Blackout Poem


A Blackout Poem 











                                                              Helpless, trapped, wounded

                 Blankets, expression


     Could only mean one thing.





Well, I had always wanted to honor the people who were unfortunate and not being able to make it out of the Twin Towers. Firefighters, police, paramedics, and the innocent victims of the attack so this blackout poem is dedicated to them, the ones that risked their lives for others.

Read read read….


Reading and how it affects me.

Reading can be boring. At least for some people. Me, for example, read a little WAY too much. Reading just helps my mind and relaxes me.

If you travel back in time to, like, 2021, I hated Historical Fiction. No, like I loathed, I greatly disliked historical Fiction books. All I read was comic books, like Lincoln Pierce’s Big Nate. I read for hours and hours. Eventually, though, I got bored of reading comics, since I was old enough to read more open books to the world, and that’s when I found Alan Gratz’s books.

Alan Gratz really compares history. For example, Ground Zero. That’s literally the 9/11 attacks/EVIL CRIMES. Except Alan Gratz made that book into a LITERAL “LET’S GO!!!” (PS. ® to Alan Gratz?) 

Nowadays, I’m looking for another author like Alan Gratz since I read like every-single-book that he wrote. Historical Fiction is like the only genre I read right now. ( And fantasy, I guess) But I’ve read way too many books about historical fiction, so I started reading fantasy books.

Right now, I’m reading Murtagh, by Christopher Paolini, Murtagh is a fantasy-fiction book that is 600-700 pages long. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy and medieval history combined into one. Murtagh is book #5 of the Inheritance Cycle, and is also the newest. It came out November 7th, 2023. If you want to read this book, I recommend that you first read book 1, and make your way through 2, 3, and 4. These are the book titles in order: Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, Inheritance, and Murtagh. Atra esterni’ ono thelduin Mor’ rana li’fa unin hjarta onr Un du evari’nya ono varda. *

My favorite author I can’t pick but my 2 favorite authors are Alan Gratz, the author of Ground Zero (Gratz’s Website), and Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, etc. ( Paolini’s Website). Be sure to check on their websites for the next books if you are interested!

*          “May the stars and lights watch over you” in ancient language, a language made in the Inheritance Cycle. Christopher Paolini

Alan Gratz’s Ground Zero




Ground Zero is a historical fiction book written by Alan Gratz. It reflects on how a certain event, 9/11, in his book, can lead to another event, possibly leading to hundreds or thousands of deaths. So what does it connect to? Windows or Mirrors? Well, first, we need to understand what Windows and Mirrors are.


Windows are types of stories that do not connect, or relate, to you in any way. For example, if the story is about a kid who is lost in a forest for weeks, and you aren’t even CLOSE to the forest, that’s a window story, because it does not connect to you.


Mirrors are THE opposite of Windows, which mean that the story connects to you in some way. If you experienced what something happened in the story, MIRROR. If you’ve been to the forest, like that example in the Windows section, that’s a MIRROR. A Mirror does not have to be EXACTLY the same way as a story is written. But if it connects to you, or just seems a lot like you, that is a MIRROR.

So, is Ground Zero a Window, or a Mirror to me? Well, to me, I am somewhere in the middle, because I have felt similar feelings to the main character in the book, Brandon. Because of that, I am not a full Window. But I am not a full Mirror either. See, All the battles and invasions and stuff like that was not even CLOSE. Because, you see, we haven’t experienced any conflicts like those in Ground Zero yet in North Carolina….

Normal or Budget?


SO, some fliers REALLY hate Budget airlines, right? BUT, are budget airlines REALLY that bad? Or are normal airlines TRULY better? Today, (With me), we will be actually diving into the history, reviews, costs, yak yak yak yak, and seeing which type is better. Today, we will be reviewing TWO airlines companies: Spirit, and AMERICAN. I know. Based on the reviews, Spirit is not the best. BUT, before you try to explode, I will dig deeper. See, Spirit IS a budget airline, AND it had absolutely dreadful reviews. But on the other hand, American is not that of a bigger difference. I know. Pretty surprising. But to know these, let’s start one at a time.

Spirit Airlines

Trip Advisor Rating: ⅗

Airline Equality Rating: ⅕

Bad Things:


Costly WATER and other


They. Have. T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E service, food, blah blah blah. But is there a good thing about Spirit? Yeah: It’s an airline and doesn’t have its airplanes made from paper.

Spirit isn’t actually that bad of an airline; it just needs to get rid of those crazy ads on the backs of the seats, STOP making us spend money on water, and much, much, more.

Let’s review this: Spirit Airlines’ tickets are pretty cheap. No, REALLY cheap.

For example: from San Diego to Las Vegas is literally $20+!! THAT is really, really, cheap. Of course, budget airline tickets ARE always cheap. AND, their percentage of canceled fights is 3%! Pretty smooth, right? Anyways, on to American.

My Rating for Spirit; ⅗-⅘

American Airlines

Trip Advisor Rating: ⅗

Airline Equality Rating: ⅕

Bad Things:



Same rating as Spirit! I know, right? Spirit is a budget, its reviews are the same as American! Let’s dig deeper:

American is a normal airline, so of course it has a first-class, which is REALLY, REALLY, annoying. Also, the same flight from San Diego to Las Vegas cost $200+ for ECONOMY!! American’s flight cancellation percentage is 1.3%+, They claim, which isn’t exactly true. Also, their baggage service. BLOOP. That went DOWN.


If it were Spirit vs. American, Spirit would win because they don’t have first class, their tickets are a lot cheaper than American, by far, and it’s not that bad of an experience. Of course, if it was like, Delta or Emirates against Budget airlines…….

Chronicle News: Camp Kirkwood Experience




On August 30th, 2023, The 6th grade of Durham Academy Middle School rode 3 buses to Camp Kirkwood to Watha, North Carolina. The 6th graders carried more than 3 pounds of supplies for the trip. Hurricane Idalia was chasing them, and rain started pouring down as they made the one hundred twenty six mile drive. To keep from dying of boredom, which, by the way, was more than an hour on the bus with no bathrooms, the 6th graders played Uno! Flip, read books, and stare out the windows.


When they got there, the groups were led to a pavilion. After that, one by one, the groups were split and led to their cabins. In the cabins, there were about 6 or 7 bunk beds, with a bathroom at the end. The groups set up their bunk beds. After some activities, they were led to a place to eat lunch. ( The food wasn’t exactly first class, but some of it was pretty good) After a full day of activities, fun, and exhaustion, the 6th graders either played dodge ball or watched a movie. After all of that, all of the 6th graders had Sno Cones. They went to their cabins after that and  played games. At exactly 10:00 PM, they went onto their bunk beds to sleep.



 On the 2nd day, after a good nights’ sleep, they feasted on eggs and other foods for breakfast. Then they went swimming in the pool and jumped on the Kanga Jump. The pool was ten feet at the deepest, and an inch deep at the shallowest. The Kanga Jump, on the other hand, was a big blob of space where you jump like wild Kangaroos. We went into the woods, exploring trees, meeting a Pot Belly Pig named Bubbles, who was in a Gaga ball arena. After that, we ate dinner. Late at night, we had s’mores.


 On the 3rd day, we did the fun stuff. We went on the V-swing, Which when a rope is connected to you and pulls you up to a height of, like, 30-40 feet, and then you disconnect it. Basically, you went flying around in a V. Then we played around in the pool a little more, did the zip line, When you zip line across a lake. We had a soccer game, ( That I really appreciated) and ate pizza for lunch (Choices were Pepperoni and Cheese. Pizza wasn’t very good, but it was passable.


The Departure…

 Finally, it was time to leave. Overall, it was a pretty good field trip, with a lot of fun activities. I rate it 8.5/10. ( The food really gave it a loss!) Hurricane Idalia had failed to capture us. We came back onto the buses without broken necks and stuff like that. And with that, we headed home.