Interpretive Essay 2012 Honorable Mention

Severino Bulagay,
Caleb Kaulukukui-Palisbo,
Billy Hashimoto
Grade 4
Salt Lake Elementary

Character Journal

Dear Journal,
This morning at the playground, we got a new mission. Our new mission was to capture someone named, “Dr. Badawi.” Ms. Holiday informed us that her lab was far away in Nevada at a place called the Area 51 Military Base.

Agent Brand said that the base was heavily guarded with technology and soldiers. It had spy cameras, canine units, heat detectors, motion detectors and much more. They showed us to a rocket called “The School Bus.” When we got inside, it looked like the inside of the space ship in a SciFi movie. When I took my seat, Ms. Holiday told us we were about to blast off. Then Ms. Holiday started to count down from 10 to 0. When we blasted off, the windows of the rocket ship almost cracked.

We finally lifted off. The rocket made an arch and then the engines blasted us downward. I screamed for about 2 minutes. We put on suits with parachutes. The team jumped out but I didn’t. Then I jumped out and screamed. The parachute came out of my suit. When we landed, we were about 2 miles away from base. We walked for a mile until Ms. Holiday informed us that she gave us guard costumes and a pair of two stilts. I’m in the middle of something right now. I’ll tell you more later.

Dear Journal,
When we got to the base, we put on our costumes. We walked around trying to find Dr. Badawi’s lab. When we came to what seemed to be the middle building, we read a sign that said, “Power Source Labs.” We went inside and we found a guard that also asked us, “What are you five doing in here? You should be guarding the perimeter of the base.” Then Ruby said imitating a man’s voice, “One of the scientists called us for assistance.” Then the guard said, “All of the scientists are out to find more power sources.” Then Matilda came forward and punched the guard in his ribs, knee, arms, stomach and face. The guard was knocked out.

Then the team and I went out of the building. I peeked through a window to make sure he wasn’t conscious again. I saw a guard exit out of the doors. When he saw the guard, he took out his walkie talkie and yelled, “We got a man down!”

Dear Journal,
After the guard got knocked out, I told the team, “Another guard came and called for backup!” Then I heard running steps and what sounded like tanks and humvees. I looked to my side and saw the military base’s defense units coming. I saw troops, dogs, tanks, and trucks coming toward us. I wanted to take off the helmet thinking they would recognize us since we work for the government. But I knew it wouldn’t do us any good because they don’t know about NERDS. So the only option we had was to fight back. Matilda didn’t teach me much about Martial Arts. All I knew were a punch, kick, hook, jab, upper cut and one of Matilda’s special moves. That’s all I used to take out the troops. There were a lot of them. I almost got hit by a tank’s missile. It was weird that I never got hit by a single bullet. Suddenly, I felt a great pain in my head. I fell down into the sand. I rolled over and saw someone standing above me. That’s when I realized I was punched in the head by one of the troops. Everything faded into blackness.

Dear Journal,
After I got knocked out, I woke up in a cave in the mountain that hides Area 51 and the rest of the team. The cave had a little light and sand on the bottom. It was hot and dry. At the entrance of the cave, you could see the military base. I asked Ruby, “Why are we here?” Ruby answered, “When a missile hit the ground, sand flew up and created a cloud that stayed long enough for us to escape.” We walked out of the cave and I asked them, “How long was I out?” Duncan replied, “5 hours and 23 minutes.” We went back to the main building and entered. We walked down the brightly lit hallway and saw a door that read “Dr. Badawi” on it. When we knocked on the door, a tall, dark lady in a lab coat was standing there. She asked, “Do you need something?” Then Flinch asked in his most manly voice, “Are you Dr. Badawi?” The lady responded, “Yes.” Flinch said, “We’d like to see your lab.” Dr. Badawi answered, “Okay, come on in.” We entered the room and Ruby locked the door. Dr. Badawi asked, “What’s going on?” Matilda then tackled her and put tape on her mouth. Then Flinch put her in a box and Matilda taped it shut. He carried it to a cart and put it on top. We pushed the cart out the door and out of the main building. But when we exited the building, we were sprayed with sleeping gas and were knocked out. The last thing I saw was a cute blonde girl.

Dear Journal,
A few hours after we were sprayed with sleeping gas, the team and I woke up on the side of the mountain that guards Area 51. We saw Dr. Badawi captured in a black helicopter with the cute girl. We heard Agent Brand talking in our heads. He asked, “Did you get Dr. Badawi?” Ruby responded, “No sir.” Then he said to meet him at the “School Bus. When we get to headquarters, I shall have to talk with all of you.” That was the end of our mission last week.

Brief Statement explaining the process:

The first thing we did was to make a flow map. Then we tried to work on the writing but had to edit our flow map. Ms. Ahlman, our school librarian, was able to purchase copies of the book for our entire reading class. Mrs. Shigezawa explained what a character journal was and provided time in class to read the book and work on our project.