I tried to read the book, but it was really complex and hard to understand.


Ancient Trade Routes

Photo found here.

I am a Parthian merchant.  My name is Ponto Coscol.  I live in a hut next to 3 stables on the edge of the Aral Sea.  I am an excellent archer with good horsemanship. I own many horses.   I am a proud Parthian and I trade fast horses with the clean saddles and good food for the horse, strong and soft wood, nice clean boar tusks, warm fur coats, hard metal items, comfy trousers and tunics to China and India.  I carry all of my trade goods in a nice strong wooden cart loaded with nicely made chests, horse feed, water, and long logs and pulled by four tamed and strong horses.  I meet my business associates North-East of the great city of Chah Bahar. We meet in a great garden near a school in a small star-shaped town.  It is near the great Arabian Sea.

The trip to the meeting place and back is two long months.  Chah Bahar is about 1500 miles from my home.  First I travel along the edge of the Aral Sea.  Then I travel through the deadliest and driest part of my trip.  It is a 500 mile stretch of barren land, with no water. That was tough, not just on me but on my poor horses as well.  Then I come to a lush green land with forests and water.  My horses and I rest and recover before crossing more desserts.  At our journey’s end we are always grateful to see the lush gardens of the meeting spot.

      I have a friend of mine that lives in China.  Her name is Ming Fon and she is a shy trader. She brings me soft silk, china porcelain, bags of rice, and nice copper.  I pay her one horse with all the gear for the horse and two loads of wood.  She traveled with my friend from India on her boat.

Alika Mea is my cheerful friend in India.  She sails her ship to Chah Bahar with Ming Fon aboard.  Then they travel by land on horses I sold them last year.  They meet me for the great trade party.   I get pepper and other spices, salt,  and loud peacocks from Alika Mea.  In return for her delicious spices, I gave her two boar tusks, a horse, saddle, and a load of wood.

I enjoyed doing this project.  I was slow and wish I could have finished my costume.  I was not very successful with my cart at school.  Thank you for letting me build a cart out of Legos at home.   I learned that spices were really important to people and hard to get as well tasty.  I like tasty spices in my food.  I also learned that Parthians were really hairy and I didn’t know that people could steer horses with their feet.  It was more fun than reading a textbook, taking a quiz, or  just doing a report.  Thank you for making class fun.

The Wolf at the Gate

this photo can be found here

Every morning four days a week I get up get dressed and do what I need to do.  Then I go to school.  I go to a private school so we don’t have school busses.  So my Mom and I drive down our bumpy road, then we get to our gate.

My mom sometimes opens the gate, but when I feel like it, I open the gate. This morning my mom was still recovering from a nasty cold so I opened the gate. When I got out of the car with the key in my hand,  I held the lock up to my eye to make it easier to see. As I turned it, I noticed a dog or a wolf on the other side. I went back to the lock.  I pushed the gate causing the morning dew to collapse one on top of the other.  My mom drove through.

I looked at the creature.  It was over three feet tall and long for a dog.  It had grayish white fur. It was standing on the side of the road near a tree.  He looked at me with his yellow eyes.  In the cold morning I could see his breath coming out of his warm mouth.  And I could see his sharp fangs.  He just stood there looking at me.

I was curious whose dog it was.  I got back in the car and asked my mom what kind of dog she thought it could be and who it belonged to. My mom answered in a scared tone. It actually was more of a freaked-out, calm tone.

”What dog?”  she said.

Besides that strange moment, my morning was normal.  At school during recess, I was curious about the dog at my gate.  It was very strange that my mom did not see the dog. I could not stop thinking about it the whole day until I got back at my gate. I blurred out at least five times in class and ran into three trees on the hike.  The thought could not escape my head.

When we were on our way home, I was thinking about what the strange creature could be… could it be a ghost or a werewolf?  But I kept thinking that would be crazy.  Very crazy!  It was probably just a lost, lonely dog.

Finally, we got to the gate. I grabbed the keys but there wasn’t any sign of the dog. Right as I put the key into the lock, I realized I was shaking and with sweat run down my forehead.  I swung the gate open.  Then I heard a quiet growl behind me.

The creature was perched up on the hill next to the gate. I pointed at whatever it was and my mom honked the horn.  She said to get out of the way.  I went up to her window and knocked. I tried to point at the dog or wolf but when she and I looked, it was gone.  She thought I was seeing things. She was right. I was seeing things.  We drove home in silence.

I had a hard time thinking of my homework and when I tried to go to sleep I could hear my mom talking to my dad about how I had said there was a dog by the gate.  I could hear them talking for a long time about me and what to do with me.  I laid there trying to not listen.  Trying to fall asleep.  I couldn’t sleep.

I laid there in my bed wondering if it was a dog or something else. But when I thought more in my mind  I realized it was probably really a wolf.  Every time I saw this creature, it was in the shadows.  Maybe it is outside my house this instant.  I was sweating.  The mystery grew more in my head. I finally fell asleep.

I woke up from a deep sleep. I went to get some water downstairs. I grabbed a glass of water and started to fill it. I looked out the window and saw it was a full moon. I was trembling in fear as I thought of that mysterious creature. I gently took the full water cup and turned off the faucet.  Then I heard a loud growl.

The wolf was behind me.  He sounded like he was in my house.  My stomach flopped. I gulped in terror.  Out into the patch of bright gleaming moonlight on the floor came the wolf, a big wolf.  His teeth had drool all over them that made them sparkle in the moonlight.  His yellow eyes met my blue eyes. I was so scared that I was almost crying.  Only one tear ran down my cheek.  As the tear was lit in the moonlight, the wolf leaped at my throat. As his teeth met my skin, I woke up in terror.

I hoped my mom would get the gate this morning.

My School Is Awesome!


        photo by Kym Kemp   

       My worst day of school was probably the day I dislocated my foot. On the second to last day of school, we went on a special all day hike.  It wasn’t very special for me.  It was a three to four mile hike. About a quarter mile into the walk, I was in pain.  I put all my weight on my heel but I stepped  on my toes.  I couldn’t make to graduation (which was the next day).  I was on crutches for two months.  I had to get crutches for that time.  It was probably the worst thing that happened at school to me.  I was the only one not having a good time.  Besides that terrible moment, Salmon Creek has been a great school for me. At Salmon Creek we have outdoor activities, we do fun projects, and we also have four new students.

At Salmon Creek Community School every afternoon (except Tuesday when we have study hall) we go swimming, hiking, and sometimes play fun games.  When we go swimming everyone lectures me about “are you going to swim in the pond” or “why don’t you swim in the pond.” But I do have fun watching them do funny things.  Hiking is another thing we like a lot but it got very repetitive very quickly. I enjoy organized game more because its something different every day.  But here and there we take a cool hike to somewhere we never been to, or to a place that we haven’t been to a long time.  My most favorite outdoor activity is organized game. Salmon Creek Community School is a very active outdoors school.

Here at Salmon Creek School, we do fun projects, like woodworking projects.  In history class, we do all sorts of fun stuff like building temples out of cardboard and boats out of styrofoam.  In history, we do a lot of fun projects. My favorite project was when we did the Olympics. In woodworking, we’ve worked on a picnic table and lockers.  We don’t know what we’re going to do this year but I have a feeling its going to be a chair.  Everyone thinks building a chair would be easy but I don’t think so.  The most fun project to me is woodworking. You never know what we might do, and I like that.

We have four new students in my class this year. Their names are Wyatt, Alvaro, Rebecca, and Sean.  They all have been enjoying the school lately.  Wyatt is in fifth grade, Alvaro and Sean are both in eighth grade, and Rebecca is in seventh grade.  They all used to go to Redway School.  Two other new students in the little kids’ class are Shade and Jace. Shade is in kindergarten and Jace is in first grade.  I am glad to have kids that have been my friends for many years at my school this year.

At Salmon Creek Community School we do fun games and activities like hiking or swimming. Doing fun projects is a fun thing to do in class like in history or maybe woodworking.  The new students at the school are LOVING it here.  Salmon Creek School is a fun, active and awesome school. I have never heard of another school like this.

I Wish I Could Do My Homework Quicker

photo by Kym Kemp

I was struggling about  4 hours with my homework every night last year.  It usually takes four hours for just one lesson of math and typing a report.   Also with soccer practice, homework is harder.   What I think could help me is learning to type faster, trying not to get distracted so easy, thinking about homework ahead of time, and reading and writing faster and more accurately.   If I did these things, it would be so much easier to at least finish some of my homework in class.

The first thing that could help me get my homework done  more quickly is learning to type faster.  Now that I am in seventh grade, I type most of my reports.  At the end of last year, I typed 18 words a minute.  I need to type faster, so I need to practice more. The reason I need to type better and faster is that I need to finish my homework quicker.  Typing is one of my school’s strong points and our typing teacher has us do a lot of typing. Practice on different sites is the main thing I need to help me type faster.   My teacher suggested that I should get faster the more I type.

The second thing that I think could help me in school is not getting distracted so easy.  Being distracted is one of the most common problems in my school.  Good thing I’m not the most distracted in my class.  The best idea I could think of to avoid distraction is trying to pay very little attention to my classmates.  If I do not get distracted in class, I could finish more of my work in class.  Then I would have less homework to do at home.  Then I could get my other homework done faster.

The third thing that could help me in school is thinking about homework ahead of time.  Thinking about homework can help me come from soccer practice or a party and then use that idea immediately. Thinking about my homework ahead of time would definitely help me. It’s just really hard  to remember my ideas later. This is where soccer comes in handy.  I can think about my homework while I’m jogging or stretching.  In addition, maybe I can write down notes in class and the car.  Then when I get home, I can use the notes to remind me about my ideas.  Starting a report is the hardest part.  If I have already decided what to write about, then it’s an easy project and I could get my homework done faster.

And the fourth thing that I think can help me get better at getting my homework done quicker is reading  Reading is another thing that is important to my grade.  My reading is very slow.  When I silent read, I am faster but I don’t understand things as well.  If I read aloud, I understand things better but it’s not fast.  I think reading more books and more info on the web would help me.  I am reading the Hobbit now. The Hobbit has been very fascinating.  I have been assigned to write 9 book reports this school year and the Hobbit will be the first one.

Last but not least is writing faster!  Writing is a hard thing for me.  With writing, I write fast but not accurately.  Writing is a thing that I catch on to very slowly.  Writing to me is similar to typing, I need practice, practice, practice.  I need to write about random things more often, like fairy tales, sci fi fantasy, or a book I just read.  I miss spelling tests because they helped me with writing.  Anyway, I think that writing about more things will help me get my homework done more quickly.

Out of all of these ideas, I  think the best idea is not to get distracted.  All five ideas might help me this school year.  I am going to try them all.  I hope that I can finish my homework more quicker by the end of this school year and still get good grades.