My first day in One Room

Dear Jerry,
My first week at One Room was pretty awesome. The first day I was nervous because I didn’t know anybody, except the girls that I played volleyball with in the beginning of the semester. I met a lot of new people the first day, I really don’t talk to people because I’m pretty shy and I only talk if they talk to me first because I don’t want to be rude. We had to wear name tags so we would know each others names, and in the middle of the day we got donuts!! The second day (Tuesday) I was still nervous and I talked a lot in order to get to know the people around me, they seem really nice and I’m glad that I got to meet them. The third day (Wednesday) I got a copy of the book Pride and Prejudice. I started reading it and I thought it was so boring. The grammar was so bad I didn’t want to read it one bit, but then I continued reading it and in the middle of the book I started to like it. Chemistry class is fun we get to do labs and all kinds of other thing. I had never done a lab before and finally getting to learn how to do them is really interesting. I did my Geometry on the computer and I finally understand it thanks to my awesome new teachers. On Thursday and Friday I did my work at home and I absolutely love it because I get to sleep in and do my work whenever I want. That was my first week at one room!
– Bethany
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A day in One Room

Dear Jerry,
28 kids in One Room might sound chaotic…and trust me, it kind of is. In One Room the grades range from 2nd grade to the 12th grade. This classroom is a place where fun and learning combine. We’ve done everything from getting a lecture by a library cop to naming a fan Bob. A day in One Room is pretty crazy and exciting. When we do our math or grammar we listen to music while being crazy at the same time. We’ve been to a private museum and slid down a firehouse pole, we’ve had kids fall out of their chairs, we’ve had pajama and junk food parties, and many other fun things. In science we have
dissected hearts and brains. There have been times where we just got a little out of control. But we have our awesome teacher Miss Sarah to keep us in check, and to keep us studying. We also do devotions in the morning; we learn new things everyday about the people God used and how wonderful our Savior is. Our break time is just as interesting as when we’re in class learning. The kids get together and eat lunch and we usually let our crazy side show and have music blaring. Now you may be thinking “Do these kids learn anything?” Well, yes we do. One Room isn’t always fun and games. There are many times when we need to be serious and focus on our work. If we aren’t on track we lose Dojo points. The Dojo is how our teacher keeps us in check. If we don’t do as we’re told or don’t behave, we lose points. But if we are good we either gain points or just stay at 100%.
In One Room each kid also has personalities and talents. Most of the kids in the classroom play sports while others have musical or artistic abilities. Some of the kids are quiet while others like to talk. Some like free hugs while others prefer a fist bump. It’s also a place where imagination goes wild. Each morning we start out with doing writing prompts so our brains wake up. We get to choose scenarios, make up our own characters, and write down what we like to do. This also helps us for when we do our novels. In the month of November we expand our minds and imagination by writing and publishing our own novels (This is known as National Novel Writing Month or NANOWRIMO). Although we have the pressure of having to reach our word goals by the end of the month, the perk is that we have no grammar for the whole month of November. Overall, One Room is a place where we can do academic things and still have a good time.
– Melany

The Life of a Geek: Cons and Costume-making

Dear Jerry,

The blogging hiatus finally is over! I’m sure that being a dead lizard can be quite boring at times, so I thought it would be fun you share with you my experience of preparing to go to my first comic convention. Before I start, it would probably be best to explain to you what a comic convention is first.
A “comic con” is a massive convention where nerds/geeks have the opportunity to dress up (aka cosplay) as any of their favorite characters (fictional or nonfictional) and spend all of their money on comic books and other nerdy things of that sort. It’s basically Nerd Heaven.

Towards the end of August, I had the amazing opportunity to go to the 2014 Baltimore Comic Con. As soon as I got my parents’ permission to go, I immediately began working on a costume to wear during the 3 days that the convention was taking place. The person that I chose to cosplay as was The Winter Soldier [aka Bucky Barnes] from the movie, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”. The reason why I chose him was because he was/is one of my favorite Marvel characters and I think his costume looks super awesome.
Now I am not going to give a long, step-by-step tutorial regarding how I made the costume, especially because I am still very much an amateur. However, I will try my best to summarize the process.
The first thing that I had to do was make a plan by doing a ton of research. I literally spent hours watching tutorials and going on various websites to figure out the most inexpensive and efficient ways to make a costume similar to The Winter Soldier’s before I bought anything. Researching and planning are some of the most essential parts to making a good costume, especially when you know little to nothing about the processes. The last thing I wanted to do is buy a bunch of materials only to find out later that they wouldn’t work.
Eventually, I was able to work out a reasonably easy plan using my research and some help from a friend of mine. Now when the time came to actually creating the costume, I think the most challenging part was the arm. The Winter Soldier has a robotic metal arm, so I had to create my own version of it using craft foam. I won’t go into details but basically what I did was I made a two-piece model out of my arm out of duct tape/masking tape, then I hot glued pieces of the foam onto those bases, and I finished by spray painting the two arm pieces.
In the end, I managed to complete the whole costume within a month or so. It was a lot more frustrating work than I expected, but I was very proud of the results. Then being able to go and hang out at a convention while wearing my own creation was such an awesome experience. I got to take a bunch of pictures with other cosplayers and I got to see and do so many things. It was totally worth all of that effort.

Anyway, this was a very exciting experience project for me and I would definitely recommend trying it if you are interested.
Talk to you soon, Jerry!

-Hannah M

A Double Holiday?

Dear Jerry,
I know its been a while- life just gets in the way you know, and opportunities to write you have been slim. Anyway, enough with that; I feel that you would be interested in hearing how this year’s Super Bowl “Holiday” was a big day indeed! A few weeks ago it was the thought of the Super Bowl coming up that excited me. Then it was determined which teams were going to actually be playing. The excitement quickly plummeted. A few days later I was quite intrigued that my birthday looked to be landing on the same Sunday as the Super Bowl. Really? I had to check the calender another time. Sure enough, February 1st, my birthday, was on the same day as the Super Bowl.

Coincidence? I think so.

Before I knew it, the day quickly approached. I went to church that morning and though I knew I was in fact a year older, I kept wondering, couldn’t it have been a slightly bigger digit? The answer was clear. No. I dropped into the nursery to cover for one of the ladies who had not shown up and once she arrived I headed back to Bible Study. I only made it, let’s say a quarter of a foot outside of the nursery door (in other words, I wasn’t entirely in or out) before I ran into Melissa K. “Happy Birthday!” I replied with a “Happy early Birthday,” as well. “It’s so weird,” she started, “that we both have the same birthday. I mean I am a year older but still, the same birthday on Super Bowl Sunday.” Whoa! I had to rethink that for a moment. That’s right! It had finally registered – we both were the birthday girls. Melissa and I talk – regularly even – and yet the subject of ‘birthdays’ just never came up. Could it be that you could go speaking to a person, long conversations at a time, week after week and not ever find out until a week before that your birthdays happen to land on the same day? Well, we just proved to y’all that it is a quite easy thing to do. At least we got as far as knowing we were a year apart. (Whew!) Anyway, after recovering from the shock of nearly being knocked down and having a brain that just got mind blown, we walked to Bible study together. The word had already spread and we were told that they were going to sing for us. Oh lovely.

Melissa left class early and left me there alone when the voices began. I sat there, embarrassed, listening to the slightly out of tune voices. In the moment I really did not appreciate the singing, but later, it made me smile. And then there was the other half of the day still under way. I decided to have tacos for dinner because I knew it wasn’t the healthiest meal and it was one I quite love, so why not? We had everything set out that you can think of that would logically belong on a taco (Or maybe there were a few ‘odd’ things there as well. I will leave it up to you as to which theory you want to believe. 🙂 I used the command “Dig in” to its full extent and ended up eating redundantly. How many did I eat? Well… lets just say they were really good tacos, so good that I ate close to a dozen of them. Shocked? Don’t be, food and I seem to have a real connection. More details about perhaps some of the awkward things I put on?

Really, yes?

Sorry, I think I am going to let that idea pass and move on to a more reasonable topic. Guys banging heads and chasing after a ball. Yeah, I really think that sounds like much more reasonable. (Haha) Apparently I was one of the few who were not so jazzed about the Sea Hawks and Patriots playing in the Super Bowl. If you know me well you will know that I am a die hard sports fan, and that football is a sport I love dearly. (And you would get an extra bonus if you happen to know that the Dallas cowboys are my favorite football team.) The bottom line is that even though I watched the game in its entirety (merely because I like watching football in general and watching them bang heads over a ball is quite amusing) I was not too crazy about the teams playing. I have to say though that if I really had to favor a team I would have gone with the Sea Hawks mainly because of a rumor that the Patriots were playing with a deflated ball. Before all you Patriot fans go defensive, know that I am a fan of debates but I am not a fan of debating over the Patriots so you are free from that. (for now anyway) Clearly the excitement of February 1st being such an action packed, double holiday this year has lead me to write a bit more than I am supposed to. (Okay, by ‘a bit more’ I am trying to say it was only by a couple hundred words!!) I just had to tell you all about it Jerry, and I’m sure you will forgive me.
~ Sarah