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Skating to a Dream 16 year old

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aims high combining skating and school

The Superpowers of


Annika 11, splashes her heart out on her Staycation!

Dec / Jan 2013-2014 Vol 6, Issue 6

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The Bunk Room

Julie Gazdecki

North Lake

Publisher, North Lake

Wow! December already. Hope everyone is ready for the Holidays coming upon us. I will be shopping small and local this

Publisher: Julie Gazdecki

Christmas season. There are so many great shops in our local towns. Be sure to check Editorial / Creative: Maria Slaby Executive Editor: Margo Slaby Editor in Chief: Erik Slaby Advertising: 352-729-2109 Advertising Design: The Bunk Roomies Distribution: The Gazdecki Girls, Gary Wayne, Family Martial Arts Center

them out. We are excited here, at The Bunk Room. We just hosted our second charity fundraising event and it was a HUGE success!! We were able to collect over 50 inches of hair for Children With Hairloss, along with monetary donations for the organization. We are looking forward to our fashion show being an annual event. Be sure to like our Facebook page and catch up with what we have going on. We want our parents to start submitting shout outs for their children. You can find the link on our Facebook page. The Bunk Room North Lake Enjoy the school break!

Bunk Roomies (in this issue) ................ Jillian Malec 8, Mount Dora, FL Larissa Foxx 10, Mount Dora, FL Javelyn Dempsey 11, Umatilla, FL Meg Greystoke 12, Mount Dora, FL Annika Slaby 12, Mount Dora, FL Miriam Halikman 14, Mount Dora, FL Benjamin Slaby 16, Mount Dora, FL Ryder Wayne 16, Eustis, FL Thomas Conrader 18, Mount Dora, FL Erik Slaby 18, Mount Dora, FL

Maria Slaby

Founders.................................... The Slaby Family, Mount Dora, FL Margo, Erik, Benjamin & Annika Mark & Maria .................................................. The Bunk Room: North Lake, is published by Julie Gazdecki, 352-729-2109 .................................................. All content submissions are assumed to be for publication and become property Dimples Media, Inc., PO Box 782, Mount Dora, FL, 32756 provider of The Bunk Room trademark and editorial content. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission from Dimples Media Inc. Contact for permission requests. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If an error comes to your attention, please accept our apologies and notify us immediately. The Bunk Room is limited in liability to a correction in a future issue. All opinions expressed in these pages are those of the writers or advertisers. The Bunk Room cannot be held responsible for the products, services or opinions herein.

Director of Editorial & Creative

We’re buzzing with excitement for this winter issue! With our new & improved website we’ve been getting lots more traffic. People, in record numbers, from all over the world, are seeing what our writers have to say! All articles you see in this edition are on the site and ready to be enjoyed by all! Make sure to share your favorites! We’re so proud to share the voices of all these amazing kids at!

The Bunk Room Foundation Needs You. Our mission is to inspire kids to love and embrace reading and writing. All our local Bunk Roomies meetings are completely operated by volunteers and funded by donations. We welcome your donations to help us continue this amazing program. To donate, email us at Thank you! <3

Erik Slaby 17 Editor In Chief

4 | | Dec / Jan 2013-2014 | Be published! See page 5.

18, laby Erik S Dora, FL t Moun In Chief r Edito

This fall I’ve been very busy with law school as I just completed my first semester and I’m getting ready for final exams. It’s been so stressful as I just finished writing an 11 page memo for one of my classes and it is 45% of my grade, so it was extremely important for me to make sure the paper was perfect. I’m hoping I do alright on it! In between volumes of law

Erik's k n a T k n i Th

Go to TheBunkRoom. com and click on Blogs

books, I enjoyed helping proof the final version of this edition. Once again, another fantastic edition of The Bunk Room is here! We have some great articles about topics ranging from autism, to ice skating to robotics. I hope you all enjoy this edition as much as I did! Continue to send us your articles so we can share them with the world! Cheerio!

Keep up with Erik’s journey through Law School with insights and peeks into his passion for pro football.


m o o R k n u he B

The Bunk Room is a magazine created by kids and read by all ages. Our goal is to inspire kids to love reading and writing. We have readers and contributors from all over the world. In addition to our online edition, our printed editions can be found throughout the United States. Print editions are provided without charge and can be picked up at participating local businesses and institutions. To locate your closest local provider, go to: The Bunk Room is owned by Dimples Media, Inc. No part of this publication may be used without written permission from Dimples Media, Inc. Please email permission requests to: Local editions of The Bunk Room are licensed by Dimples Media and are independently owned and operated. For information about being a local publisher of The Bunk Room, contact: Mark Slaby, Director of Licensing

wHAt*s uP tHis issue? Editor’s Note: Ages indicated are the ages of the writers when their articles were submitted.

the ice! Excellence on

Features 8 The Superpowers of Autism

Dakota Storlie 16, Henderson, MN finds the power and gift in his autism.

10 COVER FEATURE! Cheyenne Pommelle 16, New York, NY and Emma Probus 15, Orlando, FL soar to excellence through skating.

page 10

14 Robots Compete Three teens build robots to compete and discover more than just connecting nuts, bolts and circuitry.

18 Summer in Sweden

Victoria 15, Mount Dora, FL shares a peek at her annual adventure in Sweden.

page 14

Departments 7 What Do You Think? 9 Day-To-Day Building Minds & Bodies

Javelyn 11, Umatilla, FL walks you through her school day.

16 Future Life

Robotics co m precision, e petitions combine ngineering and fun!

19 Featured Bloggers

20 Photo Contest 22 The Bunk Roomies Notebook


rs e it r W d e t n a W ! g in WeÍre Grow

Over 8,000 Meals Provided This symbol on any ad in The Bunk Room indicates participation in our internationally recognized and awarded initiative to help end world hunger.

This whole magazine is written entirely by kids, so come on kids, now’s your time to shine. See your work published! Submission Guidelines All writing, artwork and photography should be original work of the contributor, and be considered wholesome and acceptable content for kids. Submissions accepted from kids aged 8 thru 18 or high school graduation, whichever comes later. For photographs, please include names of persons in the photos.

Submit Online Submit work at our Inbox at Parent’s or guardian’s electronic signature must accompany all submissions. For ideas, click on the Ideas page. All submissions are the property of The Bunk Room. The Bunk Room reserves the right to edit & deny submissions. The Bunk Room content is published monthly by Dimples Media, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reprinted without permission from the publisher. The Bunk Room Lake ............................ The Bunk Room

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What Do ? k n i h T u o Y

What do Selfies mean to you? Tell us what you really think. I like selfies, I just don't love when people post them non-stop. It's nice to post selfies and maybe put a quote or song lyrics. They're also fun to edit. Selfies can build confidence, if you have a picture of yourself that you like enough to post on a social network. But when that's all a person posts it can get annoying. Madi 15, Eustis, FL Sometimes it is good to take a pic of yourself, friends and the things around you. But, there is a difference in someone taking a pic of you and you taking a pic of yourself. Basically, selfies are a way to boost a girl’s (or guy’s) self esteem or to say that you are beautiful. You do not need to have selfies to say you are pretty... because you already are. Know that! Annika 13, Mount Dora, FL Nowadays, selfies are used to show off people's "assets," or the things that they want others to notice. I personally have no problem with them, as long as they are respectable. People just need to think about who might see these pictures they are posting. That might help them readjust their views on a certain selfie. Alissa 16, Mount Dora, FL I like selfies if they look different. It gets a little bit irritating seeing the same picture of someone over and over again. I think they are fine though, I don't have much of an opinion.

I don't really like doing it myself but I don't really care about other people doing it as long as they don't do it all the time.

Snapchat (2)

Facebook (3)

Juliana 16, Winter Garden, FL

Pinterest (3)

Instagram (7)

ou Which do ye? use mor

What are selfies? Jillian 8, Mount Dora, FL I think that selfies are weird. I don’t like them. It’s annoying, especially on Sundays. Cameron 11, Excelsior, MN Hmmm... That's a hard one! I think that it gets obnoxious when you post a ton of selfies daily but I think that if you post one or two every few weeks it can build self confidence! When people like and comment on it, it makes you feel good! Hannah 14, Mount Dora, FL I don't mind except when they are posted 24/7. Once or twice a month is fine. It is also fun to see how many likes and comments you get. Grace 12, Mount Dora, FL I think that to a certain extent it is okay. I think people need to remember what is acceptable so I think it is okay for the most part. Victoria 15, Mount Dora , FL Don’t like them! I think they are a waste of time. I’m not into pop culture. Brian 16, Medford, OR Selfies are mainly a way to see what you look like at the moment in my opinion. They’re cool to show the world your style. Larissa 10 Mount Dora, FL Yes I like them. I like them because I can see my friends and family that live far away. Gina 13, Orlando, FL

Christina 13, Orlando, FL

ink! at You Th h W s U ll Kids! Te

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To advertise go to | 17

m s i t u A f o s r e w o p r Supe erson, MN

16, Hend By Dakokta Storlie e lin EdVisions On



t! Try

Bilal Ron 10 Homesch , Sunnyvale, CA ooled

Cricket is one of my favorite sports. It is played with a bat, ball and wicket. It is a team sport with 11 players on each side. In this game you need to make the maxi-

mum runs in limited overs. To make a person out you can hit the wicket or catch the ball without it touching the ground. At the end of the game whoever makes the most runs is the winner. Cricket was originated in Southern England. The countries where cricket is

mostly played are Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe. The best players are

just to find our purpose in life. I believe that I have found our purpose

I have autism, and most people automatically think it is a curse or a terrible thing. Many


Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Pointing, Don Bradman, and Jacques Kallis. They all have over 10,000 runs. Sachin Tendulkar has made 17,000 runs while Don Bradman made 17,500 runs. Jacques Kallis made 11,000 runs and Ricky Pointing made 13,000 runs. I play with Sai and my other friends. Once we played on a team which had only three players on each side. Sai and I were the team captains. We played with all

people don’t understand autism. Because I have autism I see the world differently than other people. Most kids who have autism like me have a steel box er memory. We mostly just rememb important facts about our life. Most parents get upset or start to cry when they find out their child t has a disability. That, I really don’ d prou understand. They should be , their child has autism or a disability es. curs because disabilities are not other They ’re gifts from heaven. Sure only people will pick on them, but on because the kid they are picking natu So has a gift from the heavens. us. jealo rally the other kid would be God made us who we are for a for reason. I believe God has a plan is It . all those who have a disability bilidisa God that gives us kids with e ties and superpowers or gifts. Ther r othe are things that I can’t do that kids can, but there are things I can

do that other kids could only wish is they could do. All you have to do gift My it. find out what it is, then do aniis being unbelievably good with ns. citize or mals, young kids and seni a for All my life I have searched h meaning. I used a lot of my yout


in life. It is to help other people who don’t believe that different people are good. Our mission is to let those people know ve that a change is all right. I belie d it save and plan God had made that that n know have t until now. God mus ge is someday we would think a chan bilidisa ted crea he bad. That is why e, rom Synd n Dow ties such as Autism, rs. othe and Adhd, Asperger ’s It is not who we are. It is what we e. do to make this world a better plac d worl the es biliti Without these disa ged. would never be able to be chan dishis have ’t didn If Albert Einstein be ably prob ld wou ability, the world is That gy. nolo years behind in tech if why we need disabilities, because y likel t mos ld wou d we didn’t, the worl never evolve. I have decided to focus my life on for making this world a better place, It es. biliti disa out those with and with diffibe to g goin y is more than likel in cult for me. That is not only a goal know I t. ques my my life but it is also use that God wants me to do this beca me. ted that is why he crea



our might and strength. My team won by a score of 4-1. Therefore cricket is a very interesting and widely played game. Everybody should try this game at least once.

8 | | Dec / Jan 2013-2014 | Be published! See page 5.


t e k ic


By Javelyn Dempsey 11 Umatilla, FL Bunk Roomie Writer Mount Dora Middle

My day usually starts off at about 6:30 in the morning with me being really tired and annoyed at being up. I then get dressed, eat breakfast, which usually consists of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, raspberry mush, and two tomatoes. If you’re wondering, “What the heck is raspberry mush?” let me tell you. Raspberry mush is pretty much just raspberries, mushed up, with a spoon full of sugar added. Enough of that, let’s get on with what I was originally telling you. . . . I then make my lunch, get my gym clothes and other stuff together, then go to school, which starts at 9 am. Now I will tell you my schedule, because it’s pretty boring. First I have gym. Yah, gym, in FIRST PERIOD!! Anyway, next I have science, which is kinda cool, I guess. Then I have lunch, which is awesome because I get to talk with my friends and eat. After that I have math and that’s kinda boring, but, on the good side, the teacher only grades you if you did all the problems. It doesn’t matter if they’re wrong. As long as you did all the problems and turned it in, you get a 100! Then its world history, which is actually one of my more favorable classes, because you get to doodle in your notebook as long as it relates to what we’re doing. Then band, which is my favorite class because it’s just plain awesome! Last but not least, is language arts, which sucks. I then go home, do my homework, play video games, eat dinner, play more video games, then go to bed at 8:00. That’s pretty much it.

What a regular day is like.

What’s Your


Tell us what your day is like! Submit your Day-to-Day article to us and click on InBox. About 250-300 words.


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Emma Probus 15, Orlando, FL Boone High School • Figure Skater • Central Florida Figure Skating Club • 12 years • Practices 4-6 times a week.

10 | | Dec / Jan 2013-2014 | Be published! See page 5.

What do you love about what you do?

kept me going was my love for the sport;

I love going out on the ice and being

I couldn’t imagine my life without it. So

myself; forgetting all of my worries and

after a bad skate, I would go back to

letting them go as I skate. I love skating

the drawing board and make goals for

fast, jumping, spinning and feeling the

myself to reach one by one, and I finally

rush. The amazing feeling I get when I

found out how to go on the ice at a

do something well is unbeatable.

competition and skate like I usually do. It

Describe how your involvement in this

just takes experience and program after

activity has enriched your life.

program, run-through after run-through.

I have made so many friends who mean

Describe how you think doing this activity

the world to me. They are like my second

will help you in your future.

family. Skating is the one thing that

Figure skating has taught me so many

most defines me, I always know who I

things that will help me in the future.

am when I skate and know that’s what

I have learned that you need to go

I’m supposed to be doing. Skating has

through rough times to get to the good

taught me so many lessons and has

times. I have learned how to be a hard

made me a stronger person physically

worker and how to think things through

and mentally.

well. I know that hard work pays off and

What is challenging about what you do?

also to never give up on anything I do.

The most challenging part of skating for

Finally I have learned to face situations

me is going out on the ice at a competi-

as they are. If I have a bad skate, I learn

tion and overcoming the nerves and

from my mistakes and try to do better

skating like I do in practice. I don’t think

next time.

people realize how hard it is to go onto

Describe your goals and dreams sur-

the ice at a competition in front of a

rounding this activity or beyond.

crowd and a panel of judges and skate

All I know right now is that I love skating

a perfect program on knifes attached to

and I want to persue it as long as I can.

boots... It’s a lot of pressure. Especially

I’m kind of letting skating lead me and

because of the pressure I put on myself

I’m just going to see where it takes me.

to be the best I can be. And when

My goal at the moment is to land my

you don’t get the results you

double axel and work on my triples, and

want, it’s devastating.

to have a kick butt season next year! I

Have you ever been so chal-

want to be on the podium with a medal

lenged by this activity that you’d

around my neck so badly. But most of all

like to quit? If so, what made

I want to get off the ice after I competed

you NOT quit?

and know that I just skated awesome.

There have been a few

I want to get better and better because

times after doing badly at a

looking back and seeing my progress

competition that I wanted to

as a skater is the most satisfying feeling

give up. I had been working so hard in

ever. I also have a goal to pass all of my

practice and when I went to a competi-

Moves In The Field and Freeskate tests

tion I bombed and I didn’t understand

before I graduate form high school.

why. I felt like a failure. The thing that

What advice would you give someone . . .

To a Dream What do you love about what you do?

and other activities. Being a member of

There is something magnificent about the

FSH is more than just skating. It is a com-

way the ice and blade collide in sweet

mitment. Figure Skating in Harlem puts

harmony. I love feeling as if I am creat-

academics first and I am challenged each

ing music every time my blades touch the

season to maintain a B+ or higher aver-

ice. The rush of

age in my core subjects. Needless to say,

the cold running

I have risen to the challenge each season.

up my warm up

The academic program enriches my life

suit and into my

because there are tutors and teachers

• Figure Skater

skates, urges me

available to help when the need arises.

• Figure Skating in Harlem.

to move swiftly

What is challenging about what you do?

Figure Skating in Harlem is an

and precisely

The most challenging part about figure

academic and skating program.

along the ice.

skating is keeping a positive attitude when

• 5 years

Countless days

I am not doing a move right or not under-

• Attend 3 days / week

at the rink, my

standing the technicality of the move. It

teammates and

is easier to become frustrated than it is to

I shift accord-

find a new way to comprehend something.

ingly to our

I usually overcome such challenges by get-

coach’s voice

ting help from my peers and reaching out

saying “bend

to my skating coach for extra. The same is

your knees, pick

also true during the academics sessions. I

up the pace,

can always take the initiative to speak up

posture, and

and ask for help. The same goes when I

smile ladies!”

am at the office receiving homework help

Cheyenne Pommelle 16, New York, NY Thurgood Marshall Academy

ma & rest of Em Read the . ’s Stories Cheyanne Go to . n u TheB kR . g n ti a Search Sk

We shift until we get to that one day when

or in an enrichment class. I learn never to

our coach says nothing, but stares back at

give up and with a positive attitude, I can

us with amazement and pride. When we

overcome difficulties.

look into our coach’s eyes, it affirms the

Have you ever been so challenged by this

fact that we have mastered the skills and

activity that you’d like to quit? If so, what

have put enough effort and pizzazz to now

made you NOT quit?

look spectacular.

There have been times when I become

Describe how your involvement in this

overwhelmed with schoolwork; maintain-

activity has enriched your life.

ing high grades and the work load from

Being a member of Figure Skating in Har-

Figure Skating in Harlem. I am grateful

lem has been a door-opener for me. As a

that the staff at Figure Skating in Harlem

part of Figure Skating in Harlem, I have

is willing to work with me to help me

been exposed to various career opportuni-

maintain a balance with the program

ties during our career week. I have been

requirements and school. Though chal-

introduced to the managers and CEOs

lenged, I never thought of quitting.

of big companies like UPS. The program

Describe how you think doing this activity

has enabled me to be responsible, set

will help you in your future. . . .

goals and prioritize my time with all my responsibilities of school, programming

s t u O t u o h S CONGRATULATIONS to Kegan on an outstanding job working with her show poultry and getting perfect scores in Poultry Showmanship the last 4 shows in a row!! Good Luck at ABA Nationals in December.

Kate, 8 years old, homeschool

A year ago Kate Hedrick adopted Diesel from Misfit Animal Rescue. On November 12th, Deisel and Kate attended the "Westmuttster" dog show put on by the Lake County Humane Society.  Not only did they win first place in the categories of "Best Owner/ Dog Look Alike" and third place in "Best Trick", but they also took "Best In Show" overall.  Way to go Kate and Diesel!

Kailyn, 3rd grade, Round Lake

Kegan, 6

th grade

, Homes


Big congrats to Breanna on her straight A's in honor classes. She put her effort in every day, and trains Jiu Jitsu by night at Mount Dora BJJ Academy

Kailyn has been a huge success on meeting and exceeding her reading goals. She has also been busy getting her gray belt in Jiu Jitsu. Keep up the hard work!

e, Breanna, 9th grad h Eustis Hig



Emma Gazdecki, Event Coordinator and donator of 12 inches of hair!

e to th u . o k y oom n R a h a e T ate T G n iful! t de r u a a e G as b It w

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nium moved forward and hit Ferb’s drum. With a spark, Ferb was in the air and hit the arena wall. He drove towards Titanium and pushed my robot into the corner. More sparks flew. Suddenly, Ferb rammed my robot with his spinning drum weapon, going full speed. Titanium stayed firmly put and Ferb jumped backwards. I

Mini Robots Battle

thought I might have a chance, so I tried to at-

By Adrian Botran 15, Coral Gables, FL Homeschooled

tack him. I moved the joy stick on the remote

In the brightly lit, massive auditorium, my


three pound battle bot, Titanium, was ready

control so that I could move quickly towards Then, something happened: My robot did

for its second round. This time, the battle was

not respond. Although my weapon could still

with a robot named Ferb, a small but dense

spin, I could not move. Frantically, I moved my

aluminum robot from Puerto Rico. His weapon

thumb down to the off and on switch. “Maybe

was a drum, a fast spinning metal tube lo-

I can reset the signal” I thought.

cated on the front of the robot. My robot, was painted black and had a

Frustrated, I moved the joy stick rapidly back and forth. I was confused and I did not

titanium spinning blade on the front. My heart

know why my robot was not responding. My

was racing, and I had no idea if I was going to

drive control was broken! I put my weapon

win. I put my robot inside the bullet proofed

speed at 100% hoping that maybe Ferb would

arena and holding the black plastic control-

hit my blade and I might damage him. Ferb

ler in my hand, I drove Titanium to its starting

smashed into my weapon with so much force

point. People started to crowd around to

it made my three pound robot fly into the air

watch. I checked all of my controls; everything

and do a flip. It landed right side up, but my

was working.

robot would not move. Ferb rammed Titanium

The announcer, a young guy with a micro-

phone, asked, “Titanium, in the red square,

a few more times. Matches last for three minutes but if a

are you ready?” I nodded and gave him a

robot does not move for 10 seconds then the

thumbs up.

opponent automatically wins. The announcer

“Ferb in the blue square, are you

ready? My opponent gave a thumbs up. “The match will begin in approxi-

mately three seconds.” The announcer said. I was attending the 2012 STEM

counted down from 10. The match was over and Ferb won. This defeat has not discouraged me, but rather made me more determined than ever to compete again. I have deconstructed

TECH Olympiad at the Miami Beach Con-

Titanium and I am using the parts to build

vention Center. It was my very first BattleBot

my second combat robot, preparing for my

competition and I had constructed a three

second STEM TECH Competition. Inspired by

pound robot over a period of a few months. I

other robots that were at the 2012 competi-

heard the electronic timer say, “3, 2, 1. Start.”

tion, I am designing a drum robot. Building

I spun up my blade and it roared to life. Ferb

robots is a terrific way for me to apply math,

was already half way across the arena. Tita-

science, programming, engineering and problem solving in a fun and competitive way.

14 | | Dec / Jan 2013-2014 | Be published! See page 5.

FIRST Robotics: Invaluable Experience

the robotics competitions. All teams have

By Thomas Conrader 18, Mount Dora, FL Bunk Roomie Writer Mount Dora High School

to is FRC Team 1557. Teams also have

Have you ever wondered

There are many teams that compete in an identifying number. The team I belong a nickname. Some well known teams include Exploding Bacon, Crunch, the Pink

about a world run by

team, and Spam. The

robots? Well kids all

team I am on is called

around the world have

12 Volt Bolt. My FIRST experience

thought of this very thing and have made

has been awesome. I

it come to life through

first joined about six

the For Inspiration and

years ago as part of a

Recognition of Sci-


ence and Technology

(FLL) team. I barely

(FIRST) program.

knew anything about robotics. I even

This organization’s vision is to show

thought I was too cool

students of every

to join robot-

age that science,

ics. A sport for

technology, and


and rewarding, but are proven paths to

was fun. I got to learn all sorts of

successful careers and a bright future for

things from mechanics to public

us all.

relations to graphic design. teams, getting to know one

and to provide a basic foundation for a

another and having a really

good career in today’s society. A benefit

good time.

For the FIRST Robotics Competition

of our local robotics club in Eustis, Florida called 12 Volt Bolt. The robotics organization that our team is affiliated with is called FIRST (For Inspiration Recognition of Science and Technology). Each year the FIRST organization comes out with a new challenge that the teams have to overcome with their robot. Two years ago the robot had to play basketball and balance on a see saw. This past year the robot had to play frisbee golf and climb up a pyramid. Our last competition was so much fun. Excitement is everywhere; people are rushing to finish their robots and fix any damage that happens to them on the field. It is always so much fun to help out other teams with anything that they need help doing. The part that was really exciting this year for me was being one of the drivers of the robot. You would be surprised how much adrenalin gets pumping when you hear that buzzer go off and its time

Plus there is talking to other

wants to get kids involved with mechanics

tunity to receive scholarships.

For the last couple of years I have been a member

I wrong. It

are not only fun

of being involved with FIRST is the oppor-

By Benjamin Slaby 15, Mount Dora, FL Bunk Roomie / Homeschooled

Man was

problem solving

Like other robotics programs, FIRST

Team Work At Its Best

to grab the joy sticks and get moving. One of the things that I love most

Throughout this program you

about FIRST and our

can learn a whole bunch and I

robotics team is that

encourage everyone to join.

everyone is so willing

(FRC), the challenge is revealed in Janu-

to help each other out and make the world a better

ary. To keep it fun, the challenge changes

place. At competition, if there is something broken

from year to year. After the challenge is announced, teams have six weeks to brainstorm, design and build the robot. After the build season ends, teams

Learn More!

on your robot and you can’t figure out what’s

wrong, or you don’t have the tools to do so, there is always a line of other teams ready to help you out. I have learned so much these past two years be-

from around the world attend regional

ing a member of 12 Volt Bolt and I can’t wait to get

competitions where they compete with

to the next competition.

and against each other.


Future Life

Kids! Tell us what your life looks like in 10 - 20 years. Submit articles to our InBox at 200-300 words.

2 ystoke 1 Meg Gre L F , ra o D Mount ter omie Wri orough Bunk Ro b se o R ori at Montess

Frankly, I’m not quite sure of what

because I really like them, and

band or kids yet, but I’ll give my-

I’d like to do when I grow up, but I have one main goal: Win the

because I find them fascinating. For my house, I would like to

self a couple of years to find out. I have a crazy dream: it is to

lottery! I have several ideas and

have a really big one by the sea

buy a castle in Belgium (where I

dreams, but most of them depend on this goal.

(maybe), with an indoor pool and a slide leading from my closet

was born) and make a museum/ camp out of it. What I mean is

As early as I can, I’m going to

straight into it. I’d also have one

that I’d make one part of it a

volunteer at places like my uncle’s veterinary hospital, a marine

big room with a giant circular window facing the ocean; it will

museum, but the main part would be a live-it-and-do-it experi-

biology center, and the library, to

be filled with books and have

ence. People would come for a

observe the workers and see what I’d like to do later. One of my job plans is to be

overstuffed armchairs and bean bags scattered everywhere. I’d have as many pets as I could

day, three days, a week, up to a month, and live like they did in a castle during the Renaissance. It’s

a marine biologist, studying and working with marine mammals (otters, dolphins, manatees, etc.),

(dogs, cats and maybe a horse or two), and “live the life of luxury.” I’m not sure if I want a hus-

crazy, I know. But I like the idea! This is what my life will be like in 10-20 years. I hope.

! r e i ars

T e h T ing animal! That’s one weird look By Levi Huchingson 13, Tavares, FL Homeschooled The Tarsier is one weird looking animal. The eyes are the most peculiar of its features. They are about 1.6cm in diameter, while its body is around 12cm in length. That is a more then a tenth of its body length! They also have long and bony fingers and an almost bare tail that is about 23cm long. It seems like everything is just too big for its body!

16 | | Dec / Jan 2013-2014 | Be published! See page 5.

The Platypus! So unique an

d different!

By Caitlin Hall 11, Sorrento, FL What do you get when you mix duck billed, beaver tailed, otter footed, venomous and a mammal? A platypus!!!! Platypuses are almost like living fossils! They are so unique and well…DIFFERENT. What you probably didn’t know is that male platypuses are venomous! They have weird spurs on the back ankle that squirts poison. Another thing you probably also didn’t know is that platypuses burrow and make tunnels for homes. They lay eggs. They eat shrimp, worms and insects. We need to protect these awesome creatures so we can learn about them for generations to come.


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My Su m mer


ome By Victo ria Crab Mount D il ora High l 15, Mount Do ra, FL School

My family’s annual trip to Sweden is filled with seeing a bunch of family and friends. We see each other once a year, so we like to have lots of adventures when we are all together. This summer my big adventure was with my cousin Axel and my sister Emily. We traveled all the way to Fjällbacka, which was almost 250 miles away from home (in Sweden!) Day 1: My mamma dropped us off at the train station in the nearest big city, Lund, and helped us find the right train. Traveling by train is very popular in Europe, so it is made really easy and you meet lots of people. When our train finally arrived, Axel, Emily and I boarded. The train was packed! But luckily, mamma had booked seats for us. The train ride was more than two hours long! We got off in Göteborg, and were picked up by Axel’s grandmother. She was very sweet and had the cutest little puppy! The drive to Fjällbacka was over an hour long! So as you can imagine, it was fun to run around

and explore after so much sitting. Fällbacka is up north, they have accents that are way different to the ones I’m used to in the south. It was so weird and hard to understand! Emily and Axel thought it was really funny that I understood pretty much nothing. Day 2: I woke up to Axel putting his life jacket on. Anne-Sofie, Axel’s grandmother, asked us if we could drive the boat to the harbor and get some bread for breakfast. Swedish people really like their bread. We were half way to the harbor when I noticed that there were a bunch of jellyfish!! It was so awesome, I love jellyfish, so I was leaning over the side of the boat to watch them! That day we also got to explore Kungsklyfta, which is pretty much a huge rock mountain. It was amazing! When we climbed to the top, we were able to see the whole town. We raced home because it had started raining. So since we were staying inside, Anne-Sofie showed us how to train her dogs to do tricks. It was really fun! But one of the puppies didn’t really understand. Day 3: Today we went on an adventure to Smögen. Smögen is a small town with a boardwalk that follows the coastal side. There are also lots of little shops and restaurants, many that sold shrimp. People are pretty crazy about shrimp here! It was so fun to walk on the boardwalk and see all the boats. I had such a great time in Smögen! On the way home, we stopped by a

18 | | Dec / Jan 2013-2014 | Be published! See page 5.

900 year old church. It was so pretty! I realized how we underestimate the amazing things people were able to do so long ago. I have seen lots of old churches, but this has to be one of my favorites. Day 4: Today was our last day in Fjällbacka. Anne-Sofie and Peter, Axel’s grandpa, had planned another adventure for the five of us. We all got on their boat and drove to these really big rock islands. The rock mountains were so big! They are the most amazing things I have ever seen! We hammered metal hooks into the rock to tie the boat to and spent the whole day climbing on one of the islands. It was so awesome! The day came to an end rather quickly though. We were dropped off at the Göteborg train station to go home. I am so grateful that the three of us could experience such a fun adventure with each other. I really hope that we can do something like this again, and I can’t wait for summer next year!

Road Tri Share y adven our t u re! Land • Air • Sea

Submit at at TheB the InBox unkRoo 200-40 0 Send p words. ictures too!


Mus tang 5 6 ’ a g n i r Res to


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Dreams from my heart.

adventure Wa r r e n W i l l i s C a m p ,

By Annika Slaby 13, Mount Dora, FL Bunk Roomie Writer READ MORE at Go to Blogs.

Blog Excerpt . . . I have had a fun time in jazz class with a bunch of exercises so I thought I’d share them with you. These stretches will get you down into a split within a couple of days. It will also help your leaps and front jumps. You will finally be able to touch your toes! These stretches are great for dancers, gymnasts, actors, football players, runners and more. You can use these stretches to stretch out your hamstrings as well. I have also included . . . Read more.


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20 | | Dec / Jan 2013-2014 | Be published! See page 5.

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Join The Bunk Roomies! Become a regular contributor and learn more about publishing. Go To and click on Bunk Roomies for more info. Fun!

Bunk Roomies Write

What If We All Had Superpowers?

The Bunk Roomies take their first steps into the reporting world by interviewing someone they know and turning it into an interesting article. Enjoy!

Overcoming Challenges Everyday

By Ryder Wayne 16, Eustis, FL Bunk Roomie Writer / Eustis High School

Known as Mr. Dan to many, Daniel Alvarez, 48, is a devoted husband and father, and a brown belt instructor at Family Martial Arts center in Mount Dora, Florida. But that’s not the most amazing part about Mr. Dan. The most amazing part of it all is that he has only one arm! But that doesn’t stop him. He still does top

By Miriam Halikman 14, Mount Dora, FL Bunk Roomie Writer / Tavares High School

What if you had superpowers? You know how when you were little you dressed up like a superhero? What if it wasn’t just pretend, but humans actually could have amazing powers? How cool would it be if you could move things with your mind, or flash somebody with fire from your eyes? What would the world be like if people were powerful? Would this be a good thing or would it cause the world to crumble to the ground? Personally, I think that if everyone had superpowers then the earth would be in turmoil. People would be continuously setting others on fire with their eyes or controlling others with their mind. Although, I have to admit that mind control would be pretty neat, I mean really who wouldn’t want to go up to a random stranger and make them do your math homework or maybe even build you a house. I just have a really bad feeling that people would abuse their powers and make the world a worse place than it already is. You know with all the bad people out there that kill others for fun and the ones that steal your money just because they want to. Trust me we, don’t want them to have powers that enable them to do anything. If I could pick just one power to have, it would be to fly. I love heights and this way I won’t be dependent on somebody else to get me where I need to be. Superpowers are only cool when a couple of

tier tournaments and competitions with other highly trained students. What’s most remarkable is his indomitable spirit! It’s unusual to see a tae kwon do instructor with only one arm but Mr. Dan rises to the challenge. He has loved martial arts ever since he was a kid. He always looked forward to the Kung Fu flicks on Saturdays, and loved to spar with his friends in the backyard. Unfortunately, his family never had the money to actually take him to a professional school. So he created a life goal. “I decided that when my son turned five or six, I would take tae kwon do and achieve black belt with him.” That is just what he is doing! Mr. Dan lost his arm back in 1986 when he was 21 years old and working in a factory. His arm got pulled into a huge weaving machine and was pretty brutally mangled, leaving him with just his left arm. He was naturally right handed. But on the bright side, he has learned to cherish every day of his life, because as he said, “Any day could be your last.”

The accident also made him realize that he needed to reevaluate his lifestyle and change for the better. Since the accident, Mr. Dan has gone back to school, becoming a skilled chef.

He’s won multiple gold medals in cooking contests. He graduated from culinary school at the top of his class, earning multiple scholar awards including student of the year and “All American Success Story,” which includes an award of $5,000 and a paid vacation! This award is for people with handicaps who strive and overcome whatever life has handed them. Mr. Dan said losing his arm has made everything harder, but he just had to prove to himself and his instructors that he be the best, and overcome all difficulties. Before he lost his arm, Mr. Dan went through many negative life experiences and was a different man than he was now. But after he lost his arm, his eyes opened. He became a born again Christian and says being better and putting other people before himself is what he strives to do now. We live in a “think about ourselves” kind of world these days, but Mr. Dan overcomes that. His goal is to have people see him do things with one arm that maybe they think they can’t do with two and inspire them to believe in themselves. Right now, Mr. Dan is a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do and still has a long, challenging road ahead of him. But he says he will never give up and will keep running to the finish line!

people have them. No one wants something that everybody already has. It’d be really scary if people could make others do whatever they wanted. I don’t think I would walk out of my house if everybody had superpowers. Would you chance it?

22 | | Dec / Jan 2013-2014

Bunk R e h T n i Jo


Learn more at TheBunkRoo Click on Bu nk Roomie


Searching for talented kids aged 8-18.

& w o h S t n e l a ! T n o i t c u A t n e Sil

4 n a J Sat 7 pm



magicians & MORE! Receive awesome prizes, recognition in The Bunk Room and a FREE T-Shirt!


in E ater

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Singers, musicians, dancers,

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Donate Silent Auction Items! Art, coupons, gift certificates, and MORE!



All proceeds benefiting The Bunk Room Foundation.

“Our enrollment has increased by 25% this year. The exposure we’re getting in The Bunk Room has definitely contributed to our growth.” Kathryn Wheeler, owner Mount Dora School of Ballet

Home of the

World’s Easiest Birthday Parties

Montessori at Roseborough Est. 1983

education as a preparation for life Early Childhood Elementary Middle School This 3 1/2 year old is building the Pink Tower using her sense of vision. She determines which cube goes next, from largest to smallest.

Public Skating Sessions Family Nights: $3.50 Tue & Thur, 7-9 Matinee’s: $4.50

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