The (fake) Stock Market Game

In class we read a book called The Westing Game. In this book there is a girl named Turtle who loves the stock market. To see why she likes it, we tried it out ourselves! The assignment was to invest 20,000 fake dollars into the stock market. I invested $19977.05 in Lululemon, Starbucks, Ulta, Target and Nike. At first I was doing really well and making about $400, but at the end Target went down a bunch so I lost $2695.12 (fake) dollars. This was so fun to do, but it was a little stressful when your stocks weren’t doing well. I’m so glad this wasn’t with real money. 

New York City (TED talk)

In Language Arts, we gave TED talks about things that were special to us. I talked for four minutes about New York City. I lived there for nine years. I enjoyed telling people about shows, food, and fun places to go to. The process was very fun, but also a little stressful. It was only stressful because we only had a few weeks to make a whole TED talk, when professionals get months. 


If you ever need to give a presentation, here are some tips:


  • Don’t use the software’s built-in templates of bullets, letters, and dashes
  • If you have multiple photos, use a black background
  • Most photos should be “full bleed” or cover the entire screen
  • Use one typeface (e.g., sans serif fonts like Helvetica, Arial, or Calibri)
  • Comic Sans and Papyrus are strictly forbidden
  • Use 24 point or larger font size
  • Use at most three sizes of your chosen typeface per presentation
  • Think simplicity and contrast
  • Use only one color of font per presentation unless you want to show emphasis or surprise
  • Don’t put everything you are going to say on a slide
  • Give image credits
  • Rarely show video clips longer than 30 seconds
  • Use two transitions: none or dissolve (less than half a second)
  • Save your work!

It was so fun to talk about my favorite place in the world, and listening to other TED talks was interesting. Topics ranged from chess, to lacrosse, to favorite vacation places. We made our slides in Google Slides using speaker notes and copyright free images. That was definitely a challenge because I was talking about the Rockettes and I had to find a copyright free image to use. If you ever present a TED talk, you can use the tips, and read this post again!

The Last Cuentista, My Ideal World, My Cuento, and Book Making

In class, we read the book The Last Cuentista. The book is about passing on family traditions and telling stories. The main character, Petra learns who she is – her parents are scientists but her grandmother, Lita is a storyteller. Did I mention that she and her family had to leave Earth forever? Without Lita. To keep stories going, you must know them well and be able to retell them. But, you should also be able to tweak them a little like how Petra did when she was living in space. Create alternative endings and use your creativity to make the story fit the moment. 

Also, in class we wrote about our ideal worlds and what they would look like. In my ideal world, plants are different colors and taste like sugar. The water would be able to turn into any drink you were thinking of. On my planet, everyone would get along. School would only be one hour long, and there would be plenty of time to talk to your friends. In my ideal world there would be no poverty. It is a great place to visit. 

A few weeks ago, we made books based on our ideal world and stories that were passed down in our family, called Cuentos. You could look through a “window” in our books and see what they were about through a collage. At the beginning of the unit we used Akua ink to make designs which we used later in our actual books. We pasted the stories to the insides and Ta-Da! A book formed. We worked with a professional artist, Peg Gignoux. It was so fun! 

This year had so many fun units! From reading books to making books, the whole year was very engaging. To think about a world that was perfect was hard, because many things came from flaws. I’m so glad Mrs. Donnelly made time to let us paint and create books. I hope we do more fun things like this next year. 

My Favorite Class

My Favorite Class

My favorite class at Durham Academy is Theater. Every class we play fun games and learn about improvisation. The best part is Ms. Brown. She makes everything more fun and brings enthusiasm and good energy every day. Some fun games we have played recently are Wah!, Slow Motion Samurai, The Bench Game, and The Advice Game. My favorites are The Advice Game and The Bench Game.

To play The Bench game, one person sits on a chair, while the other person playing tries to get them to leave without touching them. This is an improv game because you have to think of something funny to say quickly. In The Advice Game, 3 people sit in front of the class. One person asks a question and the 3 sitting people have to answer it. But one person answers the question right, one person answers the question half right, and the other person answers the question completely wrong. 

Another class I love is PE. Right now we are playing Field Hockey, which is my favorite sport. Ms. Ellis has put a lot of work into making PE fun for us. Our previous unit was dance. I take dance class twice a week, so this was really exciting to show off my skills. I love how many PE classes are fun and game filled. Thank you Ms. Ellis and Ms. Brown! 

My Ideal World

“Hello, everyone! I am Sally, your interstellar museum tour guide! Please step to the left for PerfectVerse, and to the right for UnPerfectVerse!” She took a huge step to the left, and smiled wildly. “Follow me.” Sally looked around at the people who wanted to learn more about PerfectVerse. “Y’all chose the right planet,” she whispered. 

This world is called PerfectVerse and it is in the Goldilocks Zone of the Andromeda galaxy.” The monotone audio started playing in the exhibit. “The plants there are all pastel colors: light pink and lavender, and they taste like sugar! Water is delicious here because whatever beverage you are thinking of, the water becomes.”

 A little girl in the back got really excited. “Daddy, is it real?!” she whispered a little too loudly. 

Sally smiled and put her finger to her lips. “Shhh,” she said, as nicely as you possibly could. Then she winked, hoping the girl didn’t care too much. 

Also, you would be able to breathe anywhere, even underwater! The oxygen here is perfectly breathable. PerfectVerse has 1 moon which is its complete opposite.” Sally’s face morphed from super happy, to worried and sad.

On UnPerfectVerse, everything is dark and gloomy. It is very uninhabitable and you can’t breathe anywhere without an oxygen mask.” 

Sally has heard this audio thousands of times before, but the part about UnPerfectVerse always brought up sad memories and emotions that she always tried to push down and hide. It was so hard to not think about her lost family. 

The animals on PerfectVerse are almost exactly like here on Earth. Except for one thing: they are much nicer! Scratching and biting literally don’t exist.” 

“At least the ending is funny,” she thought to herself. This made her laugh. Then her smile disappeared. Who laughs at their own jokes? Inside their head? “I’m so weird.” A tear rolled down her cheek. Here on PerfectVerse, politics are no longer silly! Everyone gets along, so no need to fight! This planet is ruled by a few elected leaders. EVERYONE gets along here!” The audio started again.

This made her think of her brother. Sally remembered Sam, like just yesterday was THAT day. 

 “School is only one hour every day, but you can absorb information really fast. You can never get sick, feel pain, or die here, so no more YOLO. YOLF! (you only live forever)!” 

“Sam would’ve loved this” she whispered. “If only…”

Poverty? Doesn’t exist. Not everyone makes the same amount of money, but if you slip into poverty it’s much easier to get out. On PerfectVerse there is a watch that can project holograms, so you can actually see the person when you call! Finally! Tech never glitches and it repairs itself. PerfectVerse is a very fun and different planet to live on. I hope you come to visit!

“All right people! Buy your tickets right there!” Sally pointed down the path. Once everyone was moving in the right direction, she ran back to the office. Finally! Another long day was finished. Sally snatched a $50 bill and stuffed it in her pocket. She really did deserve it. 

Later, Sally got on the interstellar “bus” to PerfectVerse. Surprisingly, it was only 34 minutes away, yet many light years. How lucky she was to be born in 2156, and not some year long ago, like 2023. All this technology? She was so grateful. Since she had 30 more minutes, she grabbed out her diary and flipped to a new page. She knew it was baby-ish and soooo 2010s, but she couldn’t help it. She loved to write. 

Dear diary, 

I need to get this out of my mind! Please. 

That day, I was so scared. So was Sam, but at least he was a little more brave than me. Back then, it was 2166. I was 10 and Sam was 14. We used to live on UnPerfectVerse because Dad was a scientist learning about the environment. One day, I woke up, alone. This was very unusual. Mostly because our family was really close and Mom always woke me up. I ran around the house until I found Sam. 

“Sally?” He said, “I can’t find Mom or Dad.” 

Panic rushed through my veins. 

“They’re… missing?” I screeched.

I cried my eyes out for what seemed like days until Sam went outside to find them. 

“I’ll be right back,” He claimed “Stay right here.”

Unless “Right back” means 11 years, I don’t think he’s coming. I’m still so sad. Sam was my best friend.  

2 Years Later

I finally made enough money from my stupid job to finish college! Yay! 

“Although there are many challenges in life, we must learn to face our fears. Thank you! PerfectVerse really is the perfect place to live! Take a tour today!”

The last part of the speech was forced by my boss… I’m planning to quit tomorrow. 

But actually, come to PerfectVerse, it truly is perfect. 


The Museum of Natural Sciences

Last Friday the 6th graders went to the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. It is a very big and interesting museum. As a group, we all went to see the RACE exhibit. Highly recommend! The posters were so cool there. I learned a lot of new things, like that the Pandemic affected racism, and that people of color are treated differently in the doctor’s office. The main thing I learned is: race isn’t real! Race is a made up thing. Skin color is real, but race is not. 

Another cool exhibit was the dinosaur one! We got to see lots of cool bones. It was fun to imagine what the dinos actually looked like.  I love museums because every time you go, you learn something new. Although I have been to this museum before, I never got to see the RACE exhibit and cool posters. There was a 3d print room at The Museum of Natural Sciences. My group got to learn a lot about 3d printers, including where to download items to make. This museum was really fun, and the 6th graders all had a good time. 

Window or Mirror? Starfish by Lisa Fipps

Photo from Sora

A window book is a book that is unlike your life. You are looking through the window at it. A mirror book is a book that is similar to your life. The story is reflecting back at you.

I just finished reading Starfish by Lisa Fipps. I chose this book because it is realistic fiction, which is my favorite, and also because she is afraid to express herself. I like learning from my books, and this book is great if you need to learn how to stand up for yourself. Starfish is both a window and a mirror because there are some things that vary greatly from my life, like being bullied, but there are many things that are the same, like being a middle school girl. I almost always chose mirror books. I’m not really into fiction because it is harder to relate. I sort of know the story line in realistic fiction, and that makes it more relatable to other stories and real life. I really recommend reading Starfish if you haven’t already.

Italian Greyhounds

Italian Greyhounds are really cute, fashionable, and loving dogs. They are small, only weighing 7 to 14 pounds. Their life expectancy is 13 to 15 years, so they are really hard to get rid of! Social Media is blowing up with adorable Iggys in their runway fashion. Italian Greyhounds may be the dog breed for you! 

Let’s face it, Iggys are so CUTE! I mean, just look at that face. The best thing about them is that they are teeny tiny. Italian Greyhounds are a smaller version of a Greyhound, and even smaller than a Whippet. If Whippets are small, and Greyhounds are large, then Iggys are miniscule. Iggys have huge eyes, because they are sighthounds, but that just makes them so much cuter. Unfortunately, my IG, Meechie is blind from old age. She is 14. 

Fashion. It’s what Italian Greyhounds are known for. Big influencers like Tika The Iggy are creating new fashion and a new audience for it. Coats, dresses, skirts, and tops are all featured in today’s Iggy style. From casual to haute couture, Italian Greyhounds own it. If you are looking for something fun to do with your dog, you can learn how to sew them clothes. Like I said before, Iggys are small so you will end up using less fabric. That saves you money. Plus, everyone knows smaller is always cuter!

IGs are so loving! They follow you everywhere and need attention forever. Sometimes that’s hard for people because they might have full time jobs and can’t play with Iggys 24/7. Meechie sleeps for a while every day then gets up and barks until we give her food. Putting that aside, Italian Greyhounds are super easy to take care of. Iggys love their owners now matter what. 

I hope this helped you learn about Italian Greyhounds, and maybe you decided whether they are the breed for you or not. Iggys are adorable, fashionable, and very loving. But don’t just take my word for it, look at Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube for more info and pictures on Italian Greyhounds. In conclusion, Iggys will up your love for cuteness, fashion, and help you learn to be more affectionate with other people.


In class we did projects on different wisdom tales. I did a wisdom tale called Feathers which is about a woman who was spreading rumors about people when her Rabbi was warning her that she can’t take her words back. To prove it to her, he asked her to cut a pillow in the wind and to collect all the feathers again. When she realized it was impossible, he told her that she couldn’t collect all of her words again, just like the feathers.

I made an animation using FlipaClip that I drew myself. I chose animation because I thought it would be so cool to draw a story but then have it become a movie. Though it took a long time, it was worth it for the outcome of an amazing animation. I chose Feathers because I had heard the story before the class that we read it. Feathers speaks to me because it is about not spreading rumors, and rumors are so common in middle school.