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Reflection: Mission Rover

For the past several weeks, we have been working on electricity. To take our knowledge and skills to the next level, we did a hands on assignment, building a rover. We were separated into small groups of four and that’s when the madness and white hair came into the equation. My group consists of me (Janette), Minh Long, Giami, and William. We had to find a strategy to tackle this task so we decided to brainstorm and draw a blueprint of our rover. Our group shall I say is not the most caring, loving, compassionate, open-minded group so working with them isn’t easy or breezy. Our frame is made out of ball-saw wood that was glued together and taped again to have a sturdy structure. We cut the bottom of our cans for our wheels and mounted the wheels on the motor with a hot glue gun. We made a parallel circuit and connected our wires to a switch. For now we had 4 wheels that where taped and one battery that was hooked up.

We had many complications during this journey. Changing our plans was the easiest of all. As a group, we finally agreed that our wheels were too heavy, so we decided to only use two wheels but use two batteries for more energy. When we were on the verge of finishing, something had to go wrong. It was like our group was designed to fail. But Minh Long wouldn’t accept that fact, so we tried, worked, and thought harder. We observed the other groups and occasionally asked for assistance. And on the due date of our rover, it finally started moving a bit. The wheels spun when you lift it off the ground but couldn’t move much. It was still a big achievement, thinking back. We are excellent, well-behaved students but sometimes we break. Goofing around was actually an activity that helped us generate more ideas. We don’t party to the max but occasionally prank each other. Giami and I were on each other sides and the two guys stuck together. We fought and teased each other. But we finished on time and achieved our main goal. Our task was to drive over an obstacle since our wheels were big. We kind of used our hands and mouths to get us a good grade on this part. We gave it a soft push and used our mouths to distract Mr. J as he was evaluating, and “ Ta Dahh!,” we got a three! Shocking, right?  Video taping each other was also a tough job. Everyone would refuse to show their face and we didn’t even have a script. We basically improvised and hoped that in the end it will be successful. I guess you can say we bonded with hate. But we did a impressive job at finishing this task as we hoped but teamwork wasn’t really our group kind of thing. Would I work with them again? Yes. Would I enjoy it? No. Mrs. U and Mr.J helped us by giving us support and telling us areas of improvements. Electricity unit is a pain in the butt but a very enjoyable one at the same time.

The Outsiders is a story of a ragtag bunch of young boys whose “gang” is the closest thing to family any of them has. The book follows the rivalry between the Greasers, a group of young boys from a less fortunate community, and the rich, high class Socs. When a group of Socs jumps the two Greasers ( Johnny and Ponyboy), Johnny stabs Bob, a Socs to death when he tries to drown Ponyboy. Without thinking about his decision nor ramification, the two ran away. Dallas, supplies them with the material, and information they need.  We go on a journey with the boys as they experience many real emotions that teens express, or feel. Like family issues, heartache, anger, hopelessness, loyalty, and love.

The book is in Ponyboy point of view, he’s the narrator.  Ponyboy Curtis is a shy, quiet 14-year-old boy who gets good grades and likes to draw, read, and watch the sunset.  He is the youngest brother and is stuck in his own world as he is not like a regular Greaser. Sodapop Curtis is 16 year-old and is very good looking. Sodapop is very caring, thoughtful, and makes you feel wanted. Darryl “Darry” Curtis the oldest brother, is a very serious person, he’s athletic and was a good student, but he had to give up his education to care for his brothers so that they wouldn’t have to separate. Dallas “Dally” Winston is the roughest of the Greasers. He likes being known for his criminal records and doesn’t have much emotions. Johnny Cade is the ‘pet’ of the Greasers, he’s 16 years old, and lives with a vicious, non-loving family. Sherri “Cherry” is a Socs that sees both sides of the social levels. Her nature is sensitive, understanding, and caring, but her reputation matters to her as well. Bob Sheldon is Cherry’s boyfriend. He is rich, spoiled, likes wearing heavy rings, and also enjoys drinking. But, according to his best friend Randy, Bob was a good guy, and wanted someone to set limits for him and give him some firm ground to stand on, which was exactly the same thing all the Socs wanted as well. Randy Adderson is a Socs, friend of Bob’s. At first, Randy is shown to be like the other Socs.  However, later Randy has a change of heart after being affected by Bob’s demise, and wants to stop all the fighting.

I find the pace of the book a bit too slow but I still enjoy the read.  What really indulged me was how it was so real and touching. This book gave me a new perspective on things. “Things are rough all over,”(page 34) Cherry explained to Ponyboy. This quote shows that a person can be rich with all the things in the world, but deep within their riches and possessions, they will still feel pain. “We’re all we’ve got left. We ought to be able to stick together against anything. If we don’t have each other, we don’t have anything.” (page 175) This quote shows us that Soda role is to bring the peace and love back to the family. We see just how much he values peace and his brothers. This quote made me realize that my family is all I have got and I should cherish them. “Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold.”(pg 148) This quote  really stuck with me as there was so much meaning behind it. Be young and happy and look past the bad. Johnny urges Ponyboy to remain gold, or innocent, he knows that Ponyboy is better than the average hoodlum, and he wants Ponyboy to hold onto the golden qualities that set him apart from the others. Anyone looking for an adventure, mixed with a deep moral and something that’ll permanently change their thoughts on life, has to read this book. I was astonished by the time I was done and going back to living life at how big of an impact this book had on me. It changed my thoughts and my actions- in a good way.

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.”

For weeks now, I have been digging a hole that will let me re-enter to the world, my escape route. My drill was to go after cell checks. I would insist for Bobby to come with me. He’s good with words, so he can easily distract the guards, giving me enough time to sneak down into the basement. Tears and sweat goes into this small little hole that will allow and guide me into the life I always wanted. A life that includes people who love you instead of despise you, freedom, and a house with windows and sunlight. I heard an alarm go off. A robot voice howling, ” Please evacuate immediately,” it kept reciting. Oh no, I whispered into the air as my voice was sliced by the sound of inmates and guards footsteps. I digged in to my brain, hoping to remember the drill for evacuations. ” Cell check ins!” I shrieked but covered my mouth later as I remembered the basement isn’t soundproof.  I rushed down the narrow passage and scanned the room for the door. I pushed all my force down on the knob but it still wouldn’t loosen up.  I felt  helpless and impotent . I bunched my hands into fists, feeling the fingernails bite into my palms, holding me back from punching the steel door. Standing helplessly, I remembered the careless lads who never carry their tools up. I grasped the screw driver and twisted it in mini circles opening the knobs. With ease, they popped out.

 I crept and dodged the rusted chains, as I saw inmates walking in a single file line. I ducked my head down then put my old baseball cap on. My head sunk down even further, my heart pounded in my chest, my cheeks were burning hot. shifting nervously, my hands intertwined with each other repeatedly as I fidgeted nervously with them. I watched the room, corner to corner, premonition that someone will tap my back and transfer me to a different place. A more dangerous place that only the unwanted live in. I try to put on a smile and act normal. My feet wasn’t functioning nor my mouth. The officer tugged my hand as my body swung facing him. He spitted on my face and whacked my back with his pole. “Keep walking,” he spoke in a low voice. I gulped in constant fear, and nodded in relief as I walked in a slow steady pace. I resent evacuations. Evacuation drills kills hope. Why? Because I was on the verge of escaping.

 

Parent teacher conferences are one of the most nerve racking moments in middle school for students. It is a walking haunted house for us. You enter the daunting house (school). You pass secret passages (doors). Then, you arrive at your final spine-tingling destination. Now you have to prepare to be slaughtered by the words from the teachers. Every comment lashes at you, moving to other tables your heart thumps. Teacher to teacher, you review all you have learned and you, personally as a learner. You realize your parents are giving you the death look. You are on the edge of your chair eagerly wanting to know what they would say. You cross your fingers and, bite your lips. Inside, you know you can’t change what they are going to say. You can’t sit still, you mumble in fear. Parent Teacher conferences is a walking haunted house for students. Or to the parents it’s like a doctor checkup. But they are not examining your body they are examining your intelligence, skills, and your learner preferences.

Agreeing that parent teacher conferences is not a prime factor of your learning and, that you should avoid it, is wrong. Parent teacher conferences is a major principal for you and your parents. This is when your parents are allowed to personally communicate with your teachers. Learn what you are doing in class, how you behave, cons, and pros about you and many more. We the students find this a rather tragic time and would prefer or hope to skip the event. But think again. PTC is a time to reduce if not eliminate the belly butterflies that you might have. Yes, it is like rolling a negative yet positive dice. You don’t know what you will end up with. But surely it is positive. It is not a day where the teachers are allowed to murder you. It is a day of review. Being nervous is very common but, the answer you will receive during the PTC should sound rather familiar. Why? Because they are not talking about your classmates or anyone else, they are talking about you, and only you. If we can agree that parent teacher conferences are the best technique we have to advance better understanding between school and home then it makes sense for everyone to put in the extra effort and embrace this opportunity. My dear fellow classmates PTC should not scare you because, you have powerschool and teacher comments for that. 

This week in humanities we have been studying, and practicing the skill of note taking. We were taught to use the two column note taking strategy. Two-column note taking is a very effective method for detailed and technical information. You separate the  main ideas from the supporting details. This technique strengthens the understanding and memory of  your content. It is organized, which is great for reference. Note taking has many advantages it helps you make an original piece of writing. It improves your memory, writing skills, and your awareness of the text.  It is a useful record and lastly helps exam revision. Without your notes you have no information to rely on. This makes you search the web for some information to use. Your usual routine is to copy and paste and that is your finish product. That is stealing. That is  result of plagiarizing. There are more benefits from note taking then there is to not. In our class we had to write a short paragraph on the Mayan civilization. Everyone had same exact notes but, our finish piece is distinctive from others. This shows that everyone has there own way of transforming notes to a paragraph. I personally love notes, they help me improve my knowledge of the text, recap, and when I look back I can still remember the topic. In my academic life, notes are one of the main tools I used to try to be a successful student as I can be. Take notes, make your writing original, stop copying and your writing career will improve.

 

Note Taking

Going in Depth with Timothy

Currently in humanities class, we have read and discussed with the class about a book, The Cay by Theodore Taylor. One of the main characters is Timothy. Timothy’s purpose in the book is to aid in Phillip’s character alteration. He is opposite of Phillip in some ways: he represents values of selflessness, wisdom, and affection, and he ardently believes in racial equality. Phillip is young, American, white, and educated; Timothy is old, poor, black, and illiterate. Timothy is introduced into the book as big, buff, and unattractive person. He was also on the – S.S Hato- that was later torpedoed by the Germans. That is when he and Phillip first met.

Always looking at the good side and not fearing the worst, Timothy tries to be a good role model for Phillip and maybe calm Phillip nerves down at the same time. Timothy is a quick reactor and is normally ready to face anything that comes at him. He responds too many scenes quickly and effectively. Timothy is a paragon of kindness and selflessness. He doesn’t think about himself but, put others first. “I was still shivering, and soon he gathered me against him, Stew Cat came back to be a warm ball against my feet.” (page 44) This quote shows that Timothy is putting himself in danger (by possibly catching a cold) to help Phillip restore warmth in his body and to prevent him from catching a cold. He is blocking the wind for Phillip making him endure the pain and not Phillip.

Timothy is sparingly creative, inventive; he is resourceful and may transform a normal everyday object into a useful tool. Timothy is also very appreciative of what he has or what is given to him. He cherishes all his items, uses them wisely, and always thinks about the future and how he may benefit from his actions now to then. Timothy is also very loyal to Phillip, he is devoted to care, defend, help, and most importantly love Phillip. “Then Timothy began weaving a rope that would stretch all the way down the hill to the beach to the fire.” (page 73) Based on this quote this passage shows many traits that belong to Timothy. It shows that he is both creative and resourceful, since he takes the vines and transforms it to a helpful safety root for Phillip. It also shows his loyalty, keeping the promise he made with Phillip. About how Timothy will always be near Phillip, and about how he will let Phillip goes down to the beach one day. He additionally displayed affection, taking the time to make this for Phillip. All of this makes up Timothy, the great man he is and is to others.

This is how Timothy and Phillip are imagined to be resembled as

I remember the day I was lost, so  that I even remember what everyone said. My mom was going to do a tax refund at the bottom floor when we were on the highest floor there was in the mall. She quietly told us to wait as we replied with a patient nod. I remember just looking at the clock but it never moved, the hands were still. It was more painful watching this than paint dry. I see a sea of people heading my way, almost trampling me.  The people made everything seem deformed and twisted. My sister just started to question and predict what was happening to my mom. My sister and my brain weren’t connected but I knew we were thinking about the same thing by our expressions. Will we meet mom again? Why isn’t she here yet?  I couldn’t hold the tears back. My face was dripping with tears because of horror and shock. My eyes were puffy from all the crying and mini tantrums. Dehydrated, and sore, sobs racked my body. A fun shopping day in Thailand had gone bad.

“We have to,” I declared, insisting that my sister has to do it instead of me.

“No, you ask!” my sister protested.

As we were bickering back and forth, rioting on and on about who should announce the big news, we suddenly realized something. We were lost. We scanned the area, hoping to catch a glimpse of her puffy lion like mane hair or a trace of her voice.

“Fine, we’ll do it together,” my sister said, keeping  calm.

“Ok,” I nodded and murmured

We were at the counter ready to announce that we were missing and ready to recite my mom name and phone number. He raised the microphone, my sister and I was on the verge of saying our mother’s name on the microphone. But then we were ambushed by a pair of soft comforting arms.

“Mom!” I yelled in relief, trying to look calm. I try to maintain a poker face and failed as my mother flicked a finger on my nose. And pulled Michelle in the group hug as well. It was like hope and joy just blew me a kiss in one.  Then everything became a blur, we didn’t talk about this moment since then because it was too embarrassing. But at least I know how to face this situation when it occurs once more to me again.

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God of Flat Maps

Dear Mr. Gerhardus Mercator,

The brilliant man who created flat maps. I am writing this letter to inquire you about what was running in your mind at the time when producing the first flat map to be recorded. I am Janette a student that’s very fascinated and intrigued by your creation. The question everyone is anticipating on is how did you come up with the idea of making a flat map? No one has actually thought of making a round object, flat. But then you saw a different perspective then everyone else, and made a monumental event in history. Did you major in geography or practice any skills related? Because no one at the time would think of such an invention or even try it out. So how would you know what to do? I know you were committed, sedulous to your work. Certainly there was some tempestuous problems, what were they and how did you overcome it?

Many people at the time were not exposed to different or any new ideas, especially yours. What reaction did you expect from the people compared to the actual reaction? It must be tough to explain your ideas since everyone already adapted to one theory or to one explanation. Did you make money out of the maps? At the time many people wanted to explore the world to expand their knowledge about culture. See beyond their place, trade precious items. But they didn’t have a map, instead a globe, which is very inconvenient. While you were traveling and modifying your map where you aware that when transiting from globe to a page, it distorts country outlines, especially near the equator?

I don’t want to bother you but I would very much appreciate if you take some time to read this letter and answer the following question.

Thank you and Best Regards,

Janette

 

 

 

This is one of the few projects that I have worked on in humanities class. Glogster is an online tool that allows you to create interactive, online posters, complete with text, image, graphics, audio, and videos. The glogster I have created is a multimedia presentation that teaches you and me about a wide variety of genres. I did not create this because Ms. Mckinnon assigned this as a task, but because this will help my knowledge as a reader. Since one goal that all of us has set in humanities was to reach or beat the 40 book challenge, by the end of the year. But we are not allowed to repeatedly read the same genre over and over again, but explore different ones. Glogster comes in handy now because some books are hard to categorize. Simply by the fact that it may either be classified in more than one genre, or it’s just that some are difficult to comprehend. I really find this Glogster beneficial to my needs, as I am not very talented with my memory skill. It’s also a very unique technique to learn something. Since you not only have one media to help you reflect on your daily genres you read but a couple.

I was actually a bit relieved that this has been our assignment since categorizing books in genres wasn’t my specialty. So, I can benefit a lot from this. But I wasn’t so psyched when I realized we were creating it on Glogster. Since this is my first attempt at using Glogster and it was a very stressful time. You may think it’s so easy but, I find the layout and everything a bit confusing and makes me feel nauseous. Personally I find Glogster irritating, it’s hard to navigate around, freezes, and loads slow sometimes never. I can continue to pour out my hatred onto his post but, I won’t. There are many pros and cons for using Glogster. I do not take pleasure in making one but I am pleased with the outcome. My process was first to collect any media that are related to the genre for my Glog. Save it or paste the link to a separate google doc so that when I create my actual blog it would be more convenient time and work wise. After that, I created a Glogster account and chose my layout for the overall presentation. Then, one by one upload all my files and arrange them in a neat, logical order. I labeled all of them in case I forget what the media represents. Later on I examine my Glogster and fixed some minor errors. Finally, I categorized, named, and add a description to my Glog , and then published it so the world can view it.

 

Grade 7 Life so far

 Hey guys, peeps, fellow readers,

I’m not sure if I have informed you about how I just started 7th grade, but now I did. Well today I will tackle a very common question I’ve been asked a lot now, “How’s life in 7th grade like?” Well honestly, average. You have the same everyday routine, transitioning from block to block. But I find that what we are taught in 6th grade has a huge gap difference for some subjects. We practice more things we will benefit from when we grow up in 7th grade. Like being punctual, ready, and just finishing an assigned task. I’m still juggling more activities and subjects everyday. Still studying intensely. I socialize a lot more now, yes with girls and boys.  Since I feel like the vibe makes me more optimistic or just happy overall in a way.

I’m quite pleased in being a  7th grader since we’re not at the bottom of the chain anymore but also not at the top, just in the middle. I like it here in 7th grade just because this is the year of change, physically and mentally. Sadly I’m still short but hopefully change will do me good. You’re allowed to do more activities than you do in 6th grade and you don’t get stressed as much as the 8th graders. So a great combination. Activities in advisory ( Yellow Yams) is always so fun since you never know what’s going to happen and what you’re going to learn from each other. In general my life is average for now but it’s an adventure I don’t want to end early.

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