Is horse back riding a sport?

Dear Jerry,
Do you think horse back riding is a sport? If you don’t hopefully this will change your mind.
Here are a few reasons to back-up my argument.
The first and most common reason people think horse back riding isn’t a sport is because they say that the rider doesn’t have to do anything, all they do is sit on the horse and the horse does all the work. Well this argument is very incorrect. If a rider just sat on the horse and didn’t do anything the horse would either stand there, go find a patch of grass, or take off; depends on the breed of horse you have. Another thing wrong about that statement is horse back riders have major leg muscles from kicking, squeezing and even steering the horse. Try riding bareback on a horse, you’ll quickly realize you need leg muscle. Also another type of riding that requires major leg muscle is jumping. Every time the rider goes over the jump s/he has to squeeze with his or her legs to get the horse to stretch it’s legs depending on the height of the jump. Therefore, the rider does not just sit there and do nothing. Most of the time the rider makes it look easy and people may think the horse is doing all the work, but this is false.
Secondly, in horse back riding you can compete in horse shows where you get judged, there is a winner and loser. You get judged by many different things. It mainly depends on if you are doing showmanship, western pleasure, barrel racing, jumping, hunter jumper.; the judges watch for different things in different events. Having competition, and winning or losing is a key ingredient to something being a sport.
Thirdly, us riders train. Another aspect of sports is that you’ve got to train. The definition of training could mean two different things. Training as in training a young horse to do whatever riding style the rider/trainer wants to teach the horse to be able to do, or it could mean train as in the horse is already broken in and is ride able but the rider and the horse train together.
There are some cases where the rider does not compete and just rides for the fun of it, is that still a sport? Yes. The rider still needs balance, leg muscle and needs to know how to ride, therefore they had to do some type of training. If people say that horse back riding is not a sport, then why should gymnastics be called a sport? People only say that because you can actually see the athlete doing the work, with horse back riding however, you just show your talent through how the horse behaves. The horse is the riders “teammate”. How would you like having a teammate that weighs 2,000 pounds and has the ability of killing you instantly?
 in conclusion I’d like to add that I’ve been riding and training horses for eight years so obviously I am going to be defensive about my sport, but I have talked to many people who do not ride and they have agreed that horse riding is in fact a sport.
If these facts aren’t enough then here is a link to a video that touches on some points that I don’t. If you still don’t agree with me, well then I’m very sorry for you.
-Mya Marks

Unicorn breeding

Dear Jerry,
Have you ever thought what if we could have Unicorns in our present day and age? I mean has anyone ever tried to make a Unicorn? I was sitting in school one day when I had this idea pop into my head, what would happen if someone bred a horse to a rhino? And then my friends told me I should write my blog about it. Let’s pretend for the sake of this post that all the rules with genes don’t apply. This is my first blog post so I will try to explain it as best I can. Ok so we know the fact a horse and a rhino are two different species slight dilemma, but people cross breed species all the time and they usually turn out good. I mean they took a horse and a zebra and bread them and the foal was only half striped. Now I’m not saying that if someone bred a horse and rhino that the baby would look exactly like how we picture a unicorn to be today, but wouldn’t the baby have a horn? What color would the baby be? Would it be grey or the color of its horse parent? Would its body be slim or fat? These are just some of the many questions that could be answered if someone tried to make a Unicorn and were successful. Now I realize a rhino is too big for a horse to carry it in its womb, so the rhino would have to be the one to carry the baby because otherwise the horse probably couldn’t give birth to the rhino-horse baby. I hope someone out there will read this blog post and be inspired to go cross breed a horse and a rhino but for right now I hope you all enjoyed my blog post about the possibility of creating real live Unicorns. -Sincerely Caroline

My Favorite Type of Music

Dear Jerry,

My favorite kind of music is metalcore. If you were to ever hang around with me, then you would probably hear me say something along those lines on more than one occasion. But, since you’re only an [un]dead lizard and probably don’t really listen to music, you may be wondering, “What is metalcore?” Well, in order to understand metalcore, first you have to know what metal is.
Metal is a genre of music [music is like an organized series of sounds that humans like to listen to and/or create] similar to rock [which is another kind of music…. Not an actual rock], but typically metal is heavier and more aggressive. Now, metalcore is a sub-genre of heavy metal. There are many other kinds of sub-genres as well; some of my favorites include, extreme metal, death metal, deathcore, and thrash metal. These sub-genres, in particular, are obviously much more extreme and are usually defined by aggressively-paced guitars/drums and the lead vocalist’s brutal growling [technically called a “death growl”] instead of singing.
Now, before I move on, I want to be clear that there are many more sub-genres of metal that are less intense. But, quite frankly, I don’t know much about them because they do not interest me as much. So, I’m not going to get into them right now.
So now that you know what metal is, I will briefly tell you what many favorite genres and bands are and a few of my reasons why.
I grew up listening to all of the typical, popular Christian songs that you would hear on the radio or on a WOW Hits CD. But, do not misunderstand me, Jerry; I am not saying that there is anything wrong with those types of songs/styles of music. I was just so tired of hearing the same songs over and over again. So, when I came across a Christian hard-rock band called “Skillet” I was instantly hooked. It amazed me that was possible to worship God through such an “edgy” style of music. So, after becoming completely obsessed with them, I began to search for more aggressive metal bands. [e.g. RED, We as Human, Demon Hunter, etc.] And each time I found one band, I would search for another that was even more aggressive. The more intense the music was, the better. And eventually I discovered metalcore.
Metalcore is basically raw emotion. Intense screams/growls, sick guitar riffs, and some bands will even mix other instruments into their songs as well. It’s this incredible intensity that makes your hair stand on-end [well, if you had hair]…. I can’t quite explain the feeling. They just pour all of their hearts and souls into praising God in the best way that they possibly can. It’s incredible. Some of my favorite bands in this genre include; For Today, August Burns Red, Living Sacrifice, and The Devil Wears Prada.
Finally death metal is just…. Insane, to say the least. The music is incredibly fast-paced, aggressive, and very loud. It is one of those styles that you either love to no end or you absolutely cannot tolerate. “Impending Doom” is an excellent example of a Christian death metal band.
A lot of people have asked me why I like these styles of music. And honestly, I can’t really explain it…. I just love all the darkness, passion, anger, extreme intensity, and worship [Impending Doom fans like to call it “Goreship”] that are in these kinds of songs. I can just feel the raw emotion coursing through my veins. It is such an awesome feeling….
Now, as much as I would love to go into why Christian death metal/metalcore is such an incredible ministry, that is a topic for another day. But, if you have not yet had the chance to experience this wickedly awesome genre of music, I would encourage you to check out any of the bands that I have listed in this post. They are devout Christians and are truly using their God-given gifts to preach the Gospel to best of their ability.
I don’t know if all this made very much sense to you, Jerry. You’re only a zombified lizard after all… I think the only way for you to really understand is to listen for yourself.

-Hannah M

Nighttime shooting


Dear Jerry,
  I woke to hear the dogs barking frantically. It’s 1:30 in the morning and I yelled to the dogs to be quiet and then witness them not becoming any quieter. Each of the dogs have their own personality; though they are mostly quiet when they need to be, when there’s something up you can usually tell. Sarah proves this theory quite well. She is a help to our family in many ways. (just like me: same name and all.:) She has this thing where she is completely freaked out about thunderstorms, causing her to go in panic mode and curl in the back of her box panting. She is our super hero. She is our weather forecaster, saves us money when buying dog food because when there is a storm she doesn’t eat, she only barks when there is a reason to, she has an awesome name and she is an exceptionally good hunting dog.
I yelled to the dogs and for a moment they were quiet as can be. A split second later Sarah starts carrying on again. I knew something was up. I hear yelling and screaming coming from the house across the street as if there was a big argument taking place. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that there was, but regardless, I sit and wait. All of a sudden I hear gun shots going off at least 4 or 5 times sending all of the dogs barking top notch, my heart racing, and my dad running down the stairs yelling at me behind him to stay upstairs. After a bit the dogs began to settle down, definitely not going to sleep, but pretending to with one eye closed and one open still on alert.
Later the next day my dad went outside and talked to the man across the street who seemed to be putting suitcases on the driveway and
 using the vacuum to suck up all extra glass in the back of both cars. The red jeep and blue van sure got shot up pretty good; the back of both windshields were shattered to pieces and both of the car’s fronts were damaged as well. The shooter just pulled the trigger as he was speeding away in his Ford pickup. What an idiot.The night before, when the shooting took place, Zachary was outside talking on the phone, (Yes you guessed right. It in fact happened to be at 1:30 in the morning.) and the guy on the other line (who was the shooter) was furious. A few months ago Zach came home with a new “friend” from school and this “friend” needed a place to stay, so Zach’s parents willingly let the guy live with them. I hate to call this boy a “guy” so let’s just call him John. Anyway, John began stealing from the houses in the neighborhood as well as from Zach’s family. As soon as his thievery was discovered, he was immediately kicked out.As Zach was talking to him in the middle of the night, John had reached his boiling point and was ready for his act of revenge to take place.That was when he drove by and shot the cars,shot at Zach (who managed to hide behind one of the pillars in the front of his house) and managed to shoot through the front door all the way through the house. Luckily, the bullet soured over the couch where Zack’s two siblings were sprawled out sleeping and did not harm them.
Not that I am congratulating the guy for shooting both of my neighbor’s cars, but couldn’t he have done something non- life threatening like keying the side of the doors or something? I tell you, people are just crazy, especially when they get caught up in their sinful ways and foolishly decide not to come home at 2:00 in the morning. (Its so funny to think that lizards like you don’t have issues like this to deal with, but then again I would not want to be in your shoes when it comes to having to hide constantly so you don’t get eaten by other animals. I will happily pass on that one.)
The only thing I can say is that they are truly lucky that nobody was hurt, or better yet, nobody was killed and that they are all safe now. A few days later, they packed up their belongings entirely and moved out. I am afraid to think about what it is going to be like when my children get to be my age. The crime may be unimaginable and so great I as well as everyone may not be able to let our munchkins out of our sight for a split second at any time. It’s sad that I felt threatened to walk outside my own house during the year 2014. What is it going to be like in a year from now? What about 2017?
~Sarah

first day of school

Dear Jerry,
    I’ve never had communication with a dead lizard before now, but I’ve been told that I have to and I have nothing better to do, so hi!  I’m going to tell you about my first day at school (because I’ve been told to).
    My first day at school wasn’t actually the first day of school.  I was on vacation the first day of school.  I didn’t really know what to expect.  I had popped in and out of One Room before, but I have actually participated in any of the activities.  I was excited, however I was trying to figure out if it was a good excitement or bad excitement.  The first day definitely proved interesting.  When the day began I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.  I was able to figure it out for the most part, but there are still a few inside jokes that I don’t fully understand (although I’m not sure that I want to).  The work I was given wasn’t too hard, and it helped that I had other students to help me when I needed it.  We started with a writing prompt, and I wrote about having an evil clone that I can’t defeat.  I got to say, it didn’t feel much like school so far, but I wasn’t complaining.  We moved on to reading the beginning of Genesis, copying parts of John 1 into a special journal, and a bunch of other stuff.  When break arrived, I didn’t really feel like I needed it (aside from the fact that I was hungry and wanted to eat).  The last two hours of school went by fast, and before I knew it, I was on my way home.  The day was filled with a lot of both fun and strange things, and in the end I was happy that I wasn’t at home doing school in my room and being bored to death.  One Room is actually, possibly, maybe, sort of, kind of… fun (or at the very least interesting).
    -Chris

First day of school

Dear Jerry,

This isn’t the first day of school but I figured better late then never right. Where to start I really couldn’t tell you most of the people in the class are regulars at the church. Its nothing like public school so I am thankful for that. Scared or nervous, no i don’t get scared when it comes to this kind of stuff. But I will tell you this this classroom can get pretty loud if it wants to especially the middle schoolers,WOW, can they get loud me and Richmond (the guy who sits across from me) almost had to yell at them when Miss Sarah was in the other room.The classes in themselves aren’t that hard chemistry is a lot different then it was in public school but in a good way I’m not rushed and thats what I like about it so far. The other little things like History, Math, English are expected in a school environment so those will get more interesting in time. This may not make any sense,  because you don’t really know me and I’ve never written a blog before and now I’m just kinda rambling so you got to forgive me on that part. but all in all i actually think this school year will go smoothly… hopefully. And now I’ve ran out of ideas so I’m going to go ahead and send it now. Oh and Jerry even though your a dead lizard and even though I’ve never met you I think you and me would’ve gotten along. Good talk.
Sincerely Austin

First day of school

Dear Jerry,
My first day of school was a fun, new experience that was very interesting, but fantastic. I was quite nervous on the way there in the morning. I was also quite sad. Last year I was in the online academy at Evangelical Christian School. After playing sports last year at ECS, which included Swimming, Golf, Basketball and Track and Field and getting to know the coaches, I thought that that would be where I would graduate from high school. Apparently not. That sadness is gone now that I have seen how fun One-Room is! I also found out that I had nothing to be nervous about, like always.
I really enjoyed being in a classroom like setting again. After all, I spent several years actually attending ECS 6 1/2 years ago. Another thing I enjoyed was my group, the sophomoresThey kept me laughing most of the day. Every one of them is great. I’m very happy to have Miss Sarah as my teacher. You would think with twenty-four students she wouldn’t have enough time to work with everyone, but she does! We still get to do all the normal subjects like Algebra, Biology, English, Spanish, Bible, Creative Writing, World History, World Geography and American Sign Language. And of course, one thing I enjoy very much is being able to be home for Thursday and Friday. It’s very nice being able to do some fun things with your family while you do your school work!
expected my first day in One-Room would be slightly different then what it really was. I thought you would just be seated randomly and we would do our work by ourselves. I was wrong. One thing I was right on was that we have to do a lot of reading and writing. My mom said a while ago that my sisters and I would love One-Room, and she was right. I guess mother does know best! I am very much looking forward to the year ahead, and all the things I will get to do with One-Room. -Stephen