Athena’s Intervention

  • Hello and a belated happy 2020 to you all! I recently wrote a poem inspired by Minerva/Athena of ancient mythology, as part of an entry to a competition. I would like to share my poem with you, and I hope you enjoy reading it!


Poses upon his throne of grandeur,
Moulding to his tyranny.
A malevolent frown with dagger-like eyes
Twists his features most horrendously.

Here be a dictator, feared and proud,
With solid heart of ice.
Tremble upon mention of his name – 
Or deign to pay the price.

Freedom unheard of among the King’s court:
His command is law to all.
From dusk till dawn they toil away
Enjailed by the King’s haunting call.

Years pass like the turn of day,
Hope dwindles, waning in plight.
But word spreads like a wildfire, swift,
Of a revolution soon to ignite.

On velvet wings like a preying owl
Comes Athena in highest splendour.
From resplendent hair to her sandal-clad feet,
Not a single person fails to fear her.

The King himself in his glory and pomp
Trembles, shaken by the warrior’s might.
With a fluid grin masking his quivering fear, 
The King greets Athena with false delight.

Promachos laughs – a sinister sound –
And turns to face her kin.
“Free my people of their toil and sweat,
Lest a heavenly brawl to begin!”

The King declines with a sadistic sneer,
Letting loose a fanatical roar.
All intentions of a civil exchange
Are discarded in place of power and gore.

Athena combats with stealth and grace,
But the King with the brutest of force.
Never such fight had been witnessed before
Without the slightest shade of remorse.

A warrior’s cry pierces sharp in the sky
As Athena plunges her sword through the air.
But pity and sorrow befalls her face
And her sword remains stagnant midair.

The King erupts to rapturous praise,
Grovelling at her holy feet.
Yet she looks away with a distant gaze
For her kin’s suffering is to abate.


Years have flown on the breath of the wind,
And in hushed whispers talk the freed, of the fight.
They know in their heart of their saviour true,
For none can match Athena’s might.


14/04/2019 – Day 3 Thingvellir National Park/ Geysir/ Gullfoss/ Kerid Crater – Iceland

Today was a day not to be missed, consisting of touring the renowned Golden Circle and the Kerid Crater. Primarily we journeyed to Thingvellir National Park to witness a rare occurrence. Thingvellir is where two tectonic plates crashed then separated from the impact. Not only this, but Thingvellir is where most important historical events took place. For example, Norse clan representatives held meetings here and Iceland Asatru was abandoned here (the Old Norse pagan beliefs) to name a few. Thingvellir is geologically enhanced – being the clearest area in the nation above sea-level to see both sides of the Mid-Atlantic Rift, and features many exclusive ravines and gorges. One of the highlights of Thingvellir was being sprayed by the cooling droplets of Öxarárfoss: it was an idyllic moment that will always remain in my mind’s camera.
Next we ventured to the famed Geysir – this was an ethereal experience. Many onlookers much like ourselves were gazing as the boiling waters of the Skattur geysir started to bubble. Then the rumble of a beast waiting to be unleashed; and a dome of turquoise-blue arose. Another split-second and a towering spray of scattering droplets rose to an immeasurable height before dying down, only to be liberated another six to ten minutes later.
An Iceland trip could not be complete without visiting Gullfoss. The 32-metre cascading waterfall was most definitely my favourite tourist area in Iceland. The magnanimity of the whole thing left me utterly speechless. It wowed me that such a beauty, such a gem in the crown of Earth’s wonders could be so ethereal yet had the power to devastate on a massive scale. As the waters filled every nook and cranny of neighbouring rocks and crevices, I breathed in the scene. The English vocabulary falls short of the beauty I had witnessed at the heart of the Golden Circle.
This we followed by a short stop at the Kerid Crater – brick-red slopes (due to fresh iron content) caressed the royal turquoise waters. It was no surprise that the waters were pristine and perfectly coloured as the minerals from the slopes were exuding into the lake. The Kerid Crater was a particularly memorable end to our day as the vibrant colours lingered in my eyes long after the visit.

13/04/2019 – Day 2 Reykjavík/ Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge/ Grundarfjarðarbær/ Mt. Kirkjufell – Iceland

A dreamless sleep we awoke from only for the prospect of our first full day in Iceland – tremendously exciting! We dined the buffet breakfast of Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík (by far the best thing the hotel had to offer) and began the extensive car journey, making a pit stop only once at Borgarbyggð to enjoy a snack. Soon after we arrived at Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge and began trekking up the winding path. After some breathtaking views and perfect photographs, we quickly made our way to Mount Kirkjufell. Since Mt. Kirkjufell is famous for the shooting of the Game of Thrones, we were eager to see it. However, tremendous winds accompanied our views and we were being blown around like balloons! Deciding our small group was exceedingly mismatched against Mother Nature’s might, we hastily snapped a couple of images at the neighbouring waterfall and retired for the night

12/04/2019 – Day 1 Luton Airport/ Keflavik Airport – Luton/ Iceland

I wish I could say the day started with a bang, but I must admit the holiday vibes had not settled upon me yet. Like any other weekday, I dragged myself out of bed, amid reminders of showering and packing from my parents. The hours ticked by, consisting of hasty packing and hurriedly flinging possessions all over the place. After what seemed like a lifetime, I found myself in our car for the two-hour drive to Luton Airport. Upon reaching, we completed all the regular procedures (checking in and security) and boarded the plane. One look at my parents told me they were in high hopes for our trip. Lots of smiling; lots of laughing accompanied the three-hour journey to Keflavik Airport, but we were in for a horrendous surprise. After reaching, we were told ‍‍that due to impressive wind speeds of 100 km/h we would have to wait on board! Albeit much moaning, sighing, and shortage of snacks, we finally got off the plane after 1½ hours. Lost in a new atmosphere, we reached our hotel after another six hours and tucked into delicious Icelandic Domino’s pizza! As expected, we dropped into a deep sleep not to be disturbed…

Thirds Trip to Ledbury and The Malverns – KEHS

Wednesday 5th June brought lots of grins as we made our way to Ledbury, a small yet picturesque town in Herefordshire. We were split into groups and given around two hours to explore our surroundings, some collecting data from the busy high street to others peeking in at the renowned theatre. It was highly entertaining and a new experience for many of us, as well as a milestone in our learning journey. We were observing, noting and searching as if we were professionals! Of course, the Ledbury trip could hardly pass without a quick trip to the well-known sweet shop! Ice-cream, toffees and chocolate were bought and shown to one another along the way to the Malvern Hills.
The Malvern Hills were completely different. Following a steep hike up the hill, we followed the winding tracks to the summit, where we were rewarded for our efforts by a magnificent view. Towering over Greater Malvern and Malvern Wells, we snapped images of any photographer’s paradise! After a session of making notes, we ambled back (making a pit stop to enjoy yet more delicious ice-cream)!
This was definitely one of the most exciting trips the Thirds have been on till date, and we are looking forward to learning more about these scenic areas in our geography lessons.

Geography Trip to Selly Oak – KEHS

It was with eager grins that we set out on 18th and 19th March, excited to see whatever met our eyes in Selly Oak (part of the inner city). Clipboards? Check. Suitable clothing? Check. Pen to make notes of observations with? Check. Like true geographers, we were ready to make new discoveries and put in perspective what we had been learning about ‘studentification’!
The trip began with a bang – we made the short journey to Selly Oak on foot, our bubbly excitement evident. Next, we discussed what we might find on Oakfield Road (our first destination) such as litter and degradation of houses. To our surprise, the houses on this street were mostly detached, large and well-kept, rather than what we had predicted of student accommodation. The residents had noticeably taken care of their houses and a few friendly faces even greeted us as we observed various qualities of the housing (e.g. damage done to the properties).
After walking a couple of streets further, we arrived at Dawlish Road. Dawlish Road was the direct opposite of everything we had noted on Oakfield Road. The walk to the former itself was accompanied by frequent sightings of ‘to let’ and ‘for sale’ signs. The change was significant – Dawlish Road obviously provided cheaper student accommodation than Oakfield Road which was used by more permanent residents. It was here that we saw what ‘studentification’ meant – litter surrounded the terraced houses; doors stayed open regardless of whether the occupiers were inside or out; and ‘to let’ signs could be spotted on at least every other house. As you can imagine, the notes we made fully contradicted those we had made of Oakfield Road.
To conclude, this trip was definitely worthwhile! By visiting two different streets, we could compare and differentiate the qualities of the housing of the two. I am sure everybody can agree that this trip was most enlightening, and gave us the chance to see with our own eyes the definition of ‘studentification’.

Dissecting Daffodils – KEHS

Once again, 3K were back in the Biology labs, armed with a lab coat, a daffodil, a scalpel and various other tools. Why? We were ready to get on with our new task: to dissect a daffodil!
Although many of us were eager to begin the experiment, research had to be undertaken beforehand. Indeed, as Neil Armstrong stated, “Research is creating new knowledge,” and we were learning about the different parts of a plant to assist us when performing the actual experiment.
As expected, the dissection started with a bang! We each collected our daffodil along with other tools such as scalpels, and began fascinating discovery of what was inside the daffodils. It was with utmost precision and accuracy that we had to remove the sepal(s) as well as other parts of the flower. Rather than our norm of animated chatter, only silence could be heard as we concentrated wholly in a state of disbelief. It was truly amazing to explore in depth what we thought was just a simple flower. We recorded the number of each part we found and what they looked like. The images below, taken by Annalisa, Amara and Priya show this stage of the process:
Next, we looked at certain flower parts under a microscope, such as the sepal(s) and the ovule. The images below were taken by Annalisa and Amara, and show close-up images of the eggs and a sepal:
This was a thoroughly interesting topic to work on, and I am sure other members of the class will join me in saying this too. It was a surreal experience to look inside something we take for granted, with such depth. Dissection was new for many of us, so we are really looking forward to the next dissection!


The Little Prince

As an avid reader with interests in all genres, I was excited to start The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Our previous book had been Snowglobe by Amy Wilson, so my expectations were high! I was pleasantly surprised, however, that my expectations were not short-lived, and The Little Prince was just as brilliant a book – in different respects.
It would be a disservice to the book to call it unique. Why – It was a mixture of mystery and fantasy, added with a sprinkle of fun! Set in a desert on Earth, this fictional novella tells the story of a boy who supposedly came from a different planet, becoming acquainted with the narrator (who fondly nicknames him ‘little prince’).The little prince was a most baffling character, representing the innocence of man’s early years. His thoughts displayed curiosity and wonder to the extreme, touching memories of my own childhood. My favourite part of the book was when he sweetly asked the narrator for a drawing of a sheep. Though the little prince seemed somewhat simple, not unlike any other child, his maturity was one far beyond his years. He saw sense in imagination; drew out the essence of life from an otherwise dull existence; and was a veteran of all his experiences. The narrator came upon the boy by chance, and took his profound knowledge to heart. This book tells of how the narrator’s life was altered as he saw life through the eyes of children.
I would undoubtedly recommend this jewel of a book to anybody, but particularly young adults or teenagers. Though the tale may be described as elementary and aimed at younger children, I feel it is important to reminisce recent years and be reminded of what is important. By reading this, people of this age group would remain true to themselves rather than being distracted and doing things that demoralise their mind and body. While being presented in an easy way, The Little Prince in fact has an important message to deliver to the readers.‍‍
Symbolism has a crucial part to play in The Little Prince as it shows the meaning of the book. Through the different representations used of everyday life, we can compare our own lives to the ongoings in the book. For example, the fox that the boy tames upon his arrival on Earth represents the correct decisions and reaping their benefits; and the vain rose he leaves behind symbolises ignorance and self-obsession.
To round up, I feel that The Little Prince is a story worthwhile of occupying your time. Saint-Exupéry writes in first person, drawing the reader closer to the characters in order to relate. This book can teach us all a lesson: to enjoy life to the fullest! So, snuggle up under the light of countless stars and read this book, regardless of your age. After all, it was the little prince who correctly stated: “all grown-ups were once children!

3K’s Genetic Traits – KEHS

Leading up to Christmas, 3K were delighted to find that their final biology task was to research each other’s genetic traits.
Firstly, we were shown examples of genetic traits such as cleft chins and handedness. Next, we formed small groups within the class, and brainstormed our ideas. The lab was a bustle of “How tall are you?” and “What is your eye colour?” as we questioned amongst each other to provide statistics.
We were conceptualizing ideas like never before! To present our collected data in a professional and unique way was no easy feat, yet the posters we were doing them on were soon covered with well-presented information. To spur us on further yet, Ms Rollason announced that our posters were to be entered for an exclusive 3K poster competition! This made every group more determined to win the prize for best poster.
As was evident in the posters, much research had been completed such as that on dominant and recessive traits and how they come to be. Each and every one of the posters included an array of various types of graphs (e.g. bar graphs); different facts; beautiful presentation techniques such as including images; and recorded data. Though all the posters were special, the competition was won by my group (myself, Amara and Aysha) as the judges appreciated the personal touch we added to our poster (by including pictures of myself displaying different traits). We enjoyed the prize of strawberry laces! The group consisting of Bryneet, Anya and Saarah came a close second, winning fun stickers.
Overall this was an enjoyable topic to work on, and creating posters helped us to learn more in a pleasurable way within a competitive environment.


Ritisha Baidyaray’s First Blog

To all those reading this, this is my first blog. I think a blog is like a memory and a collection of blogs is your mind. So this will soon become the place where all my memories are stored. But why don’t I write a diary, all to myself? The answer is: I want to share my experiences with you. Why don’t you read my blogs to feel my experiences; know my memories; go through what I’ve been through? Go on, give it a try!

In fear of you not knowing enough about me, I should tell you the basics:

⋅ My name is Ritisha Baidyaray.

⋅ I am currently 11 years old.

⋅ My birthday is on the 16th of October.

So, watch this space to go on many adventures!


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