English: Ernest Shackleton’s “Winter Months” from South: Journal of His Last Expedition to Antarctica.

This story is a fair deal more challenging than what I was reading in traditional school. I have had to write a lot of vocabulary words down so far, which is funny considering that in regular school when they asked us to write vocab words I’d have to fake not knowing words I actually did know in order to complete assignments because I’d know everything in the chapter. 

So far I’m kind of bored and lost. Okay, they’re on a boat and there’s ice that keeps cracking and the dogs are sleeping on mattresses made from garbage and everybody’s checking out the area scientifically and…okay now what? It just has felt like an endless pile of descriptions without a lot of action or plot. Maybe I’m not far enough into it yet. I’m hoping there will be some Spark Notes or Grade Saver pages on this reading that I can reference after I’m done reading it so I can check to see if I’m missing something. This book is described as an incredible adventure, and I think I have to be not quite getting it since right now I’m just bored. 

Although the online class/curriculum does not request this, my family gave me the assignment to write down words I don’t know and define them. There are a lot of them, so here goes what I have so far. 

Vocabulary from “Winter Months”

1. Weddell – A type of seal.

2. floe – A sheet or mass of floating ice.

3. sledge – To ride, travel, or transport in a sledge (some kind of sled).

4. gale – A very strong wind.

5. hummock – A ridge in an ice field.

6. percolate – To pass through a porous substance.

7. mock suns – A synonym for parhelion.

8. parhelion – A bright circular spot on a solar halo; a mock sun: usually one or two more such spots seen on opposite sides of the sun, and often accompanied by additional luminous arcs and bands.

9. plankton – The aggregate of passively floating, drifting, or somewhat motile organisms occurring in a body of water, primarily comprising microscopic algae and protozoa.

10. sinuous – Having many curves, bends, or turns.

11. eking – To increase; enlarge; lengthen.

12. stratum – Layer of material, naturally or artificially formed, often one of a number of parallel layers one upon another: a stratum of ancient foundations.

13. fathoms – A unit of length equal to six feet (1.8 meters) used chiefly in nautical measurements. 


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