My 6 Month Reading Journey

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I am a reader. Kind of. The reason I say this is because I only started to like reading “real” books 6 months ago, and since then, I’ve only read 3 “real” books. In all the years before 6 months ago I absolutely HATED reading things that weren’t graphic novels, comic books, or kids magazines. It just felt like a chore. Now, I really enjoy reading and I’ve just started to read a book of a different genre than the other 3 books I’ve read since June.

My favorite places to read are either in the corner of a couch with a blanket or a nook near the fireplace.

However, reading is really hard for me when the book bores me or when it’s mandatory to read it. For example, this past summer I had to read 2 books for school: Finding Someplace by Denise Lewis Patrick and Shooting the Moon by Frances O’Roark Dowell. I enjoyed the books but the fact that I had to finish them by the end of summer, somehow made it harder for me to finish them. And I know what you might be thinking, “Reading 2 books in three months is really easy.”  Well not for me! I’m a slow reader and it takes me a whopping BAJILLION years to understand some seemingly impossible words-that-no-one-understands words. Well, not really, but it takes me a while 😉 

I like to read because I get to read about stories that I never knew about but it is also a great time for me to expand my vocabulary. Now, going back to the-books-that-aren’t-graphic-novel books. The 3 “real” books I have read since June were a series called The Last Fallen Series by Gracie Kim which is of the fantasy-fiction genre. Personally, I love this series because of all the fun personalities of all the characters and the many unexpected plot twists which makes this series so unique. I also love these books because I got to learn a lot about some creatures from Koren mythology.

Now, the book I’m currently reading is a book called Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen. The book’s genre is either young adult fiction or a romance novel. As you can tell, this book is VERY different compared to The Last Fallen Series. I thought that I would only like fantasy-fiction books, but BOY was I wrong. I adore this book. It’s got teen romance, comedy, and drama which is all the things I love. This book is about two teenagers named Juliana and Bryce. The book alternates from Bryce to Juliana sharing their side of the story during shared events. This book might sound boring to you, but trust me, it’s not.

If you are interested in either The Last Fallen Series or Flipped I would definitely recommend these books if you would like to read a different genre, the same genre, or if you just want to find another book to read. Plus, if you have any book recommendations, please let me know because I would love to read a book you have enjoyed.

Window or Mirror?


One of my favorite books is The Last Fallen Realm. The Last Fallen Realm is of the fantasy-fiction genre and is the last book of a three book series. The first two books in this series are called: The Last Fallen Star and The Last Fallen Moon. The author, Gracie Kim, did a fantastic job writing this series by illustrating the characters with great depth, adding humorous inputs, and major plot twists. I chose to read this series because I really enjoyed the previous Rick Riordan Presents series I read and I wanted to read another one.

There are three types of books: a window book, mirror book, or both a window and mirror book in one. A window book is where you feel like you are watching what is happening in the book from a window. In other words, you feel like that story doesn’t relate to your life. A mirror book is where you feel like the story very much relates to yourself and your life. It is as if you’re looking at a mirror. And of course, there can be both a window and mirror experience in one book. However, this may vary between people. For example, you might think a certain book is a window book for you. On the other hand, I might think the very same book is a mirror book for me.

Personally, I like to choose an equal amount of window and mirror books because I like to read about stories I never knew about but I also like to relate to stories because it makes me feel like I’m not alone in doing something.

The Last Fallen Realm, for me, is a window book. This is a window book because the book is set in fictional worlds with mythical creatures based on Korean culture and beliefs. I, for one, am an American of Indian origin so I know nothing about Korean culture and mythology. If I were to make this book more of a mirror book to me, I would make the main character of Indian origin and base the book on Hindu mythology. The thing I love most about this book is that I get to learn more about Korean mythology. For example, Dokkaebi (DOE-geh-bee) or “Korean goblins”, are nature deities or spirits possessing special abilities that are used to engage with humans. Sometimes playing tricks on humans and sometimes helping them. 

If you are interested in The Last Fallen series I’d definitely recommend it to you if you like the fantasy-fiction genre or are willing to read an adventurous book with a Korean twist. 


My Journey Through Volleyball So Far

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You may have heard about a sport called volleyball. If you haven’t, volleyball is a sport consisting of multiple arm and hand contacts to get a ball to not touch the ground and get it over the net. Unlike many other sports, if you mess up you still get high fives because it is all about encouraging your teammates and staying in the right mindset. 

This sport first caught my attention after I had made it onto a competitive soccer team in June. My mom had asked if I was interested in volleyball. She said that since I had played goalie in soccer for a while that I may really like volleyball because there are a lot of body sacrifices to save the ball. At the time, I was not enjoying soccer so I pondered on the idea for quite some time. After about a month of thinking, I quit soccer, nervous (but excited) to try something new. 

My journey soon started at my first volleyball lesson sometime in July at NC Volleyball Academy and needless to say, I loved it. Soon after, my mom enrolled me in a volleyball camp where I learned various skills such as how to pass, set, bump set, spike, and serve overhand and underhand. That summer, I went to a total of four volleyball camps, two of which were eight hours a day for three days. 

Over the course of August and September, I had multiple group sessions with Coach Daphne and some other girls to work on all the skills I had learned in July. In the three months I had to practice volleyball, I had improved immensely. I finally started to get the ball over the net when I served, I had better sets, I finally started to hit a topspin when I spiked, and I got really good at diving for the ball. 

As my volleyball tryouts were “just around the corner”, I practiced a lot with my dad. I practiced mostly on my dives because Coach Daphne said I’d be good at defense. I spent many hours diving on my living room carpet just to get my technique right. You might be thinking “doesn’t that hurt?” Well here’s my answer, it hurts a lot, but only in the beginning. Sometimes, during my serving I got so frustrated that I would flop on the grass crying. 

Soon the day of my volleyball tryouts had arrived and recovering from a month long cold, I wasn’t feeling too great. We did various drills focusing on different skills. My favorite drill was when we had to dive for the ball and get back up and be ready for the next ball. We’d go until we messed up. It was very tough and tiring. In the end, I felt like I did horrible (even though I hadn’t).  Two hours after the tryouts, we got a call that I had made the crystal team which is the second best team. You may have guessed that I was extremely excited. Soon I am going to have practices in November and I’m very excited. 

Even though it’s only been 4 months, I have learned so much and learned so many valuable lessons along the way. Even if I quit volleyball for some reason, I will never forget this memorable experience even though it’s only the beginning.


My Trip to Camp Kirkwood



On Wednesday August 30th, the entire 6th grade went to Camp Kirkwood with a hurricane coming up the coast. The teachers and staff helped load up the three buses and as we waited we played a game of “Lovett Says” and I tragically lost. Along with everyone in my advisory, I was assigned to bus three. During the bus ride, my friend Chinwe and I played a card game called BS. After about an hour on the bus, Chinwe allowed me to read one of the comic books she had brought and that lasted me a while. When we finally arrived at Camp Kirkwood; it was pouring. We loaded everything under the pavilion and waited to be assigned to our cabin. I along with 10 other girls and Señora Salas went to cabin one where we discussed sleeping arrangements for that night. For lunch we had ham and cheese sandwiches and after that I got dressed for the pool. At the pool, you had to take a swimming test where you had to freestyle from one side of the pool to the other and then get out. If you passed, you got a blue band and if you didn’t, you got a green band and you had to wear a floaty. That night, Thia and I did shadow puppets under the shaky bunks while the rain poured outside. Soon enough, our cabin was filled with the cries and laughter of Jordan, the clicking of Chinwe’s camera, and the snapping of the jaws from Emma’s Crocodile Dentist game.




Sadly, I do not remember for the life of me what order the activities were in. One of the activities was Forest Ecology where I learned that we only use the part of the tree called the heartwood to make things, toothpaste is made from trees, and Mr. Lantzy doesn’t like magnolias. One of my favorite activities was the Kanga Jump. It was like a trampoline and there was a lot of sand around it which made for tons of sandy socks and shoes. We played a game where if a certain color was shouted out, we would have to run to that color on the trampolineish thing as quickly as we could and the last person to touch it was out. However, if someone said “That green!”, “That blue!”, or “That orange!” and pointed to a section in that color everyone had to run to that section that was pointed out and not any other. You can also trick people by saying a color and pointing to it without saying “that” and people sometimes run to that certain section even though they don’t have to.





The activity that stood out to me the most was the V swing. When you climbed up the ladder there was a V shaped rope mechanism that would be attached to your harness using a large carabiner. Then everyone would grab the end of the rope and hoist you up. Once you were at the height you wanted to be at, you pull a small green rope which collapses the large rope your classmates used to pull you up and it sends you soaring through the air. I went to the highest point and needless to say, I was terrified. My stomach dropped a few times but after a while I got used to it and started to enjoy it. For me, the most entertaining was the zip line because it went over the lake and I got to see the people who were boating. I also got to see Mr. Robbins, Ms. Richardson, Mr. Lovett, and Señora Salas all go down the zip line. My favorite part of the entire camping trip was s’mores. The only problem was I ate my marshmallow before I knew we could make s’mores, welp.














The other activities I haven’t mentioned include Orienteering,  Battle Ball, Boating, Soccer, a lot of team building exercises, and getting to know Bubbles. If you are wondering, which you probably are, Bubbles is their pig! She is very sweet, under one years old, and has a fondness for Mr. Robbins. Battle Ball, took place during the night. Battle Ball is like DodgeBall, except there is an additional pink ball. If the you make a half court shot with the pink ball, you’re entire team wins. And if you want to free your teammates who got out, you have to hit the backboard of the basketball hoop with any Battle Ball. Some people decided to watch a movie instead of Battle Ball though. The only problem was it was raining and we were under the pavilion so when one of the balls was thrown outside of the pavilion, you would get soaked if you tried to get it. Sadly, I got out more than 12 times. At one point we saw lightning and had to go inside but was still really fun while it happened. In boating, you get in a canoe with three other people and paddle around the lake. We even raced Mr. Robbins who was on a paddle board and I bet you can guess how that went. Yep, we lost. But it was still really fun. As the trip was coming to an end, we all packed up the last of our things and put it under the pavilion. Again, I was assigned to bus three. Surprisingly, this bus was a lot nicer than the one we were in before and had very comfortable seats with a TV in front of you that you could pull down. The people who didn’t have a TV had charging ports. Like WOW. I have never been in a bus this nice or this clean. 












All in all, I had an amazing time thanks to Liz, Matt, and all the other faculty members. During the entire trip, I have made so many great memories like when we were in the pool, trying to fit four people in one floaty and then trying to move, or when Mr. Robbins almost bounced everyone off the Kanga Jump, or when Jordan taught me how to dive in the deep end, or even talking to my bunk mates late at night. Though the food wasn’t the best and there were a lot of bugs, I still really enjoyed this trip.