Friday, April 1, 2011

A Journal from the Mayflower

8/3/1620
Day 1
Today I woke up in the morning on 8/5/1620 and today I was going to ride the mayflower to the new world and a boat called the speedwell is going to follow us. So when I was ready I went outside and stepped on board the mayflower. I was on the boat it was in the afternoon and I was looking way out in the ocean to see if I could see anything but no land I could just see water way out. After a while it was time to eat lunch there was not very much food but it was enough to fill me up I was to full to eat one more bite. It was noon and the sun was going down then we had dinner I was still a little bit full from lunch still but I could eat a little bit of food. Right after dinner I went to get ready for bed and the ship was rocking back and forth I did not think I would be able to sleep tonight

9/4/1620
Day 2
I woke up on the ship I only got like five hours of sleep because the ship made me feel sick and when I woke up I went outside to see if I could see anything and when I looked not even a rock was in sight I knew that it was going to take a lot more than two days to get to land. There were not very much kids on the boat just a couple baby’s and like 34 kids on the boat. I went to the table to get breakfast and there was a lot of food that I liked and I ate a lot but then I got full. I was lying in my bed it was kind of hard but a sleeping all they had for lunch was fish but I liked some kinds of fish so I ate a little bit. Then I went to the front of the boat to look but still just water as far as I could see. When it was dinner there was still some left over fish and some other stuff that I ate. Then like always I got ready for bed after dinner was over and got into bed and went to bed. On my bed the ship was still rocking a couple people had little soft with all the blanket on and when I was laying some fish that people had caught earlier when I was

9/5/1620Day 3
I woke up in the morning yawned then I got dressed and went outside today I wanted to meet the captain in the captain room were you drive the boat. I wish the boat could go faster but I do not think the captain can drive the boat any faster. I was walking to the captain’s room and I saw the captain I asked him what his name was and he said Christopher Pringle. And then I asked him if I could see how to drive the boat and he showed me how to make it turn then he took me outside and showed me how to put the sails down witch I already knew how to put the sails down you have to pull the string that is holding the sails up then the sails catch the wind and that is how to make the ship move. Then I told him that I had to go because it was time for breakfast so I left. When I got to the table everything was eaten I knew I was too late so I did not get anything to eat then I waited for lunch cause I was so hungry I could eat a giant house of bricks. When it was lunch I ran to the table and ate a lot until I was stuffed I was so full I did not think I could eat dinner. So when it was dinner I just laid in bed cause I was to full to eat. And then I was not that full any more so I got ready for bed.

9/6/1620
Day 4
I was sleeping when I heard a everyone came and looked on the side the boat tipped a little but not too much when everyone looked the speedwell had a leak so the speedwell had to go back to England. After the speedwell went back I wondered if the mayflower was going to get a leak and have to travel all the way back to England. Sometimes there are things that happen that are worse than a leak like kids playing with matches than they light gunpowder on fire with the matches and then everyone dies and the mayflower sinks to the bottom of the ocean. People dying is even worse than someones fish dying.

9/17/1620
Day 5
After the speedwell got a leak and went back to England everyone wondered if the may flower would have to go back to England but it had past five days sense they had been back at England and they could not turn back right now after how far the mayflower had gotten it had been one day sense the speedwell went back to England. On the boat they did not have much food all they could do is stop the boat and catch fish if they did not stop the boat a fish would not be able to grab the hook and all they had to drink was beer.

Everyone on the ship was asking me to ask the captain how much longer it would take to get to the new world so I went into the captains room to ask the captain how many day’s did he thinked it was going to take to get to the new world and he said it would take about five more days to get to the new world then I went back and told everyone that he said that it would take about five more days to get to the new world.

9/22/1620
Day 6
When I woke up I was still the only one that did not throw up on the ship but the captain did not throw up either. I was getting board on the ship there was nothing to do for four more days so I just wondered around the ship the ship was a little crowded so I could not see much but I saw some stuff like bed rooms the kitchen. I asked the captain if the ship could go any faster but he said only if there was more wind so then I ate lunch. Then I went back in my room there were like three other kids in my room so I sat on my bed reading a book about boat till dinner so then I ate dinner then like always got ready for bed.

9/25/1620
Day 7
I woke up in the morning went to eat breakfast I was a little bit tired and sleepy cause last night I counted how many words I wrote in my journal I counted up 1,204 I counted up the numbers because I was board with nothing to do for ten day’s but it has almost past ten day’s I have only been on the boat for seven day’s it was almost lunch so I started to walk to lunch then I ate. Then did nothing till dinner then ate it felt like every day was the same eat dinner get ready for bed then go to sleep.

10/15/1620
Day 8
I woke up on day 8 on the rocking boat that made everybody throw up. But I never threw up in the water of in a bucket. If I threw up in the water a fish would eat it and die.
And the fish would get eaten by a whale a whale is big enough to swallow one thousand fish. So then I at lunch still fish for lunch they did not have much food on the boat mainly just fish so all I had to eat was fish. Then I do nothing for a couple of hours some people on the ship can’t tell time but I can and the captain so after a couple of hours I did nothing then I ate dinner every day on the mayflower was the same then I got ready for bed I always wondered if the speedwell was more fun than the mayflower.

11/1/1620
Day 9
I woke up I was so tired of the boat I could never get to sleep with all the rocking. It was day nine and the captain said like four days ago we would get there in five day’s do it would be one more day until we get there and I did not always have look at the front of the boat because there was a guy that was up high and would say land ho when there was land so I just look to see if I can see land but I never do but tomorrow I might see land so I ate lunch I was never hungry enough to eat breakfast so I skipped breakfast so I ate lunch and then wrote in my journal till dinner then got ready for bed.

11/9/1620
Day 10
I was sleeping when I heard land ho the guy shouted I got dressed and ran out and looked I saw land about ten minutes away and I waited when we got there everybody was so excited to get of that boat so everybody ran off the boat and know body knew what to name the island everybody just looked around and was happy to be off the mayflower cause it got everybody sick so that we had breakfast lunch and dinner there and then we built shelter to sleep in for the night.

A Journal from the Mayflower

8/3/1620
I stared at the ship that would be my home for the next few months. It was small, and probably crammed. About 100 people were boarding, and a few others were going on The Speedwell a smaller ship.

Mother ushered Hannah, Matthew, and all our bags up the ramp, and onto the top deck. The words The Mayflower reflected in the waving water below. I shivered just thinking about the water. It looked freezing cold and I couldn’t swim.

“Elizabeth!” My mother called from the ship. “Help your father with the rest of the bags.” I walked over to my father, and picked up two large bags.

“Thank you.” Father mumbled under the weight of the bags he was carrying. I nodded. I scrambled up the ramp, weaving through people, animals, and bags. I accidently stepped on a sailor’s foot and he called me a word I had never heard before.
I re-joined my mother and two siblings. They were starting to carry our bags below deck.

“Hannah, Elizabeth take these four bags, below deck. Matthew don’t play in the gull poop!” Mother cried. Hannah and I laughed, and grabbed the bags.
Below deck was dark, and crammed. I was smart enough to bring oil lamps, with matches. There were a few other people; most people were still on deck. Mother shortly joined us, with Matthew whose hands were suspiciously white and slimy.

Father came to join us, just as we started setting up our large goose-feather mattress. “There has already been a fight between a few men and sailors. Now I know where the name sailor-mouth comes from!” He said with a small smile. He set down the last of our seven bags. I opened one, and drew out my small drawstring bag. It contained my quilting, knitting, a small box of jewelry, and my two oil candles. The candles would provide a bit of light, but not a lot. I set the bag aside, and watched Hannah play with her two dolls. Hannah was 9, Matthew was 4, and I was 12.

We went on deck. It was a lot more crowded than it had been before. Sailors were untying the sail, and anchor. We were about to set sail. My siblings and I ran to the railing. A few people had gathered to say good-bye.

I saw grandmother and grandfather waving. We waved back. The boat lurched, and I almost fell overboard. It was the start of a long journey.

8/5/1620
England was soon out of sight. The Mayflower was making good time. Soon the sailors said we couldn’t come above deck anymore, because it was getting too crowded.

It was really crowded below deck. People started to get sea-sick. The smell of vomit soon replaced the smell of wine that used to be there. That made people even sicker. I haven’t gotten sick yet, mother, and Matthew had been throwing up earlier. Hannah is a bit green in the face, but hasn’t vomited yet. So far it’s been pretty bad.

The food has been ok. It’s normally salted pork, a slightly stale biscuit, and lime juice. I asked father why it was lime juice instead of water. He said it prevented scurvy, whatever that was.

If you ever go to the new world, my tip to you is get a bigger boat.

9/4/1620
It has been about a month now. Things haven’t gotten much better, or much worse. I’ve made friends with a girl named Martha, and her brother George.

Martha and George would perform these little two person skits that made me and Hannah laugh. They showed us their family’s chickens, and let us feed them. They let us hold their pet cat Louie.

Louie would be sitting on your lap, and all of a sudden run off when someone passes by. Then he would come right back, and settle into someone else’s lap. Just to start the whole process over again.
I liked having Martha and George around, it helped pass the time. I just hope we will be there soon. After meals my stomach hurts, I think I am going to be sick.

9/6/1620
The speedwell turned back today. One of the sailors came and informed us. He said it started leaking. I wished I was on that boat.

Now, I’ve started throwing up. Only Hannah hasn’t. I feel horrible sitting in bed most of the day. I wished there were windows, that would make me feel better, to see sunlight.

I’m pretty sure I passed on my germs to Martha. I feel bad about that. I haven’t seen either of them in days. When will we get off?

9/15/1620
I’ve gotten better. My stomach doesn’t hurt much, and I’ve only thrown up once this past week. I visited Martha, and George. They are getting over the sickness too.

We played a few games for about two hours till super. I learned that the lime juice was out, so we had to drink beer, which didn’t taste that bad actually. Mother refused to drink, but soon she was forced to or go thirsty.

Some of the adults got drunk, and started singing at the top of their lungs. Father yelled at them to be quiet, but they kept on singing. I guess I’m going to be up all night.

The drunk people eventually stopped singing. But I could hear some of them hiccupping. I finally fell asleep. My dreams where full of hiccups.

9/17/1620
Today has been boring as usual. The sailors limited the beer, so that no one would get drunk. Hey! The first smart idea on this boat! I thought.

The sailors said only a couple months now. I hope they’re right. Now none of us are vomiting. Hannah is lucky to never of gotten it. Mother says she will get the next sickness harder than we will. I hope it’s not the flu.
There has been a group of men, who have been getting restless. They’ve snapped at their wives, and yelled at their children. I’m pretty sure next their going to take out their boredom on sailors. That will be fun.
Hannah and I have started playing with Martha and George again. We are almost out of games to play. We have made up a couple, and repeated them. It gets old after a while.

So most of the time now we just talk about our lives in England, how bored, and miserable we are, and stuff like that. I hope We will be there soon.

9/22/1620
Remember what mom said about Hannah getting the next sickness, but harder? Well, she was right. Hannah was one of the first to get a high fever. She complained night and day about how hot she was and how much her head hurt.

More and more people started getting sick. I started coughing, and getting dizzy. Matthew got a fever, and Father had a bad headache.

There aren’t many people vomiting now. Just coughing, and sneezing, and wheezing. I was freezing cold at night, and when I would pull the sheets up I would burn up. That would go on all night.

Then people started dying. I watched as sailors would come down wrap up a body and carry it away. I started hearing people weeping for the home they had left, for the loved ones they had lost, and just because they were in pain.

I got a fever and felt horrible. My head felt like a burning ember. I couldn’t move. My mouth was as dry as sand, because I had nothing to drink. I would lie and moan for water, it felt like no one heard me.

9/25/1620
The fever left me and everyone else as soon as it came. I learned that few children died, only about 15 adults. Now I am really tired of rocking back and forth all day and night. I’m tired of the horrible food, crammed spaces, and horrible smell

I’m tired of the sailors yelling to us to quit or moaning and groaning. It’s been almost three months. I long for fresh food, water, and air.

11/1/1620
The captain Christopher Pringle says we will arrive this month. A few of the women kissed the sailor who announced the news.

“I wonder when this month we will get there?”Hannah asked. We were with Martha and her brother.

“I don’t know I hope soon. No one should live in these condtions.” George answered. Martha and I agreed.

“But Its taking so long!” Martha complained. I told her that’s just how sea life is, and she should never be a sailor’s wife. My friends laughed at that.

Mother started to get things together.

“What are you doing my dear?” Father asked.

“I want to be ready when we arrive.” Mother answered.

“Well, we don’t know how long that will be.” Father said.

We better get there soon. I’m getting ready to swim the rest of the way there.

11/9/1620
“Land Ho!” A sailor yelled above us. The deck exploded with people trying to get to the hatch. Hannah and I were one of the first to get there. A man ahead of us opened the door, and everyone pushed and shoved to get out.

The sunlight blinded me for a moment. But it felt good to have fresh air at last. When my eyes came into focus I ran with Hannah to the rail. There was land in the distance getting closer and closer.

After about three hours the ship got as close as it could go. My family got on one of the rowboats. The crew paddled twords shore. Good-bye Mayflower. Hello America!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Boy in a Mirror.

Before me stands a boy who at first glance is regular enough:

not buff or stocky but trim and agile-looking.

His red wavy hair is about two inch long.

When looking more closely however,I see a face which is different from any other.

His eyes twinkle mischievously.

A scar runs down from the ridge of his nose to the back of his chin

and another small scar on his chin.

Freckles are visible on his slightly tanned face.

He looks very suave.

Random Things In My Room.

This wordsmith assignment is: too take a picture portrait,
point it at a part of my room, and describe everything I see inside of it.
So here goes something!

A basket ball squats on top of a multicolored-checkered blanket.

Hanging limply, clothes sway back and forth from hangers.

Two yellow and black roller-skates lean against each-other,
too weak to stand.

An air-soft gun, sitting on a chair, eagerly awaits someone who will use it,
while a bottle full of BB's, peeking out from behind a rusty can,
hopes not to be seen.

An open music book and a uncovered piano give the impression that
someone has used them recently.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A TCK's experience in America

When I was in 9­­th grade, I had only been living in America for one year. I was still learning various things that the average American child learns at age five. Among them was a foreign concept known as daylight savings time. Daylight savings time is not practiced in the Philippines, the country I had been living in for the past ten years. In fact, all that I knew was that I was supposed to set my watch backwards or forwards at some time during the year

That fall I researched daylight savings time so I would get it right the first time. Since my grandma was watching me while my parents were traveling to Indonesia, it was my responsibility to set the clocks. To supplement my research, I asked my grandma what I was supposed to do for daylight savings time. She taught me the poem for daylight savings which every child knows. It says, “Fall back, spring forward.” This means that in the fall, you set your watch an hour back, and in the spring, you set your watch an hour forward. I really wanted to get this right on the first try. With this in mind I set all of the various clocks in the house, helped my grandma set her watch, and reset the clock in my cellphone. I needed to set my phone as accurately as possible since it is also my alarm clock.

The next day started out like any other school day: my alarm went off, I got dressed, and I went out to the kitchen to eat my breakfast. I found all of the various things that I usually bring to school. I said goodbye to my grandma and headed out to the bus stop.

After I had been waiting at the bus stop for about 15 minutes, I realized that I must have missed the bus. This is not an unknown occurrence for me. I tend to miss the bus since I am somewhat slow in the morning. Walking back to my house, I noticed that my neighbor’s car was in the driveway. This was unusual since his car is usually gone when I head to the bus stop. When I got home, I checked the website of the local paper to see if school had been canceled or something. All was quiet. I asked my grandma if she could drive me to school since I had missed the bus. She agreed and brought me to school. The drive was very uneventful.

When I arrived at my school, I noticed that the halls were empty and wondered where everyone was. I walked into my first period class and saw that my class had already started. It slowly dawned on me that I was late for school; in fact, when I looked at the clock, I saw that I was almost an hour late! The fact that I was almost an hour late made me think that I set my watch in the wrong direction. I knew that people would be ribbing me about that for most of the day.

Mr. Callahan, my homeroom teacher, asked me, “James, where is your pass?”

“Why do I need a pass?” I asked. “Am I late?”

“Yes,” he said. “You’re almost an hour late. I’m curious. Why are you so late today?”

I told him, “Honestly, I don’t know why I am late. I suspect it might have something to do with the way I set my watch for daylight savings.”

Mr. Callahan got an amused look on his face. “James, you set your watch in the right direction, but you got the wrong weekend. Daylight savings time is next week. However, because you are not used to daylight savings, I will not mark you tardy. You still have to sign in at the front office since you’re late.” I thanked him and left for the office.

At the office, I asked the secretary if she could write me a pass. She asked, “Why are you late? I need this information to give you a pass.”

I replied, with a slightly embarrassed look on my face, “As funny as it may sound, I had the wrong weekend for daylight savings time.”

“Honestly,” she said, “I did the same thing. I just got to the office about fifteen minutes ago. Here’s your pass.”

I learned a lesson that day. You should always check the calendar before you change your watch.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Perfect Plan

One day there lived an African-American named Brahma. She lived on this small plantation in the state of Georgia, but she was controlled by white people. She was not the only black person on the plantation. Brahma and the other African-American people were considered as slaves. The white people were considered as slave master.

One day, Brahma walked into the room where the slaves were kept. “I am sick and tired of being treated like this. I think we should pick a day out of this week and try to escape,” announced Brahma.

“Yeah, that sounds good,” admitted MamaDou.

All the other slaves were afraid to talk bcasue of what the slave maters would do to them. So Brahma and MamaDou sat down and made up a plan on how they were going to escape the next night. Even thought the other slaves were not saying anything, they were still willing to escape with Brahma and MamaDou. The next day arrived, and the slaves had to get up and pick cotton.

“Yo, Brahma, why do you want to make the escape tonight when it is supposed to rain?” asked MamaDou.

“This would be considered the best time because the dogs would not be able to track our scent,” replied Brahma.

“That’s a good idea,” commented MamaDou.

The afternoon arrived and the slaves were eating their lunches, which were not every good. Some of the slaves were hiding bread so they would have something to eat the next day of their escape.

Midnight came and the time had come for the slaves to escape. It was raining hard and MamaDou did not agree with Brahma about leaving while it was raining.

“I am not sure about this Brahma. I have a really funny feeling,” admitted MamaDou.

“Would you please stop crying because if we want to make a change, it has to happen now. This could be our first and last chance of trying to escape,” announced Brahma.

So they all lay down to pretend like they were sleeping for the last check up of the night by the slave masters. As soon as the slave master left after the last check up, Brahma peeked her head out to make sure they were gone. Then they all gathered their belongings and left the plantation. While they were leaving, they took off north through the pouring rain. All the slaves did not leave. Some stayed so it would not look suspicious to the slave master that the slaves had escaped. They were a mile away from the plantation. They heard dogs so they knew they were being chased.

“I thought the dogs would not be able to smell our scent through the rain,” commented MamaDou.

“They cannot. The slave masters just know which direction we are going, so they send the dogs off in that direction. The dogs are very well trained and know when to turn around because if they go far, they would not be able to track their way back to the plantation,” replied Brahma.

When Brahma was little her mother taught her all the things she needed to know about escaping. She also had to memorize this path that would lead them through the tunnel to the church.

The slaves were getting tired of running, so they decided to try and hide, but there was no need to because the sound of the dogs was fading away.

“I think the dogs turned around to go back to the plantation,” whispered Brahma.

Everyone was relieved when they heard the news. “I guess you were right,” admitted MamaDou.

They were all getting tired, but Brahma was encouraging others by saying, “Hard work pays off. Keep it moving, everyone.” As they were arriving at the tunnel that lead to their destination, they saw a white man named Jason standing there with a gun.

“Don’t worry, I am with you all. You may enter into the tunnel. You better hurry before someone else sees you all,” commented Jason.

“Thank you so much,” replied Brahma. They all walked through the tunnel and made it to their destination safely which was a church. In this church, they had a place to sleep, food to eat, and nothing to worry about at that moment.

A Servant's Plan

As I was preparing dinner for the master, I overheard him and his son having a little dispute over his son’s part of the wealth. “I want my money, Father, because I am tired of following the rules of this home. Mom’s gone, and there’s no reason for me to stay, so give me my part of the wealth and I can finally leave.”

While I was hearing these harsh words come from Meshach, I was about to walk out when all of a sudden the master had a few words to say, causing me to drop the trays. “You have everything that other people don’t have, you have been truly blessed.” As the master was saying all of these things, he handed Meshach the money. As this was happening, my heart was said, and I did not know what to say. I saw Meshach leave, and the master stood on the front step with tears in his eyes. I was standing behind the master in disbelief.

Many months passed and many seasons, and Meshach still had not returned. You should have seen the master. It was like all life had been sucked from him. Things were not the same, and food was not eaten. “This is a waste of my hard work,” I thought to myself.

Later on that day as I was attending to my daily cleaning, Obadiah, the other son, approached his father in a very candid way saying, “Why do you waste your time waiting up night after night for a person who wants nothing to do with us any longer?” When he made that comment, I ran out there trying to stop what he was saying before it got too far.

Obadiah stormed away in jealousy and rage. Meanwhile, I had to go by the market and pick up a few items before sunset. On the way to the market, I silently prayed to God that He would bring Meshach back to his father. I continued to walk up the dusty road where there were other markets and alleyways with many areas that had parks and farms. Continuing on the road near the market, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a familiar face. “My golly, it’s Meshach,” I thought as I approached him. I held him in a minor conversation and added that his father had not been the same since his departure. It was a really heart-felt moment for the both of us, and Meshach specifically told me that it felt like he could never come back. I told him to please come back home, and after that I went on.

As the season passed, I was out in the garden telling Master how the harvest was going, but I did not want him to know what I saw. Attending to my gardening, I looked up and saw a stranger walking up the dusty road. Come to find out it was Meshach. I stopped what I was doing and ran to tell the master.

As the news got to him, he told me to go and get the finest silk robe and kill the fattened calf. His son had returned. “On this day,” he said, “we celebrate his return.” The master welcomed him with opened arms like nothing ever happened.
 

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