I have to write in my journal every day now, and on the days that we’re on the boat not doing much, I write more about our life on the ship.  I’ll show you a few of my journal entries so you can get a sense of my shipboard life…


It’s 6:20, and I’m not quite sure why we have to wake up. Our bus arrives at 7:00, and I think we can get dressed, go to the Starbucks, and get to the get-on-the-bus spot by 6:45. Waking up early is NOT my idea of a good day.

There are a lot of college students on the bus, and I sat next to one. Her name was Megan. I introduced myself and we made a game of trying to translate all of the billboards next to the road as we drove from San Diego, through the rain, to Ensenada where we will board the ship.

After what seemed like a long bus ride, we got to the harbor where the boat was, went through security, and got on. Everything about it was great. The rooms were large, the food was good, they even had a pool, a gym, and a room with tons of games. It was super awesome. Except for one thing. The boat was manufactured in Germany, so all the words and paintings and all that stuff was German. Even the electrical plugs were European!!

By 5:00, the boat was sailing. I’ve been waiting to get the journey around the world started, and at the blow of the horn, we had started a 7 or 8 month long journey around the world.





I am wearing all my anti-seasickness stuff, and nothing seems to cure my nauseousness. I seriously thought I would barf after breakfast, and wasn’t feeling much better after lunch, so most of the day I just stayed in bed reading, because apparently laying flat helps with seasickness.

The ship is very rocky, and walking just isn’t the same, you bang against the walls if you aren’t careful, and the stairs are even more dangerous!

There isn’t much to say about what I did so I’m ending my entry here. I mostly just stayed in the room all day.




As you can probably see, I now have to write in my journal everyday, and I’m supposed to read this in like 10 years when I’m in college and say “Hey. It’s good to read about that awesome big trip that I went on 10 years ago and was totally worth writing in my journal.”. Well, hello future self. I don’t really like writing in my journal, and if you think that it’s worth it, well, it better be really, really good.

Refer to day 41 for journal entry of day 42.

“Alexander, you can’t say refer to day 41 for journal entry of day 42. That is cheating,” dad says

“Ugh” I say

Today, is like the last free day on the boat where nobody has to do schoolwork because people are still exploring. Food was basically the same. The only difference?? We get to go to a million Life Long Learner presentations. And I still feel horrible.

MS World Odyssey first Lifelong Learner meeting on BOARDING DAY!

“Lifelong Learner” meeting.  (That’s non-college students and non-faculty to you…)



Tomorrow? Another day at sea. The only difference? Homeschooling.

“Do I still have to write a day 43????”

“Yup! You already know that I’m the meanest dad on earth.”

“Do I get credit for trying???”






Well, here I am, writing in my journal again. Boring journal.

Sometimes, I’m an optimist, and sometimes I’m a pessimist. Right now I’m a pessimist because I have to write in my journal which gets me into a bad mood. I would definitely prefer to be an optimist, so I’m going to try to make everything in this journal entry funny so I can laugh at my own jokes and become an optimist. I REALLY, REALLY hope it works.

Today’s topic is about me in 10 years. I will be reading this journal entry (hi future self) in 10 years and I will say, “Wow. I was really bad at writing 10 years ago. Jeez. What an improvement I’ve made of myself!!”

Yesterday, my dad decided to come over to me and see how my journal writing was going. I showed him day 42 and asked him if it was good, and I was pretty sure I was going to get a 10 for comedy and a 0 for insightfulness. But what he said made my life like… WAY, WAY EASIER!!! He said that all my journal entries didn’t actually need to be insightful. Ahhhhhh. That is music to my ears, and I’ll be remembering that.

Oh, and one more thing other than homeschooling took place today. I made some new friends and all that kind of stuff, but that’s not the important thing. My first game of ping-pong on the boat took place today. Thus (my new favorite word) starts all the practice for world domination… at ping-pong. Why? Because it’s one of the only things that you can do when you’re trapped on a boat for four months, so yeah. World domination at ping-pong.

In fact, I recall checking our blog one day and I remember somebody commenting “Don’t get too good at ping-pong!”.

You wish.



I really hope there isn’t a disease called 2muchritinginurjurnalitis, because if there is, I’m in a lot of trouble.

I was just told today– our third day at sea– that I was going to have to post a BLOG POST for the seven days that we’ll be at sea, and to save me the trouble I’m just going to post a couple of my journal entries from this week.

Here it goes……………

Math homeschooling is totally bland.  I have to watch Khan Academy videos and do these time consuming problems like this… 2.37(24.2x + -2847/3) * 5.2x = 357.2x – -24.1/3.5x and that kind of stuff, and then the worst part is the innocent little… little, um… THING at the bottom that looks like this: x = ___ and I have to answer what I think x equals. In the comments please, somebody do this question for me and time yourself, but don’t type in the answer in the comments. (I completely made this problem up and there might not even be an answer, but I’m SO NOT DOING THE MATH!!!) After you’ve done the math, check your timer and multiply the number of seconds by 11. I have to get 10 of these problems correct to finish one lesson (11 assuming I get one wrong). Post that number in the comments section, and let’s see how long it took me to finish just ONE lesson.

Then there’s the reading. All the adults tell me that my list of books is a great mix of classics and more modern books that are really, really good. But I showed a kid my list, and he asked me “You have to read that???!!!”. All the classics, (a.k.a. a couple million Jules Verne books and a couple other *famous authors*) a bunch of books that I’m missing at SCDS, and one of my choices every 5-6 books.

Sometimes on the ship we have to go to these presentations, and there have been some off-the-wall presentations. Yesterday, we went to a presentation of a professor that wanted to get some of the passengers singing sea shanties on the boat, but I don’t think anybody has sung any of the songs since, or I would probably know… it’s a small ship.

Thus ends part of my blog post/journal entry. Bye!




Well, our day started off fine. We thought the Seahawks game was at 12:00, but it was actually at 8:00. And I’m kind of happy that we didn’t know the correct time of the game, because we should have lost, but luck just seemed to be on our side.

So, once again, I have to make this journal entry WAY more like a blog post.

The food seems the same every day. For breakfast: eggs, a type of meat, fruit, and either pancakes or French toast. For lunch: Vegetables, a type of deli sandwich, some fish, and meat. For dinner: vegetables, pasta, a type of fish, and a type of meat.

I’ve pretty much gotten over all the nausea and luckily I didn’t barf this whole time.

There are about 25 other kids on the boat plus hundreds of college students, so boredom is never really a problem.  You can often find other kids at the ping pong table or the giant chess set.  I’ve already played more than 10 games of chess because there’s almost always people there either playing, watching, or waiting in line to play the next game.

One of our favorite things to do as a family at night is watching the sunset.  Most nights we go to the bow of the boat and watch the sun drop down to the horizon.

I expect that I’ll feel a little homesick in a month, so I hope that doesn’t mean I’ll be homesick for the next 6 months, and even though we are going to see all these exotic places, I don’t think that it’ll make me feel much better.

So… that’s basically the life on the boat.

“Can I be done now?”

“Did you do EVERYTHING that you needed to do?”

“I think so.”

“Okay, yes, you can be done.”

17 thoughts on “Alexander’s Journal: Kid’s view of the Ship

  1. I hope you’re all having fun. This trip was such a good idea, and it seems like so much fun.
    I have a couple questions. On your post of January 6th, you comment that you were, “wearing all my anti-sea-sickness stuff.” What is this stuff you talk about? I also think that it is really cool that since you know you will read this later, you are kind of talking to yourself. In the January 10th post, you say there are about 25 kids. Have you made friends with anybody? Also, even if the food is the same every day, do you like it?
    Also, I have some questions about homeschooling. When you are working, do you work in the same area with Sidney and Piper? Do you ever help Sidney and Piper with their work? How does your Mom help you while you’re doing your work?
    This is a really cool article. Post again soon. Have fun.


    • Great, so you’ve asked so many questions that I have to do one of those Q and A things.


      Q: What kind of anti-seasickness stuff are you wearing?
      A: By now I’ve dropped all the stuff I’m wearing, but I was wearing sea-bands on both wrists, and patches behind my ears.

      Q: Have you made friends with anybody?
      A: Of course. There are lots of kids and many kids around 11-13 so I’ve already made a bunch of friends.

      Q: If the food is the same everyday, do you like it?
      A: The food varies only slightly and I almost always like what I’m eating.

      Q: When you’re working, do I work in the same room with Sydney and Piper, or do I work alone?
      A: In the same room.

      Q: Do I ever help Sydney and Piper?
      A: Rarely. Normally, Sydney and Piper get help from mom or dad and I usually don’t need help.

      Q: How do my parents help me on the homeschooling?
      A: They help almost none on math, and my dad helps on writing. How? He basically tortures me.

      I’ll post again soon, maybe today, if not today, it’ll be tomorrow.


  2. Alexander, I hope your future self sees the witty writer you were!
    I loved reading about your first-days adventures, and glad you’re no longer nauseous. I’m happy your parents are making you stick with it because when I read the journal I kept when I studied abroad (in 1992!), I wish I had written in it longer. You will appreciate the instant flashback to your memories.


    • I’m sorry but that’s basically homeschooling (Did your parents make you do the problem????) Lemme see. 21 minutes and 31 seconds is 1,291 seconds. I did the calculations on a CALCULATOR and I got 237 minutes or about 4 hours. YEAH. THAT’S ABOUT RIGHT. 4 HOURS FOR ONE LESSON!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe I survived that.


  3. The math problem turned out to be a function. My final equation that I typed into a graphing calculator was 80438.428x^3 – 12280.2598x^2 – 1250.2x – 24.1 = 0. When I input it into a graphing calculator, I got three answers: 0.227, -0.029, and -0.045. The problem took 18 minutes, but I did all the math to get to the final equation without a calculator.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Matthew… One if the more brilliant (in my opinion) homeschooling assignments I’ve given Alexander is to write a bunch of “five paragraph essays”, most recently including one explaining what linear algebra is. (I just love the symmetry of a “math essay”!)

      In it Alexander tries to explain HOW (linear) functions work and the shapes you get when they are graphed. Did you already know this was a function and it’s basic shape before you graphed it?. You could… though admittedly a cube equation would be beyond my ability to predict here in my later years. But in my EARLIER years, I would have just asked your dad and he would have told me the answer! 😀


  4. Alexander, I am so relieved to read your blog entries. I’m so happy to hear that life on the boat isn’t perfect and that you’re a normal kid, bored at times, disliking math and writing in the journal. You’ve made my day! You see, I’m a parent as well and when I read your dad and mom’s entries, it made me feel like I was a horrible parent. Their entries made it seem like the kids are really thrilled, loving the boat, thriving in homeschooling, doing math on their own without an adult prompting them! But, by reading your entries, I see that life is normal, your parents are mean and I’m not such a bad parent after all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Edith… You’ll be pleased to know I’ve been thinking somewhat along the same lines. I have a blog post in mind called “The Dark Side” where I write about the whining, the cold/wet feet, headaches/upset stomachs, missed trains, people ready to kill each other etc. Etc.

      Can’t have the blog misleading all the kids out there into thinking it’s all a bed of roses out here in the big scary heartless world…


  5. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to meet a new person every day. Not just say hello and ask their name, but, really find out stuff about them.
    We played Trivia at 4pm every day with tea. Ah ha! Secret learning game.


    • Alexander,
      Thank you for all your observations about the voyage on the ship. Next sunset, look for the rayon vert (French for green flash). Jules Verne wrote a story about the phenomenon that represents good luck. Just as the sun slips down at the horizon if all conditions are good (clear skies, no clouds), a quick tiny green flash occurs. Hope you see it. Suzanne and Tom

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Alexander, you are cracking me up! I love your entries (blog/journal) – they are very “real” and it’s funny because writing in my journal was the only time I could really be me and not have to answer to anyone so keep up with the honesty! I miss you!

    Liked by 1 person

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