The Sky's the Limit
My mandala is a mixture of things that mean something to me. The deer represents grace, because I've always admired fawns gracefulness, and youth, because I want to enjoy being young while I can. The moon and night sky represents peace, because that is what I'm searching for. And the cherry tree represents beauty and love. It also embodies fire, which destroys everything in it's path but brings new life. Fire cleanses and purifies the earth. That is everything on my mandala. Enjoy. 
My winter term goals are:
  1. Stretch out my writing.
  2. Improve my progress grade.
  3. Try harder on my writing.
I feel that I have been trying a lot harder on my writing, but that I could do even better. I have also learned even more ways to stretch out my writing. In doing these and other things, I think I've improved my progress grade a little, but not enough to make a dif
This essay was a big part of our grade. We did it to explain a quality our favorite character has.


                Loyalty is when someone is willing to do anything for what they believe to be right or for

someone they love. A person who is loyal might save his or her friends from danger, not give up on a

cause even if it’s failing, or stand up for his or her friends when they need help. Friends, soldiers,

politicians, parents, and teachers are all loyal. Some loyal people are Barack Obama, Martin Luther King,

Jr., the SPCA, the AFRP, Lassie, and Harry Potter. Soda is loyal to his gang, especially his brothers, in the

book The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton.

For instance, Soda is loyal when he writes the letter to Ponyboy while Ponyboy is gone. Ponyboy

leaves town with Johnny after Bob, the Soc, dies. Soda writes Pony a letter and gives it to Dally to deliver.

Soda says in the letter, “Well, I guess you got into some trouble, huh?” (pg. 81). He shows loyalty to

Ponyboy by not turning the other way when he gets in trouble and communicating with him instead of

lying low. Ponyboy feels loved and secured by the letter. I think Soda helps them decide to come back

instead of hiding for a longer period of time.

Second, Soda is loyal when he helps and stays with Ponyboy while he is sick. Ponyboy is still

weak from the fire when the big fight with the Soc’s starts. He insists on fighting anyway, and his earlier

injuries hamper him. As a result, he is kicked in the head and gets a serious concussion. Soda carries him

back to the house and puts him in bed. In addition, Soda takes care of Ponyboy while he’s asleep. When

he wakes, he reflects to himself, “Soda must have pulled my shoes and shirt off for me; I was still

wearing my jeans,” (pg. 104). Darry comes in and sees that Pony is awake. Soda follows him and runs

over to Ponyboy. While Darry leaves to get food, Soda and Ponyboy fall asleep.

Lastly, Soda displays loyalty when he yells at his brothers and speaks his mind. Darry and

Ponyboy are arguing about Pony’s schoolwork when Soda walks in. Ponyboy thinks, “His face was white,

and when he looked at me his eyes were wide in a pained expression,” (pg. 174). Soda is sick of hearing

his only family fight and is already stressing out over a personal issue. Also, he is torn between the two

sides of the argument and feels that he can’t choose one over the other. Finally, he is torn apart by

loyalty to his family and runs away. Ponyboy and Darry run after him and tackle him to the ground. He

explains how he feels and tells Ponyboy that he is picking on Darry for every mistake he makes. The

brothers resolve their problems and head back home.

In conclusion, Soda is loyal all the way through The Outsiders. Soda is more loyal than he knows;

he writes a heartfelt letter to Ponyboy, takes care of him and yells at his only family for them to stop

fighting. If Soda hadn’t been loyal, Ponyboy might have come home to more conflict with Darry, which

would make Soda miserable. Sometimes I am loyal, but I’m not constantly loyal like Soda. If one of my

friends is upset, I don’t ignore them; I try to understand what’s wrong, so I can help. I always try to stay  

loyal to my family, so if my cousin has an issue, instead of saying ‘Deal with it!’ I help her resolve it.

Sometimes though, if I hear something I disagree with, I don’t speak up against it, because I’m afraid I

will be excluded or maybe a friend will get mad if I disagree. I want to be more loyal to my feelings when

I feel like I can’t speak up. This quality influences my life by making me feel like I can’t refuse a friend if

the offer is reasonable. This offer can be good or bad, because if a friend asks for help, I help, but if I

have one cookie, and my friends ask for some, I feel disloyal if I don’t give some to them. Soda is willing

to do anything for what he believes to be right, and he has that quality.



We wrote these in response to the book The Outsiders. I loved the book, so here are the answers to the questions asked.
  1. Being an outsider means that you don't fit in. You're excluded, so you can only have friends who are also outsiders. You're outside the circle of normal and outside what everyone thinks is normal.
  2. No, it's not true that 'nothing gold can stay', because love lasts forever. When someone dies, it doesn't mean you stop loving them. Little things, like sunsets, are gone in a heartbeat, but truly gold things last in our hearts forever.
  3. The lessons I learned from this book are to 'stay gold' and stay unhardened by life. Also, even outsiders can live inside the circle. As well as all that, I think the most important lesson is that no matter where you come from, everyone 
I wrote this poem as a free write. I liked it, but not enough to turn in or consider for poetry night. But now it seems like a great poem.

A Forgotten Dream

A dream falls like a teardrop

Once it touches the ground

You can’t catch it

Once it falls

You can only relive the fire

When you drop into

The soft pillows of sleep





My ekphrastic poem was about a wolf getting separated from her pack. She is about ready to die when her pack returns and she realizes she will never be alone. The picture that inspired me was this one, and my poem is also below:
Alone In the World

By Sofia Brown


Looking out on the weather-beaten wasteland,

I feel remorse repeating it’s cycle in me,

My eyes contain secrets buried dangerously deep,

Secrets of why I am alone,

Alone in the world.


My ears are pricked for silent sound,

Silence in the lost pack,

Of me and my thoughts

Wind rustles my fur, reminding me of one thing,

I am alone,

Alone in the world.


Softly sniffing the heather-scented air,

A hare leaps out of a prickly thistle,

I do not chase,

The hunt has lost all joy for me,

It reminds me of how I am alone,

Alone in the world


Black and white pictures,

Flash before my mind,

Running free with the pack,

Tongue hanging from my open mouth,

But now I am alone,

Alone in the world


I cover the last dry-grass covered hill before a dreary desert of sand,

And the sight seizes my heart,

Brown, gray, white, and black shapes

 Gallop toward me,

At the speed of liquid lightning,

The feeling of flying floods my heart,

I remember,

I am never alone