox wags his tail, and soon they dash into the front yard and begin chasing each other. My mom’s attention turns back to me. “Megan, is this a joke or something? If so, it’s not very funny. I bet you’re going to tell me that whatever that is is real and not just someone’s dog in a strange costume. Right?” “Uhh…” I reply.

“But it is real Mom,” I argue. “Why would you think this is a joke? I’m just as confused as you are. All I want is some answers. I know it seems strange—okay, it is strange—but I think that this foxlike creature is a dragon.” ” Megan. Dragons aren’t real.” “Do you have a better explanation?” “Okay, what are we going to do about this? I guess we have to take care of him, at least tonight.” Should we call someone?” “Well, what could we say?”

That night, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t relax knowing that somehow, I had made this mess. My dad said that we should call someone or do something, because we couldn’t just keep a mythical beast, or whatever the little critter was, in our house forever. My mom agreed, saying that no matter how cute he was, we can’t keep a creature that may—or may not—breathe fire in our house. So in the morning, it was decided, we would take him to the vet with Samson.

Samson and Becker (the Fireyfox needed a name by now, don’t you think?) rode in the back of the car together. My mom said that, “We are only bringing him to the vet because he is probably someone’s dog, and we want to see if he is hurt or not. They can probably get that silly costume off of him, too.” I say nothing, not just because I am tired of arguing, but also because how could I explain the line of flames running down Becker’s back that went out whenever my parents were looking at him? I am honestly surprised Samson doesn’t care about them. But no, he seems to have accepted him as an odd, but friendly, stranger.

To be continued.

Not fan fiction!