Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Camp Goddard

On Tuesday, March 25th, I wrote a blog with students of Furneaux School about a science learning camp called Camp Goddard that they went to. Here's the blog:

Camp Goddard is located right outside of Davis, Oklahoma. There were 82 students and 17 adults. The students stayed four days and three nights in cabins. One of these cabins had an encounter with a really big coyote. It still had its winter coat. It was fat. The students were walking toward the cabin when they saw the coyote. They stood still. The principal, Mr. Cunningham, ran the coyote off. Some of the students were still scared, though, and worried that the coyote might come back.

Some of the activities the students participated in included archery and canoeing. One student tried to fall out, but nobody really did, fortunately. They also went fishing, hiking, and walking on trails. Miss Carlson took the students on an off-trail trip to see a cavern. There was also a fossil dig for limestone. The digging area used to be a shallow sea.

To Furneaux School: I really enjoyed writing this with you, but unfortunately, we don't have too much time left, so you can copy this post and continue it in your own time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Two Points of View

This is a school assignment I did yesterday. I wrote from two perspectives--one from that of an untouchable (the lowest class in the old Indian caste system) another from the point of view of a girl kshatriya, or noble. The first is that of the untouchable, the second of the kshatriya.


A bonfire flickered in the distance. I could see it clearly against the starry night sky. I ran ahead to inspect it further. Perhaps there would be some food to beg, for it was Holi and I knew that everybody, even the poorest, would probably be in a good mood today.

As I came closer, I could see people singing loudly and dancing around the bonfire in a semicircle. Most of them appeared to be vaishyas, or farmers. I felt like a worm, creeping toward them in their fine clothes. Nobody noticed me at first.

Soon, though, I wished that it had stayed that way. As soon as they noticed me, I wished that they hadn't; the disgust etched on their faces as they backed away made me feel only more an outcast.

A little girl stared at me in fascination, as though I were some strange animal, until her mother pulled her by her sari back into the crowd. I ran away. It did not matter how silly I looked, for no one would bother to tell me.

Later I came back, more discreetly, to watch the festivities. Some kshatriyas' servants had come to dance. I envied them. Servants though they were, they would not be kicked aside like rags when the came to join in.

Some of the young women began to dance. I watched them. Their yellow saris twirled around them and sparkled. The others soon followed suit.

"To Vishnu!" a young man cried.

"To Krishna!" said another.

The crowd laughed together with one voice. How I wished that I could join in with them. But there was no way that a lowly street-sweeping child like myself would be able to do that. It would get me in trouble with my mother. And then everybody would know that I was there, contaminating the air with my unholy breath.


Inside the cool courtyard of my family's house, my father paced back and forth, surveying the shudras hard at work watering plants and pulling up weeds. He hem-hemmed under his breath, snapped his fingers, and walked briskly to me.

"Have the cooks made naan for the festival?" he asked curtly.

"Yes, Father," I said obediently, and nearly groaned out loud. My sari, which was yellow and beautiful to look at, was not so comfortable to wear. It wrapped tightly around my legs and made walking hard. I made my way outside slowly, worried that my sari would trip me and make me look like a loon. My cousins had already gathered outside on the grass.

"Indira, your sari is too tight," my older cousin Kali said, her own sari's hem flecked with dew. She helped me tuck in a loose fold. The boys sniggered and said that we talked only about girlish things.

"Oh--do we have to do rites today?" Sita asked with a catch in her breath.

"I don't think so. Why?" I asked.

"I saw a brahman," Sita said.

"Oh--the bonfire's starting!" I shouted as I noticed flames in the distance. Everyone ran forth to the smell of warm curry and naan. It was heaped upon golden platters, ready to be eaten.

"There goes the daughter of Harsha Varyana," I heard the vaishyas whisper. They were sitting on the ground in orderly rows. This was one of the few times they saw me, and I saw them. Behind the vaishyas were some dirty untouchables, still busy sweeping pathways. The dirty rags they wore as clothes teemed with vermin. I looked at them with disgust and glared into their eyes. Stupid beggars, I thought. Ruining Holi with their dirty clothes and contaminated shadows. I smiled at my cousins and walked demurely to a tasseled carpet that had been placed on the grass for us. Some shudras came forth to serve me and my cousins. My father looked proudly at me . This sari perhaps is not too bad, I thought, and glanced haughtily at the vaishyas and the untouchables who still lingered sadly there.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I'd like to take this chance to reply to an editor in China who left a comment asking some questions. (In the future, I would recommend anybody seeking a direct reply should leave their email addresses so that I can get back to them as soon as possible.) Here are my answers to the questions:

1. How old are you and when were you born?

I am ten years old and I was born in 1997 in Springfield, Oregon.

2. How many words can you type in a minutes now?

I can type around seventy words a minute on average, but I have gotten up to 110 words per minute.

3. How many words have you read until now? And how many words have you written?

It is impossible to calculate how many words I have read until now. I can tell you that I have read about 2000 books and I have written at least 800,000 words.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

School Assignment

Today I was supposed to write a narrative from the point of view of a person going insane and let the reader know that the person was going insane, without actually saying that, of course. Here it is:

Everybody liked the party. The party was bright and happy. However, it was really nothing proper for someone like me, as I was used to a simple life. That was how I had been raised.
I probably would have liked the party, except for the fact that all the ladies and gentlemen in bustle dresses and tailcoats made me feel little and unimportant.
When we were supposed to dance I did not dance. I sat down at the side of the room and watched the people dance. Watching the people dance made me feel dizzy and I sighed. I wanted to dance but I found myself too busy looking out the window. When I looked out the window I saw more rain than grass. It was strange, I thought. Too much water made me feel like I was drowning. It had been that way since I had drank too much water at the beginning of the party and I choked. Nobody liked comics here. That was why I did not dance. There was nobody like me. Even the people who did like comics did not have ways of doing things like me. I did things well, I thought. I could run a car better than Hernsley Jones.
I liked the way the women’s dresses trailed on the floors. I wanted a dress like the one I had seen. It was pink and orange and too many things all at once. I liked too many things all at once. Some people maybe thought that a dress like that was too cramped, too many things all at once. I didn’t think so. I liked cramped and too many things and coziness.
My friends said to be neat and behave properly at the party. I didn’t know what they meant by behave properly but I thought that I was doing it. My opinion was pretty good and what I thought usually held. I liked having my thoughts held. All my friends said it was a good thing, and when we got together to talk about things they always listened to me. That made me think of times when nobody did really listen to me. I was just little then. That was what the party made me think. I didn’t hear anything because it—something—stopped me, made everything a little blurry like a bad daguerreotype.
If they went out I was supposed to, too. I didn’t know how to go out. There was a door that was big and shiny like a polished seashell I have. I like collecting seashells. I put them to my ear and hear the ocean. But I didn’t think that big heavy doorknob was made for turning. I saw more rain than grass outside. The door would just upset that. The natural order of things.
I did things well, I thought. My opinions were held. My friends told me so. The noise was so bad that I thought I would fall to the floor with all the dancing people and those nice women’s dresses that trailed on the floor. But I didn’t. Or at least I don’t think so. I can’t tell what happens. It’s not my responsibility, after all. I sat a little and waited and thought there was something wrong with the natural order of things.