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Summer “Daycations”
By Maggie Poling, Grade 9

Summer is the time of year when the hardworking students get to sit back and relax. Whether this means going fishing, heading to the nearest amusement park, watching a movie, or simply doing nothing…it’s all up to the student!

Even still, sometimes it is difficult to decide what to do. There are limitless options, but what’s the best choice? I know what it feels like to be indecisive, which is why I’m here to help you find the best ways to spend your time this summer. So come on, and let the summer festivities begin!

Go to the library: Going to the library may seem like school, but it can feel like an adventure! When you hit the books, you go to a completely different place, and there’s no feeling like it. To make your escapade even more fun, bring your friends along and pick out a book together. Then, go home and read the book out loud with your friends, having everyone pretend to be the different characters! This is an especially good idea if you have a summer reading list for your English course, because it’s both fun and productive!

Find a Thinking Spot: It’s an activity that is bound to keep you busy, and get you active! Instead of lounging around the house all day, go on the hunt for a safe place within walking distance of home where you can read, listen to music, watch a movie on your iPod, or just think! Finding it will be fun, and having a place to go when there’s no one else is pretty nice, as well!

Have a picnic in an unconventional setting: Of course, you can always picnic in the park, but where else could you eat a portable lunch? Personally, my Dad and I love to walk around in the woods near our house, and then eat lunch at a nearby picnic table, or even on the ground! If you’re not into dirt, then what about picnic inside? When I was little, my best friend and I used to set up a bunch of chairs in her living room, put a blanket over them, and pretend we were camping! Then, we ate lunch in our “tent”, told ghost stories, and played games. Now, if that doesn’t sound fun, then it’s your turn to pick! Find a location - any location - and have a picnic there. It will be a delicious, brand new experience for you and your friends!

Go to a nearby antique store: There’s nothing like a quirky, intriguing antique store! Every town has at least one, and you are guaranteed to find something you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Plus, it’s kind of like the Walmart of old stuff, because there are countless genres of items in stock - always! Trust me, you won’t regret a trip to the antique store!

Now if that’s not enough, it’s your turn to sit down with your friends and think of some ideas! Crank up the music, laugh, and ponder about your to-do lists for this summer. Now there’s a “daycation“!

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From Trousers to Pants: The Story of Jeans
By Nayah Boucaud, Grade 8

Have you ever thought about where things came from before you used them? Like what about the light bulb? It took Thomas Edison years to make electric light. If we think about these things more, it would be easier to appreciate.

What about clothes - pants to be more specific? Bell bottoms were pretty popular some time ago. They have some weird things out there that we wear. But do you know why we wear them or how they evolved? Here is the history of jeans, a very popular clothing item today!

The word “jeans” actually come from the French phrase “bleu de Gênes” which means “blue of Genoa”. Denim, a material used to make jeans, actually came from two places: India and the French town of Nîmes.

Jean trousers were created in Chieri, a town in Italy. These trousers would be used for sailors and sold at the dock of Genoa. Later, the material was sold by “Levi” in California to gold mining communities. One of the buyers was very interested in denim, and with the help of Levi Strauss, the creator of Strauss & Co., jeans were born.

Jeans were also used as prison wear because of their durability. In addition, workers used them in factories during World War 2. At one point, jeans were used as a way of rebellion and banned in some places, like restaurants and movies.

However, they are now used as a symbol of fashion.

Many say that jeans were created by cowboys in Texas. Well, the phenomenon actually started in that small town in France. Cowboys did, however, use them very often and they even helped display the product to the world.

Now the world uses jeans as casual all-the-time wear. Men and women around the world both wear jeans in many different styles.

No matter how you wear it or where you wear it, remember the history of jeans. I hope you know more about the stylish pants that got their start simply by a fabric - denim. Next time you put a pair on, remember the sailors on the dock wearing denim trousers or Levi and Davis creating them. Everything has a history and we should always honor their past. Sometimes, we may be a little surprised and maybe, just maybe, learn something new.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeans
http://www.newint.org/easier-english/Garment/jhistory.html


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