Starting in April my Language Arts class started working on a project for stocks. We picked out our stocks, recorded their prices, and checked on them later to see if we gained or lost money, and there was a winner and loser. But why were we doing stocks in Language Arts? It was because of a connection to our book.

The Westing Game is a book we read as a class this year. It’s about the will of Sam Westing, and who will get it. Basically it’s a competition to solve a clue to get inheritance. In the book, a character, Turtle, was obsessed with Stocks. Because of this, we wanted to connect with her by trying out stocks.

It was actually really fun to do stocks. Getting to pick your favorite brands and watching them grow and decline is interesting. In end, I think it’s a good way to connect to the book and especially to Turtle.

Language Arts 2023

The Last Cuentista is a book we read in the middle of the school year. It’s a book about a girl living in the future, and the world is ending because of a meteor. A select group is sent off into space to find a new home, but when she wakes up from her stasis she realizes a sinister collective is in control.

The main point in the book is keeping stories alive. Petra, the main character, wants to be a storyteller. Her grandmother from Earth told her many tales and Petra wants to keep them going even though she’s billions of miles away from the origin of them.

Keeping a story alive means spreading them, and telling them to lighten spirits in hard times.

Ideal world is a project we did based on Last Cuentista. We created a world that we would want to go to if we were in Petra’s shoes.

My ideal world is named Tulia, and it’s a realm where animals and humans live in harmony, and nature thrives. Tall waterfalls, green valleys, permanent sunset skies, and crystal clear lakes. Not to mention otherworldly creatures like bioluminescent fish and multicolor birds and squirrels that can talk.

Our big project in Language Arts was bookmaking. We had to make a book for our ideal world, and decorate it with scrapbooking materials. I made mine with an ocean / nature theme, and starry details. We cut our pages and collaged them, and it was really creative and fun. I love the idea of making an inner page that you can only see through the stars.

In conclusion, 6th grade Language Arts has been an adventure. My favorite was the TED talk. I really enjoyed picking out my favorite topic, and getting to share it with my class. I really grew as a writer and when I look back on my old essays, I cringe. The projects were super engaging and fun, and all in all I loved Language Arts.



TED Talk – Eyes

I did my TED like talk on May 19th, on eyes. It’s an unique topic, so how did I pick it? I kind of started off with thinking about what I like to do. I like to do a lot, so I got a lot of ideas, like tennis, art, shopping. I really honed in on art, because I feel like it could be a good topic. In art, there’s some stuff that I’m specifically into, which is eyes.

After I got my topic, I worked on my slides. I did an introduction, some specifics about eyes, a demo on how I draw eyes, and ended with my connection to my theme. An important part of the presentation was about how eyes convey emotions.

Finally, I presented my TED talk. It was actually a fun experience, even though I started out nervous. As I went on with my slides, I loosened up and started to actually talk and not just read off my script. At the end, I felt confident and not a little scared. All in all, doing a presentation in front of the class helped my build my public speaking skills and brought my confidence up.

Stop Motion

      In tech, we did a stop motion unit. The big project in the unit was to make a stop motion scene / story with a group. I did one with Mae, and I really liked it. 

        The idea for the scene was sustainability, so everyone had a sustainability goal we could pick from. We picked hunger, which involves the problem of world hunger and having enough food. Our story was about two families who led very different lives.

      Family 1 had money, and food on the table every day. Family 2, on the other hand, lived on the streets and had to scavenge for a meal. When they met each other, they were confused at first, neither understanding the other’s way of life. However, as they became friends, family 1 helped family 2. They also helped other families who were in the same situation by building a community garden and having a food drive. 

       In the end, everything worked out and I liked our final stop motion. It took a lot of patience to move the people and objects on by one, but we did it. And also, something technical happened with one of our scenes and Mae accidentally deleted it, but we redid it and it turned out okay. I think this project helps promote group work and patience, and also teaches an important idea about sustainability. 

My Ideal World

   January 27th, 2123, NBC news: A portal has been discovered in the triangle of North Carolina, Durham. Police forces are investigating, and locals are advised to stay away. 

   March 6th, 2123: A team of four officers are entering the portal with a camera. For the first time, the public sees the mysterious doorway and what it opens to. 

   It’s breathtaking. The tall waterfalls, the permanent sunset sky, the otherworldly creatures. Little birds with light wings, and really cute squirrels roam the land. In the middle of all of this is a big, big tree. Its trunk is engraved with symbols, glowing purple and blue. Crystals and leaves hang from the branches, and little critters crawl all over them. It’s not cockroaches or other insects from earth, though. It’s like butterflies but bugified. A great thing about this planet is that there’s no bad bugs; bugs are all good, and they never bite or suck your blood. Anyway, when the video streamed, people were impressed but scared. What do they do? This new planet is paradise compared to the polluted mess they have created. Do they move? Do they take over? 

   They can’t. They didn’t know yet, but there’s a whole civilization hidden away in this ideal world. They too, had noticed the portal, and had been exploring earth as well. 

   Their society was perfect in every way. Starvation, homelessness, pollution, sickness,capitalism and communism were long gone, solved thousands of years ago by their ancestors. Now their society is flawless. And their technologies have advanced to a godlike level. Frankly, they live in heaven. Everyone is equal, and everything is fair.

   Money doesn’t exist there. Instead, everything is free as long as you have a job. For example, if you’re a doctor, you don’t have to pay for anything. And crimes like stealing aren’t a thing because you’re allowed to take whatever you want. Schools are different too. A grade isn’t a year because if you can learn a year of work in less time, you’re allowed to. 

   October, 31st, 2123, NBC news: The portal is officially open to everyone as a tourist location, in Durham North Carolina! 

Field Trip to Raleigh

  Image from DA Teacher

On January 27th, the 6th grade of DA went on a field trip to the Museum of Natural Sciences. It was a fun and educational experience, and even though I didn’t really learn all of the science at the museum, I think it still taught me a lesson. Getting out of school and classes and having a change in the schedule was refreshing, and getting to talk with your friends was nice. 

In the museum, there was a RACE exhibit, and I think that’s what I took in most. What I especially remember was reading that race didn’t exist. That might sound strange. African American, Asian, white, etc, aren’t those some out of many examples of race? Well, yeah. But race is a social concept. There really isn’t anything biological that separates a Japanese and Mexican person. We’re all people. My question is, why did we create a barrier between skin colors? All that’s different is melanin. 

In the museum, there were lots of animals, dead and alive. The fossils were intriguing, and the replicas of skeletons and dinosaurs were interesting to see. There were live turtles, fish, and insects. 

My group took a walk outside in the state buildings, and we saw some statues of North Carolina historical figures. You’d have no way of knowing this, but half of the statues were of white supremacists or friends of white supremacists. The quotes on the statues were positive, they weren’t racist or anything, but it was interesting because I knew they were the same people that made racist comments. 

Overall, I’m just really happy that we spent the day in Raleigh learning rather than learning in a room. 


Window and Mirror book



I am currently reading the book The Next Great Pauline Fink, by Ali Benjamin. It’s this realistic fiction story about a girl who moved away from the Big City to a random little town in the middle of Vermont. This is a mirror book with a bit of window, because like Caitlyn, I moved away from a relatively busy place to a suburban community. Her experiences with her new school are relatable to me as well. It’s also a window just because some of her experiences are so incredibly strange. I feel I lean towards mirror books because it’s more interesting to read something you can relate to. Overall, This is a great book, with a hint of mystery. 


My Dog Athena

I got Athena in July, from a farmer hippie that didn’t want her anymore. She was the cutest puppy ever, an Australian shepherd mix. She has black fur with a white belly and is adorable. First she was a little scared of me, but once we got over that she’s really playful. She’s not my first dog, but she’s the first d0g’s that’s truly mine, if that made sense. All my other dogs were more my dad’s pet than my own, and because of that me and Athena has a bond I’ve never had with an animal. I love her.

Camp Hanes

I woke up at 4 in the morning, on Thursday September 29, ready for my first overnight trip to Camp Hanes. It was my first time sleeping away from home. I was really excited – I’ll have a sleepover in the mountains in a cabin in the middle of nowhere.

I got on the bus and it began to roar – 6th’s grade’s adventure’s starting. The whole ride was a blur of trading snacks, braiding hair, and penguin movies. Someone threw a bag of starbursts. I slept a little. And then, we were there. 

First, we arrived at a big room while the counselors introduced themselves. Then we played some games like four corners and this other one where you try to not repeat your moves. After that, we arrived at our cabins and were put in teams. The cabin’s wooden with bunk beds and a bathroom with showers. I was on the top bunk, which was what I was hoping for. I was also put on team 2, which turned out to be not the best because I’ll have to miss the hike. Anyway, I did a lot of things that day ; volleyball, tetherball, rock climbing, team building, canoeing, archery, and campfire with s’mores. I got to do them with my friend, because we were on the same team, which made it even better. 

Canoeing was one of my favorites. Me and a friend got on the canoe, and put on life jackets. We started to row with our paddles against the water and wind. The view was beautiful – a greenish blue lake with forest green trees. The sun was setting and sparkles across the water. It was peaceful but fun. Campfire is another favorite. We sat there around the fire while the counselors acted out funny skits. After, we got up team by team to make our s’mores and roast marshmallows. Mine caught on fire and I panicked a little, but it was good nonetheless. Overall, we did a lot of activities in Camp Hanes, and I loved all of them.

All in all, Camp Hanes was a great experience. I had fun and had my first night away from home ever. In conclusion, I’m very grateful for Camp Hanes.

Zoe’s Backpack

Durham Academy’s summer reading for rising 6th graders include the book “Finding Someplace” by Denise Lewis Patrick. It’s a book about a girl who lived through Hurricane Katrina. In one scene, she had to pack for a trip away from her home. Reesie was aware that she can only bring what she could fit in a backpack, and that she needs to bring all the things she needs to survive. She packed things that she thought were most important for her and her family. 

If I was ever in Reesie’s shoes, here are the things I would take in my backpack. I’ll bring dad’s wallet, so we would still have money to salvage what we’ve lost. My phone, for communication to the outside world and for me to watch TikTok’s to make myself feel better. My water bottle and some food, because grocery stores are probably not accessible in a flood. Our house key, in case our house isn’t extremely damaged and we need to return home. Passports and our IDs, because they’re proof of my identity. I’d also try my best to find Athena, my dog, because I love her. Realistically though, I probably wouldn’t be calm enough to check them off a list. However, Reesie didn’t panic and tried her best. Plus, the fact that she didn’t have a breakdown is amazing. So hopefully if I was ever in a calamity, I could be like her.