Off to Aussie!

Standing. Waiting. Standing. Waiting. I was so sick of standing up, I felt like falling asleep on the floor. Basically, that was impossible anyway because the room was crammed. You know when you get to the point of being so bored, that throwing lolly wrappers at people sounds fun? Well, that’s about the only thing I could do to entertain myself. I didn’t actually try it although I was being tempted really bad. Just when you think you’re gonna scream, the doorways open and we’re in a long line leading towards the plane.

Finally! Like finally! I said finally! Never again. I let the frustration slip away, as we boarded the plane. We shuffled through the single aisle, watching as people filed into their seats. At least we had mini TV’s to occupy ourselves with. Three hours of this shouldn’t be too hard right?

Agoonyy! Pure agony! Not three hours, but six! Six whole hours in a plane with seats so straight you couldn’t even slouch! I’m not even going to bother explaining why our flight took six hours, instead of three.

Well, now we’re in our motel, which is okay. It’s right where we need it to be anyway. Cool thing is, it has a huge rooftop which was fun for taking photos and playing around and stuff. The view is just buildings and buildings with loads of traffic crammed between them. I don’t even think the cars were moving, it looked like they had just parked in the middle of the road. How many traffic jams does this place go through a day?

Anyway, we travel by train most of the time, and they are always super crammed! Well, most of the time, its a huge relief when you find heaps of seats empty. We’ve been doing some of our activities here, such as the aquariums and zoos, and we’ve seen the fun park we’re visiting the day before we leave. It’s so cool, and it happens to be by the harbour, where the Opera House is!

Well this is like, 1/4 of our trip, I’ll write more later. This is getting way to long!

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My Personal Response

Be Counted by Amy Phelps

21/11/14, Friday.

In the story Be Counted, a young girl takes you on a journey in what was most likely the best and worst year of her childhood, even more so, her entire life.
Amy Phelps records almost every event she witnessed during her very first year outside if her hometown in Central New Zealand. From witnessing the day the Electoral Bill was signed, and women were finally given the right to vote in New Zealand, to seeking the disappearance of a girl she considered a friend, and experiencing the death of her father and an unnamed baby sister who never saw the world. Amy is followed by something that will ensure her life is never completely normal. How does her journey start? More importantly, how does it end?
I was amazed by how such a simply written book could grip my emotions. Personally, I don’t have a profoundly large taste for autobiographies. This book was probably the simplest of all autobiographies, but yet it held so much depth and history. It revealed a dark past that I never knew New Zealand had. Reading this, it wasn’t hard to imagine living your life on the streets, and suffering every day wondering what you would eat, where you would sleep, and how long you would live? I didn’t realize how much of an affect “giving women the right to vote” had on these awful situations. This book helped me understand that over time, women were able to get an education and study any profession they wanted, health care was free, factories with horrible working conditions were changed, and overall women gained more respect. It showed me the true power of determination and will, and made me feel grateful to be born in this era.
When the writer finds herself in Dunedin, she is faced with ideas beyond her years and at first doesn’t know what to make of it all. The comparison between the life she led at home, and the life she lives now are shown many times throughout the book. For instance, she discovers the lingering unfairness of working in factories, by talking with someone who worked in a factory herself. Amy records this incident in her diary, “The overseer has the power to dock a person’s pay if they are not working properly. Sometimes, Pamela told me, if the overseer does not like someone, he finds an excuse to dock their pay anyway.” Amy also talks with her Uncle, he gives her the full truth of how cruel things used to be. “Up until a few years ago,” he says, “the people who owned the factories had paid whatever they felt like, and that the workers had to work long, hard hours in very bad conditions. Some got sick or even died and, as times got harder, they often couldn’t even earn enough money to live on. Even pregnant women, and children who were supposed to be in school were working in some of those places…” These are stories I’ve never heard of happening in New Zealand before, to be honest, I was astounded.
This just shows that things like poverty, greed, and unfairness will never die. They are everywhere, even in the most least likely places of all. Comparing our century to Amy’s century, it is clear to see that we have come a long way since then. But, it still makes you think to yourself, how many homeless children are walking the streets of our towns and cities. How many families truly need help, but are somehow unable to receive it? It’s horrible to think that people still suffer these sorts of conditions around the world, especially when they don’t need to.
The character I remember most was Amy’s Aunt Delia. It was obvious that she was a very determined and headstrong with a very confident aura about her. Amy admired her immensely for this and often commented on it. Aunt Delia stood strong in all of her beliefs, and very few dared to defy her words. She was never one to lose her temper, and won her way out of every argument with a calm but firm voice. Delia hated to waste money, and even though she and her husband were well-off, every thing she bought was checked for quality and price. Amy soon realized, the only clothes her Aunt would buy were plain ones made from good material. Aunt Delia was a hard person to get by when you wanted something, and was incredibly strict with rules.
An example of Aunt Delia’s personality is when she and Amy are in the street gathering signatures. Her character obviously shines through during a certain incident. “We set up a little stall in George St with a banner and the petition. At times, I wanted to run away, it was so embarrassing. Several men shouted at Aunt and wagged their fingers at her. One threatened to report her to the police for blocking the footpath. She simply ignored him and carried on speaking to the women passing by. I couldn’t help but admire her then, she was so imposing, with her loud voice and sharp eyes.”
I find that you don’t see many women like this nowadays. For me, I like being around strong people who are confident in themselves. It makes me feel as though I can rely on them, and know the outcome will be good. Being with confident people, makes me feel confident. People like Delia show others how powerful strong will and determination can be. After waiting so long, and working so hard for that Bill to be passed, the feeling of success had to have been massive. It just shows that you should never give up on something, no matter how hard it can be.
People who enjoy autobiographies will love this story. It is heartfelt and gripping, as Amy tells her story through the eyes of a child. Any person aged 12+ can read this book and get something out of it. This story can make you truly think about things going on in this world that we often forget about. It can make you realize what you are capable of, and become more determined to achieve your goals. You might learn a bit of history you’ve never heard before. Overall, it has sparked a larger interest in me for autobiographies. It’s a true, fantastic story to read.

Zoe McGarvey

Silence.

Silence. A good silence. So deep it felt as though you could swim through it, and it would engulf you completely. Behind your closed eyelids, it felt as though it was lifting you gently into the air.

It was like you were underwater at the bottom of a clear, blue pool. The water was a snuggly, warm air pocket moving around your body, lifting you to the surface. It was so quiet you couldn’t bear the thought of noise.

You didn’t feel sleepy or bored. You just wanted to sit and listen to the silence of the room. It broke you away from the daily buzz of your busy life. Of course, you couldn’t live in this environment all the time, but it felt so good when you needed that break.

It was so peaceful in this room. The serene silence seemed to have a voice, a voice that wasn’t heard, but felt. And it felt really good. It was just like the coziest blanket on earth had wrapped you in its warmth. How does boring old silence feel so good sometimes? You thought to yourself…..

Athletics Day

Slumping shoulders, droopy eyes, and a back weighed down with every ounce of sleep I’d lost that week welcomed me into the cold, brisk feeling of the morning air. An inward groan lowered my remorseful despair down another level. I could feel it sinking through my muscles and limbs like a submarine in a desolate sea.

I had no hopes for the day, and was dreading almost every event. I was tired, a little sore, and incredibly hungry! Sitting on the steps in front of the middle room, my body slouched unenthusiastically as I waited for the day to begin.

Then, the microphone crackled as Alison’s voice blared through it’s speaker. Houses shifted to attention, and an excited aura began to rise as Athletics Day was finally launched into action.

We listened to our instructions, anxious to get out onto the field. I was shifty now, and my legs were itching to be moved.

Suddenly, we were on the move. First the sprints, then the rotations started. I didn’t think about anything but food. My morning continued and I watched it fly by in a blur of pumping legs, flying shot-puts, and spinning discus’.

When lunch time arrived it was a huge relief for my stomach. Definitely worth the sore muscles, and the best part of Athletics day for sure!

Spying on my toys….

“Hey Mum, guess what?”
“Yeah, honey.”
“I played a soccer game with my Ipad today!”
“That’s nice.”

She still won’t listen! I began to get annoyed. “Did you know my giant giraffe jumped on top of my elephant and started eating the wallpaper on the roof?”

“Yes honey, I know.”

” Muuuuuum!”

“Mmm?”

Fine be like that, I stomped off to my room in a frustrated mood. I started to kick the toys that had been strewn across the  floor.

“Hey, watch it!”

What the heck was that? I looked around the room…there was nothing.

“I said watch it!” That voice again! I stared around the room with a panicked look. This mood is really getting to me, I was a little worried now. Then it happened. A large panda stood in front of me…and he looked mad.

Then my dinosaur and my giraffe, and every other toy I owned suddenly came to life. They all looked as mad as the panda. Oh boy, trouble, trouble trouble….

 

 

The Blind Labyrinth

Okay….I’m okay. I’m absolutely cool, every things cool. I’m not gonna panic, because every things cool.  “Yeah, okay you need to shut it.” I tried to contain the butterflies currently swirling my stomach into a jingly ball of nerves. My hands squeezed the metal rail attached to the deep, green walls that jagged left and right throughout the building. I gripped the bar even tighter, feeling the coldness of it seep into my skin.

A large circular pattern with raised shapes on it hung above me. It was the first of 8 that I had to find to escape the maze. I removed a small tablet that was fitted snugly inside my pocket. 8 patterns all in order lay on its surface in braille-like raised surfaces, in the form of dots, squares, circles and other shapes. They were my guides, to show me the correct patterns. Well, this should be easy, why worry?

Then suddenly, my right side was in shadows, then my left, then the green wall in front of me disappeared, until I was left in pitch black surroundings. My breath hitched, and my head whipped around in confusion. I took a step forward, feeling the metal rail slide beneath my fingers. Two words. OH NO!

Panicking, I ran forward until I felt the metal bar disappear. Blood was rushing to my legs and arms, pumping them faster into action. I was frantically feeling the walls, desperate to feel a shape jut into my palm. No luck. I turned and ran back the way I’d come, or at least I thought it was the was the way I’d come.

Big mistake? Now I was clueless. All I could see was black, and not the open, empty black you see when you turn all the lights off at home. A tight, claustrophobic black that seemed to suck me in.

I clawed at the air as I stumbled around, trying to find the bar. I needed that first pattern, then at least I’d know where I was. What if everyone forgot I was in here? What then? I had no wish whatsoever to sleep in an endless maze all by myself. Please, please lights, turn back on….

Information on smartphones…

Okay, first of all, I know next to nothing about electronics. So, most of this might be rubbish, just warning you.

Smartphones are designed to fit the description of a basic computer that is hand held. But they differ from other devices such as iphones, due to how much you can and can’t do with them.

Smartphones come in dozens of sizes and brands, one of the most popular being the Samsung brand.

Yeah, I could have used the internet and found more info, but oh well.

The New Middle School.

Well, I am definitely enjoying our new class setup. It feels a lot more open and fresh. The Year 7 and 8’s are a welcome addition to our smaller class of Year 9 and10’s. I’ve really enjoyed the smoothness of the first week, as all 21 of us have easily adjusted to sharing our classrooms on a daily basis. It was easy for us to adjust to our new timetable; I have to admit that was a bit of surprise. Still, I know for sure that I definitely do not want Sian’s job right now.

I’ve enjoyed interacting with some of the Year 7 and 8’s as the days have passed, and I look forward to working in a group with them. It gives our class a lot more opportunities to act as role-models. The variety of homework is now greater and more diverse, this give us all an opportunity to learn new things from each other.

The best thing about the New Middle School for me is most likely the setup. I find it much more roomy, and an environment that I look forward to working in all the time. When we are all seated around the couches, it is a lot more interesting to me because we have more opinions to listen to. It seems as though the classrooms are more lively, and a lot louder too!

Well, these are my thoughts on our New Middle School. Thanks for reading!

What I want to achieve this term…

During this last term of the year, I want to achieve these goals.

First of all, I want become better at my public speaking. I would like to have many opportunities to put myself into this environment more often, so I can become familiar and natural with it. It would also help me achieve my goal a lot faster, and you know what they say “practice makes perfect.”

My second goal, is to do my best to achieve an Excellence for my Year 9 diploma. Getting my work in on time throughout the whole term will help me achieve this, but at the same time it proves to be a very difficult challenge. I would be extremely stoked to walk away from my first year at Rangitaiki Independent with this prize in hand.

Lastly, I guess I want to make an improvement with my general subjects such as Maths, English, and Science. I want to put a whole lot more effort into these subjects this term, to help achieve this goal.

Well, I don’t have that many goals this term. So, I’ll finish off here, thanks for reading!

Term 3 (PrEP)

Term 3 was inevitably the easiest term for homework. But, to take its place, it seemed as though our teachers had definitely upped the game for school work! When faced with our assignments for the term, I was excited. They were challenges, and I was eager to begin.

For the first time, I was faced with the business journey called PrEP. I knew nothing about it, but as people talked I got a verbal insight into what it was like. The simple sentence “You make your product and sell it” placed an edge of worry in my brain. What are we going to make? At that time, I was hoping to be in a group who already had their idea sussed. The fact that we weren’t allowed to make food was a little, no, VERY disheartening.  I bet our school would have had a professional cafe going!

When we began our little enterprises, it was nothing like I had thought it would be. We had our product, our company name, and our logo. But, we didn’t exactly have a plan. It wasn’t until midway through PrEP I started worrying about it.

Our chosen product was coin jewellery. I was thinking it would be easy enough to glue a couple of coins together you know, drill a hole, and thread a chain through it. I was wrong. I didn’t think, where are we going to find chains? Can we drill coins at home? Would the glue work? Can we make these chosen designs? Our group had not planned any of this. It wasn’t until we all received and settled into our job roles that I noticed these complications. By then, it was too late to turn back. To cut a very long story short, our group pulled everything together and we produced some amazing jewellery. I was extremely proud of my group when we sold out, I had no idea it would be that much of a success. Now, we’re all hoping we pass the final audit.

Next time, a plan will take place, and our product would be something we know we are able to make. Hopefully food!

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