Ivo's Blog

"It's not the time to look for excuses." – Rafael Nadal

Poetry Rocks!


Hello, umm… people; I mean earthlings!

Our class recently got involved with poetry, and we were instructed tp write at least five poems to develop into a poetry book!  I
wrote twelve, and I also wrote one a few days ago, but the book was already finished, and I definitely did not want to print it again, because it was a lot of work for everyone!  Two of my poems made it into a collection of my School District’s best poems by youth.  Today I am going to reveal all thirteen of those poems to you!  Well, here we go:


Bread… banana… kibble. Ahh
Food – a prized possession which I behold much too rarely.
I mesmerize myself in a realm of peanut butter,
completely ignoring my human’s calls to halt production of drool.
As I snap out of this trance, I notice it… the lone cucumber.
Scrambling towards it, I scratch a hole in the floor,
but I got to this treasure before my nasty humans picked it up.

Citrus… ugh! Humans suck!
Heh heh… you know I will bark while you sleep.
Soon, as every creature’s eyes shut, I drift back into my Heaven,
a place filled with food, dogs, food, beaches, and food.
Ahh… this is the dream… literally.



Parachutes of grey,
gently floating with the breeze,
freckling the forest.



Heart pumping, legs shaking
A sense of wooziness flows through my body.
“Let’s go!” people yell, and pressure pushes down
As I start, my nervousness releases into the air,
relaxing me, and allowing my acceleration to continue.
Just run, I think, as I sprint down the track,
ignoring everything in the world,
and only focusing on this moment.
Joy overwhelms me as I near the finish line,
the nearest racer a meter behind me.
However, I bolt through the end.
As I finish, I see someone with stickers
stickers of “1st”, walking towards me. Yes!



Cars cracked my walnut.
After gladly snatching it,
gliding through the sky,
I dropped my beloved nut.
My system floods with anger.



Joyful – a nice stroll on the beach
Lovely water greets me, as I swish around
I put on my goggles, take a deep breath…
Swimming joyfully
a dark feeling let me know
it would not last too long…

Thrashing – a salmon coiled in plastic
A bag over its head, trapped in six-pack packaging.
I hate litter!
The Earth has too many tons of it
A horrific feeling sets upon me I paddle towards it,
hoping to free the creature
from this make-shift straitjacket.

How could such a creature be imprisoned?
Strong feelings of hatred build up…
For my own species!

Pulling off the plastic bag,
I see its lugubrious face,
a pained look permanently sealed atop it.
I gently pull the plastic rings
out of his fragile, sleek body.

Swim freely, I think,
as he does, satisfied.
Only a billion fishes left to free.



The gun fires,
and we are off

Late start
A fellow competitor leads
with a lengthy meter.
Pumping my arms,
I start to gain on him

Over the hurdles
Adrenaline rushing
We’re tied

Final sprint
Win or lose
Inching ahead,
I burst through the finish line.
Seconds later, I pin the “1st” ribbon on my shirt.



A cage
imprisoning me
My life actions
were very pure
Where are my sins?

Barred, enveloped, enclosed
in this terrible cage
Only the flick of a human hand
can free me from this prison

Am I creature
or just a stone?
Loneliness pulsating
aching heavily.

Those huge flightless birds
laughing and pointing
Do they love me?



The phone call
that leaves us shocked
and quiet as mice
Tears in our eyes
Emotion erupts
but we stand as still as statues

We bow our heads
Biting our lips trying not to cry
Longing for one last encounter

If he suffered
this may be better for him
Hopefully he passed satisfied
with his family and accomplishments

Inevitable – everyone will pass
But do you feel fulfilled?
Are you happy with family?
That is all that matters.



6-0, 5-2, 40-15.
Make a huge finish
Bomb him with an ace
crush him with a winner
Serve and volley?

First serve
A huge flat one
clips the net and comes back
Second serve
deep breath…

A simple body serve
he reads it
rips a strong backhand to the corner
Comes to the net
After putting up a beautiful lob
I shake his hand



Fifteen seconds on the clock
Down by two points
Only a three can save us
from going into overtime

Will they anticipate the trick up my sleeve?
I cross the ball through my legs
Five seconds…

I deke their guard,
wobble off balance,
and release the ball
a moment before the buzzer.

The ball rose in the air,
forming a beautiful arch.

The crowd erupted into cheers
and teammates piled on me
for victory was ours



A content smolt
Did they need to disturb me?
A float was visible
a net imprisoning me
leads weighing it down
A feeling of uncertainty
clots my blood
leaving me pained

The journey up;
It’s a vacuum over the water
Waggling furiously
Can they be more cruel?
In we go
down the bucket
tough to breath,
since we share the air
Fingers jab at us
We cannot feel much worse

Ahh… freedom!
A sense of joy
flows through our pond
but although the beasts are gone
they will come back for our next of kin.



Meow! The lion’s call
Proudly prowling around us
Can you get meaner?
Scratching his grand litter box
Go to sleep, it’s five A.M.



Vast fears
that he’ll disappear
Attachment, bonding
Why isn’t he responding?
Finding a space
where troubles are put in place
is as easy as a thief with no trace

Scrolling through the mail
I decide not to bail
And although I may fail
I’ll stand tall from the gale

Taking one last glance
I thought, “He’s had his chance”
I was just too sweet… Ting!
“When should we meet?”
AHH! The only text that ain’t neat!
Chatting with thumbs is a bigger treat!

by posted under Learning | 4 Comments »    

Memories of Tribune Bay


^Camp Beach Fun!^

Hey there, earthlings! 

The school year is coming to an end, and it has been awesome!  One of the reasons for this is the longest field trip I have ever been on – at Tribune Bay, on Hornby Island, so today I will be talking about my experience at Hornby Island from Wednesday, May 30th to Friday, June 1st. 

On Wednesday, I woke up at 6:30, packed up my lunch (which was made the night before), and calmly ate breakfast.  Everything was packed, so I was in no hurry.  My mother drove me to school; I could not bike, because I had quite a bit of luggage.  My teacher, Ms. Smith, wanted us to be at the school at 8:15, twenty minutes early, which explained why there was a crowd of seventy people at the school.  We talked amongst each other, put our luggage in a few cars, and by the time we were done, the bell rang, and we rushed inside.  Our teacher did the attendance, and we left at around 9:00.  Getting into a parent driver’s vehicle, it took 45 minutes to get to the ferry terminal.  We took two ferries, as we had to pass through one island to get to the other.  Each one was about ten minutes long, so that was over in a flash.   

Once we got on Hornby Island, we took a bus to get to Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Centre, and settled at the fire pit, which has some logs for us to have a seat.  We would meet there after every meal.  We ate our packed lunches, and then dragged our baggage into our accommodations.  There were four different options: a skylight cabin, a cabana, a yurt, or the Crow.  From other students, I heard that the cabins had bunk beds and washrooms and were reserved for the girls.  The cabanas were very small, and they could fit two or three people.  You slept on a mat if you were in one of them.  In the yurts, there were bunk beds with no washrooms, and in the Crow, you felt like you were on a stage; the sleeping area was merely elevated by a stage!  There was also a separate room for the supervising adults to sleep in.  I slept in the Crow dorm, and you will hear about it! 

After we dropped off our stuff in our accommodations, the camp leaders started talking about safety, the activities, and just introducing us to camp overall.  They advised us to regularly wash our hands, but not to waste water, because they get water from wells, so unless it rains, the sink won’t drip.  Their sinks had little buckets that the water fell into, and once you were finished with the sink, you took those buckets out, and placed them into a funnel, which helped power their sprinkler system.  I really liked the thought of recycling the water we used.  I also had a laugh when the explained the bathroom situation.  “Our toilets are so high-tech that you don’t even have to flush them!”, they would say, regarding the outhouses. 

After they talked about the activities for a while, we got together with our group teams and our camp leaders.  Our parent supervisor was Quinn’s father (you can check out Quinn’s blog here).  My team was originally Team 2, but (unfortunately) we decided on “Team Boom Shaka-Laka”.  Our first activity was team building, and one of the games we played was where everybody held hands in a circle, and you had to pass a tied rope around the circle without letting go of each other’s hands.   

After an hour and a half of those activities, we did something much more enjoyable, which was… rappelling!   For those who are thinking, “What the heck is rappelling?”, I shall explain.  Think of rappelling as rock climbing in reverse.  Attached to a belay system, you bounce off of a rock climbing wall.  I wish I had changed my shoes, as the wall was quite slippery, and although I did have hiking shoes, I chose to come to camp in my runners.  I had no idea that we would be bouncing off a wall, but then again, who would (other than a professional rappeller)?

After the rappelling, we went to the high ropes, where I did a course called Burma Bridge.  You climb a tree with the assistance of metal “staples”, go onto a platform, and start walking on a wire like a circus showman.  But unlike the stuntman, you have two wires on the side to hang onto.  Your destination: Doug, the most popular Douglas fir of Hornby Island.  You admire him so deeply, so you must go and give him a high-five!  According to my teammates, I walked the wire very quickly, which I did not even think of at the moment.

The food at Hornby is amazing; at lunch and dinner, you always get Caesar salad, and at breakfast you get fruit.  On Wednesday night, we had a dessert of apple pie, and on Thursday, we had ice cream sandwiches.  On Friday, we all had sandwiches, a juice box, and a small pack of cookies.  Overall, it was quite good!

^Catching my Prey!^

After supper, we were free to play until 6:50, when we would go to the fire pit so that the camp leaders could talk about the game we would play.  On May 30th, we played a game of Gold Rush, which is like Capture the Flag, but you have multiple flags.  On Thursday night, we played Predator & Prey.  You have a punch card, where you punch food and water stamps scattered around the forest.  There are five different destinies for you: a small herbivore (yellow), a large herbivore (green), a small carnivore (red), a large carnivore (blue), and a natural disaster (black).  I will explain this as if I were explaining how “Rock, Paper, Scissors” works.  Here it goes: yellow and green eat food stamps, red eats yellow, blue eats yellow and green, and black eats everything.  If a carnivore or natural disaster tags a herbivore, they give them a life ticket.  If a carnivore is tagged by a natural disaster, they give up their life chip.  If you run out of life tickets or life chips, you go to the “hospital”, where they will give you more.  Herbivores have to collect food and water stamps, carnivores collect life tickets and water stamps, and natural disasters (also called death) needs life tickets and chips.  You need a minimum amount of stamps and life tickets to survive.  For example, if you are a small carnivore (red) like me, you need three water stamps (I had four of the five) and nine life tickets (I had thirteen).

Zzz… that is what was very hard for everybody in the Crow dorm.  Everyone was too hyper; they ate candy right before bedtime, which made it ten times worse.  Quiet time starts at 22:00, but my dorm-mates pushed that to 23:15, which tied for the two most irritating things about my experience in there.  What else?  Well, somebody thought it would be nice to bomb our dorm with the deodorant Axe, and the most-asked question between almost every kid at camp was, “Who Axe-bombed the Crow?”.  (It’s ironic that I am saying this) We had to sleep with the stench of deodorant, which was very annoying.  I even saw someone from our cabin spray the air with the Axe (no names mentioned, _____), but it wasn’t nearly enough to generate such a strong odor.

I have to admit that I was a bit scared on Thursday morning, because I found out that we were going to the Leap of Faith.  Attached to a belay system once again (all activities in the air require the belay), you climb a shaky pole around twelve meters high, but that is not the hard part.  After that, you have to stand up on the top, which is a size equivalent to a dinner plate.  Some people took ten minutes just to stand up, but I convinced myself that time would just change my mind, so I took about one minute.  A regular with heights could get up in merely three seconds.  Once you get up, you have to try and “leap” to catch a trapeze.  If you do not succeed, do not worry!  Just have “faith” that the belay system will catch you.  Oh, and don’t forget to strike a pose on the way down to the ground.  That was my mistake.

^Teamwork on Giant’s Ladder^

To me, the most enjoyable activity was Giant’s Ladder.  There are six planks to climb, and the farther you go, the longer the distance between the two planks.  The longest distance was about two meters.  Instead of swinging one leg over the top of the next plank, I decided to climb using the wire on the side, which was much easier.  You climbed the ladder in groups of two, which is supposed to make you use teamwork, but with my method of climbing, I would end up accidentally kicking them in the head.  That is why I let my teammate go first; so that she could use my knee as a way of lifting herself up.  She got to the fourth, and she could not go on, so our camp leader let me go one plank further, and although I could have made it to the top, the camp leader would not let me, as she said that it was time to leave; we were the last group to go.

We also did a lovely walk that they called a Petroglyph Hike, which was fun, although I thought that there would be more walking on a rougher terrain and in nature.  At the end of the walk, we came out onto a beach, and we saw petroglyphs — the writing of centuries ago, before the alphabet was popularized.  All of the drawings I saw were of fish.

On Friday morning, we had a few activities, including one where you had a partner and imitated scenes or objects.  I think everyone was sad that we had to go, but the sixth graders knew that they would be back next year.

Well, we definitely got a break from our math-crammed days.
Until next time.  (And have a math-crammed day).

Ivo N.

by posted under Learning | 1 Comment »    

May I Please Have Some Market Research Help?


Hello, earthlings!

This year, on May 2nd, 2018, at our Young Entrepreneur Fair, I will be selling some cool coasters and phenomenal Perler Bead keychains.  But, I do need your help.  Market research, or surveys, will help me narrow down my product to a selection that fits my target customer.  If many people take just around two minutes, you will help me grandly, and lead my business closer to success.  Thank you!

Thanks for participating in this survey, and if you want to view it elsewhere, click here.
Have a math-crammed day.


Ivo N.

by posted under Learning | No Comments »    

Death in Space: Zapped by Killer Computer


Howdy, ladies and gentlemen!

In January, our class was working on writing a paragraph about the horrific seconds before dying strangely in outer space.  There are fifteen two-second scenarios in Thomas Lucas’ animated film, and I chose one to write about!  Below the text, you will see a photo of my choice of death (what a strange sentence).  Here is my (hopefully) chilling story.


After Olga shakily clicked on the remote, she quickly came to her senses. Uh-oh… wrong button! Olga, who was normally confident with robots, now trembled with fear, her forehead beady with sweat. The robot’s pixelated colours rearranged themselves to form a cheeky smile. An enormous laser beam shot out from a tiny hole in the robot, seeking humans to zap. Her heart rate rapidly elevated, and a look of momentary shock covered her face, until she disintegrated into nothingness, very far from home. Olga’s blue-haired partner, Björn, witnessed this unusual death, and a terrified whimper was let out. Unfortunately for him, there was no time to mourn and grieve, for his final breath was one second away…

I hope that you enjoyed my paragraph, and if you want to check out the video, go to YouTu– wait!  It is right here!  Watch it if you want, but I must warn you – it is WEIRD.

Thanks, and have a math-crammed day.

Ivo N.

by posted under Creativity, Fun | 1 Comment »    

Where I Live


So we meet again, earthlings! 

I wouldn’t close this tab if I were you because the Comox Valley is truly beautiful.  Today I am going to be writing about the best destinations of the Comox Valley.  Some of them are spontaneous, and some are just very calm and peaceful.  I hope that this post inspires some international visitors.  If you have any feedback, be sure to leave a comment. 

Now, as we all know, nearly every town has a very nice café or restaurant, and the Comox Valley has quite a few.  Whether there is chocolate, ice cream, or tasty dishes, standing beside them will have you drooling like my Labrador Retriever.  Here are a few examples:

  • Locals – This restaurant is quite pricey but is a perfect place to enjoy yourself.  If you are a seafood lover, try the West Coast seafood trio, which will fill up your tummy at the price of thirty-two or thirty-five dollars.  Vegetarian?  No problem, if you like baked portabella mushrooms.  This restaurant offers very perfected dishes. 
  • Benino Gelato – This café, located near the Comox town park, offers delicious ice cream, yummy paninis, and coffee.  They have a huge variety of ice cream flavours, including pear, apple pie, and tiramisu.  If you are looking for an Italian dinner…
  • Martine’s Bistro – …Italian food lovers, step right up!  You will love your meal, whatever you order.  The seafood linguine is extraordinary, with prawns, clams, smoked salmon, and more.  The pan-seared red snapper is also great, offering a side of creamy risotto. 

Well, you won’t be staying in Comox just to eat (hopefully), so look around, enjoy the scenery, and pick up a map!  Here are some beautiful destinations in the Comox Valley: 

  • Goose Spit Park – Here’s a chance to use your track pants, and get a workout!  This brilliant beach is accompanied by 168 stairs, which are known by locals as the “Comox Grind”, after Grouse Grind in Vancouver.  At the very top of these stairs, cameras will definitely be snapping beside you.  The view is even nicer on clear days, when the sunlight bounces off of the waves.  If you want a more quiet scenario… there is a beach beside Goose Spit, with an apple tree and an interesting bench.  If you bring a book and a coat, you can stay there all day.  It may be the most peaceful spot in the Comox Valley. 
  • Nymph Falls – There is a short walk to the waterfalls, and if you stay in the summer, you can cool down in the tiny pools surrounded by rock.  Nature must know humans’ interests very well because there is a natural waterslide, probably created over many years of erosion.  Staying at Nymph Falls is a lovely way to spend the entire day! 
  • Paradise MeadowsThis trail in Strathcona Provincial Park is remarkable, and you will feel that you could wander forever.  Paradise Meadows does live up to its name, summer and winter.  A combination of boardwalk and forest trail, it’s very relaxing and peaceful. 

There are also two other rather obvious things in the Valley; you’ll see them as soon as you get here.  They are the Comox Glacier, and… deer.  Yes, our town is filled with hundreds of deer.  Slow down, and don’t let them get caught in the headlights (ha ha!).  Though they can be a bit slow at times, their adorableness will pardon them, and… it will be a nice test of your patience. 

Unfortunately, some days in Comox will be rainy and gloomy, but there are always ways to entertain yourself and others indoors.  Don’t just stay in and watch television.  Come on in to… 

  • Comox Recreational Centre – Do you like sports?  When the weather does not look too good, stop by the rec centre to play sports in a gym, whack some table tennis (for free!), or to spend some time in the fitness gym.   
  • Courtenay Museum – Interested in history and paleontology?  If you are, come to this museum, where actual dinosaur bones are on display.  Also, if you would like to know more about the city of Courtenay, that is mainly what the museum offers.  Lastly, for some reason, I liked looking at the old packages of food, from the early twentieth century. 
  • Comox Valley Aquatic Centre – Our pool has a wave pool, lanes, a steam room, hot tub, and more!  Personally, my favourite things to do are ride the waterslides, play catch in the wave pool, and relax in the steam room.  Even though my fingers will get very shrivelled, I could stay all day. 

Well, that is the Comox Valley, a wonderful place to live.  If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment, and I will be sure to answer it as soon as possible. 

Thanks, and have a math-crammed day. 

Ivo N. 

(Photo Credit for Peninsula: Guinness323, Wikipedia)
(Photo Credit for Local’s: Local’s)
(Photo Credit for Goose Spit: Comox Valley Regional District)
(Photo Credit for Rec Centre: Town of Comox)

My Winter Break


Hello again, fellow earthlings! 

Nearly every child in school was jumping up and down on December 22nd, for the winter break was just around the corner.  Christmas, travelling, birthdays, guests – there is so much to get excited about!  Everyone has something different that they are looking forward to, but today I would like to tell you about my days of fun!  I hope you like it; speak up in the comment section if you have any feedback or… well, comments. 

For the last week of school, I was ill, and missed school for two days.  That was a shame – I would have loved to be there.  I will not dwell on that fact; let’s skip ahead to… 2:30 P.M., on December 22nd.  Children from the age of five to twelve were rushing out of the doors.  Once I had gotten on my bicycle, most kids had left, since I usually leave the property a bit later than some.  I pedalled home, and my father told me that my tennis coach was waiting for us, expecting us by 3:00.  When I got there, we played until sundown, which was at around 4:30.  The winter solstice had been on the day before, so the day was increasing in length. 

On the 23rd, we stayed home, and I worked on a music project that our music teacher assigned us.  We had to choose a musical artist or band (in my case, Jimi Hendrix), and present it in the form of a poster or digital presentation (like PowerPoint, Office Sway, or Google Slides).  I chose to type it up on a poster board, and I worked a lot for three or four days, so I would not spend every day staring at the computer screen.   

Christmas Eve followed, and we stayed home again, but we had a lovely vegetarian dinner, with zucchini patties, rice and barley, carrot and coconut salad, roasted cauliflower, and more!  After supper, we played a game of “Yahtzee”, and I played terrible (bad luck rained down on me relentlessly), but it was still quite enjoyable. 

Strangely, I found it easy to sleep; I must have been very pooped.  The next morning, I was the third to wake up; my mother was still sleeping.  When she awoke, we had breakfast, and then opened our presents.  I got a set of two pencil cases, a new tea thermos, a long-sleeved sport shirt, and (from my grandmother)… long bamboo socks.  In fact, everyone in the family got a few new pairs, and while it may seem strange, my family says that they are very comfortable and thin, suitable for the summer.  I enjoyed opening my gifts, because I love pencil cases, I drink lots of tea, I don’t really like very short socks, I play tennis nearly every day, and it gets cold in the winter! 

Two days later, my mom, my brother, his friend, and I all went to the recreation centre.  We went to the gym, where others were playing basketball.  Everyone but me was playing basketball; I was volleying a tennis ball on the wall with my racket, until the other group of people left.  When they left, I started hitting groundstrokes – forehands and backhands.  I would say we played for about two hours, and even though I was tired by the end, I could have chased the ball some more. 

By the 29th, all of my text boxes for my project on Jimi Hendrix were cut out, and were waiting to be glued.  That day, at 3:30 P.M., was when our guests, the Schlegels, came.  We played Super Smash Brothers with them for a little while, followed by a game of “Apples to Apples”.   

The 31st was… interesting.  My father was going to run roadside of the highway leading up to our local ski resort, Mount Washington, while everyone else, including myself, took a walk on a little trail.  One quarter of your steps sunk your legs knee-deep in snow.  We were hoping to find a hill for sledding, but that was unsuccessful, so we tried to make one ourselves.  You have to sled down on a downhill path repeatedly.  Sounds easy, right?  Think again; some of the snow was pretty sticky, so my sled flipped over, and I turned into a ghost – my face was (no pun intended) snow white.  As you can imagine, it was very difficult, so my mother asked a family where a decent sledding destination was located.  They told her to head to Forbidden Plateau for a nice sledding experience, which we did.  We turned around, to go back to the car, but my foot got stuck in a huge hole.  It was knee-deep, but I saw the end, and decided to put both of my feet in the space, out of curiosity.  I squirmed in, until I was waist-deep, and I can honestly say that it was comfortable, except for a branch poking me.   

It was surprisingly easy to get out of, and I raced back to the car, falling deep into the snow more frequently, since you come down a bit harder when you are running.  When we made it to the car, we started driving to Forbidden Plateau, but not before discovering that we were stuck.  Everyone, except for my mother, had to push the SUV from behind, and we made it!  We picked up my father, and started driving normally to Forbidden Plateau.   

Once we got there, there was a small hill right in front of us, so I said, “Come on!”, as I climbed it.  When I reached the top, I saw a trail leading upwards, so I walked up for a while until I saw what I thought was the end.  It was flat at the top, but then I realized… that wasn’t the peak.  Another slope was ahead, and when we climbed that one, there was no more.  I sledded down that hill twice, but your sled stops before the end of the trail; you probably only get about 1/3 of the way. 

On the third time I was coming down, someone’s legs were sticking out onto the trail, and since I had almost no time to move away, I yelled “Incoming!”, but it was too late.  My head bashed into his knee, and I can say that it is not a very nice feeling.  I think that you should not go up there if you have not gone sledding in a while, or if your sled is too short.   

After that incident, we sledded further down, where the trail is wider.  There was a small fire, and I was freezing.  You do the math; Cold Ivo + Warm Fire = Happy Ivo.  The flames were barely alive, but luckily, the person who lit it had left some spare firewood, and a stick, able to move fire-smothering charcoal out of the way.  It took about five minutes to make it rise, and it warmed me up grandly, except for my feet,    

By the end, while everyone else was sledding, I was huddled by the fire (nearly) contently.  The only downside was that the smoke was in my face (*cough, sputter*), even though my back was turned to the wind.  I am very sensitive to smoke, and that ultimately drove me down the hill.  I froze like one of those head massagers; the ones with the handle and vibration. 

I was so happy when we came home; I could not thaw outside 😜!  Everyone else, who are definitely as wintry as Niflheim jotun, seemed to be okay with staying outside for longer, but snow was buried in the bottom of my shoe, making my feet miserable.  

For supper, we had warm pizza, and cool Russian salad – potatoes, pickles, carrots, and peas, with mayonnaise dressing.  I even had a Virgin Caesar, which consists of Clamato juice, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lime, and rimmer (spices on the rim of the glass).  It was a non-alcoholic version of the Caesar (hence the “virgin”), in which vodka is added. 

As 2018 crawled up with ten minutes left, everybody gathered in the living room, where I discovered those little plastic kazoos.  Once our eight year old guest saw them, hell rained down on everyone’s eardrums.  We circled our couch, tweeting a twenty-minute song.  Sorry, neighbours! 

We stayed up only until 3:45 A.M., because we were going to go… 

… TUBING the next day (or later that day).  We all woke up at around 11:00 A.M., except for two guests, who slept until 12:00 P.M.  We had a very nice breakfast.  In Bulgaria, there is a tradition of eating banitsa – phyllo pastry with egg and feta cheese – with little fortunes inside, on New Year’s Eve.  We forgot, so we had it the next day. 

By the way, my fortunes predicted that I should get my vaccinations… because I was going to travel this year!  Also, my parents have to buy me at least two hats, on account of my other fortune.  Three cheers to fashion!  (Just kidding). 

We left for Mt. Washington at around 1:00 P.M., and once we got there, I saw a pleasant surprise: at the bottom of the hills, there was hay!  Once the slope evened out to flat ground, we were sliding on hay, and the fresh scent climbed into my nose. 

We were tubing from 2:00 to 4:00, and I tried going by myself, with a partner, with two, and in a large group of four.  It had been my first time tubing at Mount Washington, and we used to lug it up the hill, but there is a luxurious two-minute escalator ride here. 

When we got home, we had a nice supper, after which we had a huge game of “Apples to Apples”, in which eight people participated.  I did not win a player’s opinion until around the 35th turn, but at the end, I had four cards under my belt. 

We went to bed at around 1:00 A.M., which was unfortunate for our guests, because they had to leave at around 8:00 in the morning.  Somehow, they managed to, but not before a very fatty and caloric breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon.   

Once we said our goodbyes, I went up to my room to “get some shuteye”, and I woke up at 1:30, thinking of the next day… in which my friends came over with their golden retriever and French bulldog puppy, both of whom are extremely adorable.  As for our friends, we played a bit of table tennis, and some Nintendo Land, for the Wii U.   

When they left, I went to sleep, but nothing special awaited us the next day, so we stayed home until January the 8th, when SCHOOL STARTED! 

Well, that was my winter break.  If you have any feedback, be sure to leave a comment.
Thank you for reading. 

Ivo N. 

by posted under Blogging, Learning, My Life | tagged under , , ,  |  1 Comment »    

A Harris Burdick Mystery: The Third-Floor Bedroom





Hello, friends!

Lately, my class has been learning about the amazing illustrations that Harris Burdick drew with charcoal.  We had a wide variety of pictures – fourteen in total, and in the end, I had chosen “The Third-Floor Bedroom”, though “Missing in Venice” and “Captain Tory” would have been my other choices.  I love the fact that every illustration leaves you wondering what will happen next.  We had to write one paragraph that will open a story; an introduction.  I hope you enjoy reading it, and I will tell you what happens, because it is quite funny!


Although the boy’s scream was muffled, the whole town sensed that something was wrong.  His father darted up his stairway getting to his child’s bedroom, and felt a winter breeze flow through the air, as fluid as a gentle wave.  He pounded on the door, hoping that the kid was not just testing his temper’s limits.  A jolt of shock shot down his back when he found the room empty.  Determined to find his son, he dashed down his stairs and into his car, only to discover that his tires had been slashed gruesomely.  The man cursed under his breath, because he couldn’t catch those scoundrels with a bicycle!  Unfortunately, it was his only choice, so he hopped on, now pondering how he could catch up.  He eventually thought of biking to the police station, where he would explain his situation. 

The poor child’s dad, who was quite active, got to the station smoothly in around fifteen minutes.  Since he notified an attentive policeman, the other officers got excited, because there was rarely any crime in this village.  Their investigations started soon after, and they traced fingerprints on the youngster’s nightstand.  But maybe the answer was held in the third floor bedroom… 

Now, if you would like to know what happens next, keep reading.  If not, scroll down, but the truth is humorous.  Are you ready?  The boy is hiding under the bed, just hoping to get attention.  I would say, “Poor father!”, but sometimes not everybody is happy in the end.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the story, and if you have any feedback, please leave a comment.

Thanks, and have a math-crammed day!

Ivo N.


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