Metamorphosing is a very interesting transition of drawings. Imagine you draw a hot air balloon. Then add a string to the hot air balloon. Then add another string. Go on and on till soon it will become a jellyfish. Using metamorphosis is where you shine with your art skill because it is extremely hard to do. In art class, I drew a spray bottle, then added a tail to it, then added more details and finally it became a snake. I never imagined I would be able to make a spray bottle into a snake, because they don’t look alike at all. But turns out I was able to, as long as I went slow. Don’t rush, because if the change is too big, then it would be confusing. Don’t go too slow either because if you go too slow then the person who is looking at your art won’t be able to find the difference between the previous drawing and the current drawing, and you won’t have space to complete your art. Remember, however hard it is, don’t worry. The key part is that when you draw a drawing, trace it on another sheet of paper so you can use that to add your change. Once you add your change, then you’ll be able to trace the final part of your drawing onto your final paper. I hope you try metamorphosing, for it is very fun and entertaining!



The Perfect Planet

The Perfect Planet

By Lakshmi

    No sharks, no corruption, no death. You could live however you’d like, with no worry, for however long you’d like. No fear of death. Why? Because there is no death. What am I talking about? The Perfect Planet.

    Imagine if you could create a world. A beautiful, fresh, immortal world. How would it be? Where would it be? What would be in it? Who would be in it? All of these questions, swarming in your mind, aren’t they? 

    If I could create a world, I would want it in the Andromeda Galaxy. The Andromeda Galaxy is the closest to our very own, the Milky Way. My planet would be located right in the center of the galaxy. I would name my galaxy ‘Alumap’. Why? The word ‘alu’ means magic and sorcery and Alumap is my last name spelled backwards.

    Surrounded by 3 moons (2 twin moons and one little one) and full of rain and snow, this icy planet would be quite far from other planets. Quite isolated. Though it may be freezing cold for others on this planet, natives, or people born on this planet, would find the chilly planet to be normal for them. Speaking of natives, people born on this planet are called ‘Alumians’, just like how people on Mars are called Martians and people on Earth are called humans.

   The scorching hot, red, sun we find on Earth will not be on Alumap. Instead, there would be little animals called ‘Rays’ that would fly around. Think of a tiny blue turtle that has a light so small, yet so powerful, on their backs. So powerful that light is, that it radiates the entire planet. However, there are millions of Rays. You are incredibly lucky if a Ray lands on you, for you become the next ruler of Alumap, regardless of your age, gender, or background. Many people who have heard of this from other worlds found this ridiculous, but no. Alumap has been with this philosophy for centuries, and they have had a successful economy. At night, the lead Ray will go to bed, with the others following, indicating it is the start of the night. Rays feast on plants called ‘Sapphires’. ‘Sapphires’ are named for their brilliant blue color and Rays absolutely love them.

    Gushing purple water is like a ring around the planet. However, the water from the  ‘Water Ring’ is redirected to the people when they need it. Corruption is not a thing on Alumap, for people are so pure. There is no death either, for once you touch the ‘Water Ring’, you are purified. However, the population is very low. Only 1 million. These select 1 million people are pure enough to stay on Alumap, thus the low population. It is simple in Alumap, no birth, no death. Every 8 million years, these 1 million people disappear into the air, and another 1 million people are made. No one knows how this cycle works.

    All in all, Alumap is a stormy, icy world that may strike fear in others. But don’t worry. When you live here, there is no need to be afraid.

    That is only if you live here.



Museum of Natural Science

Image from DA Teacher

Another field trip, I was sure it couldn’t compare to Camp Hanes but it was a lot more fun than I expected. On January 27, we went to the Museum of Natural Science. In the museum there was… well, natural science. We left school at about 9:00 after a talk with the teachers about expectations on behavior. I’m sure we did fine on that. Then we got onto the bus. The bus ride was… chaotic? Yeah, chaotic. Fun, but chaotic. Some people sang, some people played games, I wanted to sleep but wasn’t able to, and some people just did nothing. Fun.

After we arrived there my group (which was Robbins, Salas, and Stanbury) went to the floor (I don’t remember its name) where there were interesting rocks and gems that we saw. It was very interesting. Very. Time flies fast when you’re into something. Especially when you’re trying to read everything in a 4 floor museum. Not that it worked. Lunch was supposed to be at 1:45 or so but we were starving so we decided to have lunch at 12:45. We chomped on our scrumptious meals outside and soon it was time to go back inside. We then finished touring the museum at about 2:00. Then we got onto the bus back (which was even more chaotic) and before we knew it, we were back home.

The museum was a really fun experience, and I look forward to more field trips this year.



Window or Mirror?


A few weeks ago, I read ‘The Thing About Jellyfish’ by Ali Benjamin because many people talked about it. The first thing I noticed about this book was its title. Jellyfish? That’s not a common topic authors who actually want to succeed would write about. Oh well. 

I started flipping through the pages as my eyes trailed on the words. Hmmm. Interesting. It was an odd book. It wasn’t completely ‘out of worldly’ with witches and wizards and stuff like that. But it wasn’t about politics and sports and stuff like that either. It was about… jellyfish. I mean like obviously but it was different. It talked about how a girl figures out about a poisonous jellyfish, and how she thinks her friend got poisoned from that jellyfish. She goes to talk with an expert in that area. On the way she learns a lot about herself and others around her. It was a beautiful story with many emotions and a sad touch.

Now, let’s get into the real question. Is this book a window or a mirror? If you ask me, I think it’s somewhere in between. Which is odd as I usually pick mirror books. Why I think this is somewhere in between is because though it talks about a girl about my age, my best friend did not get poisoned by a jellyfish, and I am not as reserved as the girl in the book.

Overall, I think this book is very smartly written and has a beautiful ending to it.



Wisdom Tale Project

I always admired my brother. Two years ago when I figured out my brother was going to do a Wisdom Tale project, I was ecstatic and waited and waited until I was allowed to do it. And it was finally my turn to do it. In case you’re wondering what I mean by it, I mean that my class would be able to do a project about a tale with a moral, or a Wisdom Tale.

I had many many options for what to do. Stop motion, rap, poem, and comic. I decided to do comic as it was simple and I loved drawing. I set to work immediately using the app ComicLife3. I did the story “Whose dream is this?” in which there is a man who has such a realistic dream about a butterfly that he wonders if he is a man dreaming of a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming of a man.

Have a nice day 😀

Wisdom Tale Project

How Sketching Helps Your Brain

Sketching, drawing, coloring, art, are all ways to pass time. But do you know that sketching is proven to help your brain? To focus, the brain needs a focused mindset and a calm surrounding. Sketching exercises your eyes, your mind, and your hand. Let’s explore together how sketching in fact helps your brain to focus and to be in good shape.

Research from the National Center of Biotechnology Information proves that sketching enables your brain to think in a different way, letting your brain perceive things creatively. The second way sketching helps your brain is that it strengthens analytical thinking and focus. We, after all, use our brain to draw. The right side of our brain is used for our creativity, to think outside the box, and the left side of our brain is for logical thinking. This helps us both focus and strategically think. 

Next, sketching aids stress relief and relaxation by making us pay attention to details in the drawing, and mimics meditation. This, in turn, allows you to calm down and relax. The fourth way is that it helps communication skills. Sketching is a visual language, that has symbols, lines, and more. To sketch, you must find a way to communicate through pictures, and not words. It helps you convert your feelings and emotions indirectly and discreetly to drawings. Lastly, it helps coordination of our body. The more we sketch, the more our brain – eye – hand communication will increase and develop. Artists use both senses of sight and touch, and this coordination helps them become a better artist. The left side of your brain begins to reject the complexities of the art, and the right side allows your brain to take over with its creativity. This helps the artist, or you in this case, rely on your hands movement instead of using memorized drawing patterns.

In my opinion, if you’re a beginner but want to use this technique, start with simple lines. Just jot them down on paper. Then start with dot drawings, connecting dots. Finally, go onto abstract drawings, drawing whatever you feel. Whatever way you feel like doing, sketching will help your hands & eyes, in turn, your brain as well. Thank you for reading today’s blog post! Below is an example of an abstract drawing ⬇️ 

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The Call to the Camp

Camp Hanes 2022

WHAT? On one hand, I was like “Is school seriously this fun?” and on the other hand I was like “What if I smile too much and then my mouth will start hurting and I’ll feel HORRIBLE???”. *Sigh*. Do you need some details? I’m sure you do. Well, I’m a sixth grader (best grade) at Durham Academy Middle School, and we went for a sleep away camp at Camp Hanes in King, NC! By the way, this is my first night away at a camp. But letting my nervousness drown in my excitement, with an incredibly and unnecessarily large duffle bag I hopped on to the bus (not actually hopping but that’s not the point).

After a 2 hour long bus ride that felt like 20 hours, I was feeling a bit cranky and frustrated. But all those miserable feelings flew away by the time I reached my destination. Crisp air, soothing wind, clear blue sky, chirping birds (and people screaming instructions at each other but let’s put that aside) the place was like a resort. Like paradise. Now feeling significantly better, I jumped off the bus with a wide grin on my face, taking in my peaceful atmosphere. 

Now if I explain word to word of everything we did there, we’re going to be stuck here for days. So let me be a bit brief. First up, we had lunch. Mac & Cheese and garlic bread. And you won’t believe it, but the salad bar was delicious. No seriously, it was. Anyways,  after that my group went rock climbing. But funny enough, the hard part was EASY and the easy part was HARD. Huh? After that, we went canoeing. My boat, however, kept crashing into the trees. It was chaos. But fun chaos, if you know what I mean. Finally, we did archery. By the way I missed all of my shots, and almost shot one into the woods. Probably because I was being a trigger happy. Maybe. Dinner was yummy with spaghetti. After going into our cabins and settling in (I was the top bunk, because what’s life without some risk?), we had the best part. Dark night + campfire + s’mores = pure bliss. And then we slept (I mean we don’t party in the night do we?).

All in all, Camp Hanes was an experience to remember. Both thrilling and nerve wracking at the same time, personally, I enjoyed it very much. I’m looking forward to more fun experiences like this. Also, one last question. Why is Camp Hanes named Camp Hanes? Anyways, bye.

Lakshmi’s Backpack

Lakshmi’s Backpack 

5th grade was done and I was finally ready to go to 6th grade. For summer reading, my school recommended a book named Finding Someplace. The year is 2005, and Reesie Boone is excitedly waiting for her 13th birthday. Then tragedy strikes. Hurricane Katrina is on its way to her home, New Orleans. In a rush, Reesie is forced to choose what items she actually needs. Packing up important files, her phone, and more she sets off. Little does she know, she returns as a smarter, experienced, and different individual.

Reading that book got me thinking. What if I was in Reesie’s situation? What if I was forced to choose only a few items to take with me? What would I do? Thinking about it for a while, I decided I would go to my room and see what items were important to me. And I did. I told myself that I would pack my phone with extra batteries (in case it runs out of charge), pack food and water sufficient for at least a week, a whistle to signal for help, a flashlight (to see in the dark), a tent (to sleep in), extra clothes including a jacket and shoes, first aid kit, and my passport. Of course, hopefully, I’ll never be in a natural disaster situation. After reading this book though, if I ever am, I’ll be prepared.