Monthly Archives: November 2011

Hunting for the Mona Lisa (part 1)

Don’t Play With Fire

It was a bright sunny day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and you could feel the warm summer breeze rushing by your ears. I’m Daniel Remirza. I’m thirteen years old and I am in sixth grade atDaisyElementary School. I’m pretty good at sports and I like playing with my friends but I have probably the worst grades in school. I bomb my math tests, flunk language arts, I am not good at geography, and I get grades so bad on my science tests that the teachers at my school created the grade “G.” Even the teachers act like I’m the worst person that they’ve ever met. I can’t believe that I’ve been asked to be the leader of this great case. The Mona Lisa . . . was STOLEN!

“Daniel can’t be the leader,” started my classmate Sarah. “He’s bad at everything.”

A detective just came into the classroom to talk to us about the Mona Lisa case. He had a light-brown hat and a light-brown jacket. In his pocket was a small box of matches and a magnifying glass. He had a mustache and his hair was dark brown. He had brown eyes and light-brown eyebrows. You could tell he really liked brown just by looking at him.

“I’m sorry Sarah he just looks like a good detective for this case,” said the detective. “You never know Sarah, sometimes the worst people become really great heroes.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” whispered Sarah.

You could tell she was really disappointed. I stood up and said, “I’ll do it. I just need one or two people to help. Who would like to come?”

Nobody raised their hands. I got real angry and balled my fists. I felt like slamming everyone with a good hard punch.

“Then-then I’ll do it by myself!” I shouted angrily.

I rushed out the door and sat down on a nearby bench. I wanted to cry. Even my one best friend Luke didn’t want to come. I getting tired fast and very soon, I fell asleep.

I felt a tug, then a kick, then a whack in the face. I woke up and found Luke in front of me. The school was burning and all you could see was flames. They were everywhere. No fire extinguishers were near us. We were trapped.

“Hey Dan, you got your water bottle?” asked Luke.

“Nope,” I replied.

“Then we’ll have to go to plan B.”

“What’s plan B?”

“Okay Dan, you see those flames?”

He pointed at the flames that just started a little while ago.

“Stand there and hold out your hand. I’ll do the rest.”

I ran over and held out both of my hands. Luke ran, stepped on my hands, and leaped across the flames. He got a fire extinguisher and demolished the flames. We ran through the school destroying every flame we came across. Then, there was a flame about ten times bigger than the rest. We didn’t know what to do. The fire extinguisher ran out of its chemical. Beads of sweat went down my face. We had to think of something fast. The flame was burning everything. The ceiling was ready to fall on us. Luke took out a soda can and tossed it into the fire. It got smaller but only a little.

“You got any carbon dioxide stuff?” asked Luke.

“No,” I said.

“Okay, then we’re dead.”

The fire turned gigantic. It was probably ten or eleven feet tall now. Now we were really trapped. There was no way out. Then, I saw something that could help.

“Luke, the water fountain!” I said.

He looked at me like I was crazy.

“How are we gonna reach that?” he asked.

“I dunno,” I replied.

I had to do something. I didn’t have water or anything that could destroy flames.

“Wait,” I said taking out a magnet.

I threw it at the water fountain. BANG! It stuck on and the fountain started shooting out water.

“Now we just need something to make it shoot at the fire,” said Luke.

Suddenly, the ceiling shook. It was cracking open. Small pieces fell down to the ground. This is the weird part. Magically, two fire extinguishers fell from the ceiling. I picked one up and started spraying the whole fire with the chemical inside it. Almost immediately, the fire was gone. Luke and I ran as fast as we could out the front door. We were outside now. Nobody was outside. It was like they simply just disappeared.

“Where’d they go?” I asked.

“They said they all were going toParis,France,” said Luke.

“But . . . why?”

“Don’t you know? The Mona Lisa is there or . . . was there. They wanted to take your spot as detective.”


“It’s true Dan. When I was out here, I overheard them about going toParis,France. They talked about the plan. The plan was to go to the airport and fly there when you weren’t there. They said it was a perfect chance for them to get revenge on you.”

“Revenge? What did I ever do to them?”

“I don’t know but I’m sure they do. I think we’d better hurry up and catch up to them.”

“Oka-wait, what do you mean we? I’m the only one doing this case.”

“Well, I forgot to tell you but I want to join you, can I?”

I thought for a second. He didn’t seem to be playing a prank on me.

“Well, you should’ve told me you wanted to join. You’re in!” I said.

“Now let’s get going,” said Lucas as we ran to our bikes.

We got on, put on our helmets, and rode all the way to the airport.


At  center, a few days ago, I went To CROWN CENTER

When I was 5, I took ice skating lessons. I became really good at it. Before I quit, I learned the backwards Grapevine

TODAY, I FELL DOWN A LOT. Like 8 or 9 times. I had to tug on Promethium’s sleeve to stay balanced. After skating 15 minutes, they took out the Zamboni which is a huge mop/tractor that cleans up skating snow and smooths the cracks. That way it is easier to skate. Before that, I had to change my skates to a size 4.

NOTE: if you have never skated before, and you aren’t skating with a teacher, YOU WILL FALL. DOWN. ALOT.

Thanksgiving limericks

The gravy tasted a little sketchy,

Personally, I thought was bleckky,

The turkey was chunky,

The stuffing looked funky,

After eating, my tongue was all stretchy!!


I will (P)='[O][//’`~{S}&^%/.|T| more next {T}(i)[m]/e\!!

My Thanksgiving Poem

On Thanksgiving I will eat lots of turkey,

Mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, too,

There will still be plenty of leftovers,

More than enough for me and you.


The leftovers will be made up

Of nothing but my cooking,

Because I have absolutely no skill in the kitchen,

Except when it comes to looking.


Be thankful you’re not eating my concoctions,

You will surely get bad results,

Don’t worry about rejecting the food,

Because I don’t take the rejection as insults.


Finally, I’d like to wish everybody

A very happy Thanksgiving,

A day where everyone who celebrates

Feels that life really is worth living!




Where did the turkey get its name?

Have you ever wondered what Turkey (the country in the Middle East) and the American bird have in common?  A case of mistaken identity resulted in the American Turkey being named after the country.  When the Spanish first found the bird in the Americas more than 400 years ago they brought it back to Europe. The English mistakenly thought it was a bird they called a “turkey” so they gave it the same name. This other bird was actually from Africa, but came to England by way of the Turkey (lots of shipping went through Turkey at the time). The name stuck even when they realized the birds weren’t the same.

Turkey Terms

Caruncle – brightly colored growths on the throat region.  Turns bright red when the turkey is upset or during courtship.

Gizzard – a part of a bird’s stomach that contains tiny stones.  It helps them grind up food for digestion.

Hen – a female turkey.

Poult – a baby turkey.  A chick.

Snood – the flap of skin that hangs over the turkey’s beak.  Turns bright red when the turkey is upset or during courtship.

Tom – a male turkey.  Also known as a gobbler.

Wattle – the flap of skin under the turkey’s chin. Turns bright red when the turkey is upset or during courtship.

More interesting facts about Turkey the bird can be found at

Thanksgiving Holiday Creative Fun Contest

It is time for some creative fun time!

For anything related to Thanksgiving, submit YOUR funny story, poem, drawing, photos, music, or book report, or recipe, or video, and share the fun with everyone! Then we will vote the most fun post.

Note: all submissions must be the author’s own work, old or new.

Let the fun begin now!

Candy Rap

At school, we brought in 5 pieces of candy and used them to create raps. Here’s mine.

One day I went to Lemon-Head Park.

My friend Reese’s Pieces was already there.

He threw me a shovel and told me to dig.

I threw it in the air.


He just scowled and told me to come.

He went to the Skittle Slide.

I looked at the slide and walked up the steps.

I wanted to hide.


My friend Kit-Kat came walking by.

I ran to him with a Butterfinger.

He slapped it away and I got all mad.

I walked away and thought, “My friends are getting meaner!”

About Me – A Short Poem

Author’s Note: Yes, my poem isn’t very good, but I just thought I’d share it anyway.

Pencil in hand, paper ready,

Always writing, but writing steady.

Writing and writing, writing on,

Creating stories flowing like song.

Puppy Love

Author’s Note: If you can read this article, I hope you will enjoy it!







       有时候,我会看见一只狗和它的主人散步。那小狗永远看起来很高兴 – 它的耳朵竖得直直的,尾巴轻轻的甩着。



My Beloved Panda

Author’s Note: If you can read this, enjoy!




一个月过去了。我参加了一个夏令营,名叫 “中国 – 寻根之旅 – 相约北京 海外华裔青少年夏令营。”当我得知我们要专门去动物园看熊猫时,我真高兴啊!




我给我的熊猫起了名字。它的名字叫, ”泡泡,” 英文翻译叫, “Bubble.”



Sliding Down

Author’s Note: This is a memoir I wrote for English. It is a true story (Hint: It is a memoir). I hope you will enjoy it!

Confidence, integrity, and perseverance are what teachers tell us to have all the time. They tell us to stand firm for what we believe in, and they want us to feel confident about ourselves. What they don’t know is that there are overachievers, people who go above and beyond normal expectations. There are people who may shine with confidence and who can be more stubborn than a mule will ever be.

Yes, overachievers of that sort do exist. I know, and I’m sure, because that description can only be used to describe me.

How wonderful and exciting that must be! I thought, standing waist-deep in the cool water. I will try it after that kid is done.

Looking up at the massive, towering water slide, I traced the swirls and loops of the textured, forest-green surface with my mind, wondering what it would be like to slide down this great masterpiece one time. Just one time.

I had never been on a water slide before, and I was eager to go on one for the first time in my life. It would be a daring task for a six-year-old to undertake, but I knew I could do it.

However, threads of anxiety and doubt nagged at me. I realized that I couldn’t swim underwater. So there was no purpose in going on the water slide unless I was up and ready for a miserable drowning session.

I had also heard many stories about kids drowning because they couldn’t swim, and that added to my accumulating list of worries. Would I be part of the “drowned” list if I went on the water slide? The odds of that were very slim. Besides, would going on a water slide just one time be any harm?

I carefully considered the options. If I didn’t go on the tempting water slide, I would be safe from drowning, but it would be pure torment to sit by and watch other kids enjoy themselves on a thrilling, exciting ride down the water slide.

After looking on as happy kids whooshed down the water slide, I became all but hesitant to go on it. The twists and turns of the slide, the way the kids flew out into the shallow, blue water, laughing as they came up for air – it looked too marvelous to pass by.

Shivering from cold – or nervousness, I couldn’t tell which – I got out of the activity pool and made my way to the water slide. The climb up the stairs seemed endless! Trying hard not to slip on the cold, white, water-slick surface of the metal stairs, I finally stopped at the top, waiting my turn.

As I waited in line, half of me was ready to face the water slide, but the other half was resolute to go back to the activity pool. When someone asked if I was in line for the water slide, I managed to utter a shaky, uncertain yes.

Suddenly, the boy directly in front of me slid down the water slide with a loud shout. Seconds later, we saw him jogging towards the ladder with a grin on his face, getting in line to go again.

This is my moment, I thought. While everyone is still waiting, I can ask to go back to the activity pool.

However, like all the other times I hadn’t spoken up because of shyness, I missed my “perfect moment.” I was left to either go on the slide and drown or embarrass myself in front of everyone by asking to go back to the activity pool. Hmm… Which should it be?

As I stood at the head of the line, my mind went blank. Was I supposed to go? Everyone was watching me, but they didn’t say anything. I looked to the lifeguard for help. She looked at me and nodded her head. It was my turn.

My heart pounded fast, and I tensed with anxiety. Trembling like a leaf in the wind, I watched as the water on the slide crashed and roared, and I felt frightened. No, more than just frightened. Terrified. Deathly terrified. Thoughts raced through my mind. Why am I doing this? I thought. The water is rushing too fast. It will carry me into the water before I can react, and then I will drown. I’m going to ask if I can go back down the stairs or if I can have someone else go before me.

Clearing my throat, I whispered to the lifeguard, “Is it my turn?” Everyone in line was watching me, and some people were muttering words like “hurry” and “go” under their breath.

“Yes, it is. Please hurry up, because you’re holding up the line,” she replied.

I watched the roaring, churning water and hesitated another few seconds, then asked, nervously, “Do I really go now?”

“Yes!” she exclaimed. “Are you going to go, or not? If you aren’t, please go back to the activity pool because we don’t have time for this.”

Taking a deep breath, I knelt down at the mouth of the slide, preparing to sit. Just then, the boy behind me angrily muttered, “Come on, go!”

Upon hearing his remark, I accidentally sat down at the start of the slide. The water rushed and flowed toward the end pool, carrying me with it. I felt like a twig in a river current, trapped and hopeless. I grabbed in vain for the edges of the slide, trying to stop myself, but the force of the water was too strong for me. I had completely no control of how fast I was going, and I didn’t know when the slide would shoot me out into the water.

I closed my eyes tight and braced myself for the anticipated splash into the water. It didn’t come. I waited tensely, holding my breath. It still didn’t come. I had just decided I was in the middle of the water slide when I flew out of it and landed with an unceremonious splash in the water. The shock and suddenness of it all took me completely by surprise, and I did not, or could not, react for a few seconds.

However, the initial surprise didn’t last long. Through all of my body, I could feel that I was slowly sinking to the bottom of the pool. I was three-quarters of the way down when I began to kick my feet and flap my arms in desperate attempts to float back up to the surface. My lungs were burning for air because I had not had enough time to draw a long breath before I flew out of the water slide. How many more seconds would it take me to get back to the surface? Struggling harder, I finally felt myself slowly rising. I kicked even harder, until my head popped up out of the water.

Taking a deep, shuddering breath and opening my eyes, I felt relief and thankfulness flooding over me. I splashed my way to the pool ladder and ran back to the comfort of the activity pool.

As I ran, my waterlogged nose started feeling weird and painful. I hated how it felt, and I swam around in the shallowest part of the pool until the pain receded completely.

That night, I didn’t tell my parents about nearly drowning. I didn’t see the need to. Why worry them? I had learned my lesson, hadn’t I? I had also promised myself to be less overconfident and less stubborn. However, being the person I am, that promise didn’t hold true for very long.

I learned my lesson last time, I thought to myself. I am taller now, and wiser, so I am sure to be fine.

There was no one in line, and there hadn’t been for quite some time. If I were to get on the water slide now, nobody would be watching, I thought.

I had planned every single detail in my mind – how to get on the slide, when to hold my breath, and everything else – so I decided to give it a shot. I was going on the water slide for the second time in my life. I was seven years old.

Okay, so it was a stupid idea to even try. I had not improved my swimming skills since then, or had even thought of doing so, but I firmly believed that my increase in height, age, and knowledge would prevent me from drowning. I was shining with confidence, and I was positive my plan was going to work.

That embarrassing day, I was at a friend’s birthday party. Tired of splashing around in the shallow water, yet too afraid to swim in water above chin level, I spotted the purple water slide and decided to try it when there was no one around.

I climbed up the stairs and sat down on the very edge of the water slide, holding on as hard as I could to it. Checking to make sure that no one was in line after me, I took a deep, long breath, opened my eyes wide, and slid down.

The breath of air I had held soon ran out, and I found myself drawing breath repeatedly. Suddenly, I felt the slide disappearing underneath me, felt myself become airborne, and I saw one glimpse of the blue water before I landed in it.

Splash! I went underwater. My feet touched the bottom, and I frantically began waving my arms and legs. After a lot of flailing and kicking, I floated up, realizing that it was a little easier to come up this time, but not by much. I had still gotten water up my nose, and it felt as awful as it did the first time, if not worse.

Swimming over to the side of the pool to get my hair out of my face, I looked up suddenly to see my friend watching me. She had been calling my name, but I couldn’t hear her while I was underwater.

While laughing, she said, “Mimi, when you were underwater, you looked like a monkey!”

“What do you mean?” I asked in confusion.

“You know,” she said, “like this.” She made monkey-like gestures for me, and I nodded my head slowly and smiled. However, I felt rather humiliated that my friend had just seen my not-too-wonderful underwater show.

She led me back to the activity pool, where we played in the water. Well, she knew how to swim, and I followed her as she darted around like a fish. All the time, I was desperately wishing I could swim the way she did.

Several years later, I have learned how to swim underwater. I would love to get on a water slide, but I can’t get over my fear of drowning.

However, I know that someday my curiosity will get the better of me. While swimming at the pool, I will look up to see people sliding down a water slide, and I will watch as they go down the twists and turns of this magical creation. I will then convince myself to slide down it one time – just one time – the way I did so many years before.

Puss in Boots

Yesterday we went to the movies. We saw Puss in Boots. It was a good movie. Basically, Humpty (Humpty dumpty) betrays his friend Puss (a cat) while trying to find some magic beans (Jack and the Beanstalk). And then in the end, Humpty makes up to Puss and dies and the shell cracks open and inside is a golden egg because Humpty was always good inside. There’s also this girl kitty named Kitty Soft Paws and Puss falls in love with her. Puss and Humpty were known as outlaws but they were heroes at the same time. I liked the movie because it teaches a good life lesson. It tells you about friendship, adventure, and how to be a good person. I think you would really enjoy Puss in Boots!