CAS Reflection

‘Service’ Focus Questions / things to note:

1) Where did you go to do service?

I went to SPC & ARC which is located in Thao Dien, District 2

2) What were the different ways you helped out? Explain.

I helped out by walking dogs who are up for adoption, cleaning the cat house, and then organizing the animal center store which sells a variety of products like mugs, shirts, and animal accessories.

3) Tell us more about  your interactions with the people you worked with.

I worked with other volunteers (some who are in our school) We bonded, talked about fundraises we could possible plan for upcoming events, and discussed about the pets at the shelter.

4) Did you come to any new understandings because of your service experience? This can be about the people you worked with, or the situation or things you have been thinking about.

A new understanding that comes to me is that animals are capable of showing affection or realizing that you have “helped them out.” I noticed this when the “puppies” bombarded me with kisses and the cats started purring and rubbing themselves on me.


I bet you are you expecting me to ramble on about the show CSI, but sorry, please direct yourself somewhere else then.  CSI is an assignment that allows a student to express their inner thoughts on a word with just using color, symbol, and an image. No text is allowed due to the fact we wanted to take a challenge and truly reflect our knowledge of the word.  We were assigned the word industrial revolution. The color that I have selected was grey. I chose grey since I felt as if the atmosphere with having smoke smothered everywhere and building being replaced my machines and factories would be dull for everyone. And most machinery are made of metal, and metal is commonly associated with the color grey. My symbol that represented the word was gears, because gears are what power machines that can produce products to satisfy our needs. And my image is one of the most vital factors when you think about industrial revolution, a factory. Without having factories you wouldn’t be able to distribute enough products for the needs of the people. Factories allowed everyone to be accessible to products since with mass production it can complete a series of task in a short amount of time and not using too much effort which results into cheaper products. So one of the major component that commenced the industrial labor was indeed factories.



Mandarin Reflection

One of my biggest success in the first semester of mandarin was that my grade was decent. I take pride in my grade and knowing one of the topics I struggled a lot with before had been upgraded to an A+ really makes me proud in myself. I think the things that help me achieve my grade was having the tendency to stay up and study for the upcoming quiz. Or it may be because I am focused in class and surrounded by peers that are supportive and very encouraging. An area I need to improve on is trying to remember my tones. I am not very consistent when it comes to adding tones to my pinyin or just identifying if the pinyin requires tones. I truly think my grade reflects my work in mandarin, a great semester of mandarin completed.


During this unit we have learned a series of techniques we can use when rescuing someone. We mainly focused on  three, rear/extension, front, and rear. I would say my favorite rescue technique would be the rear/extension since it was the easiest and ensured both me and the victim safety.  My favorite part about swimming is when we are allowed to play a game and the most entertaining game by far was water polo in the tubes. It’s challenging, requires team work, and overall is just an enjoyable activity. I think my effort and participation in this swimming unit would be a 10/10 due to the fact I do not give up even though my body is completely drained. I persevere and still swim in the warm up, relays, or any game. Overall I would say this wasn’t an unbearable experience as I expected it to be , but some what a pleasing.


Newton’s Vehicle- #3


I think the biggest misconception when during this project for everyone is that we underestimated the difficulty level this assignment ranged in. We had an original plan that shifted into numerous other things but yet the outcome was still some what pleasing. We had to re do our vehicle twice, and we had to change some materials along the way and  have to adjust some positions where the materials were place. We had to be open minded to many suggestions but overall our vehicle was very simple so the task wasn’t that grueling.  In my design process I think the thing I would do differently is to equally decide up the job and to look in more on other options then just have one as our focus, incase. We should have found a backup but luckily our original plan worked after two more trials of re making it. Despite all the troubles hurled in between this project I have learnt and had a deeper analysis on Newton’s Law of Motion. I learnt that the reasoning behind my vehicle and why it is moving is because the ballon is applying the third law; which is  for every exerted force, in exchange an equal amount of force will be exerted back in the opposite direction. If I blow air into my balloon in one direction, the air (force) will exert out the opposite direction leading it to accelerate because of action and reaction. I have also found out that Newton’s Laws are very essential to us even though we might not have known, but it resolves a lot around our daily life and routine.   I think when it comes to the overall vehicle and the end product I think I would have to change the wheels as it leans on too much on one side and it does not move very smoothly but instead rugged. I think a solution to this problem is just by adjust our wheels or add tape around it to make it move easily,efficiently, and not lean too much on either the left or right side. If we were given another change to do a similar project I would think the best way to extend it is by making people step out their comfort zone. Like the rules are that you can not use a balloon to power this vehicle or you can assign the task and ask them to make a vehicle that does not require wheels for support. I would like to experiment with the coke and mentos design since it seems some what crafty and very entertaining. 

Revised sketch - New PageScreen shot 2014-12-15 at 8.33.54 PM

Final Vehicle sketch


IMG_0938 IMG_0939

Finished vehicle

Newton Vehicle Blog Post #2

In class we have designed our prototype that weaves the three Newton’s Law of Motion in our vehicle.  The 1st Law of Motion states that an object will not move until an outside force is exerted upon it. It’s evident that we would demonstrate this first law by allowing the  the air tube of the balloon to release on its own, causing it to move. All the materials we have utilized have a light mass for instance instead of using a big container or box we used a mini cut off of a card board. This helps the vehicle’s acceleration to increase than the one with more mass, when same amount of force is exerted onto the vehicle, since acceleration depends on the mass of an object, according to the Newton’s second law.  Also when you are blowing air into the balloon and releasing the hole of the balloon it incorporates Newton’s 3rd Law. Newton’s 3rd Law expound that for every force, there is an equal amount exerted in the opposite direction. So when we blow air into the balloon, the same amount of air that was blown in comes out of the balloon, pushing the vehicle forward into the opposite direction we blew into.  Our vehicle design is similar to the one we had in the beginning we just changed a few supplies and adjusted some objects positions to make the vehicle preeminent. In conclusion we are in the process of making our vehicle that applies all three of Newton’s Motion Law.

JJES Newton Vehicle Part 2  - Ideation Page 2 - (Design + Laws) (1)Revised sketch - New Page (2)





Newton Vehicle Project – #1

We have just begun to explore our physics unit and one of the biggest task assigned is to design a vehicle that incorporates all three of Newton’s law of motion. The vehicle also must cover at least 1.5 meters without having the aids of a motor, engine, or a push.  When we were first assigned the task we thought that it would be a facile job but now we would have to differ.


In our discovery stage we have come across some new vocabularies that we were familiar with but didn’t have a deep comprehension of those words. The first vocabulary word that is very common is gravity. Gravity is the force that pulls objects towards each other. Another one that will play a vital key in this unit is friction. Friction is when two surfaces exert on each other or when they rub against each other. Without friction a moving object will not stop until it hits another object. I have learned that there are multiple types of friction specifically four and it has two factors that affect the force of friction; types of surfaces that is involved and how hard the surfaces are pushed together.  And the final one that we had a clearer understanding of was inertia, which is the tendency of an object to stay in the position it is in/ resistance to change in motion. And a minor misconception for us in the beginning was that we thought all objects has the same amount of inertia but that is incorrect since some objects has greater inertia then others.


We have chosen the idea to create a light vehicle that uses a balloon to hopefully accelerate it. We will be using a cardboard base and we will use bottle caps as our wheels. To link the wheels in a row we will pierce a hole in the caps and loop through a BBQ skewer. For our balloon we will attach it on a straw, and we will leave one hole open as we need to blow air into the balloon then it will be able to move. Trying to make everything sturdy we will use tape to wrap around fragile areas.

Newton Vehicle Sketch (JJES) - New Page

Our vehicle has to reflect the three Newton’s law of motion.  The first law states that an object will remain at rest or move at a constant velocity until a net zero force acts upon it. Our vehicle demonstrates the First Law since the balloon is the force that is moving the vehicle so the air in the balloon can act as the outside force making the vehicle shift from resting position.   Another law we have to consider is  the second law which expresses that an object’s acceleration is directly proportional to its mass and the net force applied on it. Which means the greater the mass the greater net force needed, and the lighter the mass the less force needed to be exerted. With keeping the second law in mind we have come to the conclusion of using light materials that will not weigh down the car.  And lastly is the third law of motion which states when an object exerts force, the other object will exert force that is equal to the opposite side. Our vehicle applies this law since as the air rushes backward out of the balloon it pushes the car forward in the opposite direction with an equal force.


The two topics that will be a prime factor when designing this vehicle is the force we apply on to the vehicle. The amount it moves depends on the force we exert so depending on how big we blow the balloon that will be the amount our vehicle should move. Another topic we should be concerning about is the weight. The balloon can only travel so much, so making sure we have a balanced and light mass is crucial.


JJES Vehicle Part 1  - DiscoveryJJES Vehicle Part 1  - Interpretation


Dash of Culture

Che troi nuoc translates in english to sticky rice floating on water. But what the horrid name lacks, the flavors so eloquently makes up for it. It’s a Vietnamese dessert that consist of mung bean paste rolled into mini balls wrapped in a sticky shell made of glutinous rice flour. It’s then finally bathed in a concoction of water,sugar, grated ginger roots and topped with rich coconut milk, garnished with toasted sesame seeds


When I was younger I have never been fond with this dessert and couldn’t grasp the concept of it. Did I like how it tasted? No, I despised it. But when I became a tad older I grew to give this dessert the recognition it deserves thanks to my grandma.   Now I will be mentioning the story my grandma always accompanied this dish with.


“ From long ago, the rice fields and bean fields were separate. The northern king dictated the rice fields and the southern king dictated the beans field. Both were rivals and demanded not to share their crops with each other so one land lived without rice and the other lived without beans. Then the day came where the northern king daughter had to be brought to marriage. She was supposed to marry a fine prince from Cambodia that was very prosperous but her true love and passion was meant for the prince in the South. Each time they met they would either bring beans from the south or rice from the north and they would gaze at the stars on the fields. Day by day they couldn’t hide their love and the two kings found out about this. Deciding this was a sin they slaughtered both the princess and the prince. Not approving this atrocious actions that the kings seize to take, the citizens wanted them to have a death that they deserved or for them to flow in a stream of happiness and eternality.  So the two lands, the north and the south gathered together to produce a worthy funeral. They put the two in a casket draped in the finest silk with cushions made from the heavens wool. They then added the dried flower petals on top and sent them off in the glistening ocean as they depart to another world together in unity and peace.”


This story helps show how the dish supposedly came to be, it wasn’t a traditional folk tale that traced back to ages ago but perhaps a little story my grandma likes to tell me occasionally. The two lands binded together to form a dish that consist of both their main crops, mung bean and rice.  The prince and the princess both died a tragic death so the mung bean is cooked with a tint of saltiness yet a pinch of sugar is added since they remained dying together.  Next it was wrapped in the sticky rice which portrays  our casket that is then sent off and  floating on the sea which is our sweep soup, and finally it is finished with coconut milk and sesame seeds that acted as the dried petals.


My grandma adds a twist on this as she makes all the balls colored and not just by normal food coloring but with actual vegetables or edible ingredients we can benefit from. This dish contributes to the many memories I had since it was made at almost every funeral I attended.  The funeral would consist of  lusty and stentorian announcements made from relatives all across, but until they hear the sound of the laddle pouring in the che troi nuoc or they scent the pleasant fragrance, everyone retreats into a tranquil state. My grandma believes that we should make this dish after the death of a person since it shows that we have gratitude and respect for their death and want them to flow into the rivers of the gods and that how we come together and join to form such a beautiful elegant dish.


The recipe is very elaborate but if you prepare all your ingredients a day ahead the task won’t be as drainful. The recipe I used is passed down from my grandmother to my mom then to me and my older sister. Hope you enjoy the recipe where you can find clicking this LINK .

Screenshot from 2014-12-09 11:52:54Screenshot from 2014-12-09 11:54:26

Images credit to me

Hour of Code


game program coding

In the time frame of an hour we were allowed to go on this program called and play a series of task that involved coding. I have wrote over 100 lines of code in the time given. I would say this experience wasn’t very enjoyable since I’m not a tech geek at all or at least I hate anything that involves writing directions down or to make an object fulfill a mission. But I have been very amazed at certain moments like knowing it only takes a few blocks to create a movement in a  character and how it doesn’t take much to code a game. I also now have a deeper understanding and gratitude for the people out there who created programs, games, websites, etc since coding isn’t a very simple profession to major in.