Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Warp Speed Wednesdays: Child Labour at its Finest.

 For our homeschooling language arts lessons, I frequently have the boys write books reports. "Zarf" and "Klaxon" write very detailed initial paragraphs explaining a book's opening chapter. Then their energy and interest wanes and they sum up the bulk of the story in two very brief, very vague sentences.

To give them a better idea of how to correctly summarize a plot so your audience isn't completely befuddled, each boy watched and wrote (and edited) an overview of a Star Trek episode of their choosing. They gave me permission to publish their work on this blog.

• • • • •

Plot synopsis of the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Thirty Days."
By "Klaxon,"age 7.

Captain Janeway demotes Lieutant Tom Paris to the rank of Ensign. Two security guards escort Tom to the brig.  A couple of days later, Neelix comes to the brig and gives Tom his meal and a padd. Tom starts and deletes two letters to his father. Then he starts one long letter to his father. He talks about how he got in the brig.

Voyager came to a planet which was a large ocean and no land and is the home of the Moneans. The planet's atmosphere is destabilizing and the Moneans ask Voyager for help stabilizing their planet's atmosphere. Tom takes the Delta Flyer down to the core of the planet.  They discover that the planet is held together by a three-thousand year old gravity generator. It is failing because of the power plants that the locals were using.

The locals wouldn't listen to Tom's idea of how to keep the planet from falling a part.  Tom went with one of the Moneans down to the planet in the Delta Flyer. Tom fired at a power plant, but Voyager fired at him.  Voyager damaged the Delta Flyer and diverted Tom's torpedo down into the depths of the ocean. Captain Janeway was mad at Tom for disobeying orders and sent him to the brig for thirty days. Ten days after Tom finishes the letter to his father, Tom's thirty days in the brig are over.

I like this episode because you don't get to find out who built the three thousand year old gravity generator. I like mysteries.

• • • • •

Plot synopsis of the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Twisted."
By "Zarf," age 9.

The point of this Star Trek story is about some sort of subspace ring which consumed the ship.

One day on Voyager, the senior officers were celebrating Kes' birthday on the holodeck. She was two years old, and her species only lives for nine years. There was a transmission from the bridge, but when it came down one word kept repeating and getting deafeningly loud. When Chakotay, Janeway and Paris tried to go up to the bridge they ended up going to three different decks and then wound up back at the holodeck. The decks were rearranged and the crew was confused and lost. Tom Paris and B'Elanna were finally able to get to Engineering. They tried to make a site-to-site transport to the bridge but they ended up back on the holodeck.

Meanwhile, Harry Kim and Janeway tried to use the Jefferies tubes to get to the bridge.  When they opened an access panel, Janeway touched the subspace ring's energy which was green and wavy. A few seconds after they got her arm out, she passed out. Harry got her back to the holodeck. When she comes out of her coma she is speaking a different language. Neelix has vanished. The crew used their tricorders' data to make sense of what is happening to the ship. The map they make comes up all strange and twisted. They eventually find Tuvok and he explained they'd entered some sort of ring of subspace that is twisting the ship. The crew tried to create a tetrion shower to stop the ring from spreading further inside the ship. It does the opposite of what it is supposed to do.

A few minutes later they were all crowded up in one room, and that room was starting to dephase and twist. Once the whole ship was immersed, the ring was instantly gone. Janeway could speak English again and the ship was restraightened. The only thing different was their computer database was copied and 2000 gigabytes of data were added to their computer banks. The ring was some species' way of communicating.

I like this episode because it's a mystery. You never find out who created the ring and the new data is never talked about again. 


  1. Papoosie Girl is working on a book report right now...but the book is a little heavy and she is not loving it. I bet if she could pick a tv show episode she would cheer up!

    As a kid I loved book reports (is that strange?) I think it plays into my love of structure and putting order to things.

    I think both boys did a fine is true with many things we start off with gusto and then really just want to get it over with in a couple of sentences.

    You are ever the inventive when it comes to interesting academia.

  2. Love it. Excellent summaries on an awesome subject. Good job guys!

  3. I admire how they're both fine with lack of closure. I want to be fine with lack of closure - I even sort of mentally sneer at tv episodes and movies that are too neatly closured. But really I want closure and lack of it torments me.