If I Was Running My Own School

This will be a series of Blog Posts (yes, that’s getting capitalized) about what I would do if I was in charge of my very own school. I’ll be doing the lay-out, subjects and electives, general information (name, district, etc.), and more. Some things are based on things at WRMS or at another school, but some things I think of on my own. I’ll love suggestions in the comments, too! Some things I won’t change, but most things I’ll have an open mind about. I’ll continue to do actual writing posts and assignments too, but I just really wanted to do this. So, I hope you’ll enjoy this series of blog posts.


Name: Dickinson’s Middle School
Ages: 6th-8th grade students
Location: Austin, Texas

Public or Private? Public
What district? Eanes Independent School District (EISD)

School Mascot: Boston Terriers (usually students and faculty just say ‘Terriers’)
School Colors: Orange and Gold

Subjects Offered
Required Courses
Students can be in grade-level math or advanced math. Double advanced math is not offered as a class, but students can take an optional after-school class where they will learn more difficult and interesting math lessons in fun ways. However, students must be recommended by a teacher or they must take a test to get in to the class.
Grade-level English and advanced English learn basically the same thing, but they learn it in different ways. Throughout their years at Dickinson’s, students will be required to keep a blog. Blog assignments will be given over the summer, and students will be expected to do quality work on their blog regularly. Different levels of English have different blog assignments.
-Social Studies
For this class, different grade levels will be required to do different types of Social Studies. In 6th grade, students will be required to learn Texas History. In 7th grade, students will be required to learn U.S. History. In 8th grade, students will be required to learn Geography and World History.
For science, 6th graders and 7th graders will be required to learn Life Science, and in 8th grade students will be required to learn Chemistry and Physics. 8th graders can also be recommended to an advanced course where they will learn more advanced (high school level) science. Students must pass a test to get in.

Fine Arts Electives
-Beginning Choir: 6th grade boys and girls; doesn’t travel or compete; no limit
-Honor Treble: 7th/8th grade girls; competes less and travels once; no limit
-Honor Tenor Bass: 7th/8th grade boys; competes less and travels once; no limit
-Varsity Treble: 7th/8th grade girls; competes more and travels more; limit of 30
-Varsity Tenor Bass: 7th/8th grade boys; competes more and travels more; limit of 30
-Varsity Treble and Tenor Bass: 8th grade girls/boys; highest level of choir; limit of 20-25

-Beginning Band: 6th grade boys and girls
-Concert Band: 7th grade boys and girls
-Honor Band: 7th/8th grade boys and girls
-Varsity Band: 8th grade boys and girls

-Beginning Orchestra: 6th grade boys and girls
-Concert Orchestra: 7th grade boys and girls
-Honor Orchestra: 7th/8th grade boys and girls
-Varsity Orchestra: 8th grade boys and girls

Physical Education
Students are required to take at least four semesters of at least one Physical Education class that isn’t P.E. Two of these semesters will be in 6th grade where students will be taking P.E.

Students will play mostly games and some sports for fun. Boys and girls aren’t seperated. Required course in 6th grade. Optional course in 7th and 8th grade, but does not count toward Physical Education credit.

Strengthening and Agility:
Students will run on the track, lift weights in the weight room, and occasionally play games to strengthen themselves. Exercises are like what students would do in offseason, but less intense. Boys and girls aren’t seperated.

Students will either train for one of the sports of be in offseason. In offseason, students will practice for a sport, work out in the weight room or on the track, or do agility exercises. Boys and girls are separate. The following sports are offered:
-Volleyball (for girls, first half of semester one)
-Football (for boys, first half of semester one)
-Basketball (for boys and girls, not on the same team, second half of semester one)
-Track (for boys and girls, one big team but training is not together, first half of semester two)
-Soccer (for boys and girls, not on the same team, second half of semester two)
-Tennis (meets after school, semester one)
-Golf (meets after school, semester two)
-Dance/Cheer (meets after school, full year)

Other Electives
-Life Skills
-Computer Tech
Students will learn how to use various technological devices, and will be doing conferences with other teachers and districts and will help other students and teachers when they have technology problems around the school. Students will also be taught how to fix various problems with devices.
Languages include Spanish, French, Chinese, and Latin.
-School News

The Clock Man

“How much will you pay for an extra day?”

The clock man asked the child.

“Not one penny,” the answer came,

“For my days are as many as smiles.”


“How much will you pay for an extra day?”

He asked when the child was grown.

“Maybe a dollar or maybe less,

For I’ve plenty of days of my own.”


“How much would you pay for an extra day?”

He asked when the time came to die.

“All the pearls in all of the seas,

And all of the stars in the sky.”

By: Shel Silverstein



Ok, to be honest, the blog assignment was to post your favorite poem, and I didn’t really remember this poem as I was flipping through my Silverstein book. I liked others better. But when I got to this one, I really liked it. Silverstein shows us how important time becomes when we are older. When he first asked the boy, when he was little, the boy said, “Not one penny.” The child didn’t yet understand; he probably thought he would live forever and had all the time in the world. Later, when the Clock Man asks the boy, probably as an older teen or younger adult, the man says, “Maybe a dollar or maybe less.” Time is becoming more important to the boy, though he still thinks he has plenty of time to do everything. However, when asked as an old man about to die, the boy’s answer becomes, “All of the pearls in all of the seas, and all of the stars in the sky.” On his deathbed, the man finally realizes how much he would give to have another day. More time. On his deathbed, the man realizes, I think, that he didn’t use his time to do everything available to him.


It took this man to his deathbed to learn his mistake, wasting time thinking he had all of it, but this poem reminds everyone to use the time you have now. Though it seems you might have plenty of time, use your time to do something good, so when you’re on your deathbed and the Clock Man asks you, “How much will you pay for an extra day?” you can say, “Not one penny, for I did everything I needed and wanted to do.”

The Passage of Time
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Toni Verdú Carbó via Compfight



Choir UIL

Today, Wednesday April 16, 2014, three out of the four West Ridge choirs preformed at UIL. In UIL, University Interscholastic League, every choir in the region has to perform three pre-rehearsed songs from a specific list of songs all rated 1-5 (1 is easiest and 5 is hardest) and do sight reading. In sight reading, you get piece of music that you’ve never seen before and perform it in front of the judges. Thankfully, you do not have to say the words; our choirs just sing Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, and so on. Let’s just say that’s the most boring part of UIL. 

Anyway, Concert and Honor Treble Choir (the choir I was in) performed three songs like everyone else. We are supposed to perform level 1 and level 2 songs only, but we performed two level 3 songs and (Ms. Snouffer says) one level 3,000 song. I’ll give you a quick run-down of all the songs:

  1. The first song we performed was Cantate Hodie, which means “Sing Today” in, I believe, Latin. The song continually flips between Latin and English. It’s fun, up beat, and exciting. I really like it (It’s my favorite).
  2. The next song we sing is a Russian Folk Song called Kalinka (kal-yeen-ka). It’s all in Russian AND it’s occapella, so it had no musical accompaniment. It’s the level 3,000 song. It’s super hard. We almost ditched it multiple times, but we didn’t. We stuck with it and we sounded FANTASTIC! It changes speed and volume about 20 million times, so it’s hard to remember when to do what. In this song, a man is leaning up against a kalinka bush and is singing about a girl. Whenever I sing it, I picture a big berry bush. It’s kinda creepy. 
  3. The last song we sang was a slower song called I Know Where I’m Going. This song’s about a rich girl who is in love with a poor boy, and she isn’t allowed to marry him. She’s willing to give up everything she has to stay with the boy (Johnny). Throughout the song, she’s singing about that. It’s really a beautiful song, even if it’s hard. The first few lines are as follows:

“I know where I’m going, but who knows who’s going with me.

I know who I love, but who knows who I’ll marry?”

After we sang these songs, we were brought out to the sight-reading room. We got a song and we sang it fabulously. I don’t want to talk too much about that, it’s very boring. Anyway, we got judged one a scale of 1-5 (1 being the best and 5 being the worst). The judges were really nice everywhere. After we were done, we were ushered outside to take a picture. I was thinking it was going to take a while to get our results (1 or 2 weeks, maybe). But not after a long time of being outside, Ms. Snouffer comes out with a trophy. She tells us we got the same score from every single judge (there were 6 total). She told us we got…

Glitter Text @ Glitterfy.com

Oh, we were all so happy! It was fantastic! Best thing EVER! I’m still really happy about it! I don’t think it could get any better than this. YAY! 

Now, I just have to figure out what scores were for Concert Tenor Bass (Boys), Varsity Tenor Bass, and Varsity Treble (girls). Hopefully West Ridge Middle School won the sweepstakes trophy again! Go WRMS!


So, for the Student Blogging Challenge this week we’re supposed to write a post about how we’re going to try to get more comments, but I feel like I’ve got that covered. My parents comment on almost everything (Kim and Bruce), Ms. Schoch comments a lot, and I recently just got some very important people to comment on my blog:

  • Mrs. Bridges, on of the school’s Vice Principals
  • Ms. Bacon, the other Vice Principal
  • Elliot Bristow, an EduBlog’s support person
  • Mr. Ramsey, my school principal

Ya, I’m very happy with my blog and how many comments I have. So, how am I going to get more comments? Keep doing what I’m doing, because that seems to be working pretty well. 

Blogging Challenge for the Week? DONE!


If you look at her, you’ll just see an old, dirty stuffed animal whose fur won’t lay the right way. But when I look at her, I see the stuffed animal that I could never live without. My prized possession, my best friend, and my comforter all rolled into one. When I was younger, I even considered her to be my sister. My stuffed dog, Happy, is the thing I’ll always need and I’ll always have.

When I was five, I got a build-a-bear workshop gift-card from my grandma. When I went, I picked out a stuffed dog (because I was the type of child that could be in a room full of stuffed bears, for example, and one dog, and I’d only see the dog) that looked almost exactly like my dog, Butler. At first, I was only moderately excited, but the excitement grew as I began to build my build-a-bear collection.

I got bears, frogs, cats, and even more dogs, but each one I had would be cast aside, because I always went back to Happy. No stuffed animal I ever got was as good.

Since I’ve gotten Happy, I’ve always had her in times of need. When I got bit by the dog, Happy was there. When I had a horrible third grade year (that’s a different blog post), Happy was there. Even this year, when I shut my finger in the car door (different blog post again), Happy was there. And I’m sure Happy will be there in years to come too. She’s my every-lasting best friend.

I have to admit, when I was younger, I was starting to worry about what people would think if I still had Happy with me for everything. I thought people would start to tease me and make fun of me. I’ve gotten over that. I really don’t care if you think I’m childish (if you do, thank you!) for still having a stuffed animal as my best friend.

The assignment was to write a blog post about a memory with an object or movie (physical things), and I knew right away I was going to write about happy. But now, I don’t think that’s as smart if an idea; I can’t think of one memory with Happy that would do her justice. Looking back, Happy is in almost every good memory I have, and just about every bad one.

Happy means the world to me, even as a teenager. I would be devastated if anything happened to her. It’d be like an older sibling moving away from home, or a best friend moving to a different state. I’d be missing a part of my childhood-a part of my life. Nothing can ever break the bond between Happy and I, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

“All I Ask of You” Commentary

I just want to go through this song from The Phantom of the Opera because it is just so full of…liesthat I don’t think many people see, and it’s seriously bothering me. So, I copied the lyrics from this website, if you want to read it, and I’m going to have my own commentary in it every now-and-then. To make it easy to find my commentary, it’s going to be orange and in this font. So, please enjoy the truth behind “All I Ask of You.” Oh, and most of this is stuff that never gets carried out.

No more talk of darkness
Forget these wide-eyed fears
I’m here, nothing can harm you
My words will warm and calm you

Um, no. Raoul actually later CREATES more fears for her by making her do the Phantom’s Opera. Yup, no more fears indeed. Furthermore, he says ‘nothing can harm you’ and I just want to point out that immediately after they sing this song a chandelier almost FALLS ON CHRISTINE!

Let me be your freedom
Let daylight dry your tears
I’m here, with you, beside you
To guard you and to guide you

“To guard you and to guide you?” I honestly don’t think Christine wants to hear at this point since she recently asks the “Angel of Music” to guard her and guide her. The ‘Angel’ agrees and then the ‘Angel’ turns out to be The Phantom. Beautiful word choice Raoul.

Say you’ll love me every waking moment
Turn my head with talk of summer time
Say you need me with you now and always
Promise me that all you say is true
That’s all I ask of you

No, all he says is not true, Christine. Frankly, I think the Phantom’s more honest. One of my favorite moments is when the managers are telling Christine she has the biggest part (the lead) in the Phantom’s play. Christine says no, and when the managers are like, “Why not?” Raoul comes in and tells Christine that nobody can make her perform. Literally one minute later Raoul comes up with a fantastic plan that has Christine singing in the opera. Then Christine’s still saying “Please don’t make me.” Raoul tells her all hopes are resting on her. Ya, nobody can make you sing but he makes her. L-I-A-R.

Let me be your shelter
Let me be your light
You’re safe, no one will find you
Your fears are far behind you

Ya, only behind the statue RIGHT BEHIND HER!

All I want is freedom
A world with no more night
And you, always beside me
To hold me and to hide me

Then say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime
Let me lead you from your solitude
Say you need me with you here, beside you
Anywhere you go, let me go too
Christine, that’s all I ask of you

I’m convinced that because of Raoul, Christine is in more solitude after this song than she was earlier. I will hand it to him; he goes where she goes: when Christine is kidnapped to the Phantom’s liar at the end of the play and is trapped, Raoul smartly gets trapped in the lair.

Say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime
Say the word and I will follow you

Share each day with me, each night, each morning

Say you love me

You know I do

Love me, that’s all I ask of you.

(They kiss.)

Anywhere you go, let me go too
Love me, that’s all I ask of you

Okay, I can’t complain about this. Through all Raoul does, he does have Christine’s best interests at heart. He just has a really bad way of showing it.

Like my thought process? I hope so because that is my final say in that, unless you happen to have seriously convincing comment (so, please comment).

Now, to the best part. The Phantom’s watching behind a statue, Raoul and Christine leave to go back to the Opera house, and the Phantom comes out of his hiding spot. Lyrics from the same place as above.

I gave you my music, made your song take wing.
And now, how you’ve repaid me, denied me and betrayed me.
He was bound to love you, when he heard you sing.
(Sobs) Christine, Christine.

Okay, let me just say: Poor Phantom! He had to listen to everything Raoul was saying that he wanted to do for Christine. Now, the Phantom probably would have done a worse job than Raoul of keeping his promises, but both of them did badly.

[Raoul & Christine]
Say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime
Say the word and I will follow you
Share each day with me, each night, each morning…

For just a minute, imagine you are the Phantom. You’re innocently crying about your broken heart and suddenly, the girl you loved and the man who took her from you start singing again. Rubbing it in.

You will curse the day you did not do!
All that the Phantom asked of you!

(In the play, the Phantom now drops the chandelier now.)

Now, I’m not saying the Phantom’s perfect, but he sure isn’t that much better than Raoul. Raoul never dropped a chandelier or killed anybody, but he did throw Christine into his plan that totally failed and just made things worse for her.

Well, now you know my thoughts about this song. I hope you likes them, or at least saw my thought process. I could have picked any song from this point on (go look, you’ll see what I mean), but this one starts the chain reaction (I know I’ve been doing a love of things love-related, and that’s why). Please comment your thoughts!

The Letter That She Never was Going to Send

Dear Father,
I’m moving forward, thinking no more of Darkness. The light is my life now, and I won’t look back. I shall continue to perform at the Opera Popular, for my voice lives on though my teacher is gone.

Father, the Phantom of the Opera is gone. He’s no longer deceiving me by pretending to be your angel or the Angel of Music. I’m free, but I feel just as trapped as I was. Raoul’s being over-protective of me; if someone makes any noise backstage, Raoul can be found immediately by my side. Sadly, Madam Giry has retired, so she can’t stop him (Meg Giry has taken over, and she is not as strict because she is just as worried.

Everyone watching me and asking me questions has gotten bothersome. I’m not still communicating with the Phantom, and I wasn’t at the beginning of this. The Phantom of the Opera was just a human with a horrible life, not some monstrous creature. He was forced to find refuge on the depths of the opera house because everyone was scarred of his face.

I think the Opera Popular will be closing soon. Monsieur Firman and Monsieur Andre were just forced to retire, and no one wants to some work here, at the Phantom’s Opera. Nobody we ask will believe that Meg has the real mask, and that he let Raoul and I go freely. Nobody will believe us when we say he’s gone for good.

Please help me, Father. It’s nice having Raoul and Meg, but they really don’t understand. They weren’t fooled as I was. I’m no longer frightened of him, but he has forced himself into my life and mind forever. I know you watch over me, so please help me forget about him, the nightmare of my life, the Phantom of the Opera.

Christine Daaé

P.S. I don’t want to tell Raoul and Meg this, for they will worry deeply, but I’ve been getting a blood-red rose with a black ribbon tied on it in my dressing room after every performance.

My sexy Rose.
Photo Credit: Zaqqy via Compfight