How I spent my summer vacation and why

This summer, I was stuck on the couch from July 17th until August 29th. The reason as to why is           
                                                                      a long, convoluted story beginning in spring. I play               
                                                                      lacrosse, and am a goalie. During one practice, as I was           
                                                                      about to block a shot, the ball got loose on the                      
                                                                      ground and a small battle for the ball ensued. During            
                                                                      this, I was hit in the knee with what I believe was the              
                                                                      end of one of the metal shafts. I immediately                         
                                                                      collapsed, and was in much pain. The next day,                       
                                                                      however, I was fine, and continued to play. A few                  
                                                                      practices later, my knee started to ache, and I was in               
                                                                      pain whenever I put pressure on my leg. This                          
                                                                      continued every few practices, getting increasingly                 
                                                                      painful increasingly often. Finally, I went to an                       
                                                                      orthopedist, and he had a hunch that I had a torn                  
                                                                      meniscus. A clean MRI later, his hunch had changed to         
                                                                      a hyper-mobile meniscus. I was scheduled for surgery            
                                                                      in July.
                                                                     Five and a half months after my operation I am still               
                                                                      not at full strength, but I am getting better.
I am on my school’s robotics team. We use the Lego
Mindstorms kits to create autonomous robots for the
First Lego League’s annual competition held in
December. This year’s theme was “Climate
Connections”, focusing on the changing climate of the
earth. My team has worked since the beginning of
October on both a robot to accomplish missions in the
game portion, and a research project about climate
change. At the competition, my team presented its
climate change project and robot, and placed
seventeenth (not our best showing!).
As I mentioned earlier, I play lacrosse, and am a goalie. I played
for three teams this year, one recreational, and two “select”
teams. My rec team was for Issaquah Youth Lacrosse, which plays
other local teams. Our season was decent, with a winning record
even though we had multiple injured people. We got to the
semi-finals, but lost to a Bellevue team. The first select team,
Pacific Cascade Lacrosse Club, or PCLC, was chosen from players
throughout Issaquah Youth Lacrosse. We participated in several
tournaments throughout the spring and early summer. Our
final tournament, the Battle of Bothel, was the one that meant
the most to us. We went 6-0, and won the tournament. My
other select team, Seattle Starz, was chosen from all around the
Seattle area. The team travels all around the country to compete
in tournaments. I was only able to go to a few tournaments
before I had my knee surgery and was not allowed to play.

This year, I really advanced my liking of video games, particularly PC games. I upgraded my
computer to be able to play the newest games without a flaw. I regularly play Team Fortress 2,
Counter-Strike Source, Day of Defeat Source, and Left 4 Dead. I also play Halo 3, Assassin’s Creed,
Castle Crashers, and Rock Band on my Xbox 360. I have become a much better player in the last
year, and am pleased with my performance.

I like to call my self a movie connoisseur, and this year was a great year for that. The Dark Knight, a
Batman movie, came out this year, and it was a smash hit. It was filled with action, and I really
enjoyed it. Another movie that came out this year that I really like is Wall-E. The story of the little
robot is very touching, and I even saw the movie twice it was so good. Iron Man also came out this
year. The tale of the rich genius in his super-charged suit was playfully told and the performances of
Robert Downy Jr., Terrence Howard, and Jeff Bridges were wonderful. Indiana Jones: The Kingdom
of the Crystal Skull was released this year as well. The (probably final) sequel was a good shot at a
new Indiana Jones, but the plot didn’t quite cut it for me. Another movie that came out this year
was Wanted, about a league of assassins who recruit a boring office-worker to kill his father. The
story was a nerd’s dream, and the action and special effects were wonderfully played. Quantum of
Solace was recently released, and the story of James Bond’s revenge on his love’s killer was, in my
view, badly done. The lack of Q, the man who equips Bond with all of his high-tech gadgets was a
big downer, as the highest technology of the whole movie was a touch screen computer.

This year I am in eighth grade, the highest in my middle school. I am
taking Algebra II at the high school a block away, and am transported there
daily. I am in advanced language arts and social studies this year, and am
doing fine, keeping my grades up. I am part of the associated student
body, as a “Sound Tech”, which is basically the school’s techie group. This
far in the year, everything is normal, and nothing is out of the ordinary.
Last year, Mom helped with a school program called "Panther
Passage."  The name had just been changed from the long-standing
name , "Spring Forum" -- where every eighth-grader has to give a
presentation to community volunteers about how he or she 'grew'
during middle school -- so I created this morphing graphic to help
show how the new name fit our school mascot.  If you missed it
changing, hit 'reload' on your screen.