Two more days until winter break is here! I'm so excited because we have 3 weeks away from school. What I am looking most forward to during winter break  is Christmas. I love Christmas, not only for the presents, but also for the delicious food and the presence of my whole family. Every year, I always looks forward to Christmas because I'm so anxious to open my gifts! Christmas is a very jolly holiday for my family and we always have a good time. This year, we plan on meeting up at my cousins house, and opening our presents there. My other cousins from the bay area are also coming to town so I'm excited for that. 
     Another thing I look forward to is practicing basketball for the basketball tryouts!! I love basketball and the tryouts are right when we come back from winter break. So I think the the majority of my winter break will consist some dribbling and shooting. I love basketball and I hope I make the team. Since the new year is during winter break, I hope I will start it off in a good way. I want to make sure I get rid of bad habits and improve my traits. 
      When Japan barely started off as a country, their culture was not known all over the world yet. Part of the reason for that is because Japan really didn't have a culture. They had their own language, but not a written one. Many years later, a Japan written language was developed thanks to China and Korea. They both had an influence on Japan's language, and they are sort of similar.  That is one of the important ideas Japan got from those two countries. Without a written language, there wouldn't be any historic records of any type of mail. 
       Another influence that Japan adapted from China and Korea was philosophy and religion. Japan didn't really have a traditional religion to follow, or a philosophy to live by, but that all changed when Japan was influenced by China and Korea. Korea brought Buddhism into Japan. Buddhism was already known in Japan, but it was not popular. It was pretty popular soon and it is one of the traditional religions in Japan. A philosophy called Confucianism was introduced to Japan from China. Confucianism taught how to properly behave in society, and also with family. Many people in Japan started to follow Confucianism teachings. 
    It was another hard working day. The sun was shining, and the children in the village were out playing around, and they were certainly not concerned about anything. As I was pulling weeds from my wheat field, I heard something very loud, something like thunder. But I thought, "Why would there be thunder if the sun is out?" I ignored it and carried on. After 5 minutes or so, I heard it again. It was coming from the other side of the village. I left my wheat field and went to go look at what was happening. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  There was a pack of fierce Mongols riding through the village, yelling at people and threatening them. Once I saw their huge horses, I ran back to my house to inform my family and the others. My only concern was getting out of the village, and saving my people.  
      Luckily, my house was right near the busy city, so we had escaped quickly. I informed my family, and the ones closest to me. We grabbed some food, and we quickly left. As I was looking back, I could already see smoke rising from some houses. The Mongols do not play around when they are angry. I feel bad that I wasn't able to save the others but I'm glad my family and I managed to escape. 
      The Chinese are known for many things, especially for  their achievements and creations. One thing I think that the Chinese are most acknowledged for is gunpowder. Without gunpowder, we wouldn't have all the weapons we have today and we also would've been going to war with probably just a bow and arrow.  Gunpowder is a very great achievement that the Chinese created. Also, because they were the first ones to make gunpowder, people who wanted to invade probably had second thoughts about it. I'm pretty sure it provided protection for them. 
   Another thing that the Chinese created was paper. What would we do without paper? We wouldn't have textbooks, letters, and other things that are on paper! I also think there wouldn't be any tissues, napkins, or anything useful to us without paper. Paper is very important to us to the modern world because we use it for almost everything. What the Chinese achieved back then is really helpful to us now in the modern world, so we have 
        As we all know, Thanksgiving is approaching, and it's the time to actually take the time and realize what you are thankful for in life. Being thankful isn't just a one day thing, it's something you realize everyday in your life. Which is why I think Thanksgiving is just a big day to acknowledge that. I have so many things in my life that I am grateful for, I don't even know where to start. But I have to say I'm most grateful for my family, my friends and my education. 
          I'm so eternally grateful for my family.  They made me who I am today, and they are the ones guiding me through life. They provide me with everything with love, support, and care. I know that they will always be there for me, and I will always be there for them. I couldn't ask for a better family, and I will always love them uncondtionally. 
       My friends. Where do I start with my friends? They're not just my friends, but they're also just like my siblings. I'm thankful for all of my close friends because they keep me smiling and laughing. I have many memories with all of my friends, good and bad ones. They've also made me who I am today. Without my friends, my life would be so boring! I'm thankful for meeting each and every one of them because they all have different personalities. 
      Last but not least, I am so so so thankful for my education. I'm glad I'm here at Computech, I'm glad I'm determined when it comes to school, and I'm so thankful for having faith in myself and developing the most ambitious mentality ever. Without education, I would be so clueless. Education makes me open-minded and it teaches me so many things. I know that my education will take me very far in life.
     These are the things I am most grateful for. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? 
     Griots were West African storytellers. They were important to the West African society because they were able to pass down stories to other generations. Back then, West Africa didn't have much written records of important things that happened in their history. Many people wanted to know about their ancestors and where they came from, so they depended on griots to tell them stories like that. I think without griots, people in West Africa didn't know much. But how would they know if the stories that griots tell are factual? Well, I'm not sure about that but I know I'll try to figure it out soon. Griots also went along on pilgrimmages, so that is another type of story they could share with their younger generations. I think griots were also highly respected since they were able to tell about stories from the past. 
     I honestly love autumn! It is my favorite season. Although it does rain a lot and gets very cold, it doesn't stop me from enjoying the weather. Well, as you know, there are a lot of things that happen during fall. I love everything about fall. The weather, the holidays, and football! It makes me feel very comfortable because on rainy days, you could just relax at home with the heater on, watch a movie, and drink hot chocolate. 
    I especially love the holidays. Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday because I get to spend it with my family, and of course all of the delicious food! There is also Thanksgiving break. That is my favorite break from school because there is no school on the most fun holidays. There is also Black Friday after Thanksgiving. I really like that event because I get to go shopping for really cool stuff that is on sale. The Big Fresno Fair is also during fall. The fair is always filled with excitement and fun, and also delicious food. 
    Another I love about fall is the fashion. You get to wear clothes that keep you very warm and cozy. I love wearing my boots, scarves, beanies, and fall-colored sweaters. I also love to see the color of leaves change. It is just so beautiful and bright. You also can't forget to watch your favorite football team play!
   I love fall!
     Iron was a very important material back in the day, and still is now. Iron was first discovered by the people in West Africa. That discovery really made a big impact on their lives because it was very helpful to their lives. Iron made their lives much easier in many ways. 
    In West Africa, people did many things with iron. One of the things they used it for was for farming. They made tools that made clearing land much easier and quicker. The result of that made more land for houses to be built. And also when more houses were built, more people lived in the area. That caused the population to expand. They also made weapons with iron. The weapons were able to defend them. The people that were the first to build things from using iron was the Noks. They gained much respect and power. The good thing about iron is that it was reusable. So if you wanted to build something else, you could just use iron again. The people of West Africa soon started to trade with iron for gold and other things. Iron was a really big impact on West Africa. 
    Africa has a very diverse landscape and climate. All the sections in Africa have different climates. In some regions, it is always raining, but in some regions, it is dry all year long.  Because of the diverse climate, it effects people in many ways. There are 4 climate regions: the desert, sahel, savannah, and rain forest. I think the the Sahara desert is the region that is the most effective. 
     Although it covers most of North Africa, it stills revolves around the rest of Africa. The Sahara desert is the largest desert in the world, and nobody could survive in its scorching weather. The reason why I think it effects everyone's lives is because the desert is really dry. Rainfall is rarely found in that part of Africa. Humans and animals can not survive without water, therefore it would be difficult to live there. Many people need water to farm and feed their animals in Africa. It would also be difficult to live in the desert because it is always hot. The temperatures can reach up to 120 degrees. I think nobody or anything could survive in that type of weather. Water is very important to the daily life. 
     I also think that the rain forests are effective. Although it does provide a lot of water for crops and animals, it could still be effective. There are a lot of trees in rainforests; therefore, people could cut it down anytime they want. That means they are destorying the homes of many animals. Also, a lot of rain can cause floods. Floods can destory many homes.
     The spread of Islam was mostly developed by trading. Traders from Arabia went all over the world to trade, and they shared their religious ways to other people. Muslim traders also came in contact with people who had different beliefs and culture. Trading really help spread Islam because people also came to Arabia to trade, and Islam was introduced to them. Some people even converted to Islam. That played an important role in the spreading of Islam. Another way Islam was being known was by conquest. Many caliphs and their empires conquered different parts of the world. Most Muslim empires made the people that were already living the land they conquered become Muslims. So the people who were conquered had to learn the Muslim practices and teachings. Mosques were also built almost everywhere the Muslims has conquered.  The Muslims had conquered many places in the world such as: parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The main point is that trading and conquest played an important part of the spread of Islam.