Being Best Friends Does Not Mean Being Inseparable

Dear Jerry,
As I have written about in previous posts, I moved down to Florida from Michigan. I moved when I was 13 years old, and as you know, by that point in your life, you usually already have a best friend. My best friend’s name was/is Cameron. She and I have been best friends ever since we were 3 years old. From the first day we met we were always close, literally, she lived one house down from me for over 10 years.

We spent our summers running through sprinklers, playing with water balloons (mainly just making them our “babies”), having picnics, playing house, having lemonade stands or selling anything else we could get our hands on, and sometimes we would play with “rolly pollies” (if you do not know what I’m talking about, you had a terrible childhood). And when it wasn’t summer, we would spend everyday after school together playing in the snow (if there was any), playing in each others basements (because we lived in Michigan and everyone had basements), watching movies, and again play some more house, because when you’re little, that is one of the most fun things to do. Let’s just say her and I had a GREAT childhood together.

Then one day I was walking down the sidewalk from Cam’s house, and saw a for-sale sign in my front yard. As a 13 year old girl, this rocked my world. Everything I had known was about to change, because I knew that meant we were moving to Florida like my parents had always talked about, and away from my best friend, and two older siblings. When I walked inside my house that afternoon my dad explained to me how the economy was not that great, and it would probably take over a year to sell the house. Well God had a different plan and our house was sold within 3 weeks. I was so terrified to tell Cam that I ended up telling her on a car ride with her family in the car so she couldn’t kill me.

We ended up moving 2 weeks later and I had to say goodbye to my best friend. But what I didn’t realize when we left is that I had this amazing thing called a phone, and we talk/talked all the time, and sometimes we even write letters to each other because that is just so much fun! Since my older sister Stephanie still lives in Michigan with her husband, we go up there all the time, and I still go to see Cam. While it was still hard to leave and not get to see my best friend all the time, we are still friends and we still talk all the time. In fact we both went and got our prom dresses recently (separately obviously) and come to find out, we ended up with pretty similar colored dresses! We live 1,500 miles away from each other, but we still think the same. So my advice to you is that if you are going threw the same thing, don’t worry, things get better and no matter what people tell you, you can still be best friends.

-Maddy

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Being an Aunt

Dear Jerry,

I have been an aunt for 4 years now and I thank God every day for it! Being an aunt is a wonderful thing. I have two nieces and one nephew and I love them all so much. God has used them teach me so much and I look forward to watching them grow up and getting to take them on all sort of fun adventures!

My first niece, Alaythia Joy Davis, made me an aunt in 2010. She brought us much joy for all 24 weeks of her life. Though I never got to meet her, I hold onto the hope of seeing her one day in the presence of our Lord.

My second niece, Emily Grace Davis, is 1 going on 16. She is crazy and keeps us on our toes. She brings so much joy to my life and I love watching her grow and learn. Her sinful nature is starting to show more, but I still love her with all my heart!

My first nephew, William (Liam) Allen Sissons is not yet out of his mother’s belly! But Lord willing, I will be holding him within the next month. I cannot even imagine how much fun it will be to add a boy into the crazy mix. I am so excited to meet him soon and start our great adventures together!

Being an Aunt has been such a blessing to me and I can’t wait to (hopefully) have more nieces and nephews in the future!

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Emily Grace

Hannah

Having Two Snakes

Dear Jerry,

I recently got another snake! I know that this is not very welcome news to you, since you are a lizard, but bear with me and please finish the letter. The snake I got is a Red Amelanistic Corn Snake. Amelanistic means that it has much less or no black pigment in its scales. Mine has a little black, but is still Amelanistic nevertheless. It is about two and a half feet long and will grow to a maximum length of around four feet. It is very active (I say “it” because I have not determined the gender yet) and will sometimes squirm wildly to escape my hands if I accidentally startle him/her.
Snakes are, in a way, one of the easiest pets to care for. They can eat as infrequently as once every three weeks (Ball Python) or once every two weeks (Corn Snake). The biggest thing to worry about when you have a snake is keeping their food, frozen rats, away from other surfaces. Obviously, frozen rats are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and microbes. Another important thing to remember about snakes is they need to be held every day. If you leave them in their tank for a long time without holding them, they will become hostile. They will probably bite and/or hiss at you if you go to pick them up. I have been bitten exactly four times by my snakes. Once by the python, and three times by the Corn Snake. I really enjoy spending time with my pets because they are fun and amusing.
I have loved snakes since I was little and I have always tried to catch every one I saw. Once, I saw a Coral snake sunning itself. I immediately went inside and changed into jeans, two pairs of long sleeved shirts and three pairs of socks in boots. I went straight back out and caught that snake. The reason I changed into these clothes is because Coral snakes are extremely venomous, but their fangs are so small they cannot pierce thick clothing. I played with it for a while and shocked a couple of my neighbors, then I let it go. In the image below, the picture on the left is a Coral snake ( not the same one that I caught), and the one on the right is my newest snake, Cyprian.
All told, I love snakes because they are easy to care for, they are relatively inexpensive to keep and feed, and they are (to me) very fun creatures. I would get more, but I am running out of space for cages. Too bad. I love snakes, and people who don’t like them probably need a little education on them, and they would like them too.

M
Sincerely,
Zachary.

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Two Sons of Adam, Two Daughters of Eve

Dear Jerry,
The end of the school year is approaching quickly, and that means so is our Narnia play that we have been working on. When we started the year we did not know that we were going to do it, but as time went on, we realized it was something we wanted to do instead of choir; and I am so glad we did.
In February we had play auditions and got our scripts for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I was so excited because I got the part I auditioned for and wanted very much, and that was Susan, she is one of the four children. What I did not know when I auditioned for it, was that Susan has A LOT of lines, and is in most of the scenes. This part also looked very daunting to me because I have never been in a play before, and it seemed that it be a lot of hard work, which is it, but it will be worth it. I know that sounds crazy to a lot of people because I am 17 and a senior, but the fact is that I am home-schooled so I didn’t have any opportunities until now.
We are planning on having the play on May 23rd, and that is coming much faster than I would like it to, but I know it will be amazing. Everyone involved has already put so much hard work into it, and we are continuing to do so. Play practices have been so hysterical and sometimes I wonder how we get anything done, but we do and it just keeps looking better and better. One thing I love about the play is that there is some pretty epic fight scenes that are also continuing to look better every day!
Our amazing teacher has done such a great job with keeping us focused and getting the best out of us, even though we tend to lose it sometimes. Not only will the play be so fun, it also has such a great story line, about our Savior that came to this earth to save us from our wicked sins. All I can say is that when the lights go on, you need to be there!

-Maddy

Breaking Down Dystopia: The Giver – Part 2

Dear Jerry,

Today, I will be talking about how the Giver dystopia broke down. (Warning, Spoilers)
The world of the giver was constructed with nobody having choices, but there was a vital flaw. One person, the Giver, has all the memories. But once he gets old, he has to pass his memories on to a new person. But once somebody gets the memories, he is not allowed to tell anybody about them, not even his family or close friends. The Giver has a tough life. He has emotions that nobody else has. He lives, hiding his life and what he does from others including his family and friends.
Jonas is chosen to be the new Giver. He is a young obedient boy, not sure what he wants to do. When he starts to receive memories from the current Giver, it was very hard on him because he wanted to share the memories with his family. During his training he discovers that when somebody is released from the community they are actually killed and not “sent away” as the community is led to believe by the counsel of elders. Jonas then planned to leave the community without anyone knowing except the Giver. But their plans were foiled when the child named Gabe that was staying at Jonas’s house was scheduled to be released. Jonas took Gabe and left the community at night and when he was far away, the memories that he had been given from the Giver that were stored in Jonas’ head started to return to the community.
In the end it came down to this. When people are required to do something specific, anything really, you will come to a person that will mess it all up. In the world of the Giver it worked as long as nobody had choices. In the Giver, Jonas made choices and it shattered the world.

 

National Poetry Month – Haikus

Dear Jerry,

In honor of National poetry month, the crazy students of One Room have embraced the opportunity to let their minds go wild and use their imagination to come up with Haikus. You don’t have to be Japanese or a relative of Albert Einstein to write Japanese Poetry. This did surprise us; but with our wild imagination not limited, each student managed to come up with an exceptionally great Haiku in 5 minutes worth of time. Each Haiku emphasizes simplicity and puts the wonderful minds of the students on display expressing each individual personality in three lines; the first consisting of five syllables, the second seven, and the third five. Feel free to participate in National Poetry month yourself, if you haven’t already, it only takes a little inspiration and a wonderful mind to create a simple expressive poem.
– Max: age 10
Louise’s surgery
The doctor’s did very good
The owner was proud
– Nash: age 12
My name is Nash Marks
I play football for the storms
I am really awesome
– Jimmy: age 12
Hi I am Jimmy
And I love Miss Geico lots
Very much yes I do
– David: age 14
Fresh brain shishkabobs
Crunchy heart and gut wongtongs
Zombies on the loose
– Mya: age 14
I do not like math
but I have to do it anyway
I’m in love with bacon
– Melany: age 14
Horses wildly run
They go so fast under the sun
They have lots of fun
– Caroline: age 15
Poems are awesome
Haikus are ridiculous
Candy is awesome
– Sarah: age 15
We have seven crazy dogs
Some of which like to chase hogs
Sulfuric acid
– Zack: age 16
I like shooting guns
They are really loud and cool
Carbonic acid
– Richmond: age 16
I am exhausted
But it’s exciting really
I have not slept really
– Hannah: age 16
I do not like poems
Haikus are much more better
Photosynthesis
– Maddy: age 17
My dog ate my horse
And then my cat ran away
My parrot is cool

Chemistry

Dear Jerry,

I and three other fellow One Room classmates have almost completed our chemistry class and I have enjoyed almost every second of it. We study our final lesson next Tuesday. We learned all about ions and compounds. Reactions and atomic weights. Our teacher, Mrs. Becca, did an amazing job explaining all of the more difficult concepts and helping us through those hard problems. We saw just how complicated the world of chemistry really is. This complicated world shows quite a bit of evidence for the intelligent design worldview. How can a random process such as evolution create the world, with all of it’s laws and rules? The logical answer is, is that it can’t. Anyway, there was one moment in our entire chemistry class that absolutely fascinated me. I loved learning about ions and forming compounds. It is very interesting to find out the charge of each ion and to figure out how to balance the compounds so that their net electrical charge equaled zero. Some of my classmates were less then enthusiastic about some parts of chemistry and so was I at some points. But I think I could safely say we enjoyed it. I remember at the beginning of the class, I asked if we would have to me or use the Periodic Table. Mrs. Becca replied that we weren’t required to do so but we would memorize parts of it anyway. She was right. Most of the common elements that we worked with in our problems now are indelibly burned into the psyches of myself and my classmates. We can tell you the atomic weight of sodium. Or the charge of a chlorine ion. We can even tell you the number of electrons orbiting around the nucleus of most of the elements on the table. We might be nerds, now that we have taken chemistry, but you can’t have a school without some chemistry nerds!

Sincerely, Zachary