Monday, July 16, 2012

Week Two Has Begun

It was a little difficult for me to wake up this morning, but that's always the case with Mondays. Usually, one tends to sleep in a little later on the weekends so they have a hard time waking up at their normal, earlier time when Monday comes around. However, despite my difficulties I was still able to get up half an hour earlier than I was supposed to. 

When I had woken, I did all my normal morning rituals before heading to breakfast with my friends. I almost choked on my orange juice when Katherine made one of her famous silly faces. My friends Mason and Amanda playfully reprimanded me for not finishing all my food, and we all lingered in the commons area chatting a while before we parted ways. 

Thankfully, it was not as rainy here today as it was the past week. The sun's rays beamed down on us intensely, and the humidity was so thick it was like you were swimming in it. I stepped out of the commons area and lifted my head slightly to feel the sun on my body. I walked with a group of people past the statues of children playing and the green landscape to my classroom. It was a lot colder in there than it was outside. I really hate how the inside of the Vanderbilt is so much colder than the outside, but I suppose it is better than not having and air conditioning at all. 

We started off our day writing for about 20 minutes in our journals, and then we talked about common house tropes in mysteries. I learned that houses will usually have a recurring theme in mystery stories: they will always be run down, abandoned, secluded, etc. We spent a majority of the classroom discussing house tropes and then we listened to the story of a young boy who stumbled upon an abandoned home deep in a forest with his friends. They each proclaimed that they wanted  to enter the house, and being boys, they did so even though none of them really wanted to go in. 

When the boys entered the house, they discovered that all the rooms were packed with old furniture. Random items were scattered throughout the house. They found old newspaper, letters, and clothing in the closets and drawers. Many of the doors in the house were locked or had furniture blocking them, "as though they were trying to prevent something from coming out." 

All this was a radio recording and was based on the true story of a journalist, who eventually became obsessed with the house at a young age. He and his friends wondered what could have happened to the owners on the house ( who he discovered had the surname Mason from the letters) to make them leave without taking any of their stuff. Being young boys, the journalist and his friends conjured up tales of horror to explain the mysterious old house. 

As the protagonist of the story gets older, he uses technology to aid him in his search for answers. He does research online and finds a distant relative of the Masons, a great-great-grandaughter named Samantha. The protagonist gives him the box of stuff he collected from the old house and asks her for some more information on the Masons. " No one will tell me anything," Samantha confessed when he asked her what the story was behind the house. " They either don't know or they don't want to tell me."

Eventually, the protagonist does discover what happened to the Masons. " The children didn't want the house," and old friend of the Masons told him. " After the Masons died, their was a property dispute that the kids did not want to get involved in. They decided to just burn the house with everything in it in a practice fire for the trainees at the fire department." The protagonist was disappointed at this discovery, but he was relieved to finally know the truth.

After listening to the broadcast, we gathered our The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes book and walked to Sweet CeCe's for some frozen yogurt while we read. The combination of frozen yogurt and reasonably cool air from the air conditioner made for a very nice reading environment. I ate my chocolate yogurt with peanut M&Ms as I read one of Sherlock's crazy adventures with Dr. Watson. 

I was really excited after class had ended because I have fencing this week for Arete. We learned some basic fencing positions and I got to hit a teacher with a saber, which was pretty cool. I liked the feeling of having a weapon in my hand and hitting someone who I knew could not feel my blows. It made me realize how skilled and graceful one has to be as a fencer. 

Week one has officially ended and week two has just started. We have a lot of events planned for the week, and I am excited for all of them. Now that I have made regular friends and am comfortable here, I look forward to everyday. There is never a dull moment here at VSA. 

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