Its Christmas break!!! I am very happy that we are finally off for break; it means a lot of time to sleep, which is why I have been waking up after 10:00 since break began. I enjoyed class on Friday because we did very little, but still had fun and enjoyed myself. I had a lot of projects and tests on both Thursday and Friday. Over break I plan on going skiing and spending time with family here in Chicago. This break I have an ok amount of homework, considering a lot of it is extra credit. I have almost finished reading Black Boy, and I really liked the first part of the book, but the second, which is all about communism, is a bit tedious. I am enjoying myself and doing nothing for these last few days.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
This Friday was Friday the 13th, but luckily nothing bad happened to me except having to take a Algebra II w/ Trigonometry test. This weekend we will go ice-skating on Friday. I hope I do well since it has been a while since I went ice-skating, and I also hope that my ice-skates fit. This week I had a test or quiz in every class. We had swim unit in P.E. and I am in the deep end. I enjoy the swim unit except for the fact that I always have to rush to next period. I can’t wait for Christmas break.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
This week we had swim unit. I was first placed in the middle group, because during my lap I had my head above the water most of the time. Then 3 days later the life guard said I should be in the deep end, which I had been in last year during the swim unit. I tested and got into the deep end and we played water polo. I enjoyed it and am glad I am now in the deep end. Yesterday(Saturday) I went to my first Model United Nation conference in Lyons Township HS. It was a good experience and I learned a lot from it. Three kids from Whitney Young won awards 1st,2nd,3rd from two different committees. At the end of the ceremony, they named Whitney Young the best large delegation at the conference. It is the first time this has happened to Whitney Young and I hope it happens many more times.
Monday, December 2, 2013
This week is thanksgiving week. I will be spending wednesday relaxing, and doing a little bit of HW and some chores. On thursday I have to wake up to go help volunteer at the turkey trot in Lincoln Park. I will be filling and handing out water to all the race participants. I hope it will go well and maybe I will see some people that I know there. For dinner we are going to go to my aunt and uncles house. On Friday and Saturday I will be spending time in Galena IL. We will go skiing and do some other stuff while we are there. On Sunday I will be going to Southern Illinois to pick up a turtle that is part of an endangered species.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
This week went by kind of slowly. It was stressful because I had various tests for different classes. In English we are working on a 1800s music video where we have to write lyrics to the tune and then create a music video. He assigned it last friday but nobody in the class got to even get into groups until Monday. So we have had this week and everyone is busy so we cant film or work on it this afternoon. We have barely any time to create any lyrics, decide scenes, film and all. In addition to that I have an English test on chp. 5-12 from the Scarlett Letter. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving next week since we have 2 days of school.
Monday, November 18, 2013
On Friday we went to Jahlil Okaford's college signing. We all packed into the bleachers and waited for ESPN to big in filming. There were tons of cameras there and it was an interesting experience. We had to convince Mr. Kash to let us go, since he thought it wasn't humble of him and the school. Almost everyone was complaining, and he realized everyone really wanted to go. We got there and watched as photographers and ESPN camera men setup and got ready. He came out with his parents and everyone started cheering. A lot of the kids started taking videos and picture even though Dr. Kenard told us not to. He signed with Duke, and talked with the number 2 recruit. It was fun and we didn't have to go to class.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
This week went by very slowly. On Monday I got a lot of work and it felt like it was Wednesday. I had soccer on both Tuesday and Wednesday. I really enjoy playing soccer because it gives me a break at the same time as doing exercise. On Wednesday at model UN we talked about the last conference, the one in December and we choose what we would wear for model UN. I hope the guys really do get a MUN tie. This week we had a presentation on Edgar Allen Poe, and I learned a lot about him. I had the misconception that he wrote nice poems and such but was very wrong., as all his stories are bloody. This week was ok, but I am so glad for the four day weekend.
Friday, November 1, 2013
This week was Halloween week!! This week was only four days long. This week I had a lot of homework and projects, but this weekend I finally don’t have loads of it. I had 4 tests this week with 3 on the same day, as well as a few big projects such as the horror story. On Thursday I didn't dress up because I had no time to make a costume with all my homework and soccer practice. I enjoyed seeing everyone dress up. After school I went home and decorated the front yard. I put up huge spider webs and a huge spider, as well as hung up some skeletons from the windows and door. We had some friends and family over and had a great time. Trick-or-Treaters were astonished at the 380-pound pumpkin we had in our yard. I enjoyed myself a lot and liked seeing the little kids with their costumes.
Horror Story: Yellowstone
Riccardo de Rossi and his family were visiting the US from Italy. They were going to visit Yellowstone National Park. The de Rossi family was excited and they had planned their trip months in advance. They were to drive through the woods to Yellowstone on October 1st, 2013, to camp at the park for 5 days, to travel to the camp by foot, and to enjoy nature to its fullest extent.
They left the airport and went to Hertz to rent a car, Riccardo began their drive happy, and in a great mood. The de Rossi family started the car ride talking about what they were excited about and what they were scared of. Riccardo and his sister, Isabella, began talking
“What are you scared of Isabella?”
“I’m not scared of anything. Well, maybe getting lost.”
“What about all the wild animals, those with wide eyes have rabies, aren’t you scared of them?”
“Ricky, stop trying to scare your sister. We are here to enjoy ourselves and have fun.”
“I’m not scared,” Isabella whispers.
The drive continues, and they turn on the radio, and try to make sense of the US news, but since they did not understand English, they could make no sense of the news, so decided to mock the news report from that day, the first of October.
“These proud Americans, talking about nonsense and such.” Says the father, “probably remarking about how much better their economy and government is doing in comparison to us.”
They continue for a while, listening to the radio in silence, before stopping at a gas station to take a break. Upon arriving, they see many people coming in and out. They enter the gas station and don’t realize that all the cars that are pulling out are heading back the way they started, and away from the park. Evening creeps in as they get back in the car and head toward Yellowstone. After about 40 minutes, they reach the closed gates of the park.
“Why are the gates closed?” exclaimed the father “ I read they are never closed, and that someone is normally at the gate.”
“Maybe they are only open on the weekends all day,” says the mother, craning her neck, trying to see in the dark.
A great “Boom” sounds as a bolt of lightning appears in the sky, and hits a tree somewhere in the area. In a moment, rain starts cascading onto the family, as they rush back to the car.
“I’m soaked!” says Isabella, “and cold.”
“This sucks,” mutters Riccardo, “This isn’t any fun anymore.”
“Now relax kids, I’ll get this straightened out don’t you worry,” says mother.
They begin driving back the way they came, in almost zero visibility. They swerve around branches on the road that have fallen, and with every turn they could feel the tension rising among them.
“Mommy, I’m scared,” says Isabella.
Riccardo nervously laughs, “Why would you be scared?”
The family fell silent for a moment. When Riccardo was just a toddler, he had wandered out of the house through the dog door. He was just three years old at the time and was on the porch when it became extremely dark and thundery. He was found curled into a ball on the porch crying and trembling with fear after about 15 minutes. After that he was always scared of the dark and thunderstorms, to such an extent that they took him to a psychologist, who diagnosed him as having a mix of Achluophobia and Astraphobia. After that incident he never wanted to have sleepovers with friends or do anything involving the dark. He sleeps with a night-light and had decorated his ceiling with glow stars in an effort to make him feel more comfortable.
“Don't worry son, everything is going to be fine.”
They turn a corner and suddenly the father hits the brake as hard as he can, just as he slams into a tree. The tree is in the middle of the road, blocking their path out of Yellowstone, and to the nearest group of people.
“Fu#ken $hit” say the dad.
Silence, except for a slight whimper coming from Isabella. Riccardo’s eyes are closed shut and he is breathing hard.
After a long moment, the dad says “Sorry, I didn't mean to say that. We’ll get out of this.”
They decide that since they can’t go around the tree and the woods were blocking either side of the road, their best option would be to turn around and head back towards the park and maybe find the visitor lodge and spend the night there. The father tries to put the car in reverse, but the engine just wheezes and doesn't move. He calms down for a second and tries again, with the same result.
“Wait here one moment, I’m going to grab a flashlight and try and go fix whatever the problem is. Just wait in the car.”
Mother looks at him worriedly and both Riccardo and Isabella kind of nod their heads as they try to stop trembling. Father takes out the car key to make sure nothing happens if the car is on and then heads outside. He goes out in the rain and almost completely disappears if it weren’t for the flashlights shining. He lifts the hood of the car and disappears from sight. After a few endless minutes of just looking at shadows from the trees on either side of them and listening to the constant torrent of water beating down on their car, father suddenly reappears.
“The cars done for.” He pauses, “we can either stay in the car till morning or try to walk the 2 miles to the visitor lodge.”
“What would there be at the lodge? It’s probably locked anyway,” says mother. Riccardo just looks at his parents, trying to search for some reassurance in their eyes but sees nothing.
“Or…I could walk there, and try to use the land line since our prepaid phone is dead.”
“Daddy I'm scared,” says Isabella, “and tired. What are we going to do?” she wails.
“Look, you, mommy, and Riccardo stay here, and I will go to the park lodge and try to call someone to help us get out of here.” He looks at all of them in turn, resting on Riccardo, “I won’t be too long.”
Father grabs the flashlight and leaves the car, in the direction of the park. They watch him leave when suddenly they see him stop. They look through the blurred glass, as father slowly turns around back to the car, and begins running.
“ROARRRR,” a huge animal breaks from the cover of the trees and runs toward father. A bear leapt out and raked his claws on the side of father’s leg, tearing his pants. He continues running toward the car, clutching his leg in agonizing pain and reaches for the door handle. The handle won’t budge.
“OPEN THE DOOR, OPEN THE DOOR” he shouts frantically looking behind him as the bear approaches him, the pupils of the bears eyes completely dilated. He presses his blood soaked hands up against the glass, rain washing away the blood, and he begins beating on it, trying in vain to get in. Riccardo and his mother frantically try to unlock the door but can’t, because the car is turned off and none of the buttons work.
“USE THE KEY” they scream. Father tries reaching into his pocket, searching for the key to the car, the key to safety, but comes up empty handed as his hand appears from a hole in his pant which the bear had clawed at.
Father turns, and the bear pounces, claws extended, at him and he moves just in time as the 700 pound creature slams into the car. The rest of the family inside screams too scared to even move as the car alarm goes off, scaring the bear. The bear goes into a crazed state, as the fright makes him turn and attack the car with aggressive determination. Everyone inside the car screams as the car begins to shake from the beatings it is receiving.
Father, outside, rushes to the fallen tree and proceeds to grab a thick branch that had broken off and starts charging toward the bear. He nears the bear and hits him as hard as he can on the top of the head.
The bear roars and rears up, 6.5 ft. tall and turn toward the father. It only then dawns on the father what a mistake he just made by trying to take on a creature four times his size. The father turns, trying to run, but tips over some of the debris from the fallen tree. The bear looms before him, ready to deliver the killing strike. His life flashes before his eyes, ending on the thought of how his family would survive. He tries to prop himself up, and one of his hands brushes against a split branch. He grabs it and reaches out as the bears foaming mouth hurdles toward his face, ready for the kill. He aims at the roof of his mouth hoping that the stick is strong enough to puncture through the roof of the mouth and into the brain.
His arm shakes as the bear comes down, both front paws crash into his shoulder snapping his shoulder bone, and tearing the flesh. The mouth moves toward him, eyes wide open with pupils at their largest, right before getting hit in the eye, by the branch held in the man’s extended arm. It’s not enough to stop him, and the bear’s jaws land on his neck biting down, severing the blood flow and his life.
Riccardo watches all of this paralyzed with fear down to the moment that his father’s life is ended. He watches helplessly, as the bear pounds down on his father’s corpse, until it eventually walks off roaring in pain from its one blind eye.
They wait in the car till morning, when Riccardo finally decides to smash the cars window open with a hammer from the back of the trunk. He goes out and freezes at the sight of his fathers distorted body. He slowly backs away, moaning, “no…no…no, this cant be happening.” He backs toward the car and looks at his mom. “Don’t leave the car,” he says as he renters through the window. He goes over and hugs her and Isabella comes and joins them. They all weep for a long time, drowned with sorrow and uncertainty for the future.
They wait for two more days, eating food that had been packed for the trip, and just mopping about what had happened and what would happen. Isabella imagining her father not being able to walk her down the aisle at her wedding, Riccardo thinking about what it would have be like at his graduation, and mother thinking whether life was worth living after her soul mate had died. How would life be like all alone with both of her children gone.
After two days a park ranger drove up to check on the damage on the park after the storm. He climbs over the tree and is met by this shocking sight of debris, a broken Range Rover, and a destroyed human corpse. He sees the family sleeping in the car and quickly rushes over to check.
The de Rossi family returned to Italy, and moved in with the mothers grandparents, because with a person less, it made the house feel hallow and empty. The family never went camping after that, and for the most part didn’t even leave the city of Florence at all due to their horrible tragedy abroad.