Human Rights Reflection

For this past quarter, we have been studying Human Rights in Social Studies class and also almost all our other classes like writing, art, and science. At first, our job was to only research these issues and take a look at the sustainable development goals that the UN has for the world, but we then got to select one topic as a group of 3 and partner with a NGO that helps solve that certain issue. Our group chose poor education due to poverty. We chose this because we felt like it was most important to us, and we wanted to fulfill the goals that Orphan Impact wanted to accomplish.

At the NGO conference before we started our project, the lovely Orphan Impact representatives said that they needed assistance in raising awareness for their organization, and in helping the children at the orphanages with motivation and self-esteem. We were instantly inspired, and we decided to contact them so we could pay a visit to one of their orphanages, and we designed a few activities to help the children learn and boost their self confidence and motivation in learning.

We accomplished this goal by having a fun mirror worksheet and a symbolic cupcake decorating activity. The mirror worksheet required the students to write down things that make them proud of who they are and what they like about themselves. And for the cupcake decorating activity, we brought in colorful frosting and sprinkles and asked the children to decorate their cupcakes to represent themselves.

Here are some reflection questions:

What were your initial expectations? Have these expectations changed? How? Why? We all expected this to be a lot more difficult since it was direct service and we had to do a lot of work, and we had very high expectations at first. Everything went so smooth, and we always thought that something would go wrong since it was just too easy, but then we realized that things were just easy because we worked hard and then our expectations changed from high to realistic.

How did time impact my work? For us, time management was really simple because to-do lists and all these notes helped us with our visit. All we needed to do was write down the requirements for our project and get started. We worked together very well, so that impacted us more than the time did. We had a reasonable amount of time to plan this, and we didn’t slack off at all – we got straight to our project and got a lot of work done every class.

What are the most difficult and most satisfying parts of the service you are performing? Why? I guess it was really challenging to explain why self-esteem is important to children because most of them haven’t been through anything that convinced them that self-esteem is extremely valuable. However, the most satisfying part was seeing the smiles when they were decorating their cupcakes. It made me really happy to see children who aren’t as fortunate as me enjoy something I got a chance to give to them. I guess it’s really fun spending time with children 🙂

Have your career options been expanded by your service experience? Honestly, I’ve always thought that learning is fun (I wanted to become a scientist so I could just learn, learn, and LEARN about the world) and I thought that teaching was lame, but I think my views have really changed since Sunday. Now I think that teaching is also learning; but learning from those that are younger than you since they have such different views on everything. I’d love to be a teacher who teaches young children because I find it so amazing. Seeing the smiles on their faces is so precious, it absolutely melted my heart.

Here are the links to our activities and lesson plan:

The Showcase Plan

The Mirror Worksheet Activity

Our Group Project Planning Form

Our Abstract

Sejin at showcase Group Photo - Showcase Brookelynn at showcase Our Tabledecorating cupcakes for self-esteem




Poetry Unit Reflection

For this last quarter, we have been working on a lot of poetry in writing class. We learned about the characteristics of a poem, different types of poems, and most importantly, writing our own poems.

At the start, I only knew a few things about poetry, like the stanzas and the types like haiku, list poems, and free verse poems. However, after this unit, I know a lot about extended metaphors and how vital figurative language is to poetry. This unit was particularly difficult and challenging for me because of the figurative language. We were graded based on how much figurative language we used to express our thoughts, and I am more of a practical person and I like getting to the point, and using figurative language can be frustrating since I really don’t know how to phrase certain things in a poetic way.

I wrote a few poems, and if I had to pick a favorite, it would definitely be my Beautiful Texas poem. I really liked this one because I feel like I was most expressive and nothing sounds or feels forced, and I truly enjoyed writing it because I thought a lot about home, and I got a chance to say how much I love Texas. The figurative language was also easy because I actually liked writing about it and I didn’t force myself to look up suitable metaphors and similes, and I think that’s what makes it so great. It’s 100% original and I feel very happy when I read it.

During this unit, we also used visuals to enhance our poems, and I really enjoyed this because it makes poetry extra artistic. When I wrote a poem about a breakup, my visual was a tree with long and black branches covering the starry night sky with a big moon in the middle of it, and this really expressed my thoughts because breakups are dark times and thinking about whatever you’re going through covers up all the light in your life. I think doing this made me like poetry more because your ideas can be interpreted in so many different ways and it’s just really interesting to experiment.

All in all, I think I liked this unit. I felt really unconfident and annoyed at first because I was so carried away with using figurative language, but poetry is a great way to express your feelings without having to write an essay, and it’s just really cool.

The Slave Trade in America – Human Rights facts

The Slave Trade in America by Kristin Thoennes Keller (publication details attached)

Things I learned:

  1. In 1839, the Africans that were captured took over the Spanish ship Amistad and killed the captain, but they weren’t able to work the ship, so they ended up getting arrested by U.S. officials. They were released after some time. Amistad is the most famous slave rebellion, and some slaves were able to overpower sailors and they took control of the ship.
  2. Slaves starved a lot back then because their owners would only give them little amounts of food so that they could stay alive. They would often make food for themselves, but they were given cheap food like sweet potatoes, peas, rice, syrup, etc.





My Resumé

In Language Arts, we have been practicing professional writing for the past few weeks and we learned how to create our own resumes to apply for our ideal/dream job. We were judged by the format the resumé, the language, and the content. We were encouraged to look online for templates that would nicely fit with the job we were applying for, and I applied to be a musical theater actress. My resumé is attached as a link to a PDF file below.

As a student, here are my best professional qualities: I am a team player, I am respectful so I listen to everyone’s opinions without openly judging them, I am always curious which means I enjoy asking questions and learning more about certain things. I am also full of perseverance so I never give up on what I’m doing no matter how hard it is, and most importantly, I put a lot of effort into everything because I know that education is a privilege (see, haha… another quality – I value education).

On the other hand, here are my two major weaknesses when it comes to learning: I am extremely impatient, so I always hate myself whenever something takes longer than it usually does and this impatience always causes more stress, I always assume that everything can be done quickly. I also have a bad habit of hating myself, I’m very unconfident and self-deprecating sometimes, and this means no one really discourages me but myself and it makes me quite unhappy while learning, especially if it’s something I’m new to .

Acting Resume PDF

What Was the Driving Force Behind European Imperialism in Africa?

In this project on European Imperialism, we focused on improving/learning about why Europeans started colonizing places in Africa and this was our last DBQ of the year, and we just worked on analyzing documents on our own, and using critical thinking to help us back up our claim. This is an important skill because in order to find evidence to support your claim, you must know what details you’re trying to get to back up your claim.  One thing I improved while working on this project is my ability to think critically. This blog post provides a reflection on my work, as well as a sample of what I accomplished.

This essay was the last DBQ of middle school, but it was pretty tough. European Imperialism itself was quite complex to learn, and I found the documents really confusing at first. I was very stuck on what to make my claim about and that led to struggling with writing the thesis statement. I wanted to pick economics as my counterclaim, but it was really difficult to me to refute it, so I took really long on just justifying my thesis and refuting the counterclaim I chose.

Time really impacted me because this was something that was mainly done in class, it was more on-demand, and we did sprint rounds to help us work faster. I have a lot of trouble managing my time when it comes to essays because I really don’t know where to start. What I did first was write my thesis and work on my evidence and analyses throughout the essay, and then I put all the sentences together. I should’ve just followed the outline and did it in order because I felt so unorganized and that caused me to stress even more, which takes up more of my time.

Here is the link to my piece.

A strength I showed was my ability to include good supporting evidence and an analysis to strengthen it even more. I think it was because I made it detailed and easy to understand at the same time. On the other hand, something I should work on in my next essay is to be more specific about certain details that I used as evidence. For example, I wasn’t so specific about technology’s relationship to imperialism and I didn’t try hard enough to make other connections to make my evidence stronger.


Healthy Hope – Nutritious Dish

In PE, we were learning about serving sizes, nutrition, and what’s good for your body, and our final project was to get into groups and have a healthy dish composed of all the essential nutrients. We had brown nice, chicken breast chips seasoned with olive oil, carrot and cucumber chops dipped in hummus, some berries, and some water. This dish was 100% sugar free and everything was homemade and organic.

I had a lot of fun doing this project because it involved a lot of teamwork and knowing that there are healthy ingredients in my nearest supermarket is very reassuring because it’s the first step to eating healthy – knowing where to buy healthy food. This also involved a lot of creativity and I am extremely proud of what we came up with because it’s both tasty and nutritious, even the judges liked it 😀

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