Monthly Archives: June 2010

Summer Reading: Is It Really Necessary??

Coming from a teenager, an annual event that we call summer vacation happens after every 10 months of a whole school year working our butts off. And to us, this means freedom, fun, and sun! And when someone asks “What time is it?” after the long-anticipated final ring of the school bell, we all ring out “SUMMER-TIME!” Not “SUMMER-READING!” No. That there is just a downer to our youthful ears.

It’s not like we teenagers absolutely despise the idea of getting down and quiet by reading, because some people like me actually love to read a good book. I think we just dislike the thought of how school is still managing to maintain a firm control on us even during our vacation.And they do just that by assigning us summer reading. What happens in summer reading is this: our school gives us a certain book to read over the summer depending on our level in literacy. Usually we have to accompany some kind of note-taking or essay along with our reading, but this year we didn’t (Thank God). But we do have a series of projects and tasks that welcomes us back into our new school year when we return.

Vacation:(n) an extended period of recreation.

Recreation:(n) activity done for enjoyment when no one is not working

Now look at those definitions. STUDY those terms. (like NOT WORKING-specifically on summer reading). In my opinion, I think that the school district should just give us a break. That’s what vacation is all about, isn’t it? I mean, can’t they handle not assigning any homework for just 2 months? That’s all we schoolers ask.

But then again, summer reading may also not be that bad. We just have to read one book within a 2 month time period. And that could be the only book we read in those two months, and off we go playing on the beach. It also makes sure our brains don’t completely shut down the moment school ends, because that would be pretty unfortunate if we all came back forgettingĀ  10 months worth of education in just 1/5 of that time! Summer reading also introduces us to more difficult books as we get older, so that what we’re reading is mutual to our age and learning. It may even let us try out new book genres that we’ve never considered reading before!

So what do you think of summer reading? Do you think it is worthwhile? Or is it just another homework assignment?

To give you some examples, here are the 7th grade going into 8th summer reading list for our school this year.

Last Shot by John Feinstein

Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

Shabanu by Suzanne Fisher Staples

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Advanced Students

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side by Eric Schlosser

I’m in advanced, so I chose to read Treasure Island, because I’m absolutely in love with fantasy-adventurey books like that. Plus it’s a classic. Right now, I’m on page 109, Chapter XII. And I have 234 more pages to go, and only 8 more days to read them. Since this is a summer reading book, I can only borrow it for 2 weeks, as oppose to 1 month. So as I’m trying to read through this, I’m having a little hard time because of the, what I call, “old world language.”(But then again, I’m a teen, so everything is pretty much a haul right now) I guess you could say that I’m carefully picking up on the main ideas and getting along, with the help of my trusty dictionary beside me. But it’s not really helping that they’re talking in pirate speak, too. I stumbled across the word sittyated at the beginning of the book, and I was basically thrown off for awhile.

“This is a handy cove,”says he at length, “and a pleasant sittyated grogshop.” -Treasure Island

After googling, I finally realized that sittyated meant situated, but it was just spelled accordingly to how I pirate would apparently say it. I had a pretty amusing time with the word grogshop, too. (grogshop- a place where spirits (originally rum) are sold)

Reading can be such an adventure in itself. It’s already worn me out!



For all the Alice in Wonderland fans out there-this one is for you!

I just wanted to share with you guys my new background picture on my desktop. Thanks so much to ‘bri-chan at for drawing this wonderfully hilarious and awkward photo. What Alice is saying seems so true!! And I just love the mad hatter’s expression as to being referred to that…Ah I just can’t get over how awesome this is. Come see the original version here

Ricotta Cheese Cookies

My family absolutely loved these cookies. They aren’t as sweet as sugar cookies, but they have a gentle sugary taste that will make you melt. They are chewy, and I’ve always been a chewy kind of girl, so I’m fine with that. But mostly, I think the batter is miraculous. This is mostly because this is one of the very few batters that I can eat raw without the annoying risk of salmonella, because the eggs can be (and were) substituted with milk. Oh, the joy, wonder, and pleasure.

If you’re wondering about the single cookie in the picture that has a brown dot, that is an M&M. My dad insisted on having one on his cookie, so i popped one in there a few minutes before they were done (I suppose his is now the special cookie!). Hey, he’s my father. What can you do? Anyways, these cookies were a snap to make, and, as you already know, were probably invented just for the sake of being deeply loved. I loved home economics class in the 3rd marking period, and I thank my home ec teacher for giving us this recipe. You’re awesome!

Ricotta Cheese Cookies

from 7th grade home economics class

makes about 36 cookies

  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg (or substitute 2 tbsp milk)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Sift or mix together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl
  3. In a large mixing bowl beat remaining ingredients until smooth
  4. Add sifted ingredients to beaten ones and combine until it makes a batter
  5. Drop by teaspoonful onto greased cookie sheet
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges

Ocean & Sky

One day I was thinking about how the water and sky were polar opposites. One’s denser, one has more pressure, one has water and the other doesn’t, and so on. So I came up with this short free write!

The vast ocean and the massive sky are forever competing against each other. They fight to see who is greater. “The crashing waves of my waters are far more overpowering than the invisible gases you bear,” said the Ocean.

“The heights of the sky have no limits, whereas you have an oceanic floor that can never be eroded,” the Sky replied. For centuries, the two brother elements have been lividly fueding for many different, and often creative, reasons.

“I feel your greedy winds always evaporating my precious water up into the air. Who has ever given YOU permission to make clouds out of MY water?!” roared the Ocean.

“What? You must feel that I always return what I have borrowed when the next rain comes. Without me, sister Earth would be dry and barren,” explained the Sky.

“Without me,” debated the Ocean, “you would have nothing to evaporate in the first place!”And on the two went, bickering with whines, accusations, and a whole lot of noise.

“BOOM! CRACK!” went the Sky. Meanwhile, ravenous tsunamis pounded the grounds of land.

The only sibling who was wise enough to mind her own business was sister Earth. She knew that without one another, both the ocean and sky would ultimately perish. Her two brothers were blinded though, but the Earth didn’t mind. For while the two were unintentionally destroying all things living, she was off rebuilding the reconaissance of life.

Because of the Sky and Ocean’s fighting, humanity died off, so Earth was working heartily to build it all back again.


Sweet globes of dew shine

Clinging to the jade blades of grass

Like marble armor