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Ancient Roman Gladiators


     At about 260 B.C., Rome introduced the first Gladiators. Their purpose was to fight in the 1st Punic war. At the end of the war in 241 B.C., the Gladiators were no longer needed to fight. The Roman Empire then appointed the Gladiators as guardians and religious symbols. Along with their iconic statures in the Roman communities, the Gladiators were a large component in what could have been one of the greatest armies in history.


                 Becoming a Gladiator promised good living conditions and other bonuses that the average person did not have. Therefore, those who were poor would become a Gladiator, those who were descendants of slaves would become a Gladiator, and those who owed money or were criminals would become a Gladiator, and automatically have their debts repaid. There were also citizens of the Romans’ dictated lands that would become Gladiators because they were then granted citizenship of Rome, along with their families.


    Where there were many reasons to become a Gladiator, there were also many reasons not to. Becoming a Gladiator meant that, while in service, you could not have a wife of children. Although this was dulled by the fact that many Gladiators had “unofficial”  wives and children, the negatives of becoming a Gladiator were still considerable when the possibility of death in combat was mentioned.


    Common Gladiators were often divided into three categories. There were Gladiators in Chariots, Horseback Gladiators, and Pair Gladiators. Gladiators in Chariots rode in chariots, Horseback Gladiators rode on horses, and Pair Gladiators protected and fought in pairs. In short, the names of which they were categorized were just as suggestive as they sound.


     Often times, Gladiators were relocated to one of the many dictated provinces of the Roman Empire. Once there, they would have the choice to have unofficial families and if they did, stay where their wives and children were, or they could bring their new families to where they had lived prior to their relocation. Intermarrying women of other provinces spread the various traditions of the integrated Gladiators.


     Talented Gladiators, based on how they fought, were well paid, or eligible for promotion. The Soldiers who were promoted, were in charge of a centurion, which consisted of roughly 80 men. Soldiers who were well paid, but not promoted, would run ready markets for local traders, which was time consuming considering that ready markets were always ready. Still, those who fought were the admired ones. Spartacus was one of the most famous Gladiators in history. He and his followers posed such a threat to the Roman Empire, that they were forced to negotiate.


     Gladiators fought for many reasons besides for their Empire. They would fight at funerals to honor the dead, but this was not the reason Gladiators were remembered as such fierce warriors. The Arena, otherwise known as the Harena, was the most entertaining event at the time of the Gladiators. All events were funded by Emperors, and attended by anyone who was anyone in the Roman society. There was always a large crowd. The Colosseum could hold up to 50,00 people, and it was centered around a pit of blood-absorbent sand. In this pit, “Gladiators fought nearly every known creature from the four corners of the Roman world”. This included, pack animals, lions, and each other. Every battle was a fight to the death, and the victor was awarded with laurels, monetary payment, and sometimes, freedom.


     “Peacetime and wartime, the Gladiators played the most important role in the Roman society. “ Even after they served, they went on to be bodyguards, and village leaders. The Gladiators were the protectors of one of the greatest civilizations of history, and could have held just as much power as those in power had. They were bound to their roles with the Oath of a Gladiator, which stated, “I will endure to be burned, to be bound, to be beaten and to be killed by the sword.” The Gladiators were icons, protectors, and warriors in one of the greatest empires known to man.




Gill, N. S.. "Roman Gladiators." ancienthistory.about.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <Watkins, Richard R. Gladiator. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. Print. >.


 "Gladiators." roman-colosseum.info. N.p., 2008. Web. 7 Mar 2012. <http://roman-colosseum.info/gladiators/index.htm>.


Truman, Chris, . "Ancient Rome." History Learning. N.p., 2009. Web. 8 Mar 2012. <http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/a_history_of_ancient_rome.htm>.

Watkins, Richard R. Gladiator. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. Print.





The City of Ember

Jeanne DuPrau


Doon Harrow and Line Mayfleet had lived with the flickering of artificial lights all their lives. They were used to the taste of canned foods, low of resources, and the dank, musky air. And as things got worse, they became used to their fear: that the lights of Ember may never come back on, and that the City may be succumbed in darkness much like that of the Unknown Regions.


And as the theory of darkness came to light, citizens began to panic. Lina’s Granny was no exception. By exposing a letter in her frivolous ransacking, that was soon after destroyed by Lina’s toddling sister, the story began. Doon and Lina worked to decipher what was left of the letter and were thrust upon what seemed to be a never-ending trail of questions.


The two 12-year-olds must overcome their fears of the rushing river, expose the thievery of a foolish mayor, and, hopefully, save the City from a night-like fate. There’s no telling what the letter may uncover, or what Ember must do, but there is also no question that this book is a page turner. It will grab you from the very beginning and keep you captive with the author’s unique ideas, and plot that seems to add problems with a solution, right out her characters’ reach.


This book is for anyone who just enjoys Science Fiction. It is easy to follow, but not so predictable that you’re left bored. You’re left guessing, just the same as Lina and Doon, dying to put together the pieces of the puzzle.This book makes you wonder what may happen if we continue at the rapid pace we are now, and if our children's children, may end up in a City just like Ember.





 The Rule 



    I looked at my brothers, their matching faces. They received matching punishments, and therefore, matching slashes directly under their left eyes.

    The identical beauty of their faces was tarnished. Dripping away with each blood drop off their chins. Would their Brides marry them now? Or would their age restrict them from ever having a wife, children? Seventeen is the last acceptable age to become engaged. And even 17.
    But it would not matter. My brothers would live with me. It was not as though I would ever marry. No. I should rephrase that. No one would ever marry me. There. That seems much more accurate.

Perhaps as we grow even more tiresome of the Wasteland that has become of Spain, we can flee The Rule to a place where there is nothing; where we can start over. I can only hope.

    “What happened to you?!”, I demanded.
    “We ticked off an Inforcer? What else?”, answered Crown.
    “Correction. Crown ticked off an Inforcer. I was just confused with him by the Bolt-Head at the Village entrance. You know how it is. Matching faces, matching beat-downs.”, said Carter. He did not seem happy.
    I sighed a them and turned to start a fire in the middle of out hut.
    “Well, now it’s even harder to tell the difference between you two”, I lied. Crown was at least 3 inches taller than Carter. I did this only to spare his feelings.
    In all honesty, the three of us do look very much alike. I understand my brothers looking alike would be implied, being that they’re twins, but they do show a remarkable resemblance to me. Carter and I are roughly the same height, and Crown and I have the same length in hair. The only difference was that I always wore mine up in a ponytail. We all have thick, black hair. We’re often called The Slates.
    But we all share one difference-- our amount of courage. When an Enforcer turns the,  I turn from my usual olive, to an unnaturally pale white. Carter changes from olive to green! Not Crown, though. No, he just stands his ground with a grin on his face. And regardless of Carters attempts to remain unseen, he ends up sharing the punishment with Crown. So now the boys shared something else. I do not know what I will do if their Fiancees accept them. Rot away, I suppose. But then again, we all do, living in the Wasteland.

By the Name of The Rule

    Crown beamed at his Bride as she walked down the beaten aisle, towards him and the wooden altar. She was beautiful. Or as beautiful as you could be, wearing raggedy clothes you’ve worn sense you were twelve. But her dull creme sash, worn from generations of use, was the focus of her as a bride. She was not a bride. She was not ready to marry. She loved Crown, that much I knew. But she was merely a child, and felt too young. Like she hadn’t seen enough. 
    Carter stared from our brothers side, as our soon to be sister-in-law handed her bouquet the girl who had once been his fiancee. I noticed how detached he was as our brother, and sister, repeated the new, ancient words, modified to the desires of the Rule.
“I promise,
By the name of The Rule,
To have and to hold...”
Etc., etc. I was not one for things so sappy. Neither was Carter.  Both of our minds were elsewhere. I just stared at the Hallow Bride. The rest was all a blur to me.


    He’d done it. He’d finally done it. He’d fallen into the Slate way of thinking; rebellion. And this was not a good thing.
    The Enforcers had chased him to the border, all the way to the Northern Forrest. They were not programmed for trekking. And so he continued on. What choice did he have? What choice did I have? Not follow him? The Tech Distributor would send out a search for me, he and his all mighty self.
    ‘The King” as they called him, not only dictated Spain, but minds. If he found me, he could manipulate me into exposing everything he needed to know about my brother.
    And now, because of him, Crown, and his Hallow Bride, himself, and I were trapped in a room of stone, often used for captives from other nations. But that’s what we are to them. Captives, but for questioning. The Tech Distributor himself even came to meet us. Apparently, rebellion was not a popular way of thought.
    There was no escaping, that much I knew. The king would have to transport us particle by particle, by his own hand for us to escape. All we could do was make the best of the little we were given.

Months passed

“You are all free to leave the Unit.”, The Man in teal announced. Teal. What an odd color for a suit.

    Some of us sighed, as others cried. We held each other in our arms, eager for that tainted, but desirable by comparison, air that we had been deprived of for so many months.
    “All except for you.”, Informed that Man in Teal. He pointed a long, bony finger at Carter.
    The man spoke faster and faster.
    “You are now property of The Rule--”

“NO!”, I screamed.

“-- and are to be kept in Containment Unit 17 until you are transported to the Laboratory of The Rule’s top scientific minds.”

I was hyperventilating now.

“You are to be captivated and used for experimentation for a Top Secret Rebellion Antidote with no sort of contact received or distributed by or to yourrself. Say your goodbyes; you have not much time.”

And with that my legs gave way, as I toppled helplessly to the floor.


The Slates


“CARTER!”, I pleaded as I bolted upright. I was home. Was it all a dream? Had all of that ever really happened? All I knew, is that I needed to give my overactive mind a break.

Panting, I leaned on my elbows, scraping them on the concrete as I rolled off of my mat, and onto the floor. Once I’d gotten to my feet, I stumbled to the door. As I struggled to shove the door open, I noticed a throbbing in my right forearm. What was that?  I thought. Oh, what did it matter.

Once I had succeeded in opening the barrier between the outside world, and myslef, I walked out onto the uneven ground of the Village, with my sights on the stream. As I headed downhill towards the water, and took in my surroundings:

The pants you bought yesterday, the fruit you would buy tomorrow, and the Computers you wish you would buy, but knew you never could.    
    Everything was so monochromatic here. Brown huts, brown clothes, and faces brown from the dirt found just about everywhere. Even the paper was brown.
    A poster of a boy about my height, with a scar just under his left eye, had the words WANTED written numerous times around his photo. Oh my, I thought. He looks just like--
    My forearm began to beep.
    It was not a dream. The realization hit me hard. What did this mean? Carter escaped, and now The Rule was searching for him? This could not be happening! I needed some water.
    At the stream, I scooped up some water in my hands. I sipped the liquid slowly, cool against my damp, sweaty skin. I sat back, taking it all in, resting my hands on a rock the size of a small child. I leaned forward for another drink, and then I saw it.
    I, too, had a scar; A Scar of the Slates.





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There Should Be More Field Trips in the 7th Grade



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There Should Be More Field Trips in the 7th Grade


     We do not have enough field trips in 7th grade. Field trips are a fun way to learn.They allow children to learn more and be excited about it. Also, the students at MMS only have one field trip a year, which is hardly enough.

     As most students would agree, field trips are a fun way to learn. They allow kids a break from their everday routine. Changing things up in someones day allows for a fresh start.New environments allow kids to become more alert and better enjoy their learning experience.

     Second, students at MMS aren’t provided with enough educational trips. We are allowed one field trip to fun time at the end of the year. However, we aren’t allowed any educational trips throughout the year. I went from a handful of trips over the course of my 4th grade year, to one trip in the 5th. Through personal experience, I know that having one field trip in a year does not feel like enough.

     Finally, students can learn more about almost any subject, but better, if taken to the right place. My 5th Grade class was taken to Greenfield Village to further understand America’s history. I never could have grasped that concept as well as I did, without that trip.

     Overall, field trips are some of the best ways to learn new subjects. They give kids something to look forward to in their educational experience. I know personally, that field trips do make a difference, and if we could get ourselves out there to learn and support what we know, it would make our day a little more interesting, and that there will be results.

Comments (2)

makayla said

at 11:46 am on Sep 26, 2011


kaitlin said

at 1:01 pm on Jan 26, 2012

i love you bella <3

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