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Sydney’s Super Search
All year long in Language Arts class on Fridays, we have presented book commercials to our class. It is kind of like a public speaking lesson. We would choose a book that we recently finished, write a script which would give a brief explanation about the book, (without giving too much away), and then we would create a poster for the book. Then on that Friday, we would present our commercial in front of the entire class. To the left side, there is an example of a book commercial poster.
During the book commercial, you have to say who the author of the book is, the title of the book, how much we rate the book out of five stars, who we recommend it to, if we would read the book again, and what the genre of the book is.
On the first week of school, I was one of the first people to do a book commercial. (That’s what you get for volunteering). The first few times that I did it, I was very nervous, so I paid attention to my paper the entire time. I barely looked up out of fear of loosing my place, and I read very fast. I remember that I just tried to get it over with, so I never did any hand gestures or anything.
Now, since I just finished my last one, I think that I have improved in my book commercial presentation. I looked up more than I used to, I did very few hand gestures, and I didn’t go so fast just to get it over with.
I am very proud of how I did, and I feel like when I am required to do a class presentation in high school that I will be able to do so without being scared of messing up.
In this weeks parsha it begins with the words You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.
I think that this means that you should be holy because God is holy. In my opinion, holy means like praying regularly, or reading the Torah. But, I also believe that being holy isn’t just praying and reading out of the Torah every day. I think that it also means to do the little things in life that helps others. For example; feeding the homeless, or helping somebody in need. Basically, doing mitzvot in general. So, in my opinion, being holy isn’t just about praying to God, but it’s also about doing mitzvot which are a commandment from God which means that it is holy. That’s what I think that being holy means.
As an eighth grader at The Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, I had the outstanding opportunity to travel to New York City with my class. Since it was my first time there, I had the pleasure of seeing all of the great things about New York that you don’t normally see in the movies. It literally only took four days for my class to have the “full” New York City experience. We visited some amazing buildings, saw very unique people, and had a blast! We were very entertained the entire time because of all the exciting things we did throughout the trip.
To begin with, on the second night there, which happened to be a Tuesday, we took the subway down to the Gershwin Theatre so we could defy gravity at Wicked. Even though I had seen the show before, I was more amazed at how the professional broadway stars performed in the show. I am an actress myself, and while I was watching the outstanding broadway musical for the second time, I was constantly wishing that I was on stage playing the incredible characters. Strangely enough, I have seen Wicked before but it was the travel show. When I saw it the second time, I realized that I saw the same person play the character of Elphaba twice.
On the last day of the trip, which was a Thursday, we woke up very early in the morning so we could go to The Kelly and Michael studio so we could have the opportunity to watch the show live. It was a fantastic experience, especially when Kim Kardashian appeared as a guest star. I will never forget the hilarious off-air things that were said. Honestly, in my opinion, I think that when they were on commercial break the show was funnier than it was when they were on air. If I had the option to see Wicked or the Kelly and Michael show again, I would in a heartbeat.
On Wednesday after we ate lunch, we rode a ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. While on the ferry, our first stop was at Liberty Island and then Ellis Island. At Liberty Island, one of the most famous statues was standing there basically greeting you. Waiting for you to approach it, welcoming you to New York. The Statue of Liberty which was a lot bigger than it looked, stood there on Liberty Island while ferries were going past it back and forth. We never went on the island, but we did sit on the ferry and enjoy the view of the beautiful statue. As everyone started piling onto the ferry again, we headed towards Ellis Island. Before I explain my experience there, I would like to point out that my class wrote an essay and did research about Ellis Island before we went, so we knew a lot about it already. While there, I was very disappointed. It wasn’t what I expected it to be like at all, even though I did research on it. Don’t get me wrong, it is a place that helped immigrants become American throughout our history. And don’t get me wrong, I am thankful that we have it because I am almost one hundred percent positive that my ancestors went through Ellis Island in order to become American when they left Europe. But, when we were there, I learned a lot more about it and am very disappointed in the way that American’s back then treated the immigrants who were coming to America for freedom. They were coming to America for a new start, and most of the people weren’t very kind to them. Anyways, we walked upstairs towards a sleeping room and saw that there was only one bathroom and one sink. There were beds hung up from the ceiling with a metal rope. It seemed very crowded and uncomfortable. I started to feel empathy for those who had to sleep like that while they were there.
Right after we got off of the ferry, we rushed to get to the 9/11 memorial. When we got there, we found out that the people who work there were connected to September 11, 2001 somehow. For example; two of our tour guides worked in the building when it collapsed. Another tour guide’s father was a firefighter who passed away in the south tower while saving people who worked there. Anyways, we were all handed a recording box and earphones. Since the cities of New York are always busy and loud, we used the earphones to listen to the tour guides as he spoke into a microphone. He took us to a portrait of firemen with a very long firehose trying to put out the fire. He explained to us, that if you look closely, there wasn’t any writing on their helmets for a specific fire department. The reason for that was because every police station and every fire department had tried to save lives that day, not just one. As we walked, we saw the north tower memorial, and the south tower memorial. It looked like a square with water running down the sides. Towards the middle of the square, water was pouring out into what looked like the ground. That was to symbolize everybody who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. The tour guide also told us that everything around us in that area represents something from either that day, or the twin towers in general. As he finished giving us a small tour because of the rain, we went inside and heard the stories of three people. They were all very compelling, sad, but amazing. It was amazing hearing how they all dealt with the pain of losing associates and friends, but also how they survived that day. If I ever go back to New York, I would love to go on that tour again, so I could hear somebody else’s story.
While we were in New York, we did a mitzvah project. Just like how we do it back home, we walked through Brooklyn to a small shop called Bobby’s Place. While we were there, we tagged clothing based off of their sizes. We got to use these cool tagging guns that you press into the belt buckle and the tag so you could put the size tag on. We did this for almost two hours even though we were supposed to be there for only one. It was just too much fun to do! Now, for those of you who don’t know, Bobby’s Place is a store for families who don’t have a lot of money. They get to pick out clothing for their children and they don’t even have to pay a cent for it. All of the clothing there is free. Also, everybody who works there are all volunteers, so they don’t get paid because they volunteer their time and effort to help children get free clothes.
Throughout our entire trip whenever we had leftover food, and if we saw a homeless person on the side of the road, we would give the food to them. Giving food to the homeless is a mitzvah because it helps the people get actual food instead of searching for scraps through the trash. Whenever we saw somebody homeless and whenever we gave them food, I always felt good afterwards, like we did a very good deed. I’m guessing that they were happy about it too. When I went to bed every night while I was in New York City, I went to sleep feeling happy and proud because I know that I did something good and I helped somebody get food for the day, (or for the week).
Throughout the four days that I was in New York City, I learned more about my Jewish heritage, my country, and myself. I had a lot of fun during the trip, and I would love to go back and do it again.
I know that what I’m about to say doesn’t make a lot of sense, but this is a very sensitive subject to me, and I don’t really know what to say.
In a few weeks we will be celebrating the holiday Shavuot which celebrates the Matan Torah. Now, if you don’t know, the Matan Torah is the giving of the Torah. This past December, our Jewish community lost an amazing man and Bat/Bar Mitzvah tutor Scott Zimmerman. He helped everyone who was about to have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah prepare for the special day. As I went through the process of my Bat Mitzvah, he did help me, and I am very thankful for that to this day.
He was a wonderful man, teacher, and person in general. Whenever somebody needed help with anything, Scott would be there to help. Loosing him was probably one of the hardest things that has happened in our community for a while. Everybody looked up to him for advice, everybody cared about him. And he meant a lot to me in particular.
Scott made a huge impact on my life, and I will forever cherish everything that he did to help me during a very stressful and nerve-wrecking time in my life, (my Bat Mitzvah training).
I think that if we honor the memory of Scott it has to be with something that he loved. And teaching Torah and studying Torah was something that he happened to love a lot. So, in my opinion, the best way to honor Scott is by reading the Torah, because that is something that he loved to do. What better way to honor somebody by doing something that they loved. If he was still here, he would be proud of our Jewish community, and he would feel a sense of accomplishment.
“Torah is not education, it’s transformation.” – Rebbitzen Dena Weinberg
I think that this quote would mean a lot to Scott. For one, because he taught Torah, and two because it’s partially true. He would want us to continue to learn Torah and just learn in general.
Out of the three years that I have attended the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School middle school, it has changed the way that I saw myself and everything that surrounds me. I have learned so much in middle school because of my teachers and parents. They have supported me and helped me through all of my years here. They have also taught me that life out of middle school is the real deal. Honestly, I am nervous about what high school will bring when I graduate. But, before I start to make my way into my future as a ninth grader, I must dwell on my past. Here are some of the ways that middle school has changed me…
The first way that the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School middle school has changed me is by how much my education has grown. I have noticed that my knowledge of math and Hebrew has drastically improved since fifth and sixth grade. When I was in those grades, I barely understood how to subtract or divide correctly. Not only that, but I couldn’t even say a simple sentence in Hebrew. In seventh grade my knowledge of math improved, but my knowledge of Hebrew mostly stayed the same. Now in eighth grade, I feel like I understand math much better than I used to. However, my understanding of Hebrew is not as great as I want it to be even though I really have been trying to understand it better.
Secondly, middle school has changed me by how I see myself. I am aware that I have transformed from being a non-confident young girl who was afraid of getting in trouble to a strong (confident) one who is ready to take on high school. Also, I seem like I have done so many things on my own this year instead of relying on my parents too! I feel like middle school has helped me feel more confident in myself.
I have already talked about how my confidence and education in middle school has grown, but I haven’t spoken about how my personality has. I have noticed that I have become a kinder, more genuine person throughout my three years at this middle school all because of the mitzvah trips that we go on every Friday. On these mitzvah trips, I have seen what it is like for people who don’t have as much as I do. Sometimes we go and deliver honey-cakes and Purim baskets to the people of our community who aren’t as fortunate as me. When you do a mitzvah like that, it makes you feel like you are a mensch, especially when they thank you after you finish the deed. It really effects the way that you see the world around you, and it effects the way that you see yourself.
Not only do I feel good after doing a mitzvah, but I start to appreciate what I have much more than I used to. Going on mitzvah trips every Friday and helping people who are not as fortunate as me makes me feel very unhappy for them. I want to do everything that I can to help them, but then I look around me. When I do, I notice how lucky and fortunate I am to have everything that I do. Those people that I see and help every Friday, they are lucky if they get dinner that night.
Throughout three years middle school has changed me majorly. But throughout the three years of being here, I am happy that I attended The Martin J. Gottlieb Day School. If I didn’t, I would never had made the memories and friendships that I have now.
This past Friday, our middle school went to Mt. Carmel so we could do a Passover Seder with them. Mt. Carmel, for those of you who don’t know, is a retirement home for the elderly. As we entered, my two peers, Zoe and Jamie, helped me set up all of the plates around the entire room including the Seder plates. Finally, after everything was set up, we started the Seder. It was very fun explaining to the other adults there why we eat specific things, and why we celebrate Passover and have a Seder.
What our middle school did was a very important mitzvah which was Hiddur Penei Zaken, honoring the elderly. After we finished the Seder, I was very upset that it was over. Not only because Passover is my favorite holiday, but because I was having fun. I wanted to stay and continue the Seder and continue to meet and introduce myself to more of the people who live there.
Since I am now an eighth grader, I will not be returning there, and that really upsets me. But I hope that the upcoming eighth graders, seventh graders, and the upcoming sixth graders enjoy going there, and make a difference in the elderly’s life there just like how I believe my class has done the past three years.
In Language Arts class, we recently finished reading the outstanding classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird by: Harper Lee. After we finished the story, our Language Arts teacher gave us a list of projects to do that has to do with the book. One of the projects was to create a newspaper article on the topic of Tom Robinson’s trial that occurred in the book. Below, it shows the pictures of the newspaper article that I wrote. I hope you like it!
The directions say; an experiment consists of rolling two fair dice. Find each probability.
Lets say, that the problem was P(total shown = 4)
You would look up at those dice above. If you can’t tell, there are two groups of dice here. And, in all, there is 36. So if the problem is P(total shown = 4) then you would have to find all of the ones that equal four.
As you can see here, everything that I circled equals four. 3,1 which is really 3 + 1, 2,2 and 1,3. So, you would get:
3/36 is your answer but it isn’t reduced. You have to reduce it, and you would get:
So your answer is 1/12 because 3 can be divided by 3 which gives you 1, and 36 can be divided by 3 which gives you 12.
On Friday, our middle school went downtown to plant some plants at the Jacksonville Bridge. This picture shows only a small portion of what we had planted on Friday.
This project relates to Tu B’Shvat because it had to do with the earth, and planting. Tu B’Shvat is about that too. The holiday gives us examples on how to be better in the environment, and that is what we did.