Mr. Morris Lessmore

Hi everyone,

Today I watched an amazing video called The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (more is less more!), an animated short that is nominated for an Academy Award. It is a beautiful video about books. The character gets swept away into a place where books are alive. It has music and many stories.

It is really cool how his name is Morris Lessmore, because he is very simple, hence “less is more.” He loves books and writing, but when a tornado sweeps by all the words in his books fly away. He is then led to a antique library, where he starts to run a bookstore. Color is used in a fun way, showing what books can really do.

This is worth watching and getting the app, although the app is expensive. Here it is: The video

There is also an iPad app that has an interactive “book” version. It is not only for little kids. My friend, 12, and I, 11, played with it for hours. You can make the books talk, play on a virtual piano, and design your own words with cereal letters (you can see what that means in the app).

The company also made a couple other videos, including the Numberlys. They also have apps. The company is called Moonbot, and the maker is William Joyce.

I really hope it wins an Academy Award, it is a gorgeous little film. Please comment and tell me what you think!

-Claire (PS my new years resolution is to post more on this blog. Hope to see more posts soon)

 

 

 

 

 

Blogs

Hi everyone,

As you might have noticed, I am not posting on this blog so much anymore, because I have a new one!

Here is the link: http://flatironjournal.wordpress.com/

It has many similar posts, and I am doing it with my family.

Since this blog was school-powered, I decided I would get a personal one. I might still post here though, since flatironjournal is a shared blog. Anyways, if you want, check both!

I hope you enjoy the new one, where I will be posting much more frequently.

-Claire

6th Grade

Hello everyone,

I am officially a sixth grader! I am now in the middle school, which is very exciting. Here are some of my accomplishments as a sixth grader…

-I am a candidate for student council representative.

-I ran a mile (glad that’s over)

-I am on the Debate Team

-I…um…am running out of accomplishments.

Sixth grade hasn’t been as different as I thought it would be. My class has 20 people, which is really nice because last year I only had 13! We have a class that we go to Science, English, etc. with, and then we have an “advisory,” which we meet with in the morning. My advisor is the music teacher.

I have to carry around a huge binder with all of my school things. It zips up, and my dad calls it a “briefcase” just to tease me. I have a little more homework than last year, about an hour to an hour and a half. My favorite subject this year is Social Studies.

Who else is in sixth grade? What’s it like?

Update #2

Hello everyone,

Read my last post before this one.

We have power!

So 4:00 on Sunday, and we are really close to the eye of the storm right now. I know what you are thinking: Wow! It must be blowing all over and everything is flooded and stormy! Wrong! Outside, it is softly raining, no wind at all, and no fallen trees anywhere. We have no idea what’s going on, but suspect that we are in the eye of the storm.

9:00 pm: Rain is gone, but the winds are going really strong.

Everyone had exaggerated. The storm was weak, and barely anything to worry about like we did. But it was strong in other places.

 

-Claire

Waiting for the Hurricane

Hello everyone,

Right now I am in Massachusetts, visiting my grandma. We are in a very small town in the hills, which is a great getaway from the city. The house has been lived in by 6 generations, including me, and was built by my great-great-great-grandfather. My grandma grew up here, and so she loves it, and we do too.

But it just so happens that we came on the week that Hurricane Irene is going to visit. According to the New York Times storm tracker, the eye of the storm is supposed to hit 10 miles away from us. Luckily, we are far in-land and on top of a distinct hill, so we don’t have to worry about water surges or floods. But, we have had to prepare for 69 mph wind, and 10” of rain.

Storm tracker: http://www.nytimes.com/projects/hurricanes/#!/2011/Irene?hp

My mom is still in New York, and when Irene hits New York it will still be a Category 1 hurricane. More than 370,000 people have had to evacuate New York – where I live – but luckily, Mom didn’t have to. When Irene hits where we are, it will be a tropical storm, not hurricane, but it will still be strong.

nytimes.com has a bunch of info on the hurricane if you’re looking today, if you don’t read this today, you can search for it.

Things we had to do:

There was a hole in our barn door, so we had to put a tarp up.

We had to bring all tables and other things from outside, so they wouldn’t blow away in the wind.

We had to fill the bathtub with water in case we lose power and water gets cut off.

We had to stock up on food.

We had to do many little things that would take to long to list.

———-

We took a refreshing trip to the river before it rained, to cool off from all that work.

At 7:19 in Massachusetts, it started raining. At 10:09, it still is.

I’ll blog after the hurricane (knock on wood, hopefully internet will work) to keep you posted.

-Claire

Oops!

Hello everyone,

We just got back from our glorious trip to France, where the internet was not very stable, and I could not post. After searching my mind for the best stories, this one came to mind first:

I am learning French, slowly but surely, and on our last week we went to a cool little restaurant in the Cedre, the Cedar forest of the region. It was very nice, and purely French, nobody spoke English.

Luckily, my dad speaks French. We had heard a rumor that there was a pool table. I wanted my dad to ask, but he thought I should. So I repeated in mind Avez-vous une table de billard? Avez-vous une table de billard? Or, Do you have a pool table?

When I was ready, I got up, and walked over to the waitress. In my okay accent, I quietly said, “Madame? Avez-vous une table de billard?” She gave me a really funny look, and said something I didn’t understand. I felt my face turn bright red, and not quite knowing what to do, I awkwardly turned around towards the table my family was at.

Really embarrassed, I told my dad what happened. 2 minutes later, the waitress came over and said something which I could make out as a sort of apology. My dad said something, and they both started laughing. I wasn’t sure what to think.

After she left my dad said, “She thought you asked for a table de biere! A beer table!” I started laughing hysterically, and pictured someone asking me for a beer table. But still, for the rest of the night, I couldn’t really talk to the waitress and keep a straight face.

How is everyone’s vacation?

-Claire

 

Stupid Country Mosquitoes

Hello everyone,

School has ended, and I have just come back from a trip to Sweden. But just so you know, I plan to continue my blog throughout the summer, even though school is over. Spring went so fast, it seems like yesterday when I was writing my spring post. Oh well, summer means camp and traveling and shaved ice.

Sweden was nice, we went to a adult “camp” with my parents’ work friends. It was fun, there were many kids and lots of things to do. It was on an island where many children’s summer camps are held, and so there were lots of activities. There was a sauna, a steamy room which is very relaxing. After the sauna we jumped in to the freezing cold ocean and it felt great. We went canoeing, and we saw ducks. Canoeing was fun because it was on the warm side of the ocean, and we jumped from the canoe to swim. There was someone there named Gabrielle, and he let me use his fancy camera and I took many pictures. There were lots of mosquitoes, but they were really fat and slow so you could easily smack them before they bit you.

After the island and many games of soccer with adults from the camp we went to Stockholm. That is the main city in Sweden and we went to see the “Old Town.” The old town is where the humans who first settled in the place that is now Stockholm created a city. The streets were windy and twisty, so it was entertaining to walk around. We found ourselves at the Royal Palace, where we had arrived just in time for the Changing of the Guards. This is a ceremony in which the guards of the palace (which actually holds a King and Queen) switch shifts. Everyone was dressed up, and although they were official guards the ceremony was also for tourists, and was just a reenactment. Something I found very amusing was the sign for the “Royal Bathroom.”

A sneak peak of my summer adventures: This summer I am going to Theater Camp and I am acting in a musical called “Once on this Island”. It will be performed for parents in 3 weeks, and I have an okay part. Look for a post on that, and on our trip to France later in the summer. But before those two events, I am sure New York will add something more to my summer adventures!

-Claire

Extra, extra, read all about it!

Hello everyone,

This is Claire reporting for the Grade 5 news. I’m  here at the annual fifth grade Olympics, reporting for Class 5A. As a part of their Ancient Greece study, they do an Olympics every year. All students have been looking forward to this forever.

Class 5A will today be called Sparta, the ancient Greek city-state. Sparta is competing against Corinth, Delphi and Athens for the first place Olympic title.

They arrive in their chariots (school buses) at the field. After lining up, Sparta gives it their best to recite their very own chant, followed by the competitors reciting theirs. We proceed to the first event, the 4×100 relay.

And.. Sparta comes in second. Same for the 4×200. That gave Sparta 10 points. This goes on, With excitement, until all competitors leave for the lunch tables. At this point it is drizzling, but all athletes go on. After lunch, which was filled with smudged face paint and excited cheers, they proceeded on to the track. I took my place in the middle of the track to watch the 800m.

This race was particularly fun, partly because it was quite long, and partly because of the beginning and end. At the beginning, an athlete started very fast. Everyone took a deep breath. She was far ahead, but everyone knew she wouldn’t make it at that speed.

And everyone was right. She sank back after 400m, leaving the way for our next two runners-up (get it?). One was in the lead, coming towards 200m left. As she came to about 175 left, our second place runner took up speed. She ran faster and faster, until finally our two racers were nudging each other shoulder-to-shoulder. From my perspective, I couldn’t see who won, but I learned later that the one who had put on that amazing burst of speed at the end won.

Here are a few action shots taken by the fabulous Ms. G:

Which event would you have competed in; Long Jump, Shot Put, Discus, 4×200, 4×100, 80m, or 800m?

-Claire, reporting for Grade 5 News

Mandalas!

Hello everyone,

Have you heard of Mandalas? Mandalas are a type of art. They were invented by monks, as a peaceful, symmetrical design that they used to meditate. The idea of mandalas are the process is what matters, not the outcome. Since mandalas are made from colored grains of sand, it is almost impossible to preserve them. The monks would make them, as a form of meditation, and leave them out for the wind to blow away after.

A rule of mandalas is that they have to be symmetrical. It can be any design, shape, or color, as long as it is symmetrical. When I made one at my friend Celeste’s house this weekend, I definitely felt the peacefulness of doing the same pretty design around and around and around. I did not take any pictures of the ones I made, I wanted to do them like the monks did, by enjoying the process not the results.

Tibetan Monks creating a mandala. This kind takes weeks and weeks, and if it rains they calmly start over!

Tibetan Monks creating a mandala. This kind takes weeks and weeks, and if it rains they calmly start over!

People bringing this art to the city streets

People bringing this art to the city streets

Here are two ways to make a simple mandala:

Way one: Buy some craft sand any color at a craft store. Then, either take a sheet of white paper, or go outside to do it on pavement. If it is a windy day, do not get frustrated if the wind messes your design! The monks always did theirs outside. I did mine inside, because in the city it would be a nuisance for people trying to walk on the street. Next: use a spoon or pour about a teaspoon of sand on to your palm. Clench your palm, but leave a small opening where your pinky finger is. Slowly, pour a small trickle of sand on to your surface. It might be a big blob at first, but don’t worry, you’ll get better!

You might want to start with a dot in the middle, and build around it. This way it is easier to make it symmetrical. But you do not have to.

WARNING: This is a messy art! Be prepared to have sand all over, and make sure it is okay to make a mess where you are.

Mandala 1: http://worldhistoryatyhs.wikispaces.com/Buddhist+Meditation

Mandala 2: http://growabrain.typepad.com/growabrain/2004/04/mandala_rainbow.html

Spring Photos!

Hello everyone,

In New York, spring is springing. It has just started to get around 70˚ F (21˚ C) and it hasn’t dropped for three days! I am lucky to live a block away from a park where there is always something surprising or fun going on, and is usually bursting with color in the spring. I decided to go on a special outing in celebration of the arrival of spring.

As you can tell from my majestic language, I am excited.

My outing was a photo outing. I tucked my two year old Kodak into my pocket, and headed out the door and downstairs to the lobby. I was happily surprised to see that the tree outside my building was in full bloom, but stupidly I did not take a picture. Finally I arrived at the park, and the first thing I saw was a display of yellow, orange, pink, and purple flowers. Here are the pictures I took of those.

Spikey flowers Wash of OrangeSingle SpikeFull Field

I took some other pictures on my photo outing, which I will reveal too.

Art Installation

This is an art installation up in the park, and I thought it was really pretty. This picture almost looks fake, doesn’t it? The sculpture is a little crazy, but there is always odd art up in that circle. Do you like it?

That is one of my favorites. There are two more that I like, here they are.

Tree Branches

This tree was an outlier, because it was the only one around that had absolutely no blooms. This picture is kind of dramatic, maybe it has something to do with the gray sky…

Last one. Here goes…

Water Fountain I don’t exactly know how this one came up, maybe when I got a little thirsty :).

I love taking photographs, and the park was just so perfect today. I am lobbying for my parents to get a family Nikon fancy camera, but for now I am using my nice little Kodak which I got two years ago for my birthday. And by the way, none of these were edited.

Is spring springing where you are? Are you excited? I hope you are inspired to go out and take your camera!

-Claire