An Autumnism

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Laugh today. Laugh tomorrow.

~Autumn

Science Biome Project

image taken by Autumn

 

In science, we were put into groups to research a certain type of biome. The biomes we researched were the decidious forest, boreal, tundra, tropical rain forest, alpine, grasslands/savannah, and the desert. My group researched the tundra. The tundra is the cold Arctic flatlands of Europe, Asia and North America. In our biome project, we were asked to come of with a plant that had adaptations to fit its environment. In this case, we had to create a plant whose adaptations suited cold, icy, or windy climates.

Reflection:

This project was fun because we got to create our own plant! It also helped us learn about the plant biomes and which type of plants can live in what conditions.

Animal Rights

229876_09f5c_900x900click here for image source

 

A little while ago, I wrote a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. I wrote this letter about animals’ rights. Anyone who knows me will know that I’m a huge animal lover! 🙂 Here is my letter; enjoy!

 

Mr. Tom Vilsack

Secretary of Agriculture

U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250

 

Dear Mr. Vilsack,

 

Did you know that according to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), 64.5% of animal cruelty cases involve dogs, 18% were cats, and 25% involved other animals? The HSUS also found out that 91% of adults and 73% of children who enter animal shelters report animals being abused. Terrible, right?

 

Scholastic News published an article about how animals have feelings, just like humans. Put yourself in the animal’s shoes. These giants are hurting small creatures! Abusing animals can be just like abusing humans. Animal cruelty isn’t widely recognized. I feel that I can help raise awareness for animal cruelty.

 

I also believe that there are different kinds of animal cruelty besides humans hurting animals. Some people think that animal testing is wrong. It is a very controversial topic. I agree with the thought that animal testing is wrong to a certain point. Animal testing is beneficial because scientists have found out about so many great medicines for ill people of today. The Nobel Prize wrote an article about the 1923 Nobel Prize winners, Dr. Frederick Banting and Professor John Macleod, performed tests on diabetic dogs. They ended up discovering insulin, which has saved many people with diabetes. This is the certain point to where I do not agree with the thought that animal testing is wrong. However, it depends on how the animal is being tested. The HSUS states that cosmetic companies today have tested products such as shampoo in rabbits’ eyes to see if there is any irritation. The animals’ eyes are even sometimes held open so they are unable to blink away from the product. In 2010, The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported 97,123 animals that had been tested and been in pain with no pain medication or anesthesia.

 

The HSUS created Animal Cruelty/Human Violence Awareness Week, which is April 18 to 24. Please recognize this week for preventing animal cruelty and raising awareness. Thank you very much!

 

Yours truly,

Autumn Wetsel

 

Reflection: I enjoyed writing this letter because it was fun to write out all your opinions on a certain topic, as well as knowing that someone might just receive your letter, and even reply! As said before, please recognize  April 18 to 24 for Animal Cruelty and Human Violence Awareness Week! Thank you for reading!

Weihnachtsmarkt

It was a chilly and snowy night in Bonn, Germany. I stepped into the warm house of the Pfeifers. A candle was burning on the dinner table; it smelled of some type of delicate flower, like a daisy or lavender. I took a deep breath through my nose, just to get a whiff of the scent.

There was something else in the room that you could not miss. Little pieces of paper were all over the shelves on the walls. The little decorations were very eye-catching. However, these weren’t any normal pieces of paper. These were origami, yet not anything like the type normally seen. I could easily tell what each one was. When I looked closely, I could see the intricate folds and creases that were made. I stared in amazement.

“Wow,” my parents remarked, almost simultaneously. Wow, I thought to myself. I wasn’t sure what to think.

“Who made these?” my dad asked.

Mrs. Pfeifer replied, “Veronika. She has always enjoyed origami.” Veronika was Mr. and Mrs. Pfeifer’s daughter. She had hazel-green eyes and long, sleek brown hair. Whenever she spoke in English, there was a sweet German accent to it.

“Yes, I like a lot.”

I had always wondered what it would be like to learn English if it was not your first language.

Mr. and Mrs. Pfeifer welcomed us into their home and my parents began a conversation, as normal adults always do, talking about science or business. My dad had a meeting in Germany, so my mom and I were able to come along on the trip. We were also going to just explore around some of the cities, including Köln and Frankfurt.

Veronika invited me up to her room. Little green and red lights were strung across the walls, and so was even more origami!

Veronika then asked “Would you like do paper folding?” and held up a complex origami kit. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself a little. How am I going to do this? I thought to myself.

I replied “Ok.” We sat down on the floor and she gave me a piece of origami paper. Veronika turned to a page with a crane, or a swan. We went through the steps slowly, and if I didn’t get one of the steps, we both chuckled and she helped me about which fold or crease to do. “Fold here to here,” or “Turn over,” she would say from time to time if there was a step that was in German. I knew Veronika didn’t know that much English, but it was a great experience.

Little red and green lights were strewn across the ceiling. Christmas was coming! Veronika, her parents, her two younger brothers Hans and Johannes, my parents, and I were going to the Christmas Markets the next day. In German, it is called “Weihnachtsmarkt,” (pronounced why-nakts-marked). I was super excited because we were going to see an event in Germany that doesn’t happen all year round.

I opened my eyes. It was the day we were going to the Weihnachtsmarkt! The Weihnachtsmarkt is an annual event, similar to the State Fair, and lasting from about mid-November to Christmas Day. Usually set up with small shops and food booths, you could spend the whole day there!

Veronika and I became more than acquaintances in the first couple hours. I carried around a German visitor’s guide handbook, looking through the book and Veronika teaching me some German. Our two families were just strolling along, pointing out neat things throughout the Weihnachtsmarkt. Hans and Johannes were sword fighting with sticks, Veronika and I were huddled together trying to keep warm, and the adults were talking about traveling and science.

Veronika pointed stopped as we walked past a small Ferris wheel. She said something to her mom in German, which I assumed was that we could go on the Ferris wheel. When we got on, I felt like I could see everything from above! Almost everything was green, red, or yellow. The snow atop the buildings glistened from the warm sunlight. I could feel the wind blow in my face every time the Ferris wheel was at its top point.

​    There was a station where a man was roasting chestnuts. When I took a bite, it was warm and soft in my mouth. Everyone took a bite and exchanged excited glances of the delicious taste. We walked around more and just admired the very Christmassy feeling and sight of everything. The packed snow beneath my feet crunched with each step, and I had a feeling of never wanting to leave the Weihnachtsmarkt, and to just live within the snowy happiness forever.

Leather Bike Seat

from OpenClipArt

Reflection:

I ended up writing this poem because it’s about a thing that I really love,

which is riding my bike. I ride my bike every weekend and I really

enjoy it/ 🙂 I love the feeling of everything described in the poem. 🙂

Leather bike seat,

a creamy cloud white,

shaped like a gourd,

or a deformed heart blob.

Riding on my street,

quiet yet relaxing,

the smooth black road,

beneath the wheels as I ride.

Going uphill,

my hands grip the handlebars,

the pressure on the leather,

the pressure on the pedals,

a sweat upon my forehead.

Going downhill,

my feet relax the pedals.

the feel of being free,

the feel of my hair blowing in the wind,

a breeze upon my face.

Uphill again,

a shifting of the gears,

Downhill again,

a breath of fresh air.

Community Service

Yesterday my advisory went to the Spring Arbor nursing home for community service. I also have another post awhile ago about community service. When my advisory went to Spring Arbor, we did not just bring ourselves, but we also brought some flowers, flower pots, ribbon, and much paint! At first, we started out getting to know the residents, and then we gave each a pot to paint! Our advisory got to paint pots, too. We ended up with some pretty artistic pots! Flowers, designs, and more. Then, our advisory helped place a little “bundle” of flowers in each pot, and each resident took their pot to their room! Oh–I can’t forget! Our advisory also brought goodie bags for the residents that showed up! It was funny to see their reactions to the little goodies! 🙂

 
Near the end, our advisory decided to have some fun. 😉 We put in a “Top 70’s” CD and rocked out! It was very amusing! We thought we were coming to paint flower pots . . . It turned into a dance party!

Visiting Author: Katherine Applegate

On April 25, 2014, Katherine Applegate visited our school. Katherine Applegate is the author of the 2013 Newbery Award winning book “The One and Only Ivan.” I most certainly agree—it did deserve the Newbery Award!

“The One and Only Ivan” is about Ivan, a silverback gorilla who lives in his what he calls his “domain,” or another word for simply an cage-like area with glass all around him, in the “one and only” Big Top Mall. In “The One and Only Ivan,” Ivan learns to make friends, as he is pretty lonely in his domain, besides his stray dog friend, Bob, and elephant friend, Stella. Ivan also wants one thing—have someone to protect. He has no one to protect. Until Ruby, a baby elephant separated from her mother accidentally, arrives at the Big Top Mall. Ruby bonds with Ivan, Stella, and Stella. Stella is a circus elephant, trained to put off a show. However, Ruby is only a baby elephant and is new to the Big Top Mall. You cannot expect Ruby to just hop up on a ball and show off a bunch of tricks! She needs to be trained!

Minecraft

GetFileAttachment-1drawing by Autumn

Something I have loved to do on the computer for maybe a couple years or so is to play Minecraft. Minecraft is a game in which there is a whole world of pixels. You can build almost anything possible to think of. In the drawing above, I show a grass block. The types of surfaces like sand, wood, and stone, come in blocks in which you can place anywhere you’d like. For example, I once built a big “New York City” like town. I built shops, hotels, pools, and much more! I can also create pools that are as deep as the end of the world! Minecraft has all sorts of things, from horses, cows, chickens to even zombies and other good and bad creatures!

Minecraft is a great way to express your creativity and create new things! This is the reason I love Minecraft! When searching in the game, you can find all sorts of biomes, including deserts, plains, jungles, and more. When I grow up, I would like to have the profession of an interior designer, and maybe even architect! Can you tell? I love Minecraft because it almost is like being a real interior designer. It may sound awkward, but I have definitely changed my perspective on how things are built by playing Minecraft; experimenting with new tools and designs. Minecraft is awesome! 🙂

Student Life: Year Two with iPads

GetFileAttachmentIlustration by Autumn

Tap, tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap. Fingertips swipe over the illuminated surface. More tap, tap, tap.

Anything recognizable? Yes, this is the iPad. Last year (2012-13), the middle school was introduced the iPads. The iPads at our school are quite useful for learning. In some classes, we have digital textbooks instead of paperback or hardback. This makes it easier to carry things around. If you have to carry five textbooks around at one time, my arm gets very tired by the end of the day! However, with the use of one iPad, taking five textbooks off your hands, it makes everything much easier.

Another great use for the iPad is the email function. At our school, the students are provided with emails. The emailing system is great for contacting teachers, and even parents, and friends! – just do not email during class! 😀 iPads also have access to Internet, so we can research on the web.

The only downsides in my opinion is the responsibility. Every student needs to charge their iPad every night. Another responsibility is keeping track of your iPad. If you lose it, you’re in a sticky situation. You might just have to pay for a replacement.

The iPads in our school are fantastic, even with some flaws.

Tap, tap, tap.

Oops, sorry about that.

Tap, tap, tap.

CNN Student News for April 1, 2014

photo
drawing of two Atlantic and Indian Ocean gyres by Autumn
Today in Language Arts, we watched a CNN Student News video. Click here to view it.
 
The video talked about an unexpected shooting at an United States army base. Apparently one of the soldiers had a history of mental illness while having a gun he was not supposed to have. He went out of control and injured some soldiers. The reason is left mysteriously unknown.
 
The video also mentioned “gyres.”
 
gyre – \ˈjī(-ə)r\
noun
: a circular or spiral motion or form; a giant circular oceanic surface current
 
If you know, or haven’t known, Malaysian airplane flight #370 went missing about a month ago, but the search for the plane is continuous.
 
These gyres (see an idea in the picture) aren’t just giant oceanic surface currents. These are giant oceanic surface currents with massive loads of debris, harming multiple animals. There are about five know gyres in the oceans. In my drawing, I show two of the gyres; the Atlantic and Indian. Satellites from China located these gyres, but at first thought they were debris from the Malaysian flight #370. The search resumes. Furthermore, the gyres are harming ocean life! I think it is great that people are at least taking an effort to clean up the areas. Imagine if you were a fish, seal, even shark, in the ocean, with a clump of plastic and nets, or other debris just floating at the surface of the ocean. These animals would be attracted to this. If any, let’s say, plastic bottle can perforation packages got wrapped around a dolphin, it could injure it by cutting into its fins. If you see any trash around the beaches, just please pick it up! I mean, I agree, sure it can be pretty yucky, but you can always wash your hands, and you will have done a good deed to the planet, even if it is just helping: one piece at a time.
 
Thanks for your attentiveness! Bye!
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